Friday, July 28, 2006

Things You May Not Know About Me--Music Edition

I accidentally hijacked another blog's comment section for a music discussion, and I feel badly. So I've decided to bring it over here. Following Suze and Jenn, here's an installment of things you may not know about me, but around music. Enjoy!

  1. I mentioned this in the aforementioned comment section, but my son's nursery is decorated with John Lennon illustrations inspired by the birth of John's son, Sean.
  2. I weep when listening to the classic rock station in town since they've added Peter Gabriel and U2 to the playlists.
  3. The last CD I purchased for myself was Weird Al Yankovic's Poodle Hat. I play "Bob" incessantly as a result.
  4. The last CD I bought before that one? Al's Running with Scissors.
  5. The first song I learned to sing was "You Are My Sunshine" from a Don Williams tape.
  6. I am very familiar with the oeuvre of Boxcar Willie.
  7. I did not know any kind of music other than country, gospel, and bluegrass existed until I was about 8 years old.
  8. The first rock album I ever heard was Van Halen's 1984.
  9. The second rock album I ever heard was Purple Rain.
  10. I saw Prince during his Musicology tour in late March, 2004. I found out in May 2004 that I was pregnant. Draw your own conclusions.
  11. I discovered over vacation that my son can sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star despite not knowing the words, and may have perfect pitch.
  12. I commonly cite song lyrics, much to the consternation of my friend, Jay, who is not always familiar with the songs I quote.
  13. I wanted to see Toad the Wet Sprocket play with Big Head Todd and the Monsters in Hyannis while I was on the Cape, but couldn't find anyone to go with me.
  14. My brother in law was silent for a few moments when I asked if I could take his 15 year old daughter, my niece, to the above concert. Then he asked me to please repeat the band names.
  15. My niece asked me to repeat the names as well. I just told her they were popular when I was about her age, then realized that darnit! I am getting old.
  16. Ben Folds is amazing on piano. That's not about me, but you may not have known it.
  17. My cats have their own theme songs. Zeke's is from the Talking Heads: "Psychokitty, quest-que c'est? Meow meow-meow meow, meow-meow meow-meow-meow meow--Run run run run run run run away!" Shadow's is the Dreidel song: "Shadow, Shadow, Shadow, I made you out of clay; And when you're dry and ready, with Shadow I will play."
  18. I stopped listening or paying attention to most mainstream music when Britney Spears began becoming popular. Otherwise, I felt like throwing the radio.
  19. I really miss working in the college radio station sometimes.
  20. Why I don't have a copy of Jagged Little Pill is beyond me, but I should go find one.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Told You I'm Still On Vacation

Even if it isn't really so. I love lighthouses, so I saw this new template and had to pick it! I'll fix the links and such later.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Elvis Has Left the Building

I'm still insisting I am on vacation, even though I'm sitting at my office at work. Well, not office. It's cube farm, and I have my own little cube. But it's a cube more like the one Ron Livingston had in Office Space, not like the one Michael Bolton and the Indian guy had. Definitely not like Milton's cube, although I do have a spiffy red Swingline stapler. Two, in fact--one still in plastic as a collector's item, and one for actual use. I don't keep them here, though. Too many people here are WAAAAAAAY into Office Space and my stapler would disappear if I brought it in. And if someone took my stapler, I swear, I'd burn the place down.

So, time for the first missive after the big vacation to Cape Cod. The problem with being on the Cape for two weeks is that after a few days, the siren song begins to drift down from Chatham and hover subconsciously around one's ears. I began to look at real estate ads, first out of curiosity, then out of real desire to move. "Look, honey! If we sank all the proceeds from our home sale as a down payment on this cottage, and got jobs that pay what we make now, maybe we could afford to live on the Cape!"

After a week, the siren song becomes more persistent, more beautiful, pulling like the tides on my soul. I begin looking at want ads, puzzling over some of the terms. "Sweetheart, they need an able-bodied relief seaman for the new ferry. Could I do that?"

By the 12th day, all thoughts of the airport and packing are stabbing little needle pains in my head. I begin to think of calling my boss and quitting, and just moving into my brother-in-law's house with my mother-in-law and waiting tables and painting watercolors of the beach, like a lot of other people do. Maybe knitting a uterus or a liver and seeing if it will sell despite the fact that I can't knit, much less crochet a simple chain. The siren song is intense and taunting, reminding me that I have few marketable or creative skills and people like me can't live in a place like this for more than a few weeks out of the year.

So here I am, back at work, catching up on email and other topics, and killing a bit of time before leaving a bit early (but not too early).

