Friday, November 30, 2007


Thanks for all of your kind words regarding my dad's passing. It was a bit harried for a little while getting plane tickets and getting out the door yesterday morning, but we all arrived in Kansas City yesterday evening with no complications.

Because the funeral home wouldn't confirm with my mother exactly when the funeral would be, I planned a fairly wide window that I would be up here - from yesterday until Tuesday. And, it looks like it was a good thing that I did, as it won't be held until Monday morning. (That was kind of a hassle...they knew all along that they were having some sort of event all day Saturday, which was when my mom wanted to have it, but they wouldn't TELL her that until yesterday afternoon. The kids could have stayed in school another day, you know?)

I've now heard the whole story of how Dad died. He started getting sick Wednesday morning, and - being my father - refused to go to the hospital that morning, and again that afternoon, and again that evening. When his breathing got very bad, Mom called the ambulance, but they couldn't bring him back.

I believe that this is what he wanted, and that he was wholly ready to go. It's never pleasant, of course, but he died here at home, not at the hospital, which was his desire.

Everything is calm up here now; there's just the comings and goings of people with casseroles and such. My brother arrived from Boston last night, and of course my poor sister - who was here at the house for the whole horrible thing - is also here, although she's taking a well-deserved rest today. The girls are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their cousins, my brother's boys, who will arrive tonight. (Their response to all this is rather clinical and curious, and not particularly emotional. I suppose that's normal for their age.) The adults are going through papers, and calling insurance and social security peoples and the like.

So, it looks like we'll just be talking and gathering and eating for the weekend. There's a brisket, and baked beans, and a whole lot of cookies...and Lee, being Lee, stocked us with a fridge full of Boulevard Nutcracker Ale. Erin and Trish will be coming -which was VERY nice and totally unexpected - and have offered to come to rub my shoulders and raise a glass with us.

The festive aspect of funerals always interests me. I've never been to a family funeral that didn't also involve a lot of joy in the reuniting.

And, I know that my Dad - the bringer of the enormous breakfasts - would not have had it any other way.

Postscript: And yes, my mother did exclaim, "Oh, what a shame you'll have to miss the football game!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sad news

My dad died.

I'm assuming I'll be out of pocket for a while, though I may visit here briefly as needed for sanity's sake.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Happy 300th post! Shall we celebrate?

Actually, erm, hold that thought. My belly is plumb celebrated out. This week shall be one of Egg Beaters, sliced turkey breast, and steamed vegetables. NO. MORE. CHEESE. (Or delightfully fattening cheese sticks, though the leftovers are singing their siren song to me, even now.) Alcohol shall be eschewed in favor of nice digestive teas. (Until next Saturday, and the Big XII Championship Game, beeyotches!)

But I'll not tire you with more football and/or Midwestern history lessons tonight. Tonight is the night on Mags when we chill and watch The Simpsons on the TiFaux.

Hope you have all recovered. In the words of the OG tonight, "Whew, I'm glad THAT vacation's over!"

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mizzou Wins!


Damn, that was a hard-fought victory.

A belated congratulations for a great season to the KU Jayhawks. Though it's hard to believe - given my previous post - were it any other year, I would be right there with y'all. I'd so much rather see someone like KU in a championship game than someone like Oklahoma or Texas, who have seen more than their share of title games. (No offense, honey. Hook 'em, mean it!)

And, in my regrets for my pre- and during-game anxiety, I am very sorry for calling KU Coach Mark Mangino "Mark ManGINA." That was not called for. (However, it was a tincy bit funny. Might have been the wine.)

For this night only, and in tribute...Rock Chalk, Jayhawk. See you, and your badass quarterback, next year.

Now...The Man has gotten us tickets for the Big 12 Championship Game against Oklahoma next weekend in San Antonio. Wonder what we're doing with our kids?

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Story of a Rivalry

I grew up on the outskirts of Kansas City, MO, about five miles from the Kansas/Missouri border; less than that as the crow flies, or if you'd wanted to swim across the (huge and log-swollen) Kansas River.

It seems, perhaps, to an outlander, a strange point of pride, to claim oneself a "Missourian" over a "Kansan," particularly when we share a major city, split nearly halfway down the middle. And, lets face it: to anyone else in the country, this is Flyover Land, our big hair and un-Yoga'd, barbecue-fed keisters indistinguishable from those of twenty other states.

