Monthly Archives: September 2012

O These Children


So last night we let the Collective Spawn dork out to their respective Nintendos and just play and hang out.  It was the end of the first real week of school and they were all pretty tired.  At the appropriate time we herded them off to bed thinking smugly to ourselves that they were so exhausted they would sleep well.


The middle child kept getting up.  MAMA I CAN’T SLEEP.  For two hours.  Finally at 11pm she stopped.

I was not foolhardy enough to think that this meant she would sleep in.  I have known these children for some time and it is apparent that these particular children do not “sleep in.”

At 5:40am the youngest child entered Grown-Up Land to inform The Lovely Rhonda that she could not find her sharpened pencil with which to do her Giant Workbook of Kindergarten Fun.  She was duly notified that at 5:40am nobody was the least bit interested in finding a pencil, sharpened or otherwise, with which to do anything non-violent and that she should be backing slowly out of the room by now.

Actually it went more like, GO BACK TO BED OMG IT’S 5AM WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.

Naturally I now had to use the restroom and in doing so found the middle child, the completely knackered one with the dark circles under her eyes, cozily playing her Nintendo in bed.

I am sorry to say that I did not merely creep back to Grown-Up Land to inform TLR but instead removed the Nintendo from her clutches and stated that it was 5am and she should return to sleep.

Mayhem ensued, and the shrieks of the unjustly persecuted rang throughout the house.  It is only by some miracle that the oldest child never woke up.

I finally got out of bed at 6:50ish since I was coughing too hard to sleep anyway and found the middle child snoring and the youngest one sobbing in her bed.  An hour later.

Youngest child is now working on her workbook and finding reasons to enter and exit her room as often as possible in the hopes that she will find one of her sisters awake.

My mother once told me that when you wake up in the morning and lay in bed figuring out exactly how soon you can feasibly return to bed, you are an adult.

I think I have been an adult since I was nine.

By Way of Explanation


So last weekend  we went to Seattle to see the traveling King Tut exhibit.  I saw it when it toured in 1978 and didn’t want to miss this, since I have heard that Egypt will not be allowing most of its antiquities to travel much in coming years.  They are repatriating their lost treasures and want to encourage tourism.  I can’t blame them, but I think it’s unfortunate for those of us who may never have the opportunity to travel that far.

At any rate, I greatly enjoyed it but was dragging myself around pretty pathetically.  I had had a crappy head cold for about a week and it didn’t seem to want to part company, and going to Seattle always seems to involve way more walking than I typically care to engage in.  But I survived.

Only to return to work a surprise night shift Sunday night!  Hooray!  Even though I slept most of the day after, and the night after that, I still didn’t feel too hot as of Wednesday and now the pesky cough was so deliciously juicy that coworkers gave me a larger-than-usual amount of space.  I can almost swear I saw some of them shudder and make the sign of the cross as I passed.

Nevertheless I soldiered on and even dragged myself to see “Memphis” last night with The Lovely Rhonda.  We have season tickets to this “Broadway Across America” thing and it was the first show of the season.  I ate so many cough drops I got a little menthol buzz going on and my teeth were fuzzy, but I didn’t cough too much.  Nobody loves a cougher at a show.

In the wee hours I woke up — again with the coughing! — and found that in the position I was laying, I could hear a funny wheezy gurgly sound coming from my chest.  And I could feel a horrible wet feeling in my left lung.  And the things I was coughing up!  Don’t even get me started.

No really, please don’t.  You’ll regret it.

I’m a psych nurse and not really up on all this medical-malady thing so much anymore, but this all seemed like kind of a bad thing.

I went to see my medical provider today, having been ordered gently pressured to do so  by TLR, and after the usual niceties she listened to my lungs.  And spent a looooong time on that left area.

So yeah.  Nothing big, just sinusitis.

And pneumonia.

Just that.

No big.


How To Turn 45


So yesterday was my birthday, or as a friend put it, the “anniversary of my continued homeostasis upon this planet.”

We couldn’t let this go uncelebrated, so The Lovely Rhonda threw some invitations out and a few people dropped by.

