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Sir Lando Calrissian Lamsey, a red heeler/golden retriever (we think).  The pic is blurry because he won’t stay still long enough to get a good shot of him – I never once saw him actually sleep, he just goes and goes and goes.

And goes. On the floor. Onward ho with the training, woot. 🙂

It’s interesting to read up on the cattle dog breed and see that as per description, he is actually my shadow, following me everywhere, sleeping under my chair, sitting leaning against me. But he is so stinkin’ cuddly and sweet and HOLY BATMAN I love me some puppy smell; it makes Jen a happy girl.

Come visit us and say hi!

Hi. I’ve got a couple minutes, so I figured I could use it to write an update with werds and not pictures or head-spun-off-my-neck vents, all while avoiding laundry in the process. So huzzah!

For those of you who have asked me outside of this, Yes, we had separate parties and No it didn’t really go too badly as far as The Question. I was asked, and I just said it worked better this year blah blah blah. Lorelei broke into tears a couple days before Jon’s party asking why I couldn’t go, but she has been the more sensitive one in this whole thing, and has also quickly learned to cry (re: manipulate) for the opposite parent when in trouble. To wit: When I discovered last week she had dismantled some of the Death Star Jack and Brandon have been working on for eleventyfourteen weeks, her response was to immediately throw herself on the couch, cover her head with a pillow and say she loves her daddy. “Of course you do, honey. But you love me, too, and that has nothing to do with why you played with Jack’s Legos.”  Her reply? “I don’t love you. I just wanted to play with Legos.”  Sigh. Little shit. I am imperturbable to your attempts to hurt me. As far as you know.

I switched to Sprint for my phone, recently, and it pained me to do so (they’re home-based in KC and tend to have a dizzying and cyclical chokehold on employees and threatened layoffs) but they could offer me virtually the same plan I had with Verizon for about thirty bucks cheaper. Plus, I got a NEW PHONE. THAT I LIKE. FOR FREE. Which is muy bueno because it took me about 7 minutes last year to realize I really didn’t like the Blackberry Storm. So, uh, yeah, if anyone wants one of those, I have one I’ll sell you cheap. Surely someone who doesn’t use opposable thumbs might like it.

My last day at my current job is next Friday. It’s been a great year with a lot of flexibility to transition to from staying home to working, but our upcoming move back to Jack’s school district has upped my living expenses tremendously, and I need to find something full-time. I had an interview yesterday at a company I really liked, and I am doing whatever voodoo finger-crossing magic I can in hopes that it works out. Send good thoughts or money my way, whichever you have more of, thanks.

Millie/Willie/Pilly (Jack’s sudden declaration for a name) got out last weekend, right before I had him scheduled to get fixed and de-clawed. After a few days I was more worried than I wanted to admit. But we found him and life was warmhappyloving until Monday morning when I came home for lunch and discovered that THAT ASSHAT CAT HAD PEED ALL OVER MY FRIGGEN COUCH. I am still trying to get it out, and we are going back and forth on whether we’ll have to just get rid of it. I swear to someone that if I’d only discovered it that morning before I took him in for his re-scheduled appt, I would have saved some money on the de-claw by pulling out his nails one. by. one.  I made cat collars for them and named him Shim* Willie. Sucker.

I cut the crud out of my finger trying to saw through a baguette, but after a week or so I think it might begin to try and close up. I may have needed stitches, but I figure if I didn’t get them when I sliced open my hand at thirteen carving my pumpkin, and I didn’t get them when I drove glass into my palm at 21 while shoving down the trash, why start in my 30s? My friend JacobJ used to say he had magic squirrels protecting his car while he drove. Maybe he’s onto something. Or, my life as a cutter has been epic fail.

We’re spending a lot of time with a good friend who’s moving in a few weeks to Omaha. A big group is driving her down there to dump her stuff on the lawn and drive off, but before then we’re hanging out a lot, and it seems fitting to the sad-ish feelings I used to have every year at this time when school was ending. Bittersweet times, right now. But we have a new float trip scheduled for the end of June, so we’ll refuel our cache of inside jokes then.