But, to a Missourian and a Kansan, you are One. Or. The. Other. Period. And if you are The Other, this could, very well, be a problem.

Again, to an outsider, this would perhaps be linked to the great sports rivalry between our two major state universities, the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas (MU and KU, respectively. No, I don't know why it's not U of M and U of K. It just isn't.) They wouldn't be wrong; this is a very huge and storied rivalry, and the oldest west of the Mississippi. They've been keeping stats on MU vs. KU for over a hundred years now...and we can't even agree on THOSE.

But, the history behind this conflict is actually much deeper than similar rivalries, such as UT vs. Oklahoma, or UT vs. Texas A&M. Those, to my eyes, mostly appear to stem from long exposure to each other's teams in the same conferences, and yes, proximity of two major universities that are packed to the gills with drunk-ass testosterone-fueled college students.

No, the MU/KU divide, like the Missouri/Kansas divide, was birthed in the good old days of slavery, and those heady pre-Civil War days of border raids, murder of innocents, and burning of villages to the ground. (I'm going to apologize in advance to my History Major Friends - and you know who you are - for putting forth what is a total simplification of the facts. The lateness of the hour, and the limits of my patience, forbid me from telling the whole story. But I'll try to sum it up as best I can. If I get anything very very wrong, tell me, and I'll amend it.)

Kansas was admitted to the union under a clause in which the residents were to elect whether they were going to allow slavery or not. It was assumed that Kansas would become a slave state, but an enormous amount of violence erupted as a result. (This became known in the popular parlance as "Bleeding Kansas.") It seems that many Kansans - who will forever hold the moral high ground, and I'll swear to that - were pro-Union abolitionists ("Jayhawkers," in the common parlance,) particularly over in Lawrence, the neighboring village to Kansas. Fiery old John Brown was a Kansan, and the gun he was raising over his head in most of his iconography was mostly aimed towards the immediate east.

My state, I'm sad to say, was a slave state, and while not secessionists per se, we were clearly horribly, morally, in the wrong. Due to the passions and the horrifying conflict of the years leading up to the Civil War, skirmishes erupted on both sides of the borders, stemming from both sides. In many ways, these skirmishes - portrayed in the very good Ang Lee movie Ride With the Devil, if you are so interested - were the kindling to the beginning of the Civil War.

During the Civil War, the Union army conducted a few atrocities, including imprisoning (and executing) women and children who were accused of aiding and abetting the guerillas. The land of these women was also seized and given to pro-Union sympathizers. The Union attacked Osceola, MO, and nine men were given a quickie "trial" and executed in short order.

As a response to these events, a man named William Quantrill led a guerilla raid into Lawrence, in which he and his men burned the town of Lawrence to the ground, and systematically executed all of the males in the town, including young boys. When the day was over, 187 were dead, and nearly every building burned.

Needless to say, the repercussions on my state, when the Union came in to put the smackdown on these folks, were severe. The Union essentially evicted EVERYONE in four counties on the Missouri side of the border from their land - including my mother's ancestors, as a side note - and burned everything to the ground. Quantrill died, and the guerillas petered out after the end of the Civil War, leaving only a few disgruntled folks on the Missouri side whose mamas had lost their land; notably, Frank and Jesse James, two of my other, erm, famous hometown boys.

(Whew. You still with me? Good. If you're bored with this, scroll down. There's a hot picture of Sting on my last post.)

So, fast-forward to the present day. I am a fourth-generation Missouri Tiger. Plenty of my high school friends went to KU, and that was typical, as it was actually closer to my house than MU was. However, in my family, going to KU would have been, shall we say, FROWNED UPON. (Unless I was going to be a doctor, and in that case, it would have been grudgingly approved, as long as I swore never, ever to root for their sports teams.)

The MU-KU game is legendary, in our schools...but, at least in football, honestly, it rarely, if ever, means anything to anyone else but us. Quite frankly, our football teams have historically, well, SUCKED. We are usually lucky to make it into some lame-assed bowl - my favorite being the " Bowl" one year - which is why, typically, we have MORE fun during the MU-KU game than any silliness that goes on in the post-season.


Missouri is number THREE. KU is number TWO. IN THE NATION.

And THE NUMBER ONE TEAM IN THE NATION - LSU, my mother-in-law's beloved alma mater - JUST LOST.

The winner of this game - it's tomorrow night - goes to the Big 12 Championship, and, if they win that one...they go to the National Fucking Championship Game.

