Thursday, November 29, 2007

One More Lame Post From The Library...

...And then it's back to the lame posts from home--with any luck anyway. The Internet is supposed to be on at the house tomorrow, but I believe I've heard that story before.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pushing The Limits Of The Definition Of The Word Post*

This is a post, right?

*Especially since the title is actually longer than the post itself and this is also being posted by proxy--I have dictated it to poor beleagured Son-One (more academia) over the phone since the library is closed on Wednesdays. I hope the gods of NaBloPoMo appreciate my dedication.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Proudly Prostate Free Since 1968

Son-One was home over Thanksgiving break and I was a little concerned about the trip back into Buffalo on Sunday to return him to the halls of academia*--between potential traffic and potential weather, I figured there was ample opportunity for disaster and the way things have been going lately when there's a chance for disaster, disaster it will be**.

The trip went smoothly though and as Son-Two, Daughter-Only and I were making our way back onto the highway after a stop at Wendy's Drive-Thru, I said, "The traffic is so light I can eat my Frosty with a spoon!"

And from the backseat Daughter-Only says, "Did you just say you had your prostate removed?!"

*From what I've been able to discern from visits to the dorm as well as Son-One's own admissions, activity in those halls seems to consist mainly of gossip, video games and occasional surreptitious imbibing of not-quite-legal beverages. In other words, and probably not surprisingly, very little of an academic nature is actually going on in the halls of academia.

**It occurred to me as I wrote that that, really, considering the fact that we were moving somewhat under duress and that we moved a household of six people and twenty years of accumulated stuff, things have gone remarkably smoothly and really the cable/Internet issue is the only major hurdle we've faced. So, I'm a whiner.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Liar, Liar Pants On Fire (Or, The Story Of How Masked Mom Was Flagged As A Lunatic By The Cable Company)

More tales of woe from the Internetless wonder. We still don't have cable or Internet at the new house and turns out we might be in a gap between two regional offices of Time Warner and unable to get service from EITHER of them. Why no one knew this until today is beyond me--and the only reason they even realized it today is because I called both offices repeatedly until I got some semblance of a straight answer and that answer wasn't even straight enough so I called everyone I know along that stretch of road that I now live on and found who has cable and where their cable is out of and now I'm waiting to hear back from one or both offices at which time I'm probably going to tell either or both of them to stuff it because I'm going to get the package through the phone company and to hell with them. Maybe.

At least I was smart enough to post from the toasty warm library instead of the soon-to-be completely abandoned old house...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blind Ambition

Daughter-Only was thisclose to winning the middle school spelling bee last year--but a teacher mispronounced/misread a word (totem--she said "tofem" and Daughter-Only was robbed. A number of other teachers who witnessed the robbery informed Daughter-Only how unfair they thought it had been. Why they didn't inform the teachers and other organizing people of the unfairness is beyond me...).

This year, she's determined to snag the win. She's practicing maniacally. And she's extremely upset that I haven't been practicing with her. She has accused me of horrible parenting for not being more interested in practicing with her.

Let's consider the evidence and you can make your own conclusions. She has asked me exactly two times to practice with her. The first time, I was actually elbow-deep in the turkey on Thanksgiving Day and the second time, I was driving the car.

I am a horrible parent, huh?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Monday Is My New Favorite Day of the Week (I Hope)

What was originally scheduled for Wednesday the 21st by the cable company has now been moved to Monday the 26th. So we should have cable/Internet access in our warm, toasty new place then. In the meantime, the gas has been turned off at the old place (where I am now) just in time for the first cold snap of the season so I'm risking frostbite to post--but frostbite is better than head explosion, right?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Too Cold To NaBlo....

