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September 2008

I think the trick is to not blink

I sort of forgot the Internet there for a few days.  Not intentionally either, I just literally forgot.  Forgot to answer emails, forgot to post, forgot to read.  I was on Twitter Thursday night and the next thing I know it’s Sunday. 

The world has been very distracting lately.  With floods and hurricanes and politicians, oh my!  (Except the first two really are OH MY! and I’m sending out prayers for safety.  The third is just Toto taking a dump.) 

I’ve been cruising through job ads again (OK, maybe I wasn’t totally offline but I was doing a lot of intensive research, you know, on jobs and SPD and breadmakers and I forgot this part of the Internet) and, as many of you know, I work primarily in Marketing.  Da da duh!  (hiss! boo! hack!)  I know this is indicative of my job field in general, but you wouldn’t believe the number of job listings where the marketing copy is semantically blowing smoke up the ass of grammar!  Seriously.  There is a new Inquisition about and Strunk and White is writhing on the rack.  And this is the part I don’t get… there are so many of us marketers with a liberal arts background!  How the heck do we stand it?  I can’t be the only one that this bugs. 

(Disclaimer:  Any grammatically errors on this blog don’t count as it is a blog and it is, in the particular case of said blog, the equivalent of listening to me talk.  AND despite the fact that those poopyhead Internet “reading level” analyzers keep saying that my blog writing is at the 4th grade level I would like to assure you all that I AM, in fact, quite educated. Thank you.)

(says the girl looking for work)

Wait, I guess I’m not a “girl” anymore.

What was I talking about?             - wg


Three Sucks

Chance had his first OT and speech therapy session yesterday.  He really liked it.  There were games involved and lots of play for about an hour and a half.  He basically liked it so much he had a big screaming tantrum as we tried to leave.  ugh.  That’s one of his biggest areas that could use improvement right now.  We’ll be out doing something fun and he doesn’t want to leave.  Sometimes we won’t even be doing something all that fun (for example, the mattress store!); he just doesn’t want to go back to the house.  (And I can’t blame him, because I’m pretty bloody sick of being stuck in the house right now with a toddler who misses preschool something fierce, too.)  He doesn’t have that level of tantrum at home, only when we’re out (so yes, I am that mom with that child).  Obviously this kid’s social life is not at the activity level he would desire.  (I can already imagine what high school will be like.  And the fights.  Oy, the fights!)

The option (just in case you thought I missed this) is to let him play until he’s tired enough to go home with minimal fuss.  So I’ve been experimenting to find the magic number of play time. As far as I can figure with this inexact science that number is three hours minimum.  Three hours!  Three hours out somewhere, doing something (but nothing TOO loud or TOO stimulating or we guarantee a freak out), before he is tuckered enough to head home (and sometimes not even then). 

For example, we met another mom and toddler buddy at The Jungle on Monday.  We spent two hours there – and it was cool because it wasn’t crazy busy because so many kids were already in school – then we all went across the parking lot and had lunch at Red Robin (another hour).  I got him in the car without a tantrum, but there was still some protest crying involved.

I actually think four hours would be ideal.  Then he might even fall asleep on the way to the car.  (That would be so cool.)

However, do you know how trashed I am after three hours?  (I am old.)

He goes back to preschool October 1st.  I need to come up with somewhat social, definitely active, not too over-stimulating, appropriately interesting activities for another month.

So I start imagining… what if you had The Jungle but it only piped in quiet classical music?  And it had a full café attached.  Not a pizza place, but a café.  With free WiFi.  And it could still have video games but they wouldn’t steal your quarters and the sound would be turned way down so as not to disturb the classical music.  And there would be attendants!  Fully-trained ex-daycare worker attendants to watch the children.  And (for myself) all the other parents are cool because all the children are hyperactive.  The kids just bounce off each other to their heart’s content (or until they fall asleep) while we sit and drink lattes.

I could spend 3-4 hours at that place.        - wg


Bear Fiction

“Father Bear… we need to talk.”

“What is it Mother Bear?”

“I don’t think… you’ve been honest with me.”

“Oh…”  Moment of silence.  Little Bear… Little Bear!  Now, you run on out of here and let Mother Bear and I talk.”  Pause as Little Bear runs out to the yard.  “What seems to be on your mind, Mother Bear?”

“I’ve been wanting to talk to you for a long… I’ve been so…” Mother Bear takes a deep breath.  “Is there someone else?”

“I didn’t hear you.”

“Yes, you did.  Is there someone else?”

