Sep. 30: Sweet boy

Meet my new neighbor. Him’s a puggle. Him’s adorable, huh?

He doesn’t have a name yet but I’m calling him Mac, short for his family’s last name. As next door neighbors, we get to enjoy all his fun and cuteness without that awful housebreaking and sleepless nights stuff. Yay, us! (Sorry, Tina... heh heh heh)

Sep. 30: Emboldened truths

This meme is unabashedly ripped off from mommablogsalot. The phrases that are in bold are true for me...


  • I am 5′4 or shorter.
  • I think I’m ugly.
  • I have many scars.
  • I tan easily.
  • I wish my hair was a different color.
  • I have friends who have never seen my natural hair color.
  • I have a tattoo.
  • I am self-conscious about my appearance.
  • I have/I’ve had braces.
  • I wear glasses.
  • I’d get/have gotten plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free, scar-free. (It’s mostly just a cost issue for me because I would LOVE to have jugs)
  • I’ve been told I’m attractive by a complete stranger. (Someone actually grabbed my arm once and said, “You have no pores!” I was 15 or so—is that so rare at that age?)
  • I have had more than 2 piercings. (Two in each ear makes four, right?)
  • I have had piercings in places besides my ears.
  • I have freckles.

Family/Home Life:

  • I’ve sworn at my parents. (I’ve sworn in front of my parents, which is just as daring)
  • I’ve run away from home.
  • I’ve been kicked out of the house.
  • My biological parents are together.
  • I have a sibling less than one year old.
  • I want to have kids someday.
  • I have children.
  • I’ve lost a child.


  • I’ve slipped out a “LOL” in a spoken conversation. (Anyone who does this should meet my fist... sorry, Jen E)
  • Disney movies still make me cry.
  • I’ve snorted while laughing.
  • I’ve laughed so hard I’ve cried. (I highly recommend it)
  • I’ve glued my hand to something.
  • I’ve laughed till some kind of beverage came out of my nose.
  • I’ve had my trousers rip in public. (Fortunately it wasn’t a rip in the crotchal region)


  • I was born with a disease/impairment.
  • I’ve had stitches.
  • I’ve broken a bone.
  • I’ve had my tonsils removed.
  • I’ve sat in a doctor’s office with a friend.
  • I’ve had my wisdom teeth removed.
  • I’ve had serious surgery.
  • I’ve had chicken pox.


  • I’ve driven over 200 miles in one day. (I do it frequently)
  • I’ve been on a plane.
  • I’ve been to Canada.
  • I’ve been to Niagara Falls.
  • I’ve been to Japan.
  • I’ve been to Europe.
  • I’ve been to Africa.


  • I’ve been lost in my city.
  • I’ve seen a shooting star.
  • I’ve gone out in public in my pajamas.
  • I’ve pushed all the buttons in a lift.
  • I’ve been to a casino.
  • I’ve been skydiving.
  • I’ve gone skinny dipping.
  • I’ve played spin the bottle.
  • I’ve crashed a car.
  • I’ve been skiing.
  • I’ve been in a play.
  • I’ve met someone in person from the Internet.
  • I’ve caught a snowflake on my tongue.
  • I’ve seen the Northern Lights.
  • I’ve sat on a roof top at night.
  • I’ve played chicken.
  • I’ve seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  • I’ve eaten sushi.
  • I’ve been snowboarding.


  • I’m single.
  • I’m in a relationship.
  • I’m available.
  • I’m engaged.
  • I’m married.
  • I’ve gone on a blind date.
  • I’ve been the dumpee more than the dumper.
  • I have a fear of abandonment.
  • I’ve been divorced.
  • I’ve had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back.
  • I’ve told someone I loved them when I didn’t.
  • I’ve told someone I didn’t love them when I did.
  • I’ve kept something from a past relationship.


