Writing about the day to day mysteries of life.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Liar Food

Someone else came up with all these liar foods. I came up with NOTHING.  I really wanted to think up some - really, really, really.  This idea just struck me as funny.  I don't have any idea what cannibal balls are, but doesn't sound like something vegetarians would like.

chili, rocky mountain oysters, baked alaksa, brown betty, lady fingers, cannibal balls, hopping johnnie, hush puppies

When I was in college I went to a friend's house.  They had something large hanging on the fireplace, I asked my friend's dad what it was.  It was a bull scrotum.   Cannibal balls made me think of that.  This same friend had a ball song.

Scrotum, scrotum all covered with hair and it fits real nice in your underwear.

Winter and HBO

Many people have commented to me on the winter blues or blahs.  I have really been thinking about this, giving it extra thought.  I have decided it isn't the weather, we have been having beautiful weather for winter.  It isn't anything tangible, this depression is the intangible action of waiting.  What are we waiting for?  It varies, but the waiting is causing the blues, we are in transition.  Waiting for spring. Waiting to plant a garden.  Waiting for corn on the cob.  Waiting for spring break.  Waiting for the beach.  Waiting for the pool to open.  Waiting to wear sandals. Waiting for a better economy.  Waiting for LOST.  Waiting for book 10 in a never ending series. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.  Winter seems to be a time to hunker down and do busy work until the real work can be done.  The real work being living.  Which also adds to my blues.  I am wishing my life away, January is gone and February will flash by.  I know I should slow down and enjoy the moment, but thirty mile an hour winds push you along quickly.

Let the foul winds blow.
The heavens can open up with snow.
Who cares? I just got HBO.

I have been wrangling with Comcast for ages and finally talked to someone who seemed to know what he was doing.  I had to call back, and got a second person that also had a few brain cells and my cable woes were resolved.  I broke down and added HBO.  This now means instead of having nine channels of nothing we will now have about two hundred channels of nothing. And I get to pay for it!   I did ratchet myself up a few notches on the kids coolometer, that doesn't happen much anymore.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Most Depressing Day of the Year and Helping Bras

My friend let me know that I am not alone in my doldrums.  January 25th by researchers? has proven to be the most depressing day of the year.  I don't know if that means just 2010, because it fell on a Monday or if it is this same day every year.  Now that we have that day behind us we can all be cheerful, don't you feel better already!

Another friend's son was commenting on the girls now wearing helping bras.  She asked how he knew and he said he could see them through their shirts.  I have never heard of a helping bra.  It is a much better name than a training bra.  At Ellen's age it is helping them make sure no one notices they are getting breasts. A training bra makes you think there is an agenda.  Are they training those little titties to stand up and be more perky?  Training them to make boys/men of all ages to act like total nincompoops?  Why aren't jock straps for little boys called jock strips? 

I am glad I don't have to choose between LOST and the president's speech.  I can't find the remote, it is suspiciously always missing when I want to watch t.v. How did we survive before clickers?

I am reading a good book that my 89 year old neighbor gave me.  It is called "The Dante Club".  The author is Matthew Pearl. His second book is called "The Poe Shadow", I think that one will be really great, because it takes place in Baltimore.  The third one sounds like a good read as well, I like Dickens very much.
The Poe Shadow: A NovelThe Dante Club: A NovelThe Last Dickens: A Novel

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Moping and Dengue Fever

I have been moping around - big time.  I don't know if it is just January blues, gray day blues or post-birthday blues. But, I have been a serious bump on a log.  I have little motivation to leave the house, too much effort!  Being at home is making me slightly crazy I think.  I am not convinced too much of my own company is a great thing.  For example, I have been trying to come up with more "Liar Food" as introduced to me by Jimmy Fallon.  Liar food is horse radish and grape nuts, things that are not what they say they are. I can't come up with any more and I really, really want to.

