Monday, December 29, 2008

In Which My Hiatus is Placed On Hiatus

Hey! Hi! I'm back!

From Kansas City! Which we drove to! Which takes 12 hours in a car if you DON'T have youngish children with unpredictable toileting needs! Because then it takes 14 hours! And if your tiny little wagon-car is full of Christmas presents to the point of absurdity, it turns out it's really really cramped and uncomfortable!

And, those factors, plus a late start due to caution regarding some snow on the streets, plus a brief stop at the in-laws to pick up MORE Christmas presents and a recalcitrant Shih-Tzu, equals an arrival in Austin at 11:00 P.M, for a grand sum travel time of 15 hours!

Which makes Mags tired! So tired.

And fat. Who the hell opened my mouth and forced all that pie down it for a week? Oh, yes, it was my mother. (And those of you who think I'm joking have not met my mother.)

Anyway, it's very good to be back in the land of reasonable temperatures. Seriously, man; the day we arrived in KC, it got to SIX BELOW. Jeebus, that is NOT O.K..

Here's some snaps fer ya...

1) The YG gets a much-desired Easy Bake Oven from the in-laws in Salado (on the way up to KC):

2) The YG at Grandma's house in Kansas City, serenading us with the Karaoke Santa mike with one of her very own Rock And Roll Songs:

I can't remember if that one was "Parents, You Should Rock Your Kids...At Night" or if it was "Mama, Please Don't Go Away From Me."

3-7) My children were very, very, VERY attached to one another over this trip.

It was somewhat alarming. All I've done for the past three years is separate them, because they clearly could not stand each other. Now, I'm completely confused. What, you suddenly love each other? Kids are FREAKS.


It pees AND poops, people. And I'm sad to say, I SO did not want to get this messy-ass thing for her. However, I did remember HOW MUCH I wanted a Baby Alive when I was little, and how delighted I was when I got one for Christmas. So, relenting happened.

It is SO MUCH mess. Bleah! However, she is absolutely delighted. So, I guess it's all good.

9-10) Snow pictures.

The OG is the only one in these, you will notice. I did ask both girls if they wanted to go play in the snow. Both of them said "Yeah!" very enthusiastically. However, when I told the YG (known in our parts as "Laze-oid,") that she would have to actually put on PANTS to do this, she said, "Oh, never mind." So that is NOT MY FAULT.

11) Eating snowflakes (when the YG could actually be arsed to clothe herself for the day, albeit in a tiger skin catsuit that she wore not only all day THIS day, but nearly two days longer thereafter):

12) Back in the sunshine at the border, whoop:
and finally, 13) Humiliating the Shih-Tzu with the elf costume upon our return:

You know what? No pity for her. She's a Shih-Tzu. They DESERVE to be humiliated. (And you know you agree with that statement.)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

From Me To Ya('ll)

Happy Christmukkuh!

(It's worth playing all the way through, if you haven't seen it. Thanks to Philly E for the tip!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ah, crap. I am just going to have to admit defeat and call my holiday blogging hiatus a bit early this year. There is just Too. Much. To. Do.

I'll get in here when I can, and when the family bears escaping. But I just have NOTHING to put forth right now, and little time to do it, if I did.

It's probably Lack-Of-iPhone Depression. (Is that in the DSM-IV)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dare I buy these Christmas cards?

I saw this hanging on Shirl's fridge, when we were at his Lights in the Heights party in Houston last night:

I want them SO BADLY.

The party? Most excellent. Except for the part where I fell through a hole in the porch up to my knee, therein causing my entire right shin to resemble nothing so much as an eggplant. (Was alcohol and/or my inherent clumsiness involved? You bet! However, in fairness, there was also a HOLE IN THE PORCH. )

I'll write about all that tomorrow, if'n I get my six dozen Pignoli cookies made in time.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday night updates

The weather sucks in Austin tonight, which means I get to play my favorite Austin news-watching game, namely "Turn On All the Broadcasts and Listen to Them Say How Much the Weather Sucks Tonight."

It is a delightful game, I tell you. "On tonight's SUCKS out there! It is SO very sucky! It is cold! And it is raining! And...I JUST FELT SOME SLEET! So let me go stand out on an overpass somewhere in a parka, just to show you how SHITTY this weather is!"

Speaking of shitty, I just came back from seeing "Twilight" with Cristen and some of her work friends. Ah, well, that is perhaps overstating it a bit. I had a lovely time, and was thoroughly entertained, and had awesome company. And, I really re-thought my opinion, as soon as I figured out, about halfway through the movie, that it is actually a COMEDY, and that it was apparently OK that we were laughing hysterically all the way through it. No, I'm serious, it is super-camp. Why I didn't figure that out five minutes into the movie, when there is a straight-from-David-Lynch "logging truck driving past the diner shot," is beyond me.

The books, though, like I I've only read the first one. I bought the second, but it's been on my shelf for a while. I've started The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and I am totally immersed in it. Good read. Brisk, funny, educational, and has mad snaps to the sci-fi geek within me.

