Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rants and Raves guest posts on Motherscribe

The lovely Jen from Rants and Raves has agreed to guest post on Motherscribe today. Jen is a mom, wife, aspiring writer and nanny. Yes, that is correct. A nanny. I know I make that sound like ...well, like...she's divinely insane, because she is a mother and chooses to watch other people's small children. Her sense of humor is always there, and she's the one you want to hang out with after a looong, It's JackO'Clock!! day.....Enjoy!

Watching The Olympics Makes Me Feel Like A Shlup

Don't go running for your dictionary. "Shlup" isn't really a word. I made it up when explaining to my husband how I feel when I'm around our friend Rachel. Rachel always looks good. She is always dressed in clothes that flatter her, in the current styles. Her hair always looks good, and her makeup is always flawlessly applied. Think Stacey on What Not to Wear - she even looks a bit like her! To say that I feel "frumpy" around her, just didn't quite say it. "Shlup" means frumpy, but it also means a person who needs to work on themselves in a certain area - like, say fashion or fitness.

Let me start by saying that I don't exercise. I know that I should, and believe me, the desire is there, but the willpower, and the ability is not. I have signed up for various fitness classes in my adult life, and each and every time, I hurt my back, and had to quit the class. The only class that was the exception was when I took water aerobics. Those 60 year old ladies and I - we were fierce! We looked good and we knew it.

Jim and I have really enjoyed watching the Olympics. We taped it, so we didn't watch it as it was happening, but we did watch a little, or sometimes a lot of each event. For some reason, this year, more than any other, I was in awe of it all. The things that those athletes can do is simply extraordinary!

I watched Dara Torres, a 41 year old mother of a toddler, who in my opinion, deserves a medal just for getting her body to look like that at the age of 41, win a silver medal.

I watched Michael Phelps, set record after record, winning more medals than any other athlete in one Olympic game. He swam 17 times over nine days and broke the world record in four of his five individual swims.

I watched as divers jumped off a tower the height of a 3 story building, hitting the water at a speed of 35 mph, head first, again and again.

I sat on my couch, eating chocolate chip cookies, as Constantina Tomescu-Dita ran, and ran, and ran, and kept running long after winning the gold medal. (I was beginning to wonder if she could stop!)

I sat with my jaw hitting the floor as I watched the women's water polo players swim back and forth across the pool again and again, and throw a ball into the net, while treading water, and avoiding being drowned by another player! They did that for 32 minutes! How they don't get a leg cramp and drown I don't know. I think one of those ladies could beat me up with their big toe.

Jim and I sat on our couch, him eating chips, me eating cookies again, watching the girls rhythmic gymnastics event. Did you see what those girls can do with a rope and a hoop?! At one point, I exclaimed through a mouthful of cookies, "Jim, she just touched the back of her head to the heel of her foot! I doubt I can touch my head to my knee!" We both leaned over to try to do just that. Jim groaned, "Ow! That's hard on your back!", and I started to laugh. Then, I was the one in pain. "Oh! Ow!" "What did you do?", Jim asked, also laughing. I sputtered out, while laughing and trying to breathe, "I got a sharp pain in MY BOOB!" Then I laughed until I cried. I shouldn't laugh that hard. I might throw my back out.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

On the Upside guest posts on Motherscribe

Imagine a grown-up slumber party in which you get to wear comfy PJs, kick up your heels and have a drink. Talking late into the night lying on a bed, with a pillow tucked up under your chin and a bag of Oreos to dip into. She regales you with delightful tales of her children and listens to yours. And that laugh & sexy voice draw you in.... That would be a night at Kellan's place. She's got the house where all the kids and the grown-ups want to be. So...come on in....and join my guest poster today...On the Upside.

Hi Everyone -

I'm Kellan from On The Upside and I am so excited to be guest blogging over here at Motherscribe! I have know JCK for nearly a year through blogging and was so privileged to finally get to meet her IRL at the BlogHer Conference in July in San Francisco. We met up immediately and spent lots of time during that conference weekend and she is just as fabulous in person as she is on her blog and as I imagined her to be. We have become great friends.

On my blog, I write a lot about my kids. I have 4 kids - twin daughters that are 16, a son that is 11 and a daughter that is 7. People just love my stories about my son - Little Billy - so ... I am going to offer you one of my favorite "Little Billy" stories. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks, JCK, for inviting me to guest blog - you are the best!

My Son - The Genius

I went to my son's school to meet with his teacher for a conference.

She is not his regular teacher - she is only his teacher for Social Studies and Science.

I don't know her very well - like I know his other teacher.

She was very nice.

We sat at the table in her room, went over issues Little Billy has been having about not remembering things - like ... when tests are coming up ... reviewing for tests ... studying for tests ... failing tests! (He is going to be the death of me!)

He seemed to understand when his teacher and I impressed that he needed to make sure - from now on - to mark in his planner when a test was coming up.

He seemed to understand when his teacher and I impressed that he needed to - from now on - pay attention during the review.

He seemed to understand when his teacher and I impressed that he needed to - from now on - complete the review sheet in order to receive an extra 5 points.

He seemed to understand when his teacher and I impressed that he needed to - from now on - study for these TESTS!

He says he understands now!

We will see!

So ... we finished with our conference and we were all smiling.

Somehow, we got on the subject of students in middle school and high school taking foreign languages. We were telling Little Billy that it would be good if he took Spanish - as we live in Texas and Spanish sure comes in handy.

Little Billy quickly said, "I want to take French."

His teacher and I just giggled and she said, "Well ... that would be good too."

Then Little Billy changed his mind and said, "No ... I really want to take British."

*blink blink*

I look at his teacher and she looks at me. She does not say a word and I can tell she is trying to hold back a smile. She's not sure - not sure, I guess - whether or not I know - that this is ridiculous and so she seems to wait for me to make a move - to smile or something.

I smile.

She smiles.

I look over at my genius of a son, who, by the way, is now speaking in a British accent (that he does very well) and I say, "Hon - you can't talk British. British isn't a language. Do you know what language they speak in Great Britain?"

He, in his exaggerated British accent, says, "No I don't - but I want to learn it."

