Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Home Sweet Home

Ahhh. I've never been so glad to arrive home as I was last night. Getting through the airport is a pain in the ass. And when I'm tired, G's tired and A hasn't had a nap, it can be hell. I found myself thinking, "Everyone just needs to get the hell out of my way," - rather uncharitable for the holiday season and not the best attitude with which to approach air travel.

Highlights: Seeing Big Sister and Big Niece (neither are particularly big, but they're the oldest sister and the oldest niece, so I call them Big); The Grotto's Festival of Lights; watching A play with and manipulate his older cousins; and the salami sandwiches I had in lieu of turkey. Oh, and when we came home....the fish I'd forgotten to feed was still alive and there were no swarms of ants to greet us!*

Random Traveling with a Toddler Trip: If you're bringing one of those cups with the built-in fold-down straw, open the straw before takeoff and landing. If you wait until you're in the air to open it, it will squirt its contents all over you and everyone else in your row. If you don't know one of those people, you could spend the entire flight apologizing.

*The ants were back this morning. See? They're just messing with me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Bah Humbug

I'll be honest - Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday. In fact, the only people who I've heard say it's their favorite holiday have been men. Even in egalitarian households, it seems the women end up doing most of the work. To me, Thanksgiving doesn't mean a time to reflect and be grateful for my blessings. It means turkey that's gone cold, jello molds and lots and lots of dishes that won't be done until 11pm. Because I never host it (once I did but that's a whole 'nother post) I always end up doing the dishes. So if I ever host it again, to h*ll with environmental consciousness and tradition - it's paper plates all the way. (And someone else has to cook the turkey - but again, that's another post).

We're leaving tomorrow at 5am for a 7am flight. Yep, 5 AM. Aidan will be so excited to arrive at Grandma and Grandpa's house that I'll bet $1000 he doesn't take a nap.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Update from the Battlefield

The latest on the ants at our house: they're IN THE MAILBOX. WTH? Swarming inside, not around, the mailbox. Which happens to be just a rectangular tin thing on the side of our garage. Not very exciting. And we haven't received any tasty goodies recently, either, so that's not the attraction. They're just messing with me, I know it. I hate them.

G. gave up his pacifist nature and sprayed the h*ll out of the ones under the sink this morning (mmmm....lavender-scented Raid - as Raid goes, though, it's not bad). Their numbers in the house have diminished, but they seem to have quite a few kamikaze ant squads among their ranks, because the dishwasher is still under siege. ::::heading to the kitchen to turn it on Super Ant Killer Cycle:::::

Also, a special "Howdy-do!" to readers who arrive here searching for the Japanese band Luna Sea. There are at least a couple of you a day. I believe you want to go here. They should totally put a link to me on their website, since I'm sure they get bunches of people looking for me.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Brain Dump

1. The woman in front of me at Borders today was buying The Zombie Survival Guide. She wanted it wrapped, so the clerk sent her to pick out the paper while she rang me up. The lady came back, shook her head and said, "Never mind. My boyfriend wants to read it before it's wrapped." Is there a Zombie Threat Alert I don't know about?

2. I've been busy trying to get G's website up. I put it all together in Microsoft Publisher, signed up with a hosting service, got the domain registered, and seem to have crashed right into the limits of my ability. The images don't load at all, and only the first page loads (it's got 4 different pages). The links on the home page don't work, I'm guessing because the other 3 pages have been stolen by the web gnomes. I'm completely lost. I had to go buy "Absolute Beginner's Guide to Building Web Pages," (that's why I was at Border's) and will have to read up tonight. G is breathing down my neck to get it up and working. Hey, for a free webmistress, buddy, you get what you pay for.

3. Rooollll on you Beaaarrrrrrs!! Go Cal!

4. We're watching Wiggles "Yummy Yummy" video right now. Got it for $3 by buying some yogurt. There's this mega-mix in the middle with floppy Wiggles puppets and a psychedelic rotating background. The Wiggly puppets dance closer and closer to the camera and then back away. It's hilarious. I love it. If I can't drink right now, I can at least watch this.

5. I'm sorry I don't have much more that's funny or interesting. I tried to cut A's hair tonight for the first time. The only way he'd sit still for it was in his high chair with Cheerios and a Thomas video. High chairs, by virtue of their high backs, don't give you a good angle from which to cut the back. I'm a little afraid of what it's going to look like tomorrow. But I did it tonight so I could take him to a professional tomorrow if it's just beyond help.