I have never been a newspaper reader, it is a skill I don't possess.  The internet has been good for people like me.  The only problem is I never know what is going on locally, but I know that Dengue fever is spreading throughout the entire world.  I don't know any useful information.  I am full of odd-ball tidbits that relate to nothing.  The only advantage to knowing obscure, pointless factoids is that no one disputes you when you annouce there are 45,000 varieties of sheep world-wide.  I actually made that up. 

I told the kids I started a blog and I am definitely the Rodney Dangerfield of blogging.  One of my lovebugs said, "I thought you had to be important."  Another chimed in, "Don't you have to know what you are doing?"  The last little darling just walked away uninterested.   I should have enthralled them with the elevation of Mt. Ararat.  Ellen just asked, "does anyone actually read your blog?" 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Disco and Glen Campbell

Don't you just love Glen Campbell! You have to love anyone born in Delight, Arkansas.  I loved his music as a kid and still smile when I hear it (of course, I never hear it anywhere except on my own Ipod).  Teri and I would sing "Rhinestone Cowboy" over and over.  I still like all that dorky music.

I just read an article in Vanity Fair about disco.   It is actually the issue with Tiger Woods, but I don't really give a rodent's behind about Tiger and his woes.  He and his pimps, oh I mean handlers, oh I mean friends, oh I mean associates will all come out of this slightly chastened, but fine.  Anyway, disco is what I was talking about.  The article had a lot of great quotes, pictures and history of the rise and fall of disco. Wouldn't you have loved to had drinks at Studio 54 with Andy Warhol.   I was definitely "into" disco during the decline, I was 13ish.  "Saturday Night Fever" was the beginning of the end.  Once something is that mainstream it has to make way for the new, hopefully that means we are at the end of hip-hop/rap crap.  Although, disco falls under the crap heading also.  But, think of how glorious John Travolta was in that movie. The only guy to ever look good in white pants!

I guess since I brought up Tiger I should continue on to perfidious politicians.  John Edwards has acknowledged that Quinn is his daughter.  What a great guy he is, coming clean like that.  Just another schmo. The article said he has been keeping a low profile, doing volunteer projects in Nicaragua and participating in "good old-fashioned work".  He is probably paying big bucks to a PR firm and that is all they can come up with, doesn't say much.  I will also be fair and comment on Mrs. Robinson.   In the U.S. there would never be a newspaper heading of "Who Else Is Shagging Mrs. Robinson?", but that is what one of the papers across the great pond asked.   Did she know Tiger Woods?

I have reached the point where I can't help with Ellen's math(last year actually), but now I seem to be having trouble with Social Studies.  Why have I never heard of Moldova?  I think it is what I need to name my laundry room.  Why have I never heard of Andorra?  Isn't that a kind of wool?  I think life may have been geographically easier when it was all just the U.S.S.R.  It was a relief to label that huge space of the map with just those four letters when I was a kid.  I remember getting a star, because I did such a good job with the colored pencils. 

I got a Snuggie for Christmas, a bright pink Snuggie (more GD breast cancer merchandising).  I haven't been able to use it, because the kids like it so much.  They wear it and drag it all over the house, so it is covered in dog fur.  I did see the tv ads and think, "who in the world would buy one of these?".  I have been converted.  The one time I have used it, it was warm and toasty. I am going to try and include a picture of Ellen in MY Snuggie, she looks like a pink Jedi.  I need the Snuggie, because I have been keeping the heat down so low that I have to wear mittens - makes it hard to type.   The heat is down low and like everyone else,  I still got walloped with a big bill.  See down below for my sentiments on winter.  

I know you are all riveted to my ant problem, so here is the update.  Two days, no ants.  After putting out the cinnamon/chili powder concoction, orange peels, raid traps and torro traps, I don't seem to have ants.  I think the little bastards are just reconnoitering somewhere and waiting to make their move.  I think the queen has encased herself in a bubble (moop) and so none of the poison tracked in ever touches her.  Ned has probably dropped a fruit snack somewhere and they are heading to it as I type.  I have no confidence that they have left the premises for good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weather and time travel

Today is a beautiful spring day, too bad it is January 19th.  It won't be spring for a long time.  I hate winter.  I don't really like to bitch and moan about weather, because it is weather.   There is nothing you can do about it, it just happens.  I try not get my undies in a wad, but, I don't like winter.  I don't like the gray, bare trees.  I don't like being cold.  I don't like everyone being sick and sneezing on me.  I am happy the last two days have been beautiful, but it is just a tease.  I guess I have been whining an inordinate amount, because Ian told me he would buy me a house in Florida when he becomes an NFL player.  Ian doesn't play football.

