Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Why not hop aboard the SpamBus?
Mm, I nice big Spam sandwich. Doesn't that look good?

Spam, like ham, only not.

Why, dear Internets, does Spam still exist?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Why I'm fun to live with — or — Why I shouldn't have candy before bed

After Margaret was in bed last night, I asked Bill if we had any goodies for dessert. "Coco Puffs," he remembered and then padded into the kitchen to make himself a bowl. My reply was to make my patented squeezed up face of "me no likey" and sigh.

Now, don't get me wrong. I like chocolate and I like sugar cereals (I don't like my kid eating sugar cereals for breakfast but Bill sneaks boxes into the house on occasion), but I've never been a fan of the chocolate cereal.

Mostly it's because I'm grossed out by the faux-chocolate milk that the cereal produces. It's warmish and grayish and speckled with cereal bits and ... well, it just ain't right. So I passed on the whole idea of dessert.

Later as we were getting ready for bed, I was looking for something in my bag and I discovered a bag of M&M's. Oh yeah baby!

It was 10:30 and Bill was already in bed with the covers pulled up to his chin. I danced into the bedroom humming my "I've got candy" song when Bill said, "You're not going to eat those now, are you?"

"Uh, yeah," I sang out a bit too excitedly.

Since Bill mumbled some warning about having already brushed my teeth and the dangers eating a bag of candy before bed, he needed to be punished for trying to squash my sugared enthusiasm. So I decorated his face with M&M's.

After eating the candy, I got a sugar rush. Sean came home from work and had a cold. I raced around the house gathering cold remedies and instructing him on how to use them ("drink this" "shove this up your nose" "go to bed" — I'm really helpful) with the enthusiasm of June Cleaver on speed.

Then I climbed back into bed, tortured Bill with my sugar-fueled inanities and then crashed.

Mmm, sugar.

I'm crafty and anal retentive and freakishly obsessed with homemade cards and ... lots of other things, but go here to read about Saturday's crafty streak.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Friday we were invited to eat and play some dominos with our neighbors. I passed on dinner so I could attend a lecture and gallery opening of sculpture from Zimbabwe.

What I saw blew my mind. I took one look through the gallery and ran home to fetch Margaret and Bill. I couldn't let them pass on the opportunity to see these works.

Margaret objected (that's a euphemism for "acted all pissy") because she wanted to stay and play with her friends, but even my dear, 6 year old was won over by these remarkable sculptures.

I'm trying to find some links that have pictures but am having little success. Here's a link to a page about the sculpture garden that was created to display these works from Zimbabwe.

I've been teaching art appreciation for over five years now and seeing this one show has awakened a renewed interest is the field of study that I've kept on the back burner since I earned my MA 10 years ago.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


My kid .... GAH!

I have vertible forest of gray hairs that grow right on the front of my head so I can see them waving and flipping me the bird every morning. And wrinkles ... frowning wrinkles seem to pop up quicker than I can say, "Margaret, quit it and start actin' right."

Go here to read about the troubles with Margaret.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I wonder why

We like to go out to eat.

But just because we're at a restaurant doesn't mean that we just sit quietly and stare earnestly at one another. We just act like ourselves (fools for the most part): we draw, play cards and I often take pictures of my tablemates.

That's Mar at Old Chicago doing her Frida Kahlo impression (the painter ... not the cat).

This is one of my favorite pictures of Bill and Mar — taken at the oh-so glamorous Pizza Hut (*singing in my head* "Pizza Hut, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut ... " it's that song those kids sang in the documentary, "Supersize Me.")

You know, it's strange. People don't seem to want to go out to eat with us anymore. And I just can't figure out why:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This could be Bill and I ...

if we were funny and motivated enough to write down the crap that we say to each other:

Things My Boyfriend Says — My new favorite Web page.

A video game that doesn't suck

I read somewhere that a band got a bunch of publicity because one of their songs was included in the Guitar Hero Playstation 2 video game. I can't remember where I read that (dude, gettin' old blows) but I was mildly interested only because I'm always looking for new ways of getting our music out there.

When we got home from skiing Sunday, I noticed that before Sean went to work, he dumped off a bunch of his stuff including his PlayStation 2 and a what looked like a small plastic Gibson SG.

