Monday, August 30, 2004

Poor guy...

I was talking about this guy and his poor friend in the car with Andre and his folks. They hadn't heard the story so I told them about it and Fiona piped up, "Poor guy!" I had no idea she would be able to figure out what decapitation is. I probably went into more gory details than I should have. She assured me, "I won't do that Mama. I wouldn't do that to my friend." "I'm so glad," I said. "You wouldn't do that either, right Mama?" "Of course not," I assured her.

I basically allowed my child to entertain the notion that either she or I would drive drunk and somehow chop off someone's head! My sweet little three year old is worrying about whether or not I'll commit vehicular homicide. No wonder kids grow up early these days, their parents suck! I'm predicting nightmares tonight.

Edited to add: And I was right. 2:00 am. I'm such a bad mother.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


So I've found an interesting theory as to why that jerk you hate in the next cubicle is climbing the corporate ladder so quickly. It's because he's a psychopath. No wonder everyone let our company president win the goat race. They didn't want to get chopped to death with a hacksaw or something.

. . . . . . . .
Guess who I saw at the store yesterday. Guess! You'll never guess. Santa Claus. Yes my friends, Christmas arrives early in the retail world. Santa was here for a photo shoot on the roof of our parking garage. I asked him to make sure I had lots of nice presents under the tree this year, but he just sort of ignored me and went back to the shoot. Santa has developed into a bit of a prima donna apparently. The holidays are in the air already. Christmas decorations will be up for sale in less than a month. Someone in the elevator was talking to her husband about making sure they got the kids' Christmas lists early this year. Certain ladies who will remain nameless (*cough* HG! *cough* Kelley! *cough* Diva!) have started a Christmas planning blog (with some yummy sounding recipes, but I digress). Slow down world! At least wait until after Labor Day and let me enjoy the rest of my summer before you start me freaking about getting the shopping and baking done.

. . . . . . . .
To the angry letter writing customer,
Please do not enter any more of our essay contests if you can't handle losing. The rules did not say that "Everyone will be judged on sincerity, creativity and adherance to the contest rules EXCEPT JANE SMITH. JANE AUTOMATICALLY WINS." I'm puzzled about why you entered at all if you have a problem with a contest "that pits customer against customer." I doubt that you would have written this letter if you had won. That makes you a hypocrite. Sending a copy of the letter to the president of our archrival store was a nice touch, I can appreciate that. But really, I don't understand why you're angry with us. You did know it was an essay contest, right? You do understand what a contest is, right? Whatever, I'm done with you.

. . . . . . . .
Upon re-reading the above note to the sore loser, I've come to the conclusion that my job is turning me into a misanthrope. I used to like people. Now I'm just about ready to start posting No Trespassing signs and shouting "Keep off the grass!" to rascally neighbor kids. I really need to find a new job. One that doesn't involve quite so much face to face contact with the general public. Because you know what, general public? You kind of suck sometimes. See? I can't stop myself. I'm about six months away from turning into a complete jerk. Hey, maybe I'll turn into a psychopath and I'll get a corner office after all!

Monday, August 23, 2004

The downside of home ownership

I was going to title this, "The Wet Spot" but I know all about your dirty mind and decided not to go there. But look, I just went there anyhow. Oh well. Mind out of the gutter now, this is about the downstairs hallway thankyouverymuch. We'll get back to the gutter later in this story.

Sunday was my designated sleeping-in day. Andre and I have to trade off on the weekends because Fiona has no sleeping-in days scheduled in her little calendar and isn't quite ready to wander unsupervised through the house for several hours without a parent. Anyhow, Andre took Fiona downstairs to the family room to plug her into the electronic babysitter and stepped directly into a puddle in the middle of the hall. In our brand new carpet. Not just a little damp spot mind you, at least a gallon or so of water in a puddle. In our carpet. Nothing coming from the ceiling, nothing leaking from the washing maching, no obvious dampness in the walls near there. Just a puddle. The water must have bubbled up from under the house. Oh dear lord, what does that mean? Do we have to call the bulldozers to tear up the floor? This is not what you want to feel squishing between your toes at 6:45 am on a Sunday morning.

The immediate impulse in situations like this is still to call the landlord. Just like when the pipe broke under the sink, I want to just call someone else and have them deal with it. It's always hard to come to grips with the realization that WE are the landlords now and if the floor is crumbling away beneath us, WE are going to have to foot the bill. After much home repair related web browsing and apocryphal articles about foundation cracks and toxic mold, Andre decided to take a real world approach and look around outside to see if there was any obvious cause. And of course, as it always turns out in situations like this, it was something as stupid as a downspout which had come loose from the gutter. The water from the enormous rain storm we had that night went straight down the side of the house and must have found its way to the one nice little weak spot in the floor. We should have walked around the house when we first moved in to make sure all downspouts were affixed to their respective gutter thingies, but that's not something we thought to do. That's what the landlord is for, right?

