Monday, December 31, 2007


the last day of the year.


what i really hope for this year is that americans will take the recent and not so recent events worldwide and be appreciative of their ability to vote in "free, fair, and democratic" elections.

(i put that in quotes for obvious reasons, but the sentiment stands)

without having to riot, without assassination, and without the battle battle battle to put a ballot in a box.

sure, our elections process on all levels could use more oversight and they are far. from. perfect.

BUT, fuck man. we have the right to vote!!! there are people in this world who can't even imagine that right. who will work all of their lives and battle all of their lives and will never. have. that. right.

and even when the system breaks down and doesn't work, oh and it does, we still get to vote. which means we get chance after chance to try and change it. it does do good. it really does.

not voting is not sending a message. not voting is a threat to democracy.

so i say 2008 is the year to stop bitching about what is and seek positive change for what can be.

and you can start by using your right to vote again and again and again and again and again.

if the bulk of the voting population actually voted, rather than these dismal numbers we generally see, we'd see the difference it can really make. but we also have to be willing to keep voting and be patient for the shift.

and isn't it cool we can do that without risking life and limb and liberty?

so lets make 2008 the year we encourage one another to use our right to vote and make steps towards positive change.

here's to a happy new year!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

rookie mom move.

you'd think after nearly 11 years at this gig and countless years before as a nanny i'd know the basics.

you know, keep the kid fed, wiped down, and always have a hat/snack/drink on hand.

but two nights ago i threw myself my own wrench. proving that the basics have far reaching tentacles that can mess with the program at. any. time.

it was the second to the last night of hanukkah and the boybarians received a card game. a card game requiring 4 or more players.

i know, huh? what the hell? and when i relayed this story to others the reactions were one of two

"wow, i'm really surprised you missed that."

and you can just hear their cogs a turning reviewing all they previously held as favorable opinion of my skills as a mother.


"what in the hell were you smoking!"

and then you just hear laughter of the 'you are so screwed' variety.


my kids LOVE games. my husband and i DO NOT. i always tell the duke he was born into the wrong family. that somewhere out there his real family exists. a family filled with game playing freaks.

and wingman wins every game he plays no matter what so he's ALWAYS down for a game. surprising.

i can't believe i didn't read the box. the ideal situation gone horribly wrong. a new game is good for at least three days of the kids playing it together, elsewhere in another part of the house. three blissful days of something to do that doesn't have to do with me.

unless you don't read the box. and you purchase and give a game that requires 4 or more players.

i have, and will continue to suffer the consequences and not be so cavalier in the future. i can't afford to be.

in other news, i informed the boybarians we will be moving their desks upstairs to their room.

this will serve two purposes. one, though they rarely use their desks for school, a dedicated space somewhere away from everyone else might be quite attractive.

and two, the duke's desk looks like a yard sale gone wrong and just left in the yard without ever being packed back up, and wingman's desk isn't much better. except right after he cleans it, then he takes every little tchotchke he owns and "displays" them on his tiny desk rendering it deserted gift shop creepy and absolutely useless.

anyhow, i was explaining this and letting the duke know that i knew that the finish on his desk was not conducive to writing and i would get him a blotter so he could have a smooth surface.

then he said

"yeah, and i'll need a coffee mug that says 'world's best boss', too. you know, for my pencils."

well, he got the 'boss' part right.

now all he needs is that suit and he's set.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

easy, quick, and good!

and no, i'm not talking about your girlfriend.

i made this last night. it's easy because it uses 2 ready made ingredients which i am not used to using...but it turned out so good! and it was quick, which was even more important last night.

from gourmet. sorta translated by me.

(sorry, no pictures. but it looked really good plated up!)

parmesan crusted polenta with sausage mushroom ragout

1 1/2 lb to 2 lb precooked polenta (in a tube)
1/3 c grated parmesan
2 TBS olive oil, divided
1lb sweet italian sausage (i used turkey last night)
1/2 lb mixed sliced wild mushrooms (could use regular)
1/2 c dry red wine (any red will do)
1 1/2 c ready made marinara sauce

preheat broiler

slice polenta log into 8, 1/2 inch rounds (recipe called for 4, which was NOT enough)

place on lightly oiled heavy baking sheet and broil 3-4 inches from broiler for about 7 mins or until little golden brown spots appear on polenta.

turn polenta over and sprinkle generously with the cheese. broil for about 7 more minutes or until a bit more browned than the first side. remove from broiler.

meanwhile heat a heavy 12 inch skillet over medium high heat and add 1 TBS of the olive oil until shimmery. remove sausage from the casings and break up with a spatula. cook until *just* cooked through, about 4 mins.

remove sausage to the bowl, leaving the rendered fat behind. add the other 1 TBS of olive oil and cook mushrooms until soft, about 3 mins.

add the wine and bring to a boil scraping any bits off the bottom that stuck. continue to boil until wine is reduced by half, about 2 mins.

stir in the sausage and tomato sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. salt and pepper to taste. i found it needed pepper. but that's me.

put two polenta rounds slightly overlapping on plate, cheese side up, spoon a generous helping of the ragout over the rounds and offer more parmesan cheese at the table. serve with a green salad.


cook's notes:

i had two complaints about the original recipe. the first was they only called for 1 polenta round a person. fine for kids, but adults need at least two apiece. i changed the amount up top to reflect this.

the other was the cost. ready made sauce, precooked polenta (need it for the tube shape) and the mushrooms made it a bit pricier than i like. BUT, you pay for the easy and the quick. and, you can substitute regular mushrooms and red wine you already have whether it's *dry* or not, or any wine you purchase to drink to cut down on the cost. it need not be pricey.

also, regular sausage (which the recipe calls for) is cheaper than turkey sausage. but i was going for health. you pay for THAT too!

now, i will make my case for boxed wines. they are better than they used to be. the technology has greatly improved, so the taste is unaffected. AND they last well over a month after opening. PLUS you get 4 bottles in a box, and since they are not individually bottled they are several dollars cheaper *per bottle* over all.

some good brands are black box, three thieves, and delicato. i know i know, anyone who grew up in the central valley will remember delicato as being sort of the bottom of the barrel kinda wine. a bit below the old school gallo. you know, before they turned all yup.

not so anymore. it is now a delicious, award winning label and deserves a second try.

does anyone remember that billboard on hwy99? where the wine is being poured into the glass and it looks *real* because it's those little shimmery circles that sway and catch the light and look like the wine is really pouring?

that was my favorite billboard evah! as a kid.

what a surprise.


Monday, December 10, 2007

pa-rum-pum-pum-pum...mmm, rum.

so i took the boybarians to the nutcracker on friday. we did a little bit of studying of tchaikovsky and his music, but i kept the whole ballet thing under my hat.

the duke was familiar with the nutcracker being a ballet from t.v. and the paper, but it was news to wingman.

sure enough about 10 confused minutes it he was like "so, how much longer?"

there were a few parts he really dug. there's a battle and cannons and the chinese dragon was a big hit.

but all the dancing, not so much.

i love ballet. i used to take ballet when i was in college and in my 20s. i totally sucked but i loved it. it's very soothing and comforting to watch.

so we're there and there's a buncha kids and of course the girls are all dressed up, and some of the boys are even wearing suits. great. just what i need to start up the "suit conversation" with the duke.

okay, so some months ago the duke decided he needed a suit.

"for what?"

"just to have."

so then i explain that since he's growing so fast we should probably have an occasion for which to make such a big purchase. and since we're not a suit occasion kind of family i can't see it happening. i mentioned going to a thrift store for a used suit, but he wasn't so into it.

on friday he sees all these kids in suits and he said

"see mama, if i had a suit i could have worn it today."