Last night when I got home from teaching my class (yep, classes have started again), my family was in the living room playing Guitar Hero. Bill excitedly shouted above the loud music, "This game is cool! You need to try it!"
So I did. And you know what? It was fun ... and addicting.

You pick a song from their list (it has a wide variety including songs by Primus, Nirvana and Reverent Horton Heat) then you hit the keys on the neck and "strum" with a lever on the body of the faux-tar as the notes appear on the TV screen.

If you play the correct notes in time, the song rocks and the fans cheer and you win. If your lack of coordination and timing cause you to miss notes, then the crowd turns on you faster than potato salad at a July Fourth picnic and you lose.

Sean is rocking out these songs on the hard level. I was barely making it through on the easy level. But then again I don't have hours every day to play a damn video game (but boy I wish I did. It's way addicting. Oh, but I can totally go home on my lunch hour and play ... woot!).

Monday, January 22, 2007

More on the perpetual pets

Saturday, I posted a rare weekend entry. You should go read it. Then come back here ... that way we'll all be caught up.

OK. Yeah, freeze drying pets. 'the hell?

I'm revisiting this topic because a reader (I have a reader that I'm not related to ... go me!), Amanda suggested that the site I linked to may be a hoax.

Since I've heard of freeze-drying pets before, I thought I'd do some research — namely I asked Mr. Google (he just knows everything). And guess what I found? Over 800,000 hits related to freeze drying animals.

Honestly, I wish it were a hoax because ... this just ain't right.

Check out some of these sites:

Go to Anthony Eddy's Wildlife Studio to get keep Fido ever-vigilant:
Doesn't Fido look like he just saw the mailman and is on the verge of barking bonanza?

Or check out Ed Carbaugh's Taxidermy to keep FiFi in top poodle shape:

Does she just look great? Like she's ready to growl and then bite your nose?


Yeah, amazingly creepy.

I think unless you're willing to stuff and mount Rover's head like an elk trophy, you should just be happy getting your pets creamated and then making a little shrine in your basement complete with pictures of locks of the animal's hair, like the rest of us.


Click here to read more about Mar's day on the slopes.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Just say "No"

What is wrong with this dog (other than the fact that his eyes and nose are virtually indistinguishable from one another)?

Click here
to learn why I know that the owner of this dog just ain't right.

Yep, that's right, that little almost-green-bean-can-sized dog is dead.

Dead ... as in no longer living.

This is not a picture of the dog before he died either. He was dead when this picture was taken.

That's right, he's been freeze dried and then sent back to the "I can never put my precious dog in the ground" owners.

Now imagine the day to day life of this dead dog:

At night the lady would put the dog next to her bed so he's the first thing that she's sees when she opens her demented eyes in the morning. Then she would carry the dog down and prop it up on the couch next to her while she watches the "Price is Right." Later she would set now-dead Gunny on a kitchen chair while she cleans the floor and starts dinner.

When her emotionally blunted husband would come home from work, she would tuck freeze-dried Gunny under her arm and greet her husband at the door. She would insist that they have faux conversations that included the pupsicle. She would even insist that her husband talk to the dog in that same squeaky dog voice that he used on the dog when it was actually alive ...

Now, people, this just ain't right.

Please, say "No" to freeze-dried pets.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


My dear, sweet, smart, goofy nephew is the key to the legevity of our family lineage. He's the only son of an only son of an only son. If he doesn't reproduce male heirs, our family name will die out.

But there's no pressure on the kid.

I doubt that the potential of our family name going the way of the dodo bird is high on his list of priorities these days mostly due to the fact that he just turned 8 years old.

His birthday was the 11th.

On the 4th, we bought him a gift — plenty of time to get it wrapped and sent off before his birthday.

On the 8th, I brought home a shipping box for it. But the kitten liked the box ... a lot.

On the 12th (a day after his actual birthday), Bill wrapped the present.

It looked lovely sitting on our dining room table.

On the 15th, I brought home a new box since we couldn't separate Frida from the first one.

On the 16th, I addressed the box and Bill taped it shut.

This morning, the 18th, Bill mailed the gift to the sole heir of my family name.

Tardiness. I wonder if it's an inheritable family trait.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Frida the Wunderkitten

As I was going through my normal, morning, get-dressed-and-get-out routine, I noticed I had a Peeping Tom, ... um , actually it was a Peeping Frida.She climbed up in between the outer shower curtain and the liner and was trying hang out up there. This is what it looked like:

I forget how silly kittens are and how much energy they expend on fruitless endeavors.


