Saturday, May 31, 2008

As Nature Abhors a Vaccuum, so doth the Universe Abhor my Dignity

You may now find me hiding under my bed while I wait answer from the Witness Protection Program to see if they'll give me a new identity even though I haven't witnessed anything because this one? Is dangerous to my sanity.

Let's begin with this morning.

After much drama, we finally had Verizon install the FIOS today (the install still isn't complete because the order is screwed up AGAIN and can't be fixed til Monday but I now have TV and 'net. OMG. I already love FIOS).

My husband has been without tv and internet for a week and a half and its gotten on my last working nerve. the technician was scheduled to arrive at 8:00 because a certain husband thought that would be best. Never mind the fact that all of us were up frequently in the night and Short stuff normally gets up and eats breakfast at 8:00.

The house? Wrecked. WRECKED to the 15th power of OH SH*T. I get up and start zooming around performing the Dance of the Unfortunate Wife, speed-cleaning lest I suffer great embarrassment. I had been cleaning last night but didn't finish and our bedroom and my husband's office were the worst of the freaking lot, not helped by our being out of town and his frequent trips to work on his house. Stuff was flung everywhere like it was poo and this was the Monkey House at the National Zoo.

And so despite my pleading, husband forgets to do any kind of sweep. And then the guy arrives, woefully promptly, and I have not had a chance to fully restore the bedroom to presentable order when the tech arrives and i have to show him where the tvs are. I apologized pathetically for the mess.

But. It gets worse.

I fail to notice until AFTERWARD that there is two crumpled wrappers on the bureau in front of the TV. Two crumpled personal-type wrappers. REALLY personal. As in... prevention-of-siblings-for-Short Stuff kind of personal. My brain promptly short-circuited from mortification.


(worse, those were not um... recent. Are you kidding? We're parents of a toddler. Given the choice between intimacy and sleep? Puhleeeeeese.)

I confront my husband furiously and he giggles like an idiot and says "Oh yeah, i found those behind my nightstand.''

Ever hear of a TRASHCAN, butthead???

After husband and child head off to Grandma's house for the weekend and internet and TV is restored, I head out to do my errands. Some of these errands took me back to the Land of the Big Red Dot.

Idiot pre-adolescent girls were apparently playing VOLLEYBALL in the aisle. And they MISSED. Well, sort of. They nailed me smack in the back of the skull. My inner curmudgeon erupted.

Let me just say that it doth not take a village to scare the living lights out of 3 foolish girls. It only takes One Angry Gerbil, who can do a fairly accurate imitation of Krakatoa when a volleyball is unexpectedly applied to her coconut.

But wait.

So now I'm heading home in a torrential rainstorm. Visibility has been reduced to "Are you joking??" and I'm heading carefully at reduced speeds. However, I have my window cracked because my stomach is feeling slightly touchy and something about having the window open keeps it from getting worse.

Except that an extremely large SUV came barrelling past on the left, and hit some standing water, sending up an impressive rooster tail of storm water.

Which flooded into my open window and hit me full in the head and neck and drenched me but good.

I give up. I think I'm going back to bed now, before I'm attacked by a mob of squirrels on a sugar rush, or something.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Riddle me this.

Why is it... I go away for a long weekend to my mom's farm where there is no internet (not even cell reception) and no tv and that is relaxing.

I come home and there is no internet and no tv...

and that is a crisis.

Irony, party of two? Your table is ready.

No service until Saturday. My husband is losing his mind.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


We moved into our current house last May, and while we are friendly with the neighbors on either side, we don't know anyone else. That's not so uncommon for this area, and honestly, we are usually quite busy. We're also one of only two houses on this particular stretch of road.

But someone apparently has been paying some attention to who WE are.

I arrived home with Short Stuff, and crammed under my front door is a religious tract. (Let me be clear - I am not against mission work, so long as one respects my polite response that I am happy with my faith and leaves it at that. In my view, the world is large enough for all. )

But this particular tract, and the accompanying note, is written entirely in Korean. (but no signature, mind you)

And as my husband is Korean, this is very clearly targeted specifically to our family. And its clearly not from anyone who knows us, because my husband knows very little Korean and he definitely doesn't read it.

