Wednesday, September 26, 2007


For the second year in a row this house in my neighborhood has rented this jumpy thing for their front yard during the fall festival weekend. They’re right along the parade route and we usually sit across the street from it and watch in envy as the kids frolic in the inflated bouncy thing and the adults gather on the picnic bench in the driveway or greet their acquaintances on the sidewalk, or run into the house for more chips or some hot cocoa and a light jacket to ward off the chilly fall breeze.

It’s so idyllic that it makes me ill. It’s probably a group of several families – perhaps all related or perhaps some are family and some are just friends and they all chip in for the rental of the jumpy thing and arrive with carloads of adorable kids and armloads of snacks to spend a lovely weekend frolicking in the atmosphere of fall and friendship.

I guess I’m jealous because I don’t know that many people. I mean I can count on one hand the number of people I know that would actually come to my house if I threw a party. And then there’s all those little kids forging fond memories of bonking heads inside that bouncy thing and my poor Aaron has pretend friends and begs us to take him 6 hours away to my brother-in-law’s house at least twice a month so he can play with his cousins.

The only thing that gets me by is that pretty soon he’ll start school and he’ll make some friends and maybe I’ll meet some moms and things will get better. Plus it’s probably not all that idyllic in reality. I mean the people who own the house are probably so ticked off by the end of the weekend that they’re ready to take an icepick to that inflatable thing and send everyone packing. They’ve had ungrateful kids trampling through the house and Uncle Mike probably gave them some lame excuse as to why he couldn’t cough up the $50 for his share of the bouncy thing, and the toilet backed up from being used by 30 people in a matter of an hour, Aunt Sherry brought her chihuaha that always pisses on the carpet, Grandpa got drunk and climbed in the bouncy thing to sleep it off and their second cousin probably showed up in a trashy mini skirt with the tattooed carney guy that runs the “Mission to Mars Massacre” ride.

Thinking of it that way makes me feel a little better.

Mission to Mars Massacre

Every year we attend our neighborhood Fall Festival and it’s a fun time for all. The parade supplies us with so much candy that we never have to buy any to give out on Halloween and the carnival rides supply us with a yearly dose of humor and disgust.

Last year they had the Operation Freedom ride which was little camouflaged tanks that the kids got to ride around in and pretend to shoot Sadam or maybe Bin Laden. The best part was that the ride had obviously started out its life as something innocent like little cars or boats or something but then they welded the tank shell on top of the innocence and bolted an imitation AK 47 to the top.

Thankfully, this year the tanks were gone, but instead we’re taking the carnage all the way into space with what I like to call the “Mission to Mars Massacre” ride.

I mean look at these cute little ships and then they’ve bolted guns to them! I think the most disturbing thing is that the kids are aiming directly into the faces of the kids behind them. I mean seriously people! But I guess you could call me a hypocrite because I let my kid ride it.

People who know me best can call me an even bigger hypocrite because my son is fascinated and obsessed with guns. I always vowed to never have toy guns in my house and now I’ve got about 4 of them. I justify it because he loves to play cowboy (I only allow old fashioned wild west guns; nothing that looks even remotely real or like an automatic weapon) and even if he didn’t have toy guns he’d just pretend that something else was a gun. I mean look at what I’m up against! When they’re smacking simulated automatic weapons on kiddie rides there’s little I can do to shelter my kids from it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's just unnatural.

As a parent I've made plenty of sacrifices. My time, my money; they're all focused on my children. I've given up watching adult programming in return for Bob the Builder and Baby Einstein. I've given up 45 min. soothing bubble baths in return for quick 3 minute showers with my 9 month old yanking on the curtain. And you know what - it's okay. I'm glad to do it, because the love and joy that my children give me is well worth the sacrifice.

However, I've recently had to make an adjustment that I'm not sure I can live with. It's tearing me up, It's throwing me off and I don't know how much longer I can take it.

I've had to put the toilet paper on backwards!

