You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2007.

Do me a favor. Our good friend Doug lost his wife Keri to breast cancer last year, and has a contest he’s trying to win for a picture of his Race for the Cure event.

So click this and rate it high. Danke.

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Does anyone else see this? The guy from Project Runway being French Stewart’s long-lost twin? You should see him when he does his goofy grin. It’s EXACTLY like Stewart’s, even more than the picture. I keep expecting him to say something like “So, Dick. Wanna know what I heard around the water cooler today?… There’s a weird guy hanging ’round the water cooler.”

It would, oddly, be like both characters.

I’ve been tagged again. 8 things you don’t know. Seriously, in about 6 months you’ll probably know my SSN – I’ll have nothing else new for you.

1. Apparently my love for M.Damon has been around longer than I thought. Yesterday when looking up my credit report, my secret question was favorite movie. Usually I pick the obvious question like maiden name or school mascot – if nothing else so H. Pimp could answer also. But that was my question and I blanched, trying to think of what I would have chosen back whenever. Goonies? Karate Kid? Some Kind of Wonderful? But when I asked myself honestly, the answer was Goodwill Hunting. And tadow! That was the answer.

2. [Warning: Parenting TMI. Stop if you’ll get grossed out. ] Yesterday I put some baby oil on Lo’s head and let it sit for a while, then while she calmly watched some Sesame Street I combed out most of the cradle cap she still had left. It was both repulsive and compulsive.

3. I really don’t like Christmas music a whole lot. Maybe because it’s the same songs again and again, but I usually want to stab myself in the ear by December 31st. The two exceptions, without fail and in perpetuity, are Carol of the Bells and O Holy Night. I get chills every single damn time I hear those songs – if they’re actually people. No muzak, thank you.

4. My mom unknowingly bought Lo an outfit from Jay Z’s Rocawear children’s line, and as truly adorable as it its, I simply cannot stop laughing when she wears it. I’ve been trying to teach her to brush her shoulder off, to no avail.

5. We’re pretty close to selling our dust-catching elliptical in the basement, and the thought of someone bringing me cash to take clutter out of my house is filling me with a profound excitement. I’ve noticed the last two days that I’ve subconsciously been scrutinizing items all over the house. No wonder people get addicted to this process. Watch out, dog. (I kid! I kid!)

6. We’re still debating whether or not to put up a Christmas tree. Truth is, we don’t really have room for it anywhere, I’m not looking forward to a climbing toddler or asshatcat, and it just doesn’t do much for me. Jack’s never known or cared, so it’s been a few years since we’ve done it. But apparently we are horrible parents. I’m shocked at the number of people who have openly told me it’s not cool to Jack. My MIL told me that Jack told her “our Christmas tree is outside.” She acted hurt, like maybe we were so cruel as to put it in the landscaping, laughing maniacally and dancing around it while Jack looked out and cried with his hands on the windows. Gimme a break. I don’t know what in the hell he was talking about. He could have been scripting from Charlie Brown Christmas for all I know. He hasn’t said anything to us. And it’s not like we’ll never do one again (though really, it’s a stupid pagan ritual anyway and I could forgo most of the consumerism of this holiday and still give the kids tradition, but I digress). Sigh. We’ll see.

7. One time a few years ago one of Jack’s lashes fell out and when I taped it and measured it, it was an inch long. Fo’ real. The kid’s got creepy long lashes. Well, somehow – despite the fact that I for once was truly not trying to exaggerate – when it came up I told people it was two inches long. I can’t think of the number of people I swore it was two inches long to, before finally realizing this past Thanksgiving how patently absurd that is. It just never occurred to me that the number I had been throwing out was impossible. And now I wish I could remember how many people I’ve told that to so I could send out an addendum with the real number – which is plenty impressive without the need for exaggeration. Man, I can be such a moron. For the record my name really is Jennifer.

8. When Jack stands up to pee in the toilet he leans forward but throws his arms straight back like a ski jumper. Give him some goggles and he’d be good to go. Funny little dude.

So there ya go. Not all about me, but new info nonetheless. I tag Tuck, Tracy, Lauren, Jamie McJ, H.Pimp, Jen-nay, Casey and Mads.

1. We made potato pancakes a la Brandi’s recipe suggestion, and OH MUH GUH they were awesome. Potatoes and cheese and butter and an egg all smashed together and sauteed? Yes, please!

