Archive | September, 2008

Almost 50 questions

30 Sep

A meme!  The quintessential slacker post (except for the whole 50 questions part—50?!).  This comes by way of Susan.

1.  Do you like blue cheese?  I avoid sad foods as a general rule.  You are what you eat.

2.  Have you ever smoked a cigarette?  Not unless you count the time when I was 5 and I picked up an old butt (cigarette butt) out of the gutter and pretended to smoke it.  I didn’t inhale, though.

3.  Do you own a gun?  I’ve got two glue guns stashed in my laundry room right now.  Just in case…

4.  What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic?  What kind of restaurant serves flavorless drinks?  And what chumps are actually paying for these?  Add your own flavor—humph—I’ll tell you somethin’.

5.  Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?  Only if they’re womanly.  I’m very shy.

6.  What do you think of hot dogs?  Ditto Susan.  Simultaneously disgusting and delicious.

7.  Your favorite Christmas song?  Amy Grant’s Breath of Heaven.  It’s real perdy.

8.  What do you prefer to drink in the morning?  Depends on what I’m eating.

9.  Can you do push-ups?  Plural?  All of my push-ups come in pairs.

10.  What is your favorite movie?  I don’t really have one, but if you put a gun to my head I would probably say Pride & Prejudice.  I can watch it over and over.  My most oft quoted movies, however, are Napoleon Dynamite, A Christmas Story, Princess Bride and Better Off Dead.

11.  What is your favorite piece of jewelry?  My wedding ring.  (One of my favorite memories of my grandmother is riding in the car with her when she realized she’d forgotten to put on her clip-on earrings and her saying, “Oh, I just feel naked without my jewel-ry!)

12.  Favorite hobby?  Reading, writing, couch-potatoing

13.  Do you work with people who idolize you?  Define work.

14.  Do you have ADD?  I made it all the way to question 14, didn’t I?

15.  What’s one trait you hate about yourself?  Slackery

16.  What’s your middle name?  the

17.  Name three thoughts at this moment.

Quick—think of something interesting/amusing.  I’ve got nothing.

I hate it when if feels like there’s something in my nose.

There is something in my nose.  Did I just walk the girls to school like that?  Did anyone notice?

18.  Name 3 things you bought yesterday.  My child’s love with a chocolate chip cookie.  That is all.

19.  Current worry right now?  My sink is full of dishes again.

21.  Current hate right now?  dirty dishes

22.  Favorite place to be?  At home, somewhere out of view of my kitchen sink.

23.  How did you bring in the New Year?  Watching my son blow up like a balloon after eating a pistachio.

24.  Where would you like to go?  Italy, England, Hogwarts (the real Hogwarts, but not the dungeon—it scares me)

25.  Name three people who will complete this.  Whichever (whatever? whoever? whomever?) slackers are in need of a post.

26.  Whose answer do you want to read the most?  Madhousewife

27.  What color shirt are you wearing?  brown

28.  Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?  What kind of hussy do you take me for?

29.  Can you whistle?  Melodically?  Yes.  Two fingered-ly?  No.

30.  Favorite color?  Green.  Like this:

  Mmmmm…guacamole…oh hoho ho…

31.  Would you be a pirate?  Only if I could have the wise-cracking parrot.  Actually, I’d rather be the wise-cracking parrot.

32.  What songs do you sing in the shower?  Most recently, Ghetto Supastar.  I heard it on the radio yesterday, and it’s stuck in my brain.  Quick, somebody sing something else.

33.  Favorite girl’s name?  I just like to call everyone dude.

34.  Favorite boy’s name?  See #33.

35.  What’s in your pocket right now?  loose threads and my fingers

36.  Last thing (person) that made you laugh.  BigHugs saying, “Mom, I want to be a piggy for Halloween, but I don’t want to get all muddy.”

37.  Best bed sheets as a child?  rubber

38.  Worst injury you’ve ever had?  I tore my achilles tendon playing soccer in the 6th grade.  It still gives out if I try to run more than a couple of miles (and by still, I mean the last time I tried, which was like 15 years ago).

