Friday, December 14, 2007

More Random

Note to self:

"Refer" and "Reefer" are two different words. The latter should likely NOT go out on office correspondence, especially that in relation to a public school project.

Damn you, spellcheck!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Welcome to Florida!

My younger son has been learning about world geography in daycare, and today he brought home a small globe. On the drive home he was calling out the names of all the continents he recognized.

Then he moved on to the states.

"Mommy, I'm twying to find Texas, but I can't find it!"

He didn't let that little roadblock deter him from finding other states, though. He continued until...

"Oh wait, hewe's the penis! That's Florida, Mommy!!!"

Yes, ladies and gentlemen:

Welcome to Florida, aka The Dangly Bits of the Nation.

It's a wonder I made it home alive. Do you know how hard it is to drive while desperately trying to choke back gales of laughter?


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Checking In

Yes folks, I'm alive.

The cats are also alive.

The boys? Also alive.

Holiday madness has descended upon us. I'm staring Christmas shopping dead in the eye. I plan to accomplish it during assorted lunch hours capped off by one final, huge weekend spree.

Take no prisoners. That's my motto.

No, I don't like shopping. At all. Well, except if it's at a bookstore, then I can make even the clerks' eyes bug out. Hee.

We're gearing up to get the Christmas tree. I was planning to go this weekend, but I got into a fit of cleaning and would really like this place to look like *I* want it to look, rather than what it became over the final few months of my marriage.

Peace is good. I'm a fan.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all :)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Really Shouldn't Be Permitted Out in Public

Seriously, folks.

In the past six weeks or so I've left my make-up at the house, worn mismatched shoes... what more could I do?

Apparently, I could wear a dress with a paneled skirt, on which two of the panels, unbeknownst to me, had, erm... separated.

For about a foot.

On the back.

Extending a couple of inches above my panty line.

I'm just grateful I was wearing black underwear. Good grief.

So, effectively I've been half-mooning my entire office this morning. I'm currently at home knocking the wrinkles out of my emergency backup outfit and wondering just why they let me run around like that for an entire morning.

Then again? Not so sure I really want to know.

I'm going to start wearing a burqa or something. I swear.


Quick Update

Well, I bombed NaNo. Eh... it's all good though. This probably wasn't the best year for me to attempt it, all things considered, but how would I know unless I tried?

In other news, I am happy to report that I did NOT have to mash the potatoes for Thanksgiving. Hooray!!! Actually, the reason I didn't have to mash them wasn't so fun because from the Friday before Thanksgiving until, uhm, currently ongoing, to be frank, my wrists have been giving me fits. My left one is the one that's annoyed today. But on Thanksgiving week I was wearing braces on both hands, and squishing five pounds of potatoes through a ricer just wasn't going to happen.

I could, however, boil the damned things. So I did, and then I took the potatoes and all associated ingredients over to my parents' house, where my father took care of the ricing and mixing.

Yes, they were good. Yes, I ate WAY too much (many? eh, whatever) of them. But if you can't gorge on turkey day, what fun is it?

That's how I feel about it at any rate.

I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving! And when my brain finally recovers from all the food -- yes, that can take more than a week -- I'll have more to say.

I think.

Monday, November 12, 2007

NaNo Update

Don't ask me my word count. It's embarassing.

The novel (such as it is) is incoherent.

Angel is doubtless doing much better than I am.

Oh well... it's NaNoWriMo. It doesn't matter if it's crap, it only matters that it get written.

So... I'm writing.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

As Promised...

Here's the recipe for the refrigerator mashed potatoes I mentioned in the "Whoops" entry. I've had to transcribe it because my mother sent it to me as an image embedded in a Word document.

No, I have no idea why she did that. But the good news is that as long as Blogger doesn't nuke my archives, I'll now have this recipe a bit more near at hand for all coming years' glut-fests.


Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes

To save vitamin C, boil potatoes in their skins; to save time, pressure-cook. Quickly reheated in the microwave, a portion of these spuds would be delicious for breakfast.

[Note from Amanda: Spuds??? Was the person who wrote this on CRACK??? And obviously this recipe came out way way before the Atkins diet. Anyway, upon re-reading this recipe, y'all need to be warned that I'll be making comments... because I can't help myself. They'll all be italicized and in brackets, like this.]

[Moving along, the ingredients:]

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, 7 or 8 of medium size [Me: just double the recipe; you'll be glad.]
1/2 cup sour cream
1 3 ounce package cream cheese [Me: on what planet does cream cheese come in a 3 ounce package?]
1 teaspoon onion salt [Me: garlic powder also works, and whatever else you'd like.]
1 tablespoon margarine [Me: butter.]
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Boil or pressure-cook potatoes in their skins until tender; drain. Return to the pan in which they were cooked; cover potatoes lightly with a cloth towel and let them dry over the residual heat of the extinguished burner for a few minutes. Peel; mash; add remaining ingredients; beat until light and fluffy. Cool; cover; refrigerate. may be used any time within two weeks. To serve, place in greased baking dish, dot with margarine [Me: use butter. Seriously. Margarine is EVIL.] and heat about 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven or reheat in the microwave.

Yield: 4 cups. 6 servings.


I usually double the recipe, as Thanksgiving and other assorted "let's cram as much down our throats without making ourselves choke" events with my family tend to involve way more than 6 people. Well, that and if I'm going to tick off every bone in my wrist, I'd like to at least have something to show for it at the end of the day, yanno?

And I still want to know where this mysterious three-ounce pack of cream cheese is supposed to come from. Haven't found one yet.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Is Today Monday?

Because I swear it's acting like one.

I do not leave my house without makeup. For me to even go in public without makeup takes an event so mind-bendingly earth-shattering that it would have to rival the '89 San Francisco earthquake in intensity and scope of impact.

THAT is how serious I am about my "spackle."


I've previously confessed that I'm one of those women you'll see at the traffic lights desperately applying her makeup while the light is red. Well, you see, in order for me to accomplish this there has to be one vital component in play.

I have to remember the freaking makeup bag.

Which I somehow didn't manage to do this morning.

Fortunately I did the base/powder/lipstick thing before I left the house this morning (you can hide a multitude of sins with a pair of sunglasses), but I had NO eyeshadow, NO eyeliner, NO mascara, NO blush...


I looked half dead.

Fortunately, I had my emergency backup mascara in my desk.

I still look half dead, but at least I have eyes.


Happy Friday, folks!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A Note on Comments

Okay, I've not had to do this previously, but let me say this: If you're going to critique a blog post of mine or insult me (in either a veiled or straightforward fashion), please at least have the guts to post under your name rather than hiding behind "anonymous."

Folks, I don't care if you like me or you don't, if you agree with me or not, but if you're going to comment here, leave a name. I don't mind leaving on the "anonymous" option for those of you who don't want to bother with a blogger account, but for crying out loud, just sign your comments at least. And if you don't want to sign it, you might want to consider if the comment is worth leaving in the first place.

Just sayin'.


The weather down here in Florida has become downright chilly.

Well, if by "downright chilly" you consider upper-forties to be cold. Which, as a nearly-lifelong Florida native? I do.

I'm down to having only jeans to wear as slacks (more shopping... urrrgh), so I'm stuck with skirts for work on Monday through Thursday. In order to avoid freezing my ankles to death this morning, I actually performed the greatest fashion atrocity known to man:

I wore socks and my closed-toed Birkenstocks with my skirt.

I don't think even the cuteness I have planned for tomorrow is going to make up for this.


Sorry gang, it's been a madhouse around here. It's nearing the end of the year at the office, which means that the bookkeeping is getting atrocious (and my adding machine is about to be kicked against the wall repeatedly), tensions are running high, and in the middle of all this I'm supposed to be panicking about Christmas shopping as well as what in the world I'm supposed to take to my mother's house for Thanksgiving.


I'm fairly certain my Thanksgiving contribution will be mashed potatoes. Again. Because nobody else is fool enough to volunteer for that job, as these aren't just any mashed potatoes, but a certain kind known as "refrigerator mashed potatoes" which are so-named not because they're served cold (they're not -- they're heated) but because they can be stored in the fridge for a number of days prior to the actual event for which they've been prepared.

I think it's something to do with the cream cheese, sour cream, and butter in them, but I wouldn't put money on it. Five pounds of potatoes to boil then smash into an unrecognizable pulp with the potato ricer prior to mixing in all the other goodies. Oish. It's a wonder I can lift my arms the next day, but they're good. Worth it.

I'll post the recipe sometime. It's around... uhm... somewhere. I'm quite sure of it.

(Note to self: call Mom and get the recipe AGAIN... just like every other year)


In other news, the Chantix and I have reached an uneasy truce wherein I eat before taking it so it doesn't make me want to throw up, and in return it sucks all the joy out of smoking for me.

Yes, kids, I'm nicotine-free. Grudgingly, and with much whining, but I'm there.

Why quit when I'm whiny about it? Well, to be quite honest, I never will NOT be whiny about giving up my vices. I'll do it, but I will bitch and moan, dammit.

I love my Diet Coke and y'all should have heard me when I was pregnant with the boys. My midwife with the younger child especially was concerned about all the chemicals in Diet Coke. She'd have preferred I drink an entire pot of coffee twice a day than suck down even one of my wonderful, refreshing, chemically-altered-beyond-all-recognition carbonated beverages.

Problem is, a sure sign of gestation for me is that I develop an incredible loathing for coffee. The smell of it in bean form, ground form, or brewing is still fine (stuff's like potpourri for me, seriously). But the taste of it? Oh man, just kill me now. Simply Does. Not. Work. Not when I'm pregnant, anyway.

