Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sleepless in Grand Junction

I'm not for certain, but I think the reason I couldn't stay asleep last night was because Uber-husband and I sat in bed and read before turning the lights out instead of sitting, like plops of lard, in front of the television.

I mean, it just doesn't make any sense. I was tired. I was comfortable. But I could only stay asleep for minutes at a time.

Sleeping in the winter is always tricky for us because we're not alone when it's cold.

No, we've got one cat that loves to walk all over us and sleep on a hip, shoulder, head ... whatever is appealing to her.

And, despite our efforts to get her to sleep with the kid or — heaven forbid — her kennel, we often wake up with the dog curled up into a tiny ball at the foot of our bed ... under the covers, right where my feet should be.

That's a picture of our dog, Quincy.

She's an Italian greyhound.

Basically, she's a miniature greyhound. She stand about 15" at the shoulder and weighs about 15 pounds.

And as you can readily see from the photo, she's supa-fast. What you can't tell from the photo, but is immediately apparent when you walk into our house, is that she's absolutely the neediest creature alive.

When people other than Uber-husband or myself come into our house, the dog hurtles herself at the sorry visitor like a teenager after a ringing cell phone.

If you make the mistake of trying to sit on the sofa, there she is, all up in your grill, trying to give you the love that she knows you need and hoping with her desperate, little, doggie heart that you'll love her in return.

It's really pathetic. But she's our dog and I rarely want to kill her anymore (this was not the case when we decided it was a good idea to get a puppy when Wee One was a 4-month-old baby — stupid is as stupid does).

Despite her neediness, she's a relatively good dog.

She doesn't bark very much at all. She's great company for Wee One — the two of them love to roughhouse and dash around chasing each other.

She's also a good camping dog. She stays close to camp and we don't have to keep her on a leash (unlike at home, where she'll run off the first chance she gets). She's a good hiker, too.

But really, she's built for one thing: running.

She's so amazing when we take her out to sprint around the school field. We don't have to throw a ball or frisbee, she'll just take off.

Her stick-figure-like body stretches out into the long, lean lines of a runner and then, she's gone.

She'll run in giant, graceful circles around us. Then I'll call her and she'll tack around, heading directly at me, but at the last possible minute, she'll dodge my legs, brushing my pant leg.

She's five now and I still find myself delighted by the sight of Quincy running at full speed.

I find it remarkable that we can not only breed a dog whose entire body composition lends itself to the act of running, but to also instill the hunger for the run.

If the powers that be in the dog-breeding kingdom had only included into the Italian greyhound the desire to sleep in a kennel, I'd have fewer bags under my eyes.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Weekend silliness

I wanted to upload a poop-pot full of pictures for today's entry, but Blogger seems to be suffering from some lethargic illness causing uploads to drag on for way too long.

It's Monday, I've got class tonight. I don't have all day to horse around here (OK, I do have a lot of time to horse around, but I'm impatient).

So I created a collage of the pictures I wanted to upload.

And here it is:

Saturday we celebrated Debbie's birthday (She's pictured with Wee One in the upper, right-hand corner). She's 29 (again)! And as with all 29-year-olds, she wanted to celebrate her 29th year (again) by playing Risk: the classic game of global domination.

I like playing Risk. I like winning at Risk, too. So we played Saturday night, it was fun, blah, blah, blah. I didn't win.

While playing the game of global domination, we kept an eye on ye olde human clock, as I was bound and determined to see at least one of my photos up on that site.

And at precisely, 10:29 p.m. mountain standard time (the time zone that time forgot), we all witnessed Riveter featured on the human clock.

And yes, that is a picture of ye olde iMac at the precise moment that our picture came up (I'm lame, I've said it before. It shouldn't be surprising to y'all). (Notice the Risk box on top of the computer.)

A general good time was had by all.

Sunday, I spent a good portion of the morning in the basement having a love affair with ye brand-spanking, new G5 iSight iMac.

I downloaded, organized and Photoshopped photos and created the collage from yesterday's post.

I've read several reviews of the new iMacs. They mention the new features, including the Photobooth program that allows you to take any number of distorted and generally freaked out pictures of yourself. One review said that Photobooth will likely be a program that the new user plays with once and then forgets.

Not us, we use it whenever we have people over. Everyone must have their picture taken (and their height recorded on the wall). House rules.

It's a good time.

But not nearly as much fun as it is taking pictures outside the house ... in strange places, like the grocery store.

