Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Several Reasons I Friggin' Hate Halloween

  • Because, you know, I really need candy around the house. Because my ass isn't quite big enough yet to show a movie on when I wear my white summer pants. (And it's not like I can stop buying Almond Joys, even though I know kids hate them and they'll all be left over. One year, those kids will wise up!)
  • I HATE dressing up. I hate costume parties where I'm expected to dress up. Seriously, that kind of pressure (to be clever and/or sexy) gives me angst for weeks.
I don't think I've been to a costume party since I was pregnant with OG, seven years ago, and went to a (admittedly fun) Halloween party over t'Karla's house. The Man wore a bowling shirt and carried a bowling bag, and I wore a black catsuit with three cardboard circles on my belly and went as the ball. That is it, people; that is the extent of my Halloween creativity. I will never think to go as anything topical,, and I will never have the energy or drive to scrape together something complicated.
  • That said, one of the few things I do enjoy about Halloween is getting my kids a reasonably good costume that they are excited about, and watching them parade about joyfully in them. Me not being domestic - AT ALL - I don't do the crafty hand-making thing (see previous post about NOT BEING CREATIVE), so I'm usually in the position of having to spend money on them. (I wish we had enough money so that I didn't have to notice this, but that's not a reality.)
However, I think it is annoying when kids come to my door without a costume. Now, I am very sensitive to the fact that some folks can't afford a "real" costume - hell, I'm right there with them. Though I did buy YG a "real" Ariel costume, OG's Toy Story "Jessie" costume was $9 at a resale shop. (Yeah, we're Disneyfied. You raise girls otherwise.) But - it really doesn't take much. Holes in a sheet; you're a ghost, you're gold. Powder on the face and mascara smudged under your eyes, you're a zombie. Fuck, put a black hoodie on, draw whiskers and a nose on your face and go as a cat. All you need is to try, and I'm delighted to push candy on you.

Just a couple of kids walking up to my door and staring at me? I'm not so inclined to be thrilled to give you candy. Call me old school on this. Without a costume, it's more like kid mugging.
  • Sort of on this same topic, TEENAGERS WHO TRICK-OR-TREAT. I am more inclined to forgive polite ones in costume; however, you REALLY should not be out when I'm with my six-year-old and two-year-old. It does not become you. And many are not polite, and many are not in costume (see above).
  • My jack-o-lanterns always rot in this town. (Seriously, it was 85 degrees here today. Those things were melted, and we just carved them Sunday night.)
  • This new tradition of Halloween becoming "Slut-o-Ween" for females. Suddenly, everything is Sexy Nurse or Sexy Vampire? We saw some young girls tonight showing way too much skin. Not OK for my girls to see; not OK for them to absorb this message.
  • The HORRENDOUS fit my hyperactive six-year-old always seems to find time to throw while either awaiting the joy of going out to trick-or-treat or after ingesting a pound of sugar. In our case, tonight, it was both. And the two-year-old cried for about an hour beforehand, sobbing that she was "sad because Halloween was scary." (No fears on the last one; she got the first piece of candy and it was like the holy light of heaven had shone on her face.)
But, nonetheless, I was violently on edge tonight. When OG announced that she was going to wear her Crocs instead of her boots - with her COWGIRL OUTFIT - I thought I was going to throw a rod. The Man wisely reminded me that it was not a big deal. Good thing, too, because I was about to fly off the flippin' handle by that point...over something totally silly.
The glass of cheap Merlot pounded like a shot more or less immediately after that made trick-or-treating more bearable, just. The martini my next-door-neighbor handed me afterwards was even better. (Not so sure about the wisdom of pairing it with all the Reese's, though.)
  • The increase in generalized vandalhood. I keep my cats in for several days around Halloween because people are drunken idiots and will victimize cats.
Also, it was probably unrelated to the holiday, but we were robbed last Halloween. Our door was kicked in, some of the front rooms were ransacked, and some jewelry was stolen. (It was a unique experience having a cop car in your driveway in the evening just as trick-or-treating is starting. "No, no, neighbors, it's not domestic violence or a meth lab. This time.")
(Again, I am the Halloween version of Scrooge. Yew get outta my yard, you yeng punks. I oughta call the cops.)

All that said, I was planning to show you pictures of the (admittedly cute) girls, because, well, you've earned it. However, Blogger is being a little bitch again. Eh; icing on the cherry cake of my day.

See you tomorrow for the beginning of NaBloPoMo! Badger's got a theme, and darn her, it's a good one. I'll work on it.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happy CentinoBlogiVersary to me!

Or something like that. I've made 100 posts. That's better than any diary I've ever kept. Who knew I just had to add the exhibitionist quotient? (Answer: Probably a lot of people.)

