Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah who, now?

Well. Evidently John McCain knows that relative inexperience doesn't matter that much as a qualification for the Presidency. After all, it can't be critical for Barack Obama if it isn't for his own would-be veep.

So now that argument's either more laughable than ever, or just out of play altogether.

Hm. So he must have picked her to appeal to women voters - disillusioned Clinton supporters?

How patronizing. How insulting. How... stupid.

And how interesting. I wonder how it'll play out... what do you think?


...meaning, essentially, run for your life. Hurricane Gustav is on its way.

Mandatory evacuation of New Orleans has been ordered, effective today. All major highways around the city are one-way: out. Mayor Nagin says half the population has already left.

Mandatory evacuation from your city. Can you imagine? The closest thing in my experience is the curfew we were under in L.A. during the 1992 riots. Not nearly the same thing, of course.

"Say a prayer for us," says Nagin to the rest of America.

You got it.

Sunday Free Association

Play the free association game at Unconscious Mutterings. Here's what she said and what I thought this week:
  1. Groceries :: shopping

  2. Deodorant :: needed

  3. Psychic :: fraud

  4. Cherries :: red

  5. Spooky :: ghost

  6. Yogurt :: pink

  7. Kitchen :: counter

  8. Nothing personal :: yeah right

  9. Be nice :: child

  10. Delivery :: box

UPS has done a great marketing job with the brown truck, brown uniform thing. The image is almost inextricable from the concept of "delivery." What I thought of was a box, but what I pictured was a box being taken off a brown truck. My girls have known since their earliest awareness that big brown trucks bring boxes. Of course they know that other trucks do too, but that brown truck is forever linked to the whole idea of "is it for me?"

Cool! Thanks!

This lovely blog award is from Old Crone at BearsMountain. Thank you OC!

At the risk of an unforgivable breach of bloggy etiquette, my nominations are pending a longer break between nose-blowings. Damn this stupid cold.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

another placeholder

I'm sick. Coughing fits, dizzy spells, more snot than anyone wants to know anything about. Feh.

I'll get better.

In the meantime:

Friday, August 29, 2008

I heart

Back from vacation. Unpacking, laundry, email, blogs... will get to yours soon.

Your blog, not your laundry.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

T minus 14 days: We go on vacation.

So we're leaving for the airport in an hour or so -- off to California to visit family and friends for a week. The days filled up quickly; we'll be scheduled, but not franticly (frantically?) so. We're staying in a hotel, which makes for comfortable downtime. That makes all the difference to me in a visit-intense trip.

Once upon a time, I was an extrovert. But that's a post for another day.

We're leaving behind a garden that is just about to burst full of gorgeous tomatoes. We've encouraged people to pick them while we're gone, but there are only so many any one person can eat. I planted grape and cherry tomatoes, as well as some Celebrities. There were a handful of the little ones ripe every day or so, until last week, when I started picking them by the bowlful. This is the bowl I picked this morning:

The bigger ones are coming ripe as well now. There will still be plenty when we get back and I'll be a sauce-making fiend.

Ooooooooh, saaaaauuuuuce.

We just had a quick thunderstorm go by, and now the sun's shining through the haze. There's steam coming off the street and drifting into the woods. It's hot and humid here. I'm looking forward to some cool dry California nights.

May get to blog a bit, may not. Have a good week, all, in any case.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Free Association

Play the free association game every Sunday at Unconscious Mutterings. This week, she said, and I thought:
  1. signature :: official

  2. Olympics :: China (although I confess to an immediate image in my mind's eye of Michael Phelps's pubic bones. So sue me.)

  3. 100% :: all

  4. Damn! :: forgot

  5. Gold :: rush

  6. Fresh and natural :: lies, in advertising

  7. Fraction :: part

  8. Hurry :: up

  9. Summer :: almost over

  10. 29th :: what's happening on the 29th? Did I forget somewhere we're supposed to be on the 29th? Damn!

One thing I've noticed about playing this game is that often what comes first to my mind is a picture, not a word. Michael Phelps's lower torso speaks for itself. For "fresh and natural," what I thought of was a woman with long wavy brown hair wearing a gauzy pale blue dress walking on the beach. I'm pretty sure this at least approximates a 1970s television ad for Massengill douche. And since feminine hygiene product advertising is rife with patronizing insults and outright lies, that's the association.

Yeah, I guess that's pretty twisted.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Netflix is da bomb

I rant and rave when a company's customer service is terrible; it follows I should sing someone's praises when it's great.

