Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Really

Go.

Home.

All you kids I've never seen before.... I am cheap and almost out of candy and I have no wine.

So please just go home.

PS: Could you not walk through my flowerbeds on your way home? Mmmmokay. Just go then.

Boo


Happy stinking Halloween - my kid threw up all over herself at school today. I hate this holiday!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Boo who?

Today my 9 year old looked up various things in the dictionary like "jackass". Yes, you're hilarious, now take out the garbage.

My phone is currently not working, because of the high wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinds yesterday. I'm not inclined to get it fixed ::::shrug:::: Too many people bother me via my phone.

HOWEVER, my cable modem is cutting in and out, and THAT, my friends, is making me nuts. Because I can't listen to Sirius online if that happens. By the way, tomorrow channels 116 and 118 will have Halloween goodies on all day. Scary noises on one, vintage radiocasts on the latter. Maybe this will make me enjoy the "holiday". I doubt it.

I might be cranky in part because I stayed up late carving a freaking pumpkin. No triangle eyes, no sireee. I carved a witch stirring a pot of brew from which a ghost is rising up. Oh yeah. It's not pumpkin porn as Johnny Virgil is inclined to carve. Strictly "G" rated. (Is there a synonym for "boring" that starts with G? Note, to Johnny in particular, anyone who responds "GoingOn40" will be pummelled.)

My son bought a carving book with patterns, and the little tools. One of said tools snapped apart whilst I was carving. It was fun watching that skinny little hacksaw blade whizz by my nose. Really. (It seemed apropriate though, because at the time I was watching the Flavor of Love 2 Reunion and shoes and acrylic fingernails were flying in every direction...)

Photos of my artwork will be on display tomorrow. (Translation, I can't be bothered to go get it out of the garage right now to take a picture....)

PS: Damn. My phone just rang. It's fixed.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Panini for an eeny me

I am trying to eat just a little bit better now that I'm working out somewhat regularly. I hate "diet" meals usually, they're frozen and just bad in a number of ways. However, Lean Cuisine now has Paninis. The one I tried today was Southwest Style Chicken, with just enough bacon to taste, on Sourdough bread. Panini-licious, as Hungry-girl.com promised. (Under 300 calories too, but I cheated a little bit and microwaved it for the minimum time, then grilled it in a tiny bit of olive oil in a non stick pan to get it extra crispy without making the whole thing tough.)

Add an apple. Instant lunch. Fit into clothing. Mull over how boring my life truly is, that I'm blogging about my sandwich, when no one really cares what I ate for lunch. Or breakfast -wheee!

HI NOLAN!

Welcome to the world, Nolan Anthony... we are so deeeelighted that you have arrived!! I felt it required extensive coverage on the internet. I called CNN and tried to convince them to make it the lead story but the jerk I talked to went on and on about wars and elections and other junk like that. Hmmmph. Who cares about that junk? Hahahah. I hope your Mama feels better very soon. Smoooches to you, and your Mom & Dad!!!

* * *

Nolan's Mom is a longtime friend of Suzy's.... Suzy's other big news is that she got glasses... Mary Kate & Ashley glasses... she's a big girl now! (Actually her face is small and those frames were the right proportion... and since those two girls need a cheeseburger and some new clothes, it seemed like the right thing to do...)

Suzy and I are going away for a big exciting weekend next weekend. No, not to Vegas (damn). We'll be scrapbooking. (Yeah, I know, but I am looking forward to it. We thought about bringing Mike's hard lemonade and the complete edition of Sex and the City to amuse ourselves while we scrapbook. It's not entirely out of the question at this point...)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I'm only saying

...that it's 61 days until Christmas.

Not that I'm thinking about making cards and addressing all of those cards and making cookies and buying and wrapping presents and figuring out what to cook when I have my family over and how expensive funnnn all of that will be.