I had to share this snippet of conversation that I had with OG tonight. (OG is six, going on her Juris Doctorate.)

The background of this is that she has begun to do some more deliberate disobeying of long-set rules; i.e. one child on the trampoline, no sharing food with others at school, that sort of thing. Not necessarily things that lead me to think she's going to end up a drug-addled prostitute, but issues that still must be put to rights. The notion that I'm supposed to ensure her safety causes her some consternation, because she's a logical sort, and since nobody has actually died yet at our house from sharing food or a trampoline, she really cannot see the need for such prescriptive rules.

So, after a few incidents this week, and some discussion between her, The Man, and myself, it was decided that dessert tonight was off the table, so to speak. She went through the five stages of grief rapidly, and came out the other side more or less unscathed. (Oooh, though, but when she was upset, she kept crying that Daddy was the nice one and Mama was the mean one. That man could whap her across the face with a belt on a regular basis and she would not EVEN remember it, she is so in love with him. It is SO UNFAIR.)

Anyway, she was back to speaking to me again within 10 minutes (so I don't think this is a CPS matter, campers,) and we went thenceforth about our getting-ready-for-bed ways. When I was drying her off after her bath, I started a little conversation with her about rules and all, and why we have them.

Me: "(OG,) why do you think grownups have rules?"
OG: "So they can tell kids what to do."
Me: "Well...it's more than that. What rules can you think of that grownups have for you?"
OG: "Um...don't run in the hallway at school. Don't jump on the trampoline with someone else. Don't go out into the street."
Me: "So, do you see a pattern here?"
OG: "Um...no."
Me: "Did you notice that all of those rules have to do with kids potentially getting hurt?"
OG: "Oh, yeah."
Me: "Do you understand that grownups don't want kids to get hurt?"
OG: "Yeah."
Me: (a bit misty) "Do you know that I love you very much, and cannot stand the thought of you getting hurt? Do you understand that these rules are in place so that you don't get hurt, and your friends don't get hurt?
OG: "So...if we get hurt, then, it's really your fault, isn't it?"

(I believe it is a testament to my will and strong moral character that I did not throttle her purple right then and there. "Why you little," indeed.)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why, why, why do you try my patience?

This post is exclusively for The Man:

"whingeing" or "whinging" (v) UK INFORMAL DISAPPROVING
Def: to complain, especially about something which does not seem important:
Ex: Oh stop whinging, for heaven's sake!
She's always whingeing (on) about something.

Ex: We were just having a whinge about our boss - nothing new.

Def: a person who complains continually

Do not EVER question my spelling again. Pig fucker.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

In which Mags pays for howling at the moon last night.

Yes, I KNOW it was a Tuesday night. Somehow, my inhibitions didn't assert themselves after the second glass of wine. They are so WEAK.

I am really torn. I should NOT have been drinking on a school night, and I clearly should NOT be drinking when I play McJo's Poker, because that is a VERY serious poker game and drinking is, well, not FROWNED upon exactly, but is considered a sign of being less than committed to the art of the game. However, I WON, so perhaps the McJo's conventions can go suck on it!

The thing that really did me in, though, was that at about midnight, I was low stack, and I assumed that I was next out in a hurry. So, I took an Ambien, knowing that I have a hard time sleeping after poker, and knowing that the people wouldn't be out of our house for a while longer. Unfortunately - depending on how you look at it - I got back in the game in a rather hurried sequence of events. So, I had to play for another HOUR AND A HALF in what essentially became a drooling stupor. I hazily remember playing some really kick-ass poker, but all specifics of the evening from midnight until 1:30 are unavailable. All I know is that I stumbled to bed with $60 and The Man whinging about having a crappy poker night. (I'm sure he feels much better knowing that I barely even remember winning.)

This morning...or rather, four and a half hours later...I woke up with an earthshaking headache. I have learned, in my life, that in these cases, there is no amount of coffee or stimulants that makes your day more than 70% bearable. You must just press on through. (However, fried potato products always seem to make things better. This is true in all circumstances.)

So, wouldn't you know that today was the day that:

  1. it rained all day, and I don't know where my umbrella is, and was NOT in a place to go digging for it;
  2. OG's case of poison ivy went systemic, spreading to her ENTIRE BODY, necessitating a trip to the doctor and corticosteroids that are expected to make her MORE HYPER.
  3. YG got yet another ear infection/fever combo (in which her eardrum has apparently burst). The Man had a big day, and I had meetings, so...YG got to COME WITH MAMA TO WORK!
  4. The Man had to work late, so I got the lovelies all to myself all night, too. Thank god for Benadryl. (No, I'm not like that. Poison Ivy and an ear infection? Those are perfectly legitimate Benadryl occasions. They are!)
Seriously, this poison ivy thing is freaking me out. This has never happened to me. The camping trip was a week and a half ago! Check this out:

Eeeeeewwww. (Even Spongebob looks appalled.)

