Friday, December 30, 2005

Try this

FaceRecognition

Click on the link, upload a snapshot of yourself, and it tells you what celebrity you look like.

Mine said the following (because the picture I used had a very wide smile, and each photo matched did too)

  • Chelsea Clinton (gah!)
  • Mariah Carey( I wish)
  • Sigourney Weaver (Beth said no way)

PS: I found this on Jane's blog

It's OTT in here

I got an Ott Lite and I have to say, it is awesome. I 'll definitely start working on my projects more often in the evenings. (The beads I bought last spring are calling my name, and I'm about 3,000 pictures behind in my scrapbooks.)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Not quite resolved

I have mixed feelings as New Year's Eve approaches. I just don' t know if I want to watch Seacrest and Hilary and Dick Clark.

No, really. It's the whole "resolutions" thing. That's right, no pressure there. This coming year is the year you're going to finally fit that perfect size ten dress, and pay off all your credit cards, and quit smoking, and stop slipping 98% empty peanut butter jars and salad dressing bottles into the middle of the garbage bag because you can't stand to wash them out and recycle them.

You're going to stop screening your calls because you WILL get along with every family member (even THAT one), you'll never miss church on Sunday, and in your spare time you'll finally finish all of those projects that are stashed in your hobby area.

Are you exhausted yet? I am. Where is the reality check? The reality for me is that I will NOT work out an hour a day. My kids will be the reason, or the excuse. They'll come home from school demanding my attention and it will be round 8,492 of Good Mommy vs Time For Me Because I Am Important Too Mommy. Some measurement on or near my waist will probably stay aproximately the same number as my age. I will spend too much time blogging.

And yet there is something about the shiny blank new calendar I hung up tonight, some tiny whiff of hope emanating from the pages. (Ink fumes. I know...) Something about a clean slate hidden in all of those empty squares.

Maybe this WILL be the year that I finally incorporate exercise into my life. One tiny step at a time. (Suzy's got my back to the wall. "You can spend as much time as you want on the computer. You just have to spend an equal amount of time working out.")

At least I don't smoke. Ahah! I resolve that I won't take up smoking.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

No more donuts


Michale Vale
has died. The end of an era! Did you know he appeared in over 1300 commercials??

He really was an Everyman sort of character, who reminds me something of my Dad. For 25 years Dad worked the midnight shift at a factory where fabulous chocolate chip cookies are made. People like them help make the world go round.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Only 363 days till next Christmas

My eight year old son is kicking our BUTTS on Grand Turismo. No one in the house can beat him. Mr. C and I are cursing the thing because we keep going off the roads and ending up facing completely the wrong direction.

In another development, our American Girl apparently has a disturbing habit of cussing. It all started when I heard my daughter running, then a crash in the hallway, and I ran to see if she was OK.

She was sprawled on the floor holding her elbow and crying and the doll (which has been constantly attached to her hip since the other day) was face down on the floor next to her. I picked up Jessica (that's the doll) and asked her what happened. A high-pitched voice replied, "She fell on her ass."

"Jessica!"

"What? Oh shit, I can't talk like that anymore, can I ?"

"NO!"

Well, it made my daughter laugh, anyway.

Coolest Christmas Gift

My sister got me a little extra something this Christmas... a mini Coach bag, for taking care of her when she had her staph infections -- when a little boy puked in the garbage can next to me while I was waiting for hours with her in the ER, I turned to her and said "You owe me big for this" -- at the time, I asked to borrow HER Coach purse for a couple of weeks, and I thought after I did that, that we were even.

Ta-dah:


Nice, huh? (Two of her friends tried to steal it from her before she gave it to me.)


I'm still recovering from an intense case of maxiumus-relativus in-my-homeicus. More later, after a few bottles of wine.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

Something for you to read

Thank you all for visiting my blog. It's been a fun year.

While I'm caught in the tannenbaum tornado these next few days, I'll leave you with this.
(The entire document is much longer and has other elements I didn't even touch on in this excerpt. Please read it all. And thanks to Poly for passing it to me in the first place.)

Excerpted from: http://www.uucb.org/sermons/2005081401 August 14, 2005 Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley © Rev. Barbara Hamilton-Holway


I would like to have it a little more together.

I’d like to meet my challenges, find my way, keep the faith.

I’d like to be more certain of what I’m on earth for and not be so ready to bag it all when push comes to shove.

So I’ve been thinking, what on earth am I here for?

What are we here for?

Imagine seeing yourself and your purpose as assisting, supporting, and encouraging creation.
And witnessing to it

Your purpose is to notice the color purple in a field somewhere.

Life is here to support life. We are to encourage others to be their fullest selves.

Right now someone needs you - your listening ear, your supportive hand.

What a purpose you and I have — to reach out to shape a loving and just world, to nurture one another’s best self, to nurture the best selves of every one, family, friends, and strangers.

We have received so much. From all that we have, we give back, we turn our gifts and passions into work in the world. Not only our gifts and passions, even our sorrows, challenges, weaknesses, and losses can abet creation.

Perhaps even in our suffering and challenges, we can begin to ask, “What can I do with this?” What you do with your gifts and your hardships reflects your priorities, hopes, and dreams; what you do with your life tells who you are.

There is something that is uniquely yours to do. It is truly possible for us to make it through hard times, help others through theirs, and give to make the kind of world we long for.

We are here on earth not to busy ourselves, not, as the Chinese pictograph for “busy” admonishes, to kill the heart. Our purpose is to heal the heart. We are here right now to live with heart in the heart of life.


* * * *

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Don't ask me

A tiny alien being has replaced my son.

Mr. C turned to him at dinner and casually said, "so... why are the altar server robes black and white, Dan?"

Dan launched into a two minute dissertation on how "the black robe represents the fact that Jesus died and was gone for 3 days. The white robe on top is because He came back to life. " It was a lot more detailed than that, but I don't think I understood it all, really.

The whole time, Mr. C's giving me the hairy eyeball and telepathically saying "Can you believe this?"

After dinner Mr. pulled me aside and I said "so whaaat? he learned that in school, right?" Recall, he goes to our parish school.

Apparently, he made it all up. He was wondering why, and that's what he decided it meant. So, he's either going to be a priest, a philosophy professor, or a really good bullshitter.


***


Just before bed, he asked me "why do you measure a snake in inches?" (because they don't have any feet....)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Enough already

WHAT is the nonsense with which retailers are using the word Christmas or not? Don't we all have better ways to use our time and energy?

I think clerks should not have to say anything beyond "thank you for shopping at Carly's Wine & Liquor Shoppe". (Business is great, thanks for asking)

Enough already with demanding to be acknowledged for your own personal religious holiday when you are buying a frivolous consumable item. If you really ARE Christian why do you need to slap other people upside the head with it? Be a Christian, live and let live and be forgiving and love one another instead of picking a really, really stupid argument just to SHOW to everyone that you are Christian with a great big capital C.... stores exist to sell stuff. Kissing the customer's ass should only have to go just so far.

And if you REALLY object to the crass commercialization of your religious holiday, why are you out shopping? What does it matter WHICH retailers use the word "Holidays" instead of Christmas?? Yes in other words I think everyone who CHOOSES to be offended in this situation one way or the other is being silly. Stupid, really.

Why can't people stop making a big deal about this whole thing? Everyone, just say "Happy New Year" or in the words of Bon Jovi*, "Have a nice day" and chill out.

(*Isn't he getting kind of old to still be singing?)

Hi Googlers

what you're looking for is here: Dominick the Donkey

Sheeesh.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Best gift wrapping technique ever

Last year my mother had a little figurine for my sister. It was nice. But what Suzy REALLY needed was cash (who doesn't this time of year?)

My mother packed the little figurine in a box filled with crumpled up one-dollar bills. Who needs tissue paper? Then she wrapped the box, as though nothing unusual was inside. *

Suzy opened it up and screamed "It's a box of money!" and we all laughed hysterically.


* * * * * * * *


*Note, if you are a member of Mr. Carly's family, proper gift wrapping requires the following:
  1. Everything must be in a box. If you are giving a mail order gift that hasn't arrived yet you are obligated to tear a photo of the gift out of said catalog, and place that photo in a box. Recipient MUST have a box to open.
  2. Boxes must be lined with pristine white tissue paper. No re-using.
  3. Box MUST be taped shut on two sides, but preferably all four sides. We do NOT want the present to fall out. We DO want the recipient to get a cardboard cut and/or break a nail trying to get into the gift. Hey, no pain, no gain.
  4. Box must be wrapped neatly. If you have more than one present for someone, the wrap on all of your gifts for them should match, so they know they boxes "go together", even if the gifts are unrelated.
  5. Must have a bow. It must match the paper on the package.
  6. Must tape gift tag to bottom of box, so as not to spoil the appearance of the package.
  7. (Note, all gifts are to be referred to as "packages" and not presents)
  8. Tape Hallmark card costing no less than $3.99 to bottom of package.

