Jul. 31: Life on “shuffle”

Put your iPod on “shuffle” and write down the song titles that pop up IN ORDER—no cheating:

  1. What do you think of yourself?
    Baby Grand 
  2. What do you think of your family?
    Exactly Like You
  3. What’s the first thing you think when you wake up?
    We’re All in This Together
  4. What do you think of your mother?
    Welcome to the 60’s. (Really, Mom—the Hairspray soundtrack! Really!)
  5. What do you think about marriage?
    Another Day
  6. What is your secret dream?
    The Ballad of Jebediah Springfield
  7. If you could make one wish what would it be?
    Light My Candle
  8. What do you think of your job?
    Bet On It
  9. What do you think of your best friend?
    Thank Goodness. (Love this one.)
  10. The cutest guy/girl just looked at you and smiled... what do you think?
    Over the Moon. (Love this one too—hate the song, but love the title.)
  11. You just won the Super Bowl. What are you going to do next?
    Start of Something New
  12. What do you think of life?
    If We Were a Movie
  13. The ugliest guy/girl asked you out... what do you say?
    They Do, They Don’t. (Uh, alright…)
  14. Someone just stepped on your toe with a high heel. What do you say to them?
    Love Heals. (Funny!)
  15. What do you think about in the shower?
    Who is It? (Can we say “Psycho”???)
  16. What do people think of you?
    What a Little Moonlight Can Do. (Is this because moonlight makes me less hideous? Or turns me into a were-wolf, and that’s better than what I am in the daylight? It is? You suck!)

Try this one for yourself and share your answers in a comment or on your own blog. Kinda silly…


Jul. 31: Gotta go?

Here’s a site you might appreciate: RunPee.com. It was featured on MSNBC today so there’s a lot of traffic right now; don’t be surprised if you can’t get to the site. However, I think this graphic from RunPee’s twitter page pretty much explains the purpose of the site and its super-cool iPhone app.


I avoid public restrooms whenever possible (and will therefore likely die of kidney rot) so this probably won’t come in so handy for me, personally. But I could probably use the iPhone app when I take the kids to the movies, since they always always always have to get up, no matter what. Drives me crazy.


Jul. 31: Divorce Dance

You’ve probably seen the wedding entrance video that went viral. Here’s the divorce entrance dance. Awesome.


Jul. 31: Happy birthday, Kath!

This is, like, disgusting beyond words, huh?

It’s too hot to think up a super-duper clever way to wish my sister a happy birthday. I know, you all think this makes me just about the worst sister ever. Sorry. Here is my very sincere and un-clever birthday wish for Kathy:

I hope you live long enough to light a disgusting little death stick cigarette with the candles on your 100th birthday cake. That’d be an awesome thing to see. Just don’t follow it with a coughing fit all over the cake because that would gross me out and I totally want a piece of that cake. In fact, if you could put some fade cream on those age spots I’d be able to look at you without gagging and that would help too. And is it too much to ask you to try a little Botox? ‘Cuz, um, dooooood! Sheesh.

Happy Birthday, Kathy! I hope it’s one of your most memorable ones ever!

I love you best of all, seester of mine, no matter what your BFF Lori says. Girl, you know it’s true.

Feel free to share your birthday message for Kathy in a comment. And please don’t make it cleverer than mine, because that’ll just make me look worse. Thanks.


Jul. 30: There’s been a huge mistake

IMG_0061I guess you never really know how accurate a car’s external thermometer is, but I imagine it’s not usually more than a few degrees off.

This picture was taken yesterday afternoon. “111° F.” is not the channel I’m listening to (duh—who would ever make THAT mistake, Loveliest Lori?), but what my car believes is the temperature outdoors. I was even parked in the shade when I took this picture. Twenty minutes earlier it had said 108°. While I doubt that it was actually 111° in Happy Valley yesterday, I am quite sure that it was SO FRIGGIN’ HOT.

Possible proof there is a God: air conditioning exists.

What contradicts any possible proof there is a God: brassieres.

sun Y’know, what makes the Pacific Northwest such a beautiful place is its moderate temperatures. Having air conditioning in one’s home is not all that common because it’s really, truly needed just a few days a year. This is why almost everyone in this part of the country is bitching and moaning about the weather this week. It’s unusual for it to be this hot at all, much less several days in a row. We are all grouchy and uncomfortable. It’s hard to sleep. Grocery stores are sold out of Popsicles. Highways to the beach are traffic-jammed. In other words, life sucks.

We are fortunate to have air conditioning in our home. There are two rooms without vents that we’ve been keeping closed—the laundry room and master shower room—and they’re like saunas. Ugh. We’re avoiding them as much as possible. However, we’re starting to feel kind of trapped in the house; it’s too hot for the kids to play outside, and it’s too hot in the car to want to go anywhere.