On that note, I have a date with a bowl of tortilla chips and my wonderful Serta mattress. Have a great evening!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Weekend Recap

Gorsh...it's been several days since I've sat down at Ol' Bessie to impart my wisdom to the world. I know I've been slammin' busy, but now that I'm fingers to the keyboard, the contents of my weekend have somehow escaped me.

I know that I haven't exercised yet this weekend, and I know that I've eaten too much, and probably had too much wine yesterday (which was not my fault. I will explain.) However, since the events of last week, I've decided to embrace a new form of optimism. Yes, you could say this is now my mantra:

Any day in which no sort of apparatus or tubage is connected to my bunghole is a good day.
Lemme see here...what DID I do this weekend? Oh, yes:

Friday night: Nope, I got nothin'. Maybe The Man remembers.

Saturday morning: Got up and took OG to basketball tryouts at 8:30 AM, and thence to her soccer game at 9:30 AM. (Lugged YG around, who is blisfully unattached to any sort of organized activity as of yet.) School carnival at 11:00; cake-walked and bouncy-housed for a hurried couple of minutes, and then we were all bundled into the car to go to The Man's 20-year high school reunion in Rockdale, TX.

The Man's reunions are not very formal events, held as they are in the Rockdale Country Club (which is about as far as possible from what I would imagine a country club actually looks like). The fanciest beer available was Corona, of which they were out, so I drank a couple of Lone Star Lights until I noticed a big bottle of Woodbridge Merlot. To me, cheap wine is more palatable than cheap beer, so I switched over.

That turned out to be a good move, because the ladies at the bar there pour wine like you'd pour iced tea...to the TOP of the big ol' goblet. So, after two of those, I was in a decent frame of mind to interact with strangers and simultaneously mind my bored children. (YG decided that this was the perfect occasion to demonstrate her independent toileting skills, so she must have run into the ladies' room ten times to demonstrate that she could go BY HERSELF.) Unsurprisingly, I was verrry sleeeepy when we got home last night, and did not make it up to see how lame SNL was last night, though I kind of wanted to see how John C. Reilly did...he's very excellent in everything he does.

Today: I bought $1100 worth of wood blinds at Lowe's! With money we don't have!

Y'see, OG and YG share a room, at present. It's been fine, up until a month or so ago, when YG reeeally started to act like a two-year-old toot. See, YG takes a nap at school, and thus has a hard time falling asleep at the hard-assed bedtime of 7:30 that we enforce for the hyperactive OG. So, YG sings...and talks...and yells...and cries...which justifiably pisses OG off. So, OG has been sleeping in the spare room most nights recently, which has let us know that it's time to consider giving them both their own rooms. This will require some closet alterations, plus blinds, and a couple of minor furniture purchases, so it's coming together slowly...but, if all goes well, we may have OG in her own room again by the holidays.

There was some football watching/listening; the Chiefs won (and the Tigers yesterday). Booyah for Missouri! I'm glad we have some pride left, idiotic red states that we are. (But this time? Maybe...just maybe...we won't be so goddamned Republican in a couple of weeks? I'm too scared to hope.)

Left for today? Laundry, taking YG to the potty, maybe finding some dinner.

Oh, yes, and we're babysitting for Bill and Julie, as Julie won ROLLING STONES tickets after winning a SAUSAGE-EATING CONTEST at North by Northwest yesterday. (Jealous? Yes, I am, just a tiny bit. They may never pass this way again. But, I didn't have $100 a ticket, and...seriously, I mean, how can you say no to a request like that? I believe that fate has spoken, and it has decreed that Julie is MEANT TO GO SEE THE STONES.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This House is Clean

It's all over, internet, it's all over.

It was a singularly unpleasant experience from start to finish, but it is DONE.

The actual procedure was strange. They did one of those "waking sedation" things on me, where I was awake, kind of, but don't really remember anything. (Well, I do remember yelling out in pain twice, and them saying "Give her more drugs," and me either screaming "Hell, yes!" or gratefully thinking it. And, I vaguely remember looking at my colon on the TV screen, and thinking, "Hey, there's my colon!")

Afterwards, I had terrible, horrible cramping...enough to make me bend over and cry, people! And do you know what it was? Gas pains! Yes, they apparently INFLATE YOUR INTESTINES for this procedure, causing a shockingly painful bunch of little air pockets in places you didn't even know existed.

I was totally certain they had punctured something, and was sitting there doubled-over and weeping, and...did they give me any pain pills? NO! They send me home with orders to take some ibuprofen and Gas-X! How awful is that? No Darvocet, no lovely Dem-ies, nothing!