“Mother Bear, you know you’re the only furry in my life!  Why are you suddenly asking all these questions?”

“Because…!”

“Don’t I take care of you and Little Bear?  Haven’t I given you a nice home and nice things?”

“Yes…”

“Don’t you trust me?  Don’t you love me?”

“Yes, but… I want to know what you’ve been doing!  You get phone calls in the middle of the night. You leave and you’re gone for days!”

“Mother Bear, you know I’m a fisherman. I go when the fish are biting.”

“You’re wearing a suit!  What kind of fisherman wears a suit?!”

“I change before I come home!  You don’t want me to stink up the house, do you?”

“That’s another thing! You NEVER smell like fish!”

Father Bear losing patience. “Of all the ridiculous muthafu…”

“And that briefcase!  That case you carry around with you all the time!”

Father Bear goes still.

“What’s in the briefcase, Father Bear?”

“Now be cool, woman…”

“I’m tired of being cool!  What’s in it?!”

“My boss’ dirty laundry.”

Mother Bear going shrill.  “Don’t you make up no shit jobs!  I’m tired of your lies!  Open it up!”

“Afraid I can’t do that, Mother Bear.”

“What?”

“You heard me.”

“You open up that case or it’s gonna be the last of us!

Father Bear places the briefcase on the table and opens it.

Mother Bear stares.  “Is… is that what I think it is?”

“Yes.”

“It’s beautiful.”

Father Bear slams the lid shut.  Mother Bear jumps.  They stare at one another until Father Bear breaks the silence.

“I’m afraid I can’t give you the case.  It don’t belong to me.” 

Mother Bear continues to stare at him.

“Now I want you to find my wallet.”

Mother Bear takes his wallet off the bookshelf.

“How much is in there?”

“About fifteen hundred dollars.”

“It’s yours.  That's a pretty little score, isn't it?  Everything in my wallet is always yours, Mother Bear.  Just as it’s been since the beginning.  I don’t see no goddamn reason to change now…” long pause

“...I don’t see any goddamn reason for more questions either.”

Mother Bear, quietly, “I knew you weren’t a fisherman.”

Little Bear runs into the house.  “Mother Bear! Mother Bear!  Can we have some lemonade for a lemonade stand?”

“Why, that’s an excellent idea Little Bear!”  Father Bear claps him on the shoulder.

Mother Bear walks into the kitchen. 


Some Awarding (and misc. #477)

Last Friday I was awarded the Kick Ass Blogger award by VegasDad.  
Award_200pxOf course, I didn't realize for a couple of days that I had been given an award as I was distracted by the whole Bigfoot thing.  (Speaking of which, did you see the Yeti story?!)  Actually, it's probably good I was awarded before the Bigfoot post went up because I kind of doubt I would have gotten the award otherwise.  That was a tad outside the realm of  traditional mommy blogging (albeit TOTALLY fun!).  It's not like there's a Things SAH Parents Do to Keep From Going Insane award! 

There should probably be one like that, though.  Hmmm, something to think about.

I shall now bestow the award on to five more bloggers who kick some serious booty!  Da da duh!

Cynical Dad
For A Different Kind of Girl
Creative-Type Dad
Woman on the Verge
Not So Deep Thoughts

If anyone has already been awarded... well, tough hooey.  My love means more.

Ahem. 

Now please go spread some love of your own.  (*snicker*)

And for another bit of awesome kick-ASS naughtiness, check out this collection of shirts, brought to my attention by Kim at All the World's A Stage.  (Thank you Kim!)  Pay special attention to the embroidery. 

Which one(s) would you wear in public?
              - wg


St. Porcelain's

I look around my house and I know our household has truly arrived at the status of “family” because we are proliferating in more creatures (human and otherwise) than ever before.  Of the things that need to be fed (besides us) we currently have two cats, a venus flytrap, vague plans for a dog (on which we feed our fantasies), some goldfish, and a water snail.  The snail is a big hit.   And I know this is only the beginning.  We also have a newly emptied small tank that I’m sure will house a lizard, turtle, or frog at some point in the future.  Or perhaps some more flesh eating plants.  (Those are cool!) 

I base this animal-overrun definition of “household with kids” on my own upbringing.  My parents were both into nature and especially my mom was pretty laid back about anything “scientific” going on in the house.  Plus, we had a decent-sized home and a yard that backed up against fruit orchards and beyond that, hills.  This led to a lot of pets and nature experiments over the years.  (I mean, besides the chickens and the rabbits.  I take no responsibility for the hippie tendencies that occurred during my youth.)  For example, one time I trucked down the hill from the pond with a plastic bag full of tadpoles.  And my mom let us keep them!  In the bathtub.  Because witnessing first hand the miraculous change from tadpole to frog trumps clean kids anyday!  Woo!