2. Secondly, all hail to whomever thought to put eggnog in coffee. Anderson Erickson will be loving me for another month, and Charbucks will probably notice a sharp decline in their Pumpkin Spice Latte sales. Take that you overpriced, world-dominating conglomerate.

3. Jon brought home a book by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Stranger Than Fiction) called Survivor, and it was, surprisingly for me, really good. I’m usually a little wary of Palahniuk – don’t read Lullaby if you’re a parent – but I found the premise intriguing. Cults are fascinating to me, so the thought of reading about that (along with a character that reminded me of a local leader here) is what pulled me. I hesitated when I saw the plug on the cover from Bret Easton Ellis – I don’t usually have the energy to keep up with his characters’ neurotic minutiae and that worried me – but again, I was glad I read it. Afterwards I came up with the brilliant comparison in that Palahniuk is the Hemingway to Ellis’ Faulkner when it comes to writing styles. Huzzah!

4. How can we stand together and protest those obnoxious video clips on CNN and other news sources (not to mention the commercials you have to watch beforehand)? I clicked on a headline about the Madeleine McCann case, and all it was was a clip of some gal talking about a possible witness coming forward (with lots of babble filler). They could have successfully written “possible witness comes forward to police” with a stillshot of Madeleine and voila! I get the info I want in four seconds. Instead I have to watch this babbling woman and in the picture box next to her head two photos of Madeleine that keep flipping back and forth. Back and forth for the whole stupid minute-long clip. The whole thing is annoying, and I’d like someone to give me my two minutes (video + commercial + loading time) back.

5. Finally, this guy is an alien. I’ve never once watched a single thing he’s done and I’ve never heard him in an interview. He may be the nicest, most humble guy ever (though somehow I doubt it) but he is not normal. My friends over at Fug nailed it for me: no one has eyes that are naturally un-dilated all the time. My theory is that he has to keep them small to stop us from photographing the wires on the motherboard in his head. I’m just saying. I don’t trust that weirdly-coiffed kid.

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Every day for four months the preschool parents have parked in front, because our kids get out 15 minutes before the rest of the school. And every day, as the parents begin to leave, you start your car and zoom around me, as though you might spontaneously combust if you had to wait the 30 seconds it takes me to put both kids in their seats so you can just move up in line when I leave. Why do you do this? Do you really think someone is going to randomly drive by and say to themselves If I don’t turn right now into this elementary school and park in the spot in front of that minivan I’ll SIMPLY DIE!

No, you don’t. Because no one’s going to die. Not even you. So knock it off. You look like an idiot.

In other news, this shoe has been on the side of the road for at least a week, and I was so stoked to see I finally had my camera in my purse. I’m pretty sure it belongs to Duckie Dale, dontcha think?

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Good times, good times.

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ETA: Because it’s on my mind, I bring you 80s goodness… now:

I took down the KU-bashing post, because it was bitchy and my booyah deflated after the world was righted in college footballdom. In the end it was more about that than necessarily feeling anti-KU. (Though I do take pleasure in knowing those who deserve to get theirs are, hopefully by Jon and others more immersed in sports.)

And I had more thoughts this morning when I was driving, but somehow they have escaped with the rest of my brain.

I will say that I saw a guy driving a minivan with a bumper sticker that said “I (heart) Chik-fil-A”, right below a yellow “I Support the Troops” ribbon, and I just can’t seem to find a reasonable story in my head as to why that would happen. I love Chik-fil-A as much as the next person, but something about that mustached guy driving an older Windstar didn’t strike me as ironic, and why else would you ever have a bumper sticker like that unless it was a joke?

Someone give me a story that supports what I saw, so I can stop thinking about it.

When we said we’d bring mashed potatoes (the nectar of the gods, in my book) to one of our dinners yesterday, I figured everyone would eat as much as I, so we made two large bags’ worth.

So that’s roughly 10 lbs. For eight people.

And if you do the math, (because I apparently don’t)…

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That’s a helluva lot of stupid potatoes.

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We then took them to our second dinner. And we STILL have leftovers. Which I’m not complaining about, but seriously. That’s.. a lot.

I hope everyone had as fulfilling a Thanksgiving. 🙂

Thank you for spending time writing your thoughts and opinions on the interwebs, I enjoy reading different viewpoints. It’s always interesting to learn more about people all over who have varying lives. I’m going to assume by your semblance of sentence structure that you are generally educated, and I know the problems of sticky keyboards and hectic typing environments. Mostly, I too would clink a beer to the difficulty and screwiness of the English language. However, for the love of all that is holy, please, internet user, learn the difference between LOSE and LOOSE.

