Monday, April 30, 2007

Attacked by a giant butterfly

Yesterday I walked in a "walkathon" for March of Dimes... it was at a nice park I drive to once in a while on my lunch hour. Unfortunately it was gray and dreary and rather windy. (The big luck was that we didn't get rained on.) I had considered jogging part of the walk to continue training for the Freihofer's (that's June 2, Lindy), but scrapped that idea because it was just an ugh day weatherwise, and I was exhausted from the baby shower Saturday.

I was part of a group that included my friend's family. She had a giant butterfly-shaped helium balloon attached to her stroller, probably 2 feet across the wingspan, and that thing whapped me in the face maybe 20 times. It was hilarious.

Her 3 year old is beautiful, but watch out. Dolly (no, not her real name, but to me her pretty little face looks like a china doll) had on a little denim jacket with some floral embroidery that was sweet. She must have liked her ensemble just as it was, thank you very much. When I tried to put a pink "I was a preemie" sort of t-shirt on her(they were being handed out), she initially nodded when I asked if she wanted to wear it. But as soon as I put it over her head and touched her hand to put one arm through a sleeve, everything short-circuited. Her intended message of "not over my coat you fool, get this thing OFF of me, NOW!" came through loud and clear in the body language and some screaming (me, as well as her... I was hiding behind the stroller, whimpering for just a second. )

My next mistake was letting her mother walk away while Dolly had a balloon tied to her wrist. Dad was holding her, and she suddenly thrust her arm out at me, purposefully. "You want this off, sweetheart?" I cooed, as I reached to untie the knot. The yes came out as something that can loosely be translated to "It burns! It burns! Remove this torturous object from my person!!" Luckily, I got the knot untied before the flames shot out of her mouth.

Wow. Just wow. I miss having a baby, if only for the sheer excitement of never knowing what will happen next.

And she was so damn cute in that denim jacket.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Real Cakes

Just for your browsing enjoyment....

http://www.cakesbydesign.cc/CakeoftheMonthMain.html

(each cake opens in a new window when you click "next"... someone really has to help him with that...)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Sweet


Well I may not be Duff*, but this is what I spent my day doing. It's been a while. A Wilton purist would have a few things to say, but 1) it's done 2) they're just going to eat it anyway, who cares what's crooked?


*seriously, find the Taj Mahal cake.... click on the Cakes, then Not-so-traditional. The only thing I don't like about his cakes is that it's ALL fondant. I hate the flavor.

Hey baby...


I am within sight of my fundraising goal for WalkAmerica, which is this weekend. Even if you don't sponsor ME, please consider donating...

http://www.marchofdimes.com/

Click on "how you can help". And then HELP, already!

(you don't even have to tell them Carly sent you... but you can come back here, and tell me, and then we'll both feel good...)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

No punchbacks

So, my daughter picked up this "game". When you see a VW bug you punch the person next to you and say "punchbuggy, no punchback".

It's cute. The first two times. Then it gets downright annoying because:

  1. you don't think your baby is old enough to be sitting in the front seat anyway and where did all the time go and how the fuck are you going to pay for her to go to college?
  2. your arm starts to hurt because she hits the same exact spot every friggin' time
  3. there are a damn lot of bugs around
  4. those bugs are all bright, notice-me colors, so she never misses even one of them
  5. all she has to do is look for bugs in every driveway and side street and parking lot while I am, you know, actually CONTROLLING A TWO TON VEHICLE.

I get to the point where I say "NO MORE." I just can't take it.

I'm at the "NO MORE" point on a number of fronts. Last minute details for a baby shower and a school event I'm in charge of and I have the walk this weekend and I have to make a cake and do the bills and the laundry and he didn't bring home his spelling words again and she is crying because her braces hurt and I don't know what to make for dinner and gaaaaaaaaah.

And running does help if only to let me literally run away from the wretched, steaming pile of... todo's ...that is self-propagating on my desk. Frankly, I'm wearing my road id around, here and there, because it makes me feel good about myself, that I've taken up this running thing and I'm doing ok at it. (Or I carry it in my pocket of my jeans. Yeah, so I 'm about 3 years behind the whole "Live Strong" bracelet curve. :::shrug:::: )

But then I turn on the tv and I see things far away that make me so sad, and things that happen a little too close to home that make me even sadder, and make people I care about sad, and I start to think that the world is becoming full of maggots, and the decent people don't have a chance. And that makes me want to punch somebody sometimes.

No punchbacks. Please.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

U.M.