39.  What is your favorite snack?  cheetos—pure, delicious evil

40.  Favorite thing to do on Sundays?  watch my kids draw

41.  Who is your loudest friend?  My oldest sister.  Right, Mad?  (Mad’s not the oldest.)

42.  How many dogs do you have?  I’m not really a dog person.  Or a drool person.  Or a shedding person.  Or a smelly person.  Or a pooper scooper person.  (I’m not really a pet person at all.)

43.  Does someone have a crush on you?  yes

45.  What is your favorite book?  Pride & Prejudice

46.  What is your favorite candy?  Junior Mints.  Who’s going to turn down a Junior Mint?  It’s chocolate, it’s peppermint, it’s delicious!  It’s very refreshing!

47.  What is your favorite sports team?  Eh?

48.  What song do you want played at your funeral?  I don’t actually plan on dying, but this one is very sweet and peaceful and hopeful.  I’d want them to play it from me to my kids.

49.  What were you doing at 12 am last night?  Watching Silar cut somebody’s brain open, and wondering what the heck was wrong with me that I wasn’t already in bed.

50.  What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning?  Why?  (Not why on the question, just why.)

INsane—that’s like more than sane, right?

30 Sep

Last week my phone kept ringing once.  One ring and then nothing.  A few minutes later, one ring and nothing.  Nothing would even pop up on my caller ID.  I picked up the phone and heard crazy-crackling static and no dial tone.  Hmm.  I went through the house, making sure every phone was properly hung up and checked again.  CRAZY static.  And crackling.  No creepy voice informing me they were calling from inside my house.  And no dial tone.  I tried dialing my home phone with my cell phone.  Busy signal.  Seems like the phone would be off the hook, right?  So I checked again.  Everything was properly plugged in and hung up and yet the static remained and the dial tone stayed away.  Darn it all, my phone line was broke!

My next step was to consult my local phone company’s online support center.  The troubleshooting section took me through a series of steps to try and diagnose the source of the problem.  It said I needed to determine if it was a problem with the inside or outside wiring. To do that, I had to go outside, open the phone box thingy and flip open the jack doo-hickey and plug in a phone to see if it functioned properly.  If it didn’t work then it was a problem with the outside wiring and the phone company would fix it at their own cost, and if it did then it was a problem with the inside wiring and I’d have to foot the bill.  I’ll give you five guesses which one it was, and the first one doesn’t count (seeing how there’s only two possible answers, if you need the last three guesses there’s something wrong with you).

I called Chuck, who’s been out of town (of course), to see how I should proceed, and we decided I really had no choice but to suck it up and schedule the service call.  You know what I found most upsetting about this whole thing?  Was it the fact that my phone line was broken and I was without my land line?  No.  Or the fact that I’d be stuck with no doubt a hefty bill for my troubles?  No.  It was the fact that my house was a mess and I had every intention of being a total slacker and completely ignoring it, but now I had the telephone repair guy coming and I would have to clean my house.  I was actually near tears at the thought.  I even briefly considered waiting to schedule the appointment for a day when my house already happened to be clean, but having no earthly idea of when that might actually happen I thought better of it.  I kind of needed the phone.  So I scheduled the appointment and cleaned my house and the guy came out and figured out the problem and now my phone works and my house is presentable for all types of visitors, expected or not.  But will I have any?  Of course not.  Because the house is already clean.  It’s like an unwritten law of the universe.

