29 December 2008

What a difference a decade makes

At 2341 on December 29, 1998 I became a mother.



He weighed 7 pounds 10 ounces and was 20 inches long. Not too shabby. A decade later, his stats are a little different, but he's still dang cute.



Happy Birthday First Born.


In unrelated news: Bought a new bed for the dog. That's not a dog.

Christmas recap

So to sum up: My mom still requires people to wear funny hats to open presents






















































The kids will no longer be able to do anything that is not Wii related


SHSO'C rocks out loud and now so can the boys


Steak knives are not to be used to open presents in lieu of asking for an adult's assistance


Sly believes his job is to keep blankets warm for later use, which he performs admirably


And a hundred years from now people will think my kids raised themselves as, once again, I cannot be found in any pictures.

26 December 2008

25 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas my friends.

24 December 2008


"The stockings were hung by the chimney with care..." (Because it's hard to rhyme with "half-assed")

"The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads." (Times have changed, because I'm pretty sure sugar plums are the last thing dancing in my kids' heads.)

So, my bad attitude notwithstanding, I am ready for Christmas. Sort of. The last present has been wrapped, the stockings are stuffed, the plan for tomorrow has been set. But I'm such a loser, I'm still filling out Christmas cards (which I made off my SD card at Target for $11..already has our name printed on it and I'm skipping any personal message....LAZY!), my house could be declared a national disaster, and my Christmas care package to Afghanistan is not even close to being done. I suck. The holiday stress must be getting to me because one of the docs today said I needed a bottle of Stoli in my stocking. And then she asked if I were on the rag. Which is pretty rich, coming from Bubbles.

So, here I sit, blogging away, thinking of already putting away Christmas decorations (hey! you try having a kid with a birthday 4 days after Christmas, try to make it a special occasion and not a Christmas leftover, and see how long you want Christmas to hang around), watching my yearly viewing of A Christmas Story, and reflecting on my year and my life. All and all, nothing to complain about. My kids are happy and healthy, I'm happy and healthy, I've had a wonderful 6 months I wouldn't change for anything, my extended family is acting a little less crazy than last year....what's not to like?

So, here is my Christmas Eve wish to you:


Why can't I sing like this?

23 December 2008

Disco baby!

So I found this on Factum and it cracks me up! First, it's Disco. Second, it's being taught by a Finn. Finland where my personal bubble is the size of a football field. Where speaking loud enough in a restaurant that the next table can hear you, is considered rude. Finland where you actually have to have an in depth conversation regarding if you know each other well enough to use the casual form of "you" rather than the formal.



Truly Finnish! Too sober to relax enough to actually make eye contact with the camera.
Okay, Let's talk about the snow and my bad attitude. This is what I've been hearing for a week and a half: "It's so pretty!" "It's so fun to play in!" "It's so festive!" To which I have been responding: "Blegh."


See, this is only pretty to those who have never lived in snow for long periods of time. Those who have, see it as pretty for about 4 seconds and then remember it's a pain in the ass. Keeping pipes from freezing, wrapping up in 16 layers of clothes until you look like an overstuffed sausage, 7 foot walls of snow in what used to be a turn lane because the plows only have so many places to put this crap, frozen doors, frozen keyholes, frozen windshield wipers, plugging your cars in at night so you don't have frozen crankcases, constantly semi-damp boots and gloves...the list goes on and on! The angst just isn't worth it. And it has nothing to do with driving in it, I'm confident in my snow negotiating skills. I'd rather drive in snow and ice than fog any day. It's just that snow is something I want to go visit, not co-habitate with.


The boys have been enjoying themselves but they keep forgetting, after having owned this dog for over a year, that he will steal and run off with any item they may deem useful or that they might desire. He only seems to take what will make them scream the loudest. You'd think they'd stop leaving things where he can easily get them, but nooooo! Which is how I found myself on my belly, in the snow, trying to fish a glove out from under the deck with a broom. Happy times indeed.

16 December 2008

Deja Vu

I'm in a patient room and the charge nurse comes to the door: "Can you come out for a phone call?" You've got to be kidding me! "Hi this is Shelley from Your Neighborhood School again...." Good grief, what could he have possibly done?

"Sos rolled up some paper and stuck it in his ear and it is too far in there for us to try to get it out."
Me: "Okay."
She: *sound of crickets*
Me: "Uh....is he saying his ear is bothering him?"
She: "No, but he keeps sticking his finger in his ear, and I'm afraid he'll push it in so far that you won't be able to get it out."
Me: *crickets* Thought bubble: what kind of training do you have, really? "Well, I'll see what I can do."

Mind you this was at 1400, school gets out at 1530. I tried calling my mother before remember that she was with my grandmother at the Major City Hospital doing something that was actually medically IMPORTANT. So, I call my BFF and ask her if she can go get him.

I finally get to my BFF's house after work and look in SoS's ear. I could see a piece of paper wedged pretty far into his ear canal. Miraculously, a pair of long forceps appeared in my hand *ahem* and I gently pulled not one, but two little balls of paper out of his ear. Apparently, it was a trifle loud in his classroom today, and he was trying for a little noise reduction.

My BFF then told me of her adventures with SoS, starting with "I'm not used to kids that don't stay right next to me." Her children are a little fearful of the world and stick to her like glue in public. Mine think the world is their toy box and need a leash and a shock collar to stay close to anyone who hasn't beaten them into submission. Like I have. "Oh, yeah, sorry about that, I should have warned you." She picked SoS up from school and then needed to run a few errands before she went back for the other kids. One of these errands was a bank deposit for the daycare, with the closest bank of choice being located inside a grocery store. She was in line for a while, looked down, no SoS. Looked around, no SoS. Asked the guy behind her if he had seen a little boy and, at his blank look of "it's your kid, lady," started panicking, hyperventilating, and tearing around looking for him, leaving her deposits and place in line. She found him over by the movies, perusing them intently. She towed him back to the line admonishing him to "stay close to me, you scared me!" He assured her he would and then proceeded to do the potty dance.
"Why didn't you go before we left school?"
"I didn't have to go then!"
"You didn't have to go five minutes ago?"
He then started holding the back of his pants. Signal a deuce! She races him into the bathroom, where he does what needs to be done and then shouts "I have poop on my hands." According to my BFF, she asked him how that happened and he said he wrapped the toilet paper around his hand, thereby mummifying it, to wipe. After 5 washings, a haz-mat clean up team and an ok from the EPA, they were ready to head back out on the town. This may be the last time she takes my kid anywhere.

