Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Three-Word Sentences

     Beanstalk is one hardy little fellow. OK, not so little. He's creeping up on eight at alarming speed. The moment he starts creeping up on another year, so does Squib. Born three years and one week apart, those two make July 18-23 like Christmas around here when it comes to celebration and gift-giving. They'll be five and eight this year. Squib will be going to school in the fall. I won't exactly be doing nothing, but a milestone in our family life will most definitely have been reached. It's like the first step of Empty Nest Syndrome. They're not gone, but they're slowly...going.

     Speaking of milestones, Beanstalk is ripping by them left and right. This week, his speech assignment was to begin using three-word sentences. Warhol (Beanstalk's dad) just called me to tell me about the first multi-word incident.

Warhol: "I..." (leading)
Beanstalk: "...want..." (automatically repeating...he's good)
Warhol: "" "Now, you do it."
Beanstalk: (eyes rolling...I just KNOW they were rolling because he's my son) "Dad, I want music." (grin)
Warhol: "Four words. Nice."

     Beanstalk loves any opportunity to show you he can one-up you or skip over something if at all possible. He's always spoken "a" language. We called it Klingon jokingly...until we started to hear some of the words repeated and realized he really was speaking his own language! So, he still uses some Klingon like "Egog" for "Poppa" which is his name for Warhol. He can use the word Dad, but the Klingon is the language in which he named us, so the names stay. English for everything else is a must, though.

     He even used to have a ridge down the center of his forehead where a suture line became prominent for a while. I was ready to call the Star or the National Enquirer just to pay off the surgery for his feet. Should have done. Oops.

     Can't wait to see him this weekend!

     Business is slow, but the light is on at the end of the tunnel. Flickering dimly, but on...yay!



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Creepy Freezer Section

I was doing the grocery shopping yesterday when I approached a completely dark freezer section. Normally, I don't even go to the freezer section, but I was doing the shopping for Attrition and Mystery. They drink things, buy toppings, and eat frozen stuff, so there I was. So the lights both in the freezers and above the aisle were out and since it was late evening, the whole place had a morgueish feeling. I am an authority on that feeling.

In the interest of conserving electricity, the lights are motion-activated. So, when you turn into the aisle, the lights above you come on. Not the whole aisle, just the block above you. When you approach a freezer, it's lights come on. If you pause to look or think, they go off. You have to kick or wave (which looks like spasmodic flailing) to be able to see the food again.
Needless to say, I found it very off-putting. My initial response was to get the heck out of there. I understand the reasoning, but I can't stand the feeling that someone is looking at me and playing with the light switch. Or, even worse, the feeling I get when I'm in a room USING a light, and someone just turns it out on me! This happens a lot...usually in my office in the middle of some long, drawn-out process. It interrupts my concentration and the culprit always says "Oh! Were you using that?"

No. I was sitting here working and hoping someone would come all the way over here to turn off the light and leave me in the dark.
"But your screen lights up."
True. However, the self-lighting paper, books, supplies, furniture...they're just not performing as expected.

Their fault I guess.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Sushi Can Be Dangerous

     I love sushi. LOVE it. So, of course I was eating it. And somewhere there in the middle of it, two-thirds of a tooth broke off in it. What a horrifying experience! And painful! I mean, geez, my tooth came off for crying out loud! In raw salmon! Which was, as usual, delicious by-the-way. 

     Now I am having dreams of waking up completely toothless before I hit 40. And don't feed me any of that cosmetic dentistry, there-are-bridges-and-dentures crap! I worked hard for these darn teeth! I wore braces from early 7th through the late 10th grades! I even had surgery to drag one out of the roof of my mouth. Headgear, rubber bands, and a freaking button in the roof of my mouth for months and months!! 

     God only knows how much money my parents spent on my mouth...

