Saturday, January 31, 2009

Birthday Candle Arrangement Tips for the Aged

#1: Don't put them all together in "brick" formation.

Son #4 did that with Hubby's cake this week, and not only did it make a terrifying and rather smokey bonfire, it required quite a lot of lung power to extinguish.

Tip #2: If your family DOES put all your candles together in one spot, and you are going to have to blow really hard to put them out, spit out your cough drop, first, or it will end up on the cake.

That's yucky.

But, we all love Hubby and we all love cake, so it's not like that kept us from eating it all. The Sons just waited long enough to verify it was only a cough drop, not a chunk of lung.

Call me! On the line...

Hubby, Son #1 and I got new cell phones on Thursday. Hubby wanted to consolidate his bill with mine, and to get something with a QWERTY keyboard for his phone, and Son #1 wanted to actually HAVE a phone.

Since then, Hubby has been a bit frustrated with the new phone. All the buttons are different from the last one, so he has to re-learn. And I have been consigned to manually transferring all my contacts, because Verizon and Virgin cannot communicate with each other. So close together in the alphabet, you'd think they'd get along, but noooo.

The only one really happy has been Son #1, who received a naked photo yesterday from some young woman who did not realize that Alex, who she loves, has changed cell phone numbers without informing her. Son #1 is not Alex, but, he really appreciates the thought, you know?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

On this day in 1964

The 9th Winter Olympic Games opened in Innsbruck, Austria.

Dr Strangelove was released to theaters.

The Beatles recorded Can't Buy Me Love at Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris, France.

Philip Morris suggested laughter as the best medicine to combat the Surgeon General's report on cigarette smoking.

The San Francisco cable car system was declared a national historic landmark.

NASA launched the Saturn 5.

And, well, a lot of other stuff happened, too. Most importantly, though, to me, Hubby was born.

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And the seas have not yet parted

The Brits won't take some of the Gitmo prisoners Obama wants to send their way. Can't send them back to Chad, etc., because they might be abused in their home states. Can't keep 'em here, because he has pretty much made that whole Kumbayah thing a major part of his plan as President. And he seemed to think that the Europeans would just jump at the chance to help him out.

Britain and the European countries want some kinda proof that these guys aren't going to be dangerous to them, before they take them in. Which, yeah, is one of those things a lot of Americans want, too. Maybe Obama and friends shouldn't have worked so hard to convince everyone that Bush was holding decent, freedom-loving Muslims at Guantanamo Bay just for shits and giggles.

As Bugs Bunny would say, "It is to laugh."


Son #2 is 15. He is smart, and sweet, and a great writer (although not entirely committed to the concept of turning his work in on time, at school. He'd rather work on whatever is on his mind, for fun. The school system is only there to destroy him.)

He is also 6'4" and still growing. His hair falls to his collar in glossy, chestnut curls. And he has a very deep voice. For years, I've been telling him, "Don't you worry. You hit college, and the girl thing is going to get very easy for you." He does not believe me. But, trust me, I have complimented him on his appearance. I have encouraged him to go out for theater. I have told him he has a very attractive voice.

But I am Mom.

Last week, the Sons were playing around with a video recorder. First time in years Son #2 had heard himself, recorded. He ran up the stairs, swathed in fake seriousness.

"MOM! Why didn't you TELL me I have such a buttery, man-muffin voice?"

So, there you go. My second son is a buttery man-muffin. Pass it on.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

666: The Number of the Blog Posts

Yes, I have been blogging for a bit. 666 posts, today. Feel free to waste time reading the early stuff. Genius, all of it, and scintillating.

And, in a similarly beastly vein, WHY have I been getting all these spam emails telling me that someone is going to Fedex me boxes of cash? Honestly, if you want to send me money you can have it wired. Or use PayPal. I would give you my PayPal email to accept the gobs of cash I won in the British Lottery, or inherited from some distant relative in Africa, or whatever. Don't waste a penny of it on shipping, ok?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pounding Sand at Cryer's Back Road Inn, this Saturday

Plan ahead, all y'all, because Hubby's band, Pounding Sand, is playing at Cryer's Back Road Inn on January 24th.

I LOVE when Hubby plays at Cryer's. It's a great bar for dancing and Doug will be there. Which may lead to a small group of us Doing the Doug away from the Country Store Blues Jam. Can't miss that.

Classic and modern rock, some funky, danceable stuff, and the bass player most likely to get Penelope to move Stateside: it will be awesome. You should come.

