Monday, December 18, 2006

A Born Smartass And We Couldn't Be More Proud

Lisa: Huh?
Liz: Uh huh.
Lisa: What?
Liz: Okay!
Lisa: What did you say?
Liz: Uh huh.
Lisa: Wait, I mean I didn't hear the first thing you said.
Liz: Seven.
Lisa: WHAT???
Liz: Purple.
Lisa: Ohhhhh... I get it! You're messing with me.
Liz: 42.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sisterly Love: Part #498

"I loth you."

"You what?"

"I loathe you."

"Uhn?"

"It means I hate you. I'm trying to expand my vocabulary and thanks to my language arts teacher... I loathe you."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wherein I Lose Patience And Go Off On A Wild Monkey Tangent

Em: You have to give me $3 for lunch. My account is empty and I already owe $6.

Lisa: I added $50 to your account yesterday morning. It's fine.

Em: No! No, it isn't fine! I already owe $6!

Lisa: Honey, the $6 debt will be paid out of the $50 I put in. It's fine.

Em: But you did it yesterday! I won't have any lunch today! Or tomorrow!

Lisa: Yes, you will. I added $50; you have plenty of lunch money.

Em: No! You don't understaaaaaaaand! It takes three days for them to add it in!

Lisa: I did it on the computer. It's fine.

Em: No! I'm telling you! It takes THREE DAYS for them to add it in!

Lisa: Emily. The system is computerized. It does not take three days.

Em: Yes! YES, IT DOES! IT DOES! IT TAKES THREE DAYS!!

Lisa: Emily, there is no point in having the system be computerized if it still takes three days.

Em: IT DOES! IT DOES!

Lisa: [end of patience] I'll call the school and find out for sure, okay? But three days? Monkeys could do it faster!

Em: Tree monkeys?

Lisa: Those quick little ones with the tiny hands? Sure. Yes! Tree monkeys could do it faster. Big, slow, old, retired monkeys could do it faster. Gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees. They could do it faster. Blind monkeys. Any kind of monkeys, they could all do it faster than three days.

Em: No, I said trained monkeys. Could trained monkeys do it faster?

Lisa: Yes! Definitely. Asleep monkeys could still do it faster.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday: Post Secret Day

Every Sunday, my little ritual (well, one of them, right after thanking sweet baby Jesus for everything good in my life) is to check out the secrets newly posted on Post Secret. Do you freakin' know about this? NO? Go. There. Now. You must!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Bright Side

Em: Ohhhh.... Uggggh.... It huuuurts.

Lisa: I know, honey. The medicine hasn't kicked in yet.

Em: I'm looking forward to the next half hour of moaning and groaning.

Lisa: Looking forward to it?

Em: Yep. It's the highlight of my day.

Pro-Choice On Delilah

From the latest Rolling Stone magazine, Tracy Morgan has a theory that there are two kinds of women in the world: Delilahs and not-Delilahs, women that give you strength and that take your strength.

This of course got me thinking about which type I am. Answer: I can go either way. It really comes down to what mood I'm in and how many ignorant/insulting/insensitive/invalidating things he's said lately.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Honestly, If You Knew What Was Going On Around Here And How Busy I Am Hand-holding, You'd Be Less Upset About Infrequent Posts.

Twenty more fascinating facts about me:

21. If I changed my first name, I'd change it to Sallie. Or Charlotte. Or Isabel.

22. I own only one pair of high heels, in red silk.

23. I knew I was going to marry Ken the first time I met him.

24. My favorite animal is the giant tortoise.

25. I am not afraid of bugs, spiders, reptiles, rodents, snakes, or other creepy crawly-types. (but my husband is, so it works out.)

26. Sometimes I create character amalgams for my blog. Like HND, for example. He's a character based on 6 neighborhood guys I found very attractive, but also not. It turns out they are just really good dads, a trait I find attractive.*

27. I meditate every day, for about 20 minutes.

28. I read somewhere years ago that Bill Cosby's kid's names all begin with the letter E, for excellence. I really liked that idea & named my kids Elisabeth and Emily.

29. I do not have a sordid past. I'm neither proud of that fact nor do I regret it.

30. My feet are completely flat and always have been.

31. I only have 24 teeth, having lost many in bar fights. That last part is a lie.

32. I often apologize, but usually it's to make myself feel better, not the other person. But if the other person thinks it's for them, then that's nice too.

33. I knew I would be bff with Amber the first time I met her.

34. I knew I'd be bff with Joannie the first time I met her, too.

35. I raced quarter midget race cars for 8 years when I was a kid.

36. I've only recently learned to trust my own intuition. It has never failed me and the more I listen to it, the more it has to say.

37. I have tended to "hang in there" far too long with bad situations, bad friendships, bad jobs, etc. hoping things would get better. Now I'm learning it's better to know when to walk away, and then do it.

38. I love getting older and wiser, especially the wiser part.

39. I was a very neat & tidy child. As an adult I'm much more relaxed and like to say "I keep house casually."

40. I prefer to either buy books or speed-read them at the bookstore as I find libraries very depressing.

* None of the 6 HND inspirations live on Richmond Ct. or read this blog. That is not to say you aren't a lovely person and/or a very good father.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Day 30: No Mo NaBloPoMo!

This is it, the last day of NaBloPoMo! I have to admit, I kind of liked doing it. I felt like I had to, like I owed it to M. Kennedy and everyone else sweating it out, doing their daily blogging. Did I mention when I started this there would be prizes? Oh, yes! Fabulous prizes! There are about 9000 bloggers and something like 28 prizes, but fingers crossed y'all! I could win something!

When I made a commitment to daily blogging, I also made a list of ideas, possible topics, other things I could do, etc. I even bought a book of 100 suggestions for what to write about on a blog, although I never actually resorted to using it. The one thing I'd planned but didn't get around to writing about was HND, the Hot Neighborhood Dad. Or, as a miscreant friend of mine refers to him as, FILF. I think to celebrate the end of this month, it's high time I tell you who he is. So I will. Tomorrow, December 1st, when I start Holidailies, the December-into-January version of what I just finished doing. Because it never ends.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Day 29: The Key To A Long & Happy Marriage Is Good Communication or Uh Oh, When Did We Become My Grandparents?

Lisa: I'm not sure about hanging these pictures... I think I need to cut out templates and arrange them on paper first.
Ken: So that woman, Carol, you think I should call her back again?
Lisa: First I need more coffee. Did you finish it or is there some left?
Ken: I left her a message yesterday & she's been good about returning calls. Maybe I'll wait until this afternoon.
Lisa: I'm used to half regular/half decaf now, but I think I need to make a bigger pot since I can drink more.
Ken: Oh, and Tom too. Nah, I'll give him until this afternoon also.
Lisa: No, I guess I want to drink more, since I know I can. And I just like holding the warm cup.
Ken: Okay. I need something to do to keep me busy until then.
Lisa: I think I'll make more coffee and then do the pictures.
Ken: I'm going downstairs.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Day 28: If I only could, I'd make a deal with God, and get him to swap our places.*


My closest match at My Heritage Celebrity Look-Alikes was.... Kate Bush! I'm quite pleased with the results as I adore her beautiful music and she wears leaves in her hair, which is always fetching. So hurry along now to see which eccentric English person should play you when they finally get wise and make the movie.

* Oh, relax! It's just a song lyric. I don't really want to swap with Kate and live out on some haunted moors. On the other hand, I bet it's very quiet there...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Day 27: Guess Who?

"The back of my Lego catalog has a Christmas Wish List I can fill out. But the instructions say to give it to my parents. Why would I do that? Why wouldn't I give it to my wife and kids?"

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Day 26: Sisterly Love

Overheard today, Sunday, the Lord's day:

"Emily! Do you want me to step on your ankle?"

(italics indicate beyotch-type inflection)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Day 25: Sew Busy Today

I did some sewing today! Actually, I did a lot of sewing today. I love to sew, but only my own creations and in manic bursts. For readers already getting bored, please go here and enjoy smacking the beejeezus out of a penguin. Everyone still interested in my projects, let's go!

First up, I finally finished making some cute little curtains for the lower part of my office's built-in bookshelves. Now I can hide all my sewing stuff and porn.
Next is the cozy winterization of this table in our living room. It looks fine like this in the summertime, but seems chilly in the winter. I'd already made a nice little Ballard-esque burlap tablecloth, but today I decided to create a topper out of an old paisley shawL.
This was the hardest part, cutting into the shawL. (rotating the picture also didn't go so well) Liz and I spent a lot of time scrutinizing it, and finally decided on the best method to leave the most useable remains. I should be able to get a runner (or something else long and skinny) and a small pillow out of the scraps. There was, however, a small wasted piece, probably due to too-obsessive measuring. But Amber talked me through it and we agreed there's just no use in crying over spilt paisley.
The final product! I'm so pleased with how it turned out. It actually looks better in person than in the photo where it appears slightly droopy... But anyway! Pottery Barn is selling the same thing, except mine is the genuine real deal and cost a whole lot less. Ha! I win!
Lastly, I also decided to finally tackle the Belgian tapestry situation. I bought this piece a long time ago, planning to make a wall hanging for my previous house. Alas, there were some flaws (ink and some cuts) that drove me crazy every time I looked at them. So I cut all the flaws out and made a pillow! Ta-da! And I used up some of my vintage buttons holding it closed so I could also preserve the furry little edge detail. For bonus points, I stuffed it with another old pillow instead of buying a new one, something which pleases my frugal husband no end.

I hope you enjoyed my sewing project photo blog post. I'll know when I get up tomorrow if the manic sewing frenzy has passed. I kind of think it'll still be going on, though. You know what that means? Since I finally finished these projects, I can start a new one!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Day 24: Early Bird Shopping?