Here is how my family wraps a gift:

  1. Roll in whatever tissue paper you have, if you have it
  2. Put in gift bag

Guess which way Yours Truly, who annually wraps 95% of all gifts under my tree, prefers.

Now guess which way I had to actually do it. However, I am done. So there.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dolcetto



Dolcetto means " Sweet Little One"

Today has been a sad day for me. One of the babies I "met" in the NICU, has passed away last night, and I'm keeping his mother in my thoughts.

Please do the same.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dominick the Donkey Is Out to Get Me

Well I just realized (through my Sitemeter) that people are landing on my page after doing a Google search and trying to find the lyrics to my most favorite song.

Yes, Dominick the Donkey. Eee aw! (You can find the complete lyrics here ; whoever posted them as a comment to my initial blog entry, I'm going to find you and get even somehow...)

It's ironic, because I've really had it JUST ABOUT UP TO HERE with holiday songs, holiday cheer and holiday preparations, thanks....

Hey, at least I'm getting some traffic. :::wink::::

It's Erik's fault

It's Erik's fault
that I made this quiz.

Mine is horribly boring
compared to his

(he got a 30, by the way, in the original edition. See if you can do a little better, K man!!)

Or hey, you could take this one to see which Office Space character you are.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hey Santa

So...

I have been thinking that I'd like to get something like this if it would help me digitally edit baby photos.

This means I have to figure out how to find $200, which probably means I need to spend less time blogging and more time making necklaces, to start selling them. (Or I need to convince Johnny V to find me a good one at a cheaper price. Are you bored with yours yet JV?)

I'm going to mull this over until after Christmas.

Carded

E-cards are sometimes very odd (sorry, Hallmark) , but sometimes the creator does an exceptional job ...someone passed me a link to this one today and I thought it was pretty. Very seasonal.

I also like this one. (I like the reflection of the big tree in the water, and the flowers.)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Found

Vaguely like Post Secret... something "found" is posted, apparently daily. Once again Poly is light years ahead of me... (of course!)

click here: Found magazine


Here's an interesting advent calendar I think I wandered to from Dooce somehow:

Leslie Harpold Advent Calendar

Cookie Monster

My very own Post Secret...



I tell Mr. Carly and my kids that they can't eat any of the cookies until Christmas, but I am sneaking a couple every day.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Santa looked a lot like Daddy

(... which is a funny Garth Brooks song for those of you who don't know)

Today in church the priest started off with something about Rudolph and how he lead Santa. There was some parallel to how Jesus was sent to lead us. A little lite humor, I guess.

Mr. Carly asked me what I thought of the sermon. It's really hard for us to hear up in the choir loft because this particular priest's microphone isn't always set right. So I more or less said that I didn't hear it, and he was telling me about it. Midway I blurted out "Rudolph is Jesus??"

It may not convey well but it was hysterical because my son got REAAAAAAAAAALLLLY confused by that one.

Good Old Days



Scrapbooker's nirvana... a whole new box of pictures has been found by my uncle. This is my grandmother, Gertraude.

I know what I'll be doing all January!!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

FFF #19

FFF is Flash Fiction Friday. JJ asks us to write an anecdote, short story, etc, beginning with the sentence below. Visit Purgatorian for the details.

*****


I think it was her photograph that made me realize that perhaps I could DO something to help.

When the baby's mother handed that photo to me, I immediately noticed the scar on the child's torso. She'd recently had surgery. Breathing tubes covered most of her mouth.

I thought of the rolls of film I used when my daughter was born. I happily clicked away, every time a new family member arrived to visit and hold her, adorable in her Carter's outfits with teddy bears and yellow rocking horses stitched on the fronts. Those moments were routine, in a way, even though I cherished them all. I had the luxury of dozens of Kodak moments.

The first few days of life are not always a parade of visitors bearing flowers and balloons, and a portrait in the hospital nursery with a special outfit picked out by mom. Sometimes, there are tubes and monitors and a need for critical care from one moment to the next, and being so tiny that most clothing doesn't fit.

"I can edit this," I said, and I did.

I had the mom mail the photo to me. I opened some photo editing software I'd never touched before, and began to experiment. First, the scar. I found a "clone" tool that would take soft, unblemished skin and paint it over that heartbreaking cut. A lump formed in my throat when I began to stroke away that scar, making it look as though the surgery never happened. I wished that I had some magical power, and by simply erasing that mark, I could actually remove it from her delicate skin.

I was trying to make that part of her mother's experience a bit easier. To console her, in some tiny, miniscule way, for the fact that she couldn't just pick up a camera and take a typical snapshot whenever she wanted. That while her baby would have her own portraits, and her own story, I could give her a little bit of something that other moms cherish and take for granted all at once.

There is a photograph I'm working on now. This baby is gravely ill. His mother heard about the work that I do, and asked if I would do a picture for her. How could I say no? What holiday preparations could possibly be "more important" when I think of her, spending her days by his side?

She had a picture from his first day of life. He has the same little bow-shaped upper lip that my babies had. It's covered by a breathing tube and tape but I can see the edges of it, and I know what it SHOULD look like. Perhaps it's there in her mind's eye, when she takes a few moments to close her eyes and rest. I wonder if she dreams of a peaceful baby face, unobscured by tubes and tape.

When I'm finished editing the picture, the bruises and scrapes on his head will be gone, and the bluish veins showing so harshly through his paper thin flesh will be soothed away. No tubes will cover that heart shaped mouth.

The last thing I will add is a soft focus, dreamlike effect. I can only hope to be able to give her an image that she can cherish, so that when she thinks of her son, it will sometimes be a snapshot of a tiny angel.

Deck the halls

Keep in mind, the Carly household is inhabited by three rabid Christmas Elves, and one Grinch (moi).

I am under seige... my home is being taken over by Christmas decorations. All of my favorite framed pictures are vanishing before my eyes, going straight into the boxes where the 'trim' lurks all year long.

Boy, do we have trim. Santas of various styles and sizes. Votive holders with holiday themes. Candy dishes with Santas, holly berries, or snowmen. Wreaths and plaques on every door in the house, I'm sooo not kidding.

The cherry on top is the clock. My nice kitchen wall clock is now hidden somewhere, a location unknown to me, and in its place hangs a vile clock that plays a Christmas song at the top of every hour. Oh, the horror. I have threatened "No cookies" in order to get them to agree that they will only turn on the music "feature" today, and Christmas day.

Today the trees will go up. This is when I start feeling reeeeeeeally claus-trophobic. Yes, that was "trees", plural, because we have to have one back in the family room where we spend most evenings but we HAVE TO HAVE ONE IN THE FRONT WINDOW, YOU DON'T WANT PEOPLE THINKING WE DON'T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS, DO YOU?

It doesn't stop there. Lighted houses underneath the trees. Oh yeah. Long garlands of "pine branches" with lights running through. Those hang over the french door, rendering the drapes completely impossible to open or close, and also along the top of my kitchen cupboards. (Yes, one year Mr. Carly DRILLED a fist-sized hole through the top of one of my brand new kitchen cabinets, so that he could plug the string of lights into the outlet used for the microwave. I left the house for the evening.)

While this decorating extravaganza is going on, I will make cookies and drink wine. Surrender seems to be the only option. Cheers!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Snow day!

well, for the kids at least... not for me. The good thing is, I can work from home.

While I'm working, y'all go read this: (thanks Steve)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Best Winter Song Ever

Harry Connick, Winter Wonderland, from the soundtrack of When Harry Met Sally.

No voice or other instruments, just him on the piano.

Go download it. Now! If you can sit absolutely still while listening to this song (cranked to full volume) I will buy you one drink of your choice.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Carly Cartman



Try this ... it's fun

Fast track to January 6th please....

Am I the only person who wants to just skip Christmas? Poly has correctly ascertained that I just want it all to be over.

I'm talking about the part where I spend - spend - spend, and do extra work because I'll have a house full of relatives on the 25th.

Christmas Eve will be nice. We'll have a nice dinner for just the four of us, then go to candlelight mass (at 8 pm, not midnight, which makes some of the choir crazy, but I prefer it) where my kids will serve, and I will sing. THAT part I enjoy.

But for the rest of it all... can I just "pass" ??

This weekend I got nearly all of my shopping done. The downside is that because I was doing that all day Saturday, I was overloaded with chores all day Sunday. Wahhh, I know.... exciting stuff like washing sheets for the entire household along with five other loads of laundry and writing the bills, and discovering forgotten homework; the house was dirty and we needed groceries -- there were tasks everywhere shouting at me "I'm not done yet!!"

I finally quit at about 9:03 pm. ( I hate the nun storyline on DH, it's stupid; and don't even get me started on Gray's. That is so NOT what a NICU is like, for instance a NICU nurse is MUCH more involved in the care of a preemie. Gaaah!)

