Sunday, November 30, 2008


We awoke this morning to find this lovely message left on our fence. The police officer said this was at least the seventh report of gang graffiti over the weekend.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Alley oops

Let’s just say bowling is not my game. Ben’s mom bought him a ball for his birthday, (the Earth ball, above), and we finally got around to trying it out today. I bowled a 48, followed by a 46. Yeah. The sheer number of gutter balls was staggering. Plus, I use a neon pink kid ball with a T Rex on it. Glad I’m not easily embarrassed.

I think my dismal performance may have been due to leftover soreness from playing Wii on Thursday. Yes, I am pathetic.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Music video flashback, pt 2

I may have watched more MTV in 1989 than any other year. Highlights for me included “Like a Prayer” and “We Didn't Start the Fire,” but Prince’s “Batdance” figures heavily in my memories. Let me warn you: This is a complete piece of crap. It’s shockingly bad, even for Prince, whose sense of good taste is always in question. But watching this transports me right back to my friend Jennifer’s basement rec room, with the wood paneling and leather sectional and endless hours of MTV, back when MTV played music.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful today

My mother’s laughter; fresh linen and embroidery floss; food that makes me go “mmmmmm”; house/home/husband; red sneakers; love notes; President-elect Obama; sleeping in; J Crew sweaters; furry little dogs; reruns of “House”; flannel sheets; joyful, fulfilling love.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lamest duck

Joe Klein has summed up my feelings about President Bush.

While you're over at TIME, check out this collection of LIFE Magazine's classic photos. Fun.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I love this guy

OK, I know he chewed up my shoes last week. But when you've worked from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., it's really nice to have a warm, furry, blond boy to snuggle on the couch.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 24

My God, isn't November over yet? This is getting ridiculous.

An update: I finally watered my plants last Thursday. Kudos to me for only letting them die a little bit.

A celebration: I filled up my car with gas today for $21. Awesome.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Peace out

The election is over, I know. But I just saw this, and I still think it's worth sharing.

You can read the story here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Family time

Saturday is my sister Tracie’s birthday, so my mom, my aunt Sue and my sisters went out to lunch yesterday. The W-loving birthday girl made only one disparaging remark about Obama, which was plenty, but not more than I could successfully ignore. (She insinuated that everyone would be on welfare under his leadership. Out in the parking lot, my mom grabbed my arm and said, “Did you HEAR what she said about Obama?! HE’S not the one who got us into this mess!” My mom, the big liberal. Hehe)

My relationship with my sisters has definitely been tested the past few months. I really can’t imagine why they keep sending me all kinds of cringe-inducing religious e-mail forwards -- despite the fact that none of them go to church. I just delete them, usually after no more than a passing glance. But I couldn’t ignore it when I received the “Obama is the Anti-Christ” e-mail. It wasn’t a particularly brave response -- I just said the e-mail was false and included a link to Snopes -- but it was something. Maybe it kept them from forwarding any other hysterical racist smears. Still, it made me want to yell, just like at lunch yesterday, and sometimes I wonder whether I keep quiet too much in the interest of keeping the peace.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Variations on a theme

First I’m nearly poisoned by noxious roofing tar fumes, then my stupid dog chews up my favorite shoes.

This morning, I filled my big travel mug with the rest of the coffee, topped it off with milk ... and then discovered the milk was curdled. Horrifying white chunks floating in my delicious coffee.

I’m going to rename this blog “Poop on my parade.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

His terrible 2’s

Oscar has given me a reason to buy new shoes:

Also, it took me two weeks to burn through that bag of fun-size Twix. Is that good pacing?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tar wars

City Hall is getting a new roof -- has been for the past four workdays -- and I'm being slowly asphyxiated by the fumes. The noxious smell threatened to ruin my morning coffee, and I've spent the rest of the day slightly nauseated and woozy. Google has revealed that huffing roof tar is no big deal, so there goes my workers' comp jackpot. I'll be fine as soon as the fresh air returns. In the meantime, my productivity is in the tank. I'll bet they didn't figure that into the cost of the roof.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Advice from Mom

(inspired by Mighty Girl)

Smile. People will think you're a nice girl.

Never let your car get below a quarter-tank.

Shoes have to be real leather. The fake ones will make your feet stink.

Kids are jerks.

Be careful, because like can turn to love real quick.

Wouldn't you rather have a steak?

At least make an appearance.

Never go out with wet hair. You'll catch pneumonia.

Men are just like that.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dear Oscar

Today is Oscar's birthday. He's 2.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I saw Oliver Stone's "W." last week, and I keep thinking about it every time I see a news photo of George Bush. It's sometimes confusing to remember what was the movie and what is the real president.

As movies go, it wasn't great. It was fairly boring in the middle, during W's young adulthood as a perpetual screw-up and drunk. The portrayals of Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and Tony Blair bordered on caricature. It was also full of expository dialogue and unnecessary repeating of characters' names, as though the movie were made for people who weren't really paying attention in 2002.

The movie goes pretty easy on George, painting him as just a dumb frat boy forever trying to win his father's respect. And also extremely self-centered and lazy and over-confident. Which, I grant, is not exactly what you want in a president, but it's still a more sympathetic picture than Bush deserves. In the end, I felt kind of sorry for him, which just feels wrong.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Healthy and sassy

The state health foundation conducts a phone survey with my mom:

Interviewer: Are you active?

Mom: Just watching the grandkids. And ugh, they're about to have another one.

Interviewer: How often do you go to the doctor?

Mom: I try to avoid it.

