Monday, April 28, 2008

In Which I Bitch About The Lights of My Life


That's better.

I'm on my couch, Keith Olbermann playing in the background - soon to be Jon Stewart (or perhaps a Tifaux of How I Met Your Mother. I'm getting upside down on my Tifauxed stuff.)

Sigh. I think I was a bit rough on the OG tonight. The thing about ADHD is that it's really cyclical; sometimes you are in a really good place, and have your shit together; other times you are just adrift.

The OG is going through one of those ebb times right now, and she is making me just a teeny bit effing psychotic, what with all the overactivity and hypersensitivity to sounds/smells/lights and the ARGUING and the LOUD VOICE. And the complete inability to do homework that she could do in her sleep.

It's not a big deal, in the big scheme of things. School trouble has been minor, though we've been on a twice weekly warningy "I signed the book" type of schedule for several weeks now, and there've been a few comments from her after-school care folks along the lines of how hyper she's gotten just recently. Nothing earth-shattering there, and ultimately she's still MUCH better than she used to be, but it's just disappointing to hear this stuff again, after it's been so long with nothing but glowing reviews of her this year.

I'm not sure what's going on...probably the end of school, combined with her annual "sick for a month" interlude. (She used to get like this after a bad strep infection. Lately, it's been after anything that lays her low, not necessarily strep.)

Oh. AND. LEST YOU THINK that the YG remains her pure, darling, innocent self through all this, my DARLING BABY has turned into an Evil Whining Monster this week. I swear, that child? When she has low blood sugar? Which appears to be ALL DAY LONG? Is a NIGHTMARE. Any given breakfast, your chances are extremely good that she will freaking dissolve over any of the following reasons:

  • Not enough milk/banana/raisins on cereal
  • Too much milk/banana/raisins on cereal
  • Not enough cereal in bowl
  • The wrong cereal in bowl (except that it was the one she SAID she wanted)
  • She didn't get to pour in the milk
  • She didn't get (juice/milk/ice water)
  • She didn't WANT (juice/milk/ice water)
  • I touched her with (wet/cold) hands
  • She wanted eggs after all
  • Now her eggs are cold
Thank you. Thank you for vasectomies, Baby Jesus.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Doctors and Vets

I spent far too much of today in either the vet's office or the doctor's office. That always makes me feel a little cheated; like the universe owes me a couple extra hours at the end of the day.

Sadly, though, as this has not been proffered, I shall have to console myself with a Weight Watchers Big! Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Bar, my flicker of light, my solitary solace, in an otherwise drab dietary existence.

The vet trip was for my cat Patsy; she's got some sort of bone chip in her right elbow. Trouble is, though she's in pretty good shape, she is 15 years old, and it might not be such a great idea to put her through all that anesthesia and such. But, she was really limping, so we were going to do it today...and then, my vet got a little concerned that the bone fragment might be in a more complicated place than he thought, so he decided not to do it after all. Now, we're waiting for the opinion of the $pecialist, from down in South Austin - from the clinic that I know all too well, from trying to clear up all of Molly's various ailments a year or so ago.

Thus, we wait. I have to admit, though, after losing two cats in a month, and having one divorce us, I'm inclined to pamper the two we have left.

(Oh, I didn't tell you, besides Molly, we lost our little stray, Simon, who had feline leukemia. And, when I say "stray," I mean it in the sense that he lived with us for 10 years. In our garage, but still. And, I also didn't tell you that our cat Hank, who has lived WITH us for 14 years, decided that the addition of the new cat and the goddamn dog was the straw that broke the camel's back, and she has RUN AWAY, to live on the front porch of our neighbors TWO DOORS DOWN. Seriously, we cannot catch her; we've tried a dozen times. We're still buying her food, though, and bringing it down to the people that live there. They can't stop feeding her, or she will NOT SHUT UP. I know they're not lying, either, because she is annoyingly loud. And an ungrateful little shit, to boot.)

For my own self, I spent a lot of the afternoon at the orthopedist, wherein I was investigating some long-ignored pain in my left ankle and right wrist. The ankle might be some cartilage breaking down; I had the same thing in my other ankle a few years back, and had surgery to clean it all out. So, there'll perhaps be some upcoming crutchy Vicodiny joy; stay tuned.