Work has been reasonably stressful lately. Usually is this time of year, no different than usual. Actually, it might even be somewhat less than in prior Decembers; I've gotten a lot of my work done, and have only a few looong meetings left to attend before my days off around Christmas. Three. No, four. No, shit, five. But, hey, it's been worse.

Holiday planning is afoot. Family time is planned, presents are mostly purchased. Not big pickings this year. No flatscreen for me; I'm sitting on my flatscreen TV right now, which is to say I'm sitting on my new couch, which must take the place of said theoretical TV for the time being. Oh, and I'll soon be receiving my new washer and dryer, bought on sale yesterday, to replace the only five-years-old washer and dryer set from SuckAss Sears that no longer, quote, "washes," or "dries" my clothing. So, there, too, goes more disposable income. What's next, mechanical gods, my car?*

Es todo. Y tu? Como estas?

*jinx protection...noooooo, damn fates! Don't! Do! It!

Monday, December 08, 2008

The OG's Christmas list

Spelling and punctuation hers.

It starts out with a preface...we in the Mags household are nothing, if not anxious:

Dear Mama,
I have some expensive things on this list. so if you come over one. Just. Cross. it. out. Like this (X).

OG (first and last name)

The next page contained the meat of the piece, which was diligently ranked (although not ordered; we must have a time in the punishment closet for that one) for me:

11th Mario Super Sluggers (Wii)
12th Magnetix
4th Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
3rd Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (Wii)
14th Mario Party 8 (Wii)
13th Boom Blox (Wii)
1st! Sonic Unleashed (Wii)
2nd! Clone Wars (Wii)
23rd Littlest Pet Shop (Wii)
15th Lego Star Wars (Wii)
5th Wall-E (Wii)
16th Lego Batman (DS)
6th Pokemon Battle Revolution (Wii)
17th Super Mario (DS)
7th Guitar Hero (Wii)
18th Drawn to Life (DS)
20th Sorry Sliders (??? Is it not electronic? Quell outrage!)
8th Kung Fu Panda (DS)
22nd Uno Attack!
10th Legos, Legos, LEGOS!
9th Mario Land (Wii)

and the second page contained the OG's helpful reporting for the YG, as of yet unable to compose a comprehensive list on her own:

Black Pants
Tini Puppini (again, no electronic suffix? Then what on earth could this thing be?)
easybake oven
Barbie as the Island Princess (Wii)
pink ornaments
a christmas star (jewellry)
a gold vase (Big!)
candy (Big!)
ketchup (tomato)
Dr. Pepper

As you can see, Christmas will be a joyous affair at our house, with the OG opening her $4000 worth of mind-melting gaming technology, while her younger sister revels in her treasured heist of black pants and ketchup.

O Holy Night, indeed.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

My Newest (Deeply Misplaced) Celebrity Crush

Yes, I heart Neil Patrick Harris.

Harold and Kumar, plus How I Met Your Mother, plus Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog, equals some Mags-n-Neil bliss. (And did you see him shirtless on HIMYM last week? Cripes! He's totally cut, too!)

And, I don't care that he's gay, and that he's like 12. Or that he was Doogie. He's totally my man.

Am I weird? Does he totally do it for anybody else?

Friday, December 05, 2008

How to Amuse Yourself at Your Next Workshop/Convention/Meet-n-Greet

Snaps to Connie, who made me laugh on an otherwise seriously stressful workday. Inconceivable!

Monday, December 01, 2008


Well, I got our tree up, anyway.

I know, it's sad, my children have to live with a four-foot-tall tree. But, damn it, though she has improved IMMENSELY, I just cannot trust this damn dog with the peeing just yet, ever since the Couch Incident (which turned out well, but still).

Maybe you'll get a big tree to play under next year, chilluns. For this year, y'all can just hang out on the bare hardwood floor, like usual.

Actually, I really want a big shiny silver aluminum tree; the kind with the rotating color light shining up on it. But, I've been pricing those things on Craigslist, and they go for $300 in good condition now. Plus shipping!

I suppose I need to wrap my mind around buying one in like June, so as hopefully to get a more reasonable price, but I am just not that person. I am very in the moment, like I always have been, and have a hard time thinking that way. Like I know people who have their Christmas shopping done already, whereas I only very reluctantly started yesterday. (No, wait, I did buy two cheap Wii games at Target a while back, and stashed them away. Somewhere. See, I am not good at this.)

So, if anyone sees a reasonably-priced aluminum tree for sale somewhere, let me know. I am feeling the serious need for a slow, colored strobelight in my living room.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Big Belleh

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

My food baby is poufing out over the top of my jeans, which clearly indicates that I in no way can clean house right now. I might pull a muscle, or something. Or give myself a giant pie hernia. So, instead, I'm hanging out on my new couch, with all my new cats, and watching football instead.

It was a nice, cazh day around here. We drove out to West Austin this morning to The Man's aunt's house, where we had a nice, largish family gathering and a delicious brined THIRTY EFFING POUND turkey. I am inspired to try it; I've brined chickens, and turkey breasts, before, but not a whole turkey myself. Of course, there's the fact that my family probably could not really EAT a whole turkey without getting desperately sick of it...but, nonetheless, this time of year, I am always inspired to try. (Perhaps this, too, will pass. TM's aunt gave us tons of leftovers.)

