Oct. 31: Twas Halloween night...

Alright, so my kids think I’m a meanie mom about Halloween costumes because I will not let them freeze while they’re out trick-or-treating. Pfft.

Every costume Katie wanted this year was sleeveless or short-sleeved. Halloween around here is COLD, so what is the point of having a cute little costume when you have to cover it with a coat? My rule: something long-sleeved so she could wear warm, insulating clothes underneath it. She finally went with a very cute witch costume, which is perfect to top 16 layers of long underwear. She bitched and moaned the whole time she was getting dressed and I was this close to saying FINE, NO TRICK-OR-TREATING FOR YOU THIS YEAR. I did not. I just told her to knock it off and get ready.

Fortunately, Vic is totally on my side with this so she got no sympathy from him. And since he’s usually the one that takes the kids out for trick-or-treating, he’s the one that ends up giving her his coat when she gets cold. This is her ninth Halloween; we’re familiar with her modus operandi.

Jack was easy; not a lot of boys’ costumes are sleeveless unless you’re going for that Village People look. His costume was easy to layer but he whined about the gloves. We got him nice black ski gloves because they looked exactly like the Darth Vader gloves he wanted at the costume store, and (bonus!) he can wear them all winter. But then he decided he should have white gloves because clone troopers wear white gloves. How dare I suggest no one would even notice! I found a pair of tiny stretchy knit gloves in Katie’s dresser and while normally Jack would flatly refuse to wear girl gloves even if they looked perfectly unisex, he thought they were great. We made them pose for a few photos and they took flight into the cold neighborhood.

So far there have been two groups of unrecognizable kids that have yelled, “That was Katie’s mom!” as they ran off to the next house. And there was a very politically incorrect costume that politely and sweetly said, “Hi, Mrs. Manullang.” Still can’t figure out who that was. I haven’t seen too many pregnant nuns yet, which is disappointing. But I think because the rain finally stopped this afternoon, everyone is excitedly out and about and ringing my goll-dang doorbell nonstop. It’s taken me more than an hour to write these few paragraphs. Katie and Jack better come home with some good stuff for Mom.

Oct. 31: Happy Halloween!

One of our favorite words from Katie’s early speaking years was “pumpkin,” which she pronounced “punk-sin.” Ah, the good old days when everything they said was cute and they did not yet know back-talk.

Take a look at 20 of the most awesome punksin carvings posted today at oddee.com. Impressive, ‘specially when you look at all of ours this year and see how half-assed they came out. We don’t even have a good excuse, unless you accept laziness. Sad.

We woke up to a surprisingly hard rain this morning so I’m doing a rain dance to appease the weather gods. It’s highly unattractive, you can be sure. But, y’know, whatever it takes... because rainy trick-or-treating sucks.

Oct. 30: Katie’s tree

Sherilee thinks I’m a Fall Scrooge™. I totally am. So that’s why I’m posting this picture of the dwarf maple tree in our backyard because it’s really quite beautiful right now and I do not hate it which means I am nothing if not an inconsistent Fall Scrooge™.

purty little tree

We bought and planted this tree when Katie was born so we’ve always called it Katie’s tree. The red dwarf maples are much more common; because you don’t often see the green ones, I love how this is a little unique that way. It gets really full in the spring and stays that way all summer, and I forget every fall how beautiful it gets again when the leaves start to change colors. Then all the leaves wither and die and mess up the yard and Katie’s sweet little tree looks dead until spring.

And that, my friends, is why I ultimately end up hating fall and also why this is how I picture it in my head when certain people start blathering on and on and on about how wonderful fall is.

a pile of shiat hanging flower, also in my backyard right now

Because, y’know, bleah.

Oct. 30: Halloween meme

Yet another meme stolen from mommablogsalot.

