Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Merry!

I am alive, finally well, and ensconced in the joy of the season. I wish for you and yours the best of all holidays, what ever you celebrate, for celebrate we must, here in the bleak winter, as the days finally come through the nadir.

A very Merry Happy, dearest darlings. A very Merry Happy, indeed!

(We are feasting on various cheeses, Prosecco sparkling wine, grapes, Christmas cookies frosted and sprinkled by the kids, a spicy artichoke and spinach spread, roasted peppers in oil, figs in grappa, olives stuffed with gorgonzola, paprika salami and Jack's fresh baguettes. Wish you were here to share the bliss.)


Wednesday, December 20, 2006



You can still get the 'flu even if you smugly got your flu shot.

Back when I'm afebrile and I've got the energy.

(Dis-infect your screen after you read this.)


Sunday, December 17, 2006

For Colin, Turning 8

Pictures for you

And so, my best guy, it is your birthday. You've turned 8. I'm not quite sure how that happened, but that's not anything new. I'm often taken by surprise by such things.

Not by your birthday party, of course, which required my usual fretting and stressing over how to achieve high levels of FUN! among eight 8 year olds. (Which, I think we pulled off quite well, if I do say so myself.) There was a solid 2 hours of a wall of sound from the constant shouting of you and your friends.

Some might have said that immediately arming your friends with inflatable light sabers (that really light up!) as welcome gifts would have been a regrettable error in judgment, but it actually worked out well. You all occupied yourselves by running up and down the stairs and through the house playing a complicated version of Star Wars. Nothing broke and you burned a scootch of energy.

Pictures for you

Some of you also had loud pistols. After a couple of more loud games and some very noisy pizza, presents (which included that loud, talking Darth Vader flashlight), cake and more hollering, we threw your coats on you and tossed you outside to run around the yard with your new weapons. 8 eight year olds with 8 light sabers on 8 acres of land is a lovely sight to see from inside, through the window. Your brave dad chaperoned all that, smiling evilly as he handed your muddy, armed, sugar infused friends off to their folks at the end.

I really like your friends. They are, to a person, nice and polite. Several of them are wonderfully quirky. I think you will have several lifelong friends and I can't wait to see you all grow up together. No. Strike that. I can certainly wait. It's all going too fast as it is.

You are such a splendid person, you see. Makes sense that you would have such good kids as friends.

Pictures for you

You just make me so proud. Not only are you a nice, polite kid, but it's been the biggest thrill to watch you learn. Seems every other sentence starts, "Didn't you know..." and is followed by a fact, either true or false. But mostly true. It's hard to separate the truth from fiction when you're in 2nd grade, especially as some of the knowledge comes from the playground. And we all know what an infallible source of knowledge that is.

You are an honest guy. We are trying to teach you things like how to be polite when you are given something to eat that you don't really like. You now say that "It's not bad. It's not very good, but it's not bad." We're working on it.

You are soft spoken, unless at home or running with your friends. Your teachers are wanting you to speak louder in class. You raise your hand and volunteer but your answers are so soft. They all think you are a 'joy to have in class', though. That's code for a nice, easy, quiet kid. Like I was. Like your dad was.

Pictures for you

Speaking of your dad, damn, but you look like him. Such a handsome kid. Little girls are already writing you notes. Especially A. We like A. She's strong, confident, very nice. And her handwriting is excellent.

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You are good at reading and math. You don't care much about coloring within the lines, but do it to please people when they ask you. Otherwise, who cares. You hate to write with the depths of your being. That's OK. I hated to write until a few years ago.

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You love computer/video games. Especially real-time strategy games like Warcraft and Age of Empires. You also win them. You're not supposed to be doing that for a decade or so.

You want to please. Usually. Punishment for you would to be to tell you that I was disappointed in you. Or to make you write. Perhaps if I were to make you write about me being disappointed in you for the ultimate punishment, say if you took the car tomorrow and drove it to Florida.

Pictures for you

You are very interested in rocks. And geology. You are getting a crystal growing set for Christmas and rock tumbler, so you can polish your collection, for your birthday. You are also getting a microscope for Christmas, so you and I can look at things like pond scum and stuff. This is what you get for having a science nerd for a mom.

You are incredibly patient with your sister. You are mostly really good to her. Mostly. Let's face it, when she's in a mood, she can drive anyone round the twist.

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Best of all, you still love me. I know this won't always be the case, but you tell me so on a daily basis, without prompting or leading.

And that's the best thing of all.

Pictures for you

So happy birthday, best guy in the world. You make my heart sing.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Damn and Blast

I am here to heartily apologize to Sanjay, Lauren, Karen, Amy and any one else who's blog I've been unable to leave a comment on these past several days.

Not only is that damn blogger not letting me switch over to Beta, (although it keeps asking me if I want to switch, cruel, cruel bastard), I'm now not able to leave a comment on the blogs who have switched and don't use Haloscan.

Won't let me comment anonymously.

Won't let me comment signed in under 'another blog'.

Won't let me comment. Period.


Sanjay. I am reeling that you've never seen Clerks. I need to see it again. Charles and Colin are in the midst of a Superman film fest. I am leaving them to it. One viewing 20ish years ago was enough.

Lauren. I am fatigued with thinking of what you have to get done in the next week. I feel like I've no right to gripe, but I assure you it will not stop me from doing so. All I have to do is Colin's party (we've both birthday kids this weekend), and show up at work. My desk is usually pretty clean.

