July 31, 2006
You've GOT To Be Kidding!

No. Not kidding. Life is stranger than fiction. And I couldn't have made this up if I tried ...

I was at Walmart Friday afternoon, getting last minute supplies for the party on Saturday. (How do you know you've given a GREAT party? No one will go home, although the invitation clearly says it ends at 2:00. ) Accompanied by four children, I had performed a surgical strike for the few items I needed, hoping against hope to make it a "quick" trip to Walmart. We might have succeeded if only I hadn't chosen the line with the problem price-check!

So ... there we were ... standing patiently in line, resigned to our fate. One baby in the cart, three children unrestrained. To their credit, they were at least quiet, I suppose too busy touching everything to bother with talking. There was one person standing in line between us and the ProblemPriceCheckPerson. She was patiently waiting in line too, boredly watching my family manage to be functional in public. She sighed. She looked at the tabloids right there in our faces. She said "He's such a good boy, its not really his fault" I kinda nodded and looked away, refusing to be dragged into a conversation about the tabloids in front of my children. She continued "Its a shame he can't manage to have the Whole Package -- you know, marriage and kids. He had the marriage, and now he has the kids, but not together. He's such a sweet boy. You know he's from here, right?" She goes on to talk about him ... oddly. Not pushy, but very ... oddly familiar.

The only one really listening to her was Lee (who will talk to a rock if its a good listener) . When he pointed out that he didn't understand how you could have kids without being married (he's six), I decided to intervene. Politely but firmly, more to entrench the moral in his little brain than to enlighten the woman on the scandalous morals of some celebrities, I pointed out that what he did was wrong. That he cheated on his wife. That was unacceptable, and seemed to counter-indicate that he was a "sweet boy". That if he had truly been interested in a family, he and his wife could have considered fertility treatments or adoption. But that it was TACKY for his wife to find out about his affair on the front page of the paper.

She was speechless. I'm pretty sure that she thought I would be on the side of the poor little famous boy who was just misunderstood, whose family didn't like his wife (no matter the persona she projects to HER fans), who just accidentially fell in love with someone else while carrying the burden of international fame. That I would be so sorry for someone that just couldn't manage to have the familial bliss I so obviously have. That I would NOT think him a spineless cad.

She finally managed to stammer something to the effect of "but what does one do in that situation?" to which I replied (as if she were so slow as to miss the obvious) "He should keep his pants zipped, and get a divorce if he's so unhappy that she drives him to consider cheating, don't you think?"

Now, you (meaning my faithful readers) might be thinking "Oh, this is just a story about a woman who mistakenly thought Lucy is like so many who put celebrities on pedestals instead of expecting famous people to act like ... people". To which I would respond, "Indeed, Lucy DOES expect famous people to act like people. If its scandalous when my neighbor does it, its scandalous when a celebrity does it" But, that in and of itself does not make this story fascinating, or startleling, or so weird that you will gasp from the shock.

However, the fact that the woman was his MOTHER should!

July 27, 2006
VBS, PMS, PTSD, Whatever

Life is crazy this week. Really. Ok, not "really". Its not as if I could have these people committed. Posting will NOT commence until after Tuesday. Here's a joke (perhaps parental discretion advised, depends on your parent) to hold you over. I have no idea who wrote it, as I got it from another friend, who got it from a friend, etc. But I laughed until I cried.

"You are driving in a car at constant speed. On your right side is a valley and on your left side is a fire engine traveling at the same speed as you. In front of you is a galloping pig which is the same size as your car and you cannot overtake it. Behind you is a helicopter flying at ground level. Both the giant pig and the helicopter are also traveling at the same speed as you. What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?"

(answer in extended entry)

July 21, 2006

Oh, oh, oh! That reminds me of the first "Bob" I knew!

I went to a high-school full of calm civil tie-wearing guys. "Yes, sir" and "No, ma'am" and "Please" and "Thank You" and detention for wearing your top button unbuttoned under your tie. There were no ... shenanigans ... during class-time. There just weren't. Ok, lunch was a little wilder, but not much. Weekends ... those occassionally made the news. But not really that often, if you think about it in a per-capita kind of way.

Anyway, back to the first day I met "Bob". We were sophomores. In algebra class. The fourth or fifth week of school. There! It was a new student! Bob! Except his name wasn't "Bob". He just looked like a "Bob" instead of a "Mike", at least according to one of the guys. And that guy introduced him to the teacher as "Bob". The teacher thought it must be his middle name, so HE started calling him "Bob"! Being a really great sport "Bob" went along with it. It grew from there. Next thing we knew, ALL the teachers thought he was "Bob"!

