Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lucky Me

My greatest wish came true - Daughter CLEANED. HER. ROOM. She also put together her new bed using power tools and everything. Her father and grandfather are so proud.

Even two inches of snow is deep when your legs are only two inches long!

Marvelous Mom and Beautiful niece #1.

Husband and Beautiful nieces #1 and #2 being silly - he's missed having little ones as much as I have.

But best of all was having Scientist Genius Brother here from Melbourne, Australia for a visit. It's a lot harder to say goodbye when he's going to the other side of the planet rather than just a couple of states away. We had a lovely Christmas and I can't wait to visit him in Australia. With the SHARKS WITH FRICKIN' LASERS!!!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ha Le Luj Ah

Funniest thing evah!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Things I've Learned Recently

The threat of No. Christmas. Gifts. is more effective on teenagers who ask for expensive things and have seen you return gifts already purchased.

Said threatened teenagers can clean/pick up/organize around the house much more effectively than they let on during the rest of the year.

Teeny-tiny puppies are harder to potty train than golden-retriever sized puppies.

It is possible to tire out a golden retriever after all - you just need a teeny tiny puppy to play with her.

Being self-employed really sucks when you ARE the boss and can't just ask for time off.

Internet shopping is the best invention ever. Bar none. Full stop.

Research and development funding would be better spent on developing everything the Jetson's have in their house than on sending us to Mars.

Some puppies eat their own poop - I will never be the same after finding out this particular little tidbit.

Whatever the electricity worker guys that fix our power when it goes out make is not enough, they all deserve a raise and a pony.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Whoop it Up!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Day at the Funny Farm

We have our first funny farm fresh egg laid by one of our very own chickens!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Grad School Part One

Yeah. So. First quarter of grad school is over. It was painful. I have to be honest, there was more than one day that I thought I'd have to quit - that I couldn't do it. But I stuck with it and it's over. I got a 3.8 in one class and worked my ASS off for it. The other class - well - I worked my ass off for that one too but don't have any feedback or graded assignments to even begin to judge how I did so I'll have to wait until next week to know if I worked hard enough or not.

Here is a gratuitous picture of the cutest puppy on the planet. He came shopping with me and quite enjoyed it. Very popular with the over 60 and under 6 crowds...

The good news is that I love school, love what I'm learning about, and am so excited to move forward in my academic career. I'm learning more every day than I ever thought was imaginable and cannot wait for next quarter!!!

Well...maybe I can wait a couple of weeks. Long enough to clean the four inches of dog hair off the floor, catch up on organizing the house, and enjoy Christmas with my family.


Friday, December 3, 2010

All Puppy All the Time

All I've been doing is homework, studying, and playing with the cutest puppy on the planet!

I think the goats thought he was edible...

Puppy love!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Poor Peepers, it's not easy living your life in a fishbowl...

He just wants to get into character and lose himself in the role. (He's Pup-in-Boots today)

But instead his adoring fans keep asking, "How much is that puppy in the window? The one with the waggly tail?"

I am beyond smitten.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Wasn't Busy Enough

So I went out and adopted a puppy. He's an 8 week old Maltese, Poodle, ??? mutt and the cutest freaking thing on the planet. It's official, I've lost my mind.

But when I saw the huge smile on Grandmother's face - the happiest she's been since her little dog died - I knew all the puppy training and work will be worth it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not Homework

It's amazing how having three weeks, one day, 10 hours, and thirty-seven minutes (but who's counting) until finals week inspires me to do all KINDS of things...

I really want to make a quilt.

The kitchen cabinets need to be thoroughly cleaned out and the wood oiled.

It would be so nice to be able to have a single bay of our FIVE CAR DETACHED GARAGE to park my car in - maybe I'll clean it out.

Boy does Thing 2's room need to be painted. And re-decorated.

DAMN that mudroom is a mess, time to sort out all the crap.

And I have laundry, cleaning, and cooking that needs to get done.

Funny how none of the jobs calling my name are homework. Even though that is what I have GOT to get done. Or waste a bazillion dollars. And suffer being mocked by my family.

But look what needs to be done that is NOT HOMEWORK...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Spelling Simpleton

I am a good speller. A friend of mine claims that spelling knowledge is contained in an optional lobe of the brain - some people have it and some people don't. Luckily for my k-12 career, I got the spelling lobe. (I didn't get the foreign language one but hey, you can't have everything.)

But there are some words that my brain has decided it will not allow me to learn the correct spelling of.

