Thursday, September 30, 2004

"For God's Sake, man....

...don't eat the bacon!" G ran out of here about 40 minutes ago, just made it to his office in time for his first client, and still finds the time to call home to warn me not to eat the bacon on the kitchen counter because he doesn't know how long it's been out. "Did you leave it out last night?" he asks.

Hmmm. Well, since I didn't put it away, I guess you could say I left it out. But since you put the other stuff away last night, like the tomatoes and lettuce for the BLTs, and left the bacon on the counter, I guess you could also say that you left it out.

Anyway, you've all been warned. Don't eat the bacon.

Support Nasal Research

I'm dismayed at the lack of research being done on nasal transplants. As a sufferer of various nasal maladies, I can tell you that a nasal transplant (or even a nasal-ectomy) would change my life.

Allergy sufferers don't get a lot of sympathy, I guess because people rarely die from hay fever. However, our quality of life really suffers. We can barely breathe, we buy enough Kleenex to put all of Mr. Kleenex's descendents through college, our noses itch constantly and we're tired a lot. I have calluses on my inner upper lip from stretching it over my teeth trying not to sneeze. I'm going to end up with a Wicked Witch of the West nose because I'm rubbing and pulling it constantly to relieve the itch.

Really, it's a tragedy. G seems to have fine nasal tissue. Sometimes, he even leaves the house without a pocket full of Kleenex! Can you imagine?? If I forget my Kleenex (or Puffs, whichever, but not the waxed cardboardy stuff), I have to stop and buy some.

For those of you who are not allergic to everything that can be borne through air, imagine that the inside of your nose and sinuses are covered with mosquito bites. Now imagine that those mosquito bites, in addition to itching constantly, also swell and leak mucus. That's the horror we have to live with daily.

I don't see why they can't take someone who has a normal nose (like G) and grow some tissue, like they do with livers, and then give me some. Imagine a life not spent breathing through a tissue! If it doesn't work, fine - cut the damn thing off. I don't want it anymore. I'd rather have a non-itching hole in my face.

By the way - yeah, I've tried all the allergy medicines. Systemic stuff like Claritin and Allegra barely touch my hyperallergic membranes. Flonase worked the best and my health plan stopped covering it. I've done the shot routine (4 shots twice a week, thankyouverymuch) and it worked for a year.

Monday, September 27, 2004

TV Night

Why do I do this to myself? I arrive home on Monday nights a full hour before G gets home with A. So, obviously, I sign on to the internet. Not so obviously, I turn on "7th Heaven," because it's the only thing I can find on between 8-9pm on Monday nights. Have you seen this show? Tonight Lucy, possibly the most whiney character on TV, is giving her first sermon at Dad's church. Next week: Dad's entire congregation gives up hope and converts to Catholicism when it realizes Lucy's the new associate pastor.

Suvivor: Still don't like any of the women. But overall, this is shaping up to be a good one. Loved the tribal council - I think it was smart of the older women to vote "Dolly-the-sheep-farmer-how ironic-is-that-name" off. They can't lose the balance that quickly - remember what happened in Africa? They had to shuffle the tribes because the young brats (remember Lindsay?) took control so early. Oh, and what a great challenge with the puzzle pieces! I thought the men were being unreasonably negative about Rory, but he was pretty annoying while Sarge was trying to direct traffic.

The Apprentice: Adios, Stacie. "It was borderline schizophrenic!" said Ivana, the mental health specialist. It was nothing like schizophrenia, it was more like mania, and c'mon - it was the scariest thing you've ever experienced? Do you really think the producers are going to let her take out a butcher knife and do you all in? I'm sure they'd let a few of you survive. It annoyed me - OK, so maybe she's a loose cannon, but I didn't like the way they characterized her as dangerous. I also thought she handled it fairly well, especially in her closing speech. She wasn't as defensive or attacking as she could have been. I wouldn't want to work with her (you're in charge of picking up the toothpaste and you don't even check the dimensions or size of the shipment?), but Maria and Elizabeth were so obviously stacking the deck against her to save their own scrawny necks.

