Saturday, May 28, 2005
We got to the fishing derby with our bait (I bought WAY too much) and got down to the pond to find that the water level was so intensely high that there was literally nowhere to safely cast. The edge of the water was way up in the tree line... a lot of kids gave up on the woods and went to the street. We didn't want to go where eight thousand other cub scouts were going, so we made the best out of where we were.
Check Doug out:
I was prepared to wade out above my knees (sandals and cotton pyjama pants) but Doug stepped up to the bat and did the Dad Thing. He rolled his pant legs up, and they rolled down while he was out there, and then he figured "In for a penny, in for a pound!" and waded farther in to get a good cast out. I was impressed... don't any of you bastards EVER say Doug's a cruddy dad, m'kay?
We stood there while Geoff held his pole, wondering what the heck to do... "This is fishing. Isn't it thrilling?!" Doug said to Geoff. I had to laugh. Yeah. Wished I had a lawn chair at that point.
After a little while, and listening to the other boys and their dads all through the woods talking about how they weren't catching anything, Geoff says "Um. Where did my bobber go?" I looked at the water, and sure enough, it was under the surface.
"Reel it in buddy, you got a bite!"
He had a lot of slack on the line due to the bait and bobber just floating back towards us... so he didn't feel the pull at all. He reeled in, and there was the fish. Holy crap, he actually CAUGHT something!
A 9.5 inch Yellow Perch. Great Googly Moogly. They measured it up, and we released it with much rejoicing and Geoff's interest rekindled. Both of us had been basically ready to sack the fishing and leave... but now. Game on!
We had some trouble with the line being twisted, so we cut and tied and fixed it. As the horn blew ending the derby, we were in the process of reeling in our second fish. A bass, same length. Two fish in one hour. Wow.
I was impressed with Geoff's patience and his willingness to wait, watch, listen and follow direction. I was more impressed with Doug's willingness to walk out into the water.
Flickr pictures are posted.
This morning, we're heading out again so Geoff can try his hand at casting on his own. Wish us luck.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Only. He wasn't a dog. He was a coyote. Smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest roads in the city of Peabody. Walking up the middle of Lynnfield Street. Right there. He was very young and very thin, lanky, very long in the legs. Long bushy tail, huge pointy ears. I slowed down and he ran behind me. I grabbed my camera, but he ran into the schoolyard and into the meager woods there and took cover. I didn't get a picture of him (the one here is from the web...) but so very wanted to.
Just to prove that he was there.
No one else was there on the road. The car in front of me didn't see him, and no one was coming the opposite direction or up behind me at breakneck speed.
So I wondered for a while, why no one was there. It was morning in Peabody for crying out loud... normally insanely crowded, I would have been sitting there backed up to Summit Street on any other given day.
I'm not one prone to believe in symbols and messages... but I did a little looking up of what the Coyote symbolizes in a few cultures.
I used to think the Bear was my "power animal..." perhaps I've had it wrong. Ole Coyote brought a smile to my clowning, sarcastic face, and I drove away without my photographic evidence with the memory of something strange and peculiar in the middle of the North Shore.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
When I got home with the Chinese food, I served up the kids. I'd gotten chicken noodle soup for Geoff, because I knew he couldn't really bite anything else. He has been working on a loose tooth. He's eight and has only lost four teeth to date, something which I think is kind of an oddity. But with Geoff -- we come to understand these oddities are part of who he is.
A fifth (top, front, left) became loose yesterday, and he'd worked into near detachment but couldn't get past the last ... little... you know. Bit.
So he asked me to pull it. ugh. It's not the first time my son has turned to me in this need, longtime readers of the journal will know. He tried, really hard. He's pulled out other teeth on his own. But this time -- oh man.
Cringe now. You know you want to.
He brought me a piece of toilet paper and I wrapped it around this tiny, itty-bitty little tooth. Seriously, the damn thing is microscopic, almost. And I got a good grip, looked him in the eye and asked him if he was sure...
because I sure as hell wasn't.
He nodded. I pulled. He cringed and I heard a pip noise... I stopped because I felt woozy. I asked if he was okay and he gestured thumbs-up and waved his hand for me to go again.
And instead of a pip, it was a pop!
His head reeled back -- and I held this tiny tooth, with no blood, no nothing anywhere. Not like other teeth in the past.
He was pretty psyched, had a huge bowl of ice cream. Went to bed with the tooth beneath his pillow.
I set to work on floorplans for work. Doug was asleep on the couch at about 7:30 so I spent a few hours cranking out floorplans and emailing Amy back and forth before I went in at 10, watched the headlines and fell promptly asleep.
At 6:15, I could hear Geoff talking to Jessica in the livingroom. And I sat bolt upright.
I'd forgotten to do the tooth fairy duties. Crap! Earlier this year, you may recall that I forgot to do Easter Bunny duties and found myself at CVS at 10pm shopping with other absent minded parents and stoned college aged girls for chocolate.
I snuck into his room, which is no easy feat because the damn thing is a nightmarish mess, and popped the tooth out of its little holder and hid the dollar inside his gameboy case, which he keeps under his pillow (along with his glasses). I went to the bathroom, started the coffee, took the dogs out.
"Oh, hey Geoffman. Did the tooth fairy come last night?" I asked as I made his breakfast.
A very sad an dejected no came from his sad little one-missing tooth face. I asked him if he was sure. So he double checked and to his amazement found the tooth missing but couldn't find the dollar. Geoff doesn't think beyond the obvious, and didn't think to look inside the case. So he was on the edge of freaking out when I suggested he look there.
Seeing as he's only lost 5 teeth in his young life, and is old enough to know about the tooth fairy, I'm sitting on the fence as to whether or not he needs to know. He hasn't reaped enough of the benefits (ie: dollars) for losing his teeth yet... but he's ready to know the truth. Especially because I can't remember to take care of these things at 11pm before I go to bed. It'd be much nicer to just hand him a dollar and say "congrats on ripping that thing out, dude!"
I'm posting a poll over at Universal Hub to see what other parents give... I'm kind of curious. He is never disappointed that he only gets a dollar, but our neighbor girl E told Geoff a few weeks ago that she gets five. I think he's totally forgotten, which is good. But man. A finn is a lot of money for something I need a microscope to see.
Anyway -- time to shower and ready myself to face the day.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
It is crushing my soul. It really is.
Yesterday Doug wanted to go hiking. I backed out. He took Geoff and the little dog and they did a 3 mile hike in Andover, and it didn't rain on them. I went to the grocery store, and the sky opened up on me in the parking lot as I was putting the groceries into the vehicle.
Geoff's Spongebob pants are too bright and yellow for me this morning. My eyes are going to bleed if I have to look at them again.
I'm not feeling the love for the prospect of camping this weekend, and I know if I say that to Doug he'll freak out. He so wants to go. But I really cannot fathom getting everything and everyone ready. And the prospect of possible rain will just simply take my psyche and grind it into the ashtray of life.
Oh, woe is me.
We're all up early this morning. Jess left for the bus, Geoff is eating breakfast and playing video games. Doug's in the shower.
I'm not sure how I did it today. Normally I'd be forcing myself out of bed at 7:30 on a day like this, but I managed to get up. I think the overwhelming need to pee did it for me, and then Jessica telling me that she may have left her MP3 player in her jeans pocket, which is sitting in the washing machine right now waiting to go into the dryer... that pissed me off enough to get the blood running and keep me from getting back into bed after going to the bathroom.
I cannot believe that kid.
So I took the dogs out. Jack did step on my flowers and did crush them... which leads me to believe that it is pointless of me to even try and do anything further because what little joy I attempt will simply be stomped on by something larger and furrier than me.
I am a gloomy little cuss this morning, aren't I?
I'm thinking I may deliberately redo the month's layout to something bright and eye-piercingly happy and springy just to see if that helps. I mean, this layout is as grey as anything... and perhaps continuing to spend time cultivating it could be a contributing factor to my ongoing Meh-ness. But, I somehow doubt it. It's the fault of the sky. And that 10 day forecast there. Holy crap that's grim.
Anyway -- I'm going to get showered and be ready on time this morning. And go look in the washer and dryer for an MP3 player. I wonder if that's covered under warranty? I bought an extended warranty for her because I was sure she'd drop it. Never thought she'd leave it in her pants. And unlike my mom, I have an anti-pocket cleaning philosphy. If you leave it in your pockets, it's your own damn fault. Money? It's mine when it comes out in the dryer lint filter. Notes from your friends? You get yelled at when all the laundry is covered by a billion little papery bits. MP3 player? I don't even know the consequence of that one. But it may entail some screaming later today. By me. At her.
I live on the corner of Grey Street. And the end of my sanity...
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
The cello player, however -- she kicked ass. I wanted to hug her and thank her after they were finished.
The choir was good, but once again I was shocked at the level of tom foolery exhibited by three of the girls (in the back row, on the end. You saw them, I'm sure you did).
Shifting stances, yawning, not looking at the sheet music, putting the sheet music away before the song was over, talking to one another, waving at people in the audience, scratching scalps, pulling down on the back of the all-too incredibly mini-skirts, crossing feet one over the other while standing all akimbo, lifting the ankle to scratch it in the middle of a song...
