Prestidigitation

Posted on 1/30/2010 09:22:00 AM
"Look, I can pull my fork out of my napkin! Nothing up my sleeve.... abracadabra, ta da! See? It's magic."

"You know what would be real magic? If you acutally ATE YOUR BREAKFAST instead of screwing around."


"......"


"Um... I don't think you know what magic is, Daddy."

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Me: "Hey, what's this?" *holding up an orange tube of some sort of topical cream from the medicine cabinet*

Him: "It's the skin stuff the doctor gave me for that rash on my neck."


"No it's not."


"Yes, it is."


"No. It is not."


"Of course it is."


"No, this is the skin stuff from the doctor." *holding up a similar-sized blue tube*


"Well, then what have I been putting on my neck?"


*gesturing with orange tube* "THIS is athletes' foot medication."


"Well at least I won't get Athletes' Neck."

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Wall Street Banker of the Future

Posted on 1/26/2010 08:45:00 AM
"Momma, I have a great idea."

"What's that?"

"Well, could you pay the house bill and the tv bill and stuff like that by writing a check?"

"Yeah."

"Well why don't you just pay ALL of your bills by writing a check?"

"Well, sometimes I do that. Sometimes it's just easier to pay them online and then you don't have to write a check. But I guess I could do either."

"Well, you should only pay with a check."

"Why's that?"

"Because then you could just make a check and you wouldn't have to use any of your money."

OH MY GOSH, WHY HAS NO ONE EVER THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE? And here I've been all along, paying all my bills with real money like a sap.

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It Sounded Better in My Head

Posted on 1/25/2010 06:25:00 AM In:
Preface: This is a rerun of something I wrote a few years ago when Monica asked me to guest post on her blog. Recently, I was looking for one of the quotes contained therein and it took me a day and a half to realize I hadn't ever posted it on my website, but rather hers. So really, the only purpose in posting this here is for ease of searching should I ever want to finish that book. Enjoy.

It occurs to me that if I were reading my own blog, I would think I don’t have much more focus in the universe than funny things my daughter says and observations about parenthood. I actually do have a job, hobbies, interests, friends (ok – that one’s a lie), and philosophies that don’t center on children, being a mom, how much I hate children and being a mom or funny things my kids say.

My husband says some pretty funny stuff too.

Actually I think the reason I married him is because of all the potential amusement I would find in our lives together. Generally, after something odd comes out of his mouth, it's followed by "It sounded better in my head." I’ve been threatening to write a book about all the funny stuff he says for years and when and if I do, it will be titled, It Sounded Better in My Head. So without further adieu, I present:

Alice's List of Hilarious Things Her Husband Says and Will Later Kill Me For Publishing On The Web; He Should At Least Be Happy I Took His Name Out Of Everything

ON FOOD

"I think I'm going to stop eating pork."

"Why?" I - and three others - say expectantly, and in unison... knowing something good was about to come.


"Well, salt is like... the ultimate purifier. You use it to preserve food, and also to season food. You can also use salt to kill slugs. Pigs don't like salt either. So I'm not going to eat pork anymore."


"Beeeecaaauuuse... you're afraid the pig will taste like a slug?"

"It sounded better in my head."

Discussing his earliest memory after I'd told him this warm fuzzy story about how the earliest memory I have is of me sitting at the piano bench with my mother, singing: "I think the earliest thing I remember is of my grandmother yelling at me for eating a whole stick of butter."

At the Rainforest Cafe, a bunch of us were having lunch together. We all ordered and the waitress went away, brought drinks, etc. At some point after the drinks arrived and the waitress disappeared, The KoH became extremely agitated that he'd forgotten to order Ranch dressing to go with his French fries (that's the only way to eat fries if you're my husband). So he starts looking around for the waitress to tell her. She's nowhere to be seen. I remind him that waitresses always forget his Ranch dressing anyway, so he might just as well wait until the food comes and then ask for it. This is not acceptable and he notifies everyone at the table to be on the lookout for the waitress and gives me the task of ordering a side of Ranch dressing if I see the waitress while he's in the bathroom. He comes back... still no waitress. He simply cannot be a part of the conversation while worrying about the Ranch dressing, so finally he gets up and asks some other waitress to find our waitress.

A few moments later, she appears at the table and he says "I forgot to order a side of Ranch dressing with my meal... to go with my fries." She writes it down. Finally the food comes and the waitress put our meals down in front of each of us. When she comes to The KoH, she puts down his meal; he has ordered Jambalaya.... which does not come with fries.