And, I know we didn't see the whole "unstable" thing because of editing, but this is the second time in a row he fired someone NOT based on their performance on the task, which I think is a bad precedent and makes the whole thing look more like a crap shoot or popularity contest. Can't wait for this week. Don't forget! It's on Wednesday this week!

What's up with Alias not starting until January???? Pppshhh.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Cool Moms

Who wants to start a band with me? Would you not be the coolest mommy in your playgroup? If there are no takers, I'll just have to move to Detroit and learn the tambourine.

Last night I'm defrosting chicken in the microwave and everytime it beeps, A. comes running into the kitchen yelling, "Dinnertime!" I swear I do use the stove sometimes. Then he starts putting various bowls and pans on the table, also announcing, "Dinnertime!" Then he climbs onto a chair and starts miming eating out of the skillet. I swear I give him his meals in a bowl or on a plate. Usually. And yes, I did eventually feed him.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

It's a......Baby!

So. Had the amnio today. Once again I was shocked to see the little heart beating on the monitor. Everything looks like it's in the right place so far. They couldn't tell the sex because baby had his/her legs crossed. The doctor suggested that the amnio is no more uncomfortable than getting blood drawn. He forgot to add, "...if someone were to punch you in the uterus while you were getting your blood drawn." The poke isn't a big deal, that's true, but the needle-through-the-uterus is a bit more intense. Not really painful, exactly, just startling. I flinched, and immediately apologized (more to the baby than to the doctor) for moving when there was a needle perilously close to baby's private parts. They switched on New Age music and one of the assistants rubbed my legs. I knew I should've shaved them when I shaved my belly this morning, but I was short on time and I didn't think anyone was going to be doing anything with my legs. As soon as the needle came out, Boom! Music off and no more leg massage. Sheesh.

I came home and G appropriately bought me flowers and took care of A until his nap so I could "take it easy." I napped, and dreamt about bleeding again. I've had lots of these dreams during this pregnancy. It's always about the amount of a period, so it's not a hemmorrage, but it's still too much blood and I realize the baby's in trouble and I need to get to the hospital, but I know they probably won't be able to do anything. I hate these dreams. I always wake up and it takes me a minute to realize I'd been dreaming and that I wasn't bleeding.

But I'm beginning to believe that I'm going to have a baby. Much as I prepare for him/her to leave, and as screwed up as my brain gets, and despite the fact that I'm still drinking some caffeine, he/she doesn't seem to be going anywhere and in fact seems to be developing all the little organs and body parts he/she is supposed to. Maybe we ought to start telling people (I mean, besides the blogosphere).

A Bit of a Ramble About Religion

Found it! A while back I read this post on So Close, a blog by a woman struggling with infertility. It articulated many of the problems I have with God "answering" prayers. I always wonder why God seems to answer the prayers of track and field winners, and not those of people sitting by the bedside of dying babies.

My BIL died almost 20 years ago in a helicopter accident. They found the body of one of the helicopter's workers, but they never found his or his co-pilot's body, so there was a about a week period there where no one knew if he was dead or alive. Lots of prayers around that one, and they still never found him. At the time, I was living in the dorms at college, and a woman in my building was trying to recruit me into the Church of Christ. I asked her what she thought about why God would have let this happen to a man with a wife and a 9-year-old daughter. She suggested that maybe he was trying to "bring someone closer to Jesus." Hmmm. If that's true, the problem is, I don't think it worked. So shouldn't God have known that it wouldn't work? What did he say? "Well, shoot, thought that would work but that group's as heathen as ever. Guess I'll just have to go kill someone else." I don't know - but I don't think so.

There's a story that's often used to prove the existence of angels. As I remember it, there was a woman walking home in NYC and just as she got to her building, she felt a hand on her shoulder and a voice saying, "keep going." So she rounded the block and by the time she got back, there was all this police action at the building. Apparently a woman had been murdered in the elevator a few minutes prior. The idea was that an angel saved the first woman from death. But whenever I heard this story in Catholic school, I always wondered what kind of slacker guardian angel had been assigned to the murder victim.

