Tuesday, January 31, 2006

If I Told The Absolute, Honest-engine Truth Today While Shopping at Pottery Barn

Sales Associate #1: Hi! How are you?

Lisa: Hi! I’m pretty good now, but this morning, whoa! It was crazy! My husband’s car wouldn’t start. We’re pretty sure it’s the ignition. He’d been having trouble with his key lately but it’s just not the kind of thing you’d think to have checked out, you know?

Sales Associate #2: Are you finding everything okay?

Lisa: Yes. It’s really easy though, since you have everything sitting out like this, right where I can see it all at the same time. If fact, it’s a little overwhelming! But everything is so clean and tastefully arranged I sort of pretend I live here. I bet you do that too, right?

Sales Associate #3: Have any questions about the floor coverings?

Lisa: Yes. Do you feel weird having to call these rugs floor coverings? I mean, you probably don’t say that at home, do you? Actually, that’s not what I really want to ask. What I’m really wondering is, which "floor covering" do you think would smell less like pee after my elderly dog has an accident on it, wool or the sisal?

Monday, January 30, 2006

This & That

As he was about to leave this morning, Ken patted me on the head and said something very general that means “goodbye.” I thought the neutrality of the head pat combined with whatever it was he said, it being so bland I can’t even remember what it was… was all a bit sober & businesslike, even for married folks. I called towards his back “Pretty soon you’re going to start calling me Pal” and he yelled from the door “Have a good day, Sport!’ Without missing a beat Emily answered “See ya later, Kiddo!”

Speaking of my buddy Ken, he is a freaking genius. He waved his hands very quickly over the computer keyboard, chanted mysterious things in a language I don’t understand, sacrificed a small woodland creature and somehow that combination magically got the Flickr uploader to run a hell of a lot faster. It’s still not wicked-fast, an actual computer term printed on actual computer guy t-shirts worn by actual computer geeks, but it’s just about as fast as I can handle. Yesterday I added Thanksgiving pictures from our visit to my sister’s house in California, Ken’s birthday dinner at Zingerman’s Roadhouse and a couple from home. There’s also a few new ones scattered here and there, but like Easter eggs, another official computer term, you’ll just have to hunt around for those!

Liz is off school today, in celebration of one of those self-created school holidays… Teachers Pray Over Grades Day or something like that. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but they sure do look like they could use the break, so whatever. I’m not complaining because No School Today translates to Liz and me enjoying a full day of Contemplative Sports, with special emphasis on heading out for some shoe shopping. Catch ya later, amiable chums!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Utopian Dream

I just had a dream, not really a nightmare, but pretty bad nonetheless. Then I woke up and thought perfect for the blog. So that's strange... but anyway.

I lived in a tiny village that looked exactly like Ann Arbor, except it was summertime and I knew it was always summertime there. I lived right downtown, in an adorable little cottage, just off of Division Street. Oh, and there was a lovely ocean where Plymouth Road should be. And it was always summertime. Did I mention that part? I lived alone and had a nice little job downtown and everyone walked everywhere in my dream. You know that strange deal in dreams where walking takes forever, and the more you walk, and the harder you try to get somewhere, the less far along you get? The opposite was true in this dream! I'd think about where I wanted to be, walk just a few steps and very quickly arrive at my destination. I even thought, well, this is certainly nice and why didn't I think of it before. I mean, why shouldn't it work that way some of the time?

One day I got up in the morning, took a quick dip in the ocean, because it was just right there, wrapped a big towel around myself and super-fast walked over to the little cafe that was next-door to my cottage. I went up to the counter and told the woman I'd like to order a crueller and a large cup of coffee. She said that was fine and she walked away. A while later she came back and presented me with a huge white bag, filled with boxes and loaves of bread and other bakery-type things. I said, no, I just wanted a crueller and a large cup of coffee. She looked at me all confused and I said I think maybe this order belonged to the man who had been in front of me earlier. He'd ordered a lot of things, and I wasn't sure where he'd gone to... but I just wanted the crueller and coffee. She went away again and came back with a crueller and a cup of water. She said that it would be 93 cents. (why is there no 'cents' key on my keyboard? when did those go away?) I asked her where was my large coffee. She looked surprised and said Oh, you'd like to order some coffee now too? But she said it all friendly-like and seemed to genuinely not recall my having already ordered it, so I said yes, I'd really like a large cup of coffee, please.

She left and the man in line behind me started grumbling about how she was so incompetent, that my order wasn't all that difficult and why couldn't she just get it right, etc. A few minutes later she came back, looked at me, smiled and asked if she could take my order. I said yes, I'd like a large cup of coffee please. She said okay and walked away. Then I stood there thinking this dream isn't as great as I'd thought it was. The seaside town where it's always summer was fantastic, except I did sort of wonder where my family had gotten to, and the man in line behind me was really starting to be annoying... and there was no damn coffee! I peeked behind the counter, and sure enough, there was a large coffee setup, just brewing away.