6. Going to Portland for Thanksgiving. We have to leave at 5am for a 7am flight on Thursday morning. And we're responsible for appetizers and a sweet potato/apple casserole for dinner that night. Which means security is going to have fun checking our luggage and finding cheese blocks, salami, and sweet potatoes.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Confessions of a Sesame Street Junkie

I turned on "Sesame Street" this morning for A. so I could go get dressed with limited interruption. Here's the embarrassing thing: I can't tear myself away from it to go put my clothes on.

See, Elmo is looking for new members of his band to replace Grover and a few other slacker monsters who had to be fired for problematic drug abuse. He's now recruited Miles, and now he's working on Gordon and Gordon's Dad. Gordon has a flashback to the 60's where he, Bob and Luis are in a band and wear tie-dye T-shirts and man, Luis is telling the guys about this hot chick, man, her name is Maria and she can fix anything, man. And Bob is playing the drums and looks like a beatnik corpse, or maybe Gilligan. Seriously, get some makeup on that guy. Gordon has an afro, of course.

And now Gordon's Dad is having an "American Dreams" flashback where he's (it's actually Miles) dressed like the early Smokey Robinson singing "Do the Macaroni." All generations are surprised to find that the generation before them was cool at one time.

And soon Gordon, Miles, Gordon's Dad, and Elmo are going to sing "Wubba Wubba Wubba" together and I CAN'T MISS IT.

Oh, here we go - they've sung their song at Hooper's, and now we're onto a video about the letter K. I can skip this. Phew - looks like I won't be in PJs all day.

Magically Delicious

I've been on a Lucky Charms kick lately, them being so good for me and all. But on the front of my box, it says in huge letters: NEW! GREEN CLOVERS! I'd take a photo but the box is already in the recycling bin - I'm eating them that fast*.

My question is: since when are green clovers new? I know I remember the leprechaun saying, "pink hearts! yellow stars! green clovers!" I'm pretty out of the loop when it comes to sugary kids' cereals, but did they get rid of them for a while? What a mistake.

*By the way, the correct way to eat Lucky Charms is to eat out all the oat things first, then have spoonfuls of marshmallows left. It takes some concentration, especially because sometimes those sneaky marshmallows stick to the bottom of the spoon, but if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.

Monday, November 15, 2004

The OTHER Invasion of 2004

So I got home tonight and opened the dishwasher. It took my addled yet still razor-sharp brain a moment to process what I saw. It looked like a large shaker of chocolate sprinkles (we used to call them "jimmies") had exploded inside my dishwasher. But wait a second, these sprinkles were moving!

Yep, we had ants. Coating the inside of the *&^%$' dishwasher.

So I did the best thing I could think of - I slammed it shut and turned it on. I let it run about 10 minutes while I wiped more ants from under the #%^&* sink. I opened it again, added soap (might as well get them clean while we're at it) and started it up again.

I have done my time with ants. I have done my time with ants. In college, I lived in an old apartment building full of charm and ants. Every single @#$%^ winter morning, my roommate or I would wipe at least a million of the suckers from our kitchen. We never had food in the apartment (this was college, remember), yet they still came back. We were on the 3rd floor, and they never bothered the first or second floor. We killed all their comrades, and they returned fire. (Reminds of that Paula Poundstone joke, "Hey, there's no food here and we're all getting killed. Maybe we should try next door." R.I.P. Paula's Career.) We complained, we threatened to get an exterminator and send the bill to the manager, we set traps, we did everything we could think of. You know what the manager did when we threatened to hire the exterminator? He was going out of town that weekend and asked the college boys who lived in the apartment next to us to check on the ants. Because the ants were going to be so much more afraid of the drunks next door than of us. Grrrr. We declined their alcohol-laden offer. Although in hindsight, their breath might have worked as a fogger of sorts.

Then the weather would get better and the ants would finally leave us.

