Monday, April 30, 2007

Under Pressure

You know, the other day - or maybe it was six months ago, who the fuck knows anymore - on one of the memes I've recently done, I was responding rather quickly to the question "What is your favorite song?"

I responded "Ever Fallen In Love" by The Buzzcocks; however, that's not it, really. I can't believe that I didn't respond "Under Pressure" by Queen with David Bowie.

I just remembered how much I love it when it came on my iPod in the car the other day. Three-year-old in tow and in rush-hour traffic, I cranked that sucker to the limits of what is tasteful to have blaring in a car with a child in it, and sang at the top of my lungs.

My first memories of that song were of the video, of course, that played a lot on MTV the year I first got it, in about ninth grade. That video kicked ass - all those old movie clips, even Nosferatu, I think? Remember?

What, you don't remember? Nostalgic You-Tubing commence!*



Brilliance. (And it was probably really cheap, all cut from stock footage, without any star overhead.)

My sister had the album Queen's Greatest Hits, and maybe one or two others, so being the pilfering bratty sister that I was, when she went away to college, I totally swiped it, along with Meatloaf "Bat out of Hell," the B52's first two albums, some Jonathan Richman, and the entire Ramones oeuvre. For at least my sixteenth summer, the year of the '65 Mustang Convertible, that was my soundtrack.

I took that album, and all of the others, away with me when I went to college, as well. Even in the move towards the People In Black, I still listened to all of them, and always Queen.

Right after college, perhaps the finest concert bill that ever was - Spinal Tap opening for the 75-foot screen version of Queen: Live at Wembly Stadium - came to St. Louis. Chris and I bought tickets and drove all the way down and back for that show. Totally fucking amazing. I will never, ever forget seeing the Tap live, and settling back amongst the thick pot smoke to watch a gigantic Freddy Mercury sing "Bohemian Rhapsody" in what was one of his last concerts, I think. (Weirdly, as many Tap fans as I know, when I tell that story, nobody has ever had any idea what tour I'm talking about. And, damn, it took a lot of searching around to find a website that confirms that I didn't dream it. But I did, and it was apparently May 24, 1992, at the Riverport Ampitheater.)

And, as much as I love many of their songs - jeez, "Bohemian Rhapsody," "You're My Best Friend" "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" "Play the Game" and many many others - I have to think that "Under Pressure" may be my favorite of all. (I have to admit, I'm sucker for a song that builds to a crescendo - see "Meatloaf," above.)

Seriously, think about it; it's a perfect song, starting with that immortal bass line - Wikipedia says that some online music magazine named that the "Best Bass Line of All Time" - followed by David's deep, reassuring baritone:

Pressure pushing down on me

Pressing down on you no man ask for

Then Freddie's punctuated falsetto chimes in, providing a passionate counterpoint:

Under pressure - that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets

It's the terror of knowing
What the world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming 'Let me out'
Pray tomorrow - gets me higher
Pressure on people - people on streets

By the time Freddie gets to the high howl toward the end and the drums speed the song up, I'm usually in a state of tiny, in-my-own-head-Mom-bliss. Why, indeed, can't we give love, give love, one more chance?

Sigh. And there it is; the Best. Song. Ever. I just thought you should know.

And - and I totally mean this - if I am to meet an untimely end, you are all forthwith instructed to find a karaoke machine for my funeral, and you are all to sing this song aloud, at the top of your lungs.
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Oh, and the green tomato debacle had a minorly happy ending. I roasted the skins off those suckers and combined the flesh with a serrano, some onion, garlic, cumin, and lime juice (and would have put in cilantro, had I had some), and made a Roasted Green Tomato salsa. And it was actually pretty good, considering I had no idea what I was doing.

My cleverness astounds me at times.
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*The YouTube link to the video doesn't seem to be working this morning. Farg.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

TELL me this isn't grounds for child abuse!

My evil three-year-old child PICKED ALL of the baby tomatoes off of my tomato plants.

See? See?



Can I beat her soundly and repeatedly about the head and neck for this?

No?

How about a sharp poke in the ribs?

GAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

How to Avoid Jury Duty

I woke this morning vaguely hung over and pissed.