No matter how many times I write it, say it, spell it out loud, or tattoo it on to my forehead, I will always have to correct the word 'restaurant'. (Red underline just now, I spelled it wrong.) It's a stupid word that should be spelled 'resterant' and whoever decided on the spelling is obviously a mental miget. Er, midget.

As I grow older however, my spelling lobe seems to be shrinking. Or shriveling. Or melting. Because I am LOSING WORDS.

Now I can't spell 'refrigerator' or 'vacuum' correctly the first time. And for the love of GOD I misspelled 'friend' the other day. 'FRIEND'. WTF?

We're not going to talk about 'miget' up there. It'll be our little secret.

So is it only me? Am I the only one with road blocks going up left and right in my grey matter? Do I have brain bugs eating the few brain cells I have left?

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go spend some quality time with Messieurs' Merriam and Webster.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weeks into Minutes

October 24th was Daughter's sixteenth birthday. The extended family came, I ordered fancy cupcakes, the house was decorated in black and white Halloween decor, I hung a fancy banner I made in AUGUST (knowing I wouldn't have time to make anything after school started) and we all had a fabulous time - while Daughter spend the entire party in her room, sick with what we later realized was a very nasty case of the flu.

The Undertoad had struck with a vengeance.

But Grandmother got to hold the newest member of the family for a long time while he napped. Here they are, the newest and oldest members of the family - Grandmother 94 and Bubba 7 weeks.

The Undertoad was nowhere to be found the following weekend though! BFF Cousin and I took Daughter, Bee, Baron Munchausen, and Monty to Seattle for an overnight adventure. We shopped, took a limo from the hotel to dinner, our limo got INVADED by zombies leaving ZombiCon at the Seattle Center, Baron M tried to start a food fight at Buca de Beppo's, we played games at GameWorks and then walked back to the hotel in the rain stopping for lots of funny pictures on the way. Like this one...

Four teenagers = three 6s Get it? Six-Six-Six? Teenagers are evil? Nevermind...

Then this past weekend, the Undertoad returned. Grandmother's sweet little dog George went to the big pet park in the sky. He was fourteen - born the same summer as the Things - and will be sorely missed by everyone.

It's been a roller coaster for the past few weeks, and with the holidays fast (way too fast) approaching it promises to continue. But we're hoping for no more Undertoad in our lives for a very long time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Apropos of Nothing

Did you know a group of owls is called a Parliament? I sure didn't.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I want to tell you about daughter's family birthday party that she missed because she got horrendously sick.

I want to tell you about how she got her nose pierced for her sweet 16 gift from Husband and I.

I want to tell you about how she pulled the stud out of her nose by accident and by the time I got home it had closed up so now instead of a nose piercing she has a tiny scab on her nose.

I want to tell you about the amazing sweet 16 celebration daughter had with her friends after she got well.

I want to tell you about a lot of things.

I want to show you a shitload of pictures.

But I'm very very tired. School, kids, housework, Grandmother, and the eleventy-bazillion things I have on my plate are wearing my ass out.

I want to tell you about a lot of things. One of these days I will.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Got it In Writing

I've talked before about how my journey to becoming a college graduate was one that has made me the person I am today. It wasn't easy, it wasn't always fun, but it was important and worth every drop of blood and tear shed along the way.

Now I have something to hang on my wall and remind me of that journey every time I look at it.

The concrete proof of all our - because it was my family's journey as much as my own - hard work is here. And I couldn't be more thrilled!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Politician

My and my boy, Thing 2, the politician. God I love this kid!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Beautiful Girl

The Homecoming Dance was a lot of fun! We all went to dinner - and I do mean ALL. Daughter, Bee, Monty, Baron Munchausen, Thing 1, Thing 2, Grandmother, Husband and I all enjoyed a nice dinner. Here are the dance-goers in their finery. Isn't Daughter beautiful? She makes my heart ache I love her so much.

And this is a terrible AWFUL pic of me (Daughter is beautiful as always) but I think it's funny because I am such a shorty next to her!!! She's had another growth spurt and is fast approaching 5' 10". She's taking after Scientist Genius Brother. Me...well, I took after Marvelous Mom's side of the family. The Seven Dwarfs only four and all girls. It's all good. I'm not really short - I'm FUN SIZED!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Homecoming Game 2010

The past two years have not prepared me for the total chaos of Homecoming Week with three kids involved in three different school activities - all of which are part of the Homecoming bru-ha-ha.

