Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

And it all came together. The tree is decorated. I'm going to stop by Barnes and Noble on the way home from work and pick up one or two last minute gifts, and then it's all done. We'll spend tonight wrapping gifts and then the next few days at home with the kids and visiting grandparents. And Alice, you'll be pleased to know that it didn't even involve a trip to a mall! We found all our gifts at local stores (and Wa! Mart).

I feel ready to relax. I woke up yesterday morning with the cold from hell, but even it isn't getting me down. It's like a switch gets flipped at the last minute and suddenly - it's Christmas! And I'm there now.

So Merry Christmas everyone! I wish you all the best.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Okay people, let's talk about Christmas. Because it's about to run me down.

Seriously, I am so far behind I nearly have a panic attack every time I look at a calendar. The tree is up, but it's not decorated. Yes, I'm serious. Bare. Not even lights. It needs some more branches trimmed off the bottom and moved further out into the room so that the angel will fit on top 'cause I kinda 'Griswolded out and bought one almost too big for the living room. But at least it's bought, and up. We'll get it decorated, right? RIGHT?!! Let's all sing a rousing chorus of At Least It's Up.

And then there's the presents. Supergirl is taken care of. Wildman is really too young to care. I ordered him some really cute foam blocks, but they're back ordered until mid-January. I'll find him some cute little stuffed animals and things to open on Christmas Day, but again, he's one. Rock is mostly taken care. I may get him a few more surprise items, but I've got him some good stuff, and I think he'll be happy. Which brings us to the parents. We both come from divorced families, all of whom are remarried except my mother (whom I don't speak to). Minus my mother, that gives us three sets of parents. Including three step-parents to whom we're not very close. Two of them have a distinct interest (gardening and baking), though, and the third has spectacularly bad taste. I'm not kidding. They actually lecture us because Supergirl never wears any of the clothes they buy for her, but they are the ugliest clothes on the planet. I came across a new dress for her the other day and Rock and I were discussing how hideous it is and Rock asked where it came from. I turned and looked at him and said, "I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count." We are closest to Rock's mother and step-dad and this year we had the best idea for a gift for them - we were going to get them a dvd player/ vcr because they only had a vcr. We were all excited because this! was! perfect! They would love it! Until one day about three weeks ago when I came home and Rock said, "Well, Mom and Step-dad bought themselves a Christmas present. A dvd player/ vcr." Nooooooooo! Somehow this sent me into a total gift tailspin and then I couldn't think of anything to get anybody. I'm slowly crawling out of it, though. I'm getting my dad a subscription to a magazine that I know he'll love, and we've got a pretty vase for the Stepparent With No Taste (she'll love it). And we've come up with an alternate idea for Rock's mother and step-dad. And I've always been a last minute Christmas shopper anyway. I'm weird that way. I love the crowds, I love the packed stores. I think Supergirl and I are going to hit a mall on Saturday or Sunday! Haha! And eventually it will all come together. Right?!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I know that talking about your job on your blog is on the Top Ten Stupidest Things To Do list, but I'm going to break that rule for just a minute because I have good things to say about my job.

Last night was our holiday party and a few awards were given out. Boss (who is not my boss anymore) gave me an award. It was a cumulative, "thanks for all your hard work throughout the year award", since my job doesn't have the built in rewards and recognitions that some of the other jobs in the office have. In his comments, he said some really nice things about me and all that I do for the office and as my gift, he gave me a Starbucks gift card. Not only was this nice because a) Boss isn't my boss anymore and didn't have to recognize me at all. b) Boss made it Personal Nice and gave me a Starbucks gift card because I stop at Starbucks every morning on the way to work. The other folks who got awards got American Express gift cards.

Just a post to note that I'm thankful. I have a great job. I work for a really good company and I really enjoy my position within that company. I've learned a lot in my time here and I'm respected and valued for that knowledge. Like all jobs, it has it's bad days and it's disadvantages. And if I win the lottery, I'm totally quitting. But until then, it's a good job and I think I'll keep it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

On Crazy Parents

I recently read The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. Sadly, it was not that good. I was really looking forward to this one, as it's about a subject near and dear to my heart - a woman who kills her mother. You can't read it as "Helen kills her mother and here's what happens afterwards" because it isn't. In fact, it tells you very little about what happens afterwards, which is disappointing. You can read it as "Helen is a little insane because her mother was a lot insane and if you've ever wondered how children get way too caught up in their parents' psychosis or maybe you were one of those children who were way too caught up in your parents' psychosis and you'd like to hear someone else try to explain it for once". Except that it's not a very good explanation, because they never are. A child really can't explain to you just how and why they got swept away in their parents' crazy, no matter how old they are or how long they've studied it. They just do, because it's the order of the day, the way their house was when they went home at night, when they shut the lights off and the rest of world went home. That's the way things were and they just had to adapt to it. So they learned. And you can't understand it, because you didn't live there, and that woman wasn't your mother and that man wasn't your father. And that wasn't your world and your reality. And as often as you visited or that child visited you or those parents talked to your parents or that friend told you stories, you still don't know. And that's kind of what the book leaves you with, that feeling that you never know a family, no matter how close you get. There just aren't any answers in it, not as to why Helen killed her mother, not as to why Helen is a little crazy, not as to why Helen's marriage broke up, not even as to why Helen's mother was crazy. There's a lot of little stories, a lot of little examples, which, when you sit down to try to explain to someone why and how your parent was crazy, these are the things you end up saying. And then, you're left wondering what they add up to. Do they add up to a crazy parent? Do they add up to you just being whiny? What does your friend think when you stop talking? What have you conveyed with your examples, your stories? That is one thing the book captures, the disjointed presentation of "here's how my mother is crazy". The sense that there are pieces missing from the stories because they were lived by a child who only partially understood what was going on, so you only get bits and pieces of what happened.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Impromptu Movie Reviews

Movies We Watched Over Thanksgiving:

Live Free Or Die Hard - Amusing action movie. Some really improbable stunts, but some good lines. Overall, not a bad way to spend two hours.

Spiderman 3 - Almost kid acceptable. A few curse words, but for the most part, we could let Supergirl watch it. Cute, kinda mindless, again - not a bad way to spend two hours.

Mr. Brooks - Really good. It stars four actors I hate (Kevin Costner, William Hurt, Demi Moore, and Dane Cook) and I still really liked it. The interaction between Costner and Hurt makes the film. And there's a couple of really great lines.

Protecting the King - You've never heard of it. For a reason. It's just simply awful. Tells the story of Elvis' stepbrother, who became the youngest bodyguard in rock and roll when he guarded Elvis. He's basically a punk who goes on tour and lives it up, drinking, drugging and screwing groupies. His life parallels Elvis' spiral out of control and he winds up unemployed at 22 when Elvis dies.

In other news, Supergirl did a face plant off the back steps yesterday. She's fine, but her nose is scratched all to hell. She looks awful. Poor little mite. So much for Christmas pictures.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More Things That Make Me Smile

I work in a super young, very small office. Most folks, this is their first job after college. At 31, I'm the third oldest person in the office. The oldest is 34, the second oldest only beats me because his birthday is in July and mine is in October. I'm older than the Boss. I'm older than my direct supervisor, who is not based in our office. While my age is certainly no secret, I don't really look my age, I look a bit younger. And I blend in pretty well with my co-workers, so my age isn't really commented on all that often. Still, it's a known fact that I'm older than them. Which usually works to my advantage, because it gives me some authority and gravitas when I need them to listen to me.

Anyway, three of my co-workers just popped into my office because they had a bet on how old I am. Their guesses were 27, 28, and 29, because, "She can't be in her thirties yet".

Oh yeah, baby! Drinks are on me!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Series of Unfortunate Events - Thanksgiving Edition!

