Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I have a confession to make.  Interior decorating blogs are my porn.  I drool over a "vignette" on a tabletop, I pant at the thought of decorating myself a walk in closet (or even a not walk in closet OMFG!) and I positively scream a la Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally over pictures of beautifully decorated living rooms with no fucking wires showing!

(Please excuse my foul language, I spent half the morning organizing all the electronic shit in the playroom and the amount of zip-ties needed to corral the wires so I could JUST MOP THE DAMN FLOOR was obscene.  Typing "fuck" makes me feel better so skip over it if cursing offends you.  Come to think of it, if cursing offends you this is probably not a site you want to read.  Ever.)

The problem with masturbating to interior decorating blogs is that no real house ever looks like that.  (Just like the silicone-enhanced, waxed, airbrushed up the wazoo girls in Playboy!)  They use duct tape and chicken wire (just what I use for my kids!) to make everything stay in EXACTLY the right place and since a picture is just a moment, the fact that kids and husbands and pets and LIFE are going to come in the room .3 seconds later to fuck it all up again is ok.  But it makes those of use who actually LIVE in our houses feel like shit.  I know this.  I know that Martha Stewart is the antichrist and yet I read her blog.  And website.  And occasionally, when I've had too much to drink, I try to cook her recipes.  Because I do not have forty-eleven minions to do all the work for me, it never ever turns out.  I KNOW this.  And yet, I keep going back to my own twisted version of internet porn.  It's a sickness people, an addiction.  That means I can't help myself so back off bitches!

Then I found Moggit and all is right with the world again.  Thank you Joy and Janet for helping me to find the humor in my own sick, twisted addiction to interior decorating blogs, photos, websites, magazines and television shows.  You and red wine (along with chicken wire and duct tape) are the only things that keep me sane!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Beginning of World War Three?

Hamas vows to dig in their heels and fight.

Hospitals with already low to non-existent supplies due to the blockade of Gaza are unable to care for all the injured.

Food supplies are dwindling.

Iraqi Ayatollah is calling for support of Gazan citizens.  (Is it just me who gets nervous about what exactly he means by support?)

Am I the only one that thinks this kind of large scale violence is going to INCREASE support for Hamas among the people of Gaza - exactly the opposite of what Israel says its goal is?  No, I'm not.  I really want to go over there and slap the shit out of every leader on both sides.  Just like I tell my kids, BEATING EACH OTHER UP WILL NOT HELP YOU GET ALONG BETTER, IT WILL ONLY MAKE IT WORSE.


(India and Pakistan, that goes for you too.  Put away your nuclear weapons and play nice.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm Going Crazy

Don't worry, it's not a very long trip for me to get to crazy.

Thank JEEBUS on a cracker the snow is finally melting, even the kids are ready to see the end of it.  Husband and daughter went snowboarding yesterday with Stepdan and the Aussie visitors and coming home he got STUCK at the beginning of our gravel road, approximately 100 steps from our house.  He had to chain up the car and rock it for quite some time to get it un-stuck.  Guess what a great mood he was in when they finally got home around midnight.

Begone evil snow, begone!

I kicked everyones ass today and we put away all the Christmas decorations and cleaned up the pine needles from every nook and cranny.  You see, I had the bright idea to host a New Year's Eve party (come over about 7ish, everyone is invited!) this year so in order to get ready for that party, we had to clean up from the Christmas festivities first.  Then I will have four days to recover from New Year's Eve before I go back to school.

We made the boys take a day off from the television, video games and computers today.  I know it is good for their BRAINS to not be sitting in front of a screen all day but my ears are bleeding!  They rode their new scooters all over, shot nerf guns at each other while they were "helping" clean up Christmas and were so freaking loud I put earplugs in!

Time for a cup of tea and some quiet time.  The twins are duct-taped to the walls in their bedrooms so they shouldn't give me any trouble.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Smartass Family

Me (on Thing 2's scooter) with Marvelous Mom.