What in the heck...

I am a bit put off, to tell you the truth, because I'm not exactly certain how this group found out that my husband is Korean in the first place, especially considering his last name is anglicized. And its not a group that any of his family have ever belonged to.

Someone's been prying, it seems. Oh boy does THAT bother me.


We're having FIOS installed next week. (which with our 'computer' is kind of like getting a Ferrari so you can haul your trash to the dump. but anyway.)

As part of the package deal, we're getting the FIOS tv, too. The same analogy may apply, but I wasn't too heartbroken at giving up the Direct TV. Now in comparison to Comcast? Direct TV was my darling... I adored them. Except for one problem... losing the signal in bad weather.

Tonight, Direct TV called to query about our service cancellation. I explained the package deal with FIOS.

'we can offer you a better deal!'
'There's also the issue that we lose the signal every time it rains. Sort of an issue when there's a tornado warning you need.'
'we'll send someone to fix that!'
'You... what??'
'We'll send a technician to fix it! Immediately!'
'You can't.'
'Sure we can!'
'Okay, I don't want to argue with you but I don't think you're grasping the problem. How are you going to fix atmospheric conditions interfering with the satellite signal reception??? Does Mikos Cassadine* work for y'all over there??'
'Never mind.'
'We don't want to lose your business! We'll call you in a few days.'

Great. So now Direct TV is shaping up to be the boyfriend/girlfriend you can't break up with.

And in case you wondered? The bird is still at it and now my entire front door and two windows are covered in beak marks.

** Two points if you got the joke.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Now that's just Bull.

Short Stuff and I were on our own this weekend and he was in fine form. Despite cutting another troublesome molar, he was running in fifth gear from the moment his feet hit the floor in the morning until his head hit the mattress at night.

We went out on Saturday to run errands and while trying to cross from the curb at one of the dreaded warehouse stores, we were very nearly run over by some jerk who decided that speeding up so that I had to jump back was hysterical. Mind you, this wasn't a teenager, either, it was a guy well into his fifties, driving a very expensive Mercedes. And just as he shot past me with that smirk on his face?

He hit a pothole he wasn't looking at and he blew a tire.

And I? Turned and said loudly ''Your mother would have told you it served you right for being an ass!''

Good Lord, one of these days I might get my butt kicked but I laaaaaaaaughed all the way to the car.

The rest of the weekend was a jubilant blur of running toddler feet and the excitement of being! almost! two! and! everythings! fun!!

We watched a Baby Einstein dvd about farms and everytime the cow puppet or the illustration appeared, Shortness yelled ''Booooool!''

At first I thought he was saying moo. ''That's a cow'. I said, nodding, "And the cow says mooo.''

''No! Boool!''

Lather, rinse, repeat. And then it dawned on me. Puppet, illustration... NO UDDERS. Bull.

He's right, its not a cow, its a bull.

Dang. Forget being smarter than a fifth grader, I'm not even smarter than a guy not yet two!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tell me everything.

My daughter came down for a visit tonight. She's been having problems with vertigo, so my husband picked her up on his way home and I told her I'd drive her home.

It was getting kind of late, so we stopped off at a convenience store for a cup of coffee. I was stirring my usual gazillion creamers into my cup of caffeinated goodness when a woman not much older than me approached the coffee bar and struck up a cheerful conversation.

''I thought I was the only person who drank coffee this late!.' she chirped.

''Nope,'' says I. ''Love the stuff.''

''Oh me too, me too. Had to give it up though, doctor told me I had to. I got right sick on Mother's Day. ''

''Really? I'm sorry to hear it.''

''I don't think it was the coffee that did it, though. My intestines, they twisted all up! Couldn't pass a damn thing!''

Now, all my life I've noticed that people feel compelled to tell me the most unexpected and often outrageous things. An older friend once remarked that I've ''heard confessions that would make a crack whore blush for shame.''

Not knowing any crack whores, personally, I've never been able to prove her theory. But anyway, my daughter made a funny noise but the woman went on, still as chipper as she could be.

''Yeah, they tell me I could have died!! It's a bad thing, I tell ya. A woman I worked with had it too and they had to cut her leg off! She couldn't pass a thing neither and she got gangrene! I'm tellin' ya, if you can't go, better go to the doctor and make sure your intestines are ok. I coulda got gangrene!!''

