Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Where to even begin?

Lordy. The entire house is a sty and there is all this new stuff to find homes for.

Here is my list of priorities for today:

1. Go nowhere, unless it is possible to stow baby across the street while out. She is so burned out after four consecutive days of at least two hours per day (if not four) in car.

2. Rabbit cage, kitty litter box: cleaning of each and vacuuming near same.

3. Laundry and clean sheets.

4. Dishes and menu.

5. De-Christmas-izing house, beginning stages.

Where to even begin?! Everywhere I look there are heaps of things in desperate need of tidying.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Dora The Exploda

The baby got five Dora the Explorer dolls. Each one different. Wow.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Went to Dad's. Why? Why? WHY?

It was actually pretty fun although I have the usual bad taste in my mouth, for two reasons:

1. As always, there is no picture of the baby on the wall, fridge, mantel, etc. There are several of her children and grandchildren, but none of any of us. Dad said to us, "(Uh, ahem) Er, you might notice that there aren't any pictures of you around here, and, well, that's because I don't have any, so maybe you should go get some taken and then send them to me so I can put 'em up."

This was the point where I helpfully pointed out that I had sent him some of the baby when I had her 2-year portraits done, six months ago, and had a certain amount of satisfaction watching him squirm uncomfortably. "Oh, well, see, they weren't in a frame," he says.

In all fairness, I don't have any pictures of him up either and that's because my mother comes to visit and I don't want her to have to look at him or his evil wife.

2. They have a slightly ratty piano they are trying to get rid of and were going to try to gift it to us, not remembering that we have one already. They don't visit all that often but the piano is front and center when you walk in the door. Oh well. At any rate they decide that they'll try to give it to my brother, as I did mention that he had tried to borrow ours when his kids got big enough to be forced into lessons (being good Mormons they must have piano lessons), but they are living in his mother-in-law's house while the in-laws are out of state building their business, and there is a piano there, so they didn't want it either. So when I get up in the morning Dad tells me they had to scramble to come up with a gift for my brother, and ended up presenting him with a 30.06 rifle that Dad had had for a while but had never used.

3. Okay, so ask me what I got.

4. Nothing.

5. I'm not kidding.

6. They were going to give me a stinking cookbook. I unwittingly headed that off when I told a story about how last year J's parents gave all the menfolk in the family those hand-crank flashlights and the women got cookbooks. Yeah, I get a cookbook every single year from her, and since J is female also, she got one too, so we got 2 cookbooks and no flashlight. Man, I woulda loved one of those to put in the car or the emergency kit or whatever. How many freaking cookbooks do I need anyway?! OMG!! Last summer I sold about a dozen of them off at the garage sale, weird church-bazaar ones and little brand name one and the like.

7. So they gave the cookbook to my brother's wife and I got nothing.

8. So he gets a rifle and I get nothing? WTF!

My intent is to say nothing about the rifle, as that will only make me look greedy (when really I'm just kind of hurt that they "scrambled" to come up with a gift for him but not for me), but I will tell him in no uncertain terms that he needs to find the pictures of Delia that I am very careful to send him every single time I get them taken, and take the extra half hour to go get a frame (the nice people at the frame store will be happy to help) and put them up because it's getting old, year after year, to see no pictures of her and have to stare at the other grandkids' photos. One day the baby will be old enough to realize that she isn't featured on their walls like the other kids, and you can bet your ass that I will be letting Grandpa explain to her that he was too fucking lazy to go get a frame.

I am certain that his evil wife has no trouble remembering to get frames for the photos of the other grandkids.

OMG it's time now to forget all this and move on. He's never going to change.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Rules for Visiting the Germ Farm

Ahem! All right, people, listen up!

When visiting the toddler play area at the mall, please observe the following rules:

1. If your child is, like, two feet over the height restriction, please do not permit him/her and the pack of his/her friends to run amok among the toddlers, bashing them to the ground left right and center.

2. Please require your child to retain his/her socks and thus not place his/her grimy feet that have been God knows where all over the play structures that innocent toddlers such as my own will be touching with their hands. Their hands, which will be entering their mouths at some point. And also touching my stuff. Eeeuw!

3. If your child insists on jumping over the banquette and thus out of the germ farm, please remove him/her immediately. Like my kid needs to learn to jump over the banquette by watching your kid do it, repeatedly.

4. Kindly do not drop your (overage, overheight) child(ren) off at the play area to hang out, bored and unsupervised, while you shop or whatever. They clutter up the place and make it that much harder to see my own kid, who of course insists in playing right where I can't see her, no matter where I sit.

5. Better yet, go the hell home.

Grouchy Shopper with PMS and Recalcitrant Child.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Okay, so it wasn't cleaning the house and making it Norman Rockwell perfect like I had planned, because finishing the stupid rotten Christmas cards took for-effing-ever, but I did get a ton of things done today.

1. Aforementioned cards, which took until way past noon and involved not only addressing cards and cutting wallet sized photos down from the four-on-a-page layout they come in, but also finding something halfway interesting to say on most of them, as we did not really have the kind of year you write about in a Cheery Holiday Letter.
2. Mailing same at post office (happily no real line to speak of, advantage of mailing them so late).
3. Purchasing last minute gifts for kids I will see tomorrow: Rubik's Cube and Polly Pocket items (both requested).
4. Feed store run: 2 bales of pine shavings, 7lbs of oyster shell, extremely chic blue plastic tarp, and very detailed tiny figure of a guinea pig for baby's stocking.
5. Securing chicken coop/run in extremely chic blue plastic tarp for waterproofing/heat retention purposes.
6. Filling chicken feed/water/oyster shell dispensers.
7. Cleaning out coop and laying down fresh shavings.
8. Exchanging rancid seed in birdfeeder for fresh seed which birds may actually wish to consume instead of stopping by once and fleeing in disgust.
9. Hanging suet cake in wire cage.
10. Hanging stained glass thingy (formerly top of windchime which fell apart) outside where it will be pretty in the sun, something I've meant to do for ages and it's a miracle it hasn't gotten broken in the meantime.

Okay, so it seems like the average semi-productive person's typical afternoon, but for me? It's like someone slipped me amphetamines or something. Seriously, I had to find rope and bungee cords, cram myself into tight quarters around a smelly chicken hut in the cold wet yard, scoop damp stinking chicken-guano shavings out of coop, etc., instead of sitting here in utter comfort in front of lovely glowing screen of happiness. Was I possessed by spirit of some kind of barnyard Martha Stewart type or what? We may never know...

At any rate, house interior is a total shambles but chickens and outdoor songbirds are well cared for and I can sleep secure in my position of Avian Savior of Household.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Delia <3's Paint

She likes the bath, and more so if there is painting involved. Note the barest glimpse of cheek. :)

I just didn't know it was going to be this windy!

It's windy out there tonight. Gusts of up to 60mph, more in the mountains, and the power keeps flickering. I have lit some candles and put the flashlight next to them in case it goes out entirely. It has come very close a couple of times already.

Once we had a windstorm and went out with our friend The Aforementioned Katie, and evidently I goggled a bit overmuch at the mayhem (power poles blown down, sheds uprooted, shingles flying about) because Katie and my loving spouse made unrelenting fun of my about it. Hence the title of this post.

First Christmas photo (same chair!)

First Christmas photo.

Christmas photos!

This year's photos that will go out with the cards, which I will mail on Monday (late, but whaddaya gonna do).

Looking for a tree the first weekend in December.

Chuckling in her Christmas finery.

A favorite pastime: manipulating ornaments.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cabin Boy

I should elaborate on the "Cabin Boy" tradition mentioned in my last post.

Long, long ago, when I was still in the bloom of my misspent youth, my friend Katie McNoLastNameToProtectHerPrivacy (for reasons which will shortly become clear) recommended a movie to me, saying she and her now-ex-husband had been to see it and it was really, really funny.

Shortly thereafter I and a group of friends, including my brother and I believe possibly even his future wife, ventured forth to the movies, and at my behest the one we chose was "Cabin Boy." Because Katie! Said it was funny!