I’m deeply uncomfortable allowing people to see how we normally live, i.e. like filth-beasts wallowing in our own swill, so I spent much of the day mucking out The Swamp.  It wasn’t too bad, for us, and this mainly consisted of scraping a layer of toothpaste off the bathroom mirror and running the vacuum.  Is there some special law of physics governing the spitting of toothpaste into sinks by children?  Because despite vigorous Windexing of the bathroom mirror just yesterday, I woke this morning to find fresh gobs of chalky whiteness decorating its lower half.  How do they even get that kind of trajectory going?  I can barely get it to clear my chin.

It was the usual mayhem of barbecued meats and alcoholic beverages.  TLR has found a decent mojito recipe.  I asked her where she’d found it and she said “some men’s magazine website.”  This is not even slightly surprising, although what is surprising is that she could navigate her way through all the photos of half-naked lingerie models to find the drinks recipes.  I suspect she may have enjoyed this more than she would care to admit.  At any rate they were very decent mojitos and I had a couple of them.  This passes for debauchery on a grand scale, for me.  Woo!

I’ve reached that age where when people ask me what I want for my birthday, I don’t have a ready answer.  I have most things I could want, I wouldn’t want anyone to shell out for anything on the Too Expensive To Buy For Myself list, and mostly all I want is a good time with friends.  Which I got!  But you know people love you when they bring you trinkets and widgets and geegaws.

It was quite a haul, really.  When the children get old enough to be taken shopping for you, you suddenly find yourself with a larger quantity of mysterious little packages than you have received in a while.  There is usually a lot more tape involved in the gift-wrapping, too.

Some friends came and brought their girls who are close in age to TLR’s girls, and the youngest of these not only brought me gifts from the pile but assisted me in tearing the paper off and before I knew it had squirmed her way onto my lap and practically into my shirt.  It was awfully charming.

TLR went a little nuts with the amusing trinkets.  The pièce de résistance was a can of Unicorn meat.

Yes, you read correctly.

Unicorn meat.

And, in keeping with my love of bacon, some Bacon-Scented Hand Sanitizer and Bacon-Flavored Lip Balm.

Our Good Friend Josh (GFJ) brought me a little token of his affection that I have struggled with since we got an XBox.  “Struggled with” in the sense of “resisted buying for myself.”  It is GFJ that we can thank for my sudden, comprehensive disappearance from society for the next six months, for he brought me — 

I’m not sure TLR is on speaking terms with GFJ now.

And just when I thought the night could not get any better, and was about to blissfully retire with dreams of bacon-scented dragon-riding Unicorn-munching adventure, my cousin Heidi showed up with a BOX OF AWESOME.

Heidi’s godmother collected something, you see, and when she passed away these somethings passed to Heidi.  And Heidi has bestowed them on me.

I present, without further ado:



Library Connections


So my kid is going to a new school this fall.  It turns out she’s kind of smart, and they cloister these smart kids in an enclave to keep them out of trouble.

The school is one that we’ve been to before, for toddler/preschool story times put on by the county extension or something.  We knew of them through a friend that I’d met taking Delia to story times at the library.  His daughter Julia was within a month of my daughter’s age, and we met at the library pretty often and had occasionally exchanged babysitting and the like.  He lived near this school and his wife worked there as a classroom aide or something.  I’d lost touch with him and hadn’t seen them in probably five years.  Rumor was they had moved away.

Despite the crummy summer cold I’m afflicted with, which seems to be crawling resolutely into my ears, we went to the school tonight for the “meet your teacher” night.  I don’t remember ever having those when I was a kid — you just showed up on the first day, lost and alone, and were deeply traumatized as God intended.  Now they get to go in the night before and put their stuff in their desks and meet the other kids and eat ice cream or hot dogs or whatever.  This generation has it so easy.

When we got there, one other little girl had already arrived.  I was still getting my bearings when suddenly her mother looked at us and gasped, “Is that Delia?!”  And there they were.  Julia is in Delia’s class and they will be sitting next to each other.  They don’t really remember each other, but they were buddies once and perhaps they will be again.

Whole thing just keeps blowin’ my mind.

The Week In Review


So I got kinda lazy and didn’t feel like blogging but had things to say.  Blogging is the place where you can say things to nobody in particular just to get them out of your system, if for no other reason.  It’s like talking to myself with occasional feedback other than me thinking to myself, “OMG you’re going completely insane because now you’re talking to yourself about writing to yourself which is like talking to yourself using a computer.”  At that point it’s probably best to avoid heavy lifting or crowded conditions.  So I blog.

