Saturday, June 30, 2007

Stolen from John

It's the Dramatic Chipmunk, which is really a groundhog.

(Go on, click it, it's only five seconds long.)

I've clicked this about 25 times this morning.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


So much in the newspaper this week has made me splutter with outrage. I don't know where to begin...Cheney's decided he's not in the executive branch (and is instead some sort of imperial-Sith-lord entity unto himself)? Insane Ann Coulter is still making headlines for saying asinine things? These so-called "tough on crime" Republicans are screaming for the pardon of Scooter Libby? Someone continues to find "B.C." funny?

Perhaps angering me most of all this week was this declassification of the CIA materials known as the "Family Jewels," wherein it is now finally revealed that yes, the CIA did spy on journalists, students, musicians, actors, and people whose opinions did not jibe with the status quo. They tapped phones, sat in unmarked cars outside of houses taking photographs, and even drugged people with LSD without their knowledge. They planned assassinations, and carried some out. And, when Nixon was in office, they completed these acts under the direction of the commander-in-chief. And they're still not all declassified...pages and pages are blacked out, that they still can't fess up to.

See, what you may, or may not know about me, is that since I was born, I have been hearing ALL about these activities from my mother. ALL THE TIME. To the point where my eyes glazed over.

I never doubted - most of the time - that she was probably correct. But, when she or my sister or myself told others, they so often told us point-blank or insinuated that we were a bunch of paranoid conspiracy kooks. Of course our government wouldn't spy on us! That would be crazy!

What think you now, o ye complacent folks of yesteryear, now that you see for yourself that she was right, way back then? And have you learned anything? Do you remain complacent now, with Bush, Gonzalez and Cheney insisting that they have the right to tap your phone, imprison people indefinitely, and torture you if they decide they want to?

Do you still believe them? Have they suckered you into caring more about Paris Hilton than the desecration of our Constitution?

Now is the time for a revolution, folks. What say we rise up, and impeach these fuckers now? Who's with me?

(And, just in case, any CIA spook who reads this and doesn't care for my tone can suck on it.)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bad Ass Day

No, no, not a badass day; I mean a BAD ASS day. Like a bad hair day.

Today my ass was particularly big, which was unfortunate, as I was wanting to buy a new dress at Target. (They're cute right now, seriously! Really fun and flowy!) I first tried on this retro Isacc Mizrahi pink dot dress:

...which made me look like a couch. A large, overstuffed, pink couch that you might find at your grandmother's house, if your grandmother lived in a trailer in Appalachia. (Actually, it's not even all that flattering on the skinny model that they paid to put this on, so maybe I don't feel that bad.)

Next, I tried on this little kicky satin sundress:
I'm usually good in dresses of this shape, but this was not it for me. First of all, horizontal stripes, duh. The skirt was so much poufier than the waist that it made my hips look freakishly exaggerated, which was I'm guessing NOT what they intended. Plus, the top was clearly intended to be worn with no bra whatsoever - not even a strapless - and - well, how can I put this delicately? There was nowhere for my girls to go.

Finally, I tried this one on, which I did not expect to like, much less buy:
I did, in fact, buy it, as it was by far the least couch-reminiscent of the three upon my body. But, I felt strange purchasing it. It is very unlike me to buy anything with a) stripes, b) diagonal stripes at that, and c) some of them are coral, for Christ's sake.

When I got it home, I tried it on for The Man. (Note: This is usually how I get away with buying new clothes. I try on the sexiest thing I've purchased and parade it in front of him. When he emits a guttural growl, I feel certain that he won't ask how much it cost.)

This time, though, I got a strange reaction. This was our conversation:

Me: "Do you like it?"

TM: (reflexively) "Yeah! It looks good!" (No guttural growl. He stops, and tilts his head sideways.)

Me: "You're tilting your head. Does it not look good?"

TM: "No, it looks just doesn't look like anything you'd wear. It's very...bright." (continues to tilt head and look at me strangely)

Me: " doesn't look good."

TM: "No, I mean it, it looks good on's just very...retro? It's kind of a seventies print."

Me: ", is that good or bad? I was going to wear it to (TM's cousin's) wedding, and to work."

TM: "No, it doesn't look like a work dress. It's a party dress. I just mean, you should wear it for very specific events."

Me: "Such as?"

TM: "Uh...seventies events, I guess!"

So...anyone wanna have a key party?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

From over t' John-n-Inga's blog...

Pictures of disturbing inflatable playground toys (from which children spill, naturally:)

I particularly like the enormous monkey balls/vulva combination.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What Went Wrong

These are photos of a young baby Mags, at my house with my grandmother:

Mmmkay, so it was just FINE to give the baby the icing beaters back then!

