Thursday, November 30, 2006

Position Sought: Professional Fussbudget

Excellent qualifications: able to pitch enormous fit over slightest of grievances, including, but not limited to, the following:

- Chair positioned parallel to table instead of jaunty angle

- Retrieval of shoes from closet by maternal family member instead of self

- Suggestion that getting dressed in the morning take somewhat less than 35 minutes

- Recommendation that potty chair be used for activity other than standing upon as stepstool

- Procurement of milk from refrigerator by same clueless family member stated above

- Assumption, based on drinking habits of preceding 365 days, that soy milk is the
preferred beverage instead of cow's milk that has been consumed at most twice in the past

Three years of experience with behaving like an addled monarch. Able to tailor temper tantrums by decibel level, volume of tears, and body position according to situation. Enthusiastic references available upon request.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Glub Glub

I feel like I keep popping up above the surface of the ocean to spout a few meaningless words before succumbing to the undertow once again.

(Gig gulp of air to sustain me)

I am so not in the Christmas spirit. I've been reading blogs in fits and spurts lately, and when I do, I encounter all these people who are not just thinking about Christmas but also doing Christmas-y stuff: shopping, wrapping, decorating... Then there's me. I've bought one Christmas present. Oh, and I've started singing Christmas songs with the kids.

I commented at Chichimama's that it's as if Christmastime is this thing that is happening to other people, not to me. I'm the bemused holiday bystander.

Maybe when Jeff returns from his business trip. Maybe when I finish some looming work projects. It would be nice to enjoy the season instead of rushing about feeling as if the guillotine were about to come whooshing down. Yeah, I need to work on the holiday spirit thing.

And, speaking of work the undertow, there's that insistent tug again...

Monday, November 27, 2006

Feeding the Feeds?

Among the many questions in my brain whose answer eludes me is this: What is up with Bloglines? I will admit to not being the most observant person, but after a while it dawns on me to go check on blogs that haven't been popping up in Bloglines to see if the omission might not be on the blogger's end. Sure enough, there have been at least six blogs who have been merrily updating away under the Bloglines radar. In some cases, unsubscribing to the feed and resubscribing helps; other times, not so much.

Anyone else have this problem? Is there a solution other than resorting to my previous hunt-and-peck approach to blog reading? Because I think I'm too spoiled to go back...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Turkey Debriefing

Thanksgiving was, for a delightful change, delightful. No chilly silences at the dinner table, no preponderance of inebriated relatives -- what a difference a different venue and cast of characters makes. This year we spent Thanksgiving with Jeff's family in Virginia.

I'm not actually a big consumer of traditional Thanksgiving fare, and if I ever wondered if my two apples had fallen very far from the tree (I haven't), the fact that my kids ate rolls for Thanksgiving dinner would have proven the point nicely.

The kids also experienced their first taste of DC tourism: Arlington National Cemetary and a few monuments. They were remarkably well behaved despite the lack of anything resembling fun or relevance for them: "Look, here's a big statue of a president you've never heard of, and yes, I know you're still unclear on what a president is, exactly, but hey, isn't it big?" And so forth.

If we were sad to leave everyone yesterday, at least we had something to look forward to upon our return home: my sister and her kids are visiting us from Massaschusetts for a few days. I'm feeling very blessed to be surrounded by a terrific family on both sides.

Now that Thanksgiving is done, I know I'm supposed to rush straight into the sparkly embrace of Christmas preparation. Umm, no. Don't even TALK to me about Christmas. I just can't face it yet.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving Thanks

It's Thanksgiving morning, and I should be packing for our trip -- we're soon to be headed down the wild and wooly 95 corridor to Jeff's aunt and uncle's in Virginia for a combo surprise party/Turkey Day dinner. But I thrive on the mad dash around the house, throwing miscellaneous items into our bags without forethought or care.

Okay, I don't, actually, but I was too tired to pack last night.

But before I begin, I just wanted to let you all know that I do indeed count you as one of the many things I am thankful for this year. Happy Thanksgiving, for anyone celebrating this particular holiday!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wireless and Desktop-Free

Guess where I'm blogging from? My kitchen counter! After talking about it for over a year, we finally took the laptop plunge. This is, I must say, very cool. Blogging flexibility notwithstanding, this new gadget should make it easier for me to work during the day, and not only during those hours here and there designated just for work.

This keyboard will take some getting used to, I think. And I am eagerly awaiting the wireless mouse, shipped separately. This trackpad business doesn't much appeal to me! I now realize just how much of my facility with Word depends on a certain set of physical manipulation skills. With a differently oriented keyboard and trackpad instead of a mouse, it's as if I am facing a learning curve all over again.

Okay, enough blogging. Looks like I've got to use this thing for work now. I hope to resurface with an interesting post someday!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Title to be Announced Later

Well, who'd have thought a trip to Lens Crafters would have yieled blog material of such traction? Now if only I could prevent those glasses from sliding down my nose and looking like pince-nez. Does anyone wear those anymore?

I wish I had something to report to you all, something to explain my lack of real posting, but it's just your standard tuberculous/asthmatic cough that won't quit, a workload that just cannot be talked into receding into the background, Internet connection that won't stay connected for more than 35 consecutive seconds, blah blah blah.

In short, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by the little things in life right now. Though not so overwhelmed that I had to cancel two blogger meet-ups this week, of course. I have me some priorities!

Liesl and I and our kids had a fun trip to a children's museum on Tuesday. When it was over and we pulled into our driveway, Allie looked at the surrounding landscape as if it were Mars. "Hey!" she said. "This isn't Liam's house! I want to go there! I don't want to go home!" I think that means she had a good time....

