Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Big Belleh

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

My food baby is poufing out over the top of my jeans, which clearly indicates that I in no way can clean house right now. I might pull a muscle, or something. Or give myself a giant pie hernia. So, instead, I'm hanging out on my new couch, with all my new cats, and watching football instead.

It was a nice, cazh day around here. We drove out to West Austin this morning to The Man's aunt's house, where we had a nice, largish family gathering and a delicious brined THIRTY EFFING POUND turkey. I am inspired to try it; I've brined chickens, and turkey breasts, before, but not a whole turkey myself. Of course, there's the fact that my family probably could not really EAT a whole turkey without getting desperately sick of it...but, nonetheless, this time of year, I am always inspired to try. (Perhaps this, too, will pass. TM's aunt gave us tons of leftovers.)

After that, I took TM down to the football game (Texas vs. Texas A&M, a historic rivalry, for those not in the know of such things. It's really just a symbolic rivalry this year, as A&M is just not the powerhouse that it has been in prior years. The score is currently 42-9. I'm sorry, Dave. Missouri fans feel your pain.) while the girls and I went over to Mick and Adam's annual Thanksgiving fried-turkey, bocce, cranberry margaritas, and poker party.

I managed to choke down another partial plate of food (mmm...fried turkey!) somehow, and had a couple margaritas. I ended up coming on back home, instead of playing poker into the evening, as the children were plainly just NOT in a place to sit and watch a video in peace. I wasn't too harsh on them, as they were pretty fried from staying up too late the night before, when we were over t' the Noxiouses' house.

So, honestly, not much to report. Just full-n-tired-n-watchin' football. You?

(Oh, and do you know of this Rick Rolling?)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The OG won the grand prize in the science fair!

OK, so it was just the grand prize in her class, but hell's bells, let's throw 'em in the air for the OG!

Thanks to her grandma, who is a microbiologist, we all came up with an easy experiment; testing various hand-washing methods via pressing her hand into a petri dish, and then counting the bacterial colonies after the dishes spent the night in Grandma's lab incubator at work. So, it was not only easy, it had the all-important "gross-out" factor, so very necessary to impress the average contingent of eight-year-olds.

I am so excited for her, and she is THRILLED. I got a little nervous that she wasn't doing enough, so we made double-dog sure she did all the writing and research herself, and that she helped take the pictures of the petri dishes, that sort of thing. However, I apparently needn't have worried, as her teacher clearly believed that she did do the work. (And I KNOW that her teacher quizzed her on the procedure and the findings. She is a big believer in personal responsibility, which has been a GODSEND to the OG and her scattered, disorganized way.)

Oh, and the answer? Purell doesn't do SHIT. Neither does Ivory soap. Dial is the only way to go.

And on your hands right this second? Horrific colonies of vile death.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Got Yer Christmas Present RIGHT HERE

Really, that's one-stop shopping, no?

It's my birthday... you know what that means, don't you?

Yes, of course. It's time for your annual Gerard Manley Hopkins.

It's my birthday, so suck it up.

Ahem. (Cue visual:)

(Cue sonorous voice:)

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie.
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

----"Spring and Fall to a Young Child;" Gerard Manley Hopkins

I love this poem. Nobody says "It's fall, it happens, you're getting older too, and you'll die someday, ya big effin' baby" like GMH.


Monday, November 17, 2008

YG and the new couch

The YG's hair recovered from the self-imposed mullet. Now she has an adorable, if slightly shaggy, pixie-bowl cut.
]Oh, god, it was just enough to make you want to BARF taking her in for her haircut at the beauty shop around the corner. The ladies in the shop were all "Awwww! She's so CUUUTE!! She looks so great even WITH her new hair cut!"

And I'm all NO, she is an evil awful little child, who CUTS HER OWN HAIR when she KNOWS she is not supposed to, whose soul is as black as her hair is red!

But does she hear that? No! She just hears that she's so goddamn cute she can do whatever she wants!

Bah! (And yes, that is a Cleopatra headdress that the OG has on in the background.)

Oh, and I got my new couch! (But not my new orange armchair. In a few weeks, they say.) And, I got a new coffee table and end table, too. Here they are, with far too many animals:

We decided against the cool-lookin' orange couch; as Milena aptly pointed out, it was not so comfy for sitting, humans. This one is not so adventurous, but is reasonably nice, and did not cost tons of money.

Now, when to update the 11-year-old TV, 16-year-old stereo, grunge-era media setup in my corner. let me dream about that, for as long as I've dreamed of a new couch, most likely.

Oh, and cats are stupid.

This one? Is a little freak. And has taken on the former-waif-turned-smug-bastard persona, just like her bubba Curbie.

Iris, for what it is worth, seems to have genuine gratitude to be here. This cat seriously will stand up on her hind legs to hug me. It's violently cute.

And yes, The Man's iron will regarding accepting the cats has stood up just as well as you thought it would. He totally loves them. (HA. I win.)

