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November 2006
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January 2007

Back in the Game (sort of)

So I didn’t mean to take the entire week off from blogging. First, as part of the seasonal post-holiday tradition, I was beset with utter exhaustion after the last gift was unwrapped. I think it’s fair to say that Keen, Chance, and I did a fair imitation of the banana slug in its natural habitat the Tuesday after Christmas (what? banana slugs don’t zone out in front of the TV all day, sliming up the couch, and eating too much damn holiday chocolate? hmmm). Then I was beset with laziness. Lazy lazy lazy. After all I went from having the bajillion list of to do’s to, suddenly, NO to do’s! (And no gnews is good gnews.) OK, I still have one to do… I’ve got to finish up that paper for school. BUT you can understand why I was overcome by the sheer, lazy joy of it all, right? So, laziness sucked up most of the week. 

Plus I couldn’t think of anything to write.

By the time I felt guilty enough motivated to write something… I lost internet connection. For the last couple of days. Yes, part of the delay was me being (again!) lazy about resetting my modem but most of it was some glitch or other locally on the ISP’s end.  Not that the service rep would admit to that for the majority of the call when I called in to see if the problem was fixed. He finally admitted that there was a local problem when I mentioned it being on the news 


I have a theory that there’s a policy that doesn’t allow these help service people to hang up first at the end of a call. I think they have to wait until the customer hangs up first. You know, as part of their good customer service or whatever. I don’t think they’re allowed to say “bye” either. More than once I’ve gotten caught in the “sign-off cycle”… 

Help Rep: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
Me: “No, that’ll do it. Thanks so much.” I prepare to hang up…
Help Rep: “You have a good day now.”
Me: “Oh, uh, you too!” 
Help Rep: “Thanks for calling Global Dialess.”
Me: “Yeah, thanks again. Bye!”
Help Rep: “You have a good day.”
Me: “You too.”
Me: “OK, then…”
Help Rep: “Thanks for calling Global Dialess.”
Me: “Thank y… OK, you hang up first.”
Help Rep: “No, YOU hang up!”
Me: “Noooo, you hang up!”
Help Rep: “No, you!”
Me: “OK, we BOTH hang up on the count of three…. 1, 2, 3!”

Junior High, anyone? 

(Yeah, I couldn’t think of anything to write today either.)

Happy New Year everyone!

 - the weirdgirl


Probably won’t save the world with this one but…

Keen and I are having a bit of a disagreement. I need your help, bloggers… which has the better ending? Rocky or Rudy? 

I don’t even know how this subject came up. Oh… wait a minute, that’s right… we were watching the end of Rudy when Keen breaks out with,

“This is good, but it’s not Rocky.”

World screeches to a halt.

Me: “WHAT?! No way!”

Keen: “I’m just saying, as a feel good movie, Rocky has the better ending.”

Me: “How can you say that? This is RUDY! His dad finally comes to the game! This is the feel good movie!”

Keen: “Yeah, but Rocky, the guy goes all rounds with Apollo and all he wants is the woman he loves!”

Me:  "ADRIAN!  Yeah, but the end of Rudy makes me cry.  Rocky doesn't make me cry."

Keen:  "Are you kidding?!"

Me:  "OK, maybe a little misty-eyed."

Keen, continuing: “I mean, I would put Rudy on the same level as Hoosiers...”

Me: “Pshh! OK, if you go there then The Natural has them all beat…”

So, as you can see, stirring arguments on both sides. What do you think, blogworld? Vote for your favorite!

        - the weirdgirl

(P.S. Ironically, as a sport, I like boxing much better than football.)

‘Cause We All Need A Little Guidance Now and Again (or maybe that’s just me)

Following the fine example of so many bloggers’ inspired and unique gift guides, I thought I’d follow up with a guide on my own. Except, you know, without the unique gifts. I’m a mall rat, after all. But not at this time of year, ‘cause that’s just crazy; too many damn crowds. So I guess I’m a catalog and online rat.  Or whatever. For the holidays, I mean, not the rest of the year. ANYWAY, I present to you…

The Weirdgirl’s 2006 Gift Wrapping Guide! (ooh… ah…)

First, The Wrong Way

Pull out all the wrapping paper, including the wrinkled stuff you saved from last year because “you might use it”
Get scissors and cool tape dispenser thingy that spits out precut tape pieces
Grab first gift
Realize you can’t wrap on the floor because your child is destroying tissue paper (also crumpled, also from last year in case “you might use it”)
(Make mental note to clear table first next year)
Awkwardly wrap paper roll around gift before cutting while holding beyond child’s reach
Odd shaped side prevents accurate measurement
Cut paper anyway
Accidentally crumple paper trying to bend around odd side
Realize you really need a box for it
Realize you are out of boxes
Grab second (square) gift
Cut paper to size
Fiddle with tape dispenser thingy
Wrestle with tape dispenser
Pull out tape jam
Drop piece of tape in the middle of wrapping paper
Try to pull off tape, tear paper
Casually blend piece of tape into paper, camouflaging it from view (except for that small bump, which is really too small to notice)
Start over, finally get gift wrapped
Look for bows or ribbon
Trudge out to the garage (in the rain) to get bows/ribbons
Most are crumpled
Slap stick-on, not too crumpled bow on gift
Cats discover bag of ribbons, go nuts
While yelling at cats, notice several pieces of tape in child’s hair
Spend remaining time removing tape from hair

