Saturday, December 30, 2006

How did that get there?

With an almost serious face, Bill said, "I've got a problem. While I was in the bathroom at Scott and Laurena's, I found a lump."

My jaw dropped as Bill giggled and began to pull down his pants.

I was getting really freaked out until I saw the "lump" for myself.

There, all matted in his man fur near the bottom of his junk was a wad of chewing gum.

He asked me, "How did it get there?"

Like I'd put it there for safe keeping or something.

Then he says, "And it hurts when I pull on it."

No, really? That surprised me that pulling on a wad of chewing gum stuck in his pubes would be uncomfortable.

I began to chortle as I dug out a pair of scissors. Then in between guffaws, I carefully (really carefully) clipped away the glob of chewed gum, but not before Bill said, "Do you wanna take a picture of it first?"

I know it's shocking, but I declined ... my mom reads this, fer Pete's sake!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year!

Last day of work for this year ... wo- Oh darn, I'm too damn busy to celebrate.

I'm up to my eyeballs trying to get all my work done so I can celebrate the New Year the best way possible — playing music.

Yep, the lil' ole girls of Riveter are going to be ringing in the new year with a whole lotta rock 'n' roll.

It's going to be a rockin' good time ... I can't wait.

As for New Year's resolutions ... yeah, um, haven't really thought about it. I guess my New Year's resolution is to take some time to come up with a plan for 2007 instead of flying by the seat of my pants like I've always done.

I'll let you know when that goes out the window. I can't imagine it'll be much beyond Jan. 2.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas wishes

We wait until Christmas to open our Christmas presents. They are, after all, Christmas presents, not Christmas Eve presents or two-days-before Christmas presents.

So, Bill was surprised when I stood in the kitchen Christmas Eve morning in my knee socks and demin skirt and told him that I was going to open one of my presents early.

"I haven't had a chance to run a load of black laundry," I cried as I clutched a box artfully wrapped in Old Navy wrapping paper.

"Ooohh," he nodded, understanding my predicament.

My black turtlenecks were dirty and it was Christmas Eve and well, ... I wanted to be wearing one of my black turtlenecks.

Why? Because I always want to be wearing a black turtleneck.

Earlier this month, we received a call from New York. Bill's brother had pulled my name in the annual Christmas present name draw thing that his family does.

Of course, the call wasn't from the brother, but the brother's wife. She delightfully explained that she hadn't the foggiest what her husband should get me since we've never actually met face to face (so goes the long distance family relations ... we really need to make a trip to Buffalo next year).

I explained in graphic detail that I would love to have a black, cotton, turtleneck sweater from Old Navy.

So as I stood shirtless in the kitchen Christmas Eve morning, I was hoping that Sadie would come through for me.

Oh yeah, sister, she came through with not just one black, cotton, turtleneck sweater from Old Navy, but two black, cotton, turtleneck sweaters from Old Navy.

I was thrilled. Thrilled, I say.

At that point, I had five black, cotton, turtleneck sweaters from Old Navy. Oh how wonderful is that?

Not nearly as wonderful as six black, cotton, turtleneck sweaters from Old Navy ... they were having an after-Christmas sale and they were only $9.75 and I had a coupon ... so yeah, I now own SIX black, cotton, turtleneck sweaters from Old Navy.

I can wear one everyday to work. EVERYDAY until summer I will be wearing a black, cotton, turtleneck sweater.

All my Christmas wishes have come true.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bobble, bobble

Lookit what I got:

It's the Dwight bobblehead.

(After I typed that I totally invisioned me entering a high school cafeteria filled with not-quite-right people right sitting in folding chairs. I make my way to the front of the room, tripping over my own coat as I lunge for the podium and shout out, "Hi I'm Robin and I'm a dork." Dorks Anonymous ... I could be their Bill W.)

Click here to read why Bill spent our day-after Christmas running around the block.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

How I spent my Christmas vacation

I love spending Christmas with family. Growing up Christmas was all about family.

After Margaret was born, we would often travel to California to spend the holiday with my parents and my brother's family. This year we decided not to.

So we were alone this Christmas.

But as much as I miss being with my family, we had a great Christmas holiday staying home and visiting with our friends.

Saturday we went to the new movie theater and saw "Night at the museum."

