Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Breaking Up

Oh so many layers upon layers of meaning in that title today. I swear I'm about to snap. But actually there's a very good reason for my "on the edge" feeling... good in both the "valid" and good as in the "positive life decision" aspects:

My husband and I quit smoking.

Last night we sat and sucked down all the cigarettes we had left in the house; we woke up this morning smoke-free. Oh happiness, joy and freedom!

Well, not quite the happiness yet.

I swear, it took me three pieces of Nicorette before I quit wanting to kill someone this morning. My husband, on the other hand, was subsisting on bubblegum and other munchies when I called to check on him around noon, and appeared to be doing fine. However, I did tell him that if he happened to be in a foul enough mood this evening I was going to pry open his jaws and forcibly feed him the Nicorette.

I got home around 6:40 p.m. He'd run out of munchies around 4:00.

There was no jaw-prying necessary because he snatched the packet out of my hand and practically crammed the entire thing, foil and all, into his mouth.

He's only slightly less homicidal right now.

I keep reaching for cigarettes that aren't there. Pa-THE-TIC!

What I'm not going to miss is the god-awful stench, the nicotine stains on my fingers, the funky "ate-up" feeling in my mouth, the breath, and the knowledge that each and every time I fire up, I'm definitely (not just possibly) knocking more time off my life.

My great-uncle died from emphysema. My grandfather died from early complications of lung cancer. My grandmother had COPD, and now so does my mother.

It's too late for me even now, in a sense. Looking at my genetics, I've likely already caused my lungs permanent damage. But at least by stopping now, hopefully it will stave off more damage.

That said, if someone handed me a cigarette right now? I'd look at it, feel disappointed in myself, and fire that sucker up.


Yep, breaking up is hard to do.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


My husband and I are watching Legally Blonde this afternoon, which led to the following conversation:

Me: Did you notice your wife is slowly going blonde?

Himself: Yeah, I did. And what's that all about anyway?

Me: Uhm... I'm having fun?

Himself: You do realize you lose 25 IQ points when you do that.

Me: Stealth intelligence, sweetheart. They'll never see me coming.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Grocery List

This conversation took place after several hours worth of disjointed "We really should get [insert item here]" notices by each of us, re: the grocery store.

Himself: We need eggs, too.

Me: Okay, when we stop by the grocery store on the way home from lunch tomorrow, you and I can both try to remember everything we need.

Himself: Somebody should write it all down.

Me: Yes, somebody should.

Himself: :looking pointedly in my direction:

Me: :looking pointedly at Himself: So, you're going to write it down, right?

Himself: Me?

Me: Yes, you.

Himself: Huh. I'm supposed to write it all down. Alrightie then.

(Somehow I suspect no one will write anything down, and we'll end up at the grocery store rattling our brains in the hopes that a relevant memory will somehow make its way down the chute...)


In case anyone's missed it, there is a great collaborative story about an automobile accident told from the perspectives of a law enforcement officer, a paramedic, and an ER nurse up on Matt G's blog, AD's blog, and Babs RN's blog.

Have a look. It was worth the wait.

What Would You Do?

Warning -- this is not my usual type of cheerful or humorously ranting post. Contains disturbing material. Read on at your own risk.

If one of your children sexually assaulted his two younger siblings, would you bring that child home pending his entrance into an alternative facility?

Well, down here in our fine area of the state, a mother was forced to do exactly that.

Dusty, the mother in the article, was told she could be arrested and charged with neglect if she failed to pick up her eldest son after his release from a juvenile facility. The judge said he didn't think she'd be charged, but he could make no promises and that CPS would become involved at a minimum if she failed to get her son.

Of course, they'll likely also become involved because she did pick him up.


So, let's see...

Don't pick up son who you personally believe to have raped his two younger brothers?

Potentially get charged with neglect.

Pick up son who you personally believe to have raped his two younger brothers?

Potentially get charged with failure to protect on behalf of the younger children.

Oh, and any attempts to confine the eldest child in his room pending his entrance into the alternate living facility could result in "false imprisonment" charges.

Leaving the younger kids with family members while their elder brother was in the home could potentially be construed as abandoment. Besides, these children did nothing wrong. Why should they have their lives uprooted for a brother who raped them?

Why is there nothing in place to keep an underage sexual offender out of the very home where he committed his crimes?

The only possible recourse I see for this mother is for her to keep her eldest son under constant surveillance, which would require multiple adults in the house, each taking a shift watching the boy so he wouldn't have an opportunity to repeat his crime. And even assuming she has those resources, that still leaves open the door for potentially exposing her younger children to a known danger.

Lest anyone think I'm overstating matters regarding this case, please remember I used to work in the system. Both law firms I worked for handled child dependency (CPS) cases. I will absolutely grant you that there are cases where the children are better off outside the family home, and in those instances relative or foster care is the only option.

But I have sat on the phone with case workers and have them lie to me regarding the firms' clients' activities. Why do I know the case workers were lying rather than the clients? Because these same caseworkers lied about not receiving the messages I left for them (which I logged in the case file each and every time).

The attorneys I have worked for have come back from court having gone through the same thing, and have watched the case workers backpedal when the call logs were brought out. I have had investigators for the state refuse to make proper requests through the clients' attorneys, continuing to badger the clients at home and at their place of employment.

That said, I have also witnessed parents regaining custody of their children after successfully defeating the problems they were facing that legitimately resulted in their children's removal. I have also seen children go from miserable situations into stable situations where they have thrived... only to be thrown back into the same unstable situation that resulted in their removal in the first place.


So if I sound sickened, disgusted, and depressed over these situations and this one in particular, it's because I am. CPS can do good, and in some cases does. In too many cases, though, it's a flat-out failure of the system.

As I've heard it said in so many places of late: I love my country, but I fear my government.

And CPS.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Vertigo Update

Remember the lovely case of vertigo I got back when I was driving up through Georgia? Well, it hit me again today.


