Monday, August 30, 2010

On This Day In History…

…let it be written that I, the Mother of Chaos, did go forth unto mine bathroom with the current-day’s newspaper in hand and actually managed to read one (1) whole entire editorial without being interrupted by even one (1) Denizen wondering what I was doing for all that long while (consisting of roughly five whole minutes), let alone the usual minimum of two (2) (4) (6) (8) children per minute asking the same question five times each.

Aside: It is a sad, sad commentary on your life when it is so exciting that you got to read a whole entire quarter-page article without being interrupted that you immediately rush to blog about it, and then honestly can’t remember what it was about…BUT! Undaunted and thus emboldened!

I shall now…


…the unheard of feat…!


(waaaaaait for iiiiiiiiit)


(That’s right, I’m an envelope-pusher, yo…)

(And all kidding aside, that is the first time I have been be, you know, alone in the bathroom in, like, six months…)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gratitude du jour 8-26

I got an automated call from Costco that the eggs in my fridge were part of the Big Egg Recall.

You know, the ones we've eaten all but six of?

And I was pretty pissed...until I saw a headline just now that J&J is having to recall hip replacement parts.

Now THAT'S a call that could really wreck your day..."HELLO! This is an important message from...(different voice) your surgeon (/different voice)..."

So today, I am grateful that none of my body parts are currently under recall.

Thank you, $DEITY, amen.

(sent from my Treo)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Aw biscuits…

You know how people are always saying, “Be careful what you wish for?”

Yeah. I’m taking a sick day today.

But, in a twist of unfair that really takes the cake, it’s not because I’m sick enough to take one (I’m downgraded to a mild sore throat, headache, and occasional blast of fever), but because Danger Mouse woke up at 2:00 this morning and threw up all over (all over…sheesh, she’s a tiny little kid, where on earth did all that come from?!) the bathroom. Awesome!

In related news, I find it somewhat amusing how fast my “let’s use the environmentally-friendly, cheap, homemade natural cleansers and this washable towel!” thing vanishes when I am confronted by a nasty, whole-bathroom spray of spew.

Dudes. I went through, I kid you not, half a roll of paper towels and probably a quarter cup of Clorox Clean-Up (which is usually only used around here a dribble at a time when I’m dyeing stuff, to get one or two drops of #37 Blue off the white tile – one bottle will last me for years) in that bathroom this morning.

But between the “ew” factor and the germ-phobia, I did not care. If there were any germs in that astonishingly large volume of ick, they were bleached into oblivion, stuffed into a plastic trash bag that I tied shut as if I thought I had Satan Hisself trapped in there, and tossed into the garbage. And then I washed my hands three times with soap and warm water like I thought I was about to go do open-heart surgery without gloves on or something. (My gloves had holes in the fingers. Germ-admitting holes! Gah!!!)

I even thought about changing my clothes, but decided (after a thorough check for spots) that now I was just being silly.

It’s also amusing to me (from the safety of my relatively germ-free kitchen chair) that my germ-phobia has very little to do with the germs, or even the illness they bring on. Personally, philosophically, I’m definitely in the “germs are a part of the human experience, and it is good that we get minor illnesses and get over them because it makes us stronger – save the antibiotics for the life-threatening [or really painful] crap” camp.

But when it comes to the part where all six of us cycle through each illness once or twice in rapid succession, never any two at the same time so the whole cycle takes, like, a month…I turn germ-phobic real fast.

It’s a tremendous motivator, the idea of being woken up every morning at 2:00 for a month at a stretch because one kid or another – or one of us parents – is (hopefully) kneeling by a toilet (because if we’re not, well, that’s going to be even worse) hurling up things from three months ago and possibly a toenail or two, not to mention all the time lost from work and the fact that all the whining starts to grate on my ears like fingernails on a blackboard until I’m seriously considering divorcing my husband and saddling him with all four of the Denizens so I could run off to Taos to “find myself” in a commune where we live off-grid and grow all our own food and collect all our water using fancy funnel-y things like that show I saw on TV once and oh-oh-oh, could I live in one of those wicked kewl little, what-were-they-called, earth ships?…yeah…that’d be awesome…and as soon as I’m done scrubbing this bleach-soaked roll of paper towel over this manufactured tile, I’m totally going to sign myself up, baby…!

(Why do I have a feeling this is going to be one of those “interesting” weeks…?)

Friday, August 20, 2010, they really know how to cheer me up...