On this happy Thanksgiving Eve, I thought I would tell you all the heartwarming little tale of how I broke my ankle. Mainly because it happened over the Thanksgiving holiday three years ago. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Rock was next door at his parents' house (yes, my in-laws live next door) and Supergirl and I were hanging out at our house. Well, around 4:00 or so, she got bored and decided to go visit Daddy. So I threw on some jeans and put on my new favorite sandals - a pair of platforms with no straps on the ankle. We jumped in the car and cruised over to the grandparents'. We got out of the car, I took about four steps in their gravel driveway, my left foot slipped off my sandal, I planted my right foot to try to keep my balance, but no dice - I was down. Rock came running over and started checking me for injuries. I thought I was fine, but then we both noticed that my right foot was sticking out at a 90 degree angle. Not quite right. We left Supergirl at the grandparents' and went to the emergency room. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long. They immediately e-rayed it and told me that I had broken all three bones and dislocated my ankle. They asked if I had been in a car accident! Or fallen down stairs! It took two tries two get it set back in place. The first time, the doctor injected novocaine, which helped *ALOT*. The second time, the novocaine had worn off and he couldn't give me any more. And he had to pop my ankle back into joint, then hold it and try to explain to a nurse how to wrap the plaster around my ankle. While he was explaining, it slipped out of joint (yes, that hurts just as bad as popping into joint). Then he popped it into joint again, held and tried to explain and it slipped out of joint again. Finally, he popped it into joint, and held with all his strength and helped her wrap the plaster around the ankle. Then they put me on crutches and sent me home. Three days later, I had surgery. I still have a metal plate on one side and about ten metal screws throughout my right ankle (which you can feel through the skin), but after two months in casts/ boots/ crutches and three months of physical therapy, it's fine. I've got some pretty awesome scars, though. And I never, ever wear heels.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Things That Make Me Smile

This morning after I turned off my alarm clock, I rolled over and kissed Wildman on the cheek. He felt a little cool, so I pulled the covers up over his legs and started to pull his blanket down over his arm. As I was doing that, he started giggling.

What a great way to start the day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Wildman Cometh

Today is Wildman's First Birthday! My little sweetie is one. Seems like a good time to tell his birth story. I know it's out of order, since Supergirl is older, but hers is dramatic enough that it will be exciting whenever I tell it.

So most of the pregnancy had been uneventful. I was about 30 weeks along and my office had just hired an admin to fill in for me during my maternity leave. She was nowhere even close to up to speed. Well, the week of Halloween rolls around and it's a doozy. We have a bigwig in town, an evening work event, doctor appointment in the middle of week, and of course, Halloween. Fortunately, last year, Supergirl's idea of Halloween was to go to her grandparents' house and give out candy to the other kids. Much easier than tromping all over the neighborhood trick-or-treating! The doctor appointment was a total bust. Rock and I arrived right on time only to sit in the waiting room for 45 minutes. We finally got pissed off and left! By the end of the week, I was completely exhausted. And my ankles were starting to swell. My right ankle, which I broke three years ago, would swell up every day, so with the pregnancy adding to it, it was about the size of a grapefruit by the end of the day. The left ankle, the normal one, was swelling to about the size of a tennis ball. On that Friday, I had an eye exam at lunchtime. Normal, routine, no big deal, right? Well, for some reason, they decided to check my blood pressure. 145/95. Even I know that's high. So I called the doctor's office and left a message. It took them three hours to return my call and then they wanted me to drop everything and run to the hospital. Not likely that I'm going to drop everything and run out at 4:00, when I've got stuff I need to finish and it took them 3 hours to call me back. If it wasn't an emergency 3 hours ago, it isn't an emergency now. I went to the hospital after work, after assuring my office that I was fine and I would see them all on Monday. The doctor had other plans. She had trouble getting my blood pressure back down, even after several hours of just laying around in a hospital bed, and there was protein in my urine. She told me I needed to be on bed rest. I said, "But I can still work a couple days a week, right?" She threatened to keep me in the hospital over the weekend. I said, "Oh, you meant bed rest, I must have misheard you, yes, of course, I can go home and rest. Screw the office." Naturally, I had not shaved my legs. Naturally, every nurse and doctor had to feel my swollen/ furry ankles. I vowed to shave them the moment I got home and keep them shaved until the baby was born. The next week and a half was fairly uneventful as all I did was shuttle back and forth to the doctor's office, fill out paperwork to be out of work, and buy a new recliner. (what? you didn't know that was a required part of bed rest? we did that the first day!) I got bored. I got lazy. I stopped shaving my legs. I started bitching about how was I supposed to relax if I was running to the doctor's office every damn day. Finally on Monday, November 13th, after a relaxing weekend of doing nothing (and no doctor visits), we went (where else?) to the damn doctor's office. They had apparently had a much more exciting weekend than we had. In a bad way. They had had a lady whose blood pressure was not as high as mine have a "bad outcome". Rock said, a bit fearfully, "But she's okay now, right?" to which the doctor answered, "No, she's not." At which point I kicked Rock, because frankly, I didn't want to know any more. The doctor wanted to put me in the hospital overnight for observation, then make a decision the next morning about whether to proceed with our planned c-section that day or send me home for more bedrest. So me and my unshaven legs once again checked into the hospital. This was about 5:00. I got set up with monitors on my blood pressure and on Wildman, still rocking around in my belly. Rock went home to feed the pets and make arrangements for Supergirl to stay overnight with his parents so that he could come back and stay with me. He got back about 8:00 and we were talking calmly. I rolled over in bed to get more comfortable and the monitor beeped. The nurse came in and asked, "What did you just do?" I told her that I rolled over and I showed her how I had been on one side and had moved to the other. She showed us that Wildman's heart rate had dropped when I moved. And that it wasn't the monitor not picking up. His heart rate had dropped from 140 (normal) down to 100 down to 80 (low) down to 60 (scary low) and then had climbed back up. It was very quick, but definitely real. Having been through that with Supergirl, we didn't want to take any chances with Wildman. So the doctor came back in, smiled at us and said, "Well, we've been waiting on a sign - I think we just got it! We're having a baby tonight!" My first thought? "They're both born on the 13th" (Supergirl's birthday is September 13th). I was awake during the c-section which was very cool. I couldn't hold little Wildman right away because he was early and had to go to the Special Care Nursery, but I heard his first cries and I got to see him immediately. And after a little while, they rolled my bed into the Nursery so that I could hold him. And he was perfect. He weighed 4.5 pounds and was 18 inches long. We had gotten the Betamethazone shots to get his lungs ready, so he was as healthy as he could be. And so tiny and beautiful. He held his body temperature and didn't need antibiotics or anything. After a day or so, he needed a small feeding tube because he wasn't strong enough to drink from a bottle. So he stayed in the Special Care Nursery for two weeks with a feeding tube until he had gained enough weight and could eat enough from a bottle to keep gaining weight. Then he came home and never looked back.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Down at the Wa!-Mart

Okay, so no one likes to hear me gripe about my husband. I guess it does sound pretty ungrateful to bitch about how someone else irons your clothes. So! On to happier topics! Stories From a Rural Wa!-Mart on a Sunday Night! (yes, we went to Wa!-Mart on Sunday night - this is what passes for excitement in my household.)

Rock and I were rummaging through the $5 movie bin and teasing each other about which awful movie we would buy to torture the other one with. He threatened me with The Core, which stars Aaron Eckart, my least favorite actor in Hollywood, and I threatened him with Lara Croft, Tomb Raider, because he hates Angelina Jolie (I KNOW! How can anyone hate ANGIE?). Anyway, we were holding up movies, trading barbs, throwing movies at one another and back into the bin. We debated on one movie, threw it back in, then decided to get it and couldn't find it. After a little while of this, a lady on the other side of the bin started cracking up laughing at us. We laughed and were a little embarrassed, but she was like, "It's so nice to see a couple laughing and having fun instead of arguing and fighting."

When we got to the register, we were behind a family of rednecks who were purchasing a camouflage cap. Somehow they got the idea to try to spell "camouflage". They made it through c-a-m-o alright, missed the "u" entirely and then stalled out on the spelling of "flage". They came up with "flag" and "flaug" as possibilities before giving up entirely.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Grumble, grumble, grumble

This morning has not gone very well. First of all, I was running a bit late getting ready for work. Then I took a small break to walk over to the bed and sit down to talk to Rock, Supergirl and Wildman. Wildman was being restless and couldn't decide if he wanted to play, eat, or lay back down and go back to sleep. So Rock gave him a bottle and commented that he needed his baby seat to lay back and eat properly or else he would just play with the bottle. Supergirl went and got the baby seat and brought it into the bedroom. I laid Wildman back on the bed and he ate for a minute and then threw the bottle down. We all talked for a few minutes and then I got up to continue getting ready for work. I didn't realize that Supergirl had put the baby seat right behind me, though, and so after two steps, I fell right into it. Not hurt at all except that I'll probably have a bruise on the underside of my right breast tomorrow and a scrape on the back of my ankle, but damn. That wasn't much fun.

Also, I'm wearing a shirt that Rock ironed for me last night. Amid much griping and not so good natured teasing. (He usually irons my clothes because I am beyond incompetent at it. Usually he doesn't mind. I have no idea where the attitude came from last night. Oh! And we're only talking about two or three shirts here, not my entire wardrobe. Last night, I asked him to iron four shirts, only because he usually wants to do them all at once, not do one now and then do three more another time. And those four shirts will last me two or three weeks, because I don't wear them all every week. I have some guilt/ misgivings about asking him to do this? Must investigate.) I made the mistake of commenting that this shirt is easy to iron because only part of it needs ironing. I ironed it last week and didn't do too bad! (It's one of those shirt and sweater combos, made to look like you're wearing a button down shirt under your sweater vest.) Rock sniped back that it was only easy if you didn't know what you were doing. Well this morning I noticed that Mr. Expert missed ironing the button part just below the collar. Which I managed to iron last week. So much for not knowing what you're doing! (I do have to confess that I did iron a wrinkle into the left sleeve, though.)