I've been really frustrated with some things lately (like work and some PTA nonsense and... oh, never mind the list...) and feeling crushed from almost every side. Sometimes the people at choir will notice when I walk in, and say "Oh, are you tired today?" because it doesn't occur to them that I am completely jagged and frayed inside. Being that most of them are retired, the stressfull part of their lives is but a memory, and actually - for me - being with them helps because they're all so darn cute and funny.

I don't think most people really notice the depths of how I'm feeling - they might notice that I'm a bit grumpy, or whatever, but not be able to tell that I'm practically biting my tongue off sometimes, wishing I could pack it all in, and run away to Boston, or to Oregon, or somewhere... else. People have their own stuff going on, everyone has things on their mind. I get that.

When I'm having a really bad day I need to escape at lunchtime. I go to a nice park or something, and push back the roof of my car (must have a moonroof - if not a convertible, which isn't practical here for the winter since I haven't parked in my garage since '95...)

All I need sometimes is to have even half an hour for myself, to sit quietly where no one is pestering me, where I don't feel like there are 10 things I should be doing at once. Where no one is arround to annoy or disappoint me. The rest of the world can just go away for a while. I listen to some music, and let the ugly monster out (it climbs out the roof, actually...)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Rants

1. Here's a great article...

Chaplains honored

"When I looked, the only thing that was showing was the keel," said Eardley, a private who had reached the safety of a raft. "And there were the four chaplains on top of the keel, arm in arm with each other."

This article moved me. What a beautiful image - four clergymen of different faiths not afraid to face their maker together, giving their lives so the younger men on the ship could be rescued.

Then I started thinking... why don't we hear more stories like this from the current day? I'm sure they're out there (heroes, in our various battlefields). No, we have to put some punk all over the evening news in a wildly transparent bid for ratings. Eff you, Peacock.

2. The heimlich is hard to do. (I found this out yesterday. I tried. Sticky cake + heimlich = not good. Luckily it all worked out ok, because a nurse was nearby. Go learn first aid. Right now. )

3. Bosses shouldn't set lunchtime meetings. It's basically thwapping the employees upside the head and saying "I have the power to screw around with your lunch break, so don't test me."

4. We skipped spring, and now it's going to go back from 90* down to the 50's. I'll take 75 and holding, please.

5. I have a cavity. I never, ever have cavities. Thi$ i$ going to co$t me more than I care to think about.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

WalkAmerica

These are two videos, about preemies - their families will be participating in the March of Dimes benefit next week - "WalkAmerica". (I didn't make these, but I do know these families.)

Amelia and Anya

Ethan's Army

If I know you "in real life" (ie if you know my real name) and haven't asked you to sponsor me already, consider yourself asked. I will be walking next Sunday.

PS: have kleenex handy...

Happy Spring



This is part of a piece we will be singing tomorrow. Basically I sing Alleluia sixty-one times. Piece of cake.


Speaking of cake, I have been making flowers all day, (royal icing, which dries hard) for a cake for next saturday. It's easier to make the flowers ahead of time, and let them air dry. Since, I have a REAL job, and all of that. Duff has nothing to worry about, but I'm pretty happy with how they came out. I made some daisies (pink and white) and some blue drop flowers. It's been a LONG time since I did a cake like this. Yeeeesh.


Time for hills.

Friday, April 20, 2007

My baby

brought her report card home ... and she got a 90 in math. Color me Tickled Pink. (It's kind of a bright, blinky sort of neon pink, bubble gum color. I can't make this text blink or I would.)

Some of her other grades were also very high so her overall average is 90. This is an unprecedented success for her. We are thrilled...exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

So we can learn how to climb

Two points if you know the song referenced in today's title. One additional for artist. No cheating, you only get the points if you actually know without Google's help. Points are redeemable for... nothing.

Today was gorgeous. 60+ degrees, because we've had snow and clouds and rain in the past week. It all makes perfect sense. About as much sense as me going to a nearby park and running up hills. Which is what I did.

By "running up hills" I mean "run up a 45* incline for approximately 20 yards and then, wheezing, continue to plod forward at a drastically reduced speed." Rinse, repeat.

This is "fun".

The Freihofer's race course is VERY hilly, which is one reason I started working on this now. I have about six weeks until the race. The other is that it was so nice to sit on a park bench and feel the sun on my face today. Run. I mean run outdoors, and feel the sun on my face today. Uh huh. My beet red face. It's fabulous.