For the past couple of months, I’ve actually been thinking about this quite a bit.  One night I was sitting on my bed reading when I heard this pop, pop, pop noise that sounded kind of gunfire-ish.  I looked out the window, but as far as I could tell, nothing was amiss.  But it got me thinking, what if it had been gunfire?  What if that pop, pop, pop had pop, pop, popped right through my window and struck me?  Chuck had been out of town then, too, so there would have been no one to drive me to the hospital.  I’d have to call 911.  And depending on the severity of the wound, I might have to wait for them in my bedroom.  My bedroom which was covered bed to floor with laundry in various states of cleanliness.  Would they look around my room in disgust and say, “Pack it up, boys.  This woman does not deserve our help.” and I’d bleed out between the whites and colors?  I’ve never tested the response time of my local emergency personnel.  Would I be able to fold and put away the clean laundry and throw the dirty laundry in the wash before they arrived?  Or before I passed out from the blood loss?  Maybe I could grab a towel from the bathroom and somehow secure it to the wound, so that I could go downstairs to wait for them there?  But with a gunshot wound there would most likely be a mandatory investigation, which would no doubt necessitate the inspection of the scene of the crime, which would mean they would still have to go up to my bedroom, discover that I was indeed a total slob, close the case and move onto solving crimes with victims more deserving of their time and resources.

I concluded that there was just no way I could allow myself to be seriously injured in the squalor of my bedroom.  But what about a minor injury?  After all, that pop, pop, pop noise wasn’t very loud so it couldn’t have come from a high caliber weapon.  More likely it was a BB gun or something.  Getting shot with a BB gun is really no big deal, right?  Probably very little blood, too.  In that case, I could just drive myself to the hospital, tell them I’d been shot in a drive-by or something, and avoid the whole ugly crime scene.  Although, once they really started questioning me they would likely find the holes in my story and trick me into confessing that I had, indeed, been shot in my bedroom and then they’d visit the crime scene and I’d be back to square one. 

I also started to worry about those little BB’s.  What if one got in my bloodstream and traveled to my heart or lungs?  Can you get a pulminary embolism from a BB?  I just wasn’t sure.  It had been a long time since I’d seen ER, and I only watch Grey’s Anatomy for the witty banter.  That could be serious, right?  Life threatening even.  I couldn’t risk this day dreamed scenario.  I decided right then and there that I must never be shot in my bedroom while reading a book.  And the only way to ensure that would never ever happen would be to keep my room neat and tidy at all times.  Because obviously there would be no need for anyone to be there if it was clean.  No one ever just drops in when your house happens to be clean.  Unwritten law.

So you know the old joke about moms asking if you’re wearing clean underwear before you go out, and it’s supposed to be so just in case you’re in a car accident you won’t be embarrassed to have the medical personnel discover your dirty drawers?  Well, that’s not really why moms say that.  They say that because clean underwear is like a talisman of protection.  Cleanliness is actually the only 100% effective prophylactic against bodily harm or other such calamities.  Of course, there is the flipside to these laws of the universe. I’d hazard a guess that an immaculate home is just asking for Hurricane Huey, and clean underwear likely drastically reduces the chances you’ll get lucky.  Plan accordingly.

Bythelbs’ kids get religion, part II (and winners announced)

29 Sep

You can read part I here.

This is how my children spend their time during our church services.


Mr. T



I threw all y’all’s names in a hat—literally, see:


DynaGirl drew out Susan M and Goose drew out Cheryl, which just goes to show if you stick around here long enough sooner or later you’re bound to get something out of it.  Congrats to the winners!  Condolences to the non-winners.  I actually felt so badly about disappointing so many of my fellow Office fanatics that I had my girls draw out two more names.  So more congrats to Julie and Boquinha who will each be receiving a small consolation prize.

It’s a major award! (and taking Friday funnies to the HNL)

26 Sep

Looky here!  Madhousewife in all her goodness and wisdom has bestowed upon me the most prestigious of honors.  Behold.

And all I had to do was write the mother of all mad libs!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ho. Nuva. Level. (HNL), please allow me to enlighten you.

Have a great weekend!

Tonight, tonight, tonight! Hot darn! It’s on tonight!

25 Sep

After months of anicipation, it’s finally here!  The Office season premiere!  I could not be more excited, and in honor of this momentous occasion, I am giving away some Office themed goodies (the value of which is incalculacable) for you, my fellow Office fans.  And if you’re not a fan of The Office, it’s OK—I may not understand you, but I respect your right to exist.