On Tuesday Katie begged to go to the Radio Disney kids’ camp thing. For some regrettable reason I agreed to take her. We stopped by Cassie’s house, traded Jack for Erika, and got to “camp” just as it started. In less than an hour Katie and Erika won some fun prizes, we got ridiculously overheated, Katie got stung by a bee, and we were back home. The next time Katie wants to go to something like that when it’s 100° it’s going to take every bit of good-mom effort in me not to remind her of the bee sting.

Today it’s supposed to cool down to 98°. This is still a crazy-high temperature for Portland. Who pissed off the weather gods? You were NOT supposed to do that.

Until life gets more normal-like, please don’t expect to read anything of quality here.


Jul. 30: Pretend it’s yesterday

Yesterday was Victor’s birthday and I was too busy with work and errands and trying to survive the god-awful Portland heat that I didn’t post. But if I had, this is pretty much what it would have been.

On July 29 in history…

  • 1890: Artist Vincent Van Gogh died at age 37
  • 1958: President Eisenhower signed a bill creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • 1981: Lady Diana Spencer married Britain’s Prince Charles

Other July 29 births:

  • Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)
  • U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961)
  • Former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole (1936)
  • Filmmaker Ken Burns (1953)
  • Country music singer Martina McBride (1966)
  • Actor Wil Wheaton (1972)

Besides being Victor’s birthday, it was also Daryl’s and Scott Neil’s. Probably a few other people’s too. One of my favorite things about Vic’s birthday is that for six weeks after, I’m not four, but FIVE years younger than he is. I married a super-old dude.

To celebrate last night, we had a delicious steak dinner at Darlene and Wellington’s. Sonya and her family were there so that made it extra fun. I can’t speak for Vic, but in my opinion that makes for a pretty great day.


Jul. 28: Threes of Me

Three names I go by:

  1. Jennifer
  2. Jen
  3. Mom

Three jobs I’ve had in my life that I’ve enjoyed:

  1. Tanning bed manager
  2. College newspaper columnist
  3. Software instructor

Three places I have lived:

  1. Medford, Oregon
  2. Portland, Oregon
  3. College Place, Washington

Three of my favorite drinks:

  1. Iced tea
  2. Cherry coke
  3. Just about anything containing Midori

Three TV shows I watch:

  1. 30 Rock
  2. The Office
  3. Law & Order

Three of my favorite movies:

  1. White Christmas
  2. Love Actually
  3. Sixteen Candles

Three cool places I have been:

  1. Paris, France
  2. Grand Cayman
  3. Victoria, British Columbia

Three places I want to go:

  1. Italy
  2. New York City
  3. Disneyland, Disney World, Disney wherever smiley

Three of my favorite foods:

  1. Macaroni and cheese
  2. Mashed Potatoes
  3. Filet mignon

Three things I would change about myself:

  1. My appearance
  2. The way I stress over little things
  3. My sweet tooth

Three things I am looking forward to:

  1. Our trip to Sunriver in August
  2. Cooler weather
  3. School starting in the fall

Your turn.


Jul. 27: Read The Bloggess, I say!

The Bloggess I’ve told you about The Bloggess before, but in case you don’t read her regularly, watch this short little video in which she shares healthy breakfast tips. That oughta pull you in. On her blog, you’ll find links to all the other sites she writes for, and you really must read every one. I can’t promise you won’t ever be offended, but I can promise you’ll be entertained.

The Bloggess is the only person I know who owns—and regularly wears—a collection of “confidence wigs.” Plus, her name is Jenny and her husband is Victor and that’s almost just too awesome to believe.


Jul. 27: Another odd Depp character

I don’t know…


Pictures of other characters can be seen here.


Jul. 25: People are weird and mean

Today was one of my first official acts as a PTO board member. We all took shifts sitting outside the local grocery store, asking shoppers if they would connect their shopper cards to our school. Albertsons’ Community Partners program donates a percentage of shoppers’ purchases to area schools and it can bring in a pretty good chunk of change. This costs nothing extra to the customer; all they have to do to link their cards is give Albertsons their phone number and card number.

You’d think we were also asking them for vital organs.

It was funny and sometimes shocking to see how some people would avoid making eye contact with us as they went in and out of the store. I don’t think it would have made a difference if we had a sign that said WE ARE NOT SELLING ANYTHING. It wasn’t like we were chasing people down or grabbing their purses. They saw people standing behind a table outside a store and knew immediately they wanted nothing to do with whatever reason we were there.

Not everyone, though. Some people were super easy to sign up—parents and kids we recognized, and people that approached us to ask about the program. We loved those people. They were nice. They cared about the kids. They understood that this would cost them nothing. They made it all worth it.

asshole But when Lovely Lori H and I took over for Dina and Sunshine, Dina told us about a guy who had actually come up to the table to tell them he wasn’t interested in whatever they were doing. She said OK, but when he asked about it and she told him it was to help the school, he said, “I hate kids.” What a shit.