...the entire time.
I wanted to throttle each of them. All three of them. Especially when they talked on the risers during other choir members' solo performances.
Gee, bitches. Sorry a choir performance broke out in the middle of your little coffee clatch... Shut the hell up for ten seconds. Pay attention to the choir director. Why the hell are you UP there in the first place? Did mommy make you sign up for choir because she has big dreams for her little angel? What, you think you're some sort of karaoke diva and Rogers and Hammerstein is too boring for you so you won't come in on cue and you put your sheet music away before the big finish, and you yawn and start giggling.
Get off the riser and go home. American Idol is on. You're missin' it.
I'm only a little, tiny, itty bitty bit perturbed.
I will say, that on the whole the performance was very nice. Aside from the murderous rage I was feeling, I was impressed by a few of the solos. One girl sang an Evanescence song, which was beautifully done even though the lyrics were darn creepy and half the audience probably had no clue what the hell was going on. I enjoyed it though. She did a kick-ass job on a song that is probably not meant to be performed with just a clunky middle school piano. My daughter's hair looks gorgeous when she wears it down, which is something she does so infrequently that it breaks my heart. So it wasn't a 100% horrible night.
After I posted my entry this morning, Doug informed me that we are indeed not going camping this weekend. It is not going to stop raining. We will not be able to build a nice roaring fire beside which to drink beer. We will not enjoy cooking over the little wee Coleman single-burner stovey thing I bought last year, and we will not freeze damply inside our tent. Even if it stops raining for a few hours, everything on this God's green earth will remain soaky until next month.
So. Doug woke up on the side of pure, clear reason, without me having to resort to whinging.
I'm so relieved.
I hate rain camping. Being cooped in a tent with Geoff and 2 stir crazy confused dogs is not my idea of a good time.
Back in the day, when it was just me, Doug and Jessica, when she was 2, yeah. We did it and we did it well. We played cards in the tent, and she danced and sang and we had a grand-assed old time.
Nowadays, there are far too many of us, one of whom is blessed with ADHD, another blessed with being an adolescent female. And it just is not a party.
Doug has decided to measure what's left of the ceiling that needs drywalled, and he's going to buy drywall and finish the ceiling. And ... skim coat it. AND... paint it.
I almost fainted when he told me this. I'll keep you posted on whether or not we succeed.
Well, I'm only a little overtired, and because I totally got soaked in the rain I didn't get to take my pictures for my weather tiles, but I swear by the end of this week I'll have them ready to share. And you can put them on your webpage too when the weather is doing stuff that you either like or dislike.
It will be the living end.
I offered to take Geoff and E to school in the car to avoid getting any wetter, but they both wanted to use their umbrellas so they begged me to ride the bus.
We were walking to the bus stop and some fucktard in a Lexus drives past me and hits all the standing water in the street - the result was drenched pants. My drenched pants. El Drencho Grande. Dre-en-nched.
So I stood at the bus stop with the kids, freezing my left leg off. The bus was late. Next time, remind me to be more stern and beat the children into submission and ride in the freaking car.
Actually, they had a great time using their umbrellas, and were very, very happy. My consequential misery should not detract from their good behavior and abject joy.
I came back in to get dry pants, only to discover that all of my work appropriate pants are in the dryer, not quite dry. Instead of waiting an hour, I took my hair dryer to these pants, and I opted to sit down, compose and relax, and pen this entry. It is a morning like this that normally would give me the strong desire to retreat to my bed and stay there all day.
To simply work from home. Lord knows J and M gave me enough floorplans to keep me busy all day. And I could put on more coffee and crank up Songs for Silverman and work my A off on the floorplans.
That is my plan for this Friday when I take the day to be here, due to dog and boy doctor appointments (at different doctors mind you. Not at the same place...).
I shall go to work. On that note. Cheers.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Jessie's friend came over and all of us set to work and had a great time getting stuff in the ground. No sooner had we finished than the sky opened up. The forecasters stated that it wasn't going to rain until after midnight, but there we were at about 4pm all trapped inside. We rented some movies, got some pizza and had a nice evening in with Jess' friend.
We watched "Elf" for the first time since we saw it in the theatre when it came out. For a Christmas themed movie, it didn't annoy me seeing it in May (the kids chose it) Will Ferrell is really sweet and cute in this film. James Caan is killer funny. The corny factor in the end was slightly annoying, but on the whole we really enjoyed it, and recommend it if you haven't seen it.
The kids went to bed, and Doug and I watched "Shaun of the Dead," which he saw last weekend and told me he'd watch again if I wanted to get it. For Doug to watch a movie twice, that's a high endorsement. So we watched and I loved it. Hysterical. Loved the whole beginning where the general population is shown as "zombies" before they become zombies. The entire postmodern lifestyle is spotlighted before Z-day, and it is obvious as to why Shaun can't tell that people are zombies for 24 hours, because he's just used to it. That and people being drunk. He's used to that too. The movie explodes into gory zombie violence and incredible humor as this appliance salesman attempts to save his mom, his girlfriend, and a trail of hangers-on. The end results are quite amusing. Really loved it. Highly recommend if you enjoy the genre.
And we also rented "The Incredibles," which we all watched this morning. What an outstanding movie. Absolutely love that one. Will watch it again and again. Promise.
Last night I had another spasm-riddled night, but managed to fall back asleep around 7am. Doug took the dogs out, closed the bedroom door and I guess decided to not bother waking me for church. I slept until noon. It's another disgustingly cloudy, rainy day. I'm getting incredibly sick of this weather. My friend Amy sent me pictures from her daughter's birthday party in their Phoenix AZ area home, and it made me jealous to see that they are all tan, and half naked.
New England. Pfth.
Anyway -- Doug took the boy and the puppy hiking. They needed to get out of the house. They are pre-scouting a hike that we're putting together for Geoff's cub scout den for early June to make sure it's a good, long hike with a nice goal point where we can have lunch. Doug's good at planning these things.
I am going to work for a bit, shower and then go to the market. We are out of the basics for food, and resorted to eating bread today, which we normally don't do. That and we have no breakfast cereal or milk, which will make Geoff's morning no fun tomorrow. I hate going to the market on weekends. It's always such a nightmare. But. It is for the greater good.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
So I ended up on the couch to avoid bothering Doug. I eventually fell back asleep at about 5am, and Geoff was up shortly thereafter. He was polite and quiet and played in his room for as long as he could.
I'm feeling like my arm is still all twitchy. I had hoped manual labor would help reduce that sensation or at least take my mind off of it but it is still very there and very annoying.
Part of me wonders if there is a vitamin thing going on, that I'm not getting the right nutrients. Another part wonders if this is something that you get from working on the computer for too long, kind of like carpal tunnel. And yet another part (notice, I didn't use percentages) wonders if I don't have MS or Parkinson's.
"Maybe it's a tumor."
"IT'S NOT A TUMOR!"
We got out early and got some plants for the gardens. We reorganized the flower beds, shortening one because nothing ever grows down that end and the dogs have a penchant for peeing down that way. Doug turned over the fire pit and returned that spot to its original purpose -- a vegetable garden. Jessie and her friend C are up front putting in marigolds and clematis on the fence.
Hopefully all the hard work pays off. Me? I needed a break from being out there. Digging is fun but I have a low tolerance for it sometimes. Especially when over-tired.
Well. I better get out there again before I'm accused of being a slacker.
I had a lot of good laughs at my own expense this weekend. The title is one of them. We went out on a big box hunt and filled the truck with boxes from Plaistow NH's state liquor store. In NH, the state runs the liquor business, so the liquor stores are few and far between. They don't sell beer at all. You can buy beer all over the place, in gas stations even, which doesn't happen in Massachusetts.
New Hampshire is a very peculiar little place.
Anyway, there is a state liquor store right off of the highway going up I-95. Perhaps you've seen it. We went there first but only got two boxes. We then had to go to Plaistow to get to the next closest liquor store to our house. We could have gone up to Portsmouth or out to Rte 1 to Seabrook, but we wanted to get closer to home... so we hit Plaistow.
They had tons and tons of boxes and told us we could take as many as we wanted. So we loaded up the big ole truck, and drove away with our "Box Booty." Jess said we were like Pirates on the prowl for treasure.
While we were at the liquor store, Doug made some purchases. One cannot be low on Gin when one has five days left to pack all one's belongings, can one? No. One cannot.
So we had four bottles of booze in the truck.
We got home, and Jess said "I'm going to go inside for a minute and then come out for the box booty."
"Yes," I said, "And we cannot forget liquor booty as well."
And I stopped and put my hand over my mouth -- Liquor Booty. Oh dear God, did I just say Lick Her Booty in front of my daughter?
"Oh, that came out wrong." I muttered. And Jess died laughing. She caught it, and knew what the entendre was.
So Liquor Booty is the new inside joke between mom and Jess. Every mom and girl need an inside joke. We have about 100. And now, 101. Luckily my daughter didn't turn around and say "Liquor box is just as naughty to say, mom."