Nu-uh. Not me. Not thinking about that.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

We interrupt this program

Hevesi is a crook. (In a nutshell, he had one of OUR state of NY employees driving his wife around for quite some time. This was NOT supposed to be said employee's actual job. When this scandal hit the media, he came up with some bullshit number to "pay back" but won't show how he arrived at the figure)

I'll be voting for Chris Callaghan - I have known him for a number of years, and he is an HONEST (and quite funny) guy.

Here's a quote from his blog, on 10/21:

Chris drove from Buffalo to Albany and down to Greene County today and couldn’t find Alan Hevesi anywhere. He did find a number of voters who are overtaxed and struggling and, of course, chauffeur-less.

This is vintage Chris - the truth, delivered with a sly grin by a guy wearing an old-school bow tie.

Edit: The candidates will debate on Wednesday. This should be FUN.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Duff

I have made some cool cakes in my day, considering my lack of

  • a real chef's kitchen
  • any skills beyond what's taught in a basic Wilton III class at Michael's
  • the ability to deal with the point mid-way through the decorating when I'm sure that it will turn out to be the uuuuuuuuuuugliest cake I've ever made (this happens EVERY time)

My best one was either the cake with the marine logo (anchor, globe, rope, eagle, the works...) for a boss who had just come to our company(he bet me that I couldn't put it on a cake, so I freaking HAD TO...) , or the Bat Mizvah cake I made for the daughter of another boss. (Hey, do I know how to brownnose, or what? Let them eat cake. I will scan photos. Sometime. Perhaps. )

I live vicariously through Duff, who is the Ace of cakes. Thursday nights at 10:30. Yes, a busy time, but that's what TIVO is for dammit. Watch and learn how they make cool cakes.

PS: Duff... if you're ever in Albany and you want to hang out with a fourty .... um, never mind.

One fleeting moment

I was NOT an athletic child. I always preferred to be reading a book. I read just about everything Laura Ingalls wrote. We didn't get too many magazines, but we did always get the Reader's Digest. We also had plenty of the hardcover Reader's Digest hardcover editions (the ones that would condense four current books); I think those came from my grandmother. I read, I read and read and read. All of the long summer days that I spent alone, without having any other kids my age in my neighborhood, I read. Silence was pretty important in my house, since my father worked the midnight shift. Jumping about and shouting was not encouraged, in my house OR in the backyard while he was asleep. Most days he'd go to bed between two and three PM, and after I'd gone to bed, he'd get up for work. So I read.

At any rate, I never really found "my" sport. I did join the track team once in high school, to try to break away from being the uber-nerd that I was. The coach was merciful. I certainly wasn't a breakout star. She figured out that she could put me in with the racewalkers, and I actually came in second or third in a couple of races. I eked out enough points in her system that I earned a school letter.

There were bad moments, of course. The day that I raced against a girl that was so far superior to me, she actually lapped me during the race, right before she finished. The moment wouldn't have been complete without two of her friends, standing alongside that turn, saying to each other, "Look, look." Of course I noticed them laughing at me.

There was also one moment from another race that I can still recall, when I somehow found a surge of energy on the last turn to fight off another girl, who was trying to move past me. I actually called up that moment, when I was trying to deliver my daughter. Three hours of pushing was getting nowhere, and I really wanted to just quit and go home because who needs to have a baby anyway? Not me. Somehow I pulled up that reserve using that fragment of memory out of my past and finished the job, with the help of a REALLY effing scary looking pair of forceps. Holy crap. That's a story for another day.

Considering the fact that I overheard my parents making a bet as to whether or not I'd even finish out the track season, I was secretly fiercely proud of that letter. Even though I didn't get to the awards ceremony, I made sure I got the actual letter, and I still have it. I don't think they meant to be cruel. They just saw how out of character "track" was for me, and didn't know what to do with it. Some people like things to be familiar and stay the same and can't handle the idea of something changing. I was not an athlete, and me trying on sneakers was (to them) something like the Pope walking into McDonalds for a cheeseburger.

