Friday, February 26, 2010

F-Word Friday: Frickin' Awesome

Trivia rocked... 3rd place again! That's *really* fantastic when you consider there were 15 or so teams.

We would have nailed it if only we'd known more random Disney facts and had spent more of our collective childhoods watching nothing but Godzilla movies, but that's the way the game runs...

Sometimes it's your night, and sometimes you're left wondering who the hell could possibly have known all those answers! (Answer: that guy over there.)

Normally I get all excited about the email bonus question, an open-book test kind of thing sent in the weekly email. You put your answer on a piece of paper, drop it in a jar, and the Quizmaster draws the name of someone who will then get a fabulous prize.

Last night's prize was cat-food scented soap. I declined to enter my name.

Oh well! The company was great, and the pizza was good in a "wow that was interesting but I don't need to try it again" sort of way. I'll post the no-doubt frightening picture later on; I try so hard to look normal but it never works, and this will no doubt continue that tradition.

But traditions are important, right?


And TR brought presents from his trip! I love The Nightmare Before Christmas, and he brought me a stuffed Jack and some more of the awesome pins that are all the rage out there.

My favorites, which are seriously cute and now living on my dresser

He also brought back the absolute coolest thing for The Kid, who also loves Jack Skellington to bits because I trained her well.

Her friends will be SO jealous


It's got Jack all over it! And colored pencils! And markers! It's just what she would have chosen, and she was completely thrilled. (Good call, TR!)

I think it's so funny that TNBC is still SO popular, all these years later... and really, it's even more popular now than it was then! All The Kid's friends love it, and there's new merchandise all the time. You'd think the fervor would have died down by now, but Disney has a knack for keeping things in the spotlight that might otherwise have faded long ago, like Lilo & Stitch which was popular for about a year when The Kid was probably 6, and yet there's a relatively new ride and merchandise line being pushed.

They're good at what they do!

Here's wishing you a lovely, relaxing weekend! I know I'll be working that angle for all it's worth.


Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Alternatively Connected


I'm getting rid of cable and getting the interwebs instead.

And it's sort of scary, in a vague sort of way... like I'm cutting myself off from something.

Is it just that I fear change? Maybe. But really, what's the big deal? What will I be missing, anyway? I mean it's the modern age; most anything I want to see is right there online somewhere.

And no commercials! (Mostly.)

It's become such a habit, I guess...

You move in to a new house, and what do you schedule? Phone. Electricity. Gas. Cable.

It's even on those pre-printed lists you get from the moving companies of local providers of things you need. It's in the top 5.



If I really want to know what happened on Desperate Housewives (DON'T JUDGE ME) I'll just look it up on Television Without Pity. I've done that before, after all...I could never commit to Lost, so I just read about it. It's like TV in book format.

But I digress... the important thing to note here is that I'm getting internet at HOME. Just think of all the mind-numbing blog posts I'll be able to do! (Try to contain your excitement.)

And The Kid is beside herself. Oh, the Facebooking she'll do...

I've never really worried about time limits on TV before (because she doesn't watch much), but Facebook?

There may be a timer in our future.

Trivia tonight... wish us luck! (That would be the royal us, and the Bastard Children of Fill In The Blank us.)

Happy Thursday!

(PS... I've been trying to stick to the for content format... opinions? Are you tired of my blathering?)

(PPS... Okay, now I feel bad. Here... but only because it's Carl.)

Makes me feel tiny, but connected... and it reminds me that life is short, so why waste time on anger and negativity?

Work is just work. Thanks, Carl.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

WTF Wednesday - Exhaustion

So I had an awesome thought this morning in the car.

It was the most fantastic "Wonder Why" ever...

And I totally don't remember what it was about. Maybe I'll pick up the thread on the way home... you know how that sometimes happens when you retrace your steps.

I think I need one of those little keychain recording devices. But you know, if I had one, I'd lose it in my massive purse and get into a car accident trying to retrieve it before my thought bubble bursts.

I blame my lack of thought-keeping on my utter exhaustion...

This thing at work is beyond time-consuming, and while it *is* making the days just zip by, it's also one of those never-ending time sucks that mean I suddenly find it's 3:15 and I have a million other little things I was supposed to do but didn't.


As predicted, people are just not getting it when it comes to the system.

Well, to be fair, it's only a few out of the bunch, but some of them were really surprising - people who I was sure would totally get it.

Oh well.

There's a school Orchestra concert tonight... and palm trees in my future...

I'll just concentrate on those!

That, and the Llamapillar. It made me laugh.