Of course, it sucked. It was not funny. It did have a few funny moments, but they merely puncuated the unmitigated and unrelenting non-funny-ness of the rest of the movie in the way that frosting might punctuate the non-frostingness of a turd.

At the end of the movie I looked down the row to see each and every person in the group boring into me accusingly with their eyes: You did this to us!

Naturally in my own defense I placed the blame squarely where it belonged, firmly on Katie. My brother and I have, whenever given the opportunity, ribbed her unceasingly about this over the years, and she has staunchly defended her position, maintaining that it was a funny movie despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

At any rate, it finally came out on DVD a few years ago and I was given a copy for my birthday which is in September. Naturally I passed the same copy back to my brother at Christmas time, and it has been in circulation ever since. I am in possession of it at this time and am gleefully planning its return to his household, probably concealed inside another gift or smuggled into his coat at the family get-together on Christmas Eve. If we were going to his house I would probably find a way to put it under his pillow or prop it up on his toilet seat, but we'll be at my Mom's this year.

And as for Katie, well, our friendship remains intact, based firmly on our opposing views regarding "Cabin Boy."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Meme

Stolen from a blog linked to a blog that I read. As these things are viral I don't think it's necessary to credit where I stole it from, as now I do not remember the link....

1. Hot Chocolate or Egg Nog? Hot chocolate. Mom always made it from scratch on Christmas morning, and now I do too. With marshmallows. .... Oh, and egg nog? Nasty. My brother and I call it Gag Nog.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? A combination of both.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored lights on tree. Both on house in the years that I am not too lazy to put lights on house.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Only if having a Christmas party which, um, I've never had.
5. When do you put your decorations up? When we decorate the tree. We bring the tree home, get out the boxes of decor, and have at it in a frantic orgy of holiday cheer.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? There are a few cookies that I enjoy that my Mom makes, plus fudge... mmm, fudge... the "cheater" kind on the jar of marshmallow creme. I was fully an adult before I realized there was another kind, and I like the cheater kind better.
7. Favorite Holiday memory? Going to the tree lighting in the city square, and coming home to find that Mom had forgotten to turn off the stove. The turkey carcass that she was boiling down for soup had blackened and stuck to the bottom of the pot, and the house was filled with acrid black smoke. We joke about the Turkey Cremation Chamber to this day.
.... Okay, another more appropriate memory might be the year, I think I was in junior high, that it snowed and was icy and windy for the week before Christmas. Not characteristic in our part of the country. It was brutal weather and getting around was treacherous. I recall accompanying grandparents to the store, in their car absolutely reeking of cigarette smoke and with the heat blowing full bore because the heater was semi-broken and the fan had two speeds: high, and off. At any rate the weather broke on Christmas night and we all went for a walk, it was still snowing but the wind had died and it was so peaceful and beautiful out. Like magic.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I do not remember.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, usually chosen by Mom. Sometimes it was two, one was pajamas and the other was a toy of some kind.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Usually in one day; I am permitted to put the lights on without help from anyone as I have a way I prefer it to be done. Honestly I am not a control freak! I just like the lights to be kind of wound in amongst the branches, thus concealing the cord somewhat, rather than draped loosely around the tree so that the cord shows a lot. After that we all hang ornaments, to the extent that a toddler hangs ornaments.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Since it rarely snows here, I use it as an Event. I stock up on the essentials (milk, bread, chocolate) and stay home. Nobody here can drive in the snow and you are much better off leaving your car in the driveway.
12. Can you ice skate? It makes my feet hurt.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? At the time, probably the year my brother and I got 10-speed bicycles. But last year I got tanzanite earrings and it was the first time I cried getting a gift.
14. What's the most important thing? Being with family and friends, and letting the important people in your life know that you love them. Oh, and the whole Jesus thing.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Must I choose just one?!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Exchanging the same copy, unopened and in perfect condition, of the movie "Cabin Boy" with my brother. Generally we conceal it in some way.
17. What tops your tree? A little angel ornament.
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Both, kinda. The giving more and more, especially now that there is a child to spoil.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? "Sleigh Ride" for a lot of reasons, among them the jingly bells.
20. Candy canes, Yuck or Yum? I like about one candy cane. A small one.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Stole this from Smart Mouth, but I'm not doing the tagging:

1. Where were you 1 hour ago? Eating dinner (kosher reduced fat hot dog on a bun, frozen veggies, yes I know: not the epitome of higher nutrition)

2. Who will be your next kiss? The baby, bedtime is shortly

3. Is there anything pink within 10 feet of you? Yes, a tiny inch-high molded plastic baby doll from the Playmobil "Holiday Home" set we bought last year on clearance and broke out just this evening, and with which she has been obsessively playing all evening. She brought me the doll for reasons that are unclear to me.

4. When is the last time you went to the mall? Wednesday morning for storytime at the mall branch of the library, a standing date with a stay at home dad and his daughter who is about a month younger than ours.

5. Are you wearing socks right now? Nope. It's 40 degrees out and I am wearing capri pants and Keen clogs.

6. When was the last time you went out of town? Went to Ikea a few weeks ago for fun, it's up near Seattle.

7. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days? I wish.

8. What was the last thing you had to drink? A Coke.

9. What are you wearing right now? Khaki cargo capris, red v-neck tshirt, hoodie sweater, Keens.

10. Have you been in a car wash? Yes, in a car being washed.

11. Last thing you ate? See question #1.

12. Where were you last week on Saturday? Lab class, then the Christmas tree farm.

13. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week? No.

14. When was the last time you ran? More than a few feet? Last summer.

15. What is the last sporting event you watched? I don't watch them.

16. What is your favorite class? Human Anatomy & Physiology

17. Your dream vacation? Several months in the British Isles, then the rest of Europe, just seeing sights and hanging out. If that's not feasible, a few weeks in the Florida Keys might be nice...

18. Last 3 people's houses you were in? Sister-in-law's across the street, SAHD mentioned in mall question (dropping off/picking up baby when he watched her so I could study), my brother's house (again dropping off/picking up baby so I could attend a training for work).

19. How old are your parents? 60 and 61

21. Do you miss anyone? My good friends Graham and Liz who live in Juneau, but none of us have lived in the same town since Graham and I were in high school! But I wish we lived closer.

22.Last play you saw? Lordy. Probably "Angels in America" like a hundred years ago.

23. What are your plans for today? Put baby to bed, put wife to bed, play WoW until I go to bed. Whoopee.

24.Who is the last person that commented on your page? yellojkt

25. Ever go to camp? No, except Outdoor School which was part of our 6th grade year in my school district.

26. Were you an honor roll student in school? Yes.

27. What do you want to know about the future? When will we pull out of Iraq?

28. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne? Not today but I did wear it once last week. It's a knockoff of Anais Anais that my dad picked up in Bahrain when he was there for the first Gulf thingy, long long ago. It is in this swell little bottle with a screw-off goldtone top, and then you wiggle this wand out that has the perfume on it which you then apply to your wrist. The bottle lives in this little purple velvet box and is hand-labeled "Anis Anis" in blue ball point on a plain white tag. It's pretty cool... I use it sparingly.


30. Where is your best friend located? Besides my better half, I'm not sure who I would call my Best Friend, because I have some very warm friendships with a few people. Graham and Liz in Juneau, Karen and John here in town, etc. Can't we all be best friends?

31. Do you have a tan? Redheaded pasty freckly girls don't tan.

32. How old do you want to be/were you when you have kids? I was 37.

33. Do you collect anything? Not really.

34. Last time you got stopped by a cop or pulled over? Um, I think it was driving through the Yukon Territory, going a little too fast. Did not get a ticket.

35. Have you ever drank your soda from a straw? If it's in a cup with ice, I prefer to. If it's in a can or bottle, never.

36. How do you like your drinks? Cold Corona with some lime, cold Hefeweizen with lemon, hot latte' with vanilla. I drink a beer about once a year.