Lookit the size of that soda. It's like a vat o' Cherry Coke instead of an individual sized beverage.
We played "Hats on" with my dear friend, Kristen's extensive hat and scarf collection.
And we were home for Santa to deliver some Christmas joy.
And I got to spend my Christmas day relaxing and enjoying these faces.

I also spent a little time with the gift Bill got me. Do you see it on the Christmas tree? Yep, it's the iPod Shuffle ... it is the coolest little thing.

And Margaret got the spend her day enjoying the bounty of her Christmas haul.

I've also been doing some introspective reflection and realized that I could never receive another gift and I would still have everything that I could ever need.

It was a Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas with Crumpet

I love NPR.

It's pretty much the only radio station I listen to. When I get up in the morning, I turn on my handy shower radio — that my mom got me for Christmas about, oh, what was it, mom? 20 years ago? — and it's always tuned to NPR.

This morning I got in the shower much later than normal since I didn't have to go to work today and while I was trying to shake off the effects of a completely sleepness night (that's a whole other story that includes me extricating our dear little Frida from under the covers a million and one times last night), I laughed out loud at David Sedaris' tales of being a mall elf.

Go here and listen to him recount his tales of temper tantrums and reinventing the myth of what Santa really does to naughty children.

The bit that sent me directly to my computer so I could have a second listen was his rendition of "Away in a manger" as sang by Billie Holiday. His inflection and tone as scarily akin to Billie's.

Oh and I am reminded why offices dont have kittens. Look what Frida typed: =-[]]]]]]]]]]]]44444444444444]l]]]]]]'l

That's pretty impressive considering that she climbed up the computer desk from the under side and started attacking my fingers while trying to pen these oh-so-eloquent prose.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holidays, holidays

I'm taking a couple of days off of work and when I get back my co-worker is going to be off ice fishing or having back surgery, I can't remember which. So it's likely that I'll be updating less frequently.

I'll try to stumble down stairs and update at home, but that might interrupt the vast amounts of sofa sitting that I need to get done.

But here's to wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

No one needs to see his Santa boxers

Last night was Sean's first day at his first job.

He's working for Carl's Jr. I have no idea what he's going to do there, but I'm sure it involves frozen meat patties and mustard.

It's good that he has a job. Because for a smart kid, he acts stupid a lot. I'm hoping it's just a side effect of being a teenager.

But Sean is on the verge of adulthood and we can only hope to instill some of the requisite skills (like bow hunting skills, computer skills, upper-lip shading skills) that he'll need before we let him loose on the world.

For now, I'd be happy if I just didn't have to lookit 4 inches of boxer shorts that muffin out of the top of his jeans.

"Pull up your damn pants," I chide him on a daily basis. How is that still the fashion anyway?

One of the comforting things about Sean is that he has a kind heart.

He's good to his sister and kind to our animals — even letting little Frida sit on his lap for hours and then sleep with him — which is a good indication to his true character.

Yes, I'd like it if he were doing better in school, but that is a choice that he has to make for himself.

I think that's the hardest thing about parenting, is letting the kids make their own choices, even if they're stupid ones (like walking around with your pants falling down all day long).


I posted a little something about Mar and Frida over here complete with pictures.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

White Christmas?

It's been snowing here for the last couple of days.

I'm always amazed by the snow here and even more amazed by how people react to it.

After suffering through three of the worst winters in history in Pennsylvania while I was in grad school, I learned a bit about living with snow. But believe me, it took this California, city girl a good long time to figure out that boots, gloves and a hat are essential compliments to a good parka.

My first winter back east saw me falling down every day simply because I didn't understand the physics of walking on ice.

I was a disaster just waiting to happen. I'm lucky I survived without breaking a hip.

I learned how to drive (for the most part) in snow and that the essential key to making to your destination without any unplanned spinouts is speed ... or lack thereof.

Driving slowly and stopping before turning is essential.

I'm impresssed by the number of people who think that because their car is equipped with four-wheel drive, it makes them impervious to snowy driving conditions. This is definitely not the case.

I always have to laugh when I hear someone say, "I can't believe I wrecked my car while I was only driving 50 mph during a blinding snow storm. I had it in four-wheel drive."

Dumb asses.

But I do appreciate that my truck has four-wheel drive and have used it in snowy conditions numerous times.