Today the kids and I drove down to Delaware to meet up with Amy, who's staying at her parents for a few weeks. Our lovely visit was cut short by a call from Jeff, who had just found out his grandfather had had a heart attack and was on the way to the hospital. He seems to be stable now, but he'll be in the hospital for a few days. Sorry, Amy, for having to leave early. We had a great time (hence Sean's copious tears at the announcement that we were heading out!).

Speaking of little things, the placid, fun bath time that lulled me into thinking I could whip up a quick post has devolved into a series of loud, splashing skirmishes. Time to go calm the waters.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Spectacle, Now with Visual Aid

Thanks to TB's suggestion, at the end of this post I've added a photo of the glasses, sported by our resident fashion model, Squeaky Mouse. I can neither confirm nor deny that Photoshop was used to enhance Ms. Mouse's appearance during post-production. Is it so hard to believe that some select model citizens just come by that neon green complexion naturally?

Hey, did I tell you that I got new glasses last week? (Feel free to suppress the urge to respond, in kind, "Hey, having trouble finding material to blog about?")

My previous pair was about 8 years old; the lenses were scratched, and one of the nose pieces had broken off, irreparably.

I decided I wanted to go for a slightly more updated look, something along the lines of her eyewear. Although I fear that without her perfect highlighting and comedic sensibility I may have wound up with something more along these lines.

Okay, the glasses aren't that bad. I actually think they're pretty cool. Even if they're very very similar to the ones my sister had in seventh grade in 1970.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Notice the nifty new button in the sidebar? Thanks, Moreena, for the reminder about organ donation. If you'd like information about becoming a donor in the U.S., this site will be helpful.

This issue is important to me both in the general sense and personally. Jeff underwent a crucial cornea transplant 13 years ago, which preserved his sight. We are forever grateful for this incredible gift. If you haven't already, consider signing up to become a donor.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Random Bullets of Petty Annoyances

* Cold-induced voicelessness. I seem to have slid right past Kathleen Turner and smack into unintelligibly raspy.

* Kids who can't grasp the whole "sick" and "can't talk" concept and persist in yelling my name frantically at the top of the stairs over and over and over again until I pull my weakened body from the couch, trudge upstairs, and find out that the crisis concerns a book that is not on the bookshelf where I said it was.

* Freaking Word and its equally persistent attempts to turn my asterisks into a bulleted list. Stop trying to think for me, stupid word processing program!

* The Little Mermaid, speaking of voicelessness. If I have to see that insipid Ariel and her ridiculously large and sparkling eyes, self-effacing head dips, and faux coyness with the man of her dreams, I … well, I guess I'll just complain about it. But still. I've already commented to Sean that I think it's a shame Ariel is the one who has to give up her life under the sea and leave her family forever when Eric could just as easily have become a merman.

* Clothes. Why am I the only one in this house who can put clothes away? Why do we have so many clothes and yet I wear the same pair of jeans or yoga pants every day? You'd think with the clothing glut I'd at least have something decent to wear. And why am I so spoiled that this "problem" warrants even a blip on the whining radar? Entitlement run amuck, that's why.

Aren't you glad you clicked over today? Maybe it's just being sick that's making me so cranky. Yes, I'm sure that's it. If I were one of my kids I'd encourage a nap right about now. Do you think they'd notice it I actually took one? Hey, I can dream…

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

This Post Deserves No Title

Did you ever begin a post with no specific point in mind? I usually have an idea before I begin writing, and sometimes I even compose most of a post in my head. It just pops out full-blown. Rather like Athena! Okay, maybe not so grandiose as that.

Today is not one of those inspired posting days.

One might wonder why I'm even here, tapping out what appears to be stream-of-consciousness effluvia.

Ooh, I know, here's a topic: the election! I'm feeling moderately happy about the outcomes, especially the ouster of Santorum. As a preliminary civics lesson, I took the kids with me to vote yesterday. We all pushed the red button to cast the vote. This is the second election with touch-screen voting for us; before we had mechanical machines that registered your vote with a decisive Whirl! Thunk! and dramatic reopening of the booth curtain. It's a lot more silent and a little less impressive now. Sean even remembered this morning to ask me if the people we voted for won. Mostly, yes. Now we'll see if they can live up to the promise of sweeping change.

(Interlude while I stare at the screen...)

Nope. That's it. Nothing else seems to be forthcoming. I'll be back when my jumble of thoughts coalesces into something a little more compelling.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Okay, Pod Children, What Have You Done with My Kids?

Seen and overheard at lunchtime:

Allie, either accidentally or totally on purpose, picks up a toy Sean had brought to the table.

"Allie! That's mine!"

"Oh. Sorry, Sean. Here you go. I didn't mean to take it."

"That's okay, it was an accident, Al.*"

"You're welcome, Sean!"

The pod children managed to slip away not too long after that, leaving bickering shells in their stead, but for a moment there I was pretty impressed.

*Sean is the only person who calls Allie "Al"; I love that he came up with this unique nickname for her.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


When it comes to complaining about kids, I'm often the first one in line, pushing and shoving my way up there if need be.

For a refreshing change of pace, I'm going to give equal air time to the opposing view: namely, that my kids are incredible.

Trick or treating last night was They looked adorable, for starters. And they were so enthusiastic about trick or treating that I couldn't help but grin the whole time. As they walked up to each house, they shouted "Trick or Treat!" -- before anyone even opened the door. They said "Happy Halloween!" to everyone they saw, and they even remembered to say "Thank you" most of the time.

At one point, Sean gazed at the clear evening sky, said "Look! Stars!" and proceeded to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". As Allie joined him, I felt my heart swellling, with, and I know it's a terrible cliche, but, well, pride. I don't know how someone as generally morose and quiet as I am managed to have such friendly, happy, outgoing, sweet kids.

I am so, so lucky.