This is it, it's for all the marbles. This will NEVER happen again. The winner of this game will have bragging rights for thirty years. And the loser will hang their head in shame.

Oh, my God. I am just about to burst out of my freaking skin in anticipation.

And, now, you know the vicious backstory. I hope you watch the game, and enjoy it, if you're into that sort of thing. Really, I wouldn't blame you for choosing John Brown's side over Quantrill's, but I promise you, the pro-vs-anti-slavery issue isn't a thing anymore. (If anything, you can think of Kansas's new infamy, and root against them as the "Anti-Evolutionist State.")

Go Tigers.

On a related note, here's some of the (admittedly tacky on our part) t-shirts that have been spotted on the MU-KU fans of late:

...on the back of which reads "Missouri 187; Kansas 0."

...on the back of which reads "Suck it, Slaver!"

Now, do you see? DO YOU SEE?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Police: A Recap

(And why? At $90 a ticket...$110 with parking and service charge...I really feel that I have no choice. It's my Big Social Event of the season, by default.)

I am still basking in the joy of last night, my first Police concert since the Synchronicity Tour in 1983. (November 24, 1983, according to Wikipedia. Nearly 24 years to the day. Damn.) My face literally hurts from the huge grin I had plastered on my face all night long.

The evening started off with a rush-hour, pre-holiday-weekend, thankless drive to San Antonio. (Huge thanks to BobNoxious, our mostly cheerful driver, even after the end of the first hour, when we were still in South Austin. Cristen and I were free to get our pre-concert beer on, and to debate the relative merits of Regatta de Blanc and Outlandos d' Amour as they were played over the car stereo.)

The AT&T Center in San Antonio was a fairly standard stadium venue; but, lord, how long has it been since I attended a "stadium concert?" I think, maybe U2 back in the early 90's? I went with an old boyfriend to see James Brown at the Erwin Center, but it was really a fairly small show...not sure if that counts. Anyway, it was big, but the crowd last night was only about 11,000. That seemed strange...I think Houston sold out in like minutes.

Our seats were a little crappy, but not horrible. None of the three of us were willing to pay $200 for floor seats, but we did get first balcony...however, the stadium itself was oddly rectangular, and we were sitting in what was essentially the opposite corner from the stage, so that if we looked straight ahead, we would just be looking at the seats on the other side of the stadium. Our seats were exactly the ones that formed the right-hand turn of the corner - what is inappropriately named the "Super Box" - so the whole section was sort of crammed together and craning our heads to the right. But, the good news is, that two ginormous Bud Lights in plastic stadium cups later, there was little to no discomfort noted.

Sting's son Joe Sumner opened the show with his band, Fiction Plane. Now, I usually eschew all opening bands, but I liked them. Honestly, when we walked in, and they were already playing, I was afraid that we were late...Joe sounds JUST like his dad! (Can't believe he's 30...shit.) I'm considering getting their album, or at least a few songs off of iTunes.

Man, though, good as the opening act was, the electricity that coursed through that place when these three - OLD - guys took the stage was freakin' amazing. (Eat your heart out, Hannah Montana.) From the opening moments - Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up" - we were on our feet, and remained there for almost the entire show.

Thanks to the lovely interweb, the set list from last night was posted somewhere almost immediately. Perhaps the thing to do is just amend that list with my observations? (Note: Every song not annotated should include the default statement "I was totally blissed out when they played THAT one.")

1. Message in a Bottle
They take the stage. Sting is in a clingy forest-green t-shirt. Fucking SHIT, he is still AMAZING LOOKING. Seriously! Look at those arms! And six-pack abs! Cristen and I, goggle-eyed, confirm that we know no twenty-year-olds with a body like that. Damn, this song is still really good, too. We dance in our confined seats.

You would think that his sexiness would have declined in 24 years. You would think that he'd not look as good, or that age would have tempered his insane hotness.

But you'd be wrong.

2. Synchronicity II
My favorite Police song. It has the good rock-and-roll thrash that I missed in all the several subsequent Sting solo concerts that I've attended, which all seemed to be jazzy and mellow. They sound great. Super tight. I can't believe it's only the three of them, making that wall of sound.

3. Walking On The Moon
Stewart Copeland has also aged really well. Same floppy hair; just a bit grayer. I'd take Stewart, too, probably any day...but, poor guy, it's like standing near the sun. Andy Summers looks like a small, aged hobbit.