After that, I took TM down to the football game (Texas vs. Texas A&M, a historic rivalry, for those not in the know of such things. It's really just a symbolic rivalry this year, as A&M is just not the powerhouse that it has been in prior years. The score is currently 42-9. I'm sorry, Dave. Missouri fans feel your pain.) while the girls and I went over to Mick and Adam's annual Thanksgiving fried-turkey, bocce, cranberry margaritas, and poker party.

I managed to choke down another partial plate of food (mmm...fried turkey!) somehow, and had a couple margaritas. I ended up coming on back home, instead of playing poker into the evening, as the children were plainly just NOT in a place to sit and watch a video in peace. I wasn't too harsh on them, as they were pretty fried from staying up too late the night before, when we were over t' the Noxiouses' house.

So, honestly, not much to report. Just full-n-tired-n-watchin' football. You?

(Oh, and do you know of this Rick Rolling?)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The OG won the grand prize in the science fair!

OK, so it was just the grand prize in her class, but hell's bells, let's throw 'em in the air for the OG!

Thanks to her grandma, who is a microbiologist, we all came up with an easy experiment; testing various hand-washing methods via pressing her hand into a petri dish, and then counting the bacterial colonies after the dishes spent the night in Grandma's lab incubator at work. So, it was not only easy, it had the all-important "gross-out" factor, so very necessary to impress the average contingent of eight-year-olds.

I am so excited for her, and she is THRILLED. I got a little nervous that she wasn't doing enough, so we made double-dog sure she did all the writing and research herself, and that she helped take the pictures of the petri dishes, that sort of thing. However, I apparently needn't have worried, as her teacher clearly believed that she did do the work. (And I KNOW that her teacher quizzed her on the procedure and the findings. She is a big believer in personal responsibility, which has been a GODSEND to the OG and her scattered, disorganized way.)

Oh, and the answer? Purell doesn't do SHIT. Neither does Ivory soap. Dial is the only way to go.

And on your hands right this second? Horrific colonies of vile death.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Got Yer Christmas Present RIGHT HERE

Really, that's one-stop shopping, no?

It's my birthday... you know what that means, don't you?

Yes, of course. It's time for your annual Gerard Manley Hopkins.

It's my birthday, so suck it up.

Ahem. (Cue visual:)

(Cue sonorous voice:)

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;" Gerard Manley Hopkins

I love this poem. Nobody says "It's fall, it happens, you're getting older too, and you'll die someday, ya big effin' baby" like GMH.


Monday, November 17, 2008

YG and the new couch

The YG's hair recovered from the self-imposed mullet. Now she has an adorable, if slightly shaggy, pixie-bowl cut.
]Oh, god, it was just enough to make you want to BARF taking her in for her haircut at the beauty shop around the corner. The ladies in the shop were all "Awwww! She's so CUUUTE!! She looks so great even WITH her new hair cut!"

And I'm all NO, she is an evil awful little child, who CUTS HER OWN HAIR when she KNOWS she is not supposed to, whose soul is as black as her hair is red!

But does she hear that? No! She just hears that she's so goddamn cute she can do whatever she wants!

Bah! (And yes, that is a Cleopatra headdress that the OG has on in the background.)

Oh, and I got my new couch! (But not my new orange armchair. In a few weeks, they say.) And, I got a new coffee table and end table, too. Here they are, with far too many animals:

We decided against the cool-lookin' orange couch; as Milena aptly pointed out, it was not so comfy for sitting, humans. This one is not so adventurous, but is reasonably nice, and did not cost tons of money.

Now, when to update the 11-year-old TV, 16-year-old stereo, grunge-era media setup in my corner. let me dream about that, for as long as I've dreamed of a new couch, most likely.

Oh, and cats are stupid.

This one? Is a little freak. And has taken on the former-waif-turned-smug-bastard persona, just like her bubba Curbie.

Iris, for what it is worth, seems to have genuine gratitude to be here. This cat seriously will stand up on her hind legs to hug me. It's violently cute.

And yes, The Man's iron will regarding accepting the cats has stood up just as well as you thought it would. He totally loves them. (HA. I win.)

On a final note, it's my last night of being 38. Wanna go clubbing? I think tonight is the last night that I can, legally.

Monday, November 10, 2008

You HAVE to come and see the BABY!

Hello! Sorry no postage lately.

I got super crazy busy after the election - and by "busy" I of course mean "drunk" - and then on Thursday I took off for Fayetteville, Arkansas for a long weekend with Trish, Mike, their six-year-old OB, and their brand new, two-month-old YB...AND, for a huge added bonus, Erin, who also flew her preggers self down from Philly.

Oh, what a good time that was. I got an UNBELIEVABLY cheap flight there - turns out Fayetteville benefits hugely from being nearby the national hub of both Wal-Mart and Tyson, and the fact that apparently assloads of Texans who need to fly there on a regular basis. Hence, my round-trip ticket cost far less the gas would have cost to drive there...hell, it was less than our trip to Wurstfest, forty minutes south of here, last weekend.