And I think that’s it. I’ll end with a song, because I usually do, and hope everyone’s Spring is starting up like it seems to have decided to here. Finally. This is one of my new favorites, ‘Awake My Soul’ by Mumford & Sons.

Ciao, micos.

*Watch 30 Rock if you don’t already. Then you’d get the above reference without the link. My goal in life is to be Liz Lemon.

So this morning as the kids and I trekked across KC on our thrice-weekly school vs home commute, Jack all of the sudden burst into tears. I did that swerving-thing where you spin around in your seat and try to gauge based on sight if he’s just upset or if he’s bleeding or on fire or something. He had his head tipped back as far into his hood as he could, and tears were just streaming down his face. When I finally got him to answer my pleas for an explanation he said he wanted to know why Lucky had died. And where he had gone. And who took him there. And what he did there. And if his mom was sad. And if that meant that great-grandpa Woody or Grandpa Great were going to go, too. And last of all if heaven was on the moon.

Jesus Christ, I hadn’t even started drinking my coffee yet.

So I scrambled (because in the end all parents know that most life-defining moments sprung on them are flat-out scrambling), and quickly tried to weigh validating his sadness with how much time we could really spend on this if he had to go to school. Also up there is the fact that validating Jack’s anxieties too much might have him spin out completely, and he was already having one hellaciously kind of existential crisis for 7:40 in the morning.

I told him that Lucky had been sick and old, but that he was happy now.  “With Nana’s dog, right?”  Yes.  “Is he with God?”  Ummm… do you think so?  “Yes.”  OK, then he is.  “Are they in heaven?”  Sure.  “What’s God doing with him?”

“Feeding him treats”, Lorelei said, completely unfazed and never turning from the window.

He told me that he knew he needed to calm down before school, but that ‘the tears keep coming out of my eyes’. I pulled over so I could give him a proper hug before dropping him off, but he just seemed miserable; it’s a sad truth that platitudes really are worthless when someone is grieving. And I really wish I knew what had sparked it. My thought is a dream he might have had, with that sucker punch realization thinking about it later that the details are either totally true or completely the opposite of whatever you’d dreamt. Who knows. He couldn’t tell me. I mean, he didn’t even realize Lucky was even missing from the house until a Wii Fit pet roundup produced an AWOL member two weeks ago, two months after Lucky had died. Jack’s mind fascinates me.

In the end he seemed to find some peace when he declared he wanted to write Lucky a letter to send to him in heaven (on the moon). To tell Lucky that he was a good cat, even though he bit sometimes, and that we all hope he feels better from his sickness by taking lots of naps. I told Jack that that was a great idea, and that I loved him as much as anyone could possibly ever love another person.

And that is all I can do.

Don’t EVER let anyone you know assume that all autistics are unable to feel empathy. Ever.

I so had planned to set aside like an hour or so to write a cohesive post, but it ain’t happening. So here’s the list version. I do love me some lists.

1. Got a new p/t job that provides insurance. It’s at a spa that does massage, so part of my training was – I kid you not – to get a 90 minute massage so I can ostensibly provide proper feedback to clients. Sigh. Life is rough sometimes.

2. This song is one of Lorelei’s newest favorites.  She’s a hoot singing and headbobbing in the backseat to it.

2a. This one is a contender for top three of 2009 for me.  Scottish accents and a chorus like that? Yar.

3. Speaking of my sweet, sweet baby girl, she just turned FOUR. FOUR I TELL YOU.

Good Lord I love that girl.

4. Part of her other gift was this, Millie Vanilla:










SO CUTE. And boy howdy is she a sweet one. Reminds me of Lucy, for those that knew her. 🙂

And that’s it for now, I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and stays warm!