Just one of those days, I guess. argh!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ariel and the Disgruntled Kangaroo

Supergirl as Ariel.

Ariel with her brother, the Disgruntled Kangaroo:

I'll let you all guess which child enjoyed Halloween more this year.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Cutest. Kangaroo. Ever.

The Ariel pictures will take a little longer, I still have to get them developed. But here is Supergirl:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone! I hope that you all have a safe fun night filled with cute kids and *CANDY*!!!!!

Supergirl is dressing as Ariel from The Little Mermaid and Wildman is dressing as a kangaroo. Cutest costume ever. I will post pictures as soon as I can.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Seven Random Facts

I was tagged by Hotfessional for this meme, so I'll give it a go. I'm not sure if I'll tag anyone, maybe I'll decide by the time I finish my seven facts.

The Rules
1. Link to your tagger and post the rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random and some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of post and list their names.
4. Let them know they were tagged by a comment on their blog.

Okay, Seven Random Facts:
1. For my Group Communication class in college, my group made a video spoofing the movie Se7en, with the killer murdering people who broke the seven rules of group communication. We worked on it for about a month and the one guy in the group frickin memorized Se7en so that we could duplicate almost every scene and have nearly the exact same dialog. It turned out great and we got one of the other professors in the department to play the killer. He was stellar. To this day, I can't watch Se7en without thinking of our video.

2. My Five Favorite Films That No One Else Has Even Heard Of:
1. Frailty
2. Salton Sea
3. Man From Elysian Fields
4. Shade
5. Confidence

3. I think garbage cans and garbage bags are inherently dirty and I refuse to touch them. Brand new, I can touch a garbage can, but even brand new garbage bags are gross. I keep my office garbage can under my desk and move it with my feet when the cleaning crew puts it back in the wrong place. Rock takes out all the garbage in our house, but he does tease me about this.

4. I've had seven speeding tickets. Seven. Some things I'm just really hard-headed about.

5. I can spend more money in a bookstore than a clothing store. I can spend more money in a camera store than I make in a month. These are my two biggest weaknesses.

6. Two best books I've read in the last year:
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman - cannot recommend highly enough.
Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes - I read it through three times before I could put it away.

7. I've kept a list of all the books I've read this year. It's the first time I've ever done that. I'm almost to 50 books. My goal for the year is 75. I think it's funny to have a goal for how many books to read.

Okay, I'm not going to tag anyone because it's Friday and it's time to go home. If you want to do the meme, feel free.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Morning Traffic

This one's for you, Tessie:

Bumpah Stickah
For the cah

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Part One of - well, let's just not count these, shall we?

Back in high school, I turned 16 before all of my friends because my birthday fell two days after the kindergarten cut-off and I started a year later than everyone else. So I was one of the first to have a car. Unfortunately for me, my parents were of the thrifty sort and my first car was a hand-me-down that both of my parents had driven. Getting a hand-me-down car from my mother wouldn't have been bad, because she's never been hard on cars. My dad, however, is where cars go to die. He drives too fast and neglects basic maintenance. By the time I got this car, it ran and the radio worked. That was all you could say about it. It was also a puke green Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. Stylin'. (You're jealous, aren't you? I knew you were.) When I turned it on, all the warning lights lit the dash up like a Christmas tree. Some of them never went off. So I took to ignoring them. Oh-so-smart. Then one day, my car died on the side of the road. Some nice folks picked me up and gave me a ride home. We had the car towed to our mechanic, who promptly taught me that there is one light that you don't ignore - the oil light. Yep, I ran the car out of oil and blew up the motor. Guess who did not have a car for the last half of her senior year of high school?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Here We Are Folks, The Dream We All Dream Of

And here we are, the glorious 31st anniversary of the date of my birth! I am so like a little kid about birthdays. I *LOVE* my birthday. It is the best day of the year for me. I feel like the whole day just kind of glows. My kids' birthdays are great, don't get me wrong, but my birthday is special. It's all mine, all to myself. And today is going really, really well. It's been a nice calm day at work, busy but not horribly busy. I have three cards from work friends, a cake and was taken out to lunch at one of my very favorite restaurants. One of my closest friends took me out to dinner and dessert last night and I'm going out tonight with my precious family and my dad.

Every year on my birthday, I kind of take stock of my life and see where I am. This year, things are really great. I'm happily married, I now have *two* beautiful children to adore, I still really love my job (most days), I have good friends at work and in my personal life, and now I have a budding professional photography career.

On this, my happiest day of the year, I'd like to share some life theories that I like.

The first is my own. I feel like your late twenties are when you figure out who you are and who you want to be as a person and your early thirties are when you figure out what you want to do. For me, this involved clearing out some really negative people from my life and learning to love and like myself. It involved learning to stand up for myself and not feel guilty for not being able to all things to all people. And my thirties have been about pursuing photography - buying better equipment and learning more about the craft. Getting out and taking more shots. Photographing people I love and trying to craft the best shots I can.

The second theory is from Molly. It is the two-thirds theory and I think it's brilliant.
"1) The two-thirds theory. Meaning, you have a professional life, a social life and a romantic life. As long as two of the three were good, you could be happy. If you slipped to just one, it was time to get your shit together. If you got all three, then heck, you Won. But two-thirds was nothing to complain about."

Best wishes to you all. I hope you all have all three thirds at the happiest level possible.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hypothetical Question

Is there any point in giving someone a birthday card if the only nice thing that you can think of to say that doesn't make you gag is "Happy Birthday"? Because nothing else is true. Usually I would write something like "It's great to work with you!" or "You're such a fun person!"
or some such complimentary phrase. But what if you really dislike the person? What if this person recently stabbed you in the back in a completely egregious manner? Is it worth the gesture? Is the small political goodwill that it might engender worth your last card that actually says "Happy Birthday"?

Disclaimer: This post has nothing whatsoever to do with my working life. Which I strive to never mention here at all. In fact, I am not employed at all. Yeah, yeah, that's it, not employed at all.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Double Bind

Just finished a great book - The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian. The main story concerns a girl who was attacked when she was in college and, after graduation, has taken a position working with an organization that helps homeless people find homes. One of the men who had been assisted by the organization passes away and leaves a box full of photographs and negatives. The girl becomes obsessed with printing the negatives that hadn't been printed and in finding out who the formerly homeless man had been. Many of the photographs are of famous people, indicating that the man had been a somewhat famous photographer at one point.

Interestingly, the book is loosely based on a real person. There was a homeless man in Vermont (I think) who passed away and left a box of photos containing photos of famous people. The photos used in the book are real and they're very good. And you can definitely recognize some of the famous people, even if you're young like me and don't really recognize people like Eartha Kitt and Flip Wilson right off the bat (or a very young Dick Van Dyke).

And it features one of my absolute favorite literary conventions, the unreliable narrator.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


It's finally October. October is, by far, my very favorite month of the year. The fall weather here in North Carolina is perfect. Crisp, cool mornings, warm afternoons and long evenings made for sitting on the porch talking. And the fall colors in the woods and trees along the road are just gorgeous. Of course it doesn't hurt that my birthday is in October! (The 18th, but I'll accept presents all month long!) And Halloween, my favorite holiday. Which is even more fun with children to dress up. Supergirl loves to dress up and go over to her grandparents' house and give out candy to other children. We've taken her trick-or-treating, but she really prefers to stay in one place and see all the other kids. I can't wait to see what she wants to dress as this year. And I have to find an adorable baby costume for Wildman. Preferably involving ears. Swistle has gotten me hooked on ear clothing for babies. Way too cute.

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Hotfessional has an awesome contest running here. Go visit her and try to win some cute pink prizes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Why Don't You Go Ahead and Come In On Sunday, Too

The following is an email sent to a co-worker of mine from one of her friends. I have personally met the girl who wrote the email and I assure you that this is a true story that happened yesterday morning.

Good Morning friends!
I just wanted to tell you all about my lovely Monday morning. I have a weekly call on Monday mornings with our entire sales region (4 states: account teams, managers, and operational director... probably 50 people). I skipped out today because I have a lot to catch up on from being out on Thursday afternoon and Friday. I missed the best call -- probably the best call in the HISTORY of conference calls....