We dried the carpet out as much as possible with the wet vac and then rented one of those high powered fans to blow on it all day. It seems dry now, but I'm a little worried about toxic mold that could kill us all as we're sleeping. The downspout is now attached to the gutter again and we weathered another night of rain without another puddle forming. Luckily, no bulldozers had to be called.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

The true test of motherhood...

Catching your child's vomit in your hand without vomiting yourself. It's really not that bad, actually. With my overactive gag reflex, I never thought this day would come. Oh the talents we discover when we become parents.

Poor Fiona. Barfing freaks her out. She is happy, though, that she gets to watch all the TV she wants today.
A while ago someone on my sister's blog posted a comment about Tamara being their "blog nexus" - the person who connected multiple friends and acquaintances (both real life and online). Well, I've found my nexus (and truth be told, it creeped me out a little bit when I discovered it a couple of months ago). My sister has a link to the very funny Smitty in her links column, so I clicked through and then checked to see if he had linked back to her. He had. He also had links to a bunch of the women I know from an online forum. Even though Smitty doesn't know me from Eve and I hadn't posted their links anywhere, it was like he had just gone through my head and picked the people I knew to link. Now I have to check through his links periodically to see if he's dug up any of my old boyfriends or college roommates.

HG from the forum has also linked to my sister and to Smitty now so the whole single nexus idea becomes a little muddled, but I still think it's an interesting concept. Have you found your nexus?

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The Styx saga continues. Fiona insisted on bringing the CD to play at show and tell today. Even after my recent Styx epiphany, I'm still a little humiliated. I just know all the teachers are judging me now, whispering, "There's the mom who owns a Styx CD and actually listens to it too!" How am I ever going to face them again? Well, I'll try, oh lord I'll try to carry on.

Fiona really wants a dog. Not just any dog mind you, but a "big dog who will sit next to me on the bus and will be quiet but he will be my dog and I can pet him. When my cats are gone I will get a dog." She basically wants the cats to die so she can replace them with a better pet. A little creepy, I know. That's my girl!

The neighbors have started a weird suburban Stepford lawn competition. I think they may have all gone crazy. Since our neighborhood barbecue, two complete lawn-removal-sprinkler-installation-resodding procedures have taken place. The Smiths (who live right next door to the other Smiths) have been out slaving every day with a wheelbarrow, laboriously patching all of the burned spots on their lawn and carefully handwatering the entire yard. The old lady next door who can barely walk has been out weeding all week. Even the single guy who hasn't weeded since he moved in a few years ago cleaned his place up. That leaves us, the weed outcasts. The kids who are doing their own thing. I feel like we shouldn't have to pull these weeds since they came with the house. Shouldn't we get a free weed pass or something?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I think it may be possible that I've single handedly saved the Olympics from those nitwits over at Yahoo. They obviously read this blog, because they've made some changes. Thanks to me, if you're on a PC you can now check a box on the home page that will hide all Olympics results. Yay me! I'm so powerful. I'm sure I was the only person that complained about this, so it must have been my doing. Right? Enjoy the rest of your Olympics in a spoiler free environment, you can buy me thank you gifts later.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Curse you Yahoo! You've ruined the Olympics for me! (Well, at least the men's gymnastics finals and all of today's swimming results.) Why would you think it was a good idea to post the results as news headlines on your home page hours before the events air on television? Didn't you consider the fact that some of us like to experience a little suspense and excitement as we watch these events? This isn't some boring football game, this is my one sports bonanza every four years. How am I going to check my email now? I'm certainly not clicking on your home page again. What are you going to ruin next? The Amazing Race? The twist from the Village? The plot to the next two Harry Potter books? I'm cranky now and I'm switching my home page to google and my email to gmail. I'm done with you, you insensitive Olympics ruiners.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Every commuter's worst nightmare. You see the lady with the preschooler (who's already acting antsy) at the bus stop and you pray they're taking another bus. "Please please please, let them be going to the University and not downtown. Please not my bus. Please not my bus." Then they get on your bus. The second she and the kid sit down, the kid starts whining. By the time you're at the stoplight and the entire rest of the bus is silent, the kid is wailing and the lady is hissing at the kid to shut up already! "Oh no," you think, "this ride is going to SUCK! What is wrong with that kid? Why is that horrible mother being so mean? Why me? Why this bus?" It's a full blown tantrum and it's not going to get any better. You see the lady getting madder and madder at the kid and she finally makes the decision to get off the bus before you hit the freeway. "Phew!" you think, " Sucky morning commute averted. I hope to god she's not on our bus again tomorrow." Well, my friend, I have bad news for you. That lady is me. That kid is Fiona. And yes, we WILL be on your bus again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. Infinity.