I know for some of you it is a shock that they are, in fact, differently-spelled words. And I readily admit this is a small, small grammatical issue to get bent out of shape over. I actually let a lot of things go, knowing I’m a snob. But this one just makes my eyes twitch in its unnecessariness. I don’t need to define them; I know if you stop and think about it you can differentiate the two. So let’s come up with a mnemonic to remember when you write one, shall we? Then everyone is happy! Huzzah!

Let’s see. Have you heard of a bathroom being called the ‘loo? How about when you go to the loo your buckle becomes loose? Get it? Double ‘o’ in both words? In a bathroom things become loose? (Yes, I know that’s a double entendre. Whatever gets you to remember it.)

Um, how about.. Find a ruse to use for lose. Or the moose was loose as a goose. See how they sound different with their vowels and consonants? I know these are lame, but I’m trying here.

Ok, last one: When you think about lose, remember it has “lost” an ‘o’. Get it? Lost? Lose? Missing an ‘o’? That’s a good one – I stole it from a website.

Whichever you choose, I beg of you to please be aware of what you casually write, because these words are the unacknowledged entrants in the they’re/their/there or too/two/to category, and my goal is to spread the word about this need for education.

Thank you for your time and don’t give up – this is really not that hard.

Really. It’s not.

Hellllo! How is everyone? I feel like I’ve been locked in a bunker for the past week. We have survived and are happy to be healthy again. I did eleventynine loads of laundry (half of that in the middle of Saturday night) and I am indeed very thankful for electricity and a working washer. Today I woke up rested, drank some yummy jetfuel – I mean coffee –  and took the kids to the grocery store (where we grooved on the way to “99 Luft Balloons”, giddy to be out in fresh air). Good day so far. The weather is still wacked though, and my allergies and the bugs in the house are totally confused. 70something today before it snows tonight and maybe hits 40° tomorrow? God I love Kansas.

So, in, uh, other news, apparently Neil Diamond just announced Sweet Caroline was written based on a picture of Caroline Kennedy as a young child. Here’s the lyrics in case anyone wants to jump on the same *cough* Lolita *cough* bandwagon I’m thinking:

Where it began, I can’t begin to know when
But then I know it’s growing strong
Oh, wasn’t the spring, whooo
And spring became the summer
Who’d believe you’d come along

Hands, touching hands, reaching out
Touching me, touching you
Oh, sweet Caroline
Good times never seem so good
I’ve been inclined to believe it never would

And now I, I look at the night, whooo
And it don’t seem so lonely
We fill it up with only two, oh
And when I hurt
Hurting runs off my shoulder
How can I hurt when holding you

(chorus)

That just seems creepy, is all I’m sayin’. Listen and tell me if you think I’ve become too cynical. I hope I’m wrong; I lurve this song, and Jack likes to substitute ‘Lorelei’ for ‘Caroline’. But I dunno. I just think you shouldn’t talk about touching so much if it’s inspired by a child. What do you all think?

I wanted to be clever like Jason, but I can’t, so I’m just going to steal his wit.

We’re under attack from the Influenzigoths. We thought we were past it from last week and got a couple-hour reprieve yesterday for Lo’s party, but after that it got bad. I don’t seem to be affected like the rest of my crew thus far, but I feel rumbly in my tumbly so I don’t think I’m going to get out unscathed.

Lock your doors. This crap sucks.

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Thank you for finally sleeping through the night.

I hate coming up with titles. Blah.

So I was driving along by myself today, enjoying our most awesome Christmas gift (a 13-disc collection of 80s songs our friend Mike made for us. 150 songs! Huzzah!) when REM’s “It’s the End Of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” came on. I promptly started doing my car dancing shoulder-roll move, complete with rhythmic fist shaking – the one that gets me openly mocked by people known and unknown. (I’m a thumb away from being Elaine Bennis if that gives you a visual.) And it’s been a fair amount of time since I’ve been able to really listen to it with no interruptions, so I was surprised when I found myself becoming competitive (with whom I have no idea) in singing the words properly. I must have started the thing over a half-dozen times in an effort to master it. No one cares if I know the words. But it’s always been such a point of pride for me.

This captaincy of dorkdom began in 3rd grade when I won a tongue-twister contest against Mark Birkinshaw (he of S+ for SUPER satisfactory gradecard prowess) and my teacher gave me a ribbon to wear. For a whole day I was the shit in that class, and I was certain I was the smartest person who ever lived. In truth it was that I can enunciate pretty quickly, but nonetheless it was my first scholastic success.