The GrinchCarly mood this morning wasn't helped by our cars basically being frozen. The driver's side door of the SUV wouldn't open. I got into the passenger side and climbed into the driver's seat to start it up. Yeehaw. I went back in the house and let it run for about 10 minutes. Sorry, Ozone layer.

When I was actually leaving for work the door was still frozen so I climbed in again, from the back to the front. (It was a lot more fun to climb into the back when I was 18.... )

Sheer stupidity caused me to grab the handle and nudge the driver side door open just to see if I could. THEN, when I pulled it shut, it laughed at me and bounced back open. I outwitted it by pulling the door closed and locking it.

But...I swear to you, I had the thought flit through my brain that if I fell out onto the highway for just ONE SECOND, my family wouldn't make me host Christmas dinner.

I'm starting Yoga today.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Just so we're all on the same page

There was never a real person "Kris Kringle" either. (Man, it's been a long day.)

But this is a good thing, because according to "Santa claus is coming to town" he apparently only had a thumb and 3 fingers, so who knows what else would have been wrong with him.

Snarly out.

Sorry Virginia, there really isn't....

I thought we had this covered but I guess I was wrong.

Turns out my little darling thought that I was Santa's HELPER... and didn't get the part where he is a LEGEND.... or as Barry Manilow puts it "I guess there ain't no Santy Claus".....

She said to me tonight when we were sitting alone at dinner "I have to make my list for Santa". I said "Don't bother, I'm done shopping." (Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!)

Puzzled look. "What about my stocking?"

"I got that too."

"But I thought Santa filled that?"

"I AM SANTA!"

From there, the conversation went something like Hello.... remember that talk we had? It's ME. She said "but he's in the malls" and my answer was something like "that's a crappy part time job."

The capper was when she asked me "When did he die?"

I think she's FINALLY got it now. But somehow I'm not really sure.

It's Funny Until Somebody Loses An Eye


I was finishing my Christmas shopping by getting a few Simply Certificates when I noticed some sort of commotion centered around a kid who was just sitting on a bench. His parents, three guards, anda few EMTS were all looking at him.


I thought maybe he'd had a seizure; but then the Certificates guy said that he'd walked directly into the point of the big sign saying "This Way to Santa". (I'm assuming he then dropped like a stone, I didn't see any blood. He must have whacked it right good, because mall security was taking a polaroid of the sign and everything.)


That's gonna be one angry kid someday when his parents tell him the truth about Jolly Old Saint Nick!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Merry Christmas and all that -- I still don't like you

So many movies include the plotline where everyone makes up after an argument, just because it's Christmastime. That is SUCH a crock, if the differences that caused the argument are still there.

I have a friendship that I ended this year. There are two sides to every story, but it all boils down to me feeling like she had taken advantage of me one-too-many times, and that some of the things she said over the years were pretty hurtful to me & Mr. Carly. Grossly insensitive comments about his job being eliminated, and so on.

When I spelled my issues out in an email (yes, I am a total coward when it comes to outright confrontations, and the hints I was dropping steadily just weren't working) I got a lot of venom back in emails from her and her husband. I finally had enough, and finished it with a note saying "please don't contact me anymore." It has been six months and honestly, I'm sorry to sound like a total jerk, but I don't miss her.

Trust me, if my most Christian friend could look me in the eye and say "You know, I've never liked her", that speaks volumes.

She'd been pretty much out of my mind until the other day, when I got an email from her, wherein she announced that she is moving to another state, pretty far from here. Hmmm. Honestly, I felt nothing. I think she deliberately included me, but wanted to seem as though she'd merely sent to everyone in her address book.

Sorry, I'm not playing.

I'm not going to do the "Oh my gosh, you're moving? We have to make up! I'll miss you!" conversation, because, as previously stated, so what, we don't, I won't.

As a symbolic act, I took my copy of her house keys and threw them into a body of water I was admiring yesterday. They've been bugging me, really gnawing at me. I couldn't bring them back to her, because I don't want to see her. I didn't want to send someone else (waaaaaaay cowardly) and mailing someone's KEYS to their HOME is generally not a good idea. Now that I know she's leaving town, I felt no further need to give them back to her. Impulsive? Perhaps. Closure? Hell yeah.

It felt VERY good to watch them slip into the water and disappear with a small but audible "plunk." I just wanted to hug somebody at that moment --it was that much of a relief.

It felt even better to know that I won't come across the keys in a drawer, on my desk, etc. To know that it's very unlikely I'll ever cross paths with her again, since her family does not live in this area. To know that I stood up for myself, to rid myself of a relationship that only caused me unhappiness.

Buh-bye. Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Top 10 Things I am addicted to

In no particular order...

  • The internet (hey it's REAL, ... read the article....)
  • Maple walnut fudge, which my mother makes for me every year for my birthday. The little people in my house try to get their grubby little paws on it, but I hide it.
  • Lost... I am working my way through my season 1 DVD's AND flipping out each week watching the new stuff. (Dad? !!!! )
  • Coke, never Pepsi.
  • Pizza (hmm, there's a lot of food and no exercise in this list...but, I have been taking the stairs back up, every time I go to the cafeteria for tea, and around 10 am every day I do one or two sets again with a couple of other people who sit near me. This would not seem like something that could be fun, but I have to admit it ALMOST is.)
  • This and these. Daily.
  • Downloading music and burning my own mix cd's.
  • Editing pictures I take with my digital camera. I took some great photos of my niece the other day (she was baptised in a handmade gown that her grandmother wore - I converted a couple of the portraits to sepia and they are A-dorable!!).
  • Oh, and a glass of Pinot Grigio and some bon bons, while I watch Survivor.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lights

( Edit - Sorry, this doesn't work and I have NO idea why.... except that it's 5 mb )
Let's see if this works


Click here to watch 'lights4447'

It's a big file but it's fun.

Sorry Amelia

I really WAS going to blog about what we discussed earlier this evening, but I can't find the website we were looking at. Names, you see, go in my brain and fall right out.

And how was that ice cream bar, anyway?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Eee awwww

So, at the ripe old age of 39.99999 I have seen and heard quite a bit.

Somehow, I missed a Christmas "classic". A delightful little tune, called Dominick the Donkey. (lyrics like when Santa visits his Paisans he uses donkeys because the reindeer can't climb the hills of I-tal-eee)

I heard it for the first time the other day. It's a monstrosity. A "get stuck in your kids' brains and they will sing it over and over", horrible, awful thing.

And they keep singing it.

Monday, November 28, 2005

For LOST fans

go here and when you see a square representing a seat turn green, click on it...

I've found Charlie(29c), Claire, Boone(9e), Shannon(9f), and Locke. (It's a slow day here)

Also, where it says 42F, click on the blinking f... then go to the seat for Anna Lucia, highlighted way in the back of the plane, and click on that.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Suzy 1, Tom 0

My sister (who blogged for only about 3 days, but whatever...) had to work Thursday night, so she had us over for a late Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday.

Monday we used Kraft's website to determine that if she bought a 20 lb turkey she could put it in her fridge (since there was NO room in the freezer) and it should be defrosted by Saturday morning.

Should.

Wasn't.

She called me about 9:15 Saturday morning and told me that she'd taken the turkey out from the fridge when she got home from work, and the little bugger was still all frozen inside. She spent at least 30 - 45 minutes running cold water down into his rib cage to get out that nasty bag of giblets. She'd had a crappy night at work, (she's been sick and not sleeping well so it was capped by a full-scale asthma attack at the front desk just before leaving -- they almost called a code and took her to the ER), so as a bonus she cried the entire time.

When she had his giblets out, she flipped the little bastard over and discovered that his liver was shoved up into his other cavity. She screamed "Nooooooo!" and debated drop-kicking the little guy off the balcony of her apartment but decided against that. Cried, ran cold water, pried guts out of him.

When she called me, my only advice was "put him in the oven and go to bed, you need sleep." She bastes with a combo of melted butter mixed with brown sugar; some of that spilled on the oven floor, so she got a nice facefull of smoke at one point. Lovely.

When all was said and done, the meat was falling off the bones, and it was very juicy and delicious. We had sweet potatoes and my brother made the green bean goo (it was good), and I also made stuffing from scratch (with apple, celery, spices, and so on) which apparently drove my mother up the wall because it takes "too long" but it was great.

We had a moment of silence for Ruth Siems and then ate a great dinner (first my son had this very cute speech about how we should be grateful for the Pilgrims and their friend Squanto- - - bear in mind, he looks like he has a purple goatee, because he sucked a cup onto his face and walked around with "no hands" for at least 5 minutes on Thursday... it's a giant bruise. Dork!)

Next year, Suzy is making HAM.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Even if you're busy, busy busy

... there are always holiday specials to catch on tv. Right? Well, I don't know about you but I just can NOT bring myself to watch It's a Wonderful Life. It's so drippy schmaltzy, the words "Every time a bell rings" just are like nails on a chalkboard for me. However, for those of you who DO want to watch, it's on December 10th on NBC.