I don’t understand people like that. My dad could be incredibly rude to strangers approaching him, but I’m quite sure that even under the worst circumstances he never would have said anything like “I hate kids.” What kind of a black soul does a person have to have to think that’s an okay thing to do? Again, I say: what a shit.

Lori and I had mostly amusing experiences with our crowd. One woman, who was yelling at her young granddaughter before they got to the front of the store, stood right next to our table while she continued to scream and mess with the kid’s little book. Lori and I were kind of watching her, I guess, because she looked up and screamed, “WHAT??!!” at us. Lori—fast thinker that she is—said, “Cute kid!” The old bat softened a little then, and asked what we were doing. Lori started to explain, and the shouter interrupted and said, “Oh, my granddaughter’s going to a private school. I went to public schools and they don’t work. Now I have to go to college to get my GED because I got such a terrible education.” She got such a terrible education, apparently, that she never learned that a zebra-print bra is totally visible through a white tank top.

James and Cassie took the last shift. They got more sign-ups than the rest of us, probably because of Cassie’s boobies. I say USE ‘EM IF YA GOT ‘EM.

We might do this again next month, and if so, I’ll have my push-up bra ready to stuff. Also, for those extry-assholey folk, my middle finger will be nicely manicured.

(… she said, just before she became the first person ever asked to resign from the PTO…)


Jul. 25: Another meme? Another meme.

A bunch of my friends are doing this quiz on Facebook.

  1. Is it possible for Hollywood to make a sequel to your favorite movie?
    My favorite movie is White Christmas. If Hollywood tried to make a sequel they’d probably fark it all up by casting Nicole Kidman or Paris Hilton in the Rosemary Clooney role. That would just piss me right off.
  2. Do you like to walk around malls?
    Not especially
  3. Small towns or big cities?
    Big cities. LOVE the big cities.
  4. What does the shirt you’re wearing look like?
    White tank. You don’t need me to describe it, do you?
  5. What brand of toothpaste do you use?
  6. If you are in your yard, front or back, what are you most likely to be doing?
    In the front yard, I’ll be dead-heading the petunias or sitting at the bistro table reading the newspaper. In the backyard I’ll be sitting on the deck, watching Victor transplant trees.
  7. Do you get easily embarrassed?
  8. Are you a good speller?
  9. What makes you nervous?
    Being late for things
  10. Do you have any weird habits?
    I step on the toes of my shoes before I put them on to kill any spiders that might be lurking therein
  11. Do you prefer to be behind the camera or in front of it?
    Definitely behind it
  12. Least favorite thing about summer?
    Bugs, ‘specially at night when I want to hang out on the deck
  13. What is something that makes you cringe?
    Remembering stupid things I’ve done
  14. In your opinion, what is the worst place to shop?
    Victoria’s Secret
  15. Are you anxious about anything today?
    Not looking forward to sitting in the heat for two hours—though I wouldn’t call it “anxiety,” exactly
  16. Can you open your eyes underwater?
    I prefer not to

Your turn! Share your answers in a comment or your own blog.


Jul. 25: Sucks to be Eve


Jul. 24: Gratefulness=happiness

gratitudeI’m feeling happily grateful this evening, and even more so after reading Sherilee’s post today. She always reminds me of the things I treasure—especially because she’s one of them!

I’ve bitched about a lot of stuff lately because it was a rough week for quite a few reasons, many of which I didn’t bother blogging about. But here are the things I’m feeling blessed to have experienced this week:

  • Friends who say exactly what I need to hear. On Tuesday I was feeling frustrated with Jack because he was being a dillweed. At that level of frustration I usually want an answer, a solution that will magically fix everything. This time, though, it did me a world of good just to hear people say “I’ve been there.” I know there are no perfect solutions to dealing with kids but I appreciate the help I was offered because it really did make me feel less like I want to lock The Boy in his bedroom for the rest of the summer.
  • I’m also thankful for the e-mails I got regarding the putting-animals-out-of-their-misery thing. And that’s all I’m gonna say about it, because those involved all fear overzealous PETA goons. (Don’t worry; the fish are still alive and happy-ish.)
  • I’m making some headway in the bedroom re-do project. Victor and I got furniture moved to the rooms in which each piece will stay—a huge accomplishment. Sorting through closets and cabinets are the next thing on my list. Slowly, very slowly, we’re feeling some forward motion with the whole thing. ‘Tis good.
  • My back pain has been sending me to the family room sofa to sleep every night. I am not thankful for this. But I am thankful for a husband who misses me sleeping next to him—he joined me on several nights this week, sleeping in the chair across the room. It is not comfortable for him; he is just good to me. I like having him nearby because he’s a cool dude, and I also suspect his presence considerably lessens the chance of me being attacked by vampires while I sleep.
  • I found some new (to me) Christmas music for our 2009 CD. Hooray! More on that in December.
  • My father- and mother-in-law are great about taking the kids when we’ve got things to do. Even with all their busy-ness of summer with Sonya’s family coming and going, church responsibilities, travel to and from Seattle, and all the other things that consume their schedule, they both go out of their way to be wonderful to us. We appreciate them very, very much.
  • My sister is on Facebook again. This has pleased many people. And having my mom on there isn’t nearly as style-cramping as I expected! I’m glad to have yet another way to communicate with two of the coolest people in my life.
  • I’m getting my hair cut tomorrow. It’s always nice to have a li’l bit o’ pampering, and I haven’t gotten to do much of that this summer. What I’d really like is a brow wax, but with my eyelid injuries still healing, I don’t dare—if I can’t wear eye makeup, I certainly can’t be ripping hot wax off my brows. That joyous experience will have to wait.
  • Tomorrow the PTO board members are sitting outside Albertsons to encourage shoppers to connect their Preferred Savings cards to our school. It’s a passive fundraising thing, and can actually bring the school quite a bit of $$. We’re doing this on what is forecasted to be one of the hottest days of the summer in Portland. So what am I grateful for? That I’m not doing it by myself! Lovely Lori H and I are taking the 11-1 shift, in which we will be doing our best not to melt into sugary little pools. Get it? BECAUSE WE’RE SO SWEET. Duh.
  • Speaking of the heat, I’m oh-so-thankful for air conditioning. I’ve also enjoyed our cool mornings this week, and love having the fresh air flowing through the house for a few hours.

