Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Calling All Geeks

I need to know:

Is anyone planning to go to the All Night Buffy Marathon at the Alamo Drafthouse on March 10?

Because I want to go, but I don't want to go alone.

Come on...there's going to be a breakfast taco buffet...

Monday, February 26, 2007

What Passes For Excitement in Austin, TX

Some of you old-timers may remember the "tech boom" of the end of the last/early part of this century.

Oh, those were heady days, in '99 and '00, weren't they? We grooved to Santana, cheered for that crowd-pleaser "Boys Don't Cry," and admired the gumption of that young Britney (who was still in knee socks back then; albeit whorey ones).

Well, 'long about that time, there was this company called "Intel." And they decided they were going to build a huge building smack in downtown Austin, and Austin was going to be one of their major hubs. The tech folks were atwitter, the city planners overjoyed with the powerful job lure such a major player - in an already tech-heavy city- would provide.

Then, somewhere in the early stages of building...erm, well, that boom went bust. Intel waffled back and forth for a while, but then said, pretty much, "Fuck it, we're cutting our losses and taking off."

So, since 2001, we have been looking at this, every time we go downtown:

After that, there commenced many years of haggling over what to do with it. Do we save the infrastructure and build over it? Sell it to a private company or do something governmental?

In the meantime, they tried to hang art on it and tried (unsuccessfully) to make it a cute little Austin landmark. Finally, a few months ago, it was finally decided that the "Intel Shell," as it was cleverly dubbed, would be blown up, and a federal courthouse would be put in its place.

So, the blowing up was to happen at 7:00 yesterday morning. And - seriously, people, it was like a fucking holiday! The news stations had their own "Intel Implosion!" graphic, and they did constant coverage for the whole hour preceding it, complete with countdown. There were hundreds of people gathered on the streets and on all the hip, hot condo balconies, cheering and drinking Bloody Marys. (Of course, this town needs very little excuse to celebrate and drink in the streets, but still.)

Anyway, this is what you saw in Austin, Texas, were you to turn on the T.V. at any point during the day:

To be completely honest, though, I got a little frisson of joy watching that sucker blow. Fuck you, tech boom that took all our money! We're blowing your ass up!

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Because this is apparently what old people do, and I'm getting old, I feel I must need to inform you of the health status of my family members and close friends.

Kerry - She's doing very well. They found it was Hodgkins Lymphoma (not the Non-Hodgkin's kind, which they originally thought it was). It is very treatable, and I' ve been reading some interesting blogging confirming this whole thing, so I feel confident that she will have a quick and speedy recovery, and will just nip this whole drama in the bud. (It's not really her style, anyway.)

YG - recovering from strep. Sticky eyes, whiny/tired behavior, though not SICK sick anymore. (Yes, I'm about done with that.) Taking amoxicillin twice daily.

OG - Now taking Zoloft (for OCD-like behaviors) and Adderall (for ADHD). Behaviors are improved, we think. Although she's still pretty hyper, she hasn't been getting in her emotional "lockdown" state quite as often, and has been generally more fun to hang out with. We're headed to the OT for a sensory integration disorder evaluation on Monday. Also taking amoxicillin for a strep infection twice daily.

The Man - fine, but probably drunk right this second, as he's off with Dave and the boys for a last night out before Dave's impending new fatherhood. He's so going to hurl when he gets home, just like he did after last week's night out with the boys.

Curbie/Kirby the new kitten: Spazzy. Not the sweet little shelter waif that I thought I brought home. He's actually a little guttersnipe, as it turns out, who has marched in and is now trying to intimidate my 12 and 13-year-old cats. (Whoever said that about babies and kittens being so cute so we don't kill them? So right.)

Sneezing a bit; god knows what he brought in from the STREET, little hobo (though he is ostensibly vaccinated and tested negative for FIV/FELV). Also taking amoxicillin twice daily.

Molly (my cat): Sneezing herself, runny nose, a little blood around her mouth. Yet another animal ER trip last night, where she got an antibiotic shot for whatever it is that this little fucker has given her. She ate last night, but isn't again tonight. Fuck. Also taking amoxicillin twice daily.

