Jan 31, 2008

Awwww, Freak Out...

OK, so I'm no good at not panicking. I thought I'd made some progress through the years. And I guess I have when I look at the things I used to panic about that I don't anymore...but the capacity is still there. And the extent of my panic tends to be inversely proportional to the degree of control I have of the given situation. Which actually doesn't seem all that remarkable to me...of course I tend to panic less when there's something I can DO about it. But today--today was a day of panic and banging my head against a wall.

It began several weeks ago, when I was temporarily farmed out to another project at work. It involved true technical, analytical, nerd work, which I don't get to do all that often, but is both fun and unnerving when I get the chance. Fun once the problem is solved; unnerving during the process leading up to the solution, which is like 80% of the time.

So in the process my turn came up for a replacement computer and I was really excited because I thought "Hey, a new computer!" and I thought a newer, faster machine would help the nerd work go a bit faster. So I got my new computer and was all excited to fire it up, but then I had a major software issue. The software wouldn't work. So I sent my new computer to be worked on. Then the problem didn't get better after the first couple tries, so I started to panic about the growing time crunch on my nerd work...amazingly, people are actually counting on my results, so I want to do it well and on time.

So I had a brilliant idea--while my new machine was being worked on, I would use my OLD machine to keep up with the work. Brilliant! But when I went to fire up my old machine I couldn't connect to my company's network. And therefore couldn't do the work. My panic grew ever so slightly, but I asked some folks for their thoughts and decided to call in some tech support. My company's tech support is good--they've always taken care of me.

Until I called and the automated system told me that they were in a STAFF MEETING. All of them. In the middle of the day. While I had no connectivity and my panic levels were reaching epic proportions. The nerve! I was seriously freaked out...not quite afraid of getting fired, but definitely nervous about what my team and my supervisor would say. I thought & thought and racked my brain, and I really was doing everything I possibly could, so I had to wait it out and occupy myself with other things for 3 hours (3 HOURS) until the help desk was back online. It was torture. So finally I got hold of them, and it took all of 5 minutes to fix the problem and get myself back in working order. Still frustrating to know that my new machine was stuck in a lab waiting for some TLC and probably some reinstallations...but I'll take what I can get with the old one. At least it works now.

Then my adrenaline levels started to recede, so I felt better...then I got home, took a jog with His Highness, and ate some chocolate--and I felt much better. Now if I can just get the Cat Daddy to watch something other than the political debates, just for tonight...wait, wait...yes, I've been able to tune them out completely. All I hear is "blah blah blah"--aaaaahhhhhhh...

Jan 27, 2008

Proof That I Have Smart Friends...

Oh right, the quiz. Smiller got it right away--each letter can also be a name:
  • (Aunt) Bea
  • Dee (Snider)
  • (Homer) Jay (Simpson)
  • (Mary) Kay
  • Elle (MacPherson)
  • (Auntie) Em

Some might argue that Em is pushing it, but it takes just one parent to name their kid the nickname, and it'll stand on its own.

You can get into some of the double initial names, such as Cici, Gigi, Opie, Casey and such, but I don't think it's quite as elegant as the single ones.

So, as promised, high praise and esteem go to my dear friend Smiller...and here's hoping she finds time to keep a blog of her own one day...

New Year's Meme...

I've been tagged by Bowden McElroy for the following exercise:
  1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

I've done this sort of thing in the past, since I love to talk about myself. The trick will be not repeating things I've said before...

So, 7 things:

  1. Like many people I was very organized pre-kids.
  2. Like many people I have yet to reacquire my previous state of organization post-kids.
  3. I have lofty goals of reorganizing my household in the coming year; we'll see how reality plays out.
  4. I also have lofty goals of running miles & miles along the beach this summer; we'll see how reality plays out.
  5. In high school I was on the drumline. During football games I would be so bored that I brought along reading material to pass the time. I've since developed slightly more interest in football, but not much.
  6. I prefer sportsmanship to gamesmanship. I might think gamesmanship is a bunch of crap.
  7. When God talks to me, I don't hear him audibly, but I know it's him because I will feel shaky and anxious. As a nervous-type, I find this either very strange or very fitting.