There are nine watermelon growing in my watermelon patch. Nine! From just two "little" plants.

Yeah, uh...they're...not so little anymore.

watery melons

All that. Two plants.


And nestled here and there...melons.

Big melon

But not everybody is so perky. This sunflower knows exactly how I'm feeling today...


It's not a sunflower. It's an ugh-flower.

(These mammoths do that - their heads get waaaaaay too heavy for their stalks, and they just sort of...keel over. This weekend we'll have to stake up the two that have started doing this. It's hard enough to keep the ants off them as it is, but letting them rest their beautiful big faces right on the fence [a.k.a., Interyard 23, a favorite commute route for insects between destinations] is like opening up a Denny's on I-5 and then being surprised if people stop in wanting food.)

Still feel rotten physically, but a walk around the garden on a quiet Friday afternoon surely does do wonders for my attitude about it. Too bad every office can't come with a big old sunnny-patch garden where people can go grab a cucumber and a fistful of cherry tomatoes right off the vine for their lunch...

Aw, come ON!

Last night as I was piling into bed I muttered to myself, “I’m calling in sick tomorrow. And this time, I really mean it.”

I say this to myself about every other night. I’m so tired by the time I turn in that I actually do feel like maybe I’m coming down with something. I feel hot, or cold, or I have a pounding headache, or my joints are aching in that “flu-ish” kind of way, and, well, maybe my nose is a little stuffed up and possibly I coughed once or sneezed twice and anyway…I think I’m coming down with something and I’ll have to call in sick tomorrow.

Therefore, naturally, I don’t take myself seriously when I’m going to bed thinking that maybe I’m coming down with something.

So imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning still feeling like I’m coming down with something. A little feverish, pounding headache that scoffs at Excedrin, lethargy, muscle ache all over…I’m pretty sure I’m coming down with a lovely case of The Scrounge.

And now that I’ve crawled my way to lunchtime…yeah. I can state with authority that it isn’t a case of just still being tired, or in need of a(nother) cup of coffee, or perhaps a six pound slab of chocolate or maybe an iron pill (taken with a pound of top sirloin and two pounds of spinach).

I’m definitely coming down with something.

I’m not sick yet, but I’m on my way to sick and will probably be feeling pretty wretched by quitting time today.

And, just a calendar check here, it’s Friday.

Which, you know…well. That’s not fair. I’m starting to come down with something today, which means I don’t feel quite unwell enough to hit the couch. I work from home today anyway, so I’m not buying any net-new time away from commuting.

At best, I might feel ugly enough to log off a couple hours earlier in the afternoon. Or maybe even lousy enough to not even come back from my lunch break here.

But I don’t feel quite bad enough to actually crash right now. Which means that The Scrounge is probably going to hit me like a freight train tomorrow – on my precious, too-brief window of so-called leisure where I try to put Humpty Dumpty back together again restore some order around here.

And then I’ll be feeling marginally better on Sunday, and by Monday I’ll be fine.

Seriously, is that fair?

If I ran the Universe….well. If I ran the Universe, nobody would get sick in the first place. But if for some reason my omnipotent powers didn’t extend to actually eradicating illness altogether, well, by Me they would totally have to take the weekends off.

{grumble grouse complain whine kvetch}

In other news, you know how you know who your friends are? Well. I know one thing for sure: Friends do not send friends links to things like this when they’ve just made all kinds of solemn vows about not spending any money (click on the image to go to KnitPicks for project details) (and this is not the same as me sending it you, which would be un-friendly...all blame lies with my friend Kathy who sent it to me in the first place):

knitpicks What A Character kit

Why don’t you just hand me a six pack of peach cider, a box of The Sinus Medicine That Actually Works and the keys to your Porche while you’re at it?! (I know you don't have one yet, babe, but maybe you could buy one just for the occasion?)

…but they are awfully cute, aren’t they? And Captain Adventure would love! either the googly-eyed alien or the muffin-seeking slug…

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If I had a time machine…and peaches grew on trees...

I would make thousands of jars of peach butter and hand them out on street corners all over America.

peachy bagel

This was my breakfast this morning: A toasted bagel with cream cheese and peach butter. It tasted like bright sunshine and happiness.

Which was good, because this is what I was working on during the commute in this morning.


