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Showing posts from July, 2009

7 Quick Takes (Again! Already!)

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I just taught Rachel and her friend how to crochet. I know, I am amazing. So, now, if you'll excuse me, I'll spend the rest of the day in my bedroom closet, hiding from the children and blogging on my laptop.
One of these days I should figure out how to file self-employment tax forms. Say, before the nice gentleman from the IRS shows up at my door...
My (self-employed) neighbor says I can deduct mileage for getting to Starbucks. So now I"m wondering if the cinnamon coffee cake is deductible as "office expenses."
Using the word "deductible" makes me feel very grown-up.
Stick around for #7 - you won't regret it.
I figured out how to stick that "7 Quick Takes" icon (or whatever you call it) into this blog post. I feel very good about that. Even if it is too tiny.
Best for last - solutions to the problem of health care reform - enjoy!
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cYou're Welcome - Health Care Reformwww.thedailyshow.co…

Karma's A B*tch

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I've become one of those Starbucks dwellers, hunched over my laptop, making money.  I love it.  For years I've wondered what people were doing sitting in Starbucks with their laptops on.  I thought they were just showing off that they had a laptop.  Really. 

But now - I know!  They were getting the heck out of the house so that they could get some work done.  And then they were wasting some of that precious time blogging, because why not?  And they were eating yummy cinnamon coffee cake because they felt obligated to buy something to pay for hogging an entire table with their precious laptop all evening.

I have met the enemy, and he is me.

Tonight, however, there was a snake in Paradise.  I had just sat down and plugged in when the mother at the table next to me took out a book.  Not just any book, mind you - but a Berenstain Bears Go To Camp book.  And then - horrors! - she proceeded to read it out loud to her son.

Yes.  Right there in Starbucks.  Tell me, people, have I not s…

Health Care Reform's Hidden Chocolate Agenda

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Well! Anyone seen this? For those of you who refuse to click, that link leads to a BBC article headlined "Calls To Downsize Chocolate Bars."

What?! Slow down, people! Let's not do anything we might regret later, okay? I mean, I'm all for good health and everything; but from reading this article you'd think chocolate were merely a candy.

Candy? I think not. Chocolate is medicinal. So why are those Europeans trying to lower the dose? And doesn't Obama realize that his infernal plan for health reform may put those of us here in America on this same slippery slope to chocolate restriction? I predict that, if health reform passes, you won't be able to get any chocolate without a prescription. And even that chocolate will be a generic. Tell me, is that progress?

And don't try to change the subject with all that talk about universal coverage and pre-existing conditions and affordability. That's all a smokescreen for what is really going on her…

The Hostess With The Mostest

I don't know how anyone else gets ready to host Bunko; but the only way I can do it is by feeding my children copious amounts of the fun food they see me preparing for guests, and then neglecting to give the poor dears a real dinner (because I wouldn't have time to clean it up). So, yes, my children will be sitting down late this afternoon to a fine snack of peach cobbler a la mode, accompanied by a side of potato chips and dip, followed by a dessert course consisting of peanut M&M's and mini Snickers bars. Then (because Larry will be out working) the kiddies will be relegated to the basement for the evening to watch TV while I entertain my guests.

Not quite child abuse, but I think I'm walking a fine line here...

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So much to say, so little time...but if you need to engage in typical American handwringing over issues that shouldn't be issues at all, go on over to the NY Times parenting blog Motherlode and read about the angst over birth order. …

Playing Favorites

Larry came into the bedroom at 7 o'clock this morning and woke me saying, "Don't you need to get up to go to the Farmers' Market?" Whereupon Susie - who, yes, still climbs into our bed every single night even though she is 4 and no, I don't think this habit is going to keep her from growing up and being independent although I sure wish she would stop kicking me in the kidneys while I sleep....

I digress. Susie opened her eyes and said, "You let Mommy get up when she wants!"

Who's Mommy's new favorite, hmmmm?