People, it is damn hard to make a graceful exit from a random conversation about gangrenous intestinal torsions. I could think of only one thing to say.

''Good talking to you. I do hope everything comes out okay in the end.''

But I didn't say it. You could say... I didn't have the guts. But I wisished her well and she beamed and waved goodbye to us as we left.

I waited until we got in the car and then I told my daughter. She smacked me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I look forward to Wednesday's paper because of the Food section that runs weekly, with recipes, wine reviews and other fun stuff that makes a kitchen geek like me happy. The weekly sales flyers for local groceries are usually in Wednesday's paper as well. I just glanced at the Safeway flyer which boldly proclaims a GRAND RE-OPENING of one particular store nenearby.

Trouble is? That is - no joke - I think the seventh 'grand reopening' for this same store in the last 15 months. Why can't they just run a flyer that says Big Sale instead of touting a chronic case of GRAND REOPENING. Can't be too grand if it takes you seven tries to get it right. This irks me enough that I don't want to shop there.

This morning, my headache seemed more determined than ever and whenever I stood up, I felt sick and dizzy. It decided that it would be wiser to stay home and rest than to get behind the wheel of my car and risk a problem.

At roughly 9 am, someone knocked on the front door. I got out of bed and opened the door.... no one was there. And wouldn't you know it, no sooner had I gotten back into bed than the knocking repeated.

Again... no one at the door. I stepped onto the porch and looked around. There wasn't even anyone on the street.

About the fifth incident, I yanked that door open fast as heck and glimpsed a flurry of brown feathers streaking into the bush. Go figure.

All day long, a dang sparrow has done battle with the storm door and the side windows like he's got a starring role in Hitchcock's classic. Nothing I have tried has dissuaded this feathered Don Qixote and he's still at it even now. I hope he has a headache to rival mine, that's all I can say.

All I wanted was a long nap but I got a woodpecker-wannabe instead.

Mother Nature's on my short list today.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This blows

Last night, Short Stuff was happily playing in his bath when he looked up and noticed the showerhead. 'Dat?' he wanted to know, so I told him and gave a simple description of a shower.

He looked down and considered this. Then he pointed at the faucet and in an unsure voice said 'bath?'

'Yes', I told him. That's where the water comes out for your bath.'

He pointed up at the shower and said 'Daddy', then at the faucet and said 'me! me!'

'Yes, Daddy takes a shower and Jacob takes a bath.' Grand communication all around! He then proceeded to dump water over his head with his toy watering can, giggling 'Daddy!' as he pretended to shower like Daddy. All was sunshine and roses until he lifted his face and managed to pour water right up his nose.

I lifted him out of the tub and wrapped him in a towel as he flapped frantically at his face. I held up a tissue but he batted it away.
'Blow your nose,' I told him and snorted air to remind him what to do. He snatched the tissue away and held it to my nose instead. Getting nowhere fast, I turned to reach for the nasal aspirator tha was sitting on the counter, saying 'Jacob, you need to blow your nose!'

No sooner had those words left my mouth than Short Stuff leaned into my collarbone and blew his nose, exactly as I told him he should... long and hard, straight into my shirt.

Consider the role of Mom.

Cook, doctor, housekeeper, entertainer, peacemaker, librarian.


Monday, May 12, 2008

The Great Mother's Day Debacle

Debacle. (noun) The American Heritage dictionary defines it as both a total, often ludicrous defeat and also a violent flood. Both shall apply.

If you've seen the Weather Channel recently, you may know that the Washington DC region has been a bit soggy. Waterlogged, even. People, it has been damn wet. Now, I'm perfectly aware that as far as unfortunate weather goes, we're getting off a lot easier than an awful lot of people.

But its still not a treat to find out that your basement is going to try and moonlight as a fishpond, especially if a good portion of your treasured gazillion and one books happen to be down there. We noticed a puddle seeping across the floor last thursday, but it was easily contained and besides, we were sort of having a possible tornado about 2 miles down the road.