The Office prize packs (there are two) include a mini-steno pad, pen and pencil set, magnets, sticky notes and an anti-stress toy in a Dwight or Pam theme.  Just leave a comment and your name will go into the hat.  I’ll post the winners on Monday.

Have you ever been over to the official NBC The Office site?  There’s lots of fun stuff over there for the die-hard Office fan, including blogs by Dwight and Creed, some trivia and personality tests and these hilarious little webisodes.  The webisodes are mini Office episodes exclusive to the website that tells a story in several small installments.  I think the most current one is “Kevin’s Loan”, in which Kevin finds himself in financial trouble and hatches a scheme to get a small business loan to pay off his gambling debts.  There are some classic Kevin moments, as well as some great scenes with Darryl, who is tragically under used in the network episodes, as far as I’m concerned.  You can find all five installments of “Kevin’s Loan” here, but here is part three just to give you a taste, as in “Taste the Ice Cream”.


Only 7 more hours!!

What kind of mother indeed

24 Sep

A week ago last Saturday, DynaGirl went with Goose and the neighbor and the neighbor’s daughters (DG’s and G’s BFFs) to open gym at the place Goose takes gymnastics. About an hour after they left, I got a call from my neighbor saying that DynaGirl had fallen off the balance beam and hurt her shoulder. They iced it there, and when she got home I iced it some more and gave her some ibuprofen. It wasn’t swollen or bruised and didn’t have any other sign of injury.  We figured with a few days rest she’d be good to go. It was sore and tender for about three days, and then she just sort of stopped complaining about it. A couple of days after that, I noticed DynaGirl still wasn’t moving it normally. She had trouble lifting and extending her upper arm, and whenever she got dressed, she would use her other hand to pull her arm through the sleeve. I decided I had better get her into the doctor just in case. It was Friday and after hours for her regular doctor, and since I try to avoid the walk-in clinic as much as possible, I decided to call on Monday. They didn’t have an appointment available with her regular doc on Monday, so I just scheduled one for Tuesday.

So I took DynaGirl to the doctor yesterday to have her arm checked out. The doctor was totally puzzled by the lack of pain that accompanied the lack of movement. She said it was like DynaGirl had dislocated it, but she had never seen a case of dislocation where the patient wasn’t in fairly intense pain.  We went to x-ray. It wasn’t dislocated. It was broken. BRO-ken broken. Like totally and completely all-the-way-through-the-bone broken. What kind of mother lets her daughter walk around with a broken arm for 10 days? This one. This one does.

They were very nice to me about it—tried to reassure me there was really no way of knowing given how little DynaGirl had complained. At least five people commented on how remarkable it was that she wasn’t in obvious pain with that kind of break. We ended up going to see the ortho guy, and he said it actually looks good. It’s slightly angulated, but he’s fully confident that as she grows it will all readjust itself perfectly and in a couple of years (a couple of years?) we’ll never even be able to tell it was broken. She’s got a couple weeks in a sling, and then we go back for a follow-up.

So I guess my negligence hasn’t caused her any permanent damage, but I still feel like crap.

Moral of the story—You can totally screw up with your kids and they’ll still be OK.  And you can have a dozen people tell you it’s not your fault, and you’ll still feel like crap.

You mean this poem, Betty?

23 Sep

Remember this?  I’ve been pretty disappointed not to have received any further updates on Chantella and Cristoph.  Oh Daydream Believer, where are you?  Have your dreams come true?  I did, however, recently receive (OK, I just had to look up “receive”.  You know how you type a word, but it looks wrong, so you type it the other way and it looks wrong, too?  Even though it’s right?  And it’s a word you’ve known how to spel [Holy ironic mispelling {Holy frick!  I just misspelled mispelling.  Double the irony!  Double the fun!}, Batman!  I left it in for your amusement.] correctly for at least 25 years, and you’ve been doing so with absolutely no problem until right this second?)  (Is there a limit to how many parentheticals you can have within a parenthetical?  Did I just misspell parenthetical?  Now I have to look that one up, too.  Phew!  I got that one right.)