Everyone knows that the toilet paper roll should be placed in such a way that the end of it comes rolling over the top. That's the natural order of things. It rolls from the top, allowing a smooth and flawless cascade of pure white softness into your awaiting hand. However, Gwen has discovered the toilet paper and the ease in which she can unroll the entire roll onto the floor and then toss it up over her head like confetti. So I've had to switch it around so that the end of the paper comes from the underneath which as we all know, makes it much harder for it to roll smoothly and therefore gives us the opportunity to catch her and stop her before the entire roll hits the floor.

It's been rough though. Everytime I reach for the TP it's like a part of me dies. You see I've always been an adamant over the topper. If I used a restroom where the TP wasn't over the top and I was able to switch the roll around - I would. So having an under the roll TP situation in my home is completely unnatural. It's really awkward too. I mean not incredibly awkward like say watching porn with your parents, but it just doesn't feel right to me.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Passive Aggressive Post-It-Notes

The dynamics of an office environment are much like . . . like . . . well they’re intricate, delicate and ever-changing. I couldn’t think of anything that’s intricate, delicate and ever-changing. I thought about maybe the weather because it’s ever-changing but that’s not delicate or really intricate for that matter. A flower is delicate but not intricate, and doesn’t really change. How about the heart of a woman – no, too “romance novel –esque” Let me mull it over and maybe I’ll come up with something a couple weeks from now.

Anyway, there’s a certain balance that must be kept. A balance between wanting to tell someone they’re a fuckin’ idiot and that the quality of their work sucks, and then knowing that you’ve got to see them and work with them 5 days a week for an undetermined amount of months or years. It complicates things even more when you are actually fond of them on a personal level, yet have qualms about their professional ability. It seems that within my particular department, one of the tools we’ve used to counter this inevitable dichotomy is the Post-It note.

Yes that lovely little piece of sticky backed yellow paper is one of our greatest assets. It allows us to 1. Avoid actual face to face confrontation. 2. Be vaguely insulting. And 3. Place blame/push work onto others. I’ll go through each of these in more detail.

1. Avoid face to face confrontation. Now the bulk of my responsibilities involve reviewing the work of my peers and therefore things can get a little awkward when you need to tell someone that their work is the largest, maggot infested, reeking pile of dung you’ve ever seen. The post-it-note is perfect. A lovely scrawled “This is not correct” or something to that effect, is much better and more professional than anything I could have said in person because I’m not the greatest actress.

2. Be vaguely insulting. People overlook a lightly veiled insult much better when it’s written rather than spoken. Plus sarcasm is so deeply embedded into my usual dulcet tone of voice that it comes through quite easily, so it’s much easier for me to write, “please re-do this entire section, paying close attention to the instructions” and it not be taken as the insult that it really is since I’m implying that they’re too stupid to follow clearly written instructions.

3. Place blame/push work onto others. The other great thing about Post-it-Notes is that they can be lost. Don’t want to do that requested change? Take off the note and throw it away. This way you can claim that you never saw it “it must have fallen off somewhere in transit – I never saw it” and if you’re lucky you’ll be too busy or headed off to a meeting, so that someone else will have to perform the odious task instead. Something was wrong? “oh well I didn’t know it was supposed to be that way – there was a post-it-note on the form that told me to do it this way – I don’t see it now though, it must have fallen off.”

So the post-it-note, I think, is one of the most useful office tools right. It's right up there with E-mail, which of course allows you to look like you're working when you're really just e-mailing everyone for advice about your undiagnosed rash.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Today be one of me favorite holidays - Talk Like a Pirate Day! And although it's the stupidest, silliest thing in the world, it makes me smile. So I'm going to try and infuse my vocabulary with as many "Arrs" and "Shiver me Timbers" and "Batton down the hatches" as I possibly can.

Check out the official Talk Like a Pirate Day website for some laughs. I enjoyed the list of Pirate pick-up lines. Here are a few of my favorites:

-They don't call me Long John because my head is so big.

