Thursday, August 31, 2006

Rocky Mountain High....

...Coloradoooo. (Did it work? Are you susceptible to the powers of Song Stuck in Your Head Girl?)

I'm headed off to see Anita, Scott, and the kiddos in Denver. We have no set plans at the moment; really, sitting around and staring at each other is all either of us can afford to do. But, even that will be a delightful change of pace from sitting around and staring at The Man, handsome devil that he is.

Maybe I'll post fabulous pictures while I'm in Denver...I'll try to get in a Big Head Shot (TM) for Karla, and maybe just a head shot for The Man. (KIDDING, Honey. No, I'm serious. Put the camera DOWN.)

If not, well, then, have a swell Labor Day weekend, folks. Remember the workers and the unions that made your barbecue possible. (Try to grill up a greedy CEO, if you have the chance.)


P.S. Disturbing visual for the week:
I was sitting at the intersection of 45th and Lamar, when I noticed that the man in the passenger seat in the car next to me was holding a hardbound copy of Ann Coulter's new book. While I was glancing over, he took his finger, and lovingly traced it over the picture of the soulless harpy, over what is ostensibly her cleavage peeking out of her low-cut black dress.

Monday, August 28, 2006

No need to invite Robin, though...

So, Heath Ledger is going to play the Joker in the next Batman movie?

Do you think that means that he and Christian Bale are going to make out?

Because I'd pay to see that.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

O Happy Day

I'm thrilled beyond words. I'm having old friend influx for the next few months.

See, I moved to Austin 12 years ago this month. I love Austin; I love my friends here. Granted, many of them were The Man's to begin with, but I have a way with other people's friends. You see, I like to take them, and make them MY OWN. Perhaps that's my other superpower (besides Song Stuck in Your Head Girl; that's for another post altogether). I'm Friend Stealing Woman.

But, I did have friends of my own before I met The Man; unfortunately, there's not a lot of empirical evidence to prove it, because nobody ever sees these people...sadly, that usually includes me. Work, family, and financial constraints usually keep us pretty well close to home, for the most part, and other than mandatory trips to KC for the Biannual Family Visit and Annoyfest, I don't get out to see too many people.

Really, though, people used to like me when I wasn't Married With Two Children Girl. (No, scratch that; I'm not super in that respect at all.) I used to be Mags, she of wearing of the black, she of dancing at the clubs, she of staying up all night drinking while simultaneously writing an essay for the take-home midterm. There was Twin Peaks, and Ren and Stimpy, and 120 Minutes...oh, there was, there was. There was Anita, and Connie, Trish, Erin, Inga, Melissa, Chuck, Chris, Tom, April, Brian, Dana, Alycia, that one guy with the runny nose, the guy with the one crossed eye, the other guy with the long hair...there were many. I miss them all. (Well, not so much the last few...actually, forget those bastards altogether.)

But, there appears to be a happy confluence of my past and present approaching. (Is this the Age of Aquarius? Has Jupiter aligned with Mars?) First up, I head to Denver next week to see Anita, and see the baby. And the big boy. I haven't laid eyes on the baby yet, or Anita in two years, and the boy in four years. Far too long, I say. Next up, Connie comes to town for a girls' weekend, in which there will be B&Bs in Fredricksburg, good restaurant visiting, margarita drinking, and shopping. (NO KIDS on this little outing, I state emphatically. Sweet!) Coincidentally, Chuck will be arriving in San Antonio that same weekend, and we're having dinner and drinks one night. Also, I booked my Xmas flights home to KC, in which Erin and Tricia will also be during that time.

I miss my old people. We're too far away geographically...but, though I always fear for the growing away in our hearts, somehow I always feel the old joy again when we get together. Thanks for being there for me, lo these many years. I hope I'm giving back what I'm receiving from you.

Now, can I convince any of you to move to Austin? OK, so it's 102 outside, and it hasn't rained for over a month. And, it's expected to stay that way until...say, October/November. That's not a problem, is it? I'm here, after all...won't that make it all OK? Don't I bring all the weather you need into your life?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pictures of Rednecks or Things that Pertain to Rednecks that my Mother-In-Law Sent Me

For your consideration:

1) The Redneck Wedding Cake. (Actually, come to think of it, that would have been way cheaper than what we had, and certainly more memorable.)

