Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cats Are Good Company

While daughter and I were out braving the crowds at the mall on Black Friday, Thing Two was feeling worse and worse.  He just hung out on the couch and rested all day.  Then at about 3am on Saturday morning, the puke-fest began and the poor kid puked his guts out from 3am to about 9am.  He started to feel a little better and was lying on the couch when Princess came to cuddle him and make him feel better.  What a good kitty-cat!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving at Home

We had 15 people here for Thanksgiving dinner and a fabulous time was had by all.  We laughed ourselves silly,

Uncle Yukoner and Bestbuddy Cousin posed for the camera, like Father like Daughter,

Thing One cuddled up with Grandmother,

And Daughter and I enjoyed each others company.

We didn't get a lot of great photos, we never do at Thanksgiving.  It probably has something to do with the tryptophan poisoning, but we had a really good time.  We played "Pit" after dinner, something we always do at family gatherings.  It gives us an excuse to yell at each other.  (If you haven't played "Pit", go out and buy it now to play at your next family gathering.  It's hysterical!)  We missed Science Genius Brother, Dad and Stepmonster but got to chat with them on the phone briefly and then drowned our sorrow in red wine.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and got to laugh with your family and loved ones as much as I did!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


The absolute terror in Mumbai is so awful.  Arun Shanbhag has pics (some have blood in them but he warns you first) and a first-hand account of what's going on.

You can follow Twitter's Mumbai tweets, in real time, some of which were from people in the thick of it.  Last night as I watched there were people tweeting from inside the hotel - the hostages and possibly even the terrorists.  How all this new technology will change the world is yet to be seen.

My own frustrations with hosting Thanksgiving dinner?  Gone, all gone.  It's so frustrating that I can't do anything - just like I felt after 9-11.  I've got an appointment to donate blood on Saturday and will donate to the international Red Cross but that just doesn't seem like enough.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I'm thankful for my healthy husband and kids, Grandmother and the rest of our fab extended family.

I'm thankful that Obama won and we won't have four years of McPain.  Or worse yet, Caribou Barbie.

I'm thankful for Jon Stewart.  *swoon*

I'm thankful I haven't gotten thrown out of college (yet) for being a smart-ass who isn't afraid to call Professors on their bullshit.

I'm thankful that in a few short weeks I won't have to listen to George Bush speak in public and cringe at the thought that this idiot is our representative to the rest of the world.

I'm thankful that Aunt Wonderful is making the pumpkin pies for tomorrow.

I'm thankful that our house is on three acres so the neighbors can't hear the children scream when I beat them or duct tape them to the side of the house because they won't stop fighting.

I'm thankful that daughter is in her room scraping the mold off the walls in preparation for company coming tomorrow.

I'm thankful for the most amazing and wonderful Mom and Stepdan in the world who will, at the drop of a hat, take home whichever kid that is driving me batshit crazy and ENJOY their visit!

I'm thankful that I only have two more weeks left until this quarter is over and I get a months break from school.

I'm thankful that the kids aren't out of school until December 19th.

I'm thankful that my brother Genius Scientist can answer all of thing 2's unanswerable questions like what is absolute zero and why do neutrons go faster blah blah blah....

I'm thankful for phones so even though he lives in Berkeley, Genius Scientist can answer thing 2's questions immediately so I don't have to listen to him go on and on and on about them for days.

I'm thankful for airplanes so I can send Grandmother and Thing 2 to visit Grandpa and Grandmonster in Las Vegas for four days in January.  (WOOT!)

I'm thankful for airplanes so I can visit Dad & Stepmonster in February.  (DOUBLE WOOT!)

I'm thankful for my car so I can drive to Berkeley to visit Genius Scientist over spring break.  (TRIPLE WOOT!) 

I'm thankful for all of my friends, real and bloggy ones.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Resting My Brain

This is the last thing I wrote:

Education and children’s roles as students of elementary, middle or high school levels are a social order and institution derived from our own activity. The natural world’s role in this dialectic process is that “the necessity for social order as such stems from man’s biological equipment” (52) or the natural world. 

There is more but it makes my ears bleed to read it again.  So instead, I am shamelessly lifting material from Laurel to help me regain my normal equilibrium.  This college writing shit is HARD!