The thing is, when I'm really depressed, I need to believe that God is there helping me hang on, somehow. I don't ask for Him to lift me out of it. But I do ask for strength and faith. And an open heart. Honestly, I don't think he hands it down with an "OK, just waiting for you to ask!" I think he's already put it in me and my prayers just remind my soul that it's still there. Know what I mean? What do you think?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Reality Show Update!

You know that Staples commercial where the dad is dancing in the aisle to "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" because it's Back to School time? That's how I also feel about fall because it's a new reality show season! Yay! We just saw Survivor and The Apprentice last night because I'm such a good wife that I tape them and watch them with G, who works late on Thursdays. I don't even watch them early, that's how good a wife I am.

Survivor: So far, so good. I don't like any of the women yet. That FBI agent is a piece of eye candy, though, isn't he? Brady, is it? And how much would you hate to be Chris - the guy who kept falling off the balance beam? Did anyone else say to themselves, "And that is why I will never be on that show. I would SO completely be that guy."

The Apprentice: Oooooh, this is gonna be a good one. I wish they'd gone more into how that ice cream with all the donuts was, because I was having a hard time imagining how chocolate, jelly, maple and old-fashioned donuts would taste mixed into one ice cream. I do think they need to stop making the only black woman on the show the crazy one. Someone told CaroLYN (not CaroLINE) to bring out her inner bitch - that was great how she reamed the tall blonde chick for making fun of the kids last week. And why did she hate Bradford? For getting her name wrong? I didn't think giving up his immunity/exemption was that horrible a mistake. It was a bit cocky, but I thought he had a good rationale for it. Guess no one else will ever do that again, though - maybe that's why they had to fire him. It was probably Donald's idea to introduce the exemption this season, and he sure as heck wasn't going to let Bradford set a precedent.

Big Brother: Don't watch it. They cancelled The Mole and this is still on? I'm protesting.

White Girl

Well, yesterday turned out to be a complete wash. Went to the library, got some books, came home and totally crashed. I mean TOTALLY. I thought it was just pregnancy tiredness but then I looked in the mirror and my face, usually a rosy pink, was white as a sheet. That usually means I'm anemic. And can't do much besides sit and breathe. So G ended up taking care of A most of the day while I rested and waited for the iron pills to take effect. My face is pink once again, and all is right with the world.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Saturday Morning Randomness

Courtesy of Busy Mom (go on over and wish her a happy 40th): Bad Senior Pictures. Hilarious. I'm a little embarassed to say that my dad still displays my soft-focus holding-a-rose senior picture. You know, the one where I'm looking back over my shoulder and holding a long-stemmed fake rose perilously close to my cheek, as if to say, "Still a Virgin and Proud of It"? Yeah, that one.

Check back later. I'll add stuff as I find it.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Confessions of a Neighborhood Snob

One of the reasons among many that I want to move to Portland is that, in many neighborhoods, there are lots of families in close proximity. I went to the park by my IL's house and immediately struck up a 1/2 hour conversation with a nice ER doc and his 1-yr-old son. Turned out we had a lot in common, including years spent living in Berkeley. When starting his family, he chose to move to Portland because it felt more family-friendly than the Bay Area. This view seems to be supported by Cafe Mama, a Portland blog I have been frequenting. However, I'm afraid that what it really means is that there are more upper-middle-class, college-educated professionals than in my current city.

Ick. This has rocked my view of myself. I've always been very supportive of multiculturalism, diversity and the like. I believe racism is taught and modeled, and I don't want that around my kids. And my town, I seem to think I can't relate to any of the parents around here. I just haven't connected with any parents around here. But I'm afraid I'm being a complete snob. Do I judge them for the broken-down station wagons in their front yards? Or the kids running around without any sort of adult supervision? There are lots of kids I recognize in the neighborhood and I even know the names of some, but darned if I know what their parents look like. And I've lived here 4 years.