A second later, she comes back with a side of Ranch dressing and sets it down in front of him.

He looks up at her and says, "Can I have some fries to go with my Ranch dressing?"

"We should get a jerkifyer... because I would actually eat raisins if they were called ‘jerky grapes’."

Discussing the finer points of appetizers in restaurants: "I've learned that you never order the sampler version of an appetizer. Usually they have something that you like on there, like Fried Mozzarella and something you maybe would eat but aren't too crazy about like Buffalo wings. But then the other two things on the plate are Deep Fried Cat Turds and Barbecued Pig Farts. So you look at the menu and you say to yourself, 'Gee, I'd really like the Mozzarella sticks and I could go for the Buffalo Wings if I had to but I'm just not really into the Deep Fried Cat Turds and Barbecued Pig Farts.' So you may as well just order two appetizers."

There's a famous scene in When Harry Met Sally, where Sally, while in a restaurant, and piling cold cuts onto the sandwich she's ordered, fakes an orgasm out loud right in front of Harry and the entire restaurant. I've seen this movie a hundred times, but The KoH hadn't. So during that scene, she goes through the long drawn out process of making sounds and talking as though she's having sex, finishes, smiles and then starts to put cold cuts on her sandwich and eat. There's a pause as I look at him; he looks at me... the moment brewing with sexual tension... and then he says,

"I wish
I had some cold cuts."

MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE

When I was in the hospital having a c-section, the doctors let The KoH into the operating room with me. About half way through the operation, it appeared he was feeling woozy and sick so the anesthesiologist started talking to him to distract him. He was looking at the vital monitoring equipment and said, "So that's the pulse ox there... and that's where you see the heart rate right?"

The anesthesiologist, obviously impressed, looked at him and said, "That's right... how.. how did you know that?"

"I watch a lot of ER."

ON HOME ORGANIZATION

Sitting on the couch watching TV about 4:30 pm, he suddenly stands up, drops his pants to the floor and then sits back down in his underwear. I look at him and say, "What the heck are you doing?"

"My keys in my pocket were poking me in the leg."

"Why don't you just take your keys out of your pocket?"

He says, "If I take my keys out of my pocket, I might forget where I put them.... But I won't forget I don't have any pants on."

ON HUMOR

"Some words are just inherently funny. Take 'monkey'. Now that's a funny word. If you tell a joke with the word 'monkey' in it - you've got a funny joke. 'Chicken' is funny too - but not as funny as 'monkey'."

SPORTS

"We have to go to the neighborhood watch meeting tonight. Guess now you won't be able to go show those El Salvadorians (the men he works with) how it's done on the soccer field like I told them you could."

"Honey, I don't play soccer."

"Yes, you do."

"You've been married to me for three years, have you ever seen me play soccer?"

"No."

"Have I ever said I played soccer?"

"No."

"Have you ever heard me talk about having played it?"


"No...," and then exasperated, "But... you lived in Paraguay!"

EXPLAINING THE UNEXPLAINABLE

I came home one day and found a large box containing an electric jigsaw sitting on the couch in plain view with a tiny pillow on top of it. "What's that?" I asked.

"What's what?"

"That jigsaw sitting on the couch."

"Where?"

"Under the pillow."

"Under what pillow.?"

"That pillow right there in plain sight."

He walks over and picks up the pillow. "Oh my gosh, how did THAT get there? It must have been the jigsaw fairy."

SITUATIONAL OBSERVATIONS

After spraying Eucalyptus air freshener in the bathroom, "Smells like a Koala turd in here."

Comes home from work one day and sits next to me on the couch to watch TV for a bit. After about an hour, he casually mentions: "I put my underwear on backward today."

"When did you notice that?"

"Around lunchtime"

"Did you fix it?"

"Not yet."

Three or four hours pass. We go out for dinner, do some yard work, he uses the bathroom several times. Right before bed, he goes into the bathroom and yells from behind the bathroom door: “You know, I'm either gonna have to quit peeing, or I'm gonna have to turn my underwear back around."

Trying to explaining who someone was at church that I didn't know: "You know the Smiths... he sat in back of us in church... the tall skinny guy with the dog."

"He brought a DOG to church?"

"I meant 'wife.'"

We were driving by a strip mall that was being built when The KoH was speculating about what store was going to go in that building. I said I'd heard if was a Kohl's.

"Kohl's can kiss my ass!"

Me: "These cats sure can stink up a litter box. Smelly cats."

Him: "Yep, Kitty Kat and the Funky Bunch."