The wrist, I was sure it was carpal tunnel. Dr. Stoic McSerious concurred, and he sent in his tech to do a nerve test for CT. Now, people, have you seen these things? They're like stickers with electrodes in them, hooked up to both a little electronic controller and your wrist and fingers. When the guy starts the little test, electronic pulses go up and down your wrist, and it gives you little shocks that make your fingers involuntarily curl up. It is freaky-deaky, friends, and while not painful per se, is not really super-pleasant.

The upshot is - not CT, or not yet, anyway; I don't have nerve damage yet, so we're not to the point of surgery. (Or drugs. Crap. I just get stupid occupational therapy and a wrist brace.) But, hey, leave it to The Man to point out the bright side - "Hey, good thing it's not your really, um, important hand."
On that crass note, I read in the comments on Karla's blog that her brother has invented a holiday for men called "Steak and B.J. Day." It falls on March 14, exactly one month after Valentine's Day.

The Man is perplexed: WHY has this holiday not been thought of already, and ARE YOU ALL WITH HIM to start a NATIONAL MOVEMENT?

Monday, April 21, 2008

And the winners are:

I can't do strikethrough, for some reason. Likely because I'm deficient in some way. So, I shall improvise:

1. "I'M NOT SHOUTING! ALL RIGHT, I AM! I'M SHOUTING, I'M SHOUTING, I'M SHOUT..." [Candlestick falls from above and hits him on the head]
JoyB, you get that one. It's from Clue, one of the BEST slapstick/group comedies EVER. Shit; I even forgot to use my favorite line..."Communism is just a red herring!"

2. "How shall we fuck off, O Lord?"
Pod wins. Life of Brian. It changed my little nerdy teenaged life.

3. "She doesn't get eaten by the eels at this time."
JoyB got that one, too. Oh, but Joy is a scofflaw and did not see the "one entry" rule. It is the strap for her. The Princess Bride, of course. Too easy. I should have tried harder. How about "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife!" Would you all have gotten that one? How about "No rhymes now, I mean it!/Anybody want a peanut?"

4. "Don't forget to kill Philip!"
Whaaat? Nobody? It's Shaun of the Dead. Seriously worth adding to your cult array, folks.

5. "No tongues..."
Young Frankenstein. Joy got it, but Karla, I'm giving that one to you. Or Trish. You're my Madeline Kahn.

6. "I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They're not much bigger than two meters."
The Man got that one. And the OG. Star Wars, natch.

7. "He's making violent love to me, mother!"
It's a Wonderful Life. Georgianna, I'm going to give it to you; you said "the Christmas movie with Jimmy Stewart." (I'm presuming that your familial holiday traditions don't include gathering around the TV to watch Rope every year. But, what do I know?)

8. "The review for 'Shark Sandwich' was merely a two word review which simply read 'Shit Sandwich.'"
This Is Spinal Tap. JoyB, you are a master. Damn you, JoyB!! (shakes fist)

9. "I had a dream. In fact, it was on the night I met you. In the dream, there was our world, and the world was dark because there weren't any robins and the robins represented love. And for the longest time, there was this darkness. And all of a sudden, thousands of robins were set free and they flew down and brought this blinding light of love. And it seemed that love would make any difference, and it did. So, I guess it means that there is trouble until the robins come."
OK, now, I am not EVEN telling you this one. Sigh. Do I HAVE to bring out the big guns? "Yes, that's a human ear, all right."
"I'll fuck anything that moves!"
"Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst! Blue! Ribbon!

10. "YOUR hearse?"
"Ohhhh! Then you shall take ME home!"
Harold and Maude. A wonderful love story; one of my very favorites, though recently tempered ever so slightly by Bud Cort's paranoid interview with Chris Garcia in our local daily. (Wiley Wiggins' blog gives Cort's rebuttal, though, and it might be true; Cort might be paranoid, but I can in fact imagine that Chris Garcia is a bit of a tool, himself.) Whatever; it's one effing great movie.

And there you have it. Song lyrics next!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Movie Quote Challenge

Name 'em. You get credit. On THIS VERY BLOG. No Googling...or looking at my profile to see what my favorite movies are...and I MEAN IT.