  1. Would you let your children go trick-or-treating at Michael Jackson’s house? Certainly not by themselves! He’d probably have good candy, though, so I’d totally take them.
  2. Did you eat paste and/or glue as a child? I tasted it, sure. But I don’t think I ate it on a regular basis or anything. Only the weird kids did that.
  3. Look at the wall to your right, what is on it? Nothing. But there’s a large bookcase, a tall lamp, and a TV so hanging anything on the wall would be kinda superfluous.
  4. Do you put butter and/or salt on your popcorn? I like my popcorn in extremes—love movie theater popcorn (without the Valvoline, thank you) but also love air-popped popcorn with nothing on it. Debi got me hooked on Kettle Corn a while back and if I do the microwave stuff, nowadays that’s my preference.
  5. What does your favorite coffee cup look like? We have a large collection of Starbucks City Mugs. Most of the time I just grab whichever one is in front, but occasionally I’ll seek out a specific one. Most have been gifts so we have them from all over the world. When Vic brings me coffee, I always look at the city he hands me and compare it to the city he took for himself—invariably they’re on opposite sides of the world—and accuse him of wanting to be far away from me, etc. It’s super-fun!
  6. What was your favorite Halloween costume? I was Holly Hobbie lots of times. It wasn’t my favorite, but I was never all that proud of my costumes. Mom never really got into Halloween and my kids are totally reaping the benefits from my resentment of that. Probably the best costume I’ve ever seen, though, was on our friend Michael—a few years ago he wore one of those air blown sumo wrestler costumes. Hilarious!
  7. Toilet paper - hard, soft, extra soft? Whatever’s near.
  8. Have you ever rescued/taken in a stray animal? Casey, our rat terrier, was a stray that Michael and Kristine brought to us. We looked for her owners but didn’t find them, and ended up being pretty glad about that because she’s a sweetie. Millie, our new kitten, was a pound rescue.
  9. Name three things you want your kids to learn before they grow up (if you don’t have kids, feel free to skip this one or add your own twist to the question). First, I want them to learn that they are free to be the person they are; that they need to follow their hearts and dreams. Second, I’d like them to learn how important it is to be open to other people’s ideas (not sure who they’re going to learn this from; certainly not me). Lastly, I want them to take opportunities to see the world, where they’ll learn things they’d never learn any other way.

Your turn...

Oct. 29: Not-so-proud mama

I am so not enjoying the kitten bringing home her kill. This must be what Sarah Palin’s kids feel like. “Yes, Mom, we see you got another head to mount on the wall. We’re very, very proud. Good job. All that. Can we get back to watching The Daily Show now?”

This is the tally so far, of which I’m aware:

  • Grasshoppers (minimum of two per day; max is six)
  • Box elder bugs (a few)
  • Flies (two big huge ones)
  • Snakes (one large, one small—I think both survived only because of our intervention)
  • Praying mantis (one)

Notice not a single one of these things has fur. The cat has clearly forgotten the conditions she agreed upon in exchange for a warm home and being carried around upside down by a six-year-old. Er, something like that.

Here are pictures from the latest capture, her praying mantis—which I must add was the most disgusting so far to hear her chew up:

click this for extreme close-up

And it’s an especially sad story because you can see in the close-up picture that this praying mantis was a girl. Note the long, wavy, flowing hair (click the photo because it’s not even a tiny little bit disgusting to see my dirty floor):

If these critters were evil I would praise Millie for a job well done. But what horrible thing did they ever do to deserve being tossed about for a scary five minutes and then gobbled? Except for the flies. Flies are the door-to-door salespeople of the insect world. I mean, praying mantises (mantii?) are good bugs, aren’t they? I feel sorta bad.

On the upside, there’s this: I said “tally.” Heehee.

Oct. 29: Microcosm of... huh?

It’s not the video you think it is.

Oct. 29: Happy day, Sherilee!

Today is my friend Sherilee’s very own holiday. Happy 40th birthday, sweet girl! To honor your special day, I Googled some phrases to find out more about you. Here are the many facts I discovered.