7 Quick Takes (Why Not?)

I don't care if I have become a BlogHer Ads minion - if I read one more post about all the fun everyone is having out there in Chicago right now, I'm not going to be responsible for what happens.I know I've mentioned before how teens make us feel ancient, etc. But really? Nothing drives home the fact that you are middle-aged like visiting your child's college-to-be on Open House Day. On the one hand you are strolling across a college campus, channeling your younger self and recalling all the fun you had at school; on the other hand, you are noticing all the other parents there with their teens and thinking, "Boy, do they look old!" And then, reality smacks you in the face - they look like you.Parents, when your grown children make an effort to call you every other day because you have complained about not hearing from them on a regular basis? Do not spend half the phone time complaining that they are not visiting you enough. It's just not smart. Tod…

Lawyers, Drugs, and Money

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What can I say? I've been spending my day opining all over the blogosphere and Facebook that when a police officer asks for your ID, you show it to him without arguing. I believe that any guy, black or white, who starts yelling at a cop will most likely end up arrested. Maybe we should stop the knee-jerk liberalism already, what with seeing racism behind every interaction between the law and an African-American. It's as bad as my right-wing friends who espy socialism or totalitarianism or both, for heaven's sake, lurking behind every single government program.

And I like Gates's writing, dammit. I just think he was jetlagged and went off the deep end.

Anyway, here are two (opposing) views on the situation, one that disagrees with me and another that takes my point of view. I think they both have their merits.

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What is it with the Internet that makes me want to spout opinions? I don't know.

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Theo had all his wisdom teeth removed this mornin…

A Couple Of Questions...

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I don't know where the children are, and I don't care. I can't seem to get enough of the quiet, you know? I'm going to end up in a padded room.

Marriage question: If your husband goes out and buys himself an MP3 player and figures out how to use it all on his own, including (but not limited to) how to download podcasts from ITunes....is that a midlife crisis type of thing?

What's the big deal, you ask? Understand that Larry still can't figure out how to access our voicemail. He can't find the phonebook on his cellphone. I think even the toaster puzzles him a bit. So what's up with the MP3 player, huh? And why didn't he get me one?

Vacation question: We're going on a long-planned trip in a couple of weeks, a real trip where we stay in a fully furnished cottage that we rented (over the Internet) months ago. No bunking down with long-suffering relatives, no "let's go camping, that's more fun!" prevarications - an honest-to-…

Knitting and World Peace

[Welcome, Women's Colony readers! Feel free to hang out and look around. Just don't get on my case about the myriad unfinished knitting projects strewn around, or my lax parenting habits, or my predilection for writing about vomit. We all have our little idiosyncrasies...]

Shhh, I'm working. Larry even took the younger kids out so that I could concentrate. Has anyone else noticed that immediate feeling of relaxation that comes over you when everyone else leaves the house? Aaaahhhhh.....

Somehow, I don't think I'm going to have any problems whatsoever with empty-nest syndrome.

Well, I had a neat article to point you to (but I can't find it), all about whether mommy bloggers are becoming corporate sellouts. You never have to worry about that here, of course, because no one wants to buy me. I'm sell-out proof! Although I can't imagine why I don't have refrigerator and dishwasher companies banging on my (cyber)door.

[Why, yes, I am still washing dis…

As The Food Turns: Nature's Bounty

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Where the heck have I been?

We all know what is due here - a refrigerator clean-out post. But I kept putting it off. The refrigerator had gotten to the point where we almost couldn't use it - every time we tried to take something from it, a zillion other things would fall out. We'd shove those back in, thus making everything else fall out.

Look, if you don't understand that last sentence, go read some other blog, will ya? We don't need your kind around here.

Anyway, today I decided that if we could land a man on the moon (um, 40 years ago), I should be able to clean the old stuff out of my refrigerator. I made the kids leave the kitchen (I knew it was going to be ugly) and dove in. It wasn't too bad, once I started (I mean, by my standards - Jenn, I really advise you to leave, if you haven't already).

As we can see from the picture below at the right, it's high summer, the season of produce! Really, I don't even know where to start describing nature&#…

Politics - Now Playing In A Senate Chamber Near You!

Too, too tired to be coherent this evening. I'm going to crawl between my cozy sheets and try to sleep - that is, if my clogged sinuses, stuffed-up nose, and PMS headache don't keep me up.

Yeah, it's one of those days. I made it worse by listening to snippets of the Senate grilling Sotomayor today. All I can say is, I'm glad those Republican senators are trying to make sure we don't get some emotional Hispanic female on the Supreme Court - let's just stick with the white guys, because we all know white guys don't have any biases of their own.

I told you I was cranky. Here, this guy says it better. And The New Yorker last month took pains to remind us that the quest for diversity on the Court, far from being a sort of late-20th-century liberal gerrymandering, has a long history, with the definition of diversity changing as our society has changed.