Ah, tradition! At yesterday's turkey feast, as expected, I was asked four times by three different people (some paying more attention to answers than others) if I'd be getting up bright and early today to hit the big sales and start on my Christmas shopping. "The stores open at five, you know." As if this were an incentive.

First of all, I resent the implication that I might not have already begun Giftmas shopping. I believe it "counts" if one of Ken's birthday gifts I'd forgotten to give him was re-assigned as Christmas, does it not? The picture above is more my reality, although with the addition of a dog begging for my one cookie (behind the teacup; you can't see it) and a certain child repeatedly requesting a ride somewhere. Furthermore, the Friday after Thanksgiving kicks off another tradition in our family: Mommy procrastinating putting up the tree.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Day 22: Since He's All Carly Simon-ish And Thinks This Blog Is About Him Anyway...

I don't have my Thanksgiving gratitude list finished up yet, so while I work on that, please enjoy a picture of Ken in his super sexy, he-man kitty cat sweater. I think my mom bought it for him because she lurves buying Kenny Dr. Huxtable sweaters. Do you see the kitties? Look closely, because once you do, that's all you will see.
How about now? Mesmerizing, isn't it? Kitty. Kitty. Kitty. Kitty...



Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Day 21: Cooking Tip

Please learn from my mistake and do not attempt to use up leftover multi-colored baby potatoes by mashing them and calling the lavender results Confetti 'Taters. It does not work. No one will eat them except you. Well, the dog might... she did seem interested... maybe because she's color blind? Or maybe because I kept adding cream and butter to "make them taste better so no one would notice how they look?"

Here's the most important part: Do not then proceed to eat most of the Confetti 'Taters yourself because:

1. You feel sorry for them. They are just potatoes for crying out loud! They don't know from rejection.

2. They are FULL of fat and calories because you added so much extra cream and butter. And garlic. All of which only makes them extra delicious, but I digress.

3. You will feel awful after eating too much multi-colored mashed-up 'tato. I mean it, really awful. You will moan and maybe cry just a little and complain to anyone who will listen. There will be some sympathy, yes, but will it matter? Will it help? No. You'll then hint about taking your pants off for survival and naive people will think you are kidding. Either way, you will suffer.

Take my advice and follow our family's traditional leftover processing procedure. Allow the potatoes to temper in the back of the refrigerator for the standard 2-3 months and then throw them out, for pity's sake. Out! Out! Damned spuds!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Day 20: The Second 10 Things About Me

11. I (try to) always have fresh flowers in my house.

12. I've only had truly long hair once in my life and couldn't deal with it.

13. I was born with a congenital hip displacement. I had surgery and wore a brace as a baby and now I'm strangely flexible.

14. I had Ritter's Disease, a rare staph infection when I was in kindergarten. I was hospitalized for 11 days, part of it in quarantine. All of my skin fell off and it was very painful.

15. I had my tonsils surgically removed while I was in 2nd grade. I was bitterly disappointed that no one told me it was going to hurt so much and that I wouldn't be able to eat, much less want, all that ice cream they'd been promising me.

16. I won a school-wide writing contest when I was in 5th grade. I came in 2nd in 6th grade.

17. My tastes keep changing so I feel it's only fair to give foods I think I don't like second chances. I now enjoy: green beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, artichokes, asparagus, olives, papaya, dark chocolate, etc. And I still hate pizza.

18. I have an excellent internal clock while sleeping and can usually will myself to wake up whenever I want to. The key is I have to want to.

19. I have a terrible internal clock while awake. I'm a very poor estimator of elapsed time, how long a task will require, drive times, etc.

20. I wear perfume and lipstick every day.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Day 19: Pendulum Class For Beginners

On Sunday I took Lizzie with me to Crazy Wisdom, a local bookstore & tea room we adore, for a beginner's pendulum class. I'm always interested in any kind of new woo-woo thing anyway, and Ken seems to be getting a little too comfortable lately with some of my "out there"-ness. I figured it was time to shake him up a bit, since I rely heavily on Ken to provide me with the counter-balancing Logic and Critical Thinking I so desperately need.

As it turns out, pendulum-ing isn't for me. I don't have the time or patience for tools like this, but Liz does. She really took to the whole thing and is using her pendulum for both fun and profit now. Kidding! She's just using it for all of her decision making. Also kidding! No, no... Liz knows a pendulum is simply an extension of herself and is to be used for fun and occasional guidance of the my, how interesting variety only. She also has promised to not cast spells with it inside the house.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Day 18: My First Bloggy Story Told In Pictues

On Saturday, our friend Bill came to town for a visit, along with his friend Jen. It was a typically chilly November day in Michigan, but he'd forgotten to bring a jacket. He was making everyone terribly uncomfortable in his short sleeves, so after lunch at Gratzi, we went shopping. For the first time ever, after having lived here for almost 20 years, we went into Sam's on Liberty and Bill tried on this U of M jacket.
He also tried some of these much pricier options at Renaissance on Main. I am rather fond of how this photo turned out and have thus included it even though it sort of goofs up the narrative.

But no, the options really were better at Sam's, as Jen demonstrates here. Only $24.95 for Colombia fleece! While Bill & Jen tried things on and Ken took pictures, I had a fun little chat with the guys behind the counter about college girls with their visible thong panties and sweat pants with words emblazoned across the ass. We are both tired of them.



This is the jacket Bill finally went with. Then we visited The Cube so he could spin it and I could worry about him getting clobbered by it and Jen could see how we like to party in Ann Arbor. Oh, what a day!


After all of that, it was time for me to have a little sit down and reflect over a cup of tea, apricot with honey, my favorite. It was a fun little visit with lovely friends. Y'all come back soon!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Day 17: Happy Birthday, Ken!!!



Here's my adorable little husband when he was about five or so, sitting with his sister, Kathy. She's the nicest big sister in the whole wide world, way nicer than me. I tortured my sister on occasion, but only for fun. On closer inspection, it does appear she's giving li'l Kenny the finger here... so maybe she's got that big sister vibe going after all. Makes me feel better, anyway!

Ken had a lovely birthday, very low-key, just the way he likes it. He got a few presents, three to be exact, and two of those were Legos. I also took him on a wild shopping spree in Target, where he picked out silky long john pants (like mine) and a pair of gloves he calls "driving gloves." It's his birthday, so we let him. We also went out for dinner with his parents and had a nice visit with them. And for a special happy birthday bonus, I agreed with everything he said all day long, no matter what. It damn near killed me and he enjoyed that part too.

Happy Birthday, Honey!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Day 16: Simple Thanks

Williams-Sonoma, a store & livestyle I love dearly albeit rather shallowly since it is a love based mostly on W-S's beauty, sent me a guide to simplifying Thanksgiving. This is much like when Martha S., as she's referred to at her special meetings, makes suggestions for how to "simplify" something.

The guide includes tips for Favorite Thanksgiving Menu, a Thanksgiving Timeline, Table Setting Ideas, Thanksgiving Equipment Checklist, Choosing the Thanksgiving Wine, Roasting the Turkey, Testing the Turkey for Doneness, Carving the Turkey, etc. I'm exhausted and so far we've only talked about the turkey! There's nothing about the sweetie potato pie or the proper opening sequence/timing of the ritual can o' cranberry gelatinous mass shaped like a can that my sister more accurately refers to as "Red" as in "Please pass me some of the Red."

Thank you, Williams-Sonoma. You've made my decision to be a charming and delightful guest at my in-law's again this year a simple one.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Day 15: Druid Cookies

Today, the 15th of November, marks the half-way point of this year's NaBloPoMo. I realize I've slipped, but seriously, I really have a good excuse this time. See, my dog ate my post and... That's not true. My dog no longer comes upstairs to my office where the fresh blog posts are kept. She is wary of the stairs now, with her slightly stiff and unsteady elderly dog bearing. Shelby is only willing to risk traversing the stairs if there's something more scary going on down below, like Emily in one of her high-volume Drama Moments. In that case, Shelby is willing to shoot up the stairs to seek out safety and comfort under my legs, much the same as so many others have sought before her.

But I digress. I was really going to write about something much more important, namely, cookies. I believe it is only right to share The Good News when I find something as wonderful as these new cookies. Further, to keep something this good to yourself would be the most disgusting form of selfishness, unless of course it is the dinner hour and you are approaching my front door with rapture in your heart from having recently discovered Jesus Christ as your personal savior. In that case, and as we have discussed, my neighbors really could benefit a lot more than I, from hearing at great length all about this particular version of The Good Word. Conveniently they live right across the court, in the beige house, the ones with the obnoxious narcissistic son who will gladly run you over with his shiny car. Normally I wouldn't send anyone over there, but I figure it's probably okay in this case as you'd appreciate it, being called Home that much sooner. Ahhhhh. We all win.

What the hell was I saying? Oh, yes. The cookies! They are Trader Joe's own store brand of oatmeal raisin cookies, called Druid Circles. (And yes, Ken, I bought them for the name.) (I am the first to admit I'm a total whore for good packaging.) Druid Circles do not, as far as I can tell, have anything at all to do with Pagan worship. I know. I was disappointed in that part, too. But! They are the perfect size to be quite satisfying to have just one with a nice cup of tea. They are just the right amount of chewiness without being too soft. They have the ideal oatmeal to raisin ratio. Everyone loves them! Myself, my kids, and all of their grubby little friends who hang around my kitchen eating everything not nailed down or hidden in a locked drawer, they like them too. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Day 14: Mediate?

My head very helpfully provides me with background music much of the time. Often I ignore it, but sometimes it's really loud and apparent. Usually when this happens there is a message, coming from my own subconscious, I suppose. Well, I hope that's where it's coming from. It's either that or I need to start wearing my tinfoil hat again... Anyway, today's song comes courtesy of the fine gentlemen of INXS, from the song Mediate, with special emphasis on the following lyrics. I decided to share this with you in case you can figure out what the hell the message is because this time I'm really stumped. I also might mention that I haven't heard this song in months, so it's not just that Ken.