     And just to prove that this happened to me, it wasn't the top part that broke was the front part...split from top to bottom. Just plain weird. And the dentist will "work me in" in two days. That's my favorite part. No, no...the favorite part is that they can give me no ball park for the expense because "teeth just don't break that way." So...I am anticipating walking in with my checkbook and walking out with, you guessed it, nada. Someone remind me to gas up my car before I go so I can still drive home...


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Breaking Things

I'm not saying that we are doing the breaking, but that things are breaking on their own in a planned and coordinated manner. Expensive things are breaking. So far, "only" two cars (and two-halves) and one clothes washer. Yes, I am aware that two halves make a whole but the halves don't belong to the same cars, ipso facto "two halves." (No, I am not going to review the use of ipso facto and am certain I am probably using it incorrectly. Let's chock this blog entry up to stream-of-consciousness-type writing).

The washer thinks the lid is open all the time. More accurately, the little button that depresses when you shut the lid is now missing. It has been replaced with a peg fashioned out of rolled paper. That won't last long. Fashioning a stronger peg must be done eventually. The part (like we could find that--the thing is a million years old) would no doubt cost a billion dollars IF we could even find it. I still posit that the washer is thinking, though, because it has to in order to prove conspiracy with the vehicles.

The first vehicle to go was the CRV. Timing belt. YEAH. Now the poor thing needs a new motor--that is NOT cheap. That was Friday night. On Tuesday (which for other reasons seemed like the worst day of both mine and Attrition's life) the truck blew a belt. It is in pieces in the driveway where the attempt to repair it was foiled by darkness and rain. The free parts are in my bedroom--yes, I said my BEDROOM--because the cat pack would spread them from one end of the house to the other. The half truck...wait...they're both trucks. OK one is an SUV. The half-truck needs an entire exhaust system because the one it HAD is 85% missing. How it keeps running is a mystery. The half-SUV has had just about every part replaced that we can reasonably afford. And, no, two half-trucks don't make a whole.

So. Tomorrow, I'm going to take the truck that sounds like a Harley to school with me. I really am gonna need a sign that says...Oh, I don't know..."Please don't stare"...OR..."Shut up and get back in the Beemer your daddy bought you." That was rude. But true. Taking classes near the nation's number one planned community makes the way my family lives look like the Clampetts at times and usually I have no trouble with this, but you just don't see anyone's legs sticking out from under their cars around here. Ever, come-to-think-of-it. And I've lived in this area since 1990.

What a sad thing! I remember playing outside while my dad did his own oil changes out in the driveway as did all the other dads. Moms lined their chairs up between the houses and chattered. There was barbecue. We ran in packs--the kids, that is. Now, well, that sounds like an archaic, ridiculous, but imaginative dream.

However archaic or ridiculous, I still wish that dream were real. That my boys could run around our land without having to do anything but say "I'm goin' out mom!" and I could say, "Be back before dark!" Or maybe I'd have a little bell like Christine Johnson's mom and they'd have to stay where they could hear it and come when I rang. I don't know. All I know now is that they aren't as free as they once were to learn how to explore on their own. When do they develop that kind of independence? When they're sixteen and can finally explore on their own with a giant metallic death machine. Nice. I can try to give my children experiences to explore, but the point is that if I am a "good" mother these days I don't really leave them in situations where they are truly independent. Just hang in there for a minute with me.

You see, when Attrition's car lost it's timing belt, he was on an isolated piece of road between Houston and a Lake about an hour-and-a-half away. It's a cellular dead-zone. Assuming you have a phone and survive the experience uninjured, you need to know what to do. Attrition and I, we know that. Not just because we were taught what to do, but because we had little experiences of being alone when things went wrong. Those little experiences got bigger over time--not out of neglect or maltreatment, but because we were allowed and able to accept greater and greater responsibilities and because it was safe to leave us to do so at the time. Now that, well, it isn't safe to do so...

I wonder sometimes.