While driving in the car... "Look at that lady walking in the road with a kid!" He proceeds to get immensely upset because she's walking in the road.

Me: "Why does that bother you so much? She's not in your way, she not walking toward you, she hasn't inconvenienced you in any way..."

"I can't help it, I see people being IGNORANT SAVAGES and it bothers me."

I was complaining one day about the weight I'd gained and KoH very helpfully tried to tell me that he thought it looked like I'd lost weight. I told him the scale didn't hold with his theory. "But honey, your ass isn't as flabby as it used to be."

MATHEMATICS

Attempting to chime in on a conversation between two sisters about the fact that other members of their family think one of them is critical. She claimed that she was not.

"Oh yes you are critical. On a scale of being critical, you're like a ten... point... some... really big number."

THRIFTINESS

After coming home from work one day when he was still out of work, I found about sixteen knives on the table. I asked where they'd come from and he said some kids had come by the house and were selling them.

"But we already have knives", I say.

"I know."

"And we don't really need any more knives."

"I know."

"Were they selling any forks or spoons?" I had to ask.

"No, Just knives."

"Then why did you buy them?"

"They were only twenty-five cents apiece! Hmmmm... come to think of it, maybe those knifes weren't a hundred percent not stolen."

ON MUSIC

While watching the Grammy broadcast where Joshua Bell (one of my favorite violinists) was playing an arrangement of Bernstein/West Side Story tunes. He came to this amazing, incredibly fast passage up in 7th position and my jaw dropped to the floor. The KoH turned to me and said, "Is he good?"

Without missing a beat, I replied lustily, "I want him so bad right now."

"Guess that means yes," he said.

ON ANTHROPOLOGY

"Even in tribal societies the average native only spends 10% of his time gathering food and providing for his family. The rest of the time they're just doing decorative beadwork or something like that."

DISCUSSIONS WITH DEITY

During a prayer: "...and thank you Heavenly Father for the little things in life. Like the cats... and... and... (long pause) other things smaller than that. ... And bless Alice Father, because she's laughing during the prayer and she'll probably go to hell."

Praying: "Please give us the rest we need, Father, so we can be rested and hit it fresh on Monday." I start laughing.

Him: "God knows what I mean."

Me: "I'm sure he does, 'cuz that H.F., He's a real hizipp dude."

ELOQUANCE

Driving through North Carolina, we were going down the road behind a police car when a cat started out into the road, coming fairly close to the police car but not close enough to get hit. "Uh oh... uh oh... uh oh. Uh on... uh oh... uh oh", was all he could get out. Then, "Whew, I thought that kitty was gonna to get it."

"I thought I was sitting next to MC Hammer." I said.

SEEMS TO BE GENETIC

Said by The KnaveofHearts when he was about seven: "Dad, do you remember when that cow got hit by lightning?"

KoH in his sarcastic mode says, "Son, a lot of cows get hit by lightning in Nevada; you're going to have to be more specific."

KoH, Jr. pauses for a second and then says, "It was a brown cow."

ENLIGHTENMENT

While driving down the road in the car: "I think I've just hit upon something important."

"What's that?”

"Well I've just discovered the reason why I'm not gay."

"Well do tell."

"Well, I can look and women and think they're pretty or good looking, or whatever. And I can also look at men and think that they're good looking if they are... like that guy in the car over there. Now that's a good-looking man, don't you think?"

"Yes", I said. "So why are you not gay then?"

"Because I just Don't. Have. The sexual feelings. Toward the men."

Along those same lines...

"My wife is like a guy. She's like my guy friend. Really, it's the best of both worlds... She's like my guy friend that I get to have sex with. Oh wait, maybe that doesn't sound so good."

DEALING WITH THE PUBLIC

Looking for a bathroom in Home Depot: "Do you have a place for me to pee?"

"You're not allowed to publish that book if it makes me look like an idiot", he says one day as I write down another one of his comments.

"It doesn't. You take care of that." I replied.

But he never said anything about a blog.

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Wisdom

Posted on 1/24/2010 07:39:00 AM
Scene: We're all lying around on the floor, watching some random science channel show and the announcer says something to the effect of, "Exactly how much is not known, but a good ballpark figure is..."

The Dormouse: "Ballpark figure! It's when you don't know exactly how much something is and you just take a guess."

Me: "That's right."

The Dormouse: "And it also gets someone off your back when they're bugging you. Sometimes."

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Competition

Posted on 1/23/2010 06:36:00 AM

Laps are valuable real estate around these parts. Sometimes you gotta go apartment style.