Trust me, a better movie is Holiday Inn, airing December 4th on AMC. Bing sings! Fred dances! There are some damn funny lines in the movie, too.

Or your tastes may run to Bill Murray, Scrooged (11/28 on TBS). We can still be friends.

You have to catch the classics.... Rudolph, November 30 on CBS... Santa Claus is Comin to Town (Dec 3, Family channel)... Charlie Brown (December 6th on ABC)... Grinch (the 12th on Cartoon Network), and Frosty, December 17th on CBS.

There is one that Mr. C never misses- it's called A Christmas Story and it's this weird little film about a boy who wants a Red Ryder BB gun. I just don't get it, but if you watch it maybe you can tell me the appeal (TBS, beginning at 8 pm Christmas eve, and running on a loop for TWENTY FOUR HOURS, I kid you not. )

Christmas in Washington? Um, with Rascal Flatts, the "Loverboy" of country music? I think not. I also think I'll be skipping The Happy Elf (what was Harry Connick thinking??) and the Jimmy Neutron special.

Festivus, the holiday for the rest of us? 12/22 on TBS. See you there.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Bored?

check these out if you, like me, turn to celebrity fodder in times of insomnia:

Pop Candy

A Socialite's Life (there is a holiday tie in here...go look closely at the turkey picture...wtf?)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Discuss

The only (mildly) amusing thing that happened to me today is that I was speaking via phone to a woman at a jewelry store and asking about baby bracelets for my niece. Ms. Saleslady said that she had one that was yellow gold with puff tarts.

Hello?

Ohhh... puffed hearts.

THAT being all I have to offer the internet today, I'll leave you all with these questions. Jump right in and give me your answers.

(questions stolen from Tay, who stole them from someone else... viva la internet! )

It's Thanksgiving. Would you rather host the party or be a guest?
I have never made a Thanksgiving dinner, and don't plan to any time soon. Too many side dishes, all needing to be hot upon delivery. The pressure! I bring a pumpkin pie or cheesecake and wine. I do Christmas dinner often. Take a roast beef, pour guinness over it, throw some veggies around it later. Voila.

What's your signature side dish?
Hmmm. Not a signature dish but I do make this green bean thing with almonds and lemon that my mother loves. (No mushroom soup allowed in the dish.)

Do you watch the Macy's parade? Why or Why not?
The Mr. and the kids love it so it will be on. I pay only a little bit of attention to it because I don't care about most of it, but I love Kermit the Frog (:::::hangs head in shame:::::). I would like to bring my kids down there in a year or two .

Will you be doing Christmas/Holiday shopping the day after Thanksgiving?
No, used to, but lately we go to a benefit that is always held on Black Friday, for the hospital where I had me ticker fixed. We used to like to start our shopping that day. We'd head out around lunch time when the nutjobs (sorry) were getting tired from being up at 3 am. We'd shop for a while, then have dinner.

What is the next movie you plan to see in the theater?
It's not my turn to pick the movie. I don't pick well. Refer to my post about Sin City. Bad choice for me!

What do you want for Christmas?
One of these because it gives true color and I would work on my art stuff more in the evening. Could someone please tell the Mr. ?? Never mind, I will. I need to find one that doesn't cost quite this much.

It's not Christmas until __________ is on TV.
Holiday Inn, which is NOT White Christmas. It contains people singing White Christmas, but is NOT White Christmas. It is one of my favorite movies of all time. Note: I cheat, I play this one myself because I own it.

(Amazon.com essential video: This perennial, Christmas-season favorite from 1942 teamed Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire as entertainers (and rival suitors of Marjorie Reynolds) running an inn that is only open on holidays. It's a great excuse for lots of singing and dancing, seamlessly wrapped in a catchy story, and Astaire's frequent director Mark Sandrich (Top Hat, Shall We Dance?) doesn't let us down. The Irving Berlin numbers (each one connected to a different holiday) are winners. Crosby's warm performance of "White Christmas" is a movie touchstone. --Tom Keogh )

I hearby tag you all. Especially you, in the office alone because everybody else has the day off.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2005

How much Cider Would a Woodchuck Drink?

Wandering aimlessly around my local supermarket the other day, I came across Woodchuck Amber Draft Cider -- it's "hard" cider (fermented).

So since the wine classes are over (:::sniffle:::) I figured why not branch out and try it?

Really, not bad, a pleasant taste and fun to drink with some cheese (smoked gouda) and crackers (try the Baked Ritz, they are excellent). Not really sure if it's as strong as a "real" beer - 5% alcohol by volume according to the package. But it's got a nice beat and I can dance to it.

PS: buy me this shirt

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Ho Ho Ho and stuff

Only 35 days until Christmas.

Yes, I actually woke up early, couldn't go back to sleep, and now I'm up stressing. When I stress I make lists.

I have SO much to do:

  • Cards - the crafty person trapped in my brain LOVES to make our cards. I'm considering doing it with the kids this week. If they're not made by Thursday, I surrender to the other kind. It's still too much work to sign, address, get photos made, etc.
  • Cleaning(haha, ok, you got me there)
  • Cookies - I make awesome cookies when I have the time and I love to do this so I squeeze it in
  • Decorating - luckily Mr. C does most of this with the kids. Since he insists on two trees (don't get me started) we usually have family over and make a decorating/ baking party out of it, early in December.
  • Gifts - ugh. I am chief list maker and "budgeter". Notice the irony of those quotes.
  • Keep track of what holiday gatherings we're going to and make sure I have outfits for everybody
  • Make dinner Christmas day for my extended family (this will be after singing at midnight mass at Church, which technically is NOT midnight mass anymore, since the past few years it has been starting at 8pm, which makes a good half of the choir nuts, but frankly I don't LIKE being up until 2 am that night...)

I'm looking around OrganizedChristmas.com to see if it will help. Funny, I can't find the link to hire someone to come and do all this crap for me.

PS: Dear Roadrunner, why the hell do you keep dropping my signal lately? I'm rather tired of seeing a message pop up that my lan cable is unplugged.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Flash Fiction Friday #17

click on the link above to read JJ's diabolical plot... this is my entry for this week's FFF assignment.

***

So anyway, my boyfriend Pete is totally pissed about the fact that we lost him. What was I supposed to do? The inside wants out.

I huddle in the corner of the lounge. He doesn't really know which building is which on campus. I know he won't come looking for me.

I mull over the events of the last 24 hours. The concert, which we attended with one of my "new friends" and her boyfriend. As in "those new college friends of yours are giving you ideas I don't like." You know, crazy ideas like living on campus for my sophomore year, like a normal student.

The lead guitarist set him off, by making eyes at Suzy, then at me, then arching his back in mock ecstasy after she blew him a kiss. That was when I felt Pete's hand clench on my wrist, tugging me backward, closer to him. For a moment I was afraid we'd have to leave the concert. It's not every day you get up so close to the stage. So, I didn't fight him.

He fought with me, later. Calling me a whore, telling me I only wanted to move on campus so I could "slut around" with the boys from the private college. The fact that I wouldn't even have sex with HIM, that I was still a virgin even after we'd dated for five years, seemed to not deter him from the idea that once I moved on campus I'd be the ultimate party gal.

My mother was listening, of course, just inside the door of our house. I had grown used to my sister listening outside the door when I was on the phone, crying and trying to convince him that I DID love him, and that I didn't mean to make him angry. My sister monitored my phone calls, and my mother hung around doorways when he was dropping me off. When she'd had enough of him yelling at me last night, she'd pulled me in and ordered him: "Go home."

This morning I'd been about to leave to go pick up the city bus to the campus, when my father got home from work and told me Pete was parked about halfway down our block.

I was terrified. I knew he would punch me again. He'd only done it once before, this past summer. We'd had an argument (about college) and he pulled over to the side of the road, and told me "get out." So I did. Then he wanted me to get back in, and I wouldn't. He drove away. I sat on the side of the road, in tears. When he came back, I got in. He said "don't ever do that to me again," and punched me in the face.

My mother picked up her purse, and told me she'd drive me to campus. My father walked down the street, talked with Pete, and then I saw his car go past our house. My father came in and wouldn't say much, other than that he'd told Pete "When a girl wants to leave, sometimes you have to let go."

My mother got about halfway to campus and said "he's behind me." She sped up, made a few turns, and god help us she even went the wrong way down a one way street, but she got rid of him. Didn't matter much, he knew where I was headed.

I went to my first class today, but I sat in the back, unable to concentrate. I slipped over to the commuter's lounge, to pick up my mail, and sit here and chill for half an hour.

So anyway, he's pissed.