By then it was too late. Everyone knew him as Bob. Lots of people didn't even know the joke! He went along with it for years. YEARS! Now, THAT was being a really good sport!

July 20, 2006
Odds and Ends

I'm in the midst of cake crisis number forty-eleven. However, if you ever need to be saved from yourself (or from the demon-spawn at Wilton) you can probably count on the people at www.CakesBySam.com which is a bakery in Arkansas of all places that was glad to take my order last night for their last 9" cake separator-plate. The last one in stock on Planet Earth. And then, a live person called me this morning to break the news that the inventory was wrong BUT that I should not continue to make that gasping sound because there is a shipment arriving Monday morning and he'll take my stuff straight to UPS and it should arrive by Thursday. Which is ok, because I don't need it until Friday night. I love them. They are my heroes. Imagine, a live person!

And thinking of cake, looking at pretty pictures of fondant covered cake, dreaming about cakes covered in stars and little cowboys, I remembered that Danielle likes fondant. Weird how tirvial trivia about virtual strangers will pop into my mind. And that made me think about Danielle and the test-that-must-not-be-named (which I have decided to refer to as "Bob"). Now, there's a situation that makes my cake-crisis seem insignificant! Ok. Well. Not entirely insignificant, but certainly more manageable than a totally cumlative med-school test!

So, lets all say a little prayer for her today. And tomorrow, when she heads off to deal with Bob. Lets pray for alertness and peace, the ability to focus on what she's studied, that she's sitting next to a non-weirdo, that her car doesn't break down, that she doesn't lock herself out of her apartment, that in general she have a lovely day!

July 18, 2006
Bwahahahaha. Tap-dancing!

My husband and I were talking abut stuff. Probably new-house stuff. The baby woke up from her nap. We asked one of the boys to entertain the baby in her crib for a few minutes while we finished up. This sounds normal, right? Like something lots of parents do every single day? No drama here, right? Ha!

So, we were sitting there talking when the sounds started. Lots of stomping. And shuffleling. And baby-giggles. And the voices. We stopped talking and started paying attention. We could hear two voices, both boys. Then ... "Bwahahahaha! Tap-dancing is his weakness!"

We looked at each other. The wild noises continued. Add to that an ever increasing range of happy-baby-sounds! At our house, extreme quiet and extreme noise are often signs that something ... interesting ... is happening. We tried to be casual as we off-handedly asked "So. Hmmm. Ummm. What ya doing?" Fearing the answer, yet more frustrated by our inability to deduce the answer ourselves. We were rewarded with an answer we would NEVER have thought of!

"Ron and I are doing a show for Katherine! Ron is the bunny-rabbit! His weakness is tap-dancing!" I suppose the blank looks on our faces encouraged him. "You know, like Superman's weakness is krytonite? So I was leaning over, luring the bunny-rabbit onto my flat-back, and then ... TAPDANCING!" He demonstrated that last part. Bending over so his head was near his knees, and then suddenly exploding in a fit of stomping and twitching. I thought I'd fall over laughing!

And, yes, he talks in exclamation points. What would you expect from a boy that can imagine tap-dancing as a weapon?

July 17, 2006
Dead Tales

Dead Tails ... I sat on a mouse and killed it. Dead. Very very dead. My husband assures me that he doesn't think I killed it, like some other large person sat in "my" spot on the sofa and suffocated the mouse. (or maybe squished it flat). Whatever.

Lets just say there was a sufficient amount of drama in the moment of discovery. Ick.

July 14, 2006
Discretion Is The Better Part Of Valor

Four hours of posting deleted. Hrumph. Its getting to be a habit :0

July 13, 2006
Blogger Is Evil

I refuse to sign up for yet another Blogger account and password so I can comment on sites. Just so you know. Its not you. Its Blogger.

Pomegranate Juice

Here's a comment I put up at Knighton's:

" I keep meaning to write a post about cancer. Yet I keep not writing it.

The backstory: I'm from East Tennessee. Its not "if" you get cancer, its "when" and "what kind" and "Vandy". I know more first-hand random cancer stuff than any human has any business knowing.

