Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I get up with great intentions of writing before the kids awaken, but the scale shows me that I really should do some exercise first (and possibly never eat again) so I go down to the basement and jump rope to "21 Things", stagger upstairs to the bathroom, fall back down the stairs and then do feet-ups on the kicking bag.

After dragging myself to the top of the steps again and switching laundry from washer to dryer, I sit my great intentions (and somewhat leaden legs) down at the laptop. Inexplicably, I feel compelled to check my mail. MuNKi is on, which reminds me that I was supposed to look for energy gel thinggies online. I surf, chat MuNKi about it a bit, and finally find a decent bargain.

The children awaken and (shock) expect food. We do the food thing and I finish reading "Pure Dead Trouble" aloud to them. (Well, duh, aloud. I guess I didn't need that qualifier. It's not like I'm telepathic or something and can broadcast my thoughts into their heads, though that would be really convenient at times. Though also possibly disastrous.)

The phone rings, and a child answers it before I can tell them not to.

The children launch on chores and schoolwork. I do more laundry, sweep and mop the floor to the strains of Genticorum and find stuff to put away. Quite possibly the entire basement could use a cleaning.
I fight the urge.

The phone rings again. Again a child answers. (Note to self: must implement non-answering protocol.) MuNKi is reminding me that the kids and I were going to clean out the car today.
I spot my art quilt lying over the back of the rocking chair and decide to hang it up before it gets trashed.

More stuff begs to be put away and the phone rings again. No, please NOOOOooooo! For some reason, more laundry wants doing as well. I check my history book bids on eBay and accept my niece's Facebook invite. I troll and play a bit on Facebook. Bloody Facebook. I really mean to open up that document and keep writing, but my notebook is in the other room while Facebook is conveniently in my lap.

I get my notebook and finally sit to write, but first I need to blog about it all. . .

Is it any wonder?


Monday, October 29, 2007

Do You Read Me?

Everywhere I go it seems that blogs are shutting down. 10-4, Roger Doger, I copy. Over.

EDIT: Er, that title isn't referring to me, personally, LOL! I was just using radio lingo in reference to the fact that I feel like I'm receiving a message from "out there." (you know - cuckoo land ;-) ) I'm not berating anyone for lack of comments or anything. ^_^

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Life is What Happens. . .

. . .when you're making blog posts. :-P

Like Amanda, I've been devoting a little more time to life than blogging, but I'm still alive. :-)

I missed Picture Book Thursday, but that doesn't mean I wasn't thinking about it. My earliest bookstore memories revolve around the hours I spent standing in Swindon's, reading the Mr. Men books. I'm sure a lot of you English types will remember those. :-) I remember looking repeatedly at the Tintin books and wanting to like them, but just not being able to get into them (though of course now we have almost all of them :-) ) I always ended up defaulting to the Mr. Mens. Yesterday I tried to buy one for Prawn at Borders, but they're out of print again. I think my favourites were Mr. Bump and Mr. Tickle. We have a pretty decent collection of the books, and some of the Little Misses as well, since they were available in bookstores up until last year, but several of them have fallen apart from too much love.

We're almost through the audio version of Peter Pan in Scarlet and in spite of my fear of hoping for too much from this book, it has turned out to be one that I wish I had written myself. It's fantastic! I can't believe something this delightful and imaginitive got published. I know that sounds snooty, but if you check it out for yourself and see some of the very nontraditional concepts and turns of phrase, I think you'll understand what I mean.

Speaking of scarlet, last night our Red Belt (and up) class consisted of forms, and Feats of Tae Kwon Do. My favourite kind of class. ^_^ For some reason, though, I could kick a bottle hanging from the ceiling when I ran and jumped off the floor, but not when I ran and jumped off a chair. Go figure.

I've been listening to the BBC radio dramatisation of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and loving it. And I took a bunch of pictures over the week that I'll try to post.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Random updates:

I finished Last Rituals for review, and now I'm reading The Queen's Fool, which is great!

I'm looking for the next history book for the kids. Not sure what I'll pick, but it's fun looking.

We did a slew of postcards for family today. I looked up postcard postage and it's 26 cents. I remember when postage for real letters to my penpals was 13 cents. :-P

We watched Millions with the kids and it was very touching and sweet and fun.