On the upside ... On the way to our car, I explain to my son that they speak... ENGLISH in Great Britain and that ... while his accent is adorable and pretty darn accurate as far as I can tell - to ... not ever say that again to anyone - EVER! He asked, "Why," and I told him ... in my most fabulous British accent, "Because ... it makes you look like a bloomin' idiot, Sweetie." I think he understood.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday Drive Guest Posts on Motherscribe

Thursday Drive is a blog where the writing makes you catch your breath. Jennifer's natural gift and the lyrical quality of her words transports you. Someday...oh, someday...we will meet for whiskey and a long drive...ogling cowboys...Dive in and relish! Thursday Drive is my guest poster for today...

The smell of school clings to them, and I inhale it. The smell of pencils and crayons and textbooks, of the cafeteria and the sweat of them from their time on the hot playground. We dump the sand from their shoes and put them away for the next morning. A round of snacks follows, and then we talk about the day.
One at a time, each of my two children climbs into my lap. I ask them three questions every time (though those questions turn into more): What was the best part of your day? The worst part? The funniest part?

Those queries take us further than How was your day? ever could. They carry us past the one word answers of Fine and Okay, and into the heart of what happens to them when they step out of the car and into the swirl of backpacks and the sounds of "Love you, too!" every morning.

My son is in fourth grade now, and my girl is the second. For most of the year, they spend the better part of the day in a world that is their own. Among their own friends, facing the bullies, learning to function in a group--the last, a thing I can't teach them well enough at home. There, they decide that they love math or English or P.E. or music the best. They navigate the cafeteria line, and learn to play the violin in the school's Suzuki program. Whole dramas unfold without me there to moderate. If they fall, someone else is there to apply the salve of bandage and words.

They step out of my car and into the world. I let go.

The day will come when, more often than not, they will share their stories with me by phone or email, and it's not likely to happen every day. Odds are, they will live far away from me, and maybe I will hear the just the highest or lowest of their stories.

But, at this age, they tell me they want to live with me forever, that even if they go away to college, they will come back home for good. To that, I smile (and think, "Oh, heck no!"). But then I tell them they can live at home as long as they like, but that I'm sure they will each want to find a place of their own when they're old enough. It's what they need to hear, at age seven and nine, when they are far from the edge of the nest and need feel no danger of being pushed out of it.

If I do enough things right, someday my girl will call me to say, "The funniest thing happened today." Or my boy will email me to ask, "I've had the worst day. Can I get your advice?"

And when I'm lucky enough to have them with me, sitting beside me or across a table, the scents that are familiar now will have left them. They will no longer smell of pencils or markers, or need me to shake the sand from their shoes. They will have collected pieces of the world on their own, and what they have found will be impossible to shake loose. They will know as much as I do about the world, and maybe more.

But when I hug them goodbye and send them back out into that world, I will close my eyes and breathe in, for that moment that they are close to me. They won't even notice, or they will. But maybe they will remember it, this little thing we do now.

And there's a chance--a good one, I hope--they will remember that it was one of the best parts of their day.

It is certainly one of mine.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Happy Geek guest posts on Motherscribe

Whenever I read The Happy Geek, I am tempted to pull up stakes and move to Canada. Aaahh...Canada. What IS it about those Canadians? They have that ...something. Less angst? More able to poke fun at themselves? I'm not sure, but I do know one thing. Happy Geek is a delight! Enjoy her guest post today...

Hey. This is Happy Geek. I blog at The Happy Geek. I know, I am a fountain of originality.

I was utterly delighted when JCK asked me to write this post as it gave me another reason to put off cleaning out my husband's filing cabinet. Mind you, it's been put off for 4 years, what's one more weekend?

I know, some of you are asking "why are YOU cleaning out his filing cabinet?" Well, let's see, last week I needed a copy of our 2007 tax return. Couldn't find it. Even after 30 minutes of searching. The 1997 one, I found that one right away. That's when I snapped. I decided that after 4 years of nagging and crabbing I was gonna have to do it myself. Right that moment. However, once I got started I realized that this cabinet is the thing that nightmares are made of.

I am not usually a terribly anal person. I don't aim for perfection because trust me honey, I will never get there, but I cannot stand clutter. I am a HUGE fan of streamlining. My motto, "when in doubt, throw it out." If you are a pack rat, chances are good that we cannot be friends. I already have one rather large pack rat to deal with and I made a vow to stay with him forever. He's really all I can handle. I love my hubby dearly, but I tell you, looking back I would have re-wrote those wedding vows just a little bit.

In hindsight I would have made it clearer that I was having and holding just him, not his classroom notes from every class he took from fourth grade on. (I only wish I was kidding.) The man has a PhD and we have pretty much every paper, note and project he has ever done in his academic career.

Some of you may be asking, "Hey, I want to be your friend, how do I know if I am a pack rat?"

I have a simple test.

1. Count all the thermoses in your house. (This includes the ones in your garage, shed and camper.)

2. Subtract the number of people in your household.

3. Subtract the number of times you have used said thermoses in the last three months.

If you wind up with a positive number, you are a packrat.

If you are still saying "well, there are four in the shed, three in the cupboard downstairs, the two in the kitchen...," Congratulations, you are a packrat with issues.

Anyway, the filing cabinet. It would be one thing if he was an organized packrat, I might let him keep all his swimming certificates from elementary school, but when they are shoved into a folder with the manual for my stove and a picture of his dog when he was five, well, it's all got to go. Yes, the manual can go too, we no longer have that stove. We sold it with our condo. In 1998.

And that is just one folder. We have two drawers full of these. Guess what I shall be doing for the next week or so. My life is truly glamorous.

So, thank-you JCK for a chance to visit Motherscribe, chit chat with your friends and pretend to be in California. I even wore my sunscreen. Hey, when you live in Alberta you pretend a lot.

You pretend that the first snowfall will not be in less than 2 months, pretend that there are beaches, pretend that the prairies really are beautiful.

Now I should really get back to this filing cabinet. Anyone got a flame thrower?

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Philosopher-Mom guest posts on Motherscribe

A few months back I came upon a woman with a rapier wit so sharp and a philosopher mind so keen that she took me aback. A PhD, 9 kids, a Professor at Auburn University...yes, she is all of those things. Intimidated? Yeah. But, she won't let you be. And that's what I love about her. So, here she guest poster...The Philosopher-Mom.