Ian rides the bus with Matt Stover's kids.  Ian came home in a terrible snit, because the son had told Ian his dad's job is cooler.  The kid was so incredibly right.  I scoffed, not politely snorted and reminded Ian that his dad sits at a desk.  There is no way around the fact that Matt Stover's job is much cooler.  Ian harumphed and said, "But he doesn't even play every game".  That is one pissing match Ian is going to lose.

People seem to be divided into two categories: those who like time travel plots and those who don't.  For a later discussion there seems to be an even split for those who wear underwear to bed and those who don't.   It seems to be about 50/50 as far as I can tell.  I like time travel (no comment on the underwear).  I would love to know first hand about the Celts, Versailles, Venice, Machu Pichu, Egypt and countless other things.  I would need back and forth travel though.  I think it would be great until I wanted a hot shower or french fries from McDonald's.   I often wonder how far back you would need to travel to alter circumstances in your own life.  How far back would I have to go to change my breast cancer diagnosis?  5 years ago to my divorce? 12 year ago to the birth of my first child? Would I have had breast cancer at 33 if I hadn't breast fed?  6th grade when we played in my step-dad's manufacturing facility? Kindergarten when we played on the asbestos building materials left behind from new construction.  Most books that write about time travel say you can't alter events.  I think part of the allure of time travel is to go back to try and make sense, truthfully, I think some shit doesn't make sense.  Not now, not then, not ever.

I have been reading, discussing, thinking about vampires too much lately.  I have been hooked on several series and feel it might be time to move on, easier said than done, I suspect.  I think I may have crossed the "too much" line because last night Ned announced, "my blood tastes like jelly".  He probably is little, warm and tasty (Mouse Count), but my obsession doesn't really have to extend to the kids.  Anyone have any good reads?  Nothing about India!  Ughh, talk about depressing.

College has come up several times in the last couple of days.  My co-worker told me her daughter informed her that, "she is not going to college, she is going to skip it".  One of the twos kept saying he was at college, even though he was on a ski trip.  Ellen decided she is going to the University of Hawaii..........so she can wear a grass skirt!   I can't decide if Ellen has the wrong impression of college, or if as usual, she really does have the right idea.  Sometimes I am not sure what languish my children are speaking.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ghost Busters and stuff sprung on you

"It smells like barbecued dog hair." Ghostbusters

It is a rainy, lazy day, so the kids are watching Ghostbusters for the millionth time and eating Lucky Charms.  Can you think of a better day?  My kids live large and they won't realize it until later.  Ned has made a golf-sized ball out of the marshmallow surprises, licked and hand-compressed. He ate it before I could take a picture.  He put the whole thing in his mouth and then starting drooling multi-colored spit until he could get in under control.  Ellen and Ian laughed so hard I thought they would pee their pants.

Ellen tells me that Hunter so and so asked her out.  Asked her out?  11 year olds ask each other out?  She said no, because that isn't who she likes.  I am not ready for this stuff yet.  I asked her where they would have gone, little miss not so clear on the details said, "I don't know, I didn't ask".  Then she asks if I would have let her go.  Would I have let her go, hmmmm, dodged that bullet didn't I!  I guess I am almost to the point where I take them to movies, so they can hold hands.  Are you all cringing remembering this ritual for yourself - ughh!! 

American Idol should be fined a $1.00 for every time someone repeats the "pants on the ground" song, and I use the word song loosely.  The kids don't even watch American Idol, so learned it through "bus osmosis" I guess.  I have heard it a thousand times and want to put my fingers in my ears and go lalalalalalalala!  Ellen has drug out her guitar to set it to music.  I am off to find my IPod and put it on loud.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I will master this

I am trying to figure all this out.  I wanted this to be with the last post, to show Sloopy's hair. 