There! Now for my 7 tags I will choose pretty much everyone who both has commented on my blog and has their own--Amber, Cattiva (Does This Mean I'm a Grown-up), Chewymom, EmmaSometimes, Linda (Reminisce...and this and that), the Cat Daddy, and John Shore (Suddenly Christian).

Good Advice for Anyone...

Whether you have kids or not, everyone will benefit from this and other baby care tips found here (or click on the pic).

You can buy the entire book here.

Jan 24, 2008


I’ve been tagged again, so I'll have a new meme out soon (I still don't get that word--'meme'), but in the meantime a rather random list I thought of the other day:

  • B
  • D
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M

Any ideas as to what these letters have in common? A correct guess will earn you high praise and esteem from within my little circle of bloggers...and what could be better than that??

Jan 20, 2008

Raspy Rasp...

...So, I caught His Highness's cold. Thus far I haven't developed an ear infection, presumably because my eustacian tubes are bigger and don't retain fluid as easily as his do. I did lose my voice though, and the pair of us hacking our heads off is a sight to behold. Priceless.

I'm using the opportunity to show His Highness how grown-ups and cool people blow their noses so that their mommies don't have to attack their noses with Kleenex. He found it fascinating, but didn't want to try it himself. Ah well--he'll catch on eventually. Thankfully he's on the mend by now anyway. Much less snotty physically, and more snotty in his actions--a good sign.

As for me, I spent my Christmas gift card at Barnes & Noble today, so I have some reading to do...

Jan 17, 2008

Fabulous My Eye...

Gap Jeans--they have never fit me well. Normally they're too thin in the thighs and far too long. Like, abnormally long; I think they're intended for women who are at least 5'10" to begin with, and then wearing heels. I don't wear heels. It took me several years of trying "just one more time," and then I finally gave up on the Gap jeans. This disappointed the Cat Daddy greatly, since the Gap is his favorite store. I think, given the budget and time, he would dress exclusively in Gap. So to be unable to share his Gap-love with me was, understandably, a bummer. We'd stop in to the Gap. He'd immediately find 5 articles that fit him perfectly and were appropriately trendy and distressed. He'd say something like "You should try on a pair of jeans" and I'd say something like "I'm telling you, Gap jeans don't flatter me." And he'd say, "You could just hem them," and I'd sigh and hang my head in exasperation at the sheer male-ness of his reasoning.

And don't even get me started with my attempts to explain the female sizing system. Curse those d$&* designers and their arbitrary numbering systems.

Well, hope springs eternal...or those in denial never give up, or something. Apparently, after having His Highness, my shape changed just enough to allow me to fit into a pair of Gap jeans. They were still way too long, but the other parts fit in a way that, in fact, I could "just hem them" and they'd fit, well, fabulously. It was near my birthday, so the Cat Daddy counted them as a gift, and I walked out of the store with my fabulous jeans.

They were so fabulous that I wore them to work often. Usually with a cute button-down and my Docs. Or, if I was feeling really saucy, my nutmeg blazer. Until today. Today it was the white tee and periwinkle v-neck sweater, the cute Docs, and the fabulous jeans. I looked so smart I could hardly stand it. Everything went swimmingly until just before quittin' time, when I felt a draft near my knee. A look down revealed a rip, straight across. And just like that, my most fabulous jeans became, at best, weekend wear. But even if that's to happen I'll need to patch them. It's too dang cold to voluntarily walk around with holes at my knees.

So I'm just plain annoyed on a number of levels. Obviously because these formerly fabulous jeans ripped in the first place. But also because they did it so nonchalantly, without warning. There were no signs; no wear-marks or anything. And I don't think I've had any jeans rip at all since about 3rd grade, so oh my goodness, what kind of cheap fabric or workmanship went into these that they would rip without provocation? It's not right, I tell ya...

(rant transition)

In other news, His Highness is ailing with an ear infection. It's either a reawakened remnant of the same infection he's been battling since, like, November, or an altogether new one; we're not sure. At any rate, this round of medicine is decidedly more pleasant than any of the 3 we've tried thus far. He only needs to take it for 5 days, only one dose per day, it tastes good (so I'm told), AND it doesn't adversely affect stool consistency, unlike some nasty antibiotics we've had the misfortune of experiencing.