I have done my time with ants. You all need to leave. This is a dictatorship run by me (and G) and your kind are not welcome here. For all my environmental concern, I'm not afraid to bring out the weapons of mass destruction (Raid) when it comes to your kind. However, G is a liberal through and through, and I know he'd see it as hostile imperialism, and would try to find kindler, gentler ways of persuading the ants to leave. Because I am a benevolent dictator, I will listen to any suggestions available before bombing the h*ll out of them.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Missing: My Body

I seem to have lost my body to My Little Parasites (and I mean that in the most affectionate way possible). I'm just a co-tenant in this baby-making-and-soothing icubator and my lease isn't coming up anytime soon. I still nurse A a few times a week. My arms are for lifting and cuddling him, my legs are for carrying him, my hands are for helping him up and down stairs and cleaning poops and messy jelly faces. My belly belongs to his brother right now. I told G recently that he could have my body back in a couple of years, but right now it's taken, and I have to get it back before I can give it again freely. I'm amazed by the way it knows how to grow and feed a little human, but I miss feeling like it's mine, too.

At 5 months pregnant, I'm looking more pregnant and less like I had too many Krispy Kremes. I love looking pregnant - this huge change is happening in my life and I can easily share it with the world (a total blogger mindset). As I got bigger and bigger with A, two years ago, people seemed to get nicer and nicer, too. People smiled more, were more likely to hold doors for me, let me go first in the grocery line, etc. I remember one exchange where the grocery clerk insisted that Bag Boy Timmy assist me with my groceries even though I'd declined the offer. "We don't want you go to into labor!" Well, as a matter of fact, I was 2 weeks overdue and we DID want me to go into labor. If hoisting a couple of 12-packs (soda, although beer was looking pretty good to me at that point) into the trunk would do it, fine by me. Timmy, get back to bagging - I'm handling it.

But I digress. While I like looking pregnant, I'm not so crazy about feeling pregnant. Feeling the baby kick is cool if you can get past imagining that scene in Alien where the monster bursts out of the tummy. But, as I was preparing for A, when I read about "what to expect," I read about the symptoms, i.e. indigestion, constipation, etc., but what they should have said was, "You're growing something the size of a watermelon in your belly. What do you THINK is going to happen to all your internal organs?" It's more descriptive to explain that they all get smushed. To the top, to the bottom, to the sides, especially if you're only 5 feet tall. And, because my pelvic joints are getting a tiny bit old they don't like being pulled and stretched. They rebel and refuse to work anymore. So when I have to get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom, as I am apt to do even when I don't have a watermelon sitting on my bladder, I can't walk for a couple of seconds until my hips unfreeze and decide to move. Even then, I have to use my dresser and the walls to support me - I move absolutely like a 90-year-old lady too stubborn to call the nurse. My inner thighs, quads, hamstrings and glutes feel like I run an uphill marathon daily. It makes rolling over in bed quite difficult - and I'm not even at the stage where I need a crane to lift the belly.

I can see why women are made to have babies in their 20's. Now, I know quite a few younger women who have had more difficult pregnancies than I. I'm not gestationally diabetic, my blood pressure is fine, placenta and cervix seem to be working OK. I'm beyond grateful that my body gets pregnant easily and seems to grow babies without serious complications. Really. Still, I think my body would have handled this better 10 years ago.

Which reminds me, how 'bout that 59-year-old woman unexpectedly pregnant with twins after having her tubes tied? I saw the story on the TV monitor in my OB-GYNs office, and you should have seen the horrified faces of the women in the waiting room. I think the guys were kind of scared too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Links, Oh We've Got Liiiinks...

Well, one link. Thanks to Trisha for this link: Eric Conveys an Emotion. Check out his rendition of "Being Born." Damn, I wish I'd thought of that.

Almost Forgot

My thoughts this morning as I pulled out of the driveway:

1. Gotta avoid that huge dumpster of our neighbors. When are they gonna get rid of it?

2. Bert's singing "Do The Pigeon" on the car CD player.

3. I've never liked this song. I'll skip ahead to "C is for Cookie."

4. I'm on my way to work, so A's not in the car with me, and yet, I'm hearing Bert singing "Do the Pigeon."

5. If A's not in the car with me and I'm hearing Bert sing "Do the Pigeon," I'm driving the wrong car to work.

6. Oops.

Fortunately, because my mind is like a steel trap, I realized this in time to pull back in the driveway, transfer all my crap over to the other car and start over again.

Warning: Cute Kid Post

One of the reasons I write about cute things A does or says is that I have yet to open his baby book, let alone take a pen to one of the pages. I've done maybe 4 pages in his first year scrapbook. So, either I blog about him or his entire childhood is lost forever.