4. Voices Inside My Head
Elfin or not, Andy is still an OUTSTANDING guitar player. Wow, they are the ultimate rock stars. I can't believe they ever hated each other.

5. When The World Is Running Down
Cool! The really old stuff! This song is one of their best ever. Cristen and I are seriously getting on our white-girl 80's bop dance. Bob is amused. At one point, the phrase, "Good CHRIST, I love him!" is shrieked. Might have been me.

6. Don't Stand So Close To Me
He says, "Before I got this job, I used to be a teacher." Cristen and I decide that we'd have mixed emotions if he were our daughter's teacher. She decides that she'd need a conference.

7. Driven To Tears
Nice one. A closeup on the big screen of Andy's guitar reveals that his hands are actually carved from wizened pieces of driftwood. But they are still smoking on that thing.

8. Truth Hits Everybody
We don't know this one, but it is very rocking. We enjoy.

9. Hole In My Life
Man, they are totally hitting the back catalog! Approximately 100 of us in the crowd know this song and are dancing. Why isn't this concert in Austin? I bet every person at a Police concert in Austin would know every word to every song, and would be at completely rapt attention.

10. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
They take this one slower than they should. It's a jubilant song, and they play it jazzy and a bit slowed-down. I consider peeing. It's getting slightly urgent. Not just yet.

11. Wrapped Around Your Finger
Do you remember all those candles in the video? And seeing that video 10,ooo million times? I do. Bob points out that, in our post-cigarette smoking times, nobody holds up lighters anymore. We all decide that holding up cell phones is extremely queer.

12. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
We all agree that this is a dumb song. But, by this point, Cristen and I have decided that we'd pay $90 a ticket to hear him read the phone book. We sing "AAA Automotive...ABC Plumbing..." along with the song.

13. Invisible Sun
Cool. A dark one. Somehow, though, the crowd is getting more amped up, now. Good, about damn time.

14. Walking In Your Footsteps
Much call and response. I still have to pee. But not yet.

15. Can't Stand Losing You
AIEEE! I can't believe they're playing this one! Total back catalog. They're bound and determined to rock out tonight.

16. Roxanne
First encore. Completely expected. But, no denying the thrill of seeing the red lights come on the big screen.

17. King Of Pain
This is the big crowd pleaser? Everyone is finally singing in unison. Don't get me wrong; it's a fantastic's just kind of, well, an obsessive bummer. But, hey, you gotta go with it. Yes, Sting, that's my soul up there.

18. So Lonely
Yeah. Blistering reggae backbeat. My head is about to bop off my shoulders. My love, you can't hit ALL the high notes anymore, but what you can still do with your voice is fairly startling.

19. Every Breath You Take

Of course. Bob, Cristen, and I remember them playing this song about three times per hour on MTV and on nearly every radio station for like 10 weeks straight. Thus, it's our collective least-favorite song...but, upon a good, hard, re-listen, it really is's dark, obsessive, and freaky, and not anything like a love song, actually. I would have ended with "Synchronicity 2" - something a little more rockin' out - but, it's still a great finale.

By the time I finally peed, I was about one nanosecond away from deep embarrassment. Thankfully, I made it out sans accident. Bob drove us home, to The Man, who had valiantly volunteered to watch all four (!) children, all by himself.

Sadly, this was not the evening that Sting chose me from the crowd; the night that he had but to point at me and crook his finger, and I would forget my previous life and be his forever. Next time, then? Call me!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007




But, it's late. I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Your Annual Dose of Gerard Manley Hopkins

I'm 38 years old today.

Take your English Major medicine.

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

----"Spring and Fall to a Young Child;" G.M.H.

A recap of the childless birthday weekend:

Friday night: Eight of us went to dinner at Bellagio, a fairly spendy Italian restaurant in North Austin that Lee took me to a long time ago. I wanted Italian, I remembered it was good, so we went there.

The evening was...well, quite frankly, kind of bizarre. Our waiter was very good, but just this side of creepy. He served and advised well, but...he was very chummy by the end of the evening. Kind of cracking wise with us, but in a very superior kind of fashion. And though he started the evening with a pronounced speech impairment, it had completely disappeared by the end of the evening (admittedly some hours later).

And the food was really unremarkable, for the most part. Some things were definitely off. The tomato salad was mealy, and I sent it back, and my filet was cold, and I sent it back. (I ended up waiting like 15 minutes for the filet, and when it returned, it was pretty much after everyone else had finished.) Admittedly, the filet, when it returned, was fantastic, but neither of these things were removed from the menu, and they should have been.

