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Showing posts from June, 2012

Beyond Thunderdome

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The year is half over.  Can Christmas be far behind?

We've been running an interesting sort of social experiment around here - half our immediate area is without power, while the other half (including moi, thank heavens) is still luxuriating in such modern conveniences as electric lights and working air conditioning.  Sort of a First World meets Third World reality show, waiting to happen.  I managed to reach a friend on her cellphone (landline and Internet down in her part of town) earlier, and she admitted to feeling a surprising amount of resentment toward the other people she ran into at the grocery store, the people who weren't scooping up flashlights and who didn't smell as if they had been sitting in a not air-conditioned house on a 95-degree day for hours.

Hey, we didn't have Internet for almost the entire morning ourselves.  I KNOW what it's like to suffer.  And I was supposed to work this morning, but I need the Internet for that.  So I figured I'd dr…

Team Roberts

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There are so many things I want to blog about, but this is uppermost in my mind today:





Thank you, Chief Justice Roberts.  Thank you.  I know so many people who cannot get health insurance right now.  I know others who can't afford it.  I'm glad that my children, when they are adults, will regard that sort of situation as unbelievable.  I'm thrilled that none of my kids will be stuck in the wrong job, simply because a pre-existing condition keeps them from switching to a better one.  I could cry with relief knowing that I won't have to empty my retirement account to help out an adult son or daughter who might become unable to obtain health insurance.

I know some of my readers think that Obamacare is a bad thing.  But please understand that we are one of the only first-world countries where citizens routinely go without medical care, where hardworking people are bankrupted because they drew the short straw in the cancer lottery.  Please realize that, in a country as rich…

RIP, Nora Ephron

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Oh, man, I'm just broken up about this.  If you haven't read I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Remember Nothing, you might not be able to appreciate how witty and insightful Nora Ephron was.

Gah, I had to use the past tense.  I can't take it.  I just can't.

Go - listen to her interview on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me last October.  I'm heading out to rent a few movies.  Would you believe I've never even seen Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail?  I think it's time.  And I don't care if Larry likes them or not.  This is for me and Nora.

Who's dead.  How can that be?  Death isn't funny.  And Nora wouldn't do anything that wasn't funny or -- at the very least -- archly witty.  Would she?

Marriage, Ltd

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Oh, blessed cool evening air!  The humidity has dropped and our windows are open - this is heaven.  Doesn't hurt that the kids are all out of the house with Larry at a minor league baseball game.  Dollar night, folks - can't beat it.

Has anyone seen this piece of inanity yet?  No?  Here's the kicker:

...perhaps we should consider marriage as more "till the kids part" than "till death do us part." The partner we need in our 20s and 30s, when many of us are looking to settle down and raise kids, may not be the partner we need in our 50s, 60s and beyond, when we're free to explore new passions or reinvigorate the ones we gave up when the kids came along.

Wow, first we have disposable wipes and disposable diapers; and now?  Disposable spouses!  Use one up and get another!  What's striking about the above (aside from its complete misunderstanding of the marriage concept) is its lack of awareness that the children don't just disappear into the…

Little Things Mean A Lot

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I got up at 6 this morning.  I walked 2 miles.  Then I came home and prepared food for a neighborhood going-away party - a couple that has lived here since these townhomes were built (over 40 years ago) is moving closer to their daughters, several states away.  I don't know why it took me several hours to whip up some batches of hummus, lay out cheese and crackers, and cut up fruit; but it did.  Then we had the 2-hour party, which lasted 3-and-a-half hours.  I staggered home around 7 and collapsed on the couch.

Tell me, since when did I become this old person who can't have a busy day without feeling destroyed by it?  Add to that fact that I still have Brian's lovely illness, an illness whose symptoms increase the more tired I am, and I feel as though I have one foot in the grave already.

