Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Great Grade Race - Fall 2009 Edition

So by now you all know how Scientist Genius Brother is every parents dream child which pretty much means he is a pain in my ass. But I overlook his habit of making me look bad because he takes my kid on vacation to the other side of the world for three and a half weeks PLUS he is an awesome brother.

But, I am out to overtake him in the grade department if it KILLS me. At least for my undergrad degree g.p.a. I have no intention of getting a Ph.D. in chemistry - getting root canals and digging ditches sounds like more fun than that.

To recap, he graduated with a 3.86 g.p.a. As of the end of my Junior year I had a 3.76 - ARRRGGGGHHHH! I was LOSING!

Here are my grades for fall quarter '09

Literature and Popular Genre a.k.a. Westerns Really Aren't That Bad - Except "Shane", it sucked = 3.9
Public Memory and Dissent in American Culture; Remembering Nat Turner a.k.a. History is Confusing = 3.6
Approaches to Social Research a.k.a. Snoozefest = 3.9

So in the great grade race I am at a 3.88, I'M WINNING! But not by much, I'm gonna have to kick some ass in my last two quarters if I want to keep my lead.

Yup, I'll be graduating in June. Only 2 quarters left.

What *will* I do with all my spare time after I graduate?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm on Christmas Break and Daughter is in Australia!



Sorry about that, I got carried away for a moment. But really and truly, I cannot remember the last time I needed the break between quarters as badly as I do right now. Apparently taking the summer off made my brain atrophy or something. Or perhaps senior year is just that much HARDER. Or it could be the fact that I volunteered to be co-prez of the high school parent group this year. (I was weak and they got me.) Whatever it is, school is officially kicking my ass but NOT FOR THE NEXT THREE WEEKS!

I'm spending my time Christmas shopping, doing the bookkeeping, scrubbing the parts of my house that haven't been touched since last summer, catching up on parent group stuff and it's RELAXING because it isn't writing or reading anything for school.

Daughter and Scientist Genius Brother arrived safely in Melbourne, Australia and I know she's having fun because I haven't heard boo from her. Scientist Genius Brother sent me an update today but she is NOT spending time emailing or skype-ing her mother which means she isn't bored/homesick/sad.

This is part of the email Scientist Genius Brother sent me today:

"Daughter is being a good guest. No need to worry about that. She's been taking quite a few pictures, and I'll make sure she takes a bunch more.

I have been bugging her to email you since we arrived, and she said she would last night, so I hope she has.
(She hasn't.) I don't think she has done any homework yet, so I'll bug her about that too. (Heh. He'll think twice before he has any kids after THIS trip!)

Daughter can really SHOP. She wore Awesome Aussie-Girlfriend and her sister and I out yesterday. I think today we are going go to Healesville animal sanctuary, where they have all the native Australian animals, and a cool birds of prey demonstration, where they have hawks and eagles swoop over the crowd. Daughter was excited about that."

I told him to tell her I want a baby Koala. I'm sure it would fit in her carry-on bag.

Next up will be The Great Grade Race Fall 2009 Edition but I have to wait for my grades to be posted first. Of course smartass Scientist Genius Brother has been offered a bunch of Post-Doctoral positions so I'll never catch up to him. Showoff. But I CAN get kick-ass grades.

I just can't do it and cook dinner every night. Thank GOD for pizza.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cartooning at its Finest

This is the card Thing 1 made for Grandmother's ninety-fourth birthday. The kid is pretty serious and straight-laced in person but his drawings expose his inner goofball. Someday I'll tell you about the series of comic books he made in elementary school about Clam Man and his loyal sidekick Mollusk Boy...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


This year's Thanksgiving festivities went off without a hitch. We had 22 people to our house for Thanksgiving dinner and there was enough food, lots and lots of laughing and nobody got into a fight - even my offspring got along!

I am thankful that Dad, Stepmonster, Marvelous Mom and Stepdan all get along and can celebrate the holidays with us so my kids - and everyone else, it means the world to us - can have their entire family together without any fighting, drama, histrionics or even snide comments. (Except for Grandmother and she makes snide comments to EVERYONE without discriminating!) There are not enough words in the world to tell you four how much this means to us, we love you all so much!

I am thankful that after almost 16 years, husband still enjoys spending time with me and my family and that we love each other more now than when we were married.

I am thankful for the newest addition to the family, Grande - it was the icing on the cake to have a beautiful, happy baby to hug and squeeze! The only hard part was sharing him.

I am thankful that Grande has the same shape head as my Dad and not the same shape head as Thing 1. There is a reason Thing 1 doesn't have a buzz cut, I'm just sayin'... But seriously, aren't these two adorable? Grande with his Great Uncle Al.

Is it just me or do they both bear a striking resemblance to Charlie Brown?

I am thankful that Scientist Genius Brother was able to come up from Berkeley to join us. He is the bestest brother in the world and we are so freaking proud of him! Grandmother was especially happy to see him since it had been a while and she hardly let him leave her side the whole evening.

And last but not least, I am thankful for a certain (almost) 94 year old lady. Grandmother is doing amazingly well - I'm convinced she is made out of flubber - and continues to amaze, astonish, frustrate and annoy me. I wouldn't have it any other way!