OH, and Tuesday really stank for me 'cause the Gross Anatomy practical was sprung on our class two days early and on the same day as a lecture exam on the skeletal system's anatomy and physiology...only 1500 bones/bone markings on the practical. That's all. This exam is regulated by the school, so every student takes the same one versus the others that vary from professor to professor. Makes it harder to study for. Yes, three people actually broke down in tears. No word yet as to whether or not the other classes had their practicals given to them two days early. I sorta doubt it. I'm not even gonna touch Attrition's bad day...made mine a cake walk.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Egads! My apologies!

Let me see if I can make it through one darn paragraph without embarrassing myself.

I used to be a technical writer. What the heck ate my brain? I've been reviewing my entries and my format and my proofreading stinks! Thank goodness Dr. Mitchell is not alive to scream "Cut out the deadwood, Scat!" in outrageous red capitals in perfect cursive handwriting the margin. He would be horrified.

There was a day when slipping in an "as" for an "at" or an "an" would bring the black plague of death--to say nothing of an out-and-out misspelled word or repeated word.

I suppose you really do get what you pay for?
(Spell-check swears all these words are correctly spelled. I am doubtful.)

All Through the Night

I was pummeled in my sleep. All night long. The master of disaster was being tucked in for the night when the wind picked up a deck chair just enough to drag it down the length of the north deck of the house hitting every board in turn. Every time I hear that, I think of the hours and hours put in collectively by the family to hammer in decks and am astounded. Then offended that the wind has the audacity to endanger our handiwork. The noise was creepy. Admittedly, it sounded scary even to me. Attrition was here then, and I thought he'd pulled some dumb stunt like dragging a deck chair ALL THE WAY TO THE DRIVEWAY in the middle of the night. I mean, you gotta have a chair to sit in while you chain smoke in a 38-degree Fahrenheit windstorm (40-50 mph gusts last night).

Attrition lives to see today because he was safely ensconced in my office, not dragging chairs anywhere. Attrition is not the sole proprietor of stupidville. I live there, too, and at times we inhabit the town jointly and even purpose to go there. Namely, for "fun." Our definition of "fun" remains sketchy when bundled up in the woods under a new moon investigating the "activities" of our neighbors.(Those folk could keep us occupied for life). But there are areas of stupidville Attrition roams alone because he has yet to procreate. Or maybe I inhabit areas of stupiville because I've chosen to procreate and no longer have to go to others because I learned other things in that process. That's like five or six posts right there with the summary post titled "I would have done it all over again anyway."

Regardless, Squib was hanging on to me like a fly on stink and wouldn't go out with me to tame the chairs, so we went into Buddy's room and woke him up to "help." What an awful idea THAT was. Buddy left by his side door and slammed all the chairs around and put a cinder-block on the bottom of the stack of chairs. The noise he made was so deafening that Squib decided there would be no sleeping in the bedroom. In ANY bedroom. So....that leaves the....

SOFA. You know, I love it that you are so smart. Yes, the ever-present "I-used-to-be-marigold-yellow-tufted-silk-in-1959-wouldn't-Jackie-love-me" sofa. It turned fifty last year. God bless it.

Otherwise known as my bed when I'm here (yes, there's a perfectly good queen in the office...), the sofa is not a two-person deal. Not even a person-and-a-half deal. OK, perhaps not even a one-person deal. Nevertheless, we shared. He finally fell asleep after an hour of discussion (it just seemed like longer because the discussion involved body parts) but I have to admit, as it happens, that I love the feel of his warm little body up against mine and the smell of baby shampoo, and even, yes, good old Vitamin D-enriched whole milk milk-breath.

Squib sorta sleeps like a paddle on an electric mixer. Spinning and spinning and spinning. And spinning. This is an activity very contrary to breathing or sleeping. So the night sounded like "Spin. UFF! Ok, it's ok. Go back to sleep honey." Lather, rinse, repeat.