I belong to a great playgroup that grew out of an new mom's support group, but it's 30 miles away, in a more expensive area, so it's not conducive to spur-of-the-moment playdates or coffee chats. At the same time, I don't exactly fit in on the playgrounds to the east, where the really rich people live. My teeth aren't white enough, my skin isn't tan enough, my hair isn't highlighted enough and I don't own enough Polo by Ralph Lauren. Besides, they always travel in packs, those mothers.

I decided I was being close-minded about my city and vowed to look at the parents at the local playground with new eyes. The next time A and I trekked to a playground, I found a bench full of older Sikh men having some kind of rousing conversation in what might have been Punjabi. Two teens showed up with a cute, very active little girl. She was calling one of them "Mama" so I asked that teen how old she was. Turns out she was just a week older than A. We commented briefly on her rather frightening climbing ability (A still climbs up stairs on his hands and knees and absolutely cannot figure out how to climb up rungs on the equipment, which is just fine with me). That was about the extent of the conversation, since Mama was 17 years old at the most, and I'm being generous. If I had to bet, I'd guess she was about 15 years old. She seemed sweet enough, but I just didn't see us getting together for coffee.

Later, another mom came by with a baby. The baby's father arrived and I guessed they were Tongan. We swung our kids in the baby swings for a while and I tried to start a conversation with the standard, "How old is yours?" She responded hesitantly in English. I commented on the amazing amount of teeth the baby had (compared to A who was still all gums at his first birthday). She smiled and nodded but didn't say anything and I smiled and nodded back while my heart sank.

What makes friends? I think there is usually some common ground, and living in the same city isn't enough. If you're thrown together with someone, like at work or school or the hurricane shelter, you can search for the common ground and usually find it, I think. I'm glad A already sees and interacts with many cultures. I like that there's evidence all around that people worship God differently, and not everyone lives the same way. But am I awful for wishing I could find someone more like me to talk to at the playground?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

And now let's go to, Bill?

Is anyone else fascinated by the poor reporters who "get" to report on hurricanes? Tonight I kept flipping through the cable news channels to see Anderson Cooper (wow, Anderson, who did you piss off at CNN?) crouching behind a potted plant on a balcony, while he discussed another 600 lb plant that had been swept away nearby so maybe behind that plant wasn't the safest place to be, several poor guys in slickers bracing themselves trying to get MPH readings on the wind, and another CNN guy (guess Anderson fled into the safety of his hotel suite) with orange ski goggles begging for a helmet. Fox News, not to be outdone by the girlie stations, actually had their guy WADE INTO THE OCEAN. I don't know what he said because I was distracted by the idiocy of wading into the ocean during a hurricane.

The reporters assigned to New Orleans were looking cool and dry, with a gentle breeze blowing their bangs. They were either thanking their producers, I think, or were annoyed that the wetter guys were getting all the air time.

One weather expert, on MSNBC I think, was explaining how the wind gets faster around the eye because of the decreased circumference - "It reminds me of tetherball in school and there was always the bigger kid who wrapped the string around your neck." Now that's a tough school.

And on our local radio station KSFO: "Not everyone, of course, has evacuated New Orleans. Some, the elderly and the infirm, aren't able to leave. I understand they've opened the Superdome as a shelter. But I remember in 98 when they did that, there was incredible damage to the facility with graffiti and vandalism." Those old, wheelchair bound hoodlums - ya gotta watch 'em.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Lunasea's Blog Tip: Number to Avoid Messy Transitions!

1. Hey! I am NUMBER ONE on a google search for "glycemic index" and "Honey Bunches of Oats." Note to person searching: if you're going to eat breakfast cereal that begins with the word "Honey," don't even bother with the glycemic index.

2. On our way back from AZ last week, I was asked if there were any matches or lighters in my checked luggage. I thought there might be a book of matches in my backpack, so I dug around and sure enough, there they were. The airline employee told me to take them out of my backpack, which, as I mentioned, was going to be checked, and carry them on with me. How does this make sense? Aren't they safer in my checked luggage than in my purse, where I and the guy next to me with a shoe bomb have free access to them?