I have so many things to be thankful for - my health, red wine, a beautiful home, sleepover summer camps, the opportunity to go to college, midol - but my family and friends are the most important things in my life and I love you all so very much.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Thanksgiving Miracle

Remember my no-good-very-bad-day only eleven days ago? When I realized that daughter's passport was expired only three weeks and a few days before she was set to leave for Australia?

The universe heard my weeping because her shiny new passport arrived today. Only eleven days after we applied for it and those eleven days included Thanksgiving weekend.

I'm going to take the fact that a governmental bureaucracy has operated swiftly and efficiently as proof that Obama is the new messiah.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Go Ahead. Make My Day.

We went to Marvelous Mom and Stepdan's house the other night to celebrate Stepdan and Russian SIL's birthdays. Math Genius Brother, Russian SIL and the most Beautiful Nieces in the Whole Universe are here visiting from the other side of the mountains so we didn't really NEED an excuse to get together but the birthdays gave us one anyway.

Rather uncharacteristically, Grandmother came along with us. She doesn't usually leave the house in the evenings - it probably has something to do with her habit of putting her pajamas on at four o'clock in the afternoon - but she decided to be sociable and join the party.

Doesn't she look like she's having fun?

I laughed my head off when I saw this picture. Husband was snapping pictures left and right and managed to get this not terribly flattering shot of Grandmother. She is the female version of Dirty Harry.

All of us Grandkids have been on the receiving end of this. look. but I don't think I've ever seen it captured on film. I don't want to know what Husband said to make her look at him like this. She gives the hairy eyeball better than anyone else I know.

This one is for all my cousins. What did YOU do to get THE LOOK? We could talk about parties thrown while parents were out of town that Grandmother crashed, smartass sassing back that earned a slap across the face, children that had to be chased around the house by Grandmother and siblings to get the little monster to go to bed, babies that screamed from the time their parents left for a much needed night out until they came home several hours later...

She has given us all THE LOOK - her two sons included - but she is also a constant in our lives. No matter what is happening or how badly we have screwed up, Grandmother is there for us. She gives us THE LOOK and then gives us a hug and helps us out however she can.

We're so lucky to have Dirty Harry for a Grandmother.

I'm just glad she's not packing heat.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Murphy's Law Part 2

When I woke up on Thursday morning I was so freaking thankful that the day before was over and surely today will be better. A homework assignment for my 8:45am class is due and I didn't finish it because of the shitstorm the day before but partial credit is better than no credit. (See, I'm an optimist at heart.) After getting the kids to their schools, I head to mine, sit through class and then go to the school library to work on the pile of homework I have to do.

At 1:15 I head out to the parking garage - I have to pick Thing 2 up from school at 2:30 - get to my car and the front drivers side tire is totally flat.


After having a small hissy fit right there next to my car, I pull out my phone and call Husband. Of course he is about 30 miles away at a job site so I call AAA to come rescue me. I *could* have put the spare tire on myself (maybe) but we pay for triple A so they can jolly well earn some of that money. They assure me that a "service provider" will arrive within an hour so I go back into the main building of the school to call Thing 2's school and arrange for him to wait for me at the science club meeting and I wait for my knight in shining armor.

He is there and has the flat tire off (it has a nail the size of a small child in it) and puts on the spare tire in one hour. YAY TRIPLE-A!!!

I zoom to the tire place, drop off the flat tire, zoom home to switch to the new car that doesn't have a tiny spare tire on it, zoom to Thing 2's school to pick him up, zoom to the high school to pick Daughter up from dance practice, zoom home to drop off Thing 2 and zoom to the passport office where we are meeting husband. (Both parents have to be present for a minor to get a passport OR you have to have a notarized letter from the not present parent saying it's ok for their kid to have a passport.) We get in just as they're re-opening after lunch (at 4pm, weird), there is no one there so we can get done fast, YAY!

She looks at the photos and says the passport might get rejected because her head is not facing totally forward.

My maniacal laughter startles the poor passport worker but I cannot help it - at this point it is simply hysterical how many different things have gone wrong for me in just two days. None of them are life threatening to everyone - and for that I am extremely thankful - but the continuousness of one thing after another has shattered my sanity.

It felt like being pecked to death by ducks.

So we went to Costco, got new photos (for free, they're supposed to know what the hell they are doing), returned to the passport office, turned in all our paperwork plus eleventy-million dollars and Daughters passport should be here JUST in time for her trip.

That was Thursday and I am happy to report nothing else went wrong. Life is back to normal - or as normal as it gets here at the funny farm - and for that I am eternally grateful.

Murphy can go bother someone else for awhile.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Murphy's Law

Normally I am an optimistic person - sometimes to the point of being obnoxiously perky, or so I've been told - but the past few days have made a dent in my usually sunny disposition. I have an unbelievable amount of schoolwork to do but I don't think I'll be able to focus until I get the events of the past few days off my chest and written down here where they damn well better stay!

Tuesday night husband made dinner and helped the kids with their homework so I could study for a final exam in my history class on Wednesday morning. I studied my BUTT off (I wish) and went into class at 8:45am on Wednesday feeling prepared and even a little cocky. (That's probably what set Murphy's Law into action - I was too damn sure of myself.) When everyone else started putting a sheet of paper on the desk at the front of the classroom it hit me, WE HAD AN ASSIGNMENT DUE TOO! I didn't not understand the assignment, run out of time to finish it or simply blow it off - I totally and completely forgot about it. I have never EVER done that! At least not since I've been in college, I'm sure I forgot about assignments all the time in high school but that was a long time ago when I was young and stupid so it doesn't count.