And it was more like "well, what the @*&^@...why is this…wait, isn't this supposed to be the…knit four, ssk, yo…no, wait, I've got knit six here…but…no, no that's…huh-uh, that's completely…wait…is that a dropped stitch? OH. YOU. ARE. @*^&@ING. KIDDING. ME…"

Among other things (primary amongst those other things being the fact that I am an idiot who never, ever, EVER learns from experience, no matter how painful it may be), I had taken the excellent advice given, made a copy of my destructions instructions, and was using a highlighter as I went to keep myself 'on track.'

Except that I apparently got excited and highlighted two rows I had not actually done.

Which rather throws a wrench into the whole system.

This is the project I took on our camping trip. (Please see "idiot, can't learn" comment, above.) 99.5% of this progress was made during the van ride there and back again, .45% of it was made in spurts and stops while we were camping (most of that in the wee little sliver of morning between when I hauled myself out of the tent and when Captain Adventure would emerge from his cocoon ready to begin another day of terrorist activities fun and excitement), and -.05% was made this morning as I tinked back, re-knit what I thought I'd done wrong, stared at it, counted and counted and counted again, and only toward the very end of the journey realized that I was trying to do row 107 when, in fact, I was supposed to be on row 103.

But at least I was wrong about the dropped stitch. It wasn't a dropped stitch. It was just a pulled out stitch – where somewhere along the line something (probably my knitting needle) had gotten hooked under the yarn and yanked it out so that it formed a big old loop where no big old loop was supposed to be, and naturally since matter can be neither created nor destroyed, a puckered-up section of stitches resembling a cement block that used to be an airy little bit of lace.


So I engaged in underwater stitch-un-pull-out-ing, laboriously teasing the big old dangling loop back into the shawl and convincing the cement block to return to lace-shawl form and biting my lip the whole time to keep myself from muttering out loud while I did it – because that alarms people on BART.

Although I'm not sure why, now that I stop to think about it. I mean, it's not like there isn't somebody on practically every single train who is talking to themselves, or an invisible friend, or singing, or dancing in their chair, or otherwise behaving oddly…which makes those "security advisory announcements" kind of silly. I mean, really: If I see someone 'behaving oddly,' I'm supposed to report it? What constitutes "odd" when you're on BART, for Pete's sake?!

So why someone who is muttering vulgarities at their lace while wielding two pointy sticks, a crochet hook, clenching a bent-tipped tapestry needle between their teeth and balancing a pattern on their knee and a highlighter behind their ear should alarm anybody on BART is beyond me.

But I guess I'll keep on at least trying not to mutter obscenities at my lace.

If nothing else, it rather spoils that whole "knitting is the new yoga" and "gentle little flower of domesticality" and "oh, my knitting is just so relaxing" image.

...@*&^@ing lace...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Money Monday: August 16, 2010

I know, blast from the past, right?! It is consistently amazing to me just how much this contract has thrown a wrench into my (so-called) normal life. From getting the bathrooms clean to making a budget to writing regular blog posts (ahem), it feels as though there is always something I didn't do because I was doing something else because there are only so many hours in a day, dammit, and furthermore why is everybody always picking on me IT'S NOT FAIR WAAAAAAH!.

Oops. Sorry. Still in the "post-vacation why am I expected to know everything get OFF me and NO, I don't know where Precious McCantSleepWithout'Em Puppy got to…" mode.

Anyway…until relatively late last night (relative to when the alarm was going off this morning, anyway), I was paying bills. Because my life? One big old never-ending rollercoaster of awesome, that's right.

I found myself contemplating just how far out of whack things have gotten since I started this contract. If I had been this disorganized before I started back to work, I'm pretty sure we would have ended up in an even sorrier way than we did – I don't think I'm exaggerating much when I say I think we might actually have found ourselves staring down the foreclosure barrel without so much as a dime for our own cannon.

I've been stuck in "reaction" mode for nine months now; stuck in the dreaded maelstrom of stimulus-response-stimulus-response.

It's hard to find a calm place to think, a moment of time away from "everything" to regroup and plan…and it feels as though it wouldn't matter even if I did, because right now Life is just plain out to get me.

Oh, did I just squeeze 10% of my paycheck aside into savings like I planned? HA HA! Welcome to a leaking water heater, splish-splash all over the garage! Warranty? Suuuuuure, it's under warranty, and you can choose one of the following two free water heaters: Ten gallons smaller with a lesser warranty than the original, or ten gallons bigger with the same warranty…great! Oh, did we forget to mention that you'll need a bunch of work done to install the bigger one, and that the labor for same is not under warranty?