"i agree. if you really want a suit, let's try the thrift stores after christmas. kids usually get a suit and wear it once before outgrowing it. i bet you could find something"

"no. i'd rather go to the men's warehouse. i bet they've got a lot of great suits."

seriously, where is the rum-pum-pum-pum.

then we continued our urban holiday adventure with a stop at the restaurant where their uncle is executive chef. it's all floor to ceiling windows and wrought iron and singles. and apparently the busiest, most happening restaurant in the city.

we asked the hostess for a table and she said

"wow. okay, you can have a table but we are booked solid so i'll have to have it back by six."

it was 4pm so i knew we were good. but i said

"what if we aren't out by six?"

she did not think that was funny. no sir.

so this is a wine bar and they specialize in small plates for tasting with the wines and all that.

the kid's menu does not have all the fried crap that is de rigueur on most kid's menus and instead offers all kinds of good stuff, healthy stuff. salmon and veggies, things like that.

of course this makes no impression on wingman whatsoever, who promptly ordered macaroni and cheese because that's just how he rolls and he makes no apologies.

the duke abandoned kid's menus years ago and while i was perusing the wine list, or binder i should say!, the duke is looking at the small plates. he says

"the queso azul served with fig jam and crackers, and the drunken figs with shaved proscuitto look good."

indeed. add in a glass of aptly named "writer's block" syrah and we'll call it good.

they also had a milk flight. which is four tasters of flavored milk served in wine glasses. very cool.

then we actually got to sit with their uncle and chat a bit, which is a rarity because we never see him. i have known this man well over a decade and can i say when my sister first met him he didn't know how to go grocery shopping and when i first met him i swear he ate delivery pizza and ben and jerry's every night. he started out washing dishes when they moved here, and now, bon appetit is requesting his recipes and he's in a cookbook and the restaurant is very very successful. it's nice to see someone you love do well.

it was a nice afternoon and lo and behold we were gone by six. because i'm all about making the people happy.

and then just to spice things up we added in a mad dash to the ferry in three inch high heeled boots. i didn't fall, thank god, but i almost did and i am ashamed to admit i reached out for wingman to steady myself. i'm not proud of this, using my own small child with the very real possibility of taking him down with me.

BUT, i didn't fall in front of a crowd and i think there's a LOT of value in that.

so i make it to the ticket counter and i'm all worried about making the ferry because they called last boarding and i'm sweaty and discombobulated and the ferry guy asks

"are these your two kids?"


"so they're the men in your life, huh?"


"are there any more men in your life?"

oh. really. okay.

"yeah, there's another one at home."

"is it another son?"

seriously? okay so here i am in a huge hurry and this man is flirting with me? can i say nobody ever flirts with me! and here it is at the worst possible time and he's whippin' out the lines and the sly smile. glad to see he's got all the time in the world.

"oh, no, it's a husband."

"ah. i see."

i give him my sweaty smile and dash to the boat and make it on just as they're stretching the little chain across.

and just when i'm smugly thinking that this old girl still has it enough to inspire flirtation there isn't one. seat. to. be. had. on. the. ferry. and then when we do find three together, we find that the third seat is being occupied by the newspaper of the man in the fourth seat.

"oh, do you mind?"i ask indicating the paper and giving him the newly minted obviously flirtation inspiring smile to which he replies

"i'm saving this seat."

"oh. of course."

and then for the entirety of the 35 minute sailing no one else ever shows up and i ride with wingman all the way on my lap.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

the early bird gets to wake me up first.

so yesterday morning before i had even hauled my ass out of bed wingman came in and announced he had finished his math assignment and done his spelling. then he shoved a book under my nose and said

"and i want to make a compass!"


i do love his enthusiasm and eagerness. i love it more two hours later in the morning, when school actually starts, but i'll take what i can get.

so you might have heard about some weather here in our fair state. it's cause a LOT of destruction and damage and disruption and some people have died. a bridge near us is completely gone, part of the interstate is under water, and so many homes across the state have flooding of water or mud or have been submerged to their rafters in flood water. not to mention the mudslides eating up homes and carrying cars away.

every year the storms are getting worse. there's more death and damage.

instead of the republicans bickering over policy and when life begins and the democrats campaigning against a lame duck president who can't even run again perhaps they could give a bit more priority to the issue of global warming and all it encompasses. and our role in that.

because while i understand that warming is a "natural" trend, this rate of warming is not natural. and since it's only going to get worse maybe perhaps we oughta get crackin'.

just sayin' is all.

just don't tell al about my beast of a truck. shh. we'll just keep that amongst ourselves. poor dear works so hard, i'd hate to bother him with this. or to see him weep.


Monday, December 03, 2007

when it rains it floods.

well, that was fun. a little break. i only wish i can say it will help me get back here more on a regular basis, but i can't. life is busier than ever!

let's see. hmm, what's up? well, the biggest thing recently is that my favorite kitty is gone.

you will remember yancey?

remember he was slated to go to a new home earlier in the summer with his brother, but at the last minute i just.couldn't.part.with.them? and he stayed by my side the whole time i was terribly ill this summer? he's gone and i miss him terribly.

we've done everything from skulk about the animal shelter, to passing out fliers, to posting a lost and found ad on craigs list.


he is adventurous and fearless and curious. i am assuming this caught up with him and he got lost.

i can only hope that his charm and fearlessness has secured him a nice, dry, loving, TEMPORARY home. even if he isn't here with us, at least he wouldn't have become coyote food.

he does have a microchip, so if he was found and "they" do eventually get around to taking him to a vet or whatnot there's a good chance we'll get him back. i just wish "they" would get off their asses and take my kitty in already!!

oh, and as an aside, if you call the microchip people and get put on hold, guess what they play on a loop while you wait? yep, reunited. as in the sappy crappy song from way back when. so here you are all worried and sad about your lost pet and they've got peaches & herb on an everlasting loop of absurdity to comfort you.

more recently, however, this morning we are having record rainfall mixed with nearly a foot of melting snow and just for shits and giggles the sump pump decided to suck up the water in the basement and spew it back into the basement! right on the "dry part" of the basement. the higher part we put all of the stuff the we don't want to get wet if the basement decides to be wet.

good times.

other than that we are readying for the holidays that are on rapid approach. i think the only holiday we don't celebrate is kwanzaa. gotta look into that. in the meantime there is much to do and little time to do it in.

and as usual, this year i am going to attempt to enjoy what the holidays bring, and why we have them, rather than sitting in the corner with the punch bowl full of high-octane egg nog and a straw.

i'll let you know how that all pans out.

in the meantime, could you send out a little thought for my yancey?


Wednesday, October 31, 2007


you know it's halloween when you've got tacky glue, thread, and felt bits adhered to various parts of your person and "darth vader cod piece" on your computer bookmarks.

or. not. for those of you who like that sort of thing. and trust me, after trolling a few costuming sites looking for ideas i now know there is a whole world out there filled with costume making and dressing up that has nothing to do with halloween or children.

that being said, i maintain that murphy's law comes with a vengeance at least one halloween in a child's/costume making mother's lifetime.

this year the costume for the duke was the most difficult to pull off in terms of figuring it out and fiddliness, add in battery operated, and a LAST MINUTE SHIPPED ITEM (premium shipping...yeah) and he has had a fever the past few days and will likely miss halloween all together.

if i ever dress up for halloween it will be as murphy's law. or an angry mob.

the sweet part is wingman said

"if you have to stay home from trick or treating i'll share my candy with you"

and when i was putting the finishing touches on his costume he also said

"you look like you could use some help"

and came back with some scissors and glue.

he really is sweet. they both are.

but like i've whined about in years past and i will continue to whine about every year, why is it they can't ever choose to be ghost for halloween? just once?


