May 31, 2005


I just went to use the restroom and when I switched on the light, this sucker was waiting:

Needless to say, I exited and used the Men's room instead. Now I'm paranoid that killer cockroaches are going to come jumping out at me in the office. I hate cockroaches.

Too much damn food.

I ate a whole lot of food this weekend. Too much food. I feel like bloated whale sitting here right now. Good thing this is a running day. My daughter's staph infection is pretty much cleared up, so everything's good now. She just has to keep taking her antibiotic for another couple of days and that will be that. This is her last week of school and tomorrow I'll be volunteering for their field day. It's a fun day for the kids. My husband had to go to our daughter's school last Friday for a Dad's Luau. It was like the Mother's Tea I went to a couple of weeks ago, but for the dads instead. Our daughter also made a little book for him, like the one she made for me. My two favorite entries were the ones that said: My dad is the master of computer games. I never get to play on the computer because he is always using it; and My dad is the king of the diningroom chair. When my mom puts my dinner on the table, he moves my plate to another spot and says, "That's my chair." I was busting a gut when I read those because they're absolutely true.

The girls night was fun. We went to a restaurant for dinner and drinks. While we were there, I saw a couple in a booth across from us where the guy looked about 35 and the girl looked 12. They were kissing and stuff and I tried to get our waiter to go over on a covert operation to scope out the scene and report back to us if there was, indeed, as much of an age difference as there appeared to be. However, once I started describing the pair, he knew exactly whom I was speaking of and said, "Yeah," while rolling his eyes. When I say she looked 12, I mean she looked 12. She acted like she was 12, too. You know, the way girls that age hold themselves and can't quite sit still and flop their arms around when they talk. Anyway, it was disturbing to say the least. After dinner, we went to Barnes & Noble because one of my friends is planning on building a deck and general redoing her backyard and my other friend is crazy about design, so we went to the bookstore to look at landscaping books. I'm not a big fan for looking at that sort of thing so after awhile I said I was going to go get a trashy romance novel before the store closed and both my friends seemed shocked that I would read trashy romance novels. I don't know why, though. I also got a copy of Mansfield Park because B&N has this classics series and only charge about $5.00 for a book. The funniest thing, though, is that my friends decided to start looking for books, too, and my one friend was flipping through the bargain books and she said, "Oh that sounds like a sweet story," about a book she was looking at. And I said, "Why, what's it about?" And she said, "It's about a girl who has an accident and becomes a quadrapalegic. " And I started laughing and said, "Yeah, that sounds like a really sweet story." Then she realized what she said and then tried to explain there was more to it than that.

Yesterday, my daughter had a friend over for a playdate and we managed to get the house cleaned, so it wasn't too bad a day.

May 29, 2005

Aargh, I hate housework.

I'm posting as an excuse to take a break from laundry. I am really in a funk lately when it comes to housework because the state of my house is really dragging me down. I can't stand a mess, but I feel like the effort of trying to keep the place up is so worthless because as soon as I clean something, it's dirty ten seconds later. Anyway, the husband and kid are out on a reptile-catching expedition and I'm supposed to go out for a girls' night out this evening. So I'm trying to clean my house because it is an absolute disaster area and I'm just pissed and defeated feeling right now. I wish I had a maid.

May 27, 2005

Should they stay or go?

We have several rodents as pets: a hamster, a rabbit and two guinea pigs. Over the past couple of days my husband has been suggesting we get rid of the guinea pigs. I think, primarily, because they stink if you don't clean their cage often enough and my husband isn't up to daily upkeep. They're both female and their names are Spotty and Brumhilde. They both love my husband something fierce. Whenever he comes home, they squeak in excitement and glee. They're hay whores and they know my husband is always willing to give them what they want. But now he wants to chuck them to the cruel, harsh world. My daughter is somewhat hesitant to give them up because she loves them, although, she loves the rabbit more. So, should they stay or go? I want to know what you think. Is it thumbs up for the girls or thumbs down? If I had a digital camera, I'd put their pictures up, but I don't so I can't.

We are not Spotty and Brumhilde. We are merely underpaid stunt doubles. We repeat, we are not Spotty and Brumhilde. But from what we understand, they kind of, sort of look like us in that they are also guinea pigs as we are.

I almost forgot...

I was so keen to tell you about my new MP3 player, I totally forgot to mention the very nice thing that happened to me Wednesday. My friends threw me a belated surprise birthday party. We had plans to meet at a local pizza joint with the kids as a summer kick-off. So when I get there, one of my friends presents me with a very nice bouquet of roses. It was so sweet and I told her, "You didn't have to do that." And she says, "Well, I felt bad about not doing something when it was your birthday."

Aaaah, so sweet.

So our other friend gets there and then my husband and then my friend's husband shows up and we all eat pizza and have a generally good time. Then one of my friends disappears and reappears with a cake that she and her daughters had baked to celebrate my birthday. Now I'm really flabbergasted because it's all such a surprise. The cake was good and my friends picked up the bill. So you see, some things are worth waiting for.

Update on my daugther and her maybe staph infection: I called the doctor's office Tuesday to find out if they had the results from the culture yet and that launches a flurry of phone calls between me and the office because no one can locate the culture and the lab has no record of it. So at this point, I still don't know if she's got staph or not, but I'm giving her the antibiotics they prescribed. Today is the first day that it seems like maybe the sores are healing, but it's hard for me to really know because they're still pretty fiery red looking to me. Plus, my daughter has sprouted a couple of other sores on her scalp that weren't there they day we saw the doctor. So I don't know. I'm going to try a different shampoo on her just to see if that might help the sores on her head.

May 26, 2005

A very bad thing.

When I was running Tuesday, a very, very bad thing happened. Tragic, really. I busted my walkman. I BUSTED MY WALKMAN!! The horror, the horror. I accidentally knocked if off the sink when I was washing my hands and busted it. It sort of split at the seams, and I snapped it back together, but it was useless. The radio still works, but the cassette player does not and the cassette player is all that matters because I have to listen to very specifc music when I run. You never know what you're going to get with the radio and you can't always count on reception. I cannot exercise without music. Not I dont want to exercise without music, I CANNOT exercise without music. I suffer from a rare disorder known as noexercisimus sansmusicplayiolitis. It's been a lifelong battle, but it's just the way the cards were dealt for me. I have to listen to specific music when I exercise, music that allows me to imagine I'm really cage dancing while I run. So my current exercise tape has stuff like RuPaul's Supermodel, Spice Girls' Wannabe, KC and the Sunshine Band's Shake Your Booty, Duran Duran's Planet Earth, Depeche Mode's Master and Servant, and you get the picture. While I run, I see myself dancing and it helps me keep going because dancing's fun. Anyway, when I realized that I had broken my cassette player, I became a little frantic because what the hell am I going to do now? I can't run without the tunes, man. I've talked a bit about how I'd like an iPod to use while I run, but I'm one of those people who tends to be really behind the curve when it comes to up-to-date personal electronic purchases. I always feel guilty spending money on myself when there are more important things to take care of, so I usually go with the lowest common demoninator (cost-wise) to satisfy my desires, hence the portable cassette player rather than the digital audio player or even a portable CD player. But I knew a time of reckoning had come, I didn't want to spend money on a new cassette player when what I really want is an iPod or MP3 player that I can just strap to my arm while I run.