The vague hangover, not severe, was due to a nice Girl's Night Out venture over to Water 2 Wine, the interesting little shop over on Anderson Lane. (Hey, Anita, there's one in Denver, too.) The concept is this: They buy "raw" wine from vineyards all over the world, mix it and ferment it themselves, and then bottle it. The wine is the same as that which comes from the vineyard, but it doesn't have sulfites, and you don't have to pay tax on it for some reason. And, if you so choose, you may bottle and ferment your own batch, and make your own label (for holidays, special occasions, and whatnot). They're REALLY free with the samples...I think we tasted like eleven wines, and by "taste," I mean like 1/3 - 1/2 a glass.

The pissed? Jury duty. And on the very day of the OG's Field Day, a very big occasion at her school at which ALL of the parents of any quality whatsoever must attend, or else be shamed.

In said frame of mind, I got up - sans The Man, who was getting in his Quality Parenting Points by helping the P.E. teacher set up for the Field Day starting at 6:30 A. fucking M. - got myself in some sort of order, smeared sunscreen on OG, rushed her to school, dropped YG off with The Man to transport to her school, and then drove over to a nondescript courthouse that, though I frequently drive this road, I never knew was there. (When I think "courthouse," I tend to think "stately," not "strip mall," but there it was.)

I got there, and sat and read the New Yorker for about an hour - which was actually a fairly pleasant bit of quality time, come to think of it. But, I really, really didn't want to be called to serve on the jury. I'm in a world of hurt at work, and I did feel bad about missing the little bit of Field Day that I could have seen. So, I wondered, privately - what exactly could I say, or do, to get out of this, if I were called? Could I fake a mental illness? Should I come in snarling and drooling, walking like Igor from Young Frankenstein?

But, when we got into the courtroom and sat before the judge, I was humbled into mute silence. The judge was small of frame but big of presence. She read the patter about the importance civic duty - even if it is for something small, like a traffic offense, which this was - and I just sat with my hands folded and nodded solemnly. Yes, ma'am, I absolutely swear to tell the truth. When she asked if anyone had any factors that would preclude them from serving on the jury, I shook my head no, as we all did.

After this, the handsome young lawyer from the state - at least seven years younger than I am, but I digress - got up and asked, "I know that none of you have an exclusionary reason to be here, but we want a fair trial...do any of you not want to be here?"

I thought about answering that, but I just couldn't bear to raise my hand. Nobody said anything for a bit, and then one person mumbled some excuse about work or something. Then, the lady sitting next to me pipes up with, "Excuse me, but it's Field Day at my daughter's school, [OG's Elementary,] and ALL the mothers are already there, and I'd really like to go."

So, you know, I was afraid to say anything on my own, but with that lead-in, I somehow managed to say, lamely, "Um...me too! What she said! The same school!"

As we waited, I have to admit that I was sort of intrigued by the questions that the lawyers started asking us. They started with "Have any of you ever been in an accident?" Many of us had. "Have any of you ever gotten a ticket for being in an accident?" Again, several said yes. "Do any of you have a commercial driver's license?" No, none of us did; several were related to people with one.

Then, there was the one that floored me - "Do any of you watch NASCAR, or Cops?" Hmmm. Not me so much, but one guy raised his hand. Then, he asks, "Do you know what a 'pit maneuver' is?" The guy says, yes, he does, it's when a car hits another car from behind at an angle, so the car in front spins out of control.

And THEN, he asks, "Do any of you think you would be prejudiced, knowing these circumstances, and that the defendant was the driver of a cement truck?" Really? Honestly? You've paired a reference to "NASCAR" with the term "cement truck?" Uh...maybe I am!

(Then, the lady next to me - the same lady with a daughter at my kid's school - says, "Yes, I really hate bad drivers, and what you did was HORRIBLE." So, needless to say, she was totally off the jury.)

In the end, I didn't get picked, and scurried off to see the last race of the day before heading into the last dregs of my workday (nada accomplished). I will admit, I kind of wanted to find out about NASCAR Concrete Guy. But, all in all, it was a good thing. I got in some face time with the girl - and more importantly, the OTHER MOTHERS. I feel much better.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

But will they do Stonehenge?