So we are starting to use video cameras at our desk for video conferencing, and when we are on team calls, we are supposed to be using them. The settings on the video are supposed to make it so that people only see you when you are talking. This guy was working from home today, and didn't have his video camera settings correctly working. While the call was going on, the camera was being shot on him. He was NAKED at home. So, everyone in the office is snickering because he obviously doesn't know that his camera is on. It gets worse... He stands up and is jacking off in front of the ENTIRE team, and doesn't know that his camera is on. The operational director who is leading the meeting (his boss's boss) calls his boss and makes her call him and tell him to turn off his camera. So, yes, ladies. We allllll got a peep show this morning, and a good example of a career ending move.

Thank you and have a great day.

Monday, October 1, 2007


I have a hard time not favoring one of my children over the other one.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that I have a favorite, but I have one difficult child and one easy child. One child with whom everything's a fight, every opportunity is taken for back-talk or pushing limits or testing authority. One child who is happy and content 99% of every day. Maybe a little clingy sometimes and fussy when sleepy, and definitely mischievous and into everything, but basically, a truly relaxed, happy child. One child whom I love, but some days have a hard time liking. One child whom I feel I can't get enough of and could not possibly love or like any more. One child who feels like a constant trial, who seems to know my weaknesses and the behaviors that will piss me off the worst. One child who feels like a constant delight and just seems to brighten every day.

So tell me your stories, readers, if you had brothers or sisters. Did your parents have a favorite? How could you tell? How did that make you feel? If you were the favorite, did you use it to your advantage or did you help out your siblings?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

OMG Y'all!

Supergirl lost her first tooth last night!

First she turns five, now she loses a tooth! I'm not sure I'm ready for this. Who is this little girl and what happened to my baby?! I didn't even know she had a tooth loose. She was eating an English muffin at her grandparents' house last night, and apparently she swallowed her tooth! She said she felt something hard in her muffin, but just swallowed it and didn't tell anyone. Then, she was talking to her grandmother, who immediately noticed that she had a hole in her mouth! Her grandma said they looked all over, but they couldn't find the tooth anywhere, so she really must have swallowed it.

OMG y'all, my baby is growing up. I think I need to lie down.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Name Game

Well, this blog has been needing some levity lately. Okay, for the last two weeks. But seriously people, I have been swamped. So here, stolen from Todd, is the Name Game. (Oh! Be careful if you click on Todd's site today - it's not safe for work!) My comments are in italics.

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)

Scooby Honda or Scooby Civic Either one sucks.

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)

Butter Pecan Sugar I would get shot faster than 50 cent.

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)

SLaw "Slaw"?! That's nowhere even close to fly.

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)

Gray Cat "We're going to have to call in Gray Cat on this one!"

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)

Alicia Salisbury Not to be confused with the steak.

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

Lawsh "Goddammit, Han, stop calling me Lush!"

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)

The Blue Fuzzy Navel Now don't you wish you could see my costume?

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)

Henry Talmadge or Talmadge Henry Minus the gender issues, these are plausible Nascar names.

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)

Romance Almond Joy Sounds kinky.

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )

Poole Talmadge or Talmadge Poole Once again, we're into gender issues here. And yes, these are my real parents real middle names. And you thought *your* middle name was bad.

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)

Ihme Indianapolis Somehow, I don't see the major networks lining up to hire me.

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)

Autumn Freesia Let's just say I wouldn't be undercover long with a name like that.

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + "ie" or "y")

Peaches Mary Janey That's a porno cartoon, isn't it?

14. HIPPIE NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)

Bagel Hickory That's just sad.

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)

The Photography Lightning Tour I kinda like that one.


Monday, September 17, 2007

The following rant (in italics) was written about me by my ex-best friend (on her blog). I'll add my comments as we go along.

Let's see, went to a funeral home last night for a visitation. The granddaughter (Shelly) of the woman who died? Didn't show at all. We think because someone had to actually call her father - ex-husband of the woman who died's daughter - and tell him that it would be in very poor taste if he showed up. Which it would have been, as he got to see the dead woman three weeks ago when he, his daughter and his granddaughter showed up to visit her at the nursing home and told her own daughter, Shelly's mother, his ex, to leave the room.

She's right - I didn't go to the visitation. She's wrong about the reason, though. The issue about my dad was fairly simple. He always thought very highly of my grandma (as I said in my last post, she was really sweet and nice) and he wanted to attend the visitation to pay his last respects. I tried to entice my mother into letting him attend by offering to bring my children, whom she never sees. Still no dice. (Never mind that Mother attended the visitation when my dad's mother died, to which she was distinctly not invited. Hypocrite much?) And since we had just recently visited Grandma, he agreed not to go to the visitation. (For the record, we politely asked Mother if we could have a few minutes to visit Grandma alone, we did not tell her to leave the room.) The real reasons I didn't attend the visitation were really very complicated. I agonized until the absolute last second, then loaded the whole family in the car, dropped Supergirl off at the grandparents', and said we were going. Then got about 2 miles down the road and changed my mind and turned around and got Supergirl and went out to dinner. (Rock was an angel throughout all of this, by the way. He let me make the decision, helped me get the kids ready, asked his parents to watch Supergirl, and then turned the car around to go back home - all without one single word of complaint.) The reasons I didn't go? In part, I'm still scared of my mother. She's physically and emotionally abusive. This is the reason I don't talk to her. Walking into a situation where she's got her brothers and all her friends around her and I'm basically alone scares the hell out of me. No one knows that she's abusive, mainly because my dad and I never told anyone. My dad was just happy to escape that marriage with his life (literally) and he let her keep all their mutual friends. When I stopped talking to her, my goal was not to cost her any of her friends. I just want away from her, and I don't care who understands why and who doesn't. But still being that cowardly makes me ashamed. I seriously did not go to my grandmother's visitation because inside I'm still a scared little kid. And that makes me furious! Why can't I just get over this already?! I'm an adult. There's very little my mother can do to hurt me now. But I still cower and avoid her whenever I can. Also, Thursday was Supergirl's fifth birthday. I hated the thought of dragging her to a depressing visitation or not doing anything to celebrate her birthday on the actual day. In addition to that, all the talk about death and my mother and her bad behavior had really upset Supergirl and she was feeling pretty fragile that night. In fact, she was already crying for us by the time we got turned around and went back to pick her up. Since I knew that I would be attending the funeral the next day, I decided to spend that night with my daughter.

Anyway, proving that sometimes people are entirely too malicious for their own good (and the sad thing is, it'll come back to haunt her one day - karma kind of does that to ya), Shelly showed up at the funeral today. She hasn't spoken to her mother except about her grandmother in...4 years? I think? With her significant other, their daughter, and their son. Oh, it might be important to mention that no one told the mother that she had a 10-month-old grandson. One uncle (son of the deceased woman) got to see Shelly last fall about this time and was suspicious and told Mom (Shelly's mom) that he thought Shelly was pregnant. But she wears really baggy clothing and carries her weight in her torso, plus he's a man and not sure about those kinds of things. I'm very glad that the call was made to the ex-husband now, since he knew all this and at no point had the presence of mind to realize that some things trump an acrimonious divorce.

So let's see....first I'm horrible for not attending the visitation, then I'm horrible for attending the funeral? Or am I just horrible for bringing the children? The detail she leaves out is that Rock and Wildman (She's mistaken - Supergirl wasn't there.) stayed outside and I attended the funeral alone. And no, I hadn't told Mother about Wildman. Isn't that an integral part of not talking to someone? Protecting my happiness and the things that are important to me are a significant part of not talking to my mother. Seriously, do I, as a mother, not have a duty to protect my children from people whom I know to be dangerous? A person who abused me as a child is not someone to whom I want to expose my children. I don't care if she is their grandmother. If Vlad the Impaler is your father, does that mean your kids must hang out with him? If she still scares me this badly after 3 years of no contact with her, I am damn sure not going to let her be around my sweet, innocent, defenseless children.

And here I want to point out one of my mother's lies. She did know about Wildman. She knows someone who is a nurse in the hospital where he was born, and my uncle magically managed to call me about three days after Wildman was born. Definitely not a coincidence. And he told everyone in the family, because they all called to congratulate me. So Mother definitely knew. Just an example of how she lies to her friends to appear more sympathetic.

What's stupid is, it all stems from childhood resentment over the divorce. Mom and Dad were both passive people and never talked about things. And then they'd blow up and fight instead of working things through. Mom got Shelly (as Dad was a minister and moved around every four years - they wanted Shelly to finish up school in one place). Thing is, Dad sucked as a father (he's very self-centered) and Shelly was spoiled. Royally spoiled. She's in many ways very unlike her parents, because she's very confrontational. Anyway, she's such buddy buddies with her dad, even though he's continuously not been there for her (although he is now, at least). And thinks her mom is evil.
Never mind that only two people hate her mother - her and her dad.
Because Shelly's never wrong.