Hank and Patsy (the other cats): Distancing themselves absolutely as far as possible from this new kitten development. They don't seem hostile, exactly; they seem as if they both agreed that, if they never look at it, it does not exist.

Myself: I'm fine! Thanks for asking! Need amoxicillin? Got a fridge full...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Salute to the OG

It was seven years ago yesterday that OG (the older girl, or "original gangsta," whichever you prefer) was born. (I'd have posted last night, but we were at Chuck E. Cheese's, bee-yotches, which is the only restaurant in my hell.)

Oh, darling, how we've grown together, you and I. You were my first real challenge, no? Through you, I see who I was, and who my family was and is; you're the walking phenotype of the clan of Mags. I can't tell you how sure I was, growing up, that I knew far better than my parents did how to raise a child right.

You've made me see more clearly how difficult it is to impress your will upon a human being, even a small one. But, as is true of all challenging things, the joys you bring are incomparable.

Happy birthday, my sweetie, my force of nature.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lessons Learned This Week

1) If you are actively trying to lose weight, possibly due to the impending presence of a 20-year class reunion in June, do not, for even one second, get off your diet. Because it is FUCKING HELL trying to get back on it.

2) If you are actively trying to lose weight, resist the urging of those around you to open yet another box of Girl Scout Cookies. (See #1 above.)

Also, if you are trying to not eat carbs, DO NOT impulsively buy any of the indescribably delicious new whole grain walnut bread at Central Market, the Pano Nociato. (Whole grain, schmole grain. It's not good for you if you eat the ENTIRE LOAF, dumbass.)

3) If one's very adorable younger daughter has a fever and is complaining of a tummyache, DO NOT give in to her pleas to lie on your chest on the couch and hug you. Otherwise, you, your hair, and the couch may be suddenly and unexpectedly covered in the vomited-up remains of breakfast (a scrambled egg and yogurt, as it turns out).

In retrospect, I am convinced she was just setting me up.

4) When in Petco - and this is very important, please listen up - DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, allow the lady up in the front of the store to shove any waify little shelter kittens into your arms. You, too, may end up with an unexpected and ill-advised development, such as this:

He was an impulse purchase for OG. She has been so fragile lately, and so desperate for someone to hug and love on, and to sleep with her all night long. (My crotchety, emotionally disturbed twelve-year-old cat Molly has been the focus of her attention for several months. When I recently noticed all of the the claw marks on OG's hands, I knew I had to save both of them.)

I was just beginning to investigate getting her a small-breed puppy; in fact, the trip to Petco was a fact-finding mission regarding doghouses and doggy doors after I had made my first tentative trip to the Humane Society. (They didn't have any small dogs, or the ones they had looked like they might have had pit bull in them. I know, I know, everybody knows this one pit bull mix that's very sweet, but I'm hesitant around dogs anyway, and I just can't take that risk with a two-year-old in the house. I hate to think I'd ever own a purebred, but I'd really like a Shi Tzu or something along those lines.)

Anyway, this little wretch was thrown into my arms yesterday, throwing a monkey wrench into those plans. His name is Kirby*, and he was rescued from an animal shelter in Gonzalez. You can throw him over your shoulder like a mink stole or carry him around like a satchel; he doesn't care. When you pick him up to hold him on your lap, he melts into a big puddle of kitty butter, and doesn't move, ever. (The Man and I wanted to call him "Lumpy," but OG refused such an undignified moniker.) He cries when OG leaves the house, and appears absolutely unafraid of her.

Urgh. We're back to owning five cats. (Hey, but lest you think we're crazy cat people, one lives in the garage that we don't officially "claim," though he's been here like eight and a half years.)

* adorably misspelled by OG as "Curbie," as evidenced by little nametags that have been mysteriously taped all over the house at some point in the past 48 hours.