Spinal Tap is back, and this time the band wants to help save the world from global warming.

The mock heavy metal group immortalized in the 1984 mockumentary, "This is Spinal Tap," will reunite for a performance at Wembley Stadium in London as part of the Live Earth concerts scheduled worldwide for July 7.

The original members of Spinal Tap will be there: guitarist Nigel Tufnel (played by Christopher Guest), singer David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) and bassist Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer). Rob Reiner, who both directed "This is Spinal Tap" and played the fake documentarian Marty DeBergi in the film, will also be in attendance.

A new 15-minute film directed by Reiner on the band's reunion will also play at the opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on Wednesday. The slate for the opening gala, to be hosted by Al Gore, was previously announced, excepting the Reiner short.

The festival is to open with a showing of several global warming-themed short films produced by the SOS (Save Our Selves) campaign. SOS is also putting on the Live Earth concerts, to be held across seven continents.

Reiner spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday to explain the reunion of Spinal Tap — a band always known more as a parody of rock `n roll excess than environmental awareness.

"They're not that environmentally conscious, but they've heard of global warming," said Reiner, whose other films include "When Harry Met Sally" and "Stand By Me." "Nigel thought it was just because he was wearing too much clothing — that if he just took his jacket off it would be cooler."

Spinal Tap has reunited several times since the film, but hasn't for a number of years. For the band — whose last album was 1992's "Break like the Wind" — the occasion warranted a new single: "Warmer Than Hell."

Reiner provided a sneak peak at the lyrics: "The devil went to Devon, it felt like the fourth degree/ He said, `Is it hot in here, or is it only me?'"

The director said the new short film explains what the band has been doing with their lives lately. Nigel has been raising miniature horses to race, but can't find jockeys small enough to ride them; David is now a hip-hop producer who also runs a colonic clinic; and Derek is in rehab for addiction to the Internet.

Reiner, 60, has for over 20 years worked with the National Resources Defense Council, an environmental action organization. Though the Spinal Tap reunion will be a lot of laughs, he hopes the SOS short films program and the Live Earth concerts have a substantial effect.

"What I think is going to be nice about this whole effort is there will be marching orders for people," said Reiner. "Not only from a personal standpoint of what individuals can do in their lives, but a macro perspective with respect to the public sector and government."

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Writer's Block

Man, I'm really stuck. I've started like five posts and subsequently abandoned them.

And, there's so much I had planned to tell you. There was last week's drive out to Llano to see bluebonnets, the NIGHTMARISH annual trip to Sears Portrait Studio, the very fun country swing dance out t' Twin Sisters Dance Hall, a funny yet searingly poignant meditation on my ever-softening gut, and of course the ongoing saga of What To Do With The Older Girl Who Has Clearly Gone Insane.

I swore I'd pour it all out tonight...and then this violent backache hit me. It was bad enough for me to pull out my ever-dwindling stash of pain medication left over from my bunion surgery last February. I started with the Darvocet; it didn't do anything, hence I went for the big guns and took a Demerol. So, instead of channeling the muse (Who is the Blog Muse, anyway? Does she wear leg warmers, like in Xanadu?) I'm lying here on my bed, trying not to move, and waiting for the blessed stupor to kick in.

Oh, yes, back in the day, I'd have jump started this pain medication with additional substances. Don't think it's not tempting, as it is NOT WORKING FAST ENOUGH, but given the lateness of the hour - and the probable badness of the idea - I will resist slamming down a Cabernet chaser. FOR NOW. (Honestly, though, I don't get people who truly abuse this stuff, or who take it all the time. It makes me sick to my stomach and constipated. For which I'm sure you're thrilled that I cared enough to share.)
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Though I'm not up to telling the story, I must share at least one picture from the Sears Portrait Studio Hell session, though.

Wow. How sweet they are! There's no inkling whatsoever that I almost left them there, to be raised by the clueless photo girls! After they were an HOUR late showing up for work...and I of course had the first appointment, because I have a hyperactive child who hates a) waiting, b) dressing up, and c) having her picture taken! So, we got to agonize about it for a full hour, on top of the photo session taking forever, because, um, HYPERACTIVE, and then of course there's the viewing and the picking.

