Monday, April 28, 2008

irksome misnomers

Every day I pass a huge yellow sign advertising a "Parade of Homes!" for one of those huge, disgustingly opulent, $900k neighborhoods that no one can afford to populate these days. Apparently, they think that herding people into their egregiously huge houses is going to instantly end the housing slump and allow folks to pretend they're rich once again.

But what really irks me is the term "Parade of Homes". A parade occurs when *you* stand still while floats, bands, political figures, and giant balloons pass by and pelt you with cheap, partially melted candy. In a Parade of Homes, however, the houses stand still while realtors pelt *them* with slackjawed suburbanites whispering, "Honey, that's real granite! And wouldn't the plasma TV go great over that fireplace? We can always borrow against your 401k or Alexis' college fund..." Yikes.

What also cracks me up is that they're pitching "The Estates", a stylish and high-class enclave, using huge, fluorescent signs and balloons. These days, if you can afford a $900k home, you're not driving around Woodstock, GA, following the hand-drawn arrows on really brightly colored signs. They're trying to attract people with money and taste using the same techniques that attract seniors to garage sales and children to birthday parties, and I just can't imagine it's going to work in a world with today's mortgage issues. Gee, I can't imagine why The Estates are empty.

So, yeah, i'm going to go sit on the sidewalk and wait for the Parade of Homes to throw me some light switch covers and fan pulls. That'll happen.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cleo's Artistic Moment


Can I just say that if you are in the Atlanta area and need a photographer for your maternity, family, baby, children, or fashion photos, you should check out Simon Effendi at www.artistic-moments.net? He has captured some amazing moments for our family over the past 3 years.

Here is Cleo's "portfolio". These photos were taken last May and June, when she was around 9 months old. We had a great time at Will's Park for the outdoor images, and the indoor ones were impromptu at a gallery opening, just Simon with a camera.

Simon is wonderful to work with and will collaborate with you regarding setting, props, and poses, and he is great at both providing and accepting ideas. He will come to your home and take advantage of natural light, or you can choose an outdoor setting from gardens to ponds to playgrounds and beyond.

As my good friend Christine reminded me today, "SHE'S ONLY THIS AGE ONCE IN HER WHOLE LIFE", so I'm really excited that we'll be capturing Cleo again this weekend at Smith Plantation and Roswell City Hall.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I must be a man now

It would appear that I have finally overcome, or at least tamped down, my urge to pass out and barf when poked with needles that do not contain ink. They removed 5 tubes of blood from me today, and it was.... easy. No big deal. I just ate an apple and made small talk while the apple juice dripped down my arm. Yes, nosy, they did have to use the "baby butterfly" needle, because I have squiggly veins, not because i'm a coward. Really.

I remember the first time I had blood drawn, when I was 15 and they were investigating the odd circumstances that eventually led to my prolactinate pituitary tumor, aka. ZOMG BRAIN TUMOR!!! This jolly little gay guy build like a banty rooster was joking with my (type O positive, monthly blood-donating, zipper-on-her-veins) mom and trying to make me laugh while he felt for my little, squiggly veins. I was freaking out, digging my nails into mom's hand, teeth grinding. He got the vein, hooked up the tube, and stepped out to get another tube, when the tube popped off.

And my blood started spurting all over the place.

No joke-- it was like a bad horror film or something from Monty Python. It was pumping all over me, and the floor, and I went into hysterics as only a 15 year old girl can. The little dude came running back in, having a hissyfit, got the tubes sorted out, and left again.

At which point my mom and I simultaneously howled, "YOU GET BACK IN HERE!!"

Point being that it took 4 years of thyroid disease and 2 pregnancies, but i'm apparently finally okay with having blood drawn, provided they use a tiny needle made for babies, hit the vein immediately, and don't go prospecting for gold in my left arm.

But I still believe phlebotomists are sadists.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

the reason for the queasin'

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned I only wanted to eat orange and beige foods? And the irrational cupcake cravings? And the absolute fatigue and moodiness I have exhibited over the past 2 weeks?