So after finishing the final I went to the library, did the assignment that I had totally and completely spaced out and emailed it to my professor. She gives everyone one "freebie" each quarter to email an assignment rather than give her a hard copy but it is still late so I won't get full credit. Damn.

Then Scientist Genius Brother emails me asking for the email with the confirmation number on it so he and Daughter can get their tickets at the airport when they leave on their trip. I look through my emails and I don't have it so I tell him that HE must have it. He sends another message that no, he doesn't have it. So I call Qantas Airlines to find out what happened. With no confirmation number the guy - who I had a tough time understanding because of his sexy Australian accent - searches by the flight number which I wrote down when I bought the tickets. There is NO SUCH FLIGHT NUMBER. My heart starts to pound and I stutter incoherently into the phone.

Keep in mind this entire phone conversation is taking place while I am in the commons at school. Not exactly a quiet place to concentrate on getting very important information.

The very sexy voice asks if I have the credit card I bought the tickets with so he can search using the card number. (I bought the tickets because Scientist Genius Brother couldn't figure out the Qantas website - he is the stereotypical absent minded professor!) That I do have so I give it to the sexy voice, my heart in my throat. He finds the reservations and casually mentions that the reason that flight number doesn't exist is because it was cancelled.

I almost puke.

Then he continues on to tell me that their itinerary has been changed due to the flight being canceled but they still leave San Francisco and arrive in Melbourne - sharks with frickin' lasers! - at about the same time. My heart and stomach go back where they belong and I resume breathing. Apparently they sent the confirmation email to Scientist Genius Brother but they had the email wrong so he never got it. I give the correct address to sexy voice and he assures me that the confirmation email will be re-sent. So I call the Genius and tell him to let me know the minute he gets the email.

Then he reminds me that I need to get an ETA visitor Visa for Daughter. Its very simple, just filling out a form online and getting a confirmation number. They just need her name, info, passport number and all that other stuff. So after my second class, picking up Thing 2 from school and Daughter from dance practice, I go into my office to get her passport so I can fill out the ETA Visa form.

Her passport is not with all the other passports in the safe designated place for important papers that I need to grab if the house is on fire.

Heart and stomach immediately start leaping around inside my body.

"I CAN'T FIND YOUR PASSPORT!!! ARRRRGGGGHHHH" (I scream while tossing papers all over my desk.)

"Oh, I know where it is. I'll go grab it." She saunters nonchalantly up the stairs.

WTF is her passport doing upstairs and not with all the important papers WHERE IT BELONGS? I'm a bit wild by now from the several adrenaline rushes I've experienced but I manage to calm down and straighten up my desk while Daughter brings me her passport.

I have to interject here that I purchased the tickets for this trip on May 18th of this year. When I bought them I checked her passports expiration date and it said June 2010. No problem.

When she hands me her passport I open it up and the expiration date is June 2009. As in almost six months ago. They leave in three and a half weeks. Obviously I have fucked up to the n-th degree. I don't even get the satisfaction of going off on anyone because it is my own fault. Of course that doesn't stop me from screaming at husband (who is upstairs cooking dinner after working all day - yes he is the best husband on the planet and no you can't have him) "OH MY GOD HER PASSPORT IS EXPIRED WHAT AM I GOING TO DO OMG OMG OMG..."

He comes downstairs, peels me off the ceiling and calms me down enough to look on the state department's website to see how fast we can get a new passport for her. Expedited is 2-3 weeks. Too close for my comfort even with overnight return mail but we don't have a choice because you can't get a same day passport at the regional offices unless your trip is less than 14 days away.

Husband drops everything to take Daughter to Costco and get passport pictures and I start to get ready for that night's 7pm monthly meeting of the high school parent group that I am co-president of. I'm getting my stuff together and realize I'm missing a check for $250 that was donated to us by a very generous ex-member and parent. Back to panic mode. I have visions of having to call this person, thank her for the extremely generous gift and then ask if we can have another check because I am such a moron that I lost the first one she gave us.

My last ditch thought is maybe it is in my car. SHIT! Husband and daughter took the car that I was driving the last time I picked up parent group paperwork at the school! So I call Husband, he looks in the back seat and sure enough, the check is there. I can't bring it with me to the meeting because I have to leave now but at least I know where it is.

I was an absolute WRECK at the meeting but nothing went terribly wrong and when I got home the kitchen was clean, Daughters passport photos were on the counter waiting for us to go to the passport office on Thursday and the kids were all ready for bed. I drank a glass of wine and went to bed thinking thank GOD that day was over.

But Murphy wasn't done with me yet.

to be continued...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

OMG, I'm So Not Ready

In looking at the calendar today and trying to figure out how I'm going to get everything done between now and Christmas I realized that daughter leaves for Australia in THREE AND A HALF WEEKS!

This trip has been in the works for ages so I don't have the excuse of not knowing ahead of time but it was like "oh Christmas, well that's a LOOOONG time away yet". Except now - it's not.

I have to shop for gifts, make sure she has everything she needs, square it away with her teachers, and have a meltdown about letting my baby go to the other side of the world without me and I have to do it all in THREE AND A HALF WEEKS!