And here's the part where I turn a frown upside down. I stopped at the Walgreen's across the street from my daughter's school this morning to just see what they had, thinking maybe I'd just buy a really cheap cassette player to bide my time. I go in and notice an MP3 player on sale for $41.99, reduced from $69.99. I think, "Should I?" Because that's really not a bad price for something like that, and I decide quite impulsively, "Yes, yes I will." So I get the MP3 player feeling pretty satisfied that I've gotten something close to what I'd like at a fairly good price, then I go to the register, the lady scans the package and it rings up at $35.99. YES, I rule. I'm getting an even better bargain than I counted on. Plus, the MP3 player comes with it's own armband carrying case and headphones, along with all the computer paraphenalia required to download the music. So when I go for my run after work today, I am going to be bustin' moves like Madonna and J. Lo all mixed up. Oooh, oooh.

May 25, 2005

I hate stupid people. (Or at least annoying old biddies who sound like they come from NY and have retired to Florida.)

I just got off the phone with one stupid bitch. She called from a school in Florida wanting to subscribe to one of the journals I work for. Actually, she called last week and gave me the credit card number to charge the subscription to and then asked that I send her an e-mail confirmation when I processed the order, which I did. However, when I sent the e-mail, it came back as undeliverable. I checked the address with the one she gave me and it was correct, so what are you going to do. Anyway, she calls back today saying I was supposed to e-mail her and what follows below is an approximation to the conversation that we had, with her speaking in the heaviest most obnoxious New York accent I've ever heard. Words appearing in parentheses are subtext.

KC: Yes, I did....

SB: You forgot to send it though?

KC: No, I didn't forget. I sent it last week and it came back undeliverable.(Dumb ass, don't assume I forgot. Stupid bitch, I'll cut ya.)

SB: Oh, then you must have gotten the e-mail wrong.

KC: Well, why don't you give it to me again to make sure I have it down correctly. (And to make sure you gave it me correctly in the first place, dumb ass.)

SB: It's blah, blah, blah.

KC: Yup, that's exactly what I have and what I put on the e-mail, but it came back. (Dumb ass.)

SB: Well, maybe it's because I didn't have my computer on.

KC: Oh, your server doesn't save your e-mail messages? (Yeah, it's because your computer wasn't on, dumb ass. Whatever.)

SB: Well, you know, sometimes I send e-mails to my friends and it comes back with that message. (My translation: "I don't know what a server is because I'm a dumb ass. And I'm old.")

KC: Are any of the letters supposed to be capitalized? (That means some of the letters will be "big" letters.)

SB: It shouldn't matter if they're capitalized, but let me look how they have me down. (My translation: "Wait, maybe I don't know my e-mail address.)

SB: Well, it looks like the "S" and the "B" are capitalized, but it shouldn't matter.

KC: OK, then, let's try that and I'll resend to see if it makes a difference. (You know nothing about modern technology because you're a dumb ass.)

SB: Did you send it?

KC: Yes, I did. (Isn't that what I said I was doing?)

SB: Well, let me try this and this....(general mumbling to self.) Do you want me to call you back?

KC: You can e-mail me, I'm leaving in a couple of minutes. (Dumb ass.)

SB: What time is it there?

KC: About 10:25. I leave at 10:30.

SB: And what time is it here?

KC: I don't know, what time zone are you in? (Are you kidding me?)

SB: But I don't know where you are?

KC: I'm in Indiana and it's central time here. Don't you know what time it is where you are? (What difference does it make where I am, it has absolutely no effect on your time, dumb ass.)

SB: It's 11:30 here. (I think, but a clock is too complicated for me to figure out.)

KC: So you're an hour ahead. But don't worry, the order has been processed.

SB: But I want confirmation.

KC: OK (I am confirming right now by telling you. The e-mail doesn't say anything I haven't already told you, stupid bitch. Now you're really starting to annoy me big time.)

SB: OK, I'll e-mail you if it comes through, otherwise I'll call you tomorrow.

KC: OK, that's fine. (Get off my phone, I'm losing brain cells from talking to you.)


I'd be much more gracious about the exchange if she hadn't talked to me in a manner that suggested she couldn't possibly be in the wrong. Anyway, now that I've gotten that off my chest, I feel much better.

May 24, 2005

How'd she get that?

Well, I took the child to the doctor yesterday and she seems to think my precious daughter has a staph infection.

"Staph infection?!?!" I say. "How would she get a staph infection?" In my mind, people get staph infections from being in the hospital. Especially if they're post-operative. Staph is everywhere, really. But it needs an entry point into the body, and many times that opportunity is available after surgery in the hospital.

The doctor then explained that she's been seeing a rush of staph infections in kids over the past two weeks that have her confounded. "I've seen more staph in the past two weeks than I saw in the entire previous year," she said.

"Really?" I asked.

"Yes, really."

She said she's considering calling the health department because she's got so much of it. The problem is that they've also been seeing the drug-resistant strain of the bacteria. She took a culture from one of the blisters on my daughter's neck and said she'd start her on antibiotics before they get the results back just to play it safe. Having once been a medical journalist, I'd like to take this opportunity to provide a little background about staph infections.

This is what a staph infection looks like (although, there are several variations of appearance depending on what type of tissue is involved):

My daughter's infection doesn't look this bad. I couldn't find a really good, gross photo, though. I like using the worst scenario type photos for some reason.

Here's a brief description of a staph infection found at:
What is Staphylococcus?

Staphylococcus is group of bacteria, familiarly known as Staph, that can (and do) cause a multitude of diseases. Staph bacteria can cause illness directly by infection (such as in the skin) or indirectly through products they make such as toxins responsible for food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome. The name "Staphylococcus" comes from the Greek staphyle meaning a bunch of grapes + kokkos meaning berry, and that is exactly what Staph look like under the microscope, like a bunch of grape or little round berries. (In technical terms, these are gram-positive, facultative anaerobic, usually unencapsulated cocci.)

What are complications of Staph infections?