Honestly, though, to my great shock and surprise, the nausea caused by that 4 liters of vomitous bilious liquid I swallowed yesterday really held me over insofar as hunger goes. I was not even really hungry after the damn thing was over. But, Mom did offer to take me to Top Notch, and I'm never, ever going to turn that down, so I did have a nice cheeseburger afterwards.

So, after a cheeseburger, a nap, a half-dozen or so Gas-X, and more dinner (crock-pot roast, fresh green beans via HEB "veggies in a bag," and oven-roasted new potatoes, followed by one of my kick-ass brownies that I made for Mom's visit. Screw the diet on a surgery day!), I feel more or less better. I have what feels like a stitch in my side, which is probably still some of those air pockets. (They told me that I have "twisty, kinky intestines." Why does this not come as a shock to me?) But, all in all, I guess I'll have to go to work tomorrow, damn it.

Oh, and by the way, everything's fine. All they found was some of the little bleedy lovelies that we all seem to get after having babies. Love that aging process; I do, I do.

Thanks for all the comments and phone calls. I appreciate your support, everyone! Before this, I didn't know it was so commonplace, and I was really worried when I was told I had to have one of these. I'm glad that it essentially turned out to be nothing more than a shitty day. (Get it? Shitty day?)

Mags' Advice to the World:
1) When they tell you that you have to have a colonoscopy, tell them "No."
2) If they tell you that you really, really have to have one, and they give you the option of drinking the 4 liters of liquid or taking 8 pills every 15 minutes for four hours,

10/18/06; 6:15 A.M.

I put on two pounds this morning.

That's awesome.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

10/17/06; 9:53 P.M.

The contents of one's GI tract are, as it turns out, rather amazing.

Car keys, umbrellas, that girl that sat behind you in 7th grade English who you thought moved away? They're all up there.

10/17/06: 9:34 P.M.

I think I'm having a seizure.

10/17/06; 8:56 P.M.

Oh, God, I was wrong. THIS is my drink in hell.

I can't. Choke. It . All. Down. I can't I can't I can't.

If you poked me in the stomach right now, I would look like Mr. Creosote.

10/17/06; 6:53 P.M.

Did I say "gallon of shit?"

That is an apt description of what that stuff is apparently supposed to do.

10/17/06; 6:19 P.M.

Not hungry. Good lord, that stuff they make you drink is disgusting. When I volunteered to do this instead of take 15 pills an hour, I did not fully appreciate the task I was undertaking.

It is a GALLON, people. A gallon of shit. Like Gatorade, except with the awfulness factor multiplied by 100.

10/17/06; 12:25 P.M.

Food intake before 7:30 AM this morning: 1 poached egg on dry wheat toast and a small helping of sliced turkey.

Since 7:30: 1 bottle of Gatorade, 1 bowl of lime Jell-O, 1 can of chicken broth, 1 bottle of water.

So far, so good. Not starving yet, just kind of sloshy.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Two Oddities For Your Sunday Pleasure

1) The Cats In Sinks website. (Thanks to Karla May for having the twisted sensibility to know such a thing existed.) This is pure, cat-lover porn. And I CAN'T. GET. ENOUGH.

2) The Man went camping yesterday out at Bastrop State Park. Being the guy that he is, he immediately came home and looked up the state park on Google Maps, and found this:

(Were you as geeky as we, you should totally Google Map it yourself, to get an idea of the size and scope of this thing. Look up Smithville, TX, which is about an hour southeast of Austin.)

Apparently, there is some guy near Smithville, named Luecke, that has HUGE...er, tracts of land, and decided that, hey, what is the point of having anything if it can't be seen from space? Seriously, they can see this from the space shuttle! (Ah, though, I don't know what else there is to do in Smithville, Texas, so I'll not judge.)

Tonight's lesson? There are people with too much time on their hands.

Oh...and also, not germane to this discussion, we-all over here at the Mags household are sending a big happyfest huzzah to Michelle and John, who have birthed a young 'un, Willow Rose. All are well and doing just fabulously.

I already love her; she's got a Buffy name! (One of ours was damned near to being named "Cordelia.")

Saturday, October 14, 2006

OK, so I'm a big wuss

So, I hear that plenty of folks have had colonoscopies, and it's not a big deal. (I confess; my real name is Pussy McWhinesalot.

Seriously, though, I cannot fathom 17 hours with no food. Thanks to Badger for the lemon jello and Manichewitz soup suggestions; I would not have found those on my own.

Friends of the world? Does anyone have any other suggestions to stave off my horrific, monstrous hunger, during this fasting time? Rules are: all liquid, nothing red or purple, no alcohol. Popsicles/Italian ice are OK, but not sherbet. (Trust me when I say that I'd gnaw on a cube of 20-year-old dessicated Wyler's chicken bouillon from my mother's pantry if it kept me from hunger, so really, anything will help.)