(Lesson learned from frog experiment: If you don’t know what to feed tadpoles, eventually they’ll start eating each other.  I think we made it to two frogs.)

Anyway, I always kind of planned to be fairly open to nature and animal visits like my mom.  Not that Keen’s family aren’t animal lovers as well, because they are.  They just go in a different direction.  A large portion of Keen’s family is made up of small Italian women, who all own a variety of small dogs - mainly, poodles and Chihuahuas, with maybe a Llapso Apso thrown in somewhere – and they smoke, and carry these dogs around, and wear double knits (both the women and the dogs), and the dogs all have names like Butch, and Bubbas, and Chi-Chi.  It’s all very canine Goodfellows.  (There was even a Pesci-esque poodle/coyote incident in Yosemite once, but I’ll save that for another post.)  Keen and his brother had a variety of pets growing up as well, but I can guarantee not ONE of them lived in the bathtub. 

Not that I’m letting anything live in the bathtub either.  That’s what tanks are for.

(Oh! Lesson learned from snail experiment (this is where I put two garden snails in a shoebox with dirt because I wanted to “observe” (make pets out of) them):  If you don’t know what to feed snails, they’ll eventually try to eat each other.  Nature is cruel, man!)

(Don’t worry, I let the snails go.)

ANYWAY!  The goldfish have been a new addition to our family.  It started with one, won by my son (under the sun, what fun!) at the county fair.  Ah, suburban stereotypes.  Chance was ecstatic because he luuurrves fish.  And I thought, well, we might as well get a tank (because the ones they give you at the fair are a joke) and a companion for the fish.  So I bought a small tank.  Then on a separate trip I bought another goldfish.  (A “rescue” fish, by the way. There’s a pet store near us that just does rescue animals and this goldfish was “rescued” from a pond. That just cracks me up.)  Turns out, this second fish was way too big for the tank we had. 

OK, a couple weeks later I buy a second, standard-sized tank.  (Yeah, I made the fish wait in cramped quarters. Sue me.)  I also bought two more “fancy” goldfish and a snail, and a bunch of live plants… because if you’re gonna have a regular tank you might as well make it look nice!  This weekend I transferred everything to the new tank.  It went swimmingly (especially since I never follow that “wait 24 hours for filter to adjust water” crap).  All the plants, and little fishes, and snail, were doing fine.  Except for one.

The one fish that drifted near the top of the tank for a long time, taking big gulps of air (water?).  The one that started swimming around tilted.  The one that seemed to stop eating.

The one I found belly up two days after I bought it.  Damnit!

Do you know I struggled with whether to tell the kid?  My first instinct (because if anything, and despite the Bigfoot episode, my first reaction is always truthful and I really should break out of that at some point because being too honest can, on occasion, be just as much trouble as telling big whooping lies) was to tell him and talk about it and let him do a burial.  Then I thought about the possible tears, and the promises to pick out another fish, and the whole conversation and I said, what am I crazy?  I do NOT need to have the death conversation with my three-year-old!   (I kind of figure that if I’m open to pets I’m gonna have this conversation plenty in the future.)

I imagine I will tell him at some point… when he notices.  Which I imagine will go something like this:

Chance:  “Mom?  Where’s da white fish?  The white fish, Mom!  Where’s white fish?”

Me:  “Oh honey, well, that fish got really sick, so I sent it to the doctor’s where they could take care of it.”   

Chance:  “The doctor’s?  When coming back?”

Me: “No, it’s not coming back, kiddo.  It’s too sick.  But they’ll take good care of it!”

Chance:  “Where, Mom?  Where it at?”

Me:  “St. Porcelain’s Hospital, honey. St. Porcelain’s of the Immaculate Fishes. But don’t worry, it’s a step up from St. Shoebox the Divine.”

(Oh look I’m breaking out of that honesty thing already.)

                    - the weirdgirl


When Bigfoot Exposes Himself

(I'm going to post the pictures of the materials they gave out right now since that's what people want to see.  However, I will add my commentary of the press conference to this shortly.)

Update: My post and more photos below!