2: The Disturbing Child Bride Photo:

3. The "I hear you, sister," quote: (As for me, I hate having to actually cover my nipples when I go to the HEB. That is such a drag.)

4. I have no words for this.

Except to state that the confederacy looks good on her.

Do I mock? Yes, I do. Not because you're southern, but because you VOTED FOR BUSH. You deserve every bit of mockerage you get until you see the light, Ashley and John Wayne.

(There were more, but Blogger has PMS tonight. Anybody running the Beta version? Is it better?)

Monday, August 21, 2006

How Much of a Slut are YOU?

My slut quotient is only 54%. Wow...that's not even a passing grade! I am not even an average slut, and that's with some answer fudging to make myself look wilder.

Now that I'm officially having a midlife crisis, perhaps I should strive for better.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mags looks like...

Stole this from Bookhart. Fun little way to spend a hot day indoors; you go to Google, and type in "(your name) looks like" and see what pops up.

Apparently, Mags looks like...

  • she suspects the worst.
  • she'd know about that sort of thing.
  • she is being kissed passionately by a soldier.
  • Cartman. (This one is my favorite.)
  • everybody.
  • someone's been getting her Fresca on.
  • she's taken a turn for the worse.
  • death, reluctantly walking back toward the kitchen sink.
  • she's on the Lindsey and Nicole diet. (Sweeet!)
  • a million dollars in these photos.
  • a decent granny, but her inborn talents spell something else! (This one was from a website called Grannyriders, which I clicked on out of curiosity. DON'T. I beg you. It does not, in fact, have ANYTHING to do with motorcycles. Aieee! My eyes! My eyes!)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Well, those childbearing years went fast...

So, I found out today that I am...tum ta TUM!.....perimenopausal.

Ho. ly. fucking. crap. That slapped me upside the head today. Well, no, not really...the thought had been in the back of my mind since Karla suggested that I might be, back when I saw her last. Seems that headaches, suddenly poochier tummies, and biweekly visits from the monthlies, add up to the phenomenon that is "perimenopause," or the several years that lead up to the real deal.

I am 36 years old. Really? It's coming to an end, this mother time? Already?

I talked to my mom today, and she said that the same thing had happened to her, except that she had me when she was 38. She said that getting pregnant took away all the perimenopausal symptoms. And I'm half tempted to do it.

It's not that I was really, totally wanting another baby. I mean, I kind of want one, but it's not logical, we can't afford it, our lifestyle is pretty well geared to a small family, we want to travel, all that.

But I kind of feel like the donut cart is coming by and offering free donuts until they run out. You have a couple, and you're satisfied, but the cart keeps coming by and it's running out of donuts. You might not get another free donut. You say "Hey, I know I don't want one NOW, but I might want one LATER." So, you are really tempted to grab another donut off the cart, just so you can have it, even though you're not even convinced that that will happen. And even though you know you don't really need another donut anyway, your ass is fat enough as it is, you just had a salad, and eventually you'll have to put that donut through college, and that's just too much of a financial drain for this family. Shit, the donut cart is leaving! sartorial indulgences, haircut obsessions, and makeup tutorials this summer might have been a midlife crisis. Damn...I would really have hoped for better than that. Leaving to party in Bali. Suddenly changing careers to become a backup singer. At the VERY least piercing something.

On a completely unrelated note, check out this recipe. It comes from Fiesta! Favorite Recipes of South Texas, a cookbook (published in 1973) that Erin's mother found in her basement and sent over to us. It's great kitsch joy, and there are also some really fabulous-sounding things in there, particularly the desserts. Italian cream cake, chocolate cake with boiled frosting, that general idea. (I also really like the end section, "Dining Under Sail," for all those weekends you're out on your boat off Corpus Christi. Very helpful.)

But, I ask you, check out the Mexican Pralines recipe. Which of these items, to you, would not fit in with your typical caramelized sugar after-dinner treat?