Staph infection can be simple and localized, such as with impetigo of the skin. It can, however, become widespread, by infecting the blood. It can thereby seed to various areas of the body. This spreading occurs more commonly in persons with abnormally suppressed immune systems. Scalded skin syndrome is a potentially serious side effect of infection with the Staph (Staphylococcus) bacteria that produces a specific protein which loosens the "cement" holding the various layers of the skin together. This allows blister formation and sloughing of the top layer of skin. If it occurs over large body regions it can be deadly (just like a large surface area of the body having been burned). It is necessary to treat scalded skin syndrome with intravenous antibiotics and to protect the skin from allowing dehydration to occur if large areas peel off. The disease occurs predominantly in children under 5 years of age. It is known formally as Staphyloccoccal scalded skin syndrome and as Ritter disease.

Now, as I mentioned the doctor explained that she's seeing drug-resistant strains of staph in the patients whoare presenting. As you may or may not know, drug resistance is becoming a BIG problem. There are several reasons for this: people don't finish their antibiotics, which doesn't completely get rid of the bacteria but allows them to build resistance; doctors have too often prescribed wide-range antibiotics that affect all bacteria, including those that are not causing infection which allows those bacteria to develop resistance; patients demanding antibiotics when they are suffering from viral infections rather than bacterial infections, meaning people are taking antibiotics when they are not warranted and allowing any present bacteria to build resistance. The best way to combat this problem is to take all your antibiotics when they are prescribed, even if you're feeling better; request a narrow-range antibiotic designed to zero in on the particular bacteria causing infection; and don't ask your doctor to prescribe medication if you're suffering from viral infection. The doctor should know better anyway, but some are apparently willing to write the prescription just to get rid of their annoying patients. Antibiotics have absolutely no effect against viruses, which is what is responsible for things like the common cold and flu. With most viral infections, the only thing you can do is treat the symptoms, not the virus itself. There are anti-viral medications available, I think most of them either keep the virus dormant to lessen its effects on the patient rather than actually killing the virus. Once you're infected with a virus, you've got it forever.

Some researchers also believe the increased use of all our anti-bacterial cleaning products have help increase drug-resitance because they mutate and develop was to survive. Some also believe our increased consumption of beef or chicken that has been treated with antibiotics contributes to drug resistance. And scientists simply cannot develop new antibiotics quickly enough to out pace the bacteria's ability to mutate and strengthen itself.

May 23, 2005

OK, I'm gonna tell you anyway...

Yesterday, my husband told me he woke up Saturday night because I was talking in my sleep. Doesn't sound so weird, right? But he told me that I was speaking very loudly and that it sounded like I was speaking in tongues (it was vaguely European sounding, he said) and then I said, "Praise the Lord." Then I went back to speaking the undecipherable language and then responded, "Thanks be to God." He said that was the point at which he told me to roll over, which I did, and then it was over. So I'm a little freaked out while he's telling me this; although, I'm laughing my ass off. I asked what did this "speaking in tongues" sound like. I told him to imitate it and he said he couldn't. I have no recollection of the dream I must have been having, but I think this has to be a result of my reading that exorcist book I was telling you all about.

But I do want to know what vaguely European sounding is supposed to mean. The only European languages I think you can easily confuse with each other are Eastern European languages because they all sound kind of Russian to me. Whereas, Western Europe, you're looking at German, French, Spanish, etc. It's all very different sounding. I said it's weird that I should be speaking another language because I sometimes dream in either French or Korean where I know in the dream I am saying everything correctly, but I wouldn't be able to do it in waking life. When I said this, then my husband said, "Maybe it was Korean. Yeah, you were speaking Korean." I don't know, I'm dying to know what this other language sounded like.

I've always been some what fascinated with the idea of speaking in tongues because I want to know what it sounds like. I've asked people who have heard it and they basicallys say it sounds like gobbledy-gook. But I'm thinking if it's supposed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, shouldn't it sound like something? Even if it's a dead langugae, don't you think it should be a real language? I don't know. Because anyone can just act like they're talking some weird language by making noises, but that doesn't mean they're really saying anything. I'd like to witness it myself some day just to know what it's like.

I've got to take my daughter to the doctor this afternoon because she has some odd bumps on her head and on her neck. It started Thursday when she said she felt bumps on the back of her neck under her skull. I felt it and there were two very hard nodules under the skin. They sort of felt like swollen glands, but harder. So I called the doctor to make an appointment, which is today after school. She said that the bumps hurt if someone touched them and that if she moved her head a certain way, it would also hurt. Then Friday, I notice two very small pustules near the area where the the glands or nodes are swollen, but it doesn't look like anything major, but there are now more hard, inflamed nodules. Then Saturday night, she's scratching her head really hard and I look and there's a patch of about ten or so red, inflamed pustules on her scalp. My husband said they looked like spider bites. There were so many of them, though, I asked could it really be spider bites. Would they bite so many times? And he said, yeah, that they just bite and the go on and bite again. He said some spiders eat blood and that's what they're trying to get. At the same time, but the red bumps on her neck are getting bigger and more blister-like in appearance and it's itching her. I've been trying everything to ease the itching for her. This morning I put camphor spirit on the all the bumps. I hope the doctor can give her something to make her more comfortable. I'm thinking if they are spider bites, then the great number of them must be working her immune system pretty hard if she's got swollen lymph nodes or glands because of it. Of course, since I've done such a good job of transferring my hypochondria to her, she's worried her head is going to start melting at any moment. When she woke up this morning she said he was so happy it was Monday because it's doctor day.

Anyway, I'm also going to spray down the entire house to get rid of any bugs that might be taking up residence. We washed her blankets and everything in hot water, so that should kill anything that was crawling around. I know it's not lice, though, because I looked through her head hard and long with a magnifying glass to make sure I didn't see any nits. I hate bugs, I don't know if I've mentioned it before or not but I figure they've got the entire rest of the world to live, they don't need to share my house. My husband gets mad at me, though, because I spray the house every spring and one year I ended up mutating the toads around our house. Some of them didn't have back legs and stuff like that. He's something of a naturalist, so he doesn't appreciate my "cleansing" ritual. He said I couldn't spray anything other than the house anymore. I'd spray up the trunks of the trees and things before and three feet out from the house around the entire perimeter. I'm not excessive, do you think? My husband is a birdwatcher, too, and he didn't want me contaminating the insects because he said the birds would die from eating poison bugs. I don't want to kill any birds, but I don't want insects in my house. I'm not freakish about it or anything. I swear. I wish I had a digital camea, then I could show you all a picture of the scabies on my daughter's head. You'd all like that , right?

May 20, 2005

Ooh, that's sour.

I'm referring to the nectarine I just bit into. My lips are still pukering from it. I guess three days isn't enough ripening time. I'll tell you the best fruit I've ever had in my life is the Royal Riviera pear from Harry & David. Oh my God, you want to talk about some succulent fruit. You've got to let them ripen a few days before you eat them, but it is so worth the wait. I wasn't particularly impressed with any of the other fruit I've ordered from them, but the pears are excellent.