Jeez, my kids didn't get any refined sugar until their first birthday - well, OK, the FIRST one didn't - but here I am, what, maybe, six months old, tops, sucking down what is likely my grandma's homemade cinnamon roll icing STRAIGHT off of the beaters, like a junkie looking for a fix. (Seriously, look at my eyes in that second picture. I'm saying "You take this beater, you lose a hand. Hear?")

(Mmmm...Grandma's homemade cinnamon rolls...but I digress.)

I believe that I can see the beginnings of the lifelong weight problem ROTCHHERE.

Now excuse me while I go rip open a bag of chocolate chips.
Mags Summer Obsession List Part II:

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 - the comic book series authored by...dum da dum!...Joss Whedon himself. They're awesome. I'm all aflutter.
  • Drinking delicious Sidecars (thanks, Badger of the New York Times!)
  • 80's funk/R&B (e.g. Cameo, the Dazz Band)
  • the song "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk" by Rufus Wainwright
  • the new season of "Big Love"
  • yummy crusty sourdough bread, toasted, with butter (NO! NO! BAD MAGS! *rubs nose in the carbs*)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June 20, 1998

It was nine years ago today; the hottest June ever in Austin.

100 degrees, and not even July yet. An evening wedding seemed like a good idea at the time, but we hadn't taken into consideration that an earlier wedding would suck every bit of air conditioning out of the Caswell House. At 5:00, it was probably 85 degrees on the second floor, and me in a whalebone corset and no food since toast at breakfast. It's a wonder I was even conscious.

Happily, though, it went down. And so did I, later that night. (KIDDING! I was too pissed at the downtown Sheraton for that, as they had A.C. issues of their own. I think The Man made me slam two G&T's in the hotel bar just so I would be remotely compliant for anything salacious that night.)

This evening, to celebrate, I made a nice anniversary dinner of two lovely and expensive pan-seared yellowfin tuna steaks with an herb-and-sea-salt rub and roasted garlic butter, roasted asparagus and garlic, and sourdough crostini with olive oil. Dessert was a plate with two kinds of cheese (a Manchego and a bleu,) dark chocolate, English toffee, and strawberries. We had an interesting German white semi-sparkling wine from Central Market - a "Gruner Veltliner" - very tasty. Fresh, citrusy, good mouthfeel. It was way better than its price tag suggested, and it had a bottle top, to boot!

The whole thing might have been very romantic if we had not had a three-year-old sandwiched between us commenting on the yuckiness of the tuna and asparagus, and suggesting that fish sticks might be a better choice.

Happy A-Day, honey. Best. Marriage. Ever!

(And, if you like, you may check out my darling husband's drunken assertions of love over t' his blog. Yes, honey, I looooove you too. Now shuffle off to bed, and don't vomit.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ACL Fest Schedule Posted

...and single-day passes are on sale. Anyone want to go?

I'm torn, though. Crowded House, the Kaiser Chiefs, and the Killers are on Friday night, but my girl Amy Winehouse and the Arctic Monkeys are on Saturday. (As are the Indigo Girls! Wow! I didn't know they were still around!) Even Sunday looks pretty good...Robert Earl Keen, Wilco, The Decemberists.

I haven't done more than a single day in several years, but I'd do one if I had a date (who is most decidedly not The Man; he's sworn off all outdoor music festivals in the summer in Austin. What he thinking, I ask.)

Anyone? Anyone?

I know you've heard "Rehab," but if you haven't heard more of Amy, you're missing out.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Quiet times in the Mags household

The OG has gone to visit her grandparents, for a week. She is slated to attend golf camp for an hour and a half every day, and then will assumedly be just hanging out with them at the pool for the rest of it.

I had thought I would be glad for the relative silence, but I am feeling so anxious about how she will do with them that I am actually completely on edge. Seriously, she can be great, but she can also be mind-bogglingly hyperactive and stressful.

I feel like we've come to a good place around here, but it takes daily vigilance, with both of us constantly checking and rechecking our actions. We work at this very hard, this family does. And I get nervous when I leave her with people who may not have the most recent knowledge that we've acquired about Tourette' matter how well they may know her.*

I guess I have no choice but to hope that she's finally gained the ability to generalize the skills she's learned here to other situations outside of this house and this family. As we are constantly reminding ourselves; progress, not perfection.

Jesus, it is so quiet over here, though. It's kind of spooky. I can literally hear crickets.
* I did mention that she's been diagnosed with Tourette's, didn't I?

Well, she has. First by a neurologist, and then confirmed by the wacky autism doctor. (He's not really wacky; however, I am still unsold on the clinic, though I am giving some of the supplements a try. I figure DHA, Vitamin B, and acidophilus isn't going to hurt anyone.)