In my adult life I have not incorporated exercise successfully, since I pretty much have no sports skills. I can't play tennis, ski, or golf or bowl (in my mind, bowling is NOT a sport, since you can drink the entire time, but whatever). I have been trying to effect some small change in the last month or so. I started walking while I was out of work after my surgery, because I wanted to get some energy back and enjoy the Indian summer that we were having.

I walked on my neighbor's treadmill yesterday. (Actually, I managed to get there four times in the past week.) I secretly enjoy being alone in the garage; how strange is that? I guess part of the attraction is being uninterrupted in my thoughts, but another part is that no one's looking at me, thinking "she's clumsy" "she's not walking very fast" etc.

I had my daughter's iPod, and midway through my intervals workout, something happened. One tiny molecule of endorphins formed somewhere in my body. In the slower intervals of the program, I was dancing a cha-cha to Michael Buble' on the treadmill, walking sideways to Kelly Clarkson, and for a moment I actually HAD FUN. Doing something athletic. Me. When I realized, I looked around just a little bit, to make sure no one was watching, and "ohmygod" flashed through my mind. I was working out AND enjoying it.

I've gotta get my own iPod though. I mean, really - Michael Buble' ??

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy Birthday!!

Happy birthay to John Krasinski, AKA Jim Halpert

Here is a short article about our favorite paper salesman.


PS: T.R. Knight... I still adore you (and your character George on Grey's Anatomy).
Gossip reporters need to get a life.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dear Target

I will forgive you for taking literally half of my paycheck today because while I was roaming through your store I found...

1. Boots. Because my kids need boots, because it's apparently going to snow every day for the next six months. Dammit.

2. Camouflage pattern zip-up "footy" pajamas which my son fell in love with. He tried them on at home over shorts and a tshirt and when he was taking them off he was humming the James Bond theme and talking about it being like a flight suit. The boy scares me.

3. Costumes. Because "the day I hate the most all year" is coming. (Also known as "Go Home".)

and my favorite thing,

4. A DVD of the office (Not the American one, mind you, the BRITISH one, which makes Carly verrrrry happy and makes up for the Halloween thing.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A walk in the park(-ing spaces)

Today it rained so I broke into my neighbor's house and used his treadmill. Well, ok, actually they gave me their garage door opener yesterday and said I could go over any time I want. I just wanted to sound like a badass. :::falls over laughing::::

I only used it for 25 minutes (because I worked late, and then went to mail the necklaces to my client, and found the shipping place was no longer there, and I only had a little while before it was time to pick up the kids, and THIS IS WHY I DON'T WORK OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE, PEOPLE, I CAN NOT CLONE MY DAMN SELF.)

I did manage to work up to a blazing speed of 3.4 mph. I tell ya - you could barely see my feet, they were moving so fast. (I was concentrating on not, NOT, falling off said treadmill because my neighbor seriously would never let me live it down. Ever. As long as I live. Neither would Suzy.) All in all I covered 1.25 glorious miles. I'm ready to run marathons. I just know it.

So. I am still down 11 lbs, two of which was probably my festering gallbladder, but hey - I hope to not "find" that weight again. I'd like to lose more, but a long running habit of of bon bons and wine in front of the tv is hard to undo. Know what I mean?

We went out to dinner (heh - I only ate half of mine, though) and my 9 year old was ENDLESSLY entertained by the sign saying "Parking in Rear". I'm telling you, he laughed and laughed and at one point was saying something about getting an engine up in there and he was making these bbbtht sounds and laughing and it was hysterical. However since I am a grownup I was trying to get him to shhhh and eat politely.

Good times!!!

PS: Marco, I am SO sorry I missed your birthday!!! I hope it was great!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Over and over

Ever get a song completely stuck in your head... well of course you have. You promise yourself you will Not Think About The Song and then twenty seconds later you are tapping your foot and muttering the words to yourself; you catch yourself and curse. Some call this affliction an earworm, which is really disgusting if you ask me.

Recently I was lucky enough to see the Villanova concert band in action. They were terrific. At one point they were doing a pep band version of an old song song called "Hey Baby" (no, not Gwen Stefani - think about the one used in the original "Dirty Dancing" if you're old enough... Hey-a-ayy, baaaaby, I wanna know-oh-oh if you'll be my girl.... ) The kids were clapping and singing and the tuba player danced around all of the little kids they were performing for and it was just a great, fun song.