This whole paragraph just pisses me off to no end. Who the hell does she think she is, dismissing my feelings as "stupid" and saying my dad sucked as a father?! Yes, she was my best friend as a child, but she has no idea what went on in my house! My parents were not "passive people and never talked about things". My mother would set ridiculous rules and punish my father with physical abuse if they weren't followed. She would demand that he do something and if he didn't do it immediately, she would hit him, usually with some object. She controlled the money so tightly that if he bought anything for himself, he was punished. She constantly belittled everything he did and put him down every day. Eventually, she turned that "attention" on me. And yes, my dad is self-centered. And in some ways, he wasn't there for me when I was a child. But as I grew up, I realized that he was just trying to get through and he had to focus on keeping her happy (or trying to, there's no way to succeed at that task) and keeping himself in one piece. I have forgiven him for the ways in which he wasn't there for me and for leaving me there with her when he left. We've had a lot of very cathartic conversations about Mother and her ways and how we both dealt it - then and since we've left her. He's apologized for his failings and I have accepted him as he is, flaws and all. We now have a very good relationship and are very supportive of one another. As for my mother, not only has she never apologized for one single thing that she's done, she still plays the same manipulative games and was still physically aggressive one of the last times I saw her. So on one hand, I have a parent who acknowledges his mistakes and is trying to be better. On the other hand, I have a parent who is still playing her same games and up to her same tricks. Is it any wonder that I talk to one of them and not the other? I tried way too hard for way too long to get my mother to love me and to quit hurting me emotionally and physically and I've just simply given up. She'll never change and I can't have the relationship I wanted with her by myself.

And I love that she just dismisses the fact that my dad and I don't interact with Mother. Hmmmm....let's see, the two people who have lived with this woman don't like her and will not have anything to do with her. Given that one of those people is a mild mannered minister, wouldn't you start to ask questions? Maybe there's more to the story than anyone outside the family saw?

And if anyone actually read this far, I sincerely thank you. It was tremendously cathartic to write this.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sad Days

Yesterday was a very low day. My grandmother passed away. It wasn't entirely unexpected; she had a massive stroke about two years ago and had been paralysed and not able to speak since then. She's been in a nursing home far away from her home (to be closer to my mother) for those two years and you could see the unhappiness in her face and body language. While I'm relieved that her suffering is over and she's free, I miss her. She was always sweet and gentle and was one bright spot in a very difficult family. I remember her as the one person who was always nice to me as a kid. I'm so sad that she's gone.

I will be spending the next two days dealing with my mother and her brothers, three of my least favorite people in this world. My mother is a sociopath, so she's a treat to have at all family occasions. Her brothers are manageable, they are mainly just rude to my husband and family. At least I'll have Rock and the kids with me.

Have a great week and a great weekend and I'll see you all on Monday

Friday, September 7, 2007


When you're in a public restroom and someone knocks on the door because they want to come in and clean but they're a different gender than the restroom specifies, how do you answer without sounding like a total doofus? I've said "yes!" and "someone's in here!" and "occupied!", but I always feel like the world's biggest dork.

Is there a reasonable solution? Or am I, in fact, the world's biggest dork?

In unrelated news, I'm about to leave work, so I wish you all a very happy weekend! See you Monday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Riddle Me This, Batman

At lunch today, my friends and I observed a mystery. I present to you The Case of The Two Mommies:

In line in front of us were two women. Both appeared to be *very* pregnant. Both were small-built women with seriously round "baby bellies". (As I don't know their names, I will identify them by their hair color.) Brunette was carrying a car seat containing a *tiny* baby.

The puzzle, then: Who was the mother of the tiny baby and was she pregnant again?

The facts:

1. With a baby that small, there is no human way for the woman to be about to give birth again. Seriously, we're talking a days-old baby and a woman who looks 8 months along.

2. Blonde looked slightly less pregnant than Brunette, leading me to speculate that she could be the mother of the days-old baby, but she did not carry, hold, or otherwise interact with the child (that I saw, but then, once we sat down, I was not facing the trio). Brunette carried the child in the car seat, held the child at the table, and fed the child a bottle.

3. When asked how old the baby was, Brunette had to stop and think before she answered "ten days".

So, Internets, I ask you - what is the answer to the puzzle? Who was the mother? Or did they steal someone else's ten-day-old daughter and take her out for an Italian lunch?

And on a side note, Swistle, I'm gunning for you. You have made newborns like crack for me, too. I had to physically restrain myself from snatching that baby up and snuffling her little newborn head.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Interview by BeckEye

I love these interviews! It's so cool to see what kinds of questions someone would ask you based only on your blog. These fine and exciting questions come from BeckEye.

1. I see that you have 2 children, Supergirl and Wildman. What exactly are their super-powers, and were they inherited or just a fluke of nature?

I know that you asked about superpowers, but first let me tell you that Supergirl has the best superhero disguise of all time. She looks like a little porcelain doll. Seriously, she's tiny, about 4 foot tall and maybe 40 pounds. Skinniest kid in the neighborhood. Long red hair, big green eyes, palest white skin I've ever seen. Looks as calm and nice and sweet as she can be. But! Under that clever disguise lurks superhuman energy and strength, ear-shattering shrieks, and unholy speed. She can beat up boys twice her age! She can run circles around the kitchen island for days! She can scream and laugh so loud that your head will explode! And unfortunately, I have to admit that she inherited all these super-powers from me. I was a holy terror as a child.

As for Wildman, his super-powers are superhuman strength and possessing way over the legal limit of charm. And being unreasonably good natured and cheerful. He's simply the happiest baby I've ever seen. His smile could melt steel. And he's strong as hell. Trying to get a toy or bottle away from him takes all my strength! As for inheritance or fluke, I don't know. Rumor has it that Rock was a little charmer as a baby, so he maybe Wildman got it from him. Sure as hell didn't get it from me.

2. In July, you took the family on a cross-country road trip. Tell us about that. Specifically, were you all whistling zippity doo-da out of your assholes by the end of it?

Ah, see now, I had refrained from discussing that aspect of the trip because as Swistle says, "it crossed the line from 'Haha, my husband is such a cheesehead' to 'I actually dislike him and this is a bad marriage'". The trip ranged from some of the coolest scenery I've ever seen and some of the best pictures I've ever taken to flying through Idaho in the middle of the fucking night, using gas station bathrooms (*shudder*); from days where I laughed and joked and knew that I had married the best friend I would ever have and the best man I'd ever meet to days where I thought ending my marriage made perfect sense. In short, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times". It was too long, our vehicle was too small, Supergirl was bored as hell and acted terrible at least half the time, but overall, it was a great trip and we saw some fabulous sights and did some super cool stuff.

(On a side note, I just figured out how to make a link (I hope). I'm so proud.)

3. Your only listed musical interest on your profile is “classic rock.” What, if any, contemporary artists do you like?

Ummm, contemporary. You mean songs recorded *since* the 70's, don't you?
Ooh, ooh wait - Anna Nalick - I like Anna Nalick. And while I don't like Maroon 5, I know who they are and what songs they sing. I like Franz Ferdinand, Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale (I only know one song by his band, but that boy is *smoking* hot.) Oh, and Cake, I like Cake (MMmmmm....cake). And I like a couple songs by the Killers.

4. Back in April, Confucius say you were going to win the Powerball jackpot. How did that work out for you?

Seems I misunderstood old Confucius. He meant a small windfall, not a huge windfall. We found out that day that we were getting a bigger tax refund than we expected. Nice, but a hell of a long way from a Powerball victory.

5. Finally, who is Keyser Söze?

God, that is just simply The. Best. Movie. Ever.

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


So let me tell you a little bit about my daughter -

She's a little redheaded hellion. She'll be five in about three weeks (argh - party planning!). She's fiercely independent and doesn't take any shit off anybody.

Couple stories from the neighbors' daughter's birthday party on Saturday night -

The kids played outside with water balloons until it started to storm. Then they all piled into the house. The host mother was nice enough to offer Supergirl some dry clothes. As I was helping her change out of her wet dress, we discovered that her underwear was soaked, too. So I told her to strip them off as well. Her eyes got great big and she said, "But what will I wear?" and I told her she would just have to go without. Her response was, "But what will people say?" And I said, "Honey, no one will know. And don't you dare tell them!" Because she totally would have.

Supergirl was inside playing with the other children. (I was outside on the porch, so I heard this story secondhand from the other mother.) Apparently, Supergirl started wrestling with one of the little boys. The boy's mother decided to break them up, even though she didn't think they were being too rough and Supergirl wasn't complaining. The mother asked Supergirl, "Do you want to wrestle?" Supergirl's reply? "No, but I want to wrestle with him because he started it!"