3. G and I had our first movie night in over a year on Saturday and remembered 9/11 by seeing "Fahrenheit 9/11." It was pretty frightening and strengthened my resolve to make sure Bush isn't re-elected.

4. In that movie, there are some very gruesome scenes involving charred bodies. G and I went out to dinner afterward and G made the mistake of ordering the 1/2 rotisserie chicken. Looked a little too much like the scenes in the movie and he was really wishing he'd ordered the pizza.

5. I've been kind of obsessed with misplaced quotation marks lately. I have a client who does the sort of two-finger twitch in the air to denote quotes around what she says, but she does it incorrectly. For example, she'll say "my 'husband'" with quotes around husband, and I'll say, "You mean you're not really married?" and she'll look confused and say, "No, we are."

My MIL does this a lot. She'll put A's name in quotes, or "Happy Birthday" in quotes, and everytime I see it, I hear her voice saying, " 'Aidan'...if that is in fact your name..."

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

You've Been Talking In Your Sleep

A. appears to be taking after his dad in nocturnal utterings. He will wail or complain unintelligibly about something from his crib, and by the time I get there, he's zonked out again. Now I've gotten smarter and wait a few moments before getting up.

G. does this too, but he usually speaks clearly, more or less. He tends to do it when he's overstressed or really tired. He often falls asleep faster than I do, and of course it usually happens just as I'm falling asleep. He rarely remembers it. Let's revisit some of my favorites from the past:

1. We were dating, and I was pushing him for a commitment or exclusivity or something. This was after 8 months of dating so it's not like I was being unreasonable. But although he is now a reformed commitment-phobic male, at the time he was freaked out. One night, out of the blue, he leans up on one elbow and tells me forcefully, "THE RULES HAVE ALL CHANGED!!" Then he flopped over on his other side and went back to sleep. That was the first time.

2. A recurring theme is him waking me up to see if I'm OK. He'll grab me, shake my shoulders and say, "Are you OK??? Are you OK?? What's wrong? What's happening?" At first I thought I'd stopped breathing or something, and it completely freaked me out. When I'd say, "Yes, I'm fine," he'd flop over and go back to sleep. He never remembered it the next morning. Occasionally I'll answer with, "NO! STOP WAKING ME UP!" with little result. I call these the Midnight Welfare Checks.

3. Another repeating theme is his fear of me falling off the bed. This is not grounded in reality - to my knowledge, I've never fallen off any bed. But he'll grab me as I roll over and say, "Don't fall off the bed!"

We've had variations on this - one time he said, "I SAID, don't fall off the bed!"

Me: "I am not going to fall off the bed!"

He displayed his belief in my sleeping technique by getting up, walking around to my side of the bed, slipping his hands underneath me, and standing there.

Me: "What are you doing?"
G: "Making sure you don't fall off the bed."
He did, and again remembered nothing the next day.

Another variation, which has happened at least twice, involves me telling him once again in the middle of the night that I have no plan to fall off the bed, and him saying, "OK," and pretending to let it go, but when I roll over and have my back to him, he'll quietly put his hand on the back of my T-shirt and grab a handful of shirt to hang on to. Very sneaky, his ways of keeping me on the bed. Because you know I like to live on the edge. Such a risk-taker, I am.

When he does it a couple nights in a row, I'll say to him before we go to sleep, "I am NOT going to fall off the bed, just so you know." It seems to work - he's never done it on a night that I've reassured him.

4. One of the 384 reasons we don't co-sleep: A. was just a few weeks old and he was usually sleeping in a bassinet next to our bed, but occasionally, if he was having trouble sleeping or I was really exhausted, I'd nurse him in bed and he'd sleep between us. One night, G. jumps up and starts tearing through the bed sheets.

"Where is he?? Where is he?!"

"OH MY GOD," I thought, "he put A. in the bed and I didn't know and now he's lost in the sheets and he's probably suffocated!" So I jumped up and started digging too. As I did, I woke up a bit more and said, "He's not in the bassinet??"

G: (looking over at the bassinet) "Oh. Yeah."

Yep, flopped back over and fell fast asleep. As you might imagine, I did not. It probably took at least until A's next feeding for my heart to quiet down.