This is the tiny bug himself, giving one of those early smiles that I miss so much from my own children:

Totally worth the price of admission, I say.

Northwest Arkansas is really, really beautiful, and Fayetteville, college town, home of the University of Arkansas, is a nice, tolerant blue beacon in a landlocked sea of Republican red. Trish took us on a winding road up the Ozarks to Eureka Springs, a lovely older town, founded on the industry of the healing hot springs a century ago, and now a quaint-n-touristy shopping destination.

Here's Trish and Erin after our scrumptious and healthy lunch of Eureka Springs french fries AND nachos AND onion rings:

Well worth your journey, if you are in the area, for the awesome cliffs alone.

Saturday, we went to this artists' colony outside Fayetteville called Terra, wherein they make millions upon millions of glass bluebirds:

and have little traipsy paths through the woods for the kidlings and the new-agey among us:
That was a great little day trip. (Hell, yeah, I got a bluebird. Because they're cool, and hand-blown, and that is what one does.)

Oh, man, though? COLD. In the twenties at night cold. I had on a sweater, a sweatshirt, and a coat there on Saturday afternoon. It felt kinda good, though; 80 degrees in November (which is what awaited me upon arriving in Austin yesterday) just does not feel right, somehow.

So, now, I'm back, recovering (although it was not super wild, me partying with a new mom and a five-month-old pregnant lady) and working. I'm sort of bemused at Obama's election; I find it difficult to reconcile my loser Democrat self with actually WINNING for a change. It's strange; like breaking in a new pair of shoes.

However pleased I am with the results from the national election, it's of course bittersweet on the local level. We lost two hard-fought campaigns for the U.S. House and Senate, and this state still remains reliably red, thumbing its nose in the face of an entire NATION shifting the other direction. Baby steps, I suppose.

But, do you know where can kiss my butt? Missouri. Yeah, you heard that right. My home state can just go hop off into the Mississippi River for all I care. Bellwether state my ass. I had always hoped that the I-70 influence of Kansas City - Columbia - St. Louis would spread to thhe rest of the state, but I'm afraid that the opposite is occurring, and that the whole damn place is becoming Bransonized.

Eh, screw 'em if they want to stick their head in the sand. Let the nation pass them by and let them be pushed further to the margins. I'll welcome them back if they open their eyes, but in the meantime, I'm going to push hard for the north half of the state to break away and become South Iowa.

I am at a loss, really for what to do with myself now. It was good to get away this past weekend and have conversations with real people, instead of obsessing over the election.

I hope to re-introduce myself into socializing soon, and even - dare I say it? PARENTING.

Oh, and speaking of that, do you wanna see what happened over at the Noxious's house yesterday, when the YG decided that she should take it upon herself to cut her own hair?

Here's before (on Halloween):

And afterwards (I had to take her picture when she was sleeping, because she abjectly refused when she was awake):

She cut BANGS into her own hair.

And, to tell you the truth, if she had just stopped a few inches short of cutting the left-hand side of her hair off, she wouldn't have done too bad a job!

If I am to look on the bright side, it's that perhaps there's a career in it. It's good to know she'll have an option besides stripping.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Crying in my living room

Hey, y' know, Michelle?

She's my first lady.

And those are some damn cute kids set to set up some bunk beds in the West Wing.

Sigh. OK, I will chill now.


So, John McCain picks his CONCESSION speech as the time to be gracious and warm? And to finally sound like the man he used to be eight years ago?

Because...that wouldn't have served him better, like, two months ago? Except he went all crazy negative with the Bill Ayers and anti-American and shit?

Whoever picked his campaign staff should be given a freagin' MEDAL.


Everyone say it with me now...


You had it here first.


Oh my GOD, I am SO NERVOUS about tonight, Y'ALL!!!!

I cannot get ANY work done. Seriously. It's like 10:30 AM - I've been at work for TWO AND A HALF HOURS - and cannot point to ANYTHING that I've accomplished.

(Except, um, a blog post. Is that something?)

I'll check back in later. Maybe I'll live-blog the election results. Unless I am attempting to HANG MYSELF.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Even better than the LAST one...

It's the latest campaign commercial from the Honeymooning Couple!

Best forty seconds I spent all day.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Much Unconnected Rambling

Hey there, intertubes. How's it going?

Myself, I'm still attempting to rouse myself from an annoyingly persistent coldish/fluish/allergish bug that has had me in its thrall for more than a week now. It started out as a cough and sore throat, and morphed into a general drippiness with sporadic bursts of low-grade fever. Sadly, though, nothing so severe as to allow me to miss work. As is true of all the moms I know, I feel I must save up those days for either kid illnesses or major coronary events.

Nor, I must admit, did it keep me from having a hella good time at Karla May's bachelorette bacchanalia lake-house getaway this past Saturday night with Jaye, Bookhart, Lindsay, and several other super-fun MILFs.