Interviewer: When was the last time you went to the dentist?

Mom: Uh, I don't think Medicare covers that.

Interviewer: When was the last time you had a pap smear?

Mom: Well, you don't have to have pap smears if you don't have sex.

Interviewer: You're funny.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rarrrr! (I’m a Lion)

After months of cajoling by a work acquaintance, I finally gave in and joined the Lions Club.

It was a moment of weakness. It’s not like I don’t have enough to do, enough meetings to go to. And it’s not like this is really my kind of thing, with all the socializing and community involvement and so forth.

But I know and enjoy several of the members, and community involvement is good for my job, and the meetings are over lunch, and the Lions do some good charitable work, and I couldn’t think of a good excuse. And so, I’m a Lion.

The Lions are extremely corny. The lion puns are everywhere: the Lion Tale, the Lion’s Roar, the Tail Twister. They address each other as Lion Dan and Lion Carrie and Lion Kevin. When they call the roll, they say, “Proud to be a Lion.” When they take a vote, they say “Rarrrrrrr!” for yay and “Meow” for nay.

Yeah, not really my kind of thing. And yet today I took the Lion oath to support the mission of the club and contribute my fair share to its efforts. I’ll be ignoring the puns for right now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

A nice offer for a Monday afternoon

I was on the phone with the fire chief this afternoon, and I was trying to ask if he wanted me to put him on hold. Instead, I said, "Do you want me to hold you?" He said, "Do I want you to ... what?"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Music video flashback

Cher in 1989. “If I Could Turn Back Time,” featuring a ship full of sailors and Cher in a bizarre fishnet ensemble. I remember MTV only played this video after 9 p.m. because of her ass cheeks. It was deliciously scandalous for 10-year-old me.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I need houseplant therapy

Several of my plants appear to be dying. This could be because I haven’t watered them in a few weeks. Which makes me think: Why haven’t I? I walk past these plants several times a day, and I often think to myself that they need water, that they’re on the verge of death. But I do nothing about it. Even now, I’m writing about watering them rather than doing it.

I really do care about my plants. I like them a lot. I think plants add texture and life to a room. I used to be so obsessed with them that I could hardly get out of Target without bringing home a new variety. Maybe it was that overkill that brought me to my current state.

So I want the plants to live, I know the plants need water, and yet I don’t water them. Is this a mental disorder?

Friday, November 7, 2008

The British are coming!

Since the election, I’ve heard a lot of people talking about renewed pride in their country. That reminded me -- I’ve never been a sucker for patriotic emotion, but there is one patriotic song that’s been known to choke me up for some reason: Schoolhouse Rock’s “Shot Heard ’Round the World.” Go figure.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I love it

I love that Barack Obama is going to be our next president. I love that children in America are going to grow up seeing a black family in the White House, a black man leading the nation. I’m really excited about the prospect of this presidency, the impact it will have on the U.S. and the world. A woman should be next. (But not Sarah Palin.)

But still, it wasn’t all roses last night. Two more states voted to ban same-sex marriages, and California’s Prop 8 is still undecided. And Arkansas passed a measure banning gay couples from adopting or becoming foster parents. How despicable.

That news is fucking depressing, so I’m trying not to think about it. I’m trying to focus on the change that’s coming, this defining moment in our history. As Arianna Huffington wrote last night, “tonight’s outcome is a declaration that we are once again a nation more driven by hope and promise than a nation driven by fear.” And I love that.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The big day

And I’ve never been so jazzed about it. Even though I’m voting in solidly red Kansas, I felt really excited to cast my presidential vote. For the first time ever, I feel pretty confident that the best candidate will win the day. A very conservative acquaintance of mine predicted over coffee this afternoon that the race would go late into the night. I’m thinking this was wishful thinking on his part, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed this evening anyway.

Monday, November 3, 2008


How is it possible that three days after Halloween all the half-price candy is gone? A rack of candy corn and a few wrinkly Peeps ghosts are all that’s left? I’m sorely disappointed in the store’s restraint in stocking Halloween candy.

I just encountered my first douchebag buyer on eBay, and I really could’ve used a fun-size Whoppers.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hope triumphs

Samuel Johnson supposedly said that a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience. I feel the same way every time I plant a bush.

A long series of bushes and shrubs have bought the farm at my house, beginning with two barberry bushes in 2005. The only things I’ve been able to keep alive are a bunch of boring boxwoods. This time I’m taking a chance on two moonshadow euonymus. Godspeed, little bushes.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A story by my mom's cousin Diane

(You'll have to imagine her two-packs-a-day voice and intermittent cackling.)

Hey, Joyce! Do you remember that time when I called you wanting to borrow some toilet paper? Do you remember that? Bob had to go to the bathroom, and we were out of toilet paper, so I called Joyce and asked her if I could borrow some from her. And she said, “Sure.” So I went over to Joyce’s, and she had just made some of those goddamn brownies. And she says, “Hey, do you want to have a brownie?” So I sit down and have a brownie, and we get to talking ... and pretty soon I realize, oh shit! Bob is at home on the toilet waiting on me to get the toilet paper!

So I rush home and tiptoe in -- and do you know Bob was sitting in there ASLEEP on the toilet! He was SLEEPING right there on the toilet! So I set down the toilet paper and go in the bedroom, real quietly, and put on my nightgown and get all ready for bed. And then I went in the bathroom -- after I caught my breath -- and I said, “Good God, Bob! Are you going to sit in there all night, or are you going to come to bed?” And he didn't even know I’d been gone all that time!