Mediate

A heavy weight
Or just too late
Like pretty Kate has sex ornate
Appreciate
Depreciate
Fabricate
Emulate
The truth dilate
Special date
The animal we ate
Guilt debate
The edge serrate
A better rate
The youth irate
Deliberate
Try not to hate

Okay. That's it. I've got it. Try not to hate. I've been thinking about this lately, how not to hate those people that I, um, you know... hate. Never mind. Thanks for your time!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Day 13: Charmed

This morning I came around the corner, into the frozen food aisle at Trader Joe's, already having a bad day. Things started looking up immediately, as soon as I saw him, standing there beside his cart. He was gorgeous. He had ruffled blond hair and the most beautiful, dark souful eyes I've ever seen. He had on cute little cargo pants and a bright yellow rain slicker. His hands were folded neatly in front of him as he quietly surveyed the frozen food aisle situation.

He was exactly the kind I always find wildly attractive. I wanted to stare at him openly for the next 20 minutes or so, just to drink in every adorable inch of him. But that seemed rude; too forward. I allowed myself to steal only quick glances in his direction and timidly offered him a few small, friendly smiles. He obviously found me equally fascinating, such was the way his eyes brazenly followed me the entire time I pretended to peruse the frozen pies and cakes.

Finally I had dawdled long enough and I had to move further down the aisle. As I approached, keenly aware of him already, he did the most unexpected thing. He took one step neatly backwards, closer to his mother's cart, and bent fully at the waist while gesturing broadly with one outstretched palm in the universally recognized "after you, m'lady" gesture. I'd never seen a three year old do that before and was utterly charmed by him as I passed by and mouthed a silent "thank you."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Day 12: From My Husband's Email

Like most people involved in trusting, stable love relationships that are totally going to make it long-term, I obsessively snoop around in my husband's computer every chance I get, searching for any suspicious looking email correspondence. Oh? You think that's silly? Insecure? Oh, really now? Like you've never done it?! And! The other day? I found this:

From: "Nata"
To: Ken
Subject: for

Hi

I was looking for jobs on the internet and came across your profile on careerbuilder and thought I would contact you since I don't have anyone else in the USA. I will be coming to the USA in about 2 weeks and would like to make friends with you. I will let you know more information about myself and I will reply back to you with some of my pictures. If you agree then message me back, I'll be waiting. Hope you don't mind. Don't reply back to this email. Make sure you message me to my personal email address (hussy put her personal email address here) only, since I am using public email to send you this message.

by the way, I am a girl and people say I am good looking

Lots of kisses!

Hopefully your new girl friend

Holy Freakin' Heaven! How'd I Forget Day Eleven???

My Saturday.

1. Get up; drink coffee husband has made; lavishly praise husband for having done so; read newspaper; eat healthy bowl of twigs & pebbles.
2. Say good morning via online IM chat to Amber and coordinated respective days' activities. (smiley)
3. Discuss with husband relative benefits of taking shower before/after attending redneck estate auction at end of street; decide against it.
4. Walk to house hosting auction; mingle amongst 150 men in Carhartt jumpsuits browsing for ammo.
5. Locate house's library and happily peruse books while mulling one's own life, meaning & duration of one's own life and one's feelings about one's own children someday hosting similar auction of one's own belongings.
6. Laugh out loud as Carhartt man searching for bathroom enters room and says, "Nope. Libary." (giggling smiley)
7. Go outside, inspect snack wagon parked in driveway; muse upon possibility/difficulty of arranging for it to be parked there all the time for easy access to burritos, sloppy joes, walking tacos and bad coffee.
8. Return home with husband; discuss lovely dining table set from auction and possible inclusion in home. Dismiss idea for lack of husband's imagination/interest; reluctantly admit to self he's probably right. (eye rolling smiley)
9. Chat with Amber; inform her of dining set that got away & wish her well at yoga teacher training class.
10. Shower.
11. Blow dry hair; fret about resultant state of 'do. (frustrated smiley)
12. Check on older daughter; find her still sleeping. Attempt to locate younger daughter; give up; leave house anyway.
13. Drive to Canton with husband; watch movie. [Stranger Than Fiction, 2 thumbs up]
14. Leave theater; drive around Canton looking for/discussing possible dinner options.
15. Accidentally locate a Lovers' Lane store. (big grin smiley)
16. Enter store... wander around... become confused... worried... meet charming salesgirl... have all questions answered. Make intelligent, informed purchases; happily leave store. (blushing smiley)
17. Stop for quick dinner at Arby's; page through complimentary LL catalog with husband.
18. Return home; fib to children about being very tired from long day; go upstairs.
19. Quickly check messages & leave message for Amber about movie & shopping trip.
20. Retire for evening; completely forget one has blog post to write. (winking smiley)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Day 10: Homework Help

Em: Who's a musician who does their own music?
Lisa: Like someone who writes their own?
Em: Yeah. Writes their own songs and music, and doesn't do other people's songs.
Lisa: The Beatles.
Em: No. I need someone who's made more songs.
Lisa: They made a lot of songs.
Em: Well, someone newer then.
Lisa: How about Norah Jones?
Em: I don't think so.
Lisa: What is this for?
Em: I have to do a report on a musician who writes their own music. It's due the 28th or the 29th and I want to be more responsible and do my work ahead of time.
Lisa: Whaaa.... Wow! That's great, honey. That is fantastic you want to take more responsibility for your work! I love that.
Em: Yep. And if I type it, I only have to do three pages intead of four writing it by hand. I want to get started, but who can I do it on?
Lisa: Norah Jones might be good. She's young, you know her music, there won't be tons of information on her...
Em: Mr. Willis might not know who she is. I think it would be better if he knows who it is.
Lisa: Trust me. He would know the Beatles.
Em: No, he's old.
Lisa: How old?
Em: Well, I don't know, but he's not young. He's old I think. He's bald. Not like shaved; he's "real" bald.
Lisa: Oh...
Em: Yes. He knows who Fleetwood Mac is.
Lisa: Ah. Yes. I see. He is old.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Day 9: Phoning It In


I'm so tired. Just... tired. This blog has had more technical problems than the proverbially uncomfortable whore in church. The metaphor, it doesn't work, see? Just like my blog.
I'm going to bed. But first, a picture of Emily taken today, in Spanish class, at school, by her father, who attended Take Your Parent To School Day (the one who doesn't know enough to be really busy and is thus unable to attend) and instead of paying attention and maybe learning something, spent most of his time sending me naughty text messages and pictures taken from his phone.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

DAY EIGHT!!!


These are the beautiful flowers Blogger sent me, in my imagination, to make up for the "significant number of unplanned outages this last week and the handful of planned ones to clean up from the unplanned ones. It’s been a Murphyesque cavalcade of power failures, fileserver trouble, and wonky network hardware."
There was a card attached. It said "Our apologies. We really regret these outages, which were a nuisance (or worse) to you. The past week’s performance was not representative of the kind of service we want to provide for you." And then Blogger went on with some other stuff about how they plan to prevent it from happening again, blah blah blah...

The flowers are gorgeous. I accept your apology, Blogger. Now don't let it happen again.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Day 7: Answers To Yesterday's Questions or Finally Got The Goddamned Photo Uploader Working



1. Yes. If it's on a cruise ship with my sister Allyson and our very loud & fun dinner companions Rhonda and the other Rhonda playing Roulette and drinking tiny pink cruise-ship Cosmos. (I learned rather quickly after taking this photo it's considered very poor form/illegal to take photos in a casino. Who knew?)

2. Leftover roast beef.

3. About two years ago, while taking an Intuitive Heart meditation class. We'd just finished meditating and were about to begin a writing exercise when the teacher, Diane, said "Lisa, I have no idea how you feel about this kind of thing, but there is a spirit here, and she really wants to talk to you. She says she's your Granny and she's very persistent." We then proceeded to do the writing exercise with me allowing my Granny to write her message through my hand on the paper. And boy, it certainly was her! She had a lot to say and it included things like "Keep Grandpa away from those cotton-pickin' stairs!"

4. Yes. I also tricked him into taking me to the A2 Art Fair between dates #2 and #3, but he still couldn't get the hint. Dating geeks can be... challenging. But with patience and plenty of positive reinforcement, you will find them to be highly trainable & loyal companions. They will also program all of the electronical devices in your home and provide years of completely gratis tech support!

5. None, because it's finally cold enough outside that all of the nasty bugs who normally find me sweet meat for feastin' have flown south for the winter.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Day 6: One Question

The best idea I had for today's post was to ask other people what I should write about. I know. Brilliant, right? I immediatly tossed it out there to everyone I could reach at that very moment of blinding inspiration, so as to preserve the integrity of the question and keep it all special-like.

If you could ask me any one question, what would it be? (I reminded them I was looking for blog ideas, thus rendering certain lady-part topics off limits.)

Results:

1. Could you ever enjoy gambling?

2. What's for dinner? (it took me about three minutes to realize this was the question and not just our daily round of playing What's for dinner?)

3. When did you first discover you had the powers of a medium?

4. Did you really ask Ken on three dates before he asked you out?

5. How many bug bites do you have on your body right now, without looking?

Well? What do you think? Which one for tomorrow???

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Day 5: Thank God For Jane

In today's email, from Jane.

Subject line: You are my last hope...

Body: Really. No one else has even laughed. We just drove by a church... and on the lighted billboard, apparently to draw us into their church, it says: Try Jesus before you reject Him.

Is this not a two part instruction with a predetermined outcome?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Day 4: First Installment of One Hundred Things About Me

This is something I'd sort of been planning to do eventually, creating ye olde traditonal One Hundred Things About Me list. Thank goodness for NaBloPoMo which includes Saturdays. Here are the first ten thrilling and amazing true facts about ME:

1. I have never broken a bone, gotten a concussion, had stitches, or seriously injured myself in any way. I'm careful and fairly well-coordinated.

