Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm Alive

...and the world shines for me, today. (I'm A-LIVE!)

It does indeed seem like forever (and a day) since I felt well enough to sit up and blog, but, verily, the dawn has broken across the sky. Thought I could never feel this way. Is it really me?

I think it's time that I strap on my figurative leg warmers and go rollerskating out the door into life again.

For your daily dose of esoteric humor, I strongly suggest that you visit Garfield Minus Garfield today. (Thanks to Chris for the link.)

There, you will find that your suspicion - that "Garfield" might actually be worth reading if there were no Garfield in the strip at all - confirmed. (And, wow...I had no idea that strip was so dark underneath it all.)

Pod, I totally see your humor in this. Not sure why. Am I totally off-base?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Cristen's Well-Written Debate Recap...

..and a still-shot of her (unmistakable) hand reaching out for a handshake from Barack Obama, can be found here.

Hey, being home in the daytime is fun! I can post to my blog whenever I damn well want to! Even if it's entirely pointless stuff like including a video of Star Wars As Explained By A Three-Year-Old!

Woo-hoo! I think I'll stay home more often! (Cough cough!)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Deathbed Update

Well, I roused myself up for a lovely little gathering for the OG's birthday at Amy's Ice Cream yesterday afternoon...but, at a cost.

Today, my voice is gone, my head is throbbing, and I have left the couch only to go to the bathroom (and, briefly, to the kitchen table to eat some awesome tortilla soup from the yummy-n-cheap La Casita. Thanks, honey.).

I believe I'll take a day off from work tomorrow. As Karla pointed out, that makes me feel a bit guilty, and a bit wussy. But, goddamnit, they KNOW I'm not faking it - I was hacking up a lung the last two days of last week - and I NEVER take sick days.

So, it's just me, the couch, and the Oscars. I don't know how sick I'd have to be to miss them. Not sure, but there'd probably have to be tissue displacement involved.

My guess, early on? No Country For Old Men. Haven't seen it yet - all I've seen, really, is Juno, Michael Clayton, and Persepolis - but I've seen every other Coen brothers movie, I think, and have liked them, I assume it deserves it. I've gotten a bit hinky on the blood factor in some movies, nowadays, though, so I'll probably wait to see it on Netflix. (At home, I can bury my face into my husband's shoulder without shame.)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Grandma's Girl

This was completed and installed in my front yard this morning, completely unbeknownst to me, as I was lying in a congested stupor on my couch:

Oh. My. GOD!!! Could you just eat her up?

(It's taped over our "No Wal-Mart for Northcross Mall" sign, which, um, didn't work out so well. God love us liberals and our lost causes, eh?)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Let me see...

Fever, dripping faucet nose, hacking cough, throat on fire, ears full of fluid, chills-n-sweats, debilitating lethargy...

Methinks this is not a chest cold.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Update to Yesterday's Post

  • My mother is now not speaking to me, as of the OG's indignant phone call to her to spill the beans on who I voted for. (And, by "not speaking to me," I mean that she is calling me and/or e-mailing me every hour on the hour to berate and harass me.)
  • Cristen won a ticket to the debate! Wow!!! I'm evilly jealous! (And, The Man is there, but segregated into some media ghetto that they call the "Spin Room." So, in a nutshell, he's going to watch it on TV like the rest of us, but he'll be closer than we are.
  • All this stress is making me sick. I've retired to the couch with a bad chest cold. Balls.
Oh, yes, and:

Happy 8th birthday to the Original Gangsta herself (and, by relation, Happy One-Year Anniversary of the acquisition of Curbie, the World's Most Smug Bastard Cat):

She got the coolest haul of gifts: a Millenium Falcon - albeit one in about 10,000 pieces that I am NOT putting together tonight - a light saber, and all of the crucial Episodes IV-VI action figures.

The Man and I are a little jealous. (But not of the cat on the head. We're OK without that.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I did it. I voted for him.

When I got home, the OG asked me who I had voted for. I told her. you know what she did? DO YOU KNOW?