11 December 2008

Skid Marks

Yesterday at work I was in the Recovery Room (baby won't come out!) and a co-worker told me a phone call was going to be transferred in. Uh, oh. (Don't be the school, don't be the school, don't be the school.) "Hi, this is Shelley from Your Neighborhood School and I have SoS here..."
He wasn't in trouble, not at all, he just decided to see who would win a battle between his forehead and the sidewalk. The sidewalk won. First Grandma's beanball incident, now this. Our Christmas cards ought to be stellar.


His only concern was that his favorite shirt got dirty. This one could never be called a candy ass.

09 December 2008

My Personality As Described By The Barenaked Ladies

Deep down this is me...I put up a damn good front. Ignore the scenes in the video with the security guard; BNL is not known for their videos having any relationship to the song whatsoever. Although the security guard was funny as Sonar in Down Periscope. Which I own.



I'm so cool, too bad I'm a loser/I'm so smart, too bad I can't get anything figured out/I'm so brave, too bad I'm a baby/I'm so fly that's probably why it feels like I'm fallin' for the first time.

All right! Outta my head!

And just for kicks: An acoustic "bathroom session" of one of my favorite songs. They're havin' some fun.

08 December 2008

One More

Okay, one more scene from The Ref. This is the first nine minutes of the movie, and may be the best nine minutes of the movie:


"And I still say getting laid by an 18 year old linebacker is JUST WHAT SHE NEEDS!" Heh. Heh heh.
One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite Christmas movies. It stars Denis Leary, so language NSFW


Hard to reconcile Grandma with her role in Mary Poppins huh?

This may have been a sentinel event in shaping my semi-feminist outlook.

07 December 2008

Cool

Best. Present. Ever. Representin' the Alma Mater and the particular path my life is taking. *snicker* SHSO'C rocks out loud.


And look how happy my tootsies are!

YOOOOOLtide


Well, it's up. The tree has been decorated without bloodshed, mayhem, or threats of being grounded. No small feat when decorating the tree makes me a little owly and I was in a shitty mood to begin with. But I'd hate for my children's memories of Christmas to include "Mom was a complete bitch during the season of joy," so I suck it up, grit my teeth and think of Christmas Carols. And wish I still drank.

To cement everyone's suspicion that I am a complete nerd, not only do I have a talking Star Wars ornament, but this is my Christmas star:

Grandma Throws Beanballs

I go to pick the kids up after work and notice a bump on SoS's forehead.

"What happened to your head?"
"Grandma hit me with my HARD baseball."
Grandma: "It left a little dye from the laces."

Ah, no Ma, it's sort of dark in here and I can still tell that is an abrasion!
Watch out when you play catch with the old lady, she'll give you some chin music.


Working with Idiots

I work with idiots. Correction: I don't work WITH idiots, the people I work with are a great bunch of caring, intelligent people. I actually work ALONG SIDE the idiots. Otherwise known as the doctors. This is a drawback of working in a training wheel facility. I understand it is a teaching hospital (calling it a learner hospital would frighten the patients) and they are here to learn, but I expect a rudimentary handle on medicine if they are going to be the primary caregiver. Jeez!

I arrived in a not so swell mood after having had another knock-down, drag-out fight with insomnia (guess who won?) and assumed care of a patient whose water had broken at 0400 and she had been in the hospital roughly 2 hours. She had, at one time, been positive for tuberculosis but had been unable to finish her medication because she got fatty liver disease. However, she assured the nurse and doctor before me, she had had a negative chest x-ray. Great, I think. So, where's the documentation so I can get rid of the isolation cart and the particulate filtering mask that makes me so claustrophobic I may need psych meds. "Yeah, I can't find it." the resident tells me. Perhaps we could order one? I ask. This was disregarded as the resident was off-going and couldn't have given two shits whether I had to wear a hazmat suit just to take a temperature. The patient was also not contracting a whole heck of a lot and I inquired whether or not we should kind of help her along. This is at 0700. By 1000 the oncoming yahoos were out of a crash C-section and I asked them the same questions. The response I got was "Where did she have her x-ray done?" Call me crazy, but I think this is information someone should have had before the patient had been on the floor for 5 hours. I finally wrestled a chest x-ray out of them by noon, all the while badgering them regarding getting this chick's labor started. At one point my professionalism took a vacation, as it is wont to do, and I yelled across the nurse's station "We're looking at 10 hours since her water broke, do we feel like a little pit at any point or what?" The response? "Let me check on her x-ray." Okay, see, by this point I'm over worrying about that shit, and would like to move on to the whole reason she's on the floor in the first place. I was then informed that her lungs were negative for TB. Great. WHAT ABOUT HER UTERUS?!?

At 1400, just before they are ready to rush to the second crash C-section of the day, I practically tackled the attending and said, "What are we going to do with this chick?" She looked at me blankly and said, "well, she's on pit isn't she?" "Ah, noooo, I've been trying to get an order for that all day." She then whips around to the brain trust behind her, chews them a few new orifices, and says to me, "Start her on some pit." That's all I needed to hear. Morons!

06 December 2008

The Great Christmas Tree Hunt: part the third

Its that time again. Once more we ventured into the breach for a trip to the Christmas tree farm.. As my grandparents are here, we were free to borrow my dad's truck and search for the perfect tree unmolested! It has been unseasonably dry, so I left the kids in their tennies, instead of forcing them into last year's undoubtedly-too-small boots. And I was not in the mood to shop for more, so off we went. Unlike former years, the tree hunt went off without a hitch. No getting stuck, no lost cell phones, no lost children, nothing. The only downside was we did have to hike for about a hectare to get back to the truck after I cut the tree. I had the trunk and led the way, using the saw to guide and restrain SoS as needed, while FB had the top of the tree and whined like a pegged out Ford Fiesta. How did I raise such a candy ass?