Monday I attended yet another thrilling session of spin class, or as I like to think of it, Try Not To Die class.  We had a different instructor, one who does not heavily favor Rock Hits of the 80’s for the musical accompaniment, and for this I wanted to clasp her to my sweaty, heaving bosom.  It is so unrewarding to spin to Bon Jovi and the like.  Am I being punished for my interest in bettering my physical condition?  At any rate, I decided that this time I would attempt to do what everyone else did, i.e. instead of filing my nails during the “hill climb” portion, I would actually set aside my beauty implements for a time and participate in the grueling activity at hand.

Okay, just kidding, I don’t file my nails during spin class, but since I am a mature, traditionally-built woman and not a teen-ager with the metabolism of a rabid wolverine, I find it challenging to stand up from my not-even-slightly-comfortable “cushioned” seat to climb the imaginary hills.  In fact the first class I think I stayed in my seat the whole time, or perhaps stood up for a short time during one of the climbs.

This time the instructor had us doing a ladder interval thingy wherein you’d do a set of three timed blocks:  sit for 30 seconds, recover for 30 seconds, stand for 30 seconds, recover for 30, sit for 30, recover for 30.  Sit, recover, stand, recover, sit, recover.  Then we’d do it again but increase the sit/stand/sit times to one minute, keeping the recovery periods at 30 seconds.  (Recover doesn’t  mean rest, it means back off on the difficulty level, still spinning.)  Then 90 seconds, then 2 minutes.  Then 2 minutes, 90 seconds, 60 seconds, 30 seconds.  Then die of a heart attack.

During the first 30-second standing thing, I thought, Well this isn’t too bad but I’ll never make it to 2 whole minutes.  Not today.  But I decided to give it my best shot, and so I went on to do the minute.  And then the 90 seconds.  And by this time my legs were getting kind of tired, but I thought, Well maybe I can do at least part of the 2 minutes.

And then I did the 2 minutes.  And that was so satisfying that I did everything else she asked us to do.  And it was the first time I was able to do everything everyone else did.  The end.

On an entirely unrelated note, The Lovely Rhonda and I ventured to Ikea this afternoon.  All that unpacking of boxes of books and china means that I need somewhere to put the books and the china.  We did not have sufficient bookshelf space as it was, and I don’t want my china to spend its life in a box.  I want to actually use it.  So we went to Ikea to find a bookcase, and found exactly the one we wanted in the as-is section for cheap.  Yeah!  And pre-assembled!

Then since we were there and all we went to look at tv stands.  We aren’t that fond of ours.  The tv sits up too high and the base is too deep and blah blah blah.  So we found one for a pretty inexpensive price.  Sadly, it was not pre-assembled.  It came in three long, slim, imposing cartons which slid nicely into the carpeted recesses of the minivan.  It was deceptively easy to buy them and haul them home.  (*cue ominous music*)

We had enlisted the help of a neighbor by promising ribeye steaks for dinner, a promise we scrupulously upheld despite the obvious sacrifices it entailed.  She came prepared with a ratcheting thingy with an Allen wrench head on it.  Clearly she has been indoctrinated into the cultish ways of Ikea.

Soon the evening found Yours Truly sauteing mushrooms for the steaks while TLR and Kathy were deeply engrossed in interpreting the arcane instructions that accompany Ikea products.  If you’ve never seen one, first of all: what rock are you living under?  And secondly, featureless, genderless humanoids are depicted wielding primitive hand tools and pointing mutely at various features, smiling inanely all the while.  It would be entirely understandable were one to view Swedish people as retarded hermaphrodites basing one’s knowledge of them strictly from these instruction pamphlets, so it’s a good thing one has the internet to round out one’s worldview.  Based on how Ikea products go together I am more tempted to view its designers thusly.  The bunk bed alone took us all day and a six pack of decent local microbrew to assemble.

But at last, and with only one partial disassembly-and-reassembly, the thing is put together.  Tomorrow Kathy will return and along with another friend we will attempt to get the TV mounted to the silly thing.  I am always convinced the Worst Thing will happen and we will drop the TV onto its face and it will shatter and we’ll have a TV stand with no TV, so I’ll probably direct the process from the next room with my hands covering my eyes.  Does anyone have any Xanax?