Heh. Liquor box.
And as many of you know, there was insane amounts of rain last weekend. We had tons of flooding all over the region. Our creek and pond handled it wonderfully with no overflowing ... and our basement got less than an inch of rain in it, which, compared to others (cough, Mr. Garfield) is nothing.
Long time followers of this journal know that a year ago right about now her 12 year old daughter had brain surgery, almost didn't make it, there was a LOT of drama, and there continues to be a lot of worry and drama for K.
Suzanne and Gerry (pictured here) went with us to Mohegan Sun when we went to see BNL. She was my ticket buddy, and is a good pal. I am proud of her, all she managed to accomplish, all she fought through. All she did and all she will do -- I can't say that this is a meaningless event for me, watching from the sidelines in her life.
Here's to you Suzanne (and Gerry! and K and J and all the family). Hopefully next year won't be nearly as stressy. Congrats girl. Congrats.
Anyway -- we're packing. We're making progress. We're throwing out stuff, we're saving stuff. We're making little funny discoveries that crack my shit right up. Doug has spent two days on one closet alone. Two. Days. He is reading everything in there, and we don't really have time. I would rather he bring everything with to the new house, read it there, and then use it for kindling in the woodstove when the time comes. But. If I argue he'll push back and no progress will be achieved.
When we went to go to on the box hunt, we argued a little as to who would go. Geoff and I went last Saturday. I thought he should go.
"We both could go," he suggested.
"Well, that wouldn't be an efficient use of our time, would it?" I replied.
He sniffed sadly and said, "Our love is inefficient."
Yes, he ended up coming with me. Our love may be inefficient, but it is lasting.
I'm sure he's sitting in the other room muttering and cursing me right now for not participating in the packing, but I needed a break.
And I leave you with this:
So a lot of parents stuck around, and I knew my friend Suzanne would be there, burning off the stress of her recent nursing school graduation. So I agreed to stay and skate as well. Jess doesn't skate. I think she was ten and was trying to learn and fell down, and has never gotten back on skates. I wanted to show her that one would not die if one skated.
So. I skated.
Dude -- check out the size of those gianormous feet. I have Side Show Bob feet when they're inside skates!
They had inline skates and old-school skates. I had to go with the old school, and transport myself back to 1980 which is I think the last time I actually skated. "This is me in Grade Nine baby, yeah! This is me in Grade Nine!" I was singing it in my head over and over as I went around the floor, getting lapped repeatedly by 14 year old boys and girls. The only one not lapping around me was Courtney's three year old brother. I left him in the dust and the boy had to EAT IT! Yeah, eat my dust kid!
I gave up after it felt like my calves were going to explode.
I was trying to figure out how to use my thigh muscles to skate, and they were no help at all... so the burden was entirely on the calves. I hated it.
Now I'm sore.
And I predicted correctly -- Doug just came in and sighed. So I better get back at it. Wish us luck in getting it all done, y'all. Wish us luck.
Friday, May 20, 2005
I'll make the following incredibly generalized blanket statement. People in Peabody were kind and generous. There was a lot of easy flow of traffic at otherwise cutthroat intersections. With no traffic lights, people waited, gave right of way, took turns.
The kindness dwindled as I got closer to Swampscott, where people began cutting one another off in cars that cost more than my annual salary.
And by the time I made it to the four stop lights I have to go through in tony Marblehead... people were downright dicky. I stopped to let a man make a left turn in front of me. The woman behind him (black Lexus and 5000 dollar sunglasses) gunned her vehicle to ride his wake, and attempted to kill me, and flipped me off when I beeped at her.
Now, if basic instincts of self preservation and wanting to not lose a vehicle that I dearly need hadn't kicked in, she and I would have had a head-on collision.
And I would have sued her ever loving ass.
Money equals dicky behavior. That is my incredibly generalized blanket statement of the day.
The work week was hectic this week. And when I got to the office, I wondered if the power would come on. I desperately needed to complete the scheduling and testing of next week's content. And I was deathly afraid that I would not get a chance to. But, shortly after my arrival and about halfway through my coffee (reluctantly purchased at a Starbucks because they had a generator and were in business when everyone else was standing outside lackadaisically staring at the sky wondering what happened to the electricity) the juice began to flow and all the systems cycled back up. Work was good. All was previewed thanks to the help of MB, and my first full week as an employee finds me needing to make up 5 hours this weekend here at home doing floorplans.
The commute home was long, but no stoplights were out and no rich snobs tried to end my life. So all told, it was a good day.
I have no idea what is for dinner. My husband and my son both seem not to care. Jessica went to the school dance (which is shocking) and will be sleeping at "C"'s house tonight.
Rumor is that we're expecting more rain this weekend. Can't hardly wait. Alright -- that's all I got. Nothing too exciting, indeed. But. It is what it is. Have a good weekend and I'm sure I'll check in at some point.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
I bought her a nice bag, 3 piece pj set and a satin robe as a welcome home gift. I bought mom and dad a big huge bottle of wine. We stayed for about 90 minutes until her morphine started to kick in and she started to doze. She goes back for a pre-op exam around June 1. The big brain surgery is around June 13th.
And hopefully this will be a one time thing and they'll be all done with it, but I'm sure they'll monitor her for time to come.
When she was sharing details of the ordeal with Jessica and another friend who was visiting "C" she said that she couldn't have died at any point. K's mom dug her nails into my knee and shot me a look.
The "She doesn't know the half of what she went through" look.
We listened from the other side of the room and through her eyes K's mom communicated to me each time K's version of the story was very far off from what the truth of the situation was.
In all actuality, it's better if she never knows... K's mom kept me posted through the process, and there is a distinct chance that the next operation could cause some major damage, but without it she'll die. Quite the catch-22. The doctors are confident that the only thing that will suffer as a result of her next surgery is her peripheral vision. But the cluster is near her speech center, so they're taking a different route in to make sure that things will work out alright in the end.
I guess we just have to really trust that the mapping and decisions they're making are the right ones. K's mom said if her peripheral vision suffers horribly, so what. She'll be able to walk, talk, eat, dress herself... all the important things. It won't be like she got hit by a Mack Truck. I can tell she's holding the nervous breakdown at bay. I'm scared for her and for K. I sure hope this all works out okay.
Keep'em in your thoughts, major mojo sendings, and prayers, m'kay?
While we wer visiting K, Doug took Geoff up to cub scouts for his Rockets and Fishing Prep night. He didn't get to finish his rocket, so we'll have to do that before next Friday. Doug brought him home, and when we arrived I found them in the back yard practicing casting. Doug walked him through it, and Geoff couldn't let go the button on time so the practice lure was landing right in front of him.
I totally expected him to get frustrated. He tried again, and again, with Doug's encouragement, and then he got it.
And he stood out in the yard until it got too dark to see. Casting and reeling in. Over and over. Each time he casted, he adjusted his pole in his hands, and adjusted his pants. He looked like a master fisherman.
We stood in the kitchen and watched him. Doug said "Finally, something he likes doing!"
I reminded him, when we were in the Outer Banks Geoff said "This is the greatest day of my life!" when Aaron handed him a fishing pole. He didn't get to cast because the pier was too crowded, so now... he's a master caster.
When we were in OBX was the rods were like 8ft surf casting rods and were too big for him to handle. This one is about my height, maybe a touch shorter, and he's really got the hang of it. Hopefully before next Friday we can take him out and actually GO fishing, catch something, and show him how it's done.
I gotta find a pair of pliers though. I'm not picking a hook out of someone's lip with my fingers...
The things I am willing to do as a mom.
At work today is C's last day before she leaves for vacation. I'm going to miss her this week upcoming. Perhaps I'll get a lot more work done. Heh.
I'm off to shower and get ready. I managed to get up before 7am, and writing this entry puts me exactly as behind schedule as if I'd slept until 7:20. Damn my desire to keep the blogiverse posted on my every damn move.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Today we went out to lunch as a group. Nine of us at a swanky, shi-shi country club with cocktails and all kinds of hoo ha.
So I have to say, the birthday boss today is a good guy to work with/for/near. He keeps me laughing, keeps me guessing. We all had a bunch of laughs, some Office Space and "Stripes" references, and the scallops were good.
There was a cake, and a big huge margarita balloon, which took him a bit by surprise. He left the office early today to catch a flight out to the left coast, and when I left this evening to come home, the margarita balloon was tied to my back door.
The party continues.
Top that off with the fact he gave us all coupons for massages at the massage therapist one floor down from us. His birthday, and he's giving us gifts. Too much.
Because of how he acts, and how G acts, and how lucky I have it lately, I have been thinking a lot about bosses, administration, working "under" horrible people.
And thanking my lucky stars.
There's a TV show on BBC America that features chef Gordon Ramsay. Award winning chef... total and complete wanky bastard. He treats everyone who works for him like piles of pukey shit, and in my opinion, no matter how "divine" his goddamn cuisine is, he sucks.
I am 100% serious. He. Sucks. Y'all know I love food. But I cannot and will not accept a boss treating me in the manner that I've seen this alleged man treat his staff.