One vote per customer; they're easy. (Especially if you've, um, ever met me. Or met anyone my age who's anything vaguely like me. Which is not uncommon.)

It's just that simple.

1. "I'M NOT SHOUTING! ALL RIGHT, I AM! I'M SHOUTING, I'M SHOUTING, I'M SHOUT..." [Candlestick falls from above and hits him on the head]

2. "How shall we fuck off, O Lord?"

3. "She doesn't get eaten by the eels at this time."

4. "Don't forget to kill Philip!"

5. "No tongues..."

6. "I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They're not much bigger than two meters."

7. "He's making violent love to me, mother!"

8. "The review for 'Shark Sandwich' was merely a two word review which simply read 'Shit Sandwich.'"

9. "I had a dream. In fact, it was on the night I met you. In the dream, there was our world, and the world was dark because there weren't any robins and the robins represented love. And for the longest time, there was this darkness. And all of a sudden, thousands of robins were set free and they flew down and brought this blinding light of love. And it seemed that love would make any difference, and it did. So, I guess it means that there is trouble until the robins come."

10. "YOUR hearse?"
"Ohhhh! Then you shall take ME home!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm sure you've all already seen this one...

...but I'm new to Pearl:

It's so very, very wrong.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

ACL Fest list posted

Hey, out-of-towners, the Austin City Limits Festival list is up.

Hmmmmm....the Foo Fighters, David Byrne, Duffy, Vampire Weekend, Gnarls Barkley, Gogol Bordello? Robert Plant with Allison Krauss? Gillian Welch? Beck?

And, it's later in September this year...and maybe thus not quite as effing hot?

Tempting. I say tempting.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Oh, what a nice weekend this was, in the AusTex. Warm in the sun, but neither hot nor humid. Sunny, breezy, blue-sky'd goodness; two of the - perhaps five? - PERFECT days per year that we get.

Happily, we spent most of both days outside. Yesterday, the OG consented to be in a little local track meet - much to the joy of The Man - and we were there for most of the morning. (Third in the 100-meter dash, thank you very much...and against some SERIOUS li'l track stars, let me tell you. No, seriously, they had coaches and track spikes and everything.0

Afterwards, we fulfilled the contractual bribery obligation we had arranged prior to the meet, and indulged the OG in a trip to Dobie Mall for pizza and a trip to the geekboy Star Wars figurine shop. (She settled on "Leia as the bounty hunter Boushh," which came with its own, little, tiny, Thermal Detonator! I could not be more proud.)

Then, after that, we were sort of at a loss for what to do. It certainly crossed our minds to hang out at the house the rest of the day, but, what with the nice and all, it seemed like a waste. So, on a whim, we decided to go out for a drive to see wildflowers, which is something we do every year about this time. Normally, we participate in the peculiar Texas pathology of ill-advisedly hauling of the children out of the car on the side of the busy road to force them to sit in the bluebonnets. We had heard that the 'bonnets weren't going to be too spectacular this year towards the west, so we went east a fair bit outside of town, and kinda made a big square back to Austin.

Sadly, though, the child endangerment did not occur this year. There's a lot of paintbrush and primroses, but the bluebonnets were quite sparse. So, just hold off on that there call to CPS, buddy.

Coming back home from the south, The Man took a swing into Bastrop State Park, a.k.a. the home of the "lost pines." Now, The Man and the OG have been there, camping, but I've never been there before. It was really QUITE beautiful. There is truly this big stand of huge, tall pine trees, smack dab in the middle of Texas, with no really apparent reason to be there. We got out, hiked around there for a bit, and marveled at the thick carpet of pine needles under our feet.

The YG really does not get the whole "roughing it" thing, as you will probably garner from the fairy dress. (True story; she was sitting under a tree, humming to herself. I asked her if she was playing a game. She said, yes, she was, and asked if I wanted to know the name of her game. I said that I did, and she sighed, looked at me wistfully, and answered "The Land Before Love.")

