Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Random Thought d’Jour

This is so random. But I was working on That Damned Shawl this morning during my precious (half) hour of morning no-kidness, and it suddenly occurred to me: baby alpaca yarn would make incredible socks for people who don’t walk.

Did your brain just completely freeze up on that? Yes, I know. It seems like a really dumb thing to be thinking and I got a good laugh about it, too.

But back before I had kids (or a husband, for that matter), I used to occasionally go in and volunteer at a retirement home. A lot of the old folks, especially the less-ambulatory ones, would complain about their feet being cold. They’d get all kinds of “medical” socks designed to help keep their feet warm – most of which didn’t keep their feet warm and/or itched like crazy. I don’t know which I hate more: having cold feet, or having itchy feet. But having itchy, cold feet? That’s just got to be a special kind of hell on earth.

And then it occurred to me: A pair of socks made out of the baby alpaca I’m currently working with would keep your feet warm even if you were camping in the Arctic Circle, and there is butter harsher than this stuff. Barring a wool allergy, it couldn’t raise an itch on the newest of babies or the oldest of centenarians. They'd wear out in about six seconds if you actually walked on them, but if you were, say, confined to a wheelchair, or only made about six steps per day from your bed to your easy chair and back again? They’d be perfect.

Soft as cobwebs. Warmer than “plain old” wool. Breathes like cotton.


I wonder how much extra yarn I’m going to have at the end of this project…

OK, that’s my Random Thought d’Jour. Carry on with your lives, people, whilst I ponder the ins and outs of making enough baby alpaca socks (of all things) to keep the non-ambulatory seniors of my home town (who must number in the dozens if not hundreds) from the hideous perils of cold, itchy feet…(Lord, but I do get wildly impractical notions into my head, don’t I?!)

He CAN be taught!

I just got through writing about how Captain Adventure does not deign to talk yet, right? And that he’ll do it when he’s darned good and ready and all that?

Naturally, he must make a liar out of his mommy. So the very next day, as I’m getting him out of his high chair while saying with brightest voice and clearest possible enunciation, “Do you want down? Say, Down, please, Mommy!”, he cuddled into my arms and said, brightly and with clearest possible enunciation…

“Dow pees, muvabrblebababa!”

I immediately called everybody I knew (and a few people I didn’t technically know but who had numbers similar to friends and/or family and/or casual acquaintances) (or who were listed in the phone book), alerted the local media (who, hardened as they are by the unrelenting drama of such stories as sewage leaks flooding a double wide trailer in Western Nowhere and fires that almost might have burned a barn in Eastern Nowhere, were remarkably unimpressed), and wrote to the White House (I hear they send out a congratulatory letter on such occasions, suitable for framing).

And now, I’m sharing with y’all.

He is very pleased at his own success, and repeats it for any and all occasions. If he wants up, “Dow pees!”. If he wants down, “Dow pees!” Juice? “Dow pees!” Crackers? “Dow pees!” A gin and tonic? “Dow pees!”

OK, so we have some vocabulary issues to iron out. Who cares? The boy is finally uttering sounds that can be called words.

Obviously, the kid is destined to be a great orator. A mother can just sorta tell these things…

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Once again, my child is a curve-breaker

I am informed by the weekly newsletter I receive in my inbox for my 15 month old (week 3), that “By 15 months, the majority (about 75 percent) of children have a vocabulary that consists of "Mama" and "Dada" plus at least three other words, usually nouns, such as "cookie," "ball," and "dog."”

Yes, well. My child? Is part of the 25 percent of all babies who are not speaking a single word-as-such by age 15 months (week 3).

Not. One.

Noise, we’ve got. Ba-ba-ba-ba, na-na-na, va-va-va.

But, ba-ba-ba does not mean, say, “bottle” or “boogie” or “fetch me a peeled grape.” It means, uh, ba-ba-ba.

The pediatrician said, “We’d like him to get a hearing test.”

I said, “Ha! HAHAHA! No, that won’t be necessary.”

He hears just fine. He understands words like ‘juice’, ‘snack’, ‘no’, and his own name. He also sings rather well and recognizes the theme songs from his favorite movies from clear upstairs.