It was truly an evening for self-discovery; for example, I discovered that I SUCK at Guitar Hero, that I am not the indisputable karaoke queen that I thought I was, AND that I can, by myself, put a huge dent in a box of Target cabernet. (OK, truth be known, I had kinda already figured out that last one already.)

Ah, but my favorite find of the weekend had to be the videos that were provided for Karla May's edutainment by a friend of hers. I herein present to you an excerpt from the "Girls Night Out Club Dance" instructional videos:

Starring (named by us): Ashlee! Danielle! And Stanley, the double-jointed transvestite with the novelty teeth!

Oh, lordy, I have not laughed so hard, for so long, in I cannot tell you when. (And, yes, Jaye, I, too, am glad that video cameras were not present to record my attempts at following their hot club moves.)

It felt good to get away from everything - the election, the job, soccer practice, and FAR FAR away from the gym and the diet - and just chill. Thanks again, y'all. (And congrats to the blushing bride and her darling BH; of course. Happy endings? They do occur, sometimes, as it turns out!)

Now, of course, I'm right back to where I was when I left; obsessing about every tiny bit of minutia I can get from my various news sources. This is so sad, y'all. This has been my approximate media schedule for the past several weeks:

6:00 AM - 9:00 AM - NPR Morning Edition
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM - (alternately, but all are visited at least twice per day) Yahoo! News, Daily Kos, Democratic Underground, Wonkette, Talking Points Memo, FiveThirtyEight.Com, Electoral-Vote.Com, and (for horrific right wingnut political porn and crazy-people monitoring purposes ONLY) FreeRepublic.
4:00 - 6:00 PM - NPR All Things Considered
7:00 - 8:00 PM - Keith Olbermann
8:00 - 9:00 PM - Rachel Maddow
9:00 - 10:00 PM - Keith Olbermann again (when I catch everything I missed putting the kids to bed during the first airing)
10:00 - 10:30 PM - The Daily Show
10:30 - 11:00 PM - The Colbert Report

And, y'see, with THAT much news to keep up with, there is just so little time left for the children, and the husband-pleasing. (Eh, they'll be fine. They can all just go play with themselves for another week.)

(Obsessive interjection: Oh. I just CANNOT. STAND IT if that horrible old man and THAT WOMAN win. I. Will. Die. I will die die die die. I might not have been an Obama cultist-true believer in the beginning, but if THAT IS WHAT IT TAKES TO BEAT THESE FUCKERS, then I AM THERE. Sign me up to bring the palm fronds. I'll say the first hosanna.)

Oh, but, on a lighter note, I am SO gay for Michelle, y'all. Aren't you? I just think she is a stone fox.

(Obsessive interjection part two: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let her be our first lady and NOT Cindy McCain. I don't actually hate Cindy - or I didn't before that awful speech she made about Obama being un-American - but she is NOTHING compared to Michelle. And, oh, dear god, Todd Palin...TODD PALIN! AIEEE!)

And, to sum up...yeah, there be no theme present this evening. I am themeless., lacking a conclusion.

So, this blog posting hereby receives a C- in freshman English.

Friday, October 24, 2008

In Which I Defend Myself From Charges of Being A Crazy Cat Lady

We have a pet problem. Or, as perhaps my husband would argue, I have a pet problem; and, unfortunately for him, I live here.

And, if you only hear HIS side of the story, it looks, on the outside, that I have been personally responsible for bringing four animals into this house within the past 20 months.

But, I do humbly offer that, if the whole story is told, he bears some responsibility for the pet load.

And, it begins thusly:

When I met The Man in 1994, lo these many years ago, he lived in a crappy, dirty, bachelor pad-slash-cockroach farm over on the east side, with two roommates, and THREE CATS. (Hank, Patsy, and Dizzy. Yes, he was a music writer. However, they were all girls - even Hank and Dizzy - so perhaps he was going through a gender-confused period. Don't quote me on that.) I had, at the time, just one little kitten, my little Molly girl.

SO, at the time we met, HE was the crazy cat lady. I just want to make that PERFECTLY CLEAR.

Of course, when we moved in together in '95, we combined cats; his three, and my one. The four of them lived together in more or less harmony for many years; though, truth be told, Molly never really ceded trust to any of these interlopers. (Particularly Hank, she of the paranoia and the screaming yowl. The Man found her one night on the street while riding his bike home, and carried her, squirming, all the way home, cat in one hand, bike in the other. He was going to take her to the pound the next day, but then she was all in his lap. SUCKER!!!)

Things, pet-wise, were very stable, through a marriage, house-purchasing, and two kids. A couple of years ago, as we had dreaded for some time, we started to lose our (by now older) kitties. First sweet, cool Dizzy died, suddenly and without warning, as was her way. No frills, no fuss.

Right after that, the OG was going through a lot of anxiety - A LOT of anxiety - and it occurred to me that perhaps a pet was what she needed. My thoughts turned to a small dog, but upon a trip to Petco to investigate doghouses, a cat shelter lady stuck Curbie, the king of laid-back cats, into my arms. I brought him home, the OG flung him over her crooked elbow with not a complaint from the cat, and he was ours forever.