The OG, after the previous comment sent her into an apoplectic fit:

When the sun went down, we decided to stop in for dinner at this little place called the Roadhouse, right outside of Bastrop State Park. Honestly, it didn't look like much on the outside; kind of faux-atmospherish and country-cutesy. I didn't think it'd even really tempt me off my diet, 'cause a lot of those places use frozen fries, standard white buns, that sort of thing. But - DAYUM. I was WRONG. That was just about the best hamburger I've had in a LONG time. The fries were clearly hand-cut and fried in really good oil. I NEVER get ice-cream shakes, but they, too, were outstanding.

We shall just, um, leave the diet status unreported on for yesterday, for my shame is too great.

Today, the OG had a softball game - or, was supposed to, except that the other team, erm, didn't show up. So, her team had a scrimmage instead, and we called it a day.

Afterwards, having no real desire to go home and fold the Everest of Laundry piled up on our bed, we decided to evade all responsibilities by parking ourselves at the Central Market playscape all afternoon, with the Bookhart and Noxious clans joining us and entertaining our kids. The Man, that was one brilliant idea.

Tonight; salmon filets rubbed in Madras curry, salt, pepper, and garbanzo flour, steamed broccoli, and expensive-root-beer root-beer floats for the other three; not me, in a fruitless attempt to regain my dignity after last night.

Sigh. I'm very satisfied with my weekend. You?

OK, all you PC users? You want to know WHY you should switch to Mac?

Because of the built-in camera, and PhotoBooth, with which you can do things like THESE!

Oh, I'm so very glad I spent $1400 on this thing. So worth it.

So, I have to ask...which is the most disturbing picture?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I am remiss... congratulating...gulp...the KU Jayhawks on their national championship.

I hate to say it, but that may have been the finest final three minutes of regulation play that I have ever seen.

God help me, but...Monday night, I actually thought...urg...of uttering the phrase "Rock Chalk Jayhawk."

(Never fear; it was a brief sickness, and I'm sure it will pass soon.)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Princess Party - Survived!

Yes, folks, today, my house was filled with ten shiny, beautiful, three-to-five-year-old princesses, dressed to the nines and ready to party.

And man, what a party. We made ourselves VERY sparkly, sang Disney karaoke (for reals,) ate not nearly enough of a massive "Enchanted" cake, opened MANY fabulous girly presents, and put the hit on a large pink-n-purple castle-shaped pinata.

(As a side note, damn, I hate those cardboard pinatas. They're horribly hard to break. Thanks to the older kiddos - OG, Wonder Boy, and Young Sir Noxious - for finishing it off, but I do have to give big snaps to a couple of the young'uns - tulle and satin dresses notwithstanding - for putting a couple of hearty dents in it. I shall never look at the Geej or Annie O in the same way again. I fear you two. But in a good way.)

Chalk that off of the list of things to accomplish in my life. I have successfully hosted two costumed, girly, fourth-birthday parties; I shall never host another, I'm guessing (if the example from the OG holds true, then princesses will only hold sway in our house until elementary school starts, and then they will be completely taboo, never to be mentioned again).

And, yes, I, too, put on what I had that passes for a princess dress - the pink taffeta dress I wore to my high school reunion - and dusted off my rhinestones (which actually WERE from high school). How could I not?

(Please, do note my bling, and the sparkles. I would like to go on record that I WAS VERY SPARKLY.)
I'm missing a lot of my peeps; the ones that don't live in Austin.

For all y'alls, I would like to posit this opinion; nay, this fact: You would ALL be WAY happier if you lived here, in Austin, near me.

Hey, how could I be wrong? It's warm here! They have awesome enchiladas and barbecue! And margaritas! And South Congress shops and music everywhere and decent jobs and about the last existing place in the country in which the housing market isn't collapsing! And me! And did I mention it's warm?

Yeah, I'm talking to you, Denver. You too, Arkansas, all of Washington State, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Oslo, Boston, and Houston! (And, Hellooo, Cleveland!)

Oh, no pressure. You don't really HAVE to move here. However, I'm just 100% sure, down deep in my heart, that, one way or the other...erm, SOMEONE would be happier if you lived here.

For y'all, you get a video. (It's not a very good one; it's just one somebody made. However, the song is great; one of my favorites, actually.)