The upside to the evening was that our waiter, odd and chummy man that he was, kept the wine glasses full all evening in such a stealthy fashion that my wine glass was never actually empty. Which made me, um, lose track of exactly how much wine I had drunk. Which turned out to be a lot, actually. (It was this kind of evening: Eric, at one point, just stopped talking and said to the group, "You know how I know [Mags] has had too much to drink? When she starts gesturing VERY BROADLY." (I was all, no WAY. I don't ever gesture broadly. Or with my hair. )

After dinner, Bob, Cristen, and Julie went with us to Opal Devine's, where I had two martinis, which was a GREAT idea. I am not sure how I escaped vomiting, but I did; I cruised on the 'not quite so drunk as to hurl' margin for the entire night, and fell asleep around 1:00 AM.

Saturday: The morning was spent tending to the care and feeding of my brand new baby hangover:

  • sleeping in as late as possible (in my case, that's 5:30, but, oh well;)
  • lots and lots of hot coffee
  • a hot Mexican breakfast including eggs scrambled with serranos and machacado, refried beans with lard, rice, tortillas, and fresh salsa, from my new favorite eastside Mexican restaurant, "Juan in a Million"
  • Migraine formula Tylenol (with caffeine!)
  • Fizzy water
  • bready things eaten approximately hourly throughout the day

I watched college football that morning...Missouri beat K-State, and are on their way to meeting the Jayhawks in Kansas City next Saturday. Fucking A. More on that later. I am unduly excited over this stupid fucking football game.

Sadly, due to the combination of my late evening the night before and the lengthy football game, my yearly Movie Day did not yield a vast amount of movies this time. Whereas we used to do five movies in a day, we only did two this time. I saw Michael Clayton and Superbad. I enjoyed them both very much. Because this seems apropos as per lately, here are my Four Word Film Reviews:

Michael Clayton: Clooney owns smart thriller.
Superbad: Crassness aplenty; sweet heart.

Sunday: The Man picked up the children from the in-laws. It sounds as though it went as well as it usually does. Sigh. OG is still hard for them, I guess. I had thought it would go better this time, but apparently not.

I spent the better part of the day grocery shopping, preparing for a lovely gathering over here tonight to celebrate a combination of my birthday and our friends Bill and Carla coming in from Portland. It was fairly small in scope, but we did drain the better part of a keg of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, so I do believe that some fun was had. (I didn't get drunk this time. Still not completely removed from the hangover.)

We had a nice time. It was a positive-feeling group, and I enjoyed hanging out with most of my dearest Austin friends. It was a nice evening, too; upper sixties/low seventies, moon out; clear and warm. It was good to be outside with my friends and kiddos.

So, in a nutshell, there are way worse ways to usher in the next year of my life. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts and your hey-there's, your gifts, and your company.

Happy birthday to me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Some people will call it a one-night stand...

...but we can call it paradise.

Guess what band I'm going to go see in December...not three weeks after I see the Police in San Antonio...?

No, you have to guess...come on...

You give up? Well, flip on the YouTube and embrace the dream, my loves:

The Divine Ms. Milena thought of me this morning and got me a ticket. For this, I am truly grateful, and I am in rapt anticipation of seeing them again. Plus, I'll get to spend another delightful evening with Milena, a lovely woman who is simultaneously a great mom and a fabulously good time at parties...AND who shares my joy and obsession for all things D-squared.

(But, seriously, M? Love ya and all, but hands off my Simon or I WILL CUT YOU.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

At the age of 37...

My once-again rapidly approaching birthday brings to mind a small confession that I've been meaning to share for some time, and it is thus:

I never, ever used to use those fantastic-smelling lotions that my friends got me for birthdays and holidays.

Oh, sure, I liked the way they smelled. I've always been a big fan of the Aveda-slash-Body Shop-slash white musk lemon verbena mandarin lime what have you sorts of stuff. I would sometimes remember to swipe some around on my body when I was, like, going out on a hot date, that sort of thing.

But, moisturizer-free, my skin has historically tended to be really soft, and one of the few joys of being zaftig is that a certain level of plumposity in one's face tends to fill in wrinkles fairly well. So, all these years have gone by, and I've never really paid THAT much attention to my skin, other than to pluck random Gramma hairs and to tend to the odd zit. So, the lotions mostly just sat around in my bathroom cabinets, growing old, until I would realize that - hey! I've had this bottle of hand lotion for ten years now! - and, with the shades of my mother permeating my being, I would, shuddering, pitch the stuff.