She TURNED HER FACE AWAY FROM ME and WOULD NOT LOOK AT ME. When I said her name a couple of times, she finally turned to me, and...SHE WAS BAWLING.

Her question to me: "How could you vote for him, and not for her?"

God, I let down my own daughter, with my vote! I felt like I just shot down all her hopes and dreams.

You people better be right. He'd better be incredible.

(And my mother is going to be SO pissed at me, too. Is it OK to lie to her about who I voted for, do you think? What if it spared her a heart attack? Would it be OK then?)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Time to Vote

It's early voting time in Texas, y'all. Time for Mags to put up or shut up.

I've truly been undecided, up until this point. You see, I have many misgivings about both Democratic candidates, and I'm having a very hard time reconciling myself to one or the other.

A bit of background, first: I am the daughter of one of the original Women's Libbers. My mother is of the N.O.W, consciousness-raising group-forming, marching-on-the-capital generation. I marched alongside my mother and sister in Chicago in 1981, demanding that the E.R.A. be ratified; I wore "59¢" buttons to school. (For you young'uns, that referred to the comparative amount of money on the dollar that women earned at the time, compared to men. It's better now; it's up to 77¢. If you're white. If you're black, it's 71¢, and if you're Latina, it's 58¢., yay.)

So, as a child, I was fascinated by the prospect of a woman becoming president. And, due to my mother, I was even present at the 1984 Democratic convention in San Francisco, at which the snooziest candidate of all time, Walter Mondale, was nominated...BUT, who did have the balls to nominate Geraldine Ferraro as his VP. She was about the only thing in my mind that made Mondale cool...but after that, I was SOLD on him. (Plus the fact that he wasn't, erm, Ronald Reagan.) And, of course, you all know what happened there. Imagine my little, pre-voting-age heartbreak when he took only one flipping state, his own.

The rest of my teen-to-young-adulthood wasn't really populated by strong, women, political figures that served me, a Missourian, personally. Our governors were men (and have been up until recently, until the estimable Jean Carnahan stepped in after Mel was tragically killed right before the election, and fucking WON ANYWAY. You ever want to know why I sometimes like Missouri? RIGHT THERE.)

When I moved to Austin, there was Ann Richards, whom I very much liked...since I had seen her speech at the '88 convention, where my mother again was (but, sadly, I was not attending that one). But, thanks to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, we all know how that went, too., so, so. I've seen Hillary Clinton, live, in what must have been '93. I stood about 10 feet away from her, in a smallish room in Kansas City that was packed to the ribcages with people wanting to hear her. She spoke forcefully and compellingly, and her demeanor was relaxed and pleasant. She shook hands and spoke with many people in the crowd afterwards, and appeared to be enjoying herself immensely.

Perhaps from that experience, and in listening to her later speeches and interviews, I have never truly bought into the case that Hillary is somehow "shrill" or "unlikeable." She seemed, and truly, still seems, to me, to be forthright and accessible; or, at least, as forthright and accessible as any politician ever is. (And, oh, yes, my Barack-o-phile friends, he is, just that, though perhaps a very gifted one.)

Thus, with this history, I hope you will understand why it hurts so badly to think I'm not going to vote for the first, real, woman candidate in my lifetime, and perhaps - in my opinion - the best-qualified, smartest woman we're going to see for a long time. (Rice? Please. Great judgment all 'round, Condi. Way to back that winning horse.)

However...there's that goddamn war vote of hers. Fuck. And major capitulations on "homeland security" that were bogus then, and they're bogus now. And, she never apologized. Urgh! If I ever had a deal-breaker, then I can't imagine a worse one, short of pedophilia or axe-murdering. And, though I'm not really thrilled with the specificity of Obama's speeches, I won't deny that his charms are not lost on me; he's talkin' in my TV screen right now, and when he does, I don't turn him off.