Yesterday, however, we got six inches of rain in a single day. Short Stuff was visiting my husband's parent while my poor husband was trying to finish up the work on his rental property, which decided he wasn't overworked enough and sprang a big leak in the skylight. I told him not to worry about doing a Mother's Day dinner with me, that leak had to be dealt with before it ruined the drywall. Besides, my parents, youngest sister and my older son were coming over so I'd have a good time anyway.

We had just finished up supper and my son went downstairs to check the basement. Unfortunately, it was leaking again, much worse than last week. I ran to get some towels and he got a pushbroom to sweep water into the sump pump. (because 30 years of settling house has resulted in the side of the basement with the pump being ever so slightly UPhill from the leaking side) I see that the window well is full of water, which points to a problem with the gutter.

I grab a hoodie and go outside to survey the problem. Apparently, last week's storm blew a bunch of stuff onto the roof and it has now clogged the gutter, which is sending cascades of water down into and around the window well and contributing significantly to Lake Basement. I can't do anything about the gutter at the moment but I grabbed Jacob's plastic wading pool and used it to cover the window well, hoping to divert the water. Feeling clever in the face of a problem, I turned to go back to the house.

You know how sometimes when you fall, it seems like slow motion? And you have time to consider how badly the impact is going to hurt? Well, that did not happen. The very next thing I was aware of was the back of my skull bouncing off of the ground. I guess both feet slid out from under me in a spectacular failure of bipedal action and I had to have gotten some impressive lift because it was my head that struck the ground first, followed by the rest of ragdoll me.

son of a... OUCH. I? left a dent in the water-soaked ground. Not a big one but still.. And then I had to roll onto my stomach and push myself up since I'd knocked myself damn silly. Utterly soaked and covered in mud, I made it back into the house and staggered into a wall as an encore. And it was raining hard anough that no one even heard me yell.

So now I have a whopping headache, a mild concussion, a bruised arm and a bruised butt. But my books are dry and by golly, tonight I'm going to bed with a glass of wine and look into what I might need to do to change my name to Grace and get it over with.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


For the last few weeks, I've struggled with something and argued with myself over whether it really deserved my attention, much less anyone else's. Is it an actually an issue for me, or am I just whining?

And each and every time, I told myself that I was whining and put the thought back on the figurative shelf... upon which it fell off and rolled in front of me again. So I'm thinking that I probably ought to take a good look at it and get to know it a little better.

We've all had friendships that went away. Sometimes there's a big, ugly incident that triggers a blowout and the bridge to that friendship is effectively dynamited right out of existence. And sometimes they just sort of wither slowly until you realize with surprise that you're looking at a friendship that's got about as much life to it as that Christmas Pointsettia that you put in the sunroom and forgot about and now its dried out and cracks into withered pieces when you touch it. Sometimes you just don't know what the hell happened.

I've apparently been "fired" from some long-term friendships over the last few years... one for noticing that the friendship had gotten painfully one-sided and having had the balls to say "wow, this really hurts". And with that, what I thought was a close friendship of more than 25 years was freaking gone. Oh. Way to define my value in THAT relationship. Yikes. Okay, squirt on some emotional bactine and carry on. Only a flesh wound.

A couple others where contact ceased abruptly. Emails no longer answered, phone calls go unanswered, messages unreturned. There's really not a lot to do beyond acceptance, and you know, I think at some point in our lives we all go through this experience. Growth happens. And sometimes parts of the old you don't fit anymore or are worn out. It happens.

But it got me thinking about the value of friendships to ME.

Although I am welcoming of new persons into my life, I appear to have this stumbling block about forming new bonds. I am perfectly content to refer to someone as my friend but reluctant to think that I, myself, might be friend-worthy. I was a painfully shy kid and teenager who wanted to make those around her comfortable and happy. Occasionally, this made me an easy mark for the self-styled Alphas and that sort of reinforced the shyness. I'm pretty certain that's where it started, and a failed and unfortunate first marriage didn't help matters all that much.

But at the same time, it also made me appreciate the few close friendships I formed and as the Divine Ms. M has been known to say, I love these people on bagels.

There are a few people with whom I have been friends with now for more than twenty-odd years and some less than that and some I've never seen in person.