The counter lady came back and we went a couple more rounds of me ordering a large coffee and her saying okay and then not coming back with the coffee and the man behind me getting increasingly agitated as the line behind him grew longer and longer. Finally I decided the situation was getting too stressful, and I didn't like the dream anymore because idyllic as that place was, I won't stay where there's no coffee!

I wish I had a better ending, but the truth is I woke up and that was that. Then I thought perfect for the blog, and I know I've been neglecting it lately... so there you go. A peek inside the inner workings of my unconscious self, which as it turns out is a whole lot like my conscious self, who really just wants a large cup of coffee.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Finally An Avid Sportswoman

I've never been someone who could be mistaken for an athlete. I do not like sports and so there I've said it. Until now. It turns out some of the stuff I already enjoy doing (and am very good at) have been gathered together and named. And get this, it's a sport, yo. Meditation, yoga, shoe shopping, opera-going, daydreaming and napping. Put 'em all together and it's called, wait for it, because it's that good... Comtemplative Sports! I excel at Comtemplative Sports. I'm naturally gifted, in fact. There's just one little thing. I need to figure out a way to get myself started on the opera-going part... maybe cross-train? combine it with napping? Brilliant.

[Edited to add: I did not just make this up, I read the term Contemplative Sports online, on a semi sports-related sort-of site. So it is too real.]

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Healthy Self-Esteem Via Homework?

Overheard, from the kitchen, Ken helping Emily with homework.

Ken: Okay, so what is the common denominator?
Emily: 2.
Ken: No. That is completely, totally wrong.
Emily: Dad!
Ken: What?
Emily: Dad!
Ken: It's not 2.
Emily: (sputtering in disbelief) You're not helping me feel good about my homework!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Laundry Resignation, Because Shoutin' It Out Didn't Work

Hello! Welcome to Monday, laundry day. My Granny in heaven is so happy right now to see that I'm finally doing things in a semi-orderly fashion instead of my usual haphazard method of At The Last Second And Only As Needed. I'm not sure if she'd approve of the following however.

I decided today, once and for all, that my kids are going to be doing their own laundry from now on. I mentioned this idea to Ken yesterday, but only in a They Are Certainly Old Enough To Help Out Around Here kind of way. But I mean it now. I really do. I am sick, sick and tired of finding clean, still-folded & unworn clothing items stuffed into my kids' dirty laundry hampers. I overlook and sort out the shoes, doll clothes, books, small toys, etc. but discovering clean things that I sorted, washed, dried, folded and then hauled up to a kids' room? Freshly cleaned and springtime fresh clothes that I left neatly stacked on her bed so all she had to do was put them in a drawer or hang them up? So she could wear and enjoy her nice clean clothes at her leisure? Apparently she couldn't manage to do it. So she just tossed them back into the hamper. LIKE I WOULDN'T NOTICE.

I've turfed the same pink shirt back & forth, up and down from the laundry room to the Girl In Question's room THREE TIMES now. And today, here it is ha-gain. I bent over to pick it up, shaking my head in disbelief thinking It can't be, It can't be, It simply cannot be... and time sort of slowed down and then everything ground to a halt as I became clear and still and resigned myself to the fact that Yes, There It Is. Again. The pink shirt. Clean. Still-folded. & Unworn. In the dirty clothes pile. By moving just a few things around I quickly found two other items, clean, still-folded, and unworn in the laundry pile. And then? Then there was an audible snap! And then? A very peaceful calm settled in because Ahhhh... I'm not doing their laundry anymore. From now on they can just walk around looking like, well, whatever they are going to look like as they learn how to do their own laundry. Or not.

Because, you see, I have enough time to arrange the clean, still-folded & unworn "dirty" clothing items, take some pictures of them, upoad them onto the computer, choose the one I like best, compose a blog entry to go with it and then publish the whole thing. But by god, I don't have time to turf those clean, still-folded & unworn clothes back upstairs one more time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Goddess Of Compassion, Part 1.

One of the items I'd had on my birthday/Christmas wish list was a buddha. I'm not exactly sure why I wanted one, I just did. They're pushing buddhas at the Canton Target now, so it's not like this whole idea hasn't hit mainstream, okay? But it doesn't matter because I didn't get one. I still waited a little while into January anyway, just to be sure, because anyone with a late December birthday over about age 4 knows to hang in there for a bit, and see what happens. Nothing. I finally reasoned getting a for-at-home-use deity must be like buying bras, shoes, or anything else uniquely personal in that it would probably be best for me to do it myself. I looked around, shopped the buddhas, found one I liked in a catalog and ordered it.