The thing that irritates me most of all is people like him are continually rewarded and given opportunities and advances, even though they are evil personified. He's now getting his own TV show in the USA, on Fox TV. Which I won't be watching. And I hope to hell it tanks. There is a special place in hell for folks like Ramsay, and the people who stroke, feed and hand release his massive, bloated ego. I hope they all rot.
When I worked for catering man, he never EVER got angry with us if we screwed up. And he should have. But he always kept his cool, and knew how to show us how to fix our mistakes, correct what we'd done so we wouldn't do it again.
A kind heart corrects mistakes; rebuking with the back of the hand or demeaning and violent language gets nothing corrected. It just creates animosity. I learned more from catering man than I've ever learned from anyone in any job. And if he'd just yelled at me or threw my food, it would have taught me nothing.
He had a poster above his desk modeled after the ten commandments. It was the ten commandments of being a good boss. There was a lot of humility, a lot of forgiveness, a lot of encouragement, a lot of ... the good stuff. And he lived by that in word and deed. And working in his kitchen, we all followed suit. It was the healthiest workplace I've ever had, and the hardest job I've ever done.
He handled stress better than almost anyone I've ever worked for (except Debbie Debbie) and he was able to rise above anything, and make it all shine.
For that, he'll get no TV show, no accolades, no fancy restaurant. But. Everyone who works for him or has worked for him, remembers the model of how to be a good boss.
I'm in a good place right now. I'm happy where I am. I know that my co-workers all help one another, as best as they can. And right now, that is all I need.
Anyway -- I'm waxing all sweet and nice about work and bosses. When most of my friends are complaining. I'm not rubbing their noses in it -- I'm just in a different spot, and can only wish for them peace and happiness in the work place, even if they have to walk out of the kitchen because they can't stand the heat.
Sometimes, it's better to cut and run.
K update for those of you who've asked. She was going to come home today but is still in a great deal of pain, so they're holding her until probably Thursday. She won't be back to school this academic year, and her mom is slightly stressed about that but figures they'll cross one bridge at a time.
We haven't gone down to see her, mostly because her parents have said that she is in such tremendous pain that it's hard to spend time with her, and that they're afraid it will freak Jessie out.
I think Jess can handle it, so we're going to head down tomorrow. Geoff has a cub scout fishing thing, and I'll give Doug the choice -- Jess to Boston or Fishing with Cubscouts.
Well, I've got forms to go fill out so some stupid wiener kids can go to summer camp.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
We figured out quickly why traffic was so awful. On top of the paving project that had things down to one lane, it was Gordon College's graduation day. There were Gordonoids everywhere with their families, all heading out to lunch.
15 years ago this weekend Doug and I graduated from this beacon of Evangelical academia, and I got the willies looking around at all the people. All the Jesus fish, the "My God is Awesome" bumper stickers (If you really believe that, He is Everyone's God -- not just yours, you selfish jerk). All the shiny happy people in their perfect clothing and wonderful teeth.
Doug popped a scallop into his mouth and said "Welcome home."
Doug and I weren't like that when we were there, and we're still not like that.
We're kind of the black sheep. I remember when I told members of my youth group that I was going to Gordon way back in 1984 someone said "That's not good. It'll be like Jerry Garcia going to meet the Pope." And I asked him what his impression of me was, that I was some sort of aloof pothead, and the Pope would be so far above me that he wouldn't give me audience? Personally, Jerry Garcia and the Pope probably would have gotten along okay. Nice, mellow, laid back guys. It wouldn't be like Marilyn Manson going to meet the Pope.
His point being in essence, that I wasn't "like them" there at that college. That I was a tad more "free spirit" and different. He was sorry he offended me, and realized that indeed the Pope and ole Jerry there probably would have gotten along okay. And in the end, because of Jerry's niceness more than the Pope's acceptance.
And pretty much, my college career was just that. Me not fitting in, but me always being willing to be nice and helpful... but surrounded by people who felt their faith was better than mine, their God more Awesome.
Thing is... if you believe this stuff, it's the same God. Knuckleheads.
So I met Doug and we graduated together and life has gone on some weird and wonderful courses. All told, my faith is as strong and as pure as it was in 1984. I wonder about the person who questioned my going to a Christian college, he who is now divorced and business bankrupt.
After a wonderful and delicious meal at Woodman's, we eventually got back on the road, hit a couple of caches in Gloucester and Rockport, and headed home.
Jessie and I had planned to go into Boston to visit K in the hospital, she can have visitors now... but her dad called when we got home and said that she was overwhelmed with visitors and that it would probably be a good idea if we didn't come down immediately but gave her a little time. I fully agreed -- what was best for her over rode any desire to go into town and hug her... thus pushing her over the edge of what she could handle.
I took Jessie with me to go see All About Buford last night.
The show's opener was a high school student from Natick named Liz Hanna (Not sure if there is an H at the end there, and a web search didn't help). I am always wary of opening acts. Especially people I've never heard of before.
Liz was tremendously talented... she possesses a effortly gorgeous voice, and is an excellent keyboard player. But it was kind of strange watching her set... all her songs were these sad, painful, adolescent-angst kinds of songs, and all were at the same tempo. I wondered though, very deeply, where the pain in her songs was coming from. She didn't seem at all to be a waify, lost soul, wandering the earth looking for somewhere to belong and someone to love her. People there LOVED this girl, and you could tell there was an upwelling of familial and friend support.
I caught a lot of Ben Folds chord progression styling coming out of the first two songs, but when I asked her if she listened to him, she didn't know him at all.
She will be a tremendous performer. As long as she keeps developing her craft songs and maybe makes an angular break from the sadness content and comes at songs from a different perspective, a different voice. And then mixes things up a bit with speed against slowness.
We write what we know, more often than not. So I just had to sit there and ponder, at such a young, fresh age with what seems like a solid base of support -- where did the sadness come from?
All About Buford took the stage after Liz. It was a hard performance to watch, knowing that these four voices are not going to work together in this way again. There are certain notes, certain harmonies and certain places that they take my hearing, that I won't soon be able to find again. Taunia even sang the hell out of "My Funny Valentine," which is my favorite song that she does. It always makes me cry, but it was even more poignant last night to know that I wouldn't hear Amy singing the backing harmony to that again.
One of the first times I heard them sing together was in Taunia's living room in her Medford apartment, a few years back. I remember just being amazed at how the two of their voices could hit together so nicely. With what seemed like such little effort. They sang a Jonatha Brooke song, and I can't hear Jonatha's version without thinking that she doesn't do it nearly as well.
But Semisonic sang "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end..." and I sure hope that success and happiness follow each member in each incarnation of the band as they go their different ways. So it was a sad night. A lot of fun, but ... in the end a real sadness. I'm glad Jessie was there with me. It kept me from bawling like a baby.
Today sucks. It is pouring again. I'm incredibly glad that we got out for as much caching as we were able to get yesterday. I still have a horrible pain in my neck, but it is a lot less than it was. Another hot shower today and maybe some time on the heating pad later. We did get to talk to K on the phone a little while ago, and will probably call her again this evening. I think after work tomorrow I'm going to aim for bringing Jessie to the city to go see her. She may be in hospital for a while... must give her love. Please pray for her and her family. It's a rough row to hoe.
Friday, May 13, 2005
"Meningitis," he replied.
"Oh, maybe I have that!" I said in a mocking and semi-worried tone.
"No, you'd be comatose by now."
I know I don't have meningitis. I do know that maybe I need a different pillow. Geoff's got the nicer, newer ones. Perhaps I'll swap out one of mine for his. He'll never know.
Speaking of Geoff, he's got a half day today, so I plan on working on floor plans this morning to finish off the entire chain of this one store. And when he gets home, I'll take him to a drive through for lunch and then we'll go to my office. Must remember to charge up the gameboy for him so he has something to play with, and cross my fingers that G's husband still has the portable DVD player in the office and a collection of DVDs so maybe he can sit and enjoy watching something while I work.
Our office tends to get incredibly chaotic on Friday afternoons, so it is my hope that we can stay and not have to leave just for the sake of people needing to get their jobs done efficiently, loudly and distractingly. I don't know what it is, but I swear each Friday around 3:30 things just go kooky.
C is out today. It's her birthday so she took the day off to go shopping with her mom. She's going on vacation in another week, so she's getting all psyched for that (envy, envy). I'll miss her while she's gone. She always brings a good game to the office, and keeps me laughing. Sigh.
Jessica's friend K is in the hospital. Another friend called last night to tell us she's got a blood spot on her brain and has to have surgery, but we know the way stories get bigger and bigger with kids, and how the truth may only be available from talking to the parents.
Well -- I just got ahold of K's dad and got the full report. Yeah. It's serious. Seems she's had migraines for the past five years. On Wednesday she was vomiting, in extreme pain in the head, ashen. Thursday morning she passed out. They rushed her to Children's Hospital. She had some sort of blood vessel breech where she'd bleed into her head, causing the headaches, and then the vessel would heal... and it was happening over and over with more dire consequences and more blood being released but not absorbed. A CT scan showed a huge blood spot. She's in ICU, they've operated on her and stabalized her. She'll be in the hospital for a week. After that, she should be fine, but they're going to have her come back in another 3 weeks for more tests to make sure they fixed everything and to fix another area which is in danger of doing the same thing.