Here is Curbie, the former mangy waif, and now lump of fat smug bastardness:

But, you know? In my mind, Curbie was totally justified. She was freakin' out. And it worked. They've been mutually satisfied with their sleeping-together arrangements since day one. So there.

Anyway, then, the thought of a dog was still on my mind, and my mom suddenly offered to get me a Shih-Tzu. Guilty at the thought of obtaining a purebred dog, I searched in vain for some time for a small dog at the shelter; not having any luck, I eventually relented, hoping that my shelter karma had been fulfilled by Curbie's adoption the month prior. Hence Emmylou, the idiot dog, entered our lives.

(Yeah, I know. It was a lame rationalization for my actions. But, it feeds into my later actions, so stay with me.)

I tried several times to get a shot of her not licking her face. No luck. She's THAT kind of dog.

So, just to be clear, we then had: Molly, Patsy, Hank, Curbie, and the dog, EmmyLou.

But, then, our cat Hank - the yowling one found by the side of the road 12 years earlier - decided that she had had enough with the new additions, and decided to leave home. But - as we found out some weeks later, after vainly searching for her up and down every conceivable side street in our neighborhood, she did not run very far. She did, in fact, move TWO DOORS DOWN. The folks there had to feed her - what with the yowling and all - so though she had apparently decided that we could fuck off, she could not be arsed to actually run AWAY away.

OK. So, we were down now to Molly, Patsy, Curbie, and the dog. Then, my irascible Molly died last year, leaving just (yes, JUST) the two cats and the dog. The only one of our old cats left in our house was Patsy, the grouchy old woman who just wants the new kids to get off her lawn:

So, after Molly's death, I started to feel...just a little lonely for a kitteh to call my own. Thus, I began looking, half-heartedly, for a sweet cat, probably an adult shelter cat, because I still have BAD PUREBRED DOG KARMA to ward off. The girls and I saw a likely candidate at a shelter, and though they were agitating for a kitten, I gave them a long and impassioned speech about how adult cats don't get adopted, and that we really need to not get a kitten because they have a better chance of being adopted, and that this kitty had been abused and had had her front tooth kicked in and was therefore really a hard luck candidate, etc. Anyway, they seemed to buy it, and I told the shelter woman that I would likely take her.

This was Shirley, who is now Iris:

Iris, the formerly abused, and now loving (if a tince neurotic and smothering in her obsessive desire to SIT ON OUR LAP AT ALL TIMES) little girl, with the super-soft fur, and the transparent, endearing, delirious joy in the purchase of the $10 cat bed from Walgreens.

And then? The next morning? I saw Stella at the vet's office, with her little kitten self all clamoring at me:

Could you turn that down? No, I THINK NOT. Stella, adored by all, threatened by none, quickly realized that she owned this effing place. The prize sleeping spot in the house - square at my feet in my cushy pillowtopped bed - has been hers from the moment she arrived, and no one dares to challenge her (mostly because she will jump on them and bite their heads).

Still with me? I'm amazed.

HOWEVER, even I will entertain the notion that the addition of two cats within - um, two weeks - was not, perhaps, the most cognitively well-planned-out thing I have ever done.

Anyway, we were now up to (in order of acquisition): Patsy, Curbie, EmmyLou (the dog,) Iris, and Stella. That, you will agree, I am sure, is the absolute end number of animals that anyone should have in an 1,800 square foot home, correct?

Oh, but wait:

Last week The Man calls up and says to me, "Um...I caught Hank."

So, guess who also now lives with us, again? After not living here for like a year? Yep, it's the yowly one herself, now almost 15 years old, and sullenly (though not altogether unwillingly, it is cold, after all) submitting herself to house rule again:

So, at final count, we are now up to: Patsy, Hank, Curbie, Emmylou, Iris, and Stella.

So, your honor, I submit:

  • I am not the original cat lady of the family;
  • TWO of the animals were The Man's, originally;
  • I am only REALLY responsible for bringing home TWO AND A HALF of the other animals, because a) Curbie belongs to the OG, who needed him for THERAPUTIC REASONS, and b) because Emmylou is really not smart enough to construe one whole living entity. She only counts for a fraction of an animal;
  • And who knew Hank was ever coming home, anyway?
I rest my case.

*However, I fear he may trump me on one, small issue...he works at home all day, and thus has to be around them, like, 24/7. Again, though, that's not MY fault. He coulda been a pilot or something; I'm just sayin.'

Oh, but you must indulge me in a couple more pictures before I let you go.

The other night, when I went in to turn the OG's closet light out, I saw this sordid scene taking place in her bedroom:

No worriez, though. I iz not to tell of ur sekrit kitteh love.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I admit it; the Obama has me in his sway.

I found out when I got a weird little frisson when I voted today; sort of the "thrill down my leg" that Chris Matthews described. It was one of the first times I've felt really thrilled about a vote. (Maybe THE first time, come to think of it. I haven't voted for a string of super winners in my life, beginning with Dukakis and onward.