Happy Wednesday...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Vomitous

My poor Kid is home sick today, with a barfy bug. So not fun, but I have to admit I'm grateful she's a young adult and not inclined to get it all over her bed anymore, but rather makes it to the can in time.

So, you know...

Silver lining!

The weekend was rather quiet and gloomy, but I got a lot done! House cleaned, laundry done, etc. I managed to get a lot of rest in too, when not dreaming I was a gangster in a bizarre kind of heist-gone-wrong scenario.

It was one of those dreams where you wake up, totally relieved to find it was just a dream, only to go back to sleep and pick right up where you left off. I have some really interesting leftover remembrances of it... in particular, the house that was at the base of a standing stone, the top of the stone featuring a Southwestern-style adobe mission.

I don't know, so don't ask me!

Friday night was the relaxing time I figured it would be, with the added bonus of dinner with The Kid's grampa. I didn't get my sewing done (no time for the fabric store), but I got about halfway through the Elise bag... it's looking pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!

I also got some stuff at Lowe's, and managed to piss off all the front desk staff by strong-arming my way out through the In door for a cart (you just have to push on it a little and it will open). Is it my fault they don't put carts, or at least baskets, *inside* the store for the shopper who gets more than a handful? Apparently cell phones set off the alarms. WHOOPS!

I picked up a second shovel so my lovely daughter can help shovel. She doesn't do a great job, which means I end up doing most of it, but I figure on mornings where we need to get it done quickly I can worry less about how it looks and use teamwork to just have it be good enough to not get a citation from the city.

Saturday morning I met The Kid and her friend at the site of the Solo Ensemble Festival (after shoveling AGAIN). Kid played beautifully (Oh Danny Boy) and got some useful advice from the critiquer. (Is that a word? Spell Check doesn't think so.)

We puttered around for the afternoon, getting our toes done (blue for me, purple for her), finishing up with dinner courtesy of The Kid's CFS (aka Home Ec) class. There were leftover kits for making Thai Lettuce Wraps (delicious!) and she won the lottery for taking one home. She cooked, I helped (only a very little bit with the harder parts, like mincing garlic), and it was lovely. Melissa joined us, which was lovely.

The budding chef

Sunday morning we attempted to sleep in, and were mostly successful. Actually now that I think about it I should have seen Kid's illness approaching... she napped on the couch half the afternoon! She never does that.

The rest of the day was filled with Rick Steves and Guitar Hero. I made the 9X13 version of the German Pancake recipe. This might work in the lowlands, but I think you might want to use a cast-iron skillet if you ever want to try this (note to Dandy!)... it was okay, kind of like an enormous, really thick crepe.

For lunch I made these, which were FRICKIN AWESOME, although The Kid didn't enjoy them much (she has a slight aversion to coconut, although really you can barely taste it with all the curry and panko going on).

Hope you had a great weekend... and here's hoping I don't pick up that nasty bug!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

F-Word Friday: Five-By-Five... Or Not

Snowy here today... snowy and cold.


Of course I don't mind the snow so much, especially when it clings to rustic buildings and makes them look like postcards waiting to happen, but the cold I could do without.

I'm looking forward to the weekend... it's been another long week at Le Travail de Mimi, and though I know you're just *dying* to hear all about it, I assure you it's the same old crap...

Communication is a good thing when everyone's paying attention, but when they're not, it's just an exhausting waste of emails.


But I have a new sewing project. It's the Finny February Craft-A-Long, and I'm SO on board. She has a pattern in the book One Yard Wonders (June of Planet June, too!), so of course I bought it, even though the pattern is one I've already made. Twice! I'm all about supporting my peeps.

Crafting makes me forget about my work woes.

We tried the Mediterranean-style place last night, Basil Flats. The space was beautiful, the falafel was tasty, and they use all-natural, mostly local ingredients and don't charge much. I liked it!

We had the Mozzarella en Carozza (a nice creamy mozzarella wrapped up in some flat bread and grilled so it got all melty, and served with a roasted tomato sauce), the afore-mentioned falafel (the best part was the tomato-cucumber salsa, although The Kid loved the tzaziki sauce so much she put it on everything), and one of their flatbread pizzas.

Everything was delicious, although I felt terrible... apparently I knew the owner but didn't remember him! When we got there, he came out and gave me the "how-ya-doin'" shoulder-pat and said hello, and honestly Kid & I just thought he was just being friendly. But on the way out, as we were admiring the tile-covered entry, he came up and I introduced myself... only to have him say "Yes, I know you... I'm Cindy's husband, remember?"