Netflix just sent me an email, saying: well, damn. I deleted it. But it said, basically, that they'd had a problem with their shipping system, which has since been fixed; however, the next DVD on my queue didn't go out as soon as it was supposed to, and they're really sorry about it. They know I count on them to keep the movies a-comin', and they let me down. So they're going to give me a partial credit on my monthly fee. I don't have to do anything, this will happen automatically. Love, &c., from the nice folks with the bright red envelopes.

Total delay in my movie shipment: probably a couple of days. No more than that.

Netflix rocks.


FROM: sandy shoes
RE: your left brake light

... is out.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I almost wish I had an entertaining disaster to report, but we arrived at the appointed hour, and were expected -- all of us -- and dinner was terrific!

I can therefore recommend the Daniel Webster Inn without reservation (har!).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I hope the food is good.

me: Hello, I'm hoping to make a 6:30 reservation for 6 people for dinner this evening.
Restaurant Person: Sure, for how many people?
me: 6 people.
RP: OK, what time?
me: 6:30 would be ideal, but
RP: well for large parties, we only have certain times available.
me: OK then, you tell me -- what time?
RP: we have 4:45, or 6:30.
me, slowly: 6:30 would be fine.
RP: your name?
me: [spells name]
RP: [reads back different name]
me: [corrects name]
RP: OK, we have you down for dinner at 6:30, for 8 people.
me, very slowly: 6 people.

Anyone want to bet they've never heard of us when we arrive?

Monday, August 11, 2008

bumper stickers

Seen any good bumper stickers lately?

My fifth grade teacher used to say that a person's intelligence is inversely proportional to the number of stickers on their car. I don't know if I buy that, but I'm not ashamed to say that I will think less of you if you have a "my kid beat up your honor student" bumper sticker on your car, especially if it's alongside one of Calvin pissing on any professional sports team's logo.

You'd think I'd see more unusual or remarkable bumper stickers in the summertime, with all the cars pouring onto the Cape from other states. But no, not often. So I chuckled last week when I saw this:

(Get one here.)

The "CHOOSE LIFE: YOUR MOTHER DID" stickers are pretty common around here, much more so than the apt retort: "AGAINST ABORTION? DON'T HAVE ONE!"

Best Iraq-related bumper sticker, spotted in Provincetown last year: "OH LOOK HONEY, ANOTHER PRO-LIFER FOR WAR." Ha.

I'm seeing a lot fewer "Support The Troops" ribbons and stickers lately. My favorite bumper sticker in that vein says: "I SUPPORT THE TROOPS MORE THAN YOU DO." Because really, it had gotten ridiculous. When someone sincerely, vehemently, angrily argues with you that it is not possible to support the troops unless you believe unconditionally in whatever their leader has ordered that they do -- well, then it's time to hang it up and take the conversation somewhere else, because a person who genuinely believes this has gone round the bend, and should be left to mop up his own spittle. In the face of that bizarre mentality I definitely can't blame people for being tired of those displays, though I am much heartened to see that local support efforts of actual substance have not slacked off.

But I digress.

I can't find a picture of my all-time favorite bumper sticker. I have the original somewhere (though not on the car), but if I start looking in places I think it might be, I will be hopelessly sidetracked by books I haven't seen in years, photographs, yearbooks and God knows what else. So I can't dig it up; I have to hit the hay. But it's white with simple grey letters, and it says:

Just because you believe it's true doesn't make it true.

(Remember the Unitarian Jihad article? It's as good now as it was in 2005, I promise.)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Free Association

Sunday Free Association from Unconscious Mutterings -- she gives you the words, you say what comes to mind.

  1. Month to month :: rent

  2. Adjusted :: tweaked

  3. Prank :: mean

  4. Mop :: floor

  5. Clarity :: aha!

  6. Parenting :: constant

  7. Glenn :: Ellen

  8. Fingerprint :: ID

  9. Pineapple :: yellow

  10. Attorney :: suit

Saturday, August 09, 2008

TO: Next-door Neighbor's Guest

FROM: sandy shoes
RE: shutting the fuck up

Hey lady... oh, and hi everyone, fine, thanks... lady, did you ever watch Friends? Remember Chandler was eternally breaking up with that Janice person, the one with the voice that cut through everyone's skull like a chainsaw?

That's what you sound like. I have closed my windows and doors, and that's still what you sound like.

So for the love of God, tone it down, take it inside, or shut the fuck up.

(I recommend option 3. NOBODY wants to hear you droning on about what's wrong with everybody else. Nobody. Not even your family wants to listen to that shit, I promise you.)

Have a good weekend, preferably elsewhere.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

T minus 27 days and... wait, that's all?