The worst possible side effect of this surgery is it couldl mess with her peripheral vision. Which is good compared to it debilitating her and making her unable to do gross motor work or speak. They won't know until a few weeks after her full recovery.
I guess yesterday K's mom called all the friends' parents to let them know, but she didn't want to leave a voicemail with this detail. Which is how C ended up calling Jessie with all the details.
We can't go see her, and we can't send flowers to ICU... so we're going to have to wait until she comes home to give her some love and gifts. I feel awful... I let them all know that I'd do anything to help out. I may make a lasagna for them so they have an immediate meal to throw in the oven.
Wow. Such a drag. Makes my neck ache trivial.
Okay -- on that note, now I begin working for a few hours. Geoff will be back home before I know it.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
"Bye, bye, goodbye -- I tried."
Oh man. He can stick a knife into the heart. I feel like the friend on the other end of the phone as he's at the airport asking me to come get him, tail between his legs... and believe you me, I've been in that set of shoes before, on the receiving end of the "it's over, I'm coming home" song .
I recommend it if you like Ben. It's on the new album, Songs For Silverman. For the most part, I'm enjoying the EPs better than SfS... but Landed and Gracie are tremendous songs...
I also downloaded some stuff by The Thorns, which is a collaboration akin to Crosby, Stills and Nash vocally and instrumentally made up of the folk-rocker acoustic singer-songwriter demigods of today: Matthew Sweet, Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge. Tess, you should look into them for sure. And I pulled the EP "The Bens" which is made up of Bens Kweller, Folds and Lee. I really don't care for Ben Lee -- a lot of people are turning onto him, but I like Ben Kweller and you all know I adore Ben Folds. The EP is fun, but I only really like two of the songs.
The thing I think I like best about iTunes is that it overlaps the next song on your play list with the song just finishing, kind of like a radio program. Instead of a CD where there is this dead gap... I had a live version of Bruce Cockburn's "Lord of the Starfields" going, and then softly the piano for "Give Judy My Notice" comes in, with the clapping and cheering of the last song fading out. It was nice. Nicely mixed... worked really well and had a good feel.
The key turned up. Lesson Learned: when you think you have indeed looked everywhere, chances are you've missed a spot. Keep looking.
It turned out to be fortuitous... I worked like mad for over 6 hours on store floorplans, and I got a few loads of laundry done in between. It was good working at home and being so productive. I ran out of content at about 3:30, and that was great because Geoff had just come home so I was able to focus on the kids and be done with work. I like that.
I'm incredibly far ahead at work, but there is some backtracking I need to do to undo some of my work because of other people's decisions. Lesson learned: Sometimes being productive and getting ahead just doesn't pay. Pace yourself, slow down, and don't work yourself out of a job or into a pickle.
Oh, I'm so philosophical.
Anyway -- I heard there was an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent that featured Geocaching as the major plot device. I didn't see it because I was watching all of the fabulous FOX animated series instead, so I'll have to catch it in a rerun. I guess they had buried the geocaches, which Geocaching does NOT endorse... nothing is to be buried. But... creative license of writers and now a few million people think that Geocaching involves shovels. If you saw it, let me know how it was...
I think my hobby just jumped the shark.
We're catching up on Geoff's Cub Scout achievements. His den mother sent me a copy of the spread sheet she uses to track achievements and he's done quite a few of them at home.
Especially the fishing one, and a kite flying one. Thank you OBX trip!
There are things that I can't imagine us doing here at home by ourselves, so I may ask his friend P to join with us and do things and they can both get credit. I emailed his mother to make sure she checked a few things off for P because he geocached with us and we did somethings that are required.
And then, on top of all that, there is this belt hoop/pin spreadsheet of more stuff they're supposed to be doing. Criminy.
They asked me to be a den mother next year. I passed because I don't want to move Geoff out of the den he's in. I really like the den mother, and the boys he is with, so I'm reluctant to switch. We all know how Geoff doesn't do well with changes in plans.
In other news, starting Monday I am no longer a contractor. I'm an official employee. I feel like Pinocchio must have felt when he was no longer puppet-boy but "Real" boy. They are giving me the salary I requested, and one of the other departments (the floorplan people) will provide me with stuff I can do at home to augment my work week and make it a full 40 hour work week.
The money is better contracting, but I'm so gonna get raped next April in my taxes if I keep this up. And we're not saving the money aside very well... so switching over now is going to lessen the burden come tax time.
And on that note, I suppose I should start getting me and the boy ready. I hear him pouring another bowl of cereal, which means he's not ready to dress. He's so done with school, it's sad. I feel horribly for him that he has to do this until June 20th.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
So no "this one time at band camp" crap from me. The subject of this entry concerns my kids. It is that time of year, if not a tad late, for us to consider where we are sticking the kids for the summer. Doug tried to pawn them off for a week or so on his folks, but they weren't biting. My folks may be moving in August, so it's kinda dicey as to whether or not they can or will be able to take them.
Doug found a summer camp for nerds in Andover for Jessica, and since it is on the way to work for him, he's enrolling her. There's a summer camp around the corner here that I always thought was prohibitively expensive but come to find out it's just amazing affordable... so we'll be sending Geoff there for the first 2 weeks of summer vacation, and then cub scout camp for like 3, and then back to this camp... i think.
Still trying to iron it all out, and realizing how much this is going to cost and how we're probably going to have to pay up front for things. It's a tad overwhelming.
You all know we're big Mythbusters fans. Adam savage often wears this black T-shirt with white stick figure and text reading "I do all my own stunts." Jessica thught that was funny. Yesterday I had to go to Target to get some storage things for Jessie's room, and there was the T-shirt in all its glory... in both her size and Geoff's size.
So I bought them.
Now, they're wearing the same T-shirt today, and the irony isn't lost on me... Jessica's only stunt is being able to step over the Playstation cord, and Geoff is so accident prone that doing any real stunts could result in his untimely demise (ie: Bungee Cord Wedgie entry from a while back).
It's funny for them to wear those, because it couldn't be anything less true.
Speaking of T-shirts, Jessie told me that one of the "prep" girls in her school (ie: Popular Crowd) was wearing a Vote For Pedro T-shirt, exactly like the one Napoleon Dynamite wears to the assembly.
Jessica was shocked. Aren't the popular kids not supposed to be for Pedro in theory? She said to her friend, another Napoleon Dynamite fan, "That girl just doesn't get it..."
There's really not much to report over here. I was thinking of reposting some old entries from the other journal here. I was thinking about our inauguration trip, and those were some pretty cool entries with lots of adventure. Kinger jumping off the cliff, Barenaked Ladies concert reviews, that kind of thing. I'll get to it when I can.
Monday, May 09, 2005
I didn't get that.
I did get a trip to the movies instead of Geocaching. The weather was not going to cooperate, and rather than get stuck out in a woodsy setting and have the sky open up on us a half mile from our truck, we opted for indoor activities.
We went to see Hitchhiker's Guide. It wan't as bad as I thought it would be, and Doug hated it and said "I liked 'Fat Albert' much better."
And that, my friends, is a heavy handed indictment. He really hated it.
There were things that I liked, things that I hated. I really am not sure how I feel about it overall. I think it opened powerfully and was well done, with the dolphins and the singing... and Arthur Dent's house situation. After that, well. Hrm.
Sets, special effects -- yes. Wonderful. But that which is funny in print sometimes just does not or cannot transfer to celluloid, no matter how hard one tries. I greatly enjoyed Mos Def as Ford Prefect, though. Really liked him. Thought his was the best played part... I loved how he weilded his towel. Nicely done.
We then went out for early dinner/late lunch. Linner. Drunch. Whatever you would like to call it. We tried to go to two restaurants at 4pm, and found an hour wait at each. So we were driving back toward the house thinking different thoughts about dinner and Doug pulled into The Green Barn on Rte 97 in Salem NH. We were the youngest people there (aside from our 2 kids... who were really the youngest people there).
It was one of those places you take grandma once or twice a year when you take her out of the home.
The food was good, the staff was friendly and efficient. It had this totally dated feel, a throwback to the 70s (go to the webpage and look at the dining room and woodwork. You've been to a place like this, I'm sure). We had a great dinner with really good pints of German Weiss-bier, and I took a huge nap upon return home.
That made up for the kids not being able to keep from fighting for 10 minutes, and the total absence of Buffalo Wings from Hooters being delivered to me at 10 am at bedside.
So for all you mothers out there, I hope your day was pleasant. Every day should be mother's day, where your kids behave and are kind and obedient, and husband appreciates you and lifts a hand to help more than he groans and avoids. Every day.
And on that note, gotta get ready for work.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Last night I decided to make buffalo wings for myself, seeing as no one was going to deliver them to me or go out and get them (thanks for the offer Mikey, that was really kind!) I cooked fewer wings per batch, and an hour later they still weren't crisp enough for my liking... I was disappointed and slightly heart broken.