They will tell me if I screw up or if I piss them off. They will give me honest opinions when I ask for them, even if I don't like the answer. They will tell me what I need to hear, not just what I WANT to hear.

These women will answer the phone at midnight and hold my hand through the direst of times. They were there when my daughter's illness emerged and she tried to take her life, my heart exploding into a million crystal pieces of pain. They gathered the pieces for me.

They were there when my son fell from grace and developed addictions to alcohol and marijuana, like others in his family tree. Their hands helped hold me up as I struggled to get him help whether he wanted it or not. Their hands held mine when I was the one to dial the number for the police.

And their hands applauded when we finally made it through and he put himself back on track, clean, sober and determined not to fall again.

Their hands cleaned my house when I lay dangerously ill with pre-eclampsia (they cleaned my house!!! The whole thing.) They phoned me and emailed me when I was hospitalized early to keep my spirits up. They sent me fabulous handmade hilarities to distract me. And when my youngest son was born prematurely, I didn't even need to call. All of them, they were already there.

Some of them are mothers themselves, some are not.

But all of them have mothered my heart and soul through the best and worst of times and for each and every one of them, I would walk barefoot on glass.

And for them, especially, I am also wishing them a Happy Mothers Day because there isn't a Better Friend than I Deserve Day. Cheers, babes. I simply could not have done any of it without you.

Beyond rubies... all of you.

"Thank you Robert Smith!! Disintegration was the best album ever!!!"

If I ever doubted that I'm just not 20 anymore, the morning after a Cure concert is definitely a confirmation. My butt? Was dragging in the dirt. The concert was great although it was a little startling to see Robert Smith about 30 lbs heavier... why I unconsciously expected him not to have aged, I do not know. The only real downside to the concert was the acoustics of the Patriot Center, which caused just enough echo to muddy the sound. And oh yes, the pissed-off looking blonde chick sitting with Her Man next to us. She sulked and pouted through the whole thing and plunked this incredibly huge shiny black plastic purse (only half the size of a VW Bug) down and refused to move it should anyone have this misfortune to need to squeeze past her. I know that three persons finally deliberately stepped on the thing; someone should have punted it, really.

I actually considered it, but I was tottering in a pair of shoes borrowed from my friend (because I am SMRT, s-m-r-t), as I had forgotten mine and did not realize until we were getting ready to leave her house. I figured that attempting a field goal in heeled sandals was probably tempting fate. Also, it would be out of place to be aggressive and bitchy at a Cure concert, after all.

A highlight for me was actually checking out the crowd. There were some excellent Goth ensembles (I covet that one chick's pillbox hat. Truly.) and plenty of 40-somethings reliving our youth. There was one guy in a sports jacket and every time we looked at him, we had to grin because he was the HAPPIEST looking guy I think I have ever seen in my life. He looked like Drew Carey and he was completely, absolutely rocking out with a grin that never faded. It just made you happy to watch him.

Oh and... a certain friend has apparently been reading my blog because a box showed up at my door yesterday. A long cardboard box containing... (drum roll, please)

That's right. Stress Relief in a Box. A zim-zam game.

Said friend is now owed about a gazillion favors. Thank you to the power of about 23 trillion. I AM NOT WORTHY.

Oh and Happy Mothers Day to all.

Do not adjust your set, we are experiencing Technical Difficulties

Also? Between Blogspot & my stoooopid Motorola Q (or maybe its actually Sprint, I don't know), I have been having a terrible time posting comments on a large number of blogs. Lately, it especially seems to have issues with Wordpress and some templates. So if you don't see comments from me, I AM reading but its a toss-up whether I can leave you a note.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Why can't I be you?

That's not a question actually, it's me singing. Badly. The husband gave me my Mother's Day present already. Cure tickets for tonight's show at the Patriot Center. Color me ecstatic... also relieved since I found something to wear that ISN'T a business suit. (I asked my friend just what an aging, puffy Cure fan wears to the show, anyway. Her reply? ''Duh! BLACK!!!'' Oh right. my mistake.) And my coworkers have all been looking at me funny but that might be because I was singing Lullaby to myself when they came in.

and in the ''ExCUSE me????'' department...