Mommy woke up a little frazzled with...witch Hilda hair that reached the ceiling. Dear God, who are we kidding? I had a fro. Little man's hair just looked, well, cool--according to him. Maybe it was cool in a Robert-Pattinson-Twilight sort of way that the four-year-old seems to like. And that is just what I need...a sparkly 4yo vampire. Yay.

On the side, a little freebie for anyone who ventured out to read me today, Squib has joined up in the effort to teach Beanstalk new words. Yesterday he taught him "rainbow." And how to match all the cars up according to color and make a rainbow out of cars. I thought this was good. Educational. However, I learned that this is important, you know, because then you can learn the word "DAMAGE!!!!!" which must be said in the growliest of voices as you wreak havoc on the unsuspecting rainbow of cars or the small city you have just built. All things built must be DAAMMMAAGGEEEDDDD! RAR!!! It is the way of things. RAWR.

Damage wears me out. So do Anatomy practicals. Oh, and my sympathies to Kansas...yes the whole state--March Madness ensues and every so often there is a big freaking surprise. I didn't even get to watch the game.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Escaped!

One reason: faster download speed.

And the second reason: faster download speed.

And the third reason: toddlers can kill you. They have razor-sharp teeth for a reason.

Problem is, I escaped with $10.73 and a quarter tank of gas. Not smart. And, well, obviously desperate. Squib is excited about spending the night with Buddy. He kissed me nine times and gave me three hugs for the trip. Stood on the porch and waved and screamed as I left.

It's all a show. He hasn't kissed me in days.

Most decidedly out of town,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Never Ceases to Amaze Me...

We did some work for another company a while back. The data they gave us was in the worst shape you could possibly imagine and we used every trick we knew of and made up a few we'd never heard of to get the best interpretation we possibly could.

When we finally were able to make sense of it and return our analysis, I was convinced that would be the last we ever heard from them. They were pretty convinced they could make better sense of the 3D data than we could and I was so tired of looking at it that I didn't care. There are only so many miracles a human being can work. I believe that number is somewhere around zero.

So, when they called this a.m. wanting a meeting TOMORROW to do some more work for the same client, I was, to say the least, flabbergasted. As long as the work doesn't come with the chronic pessimism and worry they seem to function under, fine. So, OK...

The way we left things with them was, well, strained and trying to understand their request is like, well, it's like trying to understand an 83-yr-old wanting a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition figure.

I love my job. -or- Here we go again?

Friday, March 12, 2010

25 Really Good Reasons To Sleep In A Tree

OK, it has come to my attention that some of you need some **help** making the distinction between followers, readers, commenters, and lurkers. Truthfully, though it appears that only two of you have the spinal column to do all of the above (I <3 you both. You are brave souls and/or very bored), I am glad for all of you and am going to start answering the many questions I have been receiving via email. So, here goes: followers are the most hallowed of beings. They have the brass ones to actually publicly follow my ridiculous attempt at writing. Those little square things at the left of the screen (both of them--ha!) are my "followers" They follow, read, and comment regularly and I return the favor--you should read them!!!

Many of you choose to remain anonymous to the world. I guess I understand why and I respect that, but I shall lovingly refer to you as the "lurkettes" regardless of gender. There. Now you have a group and can know that you exist together in my email. to answer some of your questions.

First..."Do I have any favorite recipes from other blogs?"

I am answering this for one reason. I'm not a recipe kind of girl. I cook and I cook very well, but it's always my own recipe. This recipe is distinct for it's true awfulness and the fact that it's the only recipe I can remember from a blog in recent days. It's a cocktail recipe called Tojaadots, I believe: juice box (whatever's available), tonic water, and coconut rum. Mix and I suppose add to efficacy rather than taste because efficacy is the only reason you would drink such a thing. With that concoction you can write stimulating stuff like this. Merriwether may never follow this rag ever again.

