Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

One of my favorite times of day is when I’m putting Adam to bed and reading to him. He’s drowsy, I’m tired, and we get to have a little cuddle while we read. Sometimes, Austin joins us and we have an even sweeter time together.

I read Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, which was one of Austin’s all time favorites. It’s about a donkey named Sylvester, who finds a magic pebble. Through an unfortunate mishap, Sylvester is separated from his parents for awhile, which makes them all sad, but they are reunited at the end and realize that their family being together is what they all wish for. It’s a very sweet little book, which if you haven’t tried, I highly recommend.

At the end of the book, Adam said, “That defin-ly is not a good book.” I said, “Why?!” Austin overheard and said, “Adam! How could you not like that book? It’s so good!” And Adam said, “Too much donkey. I like a little bit of donkey, but not so much donkey.”

There’s only so much donkey anyone should be expected to endure.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gee, wonder why he was still single at 45

Before I met Jim, I had the world’s worst boyfriend. He was horrible for many, many reasons, but one of his least endearing qualities was his concern over my weight. He was skinny—not thin and lean, just wiry and bony. I dated this loser for about six months, which was six months too long.  Think "Shaggy" from Scooby Doo.

Because of his concern for my weight, he would plan long hikes and bike rides or “cook dinner” for me, which consisted of half of a bell pepper or half of a sweet potato. I wish I were kidding.

One wintry Sunday, I took a snowy walk with this horrible boyfriend. We were chugging along when we saw a humongous dog (think Saint Bernard) sniffing around by a shrub ahead of us. The dog looked up then started galloping toward us. This dog had a big, shaggy, brown coat of fur that made it look like a grizzly bear. I’m afraid of big dogs and felt a little panicked. The bonehead I was with leaned over to pet it and the dog nuzzled his jeans. Then I saw that the dark brown muzzle was covered with a schmear of lighter brown poo. The dog had been eating poo at the shrub! The moron said, “Don’t’ pet the dog—it has poo on it.” No kidding?! The dog continued on its way, and I saw the softball sized stain on horrible boyfriend’s jeans and said, “We have to get those off and cleaned!” Then we saw where the dog had been, and the poo was apparently of the human variety, because there was toilet paper in it. Someone decided to take a dump on this trail, and had planned for it with toilet paper. The trail was in no way in the woods; it was just off a state highway, and the sound of traffic was not far off, and houses could be seen from where we were. At that point, I was dry heaving, begging him to go back so we could get the poop jeans out of my sight.

If that had been me that the dog/bear had smeared with poo, I would have gnawed my own leg off or at the very least, stripped off my jeans and run back to the car. Then I would have taken the world’s hottest shower, followed by pouring boiling bleach on the part of my leg that had been under the jeans. And I would have an emergency therapy appointment. Ack! Even now, I heave.

Since it was Sunday, I had planned a dinner at home. I was making a nice dinner, with some yummy rolls, chicken, and salad. When we got to my house, I told him he could use some sweat pants of mine and I’d wash his pants. He declined because there was no way my pants would fit him—ha! (In a cruel twist, he gave me some snow pants for Austin because they didn’t fit him and was horrified when I tried them on and they fit!) So, he sat there in poopy jeans all through dinner. I kept watching his hand rest on his thigh between bites, watching for it to avoid the poo, but he was oblivious.

The next Wednesday, I went to see him in town and what was he wearing? Poop Jeans! He hadn’t washed them even then, and was continuing to wear them! I couldn’t hide my disgust and said that I couldn’t be around the disgusting filth. He said that actually, he didn’t believe jeans should ever be washed, because they lose that “new jeans” finish. That was it. A bad boyfriend is one thing; one that wears human feces on his clothes is another.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What else?

Let’s see, my job has furloughed 10 of its 16 employees. I am thankful to still be there, but am holding on by covering for several jobs, and took a 20% pay cut (and a cutback to 32 hours). Yesterday, I flooded the decontamination area when I opened the autoclave door which had been stuck. My boss tried to help open it with brute force, pulling every lever and turning every knob, including one called “Fill”. When I finally figured out that the door release wasn’t pushing in far enough, I used a screwdriver to release the door, and started the waterworks.

There are several jobs that I don’t know how to do, so I have had to pull out manuals and instructions and just follow the directions. It feels awkward, and I don’t feel competent, which is not a comfortable feeling, but I’m slogging through.

Jim lost his job. He won’t have a hard time finding another one, and it was definitely not a good place for him, but on top of possibly losing my job by April (when the company will run out of $$$) the uncertainty of where he will be working has kept me from sleeping very well. I was up last night until 2, and I watched Conan, Jimmy Fallon, two pre-recorded Colbert Reports and one Daily Show.