Read part I and II taken from the abandoned MySpace Blog:


Intrepid Christmas Tree Hunters Dec 2006
There must be a universal law that states if I am going to get a Christmas tree, especially at a U-cut tree farm, that there must pour forth a deluge that would make Noah think twice about venturing out. It has ever been thus. One of my most vivid childhood memories is of trudging through a tree lot in the rain and falling on my back into a mud puddle. Today was no different. No precipitation all week; the day I go to get a tree...downpour!

Since this is the normal course of my Yuletide season, I bundled my children into my father's truck (sure, you can use it Sisu, in fact, I just washed it! Great.) and off we went to Gorst, singing mightily to The Chipmunks Christmas Album. The trip flew by, as I spent the greater part of it explaining which chipmunk was which, why David Seville exists, and why Alvin still got presents if he was so naughty. What the hey, it was a nice break from the Pokemon dissertation I usually endure in a moving vehicle. (see previous blog, the one where I knocked the garage door off the track because I had been Pokemon-ed to death) I digress. We arrive at the tree farm, picked up a saw and left my ID (yes, I realize that the saw was in slot number 7 and it is numbered 2, but it doesn't matter. Yes, I know where to put it back. Because I recognize my own driver's license, that's how!) and began the official tree adventure. I spied a little used track and ventured down, believing that there must be some choice trees since no one seemed to know of it. No, everyone else just had the common sense to know, if it were little used, it was little maintained. This realization came to me about the time I noticed the mud. Deep mud. Lots and lots of deep mud. A plethora if you will. Hmmm. Dad's truck is not 4 wheel drive. MY 4-wheel drive sat dry and unreliable in my garage 30 miles away. I decided a retreat was in order. So began a 90-point turn, muttering expletives related to excrement. A lot. At one point the tires spun and I nearly wet my pants. Here I sat, mired in the mud, miles away from humanity with two little NON-DRIVERS in the pouring rain. Meaning, if I got stuck, we were hiking. Luckily, through sheer stubbornness, I got us turned around and headed back out. What do I then see? Not one, but four, large trucks headed toward us! Hello! Do not expect me to back up, I just got out of that quagmire and I was not voluntarily heading back in.

Finally, we found a place to pull over and with a little bit of hiking, a little more complaining, and a bit of search and rescue (let's hear it for the bright yellow SpongeBob raincoat) we found a tree. I press ganged FB into carrying it with me, using the flat of the saw like a pair of reins to steer him toward the truck. With dire threats of dismemberment if they got any mud in Grandpa's truck, (wincing at the rooster tails up the side from the stuck in the mud incident) I packed the varmints in the cab and off we went to the office to pay. All in all, a full rich day. So full and rich, I can't find the energy to decorate the dang thing. Oh, well, it needs to dry off first.



The Great Christmas Tree Hunt: part deux Dec 2007
So, once again it is time to venture out in search of the elusive perfect Christmas tree. As my dad is now retired and my parents are constantly around, they think that it is ridiculous for me to do anything by myself when one of them could do it. Mow your own lawn? Why? What's with you cleaning your gutters? You get the point. I had mentioned last week that since this was my weekend off, the boys and I would like to borrow their pick-up and go get a tree. My mother's expected response? "Why don't you go with us and Dad can cut down your tree? Or, we were looking at this place in (name anyplace advertised in the paper) and thought that would be a good place for us all to go." I calmly and gently reminded my mother that I always go to the same place in Gorst, they have great trees, and it is a tradition that FB, SoS, AND I like to do.



Today, dawned cold, clear and sunny. Brief pause while I administer 500 Joules of electricity to restart my heart. FB didn't have Tae Kwon Do today, so after little ninjas we were going to be off for a tree. We get home, pack up, and head over to borrow the truck. My parents aren't home. The truck is outside. I know the code for the garage and know where Dad keeps his keys. Damn my conscience! I call to see if we can use the truck and am informed that they will be there shortly. And they will go with us. And there goes my gentle afternoon. After many more minutes we are ready to go and I (foolishly as it turns out) say to my dad, "This will be the first time I've gotten a tree without precipitation of any kind!" Poor naive soul. What? The sun was still shining. We didn't get to the Port Orchard exit before big fat flakes of mashed potatoes fell from the sky. In any case, we got to the farm, picked up a saw (no questions from the kids this time, long term memory is a fabulous thing) and went to get a tree. Leaving my dad's truck and my fabulous 4-WHEEL DRIVE in a fairly bare area, avoiding all less traveled roads. We quickly find suitable trees and cut them down. My dad did the cutting, because at this point I have accepted my fate and have given myself to the dark side. It wasn't until the second tree that I remembered he was s/p lap chole by only 3 days, and shouldn't be doing a lot of what he was doing including lifting. But, we made it back to the vehicles without incident, breathing a sigh of relief until I hear "GODDAMMIT!" Thinking my father was now copiously bleeding out of one or all of four surgical sites I ran to him....no it would seem he had lost his Blackberry some time between parking the cars and bringing back the last tree. Ohhhhh. Heavy snowing going on for most of this time. Ohhhhhhhh. We began calling his cell and attempting to back track our rapidly disappearing footprints when wonder of wonders we found the thing. Obviously, a sign to get out of Dodge.