I know that he thinks it was my parents, trying to keep us apart, especially the way my mother was driving. (A one way street. Unbelievable that I had to have so much drama just trying to get to Calculus.) I know that he is even more furious then he was that summer day. How am I going to tell him that it is ME who wants us to part?

The answer comes to me as I am walking to my next class. I hear a horn blare. I look, and when I see him, I look into his eyes, and then I run. I don't look back. I just run, without hesitation, without any fear, as fast as I can go in the opposite direction.

I'm going to move on campus next fall.

Elf time

Thirty shopping days left for Christmas? That doesn't seem right but it was on a website (maybe they mean to allow time for delivery). l I have "officially" started my Christmas shopping already (but I only one or 2 gifts to show for it.)

So, here are the two uuuuuuugliest items I saw in the JCP catalog today. I actually recoiled in horror each time. I'm sure someone somewhere will think, "wow, those are nice" but ...eek. It's an Apprentice task gone horribly wrong, or something.

First we have a rather bizzare color scheme on this blender by Jenn Air


Next, we have this mixer... someone decided "apple" is a color everyone would want in their kitchen.



I can't even imagine the color schemes for the kitchens these appliances would sit in.

Nouveau

Well, I just realized that I deleted half of my links off to the right. Soooooorry everybody. I am working on putting that back together. Don't take it personally.

In other news, the 2005 Beaujolais Nouveau is out, so get yourselves out to the local wine store and snap some up. (Be sure to drink it no later than New Year's Eve. ) Sadly, there are no more wine classes I can take. But read Young Dead Grape for some fun information about what BN is all about.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Rachel Wannabe

Tonight for dinner I got creative. The scary thing is, dinner actually WAS good. After 20 years of cooking for myself I am getting the hang of this...

I simmered a handfull of chopped sundried tomatoes in some white wine and in another pan I sauteed mushrooms in olive oil. In ANOTHER pan (yes, Mr. C is going to love all of these dishes...) I had about a pound and a half of chicken tenders in some olive oil and cooked them up (I cut them up while they were cooking so they were more like chunks or shreds of chicken meat.)

Then I boiled some cheese tortellini (Buitoni, it was a 20 oz package) and after it was cooked I dropped it back in the pot and mixed it with some pesto sauce (Buitoni again). You don't need to heat the pesto sauce though - you could just dump it all into a really big serving bowl and mix it that way.

Mix the mushrooms, meat, and pasta together, add the tomatoes on top, and sprinkle on some (real) parmesan cheese - don't touch that green plastic shaker can. Pestollini Chicken? Whatever.

Garlic might have been nice somewhere here - maybe garlic bread, or a caesar salad even.

It was Yum-O as Ms. Ray would say..... if you don't believe me, well, click on the title link and go check out the web page for her new magazine (which, by the way, is very good) and find something else to make for dinner.

I'm not really sure where my ice cream maker is at this moment, but some lemon sorbet would be REALLY good right now.

When do I get my own show?

Catalogued

Number of catalogs I received in the mail today: 7

Number of catalogs I will read: 1
(Sharper Image, because I need to buy this and put it in Virgil's office)

One catalog I flipped through had this little beauty in it. I'm sooooo buying this. Isn't it amazing?? Egads.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sugar gliders, not canes

Anyone who worked with me about.... hmm, maybe 7 years ago worked with a guy named PDE, Jr.

Yes, he did use the JR as well as his full name, always. Unlike Dick Harder, who I swear to everything was another guy I worked with a year or two before that, and I never really did understand why he wasn't Richard or Rick or Ricky even. Or, something like FRED for crying out loud. I wanted to punch him every time I had to say his name to someone. That's right up there with my not-so-fond memories of Mike who went on "vacation" and came back as Kim. Yeeeesh.

Anyway, if you have ever met PDE, you will just love this story. Anyone else, move along. Nothing to see in this post. Sorry! Refunds available at the door.

How

Can you not laugh hysterically at this?

It's been a long day.

Monday, November 14, 2005

My next trick

We might redecorate rooms after the holidays (no time or money now)

thinking of painting this on my son's wall and doing something like this (generally, beach, or underwater scene) for my daughter

Sunday, November 13, 2005

FFF- #16 - Lost in the suburban jungle

It's time for Flash Fiction Friday again, kiddies; click the title link to go read JJ's post to find out more.



"Jack!"

I heard a slight whizzing sound come close to my face and jerked my head sharply backwards, just before a brightly painted arrow flew past my nose.

"Jack!" I whispered hoarsely. "Jack! Where are you? It's me, Kate."

Silence.

I wheezed, trying to catch my breath, and listened, trying to keep my adrenaline-charged limbs motionless for a moment, listening intently. Nothing but a slight rustle of leaves.

I looked into the trees, hoping to see where the arrow had come from, but saw only darkness. I glanced down at the ground, in time to see a snake slithering along - away from me, but I let out a startled "eeep!" despite myself and my arms flailed, unconsciously trying to find a weapon.

I covered my eyes with my palms for a moment, and tried to take a deep breath. Unbelievable. What the hell was I going to do now?

I took another step into the woods, my heart lurching inside my chest as though some hideous troll was inside my ribcage, trying to sledgehammer his way out.

"Jack?" This time, my voice came out a bit louder. I was getting angry.

"John Gilbert Winston the third, you come out right this minute or when your mother gets home from her massage I'm going to tell her you were hiding on me again, you little brat. "

I gritted my teeth. Still nothing.

"She'll take away your X box for two weeks this time, you know it! She said so. You have until the count of three. ONE, TWO... "

The brave warrior emerged from behind a clump of bushes, holding his bow and one more arrow. His jeans were ripped at one knee, the sweatshirt was muddy, and he had some sort of leaf stuck in his hair. I hoped it wasn't poison ivy (again).

"Oh come on Kate, please don't tell!" His eight-year-old bravado had been replaced with the bug-eyed panic of a child who realizes they've taken a game just a step too far.

"It'll cost you half of the candy in your secret Halloween stash, you little creep. Now get inside!"

His shoulders dropped, and he began walking up the trail, back to the yard.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A little news

I read the paper, and the local news had several eyebrow-raising stories today.

there was this (one leg?)

this (bet someone's looking for those damn screws today)

and this (well, yikes...footnote, this paper is just my LEAST favorite so they were a little bit unneccessarily cruel to this man, but holy crap... )

So Yesterday

I dropped out of my normal routine today for a few hours. I bought a book yesterday(hah) at Borders, while I was helping my kid spend her gift card on one of the Harry Potters.

The book is So Yesterday, by Scott Westerfeld. I picked it up about 3 hours ago and just came up for air after the last page. It was excellent.

The funny thing is, one of the two main characters reminds me so much of a person I know that it freaked me out the entire book. (Poly, for some of you who know her.)

Buy it for a teenager near you. Hey, it's only eight bucks in paperback. You can't even see a movie for that.

For a taste of the book go here:

http://scottwesterfeld.com/soyesterday/viewer.swf

Friday, November 11, 2005

Kiss a Veteran Today



Happy Veteran's Day

PS: Yes, I am going shopping... I've got GIFT CARDS and they're leaking away value every millisecond!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Yoga

Did he play baseball or was he in Star Wars?

My sister gave me a yoga mat for my birthday. (Silly me for actually asking for one...)

Guess now I have to actually START doing yoga, huh? Yikes.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How sad

...is it, that, after being carded at Red Robin (a burger place where I was trying to order a beer), my first thought was "I am SO going to blog this...haha!!"

(yeah, I know)

Red Robin for my birthday dinner?? Well, yes, I just wanted an appetizer for dinner because my team at work took me out for lunch at the Macaroni Grill which was excellent. The kids love it at RR.

Yesterday a friend of mine took me out to Carmine's. We had some great food (scallops, chicken carbonara) and Di Lenardo wine (I'm pretty sure it was a pinot grigio, it was delicious) and I had a dessert that was a sort of blend of bananas foster and cheesecake wrapped in a pastry shell covered with cinnamon sugar. Yum.

Given all of that plus what I ate at my party, I figure I don't need to eat again now until Thanksgiving.



PS: have a Happy Birthday tomorrow, John

It's my birthday



It's my birthday! I'm 39... ha, ha, ha...uh - wait... some of you KNOW that I'm 40? Damn.

I'm actually so GOOD at being 39 that I'm going to do it all over again. (So no, I won't be changing the name of this blog. Although I loved your ideas, you guys.)

Here's a quote from the birthday card my best friend gave me(I may be old now, but this is the only wisdom I have to pass on):

Understanding the reality of life will not make us richer, but is able to let us know how to face life, and make life to become more colorful. ~Buddha

Monday, November 07, 2005

Nom de Blog

Hmm. I certainly HAVE painted myself into a corner, haven't I?

Can't call the blog "Going On 40" if I AM 40. What a pickle. Or, I could pretend I am remaining 39....

I do like Steve's idea, "Going on 80".... any other suggestions?