Last year, however, Trish got me, for my birthday, a nice little sampler of Burt's Bees moisturizers. They're not the usual yellow label stuff, though; these are in purple boxes, and they have a nicely-preserved, Tilda Swinton-looking Woman of a Certain Age on the front.

Is it now, said I? Has it come to this? Have I been creased by time? As I peered into the mirror as unflinchingly as possible, it occurred to me: Yes, there are some lines there. And, erm, some of them are, as it turns out, kind of...deep, actually.

I, suddenly, knew that I had really, really been kidding myself for Quite Some Time. The forehead? It looked like Edward Scissorhands had gotten to it. And the two frikkin' horizontal lines between my eyebrows might as well be a tattoo. And...when I pushed up the skin around my eyes? It stayed up, for just a nanosecond, like it was made of crepe paper.

That night, I began to moisturize in earnest. And it's been all downhill from there. I swear, since my birthday last year, I have become a total Unguent Ho. If it's greasy and expensive, I will slather it onto my face and hands and neck with no questions asked. It could be made of thousands of baby kitten toes, and I would not care, if it made any difference whatsoever in this sudden desert that is my complexion.

So, my friends? I promise not to let any more fancy creams, lotions, or oils go to waste. If you've tried them, and they smell good and/or promise to erase ten years with every application, I will accept them gladly. And I'll wear them to bed, EVEN THOUGH it makes me feel about as sexy as Ethel Mertz from I Love Lucy. (Sorry, honey.)
Five days 'til 38...and I'm clearly in my annual pre-birthday funk.

I'm terribly sorry to inform you that history suggests that this will not ebb until I'm nursing my post-birthday hangover. So, expect some droning, mewling, pissing/moaning, etc., to be spewed forth for at least the next few days.

In the interim, here is Marianne Faithfull, singing the Anthem O'The Soccer Moms. Enjoy.

(And, I also found this, which made me totally miss Absolutely Fabulous!)

Four-Word Film Review of Bee Movie (which I took the chillen to Sunday):
Movie? O.K. Seinfeld? OVEREXPOSED!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Worn Down to Nubsies

I typed SO MANY WORDS TODAY that my fingers feel like they are falling off of my hands.

My shoulders ache from eight hours completely hunched over my computer, and my forearms and wrists are singing from the prolonged use of the laptop instead of the desktop.

I know; it's been a few days....and I FINALLY have the time tonight to sit down and gather my thoughts. (And there are so many! The Man's consulting a urologist to consider the snippage! Holiday-Anticipating Fun-n-Hijinx! Six days and counting until my dreaded, fucking, 38th birthday!) However, I just don't think I have it in me tonight.

I b'lieve I'll fix myself a nice cuppa, and watch me some Heroes instead. Maybe a TiFauxed 30 Rock or two.
Four-Word Film Review of Pink Flamingoes: "Do my balls, Mama!"

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Life's Little Victories, Part II

No, not NaBloPoMo. I didn't post yesterday. I told you I couldn't do it every day for a month. Some evenings are meant for clearing out the DVR and watching several back-to-back episodes of The Office.

(And Pushing Daisies. I resisted it for a while - it looked a bit too cutesy, like when Northern Exposure went off the rails - but it won me over when Kristen Chenoweth and Ellen Greene started singing "Birdhouse In Your Soul" - which is probably tied with "Under Pressure" as the best song OF ALL TIME - in the back of the sisters' car...which is of course being driven by the OTHER driver, who is frickin' cool-as-hell Swoosie Kurtz. Hell, I guess, since the damn show is apparently WRITTEN for me, that I need to start watching it.)

No, my victory today was thus:

I had a sort-of-crappy at work. I forgot a meeting; no excuses, nobody's fault except my own, I just forgot to check the calendar. I got caught up with something, and just fucking spaced it. (And I just love when I look all competent like that, in front of like seven people. It's great.) Everyone was nice about it, but still. Dumbass.

After that, I went to pick up the OG at school. Now, she and I are still doing really awesomely, but the OG is not one for the effusive displays of affection, even on the best of days. I mean, she cuddles up with me and tells me that she loves me every night, but it's at home, in secret, and absolutely NEVER within earshot of any child that is anywhere near her age.