There's a reason, and it's about 8 weeks along right now and shows up bright and fluttery on the ultrasound machine, thanks to Karla and her Wand of Doom.

That's right-- i'm pregnant with #2!

Yes, part of me feels like a nice little milch cow, but who am I to deny my evolutionary obligations? I am obviously a very fertile woman, and the world could use another Cleo to obsess over bunny poop and motorcycles. But keep your fingers crossed for a boy.

We promise not to name him "Bubba".


Thursday, April 17, 2008

NOM NOM NOM

Cleo apparently speaks lolspeak. Whenever she is pretending that a doll or toy is eating something, she says, "NOM NOM NOM NOM". It's hilarious! But there is a downside.

In the last week, I've been forced to nurse a Star Wars book, a stuffed frog, and a small plastic parrot, all to the happy chorus of nomnomnomnomnom.

I suppose it's the beginning of empathy, understanding that others have needs and requirements, which is great.

But I'm just not big on nursing plastic parrots. Sharp beaks, you know?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I want, I want, I want is what you say...

My friend's daughter enjoys a TV show with extremely catchy songs that are highly relevant to toddlers, and I have so much trouble getting them out of my head. For example:

I want, I want, I want is what you say
When you see a toy you think you want to play (with)
I want, I want, I want is what you say
So a grown-up or a friend knows what you need from them!

Makes sense, right?

Except now that every time I think or hear the words "I want", all I can think about is the song. Right now, I want a cupcake. I crave a cupcake. My body longs to embrace the atoms of cupcakeness and become one with the frosting. But the desire for a cupcake is battling the annoyance of that song, which makes me not as hungry.

Blech. I want to forget that song and eat a freakin' cupcake.

Note: The cupcakes pictured perfectly embody the cupcake I want. Chocolate with fluffy white icing and doodads. Click on the image for a link to www.cupcakemama.com, a Portland bakery that apparently makes outrageously attractive cupcakes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

i find your lack of bowls disturbing

When I plunked down my $9.99 at Wal-Mart, I started out with 8 of everything-- 8 mugs, 8 little bowls, 8 big bowls, 8 saucers, 8 salad plates, 8 enormous American buffet meal plates. And now, 8 years later, I have 3 mugs, 1 little bowl, 2 big bowls, and all 24 plates. Where on earth do they go?

I remember some of the losses. When Craig used a big bowl to catch the water out of the gas tank of his Jaguar. And when that wasn't big enough, he emptied out the cat's litter box and used that. Not a fun night. I remember when Puddin' (RIP, fat boy!) looked me in the eye, said MEOWR, and swiped a mug off the counter, the first of many experiments in gravity. I remember using a small bowl to feed a stray geriatric chihuahua, and when he proved ridden with so many diseases and parasites that it was just kinder to put him down than turn him into a diminutive 6-Thousand-Dollar-Dog, I threw out his water bowl to save us all from the plague. And, of course, last week, when I heard Craig grumbling around the kitchen, followed by a "CRACK", and a pause, and a, "....huh". But the rest just pass into history.

So i'm left with that good ol' American consumerist conundrum: do I cobble together a motley assortment of bowls and mugs from Target or Goodwill, or do I just slap down my $45 at Target for a shiny new box of matching porcelain goodies? As much as I wish I didn't like to buy new things, I must admit that I freakin' LOVE to buy new things. I love unpacking a set of dishes, putting them in the cupboard, getting used to their heft and shiny newness.

Heck, I even remember the first time we got new dishes when I was a kid. We got a black hexagonal set from Target, and I thought it was like a second Christmas. Back then, I didn't really understand how pricing worked, so I thought this was a huge investment, like getting a new TV or pool table.