…sorry, our bad...

And of course, when am I trying to sit down and do this stuff? In the evening! When there are children!

It's like trying to work on your Mozart flute solo in a kennel specializing in the rehabilitation of abused terriers.

Seriously. It is.

Life right now is more about surviving than about living. It's about getting through another day, another week, another dinner, another trip to the mall for whatever fool thing somebody forgot to tell me they needed (or I forgot they told me, or I lost the slip of paper informing me of said need, or, well, whatever).

This, of course, is nothing noteworthy. This is not a unique situation that only I get to endure; it's not my personal and exclusive cross to bear, something nobody else in the whole entire world could possibly understand.

This is just how life is, sometimes. Sometimes it's mellow and easy-going and we can take on all kinds of special projects. Sometimes, it's all wild and crazy and we don't have time for a danged potty break, let alone a nice long stretch of "me time" to regroup and reorganize and reprioritize and get our @*^@ together.

As things stand at this precise moment, I have another six months to go on this contract. That's very good, because I haven't made nearly the headway on debts and savings that I would like – the money has evaporated as fast as it has come in.

It has a way of doing that, if you're not staying 110% on top of it.

So I was having this conversation with myself where I was basically calling myself on the carpet for the lack of progress toward clearly established goals.

At first, I was really defensive. Show me what I did that was 'bad', I groused. I defied myself to come up with anything I had bought that wasn't necessary.

But coming on the heels of our camping trip, during which I had spent a considerable amount of time pondering the differences between the way I used to camp and, well, this…well.

Back in the day, I actually didn't camp at all – I was a backpacker. It's a whole different reality. You look at every single thing you might bring and you ask yourself a simple question: How am I going to feel about this wonderful whatnot when I'm five miles into my hike? Ten? Twenty? How about on day 3, when we're still three miles from the summit and oh by the way, it's another four days before we get back to the cars?

You start downgrading things pretty fast. What is "vital" and what is "nice to have" begin to veer sharply away from each other.

I seldom brought a flashlight. I used a rock to hammer in tent spikes, if I brought a tent at all which was not a given. I brought almost no clothes with me, and certainly not anything that was merely for sleeping in.

My jeans were warmer anyway.

But when we were camping ten feet from Homer the Odyssey…well. We brought soooooo much crap with us. Seemed like we had fifteen flashlights. We did have seven sleeping bags. {pauses to count on fingers} Yeah, there's still only six of us.

We brought two tents: One that sleeps nine, and one that sleeps (technically, although they'd better be really good friends) four. We needed them! In case!

And we brought enough food to feed about fifty people for a month. And way too many clothes. And lanterns and flashlights and games and decks of cards and tarps and door mats and sleeping pads.

You would have thought we were going camping for six months in the wilderness, y'all.

I found myself thinking about that as I was shaking my head over where the money went these last nine months, looking for where I shoulda/coulda/woulda done things differently.

Apart from a few (dozen) too many pizza nights, I couldn't really point out anything that wasn't "needed"…until I started asking myself whether I would have taken them on a fifty mile roundtrip peak-bagging backpacking trip.


Wants and needs aren't really that complicated. We tend to put a lot of stuff on the "need" list that really doesn't belong there. We say we can't live without our iPhone, or our cable television, or our organic clover-honey mead…and sometimes we know we're wrong about that, but I suspect more and more we don't understand that.

We really do think we will curl up and physically die if we don't have these very specific things that mankind somehow managed to stagger around without for generation upon generation.

How they ever got anywhere without a phone that could guide them via GPS is beyond me…but they did. Even sailed right out to sea and somehow got to whole new continents, while we can't get to the local dry cleaners without that steadying voice telling us, "…in 500 feet, turn LEFT…"

I want to accomplish two things in the coming month.

The first is, I want to get back on top of things. I want to regain control of where our money is going, instead of constantly and passively allowing whatever crisis has arisen to decide where it's going to go. Yeah, I'm tired and I don't have time and I don’t feel like it and wah wah wah…but at the same time, I'm not a danged twig caught up in a river here. I'm a full-grown woman (allegedly), with an oar and a compass and dog-dang it, I know how to row.