37. Do you like hot sauce? No, no, no.

38. Last time you took a shower? today.

39. Who do you have a crush on? Hm. Brendan Fraser is kinda cute. Angelina Jolie, strictly physically though.

40.What is your mood? A little weary.

41. Are you someone's best friend? Not sure. Hope so. Besides the wife of course.

42. Are you rich? Comfortable for the most part, materially speaking.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More empirical data

Got another email from Dad. I think at this point I don't block them just for the perverse joy I get out of picking them apart.

What I would like to emphasize in this email is the steaming hot guilt tag at the end, which I have emboldened for ease of identification.

Here goes... Sorry...


Before U were thought of or time had begun,
God stuck U in the name of His Son.

And each time U pray, you'll see it's true,
You can't spell out JesUs and not include U.

You're a pretty big part of His wonderful name,
For U, He was born; that's why He came.

And His great love for U is the reason He died.
It even takes U to spell crUcified.

Isn't it thrilling and splendidly grand
He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?

The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,
and this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His upward ascension,
He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.

"Go into the world and tell them it's true
That I love them all - Just like I love U."

So many great people are spelled with a U,
Don't they have a right to know JesUs too?

It all depends now on what U will do,
He'd like them to know,
But it all starts with U.

Will YOU pass it on.

When Jesus died on the cross he was thinking of you!

If you are one of the 7% who will stand up for him, forward this.
93% of people won't forward this"

.... Okay, so that kinda speaks for itself. The guilt tag at the end seems to be a fairly constant feature of these emails. I'm sure the author(s) view this as a "challenge" but I consider it to be more of a "snotty little hassle" and have yet to forward a single such email, strictly out of principle, but in small part also due to the extreme sappiness and/or offensivity of the content.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Cuteness Abounds

OMFG, my WoW realm server is down! OH THE HUMANITY!!!

So, I have to post a few photos of super adorable cuteness here on my lonely blog instead.

We went to get the Christmas tree on Saturday. The tree farm was a total zoo, packed with muggles etc., but we managed to find a lovely specimen and end its life mercifully quickly. Then we had to stand around (temp in the 40's btw) and wait for SIL, cranky toddler niece (nearly 2), and Future Woodchucks of America hopeful nephew (age 6) to slaughter their tree. It took a lot longer for them owing to the nephew's insistence on doing as much of it as he could. Next year we're bringing lawn chairs and a propane heater, I think. At any rate, cuteness abounded and I got a few pics.

We also managed to hit the leaf pile again this year, just before Halloween, and here you see the results:

Tell me she isn't perfectly marvelous. I dare you. :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Just In Case

Just in case life wasn't crappy enough, we have been roped into driving up to see my father and the evil harpy he calls his wife. It's four hours each way. We're going up the Friday before Christmas and coming back about 24 hours later. I do not want to cede even the tiniest portion of my Christmas Eve to these people... I have the good excuse that we want to go to our own church that day. They can hardly argue with that. And I'd like to see them try.

Then Christmas Eve we'll drive a little over an hour to see my mom, and then on Christmas day we'll schlep over to J's parents' house which is a good 45 minutes.

I hate all this driving. Next year people can come to see us instead.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Can't Stop the Outrage

Where to even begin?!

I resent the idea that failing to spank my child will inevitably mean that she will grow up with no conscience. She is beautiful and smart, and the idea of anyone, ever, hitting her makes me physically ill. When I look back on my own experiences involving spanking, which I only recall happening a couple of times at the hands of my stepfather (oh, a whole 'nother blog entry could be devoted to that topic) as my mother did not spank us, I do not think to myself, "Yes, that physical assault by someone much larger than me certainly made me a better person." What I think is, "It was unfair and made me angry and frightened and didn't teach me anything except to fear and hate my stepfather." Certainly there should be consequences for bad behavior. I just don't think they need to involve violence.

And! The unmitigated arrogance! Gah! Urgh! Fuh! Meh! I'm so upset, I'm molting!

From what I can tell based on the commonalities to these forwards, there is a rabid group of email-forwarders who believe in the following:

Prayer in schools whether you are Christian or not
Physical violence as motivator to recalcitrant children
Blow the shit out of the Iraqi people for no good reason
Gay people are bad and should die, or at least go back to the closet
Sexual perversion is only if it's between two men or two women
Teenagers won't have sex, get pregnant and have abortions if we don't give them birth control
Being concerned for the environment means you are some kind of pagan hippie
God makes bad storms happen because He hates us
You're some kind of coward if you don't forward this to all your friends.

Um, yeah.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Get ready, folks, for a bit more outrage. Dad sent me another "forward" today. I display it here for clarity:

"Something not to laugh about :

If they know of him at all, many folks think Ben Stein is just a quirky actor/comedian who talks in a monotone. He's also a very intelligent attorney who knows how to put ideas and words together in such a way as to sway juries and make people think clearly.
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary:

Herewith at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart: I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important?

I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife.

Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are.

If this is what it means to be no longer young. It's not so bad.

Next confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?

I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

(Note: from here on the words are not Ben Stein's.)

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this Happen?" (regarding Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about and we said OK. Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it.. no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in."

.... Okay, people, are we ready?

This piece has so much going for it at first. I agree with Mr. Stein's viewpoints up to a point. The whole idea of separation of church and state should not mean that we can't be open about our religious views if we choose to be, and although the crass commercialization of this season has little to do with its spiritual significance, it's a lot of fun and blah blah blah I could go on.

Then, however, it segues, without really indicating that it does so. I added the line between Mr. Stein's words and those of the mysterious writer of the rest of the piece. It was the only thing that I altered, and I did it so that it would be clear that all that stuff about Billy Graham's daughter and so on did not come from Ben Stein.

Like most of the "Christian"-themed forwards I get, almost entirely from Dad, it makes its point about prayer in the schools and how Godless we all are etc etc with a few pithy examples (generally quite subjective) and then mires itself, and presumably you the reader, in its pit of guilt. It dares you to forward this to some other person so that they can see what a bigoted moron you are.

And, um, we get hurricanes because we are bad? I thought it was just that the planet has, like most, its own independent weather system that is not under human control and that events occur with no regard to whether or not they are convenient to us. Or considerate as to where we build our homes or how well we protect them from the forces of nature. To say that God makes catastrophic hurricanes occur "because we are bad" is to say that God is like a petulant child, visiting death and destruction upon innocent children and the like (along with the "bad" members of Louisiana society, say for instance) regardless of how deserving each individual child might be. If God expects us to be morally developed people, with compassion and love for all others whether they deserve it or not, why would He punish the good with the bad? It makes no sense. Please. Shut up.

But here's the line that first made me sit up and start shouting expletives:

"Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide)."

Okay, so, we should spank our kids because NOT doing so will cause them to suffer devastating mental illness?

It is so many kinds of offensive that anyone would bring up Dr. Spock's son's tragic suicide in an attempt to convince people that corporal punishment is okay.

Even more offensive than that is that Dr. Spock's son did not commit suicide.

Shut up, Dad. Or at least get your facts straight.

Three More Things

1. Making pumpkin pies, which smell soooo good and taste even better. Am pie-baking savant.

2. Baby giving me tight hug with her tiny lil' pipestem arms at bedtime.

3. Cold wind blasting through heralding the rain, making it feel all Novemberish outside. Note to self: might be time to finally retire capri pants until next summer...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Craigs-list responders take note

Dear Craigs-list responders,

When responding to an ad offering free items, kindly refrain from doing so thusly:


A more polite version might be found here:

Dear Extremely Kind Person Offering Highly Desirable Free Items,
On behalf of the entire world, thank you so much for your generosity. Might I inquire as to the disposition of said items? They would certainly come in quite handy in our household, and I await your response eagerly. I can be reached at (phone number), at your convenience.
Sincerely yours,

.... Okay, okay, maybe that's a little thick, but honestly, if you are unable to use a computer without TYPING IN ALL CAPS then perhaps you should go back to loitering in bowling allies and leave the rest of us alone.