2. I watch very little TV, in part because I don't know how to operate our television and its litter of six remotes.

3. I belong to a secret society of women called PBG. I'm not at liberty to disclose what the letters in the name stand for because if I did, then our security officer would have to kill you, but only after having her way with you.

4. I also belong to a small women's gang, but we are very polite and only use our formidable womanly powers for the sake of good. I am not making this up.

5. On our first date, I took Ken out to lunch. (Bill Knapp's)

6. On our second date, I also took Ken out to lunch. (Burger King)

7. On our third date, I took Ken out to lunch for what I promised myself would be the last time. (Arby's)

8. On our fourth date, he finally grew a pair and asked me out. He took me on a yacht cruise trip with his whole family for the entire day. (Canada)

9. I have never been drunk in my life. I've been tipsy, but not drunk, and never shit-faced.

10. My favorite snack food is popcorn. I'll take it fresh or day-old, with butter or without, etc. I'm not picky. ALL popcorn is good in my book.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Day 3: Self-Portrait Friday


I panicked, okay? I didn't have any good ideas for today and started feeling pressured and well, let's just say I'm not great under pressure. I tend to cave. Or I tend to slap a "self-portait" on the ol' blog and call it a post. I think in the actual blog world, like there really is such a thing, it's supposed to be Self-Portrait Tuesday, but I'm a rule breaker. No, I'm not. I just panicked. If I think of anything else to write, I'll add it later. Actually, I did have a great idea last night and then Liz stole it for her blog! And don't think I won't be mentioning it at the next family meeting, either.

This brings up another point I'd like to address, if only barely, which is why I've posted so infrequently lately. One reason is I've attracted a small following amongst kid-type readers, which was just fine when I didn't know about it. But then they started leaving comments... and emails... IM questions... and then started blogs of their own! So now I feel some responsibility to keep a clean-ish blog, watch my potty language and not reveal too much about the depraved lifestye I so thoroughly enjoy. My point is, I choked a bit, talked myself down off the ledge, and got over it. Most importantly though, I think it's fantastic if I had anything at all to do with inspiring kids to write more, especially those I didn't personally stand over threatening with bodily harm and/or loss of affection if they didn't get their homework done by bedtime.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Day 2: Maturity Test

The other day I was looking at Ken and not really listening, but I was making an effort to pretend I was. I looked like I was listening, and I often find that is plenty good enough for certain situations, especially when one is still reeling from learning 16 years into it that she has accidentally married a Constant Talker. I seriously had no idea about that. None. But anyway, he was saying something or another, no one really knows for sure, and I thought dang, Ken is kinda cute. It must be the shirt. He always looks good in blue... No, it's the brown leather shoes I've finally gotten him to wear with jeans instead of his dorky white tennies... and then it hit me! No. He's thinner. So I said "Honey, that's fascinating, whatever you were talking about... But have you lost some weight?" As Ken is the singularly least vain man on the planet besides my dad who probably still mows his grass in black dress socks and Bermuda shorts, Ken shrugged and said "I dunno" and continued on with his story, proof positive his values remain unchanged.

A day later Ken had lunch with the hands-down, most genuinely fabulous creature either one of us knows, a former co-worker of his named Marta. She is simply divine, darling. I was a bit suspicious he had a little crush on her until I met her myself, saw what all the fuss was about, and joined him. She's that good. So anyway, he had lunch with Marta and another woman whose name I can't recall but I'm sure she's just delightful in her own special way. When he got home he said he wasn't sure, maybe it was Marta, but someone else had also commented that he looked like he'd lost some weight. The next morning he got on the scale and you totally know where this is going don't you? He'd lost 10 pounds! Without trying, simply by living with me and sort of but not really doing my healthy steamed veggies and lean protein diet along with me, he accidentally lost TEN FRIGGING POUNDS, in spite of himself, in spite of the fact that he also still eats Tater Tots and Hamburger Helper and calls it Food.

I'm still sorting all of this out. On the plus side, I have a thinner husband I find more attractive than before, so that's good. Also, he's healthier, yadda yadda blah blah... He's smart or mature enough to know better than to brag about his weight loss, so that's good as it means we can continue to be married. On the down side, he only got on the scale after the fabulous Marta said something, not me. Although... he really wasn't sure if it was indeed she who had commented... I suppose I could take the high road and just be happy for him.

Or I could take the low road and rub it in to my former diet contest competitor, a man who had to work very hard to lose weight and has recently pissed me off so much he kind of deserves to know Ken's Oblivious Diet has seemingly removed all ten pounds from his tummy area. And we both know if Ken should even think about sit-ups or crunches (although I'm not sure how he could since he doesn't know what crunches are unless Fritos are involved) he's going to have those Matt Lauer abs someone else so desperately wants.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Day 1: NaBloPoMo

Hi there! Remember me? Your hostess? Yes! I'm baaaaaaack. Soon enough I'll get into all the details of where I've been, what I've been doing, and what it all means. Because honey, I am all about what it all means. The thing I'm delighted to share with you right now is NaBloPoMo, which is National Blog Posting Month. You are so excited!

NaBloPoMo is an online pact made with my imaginary blogging chums, that we will all post daily in November. Every. Day. Even on weekends!
So I'll be posting something on here every single darn day in November. It might be an actual written thing, like a story, an essay, a confession, a drunken confession, a dirty joke, a good recipe, interesting/adorable photos, or if you're really lucky, a dirty drunken confession essay with photos. There's no telling how desperate I'll get!

I'm looking forward to getting my shitty first drafts together and hitting the 'Publish Post' button a lot more often. After all, I started this thing so I would write more. Now this, this should get me writing more. I do feel the need to caution you somewhat and mention that perhaps the "quality" you are by now accustomed to enjoying here at Shelby's Mum might become just a wee tad tiny bit compromised, but only ever so slightly.

Like for example, take this paragraph right here, the one I have absolutely no idea whatsoever what it says because Emily keeps interrupting me every 8 seconds. These are just the kind of distractions I am going to learn how to recover from this month. The distractions are going to happen anyway and so I might as well make peace with them, right? Or does anyone know of a good Sleep Away Camp For Inquiring Children With Whiny-Ass Dogs And Talkative Fathers?

Yes, but it's very expensive? Okay, send me the brochure anyway. Until then... See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How To Charm Me:

Ken sent me an article from The Michigan Today News he knew I'd like, because he's sweet & thoughtful that way. It was about the words "girl" and "woman" and how these terms are no longer confused by men who know what's good for them.

Another interesting bit:

An outgrowth of “Renaissance Festivals” is the International Wenches Guild, and those who join receive a pewter pin and a membership card. They've even come up with a phrase based on the idea that wench is an acronym: “Women Entitled to Nothing but Complete Happiness.”

Yes, please.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Jamie Summers Of Taste And Smell

Some of my fascinating dieting side effects. Because you are fas-cin-aaaa-ted. You are. In my mind, anyway. Lately it's been hard not notice my:

* sense of smell: heightened. "Oh, my. Yes. That has both vanilla and ginger in it. Lovely. And it seems Daddy has had a beer and the dog needs to go out."

* sense of taste: very heightened. "Seriously, is this not the best corn you've ever tasted in your whole life? It tastes just like fresh corn on the cob, doesn't it?" said over frozen steamed corn, served plain. "This is the most delicious vanilla yogurt I've ever had. Try it! They must be doing something different. This batch is fantastic!" said over the same exact yogurt I've been eating for two years.

Since I have you here I might also mention:

* desire to create: heightened. "I think I'll rearrange the living room. Again! And then sew my own blanket. And then write a book. Oh, and learn all of he lyrics to all of the cd's we own!"

* desire to cook: heightened. "What do you want for breakfast? A Black Forest ham omelette cooked in butter? With homemade pancakes on the side? And Daddy wants grilled sausages also? Coming right up!"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

All Bran: Breakfast Of Miserly Champions

It's nine a.m., and the morning shuffle has ended. My kids are fed, dressed, loaded up and out the door. Now is when I sit with my Splenda-ized black coffee and read something interesting, either yesterday's newspaper, a magazine, or a chapter in a book. Soon enough I also start thinking about eating breakfast. What I want is a pair of great big warm-from-the-oven scones, generously smeared with creamy butter that will melt just so, and what the heck since it's just a fantasy anyway, I'll add the perfect amount of delicious strawberry jam and big dabs of that English cream stuff that looks like sour cream but isn't.

But no, I won't be having the scones today. No, no, no, no, no. Or as my lovely friend Miss Amber says "Oh, hellllllll no." Instead I'm going to diligently eat a bowl of twigs (All Bran), with skim milk as usual, both having been carefully measured. For color and so it looks more like the picture on the box, I'll jauntily toss a handful of raspberries on top. Then I will dutifully enter the whole thing into my online food diary, for the satisfaction part.

Behold:

Fantasy breakfast: 2 fabulous Breadsmith scones, 2 T. rich creamy delicious butter which is now but a fond memory, 2 T. Windstone Farms Kentucky strawberry jam, and 1/4 cup sour cream because I can't find the calorie count for clotted cream and figure it's probably close enough for this self-indulgent exercise: 615 calories, unspeakable fat and non-existent fiber. This "meal" is so nutritionally bereft the computer senses a security breach and demands my password again, for my own protection.

My actual breakfast: 1/2 cup All Bran cereal twigs, 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup fresh raspberries: 202 calories, high fiber, very low fat. This meal is so healthy the computer actually congratulates me and applauds a little bit.

Update: The competition is on vacation and occasionally sends text messages that say things like "8000 calories today." The contest has been extended an additional two weeks, and now ends October 13th. I have about a pound to go.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Chickenshit Parents

Lately it’s been a little more fireworks-y than usual around here with our darling Li’l Chica. The following is an excerpt from an IM chat I had with my fellow peace-loving, ‘fraidy-cat husband, with me in my 2nd floor office and him in his basement lair, I mean hovel, I mean office.