When I went to buy my first set of dishes in 2000, I was floored at how cheap they were. That whole time, I had thought that dishes were a major investment, and I had been so upset to break anything. But, seriously, $9.99 for 48 dishes. How is that even possible? Dishes are yet another object that are so cheap as to be ridiculously wasteful. I can buy an entire set of dishes, a cupboardfull of porcelain, for less than the cost of one mug from our wedding China. Which makes me wonder who on earth is ripping off people who buy wedding China.

In conclusion, it's so hard to decide when it's appropriate to replace something that is only half gone. Right now, we have 4 Goodwill bowls, 2 chipped Target bowls, 1 lovely Target bowl, and the leftover refugees from that long ago Wal-Mart trip when Craig and I lived on $14,000 a year and buying 2 towels, a Big Mac, and a bag of underwear was a great birthday for him. I waffled over the $9.99 set of dishes-- did we really need them?

And here we are, 8 years, 2 grad degrees, 1 wedding, and 1 baby later, and over half of those dishes are still truckin'. Pretty good investment, huh?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

this is my 100th post!

Wow. 100 posts. That's crazy. Like, if I got paid a penny a post, i'd have a dollar now.

Also, I made my first lolcat, although it's not a cat. You can see it here:
http://mine.icanhascheezburger.com/view.aspx?ciid=951290&contest=jones

I'm just getting warmed up, really. Funniest site ever. Val, you rock.

Sorry for teh lack of funneh, but I am sick and sleepy. Blech.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Boba Fett, bibliophile

Our daughter is an odd bird. She likes motorcycles just as much as dolls and prefers cars to stuffed animals, but she's more into purses and shoes than most women I know. So when she brought Craig this Star Wars book today and pointed at the armored gentleman on the cover, saying, "Helmet?", Craig told her,

"That's Boba Fett".

She repeated, "Bubblevett".

He asked her, "What does Boba Fett do?"

And she responded, "Read".

And he said, "What does he read?"

And she said, "Book".

So, apparently, our 19 month old daughter sees the galaxy's most feared Mandalorian bounty hunter as a studious man, a bibliophile in a helmet.

Apparently, she will be just as much of a dork as we are.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

hungry for orange

Have you ever noticed how when you're sick, you crave foods that are not healthy foods?

The thought of vegetables or fruits is repellent right now. I just want to eat things that are orange. Hideous, fake, fluorescent orange.

I want microwave macaroni and cheese, Cheetos, orange Izze soda, orange juice, and tangerine flavored Jelly Belly jelly beans. The only non-orange things I want are frozen All About Girl Scout Cookies. Just reading this post, i'm disgusted, but that's seriously all I want to eat.

The human body is a freaky, freaky thing.

P.S. I had a dream last night that Craig decided to change his name. To "Dirk Dee Pitt". He was trying to combine Dirk Pitt and Billy Dee Williams so he could be a debonair underwater CSI agent.

Monday, April 7, 2008

the difference between 'good' and 'great'

So i'm sick. I thought it was allergies, but it has settled in for a nasty, mucus-filled roller coaster ride of annoyance. I used to think being sick was a nice rest from the rat race-- stay home, use some PTO, eat lots of Mint Milanos and Cheetos, watch movies, rest and recuperate. With a busy toddler, however, there is no rest. Ever.

But here's the difference between "good" and "great".

The cough syrup I bought for $1.97 has 10mg dextromightymorphin and 100mg gwaferthin.

The Mucinex DM Craig bought for $12 has 60mg dextromightymorphin and 1200mg gwaferthin.

That's 6 times the D thing and 12 times the G thing!! So I can breathe out my nose, which is lovely. I guess sometimes there's a reason to buy real medicine versus nasty, cherry-flavored cough syrup that just puts you to sleep. To get that much D and G out of my cough syrup, it would take 12 servings, by which time I would be seeing purple gorillas on the ceiling and flailing all over the bed covered in Cheeto dust and screaming, "Look, it's Delilah, the sexy Pharaoh Wizard!"

I learned something today: real medicine sometimes works.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

is that suicide, homicide, or porkicide?

