Friday, May 30, 2008

Thirty-five


We lost one of our own yesterday. Harvey Korman passed away at the age of 81. I grew up watching Mel Brooks movies and the Carol Burnett Show so I feel a little like we lost one of the family in a way.

Faretheewell, Count de Money ("...de Monet, de Monet!") You will be missed.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thirty-four

“There is a luxury in self-dispraise:
And inward self-disparagement affords
To meditative spleen a grateful feast.”
--William Wordsworth

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the concept of self-improvement. For those not aware (and if anyone's reading this thing anyway), I've been doing the "Slim4Life" weight loss program for about a month, and I have lost twenty-one pounds thus far. That in and of itself is improvement.

However. Man is not improved by weight loss alone. There are a lot of things about me that bug me, that could be improved upon.

For instance, I procrastinate. A lot. With just about everything. I have this mental block between point A (realizing I need to do something) and point B (actually getting up and doing it). I have a near-paralyzing fear of conflict. I don’t like fights, verbal or otherwise. I therefore don’t communicate very well with most of the people around me. This is not to say that I would primarly like to or need to be arguing with everyone I know, but that in those instances where I do need to speak up, speak my mind, put in my two cents' worth...I seldom do. Live and let live. Let sleeping dogs lie. Whatever. Experts now say that this could kill me, and I'm working on it. I started with Brian. I'm sure he was thrilled.

What else…. Well, there’s my utter inability to use a calculator correctly. I always miss a button, or read the numbers wrong, hit the AC button when I meant to hit the CE button. I don't know what it is. A lifelong struggle with numbers, in any case. Oh yeah. Lately I can’t seem to finish a book. Novels, sure, but all the nonfiction stuff I have laying around…can’t finish any of it. I think I’ve always done that, but it’s annoying me now. I buy a lot of books, it’s one of my few indulgences, and I’m starting to feel like I’m wasting a lot of money when I don’t read a book all the way through.

And, according to Brian, I
A) don’t smile enough; and
B) am a “terrible” housekeeper.
More things to work on.

PostScript: By the way, when I first got my packet of info from Slim4Life, there's a picture (stock photography) of Chris Jensen on the cover. He's eating watermelon, wearing his usual smile. The one Kugel used to give him crap about. I had to laugh. He still looks good!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thirty-three

My boys brought in some flowers for me tonight:



Just thought those were pretty. I love yellow roses.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thirty-two

I'm trying to marshall my thoughts here into something coherent. Brian and I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull this evening, and I...

Okay, some backstory. I saw Raiders when I was eleven years old. My mom had to drag me there; Charlie Ferguson had told me there were tarantulas in Raiders so I had decided I didn't want to see it, but my mom saw it and knew I'd like it, so she took me. And man, was I hooked. Hooked on movies ... hooked on Harrison Ford. That movie opened my eyes about what a movie could do, what it could be like, what it SHOULD be like. Since then, biiiiiiiig Harrison Ford fan. I even forgave him for Six Days, Seven Nights. Yeah, really.

So was I looking forward to seeing this new Indiana Jones movie? Of course. Were my expectations really high? No, not really (Ebert's critique notwithstanding). Was I disappointed? Well...I liked about 50% of the film. I guess you could call that living up to low expectations.

When they stopped and took a breath and let Harrison act, I liked the movie. When they were careering along and things got really eye-rollingly goofy...they might as well have had a little image of George Lucas pop up in the corner of the screen, saying "This part was MY idea!" Seriously, that man should not have been allowed anywhere near this movie. Harrison should have knocked him unconscious with the handle of the bullwhip and told Steven to get on with things.

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a brilliant, beautiful film. People make mock when they find out I've seen it in the theater more than 40 times (yeah, really) but if you've seen it on the big screen, you know why I've seen it that many times. It's beautiful. The cinematography is stunning. From beginning to end. Stunning. The acting is perfect. The script...perfect. There isn't one thing I'd change about that movie. The next two were enjoyable. They have their merits. But compared to Raiders, they're shadows of what might have been. Hell, Last Crusade is a freakin' comic book compared to Raiders. I still do a slow burn when I think about what a buffoon they turned Marcus into. This fourth one...well...it had its moments. The scene with the quicksand? Loved it. Marion Ravenwood strolling back into Indy's life? Couldn't have been happier to see her. The kid? He was okay. He made me laugh a few times. Do I think he'll fit in the fedora? Hmmm...I think the right guy walked out wearing the fedora in the final scene.

Yes, I'll buy the DVD. I'll wait for the special edition, tho.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thirty-one

After a big spaghetti dinner...


Brian took Seth down to our smaller pond for his first fishing expedition!




Daddy - 2, Seth - 0!