I don't believe, however, that she'd most certainly lose to John McCain. I'm so blown away by the Democratic turnout for these primaries that I think this base is energized to a wild extent. A lot can change in a few months, but I know for damn sure that she'd handle McCain's ass in a debate. Are we sure about Obama? McCain's a nasty little prick...) And, I think, if she DID lose to McCain, it would be largely due to this - in my mind, unfair - media portrayal of her as this big bitch.

But, I still fear her negatives, and the right-wing frenzy that will erupt around her if she is the nominee. I think Obama will pull more independents. And I'm REALLY against this fucking war.

So, sadly, I'm leaning towards Obama. (I may cry just a tiny bit in the voting booth, I really, really may.) I could wait until after the debate - which I clearly did not win the "lottery" to get in to see - on Thursday, which is to be held right here in Austin. (Oh, and do you KNOW how many people entered this lottery - for 100 tickets, mind you? MORE THAN 43,000 people entered. Now THAT'S excitement.) However, I think it's just probably postponing the inevitable.

I'm sorry, Hillary, and Geraldine (who is working for Hillary's campaign, of course. Way to rub it in.)

Hey, speaking of lotteries, there's one for SXSW wristbands, starting Thursday and lasting until Sunday, I think. To enter the drawing (for 4000 wristbands total) you have to have an Austin address. You can only buy two tickets, and you have to name that person upon submitting your entry, and the wristband will only be given to that person when they show ID. They're non-transferrable, and they have to put them on your wrist.

We may get to go to some this year. It's a lot of fucking money, but I'm considering entering. Anyone else going?

15 pounds, bitches. Woop!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sweatin' To The ... erm, they're not THAT old...

Just a few of the songs from my iPod that are currently in my "Cross-Trainer/Weight Machines/Dumbbells/I've Got My iPod On So Don't Talk To Me" workout rotation:

"Holiday" - Green Day
"Brick House" - The Commodores
"Timebomb" - Beck
"I Predict A Riot" - Kaiser Chiefs
"A Town Called Malice" - The Jam
"Church of the Poison Mind" - Culture Club
"Corvette" - Golden Smog
"Make a Circuit With Me" - The Polecats
"Take Your Mama" - Scissor Sisters
"You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb" - Spoon
"Little Willy" - Sweet
"Man, It's So Loud In Here" - They Might Be Giants
"SexyBack" - JT
"I Bet That You Look Good On The Dance Floor" - Arctic Monkeys
"Lucretia My Reflection" - Sisters of Mercy
"Gin and Juice" - The Gourds
"Gone Daddy Gone" - Gnarls Barkley
"Don't Stop Me Now" - Queen
"Pictures of Matchstick Men" - Camper Van Beethoven
"Sexx Laws" - Beck
"Ohio (Come Back To Texas)" - Bowling For Soup
"Go!" - Tones on Tail
"Supernova" - Liz Phair
"Phantom Limb" - The Shins
"Kyle's Mom's A Bitch" - Cartman

I need some more songs, though. Anybody got any good suggestions? Something kinda grouchy - because I'm pissed when I'm exercising - with a good beat that I can get my heart rate up to? Preferably that's been recorded in, say, my oldest daughter's lifetime?

Oh, and a Happy Valentine's Day to all y'all.

I believe the following video expresses my sentiments exactly:

That's fuckin' teamwork.

*Wow...apparently Jon Kricfalusi, Coolest Animator Ever (of "Ren and Stimpy" fame) animated a video for that song. But, I just can't post's like Ren and Stimpy Softcore, and it kinda gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Beautiful Day in Hangoverville

I do love 77-degree February Saturday afternoons in Austin. Paradise. Wish I'd have been able to enjoy it more, though.

We had our annual Valentine's Day date-night-tradeoff-with-the-Noxiouses last night. First we saw Juno at the Alamo Drafthouse. It was excellent. Very funny, though I cried through the last third of it. Afterwards, we went for a drink at Flying Saucer, and though I was still all weepy and sentimental from the movie, we had a very lovely time drinking beer and squeezing on their big comfy couches.