The Right Way

Go to CostCo
Buy lovely nested gift boxes in holiday themes
Buy spools of fabric ribbon sold right next to gift boxes
Put child to bed before attempting to wrap gifts
Wrap all gifts by tossing into appropriately sized gift box
Tie ribbon around box (no need for tape!)
Arrange all under the tree
Admire the plethora of beautifully wrapped presents
Take undue well-deserved credit 

Oh, wait… labels…


Yummy Yummy Spam

I know this is weird, but lately I have been terribly amused by my spam. I’ve been getting series of emails of the “help secure funds from a Nigerian bank” variety, which used to be amusing because the words were always wrong and so badly misspelled and I could feel smug for the half second it took me to skim the first paragraph before I chucked it. However, the latest batch I’ve been getting have been so full of back story that, I confess, I’ve been reading all the way through them.  AND… saving some of the really good ones.

(I know. I’m such a nerd.)

But seriously? Each one of these reads like the synopsis for a novel. (They must be finding C-list English students to write these… or maybe they’re the rejects from No-Wro-Mo… what the hell was that thing called?) I’ve gotten the one where the French banker is set upon by mobsters; the oil tycoon who was killed, along with his next of kin, in a “ghastly accident”, and the below – one of my favs:

ATTN: Dearly Beloved,
This communication to you is strictly confidential, with due respect. Sorry at this perceived confusion or stress you may have receiving this letter from me, Since we have not known ourselves or met previously. Despite that, I am constrained to write you this letter because of the urgency of it. By way of self introduction, I am Mrs. Mary Kobe, the wife of late Brigadier - Gen. Maxwell Kobe former ECOMOG ARMY COMMANDER [West African peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone] who died in the Sierra Leone civil disturbance [War]. My three daughters and I are trapped in obnoxious custom and traditional norms. We have suffered maltreatment and untold hardship in the hands of my late husband's family, simply because I did not bear a male child [heir apparent] for my late husband. By tradition, all that my late husband had!, [wealth] belongs to his brothers/family. And myself is to be remarried by his immediate younger brother which I vehemently refused. They have taken all that I suffered with my husband to acquire including treasures, houses and his bank particular seized by them. I wanted to escape to the United State of America [USA} with my children on exile, but again they conspired and stole my international passport and other traveling document to further frustrate me…

It’s like a gothic romance, isn’t it?  I’m rather impressed at the level of detail that goes into these now. Obviously, this formula must work or the spammers wouldn’t be sending these out, right? And then I always get this bizarre picture in my head of a bunch of scruffy-looking con artists running a focus group asking, “So, would you say the British narrative tone makes you less likely or more likely to give out your pin number? Does the melodramatic story inspire trust and confidence?” 

Oh. It’s so wrong and yet so humorously painful.
(Yes, I am easily amused.)   - the weirdgirl 

(No, I’m not just trying to get out of writing a post.)

Dear Donald,

This is a difficult letter for me to write but I feel I must as too many other Donald_duck friends and family have also expressed concern. You know I care for you but you just don’t seem happy. I feel it’s time you stop living the lie. Your marriage to Daisy seems one entirely of convenience and deep down I think you’re both miserable. You’ve been very angry and constantly leave her company in order to spend time with Goofy; Mickey and Minnie have spent too many nights sitting up with her waiting for you to get home. I know Daisy can be a bit critical at times, but please know that she loves you, as we all do, and only want what’s best for you.  

This is hard to say so I’m just going to be blunt… I think you’re feeling some gender confusion. And that’s OK! Myself, your friends and family, want to support you regardless of where the road to self-discovery leads you.  However, if you have not already done so, I strongly recommend counseling. You need to work through the anger and identity issues so that you can be comfortable with you.

You must have heard the speculation (and sometimes snide comments) that you’re gay, but as you and I both know, for all his kind-heartedness, Goofy is no one’s first choice for a life-partner. I imagine spending time with a simple-minded soul like the Goof must ease a lot of the daily stress you must be feeling.  

On a related subject I’ve also noticed that your voice has changed in the past year – it seems a little higher, more melodious than it was before. You also seem to be experiencing more mood swings usual, and your weight has changed. If you have started any type of medical treatment or process we want to support that, too. I cannot stress this enough.  We love you.

Please talk to us. You don’t have to be in this alone. 