The other day, OG came home with a piece of work that she had completed with her new, 5th grade "buddy." They had been getting to know each other, and were instructed to complete Venn diagrams to define their similarities and differences, and where they met in the middle. OG's Venn diagram wasn't too detailed; from what I could tell, they both had short hair and went to the same school, but that was about all.

Today, I noticed that the 5th grade teacher had posted up her class's Venn Diagrams, which were of course more thorough and detailed. Right on top was the OG's buddy's diagram. In the middle, where they had to write where they and their second-grade buddies, she had written "Both our moms are the people we most respect, and they're also our role models."

Awwwwww! I chased her around the playground, threatening to give her a big ol' kiss on the face - in front of everyone - for that.


Four-Word Film Review of Little Shop of Horrors: Feed me! FEEEEEEEED ME!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Badly Mixing Song Metaphors

Karma Karma Karma Karma Karma Chameleon....

Another gay-baiting, hypocrite, criminal, Republican goes down. (And not in the sense that we're getting used to these days.) That Kentucky governor lost the election.

And another one's gone, and another one's gone...another one...well, you know.


Four-Word Film Review of Blue Velvet:

It's Daddy, you shithead!

Monday, November 05, 2007


Hmmmm... so, you're telling me that, the Kentucky GOP is...let me see, foundering in the gubernatorial election, which is tomorrow, so they - THEY - decide that, it would be an EXCELLENT idea to insinuate that the Democratic candidate is...say it with me now, children: GAY.

Must be Tuesday.

But, that's not all...get this: They even have a RoboCall going out tonight from none other than Pat Boone, who asks if Kentuckians want a governor who wants Kentucky to be "another San Francisco." (Because that would clearly be a bad idea.)

Pat Boone! Damn, now there's some relevance for ya!

I feel very like sending out this link to all the people that received that call and are seriously considering listening to Mister Christian tell them how to vote. (Serious Caveat: That link is Not Safe For Work, and will burn out your retinas. You have been warned.)


Four Word Film Review of The Princess Bride:

Have fun stormin' dacastle!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Louisa Mags Alcott

OK, I am reasonably sure that this is, perhaps, a strange question, for those of you with children:

When you're doing the "fever" thing - the really good one, the past 104-degree one - the up-past-midnight, mopping of the overheated brow with the cold compresses, the checking the temperature every ten minutes, the exchanging furrowed-brow looks with the spouse...that one?

When you're doing that, do you flash on "Little Women," and imagine that you are Jo, bustling around and worrying, with your sisters and Marmee, working slavishly to help Beth's fever break?

Or is that just me?


Four-Word Film Review of the training video I am supposed to finish watching before work tomorrow:

My heavy....

Saturday, November 03, 2007


My Saturday was spent hanging out on the couch, with the feverish OG, for most of the day.

(The Man and the YG went to Wurstfest, but the OG was still too sick to attend. So, we stayed home.)

We read several - correction; MANY - chapters of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, watched football, played some computer chess and some "Line Rider," watched some movies, periodically took temperatures, and giggled about names we generated on the Captain Underpants "Professor Poopypants Name Generator."

In short? Today, I did not exercise; I did not go to "Wurstfest," I did not attend the school carnival, and I did not attend the last soccer game of the season, or the corresponding soccer party. I sat, on my largish ass, on the couch, pressed up against my (very warm) daughter, for the entire day.


We had the BEST TIME. EVER.

Did I mention that I'm totally IN LOVE with her? Because I am. Sick or not. (Dorky Chickensprinkles is our favorite Professor Poopypants name. Haw!)

OK, I'm now going to write about Missouri Tigers football.

(Insert: A quick survey of those of you that I know of that customarily read this blog, that are interested in football at all:

You? No.

The rest of you, individually....?, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, sort of, no, no, no, not by a long shot, no, no, fuck no, and NO.)

You all? The ones that I surveyed? You can stop reading now.

Because the MU Tigers just STOMPED THE FUCKING SHIT out of Colorado. And it was damn near sexual in execution. (For me.)

Pretty fun stuff. Those who never dreamed that an MU - Kansas game would command national attention? Those guys? Are dying a little bit inside.

I can't WAIT to kick the crap out of Kansas. Yes., evolutionary stance included. Your backwards-thinking asses are GOING DOWN.