[That last link is a good read, folks - a balanced assessment of what Sotomayor has done and might do, with a…

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

Blog post ideas flit through my overactive brain all day, but I tend to forget them by the time I sit down to write. So this morning I thought, "No problem! I'll just jot down some key phrases when I get an idea, and I'll expand on them later. No more forgetting!"

So now I'm sitting here at 11:30 PM, wondering what brilliant thoughts I had this morning involving "rocket science." Rocket science? Sounds like a laugh riot, whatever it was...

Anywhoo, Theo asked me last night to make sure he was awake and at the computer before 8 AM this morning; today was the day for him to sign up for his fall semester college courses.

"Online?" I asked. "Wow - how cool is that!"
"How did you sign up for classes?" he asked.
"Well, let's see...I guess we all got into our covered wagons and drove up to the big assembly hall and stood in line."
"In line?"
"Yes, because there was no online."
(Puzzled look) "…

The End Of An Era

How about if I feature some fantastic posts written by others for a change, rather than just hyperlinking selfishly to my own past scribblings? Wouldn't that be refreshing? A relief, even?

Hats off to Beck for writing that dieting is not a moral issue! We are all fallen sinners, no matter what we eat; so please do not be a sanctimonious diet snob.

And thank you, Veronica, for giving me my laugh for today with your method of determining whether certain items of clothing should remain in your drawers. Car accident, indeed! You are a woman after my own worst-case-scenario heart! And you are right - life is too short to wash clothes that you hate.

There! That was a sneaky way to get out of writing a blog post of my own. I need to go and see if the child I hear screaming is my own. I think mine are asleep. It may be a neighbor's child. That would be a nice change, wouldn't it? I know my neighbors all think I beat mine regularly, to judge from the amount of caterwaulin…

Bloggers - Now In 3D!

Some folks go to horror movies to get their chills and thrills. Me? I just read articles like this one. The thought of crawling multitudes (especially ones I can't see) supply me with that same frisson of terror that other folks get from checking out the latest Stephen King flick. I don't know why I torture myself this way; but it's like a train wreck, I've just got to look. Whether it's infestations of bedbugs in homes across the nation or giant colonies of ants taking over the world, the lure of the entomologically horrible is irresistible to me.

And those magnified pictures! I mean, who doesn't feel the urge to see an ant 100 times its normal size? Who wouldn't want to feast their eyes on all the particulars of a comely bedbug?

Did you click on that last one? You really shouldn't have. I mean, I wish I hadn't.

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I met a bunch of local bloggers last night and was reminded once again that I was born 2 decades too late [edite…

Sweet Justice

I know! I haven't announced the Appliance Poetry Slam winner yet! Mostly because I cannot figure out how to get a picture of the poll results pasted into my post. Also? I haven't thought of a prize yet. Give me a couple of days, all right? I'm not good at this sort of thing, the way the Big Dogs of mommy blogging are.

The head cold from hell is still here. I run around for an hour or so cooking, doing dishes, cleaning up; then I fall onto the couch and languish until I'm able to get back up again. My kids don't even notice. To them, I'm so old I'm almost dead anyway, right?

But before I put the other foot in the grave, I would like to share with the other mothers of teen girls out there an infrequent moment of sweet justice. You will recall the illuminating discussion I had with Anna about dental hygiene as she was packing for her European vacation. You know, the discussion during which she claimed not to need to floss?

Well, Anna had her biannual (…

Return To Status Quo

Well, now you know - I'm one of those women who, once they start rearranging the furniture, just cannot stop. I think Dawn is regretting ever offering to help me freshen up my blog, poor woman. So now we're back to one sidebar (I thought 2 looked too busy) with tabs along the top. I thought tabs weren't possible in Blogger, but Dawn figured it out for me. I'll be putting more stuff up there as soon as I can get these pesky children to stop bothering me.

Summer, thy name is whining. And bickering. I think I'll have to refresh my memory on how to amuse these kids by reading this post.

Things are back to normal with Anna. I never mentioned that, in her hurry to catch her plane last month, her room was left looking as if a tornado had torn through it. When she got back, I told her to clean it up. She looked exasperated each time I pointed out that her room still needed attention. Who cares if there's trash on the floor, clothes everywhere, and dust bunnies…

When The Moon Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pizza Pie...