The second is, I want to clamp down on the spending, reevaluate these "needs" we seem to think are vital to our survival, and make sure we're not losing sight of where we want to go…which is a long of way of saying, I'm going to institute a spending fast. I don't care what it is or who thinks they will D-I-EEEEEEEEE without it (and Tama, I am looking at you right now, madam if-I-don't-get-a-netbook-I-will-no-really-physically-D-I-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E), the answer is no.

Unless of course you really will curl up and die.

All you have to do is prove it, and whatever it is, I'll get it for you. Go ahead. Prove that without coffee, you will actually, physically die…I'm waiting…go ahead…prove it…

(ohmygah, I'm going to die doing this, aren't I…)

(no-no, think positive…I have tons of coffee in the Den right now, it's ooooookay, we can get through a month of this…)

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Seriously? It is not actually Sunday evening already, is it?!


This last week went by in a blur. A blur of noise and heat and smoke and laughter and beaches and campfires and seriously, how many people did we THINK we were feeding?! and having to explain why it was that my son thought it was perfectly OK to just grab your kid’s bike and make off with it (he got confused…after all, it was a family reunion and we had six campsites and he didn’t know these people but it was OK to just walk on into their camper, and he didn’t know these people either but it was OK to grab a juice box out of their cooler, and he didn’t know these other kids at all but they were OK with him playing with their toys…so obviously, this whole entire place was just one big Captain’s Personal and Private Family Affair and it was totally OK to go into any tent, trailer, camper, cooler, box or any other thing he found just help himself, no, no!, don’t bother getting up Auntie Whoever You Are, I can get my own beer and bag of chips, thanks…) (oh yeah… “embarrassing” doesn’t begin to express my feelings, kids…especially since it turned out that just about every single time I thought this cousin or that uncle “had him,” uh, they sorta-kinda only partially MAYBE “had him” and he was actually off on his own terrorizing the whole, 200-some-odd-space campsite…) (in related news, we can never go back there again) (or anywhere else from Malibu to Oxnard) (seriously, I think they printed up posters…)

And then we came home and the next three days vanished into a rush of back to school (the Denizens started back to school Wednesday! Wednesday! Excuse me, but is that not, like, right smack in the middle of what should be summer vacation, School District?!) and unpacking and cleaning-cleaning-cleaning and wait-a-second, if I’ve been cleaning for three days straight…



Why does this place look like it has never seen the business end of a broom, mop or vacuum cleaner?!

Well, I can tell you at least partially why: Four quarts of Italian-style tomato sauce and five pints of zesty zucchini relish were canned this weekend. Because I had fourteen pounds of tomatoes and a zucchini the size of my leg growing out there when I got home, that’s why…plus the former site of Lake Chaos is now Lake O’Weeds (there’s a surprise) and part of the fence fell down and I have deep unrest about one of the butternut vines because I think it may have gotten a squash borer and furthermore the yellow-striped heirloom tomato plant looks a bit…yellowish and scrawny…to me, AND the ooze tank for the sunflowers isn’t oozing enough and the poor things were giving me this look that clearly said, “what kind of mother are you?!”, AND PLUS the sweet potatoes are overtaking the unexpectedly reviving artichokes and the Christmas limas are trying to attack the neighbor’s overhanging tree AND!!!!!!!! we have corn that should have been eaten, like, yesterday, but wasn’t and I didn’t get around to it because I was dealing with the Aforementioned Everything but, guess what? All four of my newly planted pumpkin hills have sprouted, and the back bed I was afraid had an actual leak-leak doesn’t (we capped it off at the surface and it is dry as a bone, woo hoo – no subterranean leaks!), and, there are two little tiny baby yellow squash in the front boxes!

…which will be torso-sized monsters in less than 48 hours, I’ll betcha…

I feel as though I am coming out of this vacation the same way I went into it: Unprepared, and headlong.

…and tired…and a little grouchy…and in need of a vacation…

…um, wait…

This is probably going to be another one of them-thar “interesting” weeks, isn’t it.

…buckle up, racing fans, it’s going to be a wild ride…

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The faces of semi-civilized wafflers

We're halfway home, at an IHOP in the middle of nowhere. We cut the camping short by two nights because (in husband-who-disagreed-with-my-other-reasons-convincing part) our innocent-faced little Captain there was running like he was fueled with pure rocket fuel. It was like chasing a lit firework. Or a squirrel that had been pounding back Monster sodas.

I am SERIOUSLY exhausted right now. That boy ran me a merry chase these last five days. Wait'll I tell y'all what-all he managed to get into on this trip. Whooooooo-wee. Wee!