Me with Scientist Genius's Aussie girlfriend.

Dad and Stepmonster got husband and Scientist Genius Brother "Underwear Repair Kits" because they are the two Cheapest. People. On. The Planet.  When Scientist Genius Brother told me he could get lunch for 55 cents at school (35 cents for a cup o' noodles and 20 cents for coffee w/unlimited refills) husband wiped away a tear and said "I'm so proud!!!".  Cheapskates.

Husband BBQ'ed the chicken kabob In The Snow.  Cheapskate or not, he is a good good man.

Almost 15 years later I think I will keep him!

Christmas Day Take 2

We had a lovely Christmas Day yesterday with the 7am wake-up call courtesy of Thing 2 who set his alarm, stockings and gifts opened with enthusiasm that bordered on mania and three bleary eyed adults (husband, grandmother and I) trying to get photos of the kids and guzzle coffee simultaneously.  

Then husbands brother, his wife and their three kids joined us for more wrapping paper shredding and family togetherness before they headed out to their next stop.  Unfortunately their AWD car got stuck in our driveway and then again down the street.  While husband was helping them dig their car out, our power went out quickly followed by the phone.  For some mysterious reason husband decided to take our AWD SUV out of the garage and got IT stuck in our driveway too.  So I called Marvelous Mom, who was to come for Christmas dinner with Stepdan, Scientist Genius Brother and the Australian guests and told her that Christmas would be postponed until the 26th due to a shitload of snow and no power.

So it was just the five of us at home for Christmas day and it was quiet, relaxing and weird.  I am used to total chaos and noise on Christmas and the quiet was unnerving.  Thing 2 and I went sledding after dark and had a blast watching the dog fall down while trying to catch us as we sped down the hill.  Then we woke husband up by pelting the bedroom sliding door with snowballs and generally made ourselves obnoxious.  A nerf war was waged and we enjoyed each others company.

Today is take 2 on our family dinner.  It's snowing again but we have a plan as well as power and phone service (thank you utility workers everywhere!).  Marvelous Mom and the gang are going to come as far as the corner store near our house and husband will try to get there to pick them up with our car that has been un-stuck and chained up.  If he can't get there, we will bundle up and take the sleds to meet them but come hell or high water we will have our Christmas dinner!  And me, I've come up with an ingenious solution to not enough room in the fridge:

Happy Boxing Day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Matriarch

Here is Grandmother with all six of her grandchildren.  I'm the oldest, Scientist Genius Brother is the youngest and our four cousins are in the middle.  Dad always did have to have the first and last word!

Snow, Snow, Beautiful Snow

Help!  We're drowning in snow!  These pictures are from the past three days but there is even more this morning.  4 inches fell overnight and its still coming down hard.

Thing 2 decided on a drowning snowman for his sculpture project.

Above is Thing 1 standing on the road to our house.  That orange thing near his foot?  That's the top of a construction cone.

Penny in snow up to her belly.  Watching her try to retrieve snowballs is absolutely hysterical!

This is why husband hasn't been to work in a week.  His van is rear wheel drive and won't be going anywhere until the snow is gone.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Whatever's Twelve Days of Christmas

Last night Thing 2 told me I should write a Whatever version of the twelve days of Christmas. After doing eleventy-five loads of laundry, cooking, cleaning and wrapping gifts there was NO WAY I was going to write it so I told him to knock himself out. Half and hour later he and Thing 1 showed up in our room and sang their composition to us. Here it is for your enjoyment.

You are really missing out by not hearing the two of them sing it but we haven't yet figured out how to download videos off our video recorder so you'll just have to imagine it.  This pic of them is from last Christmas but it pretty much sums up their personalities to a T.  I don't get genuine smiles for pictures from them unless they are picking each others noses!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Whatever gave to me,

Twelve funny links a-linking,
Eleven long wish lists a-listing,
Ten school freakouts a-freaking,
Nine awesome grades,
Eight Palin put-downs,
Seven plastered daughters,
Six genius brothers,


Four texting daughters,
Three stepmonsters,
Two hyped-up things,
And one great site in the blogosphere!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Great Grade Race!