CORRECTION: Actually, the Tojaadot is a mixture of tequila, orange juice, and a dash of Tabasco sauce. The drink box/coconut rum/soda water was an earlier attempt at intoxification...which ended poorly. Tojaadots are, therefore infinitely more desireable treat than death-by-juice-box (my name for it).

Second... "Have you really ever slept in a tree?"

Yes. And I mean IN the tree. Not a tree house or a swing or anything like that. This is going to stir up a lot more questions, so I'll start you off S-L-O-W-L-Y.

25 Really Good Reasons To Sleep In A Tree

1. 2000 sq.ft. house with 7 family members (two octogenarians--one deaf, two in their sixties--one deaf, me, one seven-yr-old--deaf, and one four-yr-old). The deaf thing makes you LOOOONG for piece and quiet and a place where you don't have to make yourself known vocally, facially, AND with the correct combination of hand signals. Contrary to popular opinion, deaf people are not that quiet.

2. Entropy.

3. Not enough ________. This is different for everyone and changes by the day for me.

4. The sound of "Momma, I need you!" "For what?" "For sumpin." "Tell me what!" "For SUM-PIN!!! (growling voice)"

5. The "What the bleep am I supposed to do with this??!!" face my mute seven-yr-old can make. He does NOT need to learn to speak, but I am cooperating with his teachers.

6. Computers that make phone calls.

7. Computers.

8. Microsoft. I digress, but you get the point.

9. The desire for silence like you only get during those blessed moments when the power goes out.

10. Because trees have no forwarding addresses.

11. Because no matter what, the twit from Medco (our prescription drug plan) can never find me in my tree because there is NO PHONE THERE. And, I never pick the same tree. Warning: if you pick the same tree, someone will find you and bring you the cursed cordless phone. This same warning applies to tents. Never pitch your tent in the same spot if you want to stay unavailable! He won't get out of the recliner to eat, but my 83-yr-old grandpa will hike out into the woods on chemo days to give you the dang phone! Ugh. Because phone calls are important. Especially if they come from Jack, the talking computer.

12. Because the tree is not really that much more uncomfortable than my grandma's 1960's-era stuffed, stuffed, and re-stuffed sofa.

13. Because my mother is going through menopause AND withdrawing from her psych meds and sleeping in a tree is infinitely more comfortable than sleeping in prison after committing homicide whether it's justifiable or not. Maybe.

14. Trees do not have diapers. They do not shout dinner orders from the living room like a short-order cafe or have the nerve to mouth off at you. They do not come home from school calling you "butthead."

15. They do not possess volume knobs, or depending on how you look at it, are always "OFF."

16. From a tree, you can see the mushroom cloud that was your house when the occupants realize their network connectivity is nil and the network sys-admin is sleeping in a tree.

17. From a tree, you can see just about anything. Sunrises, storms, sunsets, airplanes, birds, etc.

18. Trees smell good.

19. Very few people climb a tree together, look at one another, and one starts of with, "I was taking another look at zone one where we were comparing the Smackover porosity with known wells..." or "Have you taken a look at the latest confidentiality agreement for Walkup County?" Don't get me wrong. I LIVE TO WRITE LEGAL DOCUMENTS!!!!! I SHOULD BE A LAWYER!

I would sooner tattoo "SHARK" on my forehead.

20. Lawyers. :)

21. Doctors. The M.D. type. The type that write off your grandpa's cancer cause he's "just too old." Even though he's one of the world's leading geophysicists. Never mind him. He has nothing further to add.

22. Well, someday I'll really share this one with you...maybe.
23. Psych professors who tell their students, correction, student in public in a classroom that he needs to be on drugs. P-R-O-F-E-S-S-I-O-N-A-L. My fellow student (M.A. in Psychology and LPC about passed out). We are both qualified to teach this class, but are having to repeat it given the distance between our first degrees and our current schooling. Bugger.