Some tracks we found:


And a bird egg we found:


It was a fun evening!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thirty

With a nod to Erin...my own Four Four Four (uh...Four Four)

Four places I go over and over:
1. Work
2. Preschool
3. PriceChopper
4. Home

Four people who email me regularly:
1. Brian
2. My sister
3. Dana
4. Aunt Dot

Four favorite places to eat:
1. Slim4Life
2. Won't
3. Let Me
4. Eat

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. New Orleans
2. Long Beach Island
3. Key West (I'm assuming)
4. Anywhere but here, staring down the barrel of another Monday at work

Four TV shows I watch all the time ("all the time" being relative...I don't watch anything all the time, that would mean I *have* time, and if I did have time I'd be reading books instead):
1. Friends reruns
2. Ace of Cakes
3. How It's Made
4. House Hunters

Twenty-nine

Fairly quiet weekend. Both my parents and my father's wife were here yesterday, and today I managed to get a lot done around the house, including cleaning the oven, which I hate doing. Seth and I were on our own for most of the day and I think we had a nice day together, the mood stayed pretty good all day long.

Seth is doing something kind of funny now, tho I think it's really heralding the advent of The Fib. Brian's been after him for some time now to stop sucking his thumb, and what Seth has really learned is just not to do it so much when Daddy is around. He certainly hasn't stopped sucking his thumb(s). What he's been doing lately is when he sees that Daddy has entered the room, he'll pull his thumb out of his mouth and say "Daddy, I'm not sucking my thumb!" Which, at that moment, is the literal truth. Brian will say, "But you were sucking your thumb," and Seth usually replies "But I'm not sucking my thumb now." There's no arguing with that, and he knows it. Tonight, Brian said "Your thumb is wet, I can see it from here." So...the *next* time it happened, Seth wiped his thumb off before he said anything. And of course, Brian and I laughed.

Tell me honestly...we're raising an evil genius, aren't we. Should we get him started in politics sooner, or later?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Twenty-eight

Just a quick update. Dodge couldn't get neutered today; what we thought was just kennel cough is apparently a real-life upper respiratory infection (same thing??) so he's got to go on a round of antibiotics and then get neutered. Brian said they couldn't get him back in the kennel this morning when he dropped him off, which makes me feel terrible. I'm sure he's feeling totally rejected right now. I'm going to see if I can leave work early tomorrow to go spring him.

And these are just some funny pics from this weekend. The first thing I saw when I walked in the bedroom was this:

which appears to be a scene from The Thing from the Swamp. AAUUGGH! The alligator ate Lacey!

And then Seth!


And this was at Wal-Mart the other day. What a daredevil!

video

Oh, and I found my copy of My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes, I'm so excited!! I thought it was lost forever, stuck in that tear in the time-space continuum that Seth found when he was first walking. My Arbonne mascara is in there, I know it! (Mrs. Whatsit has probably used it up by now...)

AND, Seth slept in his new big-boy bed last night for the first time, we bought a twin bed yesterday and he seems to like it, slept in it last night with no argument, no wistful "Can I sleep in your bed?" instead. Everyone keep your fingers crossed that he continues to like his new bed!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Twenty-seven


Meet Dodge, the newest member of the family. We picked him up at the shelter in Warrensburg this morning. Have to take him back Tuesday to get neutered, and I hope he doesn't think we're just rejecting him! He's a mix, Australian cattle dog and blue heeler, about 2 or 3 yrs old, they think. He was found out on Hwy 50, nearly got hit by a Dodge, hence the name. He's pretty smart, already knows some commands, so he was somebody's boy. Seth isn't too sure what to think yet, but I think they'll grow on each other. He really wants to play with Seth, but Seth doesn't know what to do when he runs toward him yet.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Twenty-six

We got Seth signed up for swimming lessons last night, he starts in June and we go every Saturday for eight weeks. They're Level 1 Red Cross lessons; I'm just hoping he'll be comfortable and maybe a little more safe in the water afterward, so that it's not something I'm anxious about while we're in Key West. He's getting SO independent and I want him to be able to enjoy playing in the water without having Mom hover quite so much.

Mother's Day is this Sunday, I'm sure you're all aware. Brian invited his family over and we're grilling steaks; my family won't be there. Guess I'll be cleaning house all day tomorrow. What a treat.

Looks like the summer movie season is getting underway; I have a list of films I hope we manage to see - Indiana Jones IV, Kung Fu Panda, Wall-E, The X-Files, Dark Knight. Might I finally be emerging from my "gray period"? Just don't ask me if I watched this or that television show last night, I promise you I didn't. I don't have *any* shows anymore, nothing at all that I watch regularly. If I can catch an episode, I'll try to sit down for a Friends rerun, The Ace of Cakes, How It's Made, or the show on Travel Channel about digging for "treasure" where the goofy chick travels around digging for aquamarines or diamonds or whatever. That's actually something I'm interested in doing some day, dig for diamonds or pan for gold. As with everything else, that "some day" will be when Seth is older and can participate more. I have so many cool things I want to go do, but I want him to remember doing them!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Twenty-five

“Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.” – Arthur Miller

We’re in kind of a bad situation here at work. Yesterday, one of the owners informed us that a coworker has been embezzling money (a LOT of money) from the company, that they confessed to it over the weekend and that they were, of course, no longer employed with us.