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Preferences

Posted on 1/22/2010 05:31:00 AM
Old and busted: sleeping in my very own crib my parents painstakingly assembled and for which they purchased color coordinated linens and blankets.

New hotness: sleeping on this pile of laundry I threw on the floor.


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If Wishes Were Cartons

Posted on 1/21/2010 07:00:00 AM
I've been trying lately to think of things to write about other than my kids, but the truth is, I make it a rule not to write about work much, this seems an inappropriate forum to discuss my sex life, and not much else ever happens to me besides my kids. I may or may not need to check the lost and found for the remnants of my former life.

So instead, here's a little story from my past:

A few years ago I worked in the psychiatric wing of a local hospital. I contracted there once a week to provide groups on the locked inpatients' wing. It was interesting work and I would still be doing it now if they hadn't closed that hospital to psychiatric patients. Now they ship them somewhere that's not nearly convenient enough for me to drive to and not nearly as lucrative after gas money and travel time. Then I had kids and got distracted.

Anyway, one night I was doing a music and imagery activity and trying to get the patients to focus on their recovery and make a plan to stick to after their release from the hospital... you know... so they don't have to come back. We listened to the music and went through the planned imagery and then at the end, I asked each patient to describe one goal they had for themselves to the rest of the group.


One person wanted to live her life med free, another wanted to never have to leave his wife and family again due to an involuntary admission to the hospital such as the one that brought him here. You get the idea.

Finally, I got around to the last person in the group and asked,
"How about you, Brittney*? If you could have anything in the world right now, what would it be?"

Brittney looked thoughtful for a moment as her eyes lifted up toward the sky while she considered all of life's possible goals and desires and then slowly replied,

"I would have cigarettes."

I looked at her incredulously, "Cigarettes? That's what you'd have if you could have Anything. In. The. World?"

She slowly brought her eyes back down to meet mine and answered in the sexiest voice I think I've ever heard before or since,

"Lots. And lots. of cigarettes."



*not her real name - What? You weren't you aware that no one named Brittney has ever had psychiatric problems?

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Mini House

Posted on 1/20/2010 02:20:00 AM
...or What I Did Over My MLK Day Holiday

This is the Theme Reading project that The Dormouse has been working on for the past two weeks: Make a diorama of your bedroom using a shoe box or another small box. Create and label the items in your bedroom. Then tell the class about your project.


She finished it on Monday.

Here are a few up close and personal shots. I wish they were better in focus, but my camera is in it's death throes and I was fighting with it at the time. Click to embiggen if you can't see and want to:



That thing under the bed is a supposed to be a kids sized play table with two of her tea set place settings on it, complete with a bowl of flowers.


You can see the button plate and bead-and-button cup and saucer a little better here:


The picture on the wall here is an actual printout of the Greg Olsen print that hangs in her room. (Interesting story about that... I bought it at a cut rate at a local bookstore; it was marked down to almost nothing because the glass was broken. Then I got it home and realized it was a signed print!) I printed a thumbnail off the web for her to cut out. This may be the exact moment where I overstepped my bounds.


The directions for her project were very explicit in that the children were to do it themselves with only guidance and occasional input from the parents. The parents were NOT to do it for them.

But here's the thing: you are asking a six year old to create a scale model of their bedroom IN A SHOEBOX.

So two things are happening here: one) the ability to cut, tape and create things this small is difficult at best for someone this young. At worst, it requires the use of scissors, awls and other pointy things that could easily draw blood. two) while fine motor coordination in a child of six is emerging, when you're asking them to do things like "build furniture that will fit in a shoebox and then place it all inside without destroying the other furniture you just put in there" is like asking Godzilla to build a ship in a bottle without breaking the glass.

So, I'll admit it here and publicly: I helped her. I feel like I probably helped her more than is okay. But I could only watch her destroy that bunk bed so many times while trying to put stickers on the walls before I offered to put some of the more difficult items where they ended up... and since she was hell bent on creating a bunk bed using kitchen items, I insisted on doing some of the more dangerous and tedious things like poking holes through the sponge and threading the straws through the holes.

Since she is generally pretty self-sufficient and really most of the ideas were hers (I only stepped in to rein her in when her creativity got out of hand and she was talking about building balls that actually bounced and trying to cut out pieces of paper for the items in her Operation Game) I don't feel terribly badly about it. It's more her project than mine.

It's brought up an interesting question for me though: how much do you help your kids with their homework? How much is too much? I'm really interested in where others draw the line.