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

it figures that i feel like i should feel worse.

with 5 cats in the house you'd think it would have ceased to be funny a long time ago when one cat sniffs another cat's butt.

apparently, though, if you're six it's never not funny. gut busting laughing your patooty off funny.

anyway, i guess i have the flu? i put that with a question mark because i feel really awful, but not as awful as i think i should. though i am fevery, sweaty, achy, tired but can't sleep, i still feel like i should feel worse for it to qualify as the flu and therefore call in sick to work.

(HA! excuse me while i fall down and pee my pants with THAT one! call in sick, priceless)

but the main tipper is the unexplained spontaneous weeping. i do that when i'm really sick.

or going through a particularly bad break-up. but, since the lord of the ring is still around, i guess it's the flu.


Monday, October 15, 2007

wild mushroom bourguignon.

i first had this dish 11 years ago while pregnant with the duke. i've been making it ever since. and because i got inspired by the many wonderful food porn sites out there, i thought i would document my efforts and share them with you!

best to make when wild mushrooms are plentiful and therefore less expensive at the market.

wild mushroom bourguignon

1/4 c butter or olive oil (i use a
combo of both)
4 c wild mushrooms (whatever is available, tonight i used chanterelle, shiitake, and oyster) leave whole if smaller, woody stem part removed...halve or chunk if bigger
1 sm. red onion, sliced into rings
2 c green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch squares
2 c red bell pepper, julienned
1 c yellow onion, diced
1/4 c fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. white pepper
(often i use black, definitely gives it a bite if you don't have white and don't want a bite, just use a bit less black)
1/4 c soy sauce
1 c burgundy
1 c heavy cream
3/4 lb fettuccine
(mostly i use a whole grain pasta which i often can't find in fettuccine, but really any pasta will do...rice, even)

assemble all your ingredients.

melt butter/olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.

add mushrooms, onions and peppers and saute until tender, about 15 mins.

it seems like a lot for the pan at first. but it will cook down. i use a 12 in. skillet.

see, after about 5 mins. it becomes a bit more manageable.

after 15 mins. add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. saute five more minutes, stirring enough to not let the garlic stick and burn.

i like to cook with wine.

occasionally i even add it to the food Laughing

a word about the wine. of course any classic bourguignon uses red wine. burgundy to be exact. sometimes i do get a burgundy if i can find a good one...this is not always possible, unless i want to get the cheap jug. and i don't, because of the old adage that you don't want to cook with what you wouldn't drink. plus, i'm not very fond of burgundy in general.

soooo, i often switch it up. tonight i just so happened to have an open bottle of a big, toothy red. a good substitute for a typical burgundy, in my humble wine drinking opinion.

french red table wine.

so, add the wine and the soy sauce. increase heat and reduce by half. then, add the cream (i use half and half because i always have half and half, and if you're calorie conscious it's a savings) and again, reduce by half.

in the meantime bring some water to boil for pasta.

and now for a word about cooking pasta...for the best, most tasty pasta, you want your water to mimic the mediterranean little pinch of salt, no little dash. only a palmful will give you the taste you want!

you get a palmful of salt and add it when the water boils, before you add the pasta...and less water than you think. generally, we cook pasta in too much water and we lose flavor as a result of this.

cook to al dente. drain, and toss with a little olive oil.

normally i wouldn't, as olive oil prevents the sauce from sticking fully to the pasta, but because of the way it's served, the olive oil prevents the pasta from sticking together on the platter.

put the pasta on a platter, pour the sauce over the top and serve hot.

admittedly, this is not a sexy dish upon completion. i think it's a combo of the amount of time it spends cooking, rendering the veggies less colorful, and the fact that i use a cast iron pan. a different pan perhaps would yield a more vibrant looking veggie in the sauce. (also, the light was bad for this shot)

BUT, regardless of its appearance, it is a tremendously delicious dish...great for a vegetarian main dish, or as an alternative for die hard meat eaters. they won't even miss the meat!!! plus, i read once that with the exception of soybeans, mushrooms contain the most protein of any vegetable!



(this recipe comes from the silverwater restaurant/cookbook in port townsend)

Friday, October 12, 2007

i want to be lewis black when i grow up.

i don't know if it's because i'm just a butt, but i try to refrain from commenting on or committing to the obvious.

it's because of this i could not stand the beatles in high school when everyone else loved them. why i refused to watch any foreign movies- EXCUSE ME films, as a young adult when all the other people my age were raving about them. i actually used to say

"give me a cannes logo and i'll give you my back walking out the door"

yeah, dorothy parker i wasn't.

my inherent butt-ness is also why i didn't/don't go to the movies and then to coffee after to talk about the movie we. just. saw.

"so, what did you think?" /shudder.

why it took me until syndication to get into dawson's creek. oh, wait, maybe that doesn't qualify.

i'm not surprised by the violence in movies that "shouldn't" be violent, i'm not surprised or offended when offensive ignorant people say offensive ignorant things, and i have never turned to someone after eating a fast food burger, fat-free cookie, beer, 25 cent home run cherry or lemon or chocolate pie from the gas station and said "OH MY GOD, have you seen how many calories are in this! holy shit!"

when stupid, misguided parents buy their troubled teens big caches of weapons and it turns out they homeschool i am no more surprised than i would be if they went to public school, or private school, or military school.

i never assume that people have the perfect relationship, or have it easier than others with their children, or are happy with all of their *things*.

or that there is something inherently *wrong* with them because they have *things*.

no, oprah should NOT run for president (for the obvious reason that she isn't even remotely qualified and when people say this every 4 years i wonder what exactly it is that leads them to this assumption...shit, then ANYONE with a only mildly interesting book club, billions of dollars, and a chip on their shoulder the size of a chocolate factory would be qualified.)

and neither should al gore. everybody knows you can do waaaayyyy more good being rich and unencumbered and/or an ex- president than you can actually being president.

you can just tell john edwards wants so badly to be our next president just so he can be a former president one day.

al gore just won the nobel prize for crissakes!! (so did doris lessing, the cantankerous old bat. you gotta love her!)

and you can't watch tv, pick up a magazine, listen to the radio these days without hearing the honeyed tones of bill clinton plugging his latest project. he can do anything he wants and get the airtime to promote it and you can tell he's having a good time doing it.

i guess the point to these disjointed ramblings is this, i'm tired of the obvious everyday behaviors of stupid people and even stupider celebrities being packaged as news.

i'm tired of watching people lapping it up and giving it air-time.

i'm tired of all these people who think they can be our nation's president. it should be a sacred enough office that just anyone shouldn't feel qualified to throw their hat in. i know it isn't, GOD. HOW. IT. ISN'T!

but it should be, shouldn't it?

and i know that's what america is about, this whole freedom to participate, to be a part of the process...but along with the decline of customer service and parents taking any amount of control over unruly children in restaurants, the office of president and the road to it has declined to the point of being just another thing to grumble about.

the punchline to a terribly unfunny joke.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

in which i create a new word.

i saw something on tv about the moken people of the andamen sea. they call them sea gypsies because they live the majority of the year on their boats on the sea. they are nomads, traveling from island to island.

and because they know the sea so well, they were able to survive the tsunami that took so many lives a few years ago.

anyway, what i found so fascinating about these people is that they don't have words in their language for want, when, or worry.

just imagine.

in other news, tomorrow night is big doins' around here. instead of our traditional family movie night, the boybarians are hosting an all garfield family movie night...not the movie, thank god. but dvds of the cartoons.

yep, there are tons and tons of garfield cartoons out there. learn something new everyday.

anyhow, they have recently discovered and are now devouring garfield in all of its many media forms. garfield in the daily comics, of course, books and books from the library and used book store, and now dvds of old cartoons.

so, friday night, armed with the dvds and their request for a big dish of lasagna and a grandparental unit, we will commence with the viewing.

except that there are a few whineats (caveats with whining)..."don't make the lasagna too cheesy", "you're not putting spinach in there are you?", "i don't care for tomato sauce"...