-That's the finest pirate booty I've ever laid eyes on.

-Come on up and see my urchins.

-How'd you like to scrape the barnacles off me rudders?

I'm surprised they didn't have one about Hoisting the Mainsail.

Friday, September 14, 2007

My first molar centerfold

I appreciate it when my doctors are thorough - dentists included. However, after dental X-ray number 12 it was getting a little ridiculous. That hygienist was clicking that X-ray button so many times it was like she was a professional photographer at a fashion shoot:

"Come on, show me 'angry molar', good, good, now give me 'sexy incisor' yes, work it, work it. How about a 'come-hither bicuspid', excellent! Keep it going, stay in the moment, how about a pouty face, yes very sexy, you're paying out the ass for this, now show me anger, show me emotion!"

I've never had that many X-rays in my life. I felt like I was glowing after I got out of there. I probably would have registred on a Geiger counter. Then the doc comes in and does an "oral cancer screen' which involved him pretty much touching every square inch of my mouth. He was feeling my salivary glands, running his finger over my gums and the sides of my cheeks. This guy probes an orifice in more detail than my gynecologist!

He then proceeds to tell me that he can tell by the slight enlargement of my salivary glands and the slight inflammation of my tongue that I likely either have a cold or slight allergy which has been causing me to sleep with my mouth open, which I do know to be true because I woke up with drool on my pillow all last week. It was fantastic! It was like CSI Dentist (well except for the fact that I was alive). I kept waiting for him to recite every food item I've eaten in the last month, and then say how he can tell that I use my teeth to pry that stubborn paper cap off the top of a new milk jug.

I didn't have a cavity to speak of and of course it ticked Matt off. You know I can't help it that I've got fabulous teeth and have never had a cavity in my life. I only brush once a day and we've already established the fact that I don't floss, and yet I've got Herculean teeth. I'm pretty proud of it actually but he really shouldn't be that jealous. I mean wouldn't some other genetic trait be better - like a metabolism so swift that it would allow me to eat an entire box of Twinkies and drop a pound afterward.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dental Premonition

We (Me, Matt and Aaron) are all going to the dentist this afternoon. It should go something like this during my cleaning:

Hygienist: How often do you floss?

Me: At least once a year whether I need it or not, and then maybe again if I have steak or popcorn stuck in my teeth.

Hygienist: That would be the reason I have to use this jackhammer to break the plaque off your teeth.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Malnutrition and Man-Arms

What do you mean, “her nutritional needs aren’t being met” I let her drink the whole 2 litre. There’s like .005% fruit juice in there!

We took Gwen in for her 9 month checkup this week and they did a blood test to check for lead and to check her hemoglobin. The results indicated that her iron levels were low. Not dramatically low, but low enough that they want us to supplement her iron with a liquid iron vitamin supplement for at least a month.

Now they tell me this is normal and usually due to the fact that she’s growing so fast at this stage. However, me being the pessimistic, self berating person that I am, am convinced that it’s all my fault because I let her get away with just a few spoonfuls of pureed green beans, yet let her eat the entire jar of cherry vanilla pudding. So I’ve vowed that the kid will eat nothing but broccoli until she moves out.

No word yet on the lead test. We have to call next week and find out. It should be normal, that is unless the kid has touched anything that’s been made in China.

Onto another related subject: Gwen’s pediatrician, a very fine physician and personable gal, has “man arms” and they kind of freak me out.

They’re not hugely muscular or anything but they’ve got that vein popping thing like body builders and crack addicts have. And her arms are really tan too, like more tan than the rest of her so it reinforces the feeling that she’s surgically attached the limbs of a buff lightweight prize fighter to herself. I don’t know if it’s a genetic thing or maybe she just works out a lot and only puts her arms in the tanning bed - but they just always take me by surprise.

She comes in all feminine in her cute little lilac twin set and then goes to touch the kid and out come these GI Joe arms – veins throbbing like they’re separate entities posing in some vein popping body building competition. Freaky.