On a final note, it's my last night of being 38. Wanna go clubbing? I think tonight is the last night that I can, legally.

Monday, November 10, 2008

You HAVE to come and see the BABY!

Hello! Sorry no postage lately.

I got super crazy busy after the election - and by "busy" I of course mean "drunk" - and then on Thursday I took off for Fayetteville, Arkansas for a long weekend with Trish, Mike, their six-year-old OB, and their brand new, two-month-old YB...AND, for a huge added bonus, Erin, who also flew her preggers self down from Philly.

Oh, what a good time that was. I got an UNBELIEVABLY cheap flight there - turns out Fayetteville benefits hugely from being nearby the national hub of both Wal-Mart and Tyson, and the fact that apparently assloads of Texans who need to fly there on a regular basis. Hence, my round-trip ticket cost far less the gas would have cost to drive there...hell, it was less than our trip to Wurstfest, forty minutes south of here, last weekend.

This is the tiny bug himself, giving one of those early smiles that I miss so much from my own children:

Totally worth the price of admission, I say.

Northwest Arkansas is really, really beautiful, and Fayetteville, college town, home of the University of Arkansas, is a nice, tolerant blue beacon in a landlocked sea of Republican red. Trish took us on a winding road up the Ozarks to Eureka Springs, a lovely older town, founded on the industry of the healing hot springs a century ago, and now a quaint-n-touristy shopping destination.

Here's Trish and Erin after our scrumptious and healthy lunch of Eureka Springs french fries AND nachos AND onion rings:

Well worth your journey, if you are in the area, for the awesome cliffs alone.

Saturday, we went to this artists' colony outside Fayetteville called Terra, wherein they make millions upon millions of glass bluebirds:

and have little traipsy paths through the woods for the kidlings and the new-agey among us:
That was a great little day trip. (Hell, yeah, I got a bluebird. Because they're cool, and hand-blown, and that is what one does.)

Oh, man, though? COLD. In the twenties at night cold. I had on a sweater, a sweatshirt, and a coat there on Saturday afternoon. It felt kinda good, though; 80 degrees in November (which is what awaited me upon arriving in Austin yesterday) just does not feel right, somehow.

So, now, I'm back, recovering (although it was not super wild, me partying with a new mom and a five-month-old pregnant lady) and working. I'm sort of bemused at Obama's election; I find it difficult to reconcile my loser Democrat self with actually WINNING for a change. It's strange; like breaking in a new pair of shoes.

However pleased I am with the results from the national election, it's of course bittersweet on the local level. We lost two hard-fought campaigns for the U.S. House and Senate, and this state still remains reliably red, thumbing its nose in the face of an entire NATION shifting the other direction. Baby steps, I suppose.

But, do you know where can kiss my butt? Missouri. Yeah, you heard that right. My home state can just go hop off into the Mississippi River for all I care. Bellwether state my ass. I had always hoped that the I-70 influence of Kansas City - Columbia - St. Louis would spread to thhe rest of the state, but I'm afraid that the opposite is occurring, and that the whole damn place is becoming Bransonized.

Eh, screw 'em if they want to stick their head in the sand. Let the nation pass them by and let them be pushed further to the margins. I'll welcome them back if they open their eyes, but in the meantime, I'm going to push hard for the north half of the state to break away and become South Iowa.

I am at a loss, really for what to do with myself now. It was good to get away this past weekend and have conversations with real people, instead of obsessing over the election.

I hope to re-introduce myself into socializing soon, and even - dare I say it? PARENTING.

Oh, and speaking of that, do you wanna see what happened over at the Noxious's house yesterday, when the YG decided that she should take it upon herself to cut her own hair?

Here's before (on Halloween):

And afterwards (I had to take her picture when she was sleeping, because she abjectly refused when she was awake):

She cut BANGS into her own hair.

And, to tell you the truth, if she had just stopped a few inches short of cutting the left-hand side of her hair off, she wouldn't have done too bad a job!

If I am to look on the bright side, it's that perhaps there's a career in it. It's good to know she'll have an option besides stripping.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Crying in my living room

Hey, y' know, Michelle?

She's my first lady.

And those are some damn cute kids set to set up some bunk beds in the West Wing.

Sigh. OK, I will chill now.


So, John McCain picks his CONCESSION speech as the time to be gracious and warm? And to finally sound like the man he used to be eight years ago?

Because...that wouldn't have served him better, like, two months ago? Except he went all crazy negative with the Bill Ayers and anti-American and shit?

Whoever picked his campaign staff should be given a freagin' MEDAL.


Everyone say it with me now...


You had it here first.


Oh my GOD, I am SO NERVOUS about tonight, Y'ALL!!!!

I cannot get ANY work done. Seriously. It's like 10:30 AM - I've been at work for TWO AND A HALF HOURS - and cannot point to ANYTHING that I've accomplished.

(Except, um, a blog post. Is that something?)

I'll check back in later. Maybe I'll live-blog the election results. Unless I am attempting to HANG MYSELF.