I think tomorow I'll be a Pirate Who Doesn't Do Anything:

After all, I've never been to Boston in the Fall. . . ^_^

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Weight: Let's just say I gave the scale the finger and leave it at that.

Alcohol Units: How the heck do you measure this? Glasses? Antioxidant Particles? Vats?

Chocolate Units: None, but quite possibly enough Reese's Pieces and Salt 'n' Vinegar chips for a week. :-P

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Fun Day

I ♥ Eddie Izzard, and I ♥ Star Wars, so what better thing could there be than a YouTube that combines the two? Nothing, I say. There are a couple of F-bombs (it's Eddie, remember) so careful where you play it. ^_^

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Mailman" or "Redundancy"; also "Panties"

It's Picture Book Thursday again!

Today I have 2 selections for your reading enjoyment. The first is called "
Millie Waits For the Mail." This is one I grabbed as soon as I saw the third double page spread. OMG! Hilarious! This is a fun book, but I have to say that the story fizzles as it goes, and we are left with a nagging question. WHAT was in that package that got flattened by the tractor? The illustrations, however, are delightful, and it's worth checking out this book for that alone. I mean, a tiny little elphant on the farm? And what are those chickens up to? This makes for a great library book, and as soon as I finished reading it aloud, an immediate re-read was requested. It's very short -- a good book for when it's past bedtime and you still want to squeeze in a book or three, but it's going to take longer if you really want to examine the illustrations.

The second selection for today is an old favourite.
Six-Dinner Sid lives at #1 Aristotle Street. (He's no beggar for the bottle though - just a cat who enjoys his dinners.) He also lives at numbers 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Aristotle Street. In order to get his six dinners, Sid has to have 6 different personas. (Catsonas?) And that works just great until a nasty cough brings everything crashing down around his kitty ears. This is a great book that I can read over, and over, and over again (and have done.) Enjoy!

In non-picture-book news,
MuNKi and the kids and I went shopping with BG and her kids yesterday. We hit the Barnes & Noble at the "Circles of Death" because it's still Educator Appreciation Week, and then I introduced BG to Claire's. There, I found that I have a weakness for cell phone charms. BG says I ought to get a cell phone. Hmm, maybe one of those cheap toy ones just so I could buy charms to hang from it.

After that, MuNKi (on Her Majesty's right) made us stop in at Victoria's Secret (the Bigs entertained the Littles in one car just in front of the door) to check out their sports bras, which are supposed to be awesome. I tried one and did the Jumping Up and Down Test, but I was afraid of what the store people might think because my sandals were clapping so much, so I took them off and then jumped in a kind of wincy sort of way as I imagined all the loose straight pins that might be underfoot. I determined that the bra, though nice, was slightly ridy-uppy (that's an industry term) and no better than my C9 seamless Champion thinggy from Target for less than half the price. So the trip quickly degenerated into a panty-shopping spree for BG and me. My speculations on which ones might be good for kicking led to a discourse by BG on the joys of Commando TKD. We eventually determined that the best way to check which panty styles and colours we liked best was to look at them in the environment in which they were most likely to end up after about 30 seconds of wear - namely on our heads, a lampshade, or the floor. The store people must have thought we were moderately insane we were laughing so much, but they gladly took our money in return for barely enough fabric to dab away our tears of mirth.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Thought She Threw the Trough Through the Rough Slough, Though

Isn't English fun? At least it is if you don't have to learn it.

Blame Egan. He's the one who brought up YouTube.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Picture Book Thursday

So yesterday I was at the library and I thought I'd snag some picture books for Prawn. How can I accurately describe the mood in which that put me? I'll try by saying that I would LOVE to find books that are real STORIES that I want to read to my five-year-old for the purpose of enjoyment, as opposed to thinly veiled MESSAGES. But I'm afraid that the Otts Children's Publishing Theme Song would be "We're Bringin' Didact Back." :-P

I can't tell you how unlikely it is that if you pull a random book out of the hundreds on our library's shelves it will be an actual story book. I'm fed up with "Little Johnny is Sad," and "Merwin Recycles a Can." I've had it with "Hattie's Grandma Got Diagnosed With Cancer and then Got Run Over by a Bus," and "Jory Ate a Day-Old Chicken Sandwich and Died." Enough, please of "Charles Was Petrified of Going to School, but it Turned Out not to Kill Him After All," and "The Dentist is My Friend in Spite of all the Horrifying Instruments of Torture He Keeps On Hand" and "Harry Finds a Dead Frog," and "My Fish Died, but He Makes Great Fertilizer."