Really, you should.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Been Tagged

Thanks to Jill. So, here are 7 random things about me:

I do not generally drink. When I do, it is almost always Malibu Rum & Diet Coke. I also can be persuaded to suck down one of those girly frozen drinks, or perhaps a Mojito. And Scotch is good, too. But only on occasion.

My grandmother gives me recipes from beyond the grave, in my sleep. So far I know how to make her stuffing and her cheese & bacon turnips, because I woke up from dreams of her with the recipes in my head. These are dishes I never ate at her table, but when I make them, my father is instantly transported back to his childhood in 1940s New York, because that was the last time he ate them. I find this oddly comforting.

I really stink at self-censorship. I pretty much say what I am thinking, and only realize it was horridly inappropriate because of the look of shocked disgust on my listener's face. So, um, feel free to stop me. You may have to make a few faces before I get the hint.

I love tulips and daffodils, gardenias and jasmine.

I really don't like oysters. Let them stay in the Bay, filter feeding. I don't even want to watch you eating them.

I have hot feet. Ask anyone. I nearly always wear sandals, even in winter. And not those clunky Birkenstocks, either: cute sandals. Because I also have hawt feet.

I am not much of a homebody. I come from a long line of women who, when the phone rings, will leave the dishes on the table and run to get in the car. I do eventually make it home and tackle the mess, but...I am not going to turn down a good time just because I have chores to do. That stuff is gonna be here whether I had a blast tonight or not.

(tonight I did not. I have a head cold, instead, like the entire family, and I can barely stand. but you KNOW that last night I made it out for blues jam)

In honor of that head cold, and the fact that my brain is not entirely functioning, I am not going to link to a bunch of you. I am just too beat. So, if you read this far, consider yourself tagged.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Making peace with the clutter

I am not a sentimental person, really. Getting rid of stuff is pretty easy for me, most of the time.

Don't get me wrong, I have kept a few things around just because they came from someone special, or remind me of something that matters. But I do not have collections of knicknacks. I prefer a bare surface to almost anything else. I've got that Spartan spirit! Wooo!

(Please shut up about the giant basket of lip products, the heap of nail products, and the closet full of shoes. This has nothing to do with that. Wipe that smirk off your face.)

A while back, frustrated with the state of our house, I decided to get down to business on the clutter front. Because I hate it anyway, and it was making life a hassle, and making the house feel oppressively crammed with stuff, to me.

I got rid of a lot. If I could come up with any excuse to sell, donate, give away or throw away the item in my hand, it went out the door. I became a big fan of eBay, and Freecycle, and the local thrift store.

Today I drove a carload of stuff to the thrift store, came home, took a look around, and thought, "I don't know that I can get rid of anything else around here, without getting rid of family members, first."

It's an odd feeling.

We still have plenty of books, but let me tell you they are good books. We have plenty of musical gear and CDs, and two talented musicians in the house. We have lots of legos, and every game system known to man, and there's little you can do to make those look tidy. And the kids each have their collections of Stuff. Well, not Son #1, so much. He is not a keeper. But the rest of them do.

But aside from that, there really isn't much here that we don't need, or use, or love, or appreciate somehow on a regular basis.

I'm not sure what to do with that. I mean...decluttering had become a bit of a crusade for me. And now, well, even though the house still has more stuff in it than makes me feel comfortable, I think I have done enough. Just because I like flat, smooth surfaces doesn't mean the entire family has to live like that.

So, I guess, at this point I can move on to what I had always said I would do, once the clutter was under control: keep a clean house, and write more, and enjoy the space.

Having a time wrapping my head around that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Things They Don't Tell You About Life With Musicians

Hubby and Son #1 are both musicians--Hubby actually gets paid for it, while Son #1 is still hunkered in the garage for the most part.

Everyone knows I love to hear them practice and love even more to hear Hubby on stage. What they might notknow:

--The best way to convince your musician that his new amp is sufficient: tell him you can feel it in your chest, and all along the side of your jaw. Because, truly, he doesn't want to be loud enough. He wants to know that at some point he could be too loud.

--If the vacuum starts making a horrible burning smell, it probably has a guitar string wrapped around the beater bar. This happens once or twice a month.

--I find guitar picks hiding in the oddest places. The ashtray of my car. The back of the linen closet. I usually have one in my purse. Need one? Ask. Or, you know, just reach around.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Victoria's Secret Burned My Dinner!