Needless to say, for a few months there? Amanda equaled Whiny.

And now that I'm done reproducing they will have to pry my Diet Coke out of my cold, dead fingers before I give it up. I don't require much in life, but I would like to hang on to at least one little vice. Just one.

But anyway, why quit smoking? Because I'm kind of fond of this whole living thing, and smoking has a bad habit of shortening that experience. Also, it interferes with my breathing hobby. And it's a craptastic example for the kids (well, that and they've been lecturing me about it mercilessly).

The yellow stains have almost faded completely from my fingers. Awesome.


So anyway, that's what I've been up to for the past almost-two-weeks. That and doing the Halloween stuff with the boys. The elder was Anakin Skywalker and the younger was a knight. He looked alot like a gladiator, but believe me, that child was a KNIGHT.

Just ask him.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Things I Can Do in a Kid-Free House

1 - Stay up ridiculously late blogging.

2 - Practice the piano at an ungodly hour of the night.

3 - Realize that after 1:00 a.m.? My playing sucks more than usual. And that likely my fingernails are a bit long.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Alphabet Meme

Well, Scott over at Forging Iron Man tagged me with this meme, I believe partly in response to my shameless meme-begging. MBA from Addicted to Medblogs also gave me a ton of memes from which to choose, so really, if I don't post?

I have no excuse.

The instructions say that each player starts with some random facts/habits about himself/herself, starting with the letter "A" and working through the alphabet. As you are tagged you need to post the rules and your responses on your own blog. At the end of your post, you need to choose some people to tag, list their names and, of course, leave them a comment, telling they have been tagged and they need to read your blog for more information.

Hmmm... okay, so here goes.

A - It's cheating to say Amanda, isn't it? Sheesh... okay, okay...
No, actually I'm sticking with it unless something better comes to mind.

B - Blogger. This is likely also cheating, but I've been staring at this letter long enough. Although I'll admit that "Bite me" is one of my favorite comebacks... and pretty much signifies that I can't come up with any better retort.

C - California. It's where I was born. Also C for Chantix, which I'm on again.

D - Divorcing. Yep, I'm still with the very boring "stuff you likely already know" theme.

E - E-mail. This would be what you should send me if you want access to the link directly above.

F - Food. I'm a fan :)

G - Goofy. Because occasionally, I'm a huge goof. But I'm good with that.

H - Hurry hurry hurry! That would be the morning refrain around here.

I - Intelligent. Relatively. Okay, I'm fairly certain my brain cells have at least met.

J - Juveniles. Two of them live in my house.

K - Dammit, I already used this one on the "J" item. K... K... Klutz! Heh... how could I forget this? I guess I haven't nailed any door jambs recently. Having said that, of course, I'll walk into every piece of furniture I own tonight.

L - Library. I think I could open one with all the books I have here.

M - "M-o-o-o-o-m!!!!!!!!!" The way "Mom" is pronounced in my house on certain occasions. Okay, several.

N - NaNoWriMo. I'm in this year -- are you? Obviously a talent for writing in a clear, concise, cohesive manner isn't a requirement. Nor is the ability to write believable dialogue. Plot bunnies, however, are essential.

O - Opinionated... me? Surely you jest.

P - Pink.

Q - Queen of All I Survey. Naturally, this is a rather small realm as my vision without glasses is rather poor.

R - Rantalicious. At times? Youbetcha.

S - Sarcasm is just one more service we offer. I generally try not to be cutting with mine, though. Words can wound as surely as weapons... and are more insidious, as the damage isn't readily apparent.

T - Torture. What I experienced today as I sat and burned through piles of adding machine tape while bonding with the books at work. Those books and that same damned adding machine came home with me. Bleah.

U - Unbelievable. What??? That I brought work home? The kids aren't here, like I have anything else to do?

V - Visitation. Yeah, speaking of the kids not being home... they're with their father. I'm trying to figure out the whole "What do I do in a kid-free house?" thing. Obviously, I'm being so productive, working on the books from the office (eyeroll).

W - Work. What I should be doing right now. But it's Friday night, for pity's sake! Feh.

X - Xanth. One of my favorite fantasy realms. Piers Anthony rocks.

Y - Yawn. What most of my poor readers will be doing trying to plow their way through this thing.

Z - Zzzzzzs.... which are something I will actually catch some of tonight and tomorrow morning as no short people will be bouncing on my bed at 6:00 a.m.

I think I can live with that.

I'm not tagging anyone. I'm sure this comes as a huge shock.

An Open Letter to the Person Who Pours the Coffee at Dunkin Donuts

Dear Person Who Poured My Coffee This Morning at Dunkin Donuts,

One extra large coffee, black.

This is not a difficult order. You grab the cup, dump in some coffee, put on the lid, and poof, you're done!

Things you do not do would include a) add cream, or b) add sugar.

If I wanted these items, I would not have ordered my coffee, say, black.

My order really makes your job much easier. Just give me the damned black coffee next time, okay?

Undercaffeinatedly yours,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Meme Beg

Okay folks, I'm going to be really pitiful here and beg for a memeing.

Yes, I *want* to be meme'd. I have absolutely nothing, and I mean NOTHING original to say that can go in this blog at this point, but I have to write SOMETHING, dammit! I can't stand sitting here watching this thing just languish.

So please, brothers and sisters, can you spare a girl a meme?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wearing Pink

Today I'm wearing pink.

My mother just got home from a trip to the funeral of a friend today... one she's had since back in junior high. Peggy left behind a husband, two daughters, and a grandchild.

She died from a recurrence of breast cancer.

Today as my mother mourned her friend, I mourned Wendi.... a friend from back in junior high who died this past March. She left behind her mother, sister, grandfather, husband, and three children under the age of five.

She died from a recurrence of breast cancer.

As all of you whose heads aren't stuck in the sand know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Please, women, go get those girls checked. And men, please remind the women you love to do the same.

So today, I'm wearing pink.

Tomorrow my husband moves out of our house.

And Tuesday I will quit smoking.


Life is worth it.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I hate my car.

The air conditioning isn't running worth a flip, it idles at over 2000 RPMs, and today I got very close, personal proof that the hydraulic thingies on the trunk lid aren't fully functional anymore.

Damned thing landed on my upper back, right between my shoulder blades.

My brain's fuzzy, a migraine is looming... so yeah.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cranky? Eh, Not So Much...

The hormonally based rant will have to wait because I went and got in a good mood again. Sorry to disappoint.

Well, not really.

But I'm relatively certain I'll be in a foul temper at some point this week, so I'll spew then.


Angel and I went out to lunch today. Our plan was to go to this Thai place yesterday but one of her evil headaches whapped her upside the... well, the head (ouch, even typing that hurt), so we rescheduled for today.

The food was good. The company was even better.

And then right when I got into the car for the drive back to the office, Nickelback's If Everyone Cared came on the radio.

"Singing Amen, I, I'm alive."

Damned straight. And happy to be this way.

Krispy Kreme

Next town over has a Krispy Kreme shop. I know this because the sadistic folks at my local news channel just tormented me with an entire segment on the KK's grand opening.

Us? NO freaking Krispy Kreme.


(yeah, I'm cranky and hormonal... more on that later, as work permits)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

To lighten things up a bit, the 2007 winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest have been announced (hat tip to Matt G.).

If you haven't heard of this contest before, bear in mind that the subtitle on the main page is "Where 'WWW' Means 'Wretched Writers Welcome'."

This year's winning entry, by Jim Gleeson of Madison, Wisconsin, is quite lovely:

"Gerald began--but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them "permanently" meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash--to pee."

Continue to the 2007 results page to read more interestingly worded opening lines.

And yes, I know some of my sentence structure would do well there. :P

That Whole Smoking Thing

Think I'm going to try the stupid gum again rather than the Chantix. I just can't handle the Chantix insanity with everything else that's going on.

Don't worry, you won't be missing the "Amanda's Freakishly Weird Dreams" posts. Those get plenty freaky if I fall asleep with a piece of Nicorette in my mouth.

God, I hate this crap.

(I'm having a lovely day... can you tell?)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

More Blogthingies

Because I'm killing time before going out to lunch with my sister (and because online quizzes are totally addictive), here are more scores to more tests I took linked from the "Name That Disease" quiz.

First, I just wanted to let you know that on the open market at, I'm worth 2.05 million. Apparently the fact that I'm not (yet) blonde, not male, and am creeping up on forty nuked my score somewhat.

I am, however, relatively bright it would appear:
How smart are you? - Intelligence Test

And apparently highly delusional, considering the current state of my life:
    67/100Rate My - Find out if you suck at life

I'm not entirely certain what conclusions can be drawn from this... humph.

Name That Disease

Becuase I saw this on both Babs's and AD's blogs, and am admittedly a total lemming when it comes to crap like this, here are my results: - Test your disease knowledge

Not bad for a chick whose last biology class was nearly twenty years ago.

Friday, October 05, 2007

One More Thing...

I am so embarassed. Truly.

Y'all, thank you so very much for all your support in my "Changes" post. It really meant alot to me. In fact, I can't begin to tell you just how much.

You all are so appreciated...

Dang, stupid teary eyes.

Now someone crack a joke or something, willya?

Seriously... you people are the best.

Seven Random Facts

Well, since I've been good and depressing today, let's try to lighten things up just a tad, shall we?

I can't be as interesting as AD was with this... but I'll give it a shot.

1. I am, shamefully, one of those women you see rapidly applying their make-up at traffic lights during the morning commute. Yep, that'd be me, mascara wand in hand, one eye on the mirror, the other eye on the traffic light or, failing that, the bumper of the vehicle directly in front of me.