Karen. For some reason, I'm a sunflower, too. This strikes me as odd as I'm not really a little ray of sunshine. More of a sarcastic lungwort, with a bit of bleeding heart tendency, (but only a bit).

Amy. From one obsessive-compulsive, counting freak to another: You are right. Never enough lights, although you may be close. It's all lovely. Now go buy more on your way home. Just in case you feel the need to add more. Just so I'm not the only one doing so.

I will try to break through, but as I am someone with the computer skills of a sardine, don't hold your breath. Make that a middle-aged sardine who typed her college papers on a typewriter for god's sake and who's job requires pretty much no computer skills. It's a wonder I can even turn the thing on in the morning. But, I wanted to let you know that, even though there's no tripey comment from me, I am reading. And chortling.

Just apparently invisibly.

Please forgive.

(By the way, that's a plea for help, if anyone knows what I'm doing wrong. Anyone else have a problem? Is this just a personal thing? Wouldn't surprise me.)

Damn blogger.

Wonder how the Typepad half live.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Haikus To Mock The Senseless Dog

Pictures for you

Not to bright are you?
It's been months since you tried to
fit under the bed.

Yes, the cat can fit.
She's a cat, small and lithe, who's
bones are cartilage.

In the interim,
you, my dear, have not gotten
the least bit smaller.

In fact, you've grown more.
What were you thinking? Really.
WHAT were you thinking?

This brought upon you
the torture of 'nose kissies',
'noogies', and the rest.

Lord knows how the cat
got in her licks from under
the bed. Serves you right.

In your defense, you
did manage to free yourself
after 10 minutes.

Wriggling your shoulders
and hips, pushing with your toes,
finally you escaped.

Was that the end of
it? Of course not. You're a dog.
Same time, next morning.

Pictures for you


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Life Lesson # 47,923

Say you happen to be getting into work earlier than expected and, noting the gas tank could use a topping off and that the exterior of the car, given all the road salt sprayed onto it over the past few weeks, is looking like that loaf of bread you found pushed to the back of the cupboard and left to turn dark gray and fuzzy, you decide to give the car a little love.

You fill the tank in the dark, single-digit-degrees-F, pre-dawn and request the slip for a car wash-with-purchase.

As you pull the car into the automatic washing bay, your only defense against your actually congratulating yourself for not having to wait in line for an hour for a wash, by doing it this dark and early, is that you have only had one cup of coffee and are diverted by listening to your Harry Potter CD (thanks, Cagey, for urging me to get these). Blissfully, you sit there, listening to the trials of poor Harry, while the machine pummels your car with alternating blasts of water and soap.

You have, need it be said, also forgotten that the exit of the carwash is at the bottom of an incline.

An incline, at the bottom of which is where all the gallons of water that have dripped off the hoards of cars that were washed last night, has instantly frozen into a solid sheet of thick ice?

Ice that has not been salted by the poor wretches that man the gas/wash/mini-mart at this hour of the morning?

The exit door of the carwash, of course, has closed, so you cannot retrace your route. Even if it were open, the entrance door had closed as soon as you had entered the bay.

Can you also have really forgotten to put the bag of kitty litter back in your trunk for the winter? The bag that you purchased a few years ago for just such an occasion, to provide traction on packed snow and ice?

Can you thank your lucky stars, guardian angel, all the saints, and the smiling of face of each of the 9 fates that a mere 10 minutes later you actually made it up the incline rather than down into the ditch at the back of the incline?

I'm thinking that qualifies for a Christmas miracle and I should be branded a dolt.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Our Lady of Piffle

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See, the decidedly odd thing about this particular dead fly (which, in itself, is certainly no oddity in this household) is that it is suspended vertically,against the window, backwards, in its death throes. The lower edges of the wings, not the legs are the point of contact.

"Well...", you say, "clearly the poor thing was flying, um... backward and got stuck against dog slobber, which we all know literally coats all the glassy surfaces of your domicile."

True, up to a point. See, this particular bit of glass is waaaaay above the level of the dog, near the top of the sliding glass door. The only nose prints or slobber at such an elevation is from Charles. Or me. If we stood on tiptoe.

The window is clear of adhesives, organic or otherwise.

"Well, then," you postulate, "it's the frozen tundra season in Wisconsin. Clearly the poor thing was flying backward and brushed against the frozen window and stuck. Just like those idiots who get their tongues stuck on flag poles each winter on a dare.

Ah. But you see, it'd been unseasonably warm. Lows in the 40s and all that. No freezing of the window.

"Ok. Here's what happened. Charles, being that master of all things involving hand-eye coordination, batted the bug into the window with a home theater magazine."

Don't think so. There's no smooshing or mooshing. The corpse is attached by the mere wisp of gossamer wing-edge.

"Bah. Still. Just a dead fly. Slow there at the casa del Piffle, eh?"

Au contraire, mon ami. See, I don't think it's the fly itself that is the thing.

I think the miracle is in the blurred, dark grey dusting that outlines it.

Here, let me remove the deceased with a bit of toilet paper.....There. Now see:

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The face of an alien? Scowling visage of Mothra, god of flying pests? The robe of Jesus? Silhouette of Elvis in his white rhinestone jumpsuit? Other thoughts?

Which one would bring the most on e-bay?