I don’t know what to say. For 12 years you rolled with new houses and stupid cats and drooling dogs and loud little tail-yankers, and yet you never changed. You never acted out or punished me or required anything beyond some food, a blanket to drag down the hall between your legs when company was over, and a dripping faucet to drink your never-ending thirst for water that was apparently, years ago, your first diabetic sign.

Oh buddy, I remember when you fit into the palm of my hand, still blind b/c you were abandoned at two weeks and you were so freaking little. You stepped in Meg’s candle and singed half of your whiskers off, and walked funny for a long time after that. You would divebomb people’s heads from the top of the fridge and you were such a colossal shit at first that my roommates set out a sun tea pitcher with a sign on it that said THE LUCKY DE-CLAW AND NEUTER TRUST FUND and I raised, like, 70 bucks with that thing. And you never were very cuddly, but you were loyal. And fat, and cantankerous, and mine. Wholly.

You stuck around longer than half the people in my world currently, and though I keep reminding myself you were just a cat (and know there are people who will never understand caring about, much less BLOGGING about, an event like this), the truth is I am ridiculously sad. Much sadder than I realized I would be. Because in all the years, when everything else in my world could be upside down, you were simply there. And that was so much more comforting than I ever knew.

And now you’re not. And I’m going to miss you something fierce because of it.

So I hope you are in yogurt heaven, sir, with shoes to sleep in and blankets galore. And I hope you pick a new name, because although LuckehLeck was a fun alliteration, it sure was a dumb name. I’ve always regretted it and thought you deserved something more fitting. ..But we also called you Fat Man and Humpy McHumperson, so perhaps you should stick with it.

Bah. You were a damn good cat. RIP my grumpiest old man.


I swear I had full intentions to post something coherent today; I even tried to set aside time this week to do it. But I think this will be if not an epic fail, at least a substantial one. I’m sorry. I’ve got myself a tidy little cold, and the only positive thing about it is that being this stuffed up, the acoustics in my head when I sing are uhhmaaazing. Other than that I’m drinking vitamin C-laced hot water like crazy, and walking around in a tired fog.

Let’s see.. Jack and Lorelei started swim lessons last week. The gal who is teaching them is an older Jewish (I’m guessing) ex-New Yawker (pretty sure about this one) who apparently used to run an autism program somewhere. Whatever, she’s hysterical and the best teacher for my particular knuckleheads. She’s very (on par with the above-mentioned stereotypes) no-nonsense, and you could tell she was smitten with Jack’s eagerness, which, if you remember from last year, is a tremendous 180. I’m pretty stoked.

I’m also stoked because I’m headed on over to Colorado next weekend with the kids and my mom and sister for a short trip and SWEET JEEBUS I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I NEED THIS.

In exciting news, in a few weeks I’ll be moving into the little blue house that sits next door to the house I work out of! My boss’s brother owns the house (but lives in CA), and is giving me a pretty sweet deal on rent. I’m so excited to do this I am almost unable to verbalize it. Really. That big. So if you’re free any weekend in the next couple months, let me know. Best of all I get my beloved, cantankerous old-man cat, Lucky, back. That grumpy old goat has been with me for almost 12 years, and I miss him something fierce. I might bring that stupid Oscar too, but I think it’s funny hearing the stories Jon tells me about him knocking over the Britta pitcher at night. (Heh. I kid, I’ll see if I can bring them both.)

[So, in an ADD look-a-squirrel sidenote, I’ve been singing this song non-stop for a few weeks now. It’s Band of Horses – “The Funeral”, and I was convinced it was a side/new project from the lead singer of Sunny Day Real Estate, but it’s not. I’m curious if anyone else thinks they sound the same, though.]

Hmm… Took the kids to the movie Up this weekend and it was.. erm.. disjointed. Odd, mostly. Predictably sweet because it was Pixar, with one particularly sad part, but meh overall. Ironic since they opened with a montage of all the cool movies they’ve made <<scratches head>>. Moving on to television, I’m officially kind of embarrassed to admit that I’ve been watching the first and second seasons of Friday Night Lights. It’s so soap operaish, with every conceivable after-school special theme possible. First season alone they dealt with underage drinking, underage sex, parapalegics, steroids, rape, infidelity, deadbeat dads, deadbeat moms, Alzheimers and football in Texas, of course. But like a fool, I keep watching. Shrug.