He just…does not care to speak to us right now.

I’d be more alarmed, except that Eldest did the same exact thing. I swear, the child did not say more than a word or two ('no' and 'muh-muh') until she was almost eighteen months old, at which point she suddenly toddled over, looked up at me as I was loading the dishwasher and said, clear as a bell, “Mommy, kin I pwease have-it some joos?”

I just about fell over.

And I expect Captain Adventure will do the same thing to me. I’ll probably be sitting there watching Spiffy the Wonder Dog and the Toddler Mafia Take On The Leaky Diaper Monster (again), and he’ll turn to me and say, “You know, mother, I find this to be such a fascinating exploration of the psyche, touching on the depths of our fears around embarrassing bodily fluid eruptions…”

All the same, I’m stepping up my efforts to force him to talk. As is usually the case, the problem with the child comes back to his parents (OK, OK, it comes back to yours truly). I don’t make him talk. He doesn’t have to talk. He doesn’t have to say “up”, because mommy will automatically bend down and pick him up when he tugs at me. He doesn’t have to say, “Joos!” because I will respond to fussiness by running through a checklist in my head: hmm, is it likely to be a) hunger, b) a diaper issue, or c) thirst? Hmm, I’m going to go with ‘c’ – GIVE THE LUCKY WOMAN A GIGGLE, SHE’S RIGHT AGAIN!

Go Mom. Only, see, it does mean that His Most Royal Highness has not had to learn to communicate much. Sure, it’s nice having a personal assistant who spends most of her waking hours fretting about your comfort, health, hygiene and so forth, but at the same time it does create a kind of flabby dependence on your part. I mean, seriously. What would happen to the kid if I got mowed down by an over-caffeinated SUV driver at the school tomorrow? He’d be stuck with Daddy, who while equally in love with his children lacks both the overactive nurturing gene and the Uterus Sensors, which automatically alert me to such things as offspring hunger/thirst, children (my own and others) getting into things that will get them hurt and whether or not it is imperative that they wear socks YES IN THE HOUSE lest lurking cold germs leap under their bare toenails and creep up to their throats, there to wreak havoc for weeks on end.

So I’m trying to make him say ‘up’ instead of just responding to him pawing at my pant legs and yowling. I look down at his misery and say, “Do you want UP? Say UP! UP? UP?!”

And he’s looking at me with an expression of extreme frustration, an expression that clearly says, “Yes, I want UP you astonishing twit! What part of my leg-pawing and wailing is hard for you to understand?!”

Undaunted, I continue to ask him if he wants, you know, UP.

In the back of my mind, however, I know that there is one unshakeable truth: My child will start to talk when he’s damned good and ready, and not one (1) moment sooner. Leading a horse to water and all that – I can work it all I want, but he will not purse up those adorable little lips and spit out the simple word “up” until he feels the urge from deep within his soul.

At which point, after spending days, weeks, or even months stressing out over getting the kid to say his first word…you know what?

I’ll spend the next twenty years trying to get him to be quiet for one damned minute so I can hear myself think.

It just ain’t fair, I tell you, it just ain’t fair…

Friday, November 11, 2005

Holidiay Decor

Yesterday when I picked up Boo Bug, she (and all her classmates) came out proudly clutching a pinecone turkey. Yes, one of those. Googly eyed, stuck all over with pieces of mix-matched construction paper and cheap, dyed feather festooned, she bore it with all the pride of a hostess presenting the perfectly roasted, 25 pound Thanksgiving Dinner with All The Trimmings version.

Now, I will admit that a pinecone turkey was somewhere very, very near the bottom of the list of things I was hoping to have in the house. And when I saw her coming out the door with one, I repressed a groan of dismay. Ugh. Pinecone turkey. Swell.

But there are two things I strive to do – no matter how bad my day, no matter how in a hurry I may be or how little I feel like it or how much I’d really rather be snoring my afternoon away on a nice, quiet sofa somewhere.

One: Greet my child as though I am damned thrilled to be picking her up now, and

Two: Always, always, always admire her talents

So, after the joyful cries of, “There you are! Did you have fun!?”, I turned my attention to the pinecone turkey.