Actually, looking back, it had come in yesterday and also had made its unwelcome appearance a couple of weeks ago as well. The latter event was back at Orientation for my elder son's third grade year. I hadn't had much sleep the night before, so I thought my lagginess was just due to being overtired, but when we turned around quickly in a hallway my vision narrowed down to a pinpoint until I got my bearings back. If I'd had more time to think I would have been a bit freaked out by it, but as I was trying to get through all the school hoopla and move myself toward work in a reasonable amount of time, I just shook it off and chalked it up to exhaustion. I think I survived Orientation okay, and I managed to make it through the day at work.

Yesterday I was also feeling crummy, but I blamed it on my being somewhat under the weather due to this stupid cold I can't shake. My head kept feeling weirder and weirder though... congested, but different from my standard sinus-y congestion.

I popped a Drixoral and went to bed after attending Open House at the elder's school.

Today, though... ugh. I just felt "off," yanno? And then finally it hit me... this was the same weird dizziness I felt when I was having the twenty-two day period from hell. I put that together with how I felt when I was trying to keep my bearings driving on tiny back roads in Georgia (I again apologize to that entire state for my horrendous driving that day)... and it clicked. It probably would have clicked sooner if I'd had to deal with heights or something, but I avoid those like the plague anymore and am greatly assisted in that endeavor by the fact that I live in a very flat state.

Anyway, the verdict? Same. Damned. Thing. Which my GP diagnosed as an inner ear thingie after the first event. That would explain the odd congested feeling.

Whew. I'm weirdly relieved, because that whole dizziness issue and panicking over embankments episode really freaked me out. Now I know it's definitely all in my head, but at least it's not a psychological issue. It's strictly physiological (okay, the anxiety is psychological, but at least there was an underlying cause for this particular event). I just have to get in a phone call to my GP and find out the name of the medication he recommended last time I was in (it's OTC... starts with an M, I think?) and I'll be set.


On another note, while researching vertigo awhile back (I've come to the realization I've been having this off and on since late last fall) I found the website of an ENT which linked to his personal, primarily non-med blog, Balls and Walnuts.

Dude's a hoot, and apparently it's a very popular blog. Check it out!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Can anyone tell me just why my cats insist on congregating in my bedroom at night when they have the run of the entire house?

Usually the wee beasties aren't permitted in the master bedroom. However, someone who shall not be named (koff... the spousal unit... koff) left the bedroom door open when he came to bed last night.

I woke up around 3:00 a.m. to see Miss Emily batting my toothbrush around in the sink, Daniel staring intently into the bathroom, and Patrick purring on my chest.

Remember those cat allergies I have? Yep. So of course Patrick picked the allergy-afflicted one as his bed.

I practically boiled my toothbrush this morning. I know exactly where Emmy's paws have been, and it ain't pretty.

Anyway, I managed to herd the cats out and was almost asleep again when my husband, for reasons known only to himself, decided to get up.

He went out of the bedroom and shut the door. I went back to sleep.

I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to three cats piled on top of me, and our bedroom door once again open.

Someone who isn't me may be sleeping on the couch tonight.

With all three cats.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Meet Amanda, TechnoGeek Extraordinaire

Well, regarding the title, not really... but I faked it well.

Our normal in-house IT guy is on vacation this week. Of course, this week was also when the digital recorders and accompanying software arrived.

Guess who got to do the install? Yep. Ms. IT-Degree-Dropout-who-Calls-Computer-Related-Parts-"Doohickies"-and-"Whatchamajiggers".

First, the DSS reader program didn't want to install fully. Then when I installed the recorders at the USB ports, the USB ports didn't want to recognize that they were even there.

Of course, once the computers saw the recorders were, yes, indeed there, did they want to recognize there was a test recording (made by yours truly) on them?

No, they did not.

However, many restarts later (many, many, MANY... numbering well into the double-digits), the system worked.

Now I just have to get the program and recorder installed in our remote office. THAT should be fun.

I think I might possibly call in our contracted emergency back-up IT guys on that one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Addendum to Previous Post

Eventually, the elder offspring was able to focus enough to determine that Josh had 9 marbles total.

And I did not burst out and say, "Kid, he has 3 green and 6 red! Three plus six equals nine! Come ON!!!!" even though my brain was shrieking it. Because I know what it's like to have words and numbers flung together seemingly willy-nilly and have no clue what to do with the ungodly spawn thereof. For me, it created a disconnect between reading (fun) and math (dull) and probably screwed with left- and right-brain functions as well.

It's like learning to play the piano. First you learn how to use the right hand, then the left, then you put them both together. Musically, it was usually no biggie (although don't fling any of J. S. Bach's Inventions at me -- I am halfway convinced he was possessed when he put those nasty little compositions together), but for math it was quite another story.

I had a terrible time with math starting when I was around my elder son's age (8), and it continued until sometime between my sophomore and senior years in high school when it finally just clicked, that math is just another language. Learn the vocabulary, grammar, and mechanics, and yes, you too, can survive math class!

I don't know what sparked this transition for me. It could have been the consistent use of language in geometry in tenth grade that did it. It could have been the poor idiot student teacher in eleventh grade Algebra II, who couldn't teach let alone control a classroom to save her life who spurred me on out of a desire for GPA preservation. Or it could have been both of those plus my most awesome trigonometry/ analytical geometry teacher my senior year who finally made it gel.

Regardless, I survived, and survived to make A's in Calculus I and II on the college level as well.

The boy can do it. It just depends on the "click".

And on him managing to keep from flinging himself about in frustration long enough to pay attention. Oish.

(Note: He did apologize for being rude, lest anyone think I raised a total brat.)

Ah, Normalcy

I've finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so life can get back to normal around here and on my blog. All I'll say is that it didn't end up being burned. Heh.

Yes, all you non-HP-fans can now breathe a sigh of relief (until the release-night recap).