Granted, there is a time and a place for some of these, but more often than not, parents are looking for something to read that will delight their little ones and feed their imaginations -- something that makes their kids giggle or "oooh" and "aah," and then run off to build castles and dance with fairies and paint pictures and pretend they can fly. And also preferably something they can read more than once without barfing. This is getting increasingly harder to do.

So I was delighted yesterday to find "I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean." It's a simple book with a great punchline and a couple of cute little gags for the visually observant. It made all my kids laugh, and BG and me, too. I found a few others that look Less Than Awful as well. I'll keep you posted.


Hard to believe I had nothing to talk about, isn't it?

Maybe harder if you knew me IRL. ^_^

Monday, October 08, 2007

Hum Hum Hum

So Saturday night's 3 little words were "tae kwon do" and the activity that made me so very sore was jump-round-kicking little plastic water bottles off of the top of a target like this:

MuNKi informs me that I was engaged thusly for about 2 hours. There was a town party sort of thing with the street by the gym closed off in order for (mostly crap-ass) bands to play on a stage, and the gym was open for PR purposes. Some of us went down to play and I ended up practicing a kick we had been doing in red belt class on Friday. Sans the chair to jump off of, though. My legs are so sore! MuNKi says I drew several crowds. I was trying not to notice.

In other news, I owe a blogger friend the reward of his choice for his Hot Tip on the BBC Dirk Gently Radio Series. How timely! Especially in light of my continuing failure to get any of those library digibooks working.

PS: Happy Columbo Day

I love Screamy Lee. :)


My legs are sore, my shoulders are sore, my lower-side-back muscles are sore.

But I sure had fun last night.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Have a Bi-Polar Day!

I decided to scrap some pics today, and what better way to entertain myself whilst so doing than to listen to an audiobook? I tried Googling free audio downloads first (strike 1) then remembered that our library has downloadable audiobooks. Huzzah!! EXCITEMENT ABOUNDS!

Then I tried to find where they were kept. Not in the regular online catalog. Bummer. (strike 2) So I tried cutting off all but the main part of my library link url to get to some sort of homepage and voila! A direct link to digital downloads! YAY!!!

So I downloaded the free software necessary for listening to the digibooks, and then went into the catalogue and found all KINDS of free stuff to check out. I mean EVERYTHING is there!! (well, a lot anyway)

Then I tried to check out some books, and they let me put them on hold, but even the ones that weren't already checked out said I had to wait for an email telling me when they became available. (still waiting) Bummer. (foul ball)

So I tried the video stuff, thinking I'd listen to a movie instead, because why not? And those let me check out right away without listening. YAY!!

But then I tried to download them, and I got some sort of error message. Bummer. (another foul)

I then downloaded the Windows Media upgrade and updated my security as directed. This produced a different error message. (kind of yay -- it must be progress, right? but still another foul)

I rebooted my computer in case that would help. Now whenever I try, I get an error message saying that there are issues with Digital Rights Management. Oh, and I've used up all my chances to download those movies. Strike three, I'm out.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Laste Parte

She seriously considered just driving right past the hardware store and going to a different one, but she pulled into one of the few remaining free parking spots and got out, The Boy safely in tow. There were a couple of men sitting outside at the corner nearest her. The one with the crossed eyes and the severe underbite (who resembled a slightly brain damaged bulldog) looked up at her approach. She thought he might have 3 of his bottom teeth.

"Is the store open?" she asked, expecting the answer "no," or perhaps simply barking.

"Yep. Go on in," said The Bulldog.

"What's up with the crowd outside?" she asked.

"Oh, they're probably just waiting for Scott."

She wondered whether she was supposed to know who Scott was. Probably not the toilet paper, but who knew what might be going on in there?

Feeling more than a little self conscious, she bypassed the milling crowd and entered the store. Inside, it looked as if a bomb drill were in progress. The place was empty except for several employees and rather a lot of strategically placed bombs disguised as food platters. She asked again if it was OK to come in and was assured that it was.