Now my mother has several of those Christmas lawn ornaments, you know the ones, spiral trees, animated deer and the like. They are white wire. She mentioned that they might look nice on my lawn, as she wanted the grapevine ones, and did I want them. "You know, I don't really think so, but thanks." They dropped us off at the house with our tree and said adieu. Thinking the rest of my day was to be free, I fed the kids, went to Target to get new snow gear for the rapidly growing parasites, and came home planning on putting the lights on my house while the kids frolicked in the mashed potatoes that littered the lawn. My parents pull up. The bed of the truck is brimming with white wire and crystal mini-lights. "WTF?" Oh just hell! In the manner of all complete nutjobs, my mother took it upon herself to bring this stuff to my house. Can I ask her to take it back? No. My father would likely have a stroke from having to load all that crap back up. So much for putting up my lights. I have a system and they will likely screw it up. I bite my inner cheek as my mother orchestrates the erection (ha!) of the glorious Winter Wonderland scene in my front yard. I pull out my trusty Little Giant Adjustable Ladder (also made famous about this time last year) and proceed to place cup hooks on a certain part of my house that I cannot use my handy-dandy-swear-inducing light hooks on. And I refuse to staple gun the stupid light strings up again. I will soon pierce the cancer causing protective covering and electrocute my self! As I am earnestly laboring, dripping blood from a staple induced injury (didn't remove them last year, just pulled on the light string 'til they popped...I was so over Christmas by then), my mother asks what I'm doing. Deep breath. Just putting up cup hooks so I don't have to staple my light string. My mother then says, "Well, I thought with these up, you wouldn't have to put up lights." What she meant was, I think these are a fine decoration and cease from decorating your house the way you want because my ideas are vastly superior. Never mind that SoS has been mewling like a starving kitten every day, because all the neighbors have their lights up and we still have pilgrims and autumn festival items bedecking our abode. Profound deep breath. Count to 10. Have to start over. Finally eke out, "Well, I like my lights." Clench teeth and cause massive headache. So, I guess the report of 30-40 mph winds tonight did not reach the ears of my omniscient mother cuz these white bastards have fallen over several times. I went to unplug them tonight and it looked like my yard was the scene of a massive logging expedition and deer massacre. It's like 14 degrees out there, wind blowing, slush falling from the skies and I'm trying to figure out how to put this deer, that is now in 3 distinct pieces, back together. I contemplate ditching the antlers and making the damn thing a doe, when the long buried (and freezing) analytical part of my brain says "it goes this way, nimrod!" and I am able to put them all to bed for the night. I see much deer induced angst in my future.

30 November 2008

Loser!

The neighborhood as a whole, as is the custom, is in a flurry of decorating. Lights adorn eaves, wreaths are up, garlands are strung.....on nearly every house. The lone hold out being, as usual, mine. I just can't face the box of lights. The kids are howling for them like a frigid nor'easter for some unfathomable reason. Do they not remember that when I put the lights up it is always in the dark and usually raining? It could be near sub-tropic temperatures all day, but if I pull out those damn lights....voila! The steppes of Mordor!

Perhaps my lack of holiday spirit derives from the fact that Thanksgiving was Thursday and tomorrow is December. That's not right! I just need to get myself in the groove and it's going to take some high powered mojo to do it, cuz the thought of Christmas presents and baking is causing me to look up flights to Tahiti.




"4:00-wallow in self pity; 4:30-stare into the abyss." Heh.

29 November 2008

Lulz

song chart memes
more music charts

Favorite Thanksgiving Episode Ever



"As God as my witness, I thought Turkeys could fly." HA!
There are those days when you feel every second of everyday. Usually after an incredibly long shift filled with incredibly stupid/obnoxious asshats. I found a site that lets you see what your age is on other planets. I'm 172 on Mercury (but a damn fine lookin' broad for her age) and only 22 on Mars. And I'm a freakin' zygote on Pluto, but since Pluto is no longer a planet, it doesn't matter. Poor Pluto. Try it here
There is an explanation of the rotation of each planet complete with mathematical equations to prove the author of the site isn't just blowing smoke up your skirts, but since I heartily eschew (look it up!) all things math it just looked like "banana, banana, banana" to me. There is also a link to your weight on other planets which is just plain nosy IMO.

I love the Stumble add on to Firefox, but as I Stumble around (literally, in some ways) I keep hitting card game sites, WTF? How can there be that many card game sites? Are there really that many games in existence?

I've got some Christmas presents I should work on, but...meh. (It's an official word now! As a sheepskin carrying English major I can now use it with impunity! Yay Simpsons!) So, this is what I've spent my time on this evening:



Hmmmm....Perc or melatonin, Perc or melatonin....

26 November 2008

I can't watch any more about Mumbai. I am on tragedy overload. So, to help with bad dreams and boogey men the world over, I give you the Swedish Chef. It made me laugh at 10 and it makes me laugh 30 years later:

I stole this from random laundry, but it was kind of fun. It's an iPod quiz. You open iTunes and do the following:

Number of songs: 512 (yes I have LOTS of free space)

Sort by song
First: ABC - The Jackson 5
Last: 3 Am - Matchbox 20

Sort by time
Shortest: 1:29 The Spanish Inquisition (ending) - Monty Python
Longest: 14:59 Voodoo Chile - Jimi Hendrix

Sort by artist
First: A-ha
Last: Various Artist from On the Mountain 8

Search by album:
First: Abrakadbra - Mikko Kuustonen
Last: Holiday - Sammy Kershaw

Search by key word
sex: 0
death: 0
love: 22
you: 52
me: 81
drugs: 0
hate: 0
search for your own name: 2 (well, derivatives of it)

Put iTunes on shuffle and name first five songs that play (no cheating to look cool!)

Hopealanka - Mikko Kuustonen
Try A Little Tenderness - The Commitments
Gimme, Gimme Shock Treatment - The Ramones
Cherry Poppin' Daddy Strut - Zoot Suit Riot
Sin Wagon - Dixie Chicks

As we can see, I didn't cheat, cuz no way does that shuffle look cool.

In other news, my insomnia kicked in with a vengeance at 0200 and I flopped around like a landed trout for 3 hours in the vain hope of regaining the sweet oblivion of dreamland. No such luck, although the dog did get to escape his imprisonment several hours early to go ravage the nocturnal rodents in the yard. Luckily I didn't have to deal with the psycho drug addict on the floor, who for some reason, despite being homeless and unemployed, thought that she could kick nurses out of her room because (and I quote) "I'm paying for it, it's mine!" Her first nurse of the day maintained great restraint in not firing back, "You're paying for it with MY money!" And this girl is not known for her great restraint.