As my friend Velocibadger says... sometimes the jokes just write themselves. A trio of Texas 17 years old are in a heaping mess of trouble. Drugs are bad, mmmkay? Robbing a 90 year old grave, stealing a skull AND MAKING A BONG OUT OF IT????? Not even my wisecracking teenager could think of a response to that news story, except to say faintly ''Wow. Bet their moms are proud.''

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I'll take Women Who Need to Get a Grip for 500, Alex!

Short Stuff is watching one of his Baby Einstein dvds that he got from his grandmother - he prefers the one on shapes because he thinks the lion hand puppet is funny. The DVD also features some computer-generated characters, notably a box of crayons which jump out of their box and dance and run around. Three of the crayons have long eyelashes and three do not.

And there I sit with my son, and I catch myself muttering about the continuity errors in the BE episode because sometimes the yellow crayon has long eyelashes and sometimes it doesn't. I have to admit, that is an embarrassingly stupid thing to notice.

In addition, the house was stuffy when His Shortness and I arrived home. While my boy played, I took a few minutes to change out of my work clothes. I am definitely no fashion plate and my at-home wear could possibly be called frumptastic... if you were generous. I live in mortal fear of the What Not to Wear show.

Since I was hurrying, i grabbed the first things that came to hand, an old tshirt that shows too much (imaginary) cleavage and a pair of yoga shorts that i would not be caught dead wearing outside of the house...

Fast forward about 3 hours to my husband looking at me with a puzzled expression. ''Are you wearing those shorts like that on purpose?''

And I sighhhhhhhed. ''yeah, I know they're super short. I just needed to throw something on so I didn't sweat to death.''

''Um... I meant the fact that they're inside out.''

oh snap.

Its a wonder they let me cross the street by myself these days.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Commercials that make me angry

Most television commercials annoy me although rarely I'll find one that I like (The Dove commercials/ads using ''real'' women for example) or makes me snicker (Trunk monkey!! I WANT A TRUNK MONKEY!!).

But there's currently an ad for a roomba vacuum that I really do not like. The sarcastic 'mom' of the house is talking about why she needs her roomba because her kids are (shot of two piglets running down the stairs) and her husband is a (image of a donkey's hindquarters as seen through a doorway.)

An ass.

(Although to be specific, that shot would be an ass's ass, but anyway.)

We all have days, no doubt, where we think our spouse is indeed behaving like an ass (and that goes for us chicks too, lets face it. ).

But ... what the hell? Add to the commercial all the aggrieved sighing and eye-rolling she does. That doesn't make me want to run out and buy a vacuum, it makes me want to hand the woman a freaking Midol and a sympathy card to her 'family'. And I have a rather bent sense of humor...

Has that commercial actually made anyone laugh? Is it just me?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I went to bed early last night and was just sliding down into delicious sleep when an unusual noise caught my attention. It sounded sort of like very heavy breathing. 6 or 7 deep breaths and then quiet for about 15 seconds and then it repeated. My husband was downstairs watching a game, so I assumed it was Jacob and began to get up. The breathing sounded really odd for a sleeping toddler, so I figured I'd better check on him.

As I walked toward the door, I noticed that the baby monitor was not even turned on. Oooookay. That heavy breathing sound is still going. One notch up on the Creepy Scale.

I opened the bedroom door and stuck my head out into the hall. No noises. I turn around and take a few steps towards our bathroom and the breathing sound is perhaps a shade louder. And it seems to be coming from the direction of my husband's closet. Oh boy. Ohhhh boy.

Now, some of you may recall that a childhood black cat, (appropriately named Lucifer, with a fondness for the taste of human leg flesh) has left me with a lifelong case of Not Liking the Dark... but only inside houses. Hey, its a sensible sort of phobia. the stupid cat never jumped out and tried to gnaw my leg off when I was outside, so why worry there? Clearly, if the ghost of Lucifer the cat was ever coming back with a nice bottle of chianti and some fava beans, it was gonna be INSIDE where I'd meet my doom.

So right about now, I'm feeling a tad nervous.

Also... if I were in a horror movie, I would be the first dumb beyotch to die because I? I am the dumbass who has to investigate the noises herself. No calling the Strapping Husband - who, I might add, took enough Wu Shu kung fu lessons over the course of his lifetime that he could probably totally kick the Suspicious Noise's ass, whereas I am more likely to have to smother it with the laundry or my freshly ironed freaking tablecloth. Better yet, maybe I could show it my cellulite and horrify it to death.