It’s bedtime, or more specifically, couchtime. Have a great weekend, all!


Jul. 24: Re-post/reminder/whatever

Because you probably haven’t had enough reasons to laugh yet today, don’t forget to check out Don't Even Reply: E-mails From an Asshole. It’s the very definition of awesome.

I’m  reminding you because I forgot about the site until I went digging through past posts this morning. I don’t see where Don’t Even Reply has RSS or I would definitely subscribe and you, in turn, would never miss an exciting episode. The guy’s a freakin’ genius.


Jul. 23: Thursday night

I have no excuse for not writing the last couple days except that I could not think of a single thing to say. For a blogger, I think that’s a valid excuse for not posting.

I’m busy with way too many details in the big bedroom re-do project, still nursing my aching back and therefore not sleeping well, and trying to get the kids where they need to go when they need to be there. I’ve also been working a little, and doing my darndest to stay indoors during the hottest part of every day.

Millie hasn’t brought in any more little critters—live or dead—though not for lack of trying. She’s a determined little thing. I got her a metal ID tag that makes more tinkly noises than the plastic one did. She’s tried to get me back for that by smothering me while I sleep. I swear, the cat will NOT leave me alone at night. This morning I woke up with fang marks on my neck, so I suspect she’s looking into murderous techniques other than suffocation by cat blubber.

The thing is, if the fang marks aren’t from Millie, it can only mean that vampires have attacked me (poorly) while I slept. This has been a fear for as long as I can remember, and so I always sleep with my neck covered. I decided long ago that if a vampire approached me while I slept and saw my neck covered with a sheet or blanket, he wouldn’t go to the trouble of moving the sheet or blanket aside, or biting through it or anything like that. Apparently *my* vampires are kinda lazy. One of the most unsettling parts of the back pain I’ve been experiencing is that I frequently have to sleep sitting up, and that means it’s difficult for me to keep a blanket shoved up around my neck. Stupid gravity.

…And now guess who’ll be having nightmares tonight? I blame you.


Jul. 21: At least I’ve got ONE I like today

radiodisney We just got back from a Radio Disney-sponsored “Kids Camp” at a nearby shopping center. It was outdoors—in the parking lot, in fact—and very, very hot, but also a lot of fun. There were local sponsors distributing coupons and fun prizes, and DJs playing loud Radio Disney music. Some cheerleader-types from the radio station ran lots of little contests in which Katie was eager to compete. She won a Jonas Brothers necklace, movie passes, Webkinz trading cards, a Subway Frisbee, and a Sonny With a Chance tote bag. Jack got Webkinz cards and a Subway tote bag. In other words, we left with enough non-crap that it was worth standing in the heat. Katie and I thought so, anyway.

Jack thought the event was ridiculous and acted like a tool for the whole hour. It must have taken a lot of effort, because while he frequently acts like a tool, he compensates by more frequently being a sweet boy, a good boy, a nice boy, and a funny boy. I don’t like him very much when he acts like a tool for no reason. And lately he hates anything he thinks is for girls—which is anything on the Disney Channel, in his opinion. It’s really quite ridiculous, because Jack watches Disney Channel all the time, so he obviously doesn’t hate it. Even when the cheerleaders played a Phineas & Ferb song today, he pretended not to recognize it. PHINEAS & FERB! COME ON! I was tempted to leave him at that friggin’ Radio Disney kids’ camp just because I know it would have been pure torture. It was really only the risk of heat exhaustion that made me push him away from camp and back toward the car. When we got there, I kinda wanted to steer him toward the trunk instead of the back seat but there were too many witnesses.