Where's a paper bag - I'm pretty sure that hyperventilating comes next.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Laminated List

According to Urban Dictionary, a laminated list is "a list of the top 5 people, usually celebrities, with whom you could have sex with without repercussions, if the opportunity arose, regardless of whether you were in a relationship or not". I think it originated with the television show Friends but that might be my imagination.

My list is a little odd according to SOME people but what can I say, I like old bald guys. (And besides, she's got the hots for Horatio Hornblower which is proof positive that she isn't in her right mind.)

First up is Johnny Depp who is on the laminated list of every heterosexual woman in the known universe. I fell in love with him in 1987 when, at the age of 13, I first saw him on the television show "21 Jump Street". I'm pretty sure that's the day my hormones kicked in. (Apologies to my parents for TMI.)

But c'mon, he is hotness personified. Droooool... And STFU about the fact that he's smoking. His shirt is off and that's all that matters.

Next is another popular actor, but with a caveat. I LOVE Orlando Bloom and would gladly sacrifice my marriage vows to him (back off, Husband can have Angelina Jolie with my blessing anytime she wants him) but he has GOT TO have pointed ears and long, blonde, straight hair and a quiver full of arrows on his back. He's hottest when he's Legolas from LOTR. Sigh...

The next one pretty much explains why I married husband. I mean check out the pic below and then check out the first picture in this post - I love Omar Sharif so much I married a guy that looks just like him!

I have endured several lifetimes worth of CRAP about the next person on my list but no matter, he is GOD as far as I'm concerned and the fact that he is a misogynistic pig and probably couldn't get it up with a barrel-ful of viagra does not change the fact that I've been in lust with him ever since I can remember. (At least he's still alive - unlike Omar up there.)

Sean Connery...

And last but certainly not least is Captain Picard. Er, I mean Patrick Stewart. Obviously I have a problem - Old and Bald is my fetish - but there is something about "Warp Speed Number One" in his silky accented voice that makes me weak in the knees and has for quite a few years now.

So there you go. Who's on your laminated list?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Business Cards

I realize that it is completely juvenile and idiotic but I have ALWAYS wanted business cards. They're just so grownup and, well, businesslike! None of my jobs (office assistant, house slave to three children, geriatric nurse, personal assistant and laundry folder for husband, volunteer sucker and student) have been the kind of jobs that I might get business cards for.

So I've decided to take the bull by the horns (or balls, I think that would be more effective) and order my own business cards. What do you think? This template came from Zazzle. I was gobsmacked at how many results come up when I googled "ridiculous business cards"!

Or should I change the "weird magnet" image to this one? I am NOT a Garfield fan but the sentiment seems appropriate...

This one is so accurate it's slightly alarming - like looking in a mirror - check out the bags under her eyes! If I picked it I would want extra points for honesty...

Or how about this? The spinning head and inability to pick which task to attend to first is a situation I have close, personal, intimate experience with...

So which one should I go with? Or I could Halloween-ize a photo of myself if I want to go for a business card that ensures I will never ever get called or emailed by anyone I give it to! That would be an anti-business card, I could give it to people who want me to volunteer for anything!

A twitter picture stolen from a tweet from one of the eleventy-zillion porn-spammers on twitter would be perfect for anything related to the kids being in trouble. I can imagine it now...

"My child punched/bit/threw up on/stole from/swore at your child? I am SO SORRY! Here is my business card, please call me at your convenience so we can discuss it. The phone call will cost you $5.00 a minute..."

Anti-business cards, now maybe that would be the way to go...

Just edited for a spelling error that daughter pointed out. I knew I had kids for a reason.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

For My Fellow Sufferers

This one is for all of you that share my pain in having to get a teenager out of bed in the morning to go to school.

Luann by Greg Evans

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I know I've been incredibly lazy about blogging lately but the fact is I am using up all the words in my head for schoolwork and when I get to do my fun stuff like fuck around on the internet, I have no words left to write so I just read other people's words. Or make stupid photo versions of my children. They REALLY love that.
Senior year - so far - is about a gajillion times harder than my first three years of school. I'm not sure if it's because I took the summer off and blocked my memories of how difficult school is or if it really is that much harder or I'm just getting stupid in my old age. (It's amazing how old 35 feels when you're in class with 18 and 19 year olds!)

I am working on some fascinating topics though and am considering writing a thesis about how Malcolm X and Nat Turner are linked philosophically. (75 pages minimum, what the HELL am I thinking?!?!) A proposal I wrote about it is where all the words in the picture above came from. Those are the kind of words that I'm using these days. Another class has us examining the Western genre in literature and film and how it reflects larger issues and claims about popular genres overall. (Go watch the 1952 film "High Noon" with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly, avoid like the plague the film "Shane" with Alan Ladd but definitely read the novel by Jack Schaefer!) My third class is all about social research and is not difficult except that the material doesn't interest me one bit and I don't have a scientific mind so following the logic is not always easy for me. Luckily the professor is awesome so I won't fail miserably!

When I find more words, y'all will be the first to find out!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!
Be spooky, be scary and be safe

From Whateverkaty, Husband, Daughter, Thing One and Thing Two!

Friday, October 30, 2009


From Thing 2:

If money is the root of all evil and money makes the world go 'round then...

To purge all evil from the face of the planet, we must stop the Earth's rotation.