I really, really didn't, although I remembered his wife, she used to be The Kid's Girl Scout leader. I vaguely remember meeting her husband once, but that's about it!

Sorry guy!! Awesome restaurant, we'll be back!

The Kid has a viola solo in the morning, something she didn't *have* to do, but *chose* to do, and that makes me happy. I love seeing her take initiative.

She also has a sleepover tonight, which means a few hours of quiet time for me. I think I probably need that.

Not that she impedes my ability to be tranquil, but when I'm in Mom-Mode, I'm not the same as when I'm in Mimi-Mode, where I'm just myself and not responsible for anyone else's stuff.

Have a wonderful weekend; safe travels if you're traveling, happy vegetating if you're not!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Crabby

I am decidedly unthrilled this morning, despite my tax refund and ability to go grocery shopping last night and get the *good* milk.

I'm not sure why, either... a lot of uncertainty, a lot of unease.

*shakes it off*

Sorry, kids, I am just a bag of sunshine today!! I think I need a hug.

Good news things today:
  • The Kid is officially registered for High School. Courses picked and everything. That's pretty thrilling, right?!
  • The sun is shining, and it won't snow until later.
  • There's a new Mediterranean restaurant in town, and we're going to try it!
  • I'm finally getting rid of network TV in my house and getting internet! (I hope.)
I know I said I was going to try not to use videos as a fallback, but you *really* don't want to hear me whine today, so here!

TR found that, and it made me smile for a good 4 minutes or so.

I hope you're all having a lovely day!

Mine will improve dramatically in approximately 6 hours.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wonder Why Wednesday - The Best Things In Life Are Free

I got my tax refund this morning (yay for the modern world... I filed a week and a half ago!), and I feel so much less stressed out because of it.

It wasn't a fortune, and in fact it was a lot less than last year (I changed my W4 to get more back in my regular paychecks), but it made the difference.

I can go get some stuff done I've been putting off... like car maintenance and a furnace filter!

And a haircut! Just a little one - it's been 2 years. (The joys of long, straight hair.)

And maybe a pedicure. I know it's kind of counterproductive to splurge on extras when I've been squeaking by so much lately, but if you could see my heels right now you'd understand and indulge my 30.00 luxury.

It's always been my wish to have enough to be stress-free, and it doesn't happen very often, so when it does I relish the lack of anxiety.

Today's Wonder Why...

What's your definition of "enough"?

There's some thought that you can never have enough, or that your definition of enough might change the more you have, which I think is true... for me, "enough" means being able to go to the grocery store and buy what I need, rather than having to decide what I can afford that week. For someone with 4 kids in different states, it might be enough to see them each once a year.

Not that I'm so dirt-poor, I have enough to get the basics, but I really enjoy having enough to not worry so much, even if it's just for a little while.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Exploding Brains

Well you'll be glad to know that today's post will not include any lengthy descriptions of my innermost workings...


It was a pretty nice weekend, in fact.

Friday night The Kid had her buddy sleep over unexpectedly (she's always welcome as a drop-in though - this would be the friend with whom Child celebrated her 5-year Friendiversary a few months back), and we went to eat at Chick-Fil-A as her friend's sister's soccer team was having a benefit - this was courtesy of her friend's mom, who had been trying to find a way out of going to said benefit. Everbody wins!

(It was much better this time; I had tried their chicken nuggets when they first opened, and it must have been first-week-itis.)

They ran around and acted like lunatics in my house while I had a 2 hour conversation, and then we watched the rather disturbing remake of Children of the Corn and had a lengthy discussion about religious extremism. I love teenagers.

Saturday morning The Kid took off with her grampa for awhile to "help him shop for a card for Sherri" (code for pick up a card for me) for Valentine's Day. She's very sweet that way, and he was very sweet to think of it!

While they were out doing that, I finished up making the dragon I had been working on, a gift for Nova's birthday (couldn't tell you that before, now could I!), which she liked a lot!


Ever try to wrap a dragon? Yeah.


We headed up to Fabulous Greeley, CO about noon to help Nova with her party planning - it was a madhouse by 3:30 and I had a screaming migraine (or similar - it sure felt like a migraine) by 4:30. FUN. It had been threatening all day but I think the combination of a slightly mildewy clubhouse (I don't mind the smell, but I do have a bit of an allergy) and many, many children under the age of 5 kind of pushed it over the edge. We left at about 5 and I was asleep by probably 8PM.

Sunday morning The Kid and I went out for German pancakes for breakfast, I gave her a card...she was pleased.

