Monday, May 21, 2007

Facing Reality

It is time for me to admit the truth. The boxes in the garage have come to life and have taken me hostage. As I type this, one of them is holding a tape gun to the back of my head. They tell me I do not have time to "play" on the computer. "Moving Day is only a week and four days away!" they shriek. I am helpless against them. They are even more demanding than my son, and their appetites are unending. "More, more, MORE!" they screech.

And so, I must face the fact that sooner or later (the boxes say sooner) I must actually pack up my computer in a box. I will not see my computer again until somewhere mid-June (or, at least, when June calendar dates hit the double-digits: 10, 11, 12, etc.). So, please, come back then. I (obviously) won't be able to blog for awhile.

Now I must go and feed more of these ridiculously voracious cardboard boxes from hell. (Ouch. Apparently, Cisco didn't like me calling him "from hell." "I'm from Cincinnati," he snivels. Whatever, you dumb box. Ouch.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

So—What's a Muskadillo, Anyway?

Never mind what a muskadillo is. The more important question is WHAT ARE YOU?

If you want to know, take this quiz. (I can't promise that it will be entertaining, but I can guarantee you a waste of five minutes and some original artwork.)

Please? I made it just for you.

**update: I used to have the quiz embedded in here, but quizilla kinda changed things around, and it's broken now. So you'll have to click on this link to take the quiz.**

Monday, May 14, 2007

Where Have You Been? (speaking to my sanity)

I have not been in the best mood. Perhaps it has something to do with trying to sell our townhouse. (If anyone has ever sold a home, perhaps you know the paradox it implies: you must keep your home in Martha-Stewart order to trick someone into buying it while at the same time packing everything you own into boxes. Add one toddler, one cat, and one woman who just doesn't give a shriveled fig anymore = my stupid non-mood-enhancing LIFE.)

Who the heck wants to buy a townhouse? No one—and that is why no one is coming to look at it. Why did we buy it in the first place? How is it that there are only two and a half weeks before Moving Day? Where has all the time gone? And has anyone seen my sanity lying around? (It was wrinkled and had frayed edges, if that helps...)

And to make my mood worse, I have to make dinner. I hate cooking. But someone told me that you have to eat to live, so I keep doing it. It wouldn't be so bad if it were only making dinner. But I'm also supposed to eat it. AND...there is another problem, but I think a diagram would explain it best. (Sorry I don't have Flash capabilites right now—this would be much better in Flash.) Okay, you ready?

This should be me in any given 15-minute period during dinner preparation:

No big deal, right? But instead, it ends up looking more like this:

See, the cat is my nemesis.

I won't see him all day long because he is curled up in some little hidey-hole somewhere, fast asleep. But as soon as I step into the kitchen? KAPOW! In strolls His Tubbiness—all 16 orange pounds of him—ears up and interested, wee pink nose delicately quivering—*meow. Are you making something for me? meow.* He is the fattest orange beggar alive, and he will eat ANYTHING. And the whole time I have to make dinner, there he is, rubbing and purring and moew-yodeling and BEEEEEGGGGING.

*sigh* At least Jake behaves, and only comes in every five minutes to see what I'm doing, and to tell me how he isn't going to eat that food—he only eats Jake food (tortilla, cheese, and grapes), but daddy and I are welcome to eat whatever we please.


As for the cat...
a solution is beginning to present itself.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Now *That's* Entertainment

As a mom, I have frequently found myself with a ton of work to do and not being able to get a lick of it done because I'm playing cars with Jake. And the ironic thing is that even though there's no place I'd rather be than playing with my kid, I'm BORED OUT OF MY MIND.

Moms all come up with different coping strategies: some turn to the telephone, some to the television (hellooo Oprah), some to the computer (I w
ish I could do this one, but if I am on the computer when Jake is awake, we inevitably end up on sites like this one for hours at a time).

I turn to my camera.

Unfortunately for my victims.

I thought I would post some of my efforts for your entertainment and for my own glorification (after all, it's my blog, and I can do what I want.)