Compare and Contrast

Every teacher from preschool to grad school has a toolbox equipped with a standard set of assignments. "Find the main idea," for example, ranges from "Tell what happened" (preschool) to "Synopsize the thesis and analyze the supporting argumentation for validity and soundness" (grad school). One of these staples is "Compare and contrast." Preschoolers are asked to find how things are alike and how they are different -- who among us can resist singing along to "One of these things is not like the others; one of these things just doesn't belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others, by the time I finish my song?" Graduate students are instructed to adjudicate between contrary theses, referencing both internal and dialectical criticisms of each. (Hmm. Maybe I should try the musical version next time.)

Never having been honored with a guest-blog invitation before, I approached JCK's flattering request with all the earnestness of a grad student with an important assignment. I thought long and hard -- much longer and harder than I do on my own blog, to be sure -- about my theme. I considered a faux episode of Temptation Island, a virtual tour of a famous Lynchburg, TN distillery (only four hours' drive to the northwest!), a poetical ode to JCK's passion and verve. But in the end, it was the trusty teacher's toolbox that offered the spark of inspiration. Compare and contrast: Motherscribe and the Philosopher-Mom!

Compare: We are both mothers. Contrast: Motherscribe has a very young BOY and a very young GIRL 10 months apart. She writes their names in all caps. The Philosopher-Mom has a putative adult boy, a verge-of-putative-adult boy, an older teen girl, a teen boy, a young teen girl, a preteen girl, a tween boy and a tween girl 9 minutes apart, and a young girl who is beloved by all except the teen boy who thinks she is insufferably spoiled. I try not to write their names at all, because they all know how to get on Blogger and search "The Philosopher-Mom" for their code name, and then post impertinent comments giving their side of the story which, of course, no one wants to hear. Least of all me.

Compare: We both write. Contrast: Motherscribe writes moving and evocative poetry, and whimsical dialogues with and between her children, and elegantly wry descriptions of mishaps that, no matter how mundane, hint at libidinous resolution. The Philosopher Mom writes self-serving parodies of popular song lyrics, and "he-said-she-said" diatribes between her children, and pedantically dry pontifications of ethical theory variations that hint at no resolution whatsoever.

Compare: We both own fishnet stockings. Contrast: Motherscribe wears them to clean house, hinting at libidinous resolution. The Philosopher-Mom doesn't wear them at all, because they have been stolen by my young teen daughter who, fashioning herself as a "Rock-Goth" (which sounds to me like something J.R.R. Tolkien would have fantasized), wears them with black combat boots, a purple and grey plaid pleated knee-length skirt, a black Guns n Roses t-shirt, and fingerless lace, of course.

Compare: We have several mutual friends -- Jenn of Juggling Life, Cheri of Blog This Mom!, and of course, Jack Daniels. Contrast: Motherscribe lives within two hours of the ladies, and savors Mr. Daniels with Coke. The Philosopher-Mom lives tragically far from the ladies, and slings back my Jack straight on the rocks, with a Cuban cigar in my other hand. Oh yes I do. Just not in front of the ladies.

Compare: We both have been lost on our way to Columbus, Georgia. Contrast: Motherscribe was picked up at the Birmingham, Alabama airport (which is three full hours from Columbus, Georgia) by a relative who was familiar with neither Alabama nor Georgia. And the driver simply missed a ramp on the interstate. So it was not only understandable, it wasn't even her fault. The Philosopher-Mom lives within 45 minutes of Columbus, being connected to that city by a single US Highway. And I'd been there at least two dozen times in the past year. This is not only inexcusable, it's not even understandable.

Compare: We both have been rear-ended en route to a sketchy-sounding rendezvous. Contrast: Motherscribe got it coming up to a sudden traffic jam on I-5, on her way to meet Jenn, Cheri and me for drinks and salads at the Anaheim California Pizza Kitchen. (Okay, so there's another contrast: Motherscribe had a salad, as did Jenn and Cheri; I had a pizza. By myself.) The Philosopher-Mom was the passenger in a young male coworker's Corvette Stingray on the way to lunch at a resort restaurant 50 minutes west of our office, when a drunk driver in an old Buick station wagon failed to put the brakes on his enthusiasm for a better look at my coworker's car. This was back in 1984, please understand, when I was not married. Although my coworker was. And the Corvette was registered in his wife's name, so the police had to call her for the accident report. Heh. Heh. And this story appears here, on my guest blog for JCK, so that my kids will never find it by searching through "The Philosopher-Mom" for ammunition they can launch in my direction. NOT that anything would have happened, mind you, even though the Philosopher-Mom had not yet discovered Jesus and ethical theory. But it sounds almost as sketchy as meeting women whose blogs you read, women who may not even really be women -- who may not even really exist. Right?

Compare: We admire each other greatly and would go to tremendous lengths to help one another out. Contrast: Motherscribe is diligent and organized, having orchestrated the aforementioned not-at-all sketchy rendezvous with several bloggers situated throughout Southern California that neither of us had met in person. The Philosopher-Mom is dissolute, disorganized and perpetually tardy, having been asked by JCK in the politest possible way to have my guest post in her inbox by Tuesday. And it is now mere minutes from Wednesday. Good thing -- and here's another contrast -- my time zone is two hours ahead of hers. So maybe, if I'm lucky, she won't assess a late penalty on this assignment.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A little radio gig & guest posters here while I'm there...

Merlot Mom asked me to be a guest poster on her blog today, while she vacations in...Japan. The WENCH! She describes her blog: Remember when you could spend hours talking to your girlfriends over glasses of wine? Now we rarely get enough time to go to the bathroom. I want a place where I can hang with my girls, laugh, cry, bitch, and talk about sex. Remember when we used to actually kiss and tell? So pour a glass, sign on, and join me for a virtual girl's night out. Sex not included.

A GIRL'S NIGHT OUT WITHOUT THE MAKEUP: Because sometimes the regular grapes just won't do.

Piqued your interest? Thought so. Merlot Mom is good. Really good. As in...delicious... go see! And she's had some fabulous guest bloggers over the last week!