So the husband went to watch the new Star Wars movie last night after work. He said it was good. He's going to go watch it again on Saturday with a friend. So he goes twice in one week and I'll have to wait until it comes out on DVD. I was asking him some questions about it this morning and he answered, "I don't know."

My husband has this thing where he hates to know what happens in a movie he wants to watch before he sees it. If people start talking about it, he puts his hands over his ears and yells for everyone to shut up about the movie. This is his thing, not mine. So when I ask him about movies and he refuses to answer, it pisses me off because I don't care if I know what happens before I see the movie, obviously, or wouldn't be asking in the first place. I don't know if he thinks he's doing me some kind of favor or something, but I don't like it. Anyway, after our daughter berated him for awhile, he finally answered my questions. The kid got on his case because she wanted to know what happens, too. So, I've got a little bit of information now to hold me over. It'll have to do.

Now I have to confess something. Well, it's not really a confession, but I don't know what else to call it. A couple of days ago I lent two DVDs that I rented to a friend because she asked to borrow them. I don't know that I've talked about how I am about things being the way they're supposed to be, but it bothers me if my ducks are not properly lined up and all that. Anyway, the DVDs were due back the next day (which would have been yesterday) by midnight. I really stressed the part about being due back at midnight because sometimes this friend--although I love her guts out--can sometimes not follow through on stuff she needs to follow through on. My husband was surprised I lent the DVDs to her because he knows how my friend is and he knows how I am, but what was I going to say? "No, you can't borrow them because I don't want to pay the late fee when you don't turn them in on time." I wanted to call the video store yesterday to make sure they turned them in so I could take them in myself if I needed to. My husband told me not to. But it's killing me, I've got to know, so I'm going to call the video store right now. Hold on while I call. OK, they returned the DVDs. Now I kind of feel bad that I didn't trust them more.

May 19, 2005


I can tell you, this is NOT the answer I was expecting. Not at all. The attitude stuff is all right and everything, but I am not what you would call the most stylish girl in the room, not unless Doc Martens and jeans are considered high fashion.

You're the high fashion trendsetter. You're
confident, independent, outgoing, and love
attention. You might become a star one day. All
the girls like to follow in your foot steps
because you're so cool, fashionable, and don't
care about anything. You make the rules, never
follow. But please be sure not to act bitchy.
That could be bad. But keep the attitude.
That's what makes you, you.

What kind of girl are you? (with pix!)
brought to you by Quizilla


You know, I always wonder how much information I should put in here about other people. For instance, I just had a conversation with my sister about her in-laws and the general hell they create for her and her family. I'd like to write about what we talked about, but I don't really know how she'd feel about it. The reason I want to talk about it is because the shit they do to her pisses me off royally and I've got to blow off the steam somehow. Without getting too specific, let's just say that some of her in-laws are CRAZY. Although them being crazy is problem enough, they're also cruel and vindictive. And I'm talking about the kind of cruel and vindictive behavior you find in a Dickens novel, the kind where adults don't care what they do to children. The particular in-laws I'm talking about do things like pull my nieces and nephews aside to try and fill their heads with lies about my sister and her husband. They spend a good amount of time spreading malicious lies about my sister and husband behind their backs and have subtly threatened to do things that will put my nieces and nephews in harm's way.

My sister is not so concerned about what they do or say to her, but she is very concerned about what they do or say to her kids. At a certain level, the kids understand that these in-laws are mean and hateful people and try to turn a deaf ear, but they are just kids and I don't think one should ever underestimate the amount of damage that could be done to children because they just do not have the coping capabilities of adults. There's going to be an inherent challenge taking place between the thought that your family members are good and are trying to protect you with the reality that, in fact, some family members are not good and don't care if you end up bruised and battered as hell. Because I don't want to go into the specific details currently at hand, it's probably hard for any of you reading this to truly grasp the level of my anger towards these toxic people. I should be better than allowing myself to feel angry towards people who don't deserve the courtesy of it, but I don't seem able to control myself.

And, of course, it is a large, complex problem. My brother-in-law is obviously torn about how to handle his family because it hurts him to know that his own brothers and sisters could treat his wife and children with such malice. But they're his family, right? You're supposed to stick with family, right? My own opinion is in this situation is that he and my sister should completely shut themselves off from the people in question. But it's easy for me to say that because I'm more on my sister's side and she's not the one potentially turning her back on her own family members. However, for as much as I love my family, if they were to do the sorts of things that my brother-in-law's family has done, I would turn my back on them in a second if that's what was necessary to protect my husband and daughter. I can say that with all the sureness and conviction in the world.

You know, the family unit in and of itself is such a fascinating thing. It can be the strongest thing in the world and it can be the weakest. During revolutionary Russia, the communist government effectively acted to destroy the family unit as a building block of society. Primarily because they did not want individuals to have an allegiance to something above the government. Divorce was incredibly easy to attain, you could just send in a postcard saying you divorced your spouse and that was it. The institution of marriage was discouraged. Women could have abortions without restrictions. Parents weren't held responsible for their children and the family did, in fact, break down. But you know what happened? As the family unit disintegrated, so did society. Suddenly, the government realized that supporting strong familial ties created better citizens who worked harder and invested more of themselves back into the society. So what did the government do? With the enthusiaism with which they destroyed the family, they attempted to build it back up. They offered rewards to families that had lots and lots of children. They encouraged families to love each other and help each other and be accountable to each other. You could get more rations for being a "good" family. It was all about the family.

And I believe it, I believe an emphasis on creating and nurturing strong family units does lead to a better society at large. If you learn to love and respect the people you grow up with, I think it carries over into the way you love and respect people outside your family. Maybe that sounds corny, maybe that sounds old-fashioned, but I believe it. I think people who come from strong families tend to be happier and more successful in life, as well as have a better understanding of how the individual impacts society. It's no surprise to me that things in this country seem to be breaking down when everything about modern life makes it very difficult to support the family unit. Work demands keep parents from their children for large portions of the day. Children don't understand their connectedness to anything. It's a tragedy, it really is.

May 18, 2005

The Light

OK, this is my tear-jerker move for the month. Go read this post. It'll make you remember what really counts: The Light

Good old fashioned love affair.