Feel free to berate me in the comments. Seriously, I love it.

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A Long Hermity Story

Posted on 1/19/2010 03:39:00 AM
Like many first grade classes I suppose, my daughter's first grade class has a class pet. On a scale of difficult pets to keep, pet rock being at one end, and say, howler monkey at the other, this one is relatively easy: a pair of hermit crabs.


The very first day of school she came home terribly excited with the news of the classroom crabs and spellbound by the fact that one of the jobs in the classroom was to take care of the hermit crabs. No classroom job could ever be a wondrous as this classroom job - not even the coveted classroom job of "Office Girl" from last year. Oh, how she longed for this job.

When I met the teacher during the first week of school, The Dormouse announced within ear shot of the teacher and in a loud stage whisper as we walked away, "She's the one who decides who gets what job. I SURE WOULD LIKE to be on the hermit crab job next week." *wink, wink, nudge, nudge, nowhaddimean?* Yeah, THAT wasn't planned at all.

She angled for three weeks until she managed to get the teacher to get her name onto hermit crab duty and it was a dream come true. She watered them, fed them, scooped out their cage daily and was on top of the world... at least until the end of the week when they switched jobs again. But we were still regaled with hermit crab antics and behavior and even some juicy controversy when one day she came home to tell us that one crab had moved out of its shell and into a new shell, but then the other had taken over the vacated shell a couple of days later. (I guess finding an apartment in Hermit Crab World is like finding one in New York City: you have to wait for someone to die or move to a better place before you find one of your own.)

A couple more weeks into the school year and The Dormouse came home and announced in a grave voice:

"I have some VERY sad news for you all. Star died this weekend."

(Apparently the children had named the crabs Star and Climber. Star was so-named because there was a sequin glued onto its shell which looked like a star and Climber, you know, likes to climb on stuff. Six year olds are not known for their inventive use of newly created American names, I guess. Also: she appears to have learned a thing or two about tactfully breaking bad news to people.)

And then in the next breath, "My Teacher says that if anyone out there... anyone at all... would like to buy a NEW hermit crab for the class, they're welcome to do it because we're VERY afraid that Climber will get lonely." *hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, nowhaddimean?*

After about two weeks of cleverly working the subject into every possible topic of dinner conversation, ("What? You have a lot of work to do because someone in your office is sick, momma? That's an awful lot like Climber. He doesn't have a friend anymore so he's probably got a lot more work to do too. Remember how My Teacher said we could buy another hermit crab for the classroom if we WANTED to? You don't remember that? Well, My Teacher said we could buy another hermit crab for the classroom. But only if you WANT to.")

Finally, sick of the hint dropping, I acquiesced and we purchased another crab for the classroom. We got twenty-five or so thank you cards from all the kids in the class. Which made it totally worth the eight bucks because: have you ever SEEN twenty-five first graders try to draw a hermit crab? It's hiLARious! It was immediately named Buggy (it had a ladybug painted on its shell - so creative these children are) and it almost as immediately died.

Woops.

Fortunately, the children had already dealt with the sad prospect of pet death once this year and so crab death number two didn't affect them nearly as badly as the first did.

This time My Teacher bought the class a new hermit crab. I found out later that she figured out they had probably died because they were keeping the crabs right under the heater vent, so I guess she felt guilty enough to shell out (shell out, get it? I kill me.) for a replacement crab this time. It immediately moved out of it's shell and into the shell the original Star had inhabited, and so, it was renamed from whatever temporary name they had selected to Star II. Which totally makes me laugh because it reminds me of Snowball I - V of The Simpsons fame.


Toward the end of September, when the schools were closed for a few days for Yom Kippur and a couple of teacher professional days, we started getting new hints dropped: "My Teacher says that if SOMEone wants to bring the hermit crabs home over the holiday, they totally can because they can't really go that long without having someone water them. They'll get too dehydrated and they MIGHT DIE. Can we take them home, momma? Can we? Can we? Canwecanwecanwecanwecanwe?" Clearly we've moved past the wink, wink, nudge, nudge stage.

Well, we couldn't be responsible for yet more grief in the first grade, so we agreed to have the hermit crabs join us for the Day of Atonement.

Then came the lead up to Thanksgiving. The Dormouse had planned for the hermit crabs to come to our house over the Thanksgiving holiday even before the adults in the picture knew when Thanksgiving was this year. I told The Dormouse that if someone else wanted to bring the hermit crabs home for Thanksgiving weekend, she should let that person have a chance. She agreed.