good lord. between the lord of the ring and i we both make kick ass lasagna...sure, mine does tend toward the adding of some veggies and less of the sausagy meat lovers kinda deal, and the lord of the ring goes for BIG ITALIAN when he makes his, but both are good.

but fuck that. i've been busy all week and i'll be damned if i'm gonna work my ass off for a lasagna that garners anything but top rating.

there's a first time for everything and tomorrow night it's stouffer's, ready made garlic bread, and a bagged salad.

okay, okay, so i'll likely make the bread and the salad myself. i was just being dramatic.

the point is after a decade of doing this i may have just learned how to know when to foldem', know when to holdem', know when to walk away and know when to purchase prepackaged frozen food like products.

i'm just wondering why it is they have taken so strongly to garfield?...a plump, cantankerous, cynical, sarcastic, at times funny, generally just grumpy, prickly character at best.

such a mystery.

we may never know.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

funnies from the duke.

so the other day we noticed that one of the neighbor's sheep who graze in our pasture had bitten the dust. or was sleeping reeeeaaaallllyy heavily for a reeeeaaaalllyy long time. at any rate when we left the sheep was lying there, when we came back several hours later the sheep was still lying there.

which wouldn't have surprised me at all if it were one of our cats.

anyhow, i said

"wow. i guess it's dead"

to which the duke replied,

"yep. now all we have to do is wait for the buzzards to set in"

two days later we were in the truck stopped at a light. we both look over to notice a woman practically inhaling a fast food burrito in the car next to us. the duke says

"wow. look at her jaws go"

in case you haven't guessed it from my absence, things are crazy busy here. school takes the day pretty much, and the homeschool group we joined also seems to keep us busy.

this week we're making paper with the group and last week we went rock climbing. in two weeks we have a field trip. it's good to get out, but it's also one more thing on the schedule.

in the meantime, it's definitely fall here with an eye towards winter. and my mission should i choose to figure out how to actually do it this year considering i have flaked the last 9 years is to get these godforsaken bulbs in the ground so spring blooms in a bounty of color.

hey, if i managed to move those christmas boxes in the hall then i bet i can do this!

oh, wait, yeah, i guess i didn't.



Monday, October 01, 2007

how you can tell your six year old is reading too much garfield.

"wingman, what do you want for breakfast?"

"oh, a danish, some coffee, the paper"

happy monday.


Friday, September 28, 2007

all in a day's work.

so i was at the store at the beginning of the day...i went to the deli counter for 1/4 pound of pancetta for a recipe i was making.

"can i have a quarter of a pound of the pancetta please?"


shuffle shuffle slice slice then she puts it on the scale.

it comes up .40.

"is this okay?"

and fully starts wrapping it up before i have a chance to respond. assuming, of course, that i will say yes.

um. let's review.

1/4 of a pound is a quarter of a pound. if if showed on the scale it would be .25, 1/2 would be .50, etc.

what does that make .40?

not a quarter of a pound.

now, i understand it's not an exact science, this business of slicing meat. i understand that all too often it's agreed upon to go under or over the weight depending on how it's sliced.

that's why they ask "is this okay" while you check out the numbers on the scale.


.40 is nowhere near i could see .28 or even .30...but .40 is way more.

and pancetta is expensive and specialized. it's not like oh okay, give me the extra turkey at 5.99 a pound, i'll use it.

all of which added up to forcing me to respond with

"well. see now. i only asked for 1/4 of a pound because i only need 1/4 of a pound for a recipe i'm making. there's no way i'll use all that extra. and at 17 bucks a pound, that's really a waste money-wise as well. so no, that's not okay."

i had her re-slice it and damned if i didn't get .29 worth of pancetta.

moving right along to piano lessons in the afternoon. we are in with the teacher (she teaches in her basement studio) when this mother and daughter come in about 5 minutes early.

but they don't just arrive 5 minutes early and quietly take a seat. she just opens the door and stands there "hiiii! we're a bit early but we wanted to see the baby!"

(piano teacher had a new baby a few months ago)

we're all just sitting there looking at her. and since the piano teacher is nice and a little shy she didn't quite know what to say so she's like um, sure.

i guess wingman's lesson is over.

i start packing our stuff up, and as i'm making my way to leave interrupting mom says to me

"oh. am i parked behind you?"

okay lady, since there's only one car in the one car driveway and we both know it's not the piano teacher's car and you pulled your car in behind the only car in the one car driveway and parked it then you do the math.

i think this is meat slicer's sister.

forcing me to respond with

"yeah. i guess you are"

to which she replies as we are headed out the door

"oh. okay. i'll move it in a minute"

really. you'll move it in a minute. after you bust up my kid's lesson five minutes early and after you get a chance to visit with the baby you'll move your car.

what she was really asking of me was for me to do the ha ha mama nicey nice because we're all in this together and in a social situation and say "oh. don't worry. no problem. not a big deal. go right ahead and take your time."

instead, i did what i do when presented with behavior that i cannot comprehend or just don't. want. to. deal. with...i just stood there and looked right at her and didn't say anything.

damned if she didn't get her crocs in gear and move that minivan of hers right then.

i don't suffer fools gladly. but i can be really nice in the face of foolishness because despite all evidence to the contrary i really am a very polite person.

but sometimes i'm a bitch and i really can't say that i have any control over it.

okay, so later we were at dinner and there's a guy up in the front obviously waiting for take out. he's wearing jeans and a denim shirt.

i offhandedly mention, okay maybe kinda snarkily, to the lord of the ring how much i don't like a denim on denim look.

to which the lord of the ring does a double take from take out guy to me and back.

forcing me to respond with

"oh, c'mon. that's a chambray shirt and jeans he's got on! this is a man's blue dress shirt i am wearing with jeans! with a t-shirt underneath! not buttoned up, not tucked in! it's not the same!"

but the smirk on the lord of the ring's face suggested otherwise.

at least the day ended without further ado. oh, except the requisite conversation with the waitress about how wingman is indeed a boy, and oh the beautiful hair, yadda yadda bleh.

you will be happy to know i don't plan on leaving the house today.

it's probably for the best.

enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

most expensive chapstick i'll ever own.

so about 6 months ago at the urging of our family dentist i took the duke to the orthodontist.

his front teeth are his permanent teeth and they protrude more than is normal. they aren't bucked or anything like that, just big teeth for a little mouth. big enough to be a concern as he is an active 10 year old.

and believe, i've broken my front teeth THREE times so i'll do what i can to protect his.

six months ago our ortho said let's give it another six months and re-check. well we re-checked yesterday and it looks like our time is up.

he's got to have a a 14-16 month phase 1 started. this consists of a metal plate being cemented to the roof of his mouth and attached to four of his teeth. for two weeks, twice a day, i, his mother, will take a small metal key and insert it into the metal plate and give it a twist.

this is supposed to slowly create the space needed in his upper jaw. it's slowly going to be the icky creepy death of me, but i guess no one cares about that.

two weeks. then when two weeks is up the plate stays in place for three months.

they also insert those those teeny rubber bands between several teeth to start creating space.

when three months is up he gets a partial set of braces on his four front teeth to start reigning them in. oh, and head gear. he gets to wear head gear 12-14 hours a day.

okay, before y'all start FREAKING out, headgear has come A LONG way since the 80's. it's just a strap that hooks to the braces and goes around the back of his head. all night while he sleeps and an hour or two during the day. watching tv, on the computer, etc. he does NOT have to wear it out of the house.

so when that's all done he gets the partial braces off and waits for all of his permanent teeth to come in then he gets a full set of braces for the next two years or so. though it may be less.

all of which will give him beautiful and more importantly more protected teeth.

i'm not going to tell you how much it's all going to cost because i care for you and don't want to provoke any hyperventilating or strokes or full blown heart attacks.

i will say that as we were leaving the assistant asked the duke if he liked chapstick and would he like a tube? it's a promotional chapstick with the ortho's name and all that for advertising purposes.