Everything's pretty standard this evening. Shorter kidlet's in bed, and taller kidlet's grumping over his homework. So am I, for that matter. I remember word problems back when I was in school and how they boggled my mind. Apparently, it's genetic... the mind-boggling-ness of word problems, that is.

I don't know what it is about word problems. In early elementary we got used to 1 + 1 = 2, and even worked our way up to 345 + 987 = 1,332. But toss those numbers into a paragraph? Oy gevalt.

My elder son is painfully bright. I hear rumors that I, too, was bright, before I reproduced and my brains leaked out with the afterbirth. But one problem with bright kids is that they can be so freaking accustomed to getting everything in a snap, that when they encounter a hurdle? Zero coping skills. And I mean NONE.

I remember sitting with my father at the kitchen counter as he'd try and try to help me understand the problems. I'd grit my teeth and squinch my face up, "But I don't get it!!!!" He'd keep on explaining it to me patiently.

It's a wonder the poor man isn't bald.

Tonight? It's my turn to rip my hair out. Homework went something like this:

"Okay honey, if Bob gives Josh 6 red marbles and 3 green marbles, how many marbles does Josh have?"

Huffy breath, exasperated sigh, "I don't kkknnnnoooowwwww!!!!!!!"

"Honey, let's look at the problem. Okay, what is the main idea of what this is saying?"

Leg flail, wiggle, roll eyes back in head, tooth grindage (that last one was me), "I don't knnnoooowwwww!!!!!"

"Okay, stop. Look at the paper. Look at it. Now. Read. The. Problem. To. Me."

"Uh!!!" After another leg flail and mumble, finally he grits out the sentence.

"So, what do you need to find out?"


"I'm sorry, I couldn't understand you."

"How many marbles does Josh have!!!!"

"Son you will use your polite voice with me or I will let you finish this by yourself." Enter the Mom Look of Impending Doom. "Are we clear?"


"Good. And you're right. The problem asks how many marbles Josh has. Now, how would you figure that out?"

Huff, puff, "I don't knowwwwww!!!!!"


Saturday, July 21, 2007

This Comment NOT Spoiler-Free

This is a spoiler warning. Not here on the main page, but I warned about possible spoilage in the comments (see below). First comments contain possible spoilers. DO NOT CLICK on comments if you don't want to be spoiled!

HP 7 Page 606

Best Moment EVER.

That's all I'm saying. Stupid teary eyes.

Quote from HP 7

I'm really trying to be good about no spoilers, so see the first comment if you want to see the quote. I don't *think* it's a spoiler, but I do want to be careful in case anyone feels it is...

More Potter, Still No Spoilers

No, I'm not going to do spoilers on this book.

On that topic, I can understand why so many people wanted to know what was going to happen in Book Seven. I can understand why copies of it started to appear on the web. What annoys me to no end is that people were then posting those spoilers to the Harry Potter for Grown Ups (HPfGU) Yahoo! Group and other places where those who, maybe, perhaps, didn't want freaking spoilers could be startled by them.

I admit, I'm a sucker for turning to the back of a book -- and no, I haven't done it yet -- but that's MY choice. When an individual opts to deliberately post the outcome of a book on a public group with a deceptively innocent topic, though, that's just plain mean. The HPfGU list had to close early due to that type of posting; I'm glad they had the foresight to do so and thank the List Elves for taking the burden upon themselves to moderate and make that determination.

And regardless of whether or not my readers give a rat's ass about Harry Potter, I'm not going to talk about the specifics of the book in the main topics at this time. I might do a post where the comments permit spoilers (since I can't do a "cut" to save my life) but seriously... spoilage reeks, in more ways than one.

That said...

Oh dude, this book rocks so far. I'm at page 389, and it's totally making up for the misery that was Book 6. And as long as JKR lets Ron, Hermione and Harry live (and the Weasleys because, well... just because), I'll be totally happy.

Of course, I might be happy regardless of how she ends it. It all depends on how it comes out in the wash, so to speak.

Back to reading again. Yes, I'm blogging about reading. I'm a nerd -- y'all already knew that. ;)

HP 7... GACK! (no spoilers)

I now have Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in my greedy grasp, and am on page 132.

Very interesting. I'm yelling at JKR due to certain things in the book thus far, but... very interesting.

AND... I haven't skipped to the end to see how it turns out, which is somewhat amazing for me. Here's hoping I can continue on and be surprised.

Jut a thought... don't read the chapter titles, and don't read the opening quotations. Just start at Chapter One.

And Chapter Two is really quite cool.

Angel and I had a great time at the release. We both had our elder children with us, and her brother-in-law also came along and laughed his ass off at the two of us together.

A video was filmed of both of us babbling. I have suspicions it will be aired. Be warned, I scratch my face at one point and near the end it's totally obvious I'm chewing gum.

Okay, that's all. Back to reading.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Angel and I will be meeting up tomorrow night at our local Books-A-Million's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows release party.

Yes, we're 37 and we're totally into this. Angel mentioned something about finding her wizard hat. Me? Eh, my crazy hat is Christmas-oriented, but if pushed I'm sure I can find something suitably embarassing as my eight-year-old is accompanying me.

I'm over halfway through my re-read of Half Blood Prince now. I may or may not finish it before tomorrow night's release. Not sure if I'll go back and finish it first or just hang it all and dive into Book 7.

Probably the latter. Heh.

Anyway, a report will be issued following the event. There will be a camera present (mine) and I intend on photographing the madness.

And if Angel agrees, I might even get a pic of the two of us goofs at the shindig. Shoot, if suitably inspired I might even blog the insanity via laptop.

We'll see.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

One Year Blogoversary

I'm never quite sure how to spell the one-year celebration of one's blog. Blogoversary? Blogiversary? I like the former, but I've seen folks say the latter is the more correct option.

Oh well, my blog, my spelling. I don't think Webster's has added the word yet so I'm free to mis/spell it as I please. Not that that stops me anyway... I can typo and not catch it for MONTHS. I've gone back to ancient posts and corrected stuff in them that I've just found.