For what its worth, during the last year I've been hearing extraordinary things about Pomegrante juice. Apparently, studies are proving (repeatedly in studies easily duplicated) that cancer cells will not grow if you drink one ounce of concentrated Pomegranate juice (so that 1 ounce equals 15 pomegranates) at the same time each day. No side-effects.

It won't decrease the number of cells, but it won't let them increase either. Obviously most effective when used in conjunction with something that will kill the cells.

You can get it at SamsClub in the section over near the pharmacy. Its about $16 per 32ounce bottle. Can't hurt. Might help. "

July 06, 2006
The Wheels Are Slowly Starting To Spin

I'm sure we all know that I spent the fourth surrounded by lazy communists. Well, not really. At least I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt. About the "communism" anyway.

We don't have a parade here, and the fireworks are at 11:00pm! I've taken it about as long as I can. We've been here 4 years! FOUR YEARS in the wilderness with no Fouth of July Parade. Lots of that time, I've been distracted with moving. Followed by pregnant and the whole not-dieing thing. Followed by new-mommy-sleep-dep. But now? Now the wheels are slowly starting to spin. Sure, they're grinding a little bit. Sure, I'm not up to full speed yet. But, the inevitable is upon us ...

Purposefully and softly, out of the blue, I asked my husband "Hmmm. Wonder exactly how much is involved in doing a parade?"

One of the things I love about him is the ability to correctly assess any given situation. Instead of immediately blathering on about how it would be a lot of work and a lot of time and a lot of aggravation, he slowly and cautiously looked at me out of the corner of his eyes. No sudden movements for him! I suspect this is the same reaction he might have if he noticed a coiled snake on the couch next to him. Then ... the quickly reflexive self-preserving-instinct outside-the-question stroke-of-brilliance that he's known for:

"I bet it would be more fun to find an established parade within two hours of here. We could go somewhere."

Ahhhhhh. We have a plan for next year. Totally NOT what I was thinking, but definitely what I was wanting. And, thus, he saves me from myself. Again.

July 05, 2006
Can You Hear That?

I've decided that I need a theme song for my everyday life. A song that makes EVERYTHING seem better, no matter what. Hence, I've decided that from now on I'll just walk around humming "The Baby Elephant Walk".

Until further notice, you should hum it to yourself when you read this blog. Head bobbing is optional.

July 04, 2006
Almost There

Today, we've been married for 14 years! We'll celebrate by working on the house this afternoon, followed by baths all aound, and some random dinner-substance, after which we'll fill two futons watching The Apple-Dumpling Gang! Do we know how to celebrate or what!?!

I'm not exactly sure how I ended up married for fourteen years, with four children. It amazes me. FOUR children. FOUR! I mentioned that to my husband and he casually and literally and semi-sarcastically told me "want me to explain it to you? Cause I thought you knew how babies were made"

Not to mention, he ordered a surprise for me so I can't check the mail. Its making me completely nuts! So last night, he told me, "Ok, You can get the mail tomorrow". Oh! The Joy! The Thrill! The LACK OF POSTAL SERVICE ON A HOLIDAY!

And then, a little later, I mentioned how thrilled I would be for my big anniversary -- the 23rd one, because at that point I will have been married longer than not! And how fabulous that would be, and how I looked forward to it, and asked him what year his would be. Maybe our 24th? To which he looks up from the mail and replies "Depends on if your count my lifetime from birth or from conception." Casually and literally and semi-saracastically. Again. Oooo, I am SO outraged at his audacity! Ok, well, more likely "Oooooo, I am SO enthralled with his cleverness!"

And, thats his gift for today! That I love him wildly and give him all those delightful set-ups for his cassually literal semi-saracasm. Like I told his mother when she said "He's such a male-chauvinist! I don't know where he gets it!" to which I replied "But isn't he the cutest thing?!?" while looking at him adoringly. She rolled her eyes and was almost sick at the dinner table. (FYI, he's not a male-chauvinist, he just enjoys jerking her chain and I enjoy setting up his moment)

Here's to a lifetime of raising your sons to be just like you!

July 02, 2006
Funeral Thoughts

The funny parts:

(1) So I realize while I'm visiting my parents with the kids that Uncle Johny is dead and this will result in a funeral. Of course, I only brought festive summery clothes. Hence, I lapsed into Southern culture as I said outloud "Hmmm. A funeral. I'll need to go shopping." And people around me thought that was normal. My best-friend pointed out "You are SO not Jewish" as she rolled her eyes. She is, incidentially. Those Jews among you will get it. Those non-Jews probably won't. I'm not going to spend eleven pages explaining it to you.

