Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The words I've waited 11 years to say

We have Thai takeout!

After 11 years in the Happy Boondocks, we finally have a Thai restaurant within a 10 minute drive of the house. We've been there several times in the past couple weeks. At some point, I assume the urge to hug the proprietor or break into song ("kit ngun, ja dai ngun, kit tong, ja dai tong") will fade. But not yet.

My lips are burning and life is complete.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

And I made it, mostly.

We are back from Thanksgiving. I kept to a "don't speak unless spoken to" policy, which worked well. When I saw my 16 year old nephew beating the tar out of his 9 year old brother, I didn't intervene. When my sister in law told us how 3 of her siblings are on the wagon together, I murmered platitudes about how good it is they have each other for support. When my brother in law joked that my kids would never learn about drugs & alcohol if we homeschool them through high school, I joked back that SOMEONE in the family would be able to give them the info...and no one seemed to mind.

Then again...

We had been shuttling my nephew around in our car. On the last day there, he noticed a lego figure on the floor and turned to Son #4:

"I'm going to have to ask you to turn out all your pockets."

While sweet, innocent S#4 did, I told the nephew that there were a LOT of ways to deal with people without treating them that way. And that we have legos, just like he does. That those legos might be ours, or might be his, and might even have fallen out of his own pocket.

Then, naturally, I told Son #4 that he never, under any circumstances, has to turn out his pockets to prove he is not a thief.

To give him credit, the nephew did seem to understand my point and take it to heart. But holy crap on a cracker, I could have spit nails.

So did I do ok? Please? I hope so.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving with the in-laws

This year, I will not mention that I saw the Salvadoran restaurant employees bringing the entire meal in the door, or my mother in law cramming the fully-cooked restaurant turkey into her microwave oven.

I will not ask my brother-in-law if he brought his girlfriend--the girlfriend his kids aren't supposed to know about.

I will not suggest that my nephew has a poorly chosen name, or that my other nephew had no choice but to turn out badly, considering what a crappy upbringing he received.

I will not contradict my mother in law when she talks about what a great mom she was to my husband.

I will not ask why they didn't make the unbelievable carrots.

I will not say "there's no way I am buying that for your daughter for Christmas", even if I am horrified and amazed at the request.

I will not think evil thoughts, because darn if those thoughts don't just leap out of my mouth.

For the first time in living memory, I will shut up and eat, or drink, or whatever it is I have to do to not say something truly horrendous. By all that is holy, I swear I will write it all down, instead, and publish it in a book and make godawful amounts of money off of it.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

There's something to be said for NOT knowing where you stand

The other day, in a moment of motherly squishyheadedness, I looked up at my two oldest sons and realized how fast they're growing up. I tousled the hair of Son #1 and said, "You two are getting so big and old. Will you take care of me when I'm old?"

His response?

"Can't Son #2 do that?"

So I turned to Son #2, and told him of my question and his brother's response. Son #2 hugged and kissed me and said, "Sure, Mom, of course I'll take care of you. After all, I do everything else around this house, anyway."

Times like these, I have mixed feelings about raising a houseful of smartalecks.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


The Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales hitch team are in town for Veterans' Day weekend. After much pestering on my part, we took the boys to see them today. Gotta love the Clydesdales.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Furniture polish: the universal symbol

Last night, I was so hurt and angry because of The Shatstorm in my online group, I stayed up cleaning until 3am. Woke up for our biweekly salamander study timeslot and was at it again. When my friend came by to join us for the trip to Salamanderama, she took one look at the furniture polish in my hand and said:

"Oh, no, Christine, what happened?"

Furniture polish: the universal symbol of fury cleaning.

Today I bought my third pack of cigarettes, ever

Today I received some nasty emails from a group I'm in. The whole thing seemed so strange and vaguely accusatory and out of the blue. I was furious, couldn't stop thinking about it. Finally realized that the couple of times I've felt like this (way back in college, years ago), the Marlboro Man has come to the rescue. I smoked my single cigarette, and felt better. Talked to a couple of friends about it, and felt better. Came home and, like a fool, looked at my email again, to discover that the root of this whole mess is that some unnamed people have the suspicion that I am stealing from the group, and have been discussing this with other members of the group.

Now that I know that the whole thing is built on the idea that I am a thief, I am angry again. Thank God I didn't throw the pack away.

And THANK YOU, to the friends who reassured me tonight that I am not at fault here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


The best part of our Time Magazine subscription is laughing at the letters. The November 14th, 2005 edition has a classic. Scroll down to "A Quiet Revenge?",9171,1126726-3,00.html

The thing this intellectual giant doesn't realize is that avian flu is not spreading in the chicken factories of Maryland's Eastern Shore. It's not spreading among de-beaked hordes of chickens, crammed into tiny cages. It's spreading in countries where people live with their birds, and the birds get to hop around the yard, visited by migratory wild birds and young children who like to pet them. In other words, these chickens are living at least as comfortably as the chicken sellers themselves.

Congratulations, PETA, on convincing yet another person that thinking isn't as important as parroting the party line.

Haha, I said "parrot".

Monday, November 07, 2005

Who's dumber? The jury's still out...

Today Son #1 saw the dog out in the yard. He used that time-honored dog-fooling trick to get him back inside--he waved the leash and offered him a walk. Completely unaware that he's already outside, the dog always runs for the leash. We are superior. Our dog is clearly an idiot.

Then, the dog got out again. A second time, the leash trick got him back in the house.

And again, he appeared in the yard. He was successfullly leashed a third time. At this point, we finally thought to check the garage door. Which was, in fact, open.

my weekend off

Hubby took the sons camping for the weekend. I stayed home to read, watch trashy television, and organize the toys.

You'd think I could get more done in 48 hours, or even better that I could think of something fun to do out of the house, but somehow I have forgotten what people do when unencumbered by the whole maternal thing. I called Hubby in desperate, bored loneliness, halfway through their trip.

On Monday morning, I still have a heap of stuff to do. Now I understand how people can win the Lotto and 2 years later still be broke.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

You can always count on Howie for a laugh

I caught a bit of this on TV while wolfing down my pre-trick-or-treating dinner. Howard Dean clearly has been told that people like less government, so he will find a way to call the Dems the party that leaves people to live their lives without excess governmental interference. At least Chris Matthews noticed...