Any time = "Ten Fordy." He says this with such conviction whenever anyone asks about time that it's hard to believe the clock and not him. G was thrown off once when A said "ten fordy!" and it actually was about 10:40am - he thought we had a time-telling prodigy.

Any money = "Five Dollah." He associates loose change with the kid-next-door's Kool-Aid stand this summer, which apparently grossed about five dollars in loose change.

If he farts and I try to model good manners by saying, "Excuse me," he answers, "Bless you!"

Location of anything: "Right dere!" or "Over dere!" said with a vague hand-wave regardless of the actual location of said item. I don't believe him anymore, which means it take longer to find the object because sometimes he's actually right.

Sippy cup placed in a plastic measuring cup with a handle = "Coffee!"

Colander and cheese grater taken out of the cupboard and put on the table at any time of the day = "Di-yer-time!" (dinnertime) Sometimes he'll add cans of tuna or soup for a bit of variety. But if you ask him what's for dinner, he'll invariably respond, "Juice. Milk. Water. Tatoes." Which is weird because he never eats potatoes.

What we do after bathtime = "Towel 'round joo!" It's a quick ritual involving wrapping the towel around him and letting him parade naked like a veil-wearing naked bride through the house.

What he thinks will get us to turn on the TV since the election: "News! Time for news!" He doesn't actually watch the news, but I guess it's better than nothing. And there's always the hope that the news will be followed by "Clifford Big Dog."

Throwing clothes on the floor and falling face-first into the pile = "Laundrytime!". The clothes can be dirty or clean. This is not how we have traditionally done the laundry in our house, so I'm not sure where he got this.

What you say whenever Mama's doing something crafty with scissors: "Nice!" I think he gets this from us telling him his drawings are so nice.

We've gotten to the stage where anything he asks for is asked in a yell, as if he's prepping himself for a fight. "Cheeeeeeese!!!!! Cheeeeeese!" he'll suddenly yell out of nowhere, getting the tears ready. It reminds my of my nephew, who used to ask for a cookie by saying, "Why CAN'T I have a cookie?" Might as well cut to the chase, I guess.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Near-to-Last Political Post

OK, you conservative readers are going to hate this, but I've gotta link it anyway: IQ and Your Vote. Hmmmm. Got it off my sister's blog.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Adios, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehn

No, I'm not leaving. And if you never watched "The Lawrence Welk Show" growing up, skip this post because it will be meaningless to you. Being born in the mid-60's to older parents, I had the pleasure of watching Lawrence Welk every Saturday night. ABC news had a feature on LW tonight, which got me reminiscing. There are woefully few photos on the internet of the LW show - I was looking for one of all the singers marching in red, white and blue suits and dresses. Where did they get all those suits and dresses?

Anyway, my strongest memories are of my then-teenage sister dissing several of the performers. She complained that Arthur Duncan, the token black tap-dancer, always did the same dance each week, every single time including the buck-and-wing. She was right. (edited to add: She tries to fool you by showing some sympathy to Mr. Duncan on her blog - believe me, it's belated). Also, Mr. Heartthrob, Tom Netherton, was called "Weepy Eyes" in our house because he got so emotional while he sang.

For my part, I couldn't stand Joe Feeney, the Irish Tenor. I dramatically left the room when he came on because I said his voice hurt my ears (sorry, Mr. Feeney - I was 7). I still don't enjoy tenors much. I also wasn't crazy about their "Champagne Lady," Norma Zimmer - what the heck is a "Champagne Lady?" I also remember the poor substitute for the Lennon sisters (who were off to find their fortunes by that time) - the Polish sisters. Ugh. They were 5 sisters singing "Beer Barrel Polka" each week. Michelle was the youngest, probably about 7 years old, and the camera always focused on her because she was so cute. She did her best to bat her eyes at the camera. I hated her.

Oh, and how 'bout Guy and Ralna? They apparently couldn't sing unless their arms were wrapped tightly around each other like conjoined twins. I heard they got divorced. And Anacane, who apparently didn't mind being referred to as "Our Little Mexican Girl" by Mr. Welk.

If you happen to catch it on cable, it's a good, albeit sometimes disturbing, watch - completely unintentionally camp and retro. You won't believe people at one time watched it seriously.

In Other News:

Did you know that the guy who sings the Louis-Armstrong-sound-alike Hoots the Owl on Sesame Street's "Put Down the Duckie" is the same guy who does the voice for Elmo??? That's what I call versatility. Seriously, that just blows me away.