  • I can sing well. (I used to be able to; don’t know what happened)
  • I’ve stolen a tray from a fast food restaurant. (Straws, eating utensils, condiments, yes—but not a tray. Stealing a tray from the caf for sledding doesn’t count, right? Because I totally returned it the next day.)
  • I open up to others too easily.
  • I watch the news.
  • I don’t kill bugs.
  • I hate hearing songs that sacrifice meaning for sake of being able to rhyme.
  • I swear regularly.
  • I am a morning person.
  • I paid for my mobile phone ring tone.
  • I’m a snob about grammar.
  • I am a sports fanatic.
  • I play with my hair.
  • I have/had “x”s in my screen name.
  • I love being neat. (I’m not neat, but I love the idea of neatness)
  • I love Spam.
  • I’ve copied more than 30 CD’s in a day.
  • I don’t know how to shoot a gun. (...and I’m OK with that)
  • I am in love with love.
  • I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS. (one of my pet peeves)
  • I laugh at my own jokes. (usually when no one else does... pathetic)
  • I eat fast food weekly.
  • I believe in ghosts.
  • I am online 24/7, even as an away message.
  • I can’t sleep if there is a spider in the room.
  • I am really ticklish.
  • I love white chocolate.
  • I bite my nails. (I don’t bite my fingernails, but I do bite the skin around them. I know, yuck, right?)
  • I play video games.
  • I’m good at remembering faces.
  • I’m good at remembering names.
  • I’m good at remembering dates.
  • I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Copy and paste this into a comment or your own blog and answer for yourself! Make sure you delete all my inane comments.

Sep. 29: Such a bitch

Casey, our rat terrier, showed up at our front door about three years ago. She was easy to love because she’s an affectionate little girl. Well, she’s affectionate toward people. Not so much toward other critters. She does not like Scout. She pouts when Millie gets attention. She charges other dogs when we go out walking. You might say she’s a bitch... in every sense of the word.

Whoever owned her for the first ten years of her life took good care of her, probably didn’t have any other pets, and taught her some tricks. Even after three years, we’re still discovering some of the commands she knows. Do I have an example? You bet your vestigial tail I do.

Yesterday I was stretched out on the bed reading and both dogs were curled up with me, as they usually are when I’m stretched out on the bed. Vic came in after a bit and sat next to me, so Casey immediately claimed the space between us. Millie wandered in and lay down at the foot of the bed. Casey glared and growled but stayed where she was. We started baby-talking to her (annoying as hell, I know, but she loves it so much her whole body wiggles; trust me, it’s very cute). You know how they say dogs supposedly just understand your tone, not the words you say (i.e., “blah blah blah Ginger blah blah”)? This is sorta how it went:

Casey, you’re such a good girl!
You don’t want to eat Millie, do you?
You’re a good doggie and you know Millie’s a little kitty, right?
You need to be nice to Millie!
Will you let her cuddle with you?
You hate Millie, huh?
You want to bite the kitty, don’t you?
You can’t do that. We won’t let you, no matter how good you are.
But you’re a sweet girl, aren’t you? Yes, you are!
Such a sweet girl.
Oh fine, you go right on ahead. Bite the kitty.

Suddenly she lunged across the bed at Millie. We grabbed her before any damage was done. And that was the end of the baby talk.

She surprised us with “beg!” and “roll over!” We figured out if you say “You get ‘im!” she’ll bark ferociously. Now we’ve learned she apparently knows “bite the kitty!” too. Yikes. Let’s not mention this to Jack, mmmkay?

Full of surprises, this dog.

Sep. 27: Safety guidelines

Airplane safety cards should have less ambiguous drawings. Of course, if they did then we wouldn’t get to enjoy fun sites like Airtoons.

Sep. 26: Who’s cuckoo?

My friend Sabrina e-mailed this to me today. I’ve seen it before or I would definitely think it was her very own “I was so drunk...” story.

The other night I was invited out for a night with the girls. I told my husband that I would be home “by midnight, I promise!”

Well, the hours passed and the margaritas went down way too easily. Around 3 a.m., a bit loaded, I headed for home. Just as I got in the door the cuckoo clock in the hallway started up and cuckooed three times. Quickly realizing my husband would probably wake up, I cuckooed another nine times. I was really proud of myself for coming up with such a quick-witted solution, in order to escape a possible conflict with him. (Even when totally smashed... three cuckoos plus nine cuckoos totals 12 cuckoos... MIDNIGHT!)