Kwan Yin arrived a week ago. She's the Buddhist Goddess of Compassion and so of course she is beautiful. I chose her because I especially like that she's female, and because she's reclining, something which I myself enjoy doing from time to time. I also thought she'd look good in the living room, because I am too that shallow. Up close it's apparent she's smiling serenely and she looks pretty blissed out. The deal with Kwan Yi is that she's supposed to fill those who gaze upon her with loving kindness, see? Patience. Acceptance. Nice, huh? Besides, did I mention she looks smashing in the living room? Liz and I quickly found her a nice cozy spot on the coffee table where she can start working her magic. I also wanted her front & center so I could easily glance over to summon up her assistance, you know, for when some idiot pisses me off.

I hadn't had Kwan Yin five minutes when Emily came into the room to add a few items to her new (& growing) Things My Mom Shall No Longer Do list. Apparently, and unbeknownst to me, while arranging Kwan Yi I'd been humming. Forbidden! Also, from the sound of things, and since it's clearly written up right there in her report, I was also singing, out loud, while she had a friend over. Which is obviously also Forbidden! While she was at it, she tacked on a footnote/comment about my new eyeshadow and its application. Oh, how I wish I were, but I am not making any of this up. I introduced them to one another and after Emily left I explained to Kwan Yin that she really had her work cut out for her. I also asked that if she didn't mind, would she please start by aiming some of her rub-off-able compassion towards the little girl?

End of Part 1.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Lurking, The Gentle Form Of Stalking

Attention all you lurkey-loos out there! This week is De-Lurking week on the internets, in case you didn't know. I just found out myself! And it's already Thursday! What this means is, if you've been lurking about, reading my blog without commenting, then I'm presenting you with a wonderful opportunity to come on out of the cyber closet and say howdy. C'mon! It's fun! All of the cool kids are doing it!

Coincidentally, I recently disabled the anonymous comments option. It's not you; it's me. Really. Well, no, actually it's kind of you. But mostly me. How 'bout we go 50/50 on it? My part is that I sometimes wonder (because obsess is such an ugly word) but only ever so slightly, and never so much as to neglect the children, about who might have left such a kind, brilliant, hilarious or infuriating comment. I'll think to myself, hmm, I wonder who could have written that? And then I'll go one of two ways. Either I'll forget all about it or I'll start repeating WHO IN THE WORLD WROTE THAT? like a mantra for insanity. After twenty minutes or so is when I usually try to invite Ken into my personal hell, but he almost always abstains because we did not write our own marriage vows. (rookie mistake) He simply refuses to dissect the punctuation/grammar/tone of a comment with me! Once in a while he will glance at a commnet and say "That's [random name]" and that's it, end of discussion. Unless I then manage to distract us both by arguing about that.

Anyway, from now on you'll have to sign in, but there is still the option of choosing a nickname for yourself if you don't want to use your real name. People with known-to-me nicknames, like Ricky or Sammy or Candy or Sexy Lexi or Tommi or Stud Muffin Hubby could of course use those names. Or, you can make up an exciting new name for yourself! Now won't that be fun? (Then please email me with your decoded identity, por favor.)

Last but not least, I'd like to extend a sincere thanks to all of the regular commenters! Comments are my second favorite part of doing this thing. Thank you, pretty people. Thank you.

Confidential to Mac: Happy Birthday! May all of your legal wishes come true!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Reminder To The Women Of PBG

No matter how he pleads, or what slippery story he attempts to feed you, Ken is not one of us. Apparently, last night he tried again. He sidled up to a member and said all friendly-like "Lisa told me what the B stands for in PBG, but, um, I forgot. What is it again?" Of course, Ricky unflinchingly and without missing a beat said a word that does indeed begin with B, but has nothing whatsoever to do with PBG. He will keep trying. FYI: He is easily distracted by the following B words: butter, boobs, and beer. And if you say them all together like that? He'll be sufficiently stunned so that you can just walk away.

b! b!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Enough Family Togetherness, Time For Some Family Awayness

Okay, I need these kids to go back to school now. Yes, need. I know the difference between want and need and understand that integrity should come first and all that crap. But the person who wrote that pithy little ditty about integrity/need/want obviously didn't have bored kids stuck at home for TWO WEEKS staring at them, desperate for Julie McCoy to come up with the next fun-filled activity.

I've got an idea... some of you have kids also part of the wonderful AAPS extended-stay-at-home break, how 'bout this? I'll call up that snarky teacher, the one who lives a few streets over in my neighborhood. I'll offer her, what, like $50 per kid to open the school early, see? We'll just drop the kids off like usual and she can, um, combine them into a mixed-age class until Monday! Yes, that's it! Who's with me?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Because He Likes Sleeping On The Sofa

I was watching Nanny 911 with the kids when Ken came into the room. He saw what we were watching and said "Oh, that's what I need... except I want an au pair... yeah, an au pair 36-24-34."