Temperature outside: 29F
Temperature inside: 29F
Posting just enough to count: Priceless.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My How Times Have Changed

Many years ago, when I still had time and energy for a book group, a friend gave me a recipe for an appetizer to take to the pot luck night my book group had every September. It was extremely simple and very tasty--Uncle Ben's rice, chopped spinach and shredded Swiss cheese in fillo dough cups (in the grocery store freezer already formed, thanks very much). I was mixing the filling in a big bowl and it was all brown and green and admittedly resembled dog vomit more than anything you'd want for food. Two of the boys (Son-Two and Son-Three, I think) went by and Son-Three peeked over the edge of the bowl and said, "That's not for us to eat is it?!"

When I told him I was taking it for the book group, he said, "You must not like them very much."

Fast forward to last night, Thanksgiving Eve. Son-Three says with evident anticipation, "You are going to make those little spinach cups, aren't you?"

(Happy Thanksgiving!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Heading Exploding Heads Off At The Pass

Son-Three asked me tonight, "Are you coming into town tomorrow?" (The new house is five miles out of town, which is a huge change for kids used to living a few blocks from basically everything and everyone.)

I said, "Well, I have to at some point because I have to post for the NaBlo thingy."

"What happens if you don't post?"

"Uh, I'm not sure. Maybe my head will explode or something..."

Probably not, but I'm not taking any chances.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Seal of Approval

Youngest Niece, along with her sister, has been hanging out at my new house the past few nights. Last night, she came up to me and said, "I'm trying to think of how to say this to you. I'm not sure exactly how to ask this question but...will you invite me to live with you?"

Guess the new house passes the seven year old's inspection.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'll Take That Bet

Bet you're all really tired of hearing about my misadventures in moving.

Bet you're not nearly as tired of hearing about it as I am of talking about it, not to mention actually doing it.

"Real"* posts soon.

*"Real" is a strictly subjective and immeasurable, intangible quality. "Real" as it's used here is intended to signify that I will return to my usual, not necessarily "real," posts soon.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Straddling The Here And The There

Still here. Well, still between here and there, but anyway, still kicking.

We got the majority of our really big stuff out today with some odds-and-ends left for the next couple of days. We'll be sleeping there tonight, but some of our stuff--including the computers with the Internet access--will be here at least for a few more days.

In the name of my NaBloPoMo promise, I will be posting from an empty, echoey* house until the Internet/cable is switched to the new place. Now that's dedication.

*Is too a word.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ten-Toed Sloth

I'm not known by those closest to me as a particularly energetic person largely because I'm not a particularly energetic person. I've never met a chore I couldn't delegate and, in moments of extreme laziness, I've been known to call someone in from another room to ask them to turn off the light. I've tried fighting my, um, laziness over the years but at some point I just kind of accepted it.

I hadn't realized how much everyone around me has had to accept it as well.

The other night, on the second trip to the new house, when I got out of the car and started carrying in boxes, Hubby said in a completely sweet and sincere tone, "Baby, I didn't know you were gonna help."

He was so appreciative--and surprised--and it made me realize what a true bum I actually am most of the time. I don't know if I'll have the energy to do anything about it, but awareness is the first step, right?

Friday, November 16, 2007

With Apologies To The Memory of Shari Lewis

This is the move that never ends,
It goes on and on my friends,
Some people started moving things,
Not knowin' what it was,
And they'll continue movin' 'em forever
Just because...
This is the move that never ends,
It goes on and on my friends,
Some people started moving things,
Not knowin' what it was,
And they'll continue movin' 'em forever
Just because...
This is the move that never ends,
It goes on and on my friends,
Some people started moving things,
Not knowin' what it was,
And they'll continue movin' 'em forever
Just because...
This is the move that never ends,
It goes on and on my friends,
Some people started moving things,
Not knowin' what it was,
And they'll continue movin' 'em forever
Just because...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's All About Priorities

My mind keeps running over the "moving list"--you know all those things you have to do when you move--gas, electric, cable/Internet, post office, blah, blah, blah. Somehow in the middle of all that I remembered that I needed to be sure to change my address at the library.