I love the bald guy

Friday I bought Mr. Clean Magic Eraser® cleaning pads, to try them out. My sister did the fabulous product demo you see at left.



I am apparently the only person alive who didn't know these things exist, and just LOOK AT HOW DISGUSTING MY DISHWASHER REALLY WAS. UGH!

Unfinished lists

Someone asked if I had any "before I'm 40" goals to wrap up.

I once had a boyfriend who, as we were getting to know one another, proclaimed me a "late bloomer". It may sound offensive, but it wasn't. He was reacting to the fact that I've done things I wanted to do, but perhaps not as soon in life as everyone in my circle of acquaintances.

For instance, I didn't drive until I was 21. Also, I didn't live on campus my first year of college. Frankly, I had zero money, and it just wasn't an option(dorm life). For my sophomore year, we worked it out that I could get more student aid, and so I did get to have some of those campus resident experiences I'd hoped for. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had the chance to go to college at all. It was the first step toward the life I have today.

I feel lucky to have the home and family that I have, and that for the past 10 years I have been able to work part time(thank you Diane, and Chip, wherever you are). Working part time has made such a difference in quality of life for myself and my family, that I can't imagine doing it any other way. I'll probably never have the new Jeep Liberty I have my eye on, and the 4 bedroom center hall colonial isn't looking very likely right now, but overall I'm feeling like I should not be greedy.

I'm the queen of to-do-lists. I love 'em. Well, I like making them, not necessarily finishing them. The simple answer to the original question is: No, for some reason, I never did make a list of "things to do before I'm 40." But I have a list now...

It is a general list in the back of my mind, of things I'd like to do someday. It includes visiting all 50 states, ( and doing something unique in each one, like kneeling under the desk in the oval office... KIDDING....), cooking with a tv chef, hiking up one of the Adirondack moutains(gotta get myself in better shape first), visiting Italy, owning a canoe, taking my kids to a Yankee game, parasailing, singing onstage in a large arena (backup will be just fine), putting a piece of jewelry that I've made onto a celebrity(and not seeing it on Go Fug Yourself), taking up watercolor painting again, learning to play piano.

Those are all more or less mini-adventures, or enhancing hobbies I've already dabbled in. In my next 40 years my main "to-do" is to do the best I can to help my children, while they hopefully grow up to be useful adults with a semi-normal job and a family and home of their own and friends that they adore. That's it. I just want them to be "successful" in terms of their relationships, and their day to day life. Not wildly, phenomenally successful, necessarily, but just happy.

Like me.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I'm here for the party

We had fantastic weather for the party. Absolutely unbelievable, I had every window in the house open and half my neighborhood was on the deck. My neighbor even loaned us his fire pit so we could have a mini bonfire. Who would have thought we'd be so lucky for a November party?

Almost everyone that I invited came, which was wonderful - I really wanted a houseful of my family and friends and a very informal, casual feeling, and I got exactly that. I felt like there just wasn't enough time to talk to everyone though.

My daughter made a scrapbook with pictures from when I was growing up - it was sweet. My son designed a necklace for me, which my sister in law helped him make after he picked out the beads.

We might have had a little bit of food & wine. Well, ok, TOO MUCH... We bought some Pino Bianco, Gravina Bianco, and Pinot Grigio to go with the appetizers (a variety of cheeses, some shrimp(wrapped in bacon and smothered in teriyaki sauce, then baked until the bacon is crisp), some bread/ veggies/ dip, a sundried tomato cream cheese spread, and some white bean dip(mixed with garlic, onions, pimento, & mexican cheeses & baked)

For the actual dinner we bought a Shiraz '04 (to go with the beef stew, salad, and rolls) and Blackstone Merlot '02. Everything was set out in the kitchen so people could help themselves.
I will be having leftover stew tonight (and some of the merlot) so that is awesome.

Dessert was cheesecakes, (a J & S Watkins sampler of french vanilla, peach, fudge marble, and pumpkin cheesecakes). We also had carrot cake (for the actual 'Happy Birthday Char' cake) and a chocolate cake for Mr C, who is actually 45 today. Yes, overboard on the desserts but less than one whole cake was left when we combined what remained of all 3.

My adorable little baby niece came in a t-shirt that said "40 really bytes, Aunt Char" and it cracked me up - she gave me a matching t-shirt. My other gag gift was this shirt:

Friday, November 04, 2005

Almost the big day

I was born in NYC on November 9, 1965.

If you google that date you'll find there was a huge blackout, (which, luckily for my mother, started about an hour after I was born. )

We will be having a party at Chez Carly tomorrow night so I'm busy cleaning (ha, ha, see how busy I am this very second??)

In the meantime this vintage blogger leaves you with these vintage photos of her favorite city.




(blackout of 1977)






(I climbed this statue when I was a little girl, and to this day I can remember looking out of the holes in the crown.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Exposiciones

wandering around the internet tonight(way to houseclean, huh?) I found this:

http://www.zonezero.com/exposiciones/images.html


this one in particular is unusual reading:

http://www.zonezero.com/exposiciones/fotografos/larson/int.htm

Get the ball rolling...

...and sooner or later it's a landslide.

So Mr. Wonderful put in the linoleum as planned. It is beautiful, but presented me with just one tiny problem. It did not match the blue on the lower half of my bathroom walls at ALL. I thought it would. (Clearly, interior decorating is not my specialty.)

I confessed to the Mr about 30 minutes after the linoleum was done, figuring it was best to do so immediately so that we could paint before the new sink and toilet were put in. (Yes, I know that it's better to paint BEFORE you put in new linoleum. I really do.)

Off to the paint store. Helpful Cute Clerk mixed the wrong color the first time. (As in, mixed a different one on the paint chip sample, not the color I wanted.) The second try looked pretty close, but when we put it on the walls it was obviously not dark enough.

I went back and got what I thought was a slightly darker shade, but in daylight appears that HCC finally mixed the color I wanted in the first place!! Still a little too light, but by this point we'd had enough of messing with it, because really, it's just a bathroom.

A bathroom that now needed a new shower curtain, since the old one doesn't go with the new floor, or the new wall color.

You know where I'm heading, don't you?

If you buy a shower curtain, you need a new soap pump, garbage can, and kleenex holder to go along with it.

I need to stop now!!

Moral: don't fix anything up in your house, because it makes everything else look bad.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Love notes to my Trick Or Treaters

Hey, you, the teenager with only a mask and a pillowcase. Get an effing job and buy some candy for your own punk ass. Go home.

And you, Someone's Mommy. Yes your toddler is adorable but does he NEED to come to my house when I don't know him? Don't stand next to my porch and bitch about how heavy the stroller is because you are pushing it and it only holds a pillowcase with his candy. Go home.

You... banging on my door. STOP IT! I know you are there and it takes me 3 seconds to come to the door from my sink. Chill out and stop eating chocolate. Go home.

You... driving your kids around. Make them walk. Don't come here from your own neighborhood just because we have lots of families here. Go home.

To my children, I'm sorry that every year I don't buy enough candy and I steal some of what you got, to hand out. I spent $20 this year and that wasn't enough. I'll buy you some more tomorrow. Go home. No, wait. Go to Grandma's.

Dammit I hate this holiday. My light's off.

Go home.

Look what came in the mail



Eat your heart out, Shamus!!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Linky

This is a different sort of link. They sell vintage posters in a variety of themes (food, travel, ...)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Tu scendi

This is the kind of thing we do in my choir. We worked on this song tonight.* It's not us singing on the webpage, obviously, but this is similar to the arrangement we're doing.

*Well, most of us.... Icky was 30 minutes late. No surprise there!

(turn on your speakers to hear it)

It's not Friday

... but I don't have to go to work tomorrow. So for the next few days I'll be wondering "what the heck day is it? Is it Monday yet?"

I appear to not be the only parent who objects to multiple hours of homework per night. I'm gonna start a union or something. At the very least I'm going to keep a log of how much time is spent per night and encourage my friends to do the same. Because, you know, I need time to blog and stuff. Really, an 11 year old just shouldn't work from 4:00 - 9:30 on homework with time out only for a grilled cheese.

Mr. C is starting a project that puts fear in my heart. He's gutting the bathroom. YES. Eight days before my birthday party. My "yes I'm 40 but the cake can't be a tombstone and I want to pick it out because I am anal retentive and yes I am making some of the appetizers too despite the fact that everyone wants me to sit down and let them do the work, because I love to cook" party. Carrott cake and a sampler of cheesecakes, if you're wondering, and something chocolate for the Mr. too

Anyway, the plan is that a wonderful man will come tomorrow and lay the linoleum I picked out a lonnnnng time ago (while wearing shorts and a tshirt, if that gives you a hint). Then Mr. C and Brother will put in a new sink and throne. So, granted, not truly gutting, because hopefully electricity is not ANY part of this project, and the tub doesn't get any play, but stillllll.