Self-editing is a bitch.

Yeah, I know, English major, former teacher, etc., I should do better. And I try (although I don't always run spellcheck, sometimes to my detriment), but here I'm just relaxing, not worrying about a term paper or official correspondence. Also, you'll notice I don't go around correcting other folks' grammar, mechanics, and spelling. That's because I know I'm perfectly capable of slaughtering the English language myself. Additionally, I often deliberately use sentence fragments and questionable punctuation for general literary effect; so again, just not hopping on the Grammar Police train.

I write this blog the way I talk. Yes, at 37 I still say "Dude" in certain circles with certain friends. "Bite me," is also a part of my lexicon.

Of course, then I use words like "lexicon." Eyeroll.


So anyway, Happy Blogoversary to me!

A year ago at this time I was finally getting out of the legal field, and I started this blog in part to just put my thoughts in order. Apparently I did that fairly swiftly, and my poor blog languished for a few months, but then I started posting again, more and more frequently.

I can't say I've changed a great deal over the past year except for the fact that I no longer lose sleep over clients. I lose it over personal stuff, but at least it's MY stuff, yanno?

And it wasn't like any lost sleep due to clients counted as billable hours or anything. That might have reconciled me to it somewhat.

I can see the invoice now:

2.1 hours, Nasty Family Law Case, Para (not that I was a certified paralegal, but that's how I was billed), Couldn't Sleep Due to Upcoming Hearing, and Worry that her Boss Might Lose his Freaking Mind Between Now and Then, or Failing That, That the Client Will do [insert stupid action here] before the Judge can Issue a Ruling.

Yeah, that would have had the billing department (all one of her) on my ass in a heartbeat. The solo practitioner I worked with immediately prior to leaving the legal field would have laughed her ass off at it, but again, unlikely that it would make the official bill.

Life is much more peaceful now.

I've also learned in the last year that Stinky Birkenstocks are a topic of many Google searches. Yes, that post would be my most popular Google search, the whole medical blogger thingie notwithstanding.

In the last year I've lost 40 pounds.

In the last year Angel and I re-made contact.

In the last year I lost my beloved dog to old age.

In the last year, I opened my home to three cats.

And in the last year I've run into many interesting blogs, and met some great folks. I'm glad y'all are around.

It's been an interesting year. Here's to Year 2 :)

An Open Letter to my Publix Bag Boy


Please do not put the heavy cardboard boxes of frozen Lean Cuisines on top of my freaking produce.

That is all. Thank you.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Revised Miranda Warning

From Kim Harrison's For a Few Demons More:
You have the right to remain silent, but I doubt you will. You have the right to an attorney, which I imagine [your assistant] will be calling soon. If you can't afford one, hell has frozen over and I'm the princess of Oz, but in that case, one will be appointed to you. You understand your rights that the entire congregation of Cincy's finest has heard me recite?

God, if only our fine brothers and sisters in blue (or grey, or green, or brown) could use that on the job!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Blogroll Additions

I normally don't announce additions to my blogroll (because, like I'm so big it's a major announcement or something?), but in light of the fact that I've either a) nominated these folks for awards, or b) passed awards to some who have then nominated these folks whom I *would* have nominated if I had half a brain, I just wanted to say that Adventures of an Awesome (Sometimes) Mother, The Laundress, Zimmerhouse, and Mostly True Stories are now up in my sidebar.

Oh yeah, and I put Angel's weight loss blog, Slayer in Training up there too (her main blog is "Give Me Something to Sing About").

Check 'em out, y'all :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rockin' Bloggin'

Oh dear... yes Angel, the husbands will start to worry, ROFL!

As you may have surmised from the title of this entry and the first line (full text at Angel's main blog), Angel has nominated me for another award:

Well, I'm a girl, and I blog, and I've even been known to crank up the Nickelback in my car once I've dropped off the offspring so...

Hey, works for me! As you all know, blog bling is still a marvelous novelty to me, so I'm just going to sit here and stare at my sidebar for a bit. IF I can ever get the thing to load up, that is...
Ah, there. Much better.

(hey, it says "Rockin' "-- doesn't say a thing about technically-savvy...)

Now I need to pass this on to five more folks, I believe. Hmmm...

Well, Angel is going to have to do without, as she and I have done the reciprocal award thing a bit too much in the past 72 hours. But if I could, I would!

(I've mentioned the dorktastic thing, right? Okay, I thought I had...)
Anyway, without further ado, these are my nominees:

Judy of Tiggers Don't Jump. I love the mix of postings in her blog... some medical, some personal, ALL great. Besides, she sided with me over the Great Brownie Caper. MAJOR props.

(psst -- he hasn't touched my chocolate since, wise man that he is)

Nurse K of Crass-Pollination. Why? Brass balls. Do NOT mess with her. You will NOT win. When I wear my "I can only please so many people per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn't looking good either," t-shirt, I think of her.

(in a good way, promise!)

At Your Cervix. Lady's got it going on. She's recovering from weight loss surgery and is a full-time nurse in labor and delivery. Plus she's in the non-interventive school of thought which, obviously, makes me smile and also makes me wish she worked down in my area and had been one of my L&D nurses with No. 1 Son.

(she totally would not have grabbed my breast without asking... I'm sure of it)

Medblog Addict. I'm relatively certain MBA is a girl? I think it's been said. If not, just bash me over the head with a Clue x4 and consider this a sincere compliment.

(besides, as a medblog addict myself, I think we'd do well in therapy together... we just wouldn't get any better)

And finally Working Girl at Mostly True Stories. Anyone whose URL starts with "pad and panty" deserves my nomination! Best damn URL since At Your Cervix :)

Rock on, bloggers... rock on.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Famous Last Words

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"What we know is not much. What we don't know is enormous."

Actually? Yeah. That works for me.