The other day I was watching Jane Eyre (the one with William Hurt) and it made me wonder whatever happened to anticipation in romance? I had to leave right at the best part of the movie, when Edward reveals his love for Jane and asks her to marry him. And, you know, it's a cathartic moment because you've been getting coiled tight watching Jane's furtive glances toward Edward, wondering if he could ever love a plain girl like her. Then when Jane embraces him and says, "Oh, yes, Edward, yes," you just melt, right? Well, I do anyway. Stuff like that just doesn't happen anymore, assuming it ever did. But wouldn't it be nice? Up to a point, of course. I'm not advocating that women start taking the whole white wedding concept too seriously if it doesn't float their boat, but there's something to be said about holding back. This observation comes after a decade of marriage and a seven-year-old, so I'm probably at a point in my life where I'm starting to wander down Prude Lane.

My husband tells me I'm a romantic at heart all the time and I tell him I'm not. I only read trashy romance novels for four years after graduate school because I was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and the thought of having to think about what I was reading made me physically ill. And that's the God's-honest truth. It's certainly not about anything as silly as being a romantic. I laugh at the idea, ha, ha, ha.

So what am I talking about here? Am I just talking about anticipation? Am I talking about a chivalrous sort of respect? I don't know. Chime in with your thoughts.

May 17, 2005

My baby brother is all grown up.

My brother called me last night to tell me he and his fiancee just bought a condo. As I've mentioned, they're getting married in August and I'm really excited for them. It sounds like a pretty nice place and it's soooo exciting buying your first house. They're in Northern Virgina so, of course, it cost what would be considered kind of obscene for something similar anywhere else in the country, but it was a good deal for the area. All I know is that I'm jealous because it comes with a jacuzzi tub in the master bath. I don't even have enough room in my bathroom to fit a jacuzzi tub. That's one of the problems with buying an old house, they just didn't make the rooms large enough to accomodate all our fancy mondern technology.

But let me ask you one thing, does this look like a man who can handle a mortgage?

So you see, if there's hope for him, there's hope for all of you. Have faith. Fight the power.

May 16, 2005

Dude, what's with the weather?

I don't know what's going on with the weather around here, but it is sucking majorly. We've only had one day decent enough to do yardwork. It was really cold over the weekend. It's supposed to get up to 68 degrees today. Maybe I can get some stuff done after work.

So the final Star Wars comes out in a couple days. I can't believe this entire movie chain has gone on nearly thirty years. It's amazing when you think about it. I can remember being in the third grade and my aunt took me and my brother and sister to watch Star Wars. The theater was so packed, my aunt stood at the back of the theater because there weren't enough seats for three of us and her in one area. Standing at the back was the only way she could keep an eye on us. I remember it being so magical. People give George Lucas a lot of flack about the generally poor quality of the storylines and dialogue and whatnot, but there's something to be said when a person can capture the collective imagination of several generations of movie-goers. If I have any complaint about the newer prequels, it's that I think George Lucas is so in love with the available technology, that's he's sacrificed some of the focus on the more human elements of the story to get in all his fancy special effects. He's basically made the technology a character in the movie, in and of itself. For some reason, I really appreciate the old-fashioned way of movie trickery. I think there's a finer craft at work. That's why I was pleased to learn that not everything in The Lord of the Rings movie wasn't just CGI. I liked that they played tricks with perspective and camera angles and used miniatures. I don't know how much of that "old school" mentality is at work with the new Star Wars movies. I was really disappointed that he made Yoda a computer character rather than keeping with the old puppet technique. I think the puppet makes the character more lifelike, even if it doesn't look at snazzy as the computer model. Probably, it would have been best if he would have used a combination of puppetry and CGI.

I probably won't get to see the new Star Wars until it comes out on DVD, though. Either that or I'll have to wait until the movie is practically at the end of it's theatrical run. I really hate dealing with crowds at the movies and I really hate how no one knows how to behave properly at movies anymore. It's just not an enjoyable experience for me anymore going to the movies. People just talk like they're in their living rooms and kick the chairs and generally just don't give a damn about anyone else in the theater.

May 14, 2005

Close the door!

Everyone hold on to your hats. This is a momentous day. It's a Saturday post. Can you believe it? I'm actually blogging on the weekend. Just before I was getting ready to type, I was overcome with cramps of the bowel kind. So, I went to the bathroom and suffered one of the regular indignities of motherhood: My daughter burst into the bathroom mid-dump (without knocking, mind you) to then proclaim, "Aargh! The smell, the smell."

This is what 36 hours of labor gets me. She immediately retreats before she's overcome by a case of the vapors and leaves the bathroom door wide open. Then I get to look down at my husband at the bottom of the stairs and hear him say, "Why don't you close the door?"

I respond, "I did close it, but then your dauther opened it and left it open."

"Go close the door," he says to the girl.

"No way. I'm not getting near that stink," she answers.

So I finish out my business with the door open while the essence of moi permeates the entire house. But you know, this is par for the course. Privacy? What's that? I think I used to know. Why don't I lock the door, then? Well, I'm not really that concerned. Anyway, the couple of times I have locked the door, my daughter invariably comes up to join me for whatever reason and then pounds on the door until I let her in. It's just easier and less frustrating to grant her free access.

May 13, 2005

Riddle me this.

Can someone explain to me why, when I stumble upon a blog with a poem like this on it:

I loved you,
but no more
for you.

You wounded my
and killed
for me.

Where can I
go? Now.
You see

I want to vomit, a lot? I shouldn't criticize because I know the blogosphere is all about getting it out, honey. But, damn, how much bad poetry do we need in the world? Please, if some sceeze broke your heart, just say so. In plain words, without sentences that break off in odd places. And then write another post.

Would you like more tea?

This is actually the second time I've typed this post because when I originally typed it and then tried to publish it, I got the wonderful "Blogger is unavailable due to scheduled maintenance." That's great for them, but I lost the entire post. Boo, hoo, hoo. You bastards.

Anyway, I'll start from the beginning...again. I've just returned from the Mother's Tea my daugther's class hosted this morning. We all went to mass and then we ate cake. Which reminds me of the Eddie Izzard line: "Death or cake?"

Uh, cake please.

It was a really nice time, though. The kids made little paper purses that are really books about what the children like most about us. I am, according to my very bright girl, the best kuk the world has ever known. What I want to know is if I'm the best kuk, what does she never eat anything I make from scratch, then? All she ever wants to eat is EZ Mac-n-Cheese and chicken nuggets. These are not things that I cook, I just throw them into the oven. What's that all about? And why is kuk the word that she misspelled? I would think "world" or "known" are much better candidtates for error.

Since the morning was all about us moms, the children waited on us and brought us our tea/lemonade and cake. Thankfully, there were no tragic food misadventures and all cake and beverages made it safely to their destinations. Right now, at this very moment I feel very, very sleepy. I want to just lie down and close my eyes and catch a few z's. I just might do that after I finish this post...again.

I used my washing machine three times last night.

May 12, 2005

No pain, no gain.