Here is our politician, Thing 2 Freshman Senator. He came to me a couple of weeks ago asking if I could make a flag that he and his fellow freshmen representatives had designed. I cut, I sewed, I ironed and voila - it turned out great. The best part is they can use it for the next four years. And the Freshman Golf Cart (each class decorates one) was the BEST EVER! Ha!

He was at school at 7am three days this past week (which of course meant I had to drive him instead of just kicking him out the door in time to catch the bus), had three evening events to set things up for assemblies, and then stayed after school Friday to set up for the dance on Saturday, decorate the golf cart and worked at the game.

Thing 1 plays trumpet in the marching band. They've had three evening practices in the past week on top of all the prior practices plus have been practicing every day at school. They ROCKED the halftime show!

This is a shot from the halftime show. Thing 1 is one of the trumpet players and Daughter is the tall dancer in the back (the girls with their hands over their eyes). The Dance Cats have also been to all the evening marching band practices PLUS practicing twice a week after school. This was - without a doubt - their BEST PERFORMANCE YET. I was up in the stands watching the whole show and they were amazing!!! Daughter had never danced before joining the school dance team (1 year in ballet at age 4 hardly counts, I just wanted the tu-tu pictures!). She has worked her ass off and I can't believe how much she has improved. And the whole team has really come together - their performance was polished and seamless.

This last pic is "my girls". Daugher is on the left, her BFF Monty - who pretty much lives at our house - is in the middle and her other BFF Bee is on the right. Daughter and Bee have been friends since middle school and even though Bee goes to a different high school now they have stayed close.

I'm exhausted but so proud of my kids. We had a great time at the game and I'm looking forward to chaperoning the dance tonight. If I can stay awake.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm Just Not That Into It

Grad school started. I have an unbelievable amount of reading to, um, read. A research project proposal to write. Classroom curriculum to observe and link to the readings. Group projects to do.

And I just don't care very much.

I waited until the very last minute to pay my tuition for this quarter. (And almost hyperventilated at how much it was.) WHAT THE HELL IS MY PROBLEM?!?!

Is it burnout? Does it mean I have doubts about wanting to teach? Am I just lazy?

Motivation...I needz it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Baby Bubba

The newest member of the family, Baby Bubba. He is absolutely beautiful and perfect and very very loved.

Bubba had the good timing to arrive while Dad and Stepmonster were in town so Uncle Al got to meet his great-nephew in person. Dad and I tried not to fight over who got to hold him. (I won, obviously!)

Welcome to the world Bubba, we love you!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

It Gets Better

Dan Savage is an editor and columnist for The Stranger, a Seattle area alt-weekly newspaper. In response to the recent rash of children - some gay, some identified by their peers as gay - committing suicide due to unrelenting and brutal bullying, he started the "It Gets Better Project" on YouTube. This project is a collection of videos submitted by adults - gay, straight, bi, queer, trans, and cis - telling their stories in an attempt to show kids that it does indeed get better.

I've watched the videos but this is the first one that made me cry. First because I was sad for this gentleman's 15 year old self, and then because I was happy for the wonderful life he has now. I don't know if my kids are gay - I don't care - and I will show them this video. They will stand up to support their LBGT peers. As a parent, I will stand up to support their LBGT peers. Only when kids and their parents start speaking up against bullying behavior will it stop. All kids need to speak up - the LBGT kids desperately need the support of their straight peers. The loud, in-your-face, stop fucking with my friend, kind of support. Adults are failing to protect them so we need to teach our kids to do it.

Spread the word. There are kids out there who need to see these videos. They need hope. It might save their lives.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spoiling the Children

Before I became a parent it never occurred to me that I'd have to guard against spoiling my kids. Spoiled brats are a pain in the ass and no one wants to be around them. I didn't want to live with any or raise any. We all know that one person who was obviously spoiled rotten as a child and as a result believe that the world revolves around what they want, what they think, what they feel, and what they believe. It's really hard to resist the urge to bash their teeth in isn't it?

Julie Dawn Cole, Veruca Salt
see more Lol Celebs

But as my kids get older, I find myself wanting to spoil them. WTF is up with that? I would absolutely love love LOVE to buy daughter a car for her upcoming sixteenth birthday and for the Things when they turn sixteen. Of course I'm not going to because I have a brain but what I want to know is where is that urge coming from?

Husband came home last month with an iPhone for daughter. The Things both have cell phones too. They are a huge convenience for me because all three of the kids are involved in school activities now so it makes it a hell of a lot easier for who needs a ride home when and where the hell are you I'm waiting right in front of the damn school! But they don't really NEED phones.

