Sunday, April 16, 2006

I'm Leavin' on a Jet Plane...

And goin' to the chapel, 'cause my brother-in-law's gettin' mar-ar-ar-ied...

I probably won't be checking in much over this next week, but I will catch up with everyone when I get back!

Right. So I hope everyone had a blessed Easter. We had a wonderful time celebrating the Resurrection at my in-law's amazing, alive church. The entire service was wonderful, and the Tominator was surprisingly cooperative and mostly quiet (after the mass, the bishop came over and said "you were the QUIET baby!") So it was good.

Unfortunately, the little black rain cloud still lingers. So I'm going to accept Bobita's challenge, and tease myself out of it with a meme.

Six weird things about me:

1. I always eat macaroni and cheese with a glass of chocolate milk. I like anything salty/cheesy with chocolate milk. Like ham and cheese hot pockets - better with chocolate milk! Super-Hubby disagrees. He thinks mac-and-cheese goes best with tuna salad. Go figure.

2. I also really like sweet peas. I can eat an entire bowl of just peas. Like a cereal bowl. I eat my peas with chocolate milk, too.

3. My husband used to be afraid to get into bed if I was already asleep, because when we were first married, I would wake up when he came to bed and start "sleep yelling" at him about whatever was on my mind at the time. Sometimes it made sense (why do you have to leave dishes in the sink??) sometimes it was complete nonsense (I told you not to throw the cat in the garbage disposal!)By the way, we don't have a cat, nor have we ever. No animals were harmed in the writing of this post.

4. I have grown to love my husband's nerdy hobbies - StarTrek and superheroes. I even impressed him while watching an episode of Justice League by coming up with a random bit of trivia about Wonder Woman of my own accord. Heaven help me.

5. I can cook a lot of things well, but it took me forever to master rice and Jell-o. That's right. Beef Wellington, no problem. Food that ONLY requires me to boil water? Super challenging.

6. I am a complete television addict, which is why we no longer have cable. We get 5 channels, and only 3 of them are particularly clear. Going on vacation to a place that has cable TV is like sending an alcoholic to a bar with an open tab. I do love me some Jon Stewart.

Ok, I tag:
J-Tron at The Propaganda Box
JKimbro at As told by me.
Stephanie at Creature Bug
Jill at Amphigoria
Judy at Anybody Home
Mopsy at Lifenut

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My Own Personal Rain Cloud

"Oh, I'm just a little black rain cloud, hovering under the honeytree ..."

Would someone puh-leeze make this bad mood go away? I have been a grumpy grump for the last three days, and I'm so sick of it I'm ready to run away from myself. I have no idea why this is happening to me.

The weather is gorgeous. Spring has finally arrived. I am going on vacation next week!

And I am exhausted, I don't feel well, and I can actually FEEL the hormone surges in my body. Chocolate isn't helping - isn't even that appealing (shocking, really)- and I just want to have a good long cry and then sleep for, oh, maybe a week. But I have NO idea why I feel like I need this. Life is good! I am blessed! I truly have nothing to cry about.

Ok, sorry for the rant.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Just a Medium

Ugh. I thought Medium would be back on tonight, but instead there were two episodes of The Apprentice: This Show Will Never Be Cancelled. Double ugh.

My stomach feels gucky, I am exhausted beyond exhausted, and I just wanted to zone out with Patricia Arquette and her character's creepy dreams for an hour. Boo on The Donald and NBC for not airing my show. Boo.

Monday Morning Confessions

What do you do badly? Everyone has a tale of a project gone wrong, a word misspoken, a Tae-Bo tape that you just couldn't follow without tripping over the coffee table and bashing face-first into the curio cabinet filled with grandma's precious ceramic figurines ...

But before I tell you about my favorite misstep, there are a few things you should know:

1. I am an excellent cook. I learned from my mother, who is also an exceptional cook. I am not being immodest, although I hate to toot my own horn.

2. On my 18th birthday, my Aunt Carol taught me how to make tender, flaky pie crust from scratch. It was probably the best birthday gift I have ever been given. Super-Hubby likes my pies so much that he pretty much refuses to eat store-bought or restaurant-made.

3. This means I should be able to make just about anything, right? I mean I can cook. I can bake. So something easy, such as homemade pasta, should be no problem, right?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Wrong. To read about my lesson in humility, featuring a plate of pasta that looked like this, click here.

Then come back and tell me about what you do badly.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Boy Who Would be a Vampire

Contrary to popular legend, vampires are born, not made.

I know this because I birthed one.

The Tominator has learned how to give wonderful hugs. He makes this pathetic "eh-eh" sound and reaches one hand out to me until I scoop him up off the floor. Then he wraps his chubby arms around my neck and squeezes, a big grin on his face.

Crafty little vampire that he is, he uses his close proximity to my neck to his best advantage: just as I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy from his loving snuggles, he digs his six, sharp, pointy little teeth into my neck.

We have been over the "no biting" thing time and again. He has learned not to bite the toothbrush when I brush his teeth. He has learned not to bite Mommy's er, feeding apparatuses, at mealtime.

But my neck, oh my neck, it is irresistible.

To be fair, my friend calls Tom "Sunny Baudelaire" from Lemony Snicket, because he is the child who likes to bite things. He bites the dog. He bites the dog's bone. He gnaws the rail of the pack-n-play I keep in the office. He chews paper.

At just shy of eight months, he can climb the stairs to the second floor. He does this by pushing to a stand, leaning waaaay forward and biting the stair above the one he would like to get to, then pulling himself up using his arms, feet, and teeth. I kid you not.