Hence the bottom four pictures in the collage.

Our fellow shoppers didn't quite know what to make of me directing Uber-husband to move his head closer and closer to the meat in order to get yet another shot for the ... human clock.

You can just imagine my screechy voice, "No, move your head closer to the rump roast!"

OK, I'll admit that I am a bit obsessed with the human clock, but at least it's not clementines, eh?

Sunday, January 29, 2006


This is a rare weekend post from yours truly, but I couldn't help myself.

I've taken a whole bunch of pictures this weekend — some of our supa-fast dog, some more human clock photos and some birthday photos — I'm anxious to blog about them ... but that will have to wait until Monday when I have more time at work (I love my job.).

We've been having a great weekend thanks to our very fun friends! So Woo for this weekend!

Here's a collage of pictures we've taken with our new iSight iMac PhotoBooth program.

We spend entirely too much time taking pictures of ourselves with this, but it's completely addiciting! Some of these pictures make me hurt myself laughing. (Mark, what the hell is wrong with your eye?)

Check it:

Friday, January 27, 2006

The giant suckitude

Yeah, that giant sucking sound you hear is coming from me.

I suck so badly that I've created this black hole of suckiness all around me.

I keep ducking and be-bopping my huge melon around, trying to avoid all things sucky but the gravitational pull is too great and it all whiplashes around and smacks me in the face and embeds into my skin.

But there's no reason to feel sorry for me, as it's karma's reminding me that I reap what I sow.

Damn that karma.

But I'm a firm believer in that which does not kill you, makes you stronger.

So if I can survive this week, there's no reason I can't get it together enough to at least fake my way through the rest of my life.

(Damn, am I full of cliches today or what?

And, man oh man, it was a week of giant suckitude:

* I've been teaching art appreciation at the college for about 4 years now. I really enjoy teaching (even if the students seem to be getting either more lazy or more stupid — or both — each semester) and have developed a really comprehensive class.

Monday was my first class of the spring semester. It was, by far, the worst class I'd ever had.

My books weren't ordered — probably my fault.

My syllabi weren't photocopied correctly in that over half of them were missing the bottom 1/3 of the text — I didn't make the copies, but I should've looked at them.

Worst of all, was that there was a typo on my syllabus — my fault unequivocally.

I believe that the first class is when you establish credibility and set the tone for the class. I set a tone of disorganization and ineptness.

It's going to be a long semester.

* At my day job, I deal with the editorials, letters to the editor and columns written by our editorial staff. I found out this week that we've been leaving out a step in the process to make sure all these items are properly archived. We've lost much of a year's worth of letters, editorials and columns.

This wasn't my fault, but it sucks beyond words. All the time I spent meticulously coding and routing our materials was wasted and we have nothing to show for it.

Just thinking about this still makes my blood boil.

* And to put a cherry on top of the shit pile, this morning at 7:20 while I was stumbling through my morning, the doorbell rings and in walks my husband's ex-wife.

I wasn't even dressed and there she is, in all her trollish glory, standing in my living room.

It doesn't matter what she wanted, there is NO reason on God's green earth that she should be barging her gargoylesque ass into my my house at 7:20 in the morning unannounced, fer Pete's sake.

Yeah, sorry to have wasted y'alls time with my bitchy ramblings, but it's just one of those days.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday miscellany

It's Wednesday and there's no chocolate-chip muffins in the snack machine.

And my band didn't make it into the gogirlsmusic.com SXSW music festival that is being held in Austin this spring break. Normally, I'd post a link to the event, but since those %$@!s didn't accept us, I'm not going to go through the trouble of inserting a link.

Oh, and yes, I did just censor myself there. For those that know me outside the cyberworld, know I like to swear like a mutha ... um, I mean, sailor. But I've decide to tone my colorful language down ... for a while at least.

See, my beloved Uber-husband sent the link to this sorry-excuse for a blog to his family in New York (Big shout out to the family in Barker ... canna geta "Woo"?) and I'm still trying to convince them that I'm good enough to be part of the McCracken clan, so I'm gonna try to act right (I know I've attempted this before with miserable results, but it's a new year).

OK, onward with the minutia:

I found a quarter this morning. (Hey, when you've been having a crumby week like I have, find any amount of money is a good sign.)

Also, two photos Uber-husband took at our show Friday are going to be on the Human Clock and I loves me some Human Clock.

The interesting thing about these photos is that he took them at exactly the time shown on the paper. I mean, he could've just taken the pictures during sound check and called it good.