This past February, a friend of mine encouraged me to enter a writing contest: Moms who Write, for a local LA magazine. The essay was to be a slice of life on motherhood. I submitted a piece called "Where life is a bit bumpy with a Boy & a Girl 10 months Apart." Basically it chronicles what it was like to discover myself pregnant while having a 9 week old infant. Otherwise known as...INSANITY 101 by JCK. Although my piece didn't get picked by the magazine, FISHNET HATERS! the woman who created the contest, Amy Simon: Cheerios in my Underwear, contacted me about a month ago. She has turned Moms who Write into Motherhood Unplugged, which is a radio show and a stage show. She asked IF I would be on the radio show this month. Ummm...YES? So, today I am going to do a radio taping of my piece, which will air later this week. Now I may be sounding all nonchalant and such, but my heart is going A PING A PONG A PING A PONG. I am VERY excited!!! So at 5pm PST today, be thinking the good radio VIBES for me. (I'll have a link up next week, if you're interested in hearing the broadcast.)

Tomorrow we leave for our summer vacation. The kids are packed, the laundry is done. I'm halfway there. In honor of taking a real vacation, I am going to have 6 divine guest posters this week. I've been a huge fan of their's for months and it is with much delight that I can share them here with you. Please welcome them while I'm gone, and leave them some comment love, won't you?

If you are new here, please make yourself at home. My archives are on the right hand sidebar. Take a gander. On this blog I explore parenthood, self-expression and poetry while existing on caffeine, chocolate and the occasional whiskey... fishnets optional.

Ta Ta!

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Much as we might wish to linger here a bit, life won't let us...

Lately, the word SQUABBLING has been taken to new heights around here. Just when I am about to start freebasing JD at 11am, I see this...

BOY throws his arms around GIRL in the hallway.

GIRL, I LOVE you SO much!

Thank you, BOY.

And that brief moment, that exquisite little snapshot of their life...makes it worth it. Until the next time SHRIEKING ENSUES...


MOOOOM! MOOOM! BOY's got Daddy's EMERGENCY flashlight, AGAIN!


Last week was BOY's end of the year party. The teachers made a special scrap book for each child. On the first page was a picture of BOY last September and a picture of him in July of this year. I cried. The physical changes are so dramatic. The sweet rounded cheeks and chin of last fall have been replaced with sculpted cheekbones and a new, squarer, older boy's chin. Yet, my tears were not just for the physical changes, but for all of the growth he has had in this year. Much as we might wish to linger here a bit, life won't let us for more juice is around the corner. And I'm sure it's served in jugs.


BOY has some sensory issues. He adores mud. Frolicking in it. Digging in it. Making it. Yet, if the water sprinklers have drenched the sidewalk leading from our front door to the driveway, he will not put his feet down on the sidewalk for fear of his shoes and feet getting wet. Go figure. So, he will usually go out our kitchen door and walk down the driveway to get in the car. Or ask to be carried over the wet sidewalk.

Over the last couple of days something quite amazing has happened. GIRL has taken it upon herself to help BOY over this hurdle. In a gentle voice, she asks him if he would like to hold her hand and try walking down the sidewalk. It has worked! Twice now. BOY feels empowered by sharing the fear. GIRL feels empowered by helping her big brother. It is all good.


We are going up to Northern California to visit my mom and step dad on Wednesday. BOY & GIRL have been counting the days and have packed their backpacks.

It is 7 weeks until we go to Ma'Mai & Pops!!!

No, BOY, only 7 days.

Is TODAY the DAY we GO to Ma'Mai & Pops?!

No, BOY, not yet. 3 more days.

GIRL: I can't go to sleep because I'm TOO EXCITED about going to Ma'Mai & Pops.

Only a few more days, GIRL...

I'm looking forward to the visit with my mom and step dad, too. There will be delicious meals, some lingering over dinner with a glass of wine, hours in the swimming pool and going down the water slide with BOY & GIRL, a round of golf for E, hopefully a hike, sitting in my mom's kitchen nursing a cup of tea or two, and special time together. Grandparent time is important. And so is mother/daughter time.

So, today is about checking off lists, packing for vacation, and acknowledging the end of summer on the horizon. And looking ahead to September... a time for new beginnings.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

It is the most muscles she will ever have

Apparently there is an upside to having your minivan in the body shop for 3-4 weeks. Really, there is. You see ...there's this little item called the rental vehicle that is given to you to use while your car is being repaired. Now, let me just preface this by saying that my knowledge of cars, my interest in cars,'s pretty minimal. When I rent a car, I like a car that is dependable, has room for the 4 of us, is safe and has good lumbar support. Truthfully, I don't notice much, unless I get a car that is clearly not a nonsmoking car or is dirty. I can live with my dirt, but I'd rather not start with someone else's.

Last week, I dropped off my poor rear ended minivan and picked up my rental car. They gave me the car keys and I was off. When my husband E arrived home, he said:

I can't believe they gave you THAT car as a rental.

Why? Was it too small? Too, too, too...???

That's a throwback to the old muscle cars, E said.

I definitely detected a little AWE in his voice.

You CAN BET the males have noticed.

Heeeey, that's quite a DIFFERENT ride from your minivan!

Male friend strikes again... Is it a CAR AND LEATHER THING???

BOY noticed right away.

Mommy, this is COOL. Can we keep it forever?

Such loyalty to the minivan...

After that, I confess, I have been milking the situation. You've got to take advantage of the moments when you look cool. Even if you're taking your cooldom from the hot rod you are apparently driving. When picking up BOY this week at preschool, I let it slide to the other boys that we were driving a RACE CAR. Ever since then, when I show up to drop off or pick up BOY, I get this:

BOY's mom! BOY's MOM!! Are you still driving a RACE CAR??!!!

It is not just boys. I was leaving Targay on my way to CostcoDealo, and stopped while in my MUSCLE CAR to say hello to my girlfriend and her daughters who were walking down the sidewalk. As I drove away, I heard one of her daughters say...

Was THAT MISS J?!!.......... If children can be incredulous, she was.

I AM cooler than grits. With the under 6 set. You gotta take it where you can get it. After all ...image is everything.

So, if you see a woman sporting a silver streak, and I'm not just talking hair...give her a wave. Because JCK is apparently....driving a MUSCLE CAR. It is the most muscles she will EVER have. But, she looks cool. Even her son thinks so...

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

I have a calm exterior that belies a roiling mind

Yesterday I was having one of those "anxiety lives in my cells and I believe I could be a lunatic" kind of days. It probably didn't help when I heard loud rustling/gnawing sounds emanating from the region just above my head last night. I swear we have Beavers in our attic. Yes, Beavers. Not the creepy gnaw, gnaw of mice but the CHOMP CHOMP of something LARGER. But, then, perhaps my sanity was in question anyway.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't do well rocketing from one place to the next. It is anathema to my being. So, when I'm forced to ping and pong about, my energy tends to get zapped and I appear a bit unhinged. At least to myself. No one else appears to be aware. I have a calm exterior that belies a roiling mind. I didn't go to acting school for nuttin'.