My Brother, Scientist Genius, is every parents dream child.  He was a sweet, quiet, well-behaved little boy, excelled in sports, got straight A's in school while taking honors and college prep classes, got lots of scholarships to go to Seattle University (a very expensive private college) where he majored in Chemistry (ugh) and minored in mathematics (double ugh), got accepted into all eight of the graduate schools he applied to, is now earning his PhD. in Chemistry at Berkeley while getting paid to do so, earned a prestigious fellowship or some such thingamabob this past summer and is, in general, a total pain in my ass.  

When I decided to go back to school, my GOAL was to do AT LEAST as well as Scientist Genius Brother.  No snot-nosed kid 9 years younger than me was gonna beat me at this school thing!  (Why no, I'm not at all competitive.  Why do you ask?)

He graduated from college with a 3.86 gpa.  I transferred into the University of Washington with a 3.62 cumulative g.p.a.  (Curse you Spanish 102 and Intro to Chemistry 139, Curse you both to Hell!)  So I have six quarters in which to beat Scientist Genius at the Grade Game.

Here are my Fall Quarter Grades:

Race, Crime, and Law  a.k.a. why O.J. got off (but only the first time!)  3.9
Americans at the Margins  a.k.a. weirdos are just like us  3.8
Interdisciplinary Inquiry  a.k.a. KILL ME!  KILL ME NOW!  4.0

This gives me a 3.9 cumulative g.p.a. at the U of W but it's actually less than that when my transferred g.p.a. is figured in so I am BEHIND in the Great Grade Race!  Five quarters left.  I have to study harder!

I will go and console myself with being way ahead in the Providing Grandchildren Race.  Neener Neener Neener!

Here are Scientist Genius Brother and I with Marvelous Mom.  He's genius smart AND drop dead gorgeous - not fair!  Good thing he is a fabulous brother, the best uncle in the world and my best friend or I would have to kill him for making me look bad. 

Monday, December 15, 2008

So Cute I Think I Might Vomit

Thing two is doing amazingly well in his new school.  He's made some friends, hasn't gotten sent to the Principal's office once and is cheerful and happy to head out the door every morning.  His new BEST friend is a little girl his age who also takes the shuttle to the YMCA after school to stay until her parents pick her up after work.  Thing 2 doesn't want to go to the Y unless Best Friend is there too and when she is there he doesn't want to leave.  He called me this afternoon when he got to the Y to ask if he could stay until 5:00pm so they could play.  She enjoys the same video games, computer games and comics that he does and I suspect she can relate to him when it comes to not having many friends.  They are two peas in a pod and she is a very nice little girl.

Today when I picked him up she gave him a big hug goodbye and I thought it was So. Cute.  In the car on the way home he informed me that the two of them have decided they like LIKE one another but they aren't going to "go out" until they are in high school because they are too young right now.

I almost ran the car off the road.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Christmas Wish List

Husband is bugging me about what I want for Christmas and our Anniversary (it's on New Year's Eve) this year so I decided to make a list for him.  It got a little ridiculous so I thought I'd share my particular brand of crazy with all of you.  Plus it means I can put off going to the dreaded grocery store a few minutes more.

1.  A romantic weekend away that I don't have to plan, arrange for the kids to have supervision and make sure someone takes care of Grandmother.  It would be lovely to pack only for myself and walk out the door with no other fussing or preparation.  And I want it to be a surprise so stop asking me where I want to go!

2.  A flat screen television for our bedroom so I can decorate without having to work around a gigantic gray box.

3.  A magic pill to remove the extra 30 pounds I'm carrying around but am too lazy to actually exercise away.  Bonus points if the pill is permanent no matter how many Christmas cookies I eat.