And s
o, you guessed it, the hermit crabs were our guests for Thanksgiving dinner.


When Christmas break rolled around, we were again peppered with lodging requests and I made it clear to My Teacher in case the message had been intercepted before, that we'd be happy to take home the hermit crabs if, and only if, there were no other families who wanted the chance to care for them. Because it's not fair for us to always have the hermit crab guests. Someone else should clearly get a turn if they want it. I'm not really sure why I was surprised that no other takers arose.

We even prepared for their arrival by making the hermit crabs the subject of The Dormouse's 2009 Christmas ornament. You can read an abbreviated version of the hermit crab story here. But wait, there's more.


The problem with Christmas break was that we had a big snowstorm and school was closed the three days before Christmas break even started, so we never got the chance to pick up the hermit crabs. I'd assumed that My Teacher would pick them up and take them home. But a couple of days later, we got an email from My Teacher saying she was out of town and could we pick up the hermit crabs because she was afraid that after four days they'd be out of water and die. We agreed, and asked how to get into the building if school was closed. A few emails went back and forth between the school administration and My Teacher and finally she wrote back to us saying, "They're telling me that they don't want parents to go to the school because there's 'snow in the parking lot and it hasn't been plowed and it's very dangerous.' So the building is closed to the public. I was told not to ask parents to go there. So thanks, but it looks like you won't need to go get them. I asked someone who is there to water the crabs for the next two weeks; let's hope they do it."

Personally, I thought this was the lamest 'beat it kid, you bother me' a school district has ever come up with and I knew as well as that teacher did, no one was going to remember to water the hermit crabs so when the kids returned to school in January, they were going to come back to two dead hermit crabs.

So The KingofHearts and I figured all they could do was kick us out and we braved that death trap of a parking lot with it's three inches of snow in it (which was totally plowed when we went down there). There was no administration, but the cleaning people were there working (apparently, it's too dangerous for parents, but not janitors?) and I bullied my way in with one of them by claiming that if they didn't let me in, the hermit crabs would DIE and they would be responsible for the DEATH of the classroom pet and all the children would CRY.

I actually said these things. Not only did I say them but I said them out loud and with a straight face. The things we parents are willing to go through for our children.

The woman at the door didn't know what to do with me and finally waved me on. When I got to them, the cage was like a desert and no one had been there to water them at all. So we took the hermit crabs and smuggled them out of the building, then nursed them back to health.


I later told My Teacher about this somewhat dodgy incident and apologized in case she took any flack for it. All she had to say was, "YAY! I was POSITIVE no one would have come to take care of them over the break and they'd be dead but I didn't want to tell you that. Let's hear it for the strong classroom moms!"

And that is the story of how we had hermit crab guests for Christmas.


A few days before Christmas, I was regaling my mother with the Saga of the Hermit Crabs and I said something about what a pain in the a** this was.

She simply replied, "Just be glad it wasn't a bunny."

Something tells me she's been through this drama before... but I wonder, With whom?


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Smart 'n Stuff

Posted on 1/18/2010 09:33:00 AM
"Why are you so quiet, momma?"

"Hmm. I guess I'm just quiet. Why are you so quiet?"

"Because I want to be like you."

"Really?"

"Yeah, because you do cool stuff."

"I do, huh? What kind of cool stuff do I do?"

"You play the violin. And the piano. C#... Db... yeah...
* sigh * long pause *
that's pretty much it."

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End of Days

Posted on 1/16/2010 06:18:00 AM
When TD Bank doesn't even know the time and temperature yet still broadcasts that information on local television stations, it may be time to reconsider that Mayan-calendar-running-out-in-2012 thing.


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Seatless

Posted on 1/15/2010 10:01:00 AM
I may need to invest in some proper furniture for the house... but something tells me it wouldn't get used all that much.



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Some Other Names Would Not Smell as Sweet

Posted on 1/14/2010 08:55:00 AM
"Momma, what's your name?"

"My name?"


"Yes! What's your name?"


"My name's Momma."

"What's MY name?"

"Your name is Caterpillar."


"Nope!"

"Your name's not Caterpillar?"


"No! My name's NOT Caterpillar!"

"What is your name, then?"


"My name's Bosom."

"No, honey. That's not really a name. Your name is Caterpillar."


"MY NAME'S BOSOM! MY NAME'S BOSOM!

*wanders off into the other room*


"MY NAME'S BOSOM! MY NAME'S BOSOM! MY NAME'S BOSOM! MY NAME'S BOSOM! My name's bosom! My name's bosom! my name's bosom! my name's...."