There. Problem solved.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I am a lucky person for a lot of reasons but one of the things that makes me the most thankful is the family I grew up in. Marvelous Mom is the oldest of four girls and my Aunts, Uncles and cousins on her side of the family are not just 'relatives' that I see occasionally, they are part of the bedrock of who I am. We don't see each other as often as I would like but we love each other unconditionally. If there were some kind of emergency, I could call any one of them right now and they would be in their car or on a plane to come help with no questions asked.

Dad (I really need a snappy name for him!) is the youngest - by only eleven months - of two boys and while he got the first (me) and the last (Scientist Genius Brother) words, his big brother outdid him in the interim by fathering my four cousins. (His wife, my Aunt K, really did the lions share of the work but we'll just let him think he's the big cheese so he'll keep on fixing my computers when they freak out. ;-)

Growing up, we lived in the same cities as Uncle Computer, Aunt K and my cousins and by the time I was in third grade we lived only one block away from each other. We kids played together, fought like cats and dogs, plotted against our parents and celebrated every holiday together with our parents and Grandmother. When things were bad, they were always there for us and the six of us kids are more like siblings than cousins. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without them and I would do anything at all for any one of them.

The oldest four of us are girls and then, a postscript of testosterone, Aunt K had cousin Johnboy and Marvelous Mom had Scientist Genius Brother within 4 months of each other. Once again Grandmother had a pair of boys to fuss over and we four girls had two baby boys to torture. Er, I mean, love and cherish. Now cousin Johnboy has his own baby and our family has grown and expanded by one baby and infinite amounts of love.

This Johnboy...

fell in love with this hipmama...

and they made this adorable baby boy! I could just eat him up, look at those CHEEKS!

And this Grandmother's heart has exploded with love for her fourth great-grandchild!

This baby is Aunt K and Uncle Computer's first grandson and the cutest baby boy in the ENTIRE universe! Hipmama and cousin Johnboy are amazing parents and I cannot tell you what it feels like to watch your baby cousin (even though he's twice my size now) fall in love with his own baby.

I am so incredibly lucky to have my family, and luckier still that we are growing by leaps and bounds and love.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Seattle Rain Festival - October to June

I really REALLY don't have time to post but my brain was starting to leak out my ears from working on homework for 7 hours straight so I decided to take a little break to let the gray matter re-solidify.

The good news about pouring down rain for days on end is that it makes it a lot easier to stay inside where it is warm and dry and do loads of homework. This pic doesn't really do it justice but I didn't want to take the time to get the big camera and take a GOOD picture.

Back to the books. Anyone want to write an empirical research proposal for me? Or read "Shane" chapters 1-8 by Monday? Or...

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Shagged By a Rare Parrot"

Really, is any further explanation necessary?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Halloween Homecoming

This is the reason I can't get anything done around here! I doctored these photos on Picnik, a photo editing site that costs about $25 a year and is worth EVERY penny. (Husband might not agree on that point so we just won't mention anything about it to him, it'll be our little secret.)

Here is the version that daughter created and will be putting in a frame in her bedroom. Isn't it pretty?

Here is the version that Thing 2 and I created using all the fun Halloween editing tools. Can you find the ghost hiding in the picture? Aren't the wounds funny? Thing 2 wanted me to put the pumpkin over his sister's head so it would look like Cam was taking the headless horsewoman to homecoming but I drew the line there. I do like the spider on Cam's shoulder though!

It's so much fun to NOT act my age!

Homecoming 2009

She's so beautiful and poised and grown up that it breaks my heart and makes me unbelievably proud of her. Her date is a good friend from Portland who she spends hours on the phone with talking about philosophy, school, poetry and art. He took the train up to go to the dance with her and husband is dealing with it fairly well considering he doesn't approve of her dating until she's 30. Or maybe 40.

It was fairly unnerving to watch my car being driven away by a teenage boy with one of my most precious possessions in it but I have to admit that not having to go pick them up at 12:30 in the morning when the dance was over was worth it. AND he got her home 40 minutes earlier than the curfew we set. I do like this kid!

Daughter loves her great-grandmother so very much...

And here she is goofing around with her brothers. I was hoping for a good Christmas card picture but I couldn't convince the Things to change into nicer clothes.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Game Day

Last night was the High School Homecoming game and being the glutton for punishment that I am, I worked at the concession stand. Because Homecoming is such a huge game with a large crowd, we set up a small satellite stand outside of the main one where people could buy water or soda and that's where I stood from 6 to 9. The concessions are behind the bleachers so when you're back there, you cannot see the action on the football field.

At least 75% of the kids at the game hung out near the concession stand and, by the looks of it, had NO IDEA that there was a football game happening anywhere in the vicinity.

Occasionally I would ask one of the gazillion hormonal adolescents buying Mountain Dew (why the hell anyone would drink something that looks exactly like pee is beyond me but whatever...) what the score of the game was and they would look at me blankly before answering "Ummm, I dunno. Sorry."

After getting a few blank stares - I mean, why would I be asking about football scores at a football game - I got smart and started asking Dads and Grandpas as they passed my stand on the way to the loo.

I shouldn't have asked, we lost 50-9. Ugh.

Any anthropologist would have been in seventh heaven standing where I was watching the clueless kids that were engaged in the complicated and dramatic social ritual that is attending the high school homecoming game. I saw fights and horsing around, dramatic reunions and flouncing away in a huff, younger siblings get rebuffed and others get included in the older kids play with looks on their faces that resembled veneration usually reserved for the Pope. Parents gossiped and girls discussed their dresses for the dance that is being held tonight, couples made up and broke up and staff members reminded boys that the fence was not to be climbed on.