Have I mentioned how much I am going to miss my departing neighbors?  The woman is my buddy from this humiliating trip to Harris Teeter.  I refer to her as my personal trainer, because s…

Birthday Wishes

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Today was my birthday (although not officially, since I didn't get my day off yet).  2 friends took me out to lunch while David babysat his siblings; Larry took me out to dinner after I explained to him that the junky pizza I picked up for supper was for the kids, not for me; and then, later, Larry surprised me with some presents.  Honestly, I didn't expect any.  So that was nice.

I bet you all are wondering what you can do for my birthday, right?  No?  Well, humor me.  How's about (if you haven't already) clicking on that Followers thingy to the right there in my sidebar?   I mean, only if you're a regular reader and all.  I wouldn't want anyone living a lie just to make me happy.  The number is at 301 and I'm thinking a nice round number like 310 would be nicer. 

As I've said before, I'm proud to count myself among those people in this world who have life goals which do not make other people feel inadequate.




Really, this has been a lovely birthda…

Olympic-Level Bullying

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Wow, who knew that the United States Olympic Committee was just a bunch of bullies?  Way to exhibit good sportsmanship, fellas, picking on a bunch of knitters having a little fun with the Olympics.  Does our dubbing a little knitting contest the "Ravelympics" really threaten your brand?   To the point that the USOC lawyers have to send a "cease and desist" letter to Ravelry?  Do you actually believe what you wrote in your letter?

We believe using the name "Ravelympics" for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country's finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.

Methinks someone misplaced his sense of humor.  Afghan marathon, scarf hockey, sweater triathlon - these are all JOKES, you misanthropic knuckleheads.  JOKES about KNITTERS - see, we are pretending to be athl…

Birthday Blues

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Yes, well, my birthday is in 2 days, and - as some of you might recall - Larry will not be here.  Meaning, I do not get the entire day off to do as I please, which is the ONLY birthday present I ever ask for.  Larry half-heartedly offered me Friday instead (or maybe it wasn't so much half-heartedly as fearfully, considering my aversion to rescheduling my birthday).  He doesn't realize, I'm angling for an entire weekend at this point.  Away.  By myself.  Or, better yet, with Jen on the Edge and Mrs. G at Jen's house...

Anywhoo, I'm still sulking a bit.  So I watched one of my favorite YouTube videos to cheer myself up.  This was making the rounds way back (I think before I even started blogging); so, in case any of you have not seen it, treat yourself to something awesome.




Watch it twice.  You'll be glad you did.

Woe Is Me

Seriously tired, people - Larry let the kids stay up and roast marshmallows tonight over the neighbor's fire pit (and no, we could NOT possibly be more suburban, that is correct) and now it is 10 PM and NO ONE IS ASLEEP.  I could weep.

And we have to be at a 9:00 doctor's appointment tomorrow AM for Brian and his TB symptoms, who of course stopped coughing (again) the minute I made the darn appointment; but it's too late to cancel it now (and if I did, he'd start up again, anyway).

And...I was sitting in Starbucks this afternoon, working away, when I got this irritating little tickle in my own throat and almost coughed my intestines out.  I could not stop.  I had to pack up my computer and leave, tears streaming down my face, hacking away, with everyone in the shop eyeing me warily.  By the time I got home, it felt as though I had sprained my throat from the coughing.  Is that possible?  Should I Google "sprained throat"?  Because it STILL hurts like the dick…

All Tied Up For Father's Day

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To all you people pinning the "recipe" for homemade laundry detergent on Pinterest:

Why?  Do you not have enough to do already?  Are you bored

Or maybe the homemade kind just tastes better...


In other news, our elderly neighbors are moving and getting rid of many years worth of accumulated stuff.  Which means that I have in my possession (JUST IN TIME FOR FATHER"S DAY) a bag of about 40 outdated ties.  Now, if my jetlagged husband would just straighten out his body clock and get himself up to bed, David and I could start festooning the house with them.

We got him a new camera, too.  We're not that cheap, you know.


[Detergent image: Crystal&Co.]