And that's my kid. I'm insanely proud of her.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Allow me to set the scene: Rural NC steakhouse, Monday night. About three tables were occupied. To our right, a young (maybe teenagers, maybe early twenties) redneck couple with an older lady, probably the mother of one of the rednecks.

(Please don't get offended that I'm calling them rednecks, in just a moment my own redneck tendencies will be making their blog debut.)

Redneck boy's cell phone rings. His ringtone is "Copperhead Road" by Steve Earl. I identified this by about 3 seconds of lyrics from the middle of the song. Rock was horrified that I knew that song that well. And yes, I know that I have announced to the world that I am a huge redneck. But seriously people, I usually suck at "Name That Tune". I'm proud that I could identify *ANY* song by three seconds of lyrics, even if it is "Copperhead Road".

In the course of his phone conversation, Redneck Boy says, "I'm not *that* stupid."

Rock's reply - "Well, at least he admits he is stupid - just not *that* stupid."

It's always good to know your limits.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Starbucks - Again

Dear Starbucks,

I had an interesting conversation with a barista this morning. I asked if she would stir my caramel macchiato if she put the espresso in last, so that my first sip would not be straight espresso. She told me that the baristas are trained to make the caramel macchiato by adding the espresso last. She did stir my macchiato, and said that if I order it "stirred" from now on, they will know to do that.

Seriously? Y'all have to be told to stir your drinks so that people aren't assaulted by straight espresso?

I should totally open a coffee shop. I could kick your ass.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pretty Little Mistakes

Read an awesome book over the weekend - Pretty Little Mistakes.

It's a choose-your-own-adventure book for adults. Starts with your high school graduation. You choose whether you go to college or go traveling. From there, you make decisions and proceed through a "life". It's a great concept and really interestingly carried out. There's more than one way to meet some of the love interests, and some lives cut tragically short. And there are some repeating themes (prepare to have all your stuff stolen if you travel!). But overall, I really enjoyed it. There are 150 possible endings and I think I've read all of them. A great way to spend the weekend. It would also make a good beach book, because you could stop and start pretty easily.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I've recently discovered the music of David Bowie. A friend made me a copy of his greatest hits cd. I listened to it in the car on the way home from work. And spent the entire drive going, "wait - I didn't know Bowie sang that! I love that song." Or "Oops, I thought Billy Idol sang that one." Seriously, I had ascribed at least half of Bowie's major hits to Billy Idol! Now I wonder what Billy Idol really *does* sing.

Ordering Coffee

About a week ago, Mona at Hello Insomnia and Tessie at Messing with Texas were talking about how nervous they get ordering coffee at Starbucks.

I don't have that problem, but aparently, I do confuse my condiments. The other day, I stopped at Starbucks and ordered coffee and a bagel. After ordering the bagel, I said, "And can I get an extra, cream cheese."

I'm an idiot.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Oh Dramamine, Oh Dramamine, Oh How I Sing Your Praises

About three days into our vacation, I bought a box of Dramamine. Every day prior to that I had heard the four words that immediately strike terror into my heart - "Mommy, I feel sick." Supergirl gets carsick pretty easily, a fact that I had forgotten when packing for vacation. And anytime I see someone throw up, I have a *very* hard time not throwing up myself. So each time she announced that she felt sick, I panicked and tried to find something for her to throw up in. The first two days, we had extra large drink cups from McDonald's. The third day, in a fit of desperation, I handed her a diaper. Luckily, she didn't throw up at all. Then I wised up and bought some Dramamine. After that, she started every morning with a chewable orange pill. And she didn't get carsick the rest of the trip. Lesson? Dramamine works, people. I will be stocking up before any future vacations.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Alright, Missouri, let's talk. We drove through Eastern Missouri and up through St. Louis. And I saw *ten* anti-abortion billboards, the worst advertising in the US, and a category of billboards I called, "Hey residents - don't die!". Ten anti-abortion billboards?! For real, y'all. I think we could have gotten the point with one or two. Three, even. Obviously, you feel strongly about this, so I could see putting up three billboards. But ten? That goes beyond strong feeling. I think you all need to change your state nickname. You're not the "Show Me" State - you're the "Let Me Tell You How to Live" State. (And just for the record - anti-abortion propaganda really pisses me off. So this part of the drive did not thrill me.)

Then, as we got closer to St. Louis, the billboards just advertising companies or products increased. And I learned that advertising writers who fail in other places are banished to Missouri. This was the lamest, least imaginative advertising I have ever seen. Billboards sported such hip, now phrases as "Let your trails end here!" There was one billboard for a car dealership that said "Puntermann!" that was straight out of Used Cars. "Look out, Marshall Lucky - it's high prices!"

And then there was my favorite category of Missouri billboards, the "Hey residents - don't die!" Most of them focused on seat belt use. My personal favorite was "Pickup trucks rock. They also roll. Buckle Up." Seriously, y'all - that is word for word. I tried to take a picture of it, but we were going by at 80 miles an hour.

And then! Then, there were the road signs about not hitting road construction workers. At the top, they said "Hit a Worker" with a line under it. And that section was bright orange. Underneath the line, it said $10,000 fine and possible imprisonment. It looked like a carnival sign - Hit a Worker, Win a Prize!

Welcome to the Suck

Yesterday had my personal trifecta of suck. I was in a training class from 8-12, my boss' boss was in town, and we had an after-hours event that lasted - well, I don't know how long it lasted. It was going strong when I left at 8:00. Those were the scheduled events. Then, I woke up at 4:30 am and realized that I had forgotten to update and send a document that Boss' boss had asked me for. *THEN*, I spilled coffee on my shirt because the assholes in front of me slammed on their brakes for a sudden turn. I was ready to give up by 8:00. Sucky, sucky day.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig

We're back! I don't have long to write, because I'm swamped at work, of course, but I wanted to share some random observations of some of the states we visited.

Missouri - What the fuck is wrong with you people? You are getting your own post devoted to the billboards in your state.

Nebraska - Ya'll. Can't. Drive. I know there were some folks out there from other states mucking things up, but there were enough Nebraksa plates that I feel justified in stating that you are some super sucky drivers.

Wyoming - Love ya'll, love your state. Best place we visited. The Big Horn Mountains are *gorgeous*.

South Dakota - Love your state. Some of the folks who live in the Black Hills are mighty scary, though. But you discovered Mammoth Site and opened it to the public, so I guess you're pretty cool overall.

Montana - Will someone please tell me what the hell is up with the dating scene in Montana?! There were girls flirting with Rock with me and the kids standing right beside him. I swear to God, if we'd stayed one more day, I would have had to cut a bitch. I am a jealous mofo and I will hurt you if you mess with my man.

More later!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Vacation all I ever wanted, vacation happy to get away...

So we leave tomorrow on a cross country adventure. From NC to South Dakota, then Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Three weeks in an SUV with my beloved and our two little darlings. May I remind you that Supergirl is four and a half? If all four of us come back, it will be a miracle. Anybody know any good families in Montana looking for a new daughter? Or husband?

See ya'll at the end of July! Have a safe and happy 4th.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Last week I read The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. It won the Pulitzer Prize and was an Oprah pick. Frankly, I hated it. Yes, it's a post-apocalyptic tale of a father and his son scrounging their way down the road from the mountains to the coast. Which is just about as cheerful as it sounds. But I didn't even mind the gloom and doom, it was the fact that it's so poorly written. The characters don't have names, which isn't a problem because the father is referred to as "he" and the son is referred to as "the boy". Not a problem until the end, that is, when the father dies and then the boy is referred to as "he". Then it gets confusing. In addition to that, there are about a million places where apostrophes are left out of contractions. Not every one, mind you, just a lot of them. Enough to drive me crazy and have no consistency. Why are some Pulitzer Prize winners written so poorly? Some are wonderful (Empire Falls and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay spring to mind), but others are *disasters* (this one and The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, which was filled with incomplete sentences). In addition to the grammatical problems, there's also the problem of very little story. The two are walking to the coast. This is their goal throughout the book, so I assumed something would happen once they got there. Nope, absolutely nothing. Nothing happens, there's nothing special there, they stock up on supplies at a boat and then they leave. And then there's the cop-out ending. The two have met only bad people throughout their journey, but as soon as the man dies, leaving the boy alone and defenseless, some good people show up and take him in immediately. Overall, this book is just terrible. There is no universe in which it deserves the Pulitzer. Save your time, save your money and save your mood. Stay away from this pig.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Change Will Do You Good

So, I'm making some changes to make this blog easier to understand. Not that anyone reads it, but sometimes in writing about my family, I get confused! So a change is in order. From now on, the husband will be referred to as Rock, as in he rocks! The daughter will be referred to as Supergirl and the baby will be Wildman. These reflect their names to me and keep the gender confusion to a minimum. I will update my profile accordingly.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Personalized Plate

On Friday, I saw the best personalized license plate eh-ver. The license plate on the gray Saab three cars ahead of me read "SNAAB".