As I sat in my super cool, nearly as smart as the Transformers car, with the remote start option that starts the engine, heating system and seat heaters, I was waxing nostalgic for my 1978 Ford Fiesta. No longer will I be called upon to scrape my windshield with any handy object like a credit card or a case to a cassette tape. I will never again have to pour several gallons of boiling water on the driver's side door to thaw it so I can enter the car, thereby freezing the latch in the open position. Which then resulted in needing to bungee cord the door to the underside of my driver's seat to keep it closed while I drove. Meaning that I had to partially sit on the bungee cord and totally forgo using seat belts. Ahhh, those were the days.

I think my bra trying to assassinate me. Not that I don't view the damn things as a nuisance anyway (but a necessary nuisance since pregnancy left me packin', so to speak, with no relief in sight no matter how much weight I lose) but I seriously believe this thing is trying to kill me. I noticed a vague irritation all day that suddenly became a sharp pain and looked down to see the majority of my under wire displaced and trying, with malice aforethought, to pierce my left breast and, therefore, my pericardium. Which would then lead to cardiac tamponade and a really bad day! Avast, ye demon under wire, off with your head! Well, at least off to the trash, I've had little sleep and even less caffeine today.

Happy Turkey Lurkey day my friends and remember only one more day to donate to Valour-IT!

19 November 2008

Music Express

Because I'm in the middle of a self-indulgent pity party and what the hell, why not?









And, of course, my girl Tina





And last, but not least, my girl with my 1985 crush Bryan Adams


It didn't cancel the pity party, but it was a fun little trip to the past anyway!
No matter how new the car/battery if you run an iPod, the DVD player, the lights and not the engine for an hour and a half straight.....the sucker will die. Luckily, there is a battery symbol that comes on at minute 93, that lets you know it has happened. Even more luckily, if you are sitting in the middle of BFE waiting on a Cub Scout meeting to finish, shut everything off, growl at your youngest offspring to just shut it about Scooby-Doo being interrupted and wait about 10 minutes, you may, by the grace of God, be able to restart the car. I think, however, if your car has enough add ons and gadgets that would allow it to do your laundry and taxes simultaneously, it should have a gentle, audible reminder. Like, say, the OnStar chick saying, "Hey, dumbass, would you like to actually make it home tonight?" See, that would work. I blame a fever induced delirium and not rank stupidity on my inability to critically think at this juncture.

17 November 2008

Homework

FB comes downstairs after school with his DS in his hand.

Me: "Did you do your homework?"
FB: *sound of crickets*
Me: "It's a yes or no question."
FB: "No."
Me: "Then give me the DS and get upstairs and do your homework."

Ten minutes later as I am helping SoS with his homework, I hear the drums from upstairs.

Me: "FB! Is your homework done?!?"
FB: "No."
Me: "Then you better get off the drums and do it!"

About 30 minutes later a friend of FB's comes to the door and asks if he can play.

Me: "Did you finish your homework?"
FB: "Um, I forgot it at school."

I now have to ask, WTF?

11 November 2008

Valour-IT

I was at Chuck Z's today, and it seems that Valour-IT is out of money. If you've never heard of Valour-IT here is the page from Soldier's Angels that explains:




Project Valour-IT

(formerly Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops)
In memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss


It was the first time I felt whole since I’d woken up wounded in Landstuhl.
–Major Charles "Chuck" Ziegenfuss, on using a voice-controlled laptop

Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, helps provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries. Technology supplied includes:

  • Voice-controlled Laptops - Operated by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, they allow the wounded to maintain connections with the rest of the world during recovery.
  • Wii Video Game Systems - Whole-body game systems increase motivation and speed recovery when used under the guidance of physical therapists in therapy sessions.
  • Personal GPS - Handheld GPS devices build self-confidence and independence by compensating for short-term memory loss and organizational challenges related to TBI and severe PTSD.

The experience of Major Chuck Ziegenfuss, a partner in the project who suffered serious hand wounds while serving in Iraq, illustrates how important these laptops and other technologies can be to a wounded service member's recovery.

January 18th, 2006

Dear Mrs. Smith,

It was brought to my attention that your organization, Soldier's Angels, did something very special for the Marines of our Injured Support Battalion. I want to take this time and thank you so much for your contribution to make special memories for those who sacrifice so much.

Your contribution of laptops is quite above and beyond. I am grateful that you have taken time to honor our injured heroes.

I remain...



Very cool. The fund raising goal is $250,000. The bloggers representing the branches of the military are having a friendly competition to see who can reach the goal of $50,000 quickest. Chuck is part of Team Army, Greyhawk from Mudville Gazette is part of Team Air Force, Laughing Wolf from Blackfive is also part of Team Army, you get the picture. This morning Team Navy had already raised $3K while the other branches were not so flush. Much as I love the Navy, I was thinking the little squids had enough help and I needed to help out the other branches and got waylaid by children. Checking back this evening I see Team Army has caught up, but that the poor little Coasties are hurting....like usual. So, I am rethinking to whom I will donate. As Chuck Z says

Look, you don't have to donate your life savings. Just figure out how much you spend on mini-luxuries for a week. Five trips to starbux is $30. Drink coffee at work instead, and you've sacrificed little, but you can now contribute three percent of a laptop. Think about your weekly luxuries. What can you do without, so that you can give the gift of modern functionality to someone who needs it?

It's important. It's something you can do to give, really give, someone such a great gift this holiday season. While we focus on being thankful for what we have , take a little time to remember what others have recently lost, and know that the only thing stopping them from regaining a piece of what they've lost--is you.





So, guys and dolls if you're feelin' it here are the donation links and the running tally!












On an absolutely FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC note, Books for Soldiers made their fundraising goal and will be around for another year to support those deployed! YAY!