And, using all caps does not impress urgency any more than yelling at people who don't speak your language makes it any easier for them to understand you. Just sayin'.

3 Things That Do Not Suck, or Not Much Anyway

This is my attempt at the "Three Beautiful Things" format. I had a look and decided I liked the idea but the thought of coming up with three beautiful things might be a little daunting, so I toned down the expectation a bit which I think makes it more suitable for me personally. :)

For yesterday:

1. Blustery afternoon with leaves and garbage can lids and smallish cats being blown all over the street. Delia was even a little freaked out when the wind gusted as we were getting into the car. I, however, weighing as I do a bit more than 30 pounds, found it all to be exciting and refreshing. (I just didn't know it was going to be this windy!)

2. Receiving a Mechanical Squirrel from fellow player Jay. It follows me around the game serving no practical purpose, but sniffs and peers around and cleans its face with its paws just the way regular squirrels do.

3. Passing fluency final in my psych class. No more flashcards!

For today:

1. Passing two tests and having a week and a half until the next ones.

2. Meeting an extremely fluffy black and white tuxedo cat in the street. Very affectionate and with curly belly fur (a variation on Saggy Belly Fur). He is a stray that Neighbors have adopted as an outdoor cat, as Mrs. Neighbor is allergic and can't have him in the house.

3. Watching through the window as Delia ran excitedly to the door, when I came to pick her up from the Neighbors' house after my tests.

Monday, November 06, 2006


It's been raining steadily all day, hard at times. It's the tail end of a typhoon, evidently, making its way through the area. The offspring and I went out to get the mail and had a long, satisfying puddle-stomp and lingering loiter down by the storm drain. I stood maternally nearby wielding a huge umbrella and fulfilling my duties as the Official Bearer of the Pink Kittycat Umbrella (With Ears) when it was not needed, which was much of the time, while the kiddo leaped happily from the curb into the gutter, stopping occasionally to thrust fistfuls of leaves into the drain. A good time was had by all, to the immense amusement of the neighbor across the street, who sits smoking in her garage with the big rolly door open at various times of the day.

I have studying to do but my extreme "devotion" to The Game has caused myriad delays in completion of same. (See, calling it "devotion" rather than "addiction" makes it so much more palatable!) But, I have straight A's at the moment so there's no need to panic. :)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A List

1. My uncle once: streaked naked around my grandma's house, fell down and scraped his butt in the gravelly mud puddle.
2. Never in my life have I: smoked a tobacco cigarette. Not even one puff.
3. The one person who can drive me nuts: this friend of a friend who likes to fuck with people just to see what happens. I can't stand her.
4. College is: looming on my horizon.
5. When I’m nervous: I crave sugar.
6. The last time I cried was: last night remembering my old cat who died last year.
7. If I were to get married right now my bridesmaids/groomsmen would be: really happy not to have to dress up in weird wedding clothes.
8. My hair: "used to be red." Is growing out into a bob again.
9. When I was 5: we moved to Oregon from Florida.
10. Last Christmas: I got the most beautiful earrings from my better half.
11. When I turn my head left, I see: shelves.
12. When I turn my head right: Maxfield Parrish prints hanging on my walls.
13. When I look down I see: my laptop, which I love more than is healthy.
14. The craziest recent event was: trick-or-treating with the baby
15. If I was a character on Friends I’d be: Chandler in female form
16. By this time next year: I'll be 40.
17. My favorite Aunt is: my Aunt Lea, but I only have one other and I love her too.
18. I have a hard time understanding: my father.
19. One time at a family gathering: my other Aunt belly-danced. She was really good too.
20. You know I “like” you if: I can hardly speak to you.
21. If I won an award, the first person (people) I’d thank: my partner, and then my Mom.
22. Take my advice: stay hungry, stay foolish.
23. My ideal breakfast is: one somebody brings to me on a plate.
24. If you visit my hometown: I'll take you around and show you stuff.
25. Where do you plan to visit anytime soon: maybe the beach.
26. If you spend the night at my house: you’d sleep on a lumpy futon in the living room and the cat would pester you all night. Plus you'd get up early because the baby does.
27. The world could do without: George Bush
28. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: um, nothing. I wouldn't lick the belly of a cockroach.
29. Most recent thing you’ve bought yourself? A soda on my way to class.
30. Most recent thing someone else bought for you: my Mom bought me this laptop for my birthday. Thanks Mom!
31. My favorite blonde friend is: Karen.
32. My favorite brunette / black hair friend is: Brenda
33. The last time I was high: I was 21.
34. The animals I would like to see flying besides birds are: my cat
35. I should have been: a nurse a long time ago.
36. Once, at a restaurant: I cried in the bathroom.
37. Last night: I went to bed early.
38. A better name for myself would be: Nurse Ratched.
39. If I ever go back to school : I'm already there...
40. My birthday: is in September.
41. The last time I had sex was: none of your business. A lady doesn't discuss these matters.
42. And by the way: my troll hunter is level 36!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cat Emergency

Got a call last night as I was driving home from a daylong excursion to Ikea with a friend. J. was frantically needing to know where to take the cat for an emergency. The stupid dog had bitten him when he wandered too close to her food dish. The food dish she refuses to actually eat out of but merely guards all day waiting for just this type of situation.

She bit him on the head, and one of her teeth pierced and broke his hard palate and his nose. He had blood coming out of his nose and was having a hard time breathing. And I was an hour or more away still.

J. took him to an emergency vet hospital not too far from where we live where they stabilized him and operated on him in the night. When I called this morning they said it went well and he was doing great, and I went and picked him up a couple of hours ago. He is indeed doing very well considering what he's been through. He is as I type this curled up on the desk between me and the keyboard, purring and snoozing, with his head in the crook of my right elbow and one paw stuck in the v-neck of my shirt.

He is lucky not to have lost an eye, evidently he got nailed on the cheekbone or something because his eye is all pink and weepy and a bit swollen around it but no damage to the eyeball at all. He had a laceration on his upper lip that had to be sutured as well. We have to feed him gold-plated finely ground endangered species in a can (judging from the price anyway) for four to six weeks to keep him from putting any pressure on his palate while it heals. And I get to squirt pain medicine into his mouth (which he loves) and antibiotics also (not loving so much) every twelve hours.

As for the dog. Well, if I'd been home there wouldn't be any dog, I was that mad. Our dogs have dominance issues and the smaller one particularly so. She's been pulling this dog dish trick for years, but she lulls us into a false sense of security by slacking off about it for weeks, months at a time. Then she nails a passing cat. She has attacked our other cat twice; the first time we had to take the cat to the vet because we were worried about broken ribs (there were none but she was very bruised up and swollen for some time) and the second time she got a good sized tuft of hair out of her.

This dog will now have ten minutes to eat, in a closed room where no cat can wander past the dish, and that's it. Chances are good she won't eat for a while until she gets the hang of this new procedure but I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. She won't starve. She's lucky she's never looked at the baby cross-eyed or she wouldn't be living here anymore.

How I knew the cat would survive: within twenty minutes of getting home, he was licking his butt. :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Address or List of Unrelated Words?

Was looking at a blog and visited a link contained therein, for some chichi place to go in England. Here is the address:

Preseli Venture,
Parcynole Fach,
SA62 5HN,

The hell?!

I so want to make up my own address instead of using the dead boring one from the post office. Something like,

The Swamp,
Dingleberry Downs,
Rainbow Sparkle Tulip,
Bugly Fugly Smarty Pants,
Far West of Belgium

By the way, Bumfungus is my current favorite player character name from World of Warcraft. My favorite guild would have to be "Ihavecandy Getinthevan."

Friday, October 13, 2006


I spend most of my free time, when not engaged in actual hands-on child rearing and studying and so forth, in leveling my Troll Hunter. It's sad because I could be doing productive things, but so damn much fun...

I decided to temper it: go to the gym 3x per week or no WoW. My intent is to go more than that but I want to be reasonable and not set myself up for failure.