Enjoy. And then move here.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Kittehs on the Brain

Your feel-good forward du jour, courtesy of my mother:

So, these two brothers in London raised a lion cub until it got too big to live in the city, and then sent it to a game preserve in Africa.

A year later, they went to see it, and they were told that the lion wouldn't remember them; see what happened thus:

Sorry. Feeling maudlin.

I'm taking the WHOLE DAY off tomorrow...just to clean my house! Yaah!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Good and The Bad of My Day

The good first: It was the YG's fourth birthday today! Yaaay!

Here are a sample of this year's birthday looks, ALL courtesy of my sister, the spoiler of nieces:

First, the flowered, full-skirt dress:

The tiara adds a nice touch, no? The dress says "sweet little girl," the tiara says "on your knees, bitch."

Next, the "good girl," ultra-feminine, innocent, soft pink A-line:

Soft, lovely, just right for those occasions when we're lazing on the veranda sipping sloe gin.

Next, the SHOCKING! look for spring: the orange cha-cha dress, with satin headband, gloves, pearls, AND...wait for it...white go-go boots!

And, finally, the clingy sixties nylon clingy number, also accessorized with the boots and gloves:

The MIL has presented us with another dress; a gossamer white fluffy cake-ish confection of tulle and satin roses that we have not even gotten on yet for a picture. Thankfully, it will not be wasted; it will be worn, as will all of the others, constantly. They go on, off, and on again, several times per day, depending on the mood, and the occasion.

I love you, too, YG. It's fun to have a girly girl to dress up, and it's good to have a counterpoint to the Star Wars-obsessed tomboy who has taken up residence in the other end of the house. Welcome to KidDom!

The bad: We put Molly to sleep today. Molly, my fourteen-year-old cat of twenty lives, the cat we have wrenched from the jaws of death time and time again - at the cost of literally THOUSANDS of dollars that we really didn't have - finally succumbed to illness and age.

She took a big downturn this weekend, while I was gone. The Man said that she had more or less stopped eating and drinking. I filled her amoxicillin and prednisone prescription when I got back, and started trying to force-hydrate her with syringes full of water (and bits of food,) but she wasn't really responsive. (She was still pissed, though, and though she was very weak, I still got a few swipes at my hand for my trouble.)

Most troubling, it looked like her herpes had returned, both in her eye and her mouth. The mouth was bleeding A LOT, and her eye had swollen shut, with more swelling around her forehead and cheek. I figured that the end was near, but I kept with the medicine, in hopes, and figured that she would just go peacefully at some point.

When I woke up this morning, her eye had closed completely with a horrible amount of junk in it,the swelling was worse in her cheek and head, and blood was continuing to drip in a steady stream out of her mouth. The herpes had definitely returned, and it was clearly not responding to the medicine. I called our vet - a very good and decent man - and asked if she was in any pain, and he asked if he could see her.

I dropped her off, and actually run away, like I thought I was going to escape this conversation somehow. By the time I got back to my office, the vet had called me back almost immediately, and said that he felt that, yes, she was likely in pain from the infections, even if she couldn't show it, and that her heart had slowed to the point that further intervention would not likely be of benefit.

So, The Man accompanied me back to the vet, and we held her and petted her, and she seemed to know that we were there. (In true Molly fashion, she flicked her tail in irritation a few times due to us petting her too much, but she was not able to move any more than that. It felt oddly good to piss her off one last time, though.)

We stayed for the anesthesia, but not for the final shot; honestly, it was all I could bear to even do that much. Neither of us had ever done that before, and it was so very sucky, let me tell you.

So, here's a picture of Molly in happier days, when she would love to cram her big butt into way-too-small places:

That's my girl. (We've all been there, right, ladies?)

Thanks for all your kind words. We loved her very much.

One more bit of you want to see the guitar?

It's a Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker, satin cherry finish. Not real fancy, but it feels nice in the hands; light, slim bridge, easy on the fingers...seems a good "girl guitar." Holds a tune nicely. I am having a sudden urge to take lessons with it; to heck with the OG!

Here's Gina Schock's autograph (obsessive closeup courtesy of the OG:)

I heart this guitar. And I want to learn something besides what I already know, which is basically major-key rhythm chords that cover only the first four frets.