Your loving friend,

Updated & Upgraded

OK!  The Things They Don't You in Lamaze list is now updated!  And only a day late... *cough cough slacker*  I've added a whole new section called "Before" for submissions about strange, funny or gross stuff during pregnancy itself so if you've got anything you want to add, shoot it on over.  All topics regarding funky stuff after pregnancy is in... um... "After".

(Yeah, I know I've been a little short on creativity here lately.  I'm working on it.  My stats would be in the toilet right now if it wasn't for all those people surfing for vagina swimsuits.)

I'm feeling a bit better today because I got an extension for my paper.  *cough cough SLACKER!*  The professor is a dad, and was full of understanding when I explained my son was sick again and I just was struggling to get through the research while taking care of him.  He also uses Neil Gaiman comics in one of the classes he teaches so, all around, a cool dude.  I probably could have written a paper on Willy Was a Whale with him, after all.  (I'm actually doing my paper on Make Room! Make Room!, aka Soylent Green, so I guess that isn't much different.)

Anyhoo... OK, that's all I got for now.         - the weirdgirl

P.S. Firefox ROCKS!!  (Thanks Mom-101 for kicking my butt into gear!)

Adulthood Sucks

I am hip deep in term paper research and really starting to feel the stress.  I may be incommunicado for a little while (though I'll probably finish up the Lamaze list tomorrow night).  Chance is sick again and I'm starting to strongly rethink school + work + raising a kid.  (I suppose I should put blog in there too somewhere, eh?)  It's so hard to get everything (or anything) done when you need to stop for life every five seconds.  At least the last book for this class, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (which I totally recommend!), wasn't quite so depressing as the other books from this class. (Though, yes, it was still sad.)

You know I've read a few blogs out there where the authors are going through some rough patches... and I get it.  I totally do.  Because life Just Does Not Stop!  There is always something happening. It's hard enough, without depression added on top of everything.  Even if I haven't commented to offer my sympathies, please know you have them.

I'm not depressed, but I've felt emotionally assaulted at regular intervals over the last few months. And lately I'm just getting very cranky.  It's hard to do research when you're cranky.  Some of the literary criticism I have to read is a bit too smug, takes itself a bit too seriously for my taste. But that's part of the problem... I don't tend to passionately believe in any of the political dogma (I'm too cynical for it); I'm only passionate about the art of writing itself, the process of expression.  And some of these critics really need to lighten up, man.  Have some freaking fun, for godsakes!

I think it comes down to that I would rather read and write creatively, than write academically.  Well, I could totally write a paper on "The Messianic Voice in Justin Robert's 'Willy Was A Whale': Coding the Means of Production in Children's Music."   

But somehow, my paper proposals never seem to fly.              - the weirdgirl

More for the List

So, OK…

I knew feet changed size during pregnancy - what with water, weight gain, and the general vindictive humor of the universe. What I didn’t expect was that my feet would continue to occasionally bloat oh so subtly after the pregnancy (and subtly enough that I hadn’t noted it previously) to the extent that I could try on a pair of shoes, love them, buy them (at a chunk of change*, no less), go to wear them THREE DAYS LATER aaaand… they don’t fit.   

Which is exactly what happened to me this last weekend.  (What was I just saying about the universe?)  I finished putting together that outfit for Keen’s company’s Holiday party, – 20 minutes before we were to leave – looked fabo for all of two seconds before I realized my feet were swimming in these shoes.  I then clumped out of the bedroom.

Me:  “Hey babe, look at these shoes.”

Keen, mouth falling open:  “Are those too big?”

Me:  “Yeah!”

Keen:  “But they fit at the store.”

Me:  “I KNOW!!” 

(That’s how you know you got a good man… the keepers can back up your shopping experiences so you know you’re not delusional.)

Went to the party in mommy’s shoes anyway, hobbling around bowlegged with probably a 5 inch gap between the back of my heel and the shoe.  (And what's with hotels that they all have to pave their front walkways with cobble stones?)  I didn’t dance much.  (And when I did I took off the shoes and left them at the edge of the dance floor so that everyone could read the $59.99 price tag I neglected to take off. Classy, wg. Some days are just bad shoe days.) But hey, it was a Mardi Gras theme and the shoes were gold.  I’m still going to try to return them though.

In ANY case, the above is getting added to the Things They Don’t Tell in Lamaze list as well as some other new additions. Look for those soon.  (Yeah, I’m not so organized as to do both in one night.)

On an up note, Keen and I learned the perfect thing to remove candy smears that somehow mysteriously appeared on a supposedly clean suit that was hanging safely in a closet (toddler, anyone?)… warm baby wipes!  With not a residual lint-y tissue booger in sight. Those things are magic, baby!             

       - the weirdgirl

*OK, $60 bucks might not be a real "chunk of change" as far as shoes go, but it still would have hurt less if they'd been $12 Payless shoes.