Sep. 30: September in review

septHere’s my summary of September 2012. The little owl image is in honor of my friend Sherilee, who has, as she puts it, “a thing for owls.”

Special days I celebrated this month and how:

  • Kim F’n-W Day! Kim’s birthday was the 6th, as well as my cousin Deanna’s and friend Dan’s. What a terrific day to celebrate three terrific people! Kim and I decided long ago that September is Kimjenber until the 7th, when we change over to Jenkimber. Sooo… the 6th is special for that reason too.
  • Wendy’s birthday! Fun surprise-y lunch on Thirsty Thursday. Yay!
  • MY birthday! It was mostly fab, but-cept for this.
  • Tina’s birthday! That was last Friday, and we had a girls’ night out with Val and Theresa. It was a fantastic evening and left us all quite flammable. 
  • Those weren’t even all the celebrations on my calendar this month—Julianne, Jacob, Mack, Megan, Lafe, April, Margaret, and Hawaii Laura all had birthdays too.

Gifts I gave and/or received this month:

  • I gave and received lotsa birthday gifts—what fun!
  • I received one gift that deserves its own blog post. Hopefully I’ll be able to write it up soon. It’s a doozy.

Books I read this month:

  • My concentration has been lacking lately, so I haven’t been reading as much as usual. This month I re-read Why Girls Are Weird—I was needing something familiar and comforting, not to mention hilariously, intensely readable.
  • Right now I’m about two-thirds of the way through A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It’s been on my list for years—how have I gotten to this age without ever reading it before? I blame my Adventist education and teachers who thought all fiction was the devil’s work. Pfffft. Anyway, I adore the book so far, and I kinda don’t want it to end.

Movies and TV shows worth mentioning:

All the new episodes of the shows I’ve missed all summer: I’ve been welcoming them back with open arms eyes. I love Hulu Plus.

This month’s disappointments:

  • Can I be happy for a friend who flew off to a Hawaiian vacation today and still be totally bummed out that I’m not there too? If so, then that. Hope you’re having fun, Val!
  • The anniversary of 9/11 brings up tragic of memories of that day. I don’t know if it ever won’t. It shouldn’t.
  • I hate being reminded of how mean and immature some people can be. It’s a lot nicer to go through life pretending they don’t exist, or at least not paying any attention to them. But then they get in your face, and UGH, you just feel like you’re in junior high again.

My accomplishments:

  • Lots of school stuff you don’t care about. Unfortunately, the busy-ness of school keeps me from blogging more often. You may not care about that either. You’re mean.
  • I’ve sat through Jack’s football games without falling asleep. I read a magazine at one of ‘em, though. Vic called me “Darlene” because apparently his mom used to take reading materials to Mariners games. I would never take a magazine to a *real* game!
  • I’ve been getting lots of extra sleep. My body’s been telling me it’s tired, and I’ve been listening;—people are supposed to do that, right? Sooo… when it’s 9pm and I can’t keep my eyes open, I go to bed. There’ve been nights I’ve slept 11 hours—it’s quite lovely. This translates into needing fewer naps, which I haven’t had time for anyway, so my days have been more productive too.

Anything else noteworthy:

  • Vic’s car is fixed. I didn’t like being a one-car family at all—way too much planning required.
  • Katie started cross-country, and she’s hardly taken off her sweatshirt since. It’s very Sue Heck.
  • Stephanie has reconsidered her bet with me now that Romney is goin’ down in flames. I should probably insist that a bet’s a bet, and make her do something horribly Democrat-y on Election Day. Lucky for her I like her so much, I’ll be kind no matter what.
  • I have funny things:






Later, doods.


Sep. 18: Woman without a face

faceI waited until the last minute to renew my driver license, not so I could spend the whole of my birthday at the DMV, but because I am a dolt. I’ve decided that the DMV is a lot like the post office, but-cept people have to stand in line much longer and are therefore angrier by the time they get called. Also, the stink. And the lack of stamps.

I went to the suburbs, thinking the lines would be shorter. I thought wrong; the place was packed. They were calling “#73” when I walked in and my number was 34. I hoped they started over at 100 and not 1,000.

Since I had all my paperwork and identification ready, I was allowed to go straight to the express line, which was supposedly shorter and moved faster. I don’t know what was “express” about my line, because I stood there forever before it ever moved. I knew there was a problem when I heard an old guy 17 spaces in front of me yell, “Since when do you need to see my birth certificate?” and I thought OH LORD, I’M NEVER GOING TO SEE THE FRONT OF THIS LINE AND I’M GOING TO DIE HERE ON MY BIRTHDAY. They would totally cover that up in the obituary, too—that’s how our government agencies conspire against us.

Mr. Too-Old-To-Be-Driving-Anyway stomped off to find his proof of birth, and the line started to move again. When it was my turn, Miss Nice Lady DMV Person #1 was surprisingly smiley and sweet (prob’ly because I had all the documentation I needed—A+ for Jen!). After looking at my papers, she said HAPPY BIRTHDAY! but I detected a tone of snark in her voice, as though she was chiding me for waiting until the last minute to renew my license and was barely holding in YOU WOULDN’T BE SPENDING YOUR BIRTHDAY IN SUCH A MISERABLE PLACE IF YOU’D PLANNED BETTER.