Where is your cell phone - docked
Your hair color - blonde
Your mother - AWESOME (she took thing 2 home with her today, YAY NANA!)
Favorite thing - red wine
Your dream last night – don't remember
Your dream goal – waterfront in Mexico
The room you're in – bedroom
Your hobby - Ummm, what?
Your fear – rivers
Where do you want to be in 6 years - teaching high school
Where were you last night – here
What you're not - tall
One of your wish list items - skinny ass
Where you grew up - Renton
The last thing you did - Tucked boys in 
What are you wearing - jammies
Your TV- history channel
Your pet- Penny, Pickles and Princess
Your computer - Apple
Your mood - Happy
Missing someone - Spanish Teacher
Your car - MDX
Something you're not wearing - makeup
Favorite shop - Costco
Your summer - road trip
Love someone - husband
Favorite color – orange
When you last laughed - five minutes ago
When you last cried - I don't remember

There, now I feel more human again.  Thanks Laurel!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Intelligence is Elitist

This article by Andy Borowitz titled "Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy" is the funniest thing I've read in a long time.  Go read it and I DARE you not to laugh out loud.

Now I am going to step AWAY from the computer and STAY away until I have finished writing a 6-8 page paper on the tenets of snake handlers in Appalachia using the first person accounts in Brown and McDonald's book, a 6-8 page paper linking Berger & Luckmann's The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge with my research topic of the transition between middle school and high school and prepared a debate arguing that historically, the primary determination of who receives the death penalty in the United States is race.

When I'm done, I can have my internet back.  Husband is going to help me out here and disconnect the wi-fi because I have no self control.

Both of those books are listed on the right in my Goodreads box but the only one I would recommend is the Snake handler one which is fascinating.  The Berger-Luckmann is PAINFUL and should be burned.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Daughter Got Plastered At School

Daughter's high school art club is making plaster casts of their torsos and legs that will be painted and hung up around the school as an art project. Daughter has been DYING to get plastered and on Tuesday she finally got her wish.

Like mother like daughter.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Sick, Sick Child

The Grandparents will appreciate this one.  When I got to the YMCA to pick up thing two yesterday, they were making posters for the Senior Center Toiletry Drive.  This poster he made will shock the Depends off the seniors who have lost their juvenile sense of humor but the ones who haven't will love it.

Grandmother loved it, she has a well-developed juvenile sense of humor.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Communicating with a Teenage Girl

Yesterday daughter stayed after school to work on an art assignment.  She texted me in the morning to make sure it was ok and it went downhill from there.  Here's our "conversation"...

Daughter @ 10:48am
Hey mom, im gonna stay after school to work on my art, ok?

Ok, I have to pick up thing two when I get out of class anyway so I can pick you up then.

Ok.  Call me when youre gonna pick me up and ill go out front.  Also, can you pick me up before thing two?  I want the front seat  (My eyeballs are rolling all over the place at this)

Daughter @ 2:26 (school gets out at 2:20)
Wheen r u gonna be here?  I'm really hungry...


Oh...Well hurry! im starving  (How do I hurry up a class that is over at a set time?  She is not a stupid child, I swear!)

Daughter @ 3:15
R U out yet?

Just got out, it'll take me about 15 minutes to get there

Aaargh...Hurry...And can we PLEASE get food after you pick us up?  I'm SO hungry... (At this point I'm wondering why in the hell she even bothered staying after school, if she had taken the bus home she would be HOME by now where there is FOOD)

I won't let u starve - didn't u eat lunch?

Noooo...I just want food, and none of the vending machines work, they never do (Now I want to know what the vending machines not working has to do with the fact that she was too stupid to eat lunch?!?) 
Call me when you get here...And youre still picking me up first, right? (She is just a LITTLE bit crazy over the front seat!)


Kay see you soon...Signed, your hungry daughter :P


Hungry goofball

Daughter @ 3:34
U here yet? Its been over 15 minutes...

At this point my head exploded and the blood and brains made a huge mess of the inside of my car.  It took me all evening to clean it up.

For a smart kid, she sure can be an idiot.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bail Out the Auto Industry? WTF?

I wonder if it has occurred to any of the governmental leaders who are contemplating a bail-out for the auto industry that if we had universal healthcare and a decent pension plan for the elderly then the car companies wouldn't be bankrupted by providing those things to their retirees?

I think that would be a better investment of gazillions of dollars then bailing out companies whose CEO's have their heads up their asses and can't make a good product that people want to buy.

All these companies and banks that are failing need to be allowed to fail so they won't make the same fucking mistakes over and over again.  Let's create jobs by investing in our infrastructure (there are a lot more bridges that are in danger of collapsing) and our health care industry rather than bailing out badly run private businesses.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Drink, Dammit!