Sherilee wants

  • ...to take a beauty therapy course
  • ...me to go to the Last Night of the Proms
  • ...to be a tattooist

Sherilee has

  • ...nine friends
  • ...no pulse!
  • ...no blog entries yet!
  • ...been interested in the modeling industry most her life
  • ...spent the last 10 years studying subtle energies
  • ...moved back to New York
  • ...a lot of good ideas
  • ...been away from home for so long
  • ...gone wild
  • ...a cornbread stuffing that looks really good

Sherilee is

  • ...a zombie
  • ...out of her detox program
  • ...comfortable expressing herself
  • ...loved
  • ...13
  • ...perfect
  • ...bi-sexual but still in the closet
  • ...an eight-year-old who lives in Australia
  • ...very happy
  • ...living with me
  • ...right
  • ...next to me and we are having a blast

Sherilee was

  • ...the first to give up
  • ...the first one to begin crying
  • ...blabbing on and on

Sherilee says

  • ... “Thank you, honey, you're so sweet”
  • ... “Can’t wait til the weekend!!”
  • ... “Never, ever give up!”

Sherilee wrote

  • ... “I'm so excited for the super Wal-mart!”
  • ... “I make French toast all the time.”

Sherilee got

  • ...cleaned up
  • ...the job done quickly and efficiently!
  • ...it out of your scrap book for me
  • ...her sick kicks
  • ...into her head that Galindez had ruined her life

Sherilee went

  • ...back into the sewer
  • ...au natural
  • ...to Minnesota

Wow, and I thought I knew you. You’re just full of surprises... and inconsistencies... and more surprises...

Seriously, Sher, I hope your big day is fabulous from start to finish. You deserve it! Many lovies—

Oct. 28: Spaghetti face

You’ve heard me say it many times, and if you were at the party in July you found out for yourself: Dawn is wonderful. She is amazing. She is generous too. Tonight Katie ate dinner over at their house and when Darby brought Katie back he handed me a container of spaghetti. Spaghetti that Dawn made. Spaghetti that Dawn knew I would love.

See why I love her? She reads my mind.

Here’s exactly how the next few minutes went...

I open the container. “Oooh, there’s garlic bread in here. Yum.”

I take a bite of the garlic bread, which is still warm and has a little marinara on it. It’s a little crispy and herbed on the top, and has just the right amount of butter. “Oh. Oh, this is really good. Does she put crack in this?”

The other two bites are just as delicious, although the last one is not quite as good because the depression over it being the last bite has slightly diminished my capacity to enjoy it. Damn. I hate when that happens.

I grab a fork and dive into the spaghetti. Yeah, I already ate dinner. I ate a freakin’ bowl of cereal, okay? I am totally eating this spaghetti. I meet resistance with the fork. “What is this big thing? Portobello mushroom? Oh. Oh, my. It’s. A. Meatball.”

And then I collapse on the floor. I begin to hallucinate. Oh, if only I wasn’t married and Dawn wasn’t married and gay marriage was legal in Oregon! I would totally stalk her until she agreed to marry me because I desperately want to live with this woman cooking food in my kitchen forever and ever. Amen.

Oh my lord, it turns out Dawn puts crack in the meatballs too.

I’m really sorta snobby about marinara. I don’t order it often in restaurants because some places make it too sweet or tomato-y. I like it flavorful—garlicky and on the salty side. Dawn’s marinara is perfect. Dawn is perfect.

I eat the whole container of spaghetti and am considering calling Dawn for seconds. How do she and Darby NOT weigh 600 pounds each? Maybe they’re doing meth when they’re not eating the crack-laced food. I guess that keeps their weight down.

And now I look like this and I don’t care:

Thank you, Dawn. You are my knightess in shining armor.

Oct. 28: Death to clocky

“Lives on your nightstand, but plays on the floor”

$50-60 around the ‘net

If you have trouble getting up in the mornings, this may be the alarm clock for you. When the alarm goes off, the clock jumps off the nightstand and wanders around the room beeping and screeching like an extra-insane R2D2. I think it’d be worse than having the kitten running loose at night.