PS: Lost sucks and the Office is a repeat. Dammit! My chips came and there is nothing good on until Grey's which better be pretty damn chipworthy. We are rationing these bad boys out as long as possible.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

All you have to do

... is keep running.

At least, that's what my son says.

So that's what I'm going to do, in 3 minutes.

(We were discussing whether HE could run 3 miles, because that's how long my race will be.)

This morning I looked in the mirror and I saw my face. "Well, of course you did, Carly... " you might reply.

I saw MY face. The one I had before I gained some weight. It's starting to come back.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Last to know

So I drove over 110 miles today. Just my ordinary life. Work, home, haircut, dry cleaners, school, home, NICU, home.

Slamming my fingers in a door is NOT fun, by the way.

* * * * *


This is the coolest thing I have seen in a while...

www.onetruemedia.com

I am using this to make a video (montage) for the NICU. My "assignment" from the March of Dimes coordinator I work with is to show parents some of what they can expect when their baby is there. (various beds, breathing assistance, etc....)
When it's done, I'll share.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Mildly inappropriate

... to remark aloud (while watching the Food Network awards, some of which were pretty cool actually, because I want one of those ice cream vending machines in my office, and we are sooo joining the chip of the month club) ...

anyway, it's really not good to remark about the female presenter's "headlights"* because then your child will ask what you mean and I Always Answer Questions, so later he will joke that "Look, she's reading the winner using her headlights..." and you will want to fall over laughing, but you have to be a Good Example.

I never truly believed that Giada had a giant head until I saw her next to Shamus' favorite six million dollar star...**



I mean, really. Giant head. Lotta teeth.

And yes, my boyfriend Alton WAS the highlight of the evening with his clever jokes.

*Sandra Lee in a white dress. Semi homemade white dress, no doubt. All SORTS of wrong.

** yes, she earned six million dollars last year. Rachel, not Giada. Nine years ago, Rachel was doing local tv and cooking demos for small school fundraisers. WTF???

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Fun quiz

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/leisure/quiz/index.html

As if I didn't already know what it would show as enjoyable hobbies for me...

CREATIVE
You have a gift for expression. Whether it's writing, drawing, creating objets d'art or making music, you see the world in a unique way and are able to convey that to other people. No doubt you doodle on napkins and meeting notes, are always humming a new tune, have already read the latest fiction releases, and know all the local art galleries' schedules by heart. You might like hobbies like sketching, photography, sculpting, playing an instrument, singing, journaling, scrap-booking or designing clothing.

This one had potential too though...

FOOD

You hold your own "Iron Chef" contests, don't you? You've never met a recipe that you didn't want to try, and you demanded a Silpat for your last birthday. You went to the Smithsonian just to see Julia Childs' kitchen installation, and you never miss an episode of "Good Eats." Your friends beg you to recreate that decadent tiramisu you made a year ago, even though you feel the dessert is no longer a challenge and you've moved on to blood orange soufflé. You might like hobbies like cake decorating, drink mixing, grilling and barbecuing, food critiquing, candy making, pickling or creating your own recipes.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hell hath no fury

...like a slightly lazy 40+ year old woman who JUST wants the DAMN carpet shampoo machine to WORK RIGHT. There was this spring, that fell out over and over again, and that wouldn't be a huge problem if it wasn't part of the valve to release the soap ...more soap went down my kitchen sink than into my carpet. Gaaaaaaaaaah!

Don't even SAY the phrase "curtain rods" to me, either. Unless you want a long rant on how they're made very flimsy, and hard to put the curtains on, and why did my curtains shrink after only one washing and why didn't he put these up with sinkers anyway because they're pulling out of the...

so, Child 1 learned a few new words yesterday ...but my rugs look awesome.

I need to go back to work so that I can rest.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Treasure

I am still knee deep in spring cleaning. We're not talking about The List. (Aim high, at least you get somewhere...) I actually said to child 2 yesterday "Don't wave my list at me! I know we didn't do what it SAYS yesterday!"

At any rate, my kitchen and family room look awesome. (Yesterday I discovered the true joy of having children...making them do chores. They are the best dust & window wash team ever. I am not going to let them move out. Oh, and they spontaneously vacuum too. They did NOT get that gene from me.)

This morning I was cleaning out some drawers in my bedroom. I found a card, from my great aunt, Helena. (*)

It was a very simple birthday card, quite small by today's standards, but just seeing her handwriting brought tears to my eyes.

So I will repeat again - never underestimate the power of your handwriting. A short note to someone you care about may be saved for much longer than you think.