I thought of the library several hours before I remembered the DMV.

I'm such a sad, little book geek and I was thisclose to being a sad, little book geek with a current library card and an unupdated driver's license.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Best Defense

One of the things I really hate is going into stores that are traditionally considered part of the male domain--hardware stores, automotive parts stores. I'm not anyone's idea of a girly girl and still time after time I've been instantly treated as though I were some fainthearted, feeble-minded twit just by virtue of the fact that I'm lacking a particular appendage.

Anyway. Tonight, I had to buy a headlight bulb and I went into the store where I'd bought my last headlight bulb, right to the rack where I found it last time I was there, flipped through the make/model/year guide just to be sure I remembered the right number and just as I reached for it, the twenty-something (male) clerk yelled from the desk across the store, "Anything I can help you with?"

And I said, "No, I'm all set." in a borderline rude voice, so ready was I to be offended by his patronizing tone (even though I'm nowhere near objective enough to determine whether his tone was actually patronizing or whether I was just expecting patronizing so much that I'd have heard it in any tone).

And he shrugged (was that a sarcastic look on his face?), "I could probably find it quicker for you on the computer..." (Not noticing that I have the bulb in my hand...)

And I held the bulb up and waved it in the air a little to make sure he really saw it then walked up to the desk.

I set it down and he said, "Now don't touch the bulb part at all when you're putting it in 'cuz it's a halogen bulb." (Um, it says that right on the package as well as in the instructions in my car's owner's manual, but thank you, you big strong (dorky) man, you.)

Then he says, "Would you like to donate a dollar to St. Jude's Children's Hospital?"

And (still with the bitter bordering on rude tone), I say, "Sure why not?"

Jeez, this punk has reduced me to being flip about St. Jude's. It's pretty bad when a smug little punk can bring out the worst in you in under a minute.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Who Lives In A Pineapple Under The Sea?...

Not me, but it was looking like the only option there for a while.

The source of much of my hinted-at stress for the last few months (all the way back to the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup incident and a little further) was a housing crisis. The house we've been renting for over nine years was put on the market and sold. Finding another place to live with a family as large as ours and an income as small as ours in a town as tiny as ours was not easy--and at times has seemed impossible. Things got increasingly nasty with our current landlord because we were unable to leave as quickly as she would've liked (but she was also incapable of or uneducated about doing the work of a proper eviction and relied instead on nasty phone calls and sporadic threats, which I guess I'm grateful for since it bought us some extra time).

Anyway, we're signing a lease tomorrow and will begin moving in immediately. At the moment, I'm equal parts relieved and terrified. In other words, I'm feeling pretty much normal for the first time in months.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I have been sorting boxes from my attic in an effort to prepare for a move about which I haven't yet found the strength and sanity to blog. Some of the boxes contain things from my paternal grandmother's house. My Nan was Catholic and a kleptomaniac, among many other things, not that those two things--Catholicism and kleptomania are directly related, of course.

In any case, as I'm going through the boxes that contain some of her things, both her kleptomania and her Catholicism are readily apparent. There were something like six pairs of eyeglasses in one box and Daughter-Only's mouth gaped open wider with each pair we found. I kept saying, "Kleptomaniac. I tried to tell you..." Not only were the glasses likely to have been stolen, but each case had odd things tucked into it--fingernail clippers, coupons for free sodas from the nursing home snack bar, salt and pepper and Sweet'n'Low packets that she also probably pilfered.

The Catholicism is a little more subtle--expressed mainly in rosary beads (at least one of the sets was legitimately hers--I bought it for her) and a crucifix, which hung in her bedroom for as long as I can remember. When Daughter-Only saw the crucifix, she said, "Jesus is built like Dad."

I looked at her funny--I mean what the hell other way do you look at someone who has come out with something so random and odd?

And she says, "Or, rather, Dad is built like Jesus since Jesus was here first."

