Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An accomplishment!

Please award me some "independent woman" points. I have successfully rescued a pearl earring from a bathroom sink trap.

What, Mags, you say? Taking a sink trap off is not a big deal? Ah, but I now know you are correct. I've just never done it before. I come from, and am married to, folk that are afraid of plumbing, wiring, automotives, and general fixitude. This is a prejudice I am not proud of, and I have tried diligently to learn, thanks to many patient friends that are willing to talk me through just about anything. (Seriously, off topic, have any of you ever heard of a "suaging tool?" I'm not even sure if that's how it's spelled. Swaging? Sooo-age? Is there a verb form, "to suage?")

Anyway, the pearl earrings in question are my absolute favorites. I bet I wear them three of five days that I wear earrings. They're also from my mother-in-law, who bought them for me at James Avery, and I can't stand to think of losing them. I set them on the sink last night, stupidly tossing my sweater over them, and then when I grabbed my sweater, plink, there one went.

I was on my way to poker (third, grrrrrr. 2-fucking-AM I get home, for third, with no money). I kind of forgot about it today, but after the kids were asleep, I saw the towel draped over the sink reminding me not to run water down it. Weighing the options of trying it myself and calling an after-hours plumber, poverty won out, and I went to borrow a neighbor's pipe wrench. I think we have exactly one adjustable wrench, and a set of socket wrenches that I always forget we have. (I do have "The Gator Grip," which is pretty much sufficient for all your wrenching needs, but I digress.) Anyway, we do not have a pipe wrench.

After a brief re-visit with my neighbor when I thought I had broken the pipe wrench by unscrewing it too far, I surveyed my sink, and decided that it was not a big deal to just take off the bendy part. As it turns out, the fittings are plastic, and I didn't even have to use the wrench to get it off.

First of all...EW. The water in that pipe was STANK. The inside of the pipe was coated with gray sludge. After dumping that water out - and yes, I did, I dumped it back into the sink without the pipe under it - and cleaning that up, and then going to the OTHER sink to clean the pipe out, I realized that it was not in the bendy part. Sigh.

I went back and looked at the long pipe going down from the sink, and realized that I could get it off, too, without too much effort. I got it down, and lo and behold. there is my earring. It is sitting square in the top of the pipe, in the center of the pipe, plunked down in what is essentially a pipe full of tar, and tar that smelled like ASS on top of that. Oh. My. God. That. Was. So. Disgusting.

Thinking more clearly this time, I took that to the trash can and scraped it all out with a knife, and am now thinking that I am just going to take that trash bag out tonight, even though I just opened it. I can't be happy with that vile Mordor ooze being present in my kitchen. What the hell has been growing in my pipes? We don't clean motorcycle parts in there or anything like that (remember, we're afraid of that stuff!). And the sink is only three years old, so it's not like we've had time to pump in 50 years worth of skin cells and hairs.

All I can say, if you are folk who pride yourself on being very clean, you should go check out what is going on in your pipes sometimes. I'm not anal retentive by any means, but I have the urge to boil my drains in bleach. (Stupid environmental ethics! If I had my way, I'd go all Agent Orange on the mildew in my bathrooms.)

There was again another brief panic when I had difficulty getting the bendy pipe back on - the turny part had gotten turned too tight, and I couldn't get it back on - but my brute strength on the manly wrench pipe proved fruitful, and I finally figured it out.

So, I get independent woman points. My sink works, and does not appear to leak, and I found my earring. And that particular sink has received a much-needed cornholing.

Next week, I'm going to use a swaging tool to fix a window frame, and it was my own idea. I didn't even check with Mick or Adam. I'm growing up!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Y'all, The Police are reuniting to play at the Grammy awards on February 11!

(cue inner 9th grade girl....)

Aiieeeeeee!!! (rips shirt off for Sting. Hell, and for either Andy or Stewart, out of sheer respect for their musicianship.)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Medication Tango

OG started a new regimen of medication. We switched from Focalin (the one that made her itch and totally overreact to annoying sounds) to Adderall for the ADHD symptoms. And, after I took her to the family doctor to make sure there isn't a medical reason for the itching (why can't I cure it with a cream?), she is now also on Zoloft - not as an antidepressant, because the girl is at least chipper a lot of the time - but for behaviors that looked to her, the doctor, like OCD.