Yesterday was the first time I've gone running since my first fainting spell in February and, boy, do I ache today. It's amazing how quickly the body falls into disrepair from a short exercise break. However, the good news is I was able to do my normal run without feeling overly exhausted. I had an interesting conversation yesterday with my friend about little boys and their "weiners," as my daughter would put it.

One of her sons is five or six and probably very slightly autistic (although she would never want to put that word on him). We've spent a lot of time talking about some of the challenges she's had with her son over the last few years because they are very similar to problems experienced by my sister and her younger son, who has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, which means he's very mildly autistic. Anyway, my friend mentioned how every morning her son wakes up with a boner that he usually attempts to take care of in exactly the way you'd expect a boy to take care of it. She mentioned that this sort of activity has been a pretty regular thing for this particular son for as long as he's been aware of it. I asked her if his penis is somewhat larger than one would expect in a boy that age and she said yes. I told her that this is something that also happens with my nephew and that he's a pretty enthusiastic monkey spanker, according to my sister. In fact, I explained that my sister's pediatrician told her that larger than normal sexual organs and drive are quite common in children with autistic tendencies.

The brunt of the story is that both my friend and sister realize they can't stop what's going on, so both basically encourage their boys to at least take care of business in private. My friend went on to say that yesterday morning had been funny, though, because she kept calling up for her son to come down and get ready for school but he kept yelling down with reasons why he had to stay upstairs, so she finally went up and he was under his blanket taking care of business and she finally asked him if his "privates" were giving him a problem and he said yes. She asked if he'd been rubbing it and he said yes, and then asked if she wanted to rub it for him. She replied, "NO! No, I don't want to rub it for you."

Then another mother we'd been talking to told us about a child in one of her children's class who has been very public about her "business" since kindgergarten and that that child's mother is somewhat upset with the school for not working with her on this entire subject. Meaning she doesn't understand why the teachers get so bent out of shape with the problem and don't just turn a blind eye. The point is, there's nothing wrong with the behavior, but that doesn't mean you can do it any ole place you want and that's basically what the teachers are trying to get the mother to teach her child. Basically, to make the girl understand there's a proper place and time for everything and school is not the right place to be masturbating in front of everyone. Although, because it is a girl and it's been behavior displayed at such a young age, I said it would make me wonder if there's been any history of abuse. This other mother asked what we would do if it were our child and I said I'd try to explain to my daughter that these are our private parts so that means what we do with them takes place in private, too. What else can you do? You don't want the kid to feel guilty about what they're doing, but they've got to know what's appropriate and what's not. There's nothing wrong with singing at the top of your lungs, but let's face it, people aren't going to let you do it anytime, anyplace.

May 11, 2005

Another post about the washing machine.

So my new washing machine is now safely installed in my basement. I ran a load of whites last night and it is quite an impressive machine. It spins at something like 1000 rpm's, so the clothes are practically dry when you take them out. This means you don't have the run the dryer as long. It beeps, too. My washing machine beeps. It's cool. I'm going to wash a comforter tonight. Oh the glee of not having to lug my blankets to the laundromat anymore.

I'd like to momentarily step out of today's post to mention that given the number of days I've spent talking about my new washing machine, there should not be a shred of doubt in anyone's mind that I really, really need some excitement. OK, back to our previously scheduled post.

I hate the laundromat. When we first moved to South Bend, our apartment did not have a washer and dryer, so we had to go to the laundry every two weeks to do all our washing. It was bad enough when I was pregnant, but it was ten times worse when we had to start taking my daughter after she was born. In DC, our apartments all had their own washers and dryers, so we were pretty spoiled by the time we moved here and weren't really prepared for the boring, boring chore of all-day laundering amid truly sorry looking people. It didn't help matters that at the time, the laundromats still allowed smoking. There is nothing worse than being trapped in a hot, humid room with stinky people and cigarette smoke. It's deadly. Plus, I like to wash my clothes in a very specific way. I like to start the water and add the detergent and Oxyclean before I put my clothes in. But with coin machines, that's not really an option because the water shuts off when you lift the lid and they get really mad if you try to jerry-rig it a bit to keep the water flowing with the lid up. Geesh, you'd think the machines were gold or something. Anyway, it's bad enough I can't do my normal routine with the water and soap, but those pay machines never, never get your clothes clean. And I swear they have the dryers set at a really low heat level so it takes five hours and twenty bucks worth of quarters to get your clothes dry.

So my new machine has liberated me from the laundromat forever. And for that alone, I am grateful. Amen.

May 10, 2005

Go to church. Seriously, go to church.

I've been reading this book called An Exorcist Tells His Story, written by Fr. Gabriele Amorth. He's the chief exorcist of the Rome Diocese and has been exorcising demons for about 20 years. K, this book has me seriously weirded out, not because I don't think possession is impossible, but because I do think it's possible. He talks about how the Catholic Church has kind of fallen behind the times with the whole exorcism thing. Basically, that the Church is kind of in a crisis situation because a lot of clergy don't believe possession is real and , thereby, don't do much to expand the need for exorcism and exorcists. I admit my reasons for starting to read the book were entirely sensational. I wanted to read about all the gruesome details. I was somewhat disappointed because that's not what this book is really about; although, one definitely gets enough information to understand how frightening possession is. However, it doesn't matter that this book isn't about all the gory details because it's scarier to understand the reality of what this man deals with every day.

Fr. Amorth explains that he wrote this book partially in response to people's desire to know what he does, but also to provide a sort of instruction on how to recognize and deal with demonic possession. Some of the ways that people end up possessed comes off as very sort of Old World spell-casting and it's almost unbelieveable to think people actually do these things today. You think we're enlightened now and that people doing things like casting spells and curses stems from a primitive understanding of the world. But, no, according to Fr. Amorth. People do it all the time.

Anyway, maybe you'll all think I'm a complete freak for encouraging people to be aware of this sort of thing, but reading this book made me wonder why is it so easy for people to make the leap of faith required to believe in God, but think it's ridiculous to accept the Devil's existence?

My new washing machine.

Here's a picture of my new washing machine, which is scheduled to be delivered this evening.

And you can read all about my new machine here: My new washing machine

OK, I admit now that I'm going to have the new washing machine in my clutches, I'm kind of excited.

May 09, 2005

Be careful what you wish...

I killed my washing machine yesterday. I killed it good. It's dead. I apparently overloaded it one too many times. This is not what I meant when I said I needed something new and exciting to happen to me. It was bound to happen, though. It was an ancient machine that came with the house when we bought it. I think it's the drive belt because I smell burning rubber when I turn it on and it won't rotate the agitator. I'm pretty sure it's the drive belt. I tried to open the front panel to check it out, but I can't figure out how to get it open. I tried lifting the top of the machine, but it won't budge. I think it might be rusted in place because I see the hinges at the back, so it should lift up. Anyway, as I've mentioned, from the design of it, this machine looks to be older than me which makes it soooooo unworthy of being fixed. Buying the five-dollar belt probably costs more than the machine is worth. So we went to Lowe's tonight to buy a new machine.