Photography Has Its Drawbacks

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Yet another reason my husband won't allow personal pictures on this blog:


And considering our extensive experience with vomit, aren't you glad?

The Biggest Loser

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Well, I got my 5 dollars back at Bunko tonight.  Those of you who are Bunko aficionados know that that would be because I managed to lose more games than anyone else there.  I'm special that way.

Today was David's birthday.  He is 15, and he had to listen to me say, "Only 15 years ago you were a tiny new baby!" more than once.  Now he fixes my computers and cooks vegetarian meals and aspires to fly airplanes.  That's a lot of progress for only a decade and a half.  The only thing I myself have managed to accomplish over the last 15 years is to gain 20 pounds. Repeatedly.

Larry and I gave David one of those deep fryers for his birthday.  Also?  A cake and some candy.  He spent half the day making french fries and sharing them with his extremely interested younger siblings.  I, on the other hand, spent most of my day julienning potatoes, sampling fries, and cleaning up the kitchen.  That is, when I wasn't baking a cake and slathering it with homemade cream chee…

The End of Car Talk and Other Signs of the Apocalypse

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Say it ain't so, Tom and Ray!  Don't leave us! And I'm not just saying this because Car Talk featured this post of mine on its website a few years ago...

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And could it be that there might actually be an INTERESTING political convention this summer?  Oh, please, please, let it be so!  Imagine the hijinks!
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I lost a Follower.  I can only assume it is someone dismayed by my defense of unions as the only bulwark against the unfettered power of corporations and other employers.  There were some interesting comments on that post, by the way.  RobinH's comment was notable for its evenhandedness, grounded in experience:
I've worked in manufacturing for 25 years, for both union and non-union companies. As a salaried worker, my compensation has been fair in both kinds of businesses. I've seen one union that did a great job- protecting workers, and negotiating for pay and benefits- and another that did a lousy job--the union reps were more intereste…

Tennis, Anyone?

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Today, for the first time in 20 years of parenting, I had a sports coach/teacher walk up to me and talk about how athletic my child was and how she really should pursue the sport further.  The first time...and this after I had managed to traumatize any number of her hapless siblings by insisting on their participation in the ritual that is suburban sports.  I have memories of her eldest brother almost crying on his way to swim team, of David standing like a confused wooden soldier during a basketball drill, of numerous children repeatedly tripping themselves on a soccer ball. 
You have to understand, I long ago resigned myself to the fact that my children lacked both the competitive spirit and the hand-eye coordination necessary to succeed at soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, you name it.  I convinced myself that it was enough if they could participate in one of these activities without doing actual bodily harm to themselves.  And I was comfortable with that.  The apple …

Auto Travel, Past and Present

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Brian hasn't coughed all day.  I feel like smacking him.  And here I even walked to the drugstore and picked up Mucinex and VapoRub, just as you all suggested.  The input was helpful - I don't think he is sick now, but if he doesn't get that stuff up and out of his lungs soon, he could develop a real infection, as one of you pointed out.

I love the blogosphere.  Have I mentioned that?

Elsewhere in the blogosphere, Swistle is asking for help for Heather, who wants to know what sort of things she can use to amuse her 2 little kids on a cross-country car trip.  Really?  In an era of handheld games, DVD players for the car, books on CD, etc., someone has to ask this question?  And, more importantly, do you folks who are just now starting families realize how good you have it?

Please understand - way back in 1993, Larry and I set out from Maryland in a Honda Civic hatchback with a newly minted 2-year-old and a 4-month-old baby.  Our destination?  Our new duty station in Montere…

Is There A Doctor In The House?

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People who know me personally are aware that I only take sick kids to the doctor when I absolutely have to.  I don't take temperatures, I don't worry about strep.  If a kid is sick, he lies around until he gets better, unless he has a high fever/pain that doesn't respond to Motrin.  (Yes, I know, I'm a dead ringer for Florence Nightingale.) 