It was staring at me, an insipid gaze from the googly eyes. The feathers wafted gently in the afternoon breeze. The construction paper beak wiggled slightly as I picked it up to, uh, admire it.

It is, in a word, ugly. And I swear I heard it chuckle as I thought, in great dismay, Oh Lord, I’m going to have to find someplace to put this thing…

But I admired the colorfulness of its feathers and the cuteness of the googly eyes and the expressive use of color squiggles and my daughter looked up at me with huge, excited, worshipful eyes.

“I made it for YOU!” she shouted gladly, again and again, as we skipped our way across the parking lot to the van.

It is currently sitting, with pride and dignity (or at least, as much dignity as is possible for a creature sporting googly eyes), in the middle of my formal dining room table. The “good” table. Yes, that’s right! I have a pinecone turkey with bright pink and orange and blue feathers gracing the holiday table!!

And I love it. Because every time I look at it, I don’t see the stupid pinecone bird with its ridiculous accoutrements.

I see her enormous eyes, her brilliant smile, the excitement on her little face because her art had been so well received by one of the few critics who really matter to her; I can feel her little hand in mine, hear her lisping voice singing “I made it for YOU!”, wrap myself up in the memory of her happy hug and preserve these fleeting moments of her too-brief preschool years.

There could be no better decoration for my holidays than that.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

ACK! OCD Part II!!

Danger Mouse had some M&Ms the other night, a little Halloween-sized bag of them. She’s a candy-loving kind of kid. Sweet tooth – CHECK.

Anyway, so she’s eating those M&Ms about as fast as is humanly possible. And I’m doing other things. And she’s still eating them.

And then…

I looked over…

And she had six green M&Ms in front of her.

What are the chances, I asked myself, that my daughter just happened to end up with only green M&Ms?

“Danger Mouse, um, did you, uh, sort your M&Ms by color?” I asked carefully.

“Oh yes. I like to eat them by the colors.”


I have given my child my M&M OCD. I don’t even know how, because I don’t buy M&Ms in regular life, and thinking back can’t recall ever having eaten M&Ms in front of her. It isn’t that I can say I haven’t, but I can’t remember doing so.

In other words, this is not like the mommy monkey teaching her offspring to use a stick to fish termites out of a log for din-dins.

This is like some weird genetic knowledge my daughter has acquired.

Must. Eat. M&Ms. By. Color.

Every time I think they aren’t really my kids but are rather Mutant Aliens™ dropped here by the planet Zogworbhspblatt to observe human beings (namely the DH and myself) under conditions of severe stress, they do something like this, proving beyond a doubt there is, in fact, a true genetic link between us.

My Dear Fellow Parents

I need all of us to slow down. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Take another. Aaah. Out. Nice, huh?

Let’s think about something here, OK? Let’s think about ten minutes and the various ways it can go by.

If I’m going to sit down with a cup of coffee and the newspaper for ten minutes, it goes by in a flash.

If, however, I’m sitting in my car at a dropoff line waiting for the cars in front of me to move, ten minutes is an eternity! Longer! It is a maddening, frustrating, horrific, oughta-be-a-law-agin-it length of time.

Same length of time. Same number of seconds have tick-tocked past. But one is a too-short burst of pleasure, while the other is a painful reminder of just how little time we have on this planet for more pleasurable things.

In other words, it is a matter of attitude, of perception. In which case…it is up to us to decide which we’re going to be. (Damn that personal responsibility crap!!)

Now. Let us turn our attention to the second case. We are sitting in the pickup line at school, waiting for our adorable offspring to sally forth. It is 11:50. They will come out at 12:00.

Walking down the line of cars and suggesting that other parents pull their vehicles into the red zone to make more room in the parking lot will not magically turn 11:50 into 12:00. The children are still not emerging from the classroom. Which means that not one of these cars ahead of you will be budging, for ten more minutes.

In point of fact, the people who were ahead of you, who are now sitting in the illegal red zone…are still ahead of you. They are still in your way. You have gained nothing. The parking lot is still full. There is still nowhere to go. Only now, they blocking both you AND any emergency vehicles which ($DEITY forbid) need to come down that fire lane.