We'll see what today has in store for me. Seeing as it's Mother's Day I feel the American right to demand someone go get them for me and treat me like the goddess I am. So there.
Doug rented some movies last night. He got Shaun of the Dead, which we didn't get to and probably will watch tonight. We did watch The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, which was funny and campy, but nowhere near as funny as we think the actors and writer themselves think it is... based on their behind the scenes interviews (gotta love special features on the DVD).
I would highly recommend it if you like B-movies from 1959 and love to Mystery Science Theatre comment on them. Be sure to watch the special features first so you get an idea of what was going on inside their heads as they made the movie.
The movie is supposed to be a recently discovered lost film about a scientist who likes doing science, and his tapioca-making wife, who discover a meteor chock full of the rarest of all the radioactive materials, Atmosphereum. Another scientists wants to steal the meteor, so he can bring a dead skeleton to life and have it assist him in his evil take-over-the-world plottings. And yet a third party, aliens from the planet Marva (which I keep thinking is Mulva, a good reference for you Seinfeld fans), require the Atmosphereum to fix their broken rocket so they can return to their planet.
All kinds of silliness ensues. Wacky stuff there, and if you watch it knowing it is meant to be a spoof, and you look for all the wonderful send ups of the B-movie science fiction genre, you'll get the joke.
The guy who wrote/directed/starred in it, Larry Blamire (aka Dr. Paul Armstrong, Scientist), looks surprisingly like Ryan Stiles from the Drew Carey show, and it was funny to watch him and have Ryan Stiles in mind acting this way.
There are some incredibly funny scenes, really cheesy wonderful dialog (Kro-bar the alien has some super lines) and the mutant is a drop dead riot. Especially when you watch the blooper reel and can hear what he's saying inside the costume.
I'm only hoping Shaun of the Dead is good.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Which brings me to Hooters.
Hooters has the best Buffalo wings this side of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo itself. And here is where I meet my demise.
I'm a gal. A fat gal. I can't just go to Hooters and like, order wings and sit there and eat them myself... You know why. There are these Hooters Girls who are hot and spicy themselves, wearing this awful panty hose stuff under these 3 sizes too damn small shorts and little bitty T-shirts which are about the size of the Scott Tissue I just used to wipe my ass.
I, as a fat chick, feel uncomfortable going in and ordering the 100 wings bucket from someone hot, tiny, spicy and sexy like a Hooters Gal. But I so desperately want me a pantload and a half of them there wings.
Does Hooters do Take Out?
Can someone order me up a batch and like, swing by the house? I'd so appreciate it.
Thanks. I feel much better now.
Final note -- Do you think it would be cheesy of me to ask for Hooters Wings to be brought home for me for Mother's Day this Sunday? Hmmm.
I have a Buffalo Wing anecdote.
In the summer of 1993, we went to a wedding in New York State. One of Doug's High School friends was getting hitched.
There was this inn where we all stayed, and the inn had a bar/restaurant in it. I was sitting at the table with a bunch of Doug friends from back in the day, and this guy Mark (aka Booger -- Smitty will know who that is) was all braggy about how he can eat ANY Buffalo wing on the planet. Nothing is too hot. He can handle it. Blah blah blah.
The bartender hears him and says "Well buddy, I can make a wing that will kick your ass. If you can eat it, the drinks are all on me!"
Mark accepts the challenge, and a few minutes later, three wings come out of the kitchen.
I'm sitting across the table from this guy, he's wearing glasses, I can see his hair perfectly dark brown/black and parted in the center, winged back in a kind of Pittsburgh haircut without the long mullet in back, and his eyes are watering before the wings even hit the table.
My eyes are watering, and I'm about five fee away from the wings. Holy shit -- is this nuclear waste in front of us? What has this poor boy gotten himself into!?
He picks up a wing, he takes a bite, the tears are rolling down his face and his nose is running. What is in these things. He's gagging. He's choking. But... he's eating. He's suffering, but he eats one fully, gulping about 10 gallons of water and beer -- any liquid he can set his hands to. His finger tips are swollen and red.
The bartender congratulates him. Drinks are on the house. Everyone cheers. Mark eats a second, just to prove it wasn't a fluke.
That was the second time I'd ever met him. And I think it was his proudest moment. I don't know what happened to the third wing. I sure as hell wasn't going to eat it.
My best guess is it ended up in a nuclear waste landfill in New Mexico. Or Nevada.
We had a great day at work. M had a date last night with a new gal. We decided before C got to work that we'd tell her it was horrible... better yet, we'd tell her that the girl didn't show and that M himself sat there and waited.
I was in the midst of writing up a fake "Runaway Bride" kind of email message for him to read to her, where the gal was all sorry for not showing and let him know her secret fears of relationship and whatnot, when C walked into the office and immediately wanted a report.
M told her that the girl didn't show.
C was --- crestfallen. Devastated. She said "Shut UP!" and was all dejected for M.
M couldn't keep the ruse up, and he cracked -- he told the truth. The date went well. And C was bullshit that we punk'd her ass.
Heh. It was a good one, even if it only lasted 30 seconds.
I'm such a goner. C is so going to punk me right back at some point. And I do know revenge is a dish best served cold ... I'm ready for it though. I can punk and be punk'd. Ever the gracious giver of punkage, I am equally comfortable receiving.
Bring. It. On. As John Kerry would say.
We had a lot of fun, and I got several thousand tons worth of work done, and it all ended with Beverage Friday, where we enjoyed beer and played with MB's baby.
That, my friends, is why I love my job. Barefoot, drinking beer, playing with a baby, productive, throwing a good punk in, and getting shit-tons done. I'm a happy girl. Love my job right now. Love it.
I got home from work and hurriedly readied Geoff for Cub Scouts. Not sure why but there were only four boys there, including Geoff. The den meeting went perfectly, sweetly, wonderfully, and I loved watching them work together on their little projects (they were studying the new food pyramid and weighing what 3 ounces of meat a day would come out to. All four boys were like "Yeah, as if!")
We came home and Doug had dropped Jessica off at the middle school where the 6th graders were doing their big play. I'm glad I checked the machine -- Jessie called right after he dropped her off, and she reported that the play was sold out and she and a friend E were there, sans ticket, and planned on going back to E's house to hang until she could get ahold of us again.
But she didn't leave us E's number.
Why do really brilliant 12 year old kids with incredibly high IQs forget the single most important detail? These folks were not listed in the phone book, so I had to wait for her to call me back.
And she did. Eventually.
I sat by the campfire (Yes! There was a rocking camp fire going when I got back from cub scouts, indeed!) and waited for her to call. I chatted up my mom and got the report back from her after I'd turned her on to a Buyer's Broker to help her buy her house. She had such a negative experience with the real estate lady that she'd been working with, that she was not sure what she was going to do next... so I did some research and found a Buyer's Broker, and my mom talked to her for over 2 hours tonight. So hopefully her plans are back on track.
The camp fire was lovely, and I hated to leave it, but my parenting duties called and I went to get the girl. I like this girl E and her mom and dad -- they're really funny, and E is in the drama thing at school so that's how Jessie met her.
So far, Jessie has only made one slightly shady friend, and I like her keeping this friend because I think Jessie is a good influence on her. And I'm getting to know the parents, and they're cool and nice, so I have higher hopes for this slightly shady girl. I learned some background information, and my heart has softened to her. I like her more. She's funny as hell.
Jessie has good taste in friends.
Anyway -- after I got back with Jess, the campfire re-embraced me and it was good. I was very sad to take the hose to it at about 11pm. It's bed time. It is supposed to rain all damn weekend. I may go for a walk out to hide a geocache even in the torrential rain, because, damnit! Someone has to.
I guess that's about it. God, I'm rambly. Must be the tired creeping in. Chow.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Seeing as today is Cinco De Mayo, I thought I would republish something I wrote this day last year in the old Journalspace journal... for those of you who are newish, or for those of you who have been sniffing glue and need to be reminded what I thought then... because I still think it now. I've edited it down a tad, but. It still holds up:
Cinco de What Now?
Originally Posted 5/5/04
I wish that people would learn a little bit about the history and wherewithal behind Cinco de Mayo before they went out and sucked down a million Margaritas and Coronas. It's kind of sad that other cultures have holidays or dates of note and we're turning it into a "week of festivities and boozin it up Mexican style!" as a local radio station stated.
Ten years ago this holiday wasn't on any American's radar screen. Is it only because Mexico is so close to us geographically that us gringos are latching on to this full force for a party hearty week of festivities? Or is it just clever marketing from Dos Equis and Corona beer distributors?
If it were the geographical angle, we'd see people going nuts, cranking Anne Murray, Loverboy, Brian Adams and Rush and drinking Molson and Labatts like a bunch of drunken mounties on Canada Day (actually, that describes me pretty much every weekend, with BNL driving the mix. Canada Rocks, yo). I'm inclined to see it as a ruse on the part of the booze distributors to get your ass out there and drink more Jose Cuervo and eat more nachos. They're very salty, those nachos. And they make you thirsty, so you'll drink piss poor Corona beer and call it a holiday.