Courtesy of thinkgeek, you can see Clocky in action:

First morning, I would soooo hit this thing with a hammer and put it out of my misery.

Oct. 27: Don’t be a pariah

Thank you, Lori Lassen! If this doesn’t get my ballot turned in, I can’t imagine what will.

Edited: Changed embedded video to link for extra customization goodness.

Watch this video.

Oct. 27: Good question

It couldn’t be any clearer. Here’s the truth, straight from the horse’s ass’ mouth:

(The answer? NO.)

Oct. 27: Pet costumes

I love this picture because it’s a rat terrier in a cow costume and we have a rat terrier and she looks a lot like this one and would look just as awesome dressed up as a cow. The beagle would probably look good too. But dang it, both of them would kill me if I tried to dress them up. One Halloween I put an orange skrunchie around Scout’s neck and she pawed at it all evening and then left a turd in our bed. I learned my lesson; watching Vic clean that up was really funny icky.

Besides this little cutie, you’ll find a bunch of other great pet costumes on one of today’s posts at Cute Overload. If I had a pet turtle I think I’d make it wear the shark costume every day.

Oct. 26: Why I love twitter

Apparently one of the twitterers I follow is at Disneyland today. I’d hate him out of sheer jealousy, but he’s been twittering some pretty good stuff, the kind of stuff that makes you think maybe NOT being at Disneyland isn’t such a bad thing.

Ed, I think you will especially enjoy this. (Ed is my Disney-hating friend. I know, I can’t believe I still like him either!)

click so this is big enough to read, Lori

Who am I kidding? Dealing with crowds at Disneyland is always better than sitting at home reading about people dealing with crowds at Disneyland.

Because as you know, I loves me some Disneyland.

Oct. 24: My evil plan

Congratulations on being the creator of a new Evil Plan™!

Your objective is simple:
World Domination

Your motive is a little bit more complex: Sadistic pleasure

Stage One

To begin your plan, you must first seduce a town mascot. This will cause the world to sense a grave disturbance in the force, baffled by your arrival. Who is this evil genius? Where did she come from? And why does she look so good in a supervillain costume with gimmicks?

Stage Two

Next, you must obliterate the moon (ooh, tides!). This will all be done from an amusement park, a mysterious place of unrivaled dark glory. Upon seeing this, the world will wet their pants, as countless hordes of the Religious Right hasten to do your every bidding.

Stage Three

Finally, you must demonstrate your needlessly big weather machine, bringing about nightmares for every man, woman and child. Your name shall become synonymous with the Spice Girls, and no man will ever again dare refuse to be your prom date. Everyone will bow before your mind-boggling insanity, and the world will have no choice but to give you control of the planet.

What′s your evil plan?

Oct. 24: Now you know my ABC’s

Yep, I snagged another meme from Jen E.

A is for age: 40

B is for burger of choice: Burgerville cheeseburger

C is for the car I drive: 2008 Volkswagen Jetta

D is for your dog’s name: Scout, Casey

E is for essential item you use every day: eye drops

F is for favorite TV show at the moment: The Office

G is for favorite game: Cranium

H is for home state: Oregon

I is for instruments you play: piano, flute

J is for favorite juice: pineapple

K is for whose bum you’d like to kick: my own

L is for last restaurant at which you ate: I got take-out from New Seasons yesterday, I guess that counts

M is for your favorite Muppet: gotta be Beaker, unless the Avenue Q puppets qualify

N is for number of piercings: two in each ear

O is for overnight hospital stays: two, both for four days (glorious C-sections)

P is for people you were with today: so far, just my husband (kids stayed at G&G’s last night)

Q is for what you do with your quiet time: read, write, watch TiVo

R is for biggest regret: not making time for important things

S is for status: currently married to my first husband

T is for time you woke up today: 3:45, then 7:30, then 8:10. Damn cat was in the room.