The thing is, I only had one beer there...HOWEVER, that one beer turned out to be a ginormous, 22-oz Rogue Chocolate Stout. The supplemental beer we had upon picking up the children afterwards...a light little ale, a Fireman's Four...put my dieting, and thus not regularly drinking, body, over the edge into tipsiness. And, sadly, that's all it takes anymore to moderately ruin the next day for me, seventy-seven degrees and sunny notwithstanding.

I've decided that alcohol is the single worst enemy to my weight loss, more than any food I can think of. Alcohol contributes to my weight gain in every stage of the experience, from the actual calories consumed within the alcohol, to the lowering of inhibitions about what I'll eat when I'm tipsy, to the hangover tending the next day (in which I must eat something fattening approximately every hour and a half or I will vomit).

Thanks for the lovely responses to the post about my dream about my dad. I was very touched by the stories that many of you shared with me.

Perhaps there truly are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio. I'm prepared to accept that there are things I will never completely understand, and that this occurrence, apparently by no means unique to me, may be one of them. Whatever it was, the communal response that it triggered just made it that much more meaningful.

However, my dream last night was that Nick Rhodes, Simon LeBon, and John Taylor were waiting for me outside, in the late evening, in the parking lot of the School For the Blind, across Lamar from Mandola's. They were all wearing fashionable black and white suits. When I approached them, I said, "You're still here?" Simon replied, "We never left you, Mags." And, I realized that they were the guiding muses for my life, and I thanked them, and went on.

I'm tending to think that I can chalk that one up to wishful thinking plus Rogue Chocolate Stout, rather than a visitation from a spirit guide, though.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I Canna' Post, Captain!

An', I'm givin' 'er all she's got!

Oh, my god, work is kicking my ass on all sides. I'm going through the day so stressed out right now that I'm coming home literally, physically, sore at the end of the day. For the past, I don't know, two weeks? All I can do, when I home, after work, gym, dinner, and evening chores, I am able to do nothing besides stare at some television, read a few pages (Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer,) occasionally think to pay some respects to The Man, and pass out cold.

And, everybody, that I should be calling? I know, I'm not calling you. I really, really, mean to, but it seems like the days are just slipping through my fingers. Please know that I'm thinking about you. And don't hate me forever.

Cripes. I can't even follow Lost tonight. Either I'm totally blinkered...or, Lost has become completely unfathomable. Votes?

HOWEVER, I feel that I must share with you the horrible unfairness of aging.

On Super Bowl Sunday, I got up, and weighed myself (10 pounds off. Yay!) I had saved up all my "flex points" for that night, because we were going to a party. I went to the gym that day - cardio and 40 minutes of weights and sit-ups, dude - and even saved up 17 points just for Sunday evening alone.

At the party, I ate, more or less: Two chicken wings, two (small) bowls of Manhattan clam chowder - the creamless, tomato-based kind - a small slice of cheesecake, a half slice of Boston cream pie, four glasses of wine, and a beer. (Hey, the party was over four hours long. I wasn't drunk.) No chips, no queso, nothing else. The next day I was perfect; the day after, I was perfect.

And, do you know how much weight that one night put on me?

THREE POUNDS. That's how much.

And do you know how much of that weight is still there, nearly a week later, after diligently exercising and counting points and all that crap every day thereafter?


I'm just sayin'. Fucking shitty deal, this.

Monday, February 04, 2008

In Which I Seriously Hamper My Child's Future Social Life

We were at the Noxious's Super Bowl party yesterday, wherein the OG, the Noxious Boy, and Wonder Boy were eschewing the festivities in favor of watching Star Wars (IV, A New Hope, natch) in the bedroom.

Pod came up to me, tapped me on the shoulder, and said, "Your daughter is a geek."

I asked why, and he replied, "In the first scene on the ship (when the droids are escaping,) OG said, instead of 'Here comes C-3PO,' she pointed behind C-3PO, at the silver droid that looks just like him, and said, 'Here comes TC-14.'"