Austin is refusing to go to Marc’s house and of course, Marc thinks it is because I am not encouraging him to go. He doesn’t think that it’s because he created a relationship with Austin that centers around X-Box and that when he takes it away, there is nothing left. No, that couldn’t be it. He swears at Austin and throws things at him, then objects to the same behavior from Austin.

My dear friend left our company yesterday and I am really going to miss her. She took another job, that will pay her 20% more, which is definitely better than the 20% cut she would have had here. But still, she was one of the nice things about being here.

And that’s the end of the blues, for now.

At least the weather has improved. The tundra has melted from the roads, so they’re a little less terrifying. I’m knitting a lot, and enjoying myself doing it, although I haven’t made it to knitting group in a month.

Mom has discovered the joys of audiobooks. Austin had an older ipod nano that he is letting her use, and I have loaded a few books on it for her. She has listened to “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” and is now listening to “The Audacity of Hope” and “American Gods”. I also put “The Kite Runner” on for her. Where she works, she has to stay up all night, which is hard to do in a dark, quiet room. She has a headlamp, so now she listens to audiobooks while knitting, and that seems to help her stay awake.

One of my friends was picked by the Boston Globe for their blind date feature. He was matched up to a woman that they felt was compatible, and they met last night for dinner and drinks. Must have been good because M said that he was out until 1 and had a great time! I’ll be so glad if he finds someone because he is just so nice. I told him it would be funny if he “closed the deal” on their first date because it would be in the newspaper. He didn’t think it would be that funny.

One time, one of my friends was dating this woman and she was kind of a jerk with him. They broke it off, and he implied it was less than friendly. Well, my girlfriend and I figured out her full name and called him while he was on a business trip, saying that Jane Doe had called and was really needing to talk to him, but didn’t have his cell phone. Well, my doofy friend thought that he had impregnated her, so he was sweating bullets! He called her and said that he heard that she was trying to reach him. She texted him something to the effect “You wish!” When we told him the truth, he did not think it was nearly as funny as we did. That’s what one sleepless night does to a guy, I guess. He still doesn’t think it’s funny.

No big plans for the weekend. Jim is around, and Austin will be home, so my quiet Friday evenings that I had grown accustomed to may have ended.

We had a nice birthday party for Adam the other day.  I asked him how old he is and he said, "What's after, after 7?"  So, he said that now he's 9, and that he wanted to have a special entrance.  We turned off the lights, put candles in some cake, lit them and started singing "Happy Birthday".  He rode in on his scooter, blew them out and we had cake.  Then he wanted to play musical chairs, so we did.  If anyone is looking through our windows, they're wondering why we have 2-3 birthday parties per week, but they're fun and harmless.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Buzz Word Bingo

When I’m in meetings I make a list of buzz words that I hate. As people use them, I make a tick mark, thereby satisfying the need to look engaged and busy, and to count ways that people bug me. My go-to list is:

  • If you will (and I will. Will you?)
  • Honestly (does that mean that people aren’t honest unless they preface with “Honestly”? Yet, I find myself saying, “To tell you the truth…”)
  • Things of that nature (gag!)
  • Whatnot (what? What not?)
  • You know (Yes, I do know. You just said it.)
  • Thus Far (the olde English, I don’t fancy)
  • Heretofore (wheretofive? Hehe)
  • Thusly (okay, so no one ever uses this one. But I’m ready just in case)

That being said (which is another of the phrases that bugs me), I would love for the following to make it into the common vernacular:

  • Crikey!
  • Egads!
  • Blech (not the sound, the word)

Caro’s most recent post made me nostalgic for those vacations in the station wagon where we would pop an 8-track and sing along while driving through the seemingly endless desert.

Mandos called me last weekend when he and his family and Mom were in NYC. I always imagined that they were off gallivanting, eating at fancy places with their pinkies held high and carrying bags of shopping from expensive stores. No, they were arguing about whether the Man of La Mancha soundtrack was ever played in 8-track format, in the station wagon. As I told Mandos, I’ve stopped being jealous.

I have almost finished my Christmas shopping, except for a few little things. Jim and I are getting Mom a remote car starter installed in her car. Because it is ridiculously expensive, it will be her combined birthday and Christmas presents from both of us. In this climate, it is almost a necessity to have a warmed car, and where she’s getting into her car after being up all night three nights a week, she needs it.

Which reminds me—I wonder if Brittany realizes that she has a remote car starter on the Honda? If she needs help, call grandma and she’ll ‘splain the functionality and wonderfulness of the remote starter!