Come to think of it, that's probably a more appropriate spelling for this sub-quality stray cat, anyway. He was probably found on a curb somewhere, after all. "Kirby" sounds like some preppy boy you'd meet at an expensive summer camp.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The C-Word

One of our old friends, Kerry - indeed, Lee's first friend from childhood, and later his first girlfriend - has had a large growth taken out of her chest this week. They don't know what it is, but are leaning towards Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

The good news is that they caught it early. But, jesus. This makes friend number three that's battled some sort of the C-word within the past few years. (Both of the other two - Karla May and Ms. Noxious - made it through with flying colors, so my friend track record is perfect so far, and I intend to keep it that way.)

As previously mentioned several times, I'm a weaselly agnostic. However, I am frequently reminded of one of my mother's favorite quotes, from Anne LaMott; that the only prayers she knows are "Please, please, please," and "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you."

That's about right. No matter who's listening, I still end up saying them. So, once again, please please please.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

God only knows...

...what I'd be without you.

That song was just playing on KUT, and I, weaselly agnostic that I am, just sat there, at my computer, crying.

I love you so very freaking much. Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Home During The Daytime

OG is home sick with a fever. Thus, here I am.

The sound I just now heard - the remote control dropping to the floor - indicates that she's currently passed out on the couch, where she has been since I woke her up at 6:15 AM. And, anyone who has ever met her will understand when I say that, when MY child lies down quietly on the couch for six hours straight, it is cause for alarm.

What to do with this time? Read a book? Clean the house? Get caught up on all those reports I'm behind on?

Nah! This!

More on the meme that I will never finish, 'cuz I think it was my favorite one, ever. Thanks, Badger! (Though Bookhart had the funniest one. Pink beaver! Haw!)

Not me:


Not me:


Not me:

Not Me:

(I stole the last one from Bookhart, but I REALLY REALLY was going to do it before I read hers. I swear.)

Sunday, February 11, 2007


5:10 AM: I am awake. Why?

I wonder for at least a couple of minutes what day it is and whether I am going to work today, and why on earth I am so thirsty.

Oh, yes.

And that, friends, was Clue #1 That I May Have Had Too Much Wine Last Night During The Annual Valentine's Day Night Out With The Man. (Dinner at Alborz, saw "The Queen" - most excellent - at Alamo Drafthouse, went out afterwards for lemon rosemary cake at Chez Zee. Nice all around.)

I resume fitful sleep.

7:20 AM: OG is in room, next to my bed, saying "It's time to get up!"

Now, wait a minute here. Is this the same OG, with whom we've been having the conversation about "When you wake up in the morning on weekends, go into the living room, turn on the TV, and pour yourself a bowl of cereal, Do NOT wake us up unless you have a BIG problem" EVERY WEEKEND for the past few month? Is that the girl? Is it possible that she could have forgotten this conversation yet again?

Yes, it's her. I redirect to living room. Again.

7:30 AM: The negotiations have woken up YG. I'm apparently up.

Breakfasting, dressing, and letting my children watch way too much Noggin while I slowly get my shit together ensues.

Clue #2 That I May Have Had Too Much Wine Last Night During The Annual Valentine's Day Night Out With The Man: The diet is still off this morning. I cannot face an egg white omelette with green peppers in it, and decide to go for bacon and real eggs, and a piece of toast. Yeah. I resist the urge to try to find some sort of fried potato product, which is my default hangover food.

I'm in yesterday's jeans and my UC-Sunnydale sweatshirt. (This is a joke sweatshirt. It is actually a tribute to Buffy the Vampire Slayer; it's the fictional college that they attend in the later seasons. It's very hip and meta, you see. Nobody ever gets it.)

The Man and OG decide to go for a bike ride. Bully for them. I'm going to drink some coffee.

My neighbor shows me the flock of parrots that have been coming to her feeders. She has a screech owl that lives in her tree, too. I am envious.

10:30 AM: YG and I are out doing weekly shopping. First, to Target for socks and a new pair of cheap sunglasses.

(Clue #3 That I May Have Had Too Much Wine Last Night During The Annual Valentine's Day Night Out With The Man: The bodily functions are awry.

You know that one bodily function? The one that, as I get older, I'm happy if it happens every other day or so? Is happening all morning. Including at Target. Nothing better than taking a poo in a public restroom, I always say.