Well, I taped it on my camera. It's 30 gb so I can't share it with you all. I'm sure you're crushed at that. But my kids love it. Fifty times a day I have to go to the computer, and start the little video up for them. It's completely ingrained for all of us and we're all walking around singing it.

Today, it... I don't know what... but when I played it, one window after another after another opened up. All playing this song. As fast as I could close one, another would open. It was as though my computer was flipping out, saying "OK! You want this song 50 times? Let's play all 50 at once!!! We'll do the porn spam thing. You will hear this song forever. IT ACTUALLY WILL NOT END. FOREVER."

Or until I reboot. But seriously. They do a great version.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ahah

My son helped with laundry and slam dunked every item into the washer, of course. Thaaaaaat's what I've been doing wrong all this time. No wonder I never have any fun doing laundry.

Clicking around the dial last night I saw the best "pizza acrobat" in the US. Hmm. That's a job title that verrrrry few people have. But he did make an interesting pizza with gorgonzola, parmigiano, prosciutto, and balsamic vinegar... and I learned you don't put the prosciutto on the pizza before you cook it, or you get burned bits. Hmmm. Well, alrighty then.

I went into a cornfield maze today. It was really, really boring. I realized now we went in the baby part (the part that has the "9" in it, where you pretty much can't get lost even if you try.) The older kids went back in phase 2, which is the rest of the maze and they were gone for an hour. Heh. Well, I would have gone looking for them. Eventually. Yeah. I would have!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Beads



This is a necklace someone asked me to re-string... it was her mother's, and the beads were blown glass she bought about 40 or 50 years ago. (She gave me this before my gall bladder issues, and my brain seems to have fried slightly since then; there are various things at work and etc that I just can't remember ...)

I had to buy some black beads to try to match the narrow ones, because 3 were missing. I added gold vermeil daisies instead of some of the older curved metal pieces (but I left them next to the larger blown glass beads). I also added swarovski crystals (instead of the original blue tiny beads, which you can see right near the clasp.)

Now to figure out what to charge her....

Trompe L'Oeil

http://www.usmurals.com/portfolio.html

I love this stuff. I have yet to start Son's Yankee stadium room mural (requested while the beach scene was being worked on)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Just saying

.... I hate school picture day.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Quick notes

I have had a cricket in my basement for 3 days now. Jiminy is chirping all night long, and he echoes through most of the house's ductwork, but I can't hear it when I sleep because of where our room is. (For once having the room farthest from the furnace pays off.) Any suggestions for saving/ sparing his little soulless life?

I just spoke to my sister for 1 hour and 6 minutes. .. and 26 seconds. Not about the cricket... mostly about how unreasonable people can be when they get a, well, bug in their basement and flip out over something very small. It only takes one negative person to break a WHOLE lot of positive momentum.

I am down 11 pounds since my gall bladder began its own private revolution. I have literally walked part of the sole off of one of my sneakers. My new sneakers are giving me savage blisters. Help!

And finally, after surviving having a family party this weekend, I have the following rules to offer to one and all:

  • Don't criticize what the host serves, or the entertainment (music, games, etc) they provide. It's annoying!
  • Do not make jokes that will wound your wife's feelings, especially in front of YOUR entire family. Baaaaad idea. (My BIL can NOT master this rule.)
  • Do not be the first to arrive, the first to leave, OR the last to leave, and for pete's sake bring SOMETHING.
  • Don't have family parties if the rules above make you tense, because they are inevitably broken at EVERY family party.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fall cleaning

Oh no way, I'm not actually DOING fall cleaning. I meant my links - here are some new ones ...

XKCD

And I wasted all that birthcontrol/

C For Cooking

Have you met me? -( my long lost twin?? )

Northern Attack - great Office blog

PS: I'm not taking Shop Dungarees off my list of links even though, He. Never. Posts.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ho down

This is just wrong in soooo many ways I don't know where to start. Have a good weekend everybody!