It is still 11:50, and you still must wait ten minutes for the traffic to begin to move. It has far more to do with the planet’s rotation than it does with whether or not someone is blocking the fire lane to create more room back in the pickup line.

Take a deep breath. There you go. And another. Because I’m about to tell you something very, very depressing.

You will be doing this, Oh Mother of Only One Child Who Just Started Preschool At Whom We Mothers of Many Laugh Every Time You Open Your Mouth to Tell Us How Horrible and Unacceptable This Situation Is, for the next ten, twelve years – easy.

Yes! That’s right!! Ten times per week, for forty weeks of the year, you will be facing this “unmitigated nightmare” of People In Front Of You Going Nowhere. Here. Have a sip of water. It’ll be OK. Just sit there and breathe for a minute.

You have four ways of dealing with it.

Arrive early! This way, you can be the person blocking the whole parking lot, instead of being the caboose.

Arrive late! This way, you rush into the emptied parking lot, snatch your child and run for it, almost without even slowing down!

Suck it up and bring a book (or your knitting)! This way, you can create of this horror a ten minute oasis in the middle of your day.

Or, finally, don’t deal with it at all! Walk! Bus! Park in the overflow lot and hike the crummy hundred feet! That way, you don’t have to deal with us at all – you can zip right on out and be on your merry way, regardless of what the regular lot is doing! (Why more parents don’t do this is beyond me, actually, especially if you’ve only got one kid in tow…on those rare occasions when I’ve only got one kid with me, I am there!!)

And all that be said, may I point out: We were all gone – every single one of us – within precisely eight minutes of the bell ringing. All of us. The ‘unacceptably’ huge line, the horde, the ‘impossibly backed up’ parking lot was empty by 12:08.

Think about it. Think about how you would have felt if you had only been given eight minutes for a bubble bath, or eight minutes for a cocktail, or eight minutes with a good book.

Speaking of which, seriously? Bring a book. Bring a craft. The newspaper. Good tunes. A coffee and a chocolate bar. Slow it down, take it easy, enjoy this time. Make it such that instead of chomping at the bit you’re groaning, “Aw, MAN! I was just getting to the good part!!” when the cars start moving.

Because let’s face it: most of us are not rushing off to endless Fun and Excitement. No way. Most of us are picking up our darlings and heading home to the cooking, the cleaning, the shopping, the endless nitpicking little stupid things we fill our lives with and consider ever-so-important because otherwise we’d think our lives somewhat shallow and empty and full of endless hours that need filling.

If for no other reason, enjoy it just to spite the Demon of Niggling Little Irritations. Don’t worry. He’s used to it. Might even get a laugh out of it. Right after he sets every single traffic light on your route home to turn red…

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

OK, now, really...

...I need to go make something for dinner. Not keep playing around with font sizes and colors and stuff.

Only...it's so cool with the code-speak and stuff. This background? This one, right here? #FCFCFC. Not to be confused with, say, #F7F7F7, or even #FFFFF.

They might seem exactly the same, but they're not. Oh no. They're not.

Whatever. It's white. Ish. A little cooler than white-white, with a touch of gray. According to theory.

None of which is getting that stupid chicken cooked, is it.

Which is not nearly as sexy as trying to decide whether #7C7B8C or #8C8C8C makes for a better header color...

How's this one?

Testing...testing...having fun with template colors...

Monday, November 07, 2005

The shawl hates me

I’m serious.

That Irish Diamond Shawl?

It hates me.

It does not want to be knit.

I’m serious.


Well, actually – I’ve given up and cast on a ‘quickie’ preemie sweater to donate to Stitches from the Heart. Because I can do that one in my sleep. Blindfolded. With NPR, Scooby Doo, children and husband all blathering on in the background. While sitting on a tack ignoring the fire alarm, which is what I use instead of a timer for cooking purposes.

I have done so because the shawl is going to make me crazy if I keep trying to work on it while all the above is happening. Not only have I had to tear out one, two or three rows to get back to where the boo boo is, but I’ve had to do it repeatedly. Because I get distracted, and the lace looks like a plate full of Top Ramon on the needles, so I get two or seven rows further along before suddenly I look at it and go, “Um, whoa. That ain’t right…”

And tearing out lace…well, I’m getting to where I’d rather tear out my fingernails than tear out another row. I’d rather tink* it.