I could not be more proud. Next up...Lord of the Rings!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

And now for something completely different


Oh, do watch it. You won't be sorry. I swear.

(Thanks, Trish. You know me so well.)

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Strange Occurrence

I've been composing this entry in my mind for several days now, and I just can't get it to sound the way that I want it to. Perhaps just plugging on with it is the only way to get it out; thus, here goes:

The day I started back to work after my dad's funeral, my co-worker Laura came to visit me with a card and a pretty potted rosemary. She's older than me, with grown children of her own. She's a good friend to me, but even more than that, has served as my de facto mentor for the past several years. I listen to her more than nearly everyone I work with. (Quite frankly, I have aped her work so often - and then had that work soundly praised - that I'm fairly convinced that SHE KNOWS EVERYTHING.)

So, Laura - a woman that I've followed slavishly for eight years, mind you - came to see me, at my workplace. She gave me a hug, and then said to me, "I want to tell you something that happened to me, after my own father died. He and I weren't that close, not really. But, do you know what?" (She then leaned in conspiratorially) "He came to visit me. In a dream, not right after he died, but a couple of months later."

She continued, "I have no memory of dreaming of my father, prior to this; ever. But, this dream was different. It was incredibly lucid, and we were talking, and sitting in my parents' house, about things that we needed to say to each other." (She teared up a little at this; this is my rock, now, and I've never, ever seen that from her before.)

As she left, she had regained her typical, gregarious composure. I half-expected her to partially laugh off her comment as she left, as this is a avowedly scientific woman - her bumper sticker says, "Militant Agnostic: I Don't Know and YOU DON'T EITHER" - who I've never seen utter a phrase without three journals full of empirical evidence to back her up. But, she didn't; she just said, "He'll come see you. Look for it."

So, about a week ago, the damn dog and cats woke me up about 5 AM, which is about an hour before I really have to get up. The dog was snuffling and licking, which makes The "Violently Sound-Sensitive To The Point Of Utter Insanity" Man insane, so I grabbed her and went with her into the living room. I debated whether to just go ahead and get up, or to pursue the insomniac's usually-futile struggle to catch a few more winks on the couch. Weakness overtook me, so I threw the dog outside, and to the couch I slunk.

Knowing I had to get up in a very short while, and half-listening for the dog to return to the door, I slipped into some sort of fugue state between sleep and awake. I don't know how to explain it. I definitely started dreaming, but I was also vaguely aware of the you know what I mean?

Anyway, I'm sure you can see where this thread is going. Suddenly, it was not like I was dreaming; it was, as though, I was literally, sitting in my parents' house, across the dinner table, from my father.

I saw the grain of the table, felt the knobs on the back of their wooden chairs, wondered why the hell they keep that big stack of catalogs in the kitchen. Everything was so, SO, incredibly, vivid, and clear, which is quality that almost never happens to me in my generally bizarre and nonsensical dreams (which often involve me kissing a random someone I know. I don't know why. But I digress.).

In this dream, my father said to me that he loved me, and that he was sorry that he wasn't a better father to me. I said to him that I loved him, too, and that I turned out just fine. He said that he was so glad that I had such a happy life, and I said that I was glad that he had given me an education and supported me all those years. He cried a little, and I cried a little. Then, his face went all swirly - I could still see the table, though - and it was over, and it was time to get up.

The next day, I called my mother to talk to her about something, I'm not sure what. Midway through the conversation, I paused, and said, half-jokingly: "I think Dad came to see me in my dream last night." She - the buyer of the purple plates, remember - stopped, and said, softly, "Tell me about it."

I did. She replied "Was it a lucid dream?" I said, "Yes." She said, matter-of-factly, "Well, that's what it was, then." She thanked me for telling her about it, and said, to end the conversation, "It WAS real, you know."

Now. I am a soulless heathen, my husband and children are soulless heathens, WE'RE PROUD to be soulless heathens. No argument.

But, honestly? Just for a moment there - a fraction of a moment - I think I saw a glimmer of what makes people believe in such things.

You know?