Must run, off to the gym...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Further Outrage at the Hands of My Father

Here's the latest offensive forward from my father, the most clueless individual ever born. I have cleaned up various small typos but did not change one word of it. Read it and weep.

He prefaces this forward as follows:

Hi, I just want to say that, if this is a true happening, it was handled very well. For one, I’m not ashamed to declare that God is my savior and Father in heaven.

(his name)

And here is the little gem in its entirety:


The following is a transcript of a profound statement read at a football game recently.

This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football game at Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee, by school Principal, Jody McLeod.

"It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games, to say a prayer and play the National Anthem, to honor God and Country.

Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law. As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it ""an alternate lifestyle,"" and if someone is offended, that's OK.

I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and calling it "safe sex." If someone is offended, that's OK.

I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a "viable means of birth control." If someone is offended, no problem...

I can designate a school day as "Earth Day" and involve students in activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess "Mother Earth" and call it "ecology."

I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depicts people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as "simple minded and ignorant" and call it "enlightenment."

However, if anyone uses this facility to honor GOD and to ask HIM to Bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, then Federal Case Law is violated.

This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical. Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone, except GOD and HIS Commandments.

Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst, hypocritical.... I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.

For this reason, I shall "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's," and refrain from praying at this time.

"However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank GOD and ask HIM, in the name of JESUS , to Bless this event, please feel free to do so. As far as I know, that's not against the law----yet."

One by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another, and began to pray.

They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed at the concession stand and they prayed in the Announcer's Box!

The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the United States of America - the Seat of "Justice" in the "one nation, under GOD."

Somehow, Kingston, Tennessee remembered what so many have forgotten. We are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the Freedom FROM Religion. Praise GOD that HIS remnant remains!

JESUS said, "If you are ashamed of ME before men, then I will be ashamed of you before MY FATHER."

If you are not ashamed, pass this on.


Okay, my problem with all of this is not just that more than one stupid person feels this way, nor that they circulate it amongst themselves very smugly and no one speaks up about any part of it that may bother them. And I'm sure I'm not the only person, "believer" or non, that is not offended by parts of this. Even the most rank-and-file, knee-jerk "Christian" of this particular ilk must feel that parts of this are just hyperbole. When in any classroom has anyone compelled a child to 'worship religiously and praise the goddess "Mother Earth" and call it "ecology"?' This would be the first I've heard of it. I thought that the purpose of Earth Day was to bring ecological concerns to light and encourage people to be good stewards of the planet by planting trees and recycling and so forth. Certainly I have not felt pressure to "worship" any "goddesses" when attending a local Earth Day event, and I live in a pretty crunchy granola-y Pacific Northwest location. I merely felt it my obligation to purchase inexpensive root stock and perhaps shell out a fair amount of cash for some organic raspberry lemonade or similar.

My God! Is this the "worship" of which they speak? Are they using the proceeds to buy gasoline and rags to use in the bombing of decent American churches? THE HUMANITY!!!!

No, that's not my problem. My problem here is that my own father is too stupid, thoughtless, or inconsiderate, to think for one minute (or possibly much less) about the content of the mail that he sends to me and consider that as a lesbian I might be perhaps less than excited to read an item that refers to me and my partner as devotees of sexual perversion. That, ladies and gentlemen, is my problem here.

Okay, aside from that minor detail, I also have some other problems with it, among them that I don't think that making condoms available to a vulnerable population in the hopes that they might use them to prevent disease and pregnancy is "condoning promiscuity," and that I am fairly sure that depicting small minded, ignorant people in a classroom setting will result in them being thought of as small minded and ignoran no matter what kind of spin anyone puts on it, whether they are described as possessing "strong traditional Christian convictions" or not.

The abortion issue I am refraining from comment on as it is very complicated and I am very conflicted in how I feel about it, but there is plenty of other fodder here so we can leave it alone.

I did reply to his forward, and in trying to walk the line between reasonable and pissed off I think I may have come across as sort of reasonably pissed. I said something along the lines of, I wished that he would think of me and my family before forwarding something that equated my "lifestyle," which by the way I did not choose any more than anyone chooses a "mainstream lifestyle," with sexual perversion, and that I did not wish to be critical of him but that I did not agree with him on some of these issues.

I'm sure he's at home shaking his head with his evil harpy wife about how sad it is that I grew up in a Godless household without his fatherly hand to guide me and now I'm a pervert and under the delusional belief that I can be a Christian without feeling the need to give the big fuck-you to anyone who does not believe as I do.

Well Dad, right back at you. My only hope is that you think for yourself a little bit. Don't let that bitch lead your thoughts around by that ring in your nose the way she leads the rest of you around too.

Over and out.

Friday, September 29, 2006

A Face Like A Cat's Ass

That's a line from a movie ("Victor Victoria" I think) and I only thought of it because this is the second time in two days that I have been forced to actually wipe the cat's ass after he's used the litterbox. WHY?!

Other than that, and the several jillion tiny cat-scratch scars I'm currently sporting, he's a fabulous kitten. But, again: one step closer to a moonlit trip to the pond in a burlap sack. This can't keep happening! I have a college education!

Speaking of which, bow down to me, O fearful reader(s). I have gotten perfect scores on all three tests so far in my self-paced tutor-assisted Psych 211 course. I rock!

So, while trying to obtain a photo of an actual cat's ass to link to for your amusement, I came across this and enjoyed it muchly. Hoping you do the same. :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Why is it that if I try to go to bed at a halfway decent hour, instead of staying up way too late doing nothing important and puttering, the kitten decides that this is the morning to post himself outside the baby's bedroom door and mew piteously at 5:30 a.m. until she wakes up?

Little bastard. You'd make a nice pair of mittens, you know. I'm just giving you time to grow large enough to make a useful pelt.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A car! In the GARAGE!!!

Tonight I (through the kindness of dear friend John) parked the car inside the garage. Inside. The garage. Inside! The GARAGE!

In the six years (and two houses with garages) that we have been together we have never managed to park a car inside of a garage because of all the crap stuffed in there. The garage is just an extra room on the front of your house where you put all the junk that won't fit inside the house, or is too dirty, i.e. lawn mower, wheelbarrow, etc.

I needed a sitter this evening for a couple of hours and despite his bleary-eyed new parent sheen, John volunteered to come over and hang. He kindly asked if there was something he could do rather than sit for two hours, and figuring it would only take a few minutes, I pointed him at the garage. Honestly, there was just a bunch of recycling and stuff in the way and the other stuff could just be shoved off to one side. But it's just something I couldn't get myself out to the garage to do, for whatever reason. For whatever reason named Delia, I suspect.

Bless you, John. Sainthood awaits you after a lengthy and prosperous life. You Da Man.

And now I'm sure the neighborhood watchdogs will think I'm gone because the car is not in its customary place in the driveway -- but they will be wrong! Muwahahaha!!!

I'm going to go out there one more time and look at it before I go to bed. It is glorious to behold. But it feels a little wrong: Why is there a car in the garage? Where's all our junk?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Textbook buying sucks

I had to drive all the way to the college bookstore today because it was unclear which textbook I needed from the website. When I got there I was relieved to find that my instructor has the decency not to upgrade to the newest edition of the book, for which of course no new copies would be available. I'm taking a self-paced tutor-assisted version of this class which means I study at home and can go get help anytime I like and if I pass the tests with an 80 percent or better I will get an A.

At any rate even for the "outdated" form of the text, new copies are about a hundred bucks and used are $75.00. Naturally I ran back to my computer and purchased a used copy off the internet for 40 dollars, shipping included.

College bookstores are the biggest racket. I remember when I was going to Big Box University, way back in the day when the internet was just a gleam in some malnourished nerd's squinty, nearsighted eye. So the bookstore was pretty much your only option. Then when the term ended and it was time to get rid of your textbooks, you'd be paid about one-fourth of what you paid, and a few weeks later some other dork would pay three-fourths of the new price for your used texts. Plus most of the employees were work-study and therefore cost the school pennies on the dollar. And the bookstore made money hand over fist, from what I can tell.