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Defective

Posted on 1/13/2010 06:42:00 AM
A couple more pics from my Christmas set.

We had, what you might call, a retro Christmas this year. Santa appeared to want to live vicariously through children and brought all the things mom and dad wanted when they were kids:
Operation, Mousetrap, Lincoln Logs, Spirograph, and this defective Mr. Potato Head set:



I don't know about you, but the Mr. Potato Head design has changed substantially since I was a kid.


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Too Much?

Posted on 1/12/2010 10:27:00 PM
One more Christmas bokeh photo and then I'm done, I promise.


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Deep

Posted on 1/12/2010 10:06:00 AM
One of my favorite devices in photography is depth of field. I spend ridiculous amounts of time thinking about it, playing with it, planning it, trying to alter it, and mostly failing at using it to my advantage. I could possibly go to the trouble of buying a new lens, but I'm on this whole, "live within my means" kick and what I want is expensive... and it needs a new camera attached on the other end.


Of course, if it got me a job working on the next 3D blockbuster movie, it might be a reasonable expenditure.



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Snowhole

Posted on 1/12/2010 07:37:00 AM

A couple of pics taken when we had our big December snowstorm a couple of weeks ago. They've been lost on my hard drive until now.

Seriously, some people have a messy desk, some have a messy car, mine is my computer's desktop. I prefer it that way because then I can feel justified when I say to people, "Well if you had put it away in its proper organized place, you'd probably be able to find it today when you need it." A computer desktop however, doesn't need to be organized because it's got that handy search option. It's like having a tiny intern to go looking through your stuff for you.


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You Thought I Was Kidding?

Posted on 1/09/2010 04:13:00 PM
I'm pretty sure that everyone gets at least one Pink Bunny Costume Gift each year for Christmas.

You know what I mean, right?

It's the one gift where your mom makes you try it on and you secretly think to yourself, "I wouldn't be caught dead wearing/using/admitting I own that gift."

But mom makes you parade around in it and show all the relatives and soon you think you're going to have to wear it to school when the vacation is over and you contemplate playing chicken with a moving train just to avoid the humiliation.

And then finally your dad saves you by saying,

Mr. Parker: He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny.

Mother: He does not!

Mr. Parker: He does too, he looks like a pink nightmare! Are you happy wearing that? Do you want to take it off? Tell the kid to take it off. TAKE IT OFF!

Thank goodness for dad.

Everyone's been there. I'm right about that aren't I? (Please tell me I'm right about that. Otherwise I've really got to go about finding better friends.)

In answer to Thursday's pop quiz, the answer was #1: I did not get a pair of sheepskin earmuffs for Christmas. I did, however, get all of the other three items. And for those of you who emailed saying you were sure that I was perjuring myself on the interweb, because I simply could not have received more than at least one of those four items, may I present Exhibit A:


Full disclosure - so I admit I love the Crocodile Hunter doll. The Dormouse gave me that and it was a companion piece to the Bindi the Jungle Girl doll she got for her sister. Actually, I have to admit, I love them all, but each for completely different reasons. For example, if I ever can't pay the heating bill and they turn off the gas, I completely won't feel bad about burning that book to stay warm. So it's really kind of a thoughtful gift, don't you think?



At least I'm not alone:


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Hi Have You MET Me?

Posted on 1/07/2010 11:19:00 AM
Here's a little post-holiday quiz for all you folks out there. The KoH is recused in this little endeavor as he has inside information.

Which of the following things did I not get for Christmas?

  1. A set of sheepskin earmuffs
  2. A Steve Irwin, Talking Crocodile Rescue Action Figure
  3. A pastel pink and lime green, butterfly covered apron
  4. A Christmas novel written by Glenn Beck

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Christmas Dilemma Solved

Posted on 1/05/2010 08:54:00 PM
I've been a bit overwhelmed with work and family stuff lately but that just means you, the reader, have been spared the obligatory "What I Got for Christmas" Post. Which, face it, is boring. So boring. But I was pretty proud that we found a way to meet almost every need on the technological wish list The Dormouse had, but in a way that made me happy as well. So I will share with you, my very own six year old Gene Simmons, who wanted an electric guitar.


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Can't Have Everything

Posted on 1/02/2010 07:55:00 AM In:
On a recent phone call with my mother (who really shouldn't be surprised this is showing up on the blog):

Her: "You know The KoH really is a good guy. You really found one of the good ones.... except he leaves his shoes on the floor and he pees too loudly."