It's nice and quiet around here tonight. The Man and OG have gone camping, and YG is passed out cold. (Too much vodka and cranberry.) The Mizzou/Texas A&M football game went VERY VERY badly for my beloved Tigers, so I am going to nurse my sorrow with a glass of cold pinot grigio and a movie. (Out of the three of us watching the game over here, only Aggie Dave was happy - in MY HOUSE - today. Stupid Aggie Dave.) I'm not sure if it will be Born Into Brothels or Mysterious Skin tonight, but both await, courtesy of the Netflix gods.

Or maybe I shall immerse myself in the $70 worth of Half Price Books I indulged in tonight. I bought all three volumes of the Simon Schama History of Great Britain set, and I also bought The Tipping Point, because it was cheap and I'd heard so much about it.

Or maybe I'll gorge myself on leftover pizza, like a bear about to hibernate. (Not that bears eat leftover pizza as a general rule, but you get what I mean. Jeez. Picky, picky, picky.)

Happy Saturday evening, loveys!

Friday, October 13, 2006

It's Friday the 13th!

Did you all have a spoooky, spooky day?

Not so much myself. It was a day. The much-ballyhood "Arctic cold front" was, surprise, a bust. (Still had the AC on yesterday until 4:30, turned it off for the evening and opened up the windows, and then turned the AC back on by 4:00 this afternoon.)

Woke up late, because The Man insisted that I put the alarm over on my side of the bed for some reason, with him KNOWING that he's the one that remembers to set it and that I often don't. (So it is CLEARLY his fault.) I hurled some food and clothing onto the OG and myself, got her to school and me to work, and then managed to really not get much accomplished due to three major work interruptions.

1) The OG's parent/teacher conference: This actually went pretty well. She has a good teacher who is good at not overreacting to the (sometimes trying) behaviors of the ADHD child. OG is doing well in school, reading and spelling extraordinarily well (her spelling words in the past couple of weeks have included "organism" "firefighter" "nocturnal" and "autumn"). Math and writing are fine, though not maybe caught up to where the reading is. Behaviorally, she said OG was never really naughty, but is now doing much better, so that not even blurting out answers or wiggling/moving around as much. She even said that sometimes, she actually does not always know where OG is, and has to look around the classroom to find her. So, that was pretty OK. I wonder though - Straterra, or maturity? I'm sure the former helps, but I'm hoping I'm seeing the latter, too.

2) Quality Assurance Team Meeting! Yay! (Eh...I really do look forward to those; everybody on the team just happens to be my friends, and it's usually work a little bit, gab, eat, gab, gab, work a little bit, etc.)

3) A visit to the gastroenterologist. 'Nuff said. Oh, except that I have to have what Karla May had...a colonoscopy!

So...do you know the deal with a colonoscopy, children? Do you know? Because I'm going to tell you. Well, no, I'm not going to tell you in detail. It is fairly disturbing. Google it. (Oh, though, you must not look at the pictures on the Wikipedia page. Seriously. Did I mean it about GrannyRiders?)

What you need to know is that I am having the procedure at 2-ish on Wednesday. On Tuesday, the DAY BEFORE, I can only eat ONE boiled egg and a PIECE of dry white toast before 9:00 in the mornin, and then NO FOOD after 9:00 TUESDAY MORNING until after the surgery at 4:00 WEDNESDAY EVENING. That is 17 straight hours, people! How in the hell is that possible?

Oh, sure, I can have clear broth and drinks all day Tuesday - plus I apparently get to drink some lovely solution the night before - but nothing at all, no water, nothing, after 9:00 Wednesday morning. I am going to pass the hell out without any water in Austin, yo!

(I may be doing hourly update blogs all day Tuesday and Wednesday. What say you to delirium blogging?)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mags' Beginning of Fall TV Season Update

A brief but insightful review of the fall television season, and who, if anyone, I am hot for on each show, thus far:

1) Lost - The season premiere kicked butt. I won't spoil, but it really opened new doors as to what is going on on that wacky island.
Who Mags is hot for: Sawyer. Duh.

2) Veronica Mars - Much better than last season. Last season was still good, but got waaay too convoluted on the storylines. This year, it appears to be back to form. (Plus, it's fun to play "Count the Austin References," 'cause the creator, Rob Thomas, is from here. Tonight, a HUGE, long closeup on a poster of Lance Armstrong.)
Who Mags is hot for: Logan, of course. Love that hurt-bad-boy pout. (He was nekkid in tonight's episode, too.)