It's still the same racket nowadays, we just have more options. I do have to buy my text sight unseen and hope it's not highlighted too much (I am assured by the buyer that it is in "good" condition, which I'm sure could turn out to be a matter of interpretation), but I will save 35-60 dollars over what I would have had to shell out from the bookstore. And if I'd taken care of this sooner I'd have it in my grubby little mitts already.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


It's finally raining. Here in the Pacific Northwest we take pride in our rain and have 126 distinct terms for it, like the Native Alaskans (the People Formerly Known as Eskimos) are said to have about snow. There's that kind of rain that just makes your filthy windshield all sludgy, and the kind of rain that makes the gutters overflow, and the kind of rain that drives away evil spirits, and the rain that makes the babies cry, etc. I for one am delighted to see some rain after a record three thousand days (more or less) of constant, unrelenting sunshine. Our lawn is all dried up and I'm so accustomed to being able to walk around in capri pants and gauzy little t-shirts from Target that I feel I'm close to losing my edge. The moss behind my knees is all crunchy and uncomfortable. It's unnatural, in short.

So this morning it was gloriously cool and gray outside, a bit breezy like it gets when a storm is a-brewing, and it was such sweet relief to say out loud, You know, it looks like it's going to rain.
And later that morning it did, hard rain that falls sideways and makes you run for cover in the parking lot.

In the late afternoon another front blew in and we were treated to not just torrential rain but thunder and lightning, loud boomy rumbly lightning that went on forever and made the house shake. Delia had never experienced thunder before. The first crack was not too severe but made her come running from the front room to find us lolling around on the bed, where we were shamelessly playing with the kitten in broad daylight. "Mama? Mama! Mama!" She was not panicking but close to it. So we all sat on the bed (well, Delia bounced around and hooted more than sat, really) and when another peal of thunder came along it must have been right over the house because it really vibrated the walls. Delia just froze and her eyes got big and her face got a little distressed looking, and she threw herself at me. This happened a few times and although she seemed reassured when we told her that it was just loud noise and it couldn't hurt her, she still hastened to me each time.

Once the storm's leading edge had passed over the rain really came down in sheets and when the worst of it was over we got Delia all gussied up in her yellow rain slicker, her pink kittycat rain boots and her matching pink kittycat umbrella with ears (a gift from her indulgent GrampetuaMa) and I accompanied her outside to splash in the gutters until the rainwater drained away. It was idyllic and I only wish we'd gotten a photo or two. As compensation for this terrible oversight I offer the following photo of Her Majesty engaged in real, actual conversation with our dear friend Graham up in Juneau. She really pulled out all the stops and gabbled to him incomprehensibly for what must have seemed like hours to him. In reality perhaps two minutes or less. I spent the time usefully by bolting up the hall for the camera. Note the fading but still visible Sharpie pen marks on her arms. Did I mention she can push a chair up to the kitchen counter now?

I also include one from a few weeks ago when we headed south for a birthday party for one of J's neices, Shelby, who turned three. Early in the day the kids had played in the water at the park, and now it was time for some serious dirt. Delia and her cousin Josie were like baby birds taking a dust bath... Josie got the worst of it but I don't want to post her photo without getting permission so here's one of Delia.

Good news

Our wonderful friends Karen and John (honorees of the Baby Shower) have welcomed young Kathryn into their home. All are well and home from the hospital. We could not be more delighted for all three of them and wish them good health and fun times. :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Had to run to the grocery store tonight for some late-night commerce. I usually go to a discount chain (LoseCo) rather than a standard type store (Dangerway). I began doing so after moving here to Bedroom Community; there is a Dangerway nearby but the LoseCo isn't much farther, whereas the closest one to my old house in The City was a bit of a hike. One day out of sheer ennui I decided to check it out...

It definitely does lack for certain amenities, but all the basics are in place, and good golly, the prices are so much cheaper, generally speaking. There are still certain items I buy on sale at the other stores, for instance soda pop, which is rarely priced all that well at LoseCo. Unless you like the cheap brands, which I do not. But here's one example: Ovaltine, a staple in our house. I used small amounts of it in the baby's warm milk as a weaning aid: "Sorry, kid, no more nursing, but look! Ovaltine!" At the Dangerway it's around 5 bucks a canister. The same canister at LoseCo is less than three dollars. Substantially so, like $2.64.

Anyway, having crossed over to the dark side of shopping, I am becoming yet more crafty in my penny pinching. Yes, friends, I have reached the final frontier of frugality: the bulk foods aisle.

It all started innocently enough. Some cinnamon. Last summer I needed some cinnamon. I don't use a lot of it most of the year, until the holidays when I am mandated to bake a jillion apple and pumpkin pies, and as such I'm not that willing to sink a lot of money into it if it can be helped. Plus I'm just cheap. So, I visited the always-interesting bins of bulk foods and filled an eensy-weensy bag -- so cute! so cunning! -- with ground cinnamon. I was astounded at the price, something like 28 cents. A container of the cheapest brands would run me four times that much. I dig this!

Today I needed Italian seasoning. I am no gourmet cook, though perfectly competent in the kitchen, and I fail to appreciate the Finer Things in this respect. I don't need my Italian seasoning to come directly from Italy, for instance. And since frugal mode has kicked in once again, I wandered back to the bulk foods this evening for another tiny plastic bag. This time, it was seventeen cents. Lordy. I will never go back.

I am always amazed at the people in that store shopping with the entire family at 9:30, 10:00 pm, even the toddlers. Our daughter (age 2) is in bed by 7pm most nights. She has stayed up til 8 a handful of times, and the latest was 9:30, once. And we suffered for it the next day. I can't tell you how many people I've seen at the LoseCo pushing a bleary-eyed baby around late at night. It's insane. Then, their kids may sleep past 7am, which Delia has done about five times in her whole life. I don't know. But I saw a kid tonight being wheeled around the store whose eyes were so red and weary-looking I wanted to just snatch her away and lay her down in the nearest crib. Perhaps these folk work non-traditional hours or something, but considering how many of them there are roving the store in chaotic throngs, clogging up the aisles to my great annoyance, you'd think they could spare one of the older teens to stay home text-messaging all their friends while the baby got some sleep.

Today we heard the baby sing a short ode to a favorite toy: Nah nah nah, la la, Hot Wheels cars, la la, la la... Last week on my birthday we went to a restaurant right on the river and she saw various types of boats plying their way up and down, and turned to me and said, "I want to ride on a boat." I told her we didn't have one, and her reply was, "We need a boat. We need a big boat."

The crowning glory of parenthood thus far, however, was yesterday morning when she climbed into my lap, threw her little arms around my neck and told me, "I wuvs you, Mama."

I didn't know it until that moment, but I had been waiting 39 years to hear her say that.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oh and another thing

Here in the last waning moments of my First Annual 39th Birthday, I would like to make the following announcements:

I got A's in both my classes.

Kittens are adorable so that people will put up with the constant annoyance and not just take them out to the pond in a sack which at times still seems reasonable.

We got a floor-model couch for two hundred bucks that kicks the cat-pee-smelling asses of both of our other couches, which by the way we Craigslisted for free, with full Total Honesty Disclaimers about the fact that they had been whizzed on, and even so got six or seven responses in a half hour. And which cost a thousand dollars combined.

That thing I said, about kittens? He's just lucky there isn't a pond nearby. If he wakes the baby I'll go out in the yard and dig one myself.

The company of good friends makes any birthday bearable, even the one where you can't believe how much gray hair you have and how many extra chins you are sporting, and even when you come home from the restaurant with your whole left side covered in greasy marinara handprints from your inexplicably uber-cuddly two-year-old child who, normally a bit standoffish, could suddenly not stand to be anywhere but wrapping her tiny arms around your neck all night.