I'm not really a girl

So, a few days ago I went to Michael the Extremely Gay Hairdresser for a new 'do. I was getting bored with the style I had and knew Michael could fix it. In fact, that was my demand, "FIX IT!" In his usual fabulous style he cut my hair and then asked "Are you ready for something damn cute?" Why, but of course! He flipped the ends of my hair up with his amazing flat iron that does things no flat iron should. The effect was not unlike Reba:


Which, really, is great because, face it she's in her 50's and she's hot. The problem as I stated it was, "There is no way I can reproduce this." Michael assured me I could "It's like when you used to feather your hair, but more extreme." Well, sure, but 1979 was a hell of a long time ago.
And frankly, my hair never turned out that well anyway. But my never say die personality kicked in and I have attempted, on several occasions, to style my hair in Michael's spectacular fashion. Unfortunately, the girl gene for style was left out of my DNA and my attempts look more like Nigel Tufnel than Reba.

Veteran's Day

Today is the day we honor those that have served in our nation's military. I'm grateful for all our veterans and our active duty military, but there are a few who mean a little more to me. So, for my Uncle Roy who survived the Bataan Death March, my Uncle Garth who also served in WWII and was on the Bikini Atoll, for my Uncle Rusty who was a member of the very first SEAL teams (and, in his 80s, still attends graduation at Coronado), my Uncles David and Doug who served on the same destroyer at the same time in the Gulf of Tonkin, my Uncle Dennis who just had to be different than his brothers and joined the Air Force (by the way, all three ENLISTED during Vietnam and were not drafted), my cousin Tyler who served four tours in Iraq, my friend and doctor Bill who remains in the Reserves and heads to Iraq (or maybe somewhere else by that time)in July, my cousin Jeremy who could be a vet by this time but chose to continue to be active duty, and SHSO'C who will join the ranks of veterans in a few short months:

Happy Veteran's Day


I may overload you with videos today, but I love these. This one specifically talks about the women in the military, and the pictures of the (nurses?) women in WWII (or Korea now that I think of it) are great, not to mention the picture of the obvious nurse (with the cap I'm going with Vietnam)



Powerful images, fabulous choir, and religious or not, it may be hard not to be moved by "as He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free" with that amazing crescendo.


This is a long one, but worth it if you have the time. "Adagio for Strings" is beautiful music and I think extremely appropriate for a tribute. But that's just me.


Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programing of inane babbling after the break. Hug a vet people! But ask first so you don't get hit with a pesky sexual harassment suit or a restraining order. I plan to...well, the hugging, not the sexual harassment suit or the other thing.

06 November 2008

Mailbag

From time to time I get items in my mailbox that make me wonder about the mental stability of the world. Or my own. This weeks was one of those times. In fact, I got three pieces of mail on the same day that made me think, WTF? The first was this:
I realize it is overexposed, but bear with me here. That seal is the AARP seal. Yes, folks, the American Association of Retired Persons sent me a membership flyer. Now, disregard the fact that there is no way I will retire in this lifetime, because I will have to work until the day I die. They will have to cart me off the floor and pry whatever medical instrument I may be holding at the time from my cold, dead hands. I will never have the opportunity to be a retired person, but that is not the point. The point is this: I am 41 years old! Why the hell am I getting membership requests from an organization to which my PARENTS belong? My RETIRED parents. I don't dread getting older, I didn't "stop" having birthdays at 39, I enjoy being the age I am. But come ON! Cut me a little slack.

The next interesting piece of mail was this:

Okay, this one is underexposed, sue me. But the letterhead is from Regence, the company from which I receive my incredibly sucky insurance courtesy of Multiscare. The gist of this correspondence is that Regence loves me and wants to make sure I'm satisfied with their services and could I please take an independent survey about how great they are? ($3000 yearly deductible? $6000 out of pocket maximum? Yeah, you rock.) My favorite part of the letter is this sentence:
We have enclosed a small cash incentive in appreciation of your participation in this important study
How small? This small:


(Don't ask me why it's oriented this way, this is not the way I took the picture. But I'm too freaking lazy and/or tired to correct it, so you'll have to adjust.) What is this worth now; 13 cents? Not to mention that after January, these yahoos aren't even going to be my insurance carriers. So, I'm gonna have to pass. But I will keep the buck so I can buy a piece of gum. Thanks.

My last piece of mail was a magazine called Uncommon Goods. I buy most of my Christmas presents from quirky little magazines and every year around this time, I seem to receive more. This one in particular is a little crunchy with most of the products being the "love your mother earth/made of recycled whatever" variety. No big, it's nice stuff and my SIL happens to be a little crunchy herself. Some may regard me as crunchy, but that's probably because I'm nuts. But I digress. I'm flipping through the pages and come across these little gems: The Global Warming mug and the Disappearing Civil Liberties/Bill of Rights.














As you can see, the mug on the left is our little planet and as you can't see, the mug on the right is the Bill of Rights. (heh. I didn't even plan that) When you add your favorite hot beverage to these mugs, the polar ice caps melt, the water level raises and the majority of the Bill of Rights disappear. Classy. Buy these as heartwarming gifts to celebrate the joy of the season!

28 October 2008

A trip to Brazil

I have been a proponent of bikini waxing for sometime. I don't know what your preferences are, but looking like the Wild Woman of Borneo while wearing my swimming togs is not my idea of a fashion forward look. And since I don't really relish the whole "getting used to waxing all over again" experience, I wax year around. Because, frankly, it hurts. Which is why I wrote this post, specifically this:

Who in the hell developed the Brazilian Wax and how in the hell did he get women to go for it?

Really, think about it. I knew what was involved and so I couldn't fathom why someone would put themselves through this. The preponderance of patients who have obviously gone through this procedure notwithstanding. I also have many friends who have had this experience and the tales of position changes that require you to be a cross between a contortionist, a Cirque du Soliel performer and a pretzel increased my confusion. So, I decided to find out for myself what it was like. Why? Because I'm RETARDED!