3) SNL. Eh, it's OK. Some funny moments on the news; I like Seth Myers hosting with Amy Poehler. (Did anyone else ever watch "The Upright Citizens' Brigade?" She was hysterical when she was with them. I really liked that show.) There's still some mildly funny sketch stuff, and I do like the short films. ("Lazy Sunday" and the Natalie Portman rap video were very inspired last season. You should totally YouTube them if you haven't seen them yet. True dat!)
Who Mags is hot for: erm...I guess Seth Myers? Nobody, really. That new guy Andy Samberg looks like someone I would normally think is cute, but he seems REALLY full of himself. (Yes, I know, that is also something I would normally think is cute, too. He's over-the-top smug.)

4) Reno 911! Damn, this show makes The Man and me snort and choke. It's a great outgrowth of another old comedy show I used to like, The State. In my dreams, I am that extemporaneously funny.
Who Mags is hot for: I really like Thomas Lennon. He's not my physical type at all, but he is one of the funniest people I have ever seen.

5) Heroes - new show I've been toying with watching. Seems some folks discover they have superpowers, and there's (surprise!) some great force pulling them all together. Lost-ish! But, it's been interesting enough to have me watch a couple of episodes, so we'll see how it goes.
Who Mags is hot for: Nobody yet.

6) Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: Aaron Sorkin's new show. I didn't get into West Wing, because (obviously) I watch too much TV as it is, and I didn't want another show. But, the few episodes I've seen were good, so I started watching this; plus, I'm an old huge SNL fan. I have to say...eh, so far. It's interesting, but it's going to have to get way better real fast if they want me to keep watching. I have kids to raise, here, and since I only watch things on TiFaux (thanks, Badger) after they have gone to bed, there is a lot of competition for that hour and a half of my life. (Ask The Man about that.)
Who Mags is hot for: Nobody, but I think Rob Corddry's brother is funny.

7) The Office: Nice comeback. Freakin' funny as ever.
Who Mags is hot for: Everybody. Steve Carrell knocks my socks off.

8) My Name is Earl: I like that show. It surfs the perfect mix of sweet and subversion, and is simultaneously offensive and uplifting.
Who Mags is hot for: Jamie Pressley. Who isn't?

9) Friday Night Lights: Filmed in Austin, Todd worked on the set. Talk about your Austin-sighting shows. The football scenes were shot at Pflugerville High School, and like all the extras are Pflugerville pfolks, where I used to work. Every tracking shot is somewhere in town; they filmed a scene the other night at EZ's, that sort of thing. The show is pretty well-acted and beautifully shot; it's a lot like the movie. The storylines are about more than football - there's supposed to be all this interspersing stuff about racism, the dying hopes of the small town, the conflicted feelings of the kids - but there's a lot of freakin' football in the show. I'll watch again this week; I say it's OK.
Who Mags is hot for: Probably the guy who plays the coach, Kyle Chandler. He was great in King Kong.

10) Ugly Betty - I didn't watch it; everybody says it's good. It's opposite The Office, so maybe I'll TiFaux it also next week.

Clearly, though, there are some I need to whittle down. ER is out of there; it was so lame last year, they really should have shot it then. But, the new Tina Fey show 30 Rock starts tomorrow, and the previews for it are way better than Studio 60 so far.

Yourself? Did you have any more productive thoughts today? Might you have had something better to do, like wash your dishes, or feed the cats?

Not me. I have a problem. I have to do this.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Three is a Magic Number.

Yes it is; it's a magic number.
Somewhere in the ancient mystic trinity,
You get three as a magic number.

This song has been going through my head for nigh on two months now.

Why? Because OG has discovered my Schoolhouse Rock CD (the "Multiplication Rock" one) that I used to use when I taught math. Also, coincidentally, my sister just gave us the DVD set, with all the videos.

So, OG listens to the whole CD at least once a night, usually falling asleep to it. On the weekends when she has time to watch a little TV, that is usually in the DVD player, and she surfs through the menu expertly to find the best ones.

She's really into the Multiplication Rock videos, of course, since that was the first set she was exposed to. "Three is a Magic Number" is her favorite, but she also likes "Good Eleven" and "Naughty Number Nine." (My memory for items related to pop culture is disturbingly flawless, but there are some on the CD and the DVD set that I don't really remember, like "Lucky Seven Sampson" and "Little Twelvetoes." I mean, I sort of remember that they existed, but I don't remember the videos as clearly as some of the others, like "Figure Eight" and "Ready or Not, Here I Come.")

Just recently, and at my urging (hey, I love SR, but you know how it is with WHATEVER video/CD your child is playing over and over and over and over,) she's branched out a bit into the America Rock and Science Rock videos. She likes "Interplanet Janet," "No More Kings," and "The Shot Heard 'Round the World," and just today watched "I'm Just a Bill" for the first time. We have not as yet touched much on the Grammar Rock videos, which were perhaps my favorites when I was a kid, but I did show her "Interjections," which cracked her up. (YOW! That's not fair, giving a guy a shot down there!)