5. We then purchased a snuggle nest just so there was no danger of losing A. in the bedsheets. It turned out that in his snuggle nest, he was a bit of a bed hog in our queen bed, and for once there was the real possibility of me falling out, but we were trying to be good attachment-parenting people.

So A's a few weeks old, I'd finally succeeded in nursing him to sleep, and was just falling to sleep on my own, when G. sat up, picked him up (waking him, of course) and cried, "Help! I need help!" (no kidding)

Me (jumping up): "WHAT? WHAT HAPPENED?" You might notice that I often speak in capital letters when awoken in the middle of the night.

G: "I couldn't tell if he was breathing!" By this time A. was wailing, eliminating any concern about his lung function. I also knew by this time that G. was sleep-talking because his voice was clear as a bell - when he's really just waking up, he sounds a little groggy. But when he's sleep-talking, he looks and sounds wide awake.

Me: "Oh my GAWD! You don't wake him up!!" Got up and went to the bathroom as an alternative to strangling him.

Me (coming back): "If you want to check his breathing, you watch his chest or you see if air is coming out of his nose. IF HE'S BREATHING, YOU LET HIM STAY ASLEEP."

G. apparently woke up while I was in the bathroom. The next morning he said he couldn't figure out why I'd come back from the bathroom yelling at him.

We had no problems with A. having apnea or anything, but every parent checks to make sure their infant is breathing. I understand that. But especially if you're freakin' asleep, you don't wake the baby up. So we stopped co-sleeping soon after that. Even our crunchy doula said that was probably a good idea.

6. G. jumped spread-eagled on top of me in bed, and cried, "Everyone stay still!" I turned my head to ask what's going on and he repeated, "I SAID, EVERYONE STAY STILL!" So I threw him off me and told him to go back to sleep.

7. A regional example in Florence, Italy: "Watch the saint's board! The saint's board!" (urgently pointing at the corner of the room) "See! The saint's board!"

Me: "What do you want me to do??"

G: "It's gonna...we have to...we have to stop it."

Me: "What do you want me to do??"

G: flops over and goes back to sleep. He actually remembered this as part of a dream where there was some sort of electric board lined with saints (not unlike the colonnade at St. Peter's in Rome) and it was lighting up the saints one by one and apparently if it got to this one part of the board, something terrible would happen. I appreciated that he could give me some sort of context for the saint's board because usually I'm on my own trying to figure out what the hell he's talking about.

8. Recently, he sat up on the edge of the bed, and just sat there. He never does this consciously, so I knew it was a sleeping thing. I asked, "What are you doing?"

He replied, "I'm waiting for the Superheroes to arrive."

Me: "OK, you let me know when they get here."

G: "OK." Flops back into bed and sleeps. I can't fall back asleep because I'm giggling and really wishing I had a tape recorder.

9. Last, most recent one: "We are all gentlemen because....because...."

Me (intrigued): "Why?"

G: grunts, falls back to sleep.

G's gonna love this entry. I don't mean to cap on him, but except when it happens several nights in a row or nearly causes a heart attack, I find it pretty amusing.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Two Years Ago....

I was laying/sitting in a hospital bed, trying to figure out how to get my wailing baby out of the portacrib next to me. For me, the worst thing about having a C-section was how hard it was to move in bed. And I was in a "baby-friendly" hospital, which means no nursery, which means rooming in, which is fine and dandy except that they had no private rooms and since I shared the room, they wouldn't let G. stay with me. Which means I was by myself, which means no sleep for the mama. I remember my neck getting stiff because I propped myself up on the bed rail and had my hand hanging over into the bassinet trying to pat him, and I dozed on and off for a couple of hours in that position. My roommate's baby had jaundice, so she was in the NICU under the bilirubin lights. The nurses would come wake Roomie up around midnight to nurse, and she'd say, "Oh, I think I'll skip this one - just come get me in the morning." I hoped A. kept her awake.