That being said, goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Our Pride(s) and Joy(s)

Ringo, our new kitten, is 100% All White Meat Kitten right now, full of beans and super scratchy-bitey-chasey-climby. He is also quite handsome, as these photos will attest:

I also caught Delia in a private moment recently. Enjoy!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Why Things Could Be Worse

Found the baby today with an empty pill bottle. Felt every bit of blood drain from my extremities.

Turns out she'd used her new chair-scooting talent to gain access to the countertop, where she found the bottles of dog thyroid medicine. News Flash: child-proof caps only work if you are sure to screw them back on all the way. I asked her where the pills went, and she led me to the dogs' bed on the floor in our room, and then I actually saw a two-year-old do a double take: "They're gone!" Then she told me, "The doggie eat them. Ollie eat them all up." I asked her if she had eaten any and she said, "No. No, I feed them to the doggie." I looked in her mouth and couldn't see any evidence of green pill in there. So far the only pills she's had have been chewable vitamins so I was pretty sure she would have chewed on any pills she'd put into her mouth. Whew... I know she's seen me give the pills to the dogs in the morning so she must have known they were dog pills. And lucky us, Ollie will eat virtually anything you hand to her or that falls to the floor. Last fall we had to get her to throw up after she ate a cold pill that a friend dropped on the kitchen floor. So I knew the doggie in question had to be Ollie. Hope won't eat anything not on her pre-approved list, and even then only if it's offered by someone she knows.

So the baby's okay, but what about the dog? The first vet I called, a well-known emergency vet across the river, told me to bring her in so they could induce vomiting, but when I told them I had given her some hydrogen peroxide already to try to get her to hurl (based on past experience) the snotty girl on the phone told me that that was the absolute worst thing I could do. Way to handle the distressed pet owner, lady! Then I decided to try someplace closer, so I called a closer vet clinic and they asked me, "Do you have any hydrogen peroxide in the house?" So I guess it's only okay to induce vomiting if you're trained professionals with a fancy emergency clinic. The second clinic told me to bring her in right away if she didn't start vomiting, and of course she didn't.

I had to race around like a squirrel on amphetamines, since the baby was (of course) poopy as well as sopping wet from playing at the water activity table while I syringed hydrogen peroxide down the dog out in the back yard, plus the baby seat was sitting in the car not strapped down. So I violated all the laws of space and time getting that all squared away before throwing everybody in the car and driving like a bat out of hell to the vet clinic -- during rush hour and with expired tags, by the way, and through a notorious speed trap. Oddly enough, I did not burst directly into flame.

The vet gave her something that got her to hurl (and how!), and then gave her charcoal. He told me she threw up a very large amount of green pills, in fact he seemed more than a little impressed with the sheer volume of pill-spew they recovered. I was just relieved that he didn't bring it out to show me. Some things I just don't need to see for myself.

She should be just fine. The vet told me it was good that I'd discovered this so quickly and brought her in right away, since if we'd waited a while they wouldn't have been able to detoxify her with the vomiting and the charcoal. He didn't say she would have died, but I suspect she might have. She ate about seventy 0.3mg thyroxine pills. At least, she would have had a rough night.

A hundred and fifty dollar vet bill is a very cheap price to pay for an incident like this, my friends... I have gone and checked on the baby twice already and we are busily stowing anything resembling medicine up yet higher. And checking the child-resistant caps!

This reminds me of visiting my Dad and him showing me the guns he kept. In a dresser. And under the bed in the guest room. Unsecured. And his stepson regularly brought his young daughters over. I mentioned it to him how this might be sorta dangerous and he told me in all seriousness that "those girls know not to come up here unless someone brings them upstairs for some reason. They know they'll get their little behinds tanned if they come up here." ....Yeah, Dad, and children always do exactly what they are told and certainly never disobey for any reason! Although this was long before we really thought about having a baby of our own, I made a mental note not to bring children to Dad's house. I wouldn't be too tempted to let Delia out of my sight at their house anyway, since I'd be worried his evil wife would organize some kind of intervention and kidnap her with a pack of her church cronies, to get her out of our Godless, immoral house of sin and depravity where we worship the Devil etc etc. She sure as hell isn't going to be staying there without one of us for any length of time; who knows what kind of things they might expose her to, like one of their church services or something.

Anyway, all's well that ends well. Give your kids (and dogs) hugs and check your medicine cabinets.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Girl Giant

You must see this.


Girl Giant.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Mr. Wuv Cat

Welcome to the family, little Siamese(ish) dude.

J's sister Amy (small town vet and Patron Saint of Downtrodden Pets), sensing a weakness in the Force, just "happened" to have a sad, adorable kitten in need of a home. Okay, she's pretty much always got some sad-sack, down-on-its-luck cast-off stray of some kind, so it was pretty much a sure bet that telling her we were down one cat would result in another one joining the fold. Last time this happened we got Banshee, also a Siamese mix, who was so painfully stupid that we had to find her a new, less complicated home to live on so she wouldn't keep peeing on our stuff. Before that it was Bosco, a fine and doltish huge, greasy hundred-pound Doberman with impossibly long legs who would eat blackberries off the vine and cherries right off the tree in our back yard. And who could fart like a rhinoceros. Yet we loved him. From a distance and with many lit candles.

Anyway, now we have Ringo. He was brought in to the vet clinic a pathetically thin (less than one pound) and largely bald kitten, suffering from ear mites, worms, malnutrition, neglect, etc. Oh, and a truly impressive case of ringworm. Hence the baldness, and the name. He has since packed on the ounces and grown the hair back, though it's still a bit thin on his tail which was practically hairless to start with. He is Siamese-oid, a creamy white with gray ears and tail and a gray diamond over his nose. His fur is slightly longish but not like a Persian or anything. When I get a chance I'll get a photo on here.

And he is Mr. Wuv Cat. He wuvs us. He wuvs the baby. He wuvs the dogs and he'd wuv Wilbur (the matriarch, an aging and cranky black cat named when She was thought to be a He) if only she'd let him, but she never, ever will. He lays on your chest and purrs, and when he's really comfy he'll lick your chin so hard it hurts. He has known adversity, and he much prefers prosperity. Don't we all.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hard Times

Today I got the call that my cat, Slick (the left hand cat in this picture), missing since Saturday night, had been found in the neighbor's backyard Sunday morning, dead, half buried in the garden by some animal (?). I had posted some signs on the mailboxes around the neighborhood just last night and was going to visit the Humane Society today. Now I guess I don't need to.

He was a good cat, a lovely cat, a sweet cat. A total pest to our other cat, a willing cuddle toy to Delia, an utter gomer with no sense of balance. He was a good, good kitty, and he didn't deserve a violent end.

I still can't really believe he's gone, I guess because he just vanished into the night and I never got to see him to say goodbye. By the time I gave up waiting for him to turn up and went out and put up the signs, the neighbor had long since disposed of the remains.

O Slicky, we hardly knew ye. Rest in peace with your old friend Beany. Tell Grandma we miss her. I will miss you sleeping on the back of the couch with your tail wrapped around my neck, and Delia will miss wrestling with you. I'm afraid Wilbur won't miss you at all but she's pretty malevolent and her opinions don't count here.

Forwards, O How I Hate Them

Okay, not all of them. Some are cute, harmless, amusing, etc. But sadly, my Dad likes to send me whole batches of them every so often, and while some of them are kind of funny and I don't mind those, it's the ones like this that I wish he'd quit sending. In particular it was this section that made me almost, but not quite, send Dad a tart little response asking him not to send me stuff like this anymore:

"Whether you like it or whether you don’t God was a part of building this great nation. To remove him is to take away the very foundation of what this country was all about.

I don’t care about your political correctness!

I don’t want to know your sexual preference!

I could care less about all of that. Stop making it the headline of the day!

That’s not America."