What do you do with your kids when they turn into little fart-knockers? When you want to take away every privilege they have and not do anything nice for them, like provide food and shelter?


Jul. 20: Meme of randomness

  1. What’s the first thing you wash in the shower?
    My face
  2. What color is your favorite hoodie?
    Dark sage
  3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?
  4. How are you feeling right now?
    Achy, tired, mostly happy. That’s “normal” for me.
  5. What’s the closest thing to you that’s red?
    The dogs’ pillow
  6. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?
    Victor was making me mad. That’s what a lot of my dreams are about.
  7. Did you meet anybody new today?
    No, but I haven’t left the house yet
  8. What are you craving right now?
    Nothing—I just ate breakfast
  9. Do you floss your teeth?
    Not as much as I should, but semi-regularly
  10. What comes to mind when you hear “cabbage”?
    Chinese food
  11. Are you emotional?
  12. Have you ever counted to 1,000?
    Can I? Yes. Have I? No.
  13. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?
    Can’t remember—I don’t eat ice cream on cones very often
  14. Do you like your hair?
  15. Do you like yourself?
  16. Would you go out to eat with Oprah?
    Sure. She seems interesting.
  17. What are you listening to right now?
    A landscaping service working across the street
  18. Would you go sky diving?
    It seems like it would be exhilarating, but I don’t think I could ever work up the balls to do it
  19. Have you ever met a celebrity?
  20. Do you rent movies often?
    Not often. Every few weeks, I guess.
  21. Is there anything sparkly in the room you’re in?
    My rings
  22. How many countries have you visited?
    Something like 15-20. Who all those Caribbean islands belong to confuses me.
  23. Have you made a prank phone call?
    I may not be married to Victor if I hadn’t! Because yes, April and I used to make prank calls to the guys’ dorm on a regular basis.
  24. Do prefer brown or white eggs?
    I don’t have a preference
  25. Do you use ChapStick?
    No, Carmex
  26. Do you own a gun?
    No. Hate ‘em. We have a machete though (of which I am also not very fond).
  27. Can you use chopsticks?
    No, and it’s really embarrassing when I go out for Asian food with Vic’s family. I just loudly accuse them all of being show-offs and then I don’t feel so inadequate when I have to ask for a fork.
  28. Who are you going to be with tonight?
    Victor, Katie, Jack
  29. Are you too forgiving?
    I doubt it. I guess it depends on the situation.
  30. When was the last time you cried?
    A few days ago
  31. What was the last question you asked?
    “Can you send me your address?”
  32. What is your favorite time of year?
  33. Do you have any tattoos?
    No, but I’d get a small hidden one if I could be unconscious during the procedure
  34. Are you sarcastic?
    Never! Never, ever, ever!
  35. Have you ever walked into a wall?
    Ha! That’s a good one.
  36. What’s your favorite color?
    Navy blue
  37. Have you ever slapped someone?
    No, but all I need’s a reason
  38. Is your hair curly?
  39. What was the last CD you bought?
    The Rouge, “Heat & Light”—though technically it was purchased for me
  40. Do looks matter?
    If they didn’t I think I’d be a much more social person
  41. Is your phone bill sky high?
    No. The people I talk to most are on the same network I am.
  42. Do you like your life right now?
    Very much
  43. Do you sleep with the TV on?
    I can
  44. Can you handle the truth?
  45. Do you have good vision?
    Thanks to LASIK, yes
  46. Do you hate or dislike more than three people?
    I definitely dislike more than three people. I can’t think of anyone I know personally who I hate—just people I never hope to meet, like those evil Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter types.
  47. How often do you talk on the phone?
    I tend to e-mail more often than I talk on the phone
  48. Who was the last person you held hands with?
    Vic or Katie—not sure
  49. What are you wearing?
    Work clothes. Gotta get out the door.
  50. What is your favorite animal?
    I think I like dogs and cats pretty equally nowadays
  51. Can you hula hoop?
    Not very well
  52. Do you have a job?
  53. Have you ever crawled through a window?
  54. What was the most recent thing you bought?

As always, now it’s your turn. Answer these questions for yourself in a comment or on your own blog.


Jul. 20: Such sophistication

The kids’ bedroom re-do project has, in a way, moved downstairs. I was really hoping to confine it to the upstairs region of our house, but it turns out that was pure silliness of thought.

Right now there are lots of boxes and small furniture items set in the hallway upstairs, waiting for a closet or wall somewhere for permanent so many boxes placement, and also making the hallway quite treacherous. Shuffling three bedrooms involves a lot of temporary storage. Much of this storage has been found in the master bedroom, another room I was hoping could remain clutter-free during this project. Ha.