the duke didn't really say much but indicated that he could care less about chapstick.

but not me. i said

"i do! i'll take it!"

and i snatched it from her hand so quick she didn't have time to blink. i don't think i scratched her but i really can't be concerned about that.

hell, if she had offered me a prize from the treasure chest i would have taken that too.

and i'm going to use every last bit of that fuckin' chapstick. till the container is completely empty. even if i have to bust it apart and stick a q-tip in there to get the last of it out. even if it is a disgusting fake coconut.

i'm going to use it and i'm going to love it. every last money hemorrhaging, creepy key turning, makes me cry and cringe to think about it, disgusting coppertone tan tasting, bit.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

time. wise.

there's so much going on here.

the lord of the ring and i are realizing that the house we live in resembles a yard sale on the best day.

we are seeking to change this. at great financial and timewise cost. mostly timewise and hell it's a big chunka time and energy to look like you don't live in a perpetual yard sale.

but there are other things.

educating my children is HUGE timewise. what they need and what i want them to know is so much of our day.

i need to do this. i want to do this. my children need this. they deserve this.

but it's difficult at times. my time split. and that split doesn't favor in my direction.

and if day to day living and homeschooling isn't enough, i want to write, and work out, and take a day with the kids that doesn't involve any of the above, and like any other busy family in this world the devil is in the details.

and speaking of which...then there is the state of our nation's leadership...oy. where do you begin? and how do you stop once you start?

it's not a huge time sucker, this worrying over our government, but it's there...and in the moments i'm not doing a million other things or worrying over a million other things i wonder what in the fuck our president is thinking!

seriously, does he just not. know. or is it all some clever plot to drive this country so far into the ground that the democrats will start off with such a mess when they take office they'll never be able to turn this boat around?

the following is a song by pink and the indigo girls...some questions for our president...

(if you're at work tread lightly, it's a youtube video)

i love my country. i am a patriot and always have been.

but i am tired of living in a country i have to be afraid of waking up in because of who is in charge.

but it could be worse.


i could be waking up in a country that has our government in charge. without the freedom of being able to be openly and vocally and unquestionably afraid.

Friday, September 14, 2007

they do their best work in the morning.

scenes from breakfast. this morning.

i was supremely irritated and snappy, so i said

"i am supremely irritated this morning. it's not you guys, sometimes parents just get irritated"

so the duke says

"yeah, that's why you have so many grey hairs, right?"

to which wingman replied

"no, that's just 'cuz she's old"

and from the HA! i knew it! file comes an interesting study from some researchers in chicago

"On topics from evolution to immigration reform, we found that 38 percent of the opinions people expressed were so off-base and ill-informed that they actually hurt society by being voiced"

so apparently not every is entitled to their own opinion. it's about freakin' time!

but that doesn't apply to me, of course.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

same manufacturer, vastly different functions.

scenes from breakfast.

wingman, WITHOUT BEING ASKED and WITHOUT EVER HAVING DONE IT BEFORE, is unloading our dishwasher from top to bottom...every. single. last. its exact location.

i say nothing. i do not want to disturb the magic.

meanwhile the duke is sitting at the table, quietly eating his breakfast, thoughtfully chewing and looking out into space.

after awhile, noticing nothing of the miracle happening around him he asks

"mama. do you think vegetarians eat animal crackers?"

in other news there is no other news except i'm too busy to be here and late already.

enjoy your thursday!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.

President Abraham Lincoln, Annual Message to Congress, December 1862

I fear that all I have done is awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.
Admiral Yamamoto after Pearl Harbor attack, December 7, 1941

You mean where they are bombing and fighting in Iraq right now is right where the world's first civilization began? Do they know this?
the duke of fun, last thursday during history

Monday, September 10, 2007

you betta' check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Dear Madame Valkyrie,

I understand that the person who actually hired my husband and his business partner to do the work is no longer with your company, but that does not excuse you from having to pay them for their services. As the head of a very large, successful company, I should think that a woman in your position and station in life would understand this.

Furthermore, please don't put the responsibility of extracting the payment on my husband and his partner. They did the work, submitted the invoice, and have been waiting patiently ever since. That should be the end of it. Repeated e-mail requests by him and explained away by you and the like are just tiresome and bothersome. If someone has to mention small claims court as a means of getting the money owed to them, then perhaps you ought to look into taking a refresher course in how to run a business. Or get into another line of work. Seems you'd do well in the sub-prime lending market.

Really, though, when it gets down to it, and the e-mails become heated phone conversations wherein my husband is subjected to your "I wasn't trying to Jew you out of your money" rant, perhaps it's time to take a big step back and check yourself. As a businesswoman I find it hard to believe you would use that kind of terminology in a professional setting.

But perhaps the ignorant asshole in you trumps the businesswoman in you. If this is the case, then there really isn't much else to say. Except that you are lucky you live where you do. Comfortable in your own delusions of what is acceptable. Isn't it nice when it works out that way?

Good luck with that,


Friday, September 07, 2007

good lord i may have found my people.

after 5 years sailing this wine dark sea largely alone except for any doubts and fears and of course the boybarians, i have finally found my homeschooling people out here.

a whole friggin' group of them.

and lo and behold, like any other group worth being a part of, they splintered off from the *original* group.

the boybarians made some friends, it's a regular get together with a cool activity each time plus ample hang out time, and a fair amount of interesting field trips too...

the moms were interesting and irreverent and snarky and cool...i could imagine inviting them over and not wincing the whole time they were in my house waiting for them to leave.

and trying not to watch them wince the whole time waiting to just be able to get the hell out of there.

it took me forever, but i finally found them...this changes A LOT about us being homeschoolers here...

i am so thankful.

i knew it was my group when we walked in and the only person we saw at first was a 10 year old girl who greeted us and right off the bat showed us her beloved shot glass collection.

their activity yesterday was show and that's why this girl was carting around a boot box full of gaudy shot glasses from all over the country...

and when it was her turn she told us all about her shot glass collection and where each glass came from and all that...then of course it's my kid who raises his hand to ask if she drinks out of them, and if so, what does she drink out of them...

the boybarians know shot glasses aren't just for collecting.

and yes, she drinks water out of them.

so there you have it.

sillymortalmama meets some new people and lives through it and even enjoys it.


well, that's enough excitement for one week...hell, a month.

so i leave you to your weekend and remind you that you are never too old to make a new friend.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

no! really?

good lord so one mama kitty is missing...i don't know what to think...we heard some coyotes in the area about the time she went missing, so that's my guess.

except that she's quick and savvy and used to being out at night...i can't imagine her getting got by those coyotes...

regardless, i'm keeping in touch with the animal shelter and since she's microchipped i called the microchip people too...

so i'm on the phone with the guy reporting the missing mama kitty and he says

"now you know, the microchip is not like a gps...we can't locate her whereabouts with it"

oh good god. really?

you mean you don't have every last microchipped pet on a screen tracking their every move? don't have crack teams of pet recovery officers dispatched from unmarked vans to the backyards and parking lots and fields of america? mean you can't tell me where my pet is every minute of every day?

i pity the poor person who thought this might be a possibility...and you know they're out there in droves if he feels the need to explain it to me...

at any rate, she isn't here and i hope she comes back...

she's a great cat...slightly troubled, somewhat persnickety and standoffish, and perhaps more part of some other world than this one, but a beloved and sweet cat nonetheless...