4.  An automatic tennis ball thrower.  The dog is driving me batshit crazy by dropping slobber covered tennis balls into my lap every time I sit down.  I keep hiding them but she finds more!  She's a magic tennis ball conjuring dog!

5.  Mute buttons for the children.  I promise not to mute them more than 2 hours a day.

6.  Thicker hair.  Curly too.  Actually, just switch my hair with daughter's and we'll both be thrilled.

7.  A bachelor's degree in American Studies and a master's degree in education.  Four more years of college is such a drag!

8.  A private jet and pilot so I can fly to Vegas every time Jeff Renner starts freaking out about SNOW STORM 2008 *dum-dum-dum-duuuum*.  (At least it's coming on a Friday night this time so the kids won't miss any school.)

9.  Walk in closets.  But I don't want to move or remodel again *shudder* so do it with your magic construction powers.  And don't get sheetrock dust all over my clothes while you're doing it.

10.  Children that don't fight but instead love and help each other.  (Stop laughing)

That's about it honey.  Thanks for asking!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just Call Me Moron

I've spent two days getting nothing done.  Or if I look at it optimistically, getting only the bare minimum done.  Christmas boxes need to be put back in the garage, floors desperately need to be swept and vacuumed, the kids have eaten soup and sandwiches for dinner three nights running and there is a plethora of stuff strewn all over the kitchen and dining room  I'm tired, cranky and can't get any sleep.  It's like trying to live my life while encased in molasses and stoned.

This morning I realized my happy pills ran out three days ago and I forgot to refill the prescription.

I don't know whether to be horrified that I am such an idiot or relived that I'm not coming down with some sort of bizarro fatigue-inducing disease.

Off to the pharmacy now...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Air Mail!

I started blogging as a way to share pictures and funny stories with certain people in my family who have deserted us for sunnier weather.  I'm growing mold while they are tan and warm.  Jealous?  Moi?

The thing that has surprised me about blogging are all the cool people I've "met" online!  I don't remember how I found Frogdancer's blog but I was hooked the first time I read it.  She is a high school teacher in Australia and tells the FUNNIEST stories about her students.  Since I want to be a high school teacher when I grow up, it is a lot of fun reading about someone who is doing it and so obviously loves her students.

But aside from her teaching job and raising four handsome boys on her own, she also knits and sews!  And she came up with the coolest idea ever for coasters - so I bought some and they arrived today!  I love getting mail...

When I ordered my own set of these, I asked for "Persian Carpet" fabrics in deep reds, greens and gold since we have huge Persian carpets in our house that I've decorated around.  Apparently she had three different people order "Persian Carpet" coasters after they saw mine.  I am lucky someone else didn't snatch them up before she mailed them!

Here they are on the carpet so you can see what I meant.  Aren't they awesome?

How cool is this - THEY STAY ON THE WINEGLASSES!  And since they are all different they also serve as glass markers so people can remember which glass is theirs.  I love love love them!

So if you are a wine drinker (me!) and have lots of wood furniture that you don't want circle marks of red or white wine on, get thee to Frogdancer's site and order some!  Or baby hats, clothes, quilts...she makes the cutest stuff!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stop Sending Me Blonde Jokes!

For the first time in my life, I am not a blonde!

I *think* I like it but after 34 years of being blonde it is definitely going to take some getting used to.  What I really like is that it doesn't look like straw anymore - the ends were getting pretty scary looking.  

Things 1 and 2 are gonna have a whole herd of cows.  They hate change and my hair is sacrosanct.  Whenever I do something different to it they have a hissy-fit and this is by FAR the biggest change to my hair since they were born!

Husband won't notice.  (Seriously, I could shave my head bald and he wouldn't notice any change.)  And daughter will say something non-committal and smartassed.

Now I have to let it grow out again - I don't like the layers!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Daughter and I went to the mall tonight.  (I know.  The mall.  On a Friday night.  In December. Yes, I'm insane.)

We're driving into the parking lot and she sees a car with super dark tinted windows.  Her comment?