(sent from my Treo)

Monday, August 09, 2010

The face of wanna-be evil

Don't tell her I said so, but Boo isn't even close to being sort-of evil. She can barely work up to 'mildly irritating.' But she's trying...note the horns...try to look terrified for her...oooooh, SCARY EEEEEVIL...

(camping is going about as expected...Boo and Captain woke up about 6,000 times wanting to go home last night...I am now on permanent "do nothing but chase Captain Adventure" duty, because whenever anybody ELSE tries it, well, let's just say he a) can move remarkably fast and b) has a fuzzy concept around which groups are "family" and which are just innocent by-campers who would really rather not have a random autistic six year old rummaging through their tent/trailer/cooler) (I know...some people are SO fussy...)

(sent from my Treo)

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Hard to believe, but...

..this is the face of PURE EVIL.

OK, that may be a *slight* exaggeration.

But boy-oh-boy, is our Captain ever on a tear today! Screaming! Running! Hitting! And other uncivilized behavior!

He is terribly (and I do mean TERRIBLY) excited, because we are going camping! In a tent! WITH MOMMY!!!!!

He's gonna HUG me and SQUEEZE me and SLEEP on me and LOVE me and also tent-tent-tent-tent HE!! LOVES!!!! CAMPING!!!!!!!!!

(He has never actually been camping before. Hence the SUPER-EXTRA excitement!)

(We're all gonna die. He's going to kill us with just the noise. Or he's going to vibrate us all to death with the nuclear-reactor like waves of energy radiating from his little body.)

(...why was this a good idea again...?)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Why some people should not be permitted to mobile blog

The first thing y'all must realize about me is…well. This is probably better expressed in story than mere words.

Today, I wore a pair of very nice little sandals. They might even be considered "kicky" – if you do not have a particularly fashionable definition of the term. (They might also be considered "somewhat juvenile" or "gee whiz, woman, did you let your six year old dress you today?" or possibly even "hahahahaha, I can't believe she actually bought those, ohmygah, and did you see how proud she was of them?!" – especially if one takes into consideration the hot pink toenail polish, which I put on last night when I realized, in rapid succession, that…
a) I hadn't put away the laundry and
b) had nothing to wear tomorrow unless
c) I cared to wear Girl Clothes which naturally meant I needed footwear
d) …other than tennis shoes…and furthermore…
e) I can't find my super-comfy sandals but hey
f) here's those metallic blue things I got from…that place…that time…gosh when was that, and where, and why? Oh well anyway, they're cute and comfy and if I squint they kind of go with the only clean shirt that goes with one of my clean skirts, right? right! but gads, they're
g) open toed and
h) ack, toenails! So…ugly…eyes…burning…! Therefore…!
i) I went digging for nail polish, of which it turned out I had three choices, which were
1) formerly mauve, now "solid hunk of colorant + oily stuff that won't mix back together anymore", or
2) formerly…uh…dunno, please see colorant + oily + won't mix problem, above, or
3) hot pink "minute dry" nail polish I actually bought for Denizen manicures but surely it's better than the whatever-you-would-call-THAT currently adorning my toes, right?

I am not convinced I actually did the right thing. But the world will never know, because the…yellowish-orangish-I-surely-hope-that's-polish-because-toenails-should-NOT-be-that-color thing I had going on before is buried under three layers of goopy "minute dry" in extra hot pink.

Because that is how I roll, people.

So the polish I wasn't sure about, but the sandals, those I liked. Cute little kicky things, all…girl-like…and…stuff…

At least, that's what I thought before I wore them today. Soon, however, I realized that they are actually crappy little sandals. They pinch my feet horribly. And there do this…thing…where they dig into the arch of my foot all funny…seriously, I had blisters by 11:00 and I hadn't even left my desk. (Although granted and in their defense, at 11:00 I had been wearing them for seven straight hours.)

I had by that time downgraded them from "cute" to "rotten, ill-fitting little monsters," and I wondered why on earth I had even bought them, seeing as how they were so obviously a pair of real stinkers.

At 4:15, I was standing next to our team developer's desk waiting for my turn to pester him about Something Very Important Indeed. I was already charging past the ten hour mark on the workday, perilously close to missing the last train to the last shuttle to the last train and I was fidgeting in my stupid, ugly, painful, idiotic torture implements of death and despair.

Angrily, I looked down at my aching feet. Because what the HECK, sandals?!