I am pleasantly surprised that OG is into it; after all, these are from my generation, and some, though not all, look pretty dated. And, I am also surprised at the effect they appear to be having on her. For one thing, she's amazingly well-versed in the multiplication tables for a first grader, in that she knows, well, A LOT of them. (She counted by 12's for me perfectly yesterday, all the way to 136. I swear, you would think she is some brilliant math savant if you just struck up a conversation with her, but it's really just that she knows the songs backwards and forwards!) She and I had a long conversation today about bills and laws, and she and The Man were talking yesterday about the American Revolution.

I don't think I've ever really, truly thought about what Schoolhouse Rock gave me as a child. Just like OG, it's really how I learned my multiplication tables, and of course was helpful in my early understanding of American History. (To this day, if I have to make a point about the Revolutionary War, I remember that the King of England was George the Third because of "No More Kings." And, of course, my flawless rendition of the Preamble to the Constitution came in handy in the seventh grade when Mr. McIlwayne made us write Preambles when we got in trouble.)

It's really too bad that the push towards public service programming is no longer in existence. People used to know, back in the 70's, that the airwaves are ours...now, I think they tend to believe that the airwaves belong to the networks and the sponsors. "The More You Know" is a sad and toothless alternative to "Conjunction Junction." But, I'm very happy that OG, and by default, YG, are getting exposed to SR, and like the videos and songs as much as I did.

Even if I CAN'T. Get. That. Song. Out. Of. My. Head. EVER.


P.S. Damn, I got preachy again!! This was supposed to be a lighthearted post!

I'm sorry, I don't know what is wrong with me. I've been in kind of a malaise since my friends left last week. Nothing is wrong in my life, but I feel unfocused and vaguely sad. I think I don't have my cheery boots on. Readers? Anyone have any suggestions for me to get my happy groove back?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Stolen Meme from Badger

I swear, I won't do another lectury post today.

I saw this over t'Badger's place the other day; thought it was purty and that I really deserved to have it.

The "Things that Are Overrated" Meme:

  • New Year's Eve
  • Halloween
  • The Pink Panther
  • 95-degree days in October
  • The Matrix
  • Flan
  • Guero's and El Chile in Austin
  • Skiing
  • Scotch/Whiskey/Bourbon (or whatever you want to call the vile liquid)
  • Big, hot, outdoor music festivals
  • Blade Runner
Accompanied by the "Things that are Most Decidedly Not Overrated" Meme:
  • Jon Stewart (Iraq is a "catastrofuck." Brilliant.)
  • Really excellent Italian food
  • Apparently, Missouri Tiger football. (6-0. Who knew?)
  • A great haircut combined with Aveda highlights and a big fat glass of Pinot Grigio
  • Young Frankenstein
  • If I could ever afford it, wine from Cakebread Cellars
  • Lost (the season premiere was GREAT!)
  • The Office
  • Bookhart's excellent links (How do you find them? This one's my favorite. A brief sample:

And finally, the "Dead to Me" Meme:
  • Dennis Miller
  • Christopher Hitchens
  • the Curra's on Burnet
  • almost every ex-boyfriend I have ever had
  • pretty much my life prior to college, except Connie, Erin, Inga, and Tricia
  • teaching
  • permanents

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Many, many crazy people in the news tonight, chillen. Insane men with guns killing Amish children, insane Republicans with political power attempting to seduce teenagers. (And Newt Gingrich on the talk shows insisting that any attempt to criticize Mark Foley is a result of...wait for it...GAY BASHING.)

Oh, my heart hurts for those poor families in Pennsylvania. I wish that this country had the concept that providing health care for the insane is a GOOD IDEA. (I understand that this crazy fucker just snapped, but there's LOTS of people walking around the streets of Austin, TX that were once in the state hospital, but now have no home and no medication to keep their demons at bay. Statistically, the folks that have a mental health record are more likely to "go off," as it were; it's much more likely that they'll kill someone than a random person off the street will.) I would so much rather that these poor bastards be in a nice bed somewhere with three squares, great meds, and "Jeopardy" reruns than be on the streets muttering veiled threats near my kids, you know? (Oh, that's right, we don't like to pay taxes in this country. As Emily Litella would say, never mind.)

And this Foley business...well, I'd be lying if I didn't say that it's pretty fun to see the Republicans eating themselves for a change. I'm kind of loving watching Dennis Hastert twist in the wind, and hoping they all end up in jail...although I'm really kind of bitter that it took a sex scandal to FINALLY piss people off, after EVERYTHING ELSE they have done to this country. Treason is...what, too complicated a concept? The unnecessary deaths of 2700+ American soldiers is too abstract? Katrina? You forgot all that...but you're all up in arms about some pervert and his IMs? For THIS we're talking about sending folks to the big house?