But he didn't and I can prove it. Check out Laurena's shirts in each picture. Behind that heart-shaped bass, you can see different shirts in each picture.

Yes, we like to change shirts in between sets. You could see that I'm wearing a different shirt, too, but Johnny and his camera phone are in the way in the second one.

What's funny is that now I have three pictures up on the Human Clock and the chances of me ever seeing any of them are pretty slim. One picture is 6:11 a.m. and these two new ones are late at night — these just aren't times that I'm on the computer or if I am, I doubt I'll even remember to look.

Oh well, at least I know they're there. I guess they are like Santa.

We started going to yoga again.

Here's a picture of me in class last night.

Yes, I'm super strong like that.

What? No, that's me. My hair just looks dark and I appear to have lost a good 20 pounds. Yoga will totally do that for you.

K. Well, I think that's all I got for today. Maybe tomorrow I'll find a whole dollar.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

No bull

So, Friday, my band played at the local cowboy bar/live music venue.

That's us. Bridgett (on the far left) plays the drums and sings. Her harmonies rock. Plus she sings lead on a couple of songs, one she even plays the guitar on. Kelley Pants is our new lead singer. She's a great addition to the band. Great sense of humor which is mandatory for me. If you ain't funny, I ain't listening. I'm next to Kelley with Laurena on my lap (that's right, she's sittin' on my lap ... woo). Laurena plays the bass and sings harmonies.

They are three very talented women and I'm lucky that they let me play along. But it's not like I don't have my strong suits. I play with enthusiasm. And really enthusiasm can get you a long way (at least that is what I keep telling myself).

So Friday night's show was a long one for us. Three sets. No opening band.

We worked hard getting ready. Kelly had mere weeks to learn two dozen songs.

But we felt ready.

Unfortunately, we struggled through our first set and with parts of our second. I made some stupid mistakes and we just didn't mesh like we normally do.

After the second set, we were all feeling pretty down. I was determined that we were going to bring it around for the third set and knew that drastic times calls for drastic measures.

I rounded up the girls and suggested we seek an attitude adjustment from Jagermeister. The four of us bellied up to the bar and after a round of shots and some beer, we were feeling much better.

And in my case, much, much, better. It's been almost two years since I quit drinking.

I'd forgotten how much fun it was to feel the buzz only alcohol can bring.

Our third set rocked. We were loose, we played well and most importantly, we had fun.

The alcohol went to my head rather quickly and thin veneer of inhibitions cracked.

I wouldn't say I was out of hand, but I was very happy to tell the story of the time I peed into our now-abandoned tip jar in a moving vehicle on our way into San Francisco.

And I do believe I spent too much time announcing, "I like beeeerrrrr!" into the microphone.

After the show we spent a long time horsing around the bar, singing funk songs into the microphones instead of packing up our gear.

While it wasn't a great show, it was great fun.

Oh and to the disappointment of some, they don't set up their mechanical bull during live shows. Oh, well, maybe next time.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The beat goes on

That's Dave Wakeling from the English Beat.

This is Uber-husband and I with Dave Wakeling from the English Beat.

Yeah, we were just kicking it with the English Beat backstage at their show here Saturday.

That's what life in Grand Junction can afford you ... the opportunity to hang out some amazing musicians.

And in Uber-husband's case, not only did he get to hang out with the English Beat but his little band the Wrong Impressions got to be one of the opening acts.

And I got to soak it all in. It was nice getting all the benefits of "being with the band" but not having to actually do all the work associated with playing. I got enough of that Friday night when my band played.

Friday night was quite a night ... good, bad and unusual. But I'll tell that story tomorrow.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Wish me luck!

Please, yes, do wish me luck.

My band, Riveter, is playing tonight. And I'm very excited about the show — we've got a handful of new songs and we're going to be having some really fun contests.

I love, love, love playing music. The adrenaline rush is amazing.

But I need luck because I opened my big mouth ... again.

I promised here that after the show, I'd ride this:














I'm an idiot.

But I made the promise.

I only hope that I don't break a hip.

Wish me luck ... I'm gonna need it.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Where's King Kong when you need him

Unfortunately for me and all those who have to deal with me on a daily basis, I've been a damsel in distress as of late.

For the last 8 days — that's right, 8 days — I've been suffering migraine headache after migraine headache.

I've suffered with migraines for several years. Each year they get a little worse.