In a nutshell, we were sitting in Sears Hell, alternately killing time and making threats, for more than 2 1/2 hours. The girls and The Man were hungry, tired, and pissed.

OG wanted to know why we always have to do this. I tell her, it's for the memories...
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now I go sleeeep......

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Don't you think I need this dress?

It's lined, and has a built-in petticoat.

I think I need this dress.

Would you please tell my husband that I need this dress, and that it's TOTALLY worth $115?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

This is not my beautiful life!

Lord, how my life has changed since I moved to Texas.

FIfteen years ago, I never, EVER, would have thought that I would personally, and unironically, purchase ONE pair of these:

....LET ALONE, TWO:

...because I was going to my annual country swing dance out in the Hill Country this weekend?

And yet, there they are. The real deal, from Sheplers, where they sell the hardcore cowboy stuff...and not even from some postironic hipster enclave on South Congress run by people with expensive eyewear.

What, in the hell, is wrong with me? That I really like them, and I even think they're kinda sexy with a flouncy skirt?

I think it's true, what Paula Poundstone said. You never think about cowboy boots until you go to Texas, and then you're like, "Do you have anything in...kitten?"
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Oh, I made Badger's suggested Ropa Vecchia this weekend. It's really easy...just cook the shit out of an old tough chuck roast - mine was like 10 hours in the crock pot - and then, when it's super-tender, shred it in a tasty Italian sauce with lots of garlic. Serve it with a some unpretentious red wine, a salad, some good parmesan cheese, and some rosemary bread (started in the breadmaker and then baked in the oven,) and you are guaranteed a darn fine meal.

The short ribs experiment the next day did not go as well. Almost all of the recipes that I found suggested a crock pot or a long slow boil. I was certain that I could put barbecue sauce on them and cook them in the oven over a pan of water. Fuck, it was like four hours later when they finally became edible. And, they're really fatty. They were tasty, I suppose, when you finally got down to the meat part...but not really worth all that effort and my superheated house.

No ideas for this weekend, though. Busy life, needy children, trying to eat light, sick to death of chicken. Who has a bright idea for me?
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OK, tell me, the layout. Do the pictures and stuff look all messed up? On my Firefox, it's totally fucked. Pictures where they aren't supposed to be, no sidebar...BUT, it looks OK on Safari and Explorer.

Is that happening to anyone else? I've read up on the FAQ's on the Blogger website, and I still don't know how to fix it.

And does this color make me look fat?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

For my 200th post...

I'm trying to change my template.

And I kind of hate it.

What is this, you say, of "dragging and dropping" my page parts around? There is no of the dragging and dropping on my Firefox! There is just the click click click click and there is nothing of the dragging.

And the Safari is not much better.

And I lost my SiteMeter!

And my links are fucked!

Wahhhh!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Jeez

What a terrible day.

Those poor kids. I ache so for their parents.

Sigh; can't be funny tonight.

Parent of The Year Award

Last Saturday was a bit of a trying day for me and the OG. By about mid-afternoon, there had been lot of ignoring of my words, a lot of overreactions, and more than a few thinly veiled (or completely naked) threats.

So, when you take all that into consideration, the tale I tell of my ensuing horrible mood will hopefully be more easily forgotten.

You've "seen red" with your kids before, haven't you? Please tell me that you have.

OK, internets, this is what happened.

We have this sixty-year-old house, with sixty-year-old beautiful, extremely heavy wood windows. Sadly, many are just holding on to functionality, and I've certainly sunk a significant amount of money into fixing them. There's one, though, that can't be fixed, and just will not stay up any longer. To remedy this, we paid a contractor guy to drill some holes into the window frame and cut a couple of dowels to shove into the holes to hold up the window, when we want it up.

(Yes, I TOLD you that we don't know how to do any fix-it-yourself projects.)

Anyway, this window, without any hinges and pulleys to hold it up, is extremely heavy. It could break a kid's arm or hurt an animal if it fell on them, and it falls fast. it was a nice day, and said window was up. I was in the kitchen, cleaning up some glasses and dishes and such. From around the corner, I hear a strange pounding sound. When I turn the corner, dishes in hand, I see OG, hanging from the top of the open window. A good ways off the floor; I guess she stood on her little chair to get up there. She was standing on the windowsill, maybe, and literally jumping onto and pounding the top of the windowsill to try to get the window closed.