I always intended to just use the washer and dryer that came with the house until they passed on, but you're still never prepared for the moment. You're never prepared to shell out the bucks for a major appliance. What I did know was that when it came time to buy a new washer, I wanted the Mac Daddy, humongo-load machine. I got something pretty good, I think; although, I'm nervous because it's the model the salesman directed us toward and I always worry about the one the salesman shows to you because there's a reason for it. It's not because they think it's the best machine there, though, I'll tell you that. He's getting something for selling that machine to me, I just know it. I know it as well as I know my boobs are sagging. It also has buttons for all the operations. Not even buttons, really. Just sort of semi-raised squares of plastic. There's no bulky, ratchety knob to turn. That makes me a little nervous, too. I've never operated a washing machine without a knob. I'm afraid without the knob. I like having the knob to hold on to.

Of course, the salesman tried to be sly and slip in that old extended warranty thing. I put the kabbosh on that pretty fast. No, no extended warranty for me.

"Well, instead of the four-year extended warranty, we can just give you the two-year warranty that only adds another fifty dollars," he said.

"No," I repeated. "No extended warranty for me." Then I pierced him with my evil eye that shows I mean business.

"OK, no extended warranty, then."

So the new machine is supposed to be delivered tomorrow and they'll take away the old one. Then the washing shall commence. Ha, ha, ha, ha.

I still wish for something new and exciting. Just something free next time.

May 06, 2005

It's Summertime

This is the last day of finals, so it's the offical beginning of summer for the university. Since my daughter is in school for another month, it is still only spring to me. The energy on campus is definitely more relaxed during the summer, and things slow down considerably. In some ways, it's like having a break even though work continues to beckon. I now get to look forward to four months of isolation. Not that I see people often at work as it is, but during the summer, I see no one. I could probably stop coming into the office and no one would notice. But that would be wrong, and I never do anything wrong. Oh no, not I.

I'm supposed to get a new G5 in this office over the summer, which rocks. I've already got one down in my other office. I've had that since the G5 first came onto the market. I wanted to buy the G4 I've currently got here, but they wouldn't let me. According to "university policy" it's not available for sale. It will be recycled and put to use somewhere else in the college. Hopefully, down in my other office where my grad students can at least get some use out of it. Right now, they're both on old, old macs that only run OS 8, which sucks major donkey dick, as I'm sure you can imagine. One is an original blueberry imac and the other is a really old G3 that's probably close to eight years old. Needless to say, trying to get work down on these old systems makes things a little complicated. I've been gunning for new computers for awhile, but it's always the same old song and dance: "We don't have the money." Now, if I wanted to fire the football coach before his contract is up and lose out on five million dollars, that's another story altogether because, you know, football is really important and worth the sacrifice. I shouldn't blame the football problem for my woes, though. It's not their fault they get so much. They're not the decision-makers, after all.

I've been feeling really sluggish lately. I need something new and exciting to happen to me.

May 05, 2005

Those were the days.

I was lying in bed last night thinking about Cheez-Its when I started reminiscing about my fraternity initiation night in college. As I've mentioned before, I was a little sister in a fraternity. I chose to do this rather than join a sorority because I don't like bitchy, rich girls. Not that I'm generalizing sorority types or anything. But I'm not prissy and I occasionally enjoy the humor of watching boys trying to light their farts. Plus, it costs way less to pay the social dues as a little sister than to pay soroity social dues, and why would I pay more for beer than I need to? I told you I don't like wasting money.

So, what do Cheez-Its have to do with initiation night, you ask? Well, we had one brother in particular who was a complete ass. None of us gals really liked him and our nickname for him was Cheesedick. So as a special thank-you gift for him, we carved a dick from a huge block of Velveeta and presented it to him that evening. We thought it was hilarious. So did the other brothers, but as I mentioned he was an ass, and he didn't see the humor at all and pouted the rest of the evening.

Once I started thinking about that night, I started thinking more specifically about the Velveeta cheese dick. It was harder to carve than one might think because it was kind of too soft. It didn't really want to hold the shape very well and it would break off in unexpected ways. It would have been really cool if we could have made it look really realistic, but all we had was a dull butter knife and it only ended up suggesting a penis rather than truly recreating one. We should have thought it out a little better and maybe have gotten some pottery tools, the kind you use when you're shaping the clay. I bet we could've done a pretty good job. Then we could have been really creative and gotten a can of Cheese Whiz and squirted some at the tip to look like splooge dribbling out. What was the fate of the cheese dick? The other brothers ended up taking huge chunks of it and seeing who could eat the biggest piece. This all happened after they'd gotten drunk and gross flecks of dirt ended up sticking to the Velveeta. It was pretty sick to watch, but I guess boys will be boys.

May 04, 2005

Oooh, wee, ooh, ohhh (spooky music)

I'm copying Cesca from the Garden Wall with this zodiac thing because it is eerily accurate. As you can see, it's spooky music accurate.

Your Birthdate: April 12

Being born on the 12th day of the month (3 energy) is likely to add a good bit of vitality to your life.

The energy of 3 allows you bounce back rapidly from setbacks, physical or mental.

There is a restlessness in your nature, but you seem to be able to portray an easygoing, sometimes "couldn't care less" attitude.

You have a natural ability to express yourself in public, and you always make a very good impression.

Good with words, you excel in writing, speaking, and possibly singing.

You are energetic and always a good conversationalist.

You have a keen imagination, but you tend to scatter your energies and become involved with too may superficial matters.

Your mind is practical and rational despite this tendency to jump about.

You are affectionate and loving - but very sensitive.

You are subject to rapid ups and downs.

This is my husband...

Your Birthdate: July 7

Born on the 7th day of month gives you a tendency to be something of a perfectionist and makes you more individualistic in many ways.

Your mind is good at deep mental analysis and complicated reasoning.

You are very psychic and sensitive, and you should usually follow your hunches.

You may not take orders too well, so you may want to work alone or in a situation where you can be the boss.

This birthday gives a tendency to be somewhat self-centered and a little stubborn.

And this is my daughter...

Your Birthdate: October 24

Born on the 24th, you have a greater capacity for responsibility and helping others than your may have realized.

You may also become the mediator and peacemaker in inharmonious situations.

Devoted to family, you tend to manage and protect.

This birth date adds to the emotional nature and perhaps to the sensitivities.

Affections are important to you; both the giving and the receiving.

OK, I just looked and found out that the little horoscopes on this site depend on the day of the month you select, changing the month doesn't do anything. I'm really disappointed. I don't know why.