It was ten thousand times better than any soap opera could ever hope to be and I had a really good time. There is something warm and fuzzy about being in a place where you know so many of the people walking by, get to chat with friends you don't see very often and watch kids you've known since they were in kindergarten pretend that they are adults while realizing that they really are close to grownup. Lots of the kids friends ran up and gave me big bear hugs and I was more than a little shocked to find myself looking up at most of them now.

My feet hurt and I'm exhausted but last night was fun and is the reason I volunteer at the kids school events. I'm part of a wonderful community and so incredibly lucky for it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Used to Be My Favorite Season

I have always loved fall. I love the weather getting cool and crisp but still sunny during the day, I love the leaves changing colors and I love school starting. The return to routine after a structureless summer is a relief for all of us and I really love that the house stays relatively tidy for longer than thirty seconds at a time.

Until this year.

So far this fall has been a blur of homework, dance practices, open houses, PTA meetings, math tutors, concession stand work and laundry. I feel like I'm running as fast as I can and getting nowhere.

I'm not sure WTF I was thinking when I volunteered to be co-president of the high school parent group (oh yeah, sucking up to the administration) but it has been ten thousand times more work than I was told it would be when I agreed to do it. So I've spent hours working on recruiting volunteers for the concession stand as well as trying to put some mechanisms in place that will give us a steady stream of volunteers from year to year rather than starting from scratch every September.

Plus there is my own schoolwork as a senior in college this year...

A good friend of mine from school described the start of the first quarter of our senior year as "getting hit with a fire hose" which is an extremely apt description for the un-fucking-believable amount of reading I have. Not to mention the writing...

On top of all that, the holidays are coming up too. Can you hear the clock ticking down?

Thank GOD the kids are old enough that I can tell them they are on their own for Halloween. I'm not buying, making, crafting or painting anything for a costume - if they wanna dress up they have to figure it out themselves.

But then there is Thanksgiving and Christmas to get ready for too.

As well as the regular cooking, cleaning and laundry to do. Can you hear husband laughing? That's because I haven't really cooked in two weeks, the housecleaners are once again coming every other week starting on Tuesday and Mount Laundry is piling up at an incredible rate.

My mantra right now is "this too shall pass" and it is the only thing (other than red wine) keeping me sane right now. I do enjoy being busy, although perhaps not quite THIS busy, and in a few short years the kids will be off to college leaving me with only husband's messes to clean up. I will be done with school before I know it and joining the working world while husband slows down and gets to relax. I know this crazy-busy schedule is temporary and the house will be clean all the time someday over the rainbow...

But for now I'm losing my goddamned mind. Where's the wine?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spelling Impaired

Husband is spelling impaired. Now to be fair, it is not his fault. English is his second language AND he is dyslexic. He is super smart and is working on becoming fluent in a third language purely from audio-lessons and practicing with his Spanish speaking employees but he cannot spell to save his life. I suspect he is missing the portion of the brain that usually houses spelling. Or it is so full of information like how to fix ten gazillion things with duct tape that there is no room for spelling.

This morning he was goofing around with a game - Bookworm - on my cell phone and asked me, "How do you spell ox? A-U-X?"

I laughed so hard I cried.

I'm a bitch but GOD it was funny!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


The annual back-to-school germfest has returned! Thing 1 is home today with a fever, cough and sore throat. Guess what the symptoms of swine flu (as well as regular flu) are? You got it, fever, cough and sore throat.

To protect the rest of the family, especially Grandmother who is older than dirt, we have put Thing 1 into quarantine. Here is a visual aid to illustrate the current state of our home...

Photo courtesy of Yo.

Swine flu paranoia, we haz it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Bug Has Landed

Back to school has started out great for all three of the kids. Of course it's only been four days but hey, I'm an optimist. Daughter is especially enjoying Biology - the teacher is "AWESOME!" and "COOL!" and they're going to study "real" science. Apparently Physical Science - the class she had last year - was fake science. I didn't hear about any Astrology in the curriculum but maybe I missed it at open house.

Her first Biology project is to collect 10 different bugs - excuse me, I mean INSECTS - and bring them to class tomorrow. Then the kids will mount all their creepy-crawlies on a big board and identify them. So my freezer has ten different plastic containers with different bugs in them in it. She has a cranefly, a wasp, a mosquito, a fly, a spotted beetly-looking thing that scared the shit out of me when it jumped on my head from the sun umbrella, an earwig and some others that I can't remember.

The kid is no dummy. She was super sweet and nice to the Things last weekend and conned them into finding most of the bugs for her. And husband caught the wasp because the kids and I refused to go near it. She had to bat her eyes a bit to convince him but in the end she got what she wanted. He's wrapped around her little finger like all daughters are.

But she has her Grandpa and Grandmonster in her back pocket. After all, it's not every grandparent that would mail - OVERNIGHT - one of these to their granddaughter...

Is that not the NASTIEST little fucker you've ever seen? The key is a regular sized housekey - that bug is enormous!!! Daughter is thrilled and hoping for extra credit from her AWESOME! and COOL! biology teacher for going above and beyond for this project.

I can't decide which is weirder, the fact that my Dad & Shelly mailed my kid a bug or the fact that my kid is really excited about receiving a bug.