To complete the picture, there were also a kitten and a puppy right under her feet. In that nanosecond, I became completely unable to employ the nice phraseology that the psychologist is teaching us to use. Literally all that was in my head were the thoughts dead kid dead dog fractured wrist dead cat broken window glass everywhere fuck fuck fuck.

So, this was our interaction:

Me: "OG, GET DOWN!"

OG: "I want the window down!" (pound, pound, pound)

Me: "OG! GET! DOWN! That window is held up by DOWELS! It will not hold you! GET DOWN NOW!"

OG: (still hanging on the window) "But I'm cold and I want the window down!" (pound, pound, pound)

Me: (walking forwards) "GET. DOWN. NOOOOWW!''

She stares at me with a blank stare.

And then, folks, I did it. I stuck my hand into my glass of water, and flicked water on her face. (It wasn't a lot, and most of it went on the wall behind her.)

She looked at me sort of stunned, and then got the hell down.

She sat on the couch, and she said, "Why did you flick water on my face?" By this point, I'm so stunned by my own actions that I'm kind of amused. So, I replied with this gem, "Because I can't slap you!!" (Thankfully, a twitch of a smile crossed her face.)

Me: (calmer) "OG, when I say get down, I mean GET DOWN NOW, and don't keep hanging there!"

OG: "But...I didn't know what 'dowels' were."

Me: "What?"

OG: "Dowels. You said it was held up with dowels, and I didn't know what they were."

Me: "UM, THAT IS NOT ACTUALLY THE POINT."

And, thus, I win Parent of the Year. And, we've all learned a valuable lesson. OG only listens when Mom goes

Sunday, April 15, 2007

GNO, RomZomCom

Interestingly enough, I have been invited to four separate "girls' night out" get-togethers this week.

I attended two of them, one of which was a gathering of mothers from my daughter's school (! There were shots! OF TUACA!), and the other was a nice get-together with Karla May and the Malcontent Mama, and their darling daughters. With that kind of invitation, YG of course could not resist coming with, and - voila, a BIG GIRL PARTY ensued.

Of course, I'm so grateful that anyone thinks of me - ever - to invite to parties, I'm absolutely not complaining about the invitations. The more reassurance I get that I'm a reasonably normal and social human being, the better. And I had a very excellent time at both gatherings, especially at Karla May's. That was a lovely way to cap off the weekend.

But, for me personally this week, I'm starting to wonder...when do my "nights out" end, if I'm attending four in a week? Does this at some point not change from "Girls' Night Out" into "Mom's Week-Long Bender?"
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I watched Shaun of the Dead yet again this weekend. On basic cable, even, with commercials and all the cursing cut out of it. And, I was once again reminded that this is a PERFECT MOVIE, and one that I will apparently watch whenever it is on, from start to finish.

(Note: There are spoilers ahead. Skip this next part if you haven't seen it. And go rent it today, goddamnit. Trust the Mags.)

First of all, I love the genre-bending aspect of it. It manages to be an absolutely hysterical horror-movie spoof, a sweet romantic comedy, and a reasonably creepy zombie flick, all in the same breath. It's even very nuanced and touching in parts, especially in the multilayered interactions between Shaun and his stepfather and his mother. Even the broadest comedic parts - yes, even Ed - are written with some level of depth and backstory to them. God help you, you even end up caring about David and Dianne to some degree, by the end of it. (Even if David is being a TWAT!)

Next, I cannot remember a movie in recent history that has had such amazing dialogue. I knew - I just knew - that this was going to be a movie for the ages when I saw the scene where Shaun and Ed are having to resort to throwing vinyl albums at the zombies, and they debate the relative merits of each album before they do so. Fucking priceless.

And, not to be ignored, is the soundtrack. Queen! My jaw absolutely dropped when they went on the zombie-killing rampage to "Don't Stop Me Now." And, of course, the ending scene, with "You're My Best Friend." This, friends, is the definition of note perfect.