The upside to all of this is that, while he's a little more cranky and demanding than usual, His Highness seems to be on the mend, and we're hopeful that this time the medicine will wipe everything out completely...

(one more rant and then I'm done)

The Cat Daddy has been out of town this week. Despite a sick kiddo and having to plow 8" of snow one evening, my panic levels have been minimal, and I think we've fended for ourselves beautifully. A week by myself used to be a wonderful chance for some peace & quiet; now 48 hours 'alone' does the trick, because after that the rate of random glitches increases while people's sympathy for one's plight as a temporary single parent decreases. Exponentially. All that to say that I was quite ready for him to come home.

But then stupid US Airways had aircraft issues, and to make a long story short, the Cat Daddy is being held over an extra night. Instead of returning late tonite, he'll arrive late tomorrow morning, after His Highness and I leave for the day. Stupid US Airways...

Jan 13, 2008

World Breastfeeding Week 2008 Contest...

Yep, I'm fairly crunchy when it comes to the breastfeeding. I'm not militant about it, but I think it's a beautiful thing. And I thought the photo was beautiful, so I swiped it from TulipGirl.

For more info on the contest, click here.

Jan 11, 2008

Stress Relief...

We are all worn out in my house; it's been a doozy of a week. His Highness has been asleep since 8 or so, and the Cat Daddy is snoozing in the big blue chair. Friday night, folks, Friday night. I meant to watch Monk, but I completely forgot until now and I just missed it. Dangit, I'll have to settle for Psych.

I received a forward listing "Christian" ways of dealing with stress the other day. So in the spirit of snarkiness and thumbing my nose at tact and sensibility, here are some decidedly UNchristian ways of dealing with stress...

  • Wait until you're in a quiet yet busy environment (library, elevator, etc.). Scream like some kind of wild banshee, then say "Tension breaker; had to be done."
  • Cuss out the bagboy when he puts heavy things in with the bread. Throw 2 quarters at him in place of the normal $3 tip.
  • Raid the fudge in the freezer. Lick each piece, then put it back where you found it.
  • Squeeze out a full tube of toothpaste (ala "Ramona").
  • Take a jog through your local farmers' market. Grab a piece or 2 of your favorite fruit and don't look back.
  • "Play drums" by cutting holes in them with your keys.
  • Spend a while catching up on/trying to figure out Facebook under your dominatrix alias.
  • Shovel snow into your arch-enemy's bed.
  • Find a balloon vendor. Pop all his balloons and run.
  • Bang on a piano for a while. Then open the cover and play it. Loudly.
  • Take a baseball bat to a snowman.
  • Walk into WalMart and sneer at the greeter.
  • Take a long walk on top of someone's back.
  • Two words: Duct Tape

Jan 9, 2008


Last night I finished Glorious Appearing, the last book in the Left Behind series. This completes a years-long venture for me.

I read the first book, Left Behind, the same summer I married the Cat Daddy. I think. The summers from that time of my life are all a bit mottled and mingled for various reasons, none of them very exciting at all. I mean, I was sober the whole time if that's what you're wondering.

I loved that first book. Over the years I continued to read the books, and even began collecting them, although my enthusiasm gradually waned. By the time they (LaHaye & Jenkins) finally finished the series a few years ago, I couldn’t bring myself to read the last one. I think I was still in grad school at the time, and if that was the case I honestly didn’t have the time to read it. And then I pretty much forgot about it until I found it in our church library a few weeks ago. It felt wrong, having read all of the first 11 books, not to go ahead and finish it off. So I checked it out.

Guess what? Jesus won.

True to form in many of the latter books, the vast majority of this one covered a span of only a few days, so most of the text was drawn out like a soap opera. Several storylines going at once, and they’d give a short vignette on each, always leaving the reader hanging at some point just before going onto the next. Big print, big margins, etc.—all the standard complaints of any of the books after number 4 or so.