Monday, September 14, 2009


"What guides us is children’s response, their joy in learning to dance, to sing, to live together. It should be a guide to the whole world."
~Yehudi Menuhin

Today I am remembering a beautiful sunny little boy who danced and sang and loved without reservation. I will find screaming yellow flowers and a fuzzy little caterpillar and enjoy the simple things in life.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Every year on September 11th I watch the History channel - or any other station that is airing coverage of the nine-eleven attacks - and I bawl my eyes out. This year is no different. Some years it feels like it was yesterday and other years it feels like it's been forever since the world shifted on its axis.

My children don't remember what it was like before 9/11/01. They don't remember when being Muslim or Middle-Eastern wasn't synonymous with terrorism or when going through security at an airport meant someone glancing at you to make sure you didn't have an AK-47 strapped to your back, not taking off your shoes to check for explosives. It breaks my heart to compare their knowledge of the horrors that people are capable with to my own innocence at the same age. They have been teased at school because their father, the love of my life and one of the most kind and generous men I've ever known, is Iranian. Daughter and her friends joke about her terrorist family background and the Things - taking everything literally and personally - come home two or three times every school year filled with indignant rage because someone called them 'terrorist' at school.

Joking or serious it all cuts me to the quick. They know about things that no child should know about - as do all of their peers. Childhood has changed forever and always in this new world that we live in.


When it became known that the monsters behind the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon were evil, crazed maniacs who called themselves Muslim, our next door neighbor called us just to let us know that she knew we were good people, good neighbors and she "prayed we were not victimized" because of husband's background.

The kids teachers invited husband to speak to their classrooms and put a face to the nameless label "middle-eastern" for their classmates.

We received phone calls from parents of our children's friends letting us know they were talking to their children about the danger and wrongness of blanketing every foreigner with the label of terrorist.

Firefighters, police officers and other first-responders after the attack are heroes I hold up to my children to show them that despite all the horror and evil people are capable of, they are also capable of unbelievable courage, bravery and selflessness.

My children know about evil, but they also know about good. My job is to make sure they see and recognize it.

This is the day that I remind myself not of the bad that is in the world, but all that is right and kind and good in the world.

And I cry for us all.

Monday, September 7, 2009


I don't know why they call this a fail, when school starts the liquor store is the FIRST place I go to stock up on supplies. It's just not a proper mid-term without booze.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

Oh. Kids. Gotcha. My bad.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go stock up on *ahem* school supplies for me, I already got the kids their supplies.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009


It really sucked when Dad & Stepmonster moved to Las Vegas - we're a close family and I'd never lived in a different state than either of my parents - but on the plus side, it's a really fun place to visit and one of our favorite road trip destinations.

Go visit Stepmonster's blog and help me guilt trip her into posting some fucking pictures from our San Diego trip! She's got some great shots and hasn't BLOGGED them yet!

Vegas was the last stop on Road Trip '09 and it was a fun, relaxing visit. We didn't do anything wild and crazy, just hung out with Dad, Shelly and their lunatic dogs and it was great. Look at this guy, he isn't a proud grandpa or anything...

Love you Dad, can't wait to see you guys for Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I've been slowly getting ready for my senior year of college - it's hard to believe that by this time next year I will possess my bachelor's degree. Returning to school was never part of the plan - until it was - and some days it doesn't quite seem real.

Recently a friend of mine wrote about how her life path has deviated and I was shocked to find myself crying as I read it and thought about how my own life's path has taken twists and turns that were unexpected and unforeseen. What touched me the most about reading Seattlejo's thoughts were how she focused on what she has gained from the unexpected turns in her own life. It is easy to think about all the "what ifs" there are in life but much more valuable to reflect on what is because of what has been.

Going to work right after high school instead of following the more traditional college path has given me a family - the four people I love most in the entire world and cannot imagine life without.

Jumping into the pool of a bi-cultural marriage without first stopping to check that there was water in it first has shown me that regardless of what anyone else says, I am an excellent judge of people and of what is good for me.

Becoming a wife and mother at the age of 20 has given my children a mother with lots of energy, silliness and playfulness.

Being blessed with three children in a year and a half has given me more patience than I ever thought possible. I am stronger than I ever imagined.

Going back to college in my thirties has given me a much deeper appreciation for my education and what it will mean for me both personally and professionally.

My life's path has not been a traditional one and even now, as a 'non-traditional student', I continue along a crooked path rather than a well-traveled highway. I am thankful for my own path because I would not be who I am were it not for the deviations that have steered me in unexpected directions.

Monday, August 17, 2009

San Diego!

Have you ever met someone and just instantly clicked? Like, from the minute you meet you're laughing and joking as if you've been friends forever? That happened to me in February when I met my fellow blog whores Yo, Christy and Mel in Vegas for GTHAFR '09. And it was still in effect when we all met up again - along with TATTOO WHORE Shelly - in San Diego where Yo and Mel live.

For me it wasn't quite the crazy drunken time that Vegas was - I try to pretend to be a responsible adult when I have the kids with me - but that didn't stop us from having a kick ASS good time.

We tried to convince Marvelous Mom and Stepdan via a frantic flurry of emails and pictures to buy this boat but they refused since it is a "stinkpot" and not a sailboat. Sigh.

Shelly got a tattoo in Yo & Mel's dining room by a huge bald guy named Bubba who was wearing an orange jumpsuit with numbers on it and "just needed to make some quick green". He left when it was *almost* done, the sirens were making him jumpy for some reason.