I am so sold on these guys' new movie, Hot Fuzz, which is coming out shortly. I believe that it, as was true of Shaun of the Dead, is already a huge hit in England. It's nice to see that the comedies I love are still rolling off of that isle.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Life's Little Victories

Anita reminded me of a little joy I experienced last week.

Y'see, I've never been "officially" fitted for a bra. My mother, who is considerably smaller than I am frame-wise (but not boob-wise,) always wore a 38 D, and that is what I assumed I wore, too. O'er these long years, my mother continued to be smaller than I am, and I sure as hell never got around to shrinking to waif-like proportions.

At some point, I became somewhat concerned that I was wearing the wrong size. However, I have an irrational fear of tape measures, especially when they come near my body. Especially after the pregnancies and subsequent looooong breastfeeding of two children, I became convinced that I was actually far bigger than the 38D I'd been buying lo these many years.

But, let one of those shrieking harpies near me with a tape measure? To find out that I'm actually a 52 Triple F? Fuck that! So, I quietly began buying size 40 bras. Weirdly, though, they just didn't seem to "do" anything for me in the area of lift-n-perk, you know what I'm saying? I was finding myself, after getting dressed in the mornings, staring downward, and thinking, "No, I'm just not satisfied with my boobs this morning."

Bra-wise, it was getting pretty awful in the lingerie drawer. I had resorted to attempting to sew up the holes where the underwires had begun to pop out, because I'm pathetic and poor (and the product of my mother, who I believe has kept every cottage-cheese container that she has EVER EMPTIED).

So, last weekend, I made the dreaded trek to Dillard's, grudgingly, feeling that if I perhaps paid for something better than Ross, Target, or Mervyns once in a while, my shit wouldn't FALL APART so much. I walked over to the not-$70-a-pop rack, and picked out a couple of likely candidates. I walked up to the cash register to pay, and then it occured to me - Hey! I don't have my kids with me! I could actually try something on without threatening anyone! So, I dodged into the dressing room, thankful for some alone time.

But - not so fast, here comes the LADY WITH THE TAPE MEASURE. Fuck.

Actually, though, the bra that I'm trying on just doesn't seem to be working out, either. It's gappy and bendy and weird. So, I reluctantly flag the titlady down, to ask what I'm doing wrong.

So, she measures me.

So, I'm not a 38D, or a 40C. According to this woman, and confirmed by the other titlady who happened to be standing next to her (it was FREE SHOW time at the Dillard's, apparently,) I am a...36D!

For once in my fucking life, I'm smaller than I thought I was! Woohoo!

And...well, that's really it. After all that lead-up, you'd think it would have been a better story. Erm, sorry.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

It's too cold to post anything original!

Yes, you heard that right. Last weekend, 85 degrees and sunburns. This week, thirty-fucking-five degrees and SLEET.

Do that math.

Jeeminy.

So, you get a meme, stolen from just about every damn person I know and/or read.

10 FAVORITES
Favorite Color: Black for shoes and clothes, red otherwise
Favorite Food: Cheese
Favorite Month: June
Favorite Song: What day is it? I don't think I can pick one. But, "Ever Fallen In Love," by the Buzzcocks, springs to mind, so there you go.
Favorite Movie: Again, do you ask me to pick my children? OK, first thing that pops to mind is "Young Frankenstein." (Ooh, but there's "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," too. Crap.
Favorite Sport: College football
Favorite Season: Summer
Favorite Day of the week: Thursday
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Coconut with real, dark, yummy chocolate chips and almonds
Favorite Time of Day: 10:00 PM

9 CURRENTS
Current Mood: Slightly tipsy
Current Taste: a Spanish Rioja
Current Clothes: Eddie Bauer jeans (my mother's comment tonight: "Are you wearing bell-bottoms?") and a brown long-sleeved knit top that I had thought was put away for the season
Current Desktop: a 60's Shag-esque swirly dot motif in purple, blue, and teal
Current Toenail Color: nekkid
Current Time: 10:05 P.M.
Current Surroundings: Living Room! 'Cause I'm working on my LAPTOP!
Current Thoughts: "Oh, yay, there's a murderer loose near my neighborhood. Go lock the doors, honey!"