We don't really do much with Valentine's Day other than the card thing, although I know lots of folks go nuts for it. To me, though, it seems like kind of a marketing campaign for the rose and candy industry. "Buy your girlfriend flowers and chocolate or she'll think you hate her!" seems to be the secret message in all the ads, and don't get me wrong, I like little cute heart-covered things as much as the next girl, but I hate that the Powers That Be make it seem so obligatory.

Plus there's the fact that the unattached are made to feel kind of worthless on that day. I might not fit that category anymore, but I still have to look out for my brethren. SOLIDARITY NOW!

Besides, I like anniversaries better... they're much more personal.

Well I hope you had a lovely weekend, that you celebrated if you felt like it, and that you didn't have to suddenly shovel 3 inches of mystery snow Sunday morning like I did. Seriously, I went to bed under clear skies, woke up to blue skies, and was understandably shocked when I opened my garage door to a whole pile of work.

S'ok...I earned my breakfast, and it was really pretty.

Friday, February 12, 2010

F-Word Friday: Freeflowing


(I didn't post Tuesday or Wednesday, apparently I'm making up for lost time.)

I've been blocked lately.

When I first started this blog (Happy 1 Year and 9 Day Anniversary, Blog!) it was to impart my personal thoughts on stuff (and show you stuff I made because I enjoy attention), but I seem to have been relying more and more on "Hey, here's a video to distract you from my lack of ideas" just lately.

I think I'm just tired, and it's 99% because of my job.

Now I am not one to complain (quit laughing, you - yes you, I can see you in the back there!). I realize that my problems are not large, and are not real problems when compared to the rest of the world and all its miseries.

But they are *my* problems, and so I'm a little closer to them. It's the best defense I can give for bitching at all.

I just find myself more and more dissatisfied with my work life. I am profoundly grateful that I even *have* a job in this economy, granted, but still...

It's not what I want to do the rest of my life.

I don't want to do a 50-mile commute forever, to come to an office and do things that don't really matter. I push paper (well, I input info - it's the modern age, after all). I tell people where to sign/how to submit their required info. It's absolutely without any purpose or meaning.

I look at people who are out there doing stuff that matters, and I realize that I'm not among them. I don't bring anything to the table... I'm just sort of here.

Now of course, there are a lot of pros to my job. Security is first and foremost - being a "Certified State Employee" means that I'm pretty safe from being laid off. Plus there are the fringe benefits... discounts on my cell phone, a window and an office, super-fast internet I can use if I'm reasonable about time spent...

It's not a bad gig.

I think I would feel better about it if I could get a break now and again, but what I'm finding more and more is that most of the people in my department have no idea what I do, and couldn't replicate it if I disappeared for awhile. This has come much more into the full light of day with the advent of the Now-Famous Expense System. I am responsible for a huge portion of this system, and there is *nobody* who would be able to do it if I were to leave for a week. This means if I ever get to take a break, it will have to be scheduled to within an inch of its little life, or I'll have to pay for my time off with a staggering amount of work upon my return.

I realize I'm not alone in this situation... I'm fully aware of it, in fact. I'm really just feeling sorry for myself because I wish I was in a Big Green Van right now, and not sitting in my office.

I'm allowed a little pity party once in awhile, right?

ANYWAY, back to my original thought... writing this blog about me again.

On the way home last night it occurred to me that on my long (but often stunningly gorgeous) commute, I have some of the most bizarre trains of thought. I (safely, I assure you) wrote some down yesterday as I drove, which I'm going to share with you because I know how much you love to see my crazy up close and personal.

This is exactly how it looked, written on the back of an envelope with my favorite "This Pen Stolen From Geeks Who Drink" pen:


I'll interpret, since I was writing this VERY quickly at red lights and stop signs and while waiting for The Kid to come out of school.

Blog Post Blockage

*Things in my head... the commute's beauty. (Tired of work, boring. NOT LIFE.)
Work vs. Life.*

This was pretty much all afternoon/evening yesterday, as I have exhaustively narrated above.

I do have to say that since learning a few non-highway backroads into Boulder from my house, the commute has been a lot more enjoyable.

*PMS & Music/Otherwise too scary*

I'm not even sure what the "otherwise too scary" bit is (see, even when I write it down I forget - maybe it was something about music soothing the savage beast!), but I do know that I'm probably more emotionally-charged about all this right now because of my feminine issues.

Woohoo, TMI!

*Missing TR.
- private posts
- live journal
- I know he reads (oh hi there!)*

TR is off on his travels, and I miss him. I talk to him every day and he tells me amusing stories and makes me laugh so I'm good, but I'll be glad when he's back.