The next morning my husband asked me what time I got in. I told him midnight. He didn’t seem upset in the least. Whew, I got away with that one!

Then he said “We need a new cuckoo clock.”

When I asked him why, he said, “Well, last night our clock cuckooed three times, then said ‘oh shit,’ cuckooed four more times, cleared its throat, cuckooed another three times, giggled, cuckooed twice more, and then tripped over the coffee table and farted.”

Throw in some radishes and shoe-stealing and this would be the story of my sister’s life.

Sep. 26: Friday Fill-ins #4

I haven’t done Friday Fill-ins in a while. Here it is.

  1. Halloween, cooler weather, and lunch with Sherilee are some of the things I’m most looking forward to in October.
  2. Sometimes I am a little clumsy. (Just a little).
  3. Vic agreed to get a cat even though he said he’d never have one in his house and that’s why there is a saying, “never say never”!
  4. When I’m down, I eat carbs or cut myself (emotionally).
  5. At my laptop is where you’ll find me most often.
  6. A rainy day is good for an excuse to curl up with a great book and big cup of coffee.
  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to catching up with TiVo, tomorrow my plans include dinner at the in-laws and Sunday, I want to go see the special showing of the filmed Broadway production of Rent!

Fill in your Friday stuff in your own blog or a comment below. Have a good weekend!

Sep. 26: Birthday time

Two very important people are having birthdays today. Please join me in offering best wishes for the happiness and cake these good folk deserve.

April, one of my oldest and best friends, is now officially 40. While in Vancouver together last weekend she was the young one—still in her 30’s—but as of today she’s all caught up and old like the rest of us. April is spending her birthday getting stressed about a church potluck tomorrow. Nice way to celebrate, April! Maybe in your 40’s you’ll learn to say “NO!” I’ll give you the advice Loveliest Lori gave me because it’s awesome: You now have permission to ask people for whatever you want that makes you happy. And when they look at you strangely, just respond with, “Is that going to be a problem?” :) Many, many lovies are being sent your direction today, April!

The other V.I.P. b-day today is Lafe’s. You may call him Rembrandt Q. Einstein. He’s older than 40; I think maybe 47 or 52 or 84. Lafe was my friend in college and eventually my boss when he started a design company and hired me to be his kick-ass business manager (that wasn’t my official title; Lafe would never say the A-word). He is generally a good person, although his cruelty and disregard for animals are why I had a pet chick for a day. And he’s really bad at recording petty cash transactions. Oh, how I curse him to this day over recording petty cash transactions. Anyway, happy birthday, buddy! Here’s a picture of David Hasselhoff for no reason at all. Hope it won’t make you throw up your cake.

Sep. 26: More reason to fear

Another “experience” thing on Sarah Palin? YES. This 12-minute video compares her to past vice presidents. It’s long, but mostly interesting. I’d like to see the same thing done for all candidates, even the ones that don’t scare me. The guy speaking is Lawrence Lessig—if you’re not familiar with him, here are links to his web site and the Wikipedia page.

I’m getting tired of all this, aren’t you? I think Erin, my very wise niece, summed it up very well in her profound post yesterday.

I have some important birthday posts to write, so prepare for a break from politics for a bit. You’re welcome!

Sep. 25: Yup. Totally qualified.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Oh lord. It’s no wonder McCain’s not giving the media more interviews with his beloved Sarah Palin. She can’t answer a simple question about her qualifications. Could it be because the real answer is “No, heh heh heh, I don’t even know what a foreign policy is, exactly” ??? Trying to explain why geography makes a difference just makes her look even more idiotic. Gah.

Why are Republicans blathering on about this woman being so fabulously qualified, such a good, respectable choice? Yes, this interview clip is just that—a clip. But it’s hard to find anything in which a trusted source can say specifically what makes Sarah Palin really, truly, able to run this country—even her own answers make no sense. My Fellow Americans, if you could enlighten me, please do.