Did you ever get a card in the mail and know just who it was from, without even seeing a return address? That's what I'm talking about.

I tell this to the Moms at the NICU when I scrapbook with them. They don't want to write in their books "because my handwriting is messy" but I tell them that it is THEIR handwriting and that child will love it some day. (So I twist their arms until they agree to write in their books - :::snicker::: )

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Move Out

Attention, all mice in the woods behind my house: we* will no longer put BIG globs of peanut butter in the mousetraps. So quit visiting my garage and stealing them. Die, you nasty little rodents. Eff Mickey, you're just not cute. I don't NEEEED that adrenaline boost when I'm on my treadmill.

If I don't stop seeing mice (living and dead) in my garage soon, I am moving here. Yes, private residences on a cruise ship. This is a fabulous idea. Best part - no pesky co-workers.


*See Rules of Marriage, Article I... it's always the husband's fault. No matter what the problem is.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Stuffin'

This is exciting.

This is pretty cool. I want the scorched penny on my jeep. (I know, no can do.)

This is just one more thing that will make my mother in law worry.

With all of this interesting stuff wwwwwwhy is CNN so fixated on Mammary Nicole Smith? Oh wait, I just answered my own question.

A little humor for the day... I had an awesome massage today, but I had to stifle a giggle when the attendant triped over something (his chair, a side table, who knows?) and it made a loud clanging noise. Ooops.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Dear Internet

  • Suzy has on a Victoria's Secret pink polka dot thong today. She felt compelled to share with me and so I asked if I could blog it.
  • Delivery people don't suck, but the people you get on the phone when you call about your delivery sure do. Why do they lie? "After lunch" would be much simpler than "You're on the first truck, it will be between 10:00 - 11:00." Dammit.
  • I was so mad at the delivery people that I had a really fantastic run today on the treadmill. Even with an incline, I ran for wwwwaaaaay longer than I usually do.
  • I have approximately 12 loads of laundry to do now. Joy, Joy.
  • I edited my yahoo avatar at least a week ago and it won't show up on my page. Dammit. If you see the falcon, it's still not working. Oh well.
  • What do you mean, am I procrastinating? List? what to-do list?

PS: Listening to Tiffany Granath on the playboy channel on Sirius would not be a good thing if you have 3 small children in your home. Dammit.

xo xo,

Carly

Saturday, April 07, 2007

can't quit my day job just yet

I stood at the microphone tonight for a short solo(one of about seven or eight different choir member solos during this lonnnnng 2.5 hour easter vigil mass).

Stanley and I exchanged our usual banter ("are you ready?" "yes" "are you ready yet?" "yes, Stanley" "are you ready?" "YES." He does this, because it makes me laugh. I think.)

I sang the response line. While the congregation repeated it back, I wondered whether I'd slid flat at the end.

I opened my mouth to sing the first note of the first line of the psalm, and then... nothing. I had NO idea how the melody should sound. It flew right out of my head.

I sang... something. Some thing vaguely like a slightly confused woman with a tin ear. Which, at the moment, I was.

But I plunged onward. Usually these things have two lines per verse, then the congregation responds. This one had THREE, and I effed it up every time in the first verse. I am not sure what I did, but it was vaguely a (bad) chant. It definitely wasn't the simple (dammit! it was so simple!) melody Stanley was playing, in hopes that I'd click back to the right channel.

I mimed to Stanley "It has flown right out of my head."

Suddenly, on the third verse, I remembered. Voila! I sang the right notes.

The thing is, I just know no one downstairs noticed. (Test case - spouse and kids did not notice. Or, they're good liars.)

soli Deo gloria, indeed!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Soli Deo gloria



There is a place where I can go, where I can stop thinking about the problems I have at work, and all of the various things I worry about in my house. I just sing. My mind fills with the music, the notes and the beat and the dynamics.

I sing music composed in another time and place, by Mozart and other names of the same caliber, singing from sheet music that is so old, the hands of the singers before me have worn away the part where one might typically hold onto the page.

The singers around me have never once criticized me, not when I missed notes, or had no idea how to count a passage(during rests of several measures, I used to listen to hear them breathe in, to know that they were about to sing), or when I've been late and yawned all through evening rehearsals because I was SO exhausted from getting up early and running from work to laundry to cooking dinner to racing out of the house. They are consistently kind and friendly, and I feel happier for having been with them.

I can not put into words how much it means to me to be able to climb those curving stairs and hide up in the choir loft.

This, for me, is sanctuary.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I have ears like a hawk

There is just more TV goodness than I can handle lately.