I saw the most terrifying thing today over by the mall.

In front of "Famous Dave's BBQ", there was this... thing. Waving at me, enticing me to come enjoy Dave's Famous BBQ and other nasty, fat-ridden fixins.

It was a person...
in a pig suit...
wearing a chef's outfit...
with teeny little person hands.

It did not make me hungry at all. I mean, a person in a pig suit is one thing. We all like to put on big, sweaty, nasty, smelly animal suits every now and then and stand on busy roads waving at people. But then why the chef's outfit? Is this intimating that the pig WANTS to be eaten? And why not have pig hands? The tiny, incongruous person hands sticking out of the big fat pig suit were just creepy. Just soooo creepy.

And what if, underneath it all, there was really a pig in a person suit in the pig suit in the chef suit?

If that doesn't blow your mind, baby, nothing will. So head on down to Famous Dave's today for a BBQ sandwich made of some sort of animal wearing some sort of suit who may or may not have been wanting to be killed and eaten. Or something. Just yuck.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

revenge of scullycat

I suppose it's not technically revenge, since she would have to be revenging *something*, but she certainly did express herself this weekend.

Oh, yeah, our new cat Scully looks like a sweet little mama cat, all petite and purring, but inside, she's a MANIAC. How do I know this?

She ate my plant.

My poor little cosmos plant that I was growing on the windowsill. The first plant I have succeeded in not killing in years, and she ate everything but the bottoms of the stems. It was, like, 8 inches tall! I am upset! What did the cosmos plant ever do to her to deserve such malicious judgment? And I didn't even get to see the freakin' flowers!

She is a feral beast on the prowl who cannot be tamed nor confined. She eats flowers.

I think she's gonna fit in with us juuuuust fine.

Friday, April 4, 2008

an open letter to gymgoers

Dear flabby, pasty, middle-aged guys at my gym,

1. They're machines, not couches. If you're going to sit and sweat on them, do a couple of reps. And if you're going to do several sets, maybe back off for the 4 minutes you rest in between those sets to let someone else use the machines.

2. We know our bellydance class is fascinating, and we don't blame folks for looking at a bunch of chicks in coin skirts hip-shaking around a room to techno-Shakira. But seriously, if you're going to sit on the ab machine for 35 minutes to watch us with your mouth hanging open, at least do a couple of exercises and pretend you're not just a cheap, creepy pervert.

3. Wipe off the cardio machines when you're done. The gym actually provides antibacterial goo and hand towels for this purpose. No one wants to touch your stinky, wet sweat, much less slip on it and break a nose.

Seriously, it's only flabby, pasty, middle-aged white guys who annoy the tar out of me at the gym. What is wrong with you people?

Sheesh.

Oh, P.S. Older women should majorly cut down the perfume usage at the gym. It's really the only place that you're expected to smell bad. It's like Jessica McClintock threw up in there.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

in which I lose teh funny and buy an axe


I've been tracking my blog on Google Analytics, and my readership appears to be down. To those faithful 15, I thank you! To those that have left: I vow to be more funny. Perhaps my 5-minute Battlestar Gallactica show wasn't funny enough. And nobody thought the drunken soulless date was funny. And although I think POOP NOAH is the funniest thing i've ever heard in my life, some may not agree.

So, in the hopes of reviving teh funny, I present you with Craig's 31st birthday present, the
Dragon's Edge Of Wrath Dragon Fantasy Art Replica Axe Wall Decor Collection by Hamilton Collections.

According to the website, "These limited-edition dragon replica axe collectibles are available exclusively from The Hamilton Collection, and each is meticulously handcrafted and hand-painted for thrilling detail. You'll be mesmerized by the mirrored orbs, simulated gems and rich golden touches on these replica axes, and the axe blades that reveal fierce battle in vivid color. But don't wait - this dragon-slaying decor makes dramatic fantasy art keepsakes or collectible dragon lover gifts, and demand is sure to be strong! Order now!"