I'll expound with more detail later, but here's a snapshot of our vacation, Everett-style:

Land. Nap. Beach. Clam Chowder and bluefish. Beach. Playing with CJ in the backyard. Fried clams. Bookstore. Sudoku. Beach. Birthday dinner with sparkling Riesling and Boston Creme Pie. Sleep. Beach. Dinner out, shopping, more playing with CJ in the backyard. Bar. Sam Adams Summer Ale, stumbling a mile home in the dark. Happy birthday! Beach. Guys and Dolls. Nap. Clam chowder and more fried clams. Beach. Rain. Sudoku. Goodbyes, detours, delays, and home. Home Sweet Home.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

When I Am Old I Shall Wear Tie-Dye

Which I already do, so no one will know when I grow old!

It's raining here. Big fat steady drops falling from the sky. It rained this weekend, briefly, and CJ was fascinated by it.

When Jay and I were out on Saturday, she was telling me that her husband and his family were packing up his grandmother to go to Oregon with his mother. Grandma, at 92, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and has only six months left.

His mom thinks it will be easier to care for Grandma toward the end if she's with family. I said I wouldn't want to move--I'd only have six months left, and wouldn't want to make new friends. "Hi, nice to meet you! I'm dying!" So Jay asked me what I would do. I thought for a few moments and began this list:

  • First, I'd go on long term disability from my company so I wouldn't have to work but could still make some of my salary.
  • I'd make sure my affairs were in order and my family would be taken of after I'm gone.
  • I'd hire a maid. Full time. No chef, since I love to cook, but I'd have a maid come in and do dishes and laundry. I don't want to spend the end of my life cleaning.

Then I thought a little further. I'd start writing letters. Scathing ones, telling people what I really think. I've only got a little of time, right? Why continue being polite about some of those things?

  • I'd write that girl in 8th grade who made my life miserable by teasing me for having a crush on our 8th grade math teacher and tell her she was right, but she didn't have to be so nasty about it.
  • I'd write Sandra Lee from Food Network and tell her she's a no talent bimbo without taste buds and I want to know who she slept with to get her show on every day after Paula Deen. That may seem harsh, but Sandra Lee's idea of "cooking" is to frost an Angel Food Cake for Hannukah after stuffing it with non-kosher marshmallows, then topping it with an 8 pointed Star of David fashioned out of faux pearls on wire. And no one will know it's not completely homemade! Ass.
  • I'd write my Congressman and let him know what a jackass he is for screwing his constituents by voting against seniors' issues and taking money from Jack Abramoff.
  • I'd write George Bush and enclose a copy of "English for Dummies".
  • I'd find the address of the idiot who cut me off the other day trying to get into the turn lane for Wal-Mart and tell him I don't care how low the low, low prices are, use a freaking turn signal!

Then, to balance my karma, I'd write some nice letters:

  • I'd write to my 8th grade math teacher and thank him for spending the extra time with me to teach me algebra and showing me what an inspiration good teachers could be.
  • I'd write to Alton Brown and thank him for his show and teaching the science behind cooking and helping me understand recipes in a different way and enjoy feeding my family.
  • I'd write to Paul Hackett and tell him better luck in Ohio next time. If he decides on a next time.
  • I'd write to Jon Stewart and enclose a copy of my letter to George Bush.
  • I'd write to my friend, the policeman, and tell him where to look if he needs to write some traffic tickets.

After all that is done, I'd enjoy the rest of my moments with my husband and son, relieved that I got some of that out.

Stream of Consciousness for Today

I was reading on Lydia's blog about Lima Bean getting hiccups, and I was remembering how CJ would get hiccups when I was in the middle of a meeting, and my tummy would start hitching upward, just a bit, barely enough to notice. Once, CJ had the hiccups and my boss at the time noticed my belly jumping and I caught him staring with a slight smile on his face before moving on to something else.

Sometimes I get hiccups, the loud ones that hurt because of the amount of air that gets sucked into your chest with each one, and I stomp and curse and try drinking water in various impossible yoga positions until I can get my diaphragm to cooperate with me. I wonder if CJ ever got upset at my hiccups while he was still inside me? I can see him, warm and cozy, dozing in his little amniotic sac, when suddenly the uterine walls begins bouncing and he starts bouncing, and seething because he's trying to sleep through all the racket and what did Mommy just say? until he finally kicks in frustration and the hiccups stop.

Then I think of a Beavis and Butt-Head video I loved by a guy who called himself MC 900Ft Jesus, where he packs himself in a box to ship himself somewhere. The song is called If I Only Had a Brain, and it has this cool electronic line that goes, "Duh. Duh-duh. Duh-duh. Duh-duh-duh-duh, na-na-na-na-na, na, na-na...Duh-duh. Duh-Duh. Duh-duh-duh-duh, na-na-na-na-na...." for the whole song. Beavis starts singing the line, repeatedly, while the guy is bouncing around his box, until Butt-Head smacks him upside the head, and then Butt-Head starts singing it.

I used to watch Beavis and Butt-Head a lot in high school--brilliant satire because I knew these guys in school and they were my friends. Mom used to rail about how awful a show it was until I asked her if she'd seen it and she said no. So I made her watch it one night, and it was The Great Cornholio, and halfway through she was laughing so hard I thought she was going to pee herself in her chair. "Lake Titicaca!"