Lisa: Is her friend still here?

Kenny: dunno
Kenny: i told her to call for a ride
Kenny: she is your kid

Lisa: Uh.... WHAT????

Kenny: i knew you would like that
Kenny: you can't deny it ... she IS your kid
Kenny: ok, ok, she's mine, too
Kenny: i just don't want her yelling at me

Lisa: This is not good, baby doll.
Lisa: We are the BIG PEOPLE.
Lisa: We shouldn’t be afraid, but we are.
Lisa: Pretty soon she'll be sending us out to the corn field using only her mind.

Kenny: i hear yelling
Kenny: i'm not going up there
Kenny: yikes!
Kenny: i'll turn the radio up

Lisa: The title of this post will be: Chickenshit Parents.

Kenny: please don't associate my name with it -- i don't want to be the defendant in a future lawsuit by said parties

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Venturing Slighly Into TMI Territory

The diet I'm using is Zone based and is online at a wonderful site that I love dearly called My Food Diary. Basically I have to type in everything I eat and every minute of exercise, what kind, for how long and at what incline. There are no allowances for humidity and wind velocity, but there should be. Anyway... today for lunch I splurged and had McDonald's with my family. And yes, I realize how utterly pathetic that sounds and thanks for noticing. I had a Classic Grilled Chicken sandwich, which clocks in at a relatively decent 420 calories. Except I am smarter and more dedicated than the ordinary bear and I scraped off as much mayonaise as I could and then measured it. I saved myself 2.5 teaspoons of pure fat, and at 70 calories it was worth the time, effort, extra utensils I had to wash and the ridicule of my husband. A man who has never in his life ever been on a diet and should really be smarter than to make some of the comments he does. ANYway. I also tossed out the tomato slice too, because I'm not a fan and I figured if I don't really like it, then why bother. Why pay for something I don't want, right? A tomato slice is about 10 calories, so adding that to the scraped-off mayonaise, I've just saved myself a nifty 80 calories!

Now. The problem with My Food Diary, unless I am missing a feature, and if I am please let me know... is that it's not set up to accomodate subtractions like this. My Food Diary just assumes a person would always eat the whole thing, that is, whatever McDonald's wrapped up in cardboard and handed to me. Oh, contraire. Not this little red hen! No, no, no. I am going to take any calorie savings I can find. (Ken wishes I could get even one tenth this excited about saving nearly 20% off something I purchased with actual money. Cash savings, Lisa. Cash savings.) ANYWAY. I finally hit upon a genius solution. I decided to punch in some dummy exercise for myself, something that would equal the amount of calories I need to subtract, and call it Imaginary Exercise because it would be something that I'd never do. So I checked out what's available for credit and chose 180 minutes of sexual activity at "moderate effort" which just so happens to burn eighty calories even though it certainly seems like it would be a whole lot more, you know, especially depending on incline and wind velocity... Okay, I won't go into the intimate details of the most private part of my life, because this just isn't that kind of blog. But it is safe to say at this age, and having been married this long, to the same man, a man who would continue to make some of the bone-headed comments that he does, I'm safe with my 80 calorie Imaginary Only Exercise.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Utterly Charming:

That Ken has lived in an entirely female household for so long that he now refers to all undergarments, including his own, as "panties."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Curriculum Night

On Tuesday Ken and I attended curriculum night at the middle school. Due to certain oversights in baby spacing, we will have a child in middle school for six consecutive years with no overlap, the maximum sentence to parents of two children. Rookie mistake.

Middle school calls this event Capsule Night and it works by having parents attend a mini-version of their child’s school day. We travel around the building with schedules in hand, visiting each classroom for about 10 minutes, meeting the various teachers. As this is our 4th time attending Captive Night, I mean Capsule Night, we are old pros and don’t really anticipate surprises.

Ms. Stunning: Hi! Welcome! I’m Ms. Stunning, the nicest, most enthusiastic and amazing middle school teacher you’ve ever met or dreamed of. Who is your child?
Ken: Hi. I’m Ken Olson. I’m Emily’s dad and this is…
Ms. Stunning: Emily?
Ken: Uh, yeah. Emily Olson?
Ms. Stunning: Oh! You mean Jackie. You must be Jackie’s parents!
Lisa: Oh, god.
Ms. Stunning: You must be Jackie’s mom!
Lisa: Yes. I’m Lisa. It’s a pleasure to meet you.
Ken: No. Emily Olson. We are Emily’s parents… and… she…
Ms. Stunning: Yes! Your daughter is really something.
Lisa: That’s our Jackie.
Ms. Stunning: Although, I believe she’s changed the spelling now to be J-a-c-q-u-i-e?
Lisa: Yes. She mentioned that.
Ken: WHAT?
Lisa: You know how teachers ask at the beginning of a new school year what each kid would like to be called?
Ken: Oh, god.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Twenty Four SEVEN

I enter the freshly rearranged living room with my coffee. I sit on the sofa, now in front of the window, look around and frown. Ken enters the room with his own cup and sits in a chair.

Me: This arrangement is not working. I don't like it at all.
Him: Oh, no?
Me: I have to make some changes.
Him: Damn. I knew this would happen sooner or later.
Me: Yep, it's just not comfortable like this.
Him: Okay. I guess now I can pursue that hot young cashier at Busch's.
Me: I mean the furniture arrangement, Ken.
Him: Oh.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Nothing Nice To Say?

All together now:

Then say nothing at all.

Monday, September 11, 2006

POLL: What is your greatest simple pleasure?

Now that my kids are back in school and I've recovered from celebrating that fact, I'm finding my way back to doing my blog. Although badly neglected, it has apparently survived and is still in working order. Having been away for a while, I realize how much I enjoy doing this thing. I think it almost qualifies as a simple pleasure of mine, a concept I've been pondering lately. I got the idea from Real Simple magazine, which I adore reading despite its gramatically incorrect title.

I've always enjoyed pestering people by asking them things I'm thinking about and then doing absolutely nothing with the feedback except thinking about it some more. Then one day not so long ago a miracle happened and I realized I could put my blog together with my annoying question habit and do an online poll! It will be almost as much fun as getting chocolate in my peanut butter, and with way fewer calories!

Doing a poll is also a clever way to get other people to write this post for me while I fiddle around with the non-simple bloggery settings, trying to learn how to put up additional photos, links and other features I want to add. Perhaps you noticed my new white uncluttered-by-dots template? I'm not really sure if I like it or just have to get used to it. Anyway, I'll keep messing around with it while you take the poll. It's fun! I think you'll like it! See what these kind people had to say...

What is your greatest simple pleasure?

Liz (14): "Riding the AATA bus standing up. It's fun because you move with the bus and fall forward when someone pulls the cord."

Emily (10): "Reading books under my grade level so I don't have to challenge myself, like a 4th grade adventure series. It's reading just for pleasure."

Reba (10): "Writing funny stuff and scripts of funny things."

Addie (10): "Drawing to express myself emotionally."

Amber (grownup): "A sweet romantic kiss, because of its simplicity, the sentiment between two people, no words required, pure physically expressed emotion."

Ken: "Having my back scratched."

Lisa: "Wind. I love every kind, from the soft caress of a gentle breeze to the excitement of severe weather winds. I like the sound, how it looks, how it feels and the promise of change that it brings." (Cute how I pretend I told myself all this, huh?)

John: "Rolling the dice in Vegas. It's exciting and I haven't really lost money doing it yet, so that's a nice bonus."

Allyson: "Mochas and reading. Mochas are a guilt-free indulgence and reading is a quick holiday when I need one."

Bill: "Bacon."

Joan: "Reading the Sunday New York times with a cup of mocha, preferably outside on my deck with my darling across from me."

What's yours???

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Things Only A Mother Would Say

"Get your feet off my painting right now." Said to the child lolling on the sofa, rubbing her feet on my dead grandmother's painting which is now mine. A sentimental family heirloom. Rubbing it. With her feet.

"Don't get jelly on the dog!" Said to the child quickly throwing together a sandwich with such wild & carefree abandon she was sending large globs of grape jelly flying around the kitchen. Guess who?

"Who the hell melted my skinny cows?!" Said to the household population at large. Okay, yelled. With derision. It could have been any one of them. The kids are jealous I have them in the first place, and Ken has also exhibited marked hostility towards my only diet dessert item because they cost $4. Now they are all misshapen and the texture is totally screwed up.

And still I carry on. Because I love.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Just When You Thought I Was So Sensible

After years of sideways glancing at the idea and then not doing anything about it, I've finally decided to go on a diet and lose weight. For real. I know, you are very excited and thrilled for me and are getting prepared to email with all sorts of supportive blatherings. I encourage you do so because I adore that kind of thing. But hang on, there's more. The stupid part. It's a contest.

I bet you are rolling your eyes heavenward and thinking oh Lisa how could you? You are remembering everything Oprah has said on the subject and thinking how this is soooo not the way to go. I would caution you to just wait a darn minute and hear the rest, because it gets even worse. I have to lose a certain number of pounds in a certain chunk of time. Yes! And it's a fairly aggressive goal, too. But wait! There's more! A cash penalty!!

If I should fail, I have agreed to fork over $1000. I know! Insane, isn't it? Pure lunacy. But here's the good part, the part you are forgetting about, getting all upset the way you are... The other contestants are in the same exact boat as me. They will have to pay up a thousand clams* if they fail to lose their fairly aggessive poundage goals also. I am going to lose weight, people, and I'm going to get paid to do it!