That's so much better.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Crying Wolf

As someone who has gotten into the habit of publicly and pratically perpetually predicting my own impending nervous breakdown without yet producing any significant signs of the breakdown, I've become kind of fascinated by the story of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

Sometime last week, I was watching a movie or TV show (I can't remember at all what it might have been) and one of the characters mentioned the story and the other one said, "The moral of that story is that a liar won't be believed."

And he's right--that's no doubt the intended (and universally understood) moral of that story. But I think in clinging to that idea as the story's only relevant lesson, we've lost sight of an important point: There's a less hungry wolf at the end of this story. No matter how many times the boy lied (or joked or exaggerrated--he was really playing a prank that required a little untruth, right?) about being eaten, he was still eaten in the end. So a secondary moral to the story might be "repeatedly lying about getting eaten makes you no less eaten when you finally are telling the truth."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

All The World's A Stage

Daughter-Only's a performer from way back. She once burst into song in the library--she was four and we were looking through the videos and she saw Grease and she belted out half the first verse of Hopelessly Devoted before I could subdue her. Once, when she was about ten, she did an impromptu version of the Lollipop Guild part of the Munchkinland song from Wizard of Oz by the gas pumps at the mini mart. So I'm used to spontaneous performances--especially if she has any kind of audience.

Tonight's audience was her friend PH. And the poem went like this, "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if my mom made us Rice Krispies treats?"

Jeez, even her "subtle" hints have to be performance pieces.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Free Bit Of NaBloPoMo Advice

If it's after 11 p.m. in your time zone and you're feeling uninspired but have promised to post every day, the place to look for inspiration is not your own past posts. You will find a trillion typos and even more clunky turns of phrase. You will not find anything there worth posting about except the fact that there's nothing there to post about.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Conspiracy Theorist

When I got home from work today, Son-Two had a window open on the computer--a pair of shoes that he would like for volleyball, which starts soon. They were on sale for $65, which was "like half-price of what they were on any of the other sites." You know because if you're going to ask for a third pair of sneakers, it helps your case to let Mom know you comparison shopped.

A little while later, I reminded Son-Two that he had left his white hoodie in the car after Son-Three's game last night. This is his "Class of 2008" hoodie, which he wore last night for only the second time. He was jostled at the concession stand and spilled hot cocoa down the front of it. Tonight, I said, "You should get your hoodie out of the car and pre-treat that hot cocoa stain and see if we can get it out."

He went and got it, pre-treated it, started the washer. I came into the kitchen just as he closed the lid. And he said, "By the way, I know exactly why you thought of my hoodie when you did."

Always eager to have my thought processes analyzed by adolescent males, I said, "Oh?"

And he said, "Yeah, I showed you those shoes and you were sitting there thinking about how much money you've been spending on me and listing all the things in your head and you thought, 'I just bought that hoodie and he spilled hot cocoa on it and now it's sitting out in the car.'"

It's clear he thinks he's brilliant. And he is, but in this case, he's also wrong. There was nothing anywhere near that complicated going on in my head (and there very rarely is anything that complicated going on in my head)--what had reminded me of the hoodie was a detergent commercial on TV.

In other news, Son-Three's team fought the good fight, but went down 2-1 in last night's game. Son-Three was wearing a pair of cleats for which I paid $35 (on sale at Dick's Sporting Goods), soccer socks ($6) and the uniform provided by the school (blessedly free as long as he returns it), and had $10 for dinner in his soccer bag (free as a premium from a company I do surveys for) . But who's counting?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Destination: Paetec Park

Tonight's the state qualifier for Son-Three's soccer team--in Rochester's Paetec Park. I may or may not be able to post afterward (two hour drive up, two-plus hours on the field, two hours back in my current mental state--it's not looking good). Keep your fingers and toes crossed!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Outing My Inner Seventh Grader

Over the summer, I read a book called Cabin Pressure, by a very funny man named Josh Wolk. The book is subtitled: One Man's Desperate Attempt to Recapture His Youth as a Camp Counselor. It is the true story of Wolk voluntarily spending a summer trapped in the company of adolescent boys and steeped in memories of his own summers both as camper and counselor. It's snort out loud hilarious--in the ways that seventh grade boys tend to be hilarious--in other words in crude, gross ways that should be appalling to a presumably grown woman but which I nevertheless found myself snorting out loud to.