I wrote it down because I was thinking about him, but also because he & I had talked earlier and he mentioned he'd noticed my lack of posting.

I really really like that he reads my blog.

I have a hard time really thoroughly describing my thoughts in any way but the written (well, typed) word, and I'm sure sometimes I come off kind of dopey and scattered in conversation - I like that he can see how my brain works in a clearer manner here in print.

I don't censor myself because of it, but I don't get *too* introspective (HAHAHAHA YES I DO) either, for the benefit of all and sundry. I save the diary-type stuff that nobody should have to be subjected to in odd little posts that I don't publish mainly because this isn't Live Journal (not that you'd know it from today's post) and which often are just me having a moment.

I keep them around, because I like to look back and see if I've grown past any of my issues, which I'm happy to report I have! Go me and stuff!

*Writing for me vs. to entertain = entertaining?*

I do try to keep you, my faithful readers, amused. But I think I've been moving away from writing from my own perspective, and have been instead struggling to find amusing things to keep you interested and engaged.

But maybe I'm entertaining enough on my own... Lord knows today's post is just CHOCK FULL OF FUNNY.

This lead to me wondering about what I could write about then, where my ideas would come from if Vimeo were to suddenly shut down and leave me with only my own brain to work with.

*Subjects - things in my head.
- Lyrics
- How songs make me feel/rap-ambient-sad-atmospheric/wishing for a particular song/soundtracks of our lives/headphones vs. boomboxes vs. open car windows
- Guilty pleasures*

I mentioned I was driving my car, and i had my iPod running in one ear since, though it's not exactly recommendable, is safer than me flipping through my CDs while driving. It's a Shuffle, which is good because it keeps me interested, but bad because sometimes I have to cycle through about 50 songs before I find one to suit my mood.

This got me thinking about music and the individual, and its ability to affect us all so differently. It can evoke so many emotions and responses, and shuffling from song to song is a bit schizophrenic.

I go from "urban" stuff (my note said "rap", but I'm thinkin more of urban-inspired beats, stuff that makes you bop your head and talk along with the flow, like Beck and Gorillaz), to ambient/atmospheric stuff (which makes me feel like doing nothing more than admiring the cloud formations, my favorite Imogen Heap confections and most of what's on TR's compilation for Burning Man come to mind).

Then something old and silly will come on (oh hello, Mr. Reed) and I'll feel nostalgic, which will be followed by a vision of myself in a smoky dive, the muse of Leonard Cohen 30 years ago.

Schizophrenic, I tell you. It's like all these different people inhabit our heads, the us of old, the us of now, the us we wish we were...

Music is magic that way.

For me, the lyrics that go along with a particular song can sometimes seem preordained to fit with that situation, but of course they can also direct one's mood...

This is why I turn The Smiths *off* when I'm down in the dumps. Nothing like feeding the fire, ya know?

Then I started thinking about how it's all internal, these feeling that accompany each song, more so in today's world because of all our personal music devices.

It stresses the appeal of live shows, where you can share that mood with others - it makes for such a more solidly real-world experience, rather than having it be in your own head all the time.

I also wonder if this isn't the motivation behind rolling down our windows and cranking it up on a sunny summer day - it's the modern boom box. I know there have been a few times where I've found myself doing so because some really loud Journey song comes on and I want to throw out a line, maybe find a kindred soul out there on the road to share 3 seconds of recognition with me.

Yes, Journey.

Don't even tell me you don't like "Don't Stop Believing", because everybody does, they just don't want to admit it.

And there's another topic for you...

Guilty pleasures, specifically when it comes to music.

I have a friend, who shall remain nameless, who when faced with the prospect of her crush scrolling through her iPod playlist to find her music influences first hurriedly removed several albums, including a few by the illustrious Hanson.

But why the guilt? She loves Hanson. She shouldn't have to fear being mocked for her admiration of them, just as I should be able to blast my favorite Justin Timberlake songs (there I said it).

Finally, on my bizarro envelope list, are a few random bits of stuff...

* Stupid light in my car*

The TPMS light is on in my car for no apparent reason. I'm too lazy to go get it taken care of, so there it sits, annoying me.

* I'm OK With Easy*

I play Guitar Hero on easy, and I'm okay with that... I saw a tshirt somewhere once, and wanted to find it again and share it with you, which led to...

* Snorgle Tees*

Snorg Tees (mistakenly remembered as "Snorgle Tees", which is funnier) offers an amusing bunch of geek-centric/pop culture shirts, and I really want a few... mostly I just wanted to remember to tell you about them!