I've tried many remedies and preventatives: anti-depressants, hormones, blood-pressure medication, anti-seizure medication, acupuncture, yoga. Some helped a little, some made them worse, some were too expensive to continue, some helped a lot but the side-effects were too dangerous.

I'd like to think that I suffer with grace and dignity, all perfect hair, never-smudged makeup and flowing diaphanous gown.

But the reality is that I'm more Homer Simpson than Fay Wray.

I've never been good at suffering.

I act like a child, all whiny and petulant. I've even been known to stomp my feet — it's surprising how good that feels initially, but once I come to terms with the fact that nothing good comes from stomping, I just feel like a boob holding a sock full of sand.

But I manage to get to work every day and suffer through 8 hours of piercing pain in my head that is often usurped by the always-rumbling nausea.

It's sucks like hot ass, like paper cuts and lemon juice, like flooded basements and smashed cars, like crab fishing and dying in a bar fight. It sucks like nothing has ever sucked before.

I've had the cat scans, MRIs, blood tests, blah, blah and they all reveal the same thing ... that I just get migraines for the sake of having migraines. No brain tumor or spinal cysts. No reason that can be fixed.

Sometimes I get despondent and desperate. Sometimes I'm accepting of my plight (rarely). There's nothing that can be done. I know this, but still there are the days that I wish a giant gorilla hand swipe me out of this suffering, casting off my migrainey shelll like a hermit crab's too-small shell.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wee One wants you ...

... to do her bidding.

But, please don't bother her. Can't you see she's resting?

Because sometimes you just gotta lie the hell down on a restaurant banquette and ignore the mom person as much as possible in order to get the mom person's blood pressure pumping so that vein on the side of her head is visible. Because then, and only then, will she get up off her lazy mom ass and get you some chocolate milk.

Despite the fact that she was being willful and disobedient when I snapped this picture, I love it. I know I was frustrated with her when I clicked the shutter of my camera, but the image that was captured is such the epitome of her.

Her gestures and her ability to speak more with her eyebrows and fingertips is both super entertaining and aneurysm-inducingly frustrating.

And for that reason, I consider myself a very lucky person. My kid could be persistently willful, always disobedient, never funny or entertaining. But she's not.

She's sometimes overzealous, sometimes hard-headed, sometimes she can even be mean. But more often, she's kind and compassionate (you haven't lived until a 5-year-old volunteers to rub your back to make you feel better), she's smart and inquisitive and she's (in her words) "her-larious."

And for those reasons, I will do her bidding.

P.S. Last night, I was clipping Wee One's fingernails and toenails into the toilet. After a while, she began to bid the cast-off clippings farewell. "Enjoy the ride!" she called after a toenail clipping. "Don't think about the sewer. It's pretty gross down there," she advised a fingernail clipping (she knows this to be true because of her fascination with the show Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel).

I'll take the willful any day, so long as the entertaining side of her character comes along, too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A time to soak

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his oh-so-not-at-all-mocky life goal of racial equality, I spent the holiday yesterday surrounded by diversity ... in a stew of humanity, the Glenwood Hot Springs. The picture to the left shows what the springs look like in winter ... heavenly (but I'll go in the summer, too).

I love soaking my sorry ass in hot, mineral-laden water. And that, my friends, is an understatement, soaking my sorry ass in hot, mineral-laden water is almost a necessity. I am so lucky to live near several hot springs and can avail myself to their healing powers on a semi-regular basis.

We stayed in the hotel associated with the springs. Sunday evening we drove through a mild, winter snowstorm and arrived in time to have a nighttime soak while it snowed on us. Wonderful. Truly.

As we sat in the very hot, therapy pool, each snowflake pierced our exposed skin like a tiny, icy pin prick and contrasted delightfully with the steamy water that seemed to liquify our bones.

After we were good and over-heated, we quickly hiked back up the hill to our hotel room. The remarkable thing was that despite the fact that it was snowing, we were soaked head to toe and were wearing only bathing suits, the two-minute walk was really refreshing.

I thought we'd be ice cubes by the time we got back to our room, but instead we were ready to snuggle in our beds and watch a silly family movie.

The whole trip, while quick, was wonderfully fun (I'm omitting the fact that when not in the water, I suffered a tad from menstrual maladies that affected my mood — but only slightly).

This is a picture of Wee One on our way down yesterday morning. After breakfast, we again donned our suits and schlepped our way down to the pool.

We soaked for almost three hours. Three hours!