PS. Son loooooooooooved the show. Of course.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Blue

Big news, kiddies! I'm actually breaking out of the house tonight for some gen-u-ine entertainment.

A while ago I bought tickets so that I can bring Son to see Blue Man Group. I didn't mention to him that I actually got the tickets. No, that would be boring, and they were actually a surprise birthday gift (since Daughter got to see Tim McGraw / Faith Hill with me).

Serendipity kicked in. I came across a PBS special featuring said Blues and recorded it on the DVR. Then one day when I knew Son would wander in, I started watching it.

The conversation went something like "What is this, Mom?", an explanation, and some mild interest on his part. Hook.

A few days later he noticed a commercial on tv and came running to tell me that they were going to be in town (tonight).

I said "oh, hmmm, maybe we can go" in a vague, sort of I'm-not-really-giving you-my full-attention tone. Line.

One day while I was recuperating from my gallbladder excavation, he came up to me with a sad face and said "Mom, did you ever get Blue Man tickets?"

I put on a sad face of my own and said "Ohhh, I'll have to check on that when I go back to work. Sorry buddy." Sinker.

He bought it all.

On his birthday I made him a schnazzy little card with images cut & pasted from here and taped the tickets inside.

When he opened the card he was speechless and gasping for air. The boy actually almost started to cry. It was so freaking fantastic. He had NO idea I already had the tickets.

This show will blow his tiny little mind to smithereeeeeens.

It's time to start.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A note to my son

It is October. Oc-freaking-tober. Stop wearing shorts. Stop pouting when I make you put something warm on so the neighbors don't call social services. Stop leaving your coat at school every day because it's sunny out because so help me, I *WILL* send you to school without another coat tomorrow and then the teachers will call ss themselves or just start to whisper about me and I hate that.

Please, please. Bring your homework home. Just because we CAN go back over to school and sneak in through the afterschool program doesn't mean I enjoy that. I mean, I have important things to do like set the DVR so I don't miss any of my shows. And stop filling up the DVR with every episode of scooby doo that is on. I need the space for important things like The Girls Next Door. Oh, and don't watch that. Ever. Your brain will explode.

Please bring my mail home. I am not 100% thrilled to be the PTA co president because I am somewhat disorganized and it is actual work. For me to miss something and then say "Hm, my son must not have brought that home" makes me sound lame.

Please stop bouncing the rubberband ball. I know it is cool and makes a loud thump and I know your father bought you a whole bag of rubberbands for some reason so that you could spend every waking moment for 3 solid days building the enormous thing but I don't ever want to see it again.

Please don't try to take apart THIS clock. I know you got excited when we got you the other one because it shines the time up onto the ceiling and it even resets itself after a power failure which is completely awesome. But so help me if I find the screws on THIS one stripped when you come to me complaining that the time doesn't look right on the ceiling, I am going to kick your little butt.

I love you,
Mommy

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Boooooo


October.

Octobrrrrrr.

I hate to see the summer go.

Homework is one big reason. Extra bills... back to school clothes and lunch money and band lessons and magazine drives and every birthday in this household and ... let's not even talk about Christmas right now.

No more lunches in the park letting the sunshine warm my face. That one definitely depresses. Next spring seems SO far away.

Knowing that I'm going to be held captive by the whim of the weatherman for months makes me wish I could ACTUALLY hibernate. Yet I enjoy living in the northeast. Boston, NYC, the midatlantic coast... there are a bunch of great places to go visit that are an easy drive away. And right in my state I can find plenty of fun places. But I am not, and will never be, a snow bunny.

This morning a baby deer was alone in my yard. His parents were not around this time. So I opened the patio door, and went out on to the deck, and yelled at him to scare him back into the woods. Because my neighbors let their german shepherd run free (despite our town's leash law) and I really have no wish to see if a GS really can catch up to a baby deer. Don't think I didn't feel stupid saying "hey! you! go back in the woods" at 7 am.