I posted over here, too. I'm just a postin' fool!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Everybody run, the homecoming queen's gotta gun!

Remember this song?

I feel like a cross between the gun-toting homecoming queen today and this person (if that person was wearing a black turtleneck, of course):
Like I've said to my husband, "I don't suffer well."

I'm not stoic, I'm whiny. My neck hurts and it's giving me migraines. Waa! Waa! I'm a big, fat, cry baby. Waa!

Please someone, put me out of my misery ... or feed me some bacon. I don't care which at this point.

Monday, January 15, 2007

What a pain in the neck!

Lookit how cute that kid is all dressed up in her lil' ski stuff.

I'd show you pictures of her actually skiing, but my camera's zoom lens isn't powerful enough to catch her up on the hill from my viewpoint which was at home on our sofa yesterday.

Yeah, I missed her first day of Powdercats.

Powdercats is the local resort's kid's program. They hone their basic skills and begin teaching them how to go through gates in preparation for racing.

While I'm really glad that Margaret is part of this program. I'm conflicted over the racing aspect. I know competition is healthy, but why turn an individual sport into a competitive venture? Why can't they instead learn to love the sound of the snow under their skis, the excitement of gliding down the hill, the thrill of being mastering dexterity in a beautiful environment?

Ah, that's probably just the Vicodin talking. (Mmm, Vicodin ... mama's little helper!) Yeah, I woke up Sunday in a really bad way. Due to a 6-year-old pillow usurper, my neck decided to treat me to some muscle spasms and agony.

I cried and bitched and yelled for a while until Bill made me an appointment at the local after-hours clinic.

As I was driving Bill's truck (he took mine up skiing), smoke started billowing out of the heater vents, just as I was turning an icy corner. The back end of the truck started to fishtail as the inside of the truck filled with smoke.

I quickly slowed the car and turned off the heater. I was about to be late for my appointment so I just pretended like the dashboard wasn't smoking and parked the car.

I hobbled into the clinic and tried not to look to cockeyed with my head listing off to the right (as it always does when my neck is in spasm). I had a very short wait until the doctor showed up.

After giving the doctor my history and assurances that I was not just after narcotics, he strongly suggested that I continue practicing yoga and wrote me prescriptions for muscle relaxers and pain killers.

Before starting the car again, I called Bill and told him of the possible dashboard fire. He laughed and said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you. You either have to have the heater all the way on or all the way off or it smokes."

If it were my car, I'd figure out why it smokes instead of just living with the all-or-nothing heater option, but I'm like that.

A quick trip to Rite Aid to get my drugs and the rest of the day was spent in a drug induced coma, beached on the sofa with the remote superglued to my hand.

Mar's instructor said that she is doing great and both she and Bill had a great day on the mountain. I'm sorry to have missed it but at least I got good drugs.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I have been the ole proverbial headless chicken (that is in way a reference to Mike the Headless Chicken. I am not a fan of that story or celebration ... it's weird and sad and way too barn-yardy for me. I mean look at the logo on the Web page ... they have the headless chicken wearing a hat. Why would a headless chicken need a hat? Gah) lately since my dear, recuperating coworker has been out of the office.

Yesterday's entry was supposed to include a story about how Margaret asked me (not Santa) for soap for Christmas.

See, she loves smelling stuff. It all started when she was about 2 and we were visiting some friends who have an extensive spice collection in their pantry. Our friend, Robin, spent a good long time opening spice jars and letting Mar smell them.

Mar loved it. It made such an impression that every time we see those friends, (which is not nearly enough as they are really great people) she excitedly recounts the time she and Robin spent smelling spices.

You could say that smelling stuff is a minor hobby of my 6-year-old — it could be worse, I suppose.

So, it's only natural then that she would love the soap display at the bagel shop/local produce gift shoppy place where we often eat.

While we dine on yummy soups and fresh bakery goodies, she smells the soaps. Ones that she really likes, or dislikes, she carries around the table so everyone can take a whiff. She's quite adamant about it. And it's not just enough to smell the soap but you have to comment on the smell as well. I guess you could call her the soap nazi.