Really? OCD? She'd come by it honest, at least, from my side of the family.

I have a heavy heart about trying this one, not least because it makes some kids suicidal, and I have to take her to the doctor once a week for the next six weeks to make sure she's not. I mean, seriously? You tell me this and you want me to relax and stick it in her mouth?

On top of this, she's been taking it for three nights, and TWO of those three nights, she has woken up at 3:30 in the morning and not been able to get back to sleep. Seriously, folks, of all the weaknesses of my older daughter, sleep has NEVER been one of them. And it is really, really not another one that I'd like to have.

This may not work.

One week's progress report: Up two pounds, down five, so a net loss of three. (I panicked a bit about the two pounds, but it turned out to be total B.S. - what, I can't have two small glasses of red wine without bloating up like a pufferfish?) Exercised a couple three times, once even in a - wait for it - Jazzercise class! (I secretly kind of like it, because it was really the first aerobics class I ever went to, back in college. It is TOTALLY queer, but it reminds me of the day.
Anybody seen this one?

Some Dallas newscaster totally loses his shit when a little lizard jumps on him. Total forward-on-to-the-bridge-club stuff, but it made The Man and I snort.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Now THIS is classy!

From John:

Now, I was GOING to be a Bears fan for this here Super Bowl, but now, I'm thinking, maybe not.

The smirking chimp has just finished his speech. I made myself listen to every word from his thin, cross little lips. I think that was the first time I have had the stamina to make it through an entire one of his speeches.

I have to say, it was entirely worth it, if only for the sight of him spitting out the words "Madame Speaker."

Bwah-ha-ha. Nancy, you're my girl.

The OG's new ADHD medicine appears to help her focus a bit, but totally escalates all her sensory overload issues. She can no longer wear jeans because they itch, and even cries to me about how stretch pants make her itch. Today, she absolutely refused to wear anything but a sweat jacket. (Now, I know Austin isn't Norway, or anything, but it was like 40 degrees this morning. Very coatish.) The (several) coats we have were "too hot" or "too heavy" or "made her armpits hurt."

I had a real crisis of faith. I KNOW BETTER, but I just did not believe her that it was bothering her that badly. I thought she was totally just being grumpy.

I KNOW not to engage in these, and I KNOW it is really, really wrong to escalate her right before she goes to school, but I just couldn't resist for a little while this morning.

I mean, I'm supposed to do this, right? I'm supposed to make her wear a coat when it's cold, correct? Don't the other mothers all judge when a kid comes to school underdressed for the weather?

Even threatened with - and delivered - a serious consequence involving an early bedtime and the loss of a favorite toy - for not minding me, she elected to wear the sweat jacket. I gave up, and remembered that I know something about this kind of disorder.

We went to school in relative peace, I gave her a hug and a kiss goodbye, and told her I loved her. She stood at me, sniffled, and said, "I'll try to earn my toy back and I'll try to wear it tomorrow."

Lordy, I'm not the world's best mother at times.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Evil Spawn I Generated

For this post, I need you to remember that I've spent the past several weeks, and several THOUSAND DOLLARS in closet renovations, new wood blinds, and IKEA everything, on renovating OG's old room - which has since 2004 been known as "the toyroom" - into her new bedroom.

This was done, as you will recall, because OG and YG were fighting horribly in their old room. OG likes quiet when she's falling asleep, YG likes to hum and sing (and to push OG's buttons,) and OG was ending up stomping off to the guest bedroom five nights out of seven, anyway. So, for months now, we've been plotting the Big Girl Room Of One's Own. She could not wait, I tell you, and it's been massive undertaking to get it accomplished.

It is finally done, minus a headboard, a new comforter, and a few posters. And, it is beautiful. Besides the bitchen new Container Store hardware-installed closets with the sliding mirror doors, there's a desk, her dresser has an "ambient orb" on top of it, which is as cool as it sounds, a new CD player, a new clock radio that shows the time in a variation of colors, accordion toy baskets that hang from the ceiling, and her insanely comfortable bed with the top-of-the-line Serta mattress. In short, as the man put it, it's the perfect kid's room.