(I’m also reading the book  The Stone Diaries for my book club, so that renews some brain cells, right?)

And, I think that just about sums up everything I could think to talk about at the moment, my brain now officially hurts. But as a last appeal, if you help me move I’ll give you some of my totally-stolen-from-Hippy-Chick spaghetti sauce, because it’s da bomb.


Have a great week, everyone.

So I often add some powdered hot chocolate to my morning jetfuel (Because I’m still a little too I like my sugar with coffee and cream Beastie Boyish, thanks.) and when we have raw goat milk, I’ll add that to it, ala the Big Mac/Diet Coke kind of thinking. Fine. But yesterday, Jack found an old box of Spiderman mac n’ cheese in the pantry –

[Sidenote: Does anyone else think the funky noodle shapes taste different than the regular noodles? How is that?! Why wouldn’t it be the same ingredients as regular noodles, but just stamped into a different mold?!]

– and demanded to eat it for lunch. To assuage some of my guilt I only put in half the cheese packet, and added some ingredients from the fridge in hopes of creating some semblance of health. Ok, great.

So. This morning, after making my delicioso 7-step coffee, I randomly grabbed for the half packet of chocolate left over from yesterday – you know where this is going – and instead dumped the rest of the craptastic powdered cheese into my gloriously oversized mug. Luckily, I noticed I was stirring around BRIGHT ORANGE, and some synapse fired enough to recognize that Houston had a problem.

Alas, the day was not ruined, because making that complicated coffee means we always have a lot left over. And the second go-round was much more smooth. But that still should be a lesson for JON to NOT BUY SPIDERMAN MAC’NCHEESE AT THE STORE. BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EVEN TASTE GOOD ANYWAY.

Let’s see. How is everyone? Things are pretty good here. Oscar is pretty much 100% healed. He has a hella scar running up his belly with staples in it, and I’m considering calling him Zip(per) from now on. Or, Oscar the WonderMoron. Or Economy Stimulus Check. Whichever.

Jon is donating bone marrow next week b/c he is a match for someone, and that is so ridiculously cool. I’m not sure what all it entails, but truly, we should all be so lucky there are people out there who would do something so painful and altruistic. You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.

For those of you who know of my long-standing fascination with the West Memphis Three case, I was directed to this video yesterday that sums it up much more quickly than the two documentaries. Go. Watch. Get involved. I cried yesterday thinking not only of the injustice, but the arbitrariness of HBO getting involved in the first place. It scares me to think of all the other backwoods, backassward trials slipping through the cracks.

That Alex Barton thing I (and eleventybillion other people) wrote about has literally exploded, due to the outrage of the autism community. As per usual I’m slightly irritated that autism is the main reason it caught national attention, but it has opened a huge path for discussion of neurodiversity, which is stupidly overdue. Again (againagainagain), I’m not wholly sure I can be in either camp, but enlightenment is still progress, obviously.

I am digging on this song, big time.

I finished the book Middlesex last week. I think it’s a great choice for everyone; it has a lot of underlying themes that can be discussed thoroughly. Plus, I get the impression that the author might be the type who wrote a cool story but didn’t actually mean for it to be that purposely layered. Who knows. It’s the guy who wrote The Virgin Suicides, and it’s a cool book anyway, despite his goofy jacket picture.

Only 23 days until we leave for Colorado. Hu-freaking-zah, I’m deliriously excited. I hate summer in Kansas.

I think that’s it. Love to all.

And it’s Tuesday, I’m going to do it again. Because other than this being Jack’s last day of school, there just ain’t much happening ’round here.

(I don’t think you want to hear the details of antibiotics, changing wound dressings and force feeding liquified cat food, right? Didn’t think so.)

Here’s to a good day!

He survived.