Jack’s loft bed was disassembled without incident, but its reassembly (?) in the new room has taken some time. One side of the bed had a slide, and Jack had begun to think that made it babyish so he asked Vic to take it off. No problem. The other side has a ladder, which is now quite necessary if we want injury-free dismounts from the bed. Vic made the mistake of offering to put the ladder on the slide end, and Jack loved that idea because he likes whatever is more difficult for his parents. I think Loveliest Lori’s boys must have taught him that, as I’ve heard her use that same description for them.

The bed was almost completely together again when Victor realized one entire side had to be changed if the ladder was going at the opposite end, and that meant the whole thing needed to be taken apart again. It was past 10:00 the night he discovered this, so we told Jack he’d sleep on his mattress on the floor that night and Vic would finish the bed the next day. But the next day was busy with other parts of the project, and so was the day after that. Finally, yesterday Vic went in to dis- and re-assemble and couldn’t find the Allen wrenches. We have a nice set—it looks like a Swiss army knife—that’s much easier to use than the single wrenches that come with some-assembly-required furniture, so we rarely hang on to those little ones and use our fancy-schmancy ones instead. Without them, Vic was screwed. Not literally. In fact, literally, the bed was NOT screwed—no Allen wrenches meant no dis- and re-assemble.

The minute we go out and buy another set, the other one will turn up. That’s how it works, isn’t it? But it looks like we gotta. If you need an assortment of Allen wrenches, we’ll gladly loan you one of ours.

With Jack’s bed only partly together, we can’t get the armoire out of his room to move to the playroom, nor can we move his dresser or desk out of the playroom into his room. Katie’s dresser and hanging clothes are still in her old closet (in Jack’s new room) so there is much screaming when she goes in and starts rooting around in his room for her things. I am so so so ready for this whole thing to be over.

checkmark On the “done” side, the playroom table/desk is set up in the playroom now, and the kids’ computer is connected and working. The closet in that room has been cleaned out and I have a HUGE amount of stuff from there to take to Goodwill today. Although Katie’s room is far from finished, it’s painted and really quite pretty—she keeps saying, “I love it so much I just want to squeeze someone!” (Please don’t be like Lennie please don’t be like Lennie please don’t be like Lennie…)

So how did any of this end up moving downstairs? Some of the most fragile items were put in the living room to keep them out of the way during the transition. The other day I noticed that they were all mostly musical—Katie’s electronic keyboard, recorder and ukulele, and Jack’s snare drum and bongos have all been placed near the piano. Add my flute and Katie’s microphone to the mix, and we’re the freakin’ Partridge Family!

In the interest of all things sophisticated, we’ve decided to call that corner of the living room the conservatory, or my preferred term, “conservatoire.” I know, I know—we’re way classy. Because as owners of a fancy set of Allen wrenches (that cannot be found) AND a conservatoire, well, we must be the envy of just about everyone. You’re jealous, aren’t you?


Jul. 18: But we’re the *real* winners

The RougeThe Rouge—my nephew’s band, in case you’ve not checked in here for a while or, like, EVER—were just voted Best Indie Pop Band in the 2009 Westword Music Showcase.

Are we surprised? Not one bit.

Are we thrilled, proud, elated, and honored to be connected to these fine young men? You bet!

Did we miss out by not attending the awards show in Denver this past week? It appears so.

Here’s a photo of The Rouge giving their acceptance speech. That’s Stephen on the far right, the tall guy not mooning the crowd. The white ass belongs to Josh, the lead singer. I like to think it’s his fun personality that led him to this impromptu part of the speech, but he probably had some help from Jack Daniels too.

Kathy didn’t make it to the award show either, but Josh promised he’d re-enact his performance for her anytime. Such a generous guy.


Jul. 18: I couldn’t eat another bite

I brag on my friend Sherilee, who is not just an adventurous cook, but one who takes appealing photos of her creations and often shares the recipes on her blog. But I’m pretty sure most of her best dishes would never end up on the site below. Most chefs would consider that a compliment, I hope.

This is why you’re fat is “where dreams become heart attacks,” and you’ll find photos and descriptions of unusually fattening and/or unhealthy foods (although some stretch the definition of “food”). It’s strangely awesome.

I read this description to Victor:

The Coronary Breakfast Club—a buttered toast club sandwich with six slices of bacon, two eggs, topped with cheddar cheese and covered with beef gravy.

… and he said, “You had me at buttered toast.” He’s easy.


Jul. 17: Ding-dong

I need more cowbell Victor thought of a good way to keep Millie from (successfully) hunting birds. The little jingle bell on her collar obviously isn’t giving the birds enough warning before she strikes, so he suggested we put a big ol’ cowbell on her. Sure, she’ll have to keep that little neck of hers UP so the bell doesn’t drag on the ground. But she’ll adjust. Stalk away, kitty! Just ignore the birds’ mocking laughter.

I married a genius. An idea man. A problem solver. A guy who gets things done.


Jul. 16: Close call

Millie is on the hunt again. This morning she caught a birds’ nest. I assume she was going for the bird and missed, but thought the consolation prize was worth bringing home. Again, she was proud proud proud, as evidenced by the photos I snapped before cleaning up the mess.