Sep. 25: Thursday Thirteen #12

Last weekend we traveled a few hours north to Vancouver, B.C. with two of our favorite traveling companions, Jim and April. The trip fell between April’s and my 40th birthdays. We had a fabulous kid-free weekend, even with the bad weather, and tried to feel young amid crowds of people born after we graduated from high school. So, for Thursday Thirteen this week, I share...

13 things we did in Vancouver last weekend

  1. “Ate” at the Cloud 9 lounge on the 42nd floor of our hotel. It is a revolving restaurant, and very, very slow/boring. The tapas in the lounge was crazy-expensive and barely edible. It was a regrettable meal. Jim and April went to Earl’s for real food later. Vic and I got a crepe.
  2. Watched a guy pee in the street. Vancouver may be a pretty clean city, but it ain’t as clean as you think, folks.
  3. Looked in tons of crappy gift shops for stuff with the 2010 Olympic mascots on it. April and I thought they were cute and our kids would like them but kept thinking we’d find them cheaper at the next store. We didn’t. Here’s some info about the mascots’ origins if you’re interested; apparently their weird, multi-animal features are intentional.
  4. Walked a lot of blocks of Robson in a lot of rain. It made for a lot of pretty hair.
  5. Rode a water taxi to and from Granville Island. It was rainy so there were no outdoor markets, but the indoor shops were fun to browse.
  6. Watched an episode of Law & Order in our room. It was the one when someone gets killed and they try to figure out who did it.
  7. Ate a very tasty meal at Italian Kitchen. I had the gnocchi, which was good but I remembered that I don’t really love gnocchi. Still, it was vaguely similar to pierogi, and, y’know, when in Canada... The mojitos were amazing. Amazing, I tell you. Everything brought to our table was quite delicious, and I look forward to dining here again at my earliest opportunity.
  8. Freaked out for a minute when we saw on the news that a plane had crashed. Y’see, Jim, April, Vic and I were on vacation in Manhattan Beach when Princess Diana died, and in Palm Springs when JFK, Jr. died. I think it’s safe to say Jordan/Manullang vacations are bad luck for huge celebrities. And not to discount the tragedy of the Travis Barker/DJ AM plane crash last weekend, but... um... whew.
  9. Got cupcakes at Cupcakes. I tried “Envy,” a pistachio cake with pistachio-flavored buttercream frosting. Yum. But I have to be honest; the cake was dry and not nearly as delicious as this one. Still, everything they sold was decorated so cute, you just had to try something. We bought a mini-cupcake pack to take back to Katie and Jack.
  10. Walked through a few blocks of Chinatown. All the stores were the same after a while—junky crap and more junky crap—and the food looked too frightening to eat. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden was peaceful and had really cute little turtles. We all found out what our Chinese zodiac symbols are. Mine and April’s is the monkey—this is distressing because I am not a fan of monkeys—and Vic thinks he’s super-cool because his is the dragon. I can’t remember Jim’s and I’m too lazy to look it up.
  11. Stayed in a hotel with the smallest and slowest elevators in the history of the world.
  12. Waited a long time to cross back over into the United States. Figured out the secret of getting through the line quicker: go through the Duty Free Shop parking lot and they let you cut way in front of everyone else. We figured this out too late to actually try it, but we know it will totally work next time. Either that, or we’ll do the smartest thing and take Amtrak.
  13. Saw Stanley Park. Didn’t drive or walk through it, just saw it. Pretty.

Every Thursday, bloggers jot down 13 things about their week, 13 secrets they’ve never shared before, 13 random things about themselves or their lives that give the reader a better idea of who they are. Then the fun begins; you go blog-hopping! Find other Thursday Thirteeners, spend some quality time getting to know your fellow bloggers, interact with them through their lists, and invite them to yours!

Sep. 23: Robot dance

We just saw this commercial and LOL’d. Really loud. Because any one of these three boys could be Jack and his goofy little first grader chums.

This is not Saltmarsh-y. It’s a Manullang thing. I’m sure of it.

Sep. 21: Blame Canada?

We’re home and exhausted. For now, here’s a quick synopsis of April’s and my 40th birthday celebration weekend in Vancouver, B.C. We had a super-duper time in spite of a few things.