Four-Word Film Review of Young Frankenstein:

Madeline Kahn IS GOD.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Four Word Film Review of "Reno 911! Miami"

The show! With boobs!

The OG is OK, BTW. She's still sick, but it's nothing funky; just a virus that makes her hive out. I'm a little disgruntled that our Wurstfest! plans are possibly - I hate to use the word "likely" - not going to work out.

Hey, it's probably for the best. I didn't even WANT to go.

Drinking tons of beer with my friends, eating lots of sausage and fried food, riding poorly-maintained carnival rides with real! actual! carnies, dancing the Chicken Dance and the Hokey Pokey to Brave Combo...who wants to do that, anyway?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

One way to spend one's Thursday evening... to spend it in the emergency room at the new Children's Hospital.


The story starts, I guess, thusly:

The OG went out on Halloween last night, suitably overstimulated and bouncing around like the hyperactive little monkey that she is. However, I did notice that her stamina this year was not quite what it was last year - I mean, she really only did two blocks - but I figured it was probably just that she was ready to come back and play Harry Potter with her best buddy Cole.

This morning, she woke up tired...I'm all, "No, shit, dude?" - except that I don't really say "No, shit, dude," I say something motherly instead, like "Um, yes, honey, you stayed up until ten last night, remember?" She complained of her finger hurting; I took a look at it, and didn't see anything, but it was red and kind of swollen. In fact, I noticed, all of his fingers were a little sausage-y, but I chalked that up to candy and the late night. I gave her a band-aid for her finger...I figured she'd gotten a splinter or a little piece of glass in it, or something, and sent her on her way to school.

So, later, the school nurse called me at about 11:00, to tell me that OG has now developed a rash on her legs and arms, and that her hands and feet were swollen up. We chatted a bit about the amoxicillin that she's been on for a week or so due to what I'd presumed was a flare-up of her old, recurrent strep infection. The nurse said that the OG looked, to her, like she was having an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin, and that her doctor should probably take a look at it. OG got on the phone with me and said that she didn't feel well, but I encouraged her to eat a bit of lunch, and she agreed to try.

Hmmmm, says I; OK. I made an appointment with her doctor for right after school, 'cause there didn't seem to be a huge rush, or anything.

When I got to school at 2:45 and found her, she looked TERRIBLE. Her face, which is pretty pale to begin with, is stone white, with that distinctive "high-color" on the cheekbones. When I touched her, she was burning up with fever, and the rash was angrily throbbing. Worse, her hands and toes were PURPLE, and HUGE.

We bustled off to the doctor's office, wherein the OG promptly fell asleep. (No! I'm serious! Yeah, MY DAUGHTER!) The doctor kept us there for quite a while, putting in calls to various infectious disease specialists, and then said - in that inimitable doctor way, "Well, it could be an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin, or it could be just a virus, or it could be a really serious disease like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever." (Me: "Huuuunhh?) She advised us to hightail it down to the new Children's Hospital Emergency Room.

I shall spare you the details of the Four-And-One-Half-Hours That We Spent There. With no books. Or dinner. And only evening television to placate the cartoon-loving OG. Needless to say, we were hungry and cranky...though I must point out that ONE of us at LEAST had a BED to lie in.

After much, much, MUCH waiting and bloodwork, we determined that yes, indeedy, it is an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin, or a virus, and that, either way, it should clear up in a day or so. Though I was of course glad to hear that, part of me was a little - just a tiny, little bit - like, "Seriously; four and a half hours, and she doesn't even have something exotic?"

We didn't arrive home until 10:00, and clearly the OG is really sick, as I tried to make her (?) feel better by buying a box of warm Mrs. Johnson's Doughnuts on the way home, and she was not even remotely interested. (DAMN, that is an insidious place! I mean, they put an extra doughnut on top of the box when they hand it to you! They are FORCING me to eat one!)

Anyway, pity me, folks...not for having to spend all that time in the ER, but because I NOT ONLY watched "Drake and Josh," and I NOT ONLY watched three episodes of "Courage the Cowardly Dog," but....I watched an ENTIRE EPISODE of "Full House."

I need a glass of wine, now. STAT!
(Interjection: My favorite conversational interlude from today:

OG: "Where in the HELL is the nurse?"
Me: "Um...where in the HECK is the nurse?"

I have NO idea where she heard that.
My Four Word Film Review of the "Annual to Semi-Annual E.R. Trip with One of My Children:"