So, don't get that for Craig on May 5. Because it's already taken.

Fragglestar Smurftastica

Dwight Schrute: Do you watch Battlestar Gallactica?
Partygoer: No...
Dwight Shrute: THEN YOU ARE AN IDIOT.

Which is why i'm kind of embarassed to love BG as much as I do. I didn't want to watch it. I didn't want to like it. I didn't think I *would* like it. But here we are, and i'm so psyched to see it every day that i'm sitting up in bed at midnight, begging Craig to endanger his health and job security by watching just one more episode.

Here is the premise, my version of "A 5 Minute, One-Woman Battlestar Gallactica"

Ahem. Spoiler alert.

Humans built Cylons, a bunch of smart computers. The computers became too smart, we beat them down and sent them away into space. 40 years later, they show up looking like us and perform mass genocide on 12 planets. Approximately 100,000 people survive, having been on interplanetary airplanes at that moment of dooooom. The Secretary of Education becomes the President, the failed Admiral who started the war is in charge of the military, and the greasy little weasel genius that gave a very foxy Cylon the key to mass genocide becomes the national science treasure and eventually the worst President ever. We meet many pilots and main characters that we will be forced to care too much about for way too long, including Starbuck (a chick, not a drink).

Billy dies, Boomer is a Cylon and shoots the Admiral, Starbuck and Helo go back to Caprica and find Sharon, a Cylon copy of Boomer, Helo and Sharon fall in love and Sharon gets pregnant with the first human-Cylon hybrid, which is born, and then the doc says she died, but the President stole her so they Cylons couldn't have her, Starbuck falls in love with a football quarterback named Sam, is imprisoned by Cylons and robbed of an ovary, escapes, crazy things happen on Battlestar Gallactica, they find another Battlestar called Pegasus, they find a habitable planet and call it New Caprica, the Cylons land and take over, the humans escape New Caprica, the Cylons blow it and Pegasus up and steal President Baltar, who has a 3-way with foxy blond Cylon and Warrior Princess Cylon, Apollo gets really fat and then thins up again, the fleet runs out of food and has to eat algae, Chief finds an ancient temple on algae planet and tries to blow it up but can't, the Lucy Lawless Cylon enters the temple and goes loony and is destroyed as a model, Apollo is married to Dualla and Starbuck is married to Sam but Apollo and Starbuck love eachother, so they get in a huge boxing fistfight and bleed all over eachother, Sharon makes Helo kill her so she can be reborn on the Cylon ship and steal back their baby from the Cylons, the President tortures Baltar for information and he thinks he's a Cylon, Chief and Cally get sucked out an airlock.

That about sums it up. And it's totally riveting. Just don't tell anybody how much I love it.

Someone might start to think i'm a dork.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

always fight the zombies

By which I mean, always keep fighting against the enormous, swarming numbers of undead skinbags trying to break down your door and steal your soul.

Or, in this case, telemarketers.

Some frakking jerko telemarketing company has been calling my house at 8am every morning and hanging up before I can get to the phone. I did *69 this morning to get the number, and they are apparently a fake charity organization that claims to give donated clothing to various worthy causes but probably just sells it. They sometimes call themselves "Inspire Atlanta", and their pick-up van is unmarked and yellow, according to people who actually got to talk to them on the phone. If you get a call from 678-405-9636, please, please torture them. I just registered a complaint on the Federal Do Not Call Registry. Because, you know, we asked people not to call.

Anyway, I hate that somehow these jerkos, and apparently an entire undead zombie hoard of jerkos, got our number. We have not donated anything recently, mainly because we don't help anyone who won't send us mail, and they'll never send mail. I often wonder if someone is playing a nasty joke on us, because we're getting a call a day from phony folks wanting our money.

Stupid zombies. My point is this: anyone who calls me before 8am, after 10pm, during Cleo's naps or during a family dinner had better have good old Southern news about a birth or a death, or i'm registering a complaint with the freakin' FCC.