Monday, August 09, 2004

We're definitely in the 'burbs and I'm loving it. One of our neighbors in the cul-de-sac invited the whole neighborhood over for a potluck/barbecue yesterday. About half the neighborhood showed up and it was neat to meet everyone that we've been waving at as we drive by these past few weeks. Fiona made friends with the little girls from the end of the street, Dena and Sophie and a little boy, Sterling. The girls are 6 and 5 and Sterling is 3 and they all played on the porch swing together for almost an hour and let the grown-ups talk. Then Fiona went and got her tricycle and the girls brought out their bikes. Fiona's not great at pedaling yet so she basically sat on the trike in the middle of the road while the girls circled around her like little sharks on Barbie bikes. After we all went home, Fiona poked her head out the sliding glass door and yelled, "Sophie! Dena!" into the backyard. We'll have to invite them over for some sort of playdate or whatever it is that's normally done with little neighborhood friends. This is the first time Fiona's really been old enough to enjoy playing with the neighbors so I need to figure out how this all works.

At Fiona's birthday party on Saturday, after cake and opening presents, we were all sitting at the table and Fiona piped up, "I think it's about time for everyone to go home now." What a gracious hostess she's turning out to be. We all laughed at her and she got embarassed and then proceeded to pee on the couch. Thank god for microfiber.

We are finally a two car family again! My dad very generously donated his Acura to our cause. Thank you Dad!! We've been managing with one car for about three years now and it's become a lot more difficult since Andre stopped working from home. Our careful timing and car choreography got pretty convoluted at times, especially with my occasionally crazy schedule and a kid in preschool in the mix. Andre was having to get to work earlier and leave later every day than he should have in order to accomodate my and Fiona's bus schedule. But no longer. If I want to go to get groceries and Andre wants to go to Home Depot we can do it AT THE SAME TIME. If I need to work late and Andre needs to pick up Fiona, no problem! Two cars! The best part? We know have air conditioning in exactly 50% of the vehicles we own. The next best part? CD player in the car. We are living large!

Princess Diaries 2 update: My sister got to meet the princess of Genovia AND walk down the red carpet at the premiere party. Andre swears he will absolutely never ever ever post in this blog now that it's been tainted with "12 year old blathering" about the movie.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

I must admit my not-so-secret love for The Princess Diaries. Cute little Anne Hathaway and her grandmother, Julie Andrews, the queen have created a movie I can watch over and over again. The sequel comes out next week and, even though I don't have anyone who will go with me, I'm planning on being one of the first in line. I was just about to write about it when my sister, who knows about my not-so-secret Anne Hathaway love, called me to taunt me last night with the fact that she gets to go to THE PREMIERE! Of the PRINCESS DIARIES 2! I am seething with jealousy. She doesn't even appreciate cute little Anne Hathaway and her amazing transformation from awkward schoolgirl to princess. Why should she get to hobnob with Julie Andrews, queen of Genovia? I'm the fan here, people. Tamara will spend the whole night secretly mocking them. Maybe Fiona doesn't really need a birthday party. I could still get a flight out to LA and make it in time.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Fiona is three years old! She had a great day yesterday with a little party at her school and then opening presents at home. We'll have another party with some friends on Saturday, but thought you might like to see a couple of birthday pics now.

I came to Fiona's school to help her pass out cupcakes and bubbles to her classmates:

Her teachers made her a birthday crown and she thought she was the coolest kid on the block:

Monday, August 02, 2004

Come sail away...

Fiona is a three year old Styx fan. Yes, I know that the obvious conclusion is that we're white trash and listen to a lot of Styx around the house. While Andre does own the CD (hah! called out!) he had never played it around her. We just got the boxed set of Freaks & Geeks and Fiona loves the pilot episode with the big school dance scene set to Come Sail Away. So for the past two weeks, she's been singing the chorus. I just know everyone who hears her is secretly judging our musical taste. Andre dragged out the CD tonight and we're listening to it over and over again ensuring that it will go through my head for the rest of the week, if not the rest of my life. I hope none of the neighbors can hear it.

PS: After listening to the Styx CD, I realize that I love Styx too. I admit it. I bow down to their musical genius. Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Dear Roomba,

I'd like to invite you to become a member of our family. I just know you'd like it here. We have two cats who make lots of hair for you to gobble up and a child who tracks in lots of dirt. I know you wouldn't want to be bored and we will challenge you with multiple surfaces, stairs, and furniture. I promise to clean your little brushes, empty your three-times-larger dustbin, and provide a safe place for your home base recharging unit. I'll protect you from meddlesome preschoolers and hostile housepets. All I ask is your promise that I'll never, ever have to vacuum again.

The laziest woman on earth.