I entered my usual waxing room already giggling in the way I do when I am nervous about something. It starts as giggling and escalates rapidly to hysterical laughter. I was also sweating like an expectant father with the clap. (Thank you Meatballs.) My dear aesthetician and I discussed the plan and she stepped out so I could disrobe and cover up. Unfortunately for me, the beds are heated which, in no way, helped with the sweating. Johnna came in and instructed me to frog my legs. "Assuming the position" as I call it in my line of work. The first part was really no big deal, as I was used to waxing anyway. Then she moved closer to *ahem* midline as it were. The first pull of the wax bowed my back like a electro-shock therapy patient. Yeowza! At this point I began breathing like I was in transition. It didn't help any better here than it did when I was in labor. My favorite word did NOT make an appearance, I didn't even think it. This may be because I'm sure I blacked out or had an out of body experience. Pretty sad I'm more professional when I'm being denuded faster than the Amazonian rain forest than when I'm in my place of business.

It was at this point that I decided being an aesthetician was a far weirder job than mine. And I deal with strange women and their girl parts all day long. Still not as weird.

The job got finished amid more laughing ( I was NERVOUS!) and discussions about other clients who got halfway through and decided they had had enough. I don't know if a Brazilian wax is a good time to go 40 Year Old Virgin and bail. Seems to me to be a bad look.

So, my unhealthy curiosity is assuaged and I can sleep easier knowing what exactly is entailed in a Brazilian wax. Now I just get to look forward to grow out. Sheesh.

As a Post Script: I got beat like a dog at work for the last few days, so when the phone rang at 0539 this am I didn't even say hello. All they got was "Uh-uh!" Click.

26 October 2008

Crash

SoS has joined the ranks of young men who inadvertently jack up the price of auto insurance. Although, in this case, it did not involve an automobile. Lemme 'splain. My parents' neighbors own 40 acres. And being of "a certain age" (read: close to 80) they have a small tractor like vehicle called a Kawasaki Mule. The aged gentleman farmer is wont to allow children, specifically mine, to drive the Mule with him. On day last week, when I was engaged in the hell that is Epic Go-Live and stuck in super-loserdom, my parents picked up the boys and had them until I got off work. As I was tearing my hair out trying to figure out why cyberspace was eating everything the doctors were typing, SoS was driving around on the Mule with the dear neighbor. He decided to allow SoS to back the Mule up. SoS, in his excitement, stood up, trod on the gas pedal, and promply backed it over the embankment
Do not think the tracks in the gravel were caused when going over the embankment because that would imply someone, ANYONE, had employed the brakes. Instead SoS , the neighbor and the Mule tumbled over the embankment, rolled several times, popped out the windshield and came to rest about half way down.
See that cross way tree in the picture? Riiiiiiggghhhht there? That's where my offspring ended up wrapped up in neighbor and Mule. Here's a close up:
Way cool. Needless to say, we're not doing that again.

In other news: yet another sign that your private personality is sneaking into your professional life. I went in to work at 0300 today and got a patient that was later found out to be a face presentation (coming out face first instead of back of the head first for anyone who might land here by accident). After many hours of trying to position changes, pitocin, and aggravation it was decided that perhaps this kid wasn't coming out that way and we should deliver her surgically. The oncoming doc asked if her water had broken and if it was clear fluid. I said that she had meconium and the offgoing doc said, "But it was clear when she came in yesterday." My response: "Well, if you slammed my face into a wall for several hours I'd shit my pants too." Oh, jeez.

22 October 2008

Internet ADD

For all my attempts to be technologically savvy, it seems I have been lacking in certain respects. It's not in my home network, with my wireless router and ability to surf, print, and blog from anywhere in the house. It's not in my desktop PC with it's speaker system better than my stereo and more memory than would be needed in the most involved World of Warcraft scenario. It's not in my fabulous laptop with the 18 inch screen. No, it seems I am lacking in my choice of internet browser. I was even on the receiving end of a scathing "You don't have Firefox?!?" from one who shall remain nameless. "What is this Firefox of which you speak?" So, I looked into it. What the hell? How is it that I am so undervalued by my friends that no one thought to tell me about this browser from Heaven? Has it been touched by the finger of God? It is the Ritalin to my Internet ADD. The methadone to my World Wide Web smack. The benedryl to my penicillin induced rash of stalled web page load. I have reached Nirvana and it's name is Firefox.

19 October 2008

Carb heaven

I have no bread in the house and since I'm fundamentally lazy, not to mention I try not to buy stuff on Sundays, I had to make bread today. This is the same bread my mother made every week when we were growing up, mainly because she thought Wonderbread was of the devil (but what fun to squish) and we were on the lower end of the socio-economic ladder for many years. So the delightful warm smell of fresh baked bread is wafting through my house and all I want is to take one toasty loaf and a stick of butter and retire to my room. I'd be in a carb coma, but it would be a very happy coma!

18 October 2008

I have never been accused of being Holly Homemaker, but I can fake Handy Mandy pretty dang well. I find myself with some time on my hands and a honey do list that is many years in the making. Just a few things that I've said "I should really....naaaahhhh!" To begin, both the shades in my room and in FB's room have been broken, mine for over a year, FB's more recently. The cords had been snapped, more than likely during a vertically challenged raising or lowering of said blinds. Needless to say, they look a tad...redneck is the kindest word I could use. I dreaded the thought of needing to buy new ones or sending them back to the manufacturer as they were quite expensive. So, I decided to take these suckers apart and see if I could fix them myself. I had purchased some drapery cord and began my most excellent adventure. My first little glitch arose when I realized I didn't remember how to get the blinds down. Tugging and pulling, twisting and turning was not helping, and it didn't work on the blinds either. I decided they must just be muscled out of the brackets and put all my strength behind it when...the bracket broke, the shade flew off and smacked me right in the cheekbone. Cue my favorite word. Luckily, the children were at school and I realized how not to get the shades down. Oh, look, if you press this part of the bracket down, the shade just slips out. Gee, how neat. Having now injured myself, I lost the lust for home repair until later that evening. I figured the best place to attempt this, perhaps abortive attempt at shade repair, would be downstairs. And the only place that came to mind was my dining room table that is so covered in craft and other projects that it can no longer be considered a surface for eating, but rather a surface to dump crap I have some vague idea of completing in the distant or not so distant future.
I removed both header and footer of the shade, not really knowing what I would find and whether it would be fixable.