Hat tip to Monkeygirl.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Power of Positive Schmoozing

Well, gosh durn it... I've always suspected I talk quite a bit, but this pretty much proves it:

Both Angel and Ambulance Driver have nominated me for The Power of Positive Schmoozing Award! This is both highly great and slightly sucktastic.

It's great because, well, thanks y'all! And it's just the slightest bit sucktastic because I was going to nominate AD when I saw Angel had nominated me, but he beat me to the punch! So AD, I think you're gonna be stuck with a "Schmoozing to the Second Power" nomination anyway.

Oh sidebar blog bling, how I love you... (yes, yes, I'm a dork; you all know that by now). Now I've just gotta figure out how to make a "higher power" button for AD*. Heh.

I never really thought of myself as a schmoozer, but looking at the definition I indirectly snagged from Lois (see post below), it looks like I am. Like I said, I talk. A lot (yet I wonder why my kids never shut up? Oish). And over the past several months I've been blogsurfing and finding new places I like to read, and new people to keep up with as well as those I've been reading for awhile. I also may seem to litter the blogosphere with comments, but (and this is likely telling) I don't feel I comment enough. I guess it's because comments are golden to me, so I like to leave them in as many places as I can.

For such a blabbermouth, you think I'd be an extrovert on those personality tests.

Nope. INFJ.

The "I" stands for introvert. Huh. But what that really means, the extrovert and introvert classifications, is how we gain our energy. Extroverts recharge by being with other people. Introverts like people just fine (or many may, including me), but they have to get their "alone time" to be able to recharge. So yeah, I guess that fits fine too. An introverted babbbler; that's me.

Well, enough stalling. I have to pass this on to some folks, and can't figure out whether I am to nominate 5 or 10, since I was nominated twice in one day. Hmmm... well, regardless, let's get this party started!

1. BabsRN. Babs, this may not be your cup of tea, but you dropped by and commented when I was even more of a relative unknown in the blogosphere than I am now. You're not swayed by the popularity vote, you just go where you like and let the herd be hanged. Not sucking up, just saying it like it is. You rock. And your ferrett is damned cute, too.

2. Awesome Mom. You truly bring the funny in your own posts, and are generous with your comments on the blogs of others, regardless of the blog's focus... or lack thereof, in my blog's case!

3. Mauigirl. Lady, I have no idea how you came across me, but I'm sure glad you did. You're a breath of fresh air, and I enjoy you, your comments, and your blog... not to mention the "Kitchen Reciprocity" you and your husband practice, which mirrors the insanity in my house.

3. tz. Yes, we just "met," but your post on coincidences got me thinking on the potential of a post about Angel and me befriending each other through such a strange sequence of events. Besides, the similarities between some aspects of our lives just tickle me to no end. Remember, science is just another language!

4. Monkeygirl. Anyone whose first comment on my blog is is on the post regarding my unfortunate gulping of three cans of Spicy V8? Hee. And yeah, that was not a good choice for an afternoon beverage. I'm sticking to my Diet Coke from now on.

5. Rural Felicity. You are such a neat lady. I enjoy stopping by your blog and having you stop by mine. You amaze me daily.

6. Dr. Rob. You're a definite activist in the med-blogging field. And the Ask Dr. Rob series is both educational and gut-rippingly funny. Thanks for making me laugh at myself with my question about my cat addiction/allergy. Yes, I do know it's foolish to deliberately invite allergen-laden animals into my home. But I'm a pet nut, and I plead children who love kitties as an extenuating circumstance.

7. Femail Doc. Your blog is all doc, but your comments are all you. Whenever I see you've commented, I grin. And let me just say that coffee makers are "Teh EVIL" ;)

8. Patient Anonymous. Yes, you're on hiatus. But still, you roam the blogosphere regardless of the topic of the blog, and comment prodigiously on topics which interest you. So whenever you opt to return, here you go, girl.

And for the Power of Two:

9. Angel. Just because. Yes, I know you nominated me, but back "in the day" when I was a newbie on the boards you welcomed me. To the best of both our knowledge at the time, we didn't know jack about each other except that we were both on the slightly-more-crunchy-end of motherhood. And then we learned more and more... and well, I'm just glad I know you.

10. Ambulance Driver. See above. Way, WAY above, LOL.

Take care, y'all. And everyone who reads me, who's in my blogroll or not... thank you for being here. Thank you for caring enough to drop by and hear what I have to babble about today. And thank you even more for commenting.

If you're around and would like to be in my blogroll, just let me know. My e-mail is posted in the sidebar. I'm small enough I'm good with adding folks. Reciprocity rocks!

Blessings to all.

*not just for AD, but for Angel as well! Anyone up for it? I'm not graphically oriented. My lack of ability to post vacation pics might clarify that for some...

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Fat Doctor has just nominated Angel of Slayer-in-Training for The Positive Power of Schmoozing Award (which she herself was nominated for by Lois Grebowski).

The award is described thusly, and is shamelessly borrowed from FD who in turn hijacked it from Lois:

“As it goes, schmoozing is the natural ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship…. I’ve thought of some great people who have made me welcome and schmoozed their way into my blog and life that I’d like to give this most prestigious Power of Schmooze Award!”

I have to say, I second this award, and can give even more background on just why Angel deserves it.

Not to say FD doesn't, because she's one heck of an awesome lady herself!

But anyway, I first "met" Angel back when I was expecting my second son. I was posting on some internet boards about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, etc., under the name "Niamh O'Meara". The Niamh was just because I was looking for a decent Irish first name (I'm of Irish descent) and the O'Meara was my grandmother's maiden name (see, told you!). I soon ran into this funny lady by the name of Angel O'Hara on many of the same boards I was posting on. Girlfriend's got a laser-sharp wit, and doesn't hesitate to speak up when she feels it necessary. She's also got the softest heart on the planet. Add to that the fact that she shares my unseemly reading addiction, PLUS the two Irish last names, and soon we were e-mailing and IMing back and forth like fiends.