There’s the whole pre-post-mid-trib debate, as well, but I don’t care too much about that. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making a pre-trib assumption and playing it out. Granted, LaHaye and others can get pretty snippy when anyone suggests anything else, but I generally ignore all of that since I don’t know enough to form a true opinion of my own (I like the pre-trib rapture simply because then the Christians don’t have to be around for any hard stuff). I'm not entirely sure that it matters all that much whether or not we know ahead of time which it will be.

Anyway, I hope I don’t get struck down for this, but my biggest complaint was the gratuitous scripture-quoting in the book. When Jesus came, he barely said anything that wasn’t in the Bible. At some points it made sense, since they were depicting prophecy fulfillment, but other times I felt gypped out of original and imaginative dialogue. Come on, I’m sure Jesus did and probably will say things that aren’t in the Bible. It would have been fun to put some of his words into everyday language. Instead of “Rayford, I will never leave you nor forsake you,” how about:

“Rayford, I will never leave you. Ever.”


“Dude, chill out—I’m not going anywhere. I’m here for you, man. Forever.”

See, it doesn’t even have to be particularly creative. They also really got into Jesus’s (and God’s) words literally slicing through people like a sword, resulting in spilled bowels and such, which was simultaneously hokey and cool in a sci-fi sort of way. Definitely not for kids. Or the squeamish. Or squeamish kids. They explained TONS of things away with a standard “it happened supernaturally,” which sounds like a big cop-out to me, especially thinking back to their more creative suggestions in the first few books. Although since they were talking about Jesus, I suppose anything can “just happen,” so whatever. And every so often they did manage to include a description or sentence or phrase that I found fairly moving. But don’t tell anyone I said that—it’ll ruin my snarky image.

Overall, would I recommend the book? Only if you’re a huge Left Behind buff. But whatever you do, take it with a grain of salt. Nice story. Fun to imagine. Blah blah blah…

Jan 4, 2008

The Latest & Greatest...

So I think it's time for an update on several fronts...

...We were in Arizona for 2 weeks over Christmastime. This is where I learned the valuable lessons in my previous post. As usual, the weather was outstanding. I jogged. In shorts. The grandparents got their baby-fix tending after His Highness, and though some of them seemed a little rusty on the rules of nutrition, they all proved to be outstanding, as far as grandparents go. Thomasina took the Cat Daddy and me to our first-ever real comedy show at the Tempe Improv. I filled in as a utility player on the worship team at our home church. Half the family got sick so we skipped church on Christmas Eve, but not before the obligatory dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant--YUM! His Highness spent time perfecting his walking skills, and now uses them as his primary mode of locomotion. He also turned one year old, which the Cat Daddy and I count as quite an accomplishment since we've made it this far without seriously maiming him. We got to rest and catch up with friends after we finished our Christmas shopping. It was the first visit in a while where I didn't have to spend any time at the DMV. And after a several-year hiatus, Santa visited once again. It was magical...

...Being the homebody in the family I must admit that, while I love visiting our peeps in AZ, two weeks away from my own bed (and couch, and space, and routines) is pushing it a bit. That said, it was fantastic to tack on 2 days in Denver visiting the Z's on my way home. The Cat Daddy couldn't make it, but His Highness and I had a great time catching up with our friends and drinking all their milk. We are SO glad they live in the States again. I tried to teach His Highness the fine art of backing down the stairs, but he didn't really want to do anything educational so I had to settle for watching him like a hawk and following him up so I could help him down...

...I believe the last time I talked about our pending move, the date was set for mid-April. We are still headed out to California for 6-8 months while the Cat Daddy does some training for his follow-on stint in the Frozen Midwest Boondocks, but after some shuffling of people and re-interpreting the report dates, as of today (and I do mean today) we are scheduled to leave New England on or about Feb 23. So while moving is always bittersweet, this turn of events raises slightly the ratio of "bitter" to "sweet." The Cat Daddy has been a whirlwind of motivation this week, packing everything he doesn't see me use every day, so I'm not worried about being ready in time. It's just that I'm beginning to feel a tad rushed, and I don't like feeling rushed. Anyway, we're expecting the official paperwork soon so we can either apply for base housing or start hunting for apartments. But check back again--at this rate we may end up leaving two weeks ago...

...there's probably more, but as usual it's time to call it a night...