So Dad left yesterday afternoon and the second his plane was off the ground, it started to rain here.  And it rained and rained and rained.  It's still raining.  A school district in Snoqualmie is closed due to flooding, all the rivers are on flood warnings and the county we live in is distributing sandbags for those people who need them and haven't clued in to the fact that moving is easier and cheaper than digging out from a flood once or twice a year every year for TWENTY PLUS YEARS...jeeze, when they interview these people on the news EVERY TIME IT FLOODS, all I can think is why the fuck don't you move away from the river????

I'm blaming the rain on the fact that Dad left and took his good weather mojo with him.

(May the fleas of a thousand camels infest his armpits.)

It was great to hang out with him all weekend and let someone else fuss over Grandmother.  We very nearly had to take her to urgent care because she was dehydrated and getting woozy but when I whispered sweet nothings like "hospital" and "nursing home" into her ear she managed to get enough liquids down to keep herself at home.  Apparently elderly people do not get thirsty so it's common for them to become dehydrated very rapidly.  

Now I just holler DRINK, DAMMIT into her ear every hour or two.  You know, a friendly little reminder.

But while Dad was here he got Grandmother duty which is nice because it lets me off the hook a little bit and she is in a wonderful mood for at least two weeks before and two weeks after his visit so she'll be a ray of sunshine for a little while.  Hopefully.

After I dropped him at the airport I realized that I took zero pics while he was here so the pic I was going to post doesn't exist.  I'll try to do better next time.  I really wanted a pic of him and Grandmother but worrying about her health drove it right out of my head.  Next time for sure.

Now I have to get in the canoe and paddle to school, maybe I can catch a salmon swimming across the freeway...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Extra Hairy Kid

The pouring down rain stopped long enough for me to sweep the leaves off our front porch and into a pile.  While I was sweeping, Thing one and Thing two were throwing the ball for the dog and they wore her out.

I don't know about you but when I'm all worn out from running after a slimy tennis ball the VERY FIRST thing I want to do is flop down into a pile of wet leaves.

I think she's really a secret agent for the government and this is her camouflage.  I hope she is comfy cause she sure as hell is not coming back in the house for awhile!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Helicopter Parenting

If I was a "cool" blogger I would probably get into trouble for linking to this site but since I'm not cool and I'm not afraid of pissing people off, I will go ahead and link to this post about "negative child fear mongering" because I think it raises some interesting questions.  

V is not someone I always agree with but I like her blunt, even shocking, in your face way of putting things and sometimes she comes up with a topic like this that makes me want to consider my own view on the subject.

Plus she makes me laugh, I am THAT sick and twisted.  So shoot me.

I let my kids ride around our neighborhood on their bikes, daughter hangs out with the neighborhood kids at "the jumps" and they all can walk to the gas station/convenience store to get a soda or a treat (or milk if I have forgotten to stop at the grocery store on my way home from school) which is maybe a mile from our house but you have to walk on a street that takes a 90 degree turn with no sidewalks.  Daughter even hangs out with some kids in our neighborhood that smoke cigarettes and pot.  She is very honest with me and told me when she tried cigarettes ("it was SO GROSS Mom, I don't know how they do that all the time on PURPOSE!") and asked me what pot was like when one of her friends got into trouble for trying it.  I told her what it felt like to get high and gave her vivid and real examples from our family about why she should NOT smoke pot but ultimately it is her decision and all I can do is give her guidance.  I am quite sure, from personal experience, that if you just say DON'T DO THIS then they are absolutely 100% sure to DO IT and make sure you don't know.  But if you have an ongoing conversation they will ask questions and talk to you about things.  I would rather this start now, when they are in our house and we are still in control over their day to day activities than have their first experiences making decisions when they are in college.  Kids who live under their parents thumbs throughout high school go absolutely APESHIT in college and get into a lot of trouble.

My kids walked to elementary school by themselves in 1st grade.  Well, they weren't ALONE, they walked with each other and the rest of the neighborhood kids but I didn't walk with them.  Or drive them.

In the summer I have been known to send them outside to play with strict instructions not to come back until lunch.  The boys are homebodies and usually just play in the yard but daughter has friends all over the place and it can be all day until I see her.  Granted, she has her own cell phone so I can call her, but she is out of my sight for hours at a time in the summertime and on the weekends.

12 was the magic age for being old enough to be dropped off at the movies with a friend or sibling and we let daughter fly alone to Vegas at 12 to visit my Dad and Stepmonster.  (We are going to send thing 1 to Vegas for an extended visit with them next week.  Until he is 18.  They don't know yet.)  

We followed the law and didn't let them stay home alone until they were 10 or to be at home alone in charge of younger kids until they were 12 but I probably would have let them do that at a younger age were it not for the laws in Washington state.  (And the fact that daughter would have killed her brothers and buried the bodies but I digress...)