Mr. Wonderful just BETTER arrive. I don't have good luck with these things. When we did our addition a few years ago my kitchen floor was put in on Christmas eve, after a problem in the factory (rolls were sticking together at point of manufacture, rendering them un-rollable), and then a cancellation of the planned day due to a huge snowstorm. Mind you, we started the whole project in early October so I'd about lost my mind at that point. Eventually I did the girl thing, cried on the phone to the right person about my holiday dinner and how many guests were coming. Voila. Linoleum.

By Monday, I hope this will all be over. Is it Monday yet?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wine is fine

Kids got too much homework? How about a lovely glass of chardonnay before dinner, once all that pesky homework is done? Who needs to know the names of the parts of a damn microscope, anyway, unless your nickname is Beaker? (...I miss Jim Henson) What is a collective noun? WHO CARES? and do you know Pirates Don't Wear Pink Sunglasses, and that it takes an entire family to do a book report on same if it has to be in a clever box that is decorated and contains F-I-V-E objects that are mentioned in the story? Sweet mother of pearl.

...and how about another glass, with dinner, and another after that? Hey, it's a lovely Chardonnay, from Chile, gotta give it a good tasting. Actually it's not bad. D.J. might possibly like it. (Yes, you. HI!)

PS: do you know the world's tallest dog is apparently a dalmatian over seven feet tall? holy crap.

PPS: And it is snowing already in the northeast. This just isn't right. It is still OCTOBER. It better not snow on the day of my birthday party or I will totally frizz out.

Snarly out. (Only a few of you will get that, but if you don't, don't ask.)

Go Sox! (yeah, that's just for one friend but you know who you are...)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Evil Genius

So, today I got my new credit card. (I'll save time for hackers and just give you the number right now.....) I also got the forms to dispute the transaction I didn't authorize. Great. Now I need to find a notary public. Know one?

My question is, why can't these little bastard hackers do something useful with their coding skills? Write a program that will scan my kid's math homework and find the mistakes. Because frankly, I'm sick of running timestables and long division and WORD PROBLEMS, really.

Write a program that will analyze third grade books and tell me which one I can read to my kid in one evening to complete his book report (reading's the easy part, it's the rest of the book report. It has to be in a clever box/bag that is decorated to represent the book and we need to include five items that tell something about the story. So yes, we were painting a box to look like a log cabin today. It's a good thing I'm an arts & crafts freak.)

As if I don't have enough things to do. Last week it was "parents can help with searching online for images of your Native American tribe". Did you know the actor who played Tonto was a true Mohawk Indian? His name was Jay Silverheels ...just in case you're wondering.

Monday, October 24, 2005

How I spent 2 hours

...without even noticing....

http://www.mypublisher.com/default.php

Oh Britney, Britney

Apparently Mrs. Federline was going to sell her first family portrait to a magazine (People? maybe) but backed out feeling like she was exploiting the little love bug. Y'know, selling her child. Then some of the photos were put out on the internet, then lawyers came along and the photos were removed, blah blah blah. Not important really.

But...

For some reason, I had the following train of thought. Someone will make money by shooting the first family photo and selling it to a magazine. The best of a really bad situation would be for Brit to take the money herself, and put it in trust for Spawn. You know, for all of the therapy.

Yes, so in other words I'm in complete denial about important stuff and I'm amusing myself with Britney's "problems".


Schroeder
You are Schroeder!

Which Peanuts Character are You?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Watch out for that tiger


Little me, in NYC about 1970, so I was about 5. That's some rug, isn't it?? And no, I don't wear my skirts this short anymore.

I'm not ready for this!

Last night my daughter, who's in 5th grade, went to her first school dance.

She didn't want to go at first and I said "Whyyyyy?" and so I convinced her to go to one, by promising that if she didn't like it she wouldn't have to go to any more. She is shy and tends to hang back and not jump right into the thick of things.

So, she went and of course she DID have a great time - I gave her some space by not staying to chaperone since I knew a few of the moms who were there.

I started thinking on the way home "Wait a minute. I went to MY first dance in 5th grade and that was when I got my first kiss." (Can't remember his name.... John something? Not a great kiss)

Somehow I managed to NOT go back there and drag her out of the dance, mumbling about how no daughter of mine is going to sneak behind the stage curtains and kiss.

I'm SO not ready for her to be dating.

Flash Fiction Friday # 13

(click on title link for explanation/ rules... and join in already!)


With money in my pocket and a clean white shirt I headed back to the casino.

The shirt was courtesy of the man I'd stolen the money from. He couldn't hold his alcohol very well. He'd passed out as soon as we were in the room, to my relief. He'd been so far gone that I'd even been able to raid the minibar and have a bite to eat.

I knew that Larry would be waiting for me. Damn, I was sick of him. Sick of the blackmail, the threats, the way he pawed me.

I felt his big meaty paw clamp down on my wrist and spin me around. "Hey girl, where you off to in such a hurry?" he slurred. Obviously, he'd been dipping into the funds - MY funds, which he always so "generously" insisted on holding - and he was half in the bag already, practically stumbling.

He pulled me around the side of a row of slot machines. "How much?" he asked in a low voice. "Twenty thousand," I sighed, "...but don't make me hand it to you here, there are surveillance cameras everwhere."

"Yeah, well let's give them something to look at, huh?" he smirked. He dragged me closer, shoving his slobbering, disgusting tongue into my mouth for several seconds while I cringed inwardly. He broke the "kiss" and looked at me, laughing, and then a strange look passed over his face.

"Hey, I don't feel so hot" he muttered. I sneered at him "You're drunk, asshole. Go sit at one of the tables. I've got to go to the ladies room."

He lurched a few steps, and then licked his lips. He rubbed his throat, probably already feeling it beginning to close up. It was then that he noticed the aftertaste of our kiss. "Peanuts? Did you eat peanuts and then kiss me, you stupid bitch?" The last few words were barely audible, since he was already wheezing.

I took a few steps back, just as a group of college kids came around the end of the row of slots. He bumped into one, spilling his drink all over him, and that was my chance. While they were busy trying to pick a fight with him, surrounding him, I slipped the other way down the row, and stepped into the ladies' room, where I ditched my wig, and the white shirt, leaving on the beige halter top I'd worn earlier. I put on my glasses, and walked quickly out the restroom door.

Without looking over my shoulder, I made my way for the nearest casino exit. I heard them shout when he fell - "holy crap, what's wrong with this guy?" and so on.

He was probably dead as soon as he hit the floor.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Every time...

Every time Sue looks at her clock, it is 9:11.

Every time.

What does this mean?

She even did it at my house, the morning after my daughter's sleepover.

What more could I ask?

Well, my mother has acute pancreatitis. Or she doesn't. It depends, apparently, on which family member is asking her, and even though conversations can be minutes apart the mood and information conveyed is vastly different.

So I'm checking out. I can't play anymore.

Instead, I'm going to absorb myself in catalogs. This will not be difficult to do, since this week alone, I got 3 on Tuesday, 7 on Wednesday, 4 yesterday, and 5 today.

WTF??

Dunno.

But I'm buying this for John, and this for Shamus, and maybe this for Johnny V to help him remember the tropical vacation he's on right now... somewhere near the eye of the hurricane, as far as I know.

And that's just from the first catalog. Eighteen more to go.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The October birthstone is Opal

The Opal dates back to prehistoric times. It is a non-crystallized silica, which is a mineral found near the earth's surface in areas where ancient geothermal hot springs once existed. As the hot springs dried up, layers of the silica, combined with water, were deposited into the cracks and cavities of the bedrock, forming Opal. This gemstone actually contains up to 30% water, so it must be protected from heat or harsh chemicals, both of which will cause drying and may lead to cracking and loss of iridescence. Opal must also be guarded from blows, since it is relatively soft and breaks easily.

I haven't really felt like blogging the last few days. My mother's been in and out of the ER three times in the past week. She has an undiagnosed problem that involves pain, and problems with eating, and apparently the pain is much worse than usual these last few days, but the tests still show absolutely nothing.

My sister (a nurse) and I have made repeated efforts to help her, but the problem is that you can't help someone who refuses to help themselves. Simply, if you won't take any medicine, and refuse to modify (or at least KEEP TRACK OF) your diet as suggested, don't be surprised when you don't feel better. You must make a change, to see a change.

This has been going on for quite some time now - several years - and it has consumed her, to the point where she won't make plans because she doesn't know how she will feel on a given day, and that gets frustrating to the point where it's hard to be sympathetc despite the fact that I do KNOW she is in pain.

I know that I am certainly not the only person in the world whose life is shifting... the child becomes the parent, and the parent becomes the one in need of care. It's disheartening and on the worst days I wonder "will I be like this someday??"