You sorry-assed American! You've been tricked into being a money-bleeding consumer. Cinco de Mayo is nothing more than an opportunity for you to hand over your hard earned money to beer distributors. It's veiled as a fun "holiday" where you can let your inner Frat Boy shine. Just like St. Patty's day. (Which, if you know anything, is an actual holy day in Ireland. People are sober and in church all day thanking St. Patrick for all he did for the island, and not throwing up green beer in the streets and listening to the fife and drum Police Band from Southie).
Well, isn't it true that EVERY American holiday is either a big excuse to give your money away or to get drunk? From Easter to Christmas it's a marketing bonanza. Forget mother's day -- the drunkenest day on the calendar by far here in America. Woo, is that one a messy holiday in these parts. All that money given to Hallmark and flower stores, and all that White Zinfandel flowing down the gullets of wiped out moms everywhere.
But. In comparison to living in Chechnya or Iraq at this time, I'll take the consumer driven culture of this country any day. At least there are things to consume, or choose not to consume. Market at me as hard as you want, call it a week of boozing it up Mexican Style if you want. Pass the buffalo wings and a cold low-carb brew.
If you're going to indulge, go learn about it first and know what you're celebrating. And remember, Pacifico is a much better beer than Corona, if you're interested in slugging back a few cerveza mas fina.
So yesterday I mentioned Marc Broussard and a few people asked who he was. Do look him up if you like cajun infused tunage. You can hear "home" first, and then the fourth track is pretty sexy. I like track 9 and 10 from what I hear from the samples. I may just have to i-Tunes those in addition to Home. He has a voice that is all over the map, strange soft and swet, then souly and gritty like Luther Freakin' Vandross. As Jo would say "Meow."
The thing I greatly DISlike about him is that just about every damn track starts with him Moaning Something. "mmmmmmmmmm, mmm, mmmm, mmmmmmm...." Uh, yeah. EVERY song? Why?
My sister tells me my parents withdrew their offer on the trailer, so I don't know the deal with them right now. I need to give her a call and ask what the deal is. I also need to call my sister in law and ask how our nephew is doing. I presume he is doing okay, because we haven't heard anything from anyone to the contrary.
Communication -- it's a wonderful thing. That's why I keep this journal. Anyone can read it and say "oh. That's what's going on with them. Nice!"
Right then. What else is going on? Work was crazy today. We had a confused woman call us today who got a shipment of something and had no idea why. I'm glad I sit in the middle of the office and hear everyone else's conversations and knew to ask one very crucial question in order to figure out exactly why she had the big box of stuff she had. My buddy M and I researched it and I felt like I was so hot shit helpin' out the operations team. Heh. I'm so damn cool. But you already knew that.
Oh -- and C took a flash class this week, and now she knows how to do all that motion stuff that I spent three straight days crucifying myself over. I hope she'll share the knowledge.
Doug got sent out to central MA today to a nursing home to do coverage there, so he won't be home until at least 7. I have to figure out what to do for dinner, we have like nothing whatsoever here and I so do not feel like hitting the market. Meh. Who around here can deliver a couple dozen really good buffalo wings? Answer -- no one. We live in East Jesus MA, and no buffalo wing delivery exists here.
Actually, it could be worse. We can get pizza delivered that isn't half bad. But I long for the days when we lived on East Charlesgate in Boston and there was a hot wings store on Commonwealth that delivered. Ooooooh. Our first three months of marriage were spent ordering wings. That's why I'm huge like house.
Right. I got nothin. I'm pretty dull and boring. That's about all. More later.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
My husband bought a new lawnmower. Not as big as a boat, but a very crucial and important purchase nonetheless. We bought our last lawn mower when we moved in here, in 1996. In the last four years, many things have broken off of it, fallen off of it, or have been wired together to just barely make the thing run.
I hate that I cannot tell whether or not my upstairs tennant is laughing or crying. If she's crying, I'd like to give her a hand, ya know. Go up. Console. Part of me does, at least. The other part says "meh, whatever." But she's got this crazy laugh, and ... it's loud and boisterous, and. Well. Yeah. Hhhrmmm.
Anyway -- back to the lawnmower. Yeah. We had this old boy tape-and- spitballed together so it'd run. Yesterday afternoon Doug came home and pulled it out... our grass (about half the lawn, the healthy part, which is a story for another day) sorely needed mowed but the rain as of late prevented any mowage from happening until yesterday. He went out to mow, and was merrily mowing with the near dead lawnmower, when it truly did die, and he couldn't pull a Gregory House on it, figure out the hidden malady and suddenly have it fixed with 11 minutes left in the program.
So he wanted a Honda mower, researched it, went to the mower shop in Plaistow NH where they didn't have what he wanted and obviously are painfully laid back about sales because no one helped him maybe pick out another one that would do for him... so he left and went to Home Despot and bought one there.
It looks like an evil stinging flying insect. It's wicked, with black and orange and ... ooooh. Scary.
Oh -- she's laughing. I hear "hee hee hee hee." I wonder if she's laughing at the boat? Maybe? Oh, now it's "hoo hoo haa hee haa haa haa." I feel much less worried about her. Whew.
Anyway, back to the lawnmower. He just finished mowing the lawn. And we'll see how long this one lasts. I'm suggesting he store it in the basement instead of under the deck. It will weather better when put away nicely.
Jessica wanted a riding mower. She knows how to drive a tractor (thanks to Uncle Aaron who taught her quite nicely) and she said she'd gladly mow the lawn weekly if it was a ride on mower. What a lazy cuss she is, huh.
Doug told her that while the mower we now own doesn't support her weight, she can still feel free to mow whenever she wants.
Towhit, she replied "meh."
I have decided that I really am incredibly sick to death of the following:
- Joss Stone. Yawn. Her bare feet and sexy low-rider white jeans bore me. For soul, I'll take Etta James any day. Yeah, she's 18, she's phenomenal. But. She's like an American Idol contestant and I'm tired of her schtick.'
- Mick Jagger's "Old Habits Die Hard" song from Alfie, with the insufferable Sheryl Crow. Meh. I hate her. And Mick just can't sing anymore. Sorry. Lame.
- Anna Nalick's new song "Breathe (2am)" which I liked the first 100 times I heard, but now would really like to hear something new and different from her album, which Rolling Stone gives 3 stars, and hopefully has more than one hit on it.
- Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." Is he on a Boulevard, a street or a road. Billie Joe needed a good songwriting editor on that one. It frustrates me when I hear it. I would much MUCH rather hear "Holiday," which is a fine, loud, fun song. It kicks ass. More Holiday, less Boulevard, thank you.
- Dave Matthew's American Baby song. It sucks. It is awful. It is a mumbly joe mess with an awful, boring repetitive "refrain" that just makes me yawn. I'm disappointed in you, Dave.
I am NOT sick of the following:
- Bruce Hornsby's new Candy Mountain song. I can listen to that all day. Grateful Dead influenced happiness. A great summer song. But, it could join the list above if the radio station I listen to continues to play it twice a day.
- Barenaked Ladies. I never sicken of thee.
- Marc Broussard, singing the heck out of "Home."
- Vodka Tonics. Yeah!
- Real World/Road Rules Challenges -- will someone please smack Veronica into the middle of next year. Gah.
Hmmm. That's pretty much it right now.
The radio station I listen to streaming online is The River. If you are at your desk and your network administrator doesn't give you shit for streaming media, you too can listen to the River. It beats half of what is on the air these days, because they play some weird stuff sometimes.
But I notice that when I am listening for 8 hours straight, 5 days a week, that there is a lot more repetition than I'd like to hear from an allegedly independent radio station. Especially with the afternoon guy, Bob Stewart. For instance -- Fiona Apple's "Sleep to Dream" song. Three days in a row, at the same time. I love that song. But. Why? Why is it being played DAILY in the same spot. It pisses me off. I should add that to my list.
And he always plays "Accidentally in Love" by the Counting Crows. As if their discography has nothing else of value in it. Meh.
I emailed to complain, but no one listens. And they don't play nearly enough Barenaked Ladies, compared to the amount of U2, or Bruce Springsteen (or Fiona Apple, for that matter).
Anyway -- every day at lunchtime they do something called "The Daily Special." They give a theme, and you need to supply songs that fit the theme. I always try and give a BNL song to fit the theme, of course. Today's theme was Songs About Women, of which BNL has three. I suggested 15 songs in all, from Sweet Melissa and Jessica from the Allman Bros. To "Jane Says" by Jane's Addiction. And many more in between.
They didn't play a single one of my suggestions. Instead, they played a song they play 3 to 9 times a day "Kathleen" by Josh Ritter. Which is a great song, but isn't "SPECIAL" in any way, shape or form. A song that is already in their play list shouldn't be included in the Special list. Sorry. I got pissed at that.
But they countered with Jonatha Brooke's "Annie" and I melted.
Aw, River ... you can't do nothin' wrong!