[It was a short reign: I nosedived soon thereafter in 4th grade when I got a D in math for long division. Too bad they couldn’t still use the “Needs Improvement” like the lower grades. So much more ambiguous and forgiving, that one is.]

And unfortunately that pattern started early with me. I simply didn’t care about getting good grades in school (thanks to besting smarty Mark Birkinshaw, surely), but I knew I was supposed to. So when I was voted Book Worm in junior high I figured that was a good enough niche. I settled into that identity and developed a really horrible trait of never attempting anything I didn’t know for certain I’d succeed at. If it involved words I was money. And if it involved math I was never going to get anyway, so I didn’t study. Basically I never taught myself to work hard. And because I never found any self-fulfilling reason to do well in school (i.e., try), my grades got worse and worse the higher the level. I barely wriggled a degree from college, and I still have dreams where someone informs me we have a final in a class I’ve never once attended. Seriously. It sucks, because the feeling of panic is still sharp somehow, probably because it wasn’t too far off from the truth.

And I mention all this because I’ve had a niggling reminder in the back of my brain that I need to get the Bradley academic work done. It’s been a month and I haven’t even started. I bet in total it would take maybe 7 or 8 hours to do – but I just can’t seem to make myself do it. And that’s dumb because I know the material. I love the topic. I chose to do it because I’m passionate about it. I mean, hell, I mentioned how my type-A woke up during the conference and I finally discovered the joy of being the teacher’s pet! Imagine if I could have taken my ribbon in 3rd grade and created a goal to win everything from there on out! I don’t know if I would be in a different place now, but I bet I’d have less regret (and less school loans. Damn.). So what’s been my problem? My behemoth notebook just sits there and mocks me, and I know I can’t teach until I get it done.

Dingdingding.

And then it dawned on me today that I think I’ve been subconsciously avoiding it because I’m scared I won’t really be able to be a successful teacher. Like the old pattern is slyly coming back and I hadn’t realized it since it had been so long since I’ve really had to try at something. If you had told me six years ago I’d want to do this I’d tell you you were crazy, so it’s when I stop and really think about it that I get nervous (or I guess if my subconscious thinks about it). I’ve never been lazy with anything else concerning this passion, so I really can see fear of failure being the reason. (Is it odd that I speak of the subconscious parts of myself as if they are another person I don’t understand? Did I just put myself out there by saying that?)

Anyway, that’s the point to this long winded, train-of-thought ramble. That I had this quasi-epiphany while singing a song with lots of fast words. I am being lazy because I’m scared and that’s crizap because I know I can do this. The end.

So I think I’m going to challenge my inner 3rd grade self to a tongue-twister battle. Here’s the song if you wanna join us. Me. Whatever.

I’ll let you know when I do the work.

5:00 am – Lorelei wakes up. Since Jon is traveling I get up.

6:00 am – I discover we are out of coffee.

7:30 am – Jack wakes up and announces his underwear is stuck to his..

10:00 am – Kids color with markers. Mostly on themselves and the table.

12:25 pm – Lorelei pukes multiple day’s worth all over herself in the car.

12:50 pm – Get car seat apart to take off cover after twenty minutes.

12:51 pm – Lose one of the freaking screws inside the seat.

12:53 pm – Discover my washing machine has broken. RIGHT THEN.

12:54 pm – Wash the stuff in the tub and the drain clogs.

1:45 pm – Argue with the dentist’s office about discrepancies on bill.

3:00 pm – Repair guy says he won’t be out until tomorrow.

3:25 pm – Lorelei pukes again, in Jack’s carseat this time.

3:30 pm – Throw clothes and towel in tub to wash when I get a second.

3:34 pm – Shoo snacking kitten out of tub. Foul.

3:45 pm – Jack turns to talk while peeing and sprays everywhere.

3:46 pm – Jack helps by pointing to all the wet spots in the bathroom.

4:00 pm – Trip over snacking (again) cat, wrench back.

4:01 pm – Curse Jon for being out of town.

4:02 pm – Curse God for probably laughing.

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4:08 pm – Debate escaping, but decide not to because car smells like ralph.

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(For the record, they approached Jon and he told them he was too busy this year, so they picked Matt Damon instead. )

This is for all the teachers I love in the world.

(Thanks for showing it to us B.)

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