Maybe you can get him one of these for next Christmas, mother.

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All These Worlds are Yours Except Europa

Posted on 1/01/2010 04:34:00 PM
I have no witty thoughts about this whole new decade - except maybe to point out that a decade begins with the year one, so it's technically not a new decade yet. Yeah... right... I should just shut up and go enjoy the new year.

Instead, enjoy this:


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About Alice's Adventures Underground

Posted on 1/01/2010 04:33:00 PM
I've needed to update my About page for a long time now. Since I now have one more child than I did when I last wrote something for the About page, and that one child is now talking, it seems long past due. So here goes:

Hi, I'm Alice. This is my website.

Done and done. Now to move on with some of the more important matters of the day like finding a place to put the wok (seriously, where ARE you supposed to store those things? And on a related note, you're not supposed to wash them, right? I don't think so because they don't fit in the dishwasher very well.)

But wait, you want more? Fine.

I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin' on the porch with my family, singin' and dancin'...

Oh wait, you want the truth? ::sigh:: Fine.

It occurs to me that when you ask someone to write about themselves, you aren't really asking for the truth. What you're asking for is a version of events as seen through their eyes, which has bias and one-sidedness inherently built into the process. What's contained in this website is just that: my perceptions of things that I experience - navel gazing at it's finest. But here's the thing: I've tried a score of times over the years to keep a journal. Something I could pass down to my children and grandchildren. Something for posterity. I've started scores of notebooks, computer files, diaries, leather bound journals with my name imprinted in gold leafing on the cover, and a host of other forms and for some reason, I've never been able to keep one going. I fill up the first dozen pages with the best of intentions and then the remaining empty space sits there mocking me for years to come, until one day I lose my patience with it and throw it in the garbage. But here, on the Interweb, I've had this blog and written pretty consistently now for going on four years. That's some kind of record, right? I think the fact that no one's going to read it immediately in a journal is a DISmotivating factor for me.
For some reason, the idea that someone, somewhere might read it - I mean in this generation - is enough to make me want to continue. If you write it, they will come. So when I get all pious and "This blog is not for you; this blog is for me" in the pages here, you should probably know that I'm lying. Truth number one.

Truth number two: My name is not Alice.

I grew up in many places - mostly in the Western U.S. - and then came to the Washington, D.C. area after college for a job. It was not the first time I'd been to D.C., but it was the first time I had lived here. Let me be clear, I love the District; it's one of my favorite cities in the world. But if you don't live here, you should probably be aware that this place is an island surrounded by reality and is like no other. So after I moved my life here from three thousand miles away and then figured out they'd hired me to do a job without any thought to how I would accomplish that job (you want to know how little thought? I was hired to be a therapist in a prison and the office they assigned to me was OUTSIDE THE PRISON WALLS - kind of makes it hard to see clients that way), I realized that working for the District during the Barry administration maybe hadn't quite turned out to be the experience I'd expected. I told my friends and family that I felt like Alice who'd just stepped through the looking glass into a world that didn't run the way I thought it should. I started using characters in the book to identify my co-workers to friends. My boss was the Queen of Hearts (crazy), the Cheshire Cat (someone who was there to orient me on the first day and seemed sane, but then disappeared for weeks at a time), the Mock Turtle (a dude who thought he was in charge but then whined about how no one ever listened to him), etc. It just kind of stuck with me over the years.

A few years ago, when this whole web log craze hit the world and me being the joiner that I am (ho ho ha ha hee hee ha ha - no seriously, that makes me laugh) I decided to give it a try. In high school and college, I loved to write but since then, all I'd written were SOAP notes and memos on Post-its. So I figured if I did this thing all the kids were calling "blogging," it might force me to use some creativity every once in awhile. No one ever said you had to be a good writer to publish on the internet, right? But I did want to be smart about putting my name on stuff and since my family members have pretty unusual names, I used monikers for them too - you know, to avoid the eventual dooce-ing of myself for shooting my mouth off about something at work and the possible stalking and murder of my children. That's when the Alice motif once again reared its head.

Truth number three: As of this writing, I live with one husband (The KingofHearts); two girls (The Dormouse and The Caterpillar); at times throughout the year, one step-son (The KnaveofHearts); and two ill-mannered Siamese cats (Maggie and Barker - we'd have gone for Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, but I thought that was pushing it - also: kitties do not care about getting fired for something written about them on the interweb). That ought to give you enough background to figure everything else out.

Truth number four: Hey, there's a lot of good stuff in here, and some of it... is factual.

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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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