This one's my fave today:


*Hey Pretty Baby*

I love this song... I wanted to use it to illustrate how music can affect everyone differently. I bet if you listen to it, you won't think of your 3-week old baby, to whom you sang the chorus, and then subsequently of your favorite Scotsman, who reminded you of how much you loved the artist herself so long ago and introduced you to more of her music. It's an entirely individual response.

Alright, that's enough out of me for one day... if you made it through this whole post you...

a) Are exceedingly patient - or at least bored enough to want to read my brain dump.
b) Have to pee now because it took an hour to slog through it all.
c) Know more about me than you did an hour ago.
d) Hopefully don't think I'm too insane.
e) Even if you do think I'm insane, you still like me.

Have a wonderful weekend; I'll be working on finishing a book, finishing a dragon, starting a new crochet project (a cool birthday present for the fabulous Elise that I think she'll dig), talking to TR while he's meandering, going to a birthday party for Ms. Nova and her kiddos and playing a lot of Lego Indiana Jones, my new favorite thing.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Not Dead

Oh hi!

I bet you were wondering where I was.

Well, remember that expense system I mentioned?

Making me crazy, currently. The short version...

People are dumb. (Present company excluded, of course.)

So I promise new and better posts next week, but this week...

Bupkiss. (Forgive me? I knew you would!)

In place of an actual post of substance, I give you...

Cineflex - Norwegian sunset

Thanks, Vimeo. I can always count on you!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Aftermath and Art Hogging

So now I have a 14 year old.

I may have mentioned this.

Her party was awesome (-ly loud) and fun (-ner than a root canal) and with the exception of one of the girl's dad's showing up to pick her up dressed to go campaign for Congress as a Republican (no I'm not kidding) went off with almost no uncomfortable moments at all!

Me, upon seeing the "US Congress Candidate" badge: "So, you're running for Congress! Good for you!"
Him, upon seeing me still in my PJs: "Yes."
Me, upon realizing he looks like Anderson Cooper without all the joy: "So, um, what party are you running with?"
Him, upon realizing he saw an Obama sticker on my car: "Republican... but the incumbent is a Democrat!"

So, yeah, props to him for not rolling his eyes.

The party was truly great though; they had a blast, played Wii and watched horror movies (The Relic), ate pizza by the truckload and chips by the bucketfull, drank Capri-Suns (never go out of style, and the low-sugar ones use real sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup) and yelled a lot.

Appetizing, no?

They also swore a lot.

Very fond of the f-word, are these 8th grade girls.

I mostly ignored it, although at one point they must have forgotten I was in the room because they began singing an alternate version of the Bob The Builder theme song, which ends with a heartily-yelled expletive.

They all gasped and looked my way, and I gave them the over-the-glasses mom look and went back to my book.

One of the girls stage-whispered "Man, I can't believe she isn't yelling at us for that!" I replied that basically, inside a party is okay if it's not said in anger, but outside it's not ladylike.

It seemed to suck the fun right out of it, and voila - not another f-word was uttered.



So The Kid got some extremely nice gifts, including a couple of gift cards and a metric ton of beading supplies (she loved everything!). She also got a pair of earrings made by her friends dad, who shines up pennies and dimes and nickels, drills holes and makes ear-wires. The Kid got nickels and they will look awesome when her ears are all healed!

Also, all her friends are dorks.

I should note that the fancy house is not mine, but rather The Kid's grampa's. We were dog sitting for Lance (a yellow Lab who is the absolute real-life incarnation of Dug from Up) and Daphne (a Cairn Terrier who's a dead ringer for Toto).

The special super-deluxe awesome part of house-sitting/dog-sitting for them?

HOT TUB. Oh yes.

The Kid's actual birthday was Sunday, and we did absolutely nothing but sit in our PJs and eat, watch movies, play games, and ignore the snow falling outside.

We also finished up The Kid's non-grade project for school (otherwise I wouldn't have helped).

I've mentioned before that I'm an art hog...well, I struck again! (I let her help this time though.)

Check the monkey pajamas - a birthday gift from her buddy Devin, along with a quarter-wheel of Gouda

This time, I must say, the art-hogging was because I felt I should take the brunt of the ABSOLUTE PAIN IN THE ASS this project was. It was my bright idea, after all.

I mean, don't you remember when you were a little kid, and your teacher had you tape or glue a bunch of tissue paper to the back of a piece of black construction paper with holes in it, the STUNNING end to which was a "stained glass" art creation your parents adored and displayed for weeks?

I do.