We are very much looking forward to Sophie and Bronnie at our house today. We’re going to the American Girl store for lunch, making s’mores in the fireplace, watching a Christmas movie or two, and generally, partying. Maybe there’s enough snow to go sledding at the cemetery, which is always good. Mom’s birthday is Monday, so we’ll definitely plan something to celebrate while we’re all together for tomorrow's lunch.

Conveniently, Caro didn’t ‘splain that she said, “Somebody’s gotta choke the chicken” at Thanksgiving and claims she wasn’t aware of the sordid meaning. I told Jim and he said, “I always thought it was ‘choke the bishop’.” I guess that’s because of the um, yeah. You know.

I think I’ll make some kolaches this Christmas. He he.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Who's voice did you hear when you read the title?  Come on, you know what I'm talking about.  Just like if I titled it, "I Wanna Know What Love Is" or "Peace is Flowing Like a River".  Anyway, some tunes stay in your head with a very specific singer attached to it.  But anyway....

We are finally done with the Nutcracker.  I don't know what we were thinking.  It was fun a couple of times, but then Sophie got really sick, Bronnie got lice and Shawn hurt his back.  There was too many things happening at once.  The tickets were outrageously expensive and none of the family could be persuaded to watch the second act!   Anyway, we got some good memories out of it - but mostly we realized that 7 performances is probably a lot for our 8 year old.

We also got our Christmas Tree/Cactus hybrid.  I should have taken more notice at the farmer's surprise when we told him we had picked a tree.  He was sure we wouldn't find one, but we did and now we are all nursing puncture wounds after hanging ornaments.  It doesn't even smell piney, which was the reason we chose to get a fresh tree this year.  Of course it may not be the tree's fault.  We do have a lot of competing odors in this house.  In fact, it probably smells like a freakin forest but we will never know.  Thanks Biko.

We also miss Pengu.  The well-behaved dog with enviable poop.  I wish our dogs could poop like that.  Pengu could poop on a white sheet and after you pick it up you could put that sheet right on the bed and no one would ever know.  Not fair.

Anyway, Shawn's back is still hurt, so we are hoping the Physical Therapist and Back Doctor have some good news next week instead of the horrible news Shawn is sure he is going to hear.  I'm just plugging along our original plan that we are going to Virginia - until we have official notice otherwise.  Keep him in your prayers though.  He certainly has a huge amount of anxiety about his back due to being raised by a mother with chronic back issues.

That's all for now.  I'm done with my Christmas shopping for the most part.  I probably will miss the crazy sales over the next few weeks, but it's worth it to miss the crowds.  Not sure if you will get a Christmas card, since I misplaced them in my house.  Maybe a Christmas email?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Off roading

What an exciting morning!  I had just left the house, had my ipod going to Flight of the Conchords (thanks Caro, for recommending the music.  So funny!) and was thinking that I should have stopped to get gas before getting on the turnpike.  My on ramp has a downhill slope as it's curving around in a cloverleaf.  I was thinking about how incredibly slick things were when my tires started to slide and I was looking right into oncoming traffic, getting off the turnpike.  I panicked because I was thinking about the curb separating me from a head on collision so in addition to slamming on my brakes (anti-lock action immediately!), I turned my wheel hard.  As soon as the tires got their grip, they turned me toward the huge gulley, I hopped the curb and went about 15 feet down.  I was terrified that I was going to flip, but I just coasted down the hill and stopped at the bottom.

Luckily, a tow truck was going by not even 3 minutes later, so while I was on the phone with AAA, the tow truck stopped.  It took forever for the state police to arrive (which the tow truck driver had to have because he needed to shut down the on-ramp to pull me out) so the tow truck driver, let's call him Fred, and I became fast friends.

Fred is a divorcee, and told me about all of the traffic fatalities he's cleaned up after, and about yesterday's gruesome pickup that one of his co-workers had to do.   He was very nice, and managed to calm me down. 

So, I'm $100 poorer, but otherwise my car is fine and I'm fine.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Health Update

Lola may or may not have the swine. I talked to her last night and it sure sounds like it.

Austin has strep and an ear infection that perforated his eardrum. He's absolutely miserable, and the discharge would put you off your lunch.  Blech!

Caro had many unexpected guests at Thanksgiving that she never explained to you guys and the title of her blog post was obscene and will likely bring lots of "interesting" people to our little blog.  Anyone googling euphemisms for spanking the monkey, for example.

Pengu misses Caro and Biko.

Anyone needing gift ideas for Jim and/or Mom, let me know.