Anyway, I recently, completely accidentally, stumbled across Wolk's blog and I can't recommend it enough. While I have yet to read a good fart joke over there (or any fart joke for that matter), there's still plenty to keep your inner seventh grader entertained, assuming you want to provide entertainment for the little miscreant.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Amusing? Disturbing? A Little of Both?

Had an older guy in the shop first thing this morning, wanting to send a corsage to a waitress at the diner up the street--her birthday's Wednesday and she'll be working 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. I asked him what kind of flowers he would like us to use and he said, "What do you suggest?"

I said, "I would probably go with a carnation, they hold up the best and she'll be running around in the heat all day."

The guy can barely contain himself, pipes up, "Did you say she's gonna be in heat? You must know something I don't know..."

It's way too early, and on a Monday no less, for this foolishness, but I can't help myself, I offer him one of our complimentary calendars, saying, "You know, that way you can keep track of when anyone might be in heat or whatever."

He was laughing too hard to talk for a second and then he said, "Hmmm, was it three times in '62 or two times in '63? Either way, what I'm trying to say is it's been a long dry spell..."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Phoning It In Four Days In?

I'm posting.

It's not much but that's what I've got today.

It counts, right?

And I promise to do a better job tomorrow.

Maybe promise is too strong a word...

(Hey, it's got a beginning, middle and an end--they're just all really close together.)

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Son-Three's soccer team won their Sectional Title tonight.

Next up: State Qualifiers.

Too tired and hungover (hangover of the spectator variety--not the alcoholic one--spectator hangover is too a real thing!) to write more.

Friday, November 02, 2007

If It's November, It Must Be NaBlo...

I'm one of those people who has an extraordinarily hard time learning from my mistakes--not that last year's National Blog Posting Month felt like a mistake in the end, but it sure felt like a mistake some of those nights at 11:48 as I sat with my fingers poised impotently over the keyboard without a single remotely blog-worthy thought in my head.

So here we go, ringing in the new NaBlo with a confession: I almost didn't sign up this year because at the moment, I'm neck-deep in crap and the last thing I need is some petty, silly distraction...then it hit me--a silly, petty distraction might be just the thing that gets me through.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Perfect Post For October

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, my mother frequently told me that all she and my father had ever wanted was for their children to be happy*. I didn't think it was as simple as that even then, but especially now, after two decades (!) of parenting, I'm pretty sure it's a lot more complicated than that. Of course, we want our children to be happy children and grow into happy adults, but wouldn't it be nice if they could be happy while only making choices that reflect well upon their parents?

Regular readers of this blog will have no trouble understanding why I chose "Incident" posted by Gretchen at Lifenut as my Perfect Post for October. Irregular readers can read this post for a little insight into why I identified so closely with Gretchen's doubts and discomfort after one of her children got in some trouble at school.

So for having the courage to share messy emotions, here's my button:
The Original Perfect Post Awards - Oct

And, Gretchen, it's all yours.See other winners at Petroville and Suburban Turmoil.

*The context of my mother's repeated assurances was the turmoil of my late high school and early marriage years during which my parents' disapproval, real and imagined, spoken and unspoken, subtle and not-so, was a source of constant angst for me. Of course, hindsight and two decades (!) of parenting have given me insight not only into my parents' point of view but also into my own reaction to their disapproval. It's likely that my own (subconsciuos) doubts about the choices I was making contributed to my feeling that their disapproval was constant and oppressive.