One day on our childbirth debate board I mentioned my midwife's name. Angel e-mailed me and said that was the name of HER midwife when she'd given birth to SuperBoy several months prior. We each knew the other lived in Florida, in the same general area, and when I told her the name of the birth center out of which my midwife was based, we were both floored.

Same town, y'all! But that wasn't the end of it.

That night we were IMing and she mentioned her husband played the violin. She already knew my actual first name was Amanda, and when I mentioned I'd played the violin back in high school myself, her husband (who was nearby), got a few thoughts percolating through his brain and told her to ask me where I went to high school. I answered.

He and I had gone to the same high school. Actually, I knew him and his brother quite well. His mom and mine had chaperoned about every orchestral trip in which the two of us had participated from junior high on.

And actually, I'd even met Angel in her real-life incarnation a few times. It was nothing too involved, more like "My old friend's wife (dammit, I know she has a name... now why can't I ever remember it!)," or on her side, "Oh yeah, that's one of the kids [GoalieMan] was in orchestra with back in high school" when we were each out to dinner with our respective families and such.

At this point we were both sitting there at our own respective terminals laughing like idiots and freaking out. Her husband was grinning and thought it was just the funniest thing. Obviously, so did we!

We also live less than 5 miles apart. Go figure.

Of course, after that revelation, getting together in person was mandatory for us. We sat and blabbed forever, and continued blabbing both online and in person throughout my pregnancy. After a time, I asked her if she'd like to come over when I had the baby... and she did.

I kicked her and my mom unceremoniously out of my bedroom when I was pushing the kid out, but they hid around the corner in the hall anway. Hee. I can't say I blame them.

We've drifted in and out of contact as our lives have shifted around us. I went back to work after five years as a stay-at-home mom when my younger son was eighteen months old. Angel was kept very busy parenting her two kids, taking care of her household, and dealing with numerous health issues, but every time we started talking again it was as if no time had passed.

Then one morning I checked my e-mail and found my blog had been commented on by someone named Angel. Hmmm... could it be? I clicked on the link to her Headache Slayer blog. Oh my gosh, yes it was her!

She'd found me through a comment I'd left on one of our local newspaper columnist's blogs (I'd linked back here).

Her husband thinks it's a stitch the way "Teh Intarweebs" keep bringing us back together. I feel the same way.

And I'm glad of it.

Angel, girl, I've said it before on your Slayer-in-Training blog and I'll say it again: you ROCK!

Note: Just to be clear, I did have Angel's okay regarding posting on my blog about us both knowing each other in real life. I was trying to think of a cute way to "come out" about it, but this just really seemed heaven-sent.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

WARNING! Do not read this post if you haven't read all the previous HP books and don't want to be spoiled!

Okay, everyone on board then? Good. Anyway...

I bought my copy of HP Book 7 (well, a voucher, but the book is paid for) about three months ago. Since that time I've been trying and trying to make myself re-read Book 6, Half Blood Prince.

I've read the previous five Harry Potter books over and over, with a bit less emphasis on Book 5, Order of the Phoenix just because I was so utterly PISSED that JKR killed off Sirius. I mean, kid loses his parents, lives with the loser Dursleys (who do seriously bring the funny, though), then finally things start looking up. He gets to go to an incredible school, makes great friends, and then finds his god-father. Harry has a good life (at least during the school year).

Then JKR screws up Hogwarts during OOP with Delores Umbridge, which was bad enough, but she freaking killed off Harry's god-father? The HELL?

So yeah, Book 5 pissed me off a bit. But not so much that I wasn't standing in Books-a-Million at midnight for the release of Book 6.

Which ended up being a HUGE downer. Dumbledore's dead, Snape seems like he actually really is a bad guy... ugh. So yeah, I'm having a bit of trouble putting myself through that again. I tried to re-read it after the first read-through (I usually do this with all HP books -- I'm a nut, I know), and just couldn't manage it. It was depressing, the pace dragged, and knowing how it ended I couldn't make myself do it again.

Here's hoping I can manage it now because I do tend to need a bit of a refresher on the HP "canon" prior to the release of the next novel. Besides, this isn't going to happen again. And yes, it's dorktastic, but I'm excited about the release of Book 7 even after the disappointment of Book 6.

I'm feeling some trepidation as well.

But I'll be there next weekend at Books-a-Million. At midnight. And I'll rush home and dive into the book until I fall asleep from exhaustion. And if JKR kills off Ron and/or Hermione (don't get me started on her killing off Harry or even all three), I might build a fireplace just so I'll have somewhere to burn my newly-found ridiculously priced kindling.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sleepless Nights

Appropriate title for this time of night, don't you think?

I'm so tired (which I'd hope I'd be at nearly 3:30 a.m., regardless of what my post-stamp says -- sorry, Speed, tried to fix it back when you pointed it out and haven't been able to even now), but beyond the physical "God, I'd really love to SLEEP now, but I freaking can't!" issue, I'm tired of so many things.

Just insert standard working mother with two kids and husband with atypical work hours whine here. And a few other things.

In the immortal words of Lily Tomlin's Edith Ann... "Bleah!!!!"

Good thing the elder kidlet has orientation for third grade tomorrow and I'm taking part of the morning off already. I need a bit of extra sleep.

Sorry for the whine. It's just... three-thirty! ACK!!!

Nite, y'all. Hopefully I'm saying that to myself and not just to blog land.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kitchen Update

I hosed down the kitchen, then gave Whatshisname a few snarky comments regarding how when we (meaning he) mess(es) up the kitchen by four to six pots and assorted non-paper plates, we (meaning he) really need to clean up after ourselves and not leave the pots and dishes festering for an unprintable amount of time.

Otherwise, we (meaning I) get pissy about the condition of said cookware/dishware, and post ugly things about us (him) on our (my) blog.

And yes, I feel better now. :P

Random No. 6, and I Give

If one wishes to awaken at a certain time in the morning, it is a very good idea to turn on the freaking alarm clock.