What I saw when I checked out the view from our hotel room. Welcome to Vancouver!

Canada Place is in Vancouver

This is the part of Canada Place that Jim let me see

Chinatown is kinda scary but has cool turtles

We love cupcakes. Thanks for the recommendation, Chris.

April stole a fork. Jim and I have the same uncle. (Earl. Duh.)

Such funny money!

Olympics 2010 mascots

$12 heat lamp chicken

Mojito. Perfect in every way.

Weather was not perfect in every way.

The guy next to us during the very long wait at the border had very little shame.

A guest blogger is a good suggestion for my next absence, Lori. Maybe it can be you and Kathy expounding on the P.O.S. that is my car (compared to the both of yours).

Sep. 19: I’m taking off, eh?

Headed up to the Great White North for the weekend... only emergency cell service there... Internet in the hotel grossly over-priced and therefore denied... can’t remember a time I felt less connected to the world. And yet, I. Do. Not. Care. Why? Because I’m 40 and The Lovely Lori says I don’t have to care about anything that’s not about me anymore (I might be paraphrasing there). Also, because I’m spending the weekend with three of my favorite people (Vic, April, Jim) and eating at fab restaurants (thanks for all the help, Sherilee) and still really, truly all chuckley-warm at the thought of Dan driving his new minivan and thinking it’s not so bad and he might even look sorta cool when in reality he looks whatever is the polar opposite of cool.

Yeah, that’ll hold me.

I shall miss you all but plan to report back Sunday night.

Don’t forget to celebrate Jacob’s birthday tomorrow because he’s turning 12 and would not want you to forget that.

Sep. 18: Thursday Thirteen #11

Today is my 40th birthday. Last week I listed 13 things that changed my life in my 30s. This week, in honor of today, I’ll share:

13 things I hope will happen in the next ten years

  1. I’d like to lose this damn pregnancy weight once and for all, and feel my age instead of 10-15 years older.
  2. My hair will give up trying to hang on to its color and finally go completely grey. But it’ll be a nice grey, a lovely skin-complementing shade of grey, and wherever I go people will be envious. Yep. Envious.
  3. I’ll still be writing in this blog, I figure. It’s a fun, creative outlet and keeps me from having to write the same e-mails to 15 different people every week. Of course, at some point my kids will probably start censoring me...
  4. Travels: I will finally visit New York City, where my sister and I will leave some of our dad’s ashes at Yankee Stadium. Vic and I are planning a trip to Ka’anapali for our 20th anniversary, which is where we honeymooned in 1997. We’d definitely like to go on a Disney cruise again, maybe with the Jordan and Shahrokshahi families. And a trip or six to Disneyland and/or Disney World wouldn’t be too bad.
  5. Work: I’m not sure what I’d like to see happen job-wise. I have no complaints right now, so maybe it’d be fine if things just continue as they are. Maybe if my work was a bit steadier, rather than have the busy-busy-busy times and then the slo-o-o-ow times... That’s too much to ask for, isn’t it?
  6. Politics: I hope the next president elected has some common sense and will end the pointless war we’re in. I’d like to see marriage legalized for any two people that want to be married.
  7. Katie and Jack will become teenagers—yikes! Katie will graduate high school with a minimum of tattoos and piercings. The kids will get to do things Vic and I never did, like go to prom, apply to colleges (we were automatically accepted into ours if we were church members and could write a very large check), take college prep courses, play competitive sports, etc. Ah, normalcy.
  8. Katie will be old enough to vote in 2018. Will she rebel against me by registering as a Republican, then vote simply to cancel out mine? Or will she see the brilliance of Mom’s view on every little thing that matters in our world?
  9. I’ll catch up on my scrapbooking. Right now I’m about four years behind and it’s just getting worse. I have actually considered not taking pictures at some events, just to save myself on layouts. Bad mother! Bad!
  10. I’ll be married to a 50-year-old come July 2014. Buddha almighty. Victor and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage in 2017.
  11. I plan to attend my 25th high school reunion in 2011 and 30th in 2016. We’ll go to Vic’s 30th in 2012.
  12. (Kathy will hate me for this, but) I am determined to become a great-aunt. My nephews are 20 and 21 right now, so I don’t think it’s too lofty a dream, is it? The best thing about me being a great-aunt is that it will make my sister a grandmother. HA! I, on the other hand, will not become a grandmother in the next ten years. Did you hear that, Katie and Jack?
  13. I’ll hire a housekeeper to deep-clean my house. And then I’ll keep her on to do all the day-to-day stuff I don’t like to do. And she’ll do all the yard work I hate. And she’ll do laundry and wash windows and disinfect the cat box and clean toothpaste globs out of the kids’ sinks. WAIT! I want a wife! And I want a good wife, not an incompetent one like me.