(2) I realized that all the baby-sitters would be at the funeral. I was either going to miss the funeral, or take FOUR children with me. In "serious" and "official" dress clothes (ie khaki's and navy blazers and sebagos). Can any of you say "crenoline"? I decided to prepare the children. I told them plainly. "Uncle Johny died." Shrieks and raving immediately started, fueled by their mistaken impression that UNCLE JOHN had died, who is my brother and their hero. Once that was cleared up, I proceeded to my next sentence. "We'll be going to the funeral." This was met with dead quiet. (Sorry, couldn't help myself) I took one look at their faces and continued. "Ron, what this means is that you will not HAVE to see a dead person. Lee, you will not GET to see a dead person." Ron looked relieved and Lee looked crest-fallen. I put the fear of God in both of them about behaving like small gentlemen. Hand-shaking. Enduring old women who want to squeeze you. Straight shoulders. Starched shirts. Pretty much informed them they would be going into social battle with Nana watching. To the victors go the spoils, which would include "good stuff". They have the sense to trust me to provide appropriate "stuff", aware that if they don't push the issue I'll often up the ante beyond their imagination. By the way, they got a new Spiderman video, three toy guns, and this week they'll get the last surprise reward which is that I've gotten the VERY big glasses to recreate RubyTuesdaysTallCakes at home. Nothing quite as cool as a dessert the size of their heads! (Yes, they REALLY behaved. To the point that it was talked about in subdued tones of approval by old people).

(3) On the way home from the funeral, Ron (age 8) told my dad "Pap-paw, its sure a good thing we went. Lee's been wanting to see a dead person." Pap-paw almost swerved off the road. Especially when Lee (age 6) added "Yeah, but I thought there'd be a skeleton and maybe it would dance around the room!" There is just no telling what they're thinking. Upon further explanation and investigation it was discovered that Lee thought it took a dead body about 15 minutes to turn into a skeleton.

(4) After the graveside, walking back toward the car, my flustered Aunt Elsie grabbed my arm and introduced me to her cousin Juanita (who, if you are following the saga, is Rocky and Leon's aunt on their mother's side. I think) Juaita is a lovely elderly women, thoroughly Southern as so very many Southerners are still in rural areas. She smiled at me, perhaps not entirely reaching her eyes, and said "I told Elsie I just had to meet you after seeing your boys at the funeral last night. Such good boys. Tell me ... Are you as good a cook as your mother?" Ok, gentle readers, pay attention to that. First the compliment. Then another compliment. Then a trick, slipped under the radar. But, I wasn't brought up by slackers. I've got mad skillz. I knew immediately that "yes" would label me arrogant and "no" would label me imcompetent. So, the correct answer is "Oh, so very few people are as good a cook as Mother. She's rather extraordinary that way, isn't she?" delivered in a slow sugary tone that would kill a diabetic. And, how do you know its the correct answer? Because the dowager that tried to trip you up with it honestly smiles her approval slightly and nods her head cedeing the point. Touche! This is the verbal equivelant of being set upon by sword-wielding maniacs as you try to rescue the King on Masterpiece Theatre. Interesting to note, I thought Aunt Elsie was going to faint. Obviously thinking I was about to fail the test. Which, frankly, her daughter would have.

The not-so-funny parts:

July 01, 2006
Absolute Proof He's Loved

-- inspired by the death of Jim Baen (of Tor and others), hat-tipped to Andrew Cory from DeansWorld --

I've got to admit, I didn't recognize the name "Jim Baen". But then, I've been on the mommy-track for almost a decade. Cut me some slack. And the fact that I didn't recognize the name is exactly why I clicked on the link. I was curious to see just who he was, not that an obit will really tell you ... (which is why I feel compelled to write my own obit, but thats a WHOLE other post that will doubtless mention my many and varied objections to orange coffins)

Jim Baen, among other things, was the "Boss" for awhile at Tor, a bastion and hope for the future of Science Fiction as a genre. So many times business clumsily destroys art while trying to save it, but Baen seems to have been one of those rare people that was a master at both. And, thus, Tor Publishing flourished. At least long enough to have a role in the moment that played out in my mind when I saw it again in print ...

So. Here it is, a memory. Absolute incontrovertable proof for my husband that he's loved beyond imagining ...