I made the cape for
Jake, but he didn't
want to wear it. He's
not into dress-up. So
guess who doesn't
get a choice?

Look! I finally found
a use for my Young
Woman Medallion!

This is what I picture every time a person calls their child a "little treasure."
A kid shut up in a chest.

No, it wasn't Halloween.
I was just bored.

This is me being bored again, and
having some hair gel in my hands
when Jake crawled by.

Hair gel again,
same day.

Jasper has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In this case, I had just taken a ribbon off a box and was thinking it was a shame to throw it away, but I didn't have any use for it. Or did I?

Jasper puts Jake on time out.

Jake seeing
what a pole
tastes like.

He hates it
when I do this
to his hair.

And the last two I threw in just because I like them:

My all-time
favorite of Jasper.

Jake's favorite thing to do at the park.

Wow, was this stupid to try and post. If the pictures and text are screwed up in your browser, I'm really sorry, but I'm done messing with this thing. That'll teach my to try and post a bunch of pictures at once!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

For Kathleen

...because she referred so many freakin' people here by a post on her blog (and I didn't even bribe, coerece, or threaten her). And because I know how much she loves Xena. I would have put her picture in it, but she oh-so-wisely has not posted a picture of herself anywhere that I could find.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Desperate Times

For those of you who didn't pick it up from the Floyd post, we're moving soon to the Land of Trees and Excessive Water. I am excited about this, except for one thing: I will be losing the sad little harvest of friends I’ve managed to scrape together out of this barren Las Vegas desert. (Admittedly, some of these friends are imaginary—but some aren’t. I think. (You are real, aren’t you, Kristine?))

What if, when we get to the new place, I can’t find any friends there? I’ve considered making some out of clay and the like, but for Jake's well-being, I've decided that they should probably be real people. So I decided to turn to my dear friend, Dale Carnegie, and a section from his inspired book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

(The first time I flipped through this book (only at the insistence of a former roommate, of course), I thought—well, maybe some of the advice was okay, but it seemed a little…manipulative? Perhaps a little sick to make social relations into a science so you can get what you want? But I have come to reconsider my original position, and now properly pay obeisance to the genius that is Dale Carnegie.)

I’ve done my own research, and I thought I would share it with you. (Dale’s original suggestions are in blue; I have added my own suggestions and interpretations after.) Who knows? Perhaps you also will find it to be beneficial…

Six Ways to Make People Like You

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.

    Go through their garbage. If you can afford it, get their house bugged. When they are out of town, break into their house and look inside their medicine cabinets, see what they have on their bookshelves, see what they are hiding under the bed. This is really the best way to get to know others intimately in a short period of time.

  1. Smile.

    Often and largely. (It helps if you apply Vaseline to your teeth.) And keep smiling, no matter what. Especially if the person begins to react to you in a hostile manner, clubbing you with her umbrella and screamingget away from me, you creep!”—just keep smiling. It will pay off in the end.

    (And a little snazzy hygeine wouldn't hurt, either.)

  1. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

    So when you’ve run out of things to say, just repeat the person’s name, ad nauseam, like this: “Soooo…Jen.” (short pause) “Jen.” “Jenn-o.” “Jenna-benna-bo-benna.” (pause) “Jen.”

    There is no a way this technique could lose. I mean, it got James Cameron an Oscar! Remember The Titanic—? “Jack.” “Rose.” “Jack.” “Rose!” “Jack?” “Roooose.”

  1. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

    Like this:

    "Hey—did you know you talk in your sleep?
    You said something really interesting last night—'can’t make fish tacos'—would you tell me what you were dreaming of?

    "How did I know that? Well, I stand outside your window most nights hoping you will look out the window—I know how much you like stargazing, and—

    "Well, I know that because I broke into your house the other n—ow! Wow, you’re really good at swinging that baseball bat! Owowow!"

    (Remember, keep smiling!)