Thursday, August 30, 2007

wedded bliss sillymortalstyle.

on the way camping, as we are exiting the freeway on our way to the second of our ferry rides for the day we passed a building right there practically on the off ramp...the lord of the ring says

"hey, we've eaten there before"

"god i hope not"

"what? i don't think it was all that great, but we've definitely been there before"

"oh, i'm fairly certain i would remember eating somewhere called the 'cocusa motel and restaurant'"

"well, we did you ju-...oh, yeah, it wasn't you"

see, i know i have a bad memory...but maybe, just maybe, occasionally it's a convenient excuse for others just not wanting to remember their own sordid or boring or not worth mentioning pasts...

or maybe he just honestly mixed me up with the perpetually stoned addicted to long drives and antique shopping trustafarian millionaire ex-girlfriend...

it certainly beats the time he accidentally called me "sherzy"...which is not even a real word or thing and as near as i can tell was an amalgamation of the names of two old girlfriends and mine...

but i really have no room to kvetch because as soon as they catch up with it and put two and two together the lord of the ring will be paying my ex-husband's nearly 15 year old tax bill.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007


we went camping and came back...the pet sitter came and went and it worked out fabulously...

we're back in the swing of school and starting the rest of our subjects next week...

we start up piano again today and art lessons next month...

homeschooling two kids is somewhat of a scheduling challenge...the duke is doing a LOT more outlining and writing this year, and using more independent sources as opposed to one set text for a lot of his subjects...this means a bit more advanced planning on my part re: actual lessons and probably more hand holding than i'm used to re: the writing part...

wingman's work is fairly set, but a lot of it needs me sitting beside least in the beginning, he'll get into more of an independent routine as we go on...

all in all it's been a great start and i have a good feeling about this year...

moving right along last night the duke asked us what perverted meant...good lord can i tell you i am SO NOT READY for my children to age...i'm not prepared for the squeamish, grisly bits...

anyhow we asked where did you hear that, he said camp (earlier in the summer) and we tried to explain it to him the best, most efficient, straightforward way...

i am utterly certain he's more confused than ever.

then he said that he had asked his counselor what it meant his counselor said "that is an inappropriate question".

oh my god i was pissed!...don't tell a child a question is inappropriate!

sure, i can see where it would be dicey for the counselor and he could say something like it would inappropriate for him to answer that...or it would be more appropriate to ask your parents or something like that...

good lord the counselor's what, like 19? i know he probably doesn't know any better but that really pissed me off!'s part of his job to know better!

enough that i'm writing a letter to the camp shouldn't be shut down like that...questions should never be labeled...and that should just be common knowledge for those working with kids...

and furthermore, if the duke or any camper is asking what perverted means it should be the counselors job to get to the bottom of why the camper is asking...even if he chose not to define it, he should make it his business to get to the bottom of why it was being asked in the first place...

in this case the duke said some kids in his cabin said another kid was perverted, but he didn't know why...

so i'll send an e-mail, a very nice and diplomatic one, if only to make me feel better...i know lots of kids deal with worse, and to some it wouldn't be a big deal...and it's not a big deal, but something i think needs to be addressed...

i don't want any kid coddled, mine or otherwise...but a kid should never be discouraged from asking a question or trying to get more information...that's just a slippery slope all the way around...

all right moving right along, apparently wingman found the fingerless gloves and is wearing them paired with too small shorts and camouflaged socks pulled to his knees.

he's announcing he's ready for school.


time to go.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

slightly worn and used in that been around 36 years and bothered by humanity for most it kinda way.

so i was trolling an online site for a new/used desk.

i can't say why people continue to amaze me...but they do.

end table-$20

It is very burly and attractive for the family room.

because i like my home furnishings like i like my men, burly and attractive.

and along the same vein

white metal cabinet-$25

It has been referred to as both handsome and adorable.

by the way, both pieces, sold by different people, were equally ugly...and both people obviously are straddling that fine line between describing the things that want to sell and anthropomorphising their furniture...

maybe those ads are in the wrong spot...if you know what i mean.

moving right along...


yeah. okay, so even new furniture from ikea can barely be called mint.

oh don't get all defensive! future bookshelves are all coming from ikea!...i'm just sayin' is all!

an ad for an ugly coffee table with some odd attached basket had the following in its text

My fiancee's stupid cat did use it as a scratching post once or twice.

by the looks of the gouges either the "cat" is actually a lion, or it was more than "once or twice"...

and i'm no psychologist, but "my fiancees stupid cat" doesn't bode well one of the parties involved...and let's just say the cat probably has nothing to worry about.

staying in the table department


I'm not sure what kind of table this is, but it fits nicely next to my couch.

well, for starters, between you and me, it's an "ugly" kind of table...and what a weird description..."i don't remember his name, but we looked cute at the prom"...sure lady, it fits nicely next to your couch, but what about my couch, huh!...did you ever think of that!

i don't think she really wants to sell the ugly table...her fiancee probably wants her to.

green dresser-$75

nice deep droors

i don't even want to know.

and one of my absolute favorites

7 Foot Sofa-$100

Very comfortable and easy to get up from.

there's just. too. much. to work with here...this must be what stephen colbert feels like on a daily basis.

okay so i should be getting ready for camping and not sitting here making fun of people and their ugly furniture and weird descriptions.

it does make me wonder what the personals section looks like though.

on second thought, um, no it doesn't.



Tuesday, August 14, 2007

the kitty post.

okay, so i generally hesitate to write about my kitties because it's just a whole 'nother level of crazy.

and let's face it, no one cares about your cats. no one. except you.

at least people have to pretend to care about your kids.

not so with cats...and if you expect them to on a regular daily basis then you should really see someone about that...because they don't...and you can't make them.

but here's the deal...when you have six cats and you ever want to leave town you are going to have to pay someone to come in and care for them.

so that's what i'm in the middle of.

actually talking to perfect strangers on the phone negotiating a situation whereby i give them the key to my home and they come and go twice a day as they please.

they also scoop the poop and clean up the under the desk nightmares left by the incredibly high maintenance little black kitten and feed them and water them and pet them.

BUT, they have a key to my house.

and i'm not there!

for days on end!

that's just nuts!

oh, and i pay them too...

good lord.

anyhow, i know there are good people out there i know there are...there are...i've heard tale a time or two...

it's just that i operate comfortably on a level of jaded cynicalness so i think the worst and hope for the best...

but mostly think the worst.

and sure they're all licensed and bonded and all that but what does that really mean?

when the meth addict cousin (oh you KNOW there's a chance he exists!) and his scabies infested common law wife and their tribe of hopped up on mountain dew and pop rocks kids get a hold of that key what does licensed and bonded really mean?

seems like a high price to pay just so i can battle the mosquitoes, eat lukewarm food by crappy lantern light, and sleep on the ground.

but i'm a big girl. i'm open to change. to trust.



Monday, August 13, 2007

and she's off.

so i finally ventured out of the house with my laptop in my spanking brand new laptop backpack...i felt a bit like back to school with sillymortalmama!...but out i went...

and let me tell you, there is a whole big ol' exciting world out there!

not where i was, mind you, but somewhere! i'm almost certain of it!

see, where i went the coffee guy, some teenager, affected a british accent the. entire. time. i. was. there.

OMG!...yes, i just used txtspeak, but OMG!

it's bad enough when my kids do it, but when it's a perfect stranger?...he's got to be related to the boss or the boss doesn't care...which is far worse...lord, people are strange.

then, someone came in with a whole passel of kids...loud, whiny, crying kids and she was trying to reason with every single one of them...good god...she couldn't have been the mom...or else she is and she's fucked...

regardless, it was a very boisterous ten minutes...

then some woman tripped right outside the window i was sitting next to and the ambulance came all loud and sireny and a crowd formed...a loud, view blocking, light snuffing crowd...(she was fine)

the seats were too low, the tables too high, the cups were too small and lent to easy spillage, and i swear to god the guy behind me was reading my screen...

BUT, despite it all, i wrote more in one hour than i have since before wingman was born...

i daresay, good stuff too...and yes, i am being immodest but i don't took me so long to get here and to know i'm not a complete hack is a good feeling...

so, i'm on my way.

to what i don't know...but it's good to have started.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

wingman is just like his father.

in many ways, actually.

and in one way in particular.

yesterday morning wingman said

"i had one of those bright red apples with my breakfast"

"oh, i thought you didn't care for them?"