Where was I?  Oh yeah, I recently received this:

Sister Bythelbs,

Just a note to ask if you still have a copy of the poem I wrote??? I forgot to keep one for my file. I don’t know what I was thinking. If you do, please e-mail it to me. Also thanks for the squash. It was soooooo GOOD! The reunion was so great and the Temple was just perfect. Love Betty


Betty, Betty, Betty.  What were you thinking?  You always keep one for the file.  I sure hope that other Sis. Bythelbs kept the poem.  That would be kind of awkward to have to admit to Betty that the poem was not treasured enough to have been kept in a safe place where it could be properly cherished for all eternity.  I hate to admit it, but I was halfway tempted to write a reply, thanking her for her praise of my gardening and gathering skills and including my own made up version of her poem.  But I thought better of it.  It’s just not neighborly to be screwing with people like that.  And I’m good folk.  Deep down.

But if I weren’t such good folk, and you were me, what kind of poem might I/you write? 

I could really go for some of that squash right about now.






Weekend whatnot

22 Sep

On Friday, Mr. T went on a campout with his boy scout troop.  This was his second attempt.  The first campout did not go over so well as it was raining and cold and there were irritating boys whose sole purpose in Mr. T’s estimation was to make everyone else miserable.  Friday afternoon I reminded him it was time to get ready and he heaved a heavy sigh.  Chuck and I decided long ago that scouting would not be something we would force upon our son, but Mr. T is the type of kid who occasionally needs a little nudging to do anything besides sit at the computer so we’re still trying to gently encourage him.  He agreed to go and got everything ready.  We were to meet at our church at 4:50 pm so they could leave at 5 pm sharp.  The scoutmaster ended up being over an hour late.  Whatever.  It was also raining and cold.  And there were irritating boys whose sole purpose was to make Mr. T miserable.  I’m not sure we can talk him into going a third time.  I’m not sure we’ll even try.

Saturday night DynaGirl woke up sobbing.  She’d had a nightmare.  She said she dreamed that Mr. T, BigHugs and I had all died.  Yikes.  That’s a nightmare.  The kind I have frequently.  I have times where my subconscious is a little too preoccupied with death.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had nightmares about losing members of my family.  They’re awful.  And even the relief of waking up and realizing it was just a dream isn’t enough to take away the feeling of dread.  It just lingers and makes me want to cry. Sometimes I do, like DynaGirl.

My favorite death dreams are the ones where someone dead comes back to life, specifically my mom.  I used to dream about her all the time—that she was still alive and everything was back to normal.  Those were actually good dreams, and even though I would wake up only to realize she was still gone, that repeated grief and disappointment was totally worth having her back for a few imaginary moments.  Sometimes I would dream that she was still alive, but then she would die again in my dream.  Those sucked.  No fair to have to relive it.

On Sunday night, we were all sitting at the dinner table when I noticed this weird noise in the background. My kids were convinced it was the dryer.  I thought, “It damn well better not be the dryer because that is definitely not how the dryer is supposed to sound, which could only mean that something is terribly, terribly wrong with the dryer and didn’t we just do the whole dead washer routine?”  I decided to investigate and ended up poking my head out the front door to find an ambulance and fire engine outside my neighbor’s house.  The weird background noise was the fire engine idling.

We go to church with these neighbors (an older couple with mostly grown kids and one 16 year old son at home), and have lived across the street from them for over seven years.  My first thought was one of them must have had a heart attack.  They’re both large people.  Lovely, lovely people, but large.  I was afraid.  I sent Chuck over to investigate, and it turns out Mrs. Lovely large neighbor had her leg just collapse out from under her.  She heard a pop and then it just folded.  Ouch.  Her husband said it happened in their bedroom, which is downstairs, while he was away, so she called out to her teenage son, who was upstairs, but he couldn’t hear her so she called him on his cell phone.  This is a small house, but thank goodness for cell phones, I guess.  Her son called his dad and he came home.  Chuck said the son was still upstairs when he got there.  I was wondering if he was still upstairs or upstairs again.  Surely he didn’t just stay upstairs and leave his poor mother alone in her misery until dad arrived.  Surely.