Usually, this laidback attitude pays off; but there was the time I did finally bestir myself to take a 4-year-old David into the doctor for what seemed to be the absolutely worst case of pinkeye I had ever seen.  I mean, his face was sort of swollen and he was just lying there, not moving, in the easy chair.  Turns out he had pneumonia, poor kid.  Yeah.  Sort of called that one wrong, didn't I?


 All of which leads to today's problem: Brian had a cold 3 weeks ago (see how useful keeping a blog is?), and he is still coughing.  Perfectly fine otherwise, but every morning I hear him hacking away like a 3-pack-a-day smoker.  It …

United We Stand

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My thoughts are with Wisconsin today. 

While I consider myself a moderate who is all for cutting wasteful government spending, I don't understand how doing so entails banning collective bargaining rights for workers, public or private.  Maybe the Wisconsin legislators (and its governor) think that these rights pertain only to what workers are paid and that, by removing these rights, public sector workers will be forced to adhere to a market-determined payscale more in line with fiscal reality.  But then we have to face the fact that the Wisconsin legislators and governor are woefully misinformed about the full consequences of collective bargaining, consequences that extend far beyond the simple issue of pay increases and pensions.

You see, collective bargaining rights are what make sure that, when you are hospitalized, the nurse in charge of your medications and, really, your life, is not assigned so many patients that she can no longer do her job effectively.  Collective bargain…

Grounds For Desertion

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My husband left me again.  This scenario is getting old.  And Theo is in Tunisia, on some ROTC humanitarian cross-cultural learning thing.  I know he is there, because he posted pictures to Facebook that have the Mediterranean Sea in the background.  Tough life.

Let's see, Larry's away on business...Theo's gone...

I'm thinking we'll be having pizza for dinner.  Repeatedly.  And Lord help us all if any bats show up in my living room while Larry's away, like last year.  In fact, Theo and Larry chased one out of the basement just a few weeks ago.


I know!  The fun never stops around here.

So, tonight I did something I haven't done in years - I watched a movie all by myself.***  You see, it's hard for me to enjoy watching a movie at home because our TV is downstairs in the family room -- the family room that is always a mess, what with the toys and games and the hulking brown cabinet and the extra filing cabinets jammed with I-don't-know-what that Larry…

Who Says Money Can't Buy Happiness?

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Well, I think I managed to traumatize my youngest last night.  But it's her fault for peeing in my brand-new bed...my second brand-new bed, actually, since I finally got around to exchanging the too-soft mattress for something that, while more expensive, feels like heaven.  It was worth every penny.

I heart my new mattress.  I do.  And I heart Mattress Discounters, who waived the 15% restocking fee when I informed them that this was the ninth mattress I have bought from them.

Nine.  That's a lot.

Anywhoo, Susie was in our bed last night (so what else is new?), and at some point she got up for a drink of water.  When she lay back down, I reached over to snuggle her and realized her pants were wet.

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my pristine, never-peed-or-barfed-on new mattress?

Naturally, I screamed.  Poor Susie - she jumped out of the bed and stood there, wet and shaking with shock, while I stripped back the (also expensive) mattress cover and felt around anxiously to see if…

Why I Am Hoarding Bug Repellent

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Oh, awesome.  Just when I was running out of ways to feed my hypochondriacal tendencies, along comes this spiffy news item about a burgeoning epidemic in the Americas caused (wouldn't you know it?) by a lowly insect.

"It likes to bite you on the face," CNN reported. "It's called the kissing bug. When it ingests your blood, it excretes the parasite at the same time. When you wake up and scratch the itch, the parasite moves into the wound and you're infected."
So, let's see.  This disease (called Chagas - I don't know why) involves a bug that not only bites you, it also poops on you.  Have I mentioned that I already hate bugs?  Oh, yes, I have.   Many times, in fact.  Well, now I hates them even more. 

But wait! There's more!  According to the New York Times, in the end stage of this disease, your heart or your intestines just might explode. 

Like I said, awesome.  Pass the DEET, will ya?


[Bug image: New York Times]