U is for what you consider unique about yourself: I have all the right answers to everything there ever was or is

V is for vegetable you love: broccoli

W is for worst habit: sloth

X is for x-rays you’ve had: oh lord, I lost count long ago

Y is for yummy food you ate today: nothing yet, but Dawn sent over some s’mores yesterday that have my name written all over them…

Z is for zodiac: Virgo

Your turn.

Oct. 23: Possibly TMI

The dog that always beelines for the backyard in the mornings has been up for half an hour and hasn’t gone out yet. I’ve looked everywhere for a puddle and can’t find one, and I’m freaked out now. Either she hid the puddle really well, or her bladder embiggened during the night and she doesn’t feel the urgency to go out. Kinda like after my pregnancies; I could go all day without peeing because suddenly my bladder had no little feet stomping on it and could stretch out.

You wanted to know that, right?

Oct. 22: My political profile

Stolen from Chris.

Your Political Profile:

Overall: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Oct. 22: Halloween treats

This article lists the ten most disappointing treats for trick-or-treaters, according to the food blog Serious Eats. The article’s pretty funny, so click through and read it. Here’s a quick version of their list:

  1. Toothbrushes
  2. Raisins
  3. Candy corn
  4. Smarties and Necco Wafers
  5. Dum Dum lollipops
  6. Apples
  7. Tootsie Rolls
  8. Miscellaneous wrapped hard candies
  9. Laffy Taffy
  10. Anything fun-sized

You’re probably not surprised that I have some comments about this list. I know, I have comments about every list. Hey, I like candy.

  • Is candy corn really the fruitcake of Halloween?
  • Why are Smarties on this list? Isn’t disliking Smarties kinda like disliking candy in general? Who could hate Smarties? I understand if you don’t love them, if you don’t go out of your way to buy them, but would you ever turn them down? Or am I the only one that thinks they’re not bad? I like them, in fact, and I like them a lot. I buy them. I sort and eat them by color. They give me a buzz like few candies can.
  • Tootsie Rolls, well, maybe I am the only one who likes those. They were my dad’s favorite candy so I have a special-er fondness for them than I might otherwise.
  • Laffy Taffy? ‘Sgooooood.
  • “Anything fun-sized”??? What, do we expect king-sized candy bars to be given out at each house? Who lives where they do that? Because I am totally joining them for T&T-ing this year.

Here’s the Halloween candy philosophy at our house:

  • We buy two different types of candy to hand out. Some we like, like chocolate candy bars, etc.; those go on the bottom and are therefore more likely to be left over when the doorbell finally stops ringing. The others are edible, like Skittles or Starburst, just in case we’re left with any. We give our favorites to the kids we like/know.
  • We keep a separate bowl of crappy candy (think Dum Dum lollipops or expired Jolly Ranchers) for the older kids—you know the ones; they refuse to say “trick or treat” and just stand there in their god-awful scary costumes with their pillowcases held wide open. The little brats would get pennies or Primary Treasures if I could get away with it.

Do you get trick-or-treaters at your house? What do you hand out on Halloween and why?

Oct. 21: Pieces of eight

Jen E at mommablogsalot tagged me for this meme.

8 favorite TV shows (currently airing)

  1. The Office
  2. 30 Rock
  3. The New Adventures of Old Christine
  4. My Name is Earl
  5. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  6. CSI: Miami
  7. CSI: NY
  8. Law & Order

8 favorite restaurants

  1. Morton’s
  2. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  3. Red Robin—love the Banzai burger
  4. Burgerville—best local fast food. People have been known to come from faraway places like Colorado for the burgers. :)
  5. Macaroni Grill
  6. Stanfords—Henry Weinhard’s cheddar cheese soup
  7. California Pizza Kitchen—Pear & Gorgonzola pizza on honey-wheat dough
  8. Cheesecake Factory

8 things that happened yesterday

  1. I woke up with a drippy cold, so...
  2. I rescheduled work for the day, and...
  3. I rested as much as possible
  4. I worked on a web site project that’s way overdue
  5. I got new shoes in the mail
  6. The kids went to Grandpa & Grandma’s after school
  7. I ate pasta (again!)
  8. I watched CSI:Miami