  1. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

    You don't necessarily have to talk about their interests—you can use their interests to make them come to you. For example, since going through a person’s garbage in step 1, you will discover that the person likes, oh, say, Twinkies. (Or Glade plug-ins, cold medicine, or anti-fungal powder. Doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you know they like it.) Take one of these prized items, tie some fishing line securely to it and leave the item lying on the ground in a place they are likely to walk, hold on firmly to your end and hide in some nearby bushes with a blunt object. Guaranteed success.

  1. Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.

    • Worship services. Make a holy shrine of the garbage they have tossed away, and display it in a prominent place that they are likely to see.
    • Follow them wherever they go and, every chance you get, shout, “YOU ARE SO SPECIAL!”
    • Perhaps rent a marching band to follow them to work, and serenade them from the parking lot.
    • Or, at the very least, give them food every morning when you have them locked securely in your basement where they can no longer ignore you or try to get away from you. Yeah. That’s it. And let them use the bathroom, too. Now, wouldn’t that make you feel special?
I feel much better after this little exercise. I'm sure I'll make plenty of friends in no time at all!

Boxes on the Brain

This is a moving kit we purchased.
Look closer.

See that circled bit in red? Just a little closer...

Ah. There is no truck in the box.
I'm so glad they pointed that out.


(Does this mean that someone out there might actually think that—?
Tell me it isn't so.)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Pandy Interviews Me

This blogging stuff is strange, sometimes. What is a "meme" or a "tagboard?" There are games that seem to go around from blog to blog, and I have yet to engage in any (the grand exception being the balderdash game—if you haven't been there for awhile, do go look. We're working on "taraxacum").

But an "interview" seems fairly straightforward, and I figured, yeah, I could do that, 'cause I know what it means. So when I saw the interview game (and I call it a "game" for the lack of something better to call it) on Pandy's blog, I volunteered.

The Interview

Pandy: What is currently your favorite game (board or otherwise)?

Me: I like all sorts of games—card games, board games, video games, playing tag with my clueless and enthusiastic toddler…. But my most favorite? Cat-baiting, by far. There are so many different ways to do it. A little bit of tape on the bottom of a paw; twitching your finger behind a pillow; meowing like a lost kitten in the next room. For our cat, if you…how to describe it? ...hum, low-pitched, monotone: it drives him frantic. Don’t know why. (He had a bad experience with—what? A bee?)

The only problem with cat-baiting this particular cat is that he is a bit too smart. If I put my hand under a blanket, say, and twitch it around appealingly like a wee lost mouse, he will glance at my hand twitching under the blanket, crouch, and...spring for my unprotected upper arm.

I have many scars from playing this game.

Pandy: If you could only eat one food for the next year (I won't say "for the rest of your life", that's just unreasonable), what would you pick?

Me: *sigh* Chocolate, hands down. Who needs nutrition when your taste buds are happy and your butt is as big as a houseboat?

Pandy: What's your pet peeve?

Me: Honestly, dishonesty. Or, more specifically, people who live in denial. And no, I am not one of these people. No, no, no. Not me.

Pandy: What are the last three books you read?

Me: for the first time, or the very last thing I put down? (I've been on a re-reading kick lately, and they don't really count, do they? I know it doesn't matter, no one cares, but I can't help pickin' the nit.) Bah.

Last three books (rereads)
  1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  2. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  3. a whole slew of Jane Austen novels that I read one right after the other so I'm going to count them as one book, including, but not limited to, Sense and Sensibility, Lady Susan, Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice
Last three books (stuff that was new to me)
  1. Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman—meh. YA romance. It was...okay.
  2. I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak—I really liked this one until the end, which got a little gimmicky for me.
  3. Midnighters series by Scott Westerfeld—Liked these. They are definitely on my reread list.

Pandy: Pickles or wagons?

Me: Pickles. You can carry them in your pocket a little easier (although wagons are much less sticky).


You wanna play? Here are the rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. (If you don't have a blog, well
—I guess you could do it in the comments section of this post, if you really, really want to.)
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the

same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.