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Seven Random Facts

This has been making the Internet rounds and I have nothing interesting to post, so I'll do it.

Seven Random Facts about me:

1. I used to have red hair. Not flaming, carroty-red hair, but a nice auburn. Then, four and half years ago, I had S. And slowly, over the course of a year or two, my hair turned brown and her hair grew in red. So now I have a redheaded daughter and brown hair. I still hope it will turn back one day.

2. I am the queen of getting out of speeding tickets. Over a three year period, which ended in 2003, I got seven speeding tickets. (Yep, seven. I'm not what you'd call a quick learner.) I hired lawyers and got out of all but the last one with no points on my license and no insurance points. And no, I didn't have sex with any of the lawyers (or judges!).

3. My dad performed my wedding ceremony. No, I did not just say that I married my dad. Yes, I live in the South, but not that far South. My dad is a minister, so when R and I decided to get married, we asked him to officiate. It was cool and he managed not to cry.

4. One of my friends has officially asked me to photograph her wedding. I am so nervous, I could barf! I'm so excited and I have tons of ideas of cool things to do.

5. Both of my children had umbilical cord issues when they were born. S had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice and W had tied his into a knot. Little monkeys.

6. I hide my true feelings about people really well. Very few people ever figure out that I don't like them or think they're stupid. I'm also a terrific liar.

7. One of the things I love most about my husband is that he encourages me to pursue my hobbies. Even if it means spending large quantities of money. When I bought my new camera, he insisted that I buy the better lens and filters to go with it. And he never, ever gives me static for buying books.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bel Canto

Beckeye asked and I answered, but after thinking about it, I realized how inadequate my answer was. Here is the synopsis of Bel Canto:

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful business man Mr. Hosokawa. Roxane Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening - until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion...and cannot be stopped.

It is a gorgeous book, and it ends the way it must. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Book Review

Originally, I was going to review a book every month, but then I didn't remember to sort my book list by months, so that idea kinda went to hell. So now I figure that when a book knocks my socks off, I'll post a review here. So here's the first of (hopefully!) many book reviews:

Come to Me
Stories by Amy Bloom

Synopsis - "This stunning collection of stories - two of them honored by inclusion in Best American Short Stories in consecutive years - takes us into the inner worlds of families, the hidden corners of marriages and affairs and friendships, and introduces us to people whose lives are shaken and changed by love: a grieving mother in need of comfort; a frightened father in need of redemption; wives who become mistresses and regret it, or don't; a psychiatrist crashing through professional boundaries to provide for her husband and son; a model wife and mother who inexplicably descends to the basement to commune with the seventeenth-century poet Anne Finch; a young woman yielding to her dying husband's wish to hear about the affairs she's been having during his illness; a little girl who shyly models Furs by Klein, with Klein looking on in love and sorrow; Rose of the crystal-clear voice and psychotic episodes."

Now, it's rare that I like a collection of short stories. Usually, they're too short and just as I'm starting to like the characters, the story is over. Or the stories spend too much time developing the characters and nothing really happens in the story. Not these. Amy Bloom gets it just right. She gives you only a vignette into these characters and their lives, but in that you see their whole personalities and desires. Each story is complete and even though you don't know every detail of the life of each character, you know them completely. You see the whole and the scope of their lives from just the little snapshot you're given. Or you see them turn an important corner and know the pattern the rest of their life will take. Gorgeous stories, real, flawed characters, real-life situations and decisions. And just enough information and concern to make you remember the characters forever. I could not recommend this book more.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Books! My all-time favorite subject. The lovely Molly had a meme about books and very nicely agreed to let me steal it. So here goes:

The Five Most Recent Books I've Read:
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, Alice Munro
Patriots, James Wesley, Rawles (Don't ask- I read it as a favor to my husband. It was terrible. The author has a comma in his name, for Christ's sake. What more do you need to know?)
She's Not There, Jennifer Finney Boylan - Don't even get me started. It's about a man who gets married and has two children and then decides that he must pursue the knowledge he's had all his life that he should have been a woman. It's heartwrenching to imagine what his poor family went through.
The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls - I want to find someone else who has read this just so I can say that I'm gonna do something "Rex Walls-style".
Puppet, Joy Fielding

Five Books I Could Read Over and Over:
Babyville, Jane Green
Empire Falls, Richard Russo
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
Good in Bed, Jennifer Weiner

Five Books That Blew My Mind and Would Be On My Syllabus If I Were a Teacher:
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Peace Like a River, Leif Enger
Bel Canto, Anne Patchett
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson

Five Authors With Whom I Would Like to Have Drinks:
Tom Robbins
Chuck Palahniuk
Richard Russo
Jennifer Weiner
Jodi Picoult

Five Books That Make Me Want to Have Kids Just For The Books:
The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Anne of Green Gables series, L.M Mongomery
The Chronicles of Narnia series, C.S. Lewis
Pat the Bunny, Dorothy Kunhardt

Five Non-Fiction Books I Am Evangelical About and Demand Everyone Read:
Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt
The Sociopath Next Door, Martha Stout - well, I don't demand everyone read it, just everyone who asks why I don't speak to my mother
And that's all I can think of....guess I don't read much non-fiction.

Five Books the Rest of the World Loved and I Sort of Hated:
Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin - but that was only because of my reading teacher. If I had read it on my own, I would have loved it.

Five Books I Just Could Not Finish, No Matter What:
Anna Kareninina, Tolstoy
The Brothers Karamozov, Dostoevsky
The Prince, Machiavelli
Cathch 22, Joseph Heller
Atonement, Ian McEwan

Five Books That I Am In Awe Of and Are Pretty Much Perfect Pieces of Writing:
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
Bel Canto, Anne Patchett
Wonder Boys, Michael Chabon
Peace Like a River, Leif Enger

Five Books That Make Me Weep Buckets:
The Year Without Michael, Susan Beth Pfeffer
Bridge to Terrabithia, Katherine Patterson
Tiger Eyes, Judy Blume
Bridges of Madison County, Robert James Waller
A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving

Five Books Set in Africa That I Love:
Hmmmm...I think the only two books even partly set in Africa that I have read are The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and The Diamond Lane by Karen Karbo and I kind of hated both of them.

Five Things That Turn Me Off of a Book, However Unfair:
Unlikeable characters
Animals as main characters
Narrators with autism
Science fiction
Too many/ too detailed supernatural occurances

Five Things I am a Sucker For in a Book:
Strong female protaganists
Bad family relationships
Strong male characters
Irreverent old people

Friday, May 4, 2007

Oh my God, What a Day!

The weather sucks, I totally stuck my foot in my mouth when I introduced myself to an employee and told him I talk to his wife all the time then I found out he and his wife are separated, I had to call two employees whom we accidentally overpaid by about $3,000 each and explain what happened, and for some unfathomable reason my left front tooth is aching and hurts like the nerve is exposed. Oh, and my feet hurt because I'm wearing semi-new shoes that are refusing to break in. Oh, and I missed going to PF Chang's for lunch because a meeting was scheduled at 1 and at 1, they called and rescheduled to 3. I went on a used book buying spree at lunch and it didn't even help because now I have new exciting books to read and they're in the car, not in here.

Holy Hell, I'm going home!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Fool for Blondes

"Every time Lana Turner was on the screen, Bill would begin sucking his thumb to an obscene degree. I knew right then that this boy would be a fool for blondes." ~Estaban Vihayo Kill Bill Vol.2

Sunday night, R and I took the kids and went out to dinner. W was fussy and had to be held most of the way through the meal. About the time we finished eating, though, he discovered *her*. The blonde waitress working another section of the restaurant. He leaned forward in R's arms and grunted. Then he craned his little head to watch her until she disappeared into the kitchen. He did this every time she came into sight.

God do I dread his teenage years!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A new meme... I was 'interviewed' by Used*To*Be*Me....Fun stuff!

1. what do you want to do when the kids are grown and moved out?

Travel! Actually, I want to do that before the kids are grown and moved out. Right now, we're trying to figure out how to deal with a 4 year old on a cross country road trip, because we'd really like to go out West on our vacation this year. Any suggestions, other than duct tape? After the kids are grown, I would like to spend my retirement traveling around the world.