Baby books and Old Age

This morning the boys and I are driving to pick up Ellen from her math tutoring. We are on a four lane road, not a freeway, but the cars are driving fast. Coming towards us I see a deer run out and safely cross all four lanes. Another one runs out and runs into the side of a small-size type sedan. The deer hits, flies up in the air and lands in the other lane. I am driving by the car that hit the deer, the driver seems entirely oblivious to the fact she just hit a really large animal. This old lady didn't have a clue what just happened. I think a good sign you should not be driving is when you don't recognize that enormous jolt that shakes your car. Is she going to notice the damage, it had to have left a dent. Maybe this is a case of "ignorance is bliss". Chumby burst into tears, because the deer was just lying there. We did have to drive back that same way about a half hour later and the deer was gone, so we took that as a good sign. At least, I told the kids it was.

Our plumbing is back to normal and now I have to do housework. I could easily have done it without water. There is no correlation between lack of water and vacuum power, but I just felt no need to burden myself. I have been quilting not house cleaning and it really shows, at least to me, the kids never notice. Company is coming over to watch the Raven's game, so I should clean the guest bathroom and hope they don't venture anywhere else. My house is too big for the amount of maintenance I want to do on it. More and more, house work is sinking lower and lower on the priority list.

Sloopy Farkelfricken decided he no longer wants the "baby" books in his room. He packed them all up into a box and put them in his closet. This is sad for me. He is the baby, he should want the baby books out. At the big age of six, he wants his Lego creations on display. I have to be a grown up and honor this, but there is a little arrow lodged in my heart.

I took the boys to get a haircut(why we saw the deer) and the Nedster declined today, because he wants to be able to flip his hair like a boy on the bus. I do indulge Ned, he is the baby remember. He also has that white hair that is so hard to cut, because it is beautiful. In the summer the boys don't have to haircuts, so he can flip it in June. Right now it is so short if won't even flick. Ian is more practical and knew he needed a cut. He had cut his own hair in October and it had finally grown out to a length to cut out his un-handy-work. He looks good.

Ellie B. Jones scored a B on her math test and we have been doing a victory dance. When you have a child who struggles with grades, these accomplishments mean that much more. She works hard for these successes. I worry and expend more effort on little miss than I do both boys combined. Having two brothers who are natural students makes it hard for her.

I have decided to make a small quilt a month, to remember one fun activity. I try to do this thoroughout the year with the kids, by December it is hard to remember a special day from January. I should say it is hard for me. Ian is very good at dates and time and space, he remembers very accurately. I guess I am crafting something so I will be able to recall the time. January, my square is a "45" and a saguaro, for my trip to Phoenix. I am looking forward to finding out what February will be. I am trying to use up scraps and make use of what I have. Of course, I did have to go buy the fusible. I chose to do small, so I deplete my store of small pieces of batting left over from other projects. They are too big to throw away, just not big enough to use on their own. I am too lazy really to sew them together for a big quilt. I asked the kids if I should clear a spot on my sewing room tack board or hang them on the refrigerator and the refrigerator it is. My urchins want to look at the quilts as well, I like this.

Today we are having a heat-wave, the temp is around 50. I told the wild ones they can play WII until 2:00 and then we are all going out to do yard work. We are supposed to get rain and I want to make sure the gutters are clear. Guiltily I pay the boys five dollars to pick up the dog poo, this job really is worth fifty dollars. I figure I only have a few more years of slave wages left out of them.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti and Heart-attacks