Then to the Container Store for "gift wrap organizers." (I shudder to myself that I have become the kind of person that would own one of these things, let alone two.) Finally, to H.E.B.

Clue #4 TIMHHTMWLNDTADNOWTM: Headache. Can't look at the liquor section. I buy frozen fried things. For the kids.

A woman stops me and asks whether my sweatshirt means UC-Davis. I sigh, and sheepishly explain myself. Jesus, I'm a dork.

12:30 PM: Home, lunch with YG. Can't eat a salad. Opt for a ham sandwich, albeit fat-free ham with reduced-fat cheese on diet bread. I can't ruin the whole damn thing now.

It's nice and quiet; OG is at the neighbor boy's house watching a movie. She is crisis-free after a nice bit of physical exercise with her dad, so all is well.

She's rocking the world on that bike, y'all. A few months ago, she was sobbing in the street about learning to ride a 24" bike without training wheels. Two weeks ago she was an emotional wreck about having to learn how to do handbrakes. Today, the child is riding over curbs, in grass, down ramps - perfectly. Oh, how I wish she could not panic over every damn thing and see with her eyes just how capable she is. But that's not going to be easy to overcome, not that I would know.

YG is actually capable of playing by herself calmly in her room, for which I am eternally grateful, and I take advantage of that for a good hour and a half.

I clean all afternoon, trying to put away the Christmas gifts (!) that have been sitting on my bedroom floor since the whole closet project began. The Santa Claus chocolate suckers don't look quite as good as they did a couple months ago.

Clue #5 TIMHHTMWLNDTADNOWTM: Brief bout of anxiety. I start to wonder what, if anything, I did last night that was mortifying. Did I take my clothes off in public? Did I call someone an asshole? (Oh, yes, I did; the guy that almost backed over me in the Alamo parking lot. I was about to knife his tires.) Does anyone, for any reason, hate me this morning?

I can't think of anyone. Hope nothing occurs to me later.

3:30 PM: OG is home. We remember the need for soccer cleats and valentines. Back out, to the soccer store, and then hence again to Target.

OG is a spaz at the soccer store - that's par for the course in shoe shops - but she keeps it together. I don't even kill her at Target. Is the medication working? It's been seven days since her last big fit...woo-hoo!

Anyway, nice to come home from a shopping trip not really tense.

5:00 PM: Hangover more or less over, but still do not want the beer that The Man keeps offering me.

We pull out some dinner. (Yes, we do eat at Grandma and Grandpa Time. Do you have a problem with that?) Soup for me and The Man, mini-cheeseburgers that I impulse-bought at H.E.B. for the girls.

5:15 PM: We see our neighbors all gathered in the street. International code for Something Is Up. We go outside and, lo and behold, there are about four police cars and a fire truck parked about five houses down, lights flashing like crazy.

So get this: My across the street neighbors were home, and their four-year-old daughter said, "I think there's somebody in our back yard." Sure enough, my neighbor looked, and there WAS someone in her back yard! They locked the door really fast, and the guy darted out, with the police in hot pursuit.

Turns out some guy stole a car, and then was driving it really fast and wrecked it into a tree just around the corner from us. So, he gets out and runs through our neighborhood, but apparently the police were already right on him, and nabbed the fucker.

Sheesh! We went out to see the car, and it was sure enough wrecked during a high-speed chase. Up on the curb, airbag deployed, everything.

Anyway, whoa, weird. OG decides that she needs another bike ride. She and The Man take off again. What is wrong with these people?

6:30-8:00 PM: Bathing, grooming, reading-to, hugging and kissing. Catch The Police on the Grammys.

Damn, Sting, you still have the arms of a 20-year-old. It was so cool the way you were looking right at me during "Roxanne." Call me.

8:30-9:30 PM: Evening chores. Laundry, dishes, lunches.

The Grammys are still on. Cool about the Dixie Chicks winning Country Album of the Year. To quote Natalie Maine: (Simpsons style) "HAH-ha!" I cannot hear that damned James Blunt song anymore, though.

9:30 - now: This.