Okay, I tried to be good.

I really did.

But what I ended up doing rather than posting was sitting here reading my books and surfing other blogs since I wasn't blogging myself.

I also felt guilty about the comments I hadn't responded to. Please note that I have now responded to all comments. Whew. Forget the Catholic Guilt Ethic, that Protestant Guilt Ethic smacks my butt quite nicely without the Pope's backing.

Kitchen? Still a pit.

On the plus side, I have managed to get through a few loads of the never-ending laundry generated by two small-ish dirt-prone boys and one large-ish husband who works outside in the heat all day.

Tonight I may tackle the kitchen. I do have more laundry going, though (have to do some for myself, dontchaknow), so perhaps that will suffice for this evening.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Time Out

Or not?

I need to do some housecleaning. Our A/C out in the computer room developed an unfortunate leak, which necessitated me moving lots of stuff that really should have been moved ages ago.


So I'm inspired, cleaning-wise. What this means for those of you who check in on me regularly is that I may post a bit less often.

Operative word being may. This blog is my crack, my pitiful sitemeter stats notwithstanding. But I'm hoping seeing this little reminder up here when I open my blog will knock my behind out of my chair and back into cleaning mode.

We'll see :)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Book Slut

Yep, that'd be me.

I have my hands on Mary Janice Davidson's latest, Undead and Uneasy. This particular segment has me in stitches:

[Tina] "Until I return, do not answer the door. You will not try to contact anyone who has gone missing. You will not answer the phone unless the caller ID tells you it is me." Her subservient tone was long gone; this was a general thinking fast and issuing orders. "Your Majesty, you you understand me"

[Betsy] "Uh, sure. Simmer."

"I will simmer, " she hissed [note from AJ: Betsy points out that Tina is an Elizabethan Lady, who simply Does Not Curse, slightly before this], "when I get a few heads on sticks. And the devil pity the rat fuck who gets in my way."


"Heads. On. Sticks."

"I got it the first time."

On that happy note, she hung up.

Again, snerk.

Cat Update

It's been a bit since I blogged about the felines, so here is the Cat News, in its entirety:

Patrick (the youngest, but second acquired) was "fixed" last Thursday. Our vet usually doesn't neuter male cats until they're six months old, but as he was driving our Emily insane with all the chasing and mounting, the vet went ahead and did it a bit earlier than usual for his practice.

His claws were also trimmed. He appears to have recovered completely from both indignities.

Emily (the middle-child, last acquired) now has a collar. She's our only collared cat, as she's also our only cat who tries to leave the house (we're strict about inside only with the cat kids). It's pink (good) but has a bell (bad). I'm thinking more bling and less bell will perk her up a bit, so I'm looking at getting her one like I've seen at PetCo, where you can put your pet's name on the collar with bling-y individual slide-on letters.

Her former foster mommy agrees that a pink bling-y collar will suit Miss Emmy quite well.

Daniel (the eldest, first acquired) was at the vet yesterday for a nasty case of conjunctivitis which he caught from Patrick. Patrick's was basically eye crud and squintiness. Daniel's was scary leaky stuff and ooziness. So the husband and I managed to trick him into the crate, and I took him in. Not only did he have conjunctivitis in his left eye, but also had a nasty ear infection in his left ear. Poor baby. He was also very VERY scared. He's Hell Boy when it comes to getting him into the crate and medicating him, but that's pretty much because he's just neurotic, not antagonistic. He was shivering as badly as Little Guy used to when he would go to the vet.

At any rate, Daniel got a shot (because he's so far beyond non-cooperative with being medicated), and also got his claws trimmed (to aid in the whole "medicating Daniel" process). He's looking better, bless his gorgeous heart.

Because I was suffering huge cat-mommy guilt, I bought treats for all the cats. I also got them a battery-powered cat toy which waves a toy mouse with a feathery tail in a random circle.

They are totally in love. If I can get a decent pic, I'll post it.

Edited to add: I just wanted to clarify that all cats, not just Patrick, are now neutered. Patrick was the last one to be fixed, due to his youth. Daniel was neutered in the first week after he came to live with us, and Emily was already spayed when she joined our family. All cats also were treated for conjunctivitis as soon as Patrick was diagnosed, which was when he went in for his neuter. Patrick was as compliant as he was able to be, which means he's small enough to be kept still. Same goes for Emily. Daniel managed to avoid treatment, obviously to his detriment.

Little Guy, the Cremated Canine, is still resting peacefully in his urn/box on the piano. I dusted him yesterday.

The cats have left him alone. Blessed beasties.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

My 2004 Campaign Poster

No, I'm not kidding. Yes, this was the poster I displayed during the '04 elections.

I'm an equal party offender. And at this point? I'd trust these guys more than the folks we currently have in office.

Happy 4th of July!

It's been so quiet around here (hello, comments?? LOL)... you'd think it was a holiday or something.

Happy Fourth of July, y'all. I may have my issues with our government... I don't go there here, but in real life I do tend to whine endlessly about Dubbya. And it's not just him, as I wasn't overly fond of Clinton either. I'm an equal party whiner.

Regardless, I love this country. God bless the USA.

Now let's see if we can do a little more of "government of the people, by the people, and for the people," instead of "of the asshats, by the asshats, and for the asshats."


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

NOT Vacation Pictures

Our office has a slight termite problem. I say "slight" in that they're not the really bad subterranean termites and usually the little nasties confine themselves to the northern bay of our building.

I am in the center bay, with a one-bay buffer between me and Termite Central.

This morning, I found termite wings on my desk. Ick. I left the Big Boss a note:

with an attached post-script:

Note: The scanning flattened it a little. I probably need to clean off the flatbed.

One of the partners said, "They're not supposed to be swarming over there," when I told him the little nasties had expanded their territory.

Because, you know, termites respect boundaries.

BAD termite! To the corner with you!

Fortunately, the termite corpse was still on my desk when he said that. In fact, he's the one who found it.