One of the bigfoot watching them from a distance as they removed the carcass
Bigfoot in trees_c

The tongue and teeth of Bigfoot
Bigfoot's tongue & teeth_c

The DNA results
Bigfoot DNA results_c

The kid and I managed to attend the Bigfoot corpse press conference today.  It turns out this press conference was not supposed to be open to the public (which I didn’t see anywhere on the website, but I did wonder).  I saw the lady at the sign-in counter giving a couple of college kids in front of me a hard time (Note: if you’re trying to act legitimate, high-fiving “Bigfoot, YEAH!” is ill-advised. Also, don’t offer your “writing for the school paper” story after the fact), so I thought fast. 

Me, pushing stroller with squirmy kid to sign-in counter:  “Yes, I’m blah blah blah.  I’m writing for some ON-line sites.”  (Yes, the snooty emphasis seemed to help.)

Lady: “Do you have a business card?”

Me, unconcerned: “Sorry, not on me.”

Lady: “Sign this form and who you’re writing for.”

And… I’m in!

Meanwhile, Chance kept asking, “Where’s Bigfoot?  What does Bigfoot like?  Is Bigfoot talking?” while I shushed him and plied him with fruit snacks.  (Yet, he wouldn’t take a photo with the guy there in a Chewbacca suit. Darn it!

I had to do more fast talking after the conference when it came to getting my grubby paws on the “evidential materials”.   They were giving out two photos (what’s posted here, which are, unfortunately, copies of copies) and the DNA test conclusions, but only to credentialed press members.  People were swamping the table and even though I held back some I got caught in the fray, holding a hot, heavy and increasingly impatient three-year-old.  (Yeah, I’m a professional.) 

Tom Biscardi, who was picking and choosing who to give materials to: “Tell me a good story, people!”

Me:  “Hi, I’m writing for blazingtalons.com, a site about science and the supernatural!”  (I’m hoping my good buddy doesn’t mind that I co-opted his site.  Plug!)

Tom looks like he might give me something but turns to someone else. Then turns to another someone else.  He certainly looked like he was having fun. 

Me: waiting

waiting

waiting

Me, in an aggrieved and slightly impatient tone:  “Hey, can you let me know whether I’m going to get copies or not?  I got called in for this last minute and I’m dying here with the kid!  Thanks so much!”  Score!

See?  The trick is to act like you don’t care and you’re just doing your job.  Those college boys got nothing.  

As for the meat (har har) of the conference, I gotta tell you… it was sketchy, folks, very very sketchy.  There were a lot of vague statements reiterating what’s already on their website.  The much touted DNA and photo “evidence” is what I’ve posted here.  Some of the statements made included, “the body is at a [undisclosed] safehouse awaiting autopsy,” and “top scientists are looking into this.”  No names given.  No definitive dates for when more evidence would be available.  Even the date that the body was discovered seems to have been forgotten by the intrepid Bigfoot hunters. 

Hmmm.

The press was clearly skeptical, and towards the middle of the conference our expert hunters were getting a bit defensive and pissed off.  They seemed to not expect quite so many probing questions, especially the ones regarding inconsistencies in their background stories.  Or even (could it be true?) quite so much attention in general.  One of the gentleman (Matthew Whitton, I think) even made a statement about how they expected local interest but that they never expected as much global interest as they’ve gotten.

Hello?  It’s fucking Bigfoot!  On the most scientific basis, you’re talking a previously undiscovered primate.  And a gigantic primate at that.

And in response to the numerous times the press asked if they were sure the body was real (some just flat-out asked if it was a hoax), the response was, “Yeah! The body smells!”      

(How long does it take to “await” an autopsy, anyway?  Because that chick on Bones seems to just whip them out!)

So obviously, I’m not sold.  Deep down I kind of hope they DID find Bigfoot (because I love this shit!), but we’ll have to wait and see if anything else comes out of this.

Fun fact:
Number of Moms there with Toddler: 1  (Although I did see a couple of fan families show up later, i.e. Bigfoot-lovin’ mom, dad, and 2.5 teenaged kids.  Sign-in lady must have loosened up when it was obvious the room wasn’t full.)

And now a few more pictures. (Note to self: Need better camera!)         - wg

My almost-as-bad-as-a-Bigfoot-photo shot.

DSC03185

The Bigfoot guys, Matthew Whitton, Rick Dyer, and Tom Bascardi (left to right)

DSC03198

One smart marketing monkey (he was there representing Zimbio.com)

DSC03190 rotated_b


The marketing monkey getting his own press conference.  Don't you think wearing the suit would be reward enough?!  (BTW, that's MY stroller glowing in the background.  Yessiree.)

DSC03199 copy


Legends… and so close to home!