It's either that or I don't have enough time to adjust the delicate caffeine-to-blood ratio in my body.

You wouldn't like me undercaffeinated. It's ugly.

2. I'm also apparently somewhat absent minded. This past Monday I couldn't find my make-up bag (I'd left it in by the computer where I'd needed to use the eyeliner sharpener to sharpen one of the Elder son's pencils -- I am a GOOD mother, dangit) and got terribly flustered and upset, likely exacerbated by the interesting emotional state in which I'm currently residing.

Anyway, I put on my shoes and left the house sans make-up. We reached the Elder son's school and the Younger and I walked him all the way across campus to the on-site daycare, then went back to the car. When we arrived at Ms. P's place, I looked down at the ground before getting out of the car...

... and saw I'd managed to put one blue sandal with a toe loop on the left foot, and one brown sandle with horizontal straps on the right foot.

Not only were they not the same color, they weren't even the same style, and I didn't even notice during the trek across campus some 15 minutes earlier.

Sheesh. So anyway, got to work, gave the guys a laugh, went home, found the make-up bag and the other brown sandal, then went back to the office.

Where the boys were still giggling.

3. I was given the "Megaphone Mouth" award every year in Junior High Orchestra by my conductor.

I might have been the slightest bit chatty. Possibly. Perhaps.

4. Although I'm still pretty talkative in my blog (well, in more normal circumstances I am) and in other other online venues, in real life I tend to be pretty quiet. Until I get to know you? Prying more than one word at a time out if me is going to be a bit difficult.

On the flip side, once I do get to know you, I don't shut up.


Well, maybe to sleep.

5. Speaking of sleep, my family used to go on family vacations every summer as I was growing up. As soon as we'd stop driving for the day (five people in a station wagon -- my parents are wonderful, yet mildly sadistic), we'd eat dinner then hit the hotel room to crash out.

My mother and I would always race for the beds and try to go to sleep first, because if we were awake when any of the others fell asleep we were in for a long orchestral production in which the performers were my father, my brother, and my sister.

My father snored. LOUDLY.

My brother ground his teeth. LOUDLY.

My little sister talked in her sleep. With great clarity, I might add.

One of her roommates in college apparently took notes and would read them back to my sister in the morning. By all reports it was quite enlightening.

6. I hate to drive. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I was nearly eighteen years old before I got my license.

And in the first four years I had that license? I was in four rear-end collisions.

Three of which were my fault.

One was into the rear end of a semi.

So, yeah. Hate driving.

7. I have periodically put a picture of myself up in the sidebar here, then freaked and took it down post-haste.

Okay, that's about it (plus it's nearly 4:30 here and I need to be thinking about shutting down and running out the door). I won't tag anyone specific, but if anyone wants to go ahead and play, please do so!

Happy Friday, y'all :)


Herman and Rosa Rosenblat, be blessed.

From Babs's blog.

Thanks for posting that, girl. I needed it.

Well, duh ;)

Please Pardon Me While I Have a Moment Here...

Hallelujah, by Jeff Buckley

I heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord,
But you don't really care for music, do you?

Well it goes like this:
the fourth,
the fith,
The minor fall and the major lift;
The baffled king composing "Hallelujah."

Hallelujah... hallelujah...
Hallelujah... hallelujah...

Well your faith was strong but you needed proof.
You saw her bathing on the rooof.
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you.

She tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne
And she cut your hair,
And from your lips she drew the hallelujah.

Hallelujah... hallelujah...
Hallelujah... hallelujah...

Baby, I've been here before.
I've seen this room
And I've walked this floor.
I used to live alone before I knew you.

I've seen your flag on the marble arch,
But love is not a victory march.
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah.

Hallelujah... hallelujah...
Hallelujah... hallelujah...

Well there was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below;
But now you never show that to me do you?

But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too,
And every breath we drew was hallelujah.

Well maybe there's a God above,
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.

It's not a cry that you hear at night.
It's not sombody who's seen the light.
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah.

Hallelujah... hallelujah...
Hallelujah... hallelujah...

Thanks, y'all. It was one of those cathartic needed-a-good-cry kind of things.

Now that little depressing bit is done, I'm going to find some stream somewhere on the web where it's All Nickelback All the Time. Or Alice Cooper's Poison.

That ought to take the edge off.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I'm going to try to be back here now, at least to some extent. I just haven't felt much like writing recently. There has been very little humorous going on in my life of late.

My husband and I are separating after nine years of marriage. We will be getting a divorce.

I'm not going into the whys and the wherefores here. It's a private matter. Suffice it to say it is the correct move.

So now I'm on the divorce diet (consisting of coffee, cigarettes, and crap), which has already dropped me down another nine pounds from the last time I mentioned my weight (147 current), and is likely going to knock me down a few more until I get back on the quitting smoking wagon.

Oh heck yeah, I'm smoking right now. Like a bloody fiend. Fortunately, I know I can quit and the Elder offspring is nagging me mercilessly.

No more mercilessly than I'm nagging myself, I assure all of you. I'll be back on the Chantix before the end of the year and get this stuff over and done with once and for all.

So anyway, there you all have it, in all its Reader's Digest Condensed Version glory.

My sense of humor will return. It makes the odd peek out here and there even now, and when something mildly amusing strikes me I'll be sure to put it up here lest y'all think I've keeled over or something.

For now, the good things in life are a) that it's Friday, and b) that it's payday.

Can't ask for much more than that regardless of one's life situation, now can you?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blog Silence

Guys, I'll be going out of the blogosphere for a bit. There are things in my actual non-writing life that have to be taken care of.

I'm reachable by e-mail (on the sidebar).

Take care. I'll be back.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fracking Rain

So here I am, about to run to the bank with a deposit (okay, and to put some gas in the car because it's embarassingly near empty).

So of course it starts raining.


Oh well, atleast it's Friday. Thank God.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

She Lives!!!!

Yes, guys, I'm still here. Sorry for the obscene delay in posting.

I do still have a real life (Scott, I'm fine!), and have had major hecticness abounding. My husband has a bit of a gout issue and this week he had a dreadful flare-up which resulted in him being almost unable to walk even on crutches.

See, if you have one foot all nicely flared up, then go and whack your good foot into the step-stool in the kids' bathroom? It kind of messes things up.


Anyway, he does appear to be on the road to recovery with his gout, which is a good thing.

But then his computer crashed out yesterday to a rather revolting extreme. He can't get anything to work, and even with the DOS stuff he brings up -- please note my incredible mastery of technical terminology -- he can't toggle/ arrow over to anything. So, frustration abounds and is not aided by the fact that he's now using my beloved pretty pretty shiny shiny laptop for Second Life while trying to figure out how best to beat his computer back into shape.

If he pours coffee into my keyboard, I will not be held responsible for my reaction. And there isn't a jury of my peers out there who'd convict me.

This would be one reason why virtual coffee has its benefits, although I'll admit to the tiniest addiction to the actual real world java (all hail the Goddess Caffeina!). As a sign-off, I'll put in this picture of me in my lovely duckie jammies, one of a ridiculous number of pairs which I own in SL, and which I wear to drink my virtual coffee.

Oh, and AYC, please e-mail me (it's on the sidebar) and tell me your avatar's name if you'd like to get in touch in-world, okay? I have some landmarks and other stuff I can dump over your way. Let me know!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Entering Second Life

Well, I'd promised Dr. A I'd blog a bit about Second Life, so I'll make an attempt.

First of all, it's very strange to be doing this from my real life blog. I have a Blogger account name for my avatar, but the blog is blank.

And pink.


Plus, in general I like to keep my Second Life and real life kind of separate. They're going to overlap some, of course. I mean, it's not as if I can be in-world and ignore the children or cats, so the meld kind of just happens for me to some extent.

Note: My husband, however, has incredible skills in this area (although to be fair, he did manage to tear himself off-world yesterday and scoop the litter boxes before I came home, God bless him). It must be some component of that compartmentalization ability guys have?

Anyway regarding the overlap, some of you might have noticed a new commentor, Tycho Beresford, who may appear more familiar with me than most new commentors. That would be because, well, when you've been in a virtual bar in virtual Dublin dancing several nights away with dozens of other avatars bearing rave sticks and other assorted accessories? You kind of get to know each other. He was interested in the etymology of my avatar's last name, and my blog came up during his search. Oops.

So after much thought, you'll notice I edited that post so my Second Life name doesn't appear anymore. Tycho finding me is one thing. Some of the whack jobs out there in the real world who are also in-world? Quite another story.

But Tycho's good peoples.

Moving along now, as I've mentioned here before, sometimes work gets slow. Really, very, painfully slow. As in screaming "move clock, MOVE!" slow. So to occupy time after I've exhausted all the official time-killing duties like cleaning, dusting, sweeping, and so forth, I generally cruise the 'net.

Well, one day I came across an article about Second Life. The concept of a virtual 3-D world intrigued me. I volunteered with an online service provider for five years in a live text-chat environment, and the Second Life interface appeared to be the next step up the evolutionary ladder.

This is nothing like AOL, y'all.

Well, except for the lag. But to dance there? I can live with it.

This was taken by Tycho at Fibber Magee's Nightclub in SL Dublin. I'm the one in the red shirt. And that stomach isn't half bad for a girl who's gone through forty-one-and-a-half weeks of pregnancy twice, eh?


More pictures as Tycho's kindness or my initiative permits.

Things I Would Say at Work if I Could

1. Okay. Look at the clock. See what time it says?

Yes, it says 12:40.