So, what thanks do I get? Huh? I'll tell you what thanks, bub. This is the general transcript of the conversation I had with OG whilst lying in bed with her last night:

OG: "I wish I slept by the window in this room, like I did in my old room."

Me: "Well, that won't really work in here, because of where the outlets are, and where we need to put the bookshelves. But, you're close to one, and can see out, so that's good."

OG: "Can I have my old room back?"

Me: "Erm, NO, this is YOUR room now. [YG] has the old room, because it's closer to us. And we worked really hard to make this one perfect for you, remember?

OG: "When [YG] is gone, can I have it back?"

Me: "Where exactly do you think [YG] is going to go?"

OG: (thinking, deciding to clarify) "Well, if [YG] dies young, can I have it then?"

I swear, she's going away with the next sideshow that comes to town.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A tea-drinkin' evening

Have I really not posted since Wednesday? Good lord, what have I been doing?

Oh, yes, I've been playing poker. Both Friday and Saturday night. And kicking butt at it, if I may add. I won $25 on Friday night, and nearly $30 more last night. (Them's big stakes in the Mags household.)

That's really not very exciting news for y'all, is it? OK, have a picture:
That's my mom - with the pony tails she has worn for the past 40 years - with YG. She always told the story that she wouldn't cut her hair until the Equal Rights Amendment passed, and thus she's still waiting. (I know now that is total's pure vanity. She is 75 years old and has not EVER dyed that shit.)

Here's me and The Man at my parents' house (With authentic! Not Retro! Wood paneling!):

I love that guy. (No, I don't know why I'm making my neck all veiny and weird. I am apparently trying not to have a double chin, at the cost of looking like I am the one that is 75 years old.)

Here's a couple of shots from the Great Ice Storm of 2007:

Are you underwhelmed? Do you wonder why we missed school for two days? ME, TOO!

'Twas nice to see the sun today, though, I must admit. That, plus $50 in hard-won gambling profit in my pocket, made for a nice Sunday...except for one, tiny problem that arrived at my house today:

They're here...and we (I) have to sell them...oh, God, how do I get out of this?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

On towards the outside world!

Ice Storm '07 is over. School starts again tomorrow, ye gods.

I was planning to get on here tonight and blog about life stuck inside my house with my children for the past several days, but everybody beat me to it (and they did it better than I would have, damn it).

We, too, have dragged out the science kits and the recipes and the colors and the paints. We spent a lot of time parsing agonizingly through the mountain of toys that were displaced from the "toyroom," which has since become OG's bedroom, thanks to my new best friends at IKEA. She has the new black/brown wood desk with a white plastic chair ($75 and $17, respectively), two orange accordion-style hanging toy bags ($5.99 apiece,) a bitchen glass bedside lamp in the shape of a rectangular prism ($6.99,) and the accordion toy basket ($5.99 too, I think).

We, too, are out of things to do now. We, too, are very, very ready to see other people. (Can't blame it all on the kids, though. Remember, I was violently ill towards the end of last week, and it was just as I was starting to come out of it that all of this ice crap started up. So, I was already feeling like a shut-in before this.)

Oh, joy that is tomorrow...the schools have decreed that it will be a "late-start day." Two hours late. Sweeeet. No work - no school - until 9:45 tomorrow, and we don't have to make it up later. Sadly, I wish that this news would somehow stop my children from getting up at 6:00, but I'm guessing it WILL NOT.

Happy end-of-unexpected-winter-holiday, y'all. Hope you made it through homicide/suicide-free.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm Alive

...and the world shines for me, today.

(That one's for you, Karla May, and all the other secret - hell, or proud - Xanadu fans out there. You know who you are.)

The stomach flu has apparently subsided for real. That was one bitch of a nasty virus, I'll tell you. Sure, I expect to get something for a day or two every six months or so - I'm kinda prone to getting the gastrointestinal bugs - but I've never had one last for five days before.