1 lb dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 3-inch-long slice bacon
1 cup pecans

Seriously, am I nuts, and does everyone put bacon in those things? Is that some freaky Texas trick you play on people? "Oh, them Yankees just THINKS they're eatin' vegetarian. Haw! We put bacon in their DESSERTS!"

At another time, I will discuss the new bad habit I've developed to day. Malcontent Mama put it in my head that I must try paying someone to clean my house, and I tried it today for the first time. Oh. Lord. I am so damned deliriously happy that I'm sitting here right now and not mopping my floors frantically for the baby shower tomorrow. That is crack that I'm wanting to suck down the pipe some more.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Night Hawk, a Walgreens?

Oh, sad and freaky times we are in, children. The Man has just informed me that the block that The Frisco and KidsActing is on is in danger of becoming a Walgreens.

The Frisco has been in business over 50 years, and is the last of a chain that was huge in Austin through most of the last century. There was a time that famous chefs came out of these restaurants, and locally famous luminaries worked there.

It is a really cool, unironically retro place to take your family. There's vinyl booths, pie in glass cases, and loads and loads of coffee. It's where your kids get called "hon." Nothing even remotely vegetarian, except maybe a grilled cheese sandwich and some of the pies. We are often the youngest folks in the restaurant by a good 15 years, and that is saying something in Austin, where lots of young hot people live.

Older girl has been there a few times, and dug it...hey, as long as there's a plain, dry burger patty, white milk, a few french fries, and the promise of a huge dessert to be had, she's good. However, we are usually a) poor and b)dieting, so admittedly, it's not someplace we go all the time, or even very often. (There is NO getting out of there without pie. That is practically unthinkable. Oh, sure, you can pretend you're sharing a piece with the man, but you are GOING TO EAT PIE.) But, really, a Walgreens wants to buy up this block, and it is still up in the air.

Now, realize that within about 3 miles of my house in all directions, there are ALREADY two Walgreens, two CVS's, an HEB, a Target, and a small, neighborhood pharmacy. We HAVE OUR DRUGS OVER HERE, people! Nobody has to do much more than spit across their lawn to have multiple options for filling prescriptions and buying pregnancy tests.

It is absolutely absurd to think that this is a good idea, for anyone. The market is saturated, first of all, but most of all...what the fuck? It's the Night Hawk! It's Austin history! It's one of the last parts of Austin that are not filled with Chili's and Lowes, and it's part of the character that keeps tourists coming here and keeps the quality of life here so good. Plus, there's KidsActing, a fantastic little drama school that's also been around forever. Cool folks over there, great classes.

I e-mailed The Man in outrage to see if there's anything that can be done, or anyone I can bitch to about this. He basically told me that I could contact Walgreens, but they won't care one whit, as increasing profit for their shareholders is the only concern for them.

I am bummed out. And now the diet will be disrupted, as The Man has stated an express desire to go eat pie there a few more times, in case it's gone. (Damn you Walgreens! I was just back into almost all my jeans.)

Shop locally...while you can!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The iPod Crisis ends, as does MY SUMMER

Things appear to be OK, now, finally. I have converted all 2400+ songs to AAC format, whatever the eff that means. (And it only took two weeks!) And, all the songs are safely back on the iPod, which appears to be functioning well.

iTunes still gives me a headache, though. It could be the Old Bessie factor, but I can really only transfer about 15-20 songs at a time from iTunes to the iPod. If I try to do more, iTunes often crashes. Sometimes, it appears that iTunes doesn't like particular songs, and I eventually gave up trying to load those. ("Lee Harvey" by the Asylum Street Spankers and "James K. Polk" by They Might Be Giants crashed my computer like three times each. Perhaps this iPod has trouble with real-life American historical figures?)

And, weirdly enough, whole albums were lost somehow. Girlfriend, by Matthew Sweet, and the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack were totally erased. But, they're back on there, as is some countryish stuff from The Man (Joe Ely, Emmylou Harris, Robert Earl Keen, et al.)
(I've just realized that Emmylou Harris has the voice of an angel...a divorced angel that has been driving an 18-wheeler all night long. Where has she been all my life?)