Every Thursday, bloggers jot down 13 things about their week, 13 secrets they’ve never shared before, 13 random things about themselves or their lives that give the reader a better idea of who they are. Then the fun begins; you go blog-hopping! Find other Thursday Thirteeners, spend some quality time getting to know your fellow bloggers, interact with them through their lists, and invite them to yours!

Sep. 17: Tomorrow in history

Tomorrow’s a big day (for me). Although nothing quite compares to September 18, 1968, these are some of the events that have occurred on September 18 in years past.

1502: Christopher Columbus lands at Costa Rica on his fourth, and final, voyage

1793: The first cornerstone of the Capitol building is laid by George Washington

1809: Royal Opera House in London opens

1837: Tiffany and Co. (first named Tiffany & Young) is founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young in New York City, New York. The store was called a “stationery and fancy goods emporium.”

1848: Baseball rules first baseman can tag base for out instead of runner

1850: The U.S. Congress passes the Fugitive Slave Act

1851: The New York Times began publishing “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” The Times is now a media conglomerate involving radio, TV, cable and the Internet.

1895: Daniel David Palmer gives the first chiropractic adjustment

1927: Columbia Broadcasting System goes on the air

1938: Despite losing a double header, Yanks clinch pennant #10

1947: The United States Air Force becomes an independent service. Originally, U.S. military aviation began as part of the U.S. Army in 1907.

1948: Margaret Chase Smith becomes the first woman elected to the US Senate without completing another senator’s term when she defeats Democratic opponent Adrian Scolten

1949: A baseball major league record four grand slams are hit

1955: What had been The Toast of the Town on CBS Television (since 1948) becomes The Ed Sullivan Show

1961: U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld dies in a plane crash while attempting to negotiate peace in the war-torn Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

1965: Larry Hagman (Captain Tony Nelson) and Barbara Eden (Jeannie) star in the first episode of I Dream of Jeannie on NBC-TV

1965: Mickey Mantle Day at Yankee Stadium: Mantle plays his 2,000th game

1965: Get Smart premieres

1970: Rock radio mourns the loss of rock music legend, Jimi Hendrix, who dies of an overdose of sleeping pills at age 27

1975: Patty Hearst is arrested after a year on the FBI Most Wanted List

1977: U.S. Voyager I takes the first space photograph of Earth and the moon together

1989: Hurricane Hugo causes extensive damage in Puerto Rico

1994: Ken Burns’ Baseball premieres on PBS

1999: Sammy Sosa becomes the first player in major league baseball history to hit 60 homers in two seasons


1733: George Read, signer of the United States Declaration of Independence (d. 1798)

1905: Greta Garbo, Swedish actress (d. 1990)

1920: Jack Warden, American actor (d. 2006)

1933: Robert Blake, American actor

Fred Willard in Best in Show1939: Frankie Avalon, American musician

1939: Fred Willard, American comedian

1950: Anna Deavere Smith, American actress and playwright

1951: Benjamin Carson, American neurosurgeon

1952: Dee Dee Ramone, American bassist (The Ramones) (d. 2002)

1959: Ryne Sandberg, American baseball player

1961: James Gandolfini, American actor

1964: Holly Robinson Peete, American actress

1967: Ricky Bell, American singer (New Edition, Bell Biv DeVoe)

1968: Toni Kukoč, Croatian basketball player

1970: Aisha Tyler, American actress and comedian

1971: Lance Armstrong, American cyclist

James Marsden as Corny Collins in Hairspray1971: Jada Pinkett Smith, American model and actress

1973: James Marsden, American actor

1975: Jason Sudeikis, American actor and comedian

September 18 is the 261st day of the year (262nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 104 days remaining until the end of the year.