I'm with everybody on the weight loss, but it really often doesn't translate for me, because after I get one of these horrible illnesses, my body is so weak and hungry afterwards that I eat everything I can get my effing hands on. I wasn't horrible today, but after making some snow-day promises that a broken Easy-Bake Oven won't keep, I was forced into baking a batch of Snickerdoodles. (This recipe rocks, people, in case YOU TOO are needing to kill some time with your children tomorrow.)

Thanks for the well-wishes, though. I'm mostly back.
In other news, we are having the
Austin news media frenzy!!!

The Man went to work today, and I sent him on a tiny errand to the H.E.B. on his way home. I think it took him over an hour to grab like 10 things. He said it was like people were expecting a hurricane to hit. All the real Quaker Oatmeal? Gone. Along with the bottled water.

Come. On. People. Ice happens. You say, "Hey, there's ice on the road, stay the hell in your homes unless you REALLY really have to get out, and then at least you'll be the only ones on the roads." Pretty much end of story.*

*Actually, I know that it's not the end of the story down here. I don't understand people in Austin having no insulation in their homes, and not having weatherproofed pipes, that sort of thing. There's always some really bad shit that happens to people and houses down here during one of these babies. Plus people try to DRIVE IN IT ALL THE TIME.
We just finished the minor closet renovations to the old part of the house (the 1949 part; the closets therein suggesting that all post-war housewives in Austin, TX had only three outfits). As OG and YG have seriously reached a crisis stage in terms of pre-going-to-bed fighting, it has become increasingly necessary to give OG her own room, and a slightly upgraded closet was really needed in order to get that done. So, we went from this:
to this:

We didn't add on to them, we just had a guy cut a hole in the wall to install mirrored bypass doors, and then install some Container Store shelving. (And, we did it in the other old bedroom, too.) It probably doesn't look like much, but it adds tons to the flexibility of these bedrooms. They're all new-smelling, too, which makes me feel somehow rich.

OG is thrilled about the room situation, not least because she can now demand imperiously of her younger sister to GET OUT OF HER ROOM RIGHT NOW.
So, as I'm tributing Karla May tonight, her boy Justin Timberlake was pretty awesome on SNL a couple of weeks ago. In fact, he's been by far the best thing that's been on there all season. Perhaps I need to pay more attention to this young man.

I was desperately trying to post the video for "Dick in a Box" (his song with Andy Samberg) from YouTube, but I just cannot get it to work. I wonder if it's because I changed to the new Blogger. I changed my settings on YouTube to match the new Blogger, but it still didn't work. Does anyone have any knowledge about this?

So, anyway, if you haven't seen it, go to YouTube and search for "Dick in a Box." (And, its unrelated but still really funny YouTube followup, "Box in a Box.")
Whew. Nice to be horizontal again. (I know, that is what my prom date said, you are so immature.)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Still sick

And I am just about getting fucking tired of this.

I have been vomiting every night since Wednesday. Except last night, wherein I thought I was well. And now, again come the chills, the swords in the stomach, and the heaving.

Has anyone ever heard of a stomach flu lasting for four fucking days? (And NO, I am not pregnant. Just cut that thought off right there.)

There is so much I want to tell you about...the fancy new closets, the giving of the own room to OG, the pretty glass urn of kitty ashes that sits on my china cabinet. But I literally can't sit up long enough to do that for you.

Fucking shit fucking hell. I fucking hate doctors. I guess I have to go, though, if this isn't better soon.

(One cute note...YG came up to me tonight as I was hunched over and wincing, and said "Do you have a sword in your stomach? I'll take it out! I'm a fairy godmother! Do you better feel?")

Friday, January 12, 2007

Stomach Flu Hiatus


I have to go back to the couch now.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Quest

OK, people, let's get down to brass tacks.

My weight, though certainly not at the heaviest I've ever been, is creeping upwards, and it MUST STOP.

The plan is thus:

1) I weigh a certain number of pounds. Let's assign that number a code phrase, as you cannot of course know that number. The code number for my current weight is "One Hundred and Fucking Fucking Shit.")

2) I will lose 10 of those pounds by eating less (crap) and exercising (the activity I hate most in the world, besides waiting in laundromats and drinking that colonoscopy fluid).

There it is.

In other news, the girls got to ride a real live horse upon our visit to The Man's East Texas kin. Thanks, Uncle Tim!