But enough about me. As of yesterday, A. has been on this earth two whole years. And someone gave him the memo about his new two-year-old duties, because he has been whining non-stop since yesterday. I'm hoping getting back home and into our routines will help. He loved the cake and the presents last night - so much so that this morning he wanted "cake and stwabewies!" for breakfast and when he was done, told us it was time for presents. He ran out to look at the table where I'd gotten his wrapped gifts last night to see if there were more. It's hard to understand birthdays when you're just two.

And being a mother has completely changed my life. All of a sudden there was this little human for whom I would easily kill. I remember being shocked when I realized my pacifist heart was fully capable of murder if anyone threatened him. It's like walking over this threshold that you can never step back over. Once you've had a child, you have always been that child's mother, no matter what happens. It's a wild thing that happens to your heart that no one can explain until you cross the threshold for yourself. It's great, terrific, sweet, hard, exhausting and frustrating. Fortunately for him, he's really, really cute.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Bring Back Raw Umber!

Found on ljcfyi:

Spiderman reviews crayons.

Excerpt: "Blue Violet" gonna set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire.

Make sure you let all the photos load. I don't know how they got Spidey to shrug his shoulders. (edited to add: Oh, I get it - it's one of them new-fangled Spideys with like 99 points of articulation).

Monsoon? Monsoons? Monsoonis?

Oops, my bad. According to Judy, the term monsoon refers to a season in itself and shouldn't be used with the word "season." Okey dokey. It's still weird to be so hot and suddenly have rain pouring down (so much for AZ's "dry heat"). And stuff does flood here, because even though 1/3 of the total rain for AZ comes from monsoons(?), it's still only a couple of inches so they don't bother with big drain systems. It's not exactly Frances.

I am officially a weather wimp. I've never seen a tornado, never been in a hurricane or even a severe thunderstorm. 5" of rain seems like an awful lot to me.

Not much new in the world of Goodyear, AZ. Loved Venus' (or was it Serena's?) black tennis boots. The U.S. Open is on all day here, although A. steals the remote and offers it to us, hopefully asking, "Thomas? Teletubbies? Farm Animals? Girls Gone Wild?"

Having G. here with me helps a lot because he entertains A. and cooks eggs in the morning, too. It's also a little annoying because he second-guesses everything I say. He doesn't believe me when I tell him a monsoon can be a dust storm, and runs out to the car as I'm pulling out of the garage to ask, "Pork with sweet potatoes and apples? Isn't that too much sugar?" Oh yeah, I forgot that we're here to cook heart- and blood-sugar-friendly food. Guess that means the sugar syrup with butter for dessert is out. No, because the fiber in the potatoes and apples makes the glycemic index lower than other vegetables. And, I'm going to give him mostly pork anyway. Leave me alone.

But mostly, it helps and I'm glad he's here.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Monsoon Weekend

Did I mention that it's monsoon season in AZ? Yep. They're like little dusty tornadoes. This is why I like to come to AZ in normal times, like March and November.

The swimming pool and my stepmother's Cadillac, which we're driving while we're here, are nice. My dad is OK, but I've seen him better. We watched the U.S. Open ALL DAY LONG. Eventually he said, "Hey, if there's anything you guys want to see..." I bet you think that ended with a "...just let me know." No, it ended with a "...there's a TV in the back bedroom." In other words, don't mess with my TV, I just had open-heart surgery. Stepmother says I'm supposed to get him to do his lung machine and walk 4 times a day. I don't know if she's ever noticed that he never, ever listens to me. And not just because he's deaf as a doornail. He's a bit stubborn and a bit authoritarian, so unless you're dishing him up some ice cream, don't even bother talking.

Confidential to Erin: We could sure use some cookies - will you come and make us some?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Off to the Desert

So the three travelers are off to Phoenix in the morning. Fortunately, the weather report says it'll be cooling down this weekend: all the way down to 103. YEEHAW, as A. likes to say. I maintain my position that humans are not meant to live in that kind of heat. My dad has a small swimming pool in his backyard, so that'll be a relief. And air conditioning and DSL. So I'll be checking in with all the excitement from staying inside all day and watching satellite TV.

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