When we finally did get out, it wasn't because I was ready, but because it seemed like we should.

I was in a total zen state of mind. The last hour saw my bloated carcass being floated around the pool like a human-shaped air mattress.

I floated blissfully on my back, only a small oval of my face exposed to the air. Uber-husband guided me around like a cargo raft being led down the Colorado River.

Occassionally, my content grin would crack and I'd laugh, never opening my eyes. I'd laugh at the absurdity of me being lead around like some horrible pool toy.

Only I can be absolutely relaxed in both mind and body, but still have the need to laugh at myself.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Of daddies and daughters

It's been said by some people that, on occasion, yours truly will enjoy — but only slightly, of course — being the center of attention.

Gasp! I know, it's shocking.

Most people who know me know that I'm timid, demure and that it takes some coaxing for me to come out of my shell.

Or maybe I'm the exact opposite ... tomatos, tomahtos!

But one thing is for sure, I love to be the one making people laugh or even (and most often) making myself laugh — (I totally crack myself up all the time. I'm great company for myself. Is that sad and pathetic? Proly).

So it's sometimes hard for me when my kid and my husband form their own little comedy duo. They love to giggle over general silliness.

Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy general silliness too. But sometimes the fart jokes are a little played out. And I do find myself less than entertained when they speak in their own made-up language, which uses "poopy" as the derivative for every word.

Once they realize that I'm not playing along, I become the stodgy, straight man to their kindergarten antics.

Then I feel old and mom-like knowing that no matter what I saw or how I react, one of them will say the magic word, "poopy," and they both will dissolve into a puddle of teary-eyed giggles.

My only defense is to leave them to enjoy their scatological revelry and retreat to the basement ... and my guitar.

At least when I'm alone, I can always be the center of attention.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Of cowboy bars and rock 'n' roll bands

One week from tomorrow my band, Riveter will be playing our first show of the year.

Not only is it the first show of the year, but it's the first full show with our new singer. Pants joined our band just before Thanksgiving last year. (That's her in the poster, second from the right.)

At the last show, Pants sang the first set. The second set saw us saying goodbye to our original singer.

So not only is this the first show of the new year, the first show entirely with our new singer, but we have a bunch of new music as well. A couple originals and a few super fun covers.

But that's not all ... Jan. 20 will mark our first show of the year, the first time with Pants leading whole show, the first time we'll be playing a bunch of new songs, but also the first time Riveter will be playing in what is ostensibly a country bar.

The club is called Midnight Rodeo ... sounds country to me and I'm not the only one.

We play an eclectic mix of rock 'n' roll — there's something for everyone: Ramones, AC/DC, Everclear, Neil Young, Dramarama, Bob Dylan, Neko Case, Poison (yep, one of our new covers is a Poison song — it's fun, don't laugh).

There's something for everyone — unless you're a cowboy.

We've been assured that despite the name, the venue draws a varied crowd.

I sure hope so.

One of my favorite things about playing music is drawing in the crowd, winning over the skeptics and rocking the diehards.

We do have the one thing that sets us apart from most other bands — we're all girls and I know that is something even cowboys can appreciate.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Google ads are killer

My kid started kindergarten last August — it has been a roller coaster ride to say the least.

She is a very bright and very precocious child. She has been doing very well academically so far this year. Her behavior ... well, that's another matter altogether.

She went through a period in which she was getting time-outs daily at both school and her daycare. Mostly her problem was that she was talking and horsing around instead of doing her work. We took this very seriously and tried in several different ways to get her to understand the importance of being a good student and learning as much as she can.

Since returning to school after winter break, her behavior has been very good (knock on wood).

Today, as I stood waiting for her to come out school, I saw that the other kids had what appeared to be report cards (really they are report sheets of pink paper).

When she saw me, Wee One screamed, "Mama!" and quickly attached her little self to my left leg. I scooped her up in my arms and carried her to the car.

It was one of those moments where we were both so happy to see each other; like it had been 4 years instead of 4 hours since we'd been together. I always make sure to savor these moments; these times when the connection between mother and daughter is all encompassing and pure and better than I could have ever imagined.

On the drive to her daycare, I attempted the very dangerous multi-task: I tried to read her report card and drive the car without killing myself, my kid or anyone having this misfortune to be driving or walking within a 2 block radius of my car.

By the time I had dropped her at daycare and returned home, I had perused the document completely twice.