It was at this point…over twelve hours after putting them on…that I noticed something. Something subtle I'm willing to bet had been noticed by many people and which had probably already been tweeted and blogged and Facebooked and MySpaced and written in forty-foot letters on every communication satellite in Outer Space.

There are Grubdjuroians "bfffirting" it right now, people.

Go ahead. Guess what it was.

Yeah. Got it one, folks: They were on the wrong feet. For. Over. Twelve. Hours. I had even looked at them (where "looked" is pronounced "glared"), several times.

But not noticed they were all left-right, right-left.

This is the person you are dealing with on this blog.

Just so we're clear.

Now, with that out of the way…about those pictures down there in the weird post entitled "sent from my Treo"…

Now, maybe one would be tempted to think, Gee, I wonder if this is some kind of 'performance blogging art'! or possibly some new, avant-garde blogging technique! Yes, yes, I think I'm FEELING the…wordless…pathos…of the…minivan…and…boxes…

Or they might think it's meant to make you think. Or a secret code that only the chosen few understand.

Yes, they might think that…if they didn't know me at all.

I suspect it will surprise nobody here, though, when I say that the Story of Those Pictures is this: They happened to be in my cell phone's memory, for who knows how long. And I was trying to send them to my archive folders on Photobucket, because I needed to clear up the room on my Treo, because since I run my whole entire life on the poor thing, it has a way of getting low in memory.

Instead, I apparently sent them to my blog. And had no idea I had done so until I saw a very confusing comment in my email.

"So-and-so commented on my…post entitled…what-now? I don't remember that one…maybe it's old or something…boxes of shoes, say WHAT?!"

And now, children, I want you to just pause for just one more little moment to consider what might happen if I had a Twitter account as well.

I'll give you another moment to get over the searing visions of global communications breakdowns. Don't worry. I'm pretty sure Twitter has safety mechanisms in place to prevent what you're thinking from actually happening.

ANYWHO. So, what the heck are those pictures?

Well. The first one I took when I arrived home from Fagundes a couple weekends ago with (I kid you not) 911 pounds of beef and pork. That's what those boxes are. One whole steer, and one whole hog. I took the picture and have this whole long rambling story to share about that day, which I'll get around to any second now.

But for the moment…hey look! Pictures of boxes! With meat in them! That all had to go into a freezer! Right that very moment and even though it was over a hundred and fifty pounds more than I had been expecting!

It was awesome. Also, if I may make a recommendation: Don't open any freezers around the Den until further notice. At least not without a "catcher" standing at your elbow, in case of meat avalanche.

The next picture my husband actually took. Note that it says if you buy one summer sandal, you get another summer sandal 100% free.

…let it settle for a second…

If you buy one sandal…you can get another sandal… 100% free…

And then ask yourself: how much is a sandal? I mean, are they, say, half the price of a pair of sandals?

Being blessed with two feet and being rather fond of having matching shoes on them (all [copious] evidence to the contrary aside), I've never bought a sandal. So is this an awesome sale? The Gift of the Century? I am the wrong person to ask…

(I know. The husband and I, we are both just waaaaaaaay too easily amused. We must have giggle-snorted over that one for a good ten minutes.) (We were on a date. Together. Alone. Alone-together. No children. We could have been standing knee-deep in a flooded basement with nothing but forks to bail it out with, it would have been a laugh-a-second.)

That last one is the 4:48 ACE train roaring into the station in a cloud of noise and brake dust. If you stand on the platform and just stare at the tracks as the train comes in, that's what you see: A blur of gray and blue.

It always amazes me that something that big, that forceful, that fast-moving, can somehow manage to actually stop at the end of the station. It also fascinates me that something capable of such violence, such grand and terrible noise (which between the HEY-hey-hey, waaaaaaaaake-UP!! whistle that blows shortly before it arrives at the station and the metallic screaming from the wheels and brakes as it arrives, is impressive), can then turn right around and provide such a gentle and (relatively) quiet ride for its passengers once we embark.

Standing on the outside looking in, it's a bright, barreling, noisy blur in the darkness.

From the inside looking out, it's a merely adequately lit, gently rolling, muted trip…past people sweating and stalled in endless, nose-to-nose cars on the freeway, in the dust and heat and bother, poor lost souls.

And that, in not a bit brief, is what was up with those photos.

Because I am nothing if not not concise.

Monday, August 02, 2010

(sent from my Treo)