Other than the strange smell (food is not a standard hardware store smell) and the massage tables, things looked pretty normal inside. She quickly located the 50' snake, purchased it and left before any well-oiled men in Speedos, or Borghild, the humongous Swedish masseuse, could make an appearance.

She reached home without hearing too much of the scraping brake noise (the volume on the van's CD went all the way to 11) and The Man, now equipped with a much longer snake (!!) was finally able to reach the clot. He wielded his new tool efficiently, using it to bore into part of the congealed and well-packed mass of repugnance and drag it out; and a program of repeated boring, pulling out, and beating off (the mung) finally released the last of the demons (and 2 anacondas) and rendered the pipe drain-worthy.


The next day, The Man changed the brake pads on the auto. . .

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Evene More of the Storye

**A lost fragment of the manuscript tells us that The Man had actually gone to the hardware store between the acid and Cleanout Drain incidents, and bought a Plumber's Snake, which he used to no avail from above. We return to Hell (ie the basement)**

"I honestly would rather have been vomited on," The Man remarked, standing as he was atop the 3 step ladder, and now drenched in sulphurous-smelling liquid and slimy, clinging spatters of noodle and other assorted mung.

The Woman was secretly very glad that she had been safely just out of range.

With no further barrier to putting the snake in the pipe (as it were) The Man attempted to do just that. Sadly, the 8' snake was too short. Not wanting to shower and change only to have to return to the job of mucking out Hell's Toilet, The Man sent The Woman to the hardware store.

"It's Ladies' Night," he remarked, as if that were somehow relevant. The Woman wondered whether it was. She wondered, too, what the hell Ladies' Night at a hardware store even was. Would there be a discount for her? Free WD-40? Chippendale dancers? Resigning herself to any number of possible fates, she tried not to think about it, instead collecting The Boy for moral support ("now with added Y chromosome!") and setting off for realms unknown.

CD player blaring (primarily to mask the harsh sounds of metal on metal whenever she braked) The Woman approached the hardware store with no little trepidation. The Man had given her the information necessary for a Surgical Strike, but the flashing lights of a police car in the parking lot, in combination with the large group of people clustered outside, did nothing to boost her confidence.

Parte the Nexte

And so it was determined that on the Third Try, The Man would descend into Hell (ie the basement) and open the Cleanout Drain. This is not something to be attempted lightly.

The Woman positioned a Large Rubbermaid Bin beneath the drain and The Man climbed all the way up, up, up to the top of a 3 step ladder and stood on tiptoe to unscrew the drain plug. Once loosened, the plug emitted a very small and VERY smelly stream of watery substance. After observing this for some minutes and seeing how little progress was being made, The Woman asked why The Man did not just open the plug all the way. He replied that he didn't want everything gushing out all over him and that he preferred to just let it out a little bit at a time. He loosened it a bit further, and a slightly larger trickle issued forth.

The Man had always had infinitely more patience (for some things) than The Woman, but even he had his breaking point. Finally, he stretched up to loosen the plug a just a tiny bit further, but the plug had other ideas. The instant The Man touched the plug, it rocketed off of the pipe and into his hand. In a spectacular display of flying stench, a horde of demons erupted from the pipe, sending putrid water, acid, and noodle bits gouting out onto the wall, the floor, and mostly The Man.

Parte the Seconde

or Thirde, if you count that other update below.

Her husband came home to dress up for his interview. Needless to say, it was not the best of times for unstopping drains. (It may, in fact, have been the worst of times.) She decided to pretend that the whole thing had never happened and to get on with her day. (apart from all that kitcheny-type stuff)

When he returned home, her husband dressed back down and proceeded to recreate the earlier scene with the plunger almost exactly -- right down to the inappropriately giggling child (which irritated him to no end.) He then departed for the hardware store and returned with something lethal that could only be contained by a Jell-O based plasma force-field generated by 3 rodents spinning frantically in wheels. (bonus!)

The cats made short work of the rodents, releasing the caustic liquid, which was then poured down the drain immediately before the Reading of the Fine Print. After the Reading of the Fine Print came the segue into Swearing and Cursing and Much use of Plumbing Words, because of course, the Fine Print stated that one should never, ever, under any circumstances, pour said acid into a garbage disposal.