There are 47 areas upon which she was assessed using the following criteria: Demonstrates Consistently (the highest mark given), Progressing, Needs Improvement and lastly, Needs More Time and Help to Develop (the lowest level of achievement).

She earned 27 of the highest marks, Demonstrates Consistently.
She was considered to be Progressing in 13 areas.
And in 5 areas she was found to be Needing Improvement.
There were no Need More Time and Help to Develop marks.

I should start by saying that I am very pleased that she earned the highest mark in more than 60 percent of the areas.

It's those Needs Improvement marks that draw concern.

Not because I don't think she can improve. I know she will be printing her last name better and use capitalization and punctuation soon. Those two areas are easy to address.

It's the other three Need Improvement areas that cause the worry lines to deepen and the grey hairs to reproduce like bunnies hopped up on Viagra.

The very first assessment area on the report card: "Shows self-control." Wee One's very first report card assessment: "Need Improvement."

Despite the fact that I was a very good student, I can attest that self-control has never been tops on my list of positive personality traits ... I don't think it even scores in the top 50 on Uber-husband's. Can parents who lack self-control teach it to their child? At this point, I think we can safely say No. But there's always hope, eh?

Neither am I surprised by the Needs Improvement in working and playing well with others. She Bossy the cow, fer reals.

It's the last area that Needs Improvement that horrifies me the most: Keeps hands and feet to self.

'the hell? She's one of those kids? You know the ones, all touchy-grabby with their little kid hands and feet getting all up in everyone else's business. Yikes!

So now I am saddled with how to teach a bossy kid with no self-control to keep her hands and feet to herself.

Do they have special summer camps for kids who are impulsive, who don't understand personal space and want to tell everyone else what to do?

I'm gonna check with Google.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Fruit cocktail

Hey. What are you doing tomorrow morning at exactly 6:11 a.m.? Nothing but sleeping you say?

Sweet! Then you can haul your lazy cookies outta bed and go to Human Clock and see my artful (not!) submission ... clementines and their peels, of course. (Click on the picture of the deer ... where it says "View the Clock.")

The Human Clock rocks! Basically every minute a different picture appears with the time somewhere in the picture.

I can't precisely put my finger on the reason that I'm so enamored with the Human Clock,but it's a great time waster, that's for sure.

After a couple of days of watching random times throughout the day, I knew I had to create my own submission.

Last Friday morning, I was eating my daily dozen clementines. (DISCLAIMER: For those new to RiveterGirl, you can be assured that my obsessions fade and are replaced quickly. There will be several entries about my obsession du jour, then you'll read nary a word. So the clementine phase will pass just as the Jesse James and Eddie Spaghetti phases have passed.)

Then I realized that my beauteous citrus fruit would make a great subject for my Human Clock submission.

The Human Clock dude agreed and I learned in a e-mail today that starting tomorrow, at precisely 6:11 a.m., my delicious clementines will announce the time to the world.

That was my good news for the day. The bad news is that my kitty, Bing, is not well.

He was well this morning when I left him at the vet's office to get his teeth cleaned. But 45 minutes later when the doctor called me, he was all-of-a-sudden riddled with health conditions.

Apparently during the pre-anesthesia examination, the doctor found that he had some kind of eye issue that requires me to put in a greasy ointment ($10) twice a day.

Damn greasy ointments! Cats don't like greasy ointments. I don't think dogs or people do either, really ... well, dogs probably would like greasy ointments if it tasted like cat shit.

And we just had the cat groomed on Friday, now he's gonna be all goopy. Yes, I do have to pay someone to groom my cat. Bing is not a fan (understatement) of the comb and he gets all matted and icky. So there.

But really, the eye thing is nothing compared to the fact that he potentially has hypothyroidism, an enlarged kidney, possibly an enlarged kidney and arthritis in his back legs.

Damn modern veterinary science! He was fine yesterday ... now he's a decrepit, half-dead sack o' fluff.

This primary diagnosis came after the doctor took x-rays ($60). We won't have a plan of action until the blood-work comes back from Denver ($125).

So what started out as a bad day for my cat, turned out to be an expensive and sad day for me.

Let's all take a moment and say a prayer for my atrophying bank account ... oh and my cat, too.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Oh my darling Clementine!

Joy of joys! It's clementine season.

These little spheres of orangey goodness bring delight to my tastebuds. (I originally wrote "tangeriney goodness" instead of "orangey goodness). Then I did some research on clementines and found that they are the smallest of the mandarin oranges.)