2. What happened on your 23rd birthday?

I got my tattoo! It's a Celtic symbol representing the idea that life is a dance. It's on my abdomen and has sort-of survived two pregnancies and c-sections. The doctor did cut into it during the second c-section, which pissed me off given that the *first* c-section was an emergency and the second one was not!

3. What is your favorite book and why?

There's just no way to answer this question. There are so many books that I love that I can never pick a favorite. I can tell you the first book that comes to mind that I love is Empire Falls by Richard Russo. It's sweet and heartfelt and has some cool twists and turns that you don't see coming. In addition to all that, it has some of the funniest scenes and funniest characters I've ever read. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which it richly deserved and there is a wonderful movie (I think it was done by HBO), in which Paul Newman plays the funniest character in the novel perfectly. Also in the movie and giving fantastic performances are Joanne Woodward, Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Dennis Farina (hilariously perfect casting), and William Fitchner, who was slightly miscast but does an admirable job anyway. Anyway, terrific book, terrific movie. It's certainly *one* of my very favorites.

4. What is your favorite activity to play with the kids?

For S, we have the Tickle Game and the game where she tries to walk behind me on the couch and I lean back and "trap" her.

For W, our favorite activity is just hanging out. He sits in his car seat and watches me get ready for work in the mornings and we talk a little and just smile at each other. He's such a laid-back and sweet baby, I just enjoy his company.

But my true favorite activity with both kids is photography. I'm taking a photography class right now and I have even more reason to take pictures of them. They're so adorable and I just love capturing how darling they are on film.

5. If you could do it all over again, would you? Why or why not?

Hmmmm......there are some parts I'd like to skip or do differently. And there are things I would do earlier or realize sooner. But it has all led me to this happy place, so I have to say yes, I would do it all over again, even the bad parts, because they have made me who I am and guided me to the life I have - happy marriage, great kids, good job, happy in myself and in my life.

If you want to continue, here are the rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'm so totally playing the lottery......

My fortune from the fortune cookie yesterday -

"An unexpected event will bring you riches"

And underneath are my lucky numbers.

Oh yeah, baby! Powerball here I come!

Lionel Shriver

So I read an article yesterday in which Lionel Shriver, the author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, argued that parents are not honest about the fact that having children ruins your life. Her point was that there's a taboo against saying anything negative about having children and that it's a whitewash of the way things really are.

So....does having children ruin your life? Yes and no. Yes, life the way you lived it before kids is gone. But what takes its place is something new and not entirely bad. You can still do virtually all of the things you did before children, but now you have a little person along to care for or else you have to arrange for childcare. There are some things that are irreparably damaged by having children, though, most notably peace and quiet. If you are a quiet calm person who likes to curl up on the couch with a good book (like, say, me), then you are sorely out of luck. However, in place of my beloved peace and quiet, I have the joyous voice of my daughter as she rampages through the house and the sight of the swath of destruction in her wake.

It seems to me that parental emotions run the entire emotional spectrum. Sometimes all within one day. Sometimes you love your kids so much that you're not sure how you can stand it. Other times, you want to pick them up and strangle them. And a lot of the time, you're somewhere in between. There's a quote I love from the movie Marvin's Room. Meryl Streep's character is talking to her son and she says, "My feelings for you are like a bowl of fish hooks. I can't pick up one without getting a bunch of others." I think that is how most parents feel most of the time. And when someone asks, it's too hard to explain all the subtleties, so parents just mouth some platitudes to get by. Plus, doesn't it sound awful to say, "Well, little Johnny has been such a shit lately that I can't stand him. I'm thinking of moving him out to the dog's pen or selling him to the circus." Because we all have times like that. But some people, especially people without children, don't understand that. So, is there a whitewash on the way things are? Yes, I think there is. Mainly because people don't want to talk about how hard it is to raise kids. People don't want to sound like bad, angry parents about to lose it on their kids. So they talk only about the good things. Because there are plenty of them, too. I think in order to get an accurate description of parenthood, you would have to sit and talk to a parent for hours upon hours. You would have to be able to hear the good and the bad without judgement, without thinking that you need to call child protective services. And you would need to convey that lack of judgement to the parent so that he or she would feel comfortable enough to speak freely.

So, Ms. Shriver, having children does not ruin your life. It changes it, much like many other things do. Things like growing up, going to college, taking a job, getting married. And it changes it in many complex ways, not all of them easily summed up or suitable for cocktail party chatter.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Ex-Best Friend

A very Happy Birthday wish to my ex-best friend. She turns thirty today. I still miss her, but there's no way I could tolerate her behavior anymore. I had to clean out my life several years ago so that I could break free from some problems from my childhood and she was one of the ones who had to go. I'll write more about her next week, I'm sure I need to exorcise some demons over that.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Stolen from Todd at Death Wore a Feathered Mullet:

Have you ever kicked a guy squaw in the nuts?
No, but that doesn't mean I haven't been tempted.

What is your favorite swear word when you're angry?
Goddamn and Motherfucker, two words I had never used before meeting my husband.

Would you rather your date have bad gas or incontinence?
Ooh, I think either way there's no second date!

My friend, who is of the male gender, threw a Steel Magnolias party. Is he gay?
Hmmmm......that's a toughie. I *love* Steel Magnolias and I know several guys who think it's damn funny. But I don't know a single one who would choose to watch it, let alone throw a party. Okay, that's pretty gay.

Have you ever dated a "Ten"?
Nope. I did date a "Minus Ten", though - does that count?

What's better, pizza or oral sex?
Oral sex and pizza at the same time!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My credit score....

If you could feed Simon Cowell through a woodchipper in front of his parents, what kind of pants would you wear?
Oh, I love woodchippers! I would definitely wear a plaid shirt and jeans, and there would be no way I could refrain from saying, "Yah, and I guess that's your friend you got there in the woodchipper, yah?" But can't we use Seacrest instead of Simon? He's far more annoying!

Can you reveal any little-known celebrity facts?
Britney Spears is crazy. Oh wait, you said "little-known" didn't you? Nevermind.

Is there anything more lame than making up your own meme questions?
Only stealing them and using them on your own blog.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What is up with all the typos I'm seeing in books these days? Does no one proofread these things before they go to press? I'm not a grammarian, but three books lately have contained errors so egregious that they interrupted my reading! Babyville by Jane Green and Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult both contained an instance where the wrong character name was used. In each case, a pronoun was used for one character in a two-character scene and where the name of the other character should have been, the character referenced by the pronoun was named. For example, "She told Julia that her plan was...." in which "She" referred to Julia and the other character's name should have been in place of Julia in that sentence. And American Spy by E. Howard Hunt proved my mother right on the subject of spell-check. When spell-check first came out, my mother dismissed it as worthless because it could only tell whether or not a word was spelled correctly, not whether or not it was the right word for the sentence. In American Spy, some folks are described as "making due" and later he refers to the "power behind the thrown". Two words that wouldn't be caught by spell check because they are spelled correctly, but are the homonyms for the words he actually means, "do" and "throne", respectively. Witnessing this sorry state of American publishing makes me sad, for my mother should never be proved right about anything.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Jumping into the fray

So about a year ago, when I first started thinking about writing a blog, there was a big debate on some blogs I read about living together versus marriage. And I thought about starting a blog and jumping right into the debate. So here I am! What? It's still a hot topic somewhere.

One of the main points argued in the debate was that couples who live together are not as committed as married couples. And for some folks I'm sure that's true. But it's equally true of some couples who get married. If it wasn't, our country's divorce rate would not be over 50 percent. So that's a false argument. Then of course some people argued that it was against God's will to live together and not be married. At which point, the debate turned in to a free-for-all insult fest.

So here are my thoughts on the subject: Do what you believe is right. If you are a religious person and believe that God wants you to marry, then marry. If you are not a religious person and believe that you and your partner are perfectly happy the way you are and don't need to change a thing, then don't. My opinion is that each couple needs to figure out what works best for them.

My personal experience is that either situation can be a stable and fulfilling relationship. R and I lived together for five years before we got married. S was three and I was pregnant with W when we finally got married. We've been married for almost a year now and virtually nothing has changed. I changed my name and could add him to my health insurance, but that's really it. I don't love him any more or less than the day I moved in with him.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

*tap tap tap*

Is this thing on?

Um, hi.

So I'll open this blog with a bumper sticker I saw on a truck the other day and a story about my daughter.

The bumper sticker said: Cowboys think 8 seconds is a great ride!
My first thought? "Remind me not to date cowboys!"

On Sunday, my daughter S went to visit her grandparents around noon. When she came home at 8pm, she sat down beside me and announced, "I was in such a hurry to go to Mimi's today that I forgot to put on panties!"

So that's my world. My four year old runs around with no undies and I talk to myself in the car. Welcome to my blog!