  1. Kate, kicking Juliet's ass, on LOST. Fabulous, but Sarah's got it covered so go visit OK Seriously.
  2. A new episode of the Office tonight, Supersized to mess up everyone's DVR/TIVO. Let's see if Jim can outrun Roy. (Next week Andy is back, I do believe, from his Management training... anger management...)
  3. The Bachelor. Yes, the Bachelor. (And this has nothing to do with my first ever college boyfriend, who was ROTC Navy. Uh uh. Nope. Although I still have the picture from the military ball he took me to. Don't tell anyone.)

    It's just the number one drinking game enabler in America, where you can drink WHILE watching the people on tv get drunk. (Seriously, these women have alcohol put in front of them constantly. Did you see their fridge?) You can play along with me, if you watch:

    Take a drink if a woman makes a catty remark to/about another woman. Take a shot if a woman is weeping. Chug your drink if someone talks about "the journey", or when Chris whatshisname says "Who will go home brokenhearted?"

    My favorite woman the other night was the woman who decided that another woman (who was so drunk she literally fell down) was talking about her from across the room, and barged over to have a fight about it, announcing "I heard you talk about me, I have ears like a hawk." You can't script this stuff. Unfortunately she got kicked out in the first round (so did the bug eyed crazy lawyer chick who thought she was a lock...because she can do more pushups than Andy...) but there seem to be other crazy women remaining( I think the nutty flipping woman stayed, not sure..)

    I may have to start up my wine and bonbons habit again. For the record Tessa is my pick, despite the horrible lame joke she told. She seems vaguely normal.
  4. Alton Brown is on at least three times a day. Enough said.

I'm off to alphabetize my to-do list.....

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ketchup

So let's see... where are we?

I

am

on

vacation!

For 10 days I do not have to think about our 6 month project backlog, billing lines, or any nonsense related to the word "reorganization". I do not have to mull over the senior executive who LITERALLY held up an iPod at a site meeting recently and asked us if we knew what it was, because it represented true innovation. Yeah, um, a few years back it did.

So now I move on to the manic phase I enter initially, for almost every vacation. I call it The List Thing, a state wherein I make long lists of everything I've been meaning to do for literally the past 17 or so years (since I moved into this house).

Oh yes. THIS vacation, I will clean out the attic and the garage AND plant a beautiful garden. I will also need to plan a school dance, a baby shower, and work on no less than 3 "art" projects, probably more like five when you count the ones I *WANT* to do. Spring cleaning(shampoo all the rugs), catching up on all of those videos I've borrowed... oh, and running. Yes, running. It's going to be cold and rainy for the next several days. Dammit.

In a few days I will get a grip and reframe a more realistic plan. Perhaps I'll even spend a day on my couch watching reruns of every episode of both the american AND the british Office series(es?). Sadly, I'm even planning THAT in the back of my mind. This day would be better than that day...

Oh, as for the AFD prank on my son... we were kind. Mid afternoon we explained to him (about the 5th time he asked for help with his clock) that ... the bags in the cereal boxes were all switched around this morning because TODAY was April Fool's day, not tomorrow. We couldn't let him go to school and talk about March 32.

We did get a great deal of mileage out of the joke though. Before we clued him, in we had two separate people "spontaneously" bring it up in conversation with him. Then at church someone asked a woman "what is today's date?" and she replied "March 32, remember?" and neither of them actually included D in their conversation; he was just nearby. It was awesome. He completely bought it. We broke him gently, and I told him that all of the people involved liked him, because he's a good kid and fun to be around, and if people didn't like him none of these grownups would have bothered making an April Fool's day joke work for him. SO, he didn't cry. He was a little peeved, but not too much. I promised him that next year we'll get them back. Hah.

So I'm going to go sing tonight, and then tomorrow, and then the next day, and then the day after that. And EVEN the day after that -- but that afternoon (Sunday) I'm going to sit on my couch, eat candy, and drink wine.

It's all right on my list.


PS: Get well soon Amelia!!

You know...

...it's going to be a long day if you have a shower companion in the morning


...and it's a spider.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Update

He's going crazy, trying to fix his clock. It shows date and day of the week. Obviously he can't get March 32 so he settled for March 31, but now he's trying to get it to show Sunday and it's a clock that sets itself to the right day/date automatically after a power failure.... it's hilarious.

I thought the cereal joke (which worked well) would tip him off that TODAY is AFD, but no...

Yes, I'm going to be in PLENTY of trouble once we reveal this is just a prank. mwahaha.