8 things to look forward to

  1. Our next Broadway in Portland musical (Spring Awakening) on Thursday evening
  2. Election Day
  3. The launch of my friend’s new blog (no pressure for greatness, you-know-who)
  4. Halloween
  5. Two upcoming field trips with Katie’s class—one to Pittock Mansion, the other an “urban walking tour” of Portland
  6. Thanksgiving vacation in San Francisco
  7. Seeing Daryl, Sally and Presley at Christmas
  8. (A white?) Christmas in Sunriver

8 things I love about fall

  1. The colors, I guess
  2. Halloween
  3. Warm socks
  4. Cozy blankets
  5. Curling up with a good book, warm socks, and a cozy blanket
  6. New TV seasons begin again
  7. Jack’s birthday
  8. Christmas is coming!

(I just want to point out that these eight things were very difficult to come up with because I do not love fall so, y’know, yay Jen.)

8 things on my wish list

  1. President Obama. This will thrill me, but best of all it will make my neighbor go absolutely bat-shit insane. Wheeee!
  2. Chief of Staff Jen (heh heh)
  3. A maid
  4. A magical vacuum cleaner that actually picks up dog hair off the rug (for the maid to use, of course)
  5. That I won’t totally stress myself out trying to plan Jack’s birthday party
  6. No rain on Halloween this year
  7. More hours in the day for reading. I have a stack of books to read that you would not believe. Really. You wouldn’t.
  8. A big soaking bathtub for our master bathroom

8 people I am tagging

  1. Lori
  2. Kathy
  3. Sherilee
  4. Dan
  5. Chris at My Two Cents
  6. You
  7. You
  8. And You

Oct. 21: Candidate equals

Here’s a site you have to visit. I’ll bet if you can work in some giggles over the next two weeks, the time will go more quickly.

Welcome To Candidate Equals
What do Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain and Sarah Palin equal? Find out with these pictograms what your fellow voters think of the candidates. Enjoy our free collection of Candidate Equals photos and feel free to make and submit your own. This site is meant to be humorous so leave your party affiliation at the door and enjoy! Remember to vote Nov 4th!

Candidate Equals has tons of user-submitted pictograms, some of which are pretty funny. Here’s an example:

Oct. 20: I am a Saltmarsh fox

Sally says I’m a fox. Y’know, I’ve always suspected that Sally is very, very wise, but I love her because she’s a wise-ass. She e-mailed me a photo of a sign she saw this weekend on Conanicut Island near where they live in Jamestown.

Here’s a close-up.

Cool, eh?

Oct. 20: Delicioso

The other night I gave in to temptation and had a bowl of pasta. It was delicious. The textures! The flavors! The colors! It’d been a long time since I’d eaten such a satisfying meal. Oh, it was simply lovely.

So I ate another bowl.

And because I couldn’t stop thinking about it, a couple hours later I had a little more. I have no self-control, which is exactly the reason I started to cut carbs in the first place.

Carbohydrates keep me fat. Fat increases the risk for all sorts of things that could kill me. That is not my goal, to die. I would like to live long enough to see which one of my kids is going to put me in a nursing home so I can re-write my will before I go all nutty. So I really need to not be eating three bowls of pasta every evening.

I just need to make these indulgences even less frequent. And that angers me because carbs are delicious and make me happy, and cutting carbs is not fun and makes me want to do bad things. Bad things to people that eat carbs freely and without guilt. I hate those people.

So let’s look at the bright side: occasionally I’ll slip, and that doesn’t make me a totally bad person. My addictions could be worse, couldn’t they? I mean, I could have an extreme craving for drugs or alcohol, and then I would endanger not just myself, but other people. I could be like my sister and use my drinking problem as an excuse to kill adorable little bunnies and pet spiders and my son’s friends I don’t like. (To be fair, it was just that one kid, and she didn’t kill him so much as try to kill him. Also, I think she was completely sober at the time. He was just a real shit-head.)