Okay. I think this cold from hell is finally breathing its last. And Anna is back from her Continental sojourn, full of new career plans. "Lisa and I are going to study Italian so we can go back to Italy and work as waitresses!" she announced. In fact, she's already learned an important phrase - bella carissima, to be exact.

And let's not even discuss the Italian casanova who made her a heart-shaped pizza...I'd hate to think what would have happened on an unchaperoned trip. Just remind me not to waste money on SAT's, okay?

Particularly after what just transpired here, as I sat at my computer desk:

Anna: Where's Theo?
Me: He's out running. Why?
Anna: The bathroom light is out.
Me: You can reach that. Change the lightbulb yourself.
Anna: I don't know how.

I told her to go figure it out. Think of it as a valuable life skills learning experience. In fact, I think I'll add it to our "Getting A Clue" course list as Suburban Surviv…

AWOL Appliance Poetry

I completely forgot to include Mrs. Ohtobe's truly excellent contributions to our poetry slam. Her exclusion could render the results of this contest null and void (I'd hate to be sued). Check it out:


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a dishwasher full of dirty dishes, will break down at the most inopportune time.

From: Grime & Prejudice

-or-

How about a little Poe?

Once upon a midnight dreary
Dinner's done and I am weary
Load the glasses then the plates
Silverware is in, the pots: they can wait
I shut the door and press the button
But that dang thing, it ain't a runnin'
From deep inside there is a clanking, clanking
And my head I begin a banging, banging
Run the dishwasher? Nevermore.



I'm feeling marginally better today, but not well enough to be coherent. Back tomorrow with the final (if questionable) results from our appliance poetry slam and other unrelated thoughts about illness, mortality, and that pesky " in sickness and in health" item in…

In Which It Feels That My Head Will Explode

Once upon a time there was a blogger (that would be...um... me) who, over the course of 17 years of childbirthing and nursing, was sick a lot of the time. Everycold, everyflu, every everything had her family's name on it; and she suffered right along with the rest of them. An unseemly number of blog posts regaled her readers with details of the latest pestilence to strike her apparently immune-suppressed household. Vomit was her middle name.

Then, lo and behold, the milk dried up. And she didn't get sick for 8 whole months. Oh, there was that one Saturday she had to lie down for a few hours because she felt a bit under the weather; but, really, no Sudafed, no Tylenol, no anything medicinal was required for over half a year. Amazing! Unbelievable!

While other members of the household stubbornly persisted in their illness-catching ways, she remained untouchable - it was as if her body had forgotten how to get sick. Things progressed to the point where it puzzled her how t…

Coming Attractions

I'm leaving the appliance poetry poll (left sidebar) up over the weekend, because one of the contestants went and asked all her blog readers to vote for her; so I figure the rest of the contestants might want to do the same (just to make it fair). Plus, I'm so proud of figuring out how to put up the darn thing (even though the print is so tiny as to be almost unreadable), I figure I should leave it up there a little longer. Anyone who hasn't done so already, visit our appliance poetry slam and vote in our little contest. I mean, unless you have something better to do....

How come I'm the only one who finds time to blog over holiday weekends? Looks like I've perfected the fine art of neglecting my family, unlike the rest of you slackers. That's okay, I'll just stay on the computer talking to myself....I don't mind. Plus, now that I have this work-from-home editing job, Larry thinks I'm earning money when he sees me at the computer. I've got…

Appliance Poetry Slam! Right Here!

Thank you to all who participated in our appliance poetry slam. It was fun and inspiring to read all the entries. Please, please vote (poll on left somewhere) (unless, that is, it is on the right) (I mix them up a lot). If hardly anyone votes, I'll feel sort of embarrassed, like I threw a party and no one showed up. Not that that's ever happened to me, or anything...

Of course, it was Cheri at Blog This Mom who started us off with her comment on the death of my dishwasher:

Any KitchenAid death diminishes me, because my dishes are in this model too,
and therefore never send to know for whom the repairman tolls;
it tolls for thee.

My apologies to John Donne.


Thus inspired, several other regular readers chimed in with their contributions:


Green Girl in Wisconsin rhapsodized -

Oh Amana, shall I compare thee to a week without children?
Thou art so soft, so quiet, so clean.
Your lovely chime when the load is done,
Is as refreshing as the morn's sun.
The sleek, smooth steel of your spinn…