On one visit before Christmas she decided that the lavender soap was her favorite. (I find that interesting because lavender was the dominant flower and fragrance at the our friend's wedding. A wedding for which Margaret was the flower girl. Coincidence? I bet not.)

Being the attentive mom that I am (ha! or at least, pretend to be), I made a trip to the store and on Christmas morning Margaret found ... not a lump of coal, but a brick of soap.

Huh? Lavender soap for the 6-year-old. It could be more strange, eh? She could've asked for cheese.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Wish list

Margaret didn't make a Christmas wish list this year and she didn't visit Santa at the mall. Whenever someone would ask her what she wanted Santa to bring her, she would reply, "Whatever he brings will be fine with me."

I thought this strange since she's happy to tell me on a daily basis all the things that she simply cannot live without. But she's a bit of a strange kid, so I didn't think much of it.

After Christmas Bill asked her if she'd received everything that she was hoping to get. She said yes and then revealed that she didn't want to ask Santa for anything this year because she didn't think that she was good enough to deserve anything.

Man, kids ... they really know how to sock it to their parents.

Since then, Mar and I have talked a lot about the choices one makes and how controlling one's behavior is so very important and that regardless her dad and I think she's the best kid we could've hoped for.

OK, now that I'm done with the sap for the day, here's a couple of stories that are in direct opposition to Mar's Christmas wish list story. Click here (The January 5 and 9th entries). Really click the link, there's a story about a kid who asked for cheese — sounds like my husband's wish list.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Caught on camera!

It's true! Bill was able — due, of course, to his catlike reflexes — to snap a photo of the camera-shy, Americanus teenagerus atworkus.
No, wait ... that's not the Americanus teenagerus atworkus. Doh! That's the American teenagerus atthemallus.

Here's the teenagerus atworkus:
I realize the photo is blurry by the teenagerus atworkus gets hostile when unsuspecting parents try to photograph him. Bill tried to coerce the teenagerus atworkus to turn around while he was working behind the counter, but he refused — adamantly. So we had to settle for an "action" shot.

All in all, we like the Americanus teenagerus atworkus. He's earning his own money (getting $7 a hour! Seven dollars ... it took me years to earn that much an hour), driving himself there on time and is hopefully developing a good work ethic.

I used to think (before I had kids) that high schoolers shouldn't have to work, unless absolutely necessary, because school should be their primary focus. I was really wrong on that — this kid needs more structure to his day.

He's been working this, his first job, for a couple of weeks now and so far so good. I hope this starts him on a better path than he's been on.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A night with the Rev.

During a serious game of Mexican Train Saturday night, our neighbor mentioned that he was going to have to make a special trip to his work Sunday to give a guy a tour.

Davy is the distiller for Peach Street Distillery in Palisade and he was asked by the owner to give a private tour to this guy that he'd met through another guy, blah, blah, blah.

It turns out that the guy who requested a private tour of the distillery is the road manager for, none other than, the Rev ... Reverend Horton Heat. Being the creepy band girl that I am, I took this as a sign and implored Davy to let me join him for the private tour — and he agreed.

Sunday morning I frantically printed out some photos and called Laurena to see if she could get me some of our new songs on CD. I drove Davy to pick up the Rev's road manager and we made our way to the fruited lands of Palisade.

Laurena met us there, CDs in hand and I gave the stuff to the road manager — who was a really interesting guy.

No opportunity wasted ... I had thought.

Later Sunday, Davy called to say that the road manager had forgotten our CD and stuff at the distillery. Doh!

But at least he called Davy to tell him that he'd inadvertantly left it behind.

So I took this as yet another sign and began to Photoshop artwork for a new CD that included photos and contact information to take with me to the show in hopes of getting to see him again.

Not only did we see him, but he saved us a table right in front of the sound board and he apologized for forgetting the CD — some people are just really cool.
The Rev played to a sold-out crowd and they were really amazing. They are a 3-piece that includes a stand-up bass player — uber coolness.

It was totally worth it to stay out late on a school night.

Friday, January 05, 2007

It's another Big Red day

As I was walking downstairs to get a clean, black turtleneck sweater, I notice that we got an inch or two of the white stuff last night. I wondered to myself where our snow shovel was and if I had enough time to get our walk shoveled before work.

I forgot that I'm married to a genuine, bona fide, stand-up guy. When he stumbled, groggy-headed out of bed this morning, he saw the snow and immediately began donning warm clothes.