* this is just a slang term for US currency, not yummy deep fried clams which are golden brown & crispy-crunchy delicious and starting to haunt my dreams.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Latest PBG Attempts

1. Please Be Good

2. Plastic Bitches Guild*

Personally, I enjoy the gentle sweetness and helpful nature of the first one, but it is unfortunately not the winner. I'm so sorry. Thanks for playing. The second attempt is also incorrect.

*Security Officer Lexi? You're on this one, right?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Subtle As A Brick

Emily has decided she really needs her own cell phone. First she tried asking us directly, but we said no since we really don't think she needs one. She's since cycled through all of the typical Kid Stages of Asking: begging, whining, deal-making, demanding, bargaining, pouting, etc. and all to no avail. Today Emily piloted her latest method: subliminal suggestion.

Ken: Emily, please pick up your shoes.
Emily: Okay, Daddy Cell Phone.

Ken: Do you have your suitcase all packed?
Emily: Yes, Daddy Cell Phone.

Ken: It's time for bed.
Emily: Okay, but Daddy Cell Phone, can I get a little Chihuahua named Martini?
Ken: No.

Emily: Why is your face so red, Daddy Cell Phone?
Ken: Because I'm... I don't know.
Emily: But Daddy Cell Phone, it's really red.
Ken: Leave me alone!

Lisa: Emily, go to bed.
Emily: Okay, Mommy Chihuahua...

Everyone's Happy Dream

I'm riding in a large RV at nighttime, and Ken is driving. We are happily motoring along when I notice I'm sitting beside Lenny Kravitz. I swoon to myself and think how damn sexy he is. Then I notice John Corbett* is sitting on my other side. I figure I probably have better chances with John Corbett and start talking to him. Pretty soon one thing leads to another and I'm making out with him. He suddenly puts a stop to the action and explains very earnestly that he's on a deeply spiritual journey and it involves celibacy. I find him even more attractive and we go back to making out. Lenny mentions that he's cool with the situation and is happy just to ride. Ken is happy because he still gets to drive.

* The tall guy on Northern Exposure who played Chris, the philosophical deejay? He also played one of Carrie's boyfriends on Sex & The City. The tall philosophical one that made furniture?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

You're Beautiful, It's True?


Okay, so is it just me who always thinks "Andy Warhol" when I see Dr. Andrew Weil's name? Probably. I suppose it's just the similarity of the two names, but you know who I mean, right? The new face of Origins? I agree with all the good things he has to say about health and beauty, as he has a very positive & uplifting message. And I really want to like him, but it just isn't happening. Maybe because he looks like the miracle love child of Santa Claus and Celine Dion's husband? Something about that image just isn't appealing while shopping for lip gloss and face scrub.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Please Insert Intriguing Post Title Here As I Am Unable To Think Of One And This Is Usually The Hardest Part Anyway

Hi! I'm still writer's blocked in case you hadn't noticed. I mean, if what I do here can be considered writing and let's be honest... On second hand maybe we shall not, since pondering that concept probably won't help stimulate the olde idea flow, if you know what I mean.

So a week or so ago I took an impulsive trip to San Francisco to see my buddy Bill and my sister Allyson and her lovely & charming family. It was a wonderfully relaxing break for me, to get away from home. So wonderful, in fact, I've decided to go away again! Yes! We are leaving momentarily for what currently sounds most likely to be a trip to Georgia and then maybe North Carolina but we really aren't sure. I have a choice to either be angry &/or highly frustrated about how infuriating this whole No Plan thing is or I can choose to see the situation as irreverantly quirky and a perfect opportunity to be refreshingly spontaneous! Mostly I choose the latter, which I think is best for everyone. Especially me and my whole inner peace thing and the not strangling my friends and then going to prison part.

Okay, so why have I babbled on like this? I guess just to let you know, dear kind gentle blog readers, that you are never far from my thoughts. It's just that I've been away and now I'm going again. Bon voyage! Until next week! Or maybe later! Because I'm not sure! Ciao!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Chat With My Buddy Bill

Lisa: UGH! How much is appropriate to reveal on a blog? Too much and I can't take it back. Too little and it seems pointless. I've painted myself into a corner!
I can't talk about K's job stuff. Can't talk about L's health/illness. I don't want to talk about my own crazy "issues" bullshit.

Bill: don't hurt anyone

Lisa: No, of course not. I just can't seem to notice or think about anything else lately, you know? Nothing funny or ironic or blogworthy in the slightest. My blog is suffering! I haven't been able to post anything!

Bill: writers block
Bill: i've heard of that
Bill: there's always bathroom humor

Lisa: Okay. Say something funny.
Lisa: On second thought…
Lisa: What's something interesting that's happened to you recently?

Bill: seeing plastic surgery live at the supperclub last weekend

Lisa: Hmmm. Yes. This can work. I'll add you as a blog dialogue character...
Lisa: So, what’s this now? You saw plastic surgery performed live?

Bill: yup - doc was having dinner with the rest of us on our beds - the DJ was playing club music - the transvestites and others were running around playing, and the doc came out on the floor in the spotlight, like something out of Rocky Horror Pic Show and performed facial botox on the transvestite and this other woman who worked there... numbing and needles and grimacing and all that

Lisa: Beds?

Bill: the place is a big bed around the outside
Bill: huge comfy pillows
Bill: people come around and give massages during dinner
Bill: you don't order
Bill: u come and it’s all a surprise
Bill: the food, the entertainment
Bill: eat from 7:30 - 10:30 - then turns into more of a club
Bill: altho music and clubby the whole time
Bill: there is one in SF, and two others i guess in Rome and Berlin
Bill: www.supperclub.com
Bill: restaurant (excellent food!), club, theatre, massages, beds...
Bill: u just turn urself over to the whole thing and let them take care of it
Bill: was almost a $1000 for 4
Bill: kept ordering Veuve Cliquot champange
Bill: first time i ever got drunk off champagne i believe


Lisa: Huh. And facial Botox was part of the entertainment?

Bill: yup!
Bill: one woman was handcuffed to someone else and went around handcuffing others
Bill: and the bathroom has all these wall cuff things...

Lisa: We live very different lives, you and I.

Bill: you'd love this place
Bill: fascinating
Bill: u can sit back and take it all in

Lisa: Yes, it does sound fascinating...
Lisa: Okay. Got anything else to add to your story?

Bill: well, there was a separate room with about the equivalent of 4 king beds and pillows - and a DJ - like a bounce house for drunk adults
Bill: take off your shoes and dance on the beds - whole room was really just the beds...
Bill: everybody likes to bounce on beds =)

Lisa: What's a bounce house?

Bill: blow up thing for kids bday parties?

Lisa: OH! We call that a Jumping Thing & rent them for Labor Day block parties.

Bill: now u know what they are officially called

Lisa: But we just drink and bounce, no dancing. This is the midwest, after all.

Bill: yep, been there
Bill: oh and one guy was dressed like the blond object of passion from rocky horror - seemed like to me - he had short shorts - told him he had a great ass - i think it freaked out the other guy we were with

Lisa: Nice of you to notice & to comment. I’m sure he appreciated it.

Bill: well, he did have a great ass...

Lisa: And I can put all of this on my blog?

Bill: the supperclub???? i don’t care…

Lisa: Yes, please. I'd like to.

Bill: it’s just a random story - what's the point?

Lisa: For my writer’s block? That’s why I was asking you, remember? Sometimes I think you aren't paying very close attention. =)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A Very Lucky Man

I have a t-shirt that I bought last summer "up north" from the Life is Good store. It's charming, cute and very breezy in its irreverent sleevelessness. It also has the odd side effect of making me appear slightly dyke-ish. Not that there's anything wrong with it. I call it my lesbian shirt.

Just a bit ago Ken was rushing me, as he is apparently on a mission from God to do, and was saying something about "getting out the door" and "having lunch while it's still lunchtime" blah, blah, blah... I asked him "Where are we going? And is it okay to wear my lesbian shirt?" He replied "Yes, wear it! I prefer it because then I look available, and really cool because I hang out with lesbians."

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Mother's Day Yesterday


I love this photo Ken took of the bleeding hearts we have growing by our front door. It's a perfect visual metaphor of my mother's day. See the obvious breathtaking gorgeousness of nature? Spring? Birth? Life? And with a mention of bloodshed? Yeah. I'm currently the mother of an angry teenager and a mouthy adolescent. Nice. Got some really cute earrings out of the deal though.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Elisabeth!!!



Dear Liz,

Happy 14th Birthday, Honey! I realize being 13 was something of a wild ride for you, as it is for most of us... But you handled this past year with your usual grace & elegance. Dad and I are very proud of you & we couldn't love you more. Best wishes for a totally swell and highly delightful 14!

Love & kisses,

Mum

XOXOXO

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ken And Emily Discuss Lunch Options

Emily: Dad? (making lunch for school)
Ken: Yes?
Emily: What type of lunch box did you use when you had a job?
Ken: (muffles laugh) I didn't usually take my lunch.
Emily: So you got hot lunch most of the time?
Ken: I guess so.
Emily: How much did hot lunch cost?
Ken: About $7 or so.
Emily: Huh. (continues singing her way through making her lunch)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Fair Warning

Emily: I love you!
Lisa: Thanks. I love you too.
Emily: You'd better get ready for when I'm a teenager.
Lisa: What does that mean?
Emily: Well, because when I'm a teenager I won't just walk by and say I love you anymore.
Lisa: Why not?
Emily: I'll be into teenager things.
Lisa: And?
Emily: When I'm thirteen I'll be really busy with teenager stuff.
Lisa: Teenagers don't love their mothers?
Emily: Oh, I'll still love you. Believe me, I will. I just won't say it. I'll be too busy.
Lisa: Thanks for the tip.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Can You Feel The Love?