Today is her birthday and I am torn. I want to wish her a Happy Birthday, but I just don't think she'll take the wish and run with it. She is mired in this situation and apparently doesn't think or talk about anything else. I would pretty much buy her whatever she asked for, (as long as it's not being sold by Amazon...) but she doesn't want anything. Anything. If I send her flowers, that would be wasteful, and she's really not the gift basket type. Clothes don't really have much impact. She doesn't have a DVD player (or a CD player or a computer or cable tv or internet access, oh my god, I could go on and on with that one....but I would fall down dead of shock if she said "I read your blog today..." ) I suggested that she could go to one of the upcoming cooking classes at Glen Sanders Mansion and she wasn't interested. Sports are not a part of her world, nor is music or the theater. So I am at a loss and the birthday present issue is only the tip of the iceberg.

I admit it - I resent the fact that not only does she let this dominate her life and every conversation we have; but also that even on a good day she won't just come over to my house, sit and have a cup of tea and chat with me, or meet me at the mall or for lunch or a movie. Me, me, me, I know. But she doesn't want to go anywhere, really, and she'd prefer that we not stop by uninvited, so I am at her house maybe 3 or four times a year. Maximum. I feel petty and small and selfish. Why can't I have a mother like other people's?? Does that make me evil, because I'm stamping my feet and whining about it? Great, now I feel guilty too.

This is the way it's always been, but now it's worse because she won't even really come and enjoy family gatherings at my house. She can't wait to leave, and tries to rush me along, get the main meal served, let's get dessert served, well, I really have to get home to my dog. I hate that dog so much, because she uses it as an excuse to just walk away from family time with me and my children and doesn't even look over her shoulder on the way down the driveway.

I still have my Mother, unlike some of my friends, but I don't, really, and the sick thing is that I envy them because at least they HAD the kind of relationship that I have always wish for, and despite all of my attempts, don't seem destined to have.

Monday, October 17, 2005

And then

in this article she sounds like a completely different person.... I hate journalists....

Frankly

this gives me the chills:

If Lourdes leaves dirty clothes on the floor, "we take all of her clothes and put them in a bag, and she has to earn all of her clothes back by being tidy," Madonna said. "She wears the same outfit every day to school until she learns her lesson."

(full article)

For crying out loud, tell the child "take these clothes and go put them in the hamper." Putting ALL of their clothes in a bag, well, you're just overreacting....it just reeks of being toooooo strict, in a scary way, for Moi...I have always believed that "disclipline" is best imposed by teaching children what they should be doing and reminding them over and over, rather than abusing them when they do something they shouldn't.

PS: Milk is off limits??? Color me puzzled - is Midge a vegetarian or vegan or something?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

FFF #12...

Click on the title link to visit JJ's site, and read other stories or join in ---Flash Fiction Friday is a weekly writing challenge....


The children are gone...

What do I do now? There is no one to make a grilled cheese for. No more apples to cut up and dip in peanut butter. Someone is probably making him a grilled cheese sandwich right now on a George Foreman grill in the dorm.

There will be no more quick loads of laundry to wash shirts that they "neeeeed for my date tonight". I'll probably only do about 3 loads a week now that she's not here, changing her clothes three times a day. Where are the onesies, the tshirts, the pajamas with feet? All gone.

What will I do with my afternoons? No more homework to help with. No timestables to drill. No papers to type the night before they're due.

And my weeknds... no soccer games, sitting in my chair-in-a-bag bundled up in a fleece sweatshirt. No basketball games at the gym with popcorn and sodas at halftime. No school concerts, no PTO meetings.

What will I do with all of my time? I mean... of course... what will WE do?

Who is this person I'm married to? I know he walks out every morning with an overstuffed briefcase, and appears late in the evening, to eat microwaved leftovers and fall asleep in front of the tv.

I have a plan.

In a few days I'll tell him, as he's walking out the door to work. Just before he gives me that half kiss.

Or maybe I won't.

Maybe I'll just go.

I'll leave a note. Or a phone message. Maybe I'll email him at work.

"The children are gone, and I don't know if you even notice me anymore. I've been saving the extra grocery money all of these years, and I have a little condo down south, on the beach. If you want to come along, be at the airport by 3."

I wonder if he'll come.

What is that strange yellow ball??

After I don't know how many days of rain (I've lost count but it's been well over a week, every day...)

...the sun is shining into my family room windows.

Nope, never mind, it's gone again. But I saw it. I did!!

But maybe he does...

Well, the day finally came. My brother in law was going to sit down and tell my nephew about Santa today... so we had to talk to Beth... because 5th graders should know what's going on.

We decided we'd talk about St Nick, and how he secretly gave gifts to people in need, and what a good thing it is to give a gift, and so the idea turned in to Santa, and how everyone who is a grownup loves to be a part of the secret, and when you are older, you get to be a part of the secret and make the magic for the younger children.

So we were doing that and she was grinning and I said "Do you know what we're telling you? Do you understand already that Santa isn't just one guy, and Mom and Dad buy your stuff?"

She just laughed at us and said "Well I didn't THINK Santa would go to shop at the Limited Too... " She was soooo on to us last Christmas already.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Digital THIS

I have a credit card I use exclusively for internet purchases, because it's from the same bank where I have my checking account (any guesses? Bueller?) -- so, when I download my checking account transactions, it automatically picks up anything newly billed to the credit card. Online banking, hooked to Microsoft Money, is wonderful for anal retentive people like me.

The other day I got this from Amazon because I have made a number of necklaces and bracelets now, and they're all over the place, so it seemed like a good deal. I was pretty happy about finding something that wasn't acrylic or just plain ugly.

Until I downloaded my recent activity, and saw that in addition to being billed by Amazon, I got hit by "Digital Age 888-529-98 Cyprus " for $24.99

I asked Mr. C if he has bought anything online recently, because he knows the drill - this is the only card we use. And, y'all probably don't know this, but I'm going to be 40 soon, so he might be shopping for me, KWIM?

Turns out (after one quick Google search on the phone number) that apparently this is a bogus charge that is somehow made possible by the brilliant IT department at Amazon. Hey you guys, secure your effing servers. I have disputed the charge and asked for a new account number. Yippy skippy.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Night under our Roses

Well, well, well....

something we have long suspected at work, is that two of my coworkers are romantically involved. There was never any real proof, other than the fact that they always went to lunch together, and never seemed to date anyone else. However, everyone in the department at large was always asking one another "are you sure they're NOT together?" We all sort of knew, but didn't know for sure. We all had little bits of info (X saw them together here, Y saw them together there, but the response was always "No, we're just friends.")

Today He fessed up to our boss and then to the rest of the team that they just got engaged. She was hiding at home...so we promptly called her to congratulate her.

They have been dating under the radar for SEVEN YEARS... and living together for at least 4. They own a house together. Damn, they're good. It's scary.

Funny, you never really know what the person in the cubicle next to you is actually doing on their own time.

Hey Punk, you've got a wonderful girl... congratulations again to you both.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Yes, Amelia

I really AM going to tell the entire internet that while we were volunteering at the NICU tonight, I watched you eat a Dove Cherry Garcia ice cream bar, get some chocolate on your shirt, and then pick that chocolate off bit by bit and eat it.

But it's OK because you're pregnant and you can do whatever you want. (Did you see the big jar of kosher pickles in the cafeteria? I swear)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Harper Valley PaThologicAl

SO, being the good little soccer mom I am (hahaha shut up) I attend PTA meetings.

Seriously, these things are better than soap operas.

A friend of mine said to me "didn't we have money set aside last year from xyz fundraiser for the science lab? did they spend that? " Now, my memory is crummy. (I have better things to remember than this...and when you attend a catholic school there's at LEAST two fundraisers going on at any given time) So I said d'oh, I dunno, you better ask.

She asked the question during the meeting, during the treasurer's report. Something nonconfrontational like, did I miss a meeting, did we vote on how to spend those funds, what did we buy? The response was this vague, somehow very defensive rambling blah blah blah this was a fundraiser specifically by a parish group, the PTA doesn't get to vote on how the funds are spent, blahablahaha. When my head was about to explode, I said "I believe her question is, what was purchased?"

Again with the blahahahahaha about who actually organized the fundraiser. Problem is that many of us worked that event, and we have this money in the PTA account...because, why again??? One of the PTA officers said that "the science lab is on the agenda" in a tight voice. Unclench, dolly. I just wonder what we bought?

More blahaha about how the funds are targeted for the lab and the pta doesn't vote on it, the science teacher prioritizes needs. Sweet mother of pearl, WHAT DID WE BUY? I sold a lotta hamburgers at that fundraiser, dammit.

I had to wait for the discussion of school picture day (they have to wear their uniforms! Mandatory! more drama because If You Were Committed To The School You Would Want a Picture of Your Child in the Uniform)

Finally the magic agenda item.....

Tables. We bought science lab tables. Would it be SO hard to say "we got tables, and we'll talk about them in detail in a few minutes." ???

My new mission is to ask a question at every meeting from now on.