We're instituting a new policy for Daughter a.k.a. the SLOB and her room needs to be picked up every day (by her) and vacuumed every weekend (by her) or she doesn't get to go out with her friends or have friends over. In helping her get organized I realized she has more clothes than she has places to put them. Why does she have so many damn clothes? Oh. Yeah. I bought them for her. Dumbass.

So now I'm on restriction. I've put myself there. If I don't stop spoiling her - the Things don't have nearly as much stuff simply because they hate shopping - she's never gonna learn to take care of what she has. And that shit won't fly because I will not support a thirty-something year old adult. No more shopping trips with her. Which sucks because I love to shop too and we always have a really good time. No more doing the kids chores for them instead of making them do them. Over and over. Until they're done CORRECTLY. (Side note - Why are they incapable of seeing the dog hair on the stairs that they supposedly just swept?)

Good parents don't spoil their children. So why do I want to?

Maybe it's because they are really good kids. When I hear about their peers doing drugs, drinking, skipping class, getting or getting someone pregnant, having unprotected sex or telling their teachers to fuck off, I know just how lucky we are to have such great kids.

But they still need to learn how to clean the bathroom and do laundry before they go to college.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

For the Star Wars Nerd in Your Life

Boba Fett Sneakers - I shit you not.
crazy shoes - Wear Your Mandalorian Stripes Proudly
see more If Shoes Could Kill

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Parade Day

Saturday was Parade Day for our high school marching band which includes the flag and dance teams. Thing One plays the trumpet and Daughter is on the dance team so we left the house at o'dark-thirty to drive over the Cascades and into Leavenworth. The parade was part of the Autumn Leaf Festival and last year was our school's first year participating. They won FIRST PLACE in their division last year and guess what...they won FIRST PLACE again this year! Woot! Their band director and assistant have built an amazing performing arts program at our school and they get the kids to perform above and beyond every time.

Here is the band marching down main street in Leavenworth, a funky little Bavarian themed village in the gorgeous Cascade Mountains. If you are anywhere close to driving distance, I urge you to visit it during the fall when the leaves are changing. It will take your breath away.

Here is daughter posing - I was going for an "artsy" shot with her shadow in the background. It's not fine art but she loves it and I think it's pretty cute. Dance Cats is the name of the dance team.

And here is daughter and Thing One - posing together against their will. I told them if they didn't pose for a picture then I'd make them walk home. Ninety-five miles. They knew I meant it too.

It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and we all had a great time. Good thing I got some sunshine because it's gray and rainy today. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Seven Things

My very awesome friend ChiTown Girl gave me an award! Woot! Chi is a kindergarten teacher in - wait for it - CHICAGO! and while she is crazy enough not to love love love hot weather, we have lots of other things in common. Including her smart-ass sense of humor (I laugh my butt off at her email of the day posts!) and our love of kids. She likes the short, pees-their-pants-occasionally, needs help with their buttons while I prefer the sullen, stinky, teenage variety but still, we both love kids. Even if they make us crazy occasionally. Ok, all the time. Ok, who wants to buy a teenager?

So I'm a versatile blogger! Cool! I assume this means that I can blog while simultaneously beating my kids, making dinner, and studying for a mid-term. Cause I can.

Here are the rules:

Acknowledge the award and thank and link back to the person bestowing it.
Pass on the award to 15 other bloggers: (in no particular order)
Let the new recipients know you've selected them.
Share seven things about yourself that your readers or followers might not know.
Post the badge to your blog.

Here is the hard part, thinking of seven things about me you don't know. At least the 3 of you who aren't my family. (Hi Mom!)

1. I'm a hair twirler and have been ever since I can remember. When I finally start teaching high school I'm gonna look like a fucking moron twirling my hair around my fingers while grading papers. It's a hard habit to break.

2. I get motion-sick in the bathtub. LOOKING at a picture of water makes me seasick. Going to movies at an IMAX theater is not an option. I can't even play driving video games with the Things because it makes me nauseous. This is why even though Marvelous Mom and Stepdan have had a sailboat for umpteen years, I've only been sailing on it once. I took a dramamine and was mostly comatose for the ride.

3. I would die without my iPhone. Die dead. You can have it when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

4. I love painting, like paint on canvas art type painting, but I totally suck dinosaur balls at it. But occasionally I buy a canvas and paint something, just because I like the feeling of brushing the paint on.