I get a free lunch today, so that's a good thing.

My husband asked me last night what I wanted for Mother's Day. My response to this question (as it is with every question that beings with What would you like for...) was: "I don't know."

Sometime the answer is, "Nothing." Usually, for any special occasion, we all go out for dinner. But I was watching one of these Kay Jeweler commericials hawking cheap diamonds for Mother's Day and it really made me wonder who wants this junk? The jewery they show is never appealling to me. I'm not a big jewelry person to begin with, but even if I were, I really wouldn't want to get the stuff they show on these commercials because I would consider it a waste of money. That being said, I also know it's frustrating to want to get a gift for one's mother and get no cooperation from said mother as to what she would like. I'm speaking of my own mother, just in case you haven't picked up on that.

One year for Christmas, I got my mother a girdle because it was the first time in my life she had actually given me a specific answer to the question: "What would you like for Christmas?" Did I like getting her a girdle? No, but I figured, damn, if she wants a girdle, I'm getting it. However, it did turn out to be the wrong kind of girdle. I don't know what the right kind of girdle is, though.

But I also find I can't just come up with something to say that I'd like just for the sake of saying that I want something because I really, really, really don't like wasting money. I don't like having unnecessary stuff which, I know, sounds ungracious. What I would really like is something like the celebrity make-up artist treatment (which I've mentioned before), or to be the recipient of the "What Not to Wear" shopping spree, or to have someone come in a turn my bedroom into my getaway from life, or to have someone give me a personal trainer, or to go to the Oscars. These are all pretty unrealistic wishes, but they really are the sort of things I'd like to have happen to me. Which is why, if I can't have that, I'd rather have nothing. Especially not the crappy "Mom" ring from Kay's.

May 03, 2005


I smell puke, but I don't know where it's coming from. I smelled my clothes. I looked at my shoes, but nothing. Wait, maybe it's the carpet. Hold on while I take a sniff. No, it's not the carpet and it's not my chair. Where in God's name could it be coming from? Does rotting carcass smell like puke? Maybe there's a dead mouse in the wall or something.

I've not been following the Michael Jackson molestation case or anything, but it really makes me wonder about the parents involved in this entire thing. If Wacko Jacko has gone diddling with little boys, he should definitely be locked up. There's no excuse for his actions if that proves to be the case. However, considering this is something he's already gone to court over, why in the hell would parents continue to let their young sons spend time alone with this man? No matter what, he's a freak. He's a freak with or without the pedophilia. He owns the elephant man, sleeps in an air chamber and bleaches his skin. That's freakish behavior, folks. What could these parents possibly think to gain by encouraging a relationship between him and their children? Really? What? If I were to see Michael Jackson walking down the street, first I'd put my hands over my daughter's eyes because the sight of him would probably scare her since he looks like a walking skeleton with a bad Delta Burke wig on his head. What I definitely wouldn't do, would be to stop him and say, "Hey, Mike. Would you like to take my kid to your ranch and play with her for the afternoon?" Although, apparently, she wouldn't quite be doing it for him anyway.

Let's all face facts, Michael Jackson is CRAZY. He's crazy. You can listen to his music and enjoy it, but you don't have to pretend he's not crazy to do it. There's no rule that says crazy people can't be talented. In fact, considering the link between creativity and depression, the odds are most talented people out there are crazy. Not meant as a slam to all you talented people out there, just relating the statistics. So, you know, get over that part. Just because you enjoy the talent, doesn't mean you have to deny the craziness. Hey, which reminds me, what ever happened to that stop the insanity chick? What was her name? Susan Powter or something? Where'd she go?

May 02, 2005

Happy May Day, one day late.

Hey, it's May, but since I live in South Bend and the weather doesn't care what the calendar says, I'm basking in the steamy 39 degree day we're currently enjoying. Not! I grilled some burgers and dogs yesterday, but someone obviously didn't want me to enjoy it too much. Everytime I went out to start the fire, stoke the fire, spread the fire, grill the food, get the food, it would start raining. As soon as I walked in, the rain would stop. It was like one of those cartoons where the rain cloud follows the person around. Luckily, I wasn't cooking too much, so I was able to accomplish my task fairly easily. There's just nothing like a nice, grilled burger to make one happy. My daughter had to complain about the crunchy parts of the burger, though.

"I don't like these crunchy parts, Mom. They don't taste good," she said.

"Sure they do," I responded. "That's what makes it a good burger."

"I don't like it."

"Eat it anyway. Those carcinogen-laden chunks make the meal."

In the end, I had to chew the edges off the burger before she'd eat it. I know I spoil her, but if you knew how hard it is to get this child to eat, you'd understand the lengths to which I am willing to go to get food into her body.

One of my friends' son had his first communion over the weekend, and we went to their house afterward for a party in his honor. Anyway, I've decided I really don't like people with a lot of money. I guess I should say, I don't like people who have a lot of money and then have to make a point of letting eveyone know they have money. Among the guests were a couple, whose children also go to the same school as my daughter and my friend's son, who have money because the husband is a personal injury lawyer. Now, I'm sure most of you know that personal injury lawyers are basically the ambulance chasers. So they have money, which is a non-issue really, but the wife was the kind of person that you can tell enjoys flaunting her money. She kept raising her leg for everyone to admire the diamond ankle bracelet she was wearing. Now, that's odd, you know, to watch someone constanstly raising their leg at a party. There's no logical reason to lift one's leg at a party. So when it happens, it's weird and you have to wonder if the person is suffering from some neurological disorder. I'm pretty sure she's had a boob job. She's got three or four kids and her boobs were looking pretty round and perky to me. Plus, she had the orange hue of a frequent fake-n-bake devotee. Maybe she's a nice person, I don't know. All I know is that I wouldn't care to find out because I'm really turned off by that whole realm of moneyed housewives. Why? Because I'm jealous that they get to spend all their time at the gym. Not really. Well, yes, a little. I'm woman enough to admit that. However, I truly do find it gauche to be so obvious about having a rich husband.

Changing topics, slightly, what is it with Cheez-Its? Why are they so good. What is the secret ingredient that makes them so addictive? And it's not just tiny cheese crackers I'm talking about. I'm talking about Cheez-Its. Cheese Nips don't trap you and hold you captive the way Cheez-Its do. It's like cheesy meth. They shouldn't worry about keeping cold medicine behind the pharmacy counter, they should keep the Cheez-Its back there. I wonder if you can mainline it. Then you could get that instantaneous cheese fix. Ok, I'm feeling the eyelids droop. The allergy medicine is kicking in. Maybe I'll hallucinate a little and liven up the post. Uh, no, looks like I'm just going to be sleepy on this one. Sorry for the tease, folks.