Eh, I guess I'd warmed pretty significantly to Clinton right before his first term, but I still thought he was too centrist for me to truly love. By the end of his first term, I was CERTAIN of that, and pulled the lever as a dutiful Democrat, but with no real enthusiasm. I didn't love Al Gore until his damned concession speech, when I saw the glimmer of the great man within, and I wept tears of pure anger that night; anger AT HIM, for not revealing it to us sooner.

Kerry was fine, but I responded to him cerebrally, not emotionally. He seemed a sensible choice, and a generally right-thinking person, other than the ever-lovin' war, of course. Sadly, though, I watched him, too, fall to the same evil slander - worse, even, this was a frickin' WAR HERO - that felled Gore. And, I knew it was going to happen when I cast my vote; hence, I was totally dejected when I did it.

I am certain that I am a walking cliche, for this, among many other, reasons. I am an edumacated, latte-drinkin' (and, is that not the most obnoxious stereotype? Every GD small-town lady I'VE met up in the wilds of Salado and Rockdale are more than familiar with a variety of different milky-frothy coffee drinks, and many even have the differing espresso/cappucino/latte cups to offer it to you in!) Austin-residing liberal with the fuel-efficient vehicle and the jam-packed recycling bin.

But, I dare say, I am feeling the H-word.

I hate to jinx anything, and I am indeed a superstitious fucker about these things. (Actually, that's only true of politics and football. Oh, dear god, WHAT AWFUL FUCKING FOOTBALL WENT ON THIS WEEKEND. But I digress.) I know it isn't over yet, and that a lot can happen in two weeks.

But what went on this weekend? When we learned that Hopey earned $150 MILLION dollars from people like me, contributing $35 with crossed fingers that we make it to the end of the month without going over?

And this horrible scary Michelle Bachmann, of the crazy eyes and the McCarthy-esque purge wishes? She goes on television, shooting her mouth off about ridding Congress of all those anti-Americans...and within 72 hours afterwards, her opponent - with the unlikely name of Elwyn Tinklenberg - has suddenly had $600 THOUSAND DOLLARS contributed to his election campaign?

And that our Democratic candidate for state representative - in TEXAS - in our GERRYMANDERED DISTRICTS, if y'all will recall our redistricting legislative folly from a few years back - IS COMPETITIVE? And the Senate candidate - while not as close; John Cornyn is a formidable foe - is within single digits?

It's the little things like this - and not just That One - that are giving me reason to jump a little bit in the voting booth. (I did, just a teeny bit. Just a little bounce.)

Even if - EVEN IF - the worst thing happens...then I know, more than ever before, that I am NOT alone in this country, and I am NOT the "fringe."

For just a little bit, it's been great to be in the majority.

And no, I do NOT want to recap the UT-Missouri football game this weekend.

That we WENT TO. And paid for NOT ONLY a babysitter, but ALSO the horribly expensive tickets (within three figures! Apiece! Yes! My going-out money for MORE THAN A WHOLE MONTH!) for what was the shittiest three hours I have spent since - oh, since I stopped having to go to the laundromat!

The Man - who should have been thrilled - was even disappointed. "I'm sorry, honey," he says to me, EVEN KNOWING that his tail-allottment for the month was seriously in jeopardy - "I was really hoping that this would be a competitive game!"

Bah. BAH. Heisman trophy, my large midwestern ass.

Speaking of money we don't have, I am thinking of getting a new couch.

In what is just an awful turn of events, the idiot Shi-Tzu took out her miffedness - about us not keeping her backyard mowed to her low-slung tickly-bellied satisfaction, apparently - out on us by PEEING on it.

I have soaped and sterilized and vinegared and Pet-Pee-B-Gone'd it to death, but when it's humid in here, it just...still smells. (And, it smells like all the other stuff I put on it, too. So it smells like really clean, and vinegary...pee.)

Anyway, I'm considering this:

Thoughts? You don't have to like it. I can dig it. But I'd like to move in a more contemporary direction, you know?

I have the 50's house, I think I should have some 50's-like furniture, too. Only microfiber. Because - well, we have a goddamn PEEING DOG.*

*who is now under couch arrest. Like, she is faced with four vociferous shouts of "GET OFF THE COUCH" whenever her eye gaze falls more than a foot above the floor.


Finally, I leave you with my geekiest YouTube ever.

I give you: "Les Misbarack"

Fair warning: There is a musical involved. But it is only three minutes. You will live.

But if you love this sort of thing -as I do, with all my heart - then enjoy. And I love "Eponine."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Girl Scout Camping, 2008

Camping isn't what it used to be, back when I was a girl, sleeping in a friggin' field for that one night of "Day Camp," in North Kansas City, MO, sans tent.

And for this, thank you, Baby Jesus.

I was told there would be cabins, but I was not expecting what was, essentially, a lodge:
I know it's not all that fancy or anything, but this wasn't the dining hall...this was our CABIN. Or, rather, this was the dining/commons area of our cabin, with the ceiling fans and tasteful wrought-iron light fixtures, AND

the real-live mattresses on our "rustic-look" bunks, AND

the television, VCR, boom box, and comfy couches, AND

the fridge, microwave, sink, toaster oven, and TWO WASHERS AND TWO DRYERS.