8 FIRSTS
First Best Friend: Jimmy Black; second grade.
First Kiss: Jimmy Black; second grade. (And don't let on like it wasn't the most memorable fucking thing in your life, JB.)
First Screen Name: Mags
First Pet: A Manx cat named Maxine. Due to my young age, shortly afterwards she "became" my mother's, and I was claimed by her son, Tynwald. Best. Cat. Ever.
First Piercing: Ears. 15 years old, in Ocean City, Maryland, with my friend Debbie Davis. (My mother wouldn't ever let me do it, so I did it on my first vacation away from her, ever. Because I'm sneaky like that.)
First Crush: Jimmy Black, second grade.
First CD: Meatloaf, Bat out of Hell. (Oh, youngun, you mean my first ALBUM? Because that, child, was Shaun Cassidy's eponymous debut.)

7 LASTS
Last Cigarette: The SXSW party a few weeks ago. Prior to that was...well, whenever I saw Karla last.
Last Car Ride: Hair salon, Bark-n-Purr (What? You want $26 for that case of effing CAT FOOD? Oh...so it WON'T poison my cats, you say? Sigh. Erm...OK. Fuck.), La Casita for awesome tacos, and then H.E.B. for milk and T.P. and such.
Last Kiss: OG, who was very sweet this evening, after a bit of a trying start this morning.
Last Movie Seen: In the theater - "The Queen," at home, "Strangers With Candy."
Last Phone Call: my sister
Last CD Played: Fountains of Wayne. But I have the decency to be embarrassed about it.

6 HAVE YOU EVERS
Have You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Guy Friends: Define "dated."
Have You Ever Broken the Law: Yes, but I was very nervous about it. Every time.
Have You Ever Been Arrested: Yes, twice, both at age 16. Once for driving with alcohol in my car (it wasn't mine, and I didn't drink any of it,) and once for careless and imprudent driving.
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: Yes. Grew up on a lake, y'see.
Have You Ever Been on TV: Yes, age 11, when I was interviewed for the local TV station for playing Queen Gertrude in Hamlet in the 6th grade. Since then, it's been incidental; "Hey, look, there's me (at Austin City Limits, at that peace march, at some concert at Auditorium Shores.)
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn’t Know: Erm, yes, isn't that what my parents financed college for?

5 THINGS
Thing You’re Wearing: As I stated, boring brown knit top, probably from Ross. It's warm, though.
Thing You’ve Done Today: HEB shopped. And why? Because they have cascarones!
Thing You Can Hear Right Now: KXAN news at 10; fixin' to be SNL, which I will probably turn off after the first skit or two. Because it sucks so hard.
Thing You Can’t Live Without: The Man. Is he a thing? How about a vibrator? Same diff.
Thing You Do When You’re Bored: Web surf.

4 PLACES YOU'VE BEEN TODAY
1. My yard, several times, with the puppy, in the sleet.
2. H.E.B.
3. La Casita
4. Bark-N-PUrr

3 PEOPLE YOU CAN TELL ANYTHING TO
1. The Man
2. Anita
3. Connie

(There are more...Erin, Tricia, Christie, Mick...but it said three.)

2 CHOICES
1. Black or White: Black
2. Hot or Cold: Hot

1 THING YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE
Fuck. Both Bookhart and Karla said "Live in London for a year." But I DO WANT TO LIVE IN LONDON! OK, I'll go with "Visit the South Seas."

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Updates...Kerry's in chemo, and sounding positive in her e-mails, though she's apparently being tortured with the Hodgkins/Non-Hodgkins debate. Hang in there, K. Good thoughts abound. And, Dave and Shannon had their baby...I heard he was nine pounds, ten ounces, or something like that? Congrats, Dave, and you owe her BIG TIME.

OG is in OT, officially. The OT wants me to go consult with some crazy-ass alternative medicine practitioners who deal with disorders like she has (e.g. executive function stuff like ADHD, Tourette's, OCD, and Asperger's/high-functioning autism,) and who are IN NO WAY covered by my insurance.