Tomorrow's theme is songs about Mexico, for cinco de Mayo. Yet another holiday in the USA that has no clue as to what it is about ... except for booze. I suggested James Taylor's "Mexico" of course, and "Banditos" by the Refreshments, which is the best song ever.
Let's see if they play it!
Alright -- Geoff went over to play in the boat next door, I ought to go drag his ass over here. They want me to see it. I should go check it out.
They have a boat, but I have a new lawnmower. Neener. Neener.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
And I could fall over sideways in this chair, my head on the desk and I'd fall asleep. But putting me in bed seems to be a different story. I tried snoozing on the couch, but that didn't work. I'm not sure what is up with me.
I'm not tired. I just sleep.
I think I have had a real post-vacation emotional let-down here, and I'm kind of in a state of numb-disenfranchisement or something. And the weather is, of course, no help. I can only pray for sun and warm and outsideness.
Yesterday afternoon I came home early and was able to get out for a few minutes until a swarm of man eating budgie-sized gnats swarmed down upon me to feast upon my flesh.
I can't win.
The office should be quiet this morning. C and MB are at a Flash training class this morning. While a few months ago I managed to get all of the elements into a Flash file, I still can't get the action script working. The restructuring of our department brings this project to their tables, so they're going to take a class. And M will not be in until late. So things will be quiet and ... quiet.
No Love Bombs for me this morning.
I finally managed to get to sleep. I actually did one of those complete and total body jumps, you know... the falling asleep and suddenly your entire body jerks alert and your arms are akimbo and you are disoriented for a split second, and then you fall back asleep. Yeah. Haven't done one of those in a very long time.
Getting up this morning was difficult. But I'll manage. A little more coffee, some more coffee. A big glass of water, a hot shower. All these things will get me going.
The one thing I'm incredibly grateful for in the morning is Jessica. She's up and dressed, ready and sitting on the couch for a half hour before she even needs to walk out the door. I don't know what I'd do if I had to go in her room, wake her, mess with her, beg, cajole, plead with her to get up. That'd be no fun. Considering I'm in bed until a half hour AFTER her bus comes.
So hurrah for Jessica getting up and getting herself ready. Love Bomb.
And on that note -- off to ready myself and the boy. More later.
Monday, May 02, 2005
For those unaware of that story, I'll share it.
Flashback (hopefully you can do the Wayne's World time travel noise and hand motion) to late April 2003. We got into our pick up truck with our two dogs and we went to take them swimming at a neighboring town's watering hole. We had leashed them in the back rather than just letting them ride back there. I knew Kinger would ride safe, but Jack had never experienced this before. So, we leashed them to the truck bed through the loops provided by Dodge.
Jack, being a little wee young puppy, managed to weasel his head out of the collar and leash.
I saw him in the side view mirror from my vanage point in the front passenger's seat. He put his paws on the side of the truck bed, and the doggie tongue and ears were a-flapping. Doug had been going about 30. I screamed to him to slow down and stop, that Jack was going to ...
And he did, as Doug had slowed to about 10 miles an hour and went around a corner. When the truck came to a complete stop, I jumped out to find Jack pinned by his front two legs under the back passenger's side tire, trying to twist and move. I yelled to Doug to back up about a foot. While Doug backed up, I went to grab Jack and he bit me on the hand, baring down hard and looking me in the eyes, he was totally freaked out and terrified. I didn't pull my hand away, I let him bite and hold, as I grabbed the back of his head and held on to him.
We scooped him up (while I had a screaming fight with a woman who came out of her house to see what was wrong, that I'll save for another day) and jumped into the truck. It was terrifying. The kids were screaming, Kinger was freaking out in the back of the truck (still leashed) It was a Sunday, so our vet's office was closed. We rushed to the regional animal hospital. Jack stayed overnight, had a bunch of wounds that were pretty scary, and suffered some neurological damage to his front shoulder.
The vet said that his injury most likely would never heal. The nerve damage was extensive, and there was nothing that could fix it other than physical therapy after his open cuts healed. And hope for the best.
We nursed the cuts. He could walk, but he'd take a step with his front left leg and then go to place the right front and fall flat on his face. He was so pathetic, so sad.
But he was so determined. He healed up nicely, and we were able to take him swimming a few weeks after the event, and he swam like a fiend. In this quarry. The swimming was good for him. And good for me. I felt so much joy in seeing him go at it again.
And for those who know Jackie, it is like nothing ever happened to him that day at all. He's fine. He's wonderful. He's amazing.
That's our story.
So yesterday, going back for the first time in a long time to a place where I had good feelings of joy and relief... made me feel a lot better. That and a good dose of sunshine, and finding a difficult geocache. All told, combine that with the Simpsons, Family Guy and a vodka tonic and the evening turned out just fine.
The title of today's entry refers to something I heard the other day on the radio. Local station WAAF personalities were making fun of Curt Schilling. Not for his political preferences. Not for his bobbly ankle. But because he plays Everquest.
Yes. He plays Everquest.
And he's a proud online gaming geek. And he will let you know it.
WAAF first caught onto this when they saw Schilling wearing an Everquest hat at a press conference, so they did some digging and found an interview that he did with some e-zine about Everquest... he talked about how he got started in RPG by playing Dungeons and Dragons, Ultima Online, and he moved on to Everquest and has been playing it for years.
The guys at WAAF thought this was a drop dead riot. I emailed them to point that (in my humble opinion) Schilling ought to be praised and not ridiculed.
Schilling is a Christian. A very religious Christian. One who many people would label "evangelical," with all the baggage that implies. The fact he's open and honest about role playing games that use "dark" characters and wizards and what not is a HUGE admission for a man inside "the faith."
When I was in college, I played some D&D. My husband grew up playing D&D. Clayton played D&D, Magic, and online games like Everquest.
And when we were in college, we took heat from the Holier Than Thou types who believed that our forays into the "dark realm of Satanic behavior" in D&D was putting our souls in jeapordy. Evangelicals, the Ned Flanders types of the community, do not like D&D, Magic Cards, or any games that aren't Billy Graham's Bible Blaster. (if you click the link, Click on the file cabinet to go to Flanders, and then choose Rod Flanders. You can play Billy Graham's Bible Blaster on the Simpsons Website. Nice!)
So for Schilling to admit he plays these games, and has not become some sort of evil Pagan dancing around a fire in a field on Yule, is a pretty brave admission. It also validates my college experience, and makes me smile in remembering the fun I had with friends playing D&D. I'm not goin' to hell in a handbasket, damnit! This golden boy of the faith isn't either.
Yay for Curt Schilling. Boo to Christian Talibanism.
Meme of the morning is stolen from Tess, who stole from Amy...
1. YOUR PORN STAR NAME: Spaz Salem
(Name of first pet / Street where you live)
2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: Ring Ding William
(Name of your favorite snack food / Grandfather’s first name)
3. YOUR FASHION DESIGNER NAME: Paper Tap
(First word you see on your left / Favorite restaurant)
4. EXOTIC FOREIGNER ALIAS: Tarragon Niagara Falls
(Favorite Spice / Last Foreign Vacation Spot)
5. SOCIALITE ALIAS: Cliffy Huntington
(Silliest Childhood Nickname / Town Where You First Partied)
6. “FLY GIRL/BOY” ALIAS: C-Gei
(First Initial / First Two or Three Letters of your Last Name)
7. ICON ALIAS: Candy Dishsoap
(Something Sweet Within Sight / Any Liquid in Your Kitchen)
8. DETECTIVE ALIAS: Puppy Huntington
(Favorite Baby Animal / Where You Went to High School)
9. BARFLY ALIAS: Pepperoni Gin and Tonic
(Last Snack Food You Ate / Your Favorite Alcoholic Drink)
10. SOAP OPERA ALIAS: Louise Main
(Middle Name / Street Where You First Lived)
11. ROCK STAR ALIAS: Peanut Butter Cup Page
(Favorite Candy / Last Name Of Favorite Musician)
12. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: Chgei WhHun
( First 2 letters of your first name and the first 3 Letters from your last name makes your first name. Take the first 2 letters of your mother’s maiden name and the first 3 letters of the city you were born in for your last name)
My Star Wars Name doesn't work too well. I like My bar fly alias. Nice! Pepperoni Gin and Tonic. Enough to make one gag. And.. Candy Dishsoap is genius.
So. Thanks to Tess for turning me on to this one. It made me laugh.
Well, I started this entry last night, wrote some this morning, and now am home from work and Doug is grilling and I'm chilling. C read my entry the other day and suggested I hire someone to come clean the house. Now that I'm making more money, that's indeed an option.
But I'd have to clean the mess that this place is FIRST before someone could come in and clean it. Seriously. Some lady couldn't just come in here and clean this place, she would not know what the hell to do with 98 percent of this crap. I don't even know what to do with 98 percent of this crap.
So I'm mentally working on this, and hoping that this spring/summer brings some peace to my desperately trying to be neater soul. Until then, God must send his angels to protect the next person who drops trash in the sink or who leaves candy wrappers in the middle of the damn living room floor. May he hear my prayer.