Oh no. Summong backup doesn't occur to me. I gird my loins and creep stealthily towards the closet. As I reach it, now I hear the noise coming from the window. Its outside, and as I put my ear against the heavy insulated glass window (you didn't think I was about to open it, did you??) I can faintly hear that it sounds sort of like screaming, but the glass muffles it so it sounded like heavy breathing in the room.

I do not pee myself with relief, because I reeeeeally didn't want to open the closet.

I go downstairs and turn the back yard light on. I seeeeee nuthink! So, continuing my dumbass 'please prove Darwinism's natural selection and remove me from the gene pool' tendencies, I step outside. Yep. Definitely screaming.

By this time, my husband has noticed me acting all Secret Squirrel and comes out to see what's going on. His eyes go really wide, but I am no longer worried. I've figured it out, y'see.

'What the hell is that?????' my poor city-boy husband wants to know.
'Raccoons', I reply. 'Two of them.'

If you've never heard it before, mating racoons sometimes shriek like banshees. And these two had been um... busy for a while by the sounds of it. Good lord.

I sheepishly 'fess up to my Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My routine upstairs and we share a good laugh. And then I notice that my husband was standing there in his fruit of the looms (we're so klassy!) and I smirked because I might go first, but at least I was wearing pants.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cheeseburger in Parody...

Sometime, people, sometimes....

I was running a few errands on my lunch break and got caught waiting for a very very long, very very slow freight train to pass. I started to drift off to some mental happy zone after something like the 45th car until a flurry of motion caught my eye.

The little car next to me was occupied by a man around 50, dressed in a suit, looking professional... or at least under normal circumstances he would have been. We were not dealing with normal, here. This guy was fuh-REAKING out. He was gesticulating madly, flailing about, shouting and tossing assorted gestures at the train, which clearly was inconveniencing him. Train rage?? Actually this went far beyond mortal rage to full-on apoplexy with a side of mental.

He went on and on and got redder and redder and I just kept staring in fascination. He looked like maybe he was doing a weird in-car combo of Thriller's zombie dance, the electric slide and the tarantella. By the time the last freight car rumbled past, I was making bets with myself on whether he'd have a stroke or piss himself first.

As he hit the gas and squealed away, I see that his license plate holder advertised him as a Parrothead AND he had a Grateful Dead bear sticker on the bumper. Hold up, here... most followers of either are known for genial mellowness. That certainly did not match up to the image of him furiously dancing around in his car seat like Rumpelstiltskin on PCP.

Clearly he needs to spend a little more time in Margaritaville.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Spring Cleaning, House and Head

At some point yesterday, it occurred to me that I might have lost my grip. The husband was out of town for the majority of the weekend, Short Stuff was napping off his apple juice high (seriously. Having only recently mastered the Juice Box, compliments of his older sister, receiving the rare juice box puts him into a state of complete giddiness. Ok, so does farting but come on, he's not yet two) and I was attempting a deep cleaning of the house.

Serious cleaning is difficult for me. Not because I hate cleaning - which I do, but I hate living like a pig even more so it works out. Clutter is one thing, grime another. Anyway... difficult. right. Why? Because I'm AD freaking D. I started by doing dishes and as I started to wipe down the counter, I realized a drip of coffee had run down the front of the dishwasher. And as I cleaned that up, the floor attracted my attention. While I hunted for the lemon cleanser, the dining room table caught my eye....

it always works this eay. I end up trying to clean three rooms at the same time and at one point? I found myself ironing a tablecloth while remembering that there was a laundry mangle in the Williams Sonoma catalog that could zip this baby through in about a minute and...

Whoa. What the ripe hell... what is WRONG with me? Its a KITCHEN TABLECLOTH. Nobody cares. NOBODY CARES.