I know, I know, I'm asking for this by sitting at my desk, but the fact that I was here at 7:50 and won't leave until 5:00 would appear to indicate that I in some way might be having lunch, as it's between noon and 1:00.

As might the sandwich I'm chewing quickly and am about to choke on so I can answer your completely non-essential question.

2. When the copier is out of paper? You, too, can load it!

Really, I'm not so stuck on my job of running all the administrative stuff around here that I need to be consulted for the merest paper change.

Especially when I'm trying to get your timesheets faxed in so you can get paid, and oh, trying to pay the office's bills so we have enough power to RUN the copier.

You don't need to come up here, say, "I think the copier is out of paper," and then admit how you didn't even bother to open the paper bin and freaking check.

Slide open the drawer. Insert one ream of paper (yes, please unwrap it first). Close the drawer. When the copier says "Ready"? Presto! You're good to go.

3. When I say I don't know what the partners will say about your potential overtime charge? It means this:

I. Do. Not. Know.


Standing at my desk (during lunch, yet again) and re-explaining the situation repeatedly (while I'm trying to eat and am not getting paid to listen to you) isn't going to get you any answer other than the aforementioned, along with a suggestion you consult someone who's actually authorized to speak to you about these matters.

Just because I'm related to one of them by an accident of birth doesn't mean they share much at all with me. Employment agreements are not within my knowledge base; they are confidential agreements with the owners of the firm.

Of which I am NOT one.


4. And for vendors I'm calling about an error on our office credit card statement, please note that when I say we didn't make any trips to the Dominican Republic and made no reservations there; and in fact, already declined this charge when called by the reservations website and CANCELLED the card??

I probably don't have a reservation number.

Because We. Didn't. Make. A. Reservation.

You. Twits.

Now all this said, yes, YES I'm still PMSsy if there were any doubt. I keep it out of my work life and just about out of everywhere except this blog. I consider it a poor excuse for bitchy behavior, quite honestly. My family, co-workers and friends of all sorts deserve better than Amanda on a Hormonal Rampage.

But I have to vent somewhere. And stupid people piss me off, especially when I'm in a compromised state.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Note to Self:

When getting dressed in the morning, Amanda, it would be a really good idea if you'd find a pair of pants that actually, say, fits, rather than putting on one of the pairs you bought and have been wearing for twenty pounds.

Because then? You wouldn't be worried they'd fall down around your ankles.

At work.

With witnesses.


Your Brain

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Years Later

I swore I wasn't going to do one of these posts. You know, the whole "September 11th, our lives will never be the same," blah, blah, blah type posts.

But as I was sitting in my car today running an errand from work, Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American" came on the radio, prefaced by part of Dubbya's Post 9/11 speech. Now I don't talk politics much, but y'all know I'm not a huge fan of the shrub. However, in the days following September 11, 2001, our president truly rose to the occasion.

The lines from his speech coupled with the song and my admittedly hormonally compromised state, which resulted in me bawling like a baby at a traffic light.

Because I do love my country. I mourn the innocence that has passed from our nation. And I am saddened by the feeling of insecurity that still pervades our society six years afterward.

And as would be with any war, I'm heartbroken by the atrocities committed by every side.

But we're still here. And this is my country, dammit.

God Bless the U.S.A.


Y'all, when I get old, would you please remind me that I might, perhaps move a bit more slowly than the current frenetic pace I employ?

And that, as a slower-moving individual, occasionally there will those in a great hurry behind me?

Ergo, I should not a) block the entire freaking aisle in the store chattering with my similarly movement-impaired friend, and b) should I forget that, when someone politely says "Excuse me?" as I'm blocking the aisle, I shouldn't freaking GLARE AT THEM???

And why yes, I'm PMSsy. I have no idea how you figured that out.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

And Now for Something Completely Different

Yesterday morning, 7:05 a.m.

I'm innocently getting my purse and keys together. The boys are dressed, the cats are fed, the husband is up. Suddenly . . .

Me: OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Son: What happened, mama?

Me: Patrick BIT me! On the big toe!

Elder Son: Oh, he's being a bad kitty!

Me: He's being a little sh...

Me (still): ...ugarpants.

Elder Son: You were going to say "shit."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Amanda Gets Meme'd -- Vol. 2

Ah, finally at LAST Medblog Addict has posted my latest memeing. It's called the AMEX meme, and really, is pretty freaking atrocious.

Which is precisely what I deserve for having questioned her womanhood.

So.... onward!

My Name:

You know, I got my hair re-done this weekend and I'm having a bit of a blonde mome... wait, wait, it's coming to me!

. . .

Crap. Lost it again.

(seriously folks, look UP at the url!)

Childhood Ambition:

To learn how to fly (not in an airplane, but "fly like a bird" style).

Failing that, I wanted to be a nurse. Or a ballerina.

I live out part of this through medblogs, obviously. The other part (ballerina) simply wasn't meant to be. Birkenstocks, y'all. Wide, flat, FIRM foundation necessary under me.

Toe shoes wouldn't have cut it.


Uhm, does this mean my favorite soundtrack, or the soundtrack of my life?

My favorite soundtracks, personally, generally are from musicals like Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, and Cats (I have a tiny fixation with Andrew Lloyd Weber . . . sorry any fans of "real" music out there who disapprove). Disney-wise it would be from Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.

The soundtrack of my life is a mixture of Jimmy Buffett, Billy Joel, Loreena McKennitt, Natalie Merchant, Meredith Brooks, Bach, and Mozart. The ratio of each artist to the others varies, depending.


I get huge idiot points for this if I say Second Life, don't I? But seriously folks, no laundry, no cooking, no vermin except those which you deliberately purchase and place in your thatch-roofed cottage (I did NOT buy a mouse, thankyouverymuch).

Plus, even when I've retreated into Second Life, it isn't hard for me to both do that and simultaneously take care of the kids and husband (who's also in-world). If I actually ran off to Tibet, that could be an issue.

And I have a sneaking suspicion it might annoy my husband.

Wildest Dream:

Anything I've had while taking Chantix, and I believe I've shared enough of those here.

Oh, you mean "what in my wildest dreams?"

Heh. Sorry, not here.

Proudest Moment:

Realizing I finally, FINALLY look like my favorite picture of myself from ten years ago once again.

Okay, my hair was darker (much)... but I finally feel like I'm me again. Whew.

Biggest Challenge:

Outside of making sure the spousal unit's and my sons turn out to be reasonable humans? I'd say the biggest challenge I face/faced was accomplishing the item directly above.

Alarm Clock:

Beaten regularly.

Perfect Day:

My birthday earlier this year (see April 2007 entries).


Shopping (still need new jeans... arrrgh). And the hair color.

My husband said, after my trip this past Saturday, "Can't you just do that at home?"

You know, because my goal in life is to try to apply base color to my hair with two small boys looking on and commenting on the process, get that done, THEN apply highlights.

In the same spots.

Every time.

With said offspring in attendance.

"Well, honey, I could, but it's difficult to get the streaks right and since my hair's already processed it might turn green if I switched products..."

That particular line of conversation was dropped post-haste.

Last Purchase:

Well, it's about to be a new a/c unit for the computer room at home. The old one has this ominous rattling noise going on, and is not reliable in turning on the compressor. This is not how I meant to spend my bonus. Oh well.

Favorite Movie:

The Princess Bride and Legally Blonde are tied for first place.

Go ahead. Laugh.


My children. Their brilliance amazes me and their innocence humbles me.

My life is:

Much less sucktastic than it would have been if I'd stayed in a profession where I couldn't eat bon-bons and play on the computer each day (TM Medblog Addict).

My card is:

NOT American Express.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Bad Blogger.... BAD!

Hiya, everyone!

I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post. I had excellent intentions of course, but I somehow permitted myself to be sucked into Second Life headfirst.

I strongly suspect that I'm addicted.

That said, there are worse things I could be addicted to (cigarettes, anyone?), so I actually can live quite nicely with my little dependency on Second Life.

In other news, I am still awaiting my Monday Memeing from Addicted to Medblogs. Has it happened yet? NO, it has NOT. ATM, I await your post with great impatience.

The final news item I'd like to share before my lunch hour is over and I need to put on my "Bloggers Do it at Work" shirt (TM Doctor's Girl), is that the mint tingle condom?

Is gone.

. . . and Amanda wanders off, smiling innocently . . .

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Answers to Your Burning Questions

Okay, ready for the answers, kids?

1. True.

My sister was the big picky eater in the family. For years she would eat nothing but hot dogs or chicken nuggets. That said, she's now a major foodie, so all the moms out there worrying that your child will be 40 and still eating only PBJ? You're likely safe.

2. Also true!

I work in a male-dominated field, y'all. And although there are four women at work including me, the rest of them are glamazons and are 5'9" or so.

I'm a freaking shrimp. It's very disconcerting, as I know I'm taller than the average American woman.

3. True again.

I work with sick, sick people, y'all. Heh.

4. I already said this one was true in comments below :)

5. TZ, hate to tell you, but.... true again! I swear, I laughed so hard when I got your comment. This is really too funny!

6. Okay, this one was false. Although I'm sure the skeletons of countless small vermin litter our storage room, we don't have a replica of a human skeleton in it.

Couches? Yes. Filing cabinets? Yes. Spare beds from various staff members' homes they no longer have room for? Yes.

But no skeletons.

7. Obviously, this one was also true.

(And it's still unused. Dammit.)

8. And again, this one, sadly, is true. It's a point to all you commentors that no one said number eight had to be false!

Yes, my nerdiness has firmly established itself. It's good to know..... hee.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Eight (More) Things About Me

I'll be answering ATM's meme when I get a few minutes. Check back!