Well, actually I've used the all-wheel drive setting. See my car's all fancy 'n' shit and has a two-wheel drive setting, an all-wheel drive setting and a four-wheel drive setting.

Last month on the way home from a gig Denver with Kelley and Laurena, the pass (for those not familiar with Colorado terrain, the state is roughly divided in two by the Rocky Mountains. To get to Denver from the Western Slope requires traversing the "pass") was pretty slushy with snow and ice. I put the car into all-wheel drive.

As the road and weather conditions worsened, I put it into four-wheel drive.

Kelley asked me the difference between all-wheel and four-wheel drive.

I replied, "Four-wheel drive is more serious."

Because really I have no idea what the difference is. But it seems that as things get worse I should just continue to click that switch upward.

I should ask my dad what the difference is, but he'll give me some technical explaination complete with diagrams and a how-to lesson on repairing four-wheel drive transfer cases.

I think I'll just ask Mr. Google.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tickling the keys

Sunday was a big day for Margaret. She performed in her first piano recital.

She was so nervous, which made me nervous. But she had practiced and it paid off.

You can read more about it over here.

Or just watch the video below. During Margaret's second song, a reporter from Channel 5 News parks herself right smack in front of Bill so there's some creative camera work until Bill gets himself moved into a better spot.

Monday, December 18, 2006

This is the reason

that we got a kitten.

Frida is definitely a keeper. She's very sweet, but will totally hold her own, too.

You've never lived until you've seen a 2-pound little kitty get herself all puffed up, standing on her tippy toes and hissing a ferocious warning to a pretty disinterested dog.

She's been a little ray of sunshine and a great distraction for us. The day we got her was the day we picked up Bing's ashes. I made a little altar to B in our basement where he loved to hang.

Even though I will always miss him, it's nice to have a new face and some new blood to liven up our house.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The right choice

We came to the conclusion that we didn't need to add yet another kitten to our already-sprawling family.

So to reward ourselves for making a sensible decision for once, we got this:

It's a kitten .... wait, we said we weren't going to get a kitten ... DOH!

Her name is Frida Kahlo (but for now we're just calling her Peanut, because she's the tiniest little nut). We like her. We're gonna keep her.

Chock full o' kitties and with a complete lack of common sense.

It's worked for us for the last 7 years ... why change now.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I'll send them my cardiology bill

Someone needs to open emergency yoga clinics for people suffering acute anger.

I'd be there right now trying to exchange the hostility and belligerence I have bubbling out my mouth for an iota of calmness.

Disclaimer: I have a terrible temper and I am a royal bitch when I'm pissed off. I know this and hate this about me. I would love to be one of those calm types that is able to keep their wits about them and always act with grace and dignity.

But right now, my blood pressure is so high, I'm feeling a little faint.

Here lemme tell you why:

A year and a half ago, I gave into a moment of vanity and made an appointment to have what I thought was a mole removed from my face near my left eye.

The ugly mole turned out to be more than just an ugly mole. It was basal cell carcinoma — skin cancer.

When the pathology revealed that a portion of my skin was eating away the rest of my skin, I was referred to the only doctor on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains to do a specialized surgery that would removed all the cancer and leave the healthy tissue behind.

I had the surgery which really wasn't so bad and I try not to focus on the half inch scar that sits on my lid near my eye.

A while ago, I was giving it a good lookin' at and noticed that a white mole just like the one that was chock full o' cancer had sprouted out of the scar.

I was a bit perplexed because I had paid big money to have the specialized surgery to make certain that the skin cancer would not return.

So I made an appointment with the only doctor on the Western Slope that does this specialized surgery so he could take a gander.

As you can assume, being the only doctor on the Western Slope who does this specialized surgery (it's called Moh's Surgery — I do remember it being named after one of the Three Stooges), he's very booked up. So I had to wait several weeks to get an appointment.

Today being my lucky day, I got to go to the skin doctor. I had been told that I should come 15 minutes early so I could re-fill out all the paper work I had filled out the first time I went there so they could have something with which to light their money cigars or something.

I arrived early and filled out my paper work. Then the receptionist came over and said, "Um. Yeah, the doctor is running a little late."

I gave her a raised eyebrow and she continued, "Yeah, he's going to be at least 30 minutes late."