Nine days, two surgeries, one near-death scare and many many more euros than initially quoted, Oscar is home.

They offered to let me keep the removed thread stored in a baggie.

I said not unless I could use it somehow as a fear-inducing discipline tactic.

She laughed like maybe I was kidding.

I have to post something – despite my dearth of interesting brain cells – to keep you coming back, eh?

1) Oscar is doing alright. He had to have a second surgery and the bill is still trucking uphill, but at this point we’re all-in, so send healthy cat vibes.

2) Props to my momma who got a new job. Huzzah!

3) Jon’s sister Leigh-Erin, and her boyfriend Scott, are in town for our friend Annie’s graduation from Med School. If you need an OB/GYN in New York anytime soon, lemme know and I’ll hook you up with her. She’s wicked smart and is going to kick ass in her field. Lots of fun and going out currently.

4) The following are funny search terms that pointed to my blog (and the posts I think they’re referencing). The others just made me laugh because I don’t get it:

5) Here’s some of The King to dance to this weekend. Have a good one everyone!

Here’s my morning thus far:

Took Jack to a new Ped about an issue that was subsequently referred on to an Endocrinologist. It’s most likely nothing, but I’ll let you know if it becomes something real. This Ped’s an autie mom also, so when she asked me which doctor gave us the dx, I blanked and mumbled something about ‘Dr. Prozac.’ I was momentarily embarrassed until she looked at me and said I know exactly who you’re talking about, he tried to put my daughter on Prozac also. And it was, in fact, the same guy.

That’s both funny and really, really sad.

Also while we were there, the vet called to say Oscar is not recouping as well as he should, so they put him back on IV and drugs [insert image of dollars rolling on a gas pump] which makes me think we should start a pool on the final bill, shall we? (Whatchoo think: five dollar buy-in – winner gets bragging rights along with charity warm fuzzies?)

And, finally, here’s a cartoon that made me giggle, though I realize of the half of you who would even GET the reference, half won’t even think it’s funny. Which leaves me and… uh, Sam? Whatever, I like it.

Happy Monday everyone! Hope all you mamas out there had a great weekend.

So here’s a story:

Remember when I first told you about my sweet little birthday present? And then my interest began to wane, ’bout the time I realized he was sort of a fartknocker? And then finally I gave up hope altogether?


Yesterday, I took Oscar to the vet after a week ( of being obviously unwell. And yeah, yeah, I should have taken him earlier, but he was still jumping on counters and cuddling and drooling all over so I figured he couldn’t be too sick. Whatever.

And what I learned was that that stupid shit had a 36 inch piece of thread somehow attached to the bottom of his tongue (I mean, seriously. Seriously?) which was then, well, threaded (snort) all the way through his body to the very end. To fix it, the vet took X-rays, tried to yank it out, put him under, PERFORMED SURGERY IN MULTIPLE PLACES ALONG HIS STOMACH AND INTESTINAL TRACT and sewed him back up again. All in under two hours.

And all for the low, low price of a grand.


And I know a large number of you are screaming SUCKER! to your screens right now. I hear you. But the thing is, afterwards, when Jon and I talked about it, we agreed that in the end we had to do it for Jack, since he still asks for our cat who died last Spring. Oscar is really his cat, and we just didn’t think it would be fair to him – if we hadn’t chosen the surgery, he would have eventually died from starvation. That just seems cruel to me to be punished for something so.. stupid. Plus, in the end, I am too much of an animal lover. I just couldn’t let him die so arbitrarily.

(Though part of me still wonders if that was Darwinism in action, and trying to intervene was actually in fact messing with God’s design. Too late there, I guess.)

So the moral here? I have no idea. Don’t take in animals. Be a nudist so you have no need for thread in the house. Don’t have a son that looks at you with big brown eyes and asks when his cat’s coming home from the pet doctor.

Have an emergency stupidity fund.

Happy Valentine’s Day, you little fart. Muahahaha.