A quick flushing of the drain with water turned out to not be a flushing at all, since, of course, the drain was still blocked. The Woman was directed to hold down the drain plug once more, while The Man plunged the other side (no, it's not that kind of story) rather vigorously. Met with continued failure, The Man had The Woman pull the plug, releasing a cloud of brown liquid into her side of the sink.

Seeing her hand immersed in the liquid, The Man commented that the Brown Stuff was, in fact, acid. But too late. All the flesh had peeled from her hand and sloughed into a quivering puddle of goo on the floor.

Actually, she was fine.

But there was more to come. . .

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Bowels of Hades

Where to even begin?

Water had begun pooling in the sink, and assorted bits of mung were floating out of the drain and swirling around in the increasingly murky puddle. She switched on the garbage disposal and a fountain of even darker "water" geysered out of the other drain.

She fetched the plunger, holding it somewhat at arm's length while carrying it to the kitchen. She had never really been one with the tool. Grimacing and trying (she realised later) not to breathe, she stopped up the other drain and seated the plunger. Holding down the plug with one hand, she wielded the plunger as best she could with the other - not well enough, it turned out, to unstop the drain, but more than amply to send more of the disgusting sewage-y soup out of the sink in a spray of putridity. (yes, I'm allowed to make up words for this)

Ironically (or perhaps simply in an ominous foreshadowing of things to come) it was only the previous day that her husband had shown the children how to perform this exact operation. She attempted it again with the help of her oldest child. More than once the drain gurgled rather encouragingly and she held her breath (twice as hard) in anticipation. But fate, it seems, is not only a cruel master but a connossieur of good jokes, and the only real result was highly inappropriate giggling from her child, and quite a lot more mess.

To be continued. . .


The kids and I are starting to converse with each other in LOLCatese. Sometimes it just makes something funny even funnier.

Anyway, here's some fun stuff:

T-shirt #1



"Paper! Nom Nom Nom!"

Too Cool to Imagine

Even Cooler?

In other news, Fishy has started his very own tank of Sea Monkeys. You know, those things that look absolutely NOTHING like the picture on the packaging, which, even though your mom warns you over and over will look like wee shrimpies and do not, in fact, ride seahorses, you still kinda think might look like little pink people with crowns and big cheesy smiles. (that was me, not Fishy)

I had forgotten that Sea Monkeys (well, all but mine, that is) actually hatch out and start swimming within MINUTES of hitting the water. That's kinda cool. OK, who am I kidding? It's WAY cool!

I was a little disconcerted when the Fishman asked how old I was, and then informed me that according to his manual I would need a magnifying glass to see his pets. O_o Fortunately, you can't believe everything you read.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Otto Means Eight

This one goes out to my favourite sister, who could probably use a laugh about now. We originally heard of Otto Waalkes from a penpal of hers way back when we were teenagers. She sent my sis a tape and I think we wore it out. ^_^ Sadly, I had no idea what his last name was, and internet searches were fruitless until YouTube came along. You have no idea how thrilled I was to find him on Saturday. Hansel and Gretel was one of the songs we listened to ad infinitum. There was another that vaguely remember about a Taxi, and a version of 99 Luftballons as well, but I haven't found them yet.

For non German speakers (or listeners) this is a medley of Hansel and Gretel songs done in different styles. He starts out by "translating" the song for Scandanavian listeners, and then for Americans. I think you'll enjoy at least that part if nothing else. And if you remember the VW ad with the "da da da" song, stick around until he goes to the drum set. ^_^

Monday, October 01, 2007

I've Been Hijacked!

This is what I get for not checking my email all weekend. Some asshat in London hijacked my eBay account, the bitch. Well, I think it's a woman. One of the email replies I got from a seller on eBay refers to her as Vickie. I have her IP addy, which is how I found out she's in London. Quite possibly on Lambeth Palace Rd. There are some pretty cool webtools out there. I have to say that I felt a bit like Winters for a moment there.

Speaking of Winters, how much would you charge, Dude, to go 'round to her place and leave a flaming bag of dog poop on the step? ;-)

On the plus side, no one expects money from me, or any sort of products. EBay caught the problem before I did. I think one of the sellers reported her. Apparently the person was emailing sellers about projection TVs, which kinda creeped me out, since I've been talking a little about ours lately. Needless to say, I've updated all the passwords I can think of (email, eBay, Paypal.)

On an interesting note, I get Blog hits from Lambeth, Greater London sometimes. What do you think?