I can't wait until he's old enough to learn to say "I vant to suck your blood!" with a creepy accent.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Spring is Falling Down Like Snow

Today is the 5th of April, is it not? I should be seeing cherry trees bursting into bloom. I should be sneezing my head off and finding a fine coating of yellow pollen on my car. I should be basking in warm spring sunshine.

But do you know what I see?

Snow. And sleet. Blowing and sticking to everything.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

An Easter Story and Some Totally Unrelated Photos

There's a photo album that has a place of honor on my bookshelf. It's my sister's very first scrapbook. I doubt she even knows I have it.

She made it for me when she was 10. It doesn't have the fancy paper cutouts and designs that she does now in her gorgeous books, but it is an impressive collage of pictures of my babyhood, carefully selected and stuck on those old "self-stick" photo album pages.

This is the inscription in the front:

I was flipping through this book last night, and I started thinking about the year that Sheryl saved Easter.

I was seven, and we had gone to Cape Cod for the holiday. The parents had rented a townhouse that was pretty unremarkable except for the lighted closet in the second floor hallway. It was kind of like Harry Potter's room under the stair at Privet Drive, only not under the stairs. But it had a slanted ceiling and a bare lightbulb. I spent a lot of time holed up there reading Black Beauty during that vacation.

That year had been a rough one for my family. My mom had been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and given six months to live. She fought it, and won, but a year of chemotherapy, a radical mastectomy, and the stress of going through all that while raising two spirited daughters was hard on my folks. They fought a lot. They probably made up a lot too, but I don't remember that part, so much.

Not to say the whole vacation was a bust. That trip was the first time I ever rode in a plane: my parents booked us a whale-watching flight in a little private plane, and I got to play "co-pilot." That was way cool.

But during the week when the shouting got loud and I retreated to my closet, Sheryl came and found me. She would drag me outside in the spring sunshine to go hunting daffodils, or she'd grab her ten-speed and set me on her old banana-seat bike and take me for a ride along the coast.

We hunted sea shells together. We played tag. She made me laugh, a lot.

When Easter morning came I ran downstairs to wake Mom and Dad. I couldn't wait to go hunting for eggs and check out my Easter basket.

But my usually early-rising parents were still in bed. The drapes were drawn tightly against the morning light. I asked about Easter. My mom snapped and said there would be no Easter baskets this year. "Easter is not about CANDY!" she said. "It's about Jesus dying for our sins. We're not doing Easter baskets anymore." And she rolled over and pulled the blankets up.

I was shocked. I'd been to Sunday School. I knew about Easter and Jesus. But baskets were tradition. It was a tough lesson to learn.

Once again, Sheryl came to the rescue. She got me dressed, and wiped away my confused tears. Together we rode down the street to a little market, where she bought me a Cadbury Cream Egg with her own money to make me feel better. Nothing soothes a wounded spirit like a Cadbury Cream Egg.

I was going to put up some cute pics from the album, but Blogger is being dumb. I'll keep trying, though.

Pictures, finally

Ok, the pictures finally loaded.

Here's one of Sheryl holding me when I first came home from the hospital.

And this is Sheryl rocking with me and my crazy stick-up hair.

This was taken at my grandparents' house in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was almost one, and Sheryl was almost 11.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Hollywood Smile

In spite of my apprehensions, the appointment went fine. He complimented my "beautiful" teeth. He lamented the silver fillings my childhood dentist put in a few of my molars. "They're just not cosmetic," he said. "With such pretty teeth, they should look virginal."

He told me I had a Hollywood Smile. But best of all, I have no cavities. So it was just a scrape and polish and a compliment on my good brushing habits.


No axe-murdering, drill-wielding dentists here, in spite of the gloomy weather.

Drilling for Spring

It feels like spring in England here; I imagine it's what the Pacific Northwest feels like a lot of the time, but I don't know, I've never been there.

The thermometer is hovering somewhere around 50 degrees, and the sky is dark and gloomy, dropping random drops of rain on pedestrians like spitballs. The daffodils are up and blooming, but their sunny faces don't do much to override the quiet dampness that has settled on the valley.

It's the perfect day to go to the dentist. I mean, really, it's like the scene in a horror movie where everything, the weather, the desolation, the creepy music - everything is some kind of forshadowing, the kind that makes the viewer scream to the main character - DON'T GO IN THERE! THERE'S AN AXE MURDERER BEHIND THE DOOR OF THAT CREEPY HOUSE!


I have not been to the dentist in a little over two years, as the result of the spectacularly bad dental coverage offered by my husband's work. Actually, it's great dental coverage - 100% on routine cleanings, 80% for almost everything else. The only problem is that it will only let you go to the dentist the company assigns you to. And the one they assigned us to doesn't speak English. I'm sure he's a very good dentist. He's a nice Vietnamese man, and his office is within walking distance of my house. But I like to be able to understand what the guy with the drill is saying to me before he begins working on my teeth.

Thus, no dental visits. We finally decided just to pay out-of-pocket to go to another dentist in town who we do like.

Today, at 3 p.m., I will once again sit in the scary dental chair to be poked and prodded and scraped. Super-Hubby assures me that this dentist is nice, and very gentle. I hope he is telling the truth. I am praying that I won't have any cavities.

But maybe I should listen to the universe and skip the whole thing altogether.


In other news, I have another piece up on Crunchable. Check out The Night of Snow and Vomit.