On October 17, 1989 I was living in San Francisco. This was the day of the World Series eathquake. This was before cell phone, internet and text messaging. I had lived in California for 6 month and had never been in a earthquake before. It was so frightening. I was working at the Limited with another employee from Utah. The store had stopped shaking, the glass not wavering and we got a phone call from her boyfriend back home. He told us the bay Bridge had collapsed and the Marina was on fire. We couldn't go home, because people still wanted to shop. We hand wrote receipts and let people shop until it got too dark. I heard one woman say, "maybe I should go check on my kids". I drove home across the Golden Gate bridge just before it was closed to check for damage. The city was in black out. It was scary, unnerving and discombobulating to find my way home with no street lights or business lights for markers. My building, cat and husband were fine, we had only lost our tv - big whoopee! We had no water or power for 4 to 5 days, but the Red Cross was there immediately to set up. It was eerie. People were out all night roaming around, afraid to go inside, afraid to be alone. No one wanted to be crushed in an aftershock. People set up battery operated radios and hooked tvs to car batteries and then we could finally see the damage to the city. Groups of strangers stood around these tvs and listened, talked, just sought solace from each other. We all commiserated while eating at the Red Cross tents. I am still friends with a couple we met during the earthquake. We had great food, all the restaurants donated their food, instead of it going bad. They set up phones so we could call family. This was orderly and and civilized our city infrastructure remained. I still can't believe how lucky we were.

I am so worried for Haiti. They are the poorest country in the western hemisphere. They have no infrastructure to start with. Now they have nothing. I know aid is on the way, but there is going to be violence. Look how quickly Katrina degenerated New Orleans. The scale of this devastation is so much worse. My heart goes out to these people. I can't even imagine 100,000-500,000 people dead, no hospitals, water, electricity, government buildings or government to turn to. The saddest part is how quickly this will fade from everyone's minds. How are the people now who were in Katrina, the tsunami, Afghanistan's earthquake? The media will move us to the next disaster or stupid story like Tiger Woods.

I have been thinking lately about how amazing it is that we live as long as we do and so many people have good health. There are so,so,so many things to go wrong with our bodies. It is smarmy and cliched, but everyday really is a gift. Many of my friends are mourning for someone I did not know, but is in our same circles. She was a young mom making dinner for her kids and had a heart-attack and died. Today, I am quite down with all of this. Remember life is short and to make the most of your relationships.

Monday, January 11, 2010

TrueBlood and Fusible

I was given Season One of TrueBlood and am addicted. I think I might have to get HBO. I didn't realized the graphic nature of it and put it on in the airport. Oh my, was I mortified. I think I got it off before offending everyone around me. WOW! I will sit around all day and read a book, but felt appalled when I thought about doing it for tv. I am going to have to pace myself.

I went up into my sewing room to actually do a project. I have the idea and the drive to do it and...no fusible. I never seem to have the exact thing I need to complete something. I always have spare pieces of fusible floating around - nothing. I am going to make a quilt square a month to remember an exciting event. I made a paper-pieced "45" and was going to fuse on a saguaro cactus to show my trip to Phoenix. I also am going to add a pin from Taliesin West. I really recommend that tour when you are in Phoenix. Frank Lloyd Wright was absolutely fascinating.

I have been wearing UGGS all day and my feet smell absolutely terrible. We all groan about Ellen's feet after wearing hers and now I can join her ranks (no pun intended). Those boots say no socks needed, but I think you do that at your own risk. I am going to wash my feet with as little water as possible, since my septic system is broken. Home ownership is perilous to the pocketbook. My friend has been having appliances, etc. break at her house and someone, seriously, told her that is from the negative energy she is giving off. Just another example of a disturbance in the force.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Crypt Keepers Grandmother

I am being a cliche, the 40 something woman bemoaning her lost youth. But truthfully, where the fuck did it go? I feel 20, to me I still look 20, but not so when I really look in the mirror. I am old, wrinkly and flabby, yes I think we can also add frumpy. I guess I should be thankful, that I am not my Mom(body by Shamu), I don't feel that yet - phew! I could just be fooling myself though. One of my favorite movie lines is from the new "Freaky Friday". The daughter wakes up as her mother, looks in the mirror and screams, "I am the crypt keeper". I actually feel like the crypt keeper's grandmother.