Sep. 17: Jinkies! I’m psychic!

Not psycho. Psychic.

That means I can totally predict the future. Totally! It’s true; read my magic 8-ball from August 21, 2007 (check out the second-to-last bullet point, doubters).

No visions yet on whether Millie will ever learn to tolerate the dogs and vice-versa. For now all signs point to NO. And anyway, my first telepathic priority is lottery numbers.

Sep. 16: A sucky day that sucked

Today has, for the most part, been a real farker of a day. A stick-a-fork-in-me-I’m-done kind of day.

First of all, it was picture day at the grade school. You know I don’t have the best experience with picture days past, and I probably stress over them way too much now. But that’s me. This morning I got the kids ready and although there wasn’t too much argument over what I picked out for them to wear, Katie drove me insane over her hair. Doesn’t she understand that I know what I’m doing? That no one—no one!—wields a better hot roller than I? Gah, I was so glad when I finally shoved her out of the car dropped her off at school.

Then I got involved in a project and suddenly realized three hours had passed and I wasn’t prepared for the meeting I had scheduled. I managed to move the meeting and got some other urgent tasks done before I started on my afternoon of errands. Among other things, today was our day to pick up the kitten from the pound. I called to let them know I was on my way and suddenly both of my phones were ringing. Yes, I am very popular. No, none of these calls had anything to do with my popularity.

In fact, the calls were from the school and Vic, both telling me Jack fell off the monkey bars and hurt his arm. Vic left work right away because they’d told him Jack’s arm might be broken. I left home immediately to get to the school before Vic and look like the more concerned parent. I win!

As soon as I saw my sweet boy’s arm, I knew it was broken. It was such a weird shape and it was all I could do to hold myself together. Jack was being brave so I figgered I had to be too. We sat in the sick room and waited for Vic. Katie came by and pretended to care but I’m pretty sure she just wanted to get out of school early.

Diagnosis: a Colles fracture. Hours later, Jack was home with a green cast and drugged up enough to think it was pretty cool, which is why he’s smiling in this photo and why, as I write this hours later and the drugs have worn off, he’s as grumpy and whiny as you would expect a kid who just fractured his arm to be.

Katie and I picked up the cat. We gave her about an hour to sniff around the house and get familiar with things before we introduced her to the dogs. She was instantly not impressed with them. Still, I tried to play peacemaker. Three very deep arm gashes later, I have decided maybe a cat does not belong in our house. I don’t know what our future holds, cat-wise.

By the way, we chose the name “Millicent” (Millie) for kitty. It supposedly means “industrious,” and we interpret that to mean “mouse-catcher extraordinaire.” At this rate, though, it’s more likely to mean “lived in our bookcase for two days and then the dogs ate her.”

The best news out of today is that school pictures were taken before anyone broke their arm or had their skin torn off by a frightened kitten. So, y’know, there’s that.

Sep. 15: This took some figuring out

This list is making the e-mail rounds and its source is a mystery or I would give the proper person credit. What I love about this is how nicely it ties in to this video about the inconsistencies in what people are saying about the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Y’know, that thing that’s frowned upon in politics: comparing apples to apples.

  • If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you’re “exotic, different.”
  • Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, a quintessential American story.

  • If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
  • Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you’re a maverick.

  • Graduate from Harvard Law School and you are unstable.
  • Attend five different small colleges before graduating, you’re well-grounded.

  • If you spend three years as a community organizer, become the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a constitutional law professor, spend eight years as a state senator representing a district with more than 750,000 people, become chairman of the state senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, spend four years in the United States senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran’s Affairs Committees, you don’t have any real leadership experience.
  • If your total resume is: local weather girl, four years on the city council and six years as the mayor of a town with fewer than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, then you’re qualified to become the country’s second highest ranking executive.