They are perfect is so many ways:

Clementines are always juicy and never pithy — unlike their sister, the plain ol' orange, who can be terribly pithy, dry, sour and downright unpleasant.

Clementines are easy to peel. There is something about their nature that makes these little gems easy to peel quickly.

With plain ol' oranges you can spend a good portion of three minutes peeling, only to find them inedible.

There's nothing worse than spending an entire trio of minutes engaged in the citrusy task of ridding a Sunkist special of its rind only to find yourself with fingernails full of peel and pulp and still nothing to eat. (OK, maybe there are a couple of things worse than peeling an inedible orange — like dying in a bar fight or being a crab fisherman — but still!)

And, of course, if you're a fledgling anal retent, like myself, you can carefully score the blessed clementine with an orange-peeling tool around its diameter. Then, oh so carefully, removed the peel into two perfect semi-circles.

You can save said perfect hemispheres of clementine husks and arrange them into decorative patterns.

Or you could pretend like you don't ... because really saving clementine peels might be akin to a serial killer collecting souvenirs from his victims.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Hoo-hoo dilly

I once read a quote that has stuck with me. It goes something like this:

Argue for your limitations and you're sure to achieve them.

Of course I can't remember it exactly because I'm more of an "ish" girl.

Recently at band practice, I was asked what chord I was playing. I replied, "B-ish." Meaning that it could have been B or B flat or some other chord in that general neck of the woods.

Close enough is good enough for me. Yeah, I'm eternally playing hand grenades.

Since I don't want to always be arguing my limitations, I have decided to cut myself a break from time to time and suggest some things at which I don't suck.

OK, so here is goes. I will now make a positive affirmation:

I'm really good at ... playing board games.

There I said it. I'm good at games.

Last night our friends, R and T came over for an evening of game playing. We played Operation. We played Clue. We played RIFF . We played Curses — if you don't know Curses, check it out. It's a totally silly games that has you slapping yourself in the face, talking like Elmer Fudd and crying like a baby — yeah, good times.

I didn't win them all, but I played hard and I played well.

Oh and just so you know, if you're playing a trivia game, you want me on your team ... unless it's an all geography and geometry trivia game, then I'd rather scoop my eye out with an orange peeler than play.

But for the most part, I'll play any game, any time. New Year's Eve saw several of us hard-partying fools playing Risk right up to the ball drop.

Who says I don't know how to party like a rock star?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Anatomy 101

Mar Dec. 2005
Originally uploaded by The McCracken Family.
This is my kid, Wee One. She's 5.

Yesterday in the car on our way to lunch, my parenting skills were tested. How did my parenting skills fare? Yeah, not so good.

Here's the proof:

Wee One asked in all her kindergarteney goodness how babies get out of their mamas.

I immediately got the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach — she had asked me this question before but I artfully dodged the question by giving her a cookie or some money or something.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a prude. I want her to know the facts of human reproduction. The problem is that it's all so interlaced with sex. And, well, I just don't enjoy talking about sex with children. There's really no fun in it at all.

First I tried to figure out how I could again dodge the question, but realized that short of diving out of the moving vehicle, I was going to have to be an adult and speak frankly about human reproduction.

Then I quickly surmised that despite my 30-something years, I’m still far from being an adult and had to come up with another plan.

I decided to go for the lame parenting technique of copping out.

I made the following vague statement, "Babies comes out of the mamas bottom." "Bottom" being the cop-out word I use to describe anything covered by one's underwear.

But in defense of my juvenile treatment of the female reproductive and excretory organs, I learned to refer to "those" parts as the generic "bottom" while in the hospital after Wee One was born ... so I'm not the only one who doesn't like throwing around the words "vagina" and "anus."

So, I explained the miracle of birth by saying that babies come out of their mama’s bottoms.

Wee One wasn’t satisfied and incredulously asked, “They pee out the baby?”

Her deranged sense of humor caused her to laugh at her own question, which caused Uber-husband to snicker.

I immediately realized the utter stupidity of my statement, thereby causing me to join in the gigglefest.

Uber-husband in a desperate attempt to help me through this parenting debacle, tried to explain that babies come out of another place.

Wee One, being bright and inquisitive, began peppering us with questions, “Oh, you mean the fuh-gina? Where is the fuh-gina? Is it next to my little weenie?”

Yeah, the fuh-gina is next to the little weenie. That’s what they teach in anatomy class, right?