"I don't get super dark tinted windows.  If I had a really nice car I'd want people to see me driving it."

I love teenagers.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This is What Ninety-Three Looks Like

No fabulous pictures since Grandmother does NOT LIKE having her picture taken.  At all.  And she's pretty obnoxious about not even pretending to cooperate any more.  It's like trying to photograph a recalcitrant toddler.

She had a very nice birthday.  Uncle Computer Pro surprised her by taking her out to lunch, all her grandchildren and her Number 2 son called, her Great-Grandchildren made her cards and pictures (here are things 1 & 2 giving her love and backrubs), Husband brought home flowers for her and I made meat & potatoes for dinner with cake and ice cream for dessert.  She was happier than I've seen her in a long time and is excited to have a lovely lunch on Sunday at Aunt Wonderful and Uncle Computer Pro's house with the rest of the in-town family and friends.

Next year she doesn't get dinner until she agrees to pose for a picture.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

For the Foodie on Your Gift List *Update!*

Here is the perfect cookbook, I guarantee they won't already own it.  Don't click on the link if you are at work.  Or if your Mom is in the room.  Or if your kids are in the room.  But your husband/wife/spouse/partner will think it is hysterical!

(The comments are funnier than the original article!)

LOOK!  I found where you can get the main ingredient for the recipes!  I know you were wondering where you could go to stock up...

more the engrish!

As always, Dan Savage finds the best links!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Annual December Freak-Out

Grandmother turns 93 tomorrow and I haven't bought her gift yet.  Although by my normal standards I am ahead of the game because I do know WHAT I'm going to buy her which is not the usual state of affairs the day before her birthday.  I also have to shop for dinner fixings for tomorrow night and make a little birthday cake.  I think I will outsource the cake-making to daughter, she likes to bake.  The whole family is celebrating her big day on Sunday but I like to have a nice dinner and cake on her actual birthday.  (And if we didn't the kids would skin me alive, birthdays must be Marked By Celebration!)

I have a paper due tomorrow by midnight and another one due on Thursday by midnight.  Haven't started either one.  Finals are next week and I'm not done with my review guides yet.

Getting the damn advent calendar out of it's storage spot is going to entail getting every fucking Christmas decoration box down which means we might as well get the tree up and decorate while all the boxes are strewn around the house.

Two boxes of gifts need to be mailed to the out-of-towners.  Of course I can't mail them until I have PURCHASED the gifts.  More shopping.  This week.  (You might just be getting gift cards and you know who you are.)

Christmas cards have been ordered. (HOORAY!)  And as soon as they get here they must be written in, addressed, stamped and mailed.  I will also be enlisting help for that job so if your Christmas card arrives with aliens doodled inside of it and signed with the names of the Star Wars characters or with all the "i's" dotted with hearts you will know who helped with that job.

When my finals are over it will be time to completely trash the kitchen and all areas within a two-mile radius by making fudge with the kids.  We skipped this last year and they have all assured me that if we skip it this year it will cause them thousands of dollars in therapy as adults.  So we're going to make the damn fudge.  Which will then be put into cute little packages for their teachers gifts because if it stays in the house I will weigh approximately seven hundred pounds by New Year's Eve.  So I will make their teachers fat instead.  Ha.

Once the Christmas decorations have been drug out of hiding, I will have to begin the annual Nagging of the Husband.  This is a special tradition for us and begins with my gently suggesting that putting the lights on the house today when it is not raining, it is daytime and he is not busy might be a good idea.  It ends a week later with him putting the lights on the house at night, in the rain, on a workday while cursing me, Christmas, that motherfucker Santa Claus, and holidays in general but this one very specifically.  You can IMAGINE what FUN this tradition is and how MUCH I look forward to it every year!!!  Maybe I will call his foreman and have the crew come and do it one Saturday while he is gone.  This would ruin the tradition for us but I might just be willing to make the sacrifice.

Happy December.  I'm going shopping.