The giant magnifying glass pointed at my head - manned, no doubt, by some prepubescent alien - has burned a hole in my skull from which melted brains have oozed to puddle around my feet.   You could fry an egg on those brains.  

This laptop is doing a decent job of scorching the hair off my crotch, too.  (Let’s pray it’s permanent.)

Since I’m too hot to think of appropriate life lessons let’s go for absurdity.  I started to write a little story about the chupacabra and an OB visit...

However, I have since learned that there is a press conference regarding the recent Bigfoot corpse capture in a town quite near me!! 

I ask you… would it be bad parenting for Chance and I to attend this press conference? 

Would it be news(blog)worthy?

Your thoughts are appreciated.               - wg


And for my next trick… let’s see how many SweetTarts I can cram in my mouth!

So yesterday was my blog anniversary - three years and 504 posts!  On the one hand, it really blows me away; three years is a long time.  I hadn’t really started this blog with any type of plan or timeframe in mind, but if someone had asked me if I’d still be writing it three years from the time I started I can’t imagine I would have said “yes”. 

I truly feel like I’ve found a great community through blogging; through their words I’ve been introduced to wonderful people whose lives and thoughts have touched my heart.  I also feel like I’ve made true friends.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everyone who stops by to listen to me blather.  And let’s face it, I do a lot of blathering. 

*sniff*  I love you guys!  (I’ll try really hard not to drunk dial anyone.)

On the other hand, as I mark this anniversary, I look at three years and 500+ pages and feel like a total slacker!  I mean holy crap!  That could be a novel!  What kind of English major am I?  For shame, ye who has revered Shakespeare and made a pledge (to myself) to join the ranks of the published (even if it’s just as a minor pulp fiction writer and not anywhere near the league of Shakespeare).  (Oh crap, now Shakespeare will think I’m a stalker… I swear, I won’t lurk around the corners of heavenly bookstores, staring at you with crazy goo-goo eyes! (You know, on the chance that you do signings, Mr. Bard Sir.))  For shame!

Oh, and the reason I didn’t post this yesterday is I was busy fucking around instead of writing. 

But that can’t be an issue.  

Big hugs to everyone!        – the weirdgirl


Squeeze my tomatoes

Yeah, baby, just like that.

DSC03179

We arrived home Thursday night to an abundance of tomatoes.  Bruschetta anyone?  Me and the kiddo also seemed to be fighting off some sort of summer cold.  Hopefully those tomatoes have a lot of vitamin C.

We had a nice trip and a good week (in the world of toddler behavioralism) and I have some fun photos to post.  And then yesterday, at a family party, a full-blown tantrum came crashing down.  Oy.  I am going to become one of those mothers that starts to beg off get-togethers because of "too much activity."  "Sorry, a bit overwhelming," and "It's been a long week already, don't think he's up for it," and everyone will shake their heads and deem me "overprotective" or maybe even one of those "goofy mothers" and say things like, "He'll have to get used to loud places eventually."  And you know what?  I won't care one whit.  I will be the goofy parent.  Because it's a sight better than disattaching two howling toddler cousins.

And I must remember to squeeze my boy more.  It's calming for him.

See, 'cause I had a little niggling feeling yesterday that the party was a bad idea.  Listen to your colds, people.  (Don't call them "allergies".)  Listen to the tomatoes. 

(I will post pics when I'm not so fuzzy headed.)          - the weirdgirl


Another point of view

While the weirdgirl continues her vacation away from the internet, I get the chance to stray from my usual cake decorating and cake photography.  A guest post by Jeanne Diaz of AJ's Moonlight Bakery...


In my spare time, I like to take odd perspective shots that challenge the normal view of everyday objects.  In a hotel room with the '70s textured glass separating the bathroom counter from the room counter (envision the cheapest casino hotel room on the Reno strip, lost in the '70s), I took a shot of the glass.  I thought it looked like a cityskape.  The flash illuminated a single dot near the top with six glowing dots around it, and the toiletries were blurred at the bottom.  It was like the sun shining down on shapes that looked like buildings.  Was I just high?  My grandma thought it was a picture of maggots.


So now I want to find out what my latest shot resembles, or if you can guess what it really is.  For the fabulous prize of Bragging Rights (and possibly a cool "Winner" button from the weirdgirl when she returns because she knows how to do that and she's not here to say no), tell me what you see. 


DSC03170-1 Compressed

Hint:  this was taken from inside the weirdgirl house and Keen loves it. 


Another hint:  Keen does not love maggots.


Jeanne

AJ's Moonlight Bakery