It is days like these that make me want to sell everything and run away to pitch a tent in nature. Except for a minor problem. Camping terrifies me. Terrifies me. I adore hiking. LOVE it. It's the CAMPING that causes my buttocks to clench in a vice that would make Susan Powter proud. STOP THE INSANITY! Perhaps it is the lack of mattress, hot shower, and sharing small spaces with more than myself. Then there are always the creatures...We live in California. Our friends who camp do so. Gaily. [As in Julie Andrews running across a field singing about THE SOUND OF MUSIC! Not as in Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria being a woman disguised as a man pretending to be a woman.] Yes, our friends seem to find it delightful to toast marshmallows amidst wandering bears, mountain lions and rattlesnakes. Well, perhaps I should qualify that with ...while camping in nature, there IS a likelihood of encountering your own, very special, WILD KINGDOM. I need to get over my stuff. My need for a comfortable bed at the end of the day without the Safari attitude. I do have children now. Children whose eyes grow large and who appear to be getting more and more intrigued with ...camping. And E is basically Mr. Mountain man hero, so that doesn't help my case.

So, when all else fails I take to bed. Of course this doesn't work too well with two smallish children. However, an imposed QUIET TIME played off as... "the best for one's children" can really be of huge benefit to a childish, whiny mind in an adult body. This would be me. A nap. Or going to bed early. Amazing how things can look so much better after one gets some sleep.

And what is it that is making me roil about, gnash my teeth and wail? An overabundance of self-imposed duties and social activities. Which... take me away from my writing and WITCH [yes the spelling is deliberate] WITCH cause me to feel off balance and ill tempered.

So, I'm off to slip my limbs into cool sheets that promise a quieting of the mind. I just hope it's more successful than last time. When I put my head down blissfully only to... LEAP UP wiping away fur that was not mine. EEEEWWW..... I know. I know. It makes you want to cinch that Girl Scout Belt a little tighter, doesn't it? Wish me luck.

She's going IN !!!!!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Leather. Furniture. Instant. Inflamed. Reaction. In. Men.

So, what IS IT exactly about men and leather? Apparently, it’s some kind of Pavlovian response. A couple of weeks ago my husband E mentioned that a client was getting rid of a “great looking leather sofa and armchair” and… had offered it to E, if he wanted it. For free. Now, E is not someone who hops all over free deals. Free stuff doesn’t scream INSTANT ORGASM, like it does to me. My heritage is Scottish, what can I say. However…you smack leather around furniture and the answer is…I’m easy.

This is not anything new. Ever since we’ve been married, when he’s flipping through a catalogue and comes across a leather chair, I hear…LOOK AT THIS!!! I look at it, it’s OK. It’s nice. NOT the reaction he’s going for. He wants …NIIICE. Personally, I just don’t see the appeal. Maybe it’s because I wear dresses and shorts upon occasion and don’t like my skin sticking to what feels like human skin, but isn’t. I tend to run hot in the summer. OK, I glow. I like to get up from furniture without taking it with me.

Lest you think I’m rigid, let me assure you, I’m not a “leather hater”. If we’re talking about leather clothing or accessories… that’s different. Purses. YEAH! Leather jackets. Mmmm..hmmm... You KNOW it, baby! But, putting your ass on leather just doesn’t get me going. An ass in leather pants…now, we’re talking. THAT can even be a party game. Really, IT can. Several years ago we were at a friend’s house indulging in cocktails and ummm…let’s just keep it at cocktails. Our friend used to be a punk rock star and at some point in the evening he decided to pull out his leather pants that he used to wear on tour. Well, we ALL had to try them on and do a little intoxicated modeling. Needless to say, I will never look at leather pants in quite the same way.

But, I digress. Let’s get back to the main issue at hand. Leather. Furniture. Instant. Inflamed. Reaction. In. Men. Especially in married men, because those are the only men I encounter these days. Perhaps for them, it harkens back to those glorious days of yesteryear…the single days…the black leather couch, the babe stretched out, the evening unencumbered by children or discussion of mundane household issues. I dated a man once who had a living room full of leather furniture and Patrick Nagel prints all over his walls. I was rather voluptuous at the time and sitting on the leather couch whilst looking up at anorexic women with oversized, unnatural boobs just didn’t DO IT for me. I believe the relationship lasted one weekend.

My husband E is not a fan of Nagel artwork. Sorry, Patrick. He likes women with rounded curves and strong legs. One of the reasons I fell in love with him. That and on our first date his willingness to sit in preschool chairs outside on a sidewalk devouring ice cream cones. Plastic chairs, mind you. But, you put leather furniture in front of him and his turn-on radar goes BA DA BOOM BOOM. And he’s not alone. Oh, NO, NO, NOOO….my anecdotal evidence goes much further.

Whilst I was in San Francisco for the BlogHer conference, a decision was made, a U-Haul trailer was rented, and the leather couch & armchair were brought to our home. Our home with a 3 year old and a 4 year old. Crayons. Scissors. Hot Wheels cars that scratch. To be fair, E asked me where in the house I’d like the furniture to reside. Sort of. He indicated that it would be best for it to go in our sunroom, which is our playroom. Play. Room. Just sayin… He called a neighbor over to help him move the monstrous furniture pieces into our home.

Male Neighbor: Wow, MAN…this furniture is NIIIICE! You got THIS for FREE?!

After an hour of manipulation and room arrangement, the furniture makes it to the sunroom. 1/2 of the toys are now in the living room. The leather couch and armchair are rather large. Husband is happy. I, try to make the best of it with minimal snarky ass comments.

A couple of days later…

Another MALE Friend comes over and says to me: Can you BELIEVE how NIIIICE this stuff is? And it was for FREE!!

Me: Mmmm…yes, I just CAN’T believe it. [I don’t think he picked up on my sarcastic tone.]

Yet another day passes in what I now call Our HOUSE OF LEATHER...

A different Male Friend comes over and does a DOUBLE-TAKE upon looking in the former playroom.

He says: You got some NEW furniture! NIIIIICE.