This was the brand-new dining hall:

.. chock full o' wired girls and goddamn near HOMICIDALLY PISSY moms:

Next year, I am SO bringing hooch. And I won't chicken out again. Like I, every other time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm Finding My Happy Place

Hey! Hi! I've been at Girl Scout camp all weekend! Yes, again! It was that time again!

And there's this Girl Scout song about a "Rigabamboo?" (Sp?) That they sing seven or eight times a day? And it stays in your head for ever and ever and ever?

Wine. Silence. Oh, pretty please?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

This is the only thing that made me laugh today:

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Round Two

Another debate over, Sen. Hopey won, blah blah blah.

"That one?" Please. McLame, your condesencion is so five weeks ago.

What REALLY bears commenting upon is how COOL the Debate Pleasureometers on CNN are.

Have you seen these? Apparently, they gave a bunch of Undecided Ohio Votors some little knobs that they can twiddle to indicate whether they liked an answer, or were meh on it, or REALLY REALLY LIKED it, or REALLY REALLY HATED it, and thus generate a very compelling little advancing line graph, with a different color line for men and for women. (Hard to say for sure, but it appeared that the wimmin were definitely playing with their knobs for Barry. His baritone is really nice, I must admit.)

Seriously, men...wouldn't you just LOVE if the women in your life had a little Pleasureometer, so that you could immediately see her response to whatever you're saying or doing? Like, you took out the trash AND did the dishes AND dusted the blinds unbidden, and you could look over at the line graph on her forehead, and be all like "MAN, I am in GOOD tonight?"

Or, conversely, when you leave your goddamn size thirteen boats under the coffee table for the ten millionth time, you could just check your stats real fast, and thus stop the grouchy train that is about to plow through the living room?

I'm just sayin'.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Too Drunk to Text

Hmm...I am finding that I truly am a gal of the new millenium. Gosh, there's a whole new world of stuff out there that I can now be too drunk to do!

Actually, I'm sober now; I was drunk on FRIDAY (as I always am when Karla stops in on her semi-annual trips home). However, the hangover lasted through Saturday, AND Sunday...and, in a Mags first, pretty much for most of the day today, albeit in a new and exciting old-lady form that I shall not describe in detail here.

It was a good time, man. A bunch of my favorite bloggers - Lee, Bookhart, Badger, Karla May, Malcontent Mama, and Jaye - and several new friends, including Dave here, met at Opal Devine's for drinks-n-fried pickle spears (the latter of which burned the roof of my mouth into hamburger. I know. Gross. But it bore noting.)

In the quest to be fabulously good on my diet, I ate only a few little shrimp, and judiciously - of course - chose MARTINIS to drink. I think I had two, and then switched to wine. We then advanced to the Jackalope, wherein they pour the MOST DELICIOUS creamy thick Belhaven Scottish Ale you have EVER had...and they were FREE, thanks to the, of course, I had to throw a couple of beers into that equation.

How lit up was I? Who can say, really. The only solid evidence that I have is that I accidentally drunk-texted Connie when I was trying to drunk-text Cristen to see how the kids were doing. (Connie was not, in fact, watching my children, as it turns out, because she lives 2000 miles away. So, you can imagine her confusion. And mine, because I still have a slow-texting one-letter-at-a-time cell phone, and that was a whole damn lot of letters to punch in to say something like " not babysitting for me! Haw! Haw haw haw!")

Rumor has it that, upon picking up my children at the Noxious's house, that Bob teased me for being inebriated, at which I declared loudly "I'm not inebriated, I'M AWESOME!" But that is unsubstantiated, I must remind you. (Except by Cristen and Lee...and, really, who trusts then?)

Thankfully, nobody has any pictures of it. AND DON'T GO LOOKING AT KARLA'S BLOG. Because there are NO PICTURES THERE. Walk away.

For what it's worth, I paid for it dearly the rest of the weekend. I was unable to participate in the Flying Saucer beer festival the next day, and just didn't have the stomach (or the heat tolerance) to go nuts at North By Northwest's Oktoberfest on Sunday.

But, Karla - you always bring the fun. Hope you don't have to bring it so far for much longer.
So I have to go to bed now. Nothing to stay awake for.

Because The Man had to attend the funeral of an old friend today - one that was our age, with kids the same age as ours - in his old hometown that was just handed a death sentence of its own, and we are solidly bummed.

Because I can't watch Heroes, due to some stupid effing fee fight between our NBC affiliate and Time Warner Frakkin Cable.

Because my entire lower abdomen feels as though I've been eating helium balloons made of sandpaper and then doing lemon juice shooters.

Because my younger child, still in the throes of her CRAZINESS, has worn me out.

Because if I watch any more Olbermann or Maddow today - with the McCain/Palin Sofa King Stupid Crappe Du Jour - I will pull my own eyeballs out.

Day? I am SO OVER you.

Friday, October 03, 2008