24. Global warming--and other Democratic BS. Hahahahahaha. Sorry. That had to be done. Consider it a parting shot to my one politically-minded reader. But you HAVE to worry about quotes like "We won't know what this bill means until we pass it." That's Nancy Pelosi on health care people. If I were a Dem, I'd be afraid. As a republican I'm terrified. And amused. But, alas, still pursuing a career in health care...

25. Last, but not least, UPS. Not USPS, but UPS. I have undertaken the monumental task of clearly marking my home--even though it's the ONLY home on this street on the south side--so that they can unmistakeably see the numbers from the road and DARN if they can't find it with two hands and a flashlight.

Enough for one day, go have a Tojaadot...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Boob Job Update Two

Oh, yes, the saga continues…small injections of saline until the skin is stretched out enough, then VA VA VA VOOM! BAZOOMS!

I still can't believe this.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Squib: So, what are you dunnah do wiff me? (He starts every conversation like this. It usually means he wants something).

Me: When?

Squib: When Daddy comes. (He means on Sunday).

Me: I'm not sure what you're after here, kiddo.

Squib: Are we going somewhere? (Simply restated, he means "I want to go somewhere." Translating can be exasperating. Even if it's only for me).

Me: Where do you want to go?

Squib: Untabin's (Not translating the name in an effort to continue protecting the innocent).

Me: Yes, after church, we're going to (Attrition)'s house.

Squib: And what are you dunnah to do wiff me?

Silence (while I ponder what to do with or death sort of pondering).

Me: What is it that you want me to say?

Squib: Will antawin be dere?

(Yes, I rolled my eyes).

Me: Yes, she will.

Squib: Are you sure?

Me: Yes I am.

Squib: I want her to frow me in the gawbidge.

O.K. I see it all very clearly now.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

I Am The Golden Goddess of Technology!!!

I LOOOOOVE it when I can actually fix things! It makes me feel like I've learned something that I can actually apply for a useful purpose. This week saw the collapse of one of our Win 7 platforms and along with it a laptop. In addition, my laptop bit it in a big way due to a virus I caught not two hours before my viruscan software came up with a fix for it. ERG.

Soooooo...I came home to some unhappy computers on Thursday night! Thursday eve they were fixed and up-to-date! Yippee!

I am officially tooting my own horn here.

Sometimes things DO work out in your favor!

Boob Job Update One


So, the 83-yr-old has had her first installment of Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, uh, chesticles. So far so good, I think--as though ANYTHING could get in the way of a cosmetic improvement. They are what she wants.

Some of us just want to live 'til Christmas. O-buh-K-bee.

Still no boobsign, though. Surgery 2 of 3 is on March 8 and we'll see what "appears" after that. I wonder what other parts of her body she'll want to do after that? Butt? Underarm? Curved spine??

What can I say? You asked out of concern...this is my feeble attempt to keep you updated. This is officially not my business, but is becoming a great spectator sport.

Simon Birch

I cannot believe I have never watched Simon Birch before!!! I mean, really!

I watched it last night with Baba and Clanpaw. It was endearing, realistic, honest, and downright hysterical!

The Simon Birch character is hysterical and wise beyond his years. The "Best Christmas Pageant Ever" was altogether the funniest thing I have ever seen. It was just such a realistic representation of all the odd occurrences I've experienced during my children's' choir years and when they lopped the head off the turtle dove and the angel yacked on Ms. Leavey, I felt right at home.

In the end, it's a must watch for more reasons than one. Rent. Watch. Enjoy.


Monday, March 1, 2010

In Which Mommy Becomes an Awesome Race Car Driver

Squib: Oh, Mommy, we're going SO FAST!!!

Me: Well, honey, we're driving the speed limit like usual.

Squib: Well, we're going so fast! (awed tone of voice)

Me: Maybe it seems fast because you're feeling sick.

Squib: No, Mommy. You're driving like Doc Hudson (from the movie Cars)!!! Wow!

Me: Well, I try.

Squib: (to himself in low tones) This is so awesome.