"no, i like them"

"but, you said yesterday they didn't taste very good?"

"i just can't stop eating them!"

and there you have it.

for the lord of the ring it was a leopard print cat suit and heels and the next thing you know he's squiring her around europe and paying for it, and for wingman it's a waxed within an inch of its life chemically enhanced deep red skin and the next thing you know he's chomping tasteless apples and liking them.

temptation my ass.

eve knew exactly what she was doing and the snake was just the fall guy.

and then there's adam.

poor sot never knew what hit him.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

let's hope he remembers this little lesson when he's dating.

so wingman likes apples...we all do...all kinds of apples.

except for red delicious.

which are about as "delicious" as cardboard.

and because the goddess mother works as a small press hard cider maker we have a whole expanded outlook and appreciation of the apples available in this world...

and living where we do we have a lot of varieties to choose all the imports at our great market...i know, not local but available when others aren't, so there you have it...

in short, we do not buy or eat red delicious.

except the other day we were at the store and wingman's eye caught a charming basket enticingly tipped right at six year old eye level filled to the brim with ultra shiny and gleaming red delicious apples...and in that just right for a six year old's palm size...

and a sweet hand lettered sign that said crispy & sweet!

he was a goner...snow white never had it so bad.

"mama, let's get some red delicious apples"

"oh honey, remember there are other apples we like way better"

"i know, but they look sooo good...c'mon"

i know, it's all wax and lighting with these apples but he's hooked and there's a lesson here that won't involve sugar cereal, so there you have it...

"well, you're right, they do look good...if you're sure you may get a few"

"can i eat one on the way home?"

"sure, just wipe it real good on your shirt"

i know, not doing a bit of good in the cleaning department given the amount of wax and pesticides and handling but it makes me feel better and i figure he won't die, so there you have it...

so his little eyes are all lit up and he chooses four...and doesn't even say a word in the cereal aisle...

we get the groceries loaded and he's got his apple and not a minute after the first crunch i hear

"this apple isn't any good"

"oh, yeah?"

"yeah, the skin is crunchy but it has no flavor...well, it has a flavor, but it isn't very sweet...or good...and the inside is okay, but not very okay"

"well that's the deal with red delicious, they look so good but don't taste so good"

and he says with a little, slightly forlorn sigh

"'s like a trick"

indeed...and in so many more ways than your sweet little self can imagine.

and there you have it.


Monday, August 06, 2007

papa don't preach.

'cuz i'm keeping my babies.

yes, at the 11th hour i called mis! and let her know i just. couldn't. do. it.

the whole family loves those kitties and i just couldn't.

so we have 6 cats.

so it could be worse.

i guess.

anyhow moving right along, i still went on my trip, and i must post a retraction of my earlier statements regarding the dining habits of mis! and the georgia peach.

i stand corrected in a delightful way.

it turns out mis! hasn't done her tiny bottle trick in some time, and the georgia peach was all too willing to dine wherever...she drew the line at offal, but i was so not in the mood for "dirty food" either so that worked out quite nicely...

AND mis! has been to all the restaurants i have been wanting to go to! AND she orders 9 dollar glasses of wine like it's nobody's business!

when you've known someone over twenty years it's easy to forget that they actually grow over time and aren't exactly as you have them stuck in your head...that they are real live grown ups capable of acting like real live grownups...

until of course you ply them with drink and steep them in the lateness of the evening and learn things about them that you might just not have wanted to full and relishing detail...


anyhow, it was a lovely weekend filled with delicious food and drink and even more delightful company...and i got to sleep in and nobody yelled at me...

and now it's monday and back to school...and the reality that i indeed have 6 cats...cats who do love them some hunting...and have an endless supply with which to hone their skills...and open doors with which to more efficiently bring their catch to you...or to just bat it about in the kitchen for a bit.

yep, sounds just about right.


Friday, August 03, 2007

is it running away if you have to bring the rental car back?

so i know i made the joke earlier in the week about running away with my laptop and my case of wine...

but as it turns out hell has actually frozen over and i'm taking a weekend trip BY MY SELF!

see, the georgia peach is visiting mis! and mis! is adopting my two kitties soooo, it was decided it would be the best idea for me to go alone with the kitties...get them settled and hang out with good friends for some much needed *me* time...

and since the tuna can is in the shop having something done to it to distract it from the fact that it's twenty years old, we are down to the beast...

i can't leave the menfolk carless out here in the middle of nowhere so i'm renting a car...

betcher glad you have all those boring and tedious details, right?

anyhow, it will be good to drive for hours on end alone...well, the kitties will be with me one way, BUT since they can't talk to me about the 6 degrees of spongebob, or baseball, or legos or foodorharrypotterorrandomtvshowsor??? they will be welcome companionship...

driving alone does something for the soul.

except if you're on highway 50, the actual loneliest road in america, and you realize that you didn't stop for gas in the actual last town before the road begins and you only have a hundred dollar bill so even if there was another car in sight, which there isn't, or a gas station which you know won't break the hundred, which there's not, you'd have to pay an awful lot of money to get someone to give you some of their gas...and that's if you're lucky enough to come across another car, which you won't...hence the aptly named "lonliest road in america".

but, i digress.

in the meantime, i've promised my older sister a birthday meal at a salvadorian restaurant that i read about in the paper...we've both been dying to go and now we have our chance...the boybarians are coming too, so we'll fold in a trip to the zoo...should be fun and i'm always happy when i get to go to a restaurant i've been wanting to try...

and from what i gather, as long as i stay away from the beef foot soup, i'm golden.

there are a bunch of places i'd like to go in the big city that houses mis!, but they're more girl/boy places...or girl/girl or boy/boy, whatever configuration you're into...romantical kinda places...

well, except the hot dog joint where he cooks outside on the charcoal grill and they only have one kinda bun and one condiment 'cuz that's all you need...but i guess with the right person that could be romantic.

they're also expensive foodie kinda places...and considering the last time i talked to the georgia peach she was eating a seven layer burrito from taco bell and mis! actually refills airplane sized bottles with hooch and takes them in her purse so she doesn't spend too much on drinks, i doubt even if we were some sort of configuration that i'd be going to any of those places with either of those ladies ever.

but hey, as long as i don't have to eat at taco bell and mis! gives me a swig off her tiny bottle, i'm good...i'm just happy to be able to spend time with my good friends.

i do think we could pop into the home of the bacon topped maple bar, though...good times.

but, before i leave you for the frivolity that is my life, i just want you to know that this is the first post from my *mobile office*...

okay, so really i'm just in the dining room rather than at my desk BUT it's a start...

gotta love technology!

even if you have to wipe up milk puddles and soggy cereal remains to be able to use it.

enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

idiot is as idiot does...and it doesn't skip a generation.

we'll we're closing in on the first week of school being DONE!

it feels a bit like this photo of the duke...catching a ball but you've got to do it upside down and backwards.

so in other words, despite some snags here and there, things are going well...slightly plodding at times and as a result people are learning patience...not me mind you, because i'll ever be about as patient as amy winehouse at an open bar, but other people are...

the duke hit a snag with a latin assignment...thirty five words in latin and he had to find their counterparts in english in a word search...

okay, can i just say that, yeah, that would suck!

i didn't tell him that but i do believe he shared my sentiment as illustrated by the following statement

"this is tedious and time consuming and NOT FUN!"

the good news is he managed to finish with only one more hour of pissing and moaning, but it got done...

the thing is it's easy with no peers around to piss and moan...if he were in a classroom he wouldn't be stomping around like a whiny sir...he'd either do it or not but there wouldn't be a fuss...