Okay, here I am. I got most of the bills ready for The Great Bill Paying Frenzy at the end of the month, so I'm available to meme.

If anyone here doesn't read Addicted to Medblogs, first of all, you were waiting for what, like an engraved invitation? Go, go ahead, get yourself over there and read her stuff!

That said, this is the first in ATM's series of posts entitled "Amanda Gets Meme'd", due to the fact that I simply couldn't remember (for the tiniest period of time) whether ATM had outwardly identified herself as female or not.

Of course, this memory lapse occurred while I was posting.

And I mentioned it.


SOooooooo.... every Monday or Tuesday, ATM is going to "meme" me. And I shall, of course, respond.

First up, as noted by the new-and-improved post title, is the infamous "Eight Things About Me" meme. However, this is with a twist: I will list eight things about myself, but one of them will be false. Have fun guessing which one! :)

1. Back when I was a teenager and we went up into Canada on vacation, my little sister refused to eat at McDonald's because it was "foreign food."

Okay, that one's not so much about me, but it really cracks me up.

2. At a mere 5'-7" in height, I'm the shortest person in my office.

3. My bosses have decorated my desk with one tiny dried frog corpse and one tiny not-quite-mummified lizard corpse.

4. I have finally reached my pre-pregnancy weight!

So it's four/five years later... so what? Only six more to go until 150, baby. WooHOO!

5. I stutter. Not always, but enough so that it's obnoxious (say, when I'm on the intercom in the office, or using "all-call", worse yet).

6. The storage room here at the office has stored in it, among other things, a replica of a human skeleton.

7. There is one "mint tingle" condom left at our house.

And it better get used soon...

Finally, last but not least:

8. My avatar has purchased a house and land in Second Life. Yes, I am that huge a dork.


(handing a marked-up report back to its originator)

Me: I need you to translate this for me.

Boss: Huh?

Me: Runic script went out quite awhile back.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Speaking of "Busted"


I appear to have used my elder son's actual name in the below post. It slipped my notice until now, which means this is already on everyone's feed (those who have it) and is likely already cached somewhere.

Well, fortunately, my kids have very common first names, so it's not giving up much. The four-year-old is Nicholas, a.k.a. "Nicky", by the way.

I'll likely keep referring to them as the Elder and the Younger, though. For consistency's sake if nothing else.


On just one more "amusing things my younger son has said" note, Ms. P related a doozy to me today.

It appears my little angel was hovering over the computer while one of the younger children was using it. This, of course, displeased my child because he wanted to play with the computer and didn't really see the point of his eighteen-month-old little friend using it.

So Ms. P, wise woman that she is, announced, "Hey, Nicky, I'm turning on Nick Jr. Want to come watch?"

He drew his eyebrows down into his nose, looked at her sternly, and said,

"You're dust twying to distwact me."

God help me, I laughed and laughed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


You know those fine people out there who are utterly convinced of the perfection of their offspring? The ones who, when approached about the misbehavior of Little Pwecious, are insistant that surely THEIR child couldn't have done anything so heinous?

Yeah, well, I'm not one of those parents.

Both of the offspring (darling little toads that they are) tried to put one over on me last week.

Let's just say they failed in their attempts.

Attempt No.1, by No. 1 Son
My elder son has been off track for the past three weeks. Now what this means to those of you who have kids with normal school schedules is that his school is scheduled by "track," which has the school open year-round. They're on nine weeks, then off for three, or thereabouts, with one longer stretch akin to summer vacation for each track.

Two of the tracks have their long stretch over the summer. Our track? His long vacation is from Thanksgiving to the New Year.

Anyway, his particular track (which is obviously warped anyway) went back for the new school year about four-and-a-half weeks ago. They were in school for a week and a half, then went off track for three weeks.

I mentioned warped, right?

Well, anyway, while he was on-track, the Elder kept saying he had a stomachache each morning. However, miraculously, the moment he went off-track, he was cured!

Then Thursday arrived.

"Mommy, I have a stomachache," was accompanied by weak groans and a constipated looking expression.

"Really?" I raised my eyebrow. "You know, I find it amazing that for the entire three weeks you were off-track you didn't have a single stomachache, but today on the first day you're going back to class, you suddenly have a stomachache again."

He lost the pained look and comprehension flashed across his pwecious widdle face.


I've heard nothing about stomachaches since.

Attempt No. 2, by No. 2 Son
Now as those of you who have more than one child know, with each additional child you're not just getting one more darling child to care for, you're also putting the additional element of the relationship between the new child and the existing child into play, which makes it more than twice as challenging going from one child to two.

I hear once you've gone to three kids you might as well have four because at that point you're so outnumbered you might as well just give in.

I'm totally not putting that to the test.

Anyway, and I know this comes as a shock to some of you, but sometimes children lie to get each other in trouble!

Yes, it's true. I'll pause a moment for that to sink in.

. . .

I had dropped the Elder off at school and the Younger and I arrived at his daycare. We walked in the door, and my beloved second son bonked into something while his daycare teacher and I were talking.

Dramatic sobs.

"Mommy! Michael pushed me!"

Ms. P and I looked at each other and then quickly looked away before we laughed out loud.

"Uhm, sweetie? Your brother's at school."

Dawning comprehension on sweet little four-year-old face.

"There's no way he could have pushed you."


"Oh. Weww, it weawwy huwted." *

Because that, obviously, is a perfectly good reason to blame your elder brother for injuring you from over a five-mile distance.


It's no wonder my colorist makes a killing off me.

*Note: This says "Oh. Well, it really hurted." for anyone who isn't fluent in preschooler-ese.

Friday, August 24, 2007


It's 4:30 on Friday and I'm supposed to be dashing out the door.

So what am I doing sitting here at my desk, blogging instead?

I'm staring at the sheets of rain outside that are going sideways. I can see it clearly as I sit right by the storefront door/ window thingie.

And in this I get to navigate around idiot drivers, pick up the offspring x2, and somehow miraculously make it home without someone killing me.

Have I mentioned I have this tiny little "driving in the rain" phobia? Something about me rear-ending a semi back in 1990 up in Lexington, North Carolina, with my little sister, mother, and grandmother in the mini van.


So... wish me luck! I'll catch y'all when I make it in.

Chantix Day Something-or-Other

I'm going to have to be fast with this.

Dreams getting less weird, or at least I'm remembering them less.

It appears, though, that I've now got a lovely upset stomach issue this morning, coinciding neatly with shortly after I took the Chantix.

Yes, I'd eaten.

So this could be coincidence, as I think you're supposed to take the Chantix after eating to avoid such a reaction. But then again, I could just be "lucky".

We shall see!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Goodness...

My posts have been full of potty talk lately, haven't they? I think subconsciously I've been trying to make sure I don't drop from an R-rating yet again... heh.


I ate too much today. Again. DRAT.

I do fine with food as long as I keep temptation away from myself. So in general, I make sure the freezer at work is stocked with my breakfast and lunch, as well as various low-cal/ healthy snack items.

Unfortunately, for the last several weeks the office has been inundated with food. Not just any food, but food I like... such as nice cakes from our local snooty bakery, cheese bread from same, a dessert delivery from one of the lighting sales reps, and three "Lunch & Learn" meals wherein sales reps from varying specialties bring in food for the architects and staff to gorge upon as they give a spiel regarding certain aspects of architecture and how their product is the superior choice.

These classes also give the architects (and soon, our interiors consultant, who's about to be licensed herself) Continuing Education Units which are necessary for maintaining their licenses. They need 20 CEUs per year, and it's nice for them if they can take care of them during lunch and be fed into the bargain, so there's really no escaping the Lunch & Learns.


It's not that I'm weak. It's just that I know my limits, and my limits are severely stressed by having Panera, pizza, subs, Olive Garden, and other foods brought into the office on a semi-regular basis. And as I'm the official set-up and clean-up crew for these little adventures, those leftovers just sing my name.


I've got to figure out a better coping mechanism before I'm forced to use the "I'm not fitting into my clothes" one again. I just don't want to go there.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

An Open Letter to the Women at Work

And to Any Men Who Can't Read the Damn Bathroom Door Signage

Dear All Those Who Use the Small, Northern Ladies' Room:

Leaving the last paper towel on the tube (the one glued to it) is NOT considered "leaving enough for the next person."

Leaving two squares of toilet paper on the tube is DEFINITELY not considered "leaving enough for the next person."

For the love of Pete, people, I don't care if you put the new toilet paper or paper towels on their dispensers. Seriously, I don't.

All I care about is that I'm not washing my hands and then left to wipe them on my clothing.

Don't even get me started on the horror I feel when I've sat down, begun my business, THEN realize that there are two squares of toilet paper (maybe!) left.

If the bathroom is low on paper products, here's a helpful hint:

Get a fresh freaking roll out of the storage room and put it in the bathroom.

There, now, was that so hard?

With gratitude for your future cooperation in this matter,

P.S. And male-types, I know you use our potty. WE do not leave the seat up. However, there are those among you who have been known to do just such a thing in the Ladies' Room. I know this because I have caught you at it.

Quit it. Honestly.

With annoyance,
She Who Distributes the Paychecks.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Crazy Chantix Dreams and Other Stuff

Edited 12/09/2009 to address the jackasses who seem to think that commenting here is going to help their advertising or something:

I have and will continue to delete each and every comment linking to a marketing site. If I chose to have advertising on this blog, I would do so overtly and *I* would be the one profiting from it. Your decision to market via my blog constitutes theft, and if I could figure out a way I would press charges.