Ken: So Meswaaba said...
Lisa: You mean Mufasa? (shudders, then giggles)
Ken: (sighs) Please do not call him Mufasa.
Lisa: I know. It's wrong. I'm sorry. But I can never remember his name, and every time you say it, I hear the Whoopi Goldberg hyena when she says...
Ken: I know. And now so do I.
Lisa: Mufasa. I just like saying it. All that power! Mufasa! Mufasa! (shivers)
Ken: (rolls eyes, goes back to typing)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Pajamas, Anyone?

How to know you receive too many gosh darn catalogs and it's time to call the special Please Make It Stop phone number again: In today's mail I received a catalog devoted exclusively to selling ladies' pajamas. They offer a few pairs of slippers and some of those Zsa Zsa-esque eye cover things, but for the most part it's pajamas for women. Nothing for men, and they don't do kids. Pajama-grams, they are called and each set comes nestled in a pretty hat box. Just in time for Mother's Day. Oh, and since we're chatting like this anyway, how old do you think is too old for a woman to get a tattoo?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thank you, Allyson!


Look! Look what my sister sent me for my birthday! Isn't it cute? It's perfect; a thing to hang on the wall and it has one of my favorite sayings on it. Yes! My birthday was four months ago. Apparently it was on back order and then the order got goofed up and then... Oh, I don't know. But it came! And I love it! Thanks, Al.
XO
Lisa

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

THAT'S GOING ON THE BLOG

How often have I said that? More than a few times. Yes, I realize it's manipulation. You got a problem with that? Well, do you? I didn't think so. Maybe if you had a better idea what I'm dealing with, you'd understand.

Lisa: (peacefully paying bills & enjoying music)
Ken: (walking into my office again, already talking) Something, something, blah, blah, blah.... and what the hell are you listening to?
Lisa: What?
Ken: It's 9:30 and the recruiter didn't call. She said she would call at 9:00!!
Lisa: I'm sorry. I know, it's not very professional of her.
Ken: Yeah, and Venkat called and said [a whole lotta stuff].
Lisa: He's the one who meditates.... mmm... I like him.
Ken: Uh, yeah. And [Way. More. Talking.]
Lisa: Honey, would you please get me some Tylenol?
Ken: You can't get it?
Lisa: I'd really prefer if you would.
Ken: Why can't you just do it?
Lisa: Because if you go, then the talking will stop and I'll get Tylenol.
Ken: (goes, comes back with blessed elixir)
Lisa: Thank you. Now, would you please look through your mail pile for...
Ken: Can't. I gotta take a shitter.*
Lisa: That's going on the blog.
Ken: No it's not. You always say that but don't put anything on there.
Lisa: (typing)

* Note to Ricky: I'm sorry. I know your delicate sensibilities are offended by this language. Unfortunately, that is exactly what he said. I'm not covering for his potty mouth any longer. Yes, his mother reads this.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Self Motivation

Funny sight yesterday: A lovely young woman, wearing flip-flops, khaki capris and a 'Dare to be DIFFERENT' t-shirt, spotted while we were both shopping in Old Navy. Hmmm... Maybe it's more of a goal for her future, then?

Note: I am at home this week for spring break with many, many children, one husband and a whiny-ass needy dog. Due to that uh, stimulation, my brain simply cannot form s-p-e-l-l-e-d out words that I then attempt to type onto the desk machine thingy... what's it called? Dell something? Also, IM chatting doesn't help matters either. Apparently I can only process one, sometimes two language-y things at a time. So. Until Monday, my darlings. And besides, it's beeeeeeautiful out there! What are you doing inside? Now scoot. Go play!!

Friday, April 14, 2006

What's New

Today I'm going to post something on here, even if it sucks. I just need to get back in the saddle again, right? It feels a lot like the saddle has changed though, like someone else has been sitting in it and the contours that used to fit me so well are a little bit off. The problem is, it's me who's changed and now with blogging I feel a bit... what's that word? Little kids play with them? Those cube shaped things?

(okay, it's a start. keep going.)

What did I ever write about on here, again? I went back and read some of it, and I admit it amuses me. But where did I get the stuff from? Dunno. It somehow seems impossible for me to think that way any longer. Am I upset? unhappy? depressed? No, quite the opposite actually. Maybe I'm in denial? No. I don't think so... Things are very good right now. Peaceful. Calm. I feel centered and like I'm bordering on, dare I say it? Serene.

(sort of babbling, but keep going)

I'd mentioned earlier that my friend situation was changing, and wow has it ever, and all for the better. The Play is finally over. Thank you, Jesus. Kwan Yin is still working her quiet magic and I am lovingkindnessing people daily. I finally deleted my old horoscope (which made me sound like a party animal/whore... not that there's anything wrong with that) after finding a lovely new one called the Daily Om, which is soothing and reassuring. The kids are doing well; everyone is getting what they need and some of what they want. Ken got laid off from work, and it's a good thing, just the nudge he needed. Spring is definitely here and it feels soooo good. Some of the neighbors on our little court gathered for a progressive dinner last weekend that reminded me how much I love living here. Let's see, what else?

(um..... go back to that thing about Ken...)

Oh, yes. Ken got laid off from his job. Didn't I mention? Yes. It came as not much of a surprise. I had a harder time with it than he did, but things are fine now. Everything is going to be just fine. It is. It really is. Just fine. He has a very nice severence package and all is well. At first I was careful to only tell people I knew wouldn't trigger my panic button & would only say reassuring things like "This is great! What a wonderful opportunity! and He should have left that place a long time ago." It was very nice floating around in that supportive space for a week or so, but now it's time to tell everyone. He's home all the time now.

(Hmmm..... how do you feel about that?)

I like having him here, most of the time. Mornings are strange, since he doesn't bolt out of bed and immediately start getting ready for work. We've had to review morning speaking-to-Liz procedures in order to maximize her chances of on-time arrival at school. We learned to not go to the grocery store together. We learned Lisa absolutely needs a chunk of Alone Time every day.

(yeah, yeah.... what about Ken getting a new job!)

He has gotten his resume together and started sending it out. He's contacted every person he can think of who might be of some use or assistance or know something. He's talked to head hunters, gone to meetings, had lunches, etc. He is On. Top. Of. Things.

(oh, my god! you might have to move! are you going to move?)

We don't know. We talk about it. We think about it. At this point, the job search is for the Ann Arbor and within-sane-driving-distance areas. We'll see what happens. People are wonderful. The ones far away say "Come live out here! Come live by us!" and the ones here say "Don't go! Please stay! We don't want you to leave!" which is exactly the best situation to be in.

(you are handling things so well. you are quite stable & balanced, aren't you?)

Yes. We both are. Everything is going to be okay.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Face It: She's Just Not That Into You

Dear Cell Phone Caller,

I'll be as gentle as I can with this. Dude, you have the wrong number, okay? Tracy does not live here. She doesn't want to talk to you, see? She gave you the wrong number. I know because it's MINE, the number you keep calling. I am not now, nor have I ever been Tracy; neither am I harboring her.

I know, I know... it seemed pretty special at the time didn't it? It sounds like you guys really hit it off, too. Maybe it was just the moment, though. The two of you were sparking and she gave you "her" number and I'll just bet you said "I'll call you." Didn't you? Didn't you? Well, of course you did. Guys like you always say that. Kudos though, for actually calling this time. Calling six times in one afternoon however, might be considered just a wee tad bit excessive. (Especially since the nice lady on the other end keeps saying you have the wrong number.) Some women are really into that kind of uh, attention, though. It makes them feel all desirable and pretty... But you know, I am not here to judge. You say persistant; I say stalker. Whatever. We'll probably never know. Besides, it's a cell phone, so I'm not worried.

One last thing. I can tell from your voice (and the many times we've spoken today!) that you are a very special fella. Just remember there are plenty of ladies out there who will appreciate you for who you really are. Tracy never really "got you" anyway, ya know? Her loss. Let her go. Plenty more fish in the sea.

Take care now,
Lisa

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Enough Mrs. Nice Guy

Tonight's Fortune Cookie: Impatience may be appropriate at this time.

So. There you have it. I've got permission now. Please don't go adding that smirky little 'in bed' thing and think it stops there, either. Because this is full-spectrum impatience, baby. And I am running with it.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Reach Out And Touch Someone

How to know when life has become a little too wired: I'm sitting at my computer, cursing the fact that my mom does not sign onto IM chat when I mentally will her to do so. I want to ask her something, but email is too complicated & will take too long. I concentrate harder, and she still doesn't sign on... and then it occurs to me I guess I could call her. Duh? Like, the old-fashioned way? And then I wonder if she can text message...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Gratitude: Apportioned Starbucks Style

Small: Gratitude to Shelby for finally figuring out how to wedge her head into the cup holder in my Jeep so she can sleep and not slide around while I'm driving. She's safer, sleeps better and looks even cuter, as if that were possible.

Tall: Gratitude & relief after noticing the HUGE and very alert white Akita sitting in the front seat of a car parked at the post office. I'd been worried about the two sleeping toddlers in the backseat, but they were definitely well tended & protected during the few minutes their mom was inside.

Grande: Gratitude for HND* finally coming out of his wintery hiding place and waving at me (!) as I drove by. It only got better when I realized he was talking on his cell phone and had used that hand to wave with, thus interrupting his conversation. (!!)

Venti: Gratitude for my darling friend Susan, of course, for being on the props committee with me at The Play, and me finally having access to someone who not only knows exactly what she is doing but is more than willing to share her wisdom. I learned more (and did more!) in one night with her than during my whole time (weeks) listening to the guy in charge backstage. Lesson: Dorothy was right. Ignore the man behind the curtain.

* Hot Neighborhood Dad, for any new readers.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

That Certain Someone

Annoying: How my horoscope provider always refers to "that certain someone" doing this or that in my life.

Um, yeah. I'm married. I know exactly who you are referring to.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Live In The Present Moment, Wisely And Earnestly

Life is just so... daily.
Life is good!
Shit happens, and then you die.