But now I'm an adult... and I now know the teacher was up for a week before-hand, cutting those little windows out. And the gluing-on of tissue is only fun if you don't have to make it fit a one-color-per-hole kind of theme.

It looks great though... it's the visual part of the presentation that The Kid put together on the National Cathedral as part of the lead-up to The Big Trip (the recreation we did was of the Celtic Cross Panel). The kid with the best project gets to put a wreath on The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Only 2 months to go! What an amazing trip it'll be...

Happy Monday!

Friday, February 5, 2010

F-Word Friday: Festivities

Well Happy Almost Birthday to my kid!

She's going to be 14 shortly.

She used to look like this:

She enjoyed mashed potatoes a lot more sans front teeth

She got a little older, of course, and a little taller...

The Kid and her BFF from Brownies!

... and clearly a lot more sassy.

Yes, sassy. Look at that face and tell me she wasn't just giving me a whole basketful of sass right then.

We moved to Colorado when she was just 8.

This face still occurs regularly

We've celebrated many birthdays since, and they've all rocked.

She's not a little kid anymore...

Heels? Really?

... but she's still my baby.

So not that short anymore

Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter; I'm totally lucky.

Wish me luck tonight; I let her invite 9 friends. That means 10 teens in one house, with all the squeeing you would imagine that entails. I'm planning on earplugs.

In other news, I did GWD Trivia last night with the fabulous Chris & Robyn, and we came in 3rd! By only 3 points! Nice. I made a little bag for Robyn (as it was her birthday last weekend), and lo she was tickled.

I do so love giving presents. It's so selfish, but I really really do. And yet I hate getting them, I get all aw-shucks-lookin-at-my-feet. What a weirdo!

The Bastard Children of Lief Garrett!
Also, what's up with me in pictures?! Honestly, I'm not being hypercritical, but I look like I shaved my eyebrows, took a brillo pad to my head and am attempting to hide a cat in my sleeve. I blame the lighting.

One last little bit of F-word Friday... F is for Florida, where TR is currently enjoying palm trees and all that Disney has to offer.

He sent me a digital postcard, and he looks very content to be looking out at the water and wearing a tshirt in February.

Happy Friday, and here's hoping I can still hear at my current range come Sunday!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thrilling Thursday: Musicale Redux

Just a quick post today... videos from the concert!

These are, again, just practices they were doing since we weren't allowed to video the actual performance. I managed to get some good chunks.

Enjoy, and sorry for the quality, but if you close your eyes you get the idea!

They sounded amazing.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

WTF Wednesday - Ask Away

Does it make *any* sense to you that someone's sexual preferences should cause them to be ejected from the armed forces they volunteered for?

In particular, does it make sense to you that someone who volunteers for services *in wartime* should be denied the ability to do what they volunteered to do, namely fight for what they believe in, because they're gay?

It makes about as much sense as saying you can't fight for your country because you're blonde.

The policy's reasons are stated as follows:

"Anyone...who demonstrates a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts...would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability."

I'm sorry, what?

So if I'm clear on what this is saying, they're first of all saying that if you're gay you have no morals (which is an entirely religiously-motivated opinion), and that not only do you have no moral compass but you also have no ability to follow orders and keep yourself in check.

Because all those heterosexual soldiers who tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib were just so admirable and restrained and morally superior.


I'm not saying you have to agree with homosexuality, that's entirely your call, but come on.

I applaud President Obama for finally seeing the light on this, although I wish he would make it effective immediately. Instead there's going to be some sort of year-long survey, which to me smacks of "maybe they'll forget about it", but I don't think that's going to happen.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tome Tuesday #6 - Under The Dome

I know what you're saying...

"I thought you gave up on this, Mimi!"

Well I didn't. I was just busy. Stop harassing me, JEEZ.


Under the Dome, by Stephen King.

Let me preface this by saying I LOVE Stephen King.

I am a dedicated Constant Reader. I am a confessed Tower Junkie. I know the location of the Unfound Door, the many names of Randall Flagg, and the significance of the number 19. I can have involved conversations about the deeper meaning of his best works, can tell you his answer to the question "where do you get your ideas", and I even know the name of a few of the "gentleman's magazines" he first published in back in the beginning (one is "Adam", which just makes me giggle).

I am a FAN.

So when I say that this wasn't one of my favorites, please realize that it comes from a place of understanding of where he's at in his life, and not a place of simple dislike.

The thing about King is that since his accident he's been... well, "cruelly realistic" is the best term I can come up with. I think, and really this is just my opinion, that since having faced his own mortality so intensely in the past 10 years, King has really become more realism-happy in his fiction.