Alanis Morissette is guesting on NBC's American Dream. At least they have her singing in a beatnik club instead of American Bandstand.

Anyone else addicted to "Desperate Housewives?" I find the one-note characters a little irritating at times, but I'm still intrigued. Any guesses on what the big secret is? And is the cute guy good or evil? I still think he's good, despite last week's meeting with Mr. Mafioso.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

So Here's What I Don't Get....

(yeah, I know, yet another liberal rant - well, my guy lost, so cut me some slack)

So some religions don't think it's moral for two men or two women to love each other romantically. OK, fine, they can believe what they believe. But what on earth makes citizens who practice those religions think it's OK to make a constitutional amendment or law about it?? Sounds like a religious issue to me. Sounds like something that should be LEFT OUT of the legislature.

I'm with Drama Queen - if they're going to outlaw gay marriage because of what they think God wants, then cheeseburgers should be banned too. Meat and dairy, together?? Not in my country! I also believe we need to stop eating animals with cloven hooves, right? Not that I know which ones those are.

I will allow that conservatives have good points on some issues. This country would be a mess, frankly, if we were all Democrats. We need some balance (hello, W?). However, I have yet to hear a compelling argument against gay marriage. And I've been looking. It's a step away from bestiality? Listen, I don't know where you live, but if you can't tell the difference between a human and an animal, perhaps you shouldn't be getting married at all. It threatens traditional marriage? So is the idea that straight people will be getting divorced left and right to marry their same-sex friends? It's not contagious, guys. Seriously, what's the rationale? Why NOT give gay partners the same rights as straight partners? And civil unions fall far short of doing that, by the way.

Saw in Texas that they are amending textbooks to define marriage as the "life-long union between a man and a woman." I guess next on the agenda is an amendment banning divorce? Oh, they don't BELIEVE in divorce? OK, I don't BELIEVE in fundamentalists. *Poof* - they're gone.

Do they really mean to tell us that my friends, who've been together for years, are eagerly expecting their first child next year, and have a very healthy relationship, are more of a threat to straight unions than Britney Spears, Nicky Hilton, or Jennifer Lopez? How does that make sense? I'm genuinely confused.

It's a big issue in the Bay Area right now because some Democrats are blaming Gavin Newsom for Kerry's loss. Seems a bit like displacing the blame to me.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


So what's the only thing that could cheer me up after my presidential candidate loses and 11 states vote to ban gay marriage (because it's SUCH a freakin' threat)? A gift from a reader! Yep, I got Sarah McLachlan's CD off my wish list! Shout out to Chris, whoever you are, Trisha, YOU ROCK.

And, as if that's not enough, I got a package from my sister who just sent me two pairs of maternity corduroy pants, out of the blue, just because. How bathed in generosity am I?

A full year of DSL with no problems, and now we lose it twice in two weeks. Now they're saying it has something to do with our recent request of a change in our billing cycle. I guess if you change anything regarding your billing, that's BILLING, not service, they turn it off for two four days to punish you.

Anyway, I'm stuck on AOL 4.0 (Yep, that's 4.0, a full 5.0 points behind the current version) on a malfunctioning, psychotic Windows 98 laptop and dial-up service. I'm such a tech snob - I can't believe I used to function this way all the time. But then again, I used a typewriter to write all my papers in undergraduate years, too. Kids today have no idea.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Happy November 2nd!

On Election Day 1996, eight years ago, I realized G was flirting with me as we watched election results on my tiny TV in my tiny cottage and shared a bottle of wine. The rest is history. Election Day 2004: I'm drinking Caff-free Diet Coke, G is at work late and the end result of all that flirting is eating macaroni and cheese.

I feel slightly cheated - at my polling place, there were none of the lines that are so popular elsewhere. This is the most exciting (and terrifying) election I've witnessed. What makes it so exciting for me is not the tightness of the presidential race, but the high turnout of voters. I think it's cool when we all get together to participate in the democratic process. I think it's cool when we all get together to do anything, actually.

My DSL is out again - of all the days to go out. But SBC/Yahoo assures me that this time it's them, not me. Yeah, I've heard that line before. Heck, I've USED that line before.

If Bush wins, all I can say is, I hope you Republicans are right. At least a little bit.

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