Then you could hear the sound of my jaw smacking the carpet. I came 15 minutes early so I could wait an extra 30 minutes.

Nope, I don't think so. Fridays are my busiest days. I told her I'd have to reschedule.

I gathered myself and returned to the front counter where the receptionist began to shake her head. "I just don't know when we can fit you in."

Now, I was on the verge of full-fledged pissedom. "Please understand that if you had called me, I would have happily come in a half an hour later."

"Oh," she replied, "we're never sure how late he's going to be until right before the appointment."

My blood could have boiled a nice bisque at this point.

I told her that I was frustrated that I even needed to be seen again and now I was being asked to wait at least an additional 45 minutes because they don't know how to keep a schedule.

Now I understand that things happened, unexpected things, and people run late. But they are not doing me any favors by letting me see the doctor. I pay to see the doctor. My money pays their salaries. I am doing them a favor by choosing to come see the doctor. They should be, at the very least, courteous to me and definitely not condescending and put out.

At this point, the receptionist turns to her co-worker and says, "I just don't know what I should do."

I helped her out. "Just cancel the appointment," I spat as I walked (OK, stormed) out of the office. Bill had just pulled in and found me seething in the parking lot.

I gave him a colorful, f-bomb filled recap.

He convinced me that I'd feel better if I ate, so we had some really good Italian sandwiches.

I enjoyed eating the sandwich, I'm still having trouble chocking down the crappy customer service.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

And the debate begins

We haven't even gotten Bing's ashes back yet and we'll already starting to talk about a kitten.

Bill and I agree that we don't need a kitten. But we also agree that our entire relationship has been based on what we want with little regard for our true needs. So why change now? (Real mature, huh? But it kinda works for us, so who are we to complain?)

We're all so sad and we miss our kitty so much. Click here and scroll to the bottom to read Bill's tribute to our Bitty B — beware it'll make your eyes leak.

I know there is no replacement for Bing. I had Bing before I had kids, back when pets held the key to my heart. Now, we still love our pets but they are our pets and our kids are our kids. It's different.

I've been lavishing our cats (and our friend's cats, any cats I can get my hands on) with chin scritches and kisses. They seem sympathetic but also concerned, like it might be their turn to take the car ride of no return.

Their unwillingness to be the object of my guilt and grief has led me to carrying the dog around. She loves it, of course, because she always acts like we never pay her any attention. But carrying a 20-pound dog Italian greyhound is akin to like cradling a bundle of sticks and twigs that has a tongue which is always read for a French kiss.

Last night I brought a box home from work. When Margaret saw it, she cried, "Is there a kitten in there?"

It remains to be seen if a box full o' kitten will arrive at the Casa de Goofus this Christmas.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bing Bing, R.I.P.

I see it! I pick it!

Last night as Bill and I were washing up for bed, I saw Bill lean towards the mirror and start picking at a blemish (a pimple, really, but I hate that word "pimple" it's just too ... pimpley) that has taken up residence at the start of his eyebrow.

I snark, "How's that working for you?" Referring to the fact that he was digging at his face.

He takes a step back from the mirror and admires that now flaming, red spot on his face. "It's great. This is exactly what I was hoping for."

I raise my eyebrows and start to giggle.

"Yeah, I was hoping this is what it would look like today. It looks good, don't you think? It's all red and oozing bit. Yeah. This is just what I wanted for myself."

Now, I'm belly laughing and holding onto the sink.

"It was close to healing over the weekend, but I really wanted to have it all red and raw looking for the week. What do you think? How'd I do?" he asks as he thrusts his face toward mine.

I'm hysterical now.

I can hear Sean shuffling around in his room on the other side of the wall and wonder what he thinks of us yucking it up in the bathroom at 10:00 at night. But I can't stop laughing.

I'm still chuckling to myself after Bill hopped on the train to Snoozeville.

Nothing says funny like a 47-year-old pimple face.

Monday, December 11, 2006

What did you do yesterday?

I went to church.

I didn't get struck down by a mighty lightning bolt sent from the heavens.