Shelly is now Tattoo Whore and has a bodiless Boston Terrier tattooed on her arm. Honestly, I tried to talk her out of it - I was going to Vegas next and did NOT want to be present for the fireworks that would result when my non-tattoo loving father got a glimpse of it - but she was undeterred and let Bubba do his thang on her virginal skin. Well, virginal of tattoos that is. After all, she IS a whore. heh.

The Things have decided they want Christy to be their mother. She went on the roller coaster at Mission Beach with Thing 1, listened to Thing 2 wax poetic about legos and played Super Mario with both of them! She tried to talk them into coming home with her but they balked. Now that we are home, they've decided they're going to take her up on the offer after all. Their flight arrives in Boston tomorrow morning at 8am Christy. I hope y'all can pick them up, they've never ridden the train before!

Look at Thing 2, he is thrilled that Christy is letting him win! Or maybe she wasn't letting him win, she doesn't look too happy about it!

Here are my boys and I in the pool at Yo & Mel's place where we may or may not have consumed several gallons of bloody marys. (The whores, not the kids. They drank Dr. Pepper.)

And here is Thing 2 with Grandma Shelly, our persistent lady of the dog tattoo. A.K.A. Tattoo Whore. This was taken shortly after Daughter huffed out of the pool because we were laughing at her attempts to relegate her brothers to a 4 foot square section of pool because she was "USING" the rest of it. It's a lot easier to laugh at a hormonal hissy fit when I've had one or four bloody marys.

There are more - many many more - pictures but this is the short overview of BlogWhore '09. We had so much fun, laughed until our faces hurt and I cannot WAIT to do it again!

Friday, August 14, 2009


The drive from San Francisco to San Diego was a long one with just me and the kids and we were all tired and cranky when we got to the hotel. I was trying to get us checked in and Thing 1 was bouncing off the walls and teasing his brother.

I finally lost my temper and hissed at him through clenched teeth, "Will you please ACT YOUR FRICKIN' AGE!!!" (Yes, I refrained from saying fucking. I'm not completely hopeless.)

He clammed up for a second, looked at me and said:

"Ok. At what age do I begin to frick?"

I laughed so hard I peed my pants. Where did that smartass kid come from anyway?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Beautiful San Francisco

Due to the hardness of Scientist Genius Brother's guest mattress (Marvelous Mom said it was comfortable, she's obviously crazy) and daughter wanting to see eleventy million things in San Francisco, we got a hotel room in the city for our last night in the Bay area. Before we checked in we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge because believe it or not, I had never done that before. These pics were taken from the visitor center viewing area on the north side of the bridge near Sausalito.

Marvelous Mom with her gigantic grandsons...

And Marvelous Mom with her gigantic daughter. Heh.

When we checked in at the hotel the only thing the Things were interested in doing was swimming in the hotel pool so Marvelous Mom generously offered to stay with them (I don't think she wanted to shop in every store in San Francisco with daughter) and Daughter and I hit the city.

We got hopelessly lost in Chinatown and it was fabulous! Lunch was in an awesome Italian place across the street from City Lights Books. The waiter was a born and bred Italian - and hawt according to daughter - and the food was incredible. City Lights Books was first on daughter's list because it's in Christopher Moore's book Bloodsucking Fiends. Then we went to the Beat museum where she bought Jack Kerouac's book On the Road. What can I say, she has an eclectic taste in her reading materials!

That night Scientist Genius Brother, Marvelous Mom and I all had a lovely dinner sans children in the restaurant at the hotel while the kids watched tv and ate pizza in our room. Then Mom & Bro hit the B.A.R.T. back to Berkeley and the kids and I got our beauty sleep in preparation for the long drive to San Diego the next day.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Being in Berkeley

Mom and I are letting the kids sleep in this morning (and giving ourselves some much needed peace and quiet!) so I had some time to go thru my pictures from yesterday. The drive down was long with more fighting between the Things than we've EVER had before so when we do the second leg of the trip to San Diego I am considering giving them dramamine to make them sleep. Or a fifth of vodka. Whatever.

*It's a JOKE, I'm just joking!*

We wandered around Berkeley yesterday while Marvelous Mom took my car to Sunnyvale to visit a childhood friend. Daughter and Scientist Genius Brother went to see the new Johnny Depp movie (drool) and the Things and I got ice cream and then hung out in a park in the middle of the city.

The park was absolutely hysterical. There were lots of homeless people, some sleeping on the grass and others congregated in the shade hanging out and talking with what looked to be assistance workers - possibly from the YMCA that adjoins the park grounds.

There were several hippies playing guitars.

A gaggle (flock? swarm? school?) of teenage boys were skateboarding on the opposite end of the park from the homeless guys chatting.

Young lovers were making out on a blanket off by the playground area.

And a guy in a THREE PIECE BUSINESS SUIT was doing tai-chi in the grass.

I'm telling you, only in Berkeley.

My little tree-huggers doing their thing...

Eating ice cream in the plaza outside the Berkeley B.A.R.T. station...

And finally we finished off the day eating pizza at Zachary's, the best pizza place on the entire planet!

Today we will go into San Francisco where Daughter has an itinerary as long as her arm (we might make it to a quarter of the places she wants to go) and then tomorrow it's off to San Diego!