The girls are marching around the house with sweatshirts and backpacks on. They're playing "school." I guess this part of the game is "going to the bus stop." The Bean's backpack is brand new for 1st grade, and the frog backpack has been passed on to the Peanut to last her for preschool and kindergarten. You can't go to first grade with a frog backpack. First grade is the real deal.

(I really, really hope that Peanut stays good-natured about hand-me-downs. So far, so good.)

And as much as I was looking forward to it in June, when I took a deep breath, hoped for the best, and started counting the days till September 2 -- well, of course, the summer has flown by, and I'm not so eager for it to be over.

We've hung out at the pond some. We've had picnics, playgrounds and pre-ballet. We've done beach walks and bike rides and berry picking. There were art classes, family visits, and our town library's summer reading program. Cicadas, toads, and sidewalk chalk. The Barnstable County Fair. A great weekend camping in New Hampshire with friends.

I didn't get to half the things I had in mind for all our unscheduled time, but I'm glad, because the girls have made great use of it. Morning till night, they're in their own pretend worlds, role playing characters from their favorite stories and mixing them up in improbable story lines: "Let's play Laura and Mary [Little House on the Prairie] are ballerinas [Angelina Ballerina] on the Island of Sodor [Thomas the Tank Engine]!" "Let's play Fern and Avery [Charlotte's Web] ride Henry [Thomas the Tank Engine] to the grocery store [real life]!" Pure imaginative wackiness. Good stuff.

There's less than a month to go, and we'll be in California for a whole week of that. Figure in prep and recovery time, and the trip will eat up closer to two weeks. We have family coming to visit before then, and a birthday party this weekend for the Bean (rescheduled from last weekend when the Peanut was recovering from being sick), and nature classes at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History.

So, it's all but gone -- but it's gone really well. Yes, it's been intense, and I've definitely gotten tired of repeating myself, tired of mediating and scolding and herding. But on the whole, summer's been better than I could have imagined.

Here's hoping for 27 more good days.

Words I never thought I'd type:

Well played, Paris Hilton. Well played.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Nothing like a night in the E.R....

... for some perspective.

What's today, Saturday? Right. Last week, the Peanut had a fever-and-sore-throat virus that we fully expected her to get, as our friends' kids had had it and we all went camping together last weekend. She had the fever, the sore throat, then was better, no big deal. Then Thursday night she woke at 10:00, vomiting. By 11:00 she added diarrhea, and we sat in the bathroom for two hours. My poor Peanut - she was too tired to hold up her own head, and still her body wouldn't quit purging. Wouldn't quit. By 1:00 we were thinking the hospital seemed like the place to be; a call to her doctor's office confirmed it, and I took her in, pretty dehydrated.

I will spare you the details of our wait in the E.R. lobby -- suffice to say that janitorial services were required.

We got a room and a consultation and the general consensus was to get IV fluids in her, pronto. They tried both arms, three times each. They tried her hands, twice each. They tried her feet! Various people, including a neonatal I.V. specialist, were called down. Nobody could get a line in. And my Peanut, poor thing, was crying but not making tears. She didn't yell or pull away, but said "when is it going to be DONE?", and "I don't want to do this again," and "when can we GO?" and all sorts of reasonable, polite things, even whispering a tiny "thank you" when they gave her a teddy bear and a movie to watch. She was such a trooper. Eventually everyone gave up on getting a line in, and I just kept trying tiny sips of Pedialite, licks of a Popsicle... and she kept throwing it all back up.

Stressful night.

When morning came, the pediatrician said she wasn't comfortable discharging the still-vomiting Peanut without her being better hydrated. Decision was made to transfer her to Children's Hospital in Boston. Mr. S. came up and we switched; he rode in the ambulance to Boston with Peanut, I headed home for a break.

By the time she got to Children's, the Peanut was holding down water, so they didn't bother struggling with the needle. She recovered sufficiently there to come home, so the Bean -- who by that time was in the fever stage of the original virus (remember that one?) -- and I went up to get them.

All this on 20 minutes' sleep. Somehow that was easier to pull off in college.

The professional verdict is that the Peanut got a bad stomach bug on top of the first virus. Hopefully the Bean won't get it as well. Everyone slept soundly last night, and today, the Peanut's hungry and in good spirits. Normal again.

So yes, perspective. Thursday noon, I was hollering at that Peanut to put things away when she's done playing with them. Thursday midnight, I'd have given anything to have her well again. You know -- toys on the floor just don't matter. And this wasn't even a serious illness. Real perspective is something no parent ever wants to have driven home the hard way.