(Side note: I think it’s a sign of seriously, seriously warped thinking that I saw it will hit 42° today and was excited. A warm streak! …Wait…)

How is everyone today? We’re well enough. We have T-minus one week until we leave, and not a moment too soon. I’m already in preparation mode, but despite the things I am thisclose to forgetting (like a playdate tomorrow and the fact Jack has a school conference today), I realized this week has been quite the media-filled one for me, so I’ll talk about that instead.

First, we have finally tasted the cocaine that is The Wire (pun obviously intended), and are now planning mid-week showings with Brandon, because waiting even a day after the Netflix gods have supplied the goods is just not an option. Those who think I’m being hyperbolic obviously know nothing about need. Fo’ real, the show is amazing. We’re currently DVRing this season, and will get through the first 5(?) seasons as quickly as humanly possible. Crack, yo.

I also finished Running With Scissors earlier in the week, and I am thankful it wasn’t as disturbing as I had feared. I think that’s more the author’s detached-but-obviously-survived voice that makes reading the account manageable. It’s so beyond comprehension that the unemotional narrative lends the reader -or at least me- the ability to choose to distance themselves also, as if it were simply fiction and not a memoir. At any rate, I’m glad I read it, I think life stories are fascinating. (Oh, and I’m almost done with Cholera, and it’s picking up, so that’s a good sign. And for those of you who are internally parenting me with questions about my Bradley work – I have one book report left. Trust me, you’ll know when that’s done.)

I’ve also been drowning myself in new music lately, which has been both overwhelming and very fulfilling. I dig discovering new things to love and add to my impossibly long and contradictory ‘favorite’ list. I tend to be the kind of person who listens to things for like.. weeks.. at a time, then up and moves on. So recently my brain has been a little frantic trying to decide what it wants to perseverate on, ha. That said, Jon bought an album from The Editors (An End Has A Start) and it’s been sort of relieving to listen to it, because it doesn’t bend any comfort levels for me. It’s not amazing, though it’s not bad at all. I’ve said before it’s like Michael Stipe’s less-angsty brother. Anyhoo, I know I’ve posted this song (Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors) before, but I think it’s the best one on the album. Listen, purchase, thank me later.

And that’s about it. Lo took a dive off the stairs while I was brushing my teeth this morning, and looks just awesome with the knot right in the middle of her inherited, gargantuan forehead. Please don’t call CPS, I don’t feel like being flagged for the no-vax thing. 😉 But obviously the drama is not lost on the child, so I imagine she’ll survive.


Needz branes.


Remember when I was all, Please Jon can I have a new cat because they’re so cute and loving and I want one?

Yeah, well, that was the old me.

Also remember when Oscar was so sweet and innocent like this?


Well, that was a lie too. This thing is in full-on cat asshattery mode. He sleeps like a rock then bounds awake and dive bombs your head. He attempts to jump into your lap but claws you when he misses and slides down your legs. He runs in front of you but jukes to the side so you’re either tripping or sending him flying.

He poops in the plant in the corner. And that’s dirty pool. That’s just foul.


See this?


Those books in the background are an attempt to block him out. He stands on the computer tower and drops himself HEADFIRST AND UPSIDE DOWN behind it, so he can utilize all his paws to rip the cords out.


This I can handle.



This I most definitely can not.


(Fool’s gonna have a chilly nap one of these days if he doesn’t stop jumping in there.)

And I really shouldn’t complain. I’ve known for a while that I’m glutton for punishment. Lucy might have been the sweetest and dumbest cat God ever created, by she is not the norm by far. My norm is obnoxious cats who embody Stewie Griffin in feline form; and I am Lois.

But don’t worry: Aside from the fact that this little fartknocker here was free so technically wouldn’t be any financial loss if he ended up on the back porch, I wouldn’t ever do that.

After all, for almost a decade I’ve put up with the devil’s incarnate himself: Fatty Boombatty. And ain’t nothing compares to this beast.


I don’t recommend breaking into our house, in case you had thought about it.

I’m just sayin’..



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