She got me the B&B DVD collection for Christmas this year.

One night, in the computer lab at Tusculum, I was signed in under the name White Dwarf and joined a chat about B&B, defending it as satire. Only one other person agreed, a guy with the handle Jungle Jim. He seemed a nice enough fellow. We chatted a bit, and that was that. A week later, while signed in under the name exotique, I met another guy named Gilamonster who later captured my heart. It wasn't until Tom and I had been together sometime that I learned he had been Jungle Jim, and he learned that I was White Dwarf.

And that, dear friends, is how hiccups make me think of my husband.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Splashy Splashy

I posted previously while CJ was napping, and then contemplated which tactic to use in the fight against his toddlerism.

CJ has decided that it's fun to hit, bite, or scratch Mommy and Daddy when he doesn't get his way (that is, can't climb on the couch and over the back, can't bang on the laptop, can't kiss the light sockets, you get the idea). It's frustrating. While we were out shopping, he was a perfect little angel. We get home, and I give him milk instead of orange juice and he's throwing the cup at me and screaming. I tell him no, and he giggles and reaches out to pull my hair. He seems to do it more to me, usually when I don't drop everything to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider RIGHT NOW!

We're trying our best to be consistent, and hoping that soon, he'll be old enough to realize what we're saying and to understand the concept of time-out. Currently, he's this raging little ball of id with no impulse control. I admit that a part of me is very curious about what he's feeling; I know zip about kids, and never really saw children this age. It's interesting to watch the wheels turn in his head as he bops from one thing to another, and sometimes, that makes it easier to predict his next move, or his next outburst.

Emboldened by my visit to the lackluster Tio Art's on Saturday, tonight I made enchiladas. Not bad for a first effort. I needed more sauce and a bit more spice to the beef and beans I made, but I got the technique down on the tortillas. That's what had me worried. Tom took CJ outside to play with bubbles while I cooked, and a nice family time was had by all.

Now, Tom is with CJ while he plays splashy splashy in the tub, and I take a few moments before getting my stuff ready for tomorrow. Five days of sleeping in (OK, only till 9 at the latest) has me spoiled, and I'm not looking forward to the alarm tomorrow.

Long Weekend

Nothing too exciting to report this weekend, despite my extended absence from the blog. I have no excuse other than laziness.

Friday, I took the day off work and took CJ to his specialist checkup. He received a clean bill of health, and the bloodwork showed that the earlier liver abnormality was cleared. His ultrasound was normal, too. So he's very happy to be back on dairy, and has been sucking down milk as fast as I can give it to him. We still think he could be lactose intolerant, so I'm giving him lactose free milk. It's pricier, but lasts three times as long in the fridge.

Saturday, Jay and I had a girls' day out, beginning with lunch at a new Mexican place. Living in Phoenix, I'm always surprised to find unspectacular Mexican restaurants, and this was one of them. Somewhat bland, and not enough to make me go running back. After lunch, we went to Lowe's, and I bought a grill--FINALLY! We had our backyard done last year, and have just now gotten the grill. Fewer dirty dishes for me! Then, we kicked around Kohl's where Jay bought some clothes because she's slimmer and can actually wear cute stuff. I browsed the womens' section, but it was mostly old lady stuff.

I have to say, though, that Daisy Fuentes has no business designing clothing for fat women. If I wear a tank top, I'll need a bra, and very few larger women can carry the strappy tank look. Of course, I see them try anyway, which is why I think Daisy Fuentes should be stopped--at all costs. Wrap her in ticking and gauzy fabric and make her watch every Divine movie ever made. That should do it.

After our fun at Kohl's, Jay and I scored mocha frapuccinos and wandered through Costco. Someone needs to figure out how to merge the creamy goodness of a Chik-Fil-A shake with the yummy jolt of a mocha frapuccino. I would pay dearly for that.

Sunday and Monday were spent at home, working on home projects and getting the house in shape. Sunday, I used nail polish remover to remove the stickers from the glass of 18 picture frames, then organized a bunch of photos to into them. Monday, Tom handed frames up to me while I climbed the ladder and hung them, and the result looks really good! We covered a section of wall near the front door that has one of those spotlights in the ceiling for display. I think there's nearly 30 pictures up there--I don't know why we hadn't put them up earlier.

Today, CJ and I went shopping while Tom tried to get some work done. We went to JC Penney and got a set of luggage for 50% off. We finally decided that now that we're doing family trips each year, our old mismatched bags need a break. Plus, it's very nice to have the bags on wheels, which our old bags don't have. Then CJ and I went grocery shopping and he happily ate a Granny Smith apple while I stocked up on good sales.

So that's it! I did find out how much stuff the trunk of my car holds, including the stroller, and I have plenty of cow for breaking in the grill.

We fly out Saturday night, so I should be able to make another post before we go. Keep in mind that I won't have any internet/PC access on the Cape, so if you start singing for posts, you'll be singing for a while!