Each row takes almost half an hour to knit now. HALF AN HOUR! PER ROW!! I’m close, oh so very tantalizingly close…a mere twenty three rows stand between me and the blocking of this project. Which is only about twelve hours. IF and ONLY IF!! I can, for the next twenty three rows, not screw up which row I’m on or get off on my counting or some other damned stupid thing!!!

To Which End, I have Herewith Decreed that I shall only work on this project in the dead of night or the wee hours between Husband Departure and Child(ren) Awakening, when I can focus.

Between times – it’s socks, baby sweaters or (another) stupid baby blanket.

Anything else is just begging for a long stint at a mental institution. And I’m both too poor and too cheap to go to one of those plush places where one is fed cappuccino during one’s therapy session and gets good drugs on demand. I’d end up in one of the ones where screaming lunatics bawl their angst day and night, slam their furniture against the locked door and paint the walls with their porridge.

And gee. I’ve already got all that right here at home…

*tink: the process of ‘undoing’ stitches one by one – ‘knit’ spelled backward and possibly the biggest PITA** in the knitting world

** Pain In The Ass***

***Which here means ‘rear end’ rather than ‘donkey’****

****Human rear end, not a donkey’s*****

***** Although what the heck difference it really makes is beyond me; I imagine that a pain in a donkey’s behind would be worse than a pain in a human behind simply because of the size difference. I mean serious – a donkey has a lot more behind to have a pain in than the average human…

Attention, attention, attention

According to my Babycenter weekly email, I can rest assured that my child is (still) perfectly normal when he clings, whines, screams, chirps, whistles and shrieks at me all day and all night.

Isn’t that comforting?

Yes, they tell me, “If your 15-month-old has started sounding like a hyena or worse, you're experiencing his intense desire to interact with you.”

Which, of course, makes it all good, right? My adorable little pumpkin has an intense desire to interact with me – that’s good, right? Right? RIGHT?!?!

OK, seriously – yes, it is good. I’m still #1 around here. Mommy is da man (slangily speaking). And his desires are simple. All he wants is my constant and undivided attention, 24/7.

That’s all.

Captain Adventure has many ways of getting my attention. Generally, he starts with the more adorable methods. Chirping, singing, running up to me and staring intently up at me until he gets eye contact, then laughing and clapping and dancing in place to express his approval of my cleverness in noticing Himself, the Center of the Universe.

Meanwhile, his sisters have evolved their methods of attention getting. Boo Bug does a great body-slam, accompanied by a wrestling/climbing/clinging skill a jujitsu master would envy. She also babbles, pretty much nonstop, from morning to night. I now understand why parents sometimes ‘tune out’ their kids, to the point where they are blissfully unaware that their horrid children are making life a living hell for all around them. Because I do that with Boo Bug, frequently. After four straight hours of her little piping voice blathering on and on and on about bugs and toys and juice and shirts and dresses and socks and a blow-by-blow of what Captain Adventure is doing and whether or not fairies are in the backyard and how come the neighbor is walking on the street…well, one gets a little glazed over.

Danger Mouse can let loose a wail that sounds remarkably like someone has driven a fire truck into the house. Unfortunately, this does not generally result in the attention she’d like. It tends to result in a shout of, “TAKE THAT NOISE UPSTAIRS!! COME BACK WHEN YOU CAN TALK TO ME IN WORDS!!!” (But of course, trying to ‘use words’ in a conversational manner around here is like trying to discuss philosophy over a glass of nice wine in a sawmill…)

Eldest, of course, is developing more adult-like methods. She’s learned to wait for lulls in the constant roar of noise, and to ensure she has your attention before she starts talking (a common mistake from the younger siblings, who begin asking for things while they have their little backs to you and then get upset because you didn’t even realize they were talking). Unfortunately, she still hasn’t quite gotten to the level of understanding timing. For example, asking Mommy for a soda while she is running around getting towels to clean up the four gallon puddle of milk she just spilled? Probably not a great idea.