OH, and WHY were 63 dead birds found on Congress Avenue this morning?

Bird flu, toxic air pollution, or some fucker with some rat poison? Could it have something to do with the House Speaker's race? By any chance is Iran involved? The mind boggles.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Last thoughts from the holidays

Actually, I have no verbal or typing ability tonight, even though "Calypso" by John Denver is blasting through my iPod speakers, threatening to inspire me to great oratory. (And no, I did not claim to be cool. Well, yes, I did, but I was badly mistaken, and that was in like 10th grade. When I wore the pink tiger-striped bandanna a lot.)

Thus, pictures.

1. I was not shitting you about the five-pound chocolate bar.

Seriously. We still have like four and a half pounds of this fucker. We'll be eating on it next Christmas.

2. It's not Halloween, but it's still cute:

OG, sensory integration disorder-like gal that she is, never would touch this costume when Todd originally gave it to us. (To be fair, it is really hot and heavy.) But, YG has no such issues, and is cute as a button in it.

3. Molly's feeling better. Here she is, overhanging YG's new baby doll bed:

And...damn! Blogger won't let me post anymore!

Bah. I wanted to show you a picture of the LOVELY flower arrangement the nice vet at Brykerwoods sent me for Dizzy. They are so awesome. I love them, pricey bastards that they are. (I suppose that's why, because they send lovely flower arrangements to suckers like me.) last round of family before I have to return to work on Monday. Back atcha after the weekend.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Crappy New Year!

I saw 4 AM last night, bitches!

Yes, unfortunately, it was the inside of the emergency room that I was seeing, but hey; 4 AM is pretty amazing, no matter how you slice it.

So, there was this FABULOUS party sponsored by the Alamo Drafthouse folks over at Playland Skate Center last night. We went with the Noxiouses and Bill and Julie. It was lovely to also see a large slice of my friendship pie there, including the Malcontent Mama and Karla May, who were looking fabulous. First, we roller skated for an hour and a half or so to this fantastic band called K-Tel Hit Explosion, who delivered absolutely spot-on renditions of dozens of the best roller-skating songs ever. Journey, Rod Stewart, The Bay City Rollers, Leo Sayer - you name it, they played it. (And, I FINALLY can say that I have couples skated. To Air Supply's "All Out Of Love." My life is complete.)

I skated, and skated, and skated, and had a freakin' fantastic time doing it. All those Saturdays taking lessons as a kid apparently paid off, as I made it the whole evening with only one minor fall. (I was wearing my very sexy wrist brace as a precaution, which I was wishing I had "Bedazzled" to match my copper sequined disco jacket. So, no harm was me. More on that in a bit.)

After the skating, K-Tel Hit Explosion was joined by Tosca, the string quartet, for their ELO tribute. All I can say is - wow. They were amazing. If you closed your eyes, you would SWEAR Jeff Lynne and ELO were playing in front of you. I grooved to "Sweet-Talking Woman," "Telephone Line," "Xanadu," "Don't Walk Away," "Do Ya," and all of the hits - to which I apparently still know all of the words, especially when I have a slight buzz on.

I was just about into "good buzz" mode, and dancing to "Don't Bring Me Down," when - ironically enough - Mick went down on her skates after hitting a puddle of champagne on the floor.

And, get this - she BROKE HER ARM. Roller skating. At the age of 38. After having never broken a bone in her life. (However, the humor inherent in this was not readily apparent to her at the time.)

So, buzzus interruptus. Amazing how sober you can become in a very short time when your good friend is suddenly white as a sheet, clutching her wrist, and shivering.

As Adam is in LA, The Man and I cut short the boogie-ing and took her to the hospital. The Man and I parted ways so that he could fetch the children from the sitters and I could go about finding Mick's insurance cards, sitting with her in the ER, getting her some Vicodin from the all-night Walgreen's, and embarking on a well-intentioned but ultimately nightmarish trip to the What-A-Burger (populated entirely by drunken revelers, plus ONE GUY who was working the register, cooking the food, and delivering the orders.)

Hence 4:00 AM.

I hope your New Year's Eve was better than that. Truly, even if it sucked ass, it had to be.