If you had any doubts about my Married Men Inflamed by Leather Furniture case study, I am quite sure that you now see that my evidence is rock solid. Leather clad.

CAUSE: Leather furniture = EFFECT: Instant TURN-On for males, including married ones.

Anecdotal case closed. As for the leather furniture? Well…my husband has been beaten down is appearing to reconsider the INSTANT TURN-ON couch & armchair. Was it BOY racing his cars on it? GIRL using the couch as a crafts table? Who knew? There appears to be a downside. It could be time for SELLING LEATHER FURNITURE ON CRAIG’S LIST!!! I will delight in the high bids. I predict an instant sale to a single man harboring fantasies of how leather furniture is going to be an INSTANT TURN-ON to his many future dates. Should I tell him? Naaaa…men need to have a chance to dream. Before the leather is taken away….

****Patrick Nagel Print courtesy of Google Images

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

I don't like good-byes

I don't like good-byes. You might as well have a button on my chest that says: START SOBBING NOW, because...good-byes open the floodgates. A haunting echo still vibrating from my past. My childhood. Some years... a series of good-byes.

My friend W is moving to Connecticut. My dear friend whom I love so much. And I am both bereft and excited for her. It is a strange state of being. She has been a confidante, an amazing friend to our whole family, and the biggest cheerleader of my writing, other than my husband.

Do you know about JCK's blog?

Oh, you've GOT to read JCK's blog!

And they did...
Henceforth known as the Great Society of JCK's Lurkers...

Yes, she and I bond over exaggeration. We're both prone to drama. But, truly, a better friend would be hard to find. We met at church where she's been a children's minister. She helped baptize BOY & GIRL. She has been instrumental in being a liaison between myself and the daycare where the children have been. More than that, she's been our advocate. And she'll call me on my stuff. Like when I'm worrying about things off in the distance instead of focusing just on the NOW.

I love our church. It gives me much. But, things will be very different without her there. On Sundays, we will not hear her distinctive, lilting voice announcing right before the sermon that "it is now time for all children in Kindergarten through 5th grade to follow the banner to the learning center." She will not be there to give BOY & GIRL an extra hug & kiss. I shall miss her on Sundays, and all days, but most especially on Thursdays. That is the day of the week that I get my little bit of calm. My 2 hours of special space that she created for the moms group. It is called "God, Mommy & Me" and it saves my ass every week. The children are upstairs with lovely, caring childcare providers and the moms are downstairs grasping at that 2 hour time slot that keeps all of us sane. W created something special in that space. It is safe and welcoming to all. She likes to say that we can talk about anything there. And, indeed we do. From breast feeding to politics and everything in-between. With a large focus on the insanity that occurs with sleep deprivation...

She is the first one I call when there is some crisis with BOY or GIRL. She is a wealth of knowledge, having been a preschool teacher for many years and now a mom of a 5 1/2 year old boy. She is a single mom. Her love died of a massive heart attack when her son was less than a year old. One day he was suddenly...gone. She is aware of time and lives so often in grace. She is obviously strong and courageous, but most importantly kind. And she adores the children. All children. She has the magic touch. And she has empathy in buckets.

Today she is flying to New York, making her way to Connecticut where she has a new life waiting for her. A new job providing everything that she could want, plus housing and a short walk to the Magnet elementary school where her son will start Kindergarten in a couple of weeks. It was a NO BRAINER- the decision to take the job. I am THRILLED for her. They are SO lucky to have her.

But, she will be missed...oh, how she will be missed. Farewell, my friend!

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Friday, August 15, 2008

I treasure each of them and what they bring to the world

Change is in the air. I see it in my children and in the events around us. Tomorrow is BOY's end-of-the-year party at school. It should be a fun evening. We'll have presents for the teachers, a slide show of the year in pictures, a few songs by the children, and certificates of accomplishment given to each child. Best of all there will be pizza and make-your-own sundaes. My friend, also a mom, has organized the whole thing with a little help from a few of us, and like everything she does it will be wonderful.

We've been talking to BOY & GIRL about their new school for a couple of weeks. After an initial cry of "I don't want to leave my friends!!," and the reassurance that they will still see their friends, they appear to be excited.

BOY: I will make new friends. I will introduce myself to everyone! [There is no doubt that he will.]

GIRL: And they have a big playground! We get to take the ...what's that called again, Mommy? Hamster?

ME: Guinea pig.

GIRL: Yes! We'll get to take the guinea pig home! And there's no nap time at school! We get to play. [Oh, GIRL, you will love the new challenges ahead!]

We are all excited about the new change in schools. It will be helpful to have a fresh set of eyes on BOY. It will also be an adjustment for him to have 2 teachers to 18 students as opposed to what he's had with 4 teachers to 24 students. A good bridge for Kindergarten next year.

Perhaps most importantly, and the motivation for changing schools, is that they will each have their own classrooms. Being only 10 months apart provides unique challenges at times. They are not twins. And they know they are not twins. They each have their own lovely strengths and abilities. It is important that BOY feel like a big brother. GIRL is a strong personality and is gifted in her fine motor skills. She needs to shine without holding herself back. He needs to shine without being overshadowed. I treasure each of them and what they bring to the world.

So, we are winding down for the end of our time at their current school. I feel less sad now, but instead am looking forward. Change is almost always good, even if there are growing pains along the way.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

On Saturday night, I had a chance to meet some bloggers

If you have to be in a car accident, make sure you have plans to meet friends afterwards. Especially sassy ladies like the ones above. On Saturday night, I had a chance to meet some bloggers. Above, from left to right: Kalynne, Cheri & Jenn. I'm on the far right. It all came about with Kalynne, The Philosopher Mom, coming to town. She was presenting a paper: The Friendship of Buzz, Blog & Swag to The Society for Business Ethics. And... she was so impressive that they selected her paper as one of three finalists for best paper of the conference. Yes, Kalynne is impressive. She is mother of 9, has a PhD and is a professor at Auburn University. She won't let you feel inadequate though, she is lovely and fun and loves to laugh. She and Jenn from Juggling Life did a wonderful job of making sure the champagne was good. I would have joined in, but I needed something I could nurse all evening. So, of course that JackO'Clock! I have been wanting to meet Jenn for quite a while, we are only a couple hours away from each other. I've often left comments on her blog that she should be writing a parenting book. She has amazing wisdom and loves discussing ideas on parenting. And lots of fun, too. Which brings me to Cheri from Blog This Mom. I have been noticing Cheri's comments for months on sites that we both frequent and knew she was one of those fabulous San Diego blogger Mamas. I have only started reading her blog recently and she is an amazing writer. She has the ability to move you to tears and laughter in the same post. I had a blast with these ladies. Thanks so much, Kalynne for coming to town! Oh, YES. It was the night of the sexy, hot mamas. Although our waiter perhaps did not think so as we stayed there...for a few hours. But, we tipped him well so... that's what counts right?