It didn’t take long, and she told me to go to Miss Nice Lady DMV Person #2’s counter for my photo. Miss Nice Lady DMV Person #2 told me to look into a little square below the camera lens and wait four seconds. It flashed and she said I could stand up. She started pushing a bunch of keys on her keyboard and said, “I’m gonna need to take another picture” and asked me to sit again. This time she told me to put my chin down a little, and four seconds later I got up again. She was chatty about the weather and then interrupted herself and said, “Hang on.” She went to the counter next to her and asked Mr. Nice Guy DMV Person #3 a question. He answered “no,” and directed her to Miss Nice Lady DMV Person #4, who also said “no.” Finally, Miss Nice Lady DMV Person #5 said that YES, she could override the system.

I heard that and was all, WTF?

What’s so wrong with my picture that it requires an override?

Miss Nice Lady DMV Person #5 came down to Miss Nice Lady DMV Person #2’s counter and asked me to sit and look at the square below the camera lens. Then she said LEAN FORWARD. I leaned forward. She said MORE. I leaned more. She said to turn my face a bit to the right. Too much. A little more. Chin up. Down. Down more. Then the camera flashed.

I stood up, thinking that was pa-lenty of DMV photos for Jen for one day! And Miss Nice Lady DMV Person #5 said quietly to Miss Nice Lady DMV Person #2, “Yes, I’ll have to override the system. It doesn’t think she has a face.”

I said, “Wha-a-a-t?” Yep, four syllables. “Wha-a-a-t? It doesn’t think I have a face?”


Miss Nice Lady DMV Person #5 finally said, “Our facial recognition software is comparing this picture to the one from 2004 and it doesn’t think you’re the same person. We just have to assure it that you are.”

I asked why the software didn’t think I was still me, and she said, “Probably your curls.” (Stoopid cancer.) I think I heard her mutter something after that, and I’m not entirely sure she said AND ALSO THE ZITS AND THE GREY HAIR AND THE WRINKLES AND THE MUSTACHE but I totally bet you she did.


Sep. 10: Lots of nothing. At least it’s something.

tidbitsThe fact that my last handful of posts are all tidbits of nothingness? Well, it speaks volumes about the status of my thinking lately. So, without apologies, here we go again.

  • Recently Victor and I tried valiantly to explain Back to the Future to Jack. Funny that a movie franchise that made perfect sense to us 25+ years ago sounds idiotic when telling today’s generation about it. We got a lot of blank stares as we hee-hawed over plot twists and manure being dumped on Biff.

    Somehow the conversation turned to my father-in-law’s profession before he retired. We reminded Jack that Grandpa delivered babies, and Jack said with his ever-sarcastic grin, “So, Grandpa’s a bird?” Yes, Jack. Your grandfather is a stork. Grandpa can fly. Dur.

    Our son, Jack: biggest dork ever.
  • I’ve said before that there are dads at school who are—how shall I say it?—DREAMBOAT-Y. At a meeting today, someone mentioned that one of the dreamboatier dads had suggestions about a new policy at school, and we said it’d be nice if he came to our meeting to share his thoughts. I imagine his presence at our meetings would go something like this:
    “Thank, you, Dreamy Dad™, for your input, but I cannot hear you with your shirt on.”

    And there would also be a lot of:

    “Oops, I dropped my huge pile of papers again! How clumsy of me! Dreamy Dad™, would you mind bending over to pick them up for me AGAIN? I’ll just stand back here, out of your way, and watch.”


    “Hey Dreamy Dad™, I’m having a hard time getting this donut into my mouth. Can you help me? Slowly?”
    … and this is probably exactly the reason we so seldom have guest speakers at our meetings.
  • Do you know how long it takes to transfer a domain name and get one’s email address fully functioning again? A really, really long time. Like, an anxiety-increasing, blood pressure-raising, seems-way-longer-than-it-is length of time. Pffft.
  • Here’s a good way to remind yourself that your monster of a puppy isn’t the most giant beast that ever was: take her to the dog park. There was a Great Dane there that Lucy could have walked under. She’s still no petite flower, but it’s somewhat reassuring to know that bigger dogs do exist.
  • Stephanie made a deal with me that if Romney wins the election, I have to wear an I ♥ Republicans shirt, and if Obama is re-elected, she has to sing the praises of Democrats. I am slightly regretting that we shook on it in front of witnesses. However, I’m thinking positive thoughts because I hope so very much that she’ll have to drive around with that Obama Odyssey wrap I’m designing… Wouldn’t that be so awesome for me??? Of course, I also just plain hope that Romney does NOT win.






    mp black hagrid mr T


    I think I’ve found our next Christmas card photo:




    Have a good week!



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