5. Facebook is my bitch.

6. I'm an atheist. I would LIKE to believe in God and heaven and an afterlife - especially when beautiful, perfect four-year-old boys die in accidents for no reason - but I just can't. Evidence, I need evidence.

7. If I never see another snowflake again it will be too soon.

So, the fifteen (GOD that seems like a lot! Some of these folks who are gonna be wondering who the hell I am) bloggers I'm tagging are

Shelly (For God's sake post SOMETHING! Heh.)

And, um, EVERYONE ELSE! Seven things y'all, chop-chop!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Gratuitous Photo

Just to show that Daughter is not ALWAYS a sullen, pouting brat, here is a pic of her with one of her best friends and my bonus son, Baron Munchausen. I love them both!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Oh Happy Day

Last week was a doozy. Tuesday morning I was on my way out the door (in flip flops and pajamas, I'm pretty classy ya know) to take daughter to dance practice when I slipped and fell down the stairs. My - not inconsiderable - entire body weight fell right on my tailbone and broke it.

I wailed. My two extra kids - friends of daughter's who pretty much live here - had spent the night and all five of the kids were a bit freaked out at the sight of me rolling around screaming in pain while Husband tried to determine if he was going to be a widow or if I was just being hysterical.

So when the kids had their first day of school the next day, Husband was in charge of taking pictures since I was unable to move without howling. This year the Things are starting High School - lowly, lowly, Freshmen - and all three of the hellions will be at the same school with Daughter lording it over them as a Junior.

If you see Husband would you mind asking why the hell he thought taking pics from the top of the stairs was a good idea?

With the lack of actual GOOD pictures, I decided to go for comedy instead. Presenting - OH MY GOD I HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL WITH MY BROTHERS!

"So Daughter, are you excited for the first day of school? With Thing 1 and Thing 2?"

"I guess that's a no..."

"So what are you going to eat for lunch?"

"I don't care what your friends are doing, you may NOT eat your brothers for lunch!"

"Don't worry Thing 2, she won' REALLY eat you for lunch. She'll just stuff you in a locker."

"Have a nice day!"

Unfortunately my injury has prevented me from doing my annual back-to-school happy dance all over the neighborhood. But I'm THINKING it really, really hard.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Drop Everything and Watch This

Now excuse me while I go find the kleenex.

Hey Husband, I love you.

Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bad Sun, No Biscuit

The last time I got blood drawn & analyzed, the doc informed me that I have a Vitamin D deficiency and need to take supplements. I was surprised at this news because I am a sun worshipper (as much as a person can be in the Pacific Northwest anyway) who gets tanned every summer after getting a badass sunburn on the first nice day. It never ever fails, I've been sunburned at least once every year for almost my entire life. Yes I am an idiot.

I've even been known to use tanning beds. Shut up, it helps my acne and gets me through February.

So I've got an appointment with a specialist to have a spot of Basal Cell Carcinoma removed from my chest.

It's not really a big deal. Basal cell is superficial, doesn't metastasize, and grows really really slowly. They'll freeze it off (or something like that) and I'll be self-conscious about the mark for awhile, and then all will be right with the world. There will be lots of follow-up appointments with a dermatologist to make sure I don't have any other little nasties cropping up and I have to switch to Vitamin D supplements instead of frying myself to a crisp every time the sun makes an appearance.

Put sunscreen on your kids.

Put sunscreen on yourself.

See a doctor if you have any weird spots that won't go away.

Flip the sun off whenever you think of it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Why did the Chicken Cross the Road?

KINDERGARTEN TEACHER: To get to the other side.

PLATO: For the greater good.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross roads.

KARL MARX: It was a historical inevitability.

TIMOTHY LEARY: Because that’s the only trip the establishment would let it take.

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

HIPPOCRATES: Because of an excess of phlegm in its pancreas.

ANDERSEN CONSULTING: Deregulation of the chicken’s side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. Andersen Consulting, in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM) , Andersen helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge, capital and experiences to align the chicken’s people, processes and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program Management framework. Andersen Consulting convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analysts and best chickens along with Andersen consultants with deep skills in the transportation industry to engage in a two-day itinerary of meetings in order to leverage their personal knowledge capital, both tacit and explicit, and to enable them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals in delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median processes. The meeting was held in a park-like setting, enabling and creating an impactful environment which was strategically based, industry-focused, and built upon a consistent, clear, and unified market message and aligned with the chicken’s mission, vision, and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution. Andersen Consulting helped the chicken change to become more successful.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

MACHIAVELLI: The point is that the chicken crosses the road. Who cares why? The end of crossing the road justifies whatever motive there was.