Proud kitty with her kill

Rolling in it--and spreading the mess around even more--is way cool 

OK, I haven’t actually cleaned up the mess yet because she’s still rolling around in it. But I totally will.


Jul. 15: Pain and suffering

A couple weeks ago I posed a question about what to do with three goldfish that we no longer wanted. I haven’t reported on the outcome of that decision, and I goldfishprobably should, lest you think the worst of me. First,  let me say that I appreciate the advice you offered. Lovely Lori H and her family adopted one of our goldfish, and he seems happy in his new home, though perhaps a bit blinded by the light streaming through their tank’s clear walls.

As for the other two fish, they’re still in our even greener aquarium. We’re still feeding them every day. We still have not made a decision about their future. Neither of us feel good about flushing them live, but we don’t like the idea of buying a new tank, either, which is the only way we can keep them for the long term. Anyone want two very cute and lively goldfish? One is all orange and the other is white. Lovely Lori H took the sexy black mohawked fishie.

I bring up this “dilemma” topic again, not because I felt the need to follow up; I am not nearly that conscientious. Rather, we were faced with a similar ethical emergency this evening and unsure of how it should best be handled. Here it is:

The cat brought home a little bird tonight. It was her second one; the first one was a few weeks ago and we distracted her and took it away immediately. Tonight’s bird, though, was still alive. Not just alive, but bird suffering—it was bloody and struggling to breathe—and Millie wasn’t done playing with it yet. She was upset when I carried her into the other room while Vic scooped the bird into a bag, and for the past hour has been walking around crying because she can’t find her peeping toy. She doesn’t seem to suspect us, though—she’s not crying AT us, but NEAR us.

In such a situation, what is the most humane thing to do with the bird? If it’s still alive but can’t be made well again, do we put it out of its misery? And if that’s what we chose to do, how exactly would that best be done? A shoe? A BB gun? The cat?

Y’know that very, very funny Merv Griffin episode of Seinfeld, when George’s girlfriend is so horrified because he runs over a squirrel? I always thought it was silly that they took the squirrel to the vet in the first place, but now, I’m not so sure it’s such a far-fetched option.

MIRANDA: Doctor, is the squirrel going to live?

DOCTOR: There’s been massive trauma. We could, of course, try to save him but it would be costly, difficult, and we’d have to send away for some special really tiny instruments.

GEORGE: Well, uh, are there any other options?

DOCTOR: We could put him to sleep.

GEORGE: What might that cost?

DOCTOR: Well, it’s by the pound. So ... about 80 cents.

GEORGE: Well? <Miranda hits George> I was just – I’m curious, that’s all. We, uh, we’d like you to do everything possible.

DOCTOR: He, um, he’s not going to be the same, you know?

GEORGE: Yeah. Yeah. I know.

Bringing the squirrel home and carrying it around in a Baby Bjorn, now THAT was a little far-fetched.

My sister’s reading this right now, undoubtedly waiting for me to bring up her personal experience with putting animals out of their misery. Normally I would not disappoint, Kath, but I think everyone’s heard the story because somehow—no thanks to me, I’m quite sure—this comes up at every party. In other words, when Kathy’s on the guest list, the critter-killer stories come up and the pants go down. She’s lucky I love her, that seester o’ mine.

Suggestions on the animal stuff are welcome in a comment.


Jul. 15: Lazy post of a damn, dirty cheater

twitter‘Member that one time, at band camp, when I shared twitters with you? I’m gonna do it again. See, I gotta get busy painting Katie’s room this morning but Loveliest Lori will wring her hands and my mom will wonder if I’m dead if I don’t post something every day, so I’m kinda cheating. While this is technically a blog post, it’s shockingly short on anything very Jen-ish. If you prefer the non-Jen type of posts, then, well, that’s just not very nice at all and maybe you should sit down on this chair that is totally not made of thumbtacks and live, angry earwigs.

On to the marvy tweets. If you’re not already aware of these twitterers, you should be. Name links go to their twitter pages where you can follow them.

thedayhascome Pressing the center of my steering wheel doesn't convey my hatred for you or your inability to navigate a motor vehicle.

Moltz I love my wife. She brought me coffee in bed. And said "This is all you're getting unless you want to suck up what I spilled on the stairs".

emilybrianna She builds perfect block towers? A wee architect! Savvy and charming? Our little politician! Well, my son just yelled at the Pacific Ocean.

wordlust In God's eyes, angels are actually real pests, or as He calls them--"zombies with wings".

thedayhascome My car horn would be more effective if it was augmented with a death ray.

gknauss The 4th of July is the best holiday: BBQ, fireworks, no in-laws, no presents, and the Declaration of Independence. Screw you, Christmas!

phillygirl Scheduling Round II of the Man v. Wasp bout. While man knocked out wasp in Round I w/Febreeze, wasp rebounded fragrantly & is ready for more.