I just don't know where to go with all this. We're talking testing for "food sensitivities" "heavy metal exposure" (e.g. via thimerosol in the vaccines,) and other theories that are not endorsed by most western doctors. And, I just don't know what to do about it. Western medicine has produced only middling results. Medication works - except when it often doesn't - and cognitive behavioral therapy works - except when I'm tired and forget to practice it. I do have an open mind to alternative medicine, but I do not have a bottomless pocketbook with which I can trifle with quackery, you know?

Damn, though, if I could "cure" her by just cutting, say, milk or wheat out of her diet...that is tempting. I'm just the sucka they want to talk to, I'm sure.

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Gosh, listen to me go on and on. And you? How are you today?

Absentia

A visit from Mom is afoot.

It hath allowed me to get my hair colored this morning (joy!) and my younger daughter baby-sat on the Friday off from school that I completely spaced off until, like, Wednesday.

I have to make conversation, and such. More later.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Stop the Presses!

Breaking news, folks...I just won the Bobnoxious Brigade March Madness Bracket Contest!

Yes, it's true...out of 58 (!) people, paying 10 dollars eaches, I chose the most winning teams.

I was coerced into it by my husband. I spent exactly five minutes on my bracket, armed with intuition only - and a vague understanding of who is good in college basketball - as my guide. And I WON $340!!!!!!

Sweet. Aveda hair color, here I come. Do I want the Color Conserve shampoo and conditioner with that, and maybe that new Uruku Eye Accent shadow? Why, yes! Yes, I do!

**late add... totally go check out my husband's bitter, jealous comments to this post. So transparent!

Closure

(Note: The Man made me - well, OK, he suggested that I should - excise this latest commentary on the last and final comeuppance of my personnel review, fearing for my professional life, 'cause I'm all petty and name-callingy in it.)

That's a shame, as it was funny.

If you know me, and you want to read it, e-mail me and I'll send it to you.
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It's YG's third birthday today. This was the conversation we had tonight, as I was putting her to bed:

Me: "Happy third birthday, honey."

YG: "Yes, I am three now."

Me: "You know, three years ago tonight I was holding my brand-new, newborn baby girl. And it was you."

YG: "And you were a princess?"

Me: "Erm...no, not exactly. I was not looking very princessy."

Anyway, happy birthday, sweetie. You're fabulous and funny. Good luck with the genetic stew.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I got nothin'.

Yes, it's me; yes, I do have a blog. No, I have no excuses for not having posted anything meaningful in, like, ever.

I'm appear to be in a creative dry spell. Where's that AstroGlide?

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YG got a trip to Amy's Ice Cream with a couple of her buddies today to celebrate turning three. (The actual birthday day is tomorrow.) As is true to form of the typical three-year-old, she talked about this party all week long, asking repeatedly about when she was going to get cake and ice cream and have her friends sing to her and so on and so forth - AND, when it was actually time to sing "Happy Birthday" to her, she refused to a) come over to the table, b) blow out her candles, and c) eat a damn bite of cake. In all the pictures, I'm, like, literally holding up her slumping body by the arms, FORCING her to receive the singing. And, I'm in a tank top and bending over, so my boobs are, shall we say, prominent.

(And why, may I add, do I always have to do some sort of child management when I'm in a tank top? If I'm wearing a ginormous t-shirt and a jog bra, I don't seem to ever be bending over or kneeling down or pulling a screaming kiddo away from something. But, you get me in spaghetti straps and a tenuous little strapless bra, and then I suddenly have to engage in some sort of wrestling match.)

Despite all her fears to the contrary, OG made it through her sister's party without a panic attack or a major disciplinary event. She was moody - especially when she got hot; it was 85 degrees, after all - and fairly solitary, but reasonably stable. So, there's that, which is better than the alternative by a long stretch...but, I must say, I'm really wondering if there's going to be a point, ever, that she is just normal and pleasant to others without having to be programmed or bribed into doing so. Will empathy ever develop? Will she end up being an asshole as an adult? Please, please, not. There are enough assholes in the world.
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And that's all I have. World, forgive; it's been a taxing few weeks.

Except this:

Your Theme Song is Beautiful Day by U2

"Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away"

You see the beauty in life, especially in ordinary everyday moments.
And if you're feeling down, even that seems a little beautiful too.