  • If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising two beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re not a real Christian.
  • If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you’re a Christian.

  • If you teach responsible, age-appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
  • If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state’s school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you’re very responsible.

  • If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values don’t represent America’s.
  • If your husband is nicknamed “First Dude,” with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

Sep. 13: Our new family member

Not that I don’t appreciate Sherilee’s willingness to ship me the owl that’s been keeping her awake, but we’ve decided the best way to solve our mouse problem is with a cat. Vic and I both have a great fear that the mouse problem is a complete infestation, when it really could be just a tiny little one-time thing. But when I jokingly suggested we get a cat (he’s allergic) and he seriously replied that it was a good idea, I jumped on it. I guess we’ll be keeping Claritin manufacturers in business for Kitty’s lifetime.

Yesterday the kids and I went to Multnomah County Animal Control and picked out a sweet little girl. She’s being spayed so we’ll bring her home on Tuesday. This is the adoption photo they gave us:

Not a great pic, so to give you a better idea of what she looks like, her coloring and markings are very similar to this fat kitty:

Now we’re trying to agree on a name. Vic cares not even a tiny bit and says he’ll call her “Cat” no matter what we name her. Jack thinks she should have a Star Wars name. Katie’s suggestions so far have been adding “ie” to the end of whatever cat-related words she thinks of. So apparently, making a list of possible names has fallen on my shoulders. I want something that implies bravery and good mouse-catching skills so that Kitty knows the job for which we’ve brought her into our family. Also something to make sure she understands she should properly dispose of the mice she catches because we don’t really need to see them. And that she shouldn’t claw the furniture or jump on the counters or pee on stuff or torment the dogs. Suggestions for a name that conveys all of these things are welcome.

Sep. 13: Not alike enough

Seems a hunnert years ago, John McCain was a bit of alright. I would totally vote for George Eads if it meant I could see him everywhere for the next 4-8 years. And in a uniform, even? Rrrooowrrr!

john mccain, republicans, george eads
see famous look-a-like faces

Sep. 12: Who took my cheese out of the freezer?

I love seeing Jerry Seinfeld back on TV, even though it’s just the latest Microsoft marketing campaign. Here’s a new ad that’s longer and even better than the Shoe Circus.

Bonus points for the Arrested Development-like background music.

Sep. 11: “Hockey Mom” ≠ VP!

Here’s an article detailing an ABC News interview with Sarah Palin today about her qualifications to serve in a position that could very well end up being President of the United States.

Pressed about what insights into recent Russian actions she gained by living in Alaska, Palin answered: “They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”

What the hell? Somebody—anybody—please explain how being able to see another country from her state (if she’s standing on that one point on the north coast, where she’s probably never even been) gives her foreign policy expertise.

The fact that people are willing to accept this as “qualified” is downright scary.

[Palin] appeared unsure of the Bush doctrine — essentially that the United States must help spread democracy to stop terrorism and that the nation will act pre-emptively to stop potential foes.

Asked whether she agreed with that, Palin said: “In what respect, Charlie?” Gibson pressed her for an interpretation of it. She said: “His world view.” That prompted Gibson to say “no, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war” and describe it to her.

Who were they interviewing, Paris Hilton?

“I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation,” Palin said, though added “there have been mistakes made.”

She not only recognizes but acknowledges mistakes made by the current administration. I wonder if she meant to do that. What do you wanna bet McCain threatened to spank her if she said that ever again?

As for other “qualifications,” I honestly don’t think it matters at this point that she’s never met a head of state. Given the remoteness of Alaska and the fact she’s only been governor two years, it’s no surprise. It does concern me, however, that she’s traveled so very little around the world. I don’t think Alaska’s governor needs to be well-traveled, but I do think a vice presidential candidate should be.

Don’t get me started on the environmental stuff. The more I learn about this woman, the more I don’t like. Could it be any clearer that John McCain picked her because she’s young(er) and female? Does the GOP really think all the Hillary lovers are going to turn to McCain/Palin just because there is a woman on their ticket? Gawd.


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