Last night I joined some local ladies for a night in the hot tub. A sedate affair, and relaxing, but as the youngest woman there I had to rock the cleavage, right?

OK, so today I washed my tankini in the washing machine. And when it came out, the push-up pads had fallen out.

And they look weird.

I wasn't sure how to get them in right, but I gave it a shot. And they didn't look right to me.

"I need a tutorial," I thought. So, I put dinner on the stove and called Customer Service.

Barry just laughed and transferred me to one of his female coworkers. Such disappointment! Isn't that why Barry got a job at the Vic Secret Customer Service hotline? Eh, maybe not.

Boy, that rice smells good. Just about time to put the pork chops on, as soon as I talk to Marissa.

She was no help, either. Apparently all the push-up pads in their suits are the same, they go in the same, there is no instruction or chart or anything, I just have to fiddle with it and play with it and eventually it will smooth out.

Or, you know, not.

Around this time, I noticed the burning smell.

So, now it is nearly 7, I am on a second pot of rice, the pork chops are half cooked, and I have a deconstructed tankini top on my desk. Which I shall play with until it looks right.

I hope.

Friday, January 09, 2009

A Mall, and a milestone

Last night I took Son #3 and Son #4 to the mall, to exchange a Christmas gift and use up their gift cards. The nearest mall is an hour from our house, so...kind of a big deal, if you are 12 or 13.

Leaving GameStop, the Sons noticed a small child frantically calling for his mommy.

Yeah, the Sons get all the credit. I was not paying attention.

OK, so we looked around and didn't see anyone who could qualify for this little kid's mom, so Son #3 volunteered to track down a police officer while Son #4 and I bought the boy a lemonade.

Fear goes better with lemonade, when you are maybe 3 years old, we figured.

The lemonade, mall cops and missing mother all arrived at around the same time. As the Sons and I were relaxing in the food court, I realized: for the first time, our boys FOUND a lost kid, instead of BEING a lost kid.

Pretty flippin' awesome.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

For those of you with a particular New Year's Resolution

Today, while bolting through the grocery store, I discovered these: and, damn, they are good.

So, yeah, if you are trying to eat more healthy food but you still love chocolate, you're welcome.

Well, I think it's cool, anyway

A friend of mine joined a Flikr group for the year, and mentioned it to me with just enough time before the deadline so I could do it, too. We're each posting one photo per day.

So far, it is fun.

Wanna see? I am on there as cebasham.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Dear Idiot Bitch

You think you can ignore us for the holiday season and we'll be ready for you when you come back? You think you can just rely on us when you want to, and everything will be just fine?

Think again.

We kinda hate you right now, and you are going to have to just deal with it. Don't come crying to us. It is all your fault, and you know it.

Suck it up,

Your Hamstrings

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Stuff I'm not supposed to like

Velveeta. I know. It is not food. But when it comes to mac & cheese, actual cheese does not do it.

Dennis Miller. Everybody says his metaphors are weird, but...he made me stay awake through football, OK? Hilarious.

Teenage boys. Trust me. They are a hoot. And teenage girls are way scarier.

U2. Monotonous, overplayed, and with that Bono idiot as a frontman. I know. But what can I say? I am of the U2 generation, I guess, so I like them. Sometimes. Would I pay to see them? No. But I like "One".

Driving, especially on long trips or in traffic. Just gimme the keys, ok?

Those couple-or-six grey hairs showing up on the top of my head. Eh, maybe I'll start freaking out about that when they invite their friends, but so far I am ok with them.

Hello Kitty. Yes, in 2009, I am coming clean as a fan. Not all varieties, but she does occasionally catch my eye.

Stubble. Hubby thinks it looks sloppy, but I think the he-hasn't-shaved-all-weekend look can be smokin' hot. Lucky him, huh?

And now, I shall get back to being productive.

Happy New Year 2009

I'm supposed to be working right now, but I just had to mention the Most Awkward Christmas Gift of 2008.

Son #1 received Etiquette for Dummies from his grandmother.

Nothing says "Love" to a 17 year old boy, like a book that says on the cover that his grandmother thinks he is stupid and rude.

I refrained from telling the grandmother that it is rude to give another person a "for dummies" book OR an etiquette book, unless said title has been requested by the recipient. But this was not a case of "Darn, grandma, I need some help over here, can you give me 'Wedding Etiquette for Dummies' so I don't make a total fool of myself?" This was an angry grandmother, making a statement.

Duly noted, and acknowledged, although you can bet she's not getting a thank you note.