Save yourself the time. I check this stuff daily. Don't bother.



Well, lookee here! I managed to pull myself out of Second Life.

They said it couldn't be done, but the lure of Blogger (and my blog addiction) is an amazing power unto itself.

On the Second Life stuff, it's an interesting virtual reality setting... or rather, multitude of settings. I haven't even seen half of what's there yet. Like any type of chat/ interactive environment, one should always exercise caution in what one reveals, but I do have to say that I'm having a good time. Just seeing some of the designs (beaches, castles, tree houses) people have created and put on Second Life is absolutely amazing to a graphics-phobe such as myself!

And obviously, as I've made it out alive and still blogging, you can too. So come have a look around. I promise you won't be bored!

Unless you get stuck somewhere awful. During a teleporting outage. Bleah.


Anyway, onto the main title of this post, the Crazy Chantix Dreams. I've had my share of these already, but one from this weekend really took the cake.

I dreamed I was trying to go to my bathroom, but there was a line. Now, this being a dream, the fact that there was a line to use my toilet didn't bother me.

Nor did the fact that the people waiting in line were complete strangers.

Nor did the fact that my pocket bathroom door was suddenly a swinging door (which pushed me nearly into my husband's closet since the lady in front of me backed nearly OVER me when the door opened to permit the last occupant to exit).

No, what did bother me was that when I got into the bathroom:

A) The woman in front of me hadn't flushed (eeewww), and

B) There was a man laying tile in the shower stall (eewww!!), and

C) There was a freaking HOLE in the wall of my shower, through which I could see another guy putting up suspended ceiling in the room next door.

As soon as I saw them, I knew they were from "The County."

I did not use the bathroom. Not even in my dreams am I that uninhibited.

I stomped out there, muttering about why "The County" had to do all this construction when all I wanted to do was go to the bathroom in my Own. Damned. House. Is that too much to ask?

Apparently so.


Apparently it's also too much to ask The County to do road construction work that will necessitate traffic from one of our town's main drags being re-routed past a local elementary school.

On the opening day of school.

Oh, and this detour? Is my normal route.

I hate traffic. And it appears my loathing for The County knows no bounds.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Second Life

Sorry for the blog silence tonight, y'all. I just discovered Second Life, along with my husband, and we've been playing with the silliness with the avatars and exploring and stuff.

If anyone else does this insanity, send me an e-mail and I'll hook you up with my SL name. Not that I can pronounce the last name to save my First Life, and of course they've now enabled voice chat!

Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow. For now, my avatar and I are exploring.

Note: This post originally contained my Second Life name. Then one of my SL friends found my blog through that name. This isn't a problem whatsoever with that particular individual, but after much repeated thought I feel that it might be best to at least keep this aspect of my SL identity to myself and only give it out to regular readers.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I hate freaking hormones.

I hate them in artificial form.

I hate them in their natural form.

Or, in the immortal phraseology of Dr. Seuss:

I do not like them here or there.

I do not like them ANYWHERE.

. . .

Especially when they manifest themselves as a zit.

I'm thirty-freaking-seven, y'all. I do not need zits. I especially do not need this particular one, which erupts like bloody clockwork every 23 days or so, on my left cheek, middle, right below my cheekbone.


(Okay, that's all... we now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Food I Can't Keep in the House

You'd think this post would be about chips, or pizza, or something.

Well, you'd be right about the pizza.

But it's not just that. It's stuff I like, that's good for me, that my kids insist on snarfing up the moment it enters the house. These would be the foods I can't keep in my home:

-Broccoli. Neither kid can get enough of it. Preferably lightly steamed, with a little garlicky olive oil over the top. As a special treat, there's a little soy-sauce bowl of natural light ranch on the side.

-Tomatoes/tomatos. See previous item, sans steaming. And sans the ranch. They eat those things like apples.

-Tuna. Now this one is a bit of a cheat, but once they see tuna, they want tuna salad sandwiches. Doesn't matter if it's the nice foil-packed-in-water tuna, or canned tuna, or whatever. They just Want. Tuna. Salad.

So I make it for them. Mostly tuna, some light ranch, some light mayo/the evil that is known as Miracle Whip, some wasabi/ horseradish mayo, some Boar's Head Deli Mustard, freshly ground pepper, and dill pickle relish.

On wheat bread. With more mustard. And a tomato slice or four.

All of which I love, and they eat as if it's going to disappear yesterday.

-Lean Cuisine. Now granted, it's not terribly good for me as far as sodium is concerned, and there are still some trans-fat issues to be considered, but honestly... between Lean Cuisine and a frozen Totino's pizza, which would the diet-conscious choose?

Yeah, it'd be the one my kids choose. Their/my favorites are the basil chicken pasta, the chicken Cesar bowl, and the chicken carbonara. They all have pasta and chicken in common, and all have veggies, but the sauces are vastly different. Regardless, I'm lucky to keep even one in the house past 3 hours of entry.

I possibly should buy more, though -- I still tend to buy as a single person watching her weight rather than as the mother of two small boys who want FOOD!

-Other "diet" frozen meals. Because my foods are much more fun than pizza. Seriously.

And last, but not least...

-The tiny little 100 calorie ice cream sandwiches. No, they're not "good for me" in the ultimate sense, but I adore them, and a 12 pack would normally last me a few months.

With kids? Two weeks, max. And that's only because I keep them hidden in the garage chest freezer.

Looks like I need to stock up on broccoli and ice cream sandwiches, stat.

Chantix Day 12, and Cat News

Today was day 12, 5th day of full dosage of Chantix.

It appears that the dizziness is fading, to be replaced by a weird (albeit milder) version of both side effects this has on me, that being a) I'm dippy, but not as dippy as I was Saturday, and b) I'm not so much dizzy as I am feeling as if when I walk, it's through really heavy air.

Not increased gravity, just very dense air.

I'll say this for the Chantix, it's certainly interesting. It's also affording my bosses endless amusement opportunities as they watch my memory fade out, then snap back in.

Fortunately the guys have a good sense of humor.


In cat news, Daniel went to the vet today. Yes, again. This time it was for a weird black thing in his left nostril.

I'd let it sit for a couple of days thinking it was just mucus, maybe a touch of blood (we have three cats, there was no obvious injury... go figure).

Well, yesterday I was trying to look at it more closely, which is no small feat considering Daniel's resistance to anything remotely resembling an inspection of his face. I managed to touch the blackish thing and I swear, it felt like it stung me!

It had kind of looked spidery prior to this point, but I figured that was ridiculous. However, the weird stingy feeling made me rethink.

So this morning I called and made an appointment for His Majesty to go to the vet. My husband took him as I was at work and he was off (note to self: do TRY to give Himself more than 55 minutes notice to get cleaned up and crate the cat next time).

One pissed off cat, one harried husband, and seventy dollars later, the diagnosis?

Mucus. Mixed with blood.

And I'm the psycho cat-mommy who thinks snot stung her.

Emily goes in next Monday for a well-kitty check and a claw trim. I'll be lucky if they don't try to drug me.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Chantix Day 10

This higher dose is still making me dizzy. I think it's going away faster (I didn't fall asleep at my desk today, much to the delight of Those Who Sign My Paycheck), but that could be because I was busier today than yesterday.

So this effect of Chantix seems to be similar to the likely psychosomatic itching at least in that I don't notice it so much when I'm distracted by other things. I'm going to go with the theory that this means it really is going away more quickly, and that my body is adapting to the increased dosage.

Here's hoping! Because right now? I'm about to fall asleep on my keyboard.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I've mentioned before how I feel about peas.

To make a very long story very short, peas = bad.

So since my husband knows this, and since my one concession to peas in our home is that I gulp them down whole when he fixes them with dinner, I expect him not to put peas in the freaking fried rice.

So of course, tonight, for dinner?


In my freaking fried rice. Which cannot be swallowed whole, thankyouverymuch.

I picked them all out and gave them to my younger son.

"Here sweetie, I saved some peas for you."

"Oh sank you Mommy!"



In Chantix news, yesterday was "high" day with the new higher dosage. Today has been "low" day with it. I took my second pill of the day about an hour ago, and am just now back to moving with anything resembling speed. I've spent much of the day on the couch, and even took a nap.

I also did laundry and hosed off two small boys, so I haven't been a total slug.

But dang, I hope I adapt to this newer dosage quickly. I work full time and have two-to-three children (depending on how old my husband is acting at the time -- love you, sweetie!). I don't need to be drugged into exhaustion. I can get that way quite adequately without chemical assistance.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Chantix Day 8

Oh dude, the switch to the higher dosage was so funny!

As mentioned below, I'd gone to a local mall with my mother and sons. I took my first higher dosage of Chantix at lunch.

Right after lunch, the boys wanted to ride the double-decker carousel. Okay, cool!

So we're standing in line waiting for the current batch of kids and parents to dismount and... it hits me.


Total dizziness.

My younger son wanted to ride on the upper deck. Of course.

So I rode a Giant Panda round and round and round... the kids loved it, and I stayed upright.

And I made it through the entire outing only wanting a cigarette once.

Not bad, folks, not bad.

(except I'd ride a dragon the next time, because they're WAY awesome!)

Retail Therapy

Or... not so much.

Today, Mom and I took the boys to one of our semi-local malls.

Back in the day I'd have said "to the mall" or "to [insert name of mall here]." Because back in the day there was one local mall (we now have two) and other malls were far enough away (i.e., more than 15 minutes) to merit a name mention.

Now? Two local, like I said, and several others under an hour's drive. Welcome to growth central, AKA central Florida.