And that, chickens, has been the highlight of my weekend. It's just too hot to do much in Austin besides go to Deep Eddy and get a mango Jim-Jim's Water Ice. If I ever leave Austin, Deep Eddy and a Mango Jim-Jim's will be high up on my list of things that I will immediately go do whenever I return here. Even if it sometimes sucks horrendously to live through summer here, there is a great deal to love about this town. (I've been thinking about Karla over t'Norway. She seems far away. How's everything, honey?)

We did take Older Girl roller skating at this seriously retro skating rink not far from us, and I did a few turns around the rink myself. I did not fall on my ass, a testament to luck or just sheer concentration ("Don't fall! Don't fall! You are WAY heavier than you were when you were eleven, and it will hurt SO much more!") Hilariously, we put skates on Younger Girl, too, just to get a picture of her in them. And, lo and behold, the girl can SKATE! Two years old, and she's walking around on those things like she's always had them on. (Wish I had that picture...will endeavor to get ahold of it.)

Lord, this is a dull post. I swear to try harder to be funny; really, I do. But not the first friggin' week of school. I don't know if it's hard for everyone, but I am COMPLETELY on edge about OG's first grade year. How will she do, will she make friends, will her hyperactivity be better or worse, is the teacher going to like her, etc., etc. (I often wonder why she's so stressed out and neurotic.)

Happy week, y'all.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Jesus, working sucks.

Seriously. How do you people get up at these unreasonable hours? And you really THINK all day? About something besides whether you packed the sunscreen AND the goggles?

Man, it's nine o'clock. Time to hit the hay. I have nothing witty to say WHATSOEVER.

But I will add a bit of a gloat...BWAH-HA-HA, Joe Lieberman! (Now, if you were anything even vaguely resembling a man, you'd slink off to obscurity or a lucrative lobbying job instead of trying to FUCK IT UP FOR EVERYONE. But, no, you're an asshole, so you wouldn't do that, would you?)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Hi. I'm Mags.

Maybe you know me. I'm the person that tells you how to best raise your child. You know, YOUR child? The one that you know? Anyway, I'm what passes for an expert in the realm of public education. (Yeah, I know! They TOTALLY don't know that I'm faking it. Don't tell them.)

OK, so, I'm the expert, right? And that means I am probably the best parent, EVER, of course? 'Cos certainly I venture an opinion about JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING that you say and do to your child. That's my job.

I dream about beating my child.

Not just spanking her; BEATING her until she cries. And, in my dreams, when she cries, I hit her harder. Or pull her hair out. And I'm SO HAPPY in my dreams that she is crying.

I have never, ever, laid a finger on this child. She thinks a spanking is that thing I do to her as she happily runs by me naked after a bath. We are words, and consequences, and good/bad choices, and all the progressive-parent lingo you know. We are NOT physically violent people in any way, come to think of it. (Fuck, I don't even spank my cats, which is probably why they occasionally pee on my bathmat.)

So, why, on earth, would I be dreaming of beating the shit out of her?

My friend Aimee, the psychologist, tells me that it's good that I'm having these dreams, because I'm not acting them out in real life. But...I've never hit anyone, ever (probably barring my older sister...I don't remember specifics, but there was occasional sisterliness there), so why, now? Is it possible that Older Girl is really close to putting me in that place, when nothing else in 36 years has done it? And she's NOT THAT BAD! Hyper, yes, but a great kid overall. I really like her.

I don't know, y'all. I joke about my dark place, but maybe there really is one. Freaky.

In other, unrelated news, I also dream about placing a pickaxe through my computer. But that dream makes me really happy.

Two more days until work starts again...feh. I realize that I generate no sympathy from most people, but it is REALLY HARD to go back to work after two months off. Stop hating; it IS!

Friday, August 04, 2006

iPod Update

I'm up to the "J's."

So, if I want to listen to anything from Abba to Judy Garland, I'm good. (Or maybe those two examples, in particular, make me look like a complete dork?)

Upon some rummaging around in my iMusic folder, I found ANOTHER folder labeled "iMusic" within it, and it appeared to have duplicates of all my songs. That may explain some of the problems I was having. I deleted it - and iTunes immediately freaked again, causing me to panic and totally neglect my children AGAIN yesterday while I tried to figure it out.