And lets face it, Williams Sonoma is very very very bad for me. Its shiny, glossy, heavyweight pages of expensive crack. Even if its really well-made crack. I need this catalog like a hole in the head. I've managed to wean myself from all other catalogs but not this one.... when I see a "new" one (they just shift the stuff around and put a new cover on and throw in a few seasonal items but really... its the same stuff every month) in the mailbox each month, I practically salivate. I am a kitchen-crap marketer's dream, I really am.

Is there a 12 step program for Donna Reed poseurs? I might need an intervention sometime soon. Or at least an extended session with power tools. Yeah. That's it, somebody hand me the nail gun, I need to FIX stuff instead of y'know, go to that Stepford place in my head.

Also? Forgot to mention that I got the best Secretary's Day (you can call me an Administrative Professional all you want. I is what I is.) gift EVAH. They gave me a gift certificate.


Bwah-hahahahahahahahaha!!!!! Awesome. I was most pleased.

Last, Short Stuff is at times too smart for his mommy. He was happily playing with his toy kitchen, and he fell silent for about 30 seconds. Not unusal when he's concentrating on something and then he dashed across the room, so everything was business as usual.

Except he's standing on tiptoes, trying to reach across the gate to the chair where his overnight bag is sitting. Huh? I walk over and realize he has stripped himself naked from the waist down. And he succeeds in snagging the bag and pulls out a diaper. And I look for the other diaper, the one he'd been wearing. It is crammed into the toy trashcan of his toy kitchen and it is freshly wet.

Oh boy! He's using the toilet if he has to go when we put him on it, but he has yet to fully grasp what the feeling of needing to go is and giving us warning. So he peed, and was apparently planning on changing his diaper by himself.

Like Cinderella, I am wakened each morning by flights of sweetly-singing birds

... and I poop sunshine and rainbows all day after that, right?

Man, I am NOT a morning person. I used to be, back in the days when I could look forward to a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Now I just count myself lucky if I remember to put pants on before stumbling downstairs for coffee. Right side out is a bonus.

It takes a few minutes, naturally, for my consciousness to climb out of its fog. Especially if I have been jarred out of a sound sleep. And if you'd lived with me for oh... 8 years, you'd possibly have figured this out.

So... the fact that I LAUGHED when told, in my bleary, uncaffeinated state, that someone's uvula was SWOLLEN and omg the doctor couldn't see him untill 11...

well. That really shouldn't be held against me.

And... for the love of pete... go gargle with salt water, you aren't going to fall over and die.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

We Now Return You to Your Regularly Scheduled Insanity

Last week was very bad. My co-workers visitation and then his funeral mass... and then he was laid to rest in Quantico. This week has simply been a daze of too much work and massive sleep deprivation, compliments of erupting molars and perimenopausal insomnia.

Why am I in this handbasket and why is it so hot?????

Anyway. Its been rough pulling my brain back into sunnier climes. Pass the chocolate.

On the other hand, I've decided that I'm taking Short Stuff out to my mom's farm for Memorial Day Weekend. My husband's niece is graduating from college in NY so they're all driving up there and I'm going to retreat to the ol' family stomping grounds. The more I think about it, the more excited I get. I think my youngest sister is going with me, so it will be me, my mom, my sister and Short Stuff. Can't wait.

We did this year's March of Dimes March for Babies... which out here was more like WADE for babies. We slogged through torrential downpours but had a good time anyway. Jacob is a NICU grad... by grace, good luck and good medical care when I landed in the high risk unit with preterm labor, he made it through 34 weeks and day 1 of week 35, my body couldn't take any more. We are so luck and so blessed.

I vividly recall Mother's Day 2006, when I realized that I was not having Braxton Hicks contractions at all and the roller coaster began. And I remember hearing the tearing sobs of the woman in the triage bed next to me who was 6cm dilated at 24 weeks. And counting to myself at thinking ''okay, we hit 28 weeks four days ago. So he'll probably live. Oh God, please... let him live.''

And despite my developing severe pre-eclampsia and going through repeated episodes of PTL, we made it. And we got through NICU. And he hasn't looked back.

And so we walked this year, like we did last year, so that maybe someone else won't have to, you know?

And in more cheerful new, Short Stuff evidently enjoyed his supper SO much last night, he broke into The Cabbage Patch. You have not busted a gut until you have seen a 21 month old doing The Cabbage Patch. Don't ask me where he picked it up.