Anyway, we went to one of the semi-local ones which was new a mere 15 years ago and which has also just had a face lift. Our primary purpose? To burn some Saturday hours. Our secondary purpose?

To purchase a bedding set for the eight-year-old. Sigh.

Remember the child back in the Walmart/SpongeBob post? The one who didn't care what kind of bedding he had?

Uh-huh. Those of you with kids older than mine knew what would happen. He finally wanted to pick out his own comforter and sheets.

We ended up at Sears (not Macy's -- I'm crazy, not stupid).

Thankfully, he ignored the delightful Sponge Bob display.

Unfortunately, he spied the Pirates of the Caribbean display.


So now my eight-year-old is the proud possessor of a Pirates comforter, bedsheet set, and decorative pillow (with glow-in-the-dark appliques!).

Need I mention there are a couple of skulls in all this happiness?


So anyway... one kid, Sponge Bob Central.

The other? Skulls.

On the plus side, at least we have an "at sea" theme going. Eyeroll.

(Amanda wanders off, clutching her head, and hopes she'll shake this new practice of referring to herself in the third person in short order...)

My Speeding Non-Ticket

Babs just posted about how she got out of a speeding ticket, and I was inspired to share my story.

The one ticket I ever got out of was just off I-10 in Florida. I was driving back to Tallahassee from visiting my little brother in Gainesville.

Well, at that time I-10 was 60 MPH. I'd just taken the exit and was on US 90.

Which was 50 MPH.

I had no cruise control, and it appeared that gravity was weighing a bit heavily on my gas pedal, so I was still going 60.

The nice FHP guy in the median just stuck his hand out of his patrol car, pointed at me, and waved me to the side of the road, where I very politely and panickedly waited while he put on his lights, did a U-turn, and pulled in behind me.

I was hyperventillating pretty well by the time he got to my window.

"License and registration?"

As I handed them to him, I just burst into speech:

"Officer, I swear I wasn't speeding. My foot was."

He stood there for a moment, stunned. Then he choked and laughed.

"I take it this means you'd prefer a written warning?"

"Sir, I would adore a written warning."

So he went back to his car and ran my information. When he came back to my car he handed me my warning and told me to raise my right hand.

"I want you to repeat after me:

I swear I will never again speed in the State of Florida.

And if I feel the need for speed, I will go up somewhere in Georgia and do it

I did what I was told. As he walked back to his car he was still shaking his head bemusedly.

Poor guy. I think that was the first time he'd had someone blame her foot for breaking the law.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I just had to take off my glasses to read fine print.

This is likely a bad thing.

Ouch. I have this strong suspicion I'm getting old.

The fact that my sciatica moved from my right leg to my left today only further confirms this hypothesis.

Stupid Site Stats

Not only can I not log in to Technorati (they have yet to respond to my request for my password), but now Sitemeter, which has remembered me as long as I've had the code on my site, has forgotten I exist. It's even forgotten my codename exists.

ARRRGGHHH! And I was 18 people away from 3,000 hits since I installed Sitemeter.

I am so far beyond annoyed right now. I wanna know what's up with Sitemeter. I want to know why I can't get my password from Technorati.

And I want to know why I am not permitted to register at TTLB. STILL.


Edited to add:

Okay, Sitemeter was apparently down (and still is to my knowledge), but is at least recognizing that I exist rather than trying to tell me I don't.

TTLB now lets me log on, but refuses to recognize my blog (even when I type in the URL correctly -- something about an error on line 85)

and Technorati still won't send me my damn password.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Yet Another Book Quote

This one courtesy of Paperback Writer's Plague of Memory:

... I saw ChoVa waiting at the landing pad, her head bound with a thick bandage.

PyrsVar walked between me and Reever, and scowled when he saw the Hsktskt physician. "She does not look pleased."

"You shot her in the head and killed her ruler, " I reminded him. "She is entitled to be displeased."

Reever and TssVar went to speak with the Akade's personal guard. ChoVa ignored [PyrsVar] as she greeted us.

"I was able to obtain several partial cadavers from the Hanar's Palace," she told me, glaring briefly at PrysVar. "We must begin the autopsies immediately."

"I have a sample of what is causing the plague." I took the container of bone dust from my case and passed it to her. "It is a form of natural hallucinogen that stirs primal memory in your species. The plague is not viral or bacterial. It is drug-induced."

"If this is so, why did this substance not show up on our scans?" she demanded.

"That we will determine once we test PyrsVar," I said, gesturing to the war master. "He was exposed to a large amount of dust only a few hours ago."

"Excellent." ChoVa bared her teeth. "Will you kill him before I being dissecting him, or will you allow me that small pleasure?"

Maggie whistled. "Oooh, she's still a little pissed off."

PyrsVar's dark brows elevated. "I only shot you in the head. I could have killed you easily. You should be grateful to me."

ChoVa made an ugly sound.

"PyrsVar? Shut up." I turned to the Hsktskt female. "We need him alive and responsive so that we can test neutralizing agents."

"I will not mutilate him," ChoVa said. "Badly."

"You can try." He showed her his own pointed teeth.

Snerk, snerk, and again I sayeth snerk.

S.L. Viehl, aka Lynn Viehl is a gifted author and I enjoy her work immensely. If you're interested, check out her blog and you can find her backlist. In addition, in her sidebar she has a list of freebies you can access, including a novel-length spy/supernatural thriller I love called Night of the Chameleon.

For her mass market published novels, I strongly recommed starting with Stardoc, from which series this excerpt is taken.

Chantix Day 6

Well, here we are, day 6. My husband and I have been taking two pills per day starting Tuesday, and continuing through yesterday and today.

Tuesday and yesterday I was pretty sure I was going to fall asleep at my desk. But today, I felt normal which I guess means I'm adjusting to it again.

I only itch when I think about it. Or when I think about scabies (thanks to AD... heh).

Typing that line made the inner part of my right eyelid itch. See?


Anyway, I'm noticing much less urge to smoke, which is definitely a plus.

I'm also waking up at about 4:00 a.m., and sleep fitfully until my blasted alarm clock goes off at 5:15 or whatever unholy hour I have it set for.

But beyond that? It's all good.

Except for the itching, which I'm now feeling on both sides of my neck, about three inches behind and down from my ears.

And on my left knee.

Curse you, easily suggestible mind!!!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Blog Rating Notice

Ladies and Gentlemen, it has come to my attention that a terrible thing has happened to this blog.

This blog has slipped in its ratings.

Yes, dear readers, this blog has slipped to a PG-13 rating.

That simply will. not. do.

So, in light of this (and the obvious fact that I haven't discussed poop within recent memory, nor have I ever mentioned condoms), I give you the following three "post-ettes" in an attempt to raise this blog to its former glorious R rating:


Cat Poop
Our cats are notoriously finicky creatures. If the litter boxes have not been scooped for, say, thirty minutes, they start clearing their throats and glaring at us prior to entering.

Now Daniel will continue to enter the litter boxes even up until they're scooped (twice daily -- it's frequent with three cats). Granted, he gives a long-suffering glare at whatever two-legged creature happens to be nearby, but he goes in the box, attempts to cover what he's done -- and at 12-15 pounds he isn't that successful despite the size of the box -- emerges, and proceeds to ignore his servants for at least fifteen minutes.

Patrick displays his disgust only when he's sick to his little gastro-intestinal tract, which leads him to doing such interesting things as going to the human bathroom to poo on the floor beside the human commode.

Now if only we could teach that boy to get on the commode, we might have something worth pursuing.

Emily, though? When her Precious Princess Poopy Palace is not scooped to her satisfaction?


Preferably in one of the kids' rooms.

Because she likes to hear them squeal.

Preschool Poop
Upon returning from dinner at my parents' house one night, I was apparently not moving quickly enough toward the front door.

My utter slackitude resulted in the following monologue from my younger son, who was waiting for me with his big brother at the door while I lugged in several tons of groceries:


I dust poopded in my undoopayunts.!

I ated too much and it dust pushded it wight aout!"

(yes, he really does talk like this, and we have to fight the urge to mimic him... hee)

He had likely tried to pass gas (one of his hobbies) and got an unexpected result. I told him it was okay, it was an accident, etc. He got into the bathroom and got cleaned up. All was well.

Until I made this post, that is. Me blogging about this is yet another one of those things which will doubtless be revisited in my now-four-year-old's future therapy sessions.

I know this comes as a shock to most of you, but my husband and I occasionally like to indulge in a bit of maritally sanctioned intimacy, also known as nuptial nookie.

Well, to accomplish this without changing our 1:1 kid-to-adult ratio, we use condoms (long story... short of sterilization or an IUD, both of which I'm considering -- the former for him, the latter for me -- it's all we've got).

Since I get to do most of the shopping, I'm usually responsible for procurement.

Unfortunately, I do most of my shopping with the kids, which leads to some hasty choices at times, especially if I wish to avoid the eight-year-old trumpeting, "What's a condom, Mama?"

So yeah, good times.

Anyway, the last time Himself and I decided we'd be killing off a few more rubber trees, he asked me, "Do we have any?"

"Sure honey, on the bookshelf by your side of the bed."

He looked, picked up the packets, and raised one eyebrow at me.

"Spiral ribbed or mint tingle????"

I shrugged.

"That's what happens when your wife buys the Party Pack."

Must post and re-check the ratings... a moment, if you will...

Ah yes. Much better. We're BA-ACK!

Just a Quickie

If you don't have the ability to discern which pedal makes the nice little car go vroom vroom? You don't deserve a driver's license.

You also better not be anywhere near in front of me on the way home. I dealt with enough of you bastards on my way to work and at lunch.