Imagine my surprise and joy when I saw that there was a convenient little bracket for the cord to go through and all I needed was a way to get it through all the way to the bottom. Aha! I thought, as I often have such exclamation when talking to myself, I will pull the remaining cord tight and tie the shade together so I can effect my repair. Once again I only fake being Handy Manny, or Mannette in this case, and so I tied it not with zip ties....jeez, I actually had those, but they were in the frosty garage....but with nice. cozy, yarn.
I then completed my repair, released the shade and extended it so that I had plenty of length, and voila! Repaired shade. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. I did, however forget to accommodate the length of the drapery cord to the height of the window, so when it is retracted all the way up....I may need a chair to release the shade. But! Redneck no longer.

My project today consisted of replacing the towel bar in the kids bathroom. This towel bar was placed by my a-hole contractor who told me, "That will fall down; call me when it happens and I'll replace it." Yeah, you'll be the first one I call when you just told me you did a half-assed job putting it up in the first place. And really, it has hung on for almost 6 years.... .which coincides with how long SoS has been on the planet. So, now that he is old enough to shower and dry off all by himself and he wants to put the towel back like he's supposed to..........you get the picture. I had some nice, heavy duty toggle screws to replace the cheap ass plastic mollies the a-hole used but when I went to get my drill, I couldn't seem to find my screwdriver bits. I can attribute this to FB and SoS feeling the need to string my tools from one end of the garage to another, kick them under cabinets and all manner of mayhem. I needed to go to Home Depot to see if they had brackets to replace the one I obliterated with my brute mommy strength anyway, so I thought I could pick up a screwdriver bit for my drill while I was there. The drapery people at Home Depot acted like I was from another planet and suggested I call the manufacturer, even though I purchased the shades through them. Crapped out on the bracket. Then, I found I couldn't buy single bits, but I did find this:




Oh, my heck, I almost creamed my jeans, and I'm sure my nippies got hard! See, I'm easy. Give this chick a Home Depot gift card and a chance to run wild, and I am yours forever! I've got the guts of one more toilet to change out and a set of roman shades to make and then, nothing but painting. Woohoo. I friggin' hate painting.

In other news, SoS had a belt test for a belt that wasn't for Little Ninjas. It was, in fact, the first grade belt for kids who are continuing on in Tae Kwon Do. He did very well in his counting, skipping only 2 numbers and never slipping from Korean to Spanish. And he sat quietly and respectfully for the next hour while others tested. Take that kindergarten Nazis! Of course, he did spend his afternoon grounded on bed arrest, but I don't know if that had any bearing on anything.





















Yeah, that's my little Ninja, starting his road to black belt. And here he is tonight after his shower awaiting a little root beer float action:

Yes, he did come up with ensemble himself. I call it " junior douchebag in training."

12 October 2008

Carlos!





Last night was a near orgasmic experience, a night I have been waiting for since May when we first heard that Carlos was coming to Seattle and waited like heroin addicts at the methadone clinic to snap up some tickets the second they went on sale. And we were not disappointed. The only down side to the whole experience was since I purchased these tickets in May and immediately stuck them in the fireproof safe (and hadn't looked at them since), I had forgotten exactly how many tickets I actually had. I thought I had only purchased one extra in case, by some extreme chance, SHSO'C and I actually decided to spend some time together, he might want to go. As it happened, he was needed in NYC for a wedding. And at the last minute the friend who was going to take the ticket was called away on a family emergency. Oh, well, it's just one ticket. Except that on the way to pick up the girls, I counted not one, not two, but three (3) extra tickets. I am a complete water head. It was at this point that I remembered I bought 3 extra in case a) SHSO'C and I did hit it off and he wanted to go and maybe bring a friend b) we hit it off briefly and then nothing else happened but he was already coming and needed a friend as a buffer c) I can't exactly remember c, but I'm sure I had a damn good reason. Because I am never illogical or irrational. Ask anyone. Although I am, on occasion, hysterical.

We got a little souvenir from Carlos:

25 dolla for what amounts to a Polaroid in a card frame. Not that I'm complaining, because really, how often is this going to happen? It's like going on vacation to Disneyworld. Celluloid memories don't come cheap, but you're so hopped up on endorphins you don't realize you've hemorrhaged money all week until you get home. Totally worth it.

Carlos was extremely funny, as were his opening acts. You really can't image the sight of a 110 lb dwarf pantomiming having sex with a 310 lb woman. "I looked like one of those yard art ducks with the wings that spin in the wind." I laughed so hard my face was sore. I think the reason Carlos Mencia appeals to so many is because he gives no one a break. He believes that there is hope for us, we aren't as bad as the rest of the world and a lot of Americans think we are, and everyone gets ripped on, crackers or not.

Reasons Carlos rocks out loud:


"No, not everyone should register to vote. Because when stupid people vote we get stupid people in office."

"The economy is horrible, we have a war in Afghanistan, a war in Iraq, political parties slinging mud about one another....a president getting a blow job doesn't sound so band now, does it?"

"I was told not to come on tour because the economy was so bad and I said "why wouldn't I go out and make people laugh when they need a reason to laugh more than ever?'"

"You know how I know that America isn't racist? Because we a have a document that says not all white men, not all black men, not all yellow, brown or what ever, but all MEN are created equal and that means MANKIND, not just men."

"See, all you smart people got the joke and laughed, all the stupid people should have been swallowed at conception."

Carlos kept us entertained and laughing nonstop for 2 1/2 hours. That does not count the opening acts or the round table jokes at the end. And that may be the greatest reason Carlos rocks.




Here is a Carlos skit from about 2001. NSFW probably and defintely not for the easily o-ffended!