I believe the problem is solved now, but I'm still slooooowly converting songs to AAC format. Somewhere in that erasing, I accidentally converted some of the songs back to MPEG - again, no idea why this is happening - but at least I know what to do about it now. And, when I'm deleting the duplicate songs as iTunes finds them, my hard drive space is improving substantially.

I shall now try to shut up about all this.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I have been having more technology angst; so much so that I can barely sit at this computer ONE SECOND LONGER to type this.

It's a long story; but it essentially stems from the fact that I have an ancient Graphite iMac, circa 1999-2000. (Perspective Alert! I just found one on eBay for $9.99.) It's been a decent computer, though I've had to pimp it out to the extreme of its little capacity. I've bought it all the new operating systems, done firmware updates, bought tons of RAM, an external CD burner, and a nice USB-2 extra hub, so it still qualifies for the bare minimum of what you would expect from a working computer.

So...the iPod. My beautiful little iPod, whose hard drive is more than DOUBLE the size of Old Bessie. As it turns out, all those song files take up a lot of hard drive space on the creaky old girl, so I went out and bought her an external, 160-gig hard drive to put all those songs onto. After some messing around, I finally figured out how to drag all the music files (2200+) onto my new hard drive, after which I trashed the files from Old Bessie. The transfer took like three hours, but the iMac went from having 2 gigs free to having 12, so I assumed that was a good thing.

However, yesterday, I began to have problems dragging new CDs that I'd downloaded from my library into my iPod. It would start to copy them, and then iTunes would freeze up, requiring me to force quit out, and then restart my computer. Over and over this happened. I put a call into Apple, who connected me with an otherwise nice Indian fellow, except that made me ERASE MY IPOD - even though I begged him not to; the iPod wasn't messing up, and plus I had a couple of movies on there that I will never get back - and re-download iTunes. He swore that would work - and when it didn't, I decided to drag all of that music BACK onto my hard drive, because I figured the new drive had to be the problem.

So, after three more hours of this, I try again. No luck; still can't transfer anything. I call Apple back, I meet another nice Indian fellow, but I can tell he doesn't have any idea what is going on. He then connects me with an American guy - who is NOT a nice fellow; he IS in fact Jimmy Fallon's Computer Guy character. This is a more or less exact transcript of our initial exchange:

Asshole Apple Guy: "So, where'd you get the music?"
Me: "It's all from my CD's, except for maybe 20 songs I bought off of iTunes."
AAG: "Are you sure ALL of it is from your music?"
Me: "Um, yes; I copied some compilations, but there's only a few of those."
AAG: "Did you use iTunes to download them?"
Me: "Yes...I only have a Mac, and I only have this one."

Some futzing with getting info on the songs ensued.

AAG: "What format are your songs in?"
Me: "Um....this says...MPEG 1."
AAG: "Well, then, you couldn't have used iTunes. It only supports AAC"
Me: "Um...YES, I DID, I only have ONE COMPUTER."
AAG: "Well, iTunes doesn't do that."
Me: "I ONLY HAVE ONE COMPUTER, and it ONLY OPENS ITUNES. Look, everything worked for a month, up until yesterday. Do you have any idea why these files are, as you say they are, WRONG, and how this happened?"
AAG: "No. I just know that you'll have to convert every one of your songs to AAC."

There was more insinuating that I'm a music thief and/or a complete computer illiterate, and there was a HELLISH wait period while he made me try his theory. I put down the phone for like 20 minutes and surfed the web. (It is NOT OK to treat a Type A person like that. I was about to start biting through the gel wristguard.)

For better or for worse, AAG's theory appears to work. So, at about two minutes per song to convert, and about 2400 the time it'll take me to manually delete all the old files after they, in only 80 hours, I'll have all my songs back onto my iPod.

Maybe I should just go fucking well buy a new computer. But, I swear to you, the thought of downloading ALL those songs again makes me want to slam my fingers in a door. Plus, as I've previously noted, we've (meaning I'VE) been on a spending binge lately, and we really need to pay all that off first.

Off to bed, where I will dream of 250 Gigs. Those drives...they're so big...and so, well, HARD...