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...