We got our little family up early yesterday. Margaret donned pink tights, a blue bubble skirt and a Christmas t-shirt. Since, I'm trying to let her make those decisions on her own, I took her out in public dressed like that. I wore my standard daily, non-work uniform: black turtleneck, jeans, argyle knee socks and my black low-top Chuck Taylors (this varies from my daily, work uniform in that the jeans are swapped with a black or gray skirt, socks for black tights and CTs for black, patent-leather loafers — I may be boring but at least I'm consistent).

Yes, I went to church wearing sneakers. Mostly because I forgot we were actually going to church.

See, we took Mar to see her dear friend preform in the Christmas program at the Christian daycare/preschool that Margaret used to attend.

Mar wanted to see her friends and I just like watching children sing too loud and off key while picking their noses.

In the past, the event was held in the evening, but this year they decided to combine it with their Sunday service. Being a heathen, I didn't think that I should at least put on a proper pair of shoes. But then again, with all my other infractions, I don't see that my Converse were going to be the thing that tipped the scales that would force me onto the lightning-bolt list.

And I was right. So far... unless there's some sort of delay in the enforcement of the lightning-bold punishment.

Just to be safe, I won't be carrying a golf club around with me during this storm we're having.

And for those of you that care, I posted over here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Is it inherited?

I took these pictures of Margaret this morning while she sat at my desk waiting for me to take her to school.
She took her time, carefully creating a drawing of her teacher and herself in a field of poppies.
She was polite when my friendly co-workers said hello. This is a big deal in that Margaret tends to get shy (I know the suggestion that my kid is shy seems laughable to those who know her, but unfamiliar surroundings, she does tend to clam up) sometimes and I've been constantly reminding her that being polite must preempt her shyness.
She ate her breakfast of a donut accompanied by orange juice (the breakfast of champions, no?) and then I took her to school, pleased that she had behaved.

When I got back to my desk, I downloaded the photos of her and found that I had taken a picture last night:It's a picture of the scorecards my dear friend, Trae-trae and I use to play a game while we watch Survivor.

Yes, Tracee and I invented a game that goes with a TV show. I wish there was some way that I could make that sound less dorky.

Last evening when I called Tracee to confirm our weekly Survivor date, her husband handed her the phone and said, "It's your Survivor dork."

I can't even protest, because it is dorky. But it's been fun and we enjoy it, so there (accompanied by a petulant foot stamp).

Even though, I realize that it will raise me up a couple rungs on the dorkitude ladder, I have to boast that I made an amazing comeback last night. We had been holding steady at 8 for Tracee and 2 for me. Then I scored 5 points last night to Tracee's 2. We're at 10 for Tracee and 7 for me.

And we even have an immunity idol that the overall points leader gets to keep.

Oop, that really tipped the scales of dorkdom, didn't it? Poor Margaret has little chance of living a dorkfree life.

Especially when you dad looks like this:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sanguine cruor

"Blood is stronger than water; and, if either individual or national character be worth a farthing, it is not to be annihilated by any union - the multitudinous seas will not wash it out."

Those are Henry Glassford Bell's thoughts on blood. Click here to read Margaret's view on blood.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Never enough

Ever since the night of more cowbell, I've been thinking about the fathers of the more-cowbell phenomenon.

And it looks like I'm not the only one. Now there's the Cowbell Project.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I was down to my last Christian and not sure where I could get more at a resonable price. My fears are alleviated as we now have this store:

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sometimes it's just ugly

Parenting = hard.

That's basically what my entry over here says. But go ahead and click it anyway ... there are pictures.

They're lucky

Our dear friends, Mar-Kel and Special K, are lucky — because if I didn't like them so much, I would have totally beat them with a sock full o' pennies yesterday and taken their new car.

It's a Toyota FJ Cruiser and it is the pimp daddy of cars. Check it:

They don't look happy about their new car at all, eh?

(Even though I've decided against using my sock o' pennies this time, I'm totally keeping it handy ... you know, just in case.)

Friday, December 01, 2006

More cowbell or why we love KP

Wednesday at band practice we were working on yet another new original. It's called Wrong Dream and we'll be rolling it out at our New Year's Eve show.

While working on the song's bridge (or as we like to call it, the "bridgey part"), we thought it could use some extra percussion. KP brought out her tambourine, but it still needed something. Bridget set KP up with a symbol stand, her wood block and a drum stick.

This was the result (Sorry for the poor quality and lack of sound, I took this with my still camera):