And, barring unforseen circumstances, my prognostication about the rest of the night is that in some short order, there will be Get Some Zzzz's Tea, a brief flipping through of last week's Entertainment Weekly that I never got to read, two Tylenol PMs, and a pillow.

And there it is. You always wondered; now you know.

Not Me:

Friday, February 09, 2007

More on the "Me/Not Me" Meme


Not me:


Me me me me:

NOT me:


Also me:

Not me:

Monday, February 05, 2007

Lord, deliver me...

...from younger children who have been whining in their beds for me for the past hour and a half, even after MULTIPLE trips in to hug, hold, sing, give butterfly kisses and nose rubs - and yes, even to curl up one's ginormous adult body into that of a cramped little toddler bed.

...from older children going through medication flux, or near-to-birthday emotional disintegration, or a massive testing-of-boundaries period, or something else unspecified, who are trying mightily to engage in one singularly awful temper tantrum over something minor every single night.

...from this diet, under the self-imposed yoke of which I missed the Super Bowl party yesterday. Feh.

...from the drumbeat of the ever-growing pile of shit-to-do awaiting me at work every morning.

...from the Girl Scout Cookies.

...from the parents of other people's children (present company excepted, natch.)

...from the Bad Mother pangs felt when one more field trip is missed, and another after-school function is missed.

...seemingly endless inner monologues about sliding into middle age.

Whew! That was cheery! Thanks for catching my vomit! Sweet of you to hold my hair back.

When OG is not instilling fantasies of violent wrath in my head, she is a cool and funny chick. Cool enough to get this sweet ride for her birthday:

This bike is so rad! And it cost $300! Because after traveling to THREE bike shops and stalking out of the first two, thinking "There's no way a kids' bike costs 300 fucking dollars," I realized that I was wrong, Yes, they do, and THEY ALL DO. (Unless you want to go to Target, which is actually what I did first. The axle broke on that one after two months of riding.)

Seriously, MY bike cost like $300. (Yes, honey, I know that was 14 years ago. You love to make me feel sexy, don't you?)
I want to do the "Me/Not Me" meme started by Badger, continued by Karla...but it looks like it takes too much work. Maybe I'll just do it bit by bit.



Not me:

Way Not Me:
So Freaking Not Me:

What in the hell is wrong with people, anyway?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Remembering Molly Ivins

I'm so sad to read about the death of Molly Ivins.

I've been a fan of hers since I started to read the opinion page of the Kansas City Star when I was a wannabe journalist early on in junior high school. Her mix of humor and political astuteness always made for a hell of a good read. She always managed to nail her targets with that rapier wit, but never sounded malicious in doing so.

Molly was another of those "strong Texas women" I heard tell about when I was deciding to move here. She and Ann Richards convinced me that brassy liberal blondes were welcome in this place. (I even named my cat after her.)

Molly was a far better writer than I, so I'll let her words speak her eulogy. An excerpt from her last column:

The purpose of this old-fashioned newspaper crusade to stop the war is not to make George W. Bush look like the dumbest president ever. People have done dumber things. What were they thinking when they bought into the Bay of Pigs fiasco? How dumb was the Egypt-Suez war? How massively stupid was the entire war in Vietnam? Even at that, the challenge with this misbegotten adventure is that we simply cannot let it continue.

A surge is not acceptable to the people in this country -- we have voted overwhelmingly against this war in polls (about 80 percent of the public is against escalation, and a recent Military Times poll shows only 38 percent of active military want more troops sent) and at the polls. We know this is wrong. The people understand, the people have the right to make this decision, and the people have the obligation to make sure our will is implemented.

Congress must work for the people in the resolution of this fiasco. Ted Kennedy's proposal to control the money and tighten oversight is a welcome first step. And if Republicans want to continue to rubber-stamp this administration's idiotic "plans" and go against the will of the people, they should be thrown out as soon as possible, to join their recent colleagues.

We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single
day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help
stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look
ridiculous. Make our troops know we're for them and trying to get them out of
there. Hit the streets to protest Bush's proposed surge. If you can, go to the
peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging
pots and pans and demanding, "Stop it, now!"

Thanks, Molly. We'll keep up the fight.