Would anyone like to donate an anteater to the ant farm on Greenspring Avenue, that maybe my only chance to get rid of them. I seem to remember seeing chocolate covered ants for sale. Maybe I should scoop them up and market them to upscale deli's. What kind of health code regulations could you impose on chocolate covered bugs? Would they have to labeled organic? Or farm raised? Free range (they do roam all over the house)? I just want them gone!

I have been puttering around in my "quilt studio", which is really just my junkie sewing room. It has been fun though. I have been sifting through projects to try and finish something. I think I may have completed a bookmark. Well, Rome wasn't built in a day you know. I got a grouping of red silks to make into a quilt, for me. I am excited to work on it. I have some other things to complete and I have to buy stabilizer, so I won't start anytime soon.

I try to have some things to work on at chemo, so yesterday I was finishing up a small wall-hanging. I realized I will never hang this up, so it is now going to be a post card. I am also working on a postcard exchange for "Cloth, Paper, Scissors". I haven't done an exchange before and look forward to getting a card back. It will be interesting to see how my skills compare to another participants. I think I need more confidence in my artistic ability.

I am off to Phoenix, AZ to celebrate my birthday with friends. It is supposed to be 70 and sunny. So much better than 25 and windy. I am not even dreading the airplane flight, I have some projects to work on. I may bring my laptop to watch season one of True Blood. I also have what appears to be a good book, "The Lacuna" by Barbara Kingsolver. Maddy went to hear her speek in DC and got me a signed copy for Christmas. The flight should go quickly with all these things to do.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Why Is Everything So Difficult

It really is easy to set up a blog, but the small things trip me up. How do I get to my site without driving up the counter? How do I install the counter? How do I get a better font? Why do I not have a box of cookies by my side? I have been reading the "Wheel of Time" series, again - for the third time. I am a fantasy reading geek. I stood in line for 2-1/2 hours to get the book autographed. Robert Jordan's wife wished me "the luck of Matt" after we discussed cancer. I really do hope I have Matt's luck in life.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Micro-thongs and Ants

I am slowly trying to clean up the house after all the Christmas festivities. This is a slow process, because I am not motivated and the kids are underfoot. Hopefully, it will be cleaned up before Easter. A side note, I live in the woods and the last couple of days there has been a lot of gun fire. I know people are deer hunting, but it is disconcerting to hear it so close to the house. I also just heard a transformer blow and the lights flickered. My neighbors called to say they have no power, I feel lucky. It is 20 degrees and 20 mile an hour winds, it is not a good day to have no power. This is also another bummer about living in the woods. Back on track, while cleaning my son's room I found these little pieces of fabric on strings. After studying them and thinking it through I realized they are thongs. Teeny, tiny little thongs, is there such a thing as a micro-thong? Now, my question is why even bother wearing one? Why not go commando, that underwear is serving no purpose what-so-ever! You are probably asking why I am not worrying about thongs in my son's room. Well, he is six and my 20 year old niece just spent four days with us.

I am a granny underpants kind of person. I have nice looking underwear, but for a good day, you need comfy underwear. People swear by thongs, but I am not sold. A friend was shuddering over panty-lines. A real discussion ensued on that topic. If we addressed the war on terror as assiduously as my friends attack panty-lines, we would have world peace in no time. I just can't get riled up over panty-lines. First, who cares and second who is looking?

I can get riled up over ants. I cannot get rid of them. I feel like I am going to drive up my driveway one day and there will be nothing but a giant anthill. They will not vacate the premises. I think ant spray is really love potion. A trick of the manufacturer so you will continue to buy the product. The ants reek of bug spray and yet they do not die.

Tomorrow we are back to school, work and chemo. Back to the same old routines, it has been nice to lounge around in our jammies.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog

Do I sit here and blog and not accomplish the things I need to be doing? Do I go get something done?
I could clean the cat box, put away the Christmas tree, make a bed, read a book or just get my lazy ass off the couch. It is 24 degrees with a howling wind and I hate winter, really, really truly hate winter. I will go put a load of laundry in the washer to help the pipes from freezing in the laundry room.