Monday, October 02, 2006

More fun and games

Customer service nightmare #1:

After ordering ink online from Dell, (because they facelabel Lexmark printers and I haven't taken the time to figure out what damn cartridge to buy at staples) on FridayI found a package on my doorstep.

A ripped, crushed package. The entire end of the brown cardboard box was torn open and it looked like someone had stepped on it. It contained two ink cartridges. I had ordered FOUR. It got stuck in something, and torn open, that's for damn sure. I can just imagine Delivery Guy looking around to make sure no one was watching, and tossing it onto my front porch. Bastard.

I signed on to Dell's website, and started a nifty online chat with a service rep. Nifty, until the window locked up. Nelson Z Joseph (do you think that's his real name????) simply stopped responding to me, and I tried to ask him if he still liked me, but the window was fro-zen-solid.

Yeah. This is going well.

Aggravating - Nelson Z had my digits, and yet no one called me to say "gee, you abruptly fell off the planet while you were describing how you didn't get your stuff.... whatttup?"

I calllllled their support line next, no wait time, awesome, and talked to a man who was very pleasant (even though he literally confirmed EVERYTHING that I said, about four times, which grated on me after a while). He said no problem, he'd put through a new order to replace the two ink cartridges that I didn't get.

No problem? No email yet confirming any such order. No ink yet. Me, not happy. I want my ink, darnit!

Since I was all worked up and needed to talk about every detail a 5th time, I found a "feedback" form on DHL's website and sent them a love note (in the required 500 characters or less)
package - waybill: (number) was put on my doorstep damaged (printer ink
from Dell, the end of package was literally ripped open and two of four
ink cartridges had vanished). I did not sign for this package. It was
dropped there while I wasn't home. Inexcusably poor service. I have
contacted Dell for replacements, but REALLY, why was nothing done to
remedy by deliveryman??


they snickered about it for a day or two, and I just got this reply:

Thank you for contacting DHL.

I am very sorry this has happened to you. DHL strives to deliver world class service and I apologize for our failure on this occasion.

I have contact your DHL service center about this problem. Your package did not require a signature but our DHL courier should not had left a damage package at your door.

I'm sorry for what has happened but you did the right thing contacting Dell.

Thank you for your time and patience.

Sharon



Sharon doesn't realize I have absolutely no patience whatsoever. I want that deliveryman to go out, clean out his truck, and bring me my ink. Now. (Do you like how she worded "you're on your own, honey, we ain't replacing anything " so nicely? mmm yeah... I'll let the poor grammar she used slide. He done me wrong. )



Nightmare number 2:

My sirius radio is not working (cue the screams of terror and anguish)

The pin that you plug the power cord into is, to be very technical, wonky. If I am in my car and I go over a bumpy road, the radio turns off, then back on. The other day I lost all 30 of my carefully selected presets. Gah! It also acts wonky if it's plugged into my desk. Bump it, it turns off then on. SO it's not actually the power CORD, since 2 different ones are involved. And because I googled and other people have this problem. (Incidentally, it's also a problem with the clock radio you can dock your iPod in. Eventually the pins get loose, and it doesn't dock right. The best technology we have, and yet it can't stand up to daily wear and tear.)

When I called the Sirius warranty line, I waited 43 minutes and 24 seconds on hold, listening to a moog synthesizer version of "call me" by Blondie. Kill me. (Obviously it was someone's dinner break, but I had things to do while the speakerphone serenaded me. Gah!!) They promised I'll have a replacement radio in a few days though. No argument whatsoever. Hmmm. Scary. Silent admission that "yeah, it's a crappy piece of equipment."

Wonder what package I'll get first....

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Portion control



This is actual food. Unfortunately, it's also the actual portion size you SHOULD eat.

Click here to see more photos of this art project.

I found it on Hungry-girl, which is a great site - the daily newsletter will open your eyes! I lost 10 lbs while I was sick, and I'm trying to keep it off by making better choices. HG is very helpful.