(Vertical! On! The! Right!)

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Amanda and Angel, Live and in Color!

Okay, to clarify, for me it's not so much color except my lipstick, which looks REALLY freaking dark.

Angel has posted that video she had her daughter shoot of us at the HP7 release back a few weeks ago. So if anyone's curious enough to see what we look like in action (and to hear my not so dulcet tones), please click here.

Angel's voice is awesome, and although she grips about her chin on the video, I must point out that I didn't notice it.

I did, however, once again notice that I scratched my face and was extremely obviously chewing gum.

Well, they don't let us smoke in the bookstore. Something about poisoning the other patrons. Sheesh. Darn those bookstores anyway, looking out for the health of the majority of their customers!

So, gum it was for me.

Just regular gum though, not Nicorette. First, I wasn't actively quitting smoking yet, so I didn't have much lying around, and second, I just didn't need the nicotine enough to stick one of those lovely little cardboard pieces of gum into my mouth (I tend to chew the "old style" Nicorette).

Okay, enough babbling. Click on over to Angel's.

Strong beverages should be avoided at this time.

Corporate Interest

Looks like the folks at Publix are interested in my thoughts about baggers:

(double-click on the image to enlarge)

On the off chance there are any other visitors from the Publix corporate offices, please also see my thoughts about deli workers who sneak black olives into pre-made wraps.

Thanks for coming by, y'all! Always happy to offer feedback.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Chantix Day Three

Well, here we are at day three of the Chantix. Tomorrow is the first day we'll be taking two pills.

I can say that the Chantix so far is making me a bit tired, but no moreso than a Benadryl would. We'll see how an increased dosage will affect me.

Yesterday I was itching a bit, but I think it could be psychosomatic because I'm just so worried I'll get Stan's reaction to the medication and have to go back to the Nicorette. Arrrgh! I really prefer my Extra bubblegum, thankyouverymuch.

The Benadryl really didn't touch the itching (I took two), so I'm figuring that means I was making myself itch. That conclusion has been borne out by the fact that if I think of itching (like, oh say, while typing this post), I start itching.

At work I didn't notice any itching unless I thought of it.

Or maybe I thought of it because I was itching.


Well, anyway, we'll see how it goes tomorrow with both .5 mg pills!

Comment Responses (and a bonus rant inspired by AYC)

Okay, yeah, it's kind of a cheat to use a response to comments as an entire blog post itself, but this got so long in the little comment boxy thingie that it was just silly to keep trying to type in there.

Anyway, on to the responses!

Dr. A, man, I hear ya there on the Diet Coke. I was really low on it by the time yesterday night rolled around, so today I bought two twelve-packs in two different places, just to be sure I was adequately supplied.

Those will last until Wednesday. Because I'm working and will be drinking the office's Diet Coke during business hours.

Angel, I'm working on the vasectomy thing. At this rate it looks like I'm going to have to go somewhere and make him the appointment myself, which I understand is difficult what with HIPAA and everything.

Like I said, if I get pregnant again it will be a case of immaculate conception and I will make an absolute killing in the tabloids.

Awesome Mom, I have that eye-poking-out urge over the SpongeBob bedroom going on for sure. Plus I think I'm developing hives.

The elder son, who didn't care what was on his bed? Now wants to get a new comforter and sheets for his room. If he chooses SpongeBob too (he is also a fan) I'll be blogging from the psych inpatient ward.

Scott, it was indeed both a fun and crazy Sunday. And hee! on the Problem Child room. You know, in the second Problem Child, my old orchestra director and his chamber group were the quartet in the wedding scene.

Yes, that is my one claim to vicarious fame.

As for kiddie bedding in stressful medical situations, well, I took my pillow to the hospital when I had my first son and had my old Raggedy Ann and Andy pillowcase on it, so I'm totally with you there.

The jury is still out on the sponge wall. We shall see. It isn't too complicated, so it could happen. When he hates it in a few years, he can help us paint over it.

AYC, three isn't so bad? What's one more?


Woman, you do understand that at three children, we adults would be freaking outnumbered in this house? And that's only the beginning. The younger son is trying figure out how to spell to put a sign on his room keeping his elder brother out (because his mean mommy won't help him spell it), and the elder brother already has a sign on his door (because he wrote it himself without any assistance from me) saying,

"No little brother.

Unless I send him to get something.

Then he can come in."

Now, ma'am, picture these two little dears sharing a room.

I'll give you a moment for that to sink in.

Now picture them alone with their new sibling, a frazzled daddy, and a mommy who's practicing crocheting with a blunted plastic hook on the eighth floor of our local hospital.

Yes, that would be the previously-mentioned psych ward.

Ain't happenin', sister.

(But thanks for giving me a good rant to sign off on!)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

WalMart and SpongeBob

No deep introspection today, folks. Just me, my Chantix, my bubble gum, my Diet Coke (they will have to pry it out of my cold, dead fingers), and life in general.

This morning we made a run to WalMart. Now usually it takes an act of Congress (or my lunch with my parents) to pry me out of the house before noon on a Sunday. But for various reasons, most of which are totally under my control, my younger son's bedroom was never officially "decorated," and we finally remedied that today.

Back when we bought this house we were at one kid, and one kid only. Then one day (I think Bloody Marys were involved) we both agreed that if we were going to have another child, we should really get started on it sometime soon as Himself didn't want to be seventy years old watching his own kid graduating from high school.

Well, the birthday of the younger child puts him firmly at sixty-three when that child will finally graduate, so he's safe there unless I get knocked up at forty.*

But on the day of our closing, neither of us knew I was about eleven days pregnant. Neither of us knew that God had been actively listening when we said "We really should get started on it soon," and took us at our word (or failing that, He was pretty sure we'd change our minds if swift action wasn't taken).

When we were driving home from signing our lives away for the next thirty years (I think by now we own the pantry outright), I realized that I was technically "due" that day and nothing had happened.

It wasn't only that, though, as I'm notoriously all over the map as far as my periods are concerned. It was also the fact that I'd been napping and had developed an aversion to both coffee and Cool Ranch Doritos, which for me are pretty sure signs of gestation. Also, there was the weird development that while most of my body measurements were going down (I was in week three or four of the Body-for-LIFE program), my waist measurement was increasing slightly.


So I put the then-only child to bed, and hurried off to buy a home pregnancy test.

I came home and did the whole pee-on-a-stick thing, then sat and watched the results window.

Two lines.


I walked out of the bathroom, found my husband, and handed him the test. His brilliant response?

"There are two lines. And?"

"Yes, there are two lines."

"Ohhhh... two lines. Uhm, are we happy about this?"

"I'm not sure. I'll let you know in the morning. In the meantime, I think we'd better scratch that idea about having a guest bedroom."

They're not kidding when they say "Man plans, God laughs."

Anyway, the next morning I'd had time to absorb what this new pregnancy meant and was more fully with the program.



"We're happy about this."


So we moved from our apartment into the house in a few weeks when morning sickness was finally in full swing, which made me so much less helpful than I would have liked to have been. We got the extra-utero child's room fixed up for him with a big boy bed and matching sheets and comforter.

He didn't care what was on his bed, so I picked out something semi-normal looking.

The crib went into the "guest" room, along with various boxes that contained nothing vital enough to unpack (but of course vital enough to move) and a full size bed my husband had in storage. I made that one up with some other sheets and comforter that I chose. So for about eight months we had a guest room/ nursery/ storage room.

Time passed, the second son was born, the boxes were eventually unpacked, and for a couple of years he couldn't have cared less about what was in his bedroom. However, eventually he wanted a "big boy" bed. So we moved the full bed and the crib out and got him a little twin bed like his big brother's.

I had good intentions about getting him a comforter and some such stuff, but my grandmother had just died and we had tons of sheets and other things from her house. He fell in love with a set of butterfly print sheets (very old, very soft, very orange -- the child has an interesting sense of style), and things just kind of remained that way for the next couple of years.

But last weekend as we were doing the weekly dredging of his room to be sure he still had a carpet, he mentioned he might like a bedspread other than his SpongeBob throw blanket. So that's how I ended up at WalMart this morning, relieved that we were finally not going to see SpongeBob plastered over the top of his bed anymore.

We walked down the bedding aisle and he saw it. The Holy Grail of bedspreads.

(Y'all know where this is going, of course.)

Yes, it's got SpongeBob on it. So does his new set of sheets and both pillowcases.

And then there's the little fold-out SpongeBob table and chair set we got to complete the look, because, well, we must have somewhere to do all our artwork, I guess.

Oh, and to write the sign he's affixed to the door of his bedroom which says "No cats. Only kids allowed." He wanted to add "No big brothers," but I told him that would be a bit tacky.

Emily can't read, though, and scoots through his door anytime she can manage it, much to his eternal consernation.

His SpongeBob throw blanket is now carefully arranged on his floor as a rug.

He has also informed me that we need to paint one of his walls to look like a sponge. I told my husband, who just clutched his head between his hands.

It's SpongeBob-ariffic. I kind of wince when I walk by, but he's such a happy prideful little guy about it that I end up smiling even though an interior design desecration induced migraine is trying to beat my eyes out with a ballpeen hammer.

So anyway, that was my day. Happy four-year-old, pained-but-amused husband, and an eight-year-old who still doesn't care what sheets or bedspread are on his bed, but who is now the proud owner of a purple beanbag chair.

It's all minor, but sometimes life is just good. Even with WalMart and SpongeBob.

*God, please don't take this as a challenge. I will swear off sex before I have another child, and if you're that determined I should lose what little is left of my mind and become the mother of three, I'm gonna make a killing in the tabloids.