To say we were all shocked is something of an understatement. Flummoxed is also an applicable term here. This was someone we liked and trusted and this has totally blindsided us. I'm still having trouble coming to terms with it, a day later.

For me, the most upsetting thing has been that everything this person did while they were working here will now be called into question. Everything will seem suspicious in retrospect. And all the pleasant memories I have of this person will be completely overwhelmed by the betrayal. I could try to have an understanding of why they did what they did but I've decided not to give it that much thought. We have to repair the damage here and move on. I can only hope that this former coworker finds a way to straighten themselves out and repair the damage they've done to their family.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Twenty-four

I keep forgetting to mention this, but on May 31 we are going to see this fabulous bloke


at the Uptown Theatre in KC. I am SO excited!! I've seen him live before, in Chicago for his tour Circle, even got an autograph outside the theatre after the show. And I have to say, much as I love our "executive transvestite" I prefer him as a manly man. He always wears the wrong shade of lipstick! I usually end up getting distracted and wanting to do a makeover on him.

Twenty-three

Ode to My Gardener

If you know me well, you know I’m not really a “plant person." I don’t garden. I, sadly, have a Black Thumb. I can kill an air plant. It’s mysterious and disturbing and it was always thus. I have, amazingly, over the past couple years, managed to grow some basil in a pot on our front porch, but I attribute it solely to Brian’s presence on the property. Had it been left alone with only me, I’m sure the basil would not only have not grown well, but actually mutated into something with legs, and run for its life.

Brian, on the other hand, loves to plant and grow things and generally does a fine job of it. So I encourage this behavior, as one of us has to do it and it cannot, obviously, be me. Over the past few days, he’s done some planting and puttering around and I thought I’d give him a shout-out here on my blog; his props, as it were. He certainly deserves them.

Blueberry plants (two varieties) – I guess he just wanted blueberries. Let me amend that. He will eventually want a blueberry cobbler.

Celosia – we bought these at the Powell Garden plant sale the other night. Brian had just wanted the red, but I grabbed the yellow, too. Told him it could be our Chiefs garden display. These are annuals, so it will be a short-lived display. I hope the organization is suitably appreciative.





Coleus – again, I went off the map a little and got Brian to color coordinate. I thought the deep magenta went well with the dark green and the pinky-white varieties.





Chenille plant – I saw this in the mailing Powell Garden sent out a couple weeks ago, thought it was unusual and pretty. This was the last one at the sale, some woman was stockpiling them and we reached in and sniped the last one. I think it pissed her off a little, too. No bogarting!!


He also planted some vibernum (viburnum?) but I didn't get a picture.

As for the rest of the yard, we’ve got quite a bit going on. Big lilac bush, that unfortunately doesn’t bloom very successfully. Just a few at the very top of the bush, and not very vibrant. Too much shade?

Some roses. Some very unsuccessful hydrangea. Some hostas. I put some mint in a couple years ago and it died very quickly. Probably shouldn’t have handled it myself. Stupid black thumb.

Oh, and the outside cat, alternately called Petie and/or Puddy. Seth generally calls him Puddy the Cat. And then jumps on him. He's very sweet, tho unneutered, so I imagine we'll have small Puddy Cat replicas before too long. There is, of course, as is the nature of things, a female stray in the general vicinity of our house as well. She's had kittens here before.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Twenty-two



Big day -- we got to meet Erlan today!! Seth was SO excited, he talked about it over and over last night, and when we got to Karla and Ben's house this morning he ran right in and started playing with Erlan.


We were VERY impressed with how calm and happy Erlan was. I was afraid he'd be shy or withdrawn with us, total strangers, but he's very chill and laid-back. Karla and Ben bonded with him very quickly and have given him so much love, I think it'll really help Erlan's transition to life in this country. What a lucky, lucky kid!!


I'm just so happy for Karla and Ben, there aren't even words. I foresee lots of trips between our house and theirs in our future!!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Twenty-one

I just terrified myself by reading the news. I can’t decide if ignorance is bliss, or essentially criminal. Was everyone aware of what McCain's health care plan is? Go read about it, it'll scare the shit out of you if you have employer-provided benefits. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care if someone is Democrat or Republican, the problem is none of them have any realistic answers for solving any of our real problems. And we've gone so far down the rabbit hole that there may not BE any answers to our problems. I am truly, heart-breakingly terrified for Seth and his future on this planet. If he even has one.

I almost hope the Mayans were right, and things do change in December of 2012. We need something to happen, that’s for sure.