CranberryPerson Good: I've been able to avoid dropping f-bombs in front of my kids. Bad: they gasp in shock when someone says "fudgesicles" or "fishsticks."

wordlust Dogs can teach us about following our dreams, even if we dream about rolling on the half-skeletonized corpse of a rat.

scottsimpson July 5, 1776: The Forefathers meet at Denny's and drink coffee in silence: the first Holy Shit Did We Just Do What I Think We Just Did? Day.

jkubicek Sometimes when I'm feeling particularly gangsta I hold the can sideways while I water the basil.

blaine23 Harry Potter and the Increasing Irrelevance Due To Twilight.

secretsquirrel A CV written in italicised Comic Sans? I'm sorry, sir, but we have no jobs for circus clowns here.

zuhl "Dad, may I have $2?" "No." "Why are you so mean to me?" "Because adopting you was a tragic error." "Mom!" "Won't help. She agrees with me."

wordlust Awesome word: stoutamisu. It's a dessert, it's a beer, it's an early death I'm willing to sign up for immediately.

CranberryPerson This CNN poll question "Is Obama tough enough?" is severely hindered by not having a "why don't you shut the hell up, CNN?" option.

Remiel WARNING: HUGE SPOILER. On that tiny, tiny Civic.

KatyDidSays Drove past a car with a sign on it that said "No Fat Chicks." Tried to give him the finger but somehow ended up giving a thumbs up instead.

You can count on these twitterers being clever and amusing again. And you can most certainly count on me reminding you of that. Until then—


Jul. 14: Decorating and un-decorating

Y’know how you start a project by making a list of the things that’ll need to be done? And you write down something like “paint walls” without thinking that about 400 things need to happen before the paint will actually go on those walls? Argh. That’s where we are now in this major upstairs re-do in the house.

Over the weekend we got the carpets cleaned, cleared out the playroom, and picked up every single Lego in Jack’s room. I pulled the pirate wallpaper border off Jack’s wall, necessitating quite a bit of paint touch-up—not surprising, but just one more thing to extend our to-do list. Katie and I tackled her room yesterday, getting most of the closet cleared but (in my opinion) not nearly enough junk thrown away.

We’ve moved Katie’s bed into her new room, and Jack’s mattress in his new room. They were both excited to sleep in their new, though far-from-finished, bedrooms and because it was so late by the time we moved them, they fell right asleep. Today we’ll move a few more large items. Slowly, very slowly, we are making progress.

Can’t remember if I wrote that Jack has decided to move to Katie’s old room. Originally he had no interest, until I told him that if he wanted different colored walls, he’d have to move. The difficulty with this decision is that his loft bed needs to be disassembled to be moved out of his room, and this is something about which we are not thrilled. In an effort to make less work for ourselves, Vic and I tried to convince Jack to take Katie’s room as-is; the lavender walls are because it’s sunset and the flowers are because Indiana Jones is exploring nature. Jack didn’t fall for it. Dang.

It made me a little bit sad to de-girl Katie’s walls, because it was such a fun room for me to decorate. Here’s what it looked like:





If you look closely in the last photo, you can see the “bee lines” I drew. These go (went!) all around the room. While most of the bees, ladybugs and flowers—hundreds of them, which I made using plaster and a candy mold, and then painted—are in the top 12 inches or so of the wall, this particular bunch is at eye level as you walk in the bedroom door. I loved this room.

As I pulled the pirate border off Jack’s wall, I tried to remember if I had taken any pictures of his room after we pirate-d it. I don’t think we did. This distresses me greatly, but not enough to put the border back up. Here are pictures of his room when it was still a nursery, which Katie’s been studying as she makes plans for her own dog/cat-themed room:

jacksroom1 jacksroom2 jacksroom3

This was another really fun room to decorate. I started with the bedding—no longer available at Pottery Barn Kids, of course, so I had to rely on eBay because I make everything extra-difficult for myself—and chose a very light version of the green in the quilt for the walls. I painted unfinished wood frames and filled them with pictures of friends’ and family dogs. Using a paint marker, I wrote dog-related sayings around the room, and added bone and pawprint Wallies for fun. I made curtains out of a duvet cover and used grosgrain ribbon in the quilt colors to hang them. When Jack transitioned into a twin bed I was able to find a larger quilt on eBay—lucky me. It made me kinda sad to undo this room too, but Jack was never the dog lover we expected he’d be.

He’s chosen Indiana Jones for his new bedroom, but he changes his interests so frequently that I’m not wanting to put a lot of work or money into this change. I’m painting the walls, and we’ll hang movie posters or framed Indy art, if he wants. But I’m not doing much more. Check out one lucky kid’s Indy room decor:

Please please PLEASE promise me you will not show this video to Jack.

We’re headed to IKEA again today to pick up some things we weren’t sure about when we went last week. Also, meatballs.



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