i'm trying to figure out how to duplicate that fear of embarrassment and an honoring of the part of the social contract that bars individuals from making an ass of themselves in front of others here...and the only thing i've come up with is keep him on constant video record and threaten him with youtube...

and speaking of bad parenting...turns out it's magazine cover "shocking" that britney spears puts soda in her babies' bottles, lets them eat cheetos, and asks the older of the two to fetch her cigarettes by saying, "baby, where are mama's lollipops?"

i grew up around people like this in the neighborhood...people have been parenting like shit forever...why is this front page news?

we teach teenagers how to drive and how to take standardized tests, they can run websites and communicate using all manner of technology...what we should fold in to all of this is a more than one school year of parenting know, the basic the nuts and bolts from diapers to nutrition...and while they'd need more than that eventually, at least it's something...anything!

because if they don't learn it sometime they aren't gonna learn it at all...

people assume being a kid is being a kid...and no matter what they grow up with or eat they will eventually make the healthy right better choice when they are older...

but it doesn't work like that...and those britneys out there should know better, just like their parents should have known better, but they don' how do they expect their kids will?

and kids aren't getting pregnant any older or wiser these why not cut to the chase and stop pretending like it's not happening...grab the bull by the horns and say "look, if you must, then connect the dots and know that this might happen, and if this happens here are some tools"...again, it's not perfect but it's a start...

a + b = c

and like all the other math we're not teaching them, that basic equation and what to do with "c" when it arrives, as it does so often and 'accidentally', doesn't get taught either...

shit they ought to film my life for. just. one. day...then show it in high schools all over the reefer madness, or that weird creepy video they used to show in driver's ed...road rash or something like that...

i could all but guarantee teen pregnancy would drop dramatically...and not just teen pregnancy, but young adult pregnancy too!...

the teens/young adults would be gettin' all carefree and frisky and then BOOM! a day in the life of sillymortalmama, that old video from high school parenting class, would start playing in their head...which would kill that bit of unprotected nonsense but good!

scared straight by the mere possibility of boybarians.

we could even see a reversal, a slowing of population growth!

maybe that video camera/youtube idea will come in handy after all...

i'm willing to take one for the team if it slows the spread of idiocy nationwide.

bottom line is we need a much better educated populous...and we're not getting it...

in fact it's quite the opposite...and, we're actually advertising that fact all over the country and the world!


we think america is in trouble now?...ha!


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

day one down, 179 more to go.

school started yesterday.

wingman so far loves latin and the duke declares that his math is easy and cursive handwriting makes his hand hurt...

so all in all not a bad first start.

lest you think i am a tyrant making the wee lads start back to school in the thick of summer, we are only doing latin, math, and penmanship for august then folding in all the other subjects in, we only school 4 days a week all year, and take a week here and there when we take trips or need a break...

so all in all it all comes out in the wash.

plus, if the boybarians don't get back to a routine AND SOON, i am not naming names but someone will be running away from home...with her new laptop...and her case of wine...

in other news, we may be down to 4 cats kitty got a great home with friends of ours close enough that we can visit him...and it was a bit up in the air as to where his two brothers were going, but mis! is taking them so i'm pleased about that...

shh! don't tell anyone, but one of the pair is my absolute favorite in the world...likes to curl up on me while i read, and when i was really sick he came and slept next to me in bed all. day. long.

i will be very sad to see him go, but if he's got to go anywhere i'm glad mis! is taking him...she's a great pet mommy and i bet she'll all but chew his food for, really...i wouldn't be surprised if she went all march of the penguins on them and put the food in their mouths, too...

so that leaves chico and the man, the chubby siamese, and the teeny black kitty who looks like a cross between a panther and a fruit bat and who'll handily kick your ass given half a chance...especially if you mess with her stuffed snake.

and let me tell you, it STILL would have been easier to have a baby.

without going into long and boring detail, what to feed when to feed how much to feed raw or grain free or no carb or a combo of all and then the recent pet food scares blah blah blah i came about two valium shy of making my own cat food...

of this i am not proud.

not because my kitties don't deserve the very best, but because staying up late at night pricing meat and bone grinders and where i could get the best deal on whole chicken and rabbits (shipped fresh on ice right to my door) and when i could carve out the time needed each week for the chip and grind fest and not to mention who in the sam hell would watch these 6 godforsaken cats with the cleaning and the feeding especially adding in the darling feature of the feeding them a raw diet is not something that sane people do.

among other things, it just proves i am consistent...crazy, but consistent.

but don't fret, i've come up with a good healthy feeding plan for my kitties that doesn't require me going all fargo on anything AND may just not send anyone running should we ever go anywhere ever again and need someone to feed the beasts...

so all in all we may have found a stable cat routine.

seriously i can barely get anyone over here to watch the boybarians. and they wipe their own buts and don't eat raw meat.

so far i haven't made it to my mobile office yet, but i'm working on it...i've got to get our school routine down before i start messing with it...and by "messing with it" i mean i need to get up at 6 out the door and back before 8...


i'm tired just thinking about it.

but, apparently the great american novel comes with a price...and i imagine mediocre random musings do too...

i'll let you know which way it goes for me at 6 am.


you know he'd be your favorite too.

Friday, July 27, 2007

i heart the lord of the ring.

so he's been gone since sunday morning...a business road trip to the central and northern parts of california took him away and brings him back tonight...

and while he was gone i opened the door one early morning to the ups guy and in less time than it took for the tour de france to fall apart i was the shocked and happy recipient of a brand spankin' new dell laptop!!

just his way of saying it's time for me to get serious and write.


not only that, but we had THE most delicious wine last friday at my birthday dinner that we learned we could not get around here...not so oddly enough it came from very near where i grew up...

so he tracked down the winery on his road trip and the liquor store that sells their wine!!

without falling victim to the gush, i am a very lucky woman to have such a partner in this life...

and it's not about the gifts, because as a couple we rarely exchange gifts and thus don't put much emphasis on them...

it's about the intent behind the gift...the idea that someone knows what you need/want and works hard and puts in effort to see that you get it...

even if you yourself find every reason on earth why it's too expensive or extravagant or i'll make do with what i have or the all around and all purpose, i don't deserve it.

if you couldn't guess already, that's my favorite one...

i exist fully within a poverty mentality...and while this is practical when money is tight or non-existent, it hampers me in so many ways on a daily living breathing existing basis...

i don't need a laptop or a case of my favorite wine.

but if i want to write seriously i have to leave the house.

and that wine was damn good.

so there you have it.

and perhaps one day i will acknowledge that i do deserve it...that i am worthy of gifting no matter how large or small...

in fact this birthday i received so many wonderful many wonderful wishes from people who care...i rarely get gifts, so this was sweet and unexpected...

the stainless steel, gorgeous enough to sit on my counter and has a filter, compost bucket from my dear friend rj...who knows i have wanted one and would never spend that kind of money on myself...(myself, for a household compost bucket...i'm such a cancer girl)

or the beautifully charming box of handmade chocolates from my friend the georgia peach...sent overnight from a place i would never have cause to sample from...the sweetest part a teeny tiny white chocolate mouse with a gorgeous little red satin tail...

and from the bag lady in paris, a beautiful over three foot tall statue of the virgin mary for my garden...i see her every time i look out the window and i feel safe and honored and blessed by her presence...

and the presence of all of those in my life who care so much to honor me so...

and again, it's not about the's about the love...

it's a beautiful day out and it's the starts monday and the pencils are sharpened and the books are waiting to be cracked...

i wish you all a wonderful weekend and the hope that you have someone who does something nice for you...

and if you don't, then i hope you do something nice for someone else...

kindness is meant to be passed along and meant to be shared.

and in that vein, i shall think of you while sipping my abundance vineyards abundantly rich red vintage 2004, and perhaps the next time we meet it will be from my "mobile office".