I was just so relieved no one had a heart attack.  I’m going to check on her today.

Today Chuck left for a 10-day business trip.  Again with the business trips.  It would have been a full two weeks only DynaGirl’s birthday is next Thursday and Chuck missed her birthday two years ago while on business in Italy, and DynaGirl has never let him forget it.  She still brings it up at random non-birthday related times.  “Remember that time you missed my birthday?” 

He broke the news to the kids Friday night over dinner.

Chuck:  I’ve got good news and bad news.  Which do you want first?

DynaGirl:  Bad news.

Chuck:  I have to go on another trip.

DynaGirl and Goose:  What?  Again?

DynaGirl:  You’re going to miss my birthday!  Again!

Chuck:  Wait for the good news.

DynaGirl, sulking.

Chuck:  I’m coming back on your birthday.

DynaGirl:  Yay!  Wait, what time?

He’ll be home before she gets home from school, but I love how quick she was to make sure he wasn’t trying to pull a fast one on her.  Like not getting home until nighttime would have been totally cheating because he still would have basically missed her birthday.  Again.

So, to sum up:

stupid campouts = bad

death = bad

jacked-up leg = better than a heart attack

DynaGirl = forgive, but not forget


How was your weekend?

Friday Funnies and other nonsense

19 Sep

Are you rat or pig?

My spam filters still leave something to be desired, but the upside is I occasionally get one of these little gems.

“I never once act doubted encouraging annoyed kept your doing so.” Monte Cristo “And you religion shoed have confused doubtless brought all sent your papers wi

cushion “There space is sign only one thing which shirt grieves me,” observ “What papers?” “Yes.” employ “Ah, my M. Cavalcanti, below I trust fear rail you will not l

“Ah, debt language your promptly excellency, I am letter overwhelmed with deligh “What papers?”

What papers?!

“Happy stormy father, squeaky carelessly swum happy son!” said the count. slimy “The register of the birth sadly buzz stridden of Andrea Cavalcanti—o wind sprung rule “Really, sir, you must allow that this ornithic is most ext

need curtain “Let gaze us try what we can arch do, then,” said the notary “Happy brake father, knit thread upset happy son!” said the count.

Happy stormy father, upset happy son—I’m confused, are they happy or not? And who’s this count?

“I never once act doubted encouraging annoyed kept your doing so.” Monte Cristo “And you religion shoed have confused doubtless brought all sent your papers wi

The count of Monte Cristo? Again with the papers.

And my personal favorite:

The mind major horse pump passed his insect hand across his brow. “Ah, pe “Yes.” “Certainly I do.”

Certainly do what? Now I’m intrigued. I’d like to hear the rest of this story.

Random kid speak

18 Sep

In the car.

Goose:  I feel like I have an extra toe.

Me:  What?

Goose:  It feels like there’s an extra toe on my foot.

Me:  What are you talking about?

Goose:  You know how your hand has a finger that comes out the side?  I feel like there’s a toe like that on my foot.

A phantom thumb toe.  No wonder she has a hard time with shoes and socks.

After dinner.

DynaGirl:  Can girls be hobos?

Me:  Yeah.

DynaGirl:  Yes!  I wanna be a hobo when I grow up!

Goose:  I want to be a hobo when I grow up.

DynaGirl:  Why do you always have to copy people?

Again with the hobos.  And the copying.


Any time.

BigHugs: I need some chocolate milk to watch Tom & Jerry.

That’s pretty much all she says lately.

After a spaz-attack by one of the girls.

Mr. T:  Was I adopted?

Me:  No.

Mr. T:  I had to have been adopted.

Me:  Hey, if you were adopted that means you wouldn’t be related to me.  Harumph.

Mr. T:  Well, then was everyone else adopted?

Me:  Totally.

I tell them all the same thing—whatever they need to hear.