If any of you bloggers have a chance to meet other bloggers whom you've been reading, do it! It is really a wonderful thing to connect in person. And Kalynne...we want to read that paper!

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Here's hoping the chocolate goes straight to my ass...

Thoughts upon climbing into bed...

Apparently getting rear ended is a perfect recipe for losing one's mind. Or bursting into tears, unexpectedly...while talking with a friend on the telephone about helping me with computer gizmos & such. Nothing like talk of linking a lap top to the printer to send one into paroxysms of tears. My poor friend didn't know what hit him. E predicts he will never come to our house again, let alone feel safe to come over and help us. I am quite sure he now pictures me writhing on the floor amidst tears and much gnashing of teeth.

I'm exhausted. And my emotions are skittering around like balls on a pool table. I just want to drop into the side pocket and sleep... A little safety net sounds good right about now. All will look better in the morning.

So...I'm going to curl into my pillows and devour the chocolate E brought me tonight...Ghirardelli's Milk & Caramel and a Hershey's Symphony Bar. Well, maybe not all of it...tonight, but a girl with a flat ass that got rear ended can use all the chocolate therapy she can get. Here's hoping the chocolate goes straight to my ass and plumps it up.

Thoughts later ...

Sleep makes everything much better. A husband who brings chocolate to his wife should be idolized. Chocolate may not go directly to desired location, but it helps. Except that ass is still flat. Advantage of flat ass: can perhaps squeeze through smaller spaces. Advantage of bodacious ass: poems are written about it. End result: Perhaps best to stop obsessing about asses and go to sleep...

***Image courtesy of Google Images

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Questions, questions...the never ending questions...


Mommy, how does the tooth fairy KNOW when we lose a tooth?

Mommy, how does a baby get IN your tummy?

Questions, questions...the never ending questions...

Mommy, we have money because Daddy works and earns money, right?

That's right, GIRL. Daddy works very hard to earn money and take care of us.

YOU don't have any money.

Well, GIRL, I work hard, too. My job is to take care of you and BOY and that is a very important job. I just don't earn a salary for it.

GIRL is not yet 4 years old. And THAT is what I'm up against...

NOTE: Thank you all for your comments over my car accident last night. I'm feeling fine. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on meeting 3 hot mommas...The Philosopher Mom, Jenn from Juggling Life and Cheri from Blog this Mom!

We've had QUITE the weekend. Today my husband & I, BOY & GIRL were traveling on the freeway and a front tire blew out then disintegrated. We were in the fast lane, so E had to navigate our car across the freeway to the shoulder. He then proceeded to change the tire, (front driver's side tire on the traffic side), while I wildly waved my arms to oncoming traffic that was entering the freeway just behind us in an effort to keep the cars from getting too close. So, I found myself AGAIN on a freeway with maniacal drivers flying by. Didn't I just do this last night? Delightful.

........JCK? JCK? I believe JCK married JackO'Clock.

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

In my rear view mirror, I saw the cars rounding the bend behind me...

I was in a car accident tonight. I am fine. A little sore, but fine, other than an ache in my lower back. I was alone, driving on a busy freeway. I was traveling about 50 mph and suddenly after rounding a bend the lane in front of me was stopped. I had 2 seconds in which to realize that I had to stop. NOW. I braked. My car bounced and stopped within an inch of the car ahead of me. In my rear view mirror, I saw the cars rounding the same bend behind me, and knew with a certainty that they would not be able to stop. BANG! Then BANG!

Two cars behind me, suddenly all of us attached. Bumper to Bumper to Bumper. Cars were flying by. The cars that had suddenly caused the abrupt halt to traffic were gone. Vanished into the steady stream of cars headed south. I was able to drive my car over to the median. And the other two cars followed after several minutes of trying to negotiate an opening between cars to get across. We got out. The couple whose car hit me directly did not have a cell phone. I let them use mine to negotiate towing and insurance. Their car was not drivable. The car behind them was possibly drivable. I was lucky. I was able to drive away.

It's beginning to hit me. The adrenaline rush gone. Looking at the rear panel torn away near the bumper, the rear hatch door bent in, the side panel distorted by the gas cap. And now...sitting here, looking at the pictures of my children on my desk, my hands are shaking. My cell phone reeks of the woman's sickly perfume.

A few months ago, my sister was in a near fatal car accident. She swears by the cross she had on her dashboard. Back in May, when I saw her at my mom's 70th birthday celebration, she gave me a small bag of candies tied with a cross from her daughters' baptism. It is a simple cross with delicate lines. I decided to hang it from my rear view mirror a few weeks ago. It has brought me comfort. And tonight, well...tonight...I am swearing by it, too.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Housekeeping. Bad. Very bad. Computer housekeeping. Worse. Much worse.

Imagine this. Install Outlook on hottie red laptop. Everything appears delightful. Things sync up, everything transfers beautifully from desktop. All appears good. Except that husband's email is downloading, too. Not interested in construction emails, per se. Calls made to Dell, Microsoft, Yahoo. Much mucking about by others. Finally Yahoo clears it up. But, because of mucking about by many, many others with the account settings...incoming server & outgoing server codes talked to Yahoo server. And...about that bad housekeeping by JCK? Well, 8,950 emails were on the server in the inbox. And...8,950 emails downloaded. Oh, MY FRIGGIN' FISHNETS, Yes. Unfortunately, I'm not exaggerating. Over 7 hours it took. Niiice. And Yahoo recommended that I not even check email through the Internet to insure that no emails would be lost. Yep. Then after the 8,950 emails finished...817 downloaded. And as the 817th email downloaded my internet connection went down. I decided perchance it was time to go to bed.
Lesson Learned? Perhaps best to use delete button or file emails occasionally. My own brilliance just ASTOUNDS me at times.