Sometimes, I long for the days to come – when my children don’t want a damned thing to do with me. When they’re all in school, most of the day, and have little to say when they get home instead of having to tell me Every Little Thing that happened that day (“…and then Bobby burped and Elsie said ‘Excuse YOU!’ and he burped again so Ms. Whittiker told him to stop it and THEN…!”). When I’ll be able to sit down during the afternoon in a quiet house and do something, without the constant threat of attack from the Toddler Mafia.

Other times, I dread their approach – especially when ‘at school’ becomes ‘away at college’ or ‘grown and flown.’ When the noise is replaced by a silence that isn’t fleeting. When my attention is not so important; maybe nice to have, but not needed.

Yes, those will be sad, lonely days spent in utter stillness, with nothing to do but plan where to eat that night and which movie we might want to catch…

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I had only about three long sleeved shirts that had survived last winter, one of which was not machine washable (which means that I had only two long sleeved shirts to fend off the increasing chill). So I went to Goodwill to hunt for some. I found four machine washable long sleeved warm shirts/sweaters, one of which is a gloriously sexy, warm, cuddly Gloria Vanderbilt sweater-shirt that is going to be like wrapping oneself up in a steamy warm cup of Godiva-like hot cocoa.

But that (and the fact that all four shirts cost me $10) is not what I’m writing about.

I’m writing about the True Score: one (1) copy of Alice Starmore’s Sweaters for Men, in darned near pristine condition (considering it is 16 years old).

What’s that price again? What’s that lowest price on Amazon? $43.87?

Bwa-ha-ha-ha. This copy was $1.

Let me just say that again. Repeatedly.

One dollah.
One Tattered George Washington.
Four quarters.
Ten dimes.
A measly buck.

Forgive me an avaricious chuckle. Heh heh heh heh heh.

No pages torn. No writing in it. Dust jacket intact. It looks like nobody has ever even opened it.

Mine, all mine…

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sometimes, it just doesn’t work out

Back in April, I bought some shares of a company called Nabi Biopharmaceuticals for just a hair over $10 a share.

I sold them in July for just shy of $15. I sold them for two reasons: I couldn’t find a solid reason for their upward tear (other than what is sometimes called “pin action” – meaning that they were going up because some other stock {cough GENETECH cough} was), and because they were at that time, IMHO and oft wrong opinion, overvalued at $15.

So, I sold them. And they promptly jumped up to $16. And then they hovered around the $15 mark. Then they began drifting…drifting…down…down…

Until Halloween, when they fell a painful 69% from almost $13 to just under $4.


So what happened? Well, they had this vaccine that looked promising for treating/preventing staph infections. Only then, see, well, you know how they do those trial-thingees? You know, the things that Genetech keeps doing where they announce, “Hey! Not only does it do what we thought it would, it also cures the common cold and waxes your car!”

Only this time…the announcement was, “Uh. It sorta…doesn’t work. At all. Not one bit. So we’re going to stop developing it. And the other one, too.”

Gee, what was that sound? It sounded like…all the air being sucked rapidly out of their market capitalization numbers…

They had said, not once but many times, that they were “85% sure” their vaccine would work. And now, with failure in hand, people are pointing at them and mocking. THIS is your 85% sure? THIS is your sure-bet? THIS is what happens, when you were 85% sure that this would work out?!


As much as I’d like to jump on that bandwagon, I just can’t. Because I’ve made some sweeping, grandiose statements and claims in my time and been dead wrong. I’ve been 99% sure that I could get “it” done by Tuesday. I was 95% sure that Danger Mouse would be a boy. I’ve been confident that I could get my family by on $20 a day (ahem) and that I could just say no to a bowl full of potato chips (well, I would have, if there hadn’t been that French onion dip…).

From how much macaroni and cheese my kids would eat for dinner to whether or not I could decipher a four hundred page tome of numbers by Friday, I’ve been confident – and wrong – more times than I care to remember.

So, I’m sorry it didn’t work out for them. I empathize with the awkward situation they now find themselves in, with all those fingers pointing and all those shareholders snarking and all the pain and suffering they are obviously in.