Yeah, Tourette's. I thought it was strange at first, but now that I've learned more about it, I am convinced they are right. There is clearly, unquestionably Tourette's on both my side and on The Man's. It is very comorbid with anxiety disorder and ADHD, along with the cognitive inflexibility that the girl has in spades. Her tics, always present, have morphed and gotten worse as she gets older, and she is completely unable to stop herself from doing them.

There's medications that can help the tics, but they are serious business...Risperdal and Abilify and Seroquel, things like those. Bad side effects, like massive weight gain. And, emotional-wise, I am totally leery of even the small dose of Zoloft that she's on. Kids kill themselves on that shit sometimes, you know? And, of course, there are many ADHD medications, but a lot of those exacerbate tic and anxiety disorders, so you have to be careful there...we're on Straterra at the moment, which is not a stimulant.

So, I shit you not, right this second, OG is taking, per day:

1 Straterra (that might go to two small doses)
1 Zoloft (small dosage)
1 Diflucan (an antifungal for itching; this is temporary)
2 acidophilus (chewables, made of strawberry yogurt, basically)
4 DHA capsules (which are HUGE; I cannot believe that she can swallow them)
1 multivitamin
1 B-complex vitamin
(Yes, I know, this looks entirely insane. Consider, though, that the vast majority of these pills don't actually do anything. I've become one of those suckers that is so desperate they'll try anything; charlatans of the world, prepare for my pocketbook to be emptied into your coffers.)

Anyway, I encourage all of you to do a cursory read-up on Tourette's. It's underdiagnosed, and really misunderstood.
Mags summer obsessions, part 1:

"No, Mama! Not the pink bow! I didn't mean to poop over there! Or over there!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Vacation: A Recap

Picture 1: The Man and I at a brewpub in Parkville, MO, just prior to the big reunion.

I had brought several dresses to KC, not knowing what a) would be appropriate and b) would fit over my hips on that particular day. (Eating at the parents' for 10 days = 5 pound Mags weight gain, on average.)

The invitation stated that the attire would be "business casual." Not believing that in the slightest, I brought many of my nice to fancy-ish dresses. There was the purple linen, the red linen, two clingy black ones, the brown and black patterned sleeveless dress, the feisty aqua party dress with the 50's print. Just as a lark, I threw in the lined pink taffeta dress that I bought last year for $9 at Ross.

I also brought both pairs of cowboy boots, and also some new Clark Artisan sandals that I had just bought. They're not formal, but they are damned near comfortable. Thus, I declare that these will be THE HEELS THAT I HAVE TILL I DIE. (You know your mother has a pair. Come on now, she does!)

Anyway, up until the evening of, I had anticipated wearing either the purple linen or the brown and black dress; maybe the red linen with the teal and red cowboy boots just to shake things up a bit. I couldn't settle on one, maybe due to the gaping maw of apprehension that was suddenly festering in my belly.

And then, it occured to me: Pink. Taffeta. With my favorite necklace and earrings - my grandmother's sparkly beveled plastic beads - ironically, worn many times when I was in high school. It. Could. Work.

Voila! Instant suck-it-uppage. I suddenly had the strength to attend this thing.

It's very different from anything I would have worn in high school - not a big wearer of the pink, me, then or now - but, at the same time, reflects that some things haven't changed.

Picture 2: Erin, me, and Wanda, an old friend (in the "it's been a long time" sense) that I had not seen since high school.

Erin (who, as you can tell from her picture, has clearly been busy lately) flew in from Philly; Wanda from Little Rock, I think mostly to see Erin. We all had a great conversation at the brew pub. I remembered immediately why I had always liked Wanda. And both are clearly still as lovely as ever. Damn them.

This was the best time of the evening; no question. The reunion itself was...actually, it was OK. It was way better than the 10-year, as it had awards and yearbooks and a genuinely sweet slideshow, that sort of stuff. And, it had a live 80's cover band with two soccer-moms-in-fishnets lead singers, singing all your favorites...yes, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "You Shook Me All Night Long" were played, as was, I daresay, "Love Shack!"

But, perhaps most importantly, it had free booze, to which your humble narrator always says "fuck, yes," and at which I partook until they ran out of white wine. They offered the pink zin, saying, "This looks white," but I declined. (That's a Kansas City sommelier for you.) Probably fortuitous, that; I had a lovely buzz, but didn't crash over the edge. But, I did have enough to cut loose on the dance floor with The Man most of the evening...I even closed down the party that I swore I would cut out early on.

(Note: Big snaps to The Man. He was the coolest spouse there. Not only did he dance with me all night, to music that does not involve two-stepping, but he ALSO made sparkling conversation with anyone he met. Seriously, you should have seen the pickle pusses on some of these husbands and wives. I'm a very lucky woman.)