When I was a kid I rode public busses in my neighborhood and into Seattle alone in elementary school but there are parents of my kids friends who are horrified at the thought of letting their middle and high schoolers ride public transportation alone.  Many of their friends have never been to the movies without a grownup or ridden their bikes to a friends house unaccompanied.  I let the kids walk to the bookstore while I shop at Target or the grocery store and some of my friends ask if I'm worried about them "wandering around alone".  No, they're 12 and 14 years old for god's sake!  Daughter does her own laundry, they all have chores they have to do every day and the boys are getting really good at dishes!  I try not to be a helicopter parent but compared to my peers I am practically neglectful.  My whole goal at this point is to have them learn everything they need to know to get the hell out of my house and live successfully on their own!  If I don't teach them that, they will NEVER LEAVE.  And that would fuck up my plans in a very big way!

So what do you do?  When is it necessary to let them out of your sight and learn things the hard way?  We can't protect them from the real world forever and I think that not preparing them for reality is a subtle form of neglect.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Did!

I can't remember ever being this thrilled about an election or this hopeful for the future of not just the U.S., but the whole world.  Husband, the kids and I were all glued to the television last night along with the whole world, watching history being made.  Obama didn't just win an election, he changed the very fundamentals of politics in this country.  And his speech was humble and inspiring and let us know that the calm, hard-working man is ready and willing to roll up his sleeves and dig into the godawful mess that this country is in.  I cried!  For a politician's speech!  Me who comes from a long line of sarcastic cynics!

The lack of gloating and chest thumping in Obama's acceptance speech and the way he reached out to not just his supporters but the whole country was awesome and I truly and desperately hope that he is able to bring together people as American's and get them to look beyond Democrat and Republican.  He was totally gracious to McCain and I was impressed at the cheers the crowd had for McCain.

Obama Pictures and McCain

John McCain's speech was also wonderful and reminded me of why I used to respect him.  He seemed calm and composed, as if relieved that he no longer had to pander to the wacko's in his party with whom he really didn't agree.  The reaction of the crowd when he talked about working together to help the country get out of the awful mess it is in was a little disturbing - I hate to think that these people would rather let the entire country go down the toilet rather than help Obama succeed - but it is also more difficult to be magnanimous in defeat than as the winner so I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

For the first time that I can remember, I am not convinced that my grandchildren will be around to see the end of human life as we know it on this planet.  I have hope for the's a beautiful feeling!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hey McCain and Palin....

Neener neener neener.

This is Worse Than Christmas

I can't stand it, the election has been practically all I can think about for days and now I have to get through my classes, grocery shopping (vomit) and daughter's 2 hours of math tutoring before I can glue myself to the television and watch the election returns.

The Stranger is throwing a party at the Showbox in Seattle that I had planned on going to but the kids are just as excited about this as I am so I'm gonna stay home with them and we will all watch the returns as history is being made.  (We hope)

Only a few more hours...

Monday, November 3, 2008


Thing 2 had a GREAT first day at school, met a bunch of nice kids who asked him to sit with them at lunch, likes all his teachers and is jazzed to go back tomorrow.

I can't even express how happy and relieved we are.  I know it's only one day but with this kid, if he likes it from the beginning then that is at least 75% of the battle.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Random Stuff Bouncing Around in my Head

What is the deal with the forty-eleven hundred credit card aps I'm getting in the mail every day?  This is the part of our economy that I believe needs to be HEAVILY regulated.  My KIDS get a bunch of applications every week for God's sake!  Why should we bail out banks who will extend thousands of dollars in credit to CHILDREN?  They're creating a situation that has resulted in the rise of bankruptcies in this country and people being overextended and yet they're STILL TRYING TO GIVE US MORE AND MORE CREDIT.  Grrr.

I only have one more month to go for this quarter of school which means all the big papers and projects are due in the next 2 weeks, followed by finals.  So if I drop off the planet it means I'm at the library cramming.  Send in a search party if I'm not out by December 9th.

Only one kid trick or treated this year.  Daughter hung out at a friends house on Halloween, thing 1 stayed home, husband got stuck working at the jobsite from hell so it was just thing 2 and I at a friends party where he trick or treated with her kids.  I'm sad that thing 1 suddenly decided he is too old to trick or treat.  How did that happen????

The election cannot come soon enough.  I am not getting anything done other than reading political news and I have too much to do!!!

Thing 2 starts at his new school tomorrow.  I am excited and nervous and hope like hell that it works out.  I'll update after he settles in.

Back to work now, school is calling....