I get that, in real life, shitty things happen and people die needlessly, but there used to be allowances made for things like dogs and kids in his work. I'm just saying. Maybe it has to do with being older than I was when I used to read his stuff as a teen. I'm less in my own little bubble, and my life experiences are more advanced; when I used to read about the people who died in 'Salem's Lot, it was with dread, but it didn't really affect me because they were fictional characters. Now I find I can't really enjoy the fiction of it, because I see the reality so often. If I'm choosing to be entertained I want to *escape* from those sorts of things by reading or watching something fictional where things turn out all right, or at least justly, in the end; when my entertainment is just mirroring the real world, it's not really taking me in all the way.

Other than that basic problem with real-life, not-so-happy-ending elements in fiction, which is the only reason I didn't care for this book as much as I might have, Under The Dome had all the elements I desire in a good King tome. It had a quick pace, vast length, multiple plots involving umpteen characters, more exposition than you can shake a stick at... all the things a Constant Reader craves in his best work.

The story starts out with a bang; the Dome drops with no warning on what is subsequently referred to by the residents of the town as Dome Day. Anyone inside the perimeter of the town of Chester's Mill, Maine (which is, I have to say as a Constant Reader, is just a stone's throw from Castle Rock) is trapped with their only power being from various generators throughout the town.

Among those left are a tyrannical town selectmen with a lot of fish to fry (Big Jim Rennie, a truly spectacular specimen of a Big Bad) and an ex-military short order cook who's on his way out of town after a bit of trouble (Dale "Barbie" Barbara). They each quickly take their places as the leads of what end up being the two factions in the town.

This is the meat of the story, the look at what would happen if you trapped a town full of people with minimal resources and no way out. Who would them most likely follow, and why? Would they give up quickly, or fight to the end? Would they work together, or look out for number one?

In the end, I would say I enjoyed the book a lot, it was classic Stephen King fare, but I do wish he'd lighten up a little.

Just a little.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekend Catchup: Melodious

A long and tiring weekend... but nice just the same.

Friday night The Kid and I did some housecleaning and then she got to bed early... we had a 6AM role call for the trip to Colorado Springs for the CMEA conference the next day!

I stayed up a bit, as TR came over to hang out with me before his trip to points east (he's going to see the shuttle launch with his brother, how cool is that?!). We watched part of Watchmen and...


I can't say I enjoyed it, but I did like it. It was very well filmed, and had great costumes and Rorschach was super-creepy, but...


Thank goodness I had marked my 2nd Favorite Scotsman, he rescued me! With puppets!

Up and out early Saturday, we managed to catch the sunrise and I remembered why I hate school buses.

The conference was being held in the Broadmoor Hotel, which was lovely, and the performance was amazing.

Unfortunately we were not allowed to take video of the actual show, but I did get a little of the practice and you can really hear how wonderful they sounded!

Where's the video, you ask?

Why, in the camera of course! At home! *sigh*

After lunch at what I deemed the Casa Bonita of Colorado Springs (you just know that 12 year olds in the area demand birthday dinners there), Fargo's Pizza. It's in a really neat building with lots of stained glass and Old Tymey decor, and the staff have to dress in period costumes which you can just tell they hate.

The pizza was ok, just your standard cheese-and-sauce-and-stuff fare but it was made fresh so that's something. The kids were thrilled there was an arcade!

I played Pac-Man. Poorly.

Back on the bus, we were home by about 4PM, and we were all exhausted. It was worth the trip, and I'm glad we went, but you can bet I needed a nap when we got home!

We went to The Kid's grampa's house for dinner and then I was out cold by 9.

I woke up with two absolutely fantastic ideas for posts. Thinking I was smart, I texted the basics to myself and...

And I really need a notebook by the bed.

The first was "time passing related to having children". I have no idea what that was.

The second was "dogs vs people"... and the only thing I really remember about that one was that I was likening people I love to be around and people I can't stand to dog breeds. Something about preferring a mutt who was loyal to a prissy, snarling Bichon Frise which, while pretty and cultured, would bite your hand in a flash.

Sunday was relaxing otherwise... I watched District 9, which I liked a lot although, again, I didn't really *enjoy* it... It was very bloody and had a very strong and somber message. The concept was good though, and the aliens were unusual and sympathetic and well thought out as far as their design and language and mannerisms.

Today it's back to work and one day closer to the new expense system I'm dreading, but kind of fun since I'm trying out a Balance Ball Chair that was left by a departing coworker. So far so good! It's supposed to be good for the back.

Time will tell.

Happy Monday!