He turned on my car, scraped the windows and was in the process of shoveling not just our walk but our neighbor's as well.

Good guy all around.

As I made my way carefully to work this morning, I found myself following Mr. Big Red again.
Looks like it's gonna be a Big Red Day!

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I called Bill just before lunch and told him to swing by (he was on his way back from recycling our Christmas tree — that's right, folks, the McCrackens are movin' on up
— in that we won't be keeping our Christmas tree until spring clean up this year — also I'm considering eliminating the use of capitals and periods — instead I'll just use the big dash — what do you think ... doh, what about the question mark? — oh well, farewell giant dash, I'm back on the period again).

I told him that I wanted him to take me to lunch.

While on any other week this would not seem significant, but it was today. The grilled chicken fiesta salad I had for lunch marked the break of my fast.

Yep, ole Chubby McFatgirl fasted for 36 whole hours.

The fact that I made it that long is a miracle since Chubbs here loves herself some food. I was hoping to go longer, but the effects of the detox were bringing me down. I should have probably pressed on through, but I ate a salad instead.

I was initially disappointed in myself, but considering that this is the first time that I've ever done such a thing and I did manage to go an entire 36 hours without eating one damn thing (I was drinking this juice concoction) ... well, I'm just gonna give myself a "good job" and call it good.

(Note to self: Good job on keeping your resolution to try to be nicer to yourself. At least that's one New Year's resolution that still entact.)


So the tree is down (Bill took it down while I was at work yesterday — just another benefit of having an educator as my man) and the house is pretty much back to its pre-Christmas state.

Oh, except for the monkey-armed, sack of bones that we call Frida. She's caused all kinds of household disruption - mostly good though.

Margaret loves playing with her and has taken on all the responsibilities of cleaning her box — a task for which we upped her allowance from $1.25 a week (I can't remember why but we agreed that five quarters would be a just allowance) to two bucks a week. Believe me, I'm happy to pay someone to search for the kitten putrid-smelling, cat-box treasure.

Quincy the dog has developed a bizarre love for the kitty which makes no sense because Frida's main interest in Quincy is in slapping her face. I guess that dog is so desperate for attention that she'll take whatever she can get.
Isn't that sweet, Frida is sleeping in Quincy's lap and both are wedged up against me as I veg out on the sofa (wearing one of my six black turtlenecks. Speaking of turtlenecks, I now have six, so it seems unlikely that five of them would be in the laundry this morning necessitating me to wear on old one to work today. Gah, the indignity of having to wear an old sweater. But on the bright side, it doesn't seem that anyone notices so what the hell? )
Yeah, cute kitten and dog pictures ... I just realized that I've become one of those
people. You know the type who think that other people care about how cute their kitten is . Oh well, I'm just gonna go with it.

Switching to the non-lame and pathetic channel, I was in the recording studio last night working on our new CD. I laid down tracks for two songs and am pretty happy with the result.

"Pretty happy" that's huge for me. As a novice guitar player, I've striven for "not too sucky." When we listened back to what I recorded, Bill was utterly surprised at the lead track I laid down.

Go me, doing leads like a real guitar player.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Getting to know me

It's been a year (OK, in two days it will have been a year) since I started blogging here. In that year, I've posted 278 posts — mostly about nothing.

In honor of my almost one-year anniversary of blogging on Blogger, I completed a meme on my other blog (I love the irony of celebrating my anniversary here on another blog — because I'm so like that).

So click here to find out all the things that you never wanted to know about me.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Rockin' in the New Year

I felt lame saying, "It was really fun!" when my neighbor asked how our show went New Year's Eve — but only because that is what I always say after a show these days.

The reason is that it is really fun. Playing music with the girls of Riveter is such a great time. And this show was no exception.

We love the music, we love to perform ... there's really no better way to describe it but as really fun.

It was definitely not my best night of playing, but oh well that how it goes. But even an off night playing music is better than a good night doing most anything else.

And the crowd was great, really enthusiastic and there to have a good time on New Year's Eve. We handed out party favors and noise makers. Midnight was marked with a balloon drop and champagne toast followed by a Riveterized version of Auld Lang Syne. To help the crowd sing along, we wrote out the lyrics on t-shirts and had some "volunteers" wear them.

I know, we're clever.

All in all, it was a great way to ring in the new year.