SO.... what is it, then? Which one is right? What is the one true answer? Which pithy message can I safely tattoo on the back of my hand and know I'll always be on the right path? Or is it like everything else, in that it's complicated and simple at the same time, and therefore all of the above? I was just discussing this with my friend Joan, how frustrating those contradictory little slogans and sayings can be. That surely must mean some are right and some are wrong, right? But then I saw it, the silver-lining loophole. Yes, those helpful sayings contradict one another, and it's good thing, too, because then we can choose. We get to choose what kind of day or life we are having and what kind of helpful/pithy reminder we'd like to employ! Today I feel obsessive & perfectionistic, thus It's All in the Details and Every Little Bit Matters. Tomorrow I might feel bold and expansive and prefer the mantra Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. Take What You Can Use and Leave the Rest! Brilliant!

As for me, yes, I've been neglecting my blog, and my darling readers, because my life has just taken over and has spun off a little life of its own lately. But... It's All Good. It really, really is. Sure, it's a rollercoaster of ups and downs. I can almost watch it, too. I can very nearly "see" the ups and downs as they unfold; definitely I can feel them. I keep thinking while I'm up this is it, this is where I want to be and where I want to stay. Then I mentally compose a mass email to everyone I know asking them all to not breathe or change a single darn thing (because it's all about me) so I can relax and enjoy the view from up top for a while. But that usually happens while I'm driving or in the shower and can't get to my computer. Then by the time I can safely pound out my missive, life has changed again! Change is The Only Thing We Can Count On, So Get Comfy With It. Or is it Make Friends With Change? How about Be Grateful For The Pluses in Your Life and Be Creative With the Negatives?

My new friend, who is responsible for one of the ups (Hi, Amber! Thanks, Bill!), would say it's all about Balance. She also says something about the futility of trying to teach a pig to sing, although I don't know her all that well yet and am very curious to learn how she even came to try that... I don't have the exact wording, but she says it doesn't work anyway, and it annoys the pig. I like that one, but I also enjoy Don't Blame A Pig For Being A Pig, which I got from Dharma & Greg. Perhaps the etymology of that last ditty renders it slightly questionable for a life plan...

Anyway! I seem to be getting a better handle on things, and seeing my world more clearly. What has happened is, the characters have sort of changed places, in a way. I can't go into detail and name names, except to say that people have rearranged themselves and while the process was a bit uncomfortable, its verrrrry nice now. I like it. Just. Like. This.

Everyone: SIT. STAY! OR MOVE! OR NOT!

All Is Well.
Everything Works Out In The End.
The End.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Mom Lesson #692: Just The Way You Are

Emily: Mom, have you ever seen Madonna in person?
Lisa: Nope, never seen her.
E: Have you seen Sheryl Crow?
L: No.
E: Shania Twain?
L: No.
E: [rapid-fire asks about 4-5 more people I've never seen]
L: No. Nope. Uh-uh. Never seen her, him, etc.
E: You stink! You don't know anyone famous!
L: Pardon me?
E: I'm sorry. Well, who have you seen?
L: Years ago I saw Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Anita Baker, Bill Cosby...
E: Bill Cosby? YOU ROCK! And Billy Joe in Greenday?
L: No.... Billy JOEL.
E: Who's that?
L: He's a little older. Listen to this song of his, perhaps you've heard it. It's called Just The Way You Are. It's all about loving people for exactly who they are.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

So That's What Happened...

Liz: Mom, today is International Women's Day.
Lisa: It is? Cool! Where are my presents?
Emily: No, you aren't a woman anymore.
Lisa: I'm not?
Emily: No. You were a woman a long time ago. Now you're a mother.

Call Her Miss Olson, If You're Nasty

Liz: My teacher keeps asking me questions.
Me: He does?
L: Yes! He keeps talking to me.
Me: Why?
L: He just asks me questions; each one twice.
Me: Like what?
L: He asked what I like to be called.
Me: Your name?
L: Yes. I said my friends call me Liz. I put extra emphasis on the word friends. I guess he wants to be my friend now because he calls me Liz!
Me: What did he used to call you?
L: I don't remember...
Me: I think he meant to ask what you would like for him to call you.
L: OH! Well, I want him to call me Elisabeth.
Me: Only close people, friends and family can call you Liz?
L: Right. It's not like I want him in my posse!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Life Is Good (But I'm Still Pro-Choice)

I could make a list of all the crummy stuff right now. Because I have crummy stuff too, you know. I could list it all. I could. It would include things like:

* my computer going 'plaid' and destroying TWO blog entries I'd written.
* the cold weather that just keeps on keeping on.
* how effing annoying/boring Atkins people are/can be.
* the huge pain of... The Play.
* my friends who are not playing nice in the proverbial sandbox.
* my daughter and her lack of focus.
* Shelby ate a whole box of Peanut Butter Patties, my favorite.
* the secret I'm keeping from my husband.

But I don't like to dwell on the negative. Okay, yes I do. But just for a little while. Then I like to turn that frown upside down! Yes! That's the ticket. New list:

* My computer is an excellent teacher for learning to fully appreciate the moment & experience the joy of having written something wonderful. And to finally freakin' learn to SAVE things, Lisa.

* Sunshine! We've had a lot of SUNSHINE lately! As long as the days are sunny, I don't mind the cold as much. Sort of.

* Not all low-carbers are boring & annoying. Some will send helpful recipes & suggestions via email while admitting "it's rough" finding edible low-carb dessert. Besides, the Atkins trend is dying. It is. Thank you, Jesus.

* The Play is fun and very interesting to watch as it comes together. My kids are totally enjoying the experience. I'm meeting new people and learning new skills. I'm becoming better at organizing my time. I've learned how to make a red herring out of fabric. I can assemble a reasonable proximity of "dinner" and make Emily ingest it within 10 minutes now.

* Most of my friends do play well in the sandbox, very well in fact. Those who don't simply need a little time-out to figure their shit out. And the rest of us can continue having fun together in the mean time.

* My daughter has many strengths. She never, ever rushes me or others. She is keenly observant. She is kind. She is patient. She is very helpful and cooperative. She is congenial and mellow & calm. She is a joy.

* Shelby was just doing what any self-respecting dog within easy proximity of an open box of Girl Scout cookies would do. Yes, she's a total bitch for eating the whole box, but she has very nice peanut-buttery breath now.

* Ken knows I am weak-kneed around adorable older men, especially octogenarian farmers. He knows I am powerless to say no to them when they come door-to-door selling carrots & potatoes, never mind over-priced firewood. We enjoy fires! And now? We have plenty of wood. So cozy, Ken! Think of the cozy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Real Dream Weaver

Lisa: Emily, you have to go to bed.
Emily: Yes! I know! But first [incomprehensibly long story/question]
Lisa: Okay. Time for bed.
Emily: Yeah, but first...
Lisa: Ken, will you please put her to bed?
Ken: Alright.
L: Emily, go with Daddy.
E: But first I want to...
L: No. Go with Dad. He's going to tell you a story.
E: Oh? A story from when you were little?
L: Yes. Tell her a "Radio Shack" story.
K: Okay! Emily, did I ever tell you about Radio Shack?
E: Um...
K: Radio Shack, well, it was owned by the Tandy Company.
E: Uh...
K: You might know them from the leather goods they sold.
E: Hmmm...
K: Then Tandy made a computer called the TRS-80.
E: Oh...
K: Do you know what TRS stands for?
E: (yawning) Totally Righteous Stuff?
K: No, it stands for [incomprehensibly long explanation/story]
E: (silent)
K: So, the TRS-80 was the first computer at Radio Shack and...
E: Zzzz zzzz zzzz.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Newly Minted Joe's Trader

Okay, I give up. I fought it for a long time, mostly because I liked Busch's so much and because it's just so dang far to drive all the way across town, but I'm a Trader Joe's convert now. Are you happy? Well? Are you? Will you stop pestering me now? Good.

I called AAA in early January and had them do me up one of those trip-tik deals so I could find my way all the way over there to scope out the tradin' at Joe's. The locals had said how excellent the food was, how healthfully delicious and inexpensive, how wonderful the frozen stuff tastes, how the whole experience of shopping there had profoundly changed their lives, blah, blah, blah.

My sister got in on the act too, prodding me from California, but I'm pretty sure she gets a kick-back from Joe. At Thanksgiving we stayed at her house and got to try out ALL of the entire line of Trader Joe's hand soaps, hand lotions, bath gels, face scrub, body lotions, room deodorizers, shampoos, conditioners and of course, food items, since my sister's house has been fully stocked by Joe himself. I think she's living in some kind of a test house, like a Nielsen family or something, but she won't tell me. She must have had to sign something. Anyway, it totally looks like a real house except that every single item in it came from Trader Joe's.

The one thing nobody mentioned, which would have sold me a lot sooner, is how doggone nice they are over there. Everyone I encountered was nice. I mean, super nice. Zingerman's nice. Enthusiastic. Thrilled to help me select bread for the fine art of toasting. Delighted to explain what the brass bells are for. And so excited about mozzarella & goat cheese that I faked some additional cheese enthusiasm of my own, just to be polite.

I checked out the restrooms, tried the coffee, helped myself to plenty of free samples, and nearly wept purchasing a bag of SEVEN gorgeous lemons for 2 bucks. The only thing lacking? No magazines at the checkout. I knew there had to be a catch! I just had to... stand there. Waiting. In line. (Behind one person, for the friendliest cashier on the planet.) I guess from now on I'll be like all my friends and have no idea what crazy thing Brittany has gone done or who's gotten divorced/remarried/is having an affair/pregnant with an alien's baby/gained a hundred pounds. I suppose I won't know when Angelina's baby gets born or what Brad designed for Baby's First Tat. Maybe I'll just have to sneak over to Busch's every once in a while for a junky magazine fix, you know, under the guise of picking up some cigarettes, Drano, and baby formula because you can't get everything at Joe's.