Maybe NOW we'll get the place tented. Termite wings falling like snow in the bookkeeping area? Not sufficient. Termite wings blanketing the work table in the print room? Not sufficient. Handing the big boss a telephone note with a squished termite on it? Not sufficient.

Termites obviously increasing their power base?

This means WAR. Or at least a bug bomb or four.

I hope.

Update: We're bombing this weekend. 12 bombs, placed above the suspended ceiling tiles. Woohoo!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Vacation Pictures

I've been promising vacation pictures. Here is the first round. More to come once I get a few more pictures of the backs of my family uploaded!

First, if you'll look over to the sidebar, you'll see my two offspring staring down into Talullah Gorge. This was after I'd told the shorter of the two about five times to stop standing on the railing as he was dramatically shortening his mother's life span.

Hmmm... let's see, what to upload next...

This picture was taken at Anna Ruby Falls, before we actually reached the falls.

And next, a picture of Anna Ruby Falls itself:

More to come later -- promise!

Random No. 5

Pure comedy is hearing your husband's late-night internet DJ shift interrupted by a shuffle play of "Muskrat Love."

On a BIKER internet radio channel.

I'd type more but I'm giggling too hard... and I really should go to bed.

(P.S. Himself wanted me to make sure to note to all four of my readers that once he realized what was on he played the "needle ripping across the record" sound, killed the song, and made several derrogatory comments about it. So here I am, letting it be known. Because I'm nice like that.)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ask Dr. Rob

Dr. Rob over at Musings of a Distractible Mind has a new feature wherein readers send him their questions, serious or not so much, and he endeavors to answer.

Today I am pleased to announce that he answered one of mine:

Why do I insist on having three cats even though I'm allergic to the wee beasties?

Amanda, who is typing this with one of The Allergen Laden Ones reclining on her lap

To summarize Dr. Rob's excellent response (aside from speculation about my mental issues, heh), apparently I'm allergic to cat spit, not dander as I'd previously thought. Actually, I'd thought there were two different allergies: one to cat dander, and one to cat saliva, and was under the impression that the dander was more a nasal/ocular issue whereas the saliva allergy manifested on more of a contact basis.

This would be why he's the M.D. and I'm the B.A. He's paid to think about these things. I'm paid (not really, but it would be nice) to go through my blog and endlessly correct little grammatical and mechanical errors that I find.

Now regarding my obvious ambivalence toward my little feline friends indicated by the use of the word "beastie" in my letter to Dr. Rob, he posed these questions, answered herein:

There are a few questions I must first ask you:

Are you nuts?

Some days, I do wonder. Other days I am content with my self-diagnosis of "moderately eccentric."

Do you surround yourself with trained assassins, bent on killing you at first opportunity?

Not deliberately, although my commute to the office would indicate differently.

Do you collect Precious Moments figurines?

No. No, no, no, and again, NO. Shudder.

Have you ever gone to the musical “Cats?”

Yes. I know the entire libretto. Additionally, I can play "Memory" on the piano, and am reasonably proficient with some of the other songs as well.

Do you often play music from the group “ABBA?”

Not personally, although I am sometimes held hostage to it by certain spouses who shall remain nameless.

In closing, Dr. Rob states that my reading of his blog indicates that I'm the type of person who says I deserve all the bad things that happen to me. I do take issue with that, only because his blog is a good thing. Anything that makes me both giggle and occasionally think is good!

He also suggests that I get a goat. I would, Doc, but we're not zoned for them. I know this because our next door neighbors' pot bellied pig was evicted under that ordinance.

I'm sure the cook-out they had the next weekend was just a coincidence.


I'm reading a new book, The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, and this passage tickled me. It's a bit long for a subtitle, but I really needed to share it somewhere and my husband just doesn't have my taste in "literature", so my blog is going to have to be the venue:

...[Mare] didn't mind kicking a guy around, but she drew the line at screwing up her Corpse Bride dress.

"For the last time," she said, shoving her veil back into place so she could see him better. "You're an evil minion. You do not get the girl, you do not get laid, you do not get anything but humiliated." She shook her head at him, splayed on the concrete floor, covered in orange goo and white pellets. "Why anybody ever applies for the evil minion job is beyond me. Didn't you see this coming?"

"I'm a vice president," he said from the floor, outraged.

"You're a minion," she snapped. "You might as well have a target painted on your forehead."

Hee! I'm still giggling. Reminds me a bit of the Evil Overlord list.

My nerd factor is high. What can I say?

Edited to add:

I guess the Evil Overlord allusion was deliberate:

"I can't talk now. Xan has grabbed Danny and Elric for some kind of Evil Overlord plan and we have to turn her into a geranium."


Superheroines, Blog Ratings, and Other Things

While on my Sunday Morning Blog Stroll I came across What Superheroine are You? at Musings of a Highly Trained Monkey.

She got Trinity. Trinity is cool. Me?

You Are Buffy the Vampire Slayer

"We saved the world. I say we have to party."

Well, Angel should be happy. The plus side is I get to hang with supernatural beings which, judging from my library, suits me just fine.

I get my hair re-colored in about two weeks. I'll have to talk to Andrea about going a bit more heavy on the foils. Buffy isn't a brunette and I, arguably (and chemically), still am*.

Of course, she also doesn't have two small children and three allergen-producing felines mucking up her home either. Just vampires and other supernatural entities bent on her destruction.

In other news, I made two pots of coffee today and managed to turn on the coffee maker both times. Go, me!

And just so everyone knows, small children should not read this blog unaccompanied:

Online Dating

Yes, due to usages of "poop", "crap", and "bastard" (apparently "ass-kicking" doesn't count against me) I get an R-rating. Huh.

It's all about the scatological references, folks.

*I realize that just because I scored a "Buffy" on this quiz doesn't mean I have to turn into her. I have been planning to go a bit more heavy on the foils, though. As I age, lighter hair appears to flatter my face more. I'm vain. Deal.