JERRY SEINFELD: Why does anyone cross the road? I mean, why doesn’t anyone ever think to ask, what the heck was this chicken doing walking around all over the place, anyway?

FREUD: The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

BILL GATES: I have just released the new Chicken Office 2010, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your cheque book.

OLIVER STONE: The question is not, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Rather, it is, “Who was crossing the road at the same time, whom we overlooked in our haste to observe the chicken crossing?”

DARWIN: Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to cross the roads.

EINSTEIN: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends on your frame of reference.

BUDDHA: Asking this question denies your own chicken nature.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON: The chicken did not cross the road … it transcended it.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die. In the rain.

COLONEL SANDERS: I missed one?

I got this from Frogdancer, my favorite teaching frog!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Leaving Berkeley

Five years ago this month, Dad and I loaded most of Scientist Genius Brother's belongings (Marvelous Mom points out that she is STILL storing some of his crap for him at her house) and drove him to Berkeley for grad school. In that five years he worked his ass off, finally earning the title 'Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry'.

On Thursday, Marvelous Mom and I drove down to Berkeley to do the whole move in reverse. It was a wonderful trip! We are all so proud of him that our buttons have burst off our clothing. His final thesis was signed off on by his professor and two other advisors and he is DONE! Check out his thesis title:

Ion Nanocalorimetry: Measuring Absolute Reduction Potentials, and Investigating Effects of Water on Electron Solvation and Ion Fluorescence

I've got no idea what it means but it sounds very smart!

For the most part the entire moving out process went smoothly. Except for one thing - Satan's Couch. This is a piece of furniture he got for free from some friends. They got hosed on it, paying $75 on Craigslist for a couch they were told was leather but was actually very cheap, squeaky, hot, icky vinyl. When they gave it to Scientist Genius Brother they were happy to see it go. I suspect they avoided even sitting on it when they visited him.

Now when he moved in to this apartment, he got Satan's Couch in through the front door. The apartment complex was built in 1914 so we know for SURE that it wasn't built around Satan's Couch. And yet he could not get it out.

Let me tell you, it is not easy to take non-blurry pictures with your iPhone while laughing hysterically! Four big, strong, college guys could not get Satan's Couch out of the apartment. They tried for half an hour, turning it every which way, taking the legs off, shoving it into the shrubbery, even sacrificing the paint on the door, but could NOT get it out. Even funnier is that Scientist Genius Brother doesn't remember it being that hard to get in - he wasn't even sure who helped him move it!

But by that night he was pissed. He was gonna get that damn thing out no matter what. So we broke out the tools...

...and we cut it in half. We murdered Satan's Couch. Then he had to pay a guy $65 to come and haul it out which was extremely painful to the second-cheapest person I know. (Husband is the first.) Not really a freebie. But once it was gone the aura of the apartment lifted and we knew we were no longer in the presence of Satan's Couch.

Then with much prodding from Mom and I, Scientist Genius Brother got rid of a LOT of stuff he wouldn't need or didn't want to pay to ship to Australia. The remainder of his crap got crammed in the back of my van (you would not believe how much stuff you can get in a Honda Odyssey!!!) and we brought him home.

He will stay with Marvelous Mom until Friday and then he heads to the University of Melbourne to do his post-doctoral work on the molecular and physical composition of the atoms of zzzzz....he's gonna do chemistry stuff. He also gets to join Awesome Aussie Girlfriend and they won't have to do the long-distance thing anymore!!!

I am proud and sad and excited for him all at the same time. He is the best brother, son, and uncle anyone could wish for and he will do amazing things with his life!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Vegas Vacation 2010 Part 4

This is in Dad's "Man Room". He got a beautiful pool table from a friend and taught the kids how to play. Husband flew out for the second weekend we were there - the first time he's ever been able to join us for part of our road trip vacation!

This is Baby Boy - he belongs to a friend of Dad and Stepmonster and is absolutely the cutest thing! He just turned one and was happy to bask in the attention of the baby deprived in the family.

Here he is with the Playboy who works with Dad and has been adopted into the family. I took Baby Boy away from the Playboy pretty quick though, can't have him learning any bad habits!

And Baby Boy covered in Popsicle juice. So cute!

This was taken at a little rest stop in nowhere Oregon on our way home. I was hoping for a Christmas Card shot but no such luck. *sigh*