I didn't send him the tart little email, but only because I have to ask him not to come install some damn pyramid-scheme air filter system in my house, "just so you can write me a letter of testimony, you don't have to buy it." If I reject both his air filter and his emails, he'll get all sensitive and think I don't want to see him anymore. That's what he did when we requested he and his wife, whom I do not like but to whom I am perfectly civil, find somewhere else to stay the night we brought our daughter home from the hospital when she was born. We just felt that we would like to spend our first night home together as a family without visitors, plus we were totally overwhelmed and didn't need to have to take care of anyone but ourselves and our tiny new person. Naturally he interpreted this as, "You're mad at me for not being able to come see you the night the baby was born because I had a doctor's appointment that was evidently more important, even though I said I'd drop everything and rush to your bedside the minute you called," and attended a motorcycle rally the first weekend of her life after stopping by to visit for a whole twenty minutes because, "We paid for this rally a month ago and it wasn't cheap!"

Um, no, I don't have any childhood baggage about my Dad, why do you ask?

Okay, so first of all what bothers me about this kind of thing is the whole "this is a Christian nation," thing that I've come across here and there, generally in connection somehow with my Dad. I once attended a service at his church that happened to be right around July 4th, 2002, so it was the first Independence Day after 9/11 and also right around the time that they were arguing that whole Pledge of Allegiance thing about whether to include "under God" or not. You can imagine how they took that ball and ran with it, and so I was forced to listen to how this was a Christian nation founded by Christian men on Christian ideals blah blah blah and that taking God out of government and prayer out of the schools was directly responsible for Satanism, teen pregnancy, drug use -- oh, and homosexuality.

I was utterly mortified since, as some of you know, I am a drug-using, teenly-pregnant, devil-worshiping fag. Okay, not really, but I am a lesbian who has never really used drugs, didn't get pregnant as a teen or any other time until I had pay two grand for the privilege, and so far as I know have not practiced Satanism, unless it was inadvertant and then I suppose I could blame it on an allergic reaction to painkillers like all the celebrities do...

And, um, didn't the framers of the Constitution deliberately separate church and state so that people who didn't want someone else's belief system shoved down their throats by the government could live in peace? Wasn't that part of why they came here and stole this continent from the people who already lived here? I mean, I know it's a little late for us to pack up and leave it to the Native Americans, but can't we at least maintain the semblance of giving a shit about freedom from religious persecution? And hey, news flash: that includes Christianity!

I would also like to state specifically that my Christianity bears very, very little resemblance to whatever brand of "Christianity" that these people profess to practice.

And secondly, who's making an issue out of who else's sexual orientation? Not preference, you hate-peddling moron. Orientation. It's funny how if you're in the minority and you bring up a point you have an agenda, whereas if you're on the other side of the issue, you're just "morally right." Funny how that works. Really. Funny.

Okay, enough soap-boxing. I just woke up itching for a fight, evidently. Carry on.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

One Down

One class completely finished, one to go. My mother (a finer woman never walked this earth) has offered to take young Princess Delia off my hands for an entire day, and even -- gasp! -- for the night on Saturday, leaving me to study my brains out without interruption. I plan to have the event catered... Although, we're not sure if we can bear to part with her for the night too. Plus she might yell a lot and you know, the 'rents aren't getting any younger, they need their beauty sleep. But, I think I'll send along the necessary accoutrement and see how it goes.

Then after a three week break or so, it's on to the next term! Anatomy and physiology, featuring real cadavers... or parts thereof. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet but seeing that I have little choice (i.e. none whatsoever) I guess I'll just figure it out as I go along. As I understand it, we don't dissect anything human, we just observe. Yeek. Still tough.

Watched "RV" tonight, with Robin Williams (I mean he was in it, he didn't stop by to watch it with us or anything). Although it was pure Hollywood hokum, it was fun and had us howling with laughter at times. Our threshhold is pretty low, given, but still. Good times.

Well, all this blogging is cutting into my WoW time in a big way. :)

Kute Kid Kwote of the Day (tm): Delia was goofing around and sort of hopping rearward and very excitedly paused to announce, "Look! Guys! I'm backing wards! I'm backing wards!"

Lately she's been saying, "I have to go!" But we're not sure where she thinks she has to go. Also, "My teeth is getting bigger and bigger." And, "I promise!"

She couldn't get any cuter. I hope we can all deal with it when the cuteness fades into surliness in the teen years. I miss her already...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Little Bender

Threw a little shower for my fine and decent friends Karen and John. Knowing them as I do, I figured that the usual hateful shower games would be especially loathed by one and all, so we had an impromptu Interpretive Lego Sculpture Juried Exhibition, with first and second place decided by popular vote. The topic was, "What do you think Karen and John's baby will look like." If the winning entrants are at all suggestive of the actual outcome, the baby will either need a good plastic surgeon or an exorcism. Ha ha! Just kidding, Karen and John. We all know your baby will exit the womb not only super cute, but quoting Monty Python lines and playing a musical instrument, and doing both better than I can at the age of 38.

The plan is to name the baby after Bender Bending Rodriguez, unless of course they want to dash an old woman's hopes and settle for something boring like Zorak or Postlethwaite or something average like that.

Step 1: cast ye your Legos as ye may, on the floor for everyone to fondle. Note the rather robustly pregnant Karen, center stage.

Step 2: assemble your masterpiece from the Limited Edition Floor Sweepings Collection (featuring obscure shapes and colors, and four frozen Han Solo slab pieces leftover from the Star Wars kits)

Step 3: photograph finished works in front of cake for posterity

Step 4: distribute prizes
Step 5: allow your two-year-old to disassemble said works while you are distracted on phone

.... Okay, that last step is probably optional, but at least it was after the guests had all gone home.

A good time was had by all, and with a minimum of wrapping of toilet paper around any part of anyone else's anatomy (to my knowledge).


Our hall bathroom has a vent under the vanity that blows outward (not upward). When we run the a/c, the cold air blows straight onto the base of the toilet. As a result, trips to the restroom are extra refreshing on those hot summer days...

Saturday, August 05, 2006


OMFG World of Warcraft is huge. I may never surface...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I Feel the Earth... Move... Under my bed...

Woke up at 1:38am this morning with the bed shaking madly. Thought it was a dream, nobody else woke up -- checked the TV, nothing in the news, back to sleep. Then my Mom asked me on the phone later: So did you feel the earthquake last night?

My second one, the first was in San Diego when I was 15 or so, same general scenario. I was the only one who woke up that time too. Evidently I am a light sleeper. When we had the infamous Spring Break Quake I was out of town; if memory serves, I was in Los Angeles, the earthquake capitol of the world...

Got a quiz back today, 24 out of 25. Not too damn bad!

Today I went to gas up the car and as we pulled away from the station, Delia leaned forward in her seat, craned her little neck, and waved to the nice gas station saying, "Thanks for the gasolines!"

She is an utter delight.

She had to spend the evening with Pastor Dave since I needed child care in a hurry in order to get to school, and she very obligingly ate a huge dinner, played long and hard, and settled right into bed without any fuss at all. She's either suffering from an attachment disorder or just very, very secure. It almost pains me a little how much she doesn't seem to get bent out of shape when I have to leave her with people, but then she did have a hard time staying at the gym the first few times, until it became familiar to her. Thus far she's only spent 1:1 time with people she is pretty well acquainted with, from church mostly or relatives. So I should be pretty happy that she's okay with me being away, that she knows I'll come back.

Must run, much to do...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Summit to Surf

Okay, so thirty-four miles with a bike seat stuffed up your sizeable ass is still thirty-four miles, even if much of it is downhill.

Start: Mt. Hood Meadows, end: Hood River. Scenery: fabulous. Top speed: 37.4 mph. Approx. time spent on the bike: 3 hours. Time spent coasting: about one hour, near as I can figure. Coolest things: the mountain, all craggy and with glaciers here and there; pear orchards so heavily laden with fruit that the branches are propped up with 2x4's; cattails nearly as tall as I am; fancy-lycra-pants bicyclists changing their skinny, expensive flat tires while I zoomed on by on my crappy twelve-dollar commuter tires; lip-balm-cozy freebie from the Subaru tent: my Chapstick and I need never part!

Busy week, busy night, must run.