I enjoyed speaking to many people, and the general consensus was that I haven't changed since high school. Good to know. Truth be told, the women all looked fantastic. ("Business Casual?" Sheeright! I'm relatively certain that few of them wear sequins and four-inch heels to their "business," or, if they do, they didn't share that particular detail.)

Many of the men were showing their age. (My age? No, seriously, it can't be. Some of these fuckers were bald and had gray hair.) But, those that I noticed as handsome back then? I still noticed as handsome. Strange.

Weirdly, so many of the people there had four kids. Wanda and Erin decided that four must be the new two. Four! One had FIVE! Many were divorced now. Also, many still lived in the general KC perimeter. However, that could be because that they are the ones that showed up. Most people I know that moved away didn't show. (They were missed, too.) Also sadly underrepresented was the misanthropic theater kids clique; I really could have stood to have seen some more of them.

All in all, though, not too bad. I may actually keep in touch with more people this time.

Or not.

Pictures 3 and 4: Worlds of Fun, in the rain

Oh, sure, I got tons of other, more typical, WOF pics, but I think these are great. This is my archetypal memory of Worlds of Fun when I was a kid. Trapped under some funnel cake stand awning in the rain, freezing my ass off on what was, just minutes before, a sweltering day. (It was pretty awesome, though; I don't ever remember getting hailed on there before.)

OG and I rode the Mamba, a rollercoaster that has a first drop that is so precipitous that it is religion-inducing, and then goes right back up and does the same goddamn thing again. OG liked it, but didn't want to ride it again.

Oh, a bit of hilarious conversation from that ride, as it was pulling into the station:

OG: "OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD!" (Looks over at me) "Oh, um...can I say 'oh god?;"

Me: (having had this conversation many times) "Well...not usually, of course, but, hey, on a rollercoaster, it's probably appropriate."

OG: "Oh god, that ride shook the hell out of me!"

We also rode the Detonator a couple of times, one of those things that shoots you straight into the air really really fast. I kind of hate it and love it. It's ever so briefly shit-your-pants terrifying, and then suddenly kind of pleasant.

YG, on the other hand? COMPLETE PANSY. The rides at the SNOOPY PARK were too scary for her, for the love of god! We finally got her to ride the train, and some cars that you just sit in and ride around in circles. She made me sit on a BENCH on the MERRY-GO-ROUND, for cripes' sake! Seriously, who is this child?

Picture 5: OG's first catch

OG wanted so badly to learn to fish. My mother dredged up a rod and some line from somewhere - one my nephews from Boston use when they come to visit - and, though the line was all tangled up and the reel wasn't winding properly, she and OG went down to the dock and just tossed the lure into the water. And, as my mother went to pull it up, there was a fish on it!

OG was, frankly, kind of stunned. And, when it turned out that the poor thing had swallowed the hook and was thusly a goner, I think she was kind of freaked out.

Gamely, The Man chopped off its head and my mother threw it into a saucepan, though I don't think either were very well versed in this sort of thing at all. I instilled upon OG that she should eat some of it, as she caught it, and it gave its life for her and all. (What can I say? I was visiting home. It rubs off.) She choked down a bit, good girl that she is.

However, she did not express any desire whatsoever to go fishing again.

Picture 6: Random Cowgirl Cuties

For no reason whatsoever.


So, I leave for 10 days, and when I get back, it is HOT AS FUCK.

Summer hits this town like a freight train, don't it?

Monday, June 11, 2007


I'm back!

I'm back from ten days in Kansas City!

I'm back from...

  • 12 hours crammed into a compact car - each way - with a husband, two children, a puppy, and an ailing (but better) cat;
  • my 20-year high school reunion;
  • visiting my mother, sister, and (genuinely) ailing father;
  • hanging with Erin and Tricia at an actual great bar in Kansas City (who knew?);
  • oohing and ahhing over cute baby shmoopums at Erin's baby shower;
  • eating my weight in Arthur Bryant's Barbecue and LC's Hamburgers,
  • taking my girls to Worlds of Fun, the amusement park of my youth;
  • just missing the grand opening of the fab and critically acclaimed new section of the Nelson Art Gallery (which does, yes, on the outside, look like storage lockers to me; but I am a clueless rube)
  • attempting to swim in my parents' lake, but mostly just shivering, because it was in the 70's most of the time we were there
And, there were various and sundry other activities, but I am too goddamned brain dead right now to think of them. (Did I mention the 12 hours in the car? Did I mention it was all in one day? And that it was today? And that there was a cat on my foot and a dog in my lap?)

But, you say, you want to know of the reunion?

I shall post of it, and of the drinking of the wine and the wearing of the pink taffeta, tomorrow.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Hey all,

I'm taking a spring hiatus to deal with this here class reunion thingy.

Lengthy posts to follow...