I’m glad I’m not directly sharing it. Although I am, indirectly. Not altogether surprisingly (there was recently some gift-giving funny business between parties of the first and second parts here, and the stock itself had been downgraded in the Tama Rating System from ‘Promising’ to ‘Vegas’), another of my stocks has lost one of only three major clients and has tanked by a (further) 20% today. First Marblehead, you’re killing my wallet, dudes!!

Ah well. Just another day on one of the busiest Streets in the world, eh?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Look ma, I'm an Action Hero!

You scored as Maximus. After his family was murdered by the evil emperor Commodus, the great Roman general Maximus went into hiding to avoid Commodus's assassins. He became a gladiator, hoping to dominate the colosseum in order to one day get the chance of killing Commodus. Maximus is valiant, courageous, and dedicated. He wants nothing more than the chance to avenge his family, but his temper often gets the better of him.



William Wallace


Captain Jack Sparrow


Lara Croft


Indiana Jones


Neo, the "One"


El Zorro


The Amazing Spider-Man


James Bond, Agent 007


The Terminator


Batman, the Dark Knight


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

Temper? Me? Well, I…well…I mean…well…uh…

OK. I have a temper. But I take exception to Captain Jack Sparrow being 3rd on the list.

Personally, I think I’d make an excellent pirate captain. I’m no Robin Hood. I’ll take from the richer-than-me and keep it, thanks. If you want some of the booty, you can join the damned crew and do your share of the work. Or, you can make or sell rum. THEN I’ll give you some of my coinage. Matey.

Ah yes. “Rum+sun+sea+beach = the good life”. Oh yeah. I would’ve totally shot the woman for burning up all the rum. “B-but, WHY is the RUM gone?!” !!BANG!!

Oh dear. There’s that temper again…

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A yucky score…

I ordered some stuff from Drugstore.com. Just assorted this-n-that, some space bags for my yarn stash, some kid shampoo, and…four bottles of Method laundry detergent because it was on sale. Usually $8, now $6.75? SHIP IT! (Lord, I love the ‘fresh air’ fragrance – I’ll buy darned near anything that smells strongly or lightly of lavender!)

So last night (yes, on Halloween!) a UPS truck roared up, dumped a huge box on my porch and fled.

This morning, I opened the huge box. Hmm. That’s weird. I’ve never known Drugstore to put a little box in a big green plastic bag, and then put that into a bigger box…wait a second…pungency?...outer box does not say Drugstore.com all over it?…inner box is darkened with some kind of liquid damage!?!?!...

One of those bottles of Method had sprung a leak and oozed half its contents all over the inside of the box.


Now, everything in the box except for that one bottle of detergent and was OK – just needed a good rinsing off. Irritating, but not fatal. But still! So I got on the horn with Drugstore and, after the all-too-typical maze of can’t-get-past-it voice mail (if you’d like more help, say ‘help’, if you’d like to hear our return policy say ‘return’ if you want to hear our jingle again, say ‘jingle’…four hours later, you finally get the option of saying ‘agent’ – and if you try to say ‘agent’ before that, the pleasant female voice says, “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that – would you please repeat it?” ARGH!)

But eventually, I got an agent.

About five minutes later, I got an email saying that a new bottle of Method and fireplace log were on their say, 2nd day shipping.


Yes, it was irritating and yes, on the whole, I’d rather have just opened the box, put stuff away and gone on with my life.

But I just have to say, I’m darned pleased with their response. It’s about the first pleasant customer service experience I’ve had since…uh…well…hmm. Seems like any time I’ve had a problem with an Internet purchase, I’ve either ended up sending endless emails without response, or sat on hold for hours and hours only to be told something like, “Oh, well, you would need to send it all back to us by, uh, yesterday – as it clearly states (in three point font somewhere on page 400 of our disclosures) on our website, if you don’t return it the same day you get it, we aren’t responsible for it.”

Essentially, in exchange for a shriek of “EEEEEEW!”, a few minutes spent rinsing off assorted bottles, and a call to an 800 number, I’m getting a ‘free’ half bottle of Method.

Given that I will spend thirty minutes (or more) sharing my opinion of such fascinating topics as baby wipes for $5, that’s a darned good deal.