Yes I am more than a little gleeful about the political fallout. Nobody deserves this more richly than this administration, from the Clinton hypocrisy to the gay marriage hysteria to the insinuation that the Democrats caused 9/11 because of their weak morals. However, in between my delighted giggles, I realize that I shouldn't overlook that Foley's crime had victims, even if nothing HAPPENED happened.

OK, I am taking charge here. Hey, all you sick bastards out there who prey on children? You, the ones that think kids are sexually attracted to you, and that if you loooove them, it's not rape, and you're obviously not taking advantage of them? YOU ARE WRONG. YOU NEED HELP. GO GET IT, AND STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY CHILDREN. And yes, I'm talking to you, band teachers, track coaches, guidance counselors, priests/ministers/Sunday School teachers, and all you other adults that put themselves in leadership roles with children who look up to you. (Note: this includes TEENAGERS, even if they are HITTING ON YOU.)

(Full disclosure...yes, there's a reason for a personal level of anger here; I had a "relationship" with a 26-year-old man when I was 16. Oh, don't get me wrong, I figured it was all my choice then. I was very happy that I was so mature as to be attractive to older men! When I think about it now, though, especially having daughters of my own...I can't even write about the disgust I'm feeling. Jesus, I cannot imagine what I would do if I found some creep like that hanging around one of my girls.)

Mags' Blue Book Essay (TM) Title of the Night: Rational vs. Irrational Fears. Random psychotic with a gun, or seemingly kind and yet secretly perverted adult? Discuss the pros and cons of worrying about each. (Extra points if you can vividly potray yourself, and/or your children, in either scenario.) Cognitively realize that such worrying is pointless and detrimental. Berate yourself for worrying. Realize it is far too late by now to take an Ambien. Possibly do not get out of bed tomorrow.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Well, that was fun!

I'm back from my mini-vacation and old friend immersion time. Damn, that was a good time!

Thursday night, Chuck drove up from his conference in San Antonio just to see lil' ol me. So cool! (He was even a featured presenter, not just a lowly attendee.) He came over t'the Mags household, met the kids, and chatted a bit with the husband (who was of course relegated to full-on child-rearing duty all weekend. Thanks, honey!)

Then, we were off to El Chile for dinner and margaritas. (Bill Clinton ate there last week, too, though sadly not at the same time as Chuck and me. Probably a good thing. Though I'd hate myself afterwards, if I ever meet him, I know I'll at least make out with him.) The conversation was great; it's amazing how quickly people who I've truly loved over my life never seem to be completely removed from me, no matter how long it's been since I've seen them. We re-bonded over so-so guacamole, great salsa, a decent chile relleno, and two margaritas.

Then, later that same night, Connie arrived. After a late-night arrival and subsequent midnight snack trip to H.E.B. for some warm whole-wheat flour tortillas, we hit the sack. (And there weren't even any substances involved; just hunger and middle-aged sensitive tummies.)

The next morning, we got up early to drive to Fredericksburg. Fredericksburg, for those not in the know about cute little German Texas towns, is just that; a cute little German Texas town, albeit one that has aggressively pursued the tourist/B&B/boutiquey shops demographic in recent years. We drove slowly out there, taking in Wild Seed Farms and the beef jerky place, and had a nice lunch at Engel's Deli. After that, obscene shopping commenced; I got the aforementioned Keen Mary Janes (I lurrrrve them...) and Connie got some way sexy red Born cowboy boots and a fabulous, black gauze over white satin, grownup fancy dress. She was smokin', let me tell you. That night, we had a nice fish taco dinner, and collapsed in a shopped-out drooling heap that evening.

The next day, after a nice fattening B&B hot breakfast, we wound our way back to Austin, and wandered South Congress (but not in the old kind of way, nudge nudge wink wink). I was too broke to buy anything by then, but there's still a lot of awesome crap to be viewed down there. We had lunch at Enoteca Vespaio, previously mentioned in these pages, and just as damned good as it was last time. After that, we came home, actually saw the chillens for a bit, went back out to Barton Creek Mall, realized that we could not actually shop for one more second, and then headed out to Central Market for a sweaty outdoor dinner with kids and playscapes.

As Connie was headed out at the godforsaken hour of six a.m. the next morning, our debauchery that evening was kept to a minimum. This was about the extent of our drunken escapades:
Thanks, guys. I'm so glad you came. I feel very refreshed and happy! (And broke. But it's a good broke.)

Oh, I feel like writing all night. I haven't even made a Mark Foley joke yet! But, sadly, this ass is not going to exercise itself off in the morning. I know; I've tried that. So I shall put this aside until tomorrow.

Must. Wake. Up. At. 5:15. This. Time.