Oct. 19: Punkins ‘n trees

Meh. Autumn is totally overrated.

Every day for the past week it’s been freakin’ cold in the mornings. Foggy too. It gets dark early and chilly before the sun even sets. This makes being outside the suckiest suck-fest of all suck-fests that ever sucked. (It’s possible that is a slight exaggeration.)

We all piled into the minivan and took a trip to the pumpkin patch today. It was cold and muddy and there were orange things everywhere. I’m not a fan of cold or mud or orange. But because I’m mother of the year (I am, right?) I went along for this annual adventure. Katie and Jack had a good time. I didn’t hate every minute.

I chose a pumpkin that’s the perfect shape and size to make a mummy jack-o’-lantern. It’ll be similar to this but cooler.

(See, when you do this kind of jack-o’-lantern you don’t have to risk cutting off your fingers or touch pumpkin guts. I highly recommend it. Technically, I suppose this means it’s not a jack-o’-lantern, but why must you suck all the fun out of my Halloween?)

Jack wants a sith-o’-lantern so I’m pretty sure Daddy will end up carving that one. By the way, if you’re looking for good ideas, Google “pumpkin carving patterns.” And if you get one of those cheap little carving kits, and have more patience than I do, you can actually make some pretty great jack-o’-lanterns.

The maple trees that line the streets in our neighborhood are all doing weird things. What’s weird is how they’re being autumnish; some are nearly bare, some have changed color, and some are still all full and green. These are two of the trees in front of our house.

The maple is a bit ahead of the birch in dropping its leaves, but they are both going to make a big mess in our yard when they’re done shedding their summer coats. You can already see the maple leaves all over our sidewalk and street, and I am sooo not raking.

(I really hate raking.)

(And fall.)

Oct. 19: Happy birthday, Ron

Today’s my brother-in-law’s birthday. He’s old. I’d give him virtual gifts, but he’s so impossible to shop for that if I could think of a virtual gift for him I’d probably give it to him in real life. So here’s a cake with a big-boobied redhead popping out of it. Happy birthday, Ron! Hope your day is superdee-duper.

(and Vic, Katie, Jack, Scout, Casey & Millie)

Oct. 17: Good humor guys

McCain and Obama spoke at a charity dinner in New York City last night and collectively brought the house down. Both of these videos are must-see.

My favorite bits: the Keith Olbermann stuff from McCain and the “October surprises” from Obama. I was especially impressed with McCain’s comments about Obama. Both candidates have superb speech writers to come up with this level of comedy at a time like this.

Oct. 15: You can’t know

I’ve shared this “Yes We Can” video before. It’s one of the few things that makes me feel optimistic about the future of this country, about what we can do if we get the right leadership. I find the “No You Can’t” video funny... and pretty sad.

Just a few more weeks, people. Hang on.

Oct. 13: Today’s birthdays

It’s Erin’s birthday today! Here’s how you can figger out how old she is: I was 13 when she was born. I remember I was so excited because I sorta became an aunt that day. A few weeks after that, her grandpa and my mom got married. (And then 24 years later they divorced, a much happier occasion for most everyone involved.)

Erin’s one of my favorite people in the world. We have a long, fun history, and if I could give her anything for her birthday, it would be the following.

A dog that scoops its own poop, or even better, someone who will train Lucy to do it.

Empty bottles so she can make lots of limoncello. Ideally she’d be so grateful for all the bottles that she’d return some to me. Full. (Of her homemade limoncello.)

A nanny. Erin’s not a diaper-changin’ kind o’ gal, but I desperately want her to have a baby and I think this might be the only way she will. So here’s a Mary Poppins that hopefully won’t be a self-righteous bitch.

Happy birthday, Erin! I love you a ton.

Today is also Jim Jordan’s birthday. He’s older than Erin. He would probably love cool gifts too, but I didn’t get him anything because I was worn out from shopping for Erin. Sorry, Jim. Here’s some cake. I hope your day doesn’t suck.


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