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*

Friday, August 13, 2010

Vegas Vacation 2010 Part 3

Thing 1 giving Thing 2 a piggyback ride - it's amazing that those pipe cleaner legs can hold them both up. I love this picture!

When Dad and Stepmonster bought the house with a pool, the Things decided our housewarming gift to them would be a floating ping-pong table! They found out it was harder than it looked and quickly gave up but Dad and I got the hang of it after awhile. It's just a matter of time before Chuck the Party Animal organizes a game of floating beer pong on it.

Daughter and I ran away one evening to the strip where we shopped at the Caesars Palace Mall, ate dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and laughed at all the weirdos who come out at night in Vegas.

The Paris Hotel at night is beautiful!

To be continued...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vegas Vacation 2010 Part 2

Ok, I planned this out better so these are in chronological order!

Here are Grandmother, Thing 2 and Thing 1 excited to get on the road! Daughter was in the backseat but didn't want to climb out of her nest for the pic. Party Pooper.

Here's Thing 1 jumping into the pool with a neighbor kid on his back. Dad & Stepmonster's buddy was babysitting four kids that night so it was a party! We had to tell the Things not to unlock and open the side gate for all the other neighbor kids who wanted to come swim without their parents supervising them. A pool is a kid magnet but also a liability issue! LOL

Thing 1 looks like he's delivering a speech here but he was just getting ready to jump.

And here is a teeny-tiny lizard Dad found the next morning. I'm holding it and Dad took the pic. He obviously needs new glasses because of the three pics he took, none of them have the lizard in focus. GO TO THE EYE DOCTOR DAD! Heh.

To be continued...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vegas Vacation 2010

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that this year's road trip vacation was the best one ever. (Now next year's will be an unmitigated disaster, I've jinxed it for sure.) After last year I swore I was never taking my demon-spawn on another vacation. Ever. They bickered constantly, talked back, and were generally awful. It was WAY worse than the year before when Thing 1 had a broken leg! I don't know if it's the year's worth of maturing or just all the valium I snuck into their food but this year they were WONDERFUL!

They goofed around with each other instead of fighting, were attentive and helpful to their Great-Grandmother, were polite to Grandpa, Grandmonster and all their friends, and followed the house rules beautifully. (Except Daughter who was caught EATING UPSTAIRS and made to perform penance at the feet of her Grandmonster or else face certain and utter doom.)

I took the Things to Gameworks on the strip where they happily made faces for my iPhone camera. It was lovely - they ran around like loons playing video games while I sat in the restaurant with a succession of $2 beers and made out with my new Kindle.

Then we went to the M&M's store next door. Have you ever been to Toys 'R Us on Christmas Eve? Neither have I but the M&M's store was a pretty close approximation to what I would image such an experience would be. It was INSANE! I wanted to yell at everyone "They're M&M's! You can buy them at the damn drugstore down the street for a tiny fraction of the cost here! Why are you losing your minds?"

This is totally out of chronological order due to Blogger's weird picture rearranging habits.

When we arrived in Vegas, Dad had just arrived home from work and turned on the waterfall and lights in the pool. It took the Things approximately four nanoseconds to change into their swimsuits and jump in. They spent hours in it every day and are cleaner than they have ever been in their entire lives.

This was taken at a rest stop in Eastern Washington. Grandmother did amazingly well for a 94 year old on a 1200 mile road trip. She's absolutely NO company for me in the car - she slept almost the whole way - but she had a great time. The kids took really good care of her - opening doors, getting her cane, making sure she drank enough water - and I am so glad they have the memories of this trip with her. As much as I complain about the old fossil, I love her dearly and was happy to have her join us!

And I spent a large amount of my time like this...

Amazingly I didn't get super sunburned. There was one day that I turned pretty pink but compared to Sunburns I Have Had it was not even in the top twenty-five. The weather was perfect. For me that is. 100+ degrees every day. Vegas does have a weird habit of getting very very windy in the evenings. Dad explained it to me - something about cooling air, rising warm air, weather patterns, zzzz - but I didn't quite get it. Of course my non-understanding had NOTHING to do with the margaritas Stepmonster and I were imbibing. Ahem.

I have a few more pics so will follow up soon. But right now I have to unpack, do my laundry, and re-pack for a road trip to Berkeley with Marvelous Mom. We leave tomorrow.


Friday, August 6, 2010


Well. Ahem. I've been whooping it up in Las Vegas for the past week - hence the lack of posting. That and the fact that the Things are hogging my computer.

It's ok, I bought a Kindle DX and it is my new friend with benefits. *swoon* Husband is going to kick my ass from here to Mars when he sees the Amazon bill for e-books. Heh.

The rugrats, Grandmother and I will all be home on Tuesday the 10th after driving for two days. Goody. Then I leave again with Marvelous Mom on the 12th to move Scientist Genius Brother out of his Gollem-cave in Berkeley.

So who knows when I might actually get to post something.

Dad and Stepmonster's new house (especially the pool with the WATERFALL) kick all kinds of ass though. Give 'em a call if you're in Vegas, they have lots of room.