So, while I was playing footsie with Yahoo downloads and my lap top at 1:30am Wednesday night, my daughter calls out for me and I go in to see what's wrong.

What's wrong sweetie, did you have a nightmare?

Mommy, I wanted to tell you that I love you. I REALLY, REALLY LOVE YOU! ...this with arms thrown around my neck and kisses.

This yummy sweetness took my frustrations and tossed them far, far away.

And the sweetness continued yesterday, while at the YMCA...

I was at the front desk taking care of business, and GIRL flings herself on me and says:

Mommy, I LOVE YOU! More than the moon and the stars. I believe a woman nearby swooned. It wasn't just me.

I clung to this morsel, this gem... and it helped later. When GIRL told BOY to disobey me at every turn. And he did. And she did. While giggling. And looking straight at me. Aaah...that GIRL, she is a delightful concoction.

Now, I better get to that housekeeping. The real kind. The dust dinosaurs are snickering... After that, I'll see about cleaning the 8,950 emails that are on the Yahoo server. Because, my desktop computer? Well, it wants to download all 8,950 emails, too. I'm not sure about the 817. It's SO good to be me!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We will soon be gone from this place

I sit perched on a school bench,
the tinkling sound of water
dripping on a tilled garden,
planted with small hands.

We have seen much here...
days frolicking in mud
well loved songs and room jobs
art work with glue, pom poms, and glitter.

Change is upon us,
the blessing of anger,
creating opportunity for
a new kaleidescope of color.

My stomach clenches
with old fears unspoken
cloaked in the self-deception of
them not knowing anything else.

But there will be...
other easels to paint on,
different structures to climb,
and the planting of new roots.

An opportunity ahead
for each of my children
to be flying solo
in their own classroom.

We will soon be gone
from this place
the destinations & pick-ups
no longer mapped here.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It requires leaving my comfort zone

The Universe has been sending me a strong message of late. Things are coming to me that speak of change. Exciting things. It requires leaving my comfort zone...

I know it is good for me, but my stomach begs to differ. It was always that way as an actress years ago. The very thing that I craved, that gave me a rush like no other, the very thing that I went after, gave me almost paralyzing stage fright. Yet, I always came back for more. I couldn't eat for hours before a performance, and only started breathing after I got onstage. It was the time leading up to being onstage that was so difficult. It never really got better. Yet, I loved acting. Being in someone else's skin for a time. The feeling of family, a camaraderie with the other actors and crew. It felt right.

I don't act anymore. And I don't miss it. Much. Yet, occasionally ...when we're at the theater, I'll feel an ache for that former life. Of being engaged in a play. Sharing that experience with other actors. But, no aches for the stage fright. Never that.

I look forward to a quiet space now. I delight in sitting down and running my fingertips across the keyboard. I spill words onto the screen page that are my own. And that excites me and feels right. The pain in the process is subtler. No high drama of a deep swoon. Yet, there is pain in hitting a wall. When it is up to you, as a writer, to put the piece together. To chisel out words, when they don't appear to be under the surface.

So, perhaps I will receive this offering of being shaken out of my comfort zone. I will stand in supplication with palms open. Daring myself to take a new turn.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

So, the next time Sitemeter & Internet Explorer have a rendezvous...

Hi Blogger...

Yes, tis' I, the wench. The wench who wrongly accused you of being, well basically, a loser. On this Friday past. When I was frantically trying to get to my own little blogspot in the sky. Imagine a cat trying to scale a tiled wall. And I couldn't get in. I panicked. I threw out accusations. And they landed mistakenly on you. Please forgive me. I guess it was that feeling of vulnerability. That torture of finding, of solidifying the fact, that I am dependent on you. Yes. I. Am. I write upon your blank post pages almost every day. I search for the delicious little bon mots and then use your spellcheck. I occasionally add a photo or two. I list my favorite reads. And love how I can add new ones every day and then their most recent post title pops up on my sidebar. Blogger, you've got it going on.

Oh, friends have tried to lure me away have my own DOT.COM or Wordpress or other more cutting edge hosting vehicle. Yet...I have lingered here with you, because basically I am somewhat of a traditional gal. I mean, look at me. Whiskey. Fishnets. Caffeine loaded. You can't get much more traditional than that.

But, I've I'm known to do. You shouldn't let me do that Blogger. Ooohhh...don't let me. Don't let me.... But, you do. Because you do that automatic draft thing every few seconds. It is SO reassuring. I am a loose lipped wench. I was wrong. It was Sitemeter after all. And Internet Exploder. My friend calls it that. Catchy, isn't it? So, next time Sitemeter and IE have a rendezvous and the sparks fly, they better GET A ROOM. A room very far away from me. Because cats who try to scale tile walls get cranky. Especially when it rips their fishnets. Image is everything...


JCK the wench

*** Photo courtesy of: I SO WISH IT WAS ME! ...Google Images

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

That's what whining children will do to you

I don't know what happened, but suddenly it sounds like we have sheep in the house. In the car. And pretty much wherever we go. The sheep appear to be following us.

Maaaaaammmm. I doooon't waaaant thaaaat. I'm tiiiiiiired. I'm huuuuuungry. Maaaaam.

We are in WHINER hell. Today, coming back from swimming lessons I finally just snapped.

GIRL, you sound like a SHEEP!

Noooooo. I doooon't. Maaaaaam.

Listen to yourself! You ARE a sheep. Baaaaaaa. Baaaaa. Waaaa. Waaaa.

Yes. THAT was me. I've resorted to bleating like a sheep. And mocking my child. That's what whining children will do to you. Send you over the edge? Sure. Incite you to scream?Yeah. Bleat? But, of course...

Added CORRECTION: JCK is an Ignorant Hussy. It was Sitemeter's fault. JCK is now busy kissing Blogger's ass.

Note: If you couldn't get on my blog last night, BLOGGER apologizes. It appears they had a major issue with thousands of blogs. Apparently, every blogspot blog that I read. OH, by the way...the spell check for "blogspot" gives you a bloodsport option. This may be a possibility if this happens again. A courtesy email would have been nice, too. Dear Blogger clients, unfortunately we are experiencing a major problem on blogspot. We hope to have it cleared up quickly. Thank you.

Ya think? Let's hope the problem is fixed. If not, we can unite and harass BLOGGER: BLOGGGGGGGEEEEER, WHAAAAT THE FUUUUUCK?

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