Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Man Make Fire

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 By , No comments

On News Channel 12’s evening news tonight, they were covering the story of a fire that totaled a home: “Investigators say that the fire started in a wood-burning stove.”

Isn’t that like saying the fire started in the fireplace? That’s what a wood-burning stove is for, dumbasses. To burn things. With fire, no less.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Out of the Mouths of Jackasses

I was talking to my brother about some quasi-racist statement that he made. I knew that to contradict him would start an argument.

Me: Well, I don't know that I necessarily agree with you on that.
Bro (defiantly): I think there's more evidence for it than against it.

If you contradict him, he gets pissed off. If you just decide it's not worth it to argue, he takes it as a weakness and comes after you anyway. There's no way to win, but I always try fruitlessly. So, here I go again.

Me: Well, perhaps anecdotal evidence, but the biological research doesn't support it, from what I understand.

See how I'm trying to be respectful? I leave room for his opinion, I take responsibility for the fact that I'm not an expert and may not know everything about the subject, and I acknowledge that there are valid supporting arguments for his perspective. Anecdotal evidence is often a solid foundation upon which reasonable hypotheses are built. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with it.
Bro: I don't trust people who do research. They think they know more than they do.


Out of the mouths of babes

We took the sonogram video to my parents’ house on Dad’s birthday. Jacob, my seven-year-old nephew, was very excited, even though he really wanted her to be a boy.

We watched the grainy, black-and-white footage of the baby, looking for all the world like a Hollywood representation of a ghost. In other words, it’s really an outline, a shading, of the baby’s general features.

We had to point out feet, toes, fingers, nose, lips, etc. to people, to give them reference points for the image. “Oh!” they exclaimed. “Now we see it!” Jacob was more excited each time he saw a new feature - so I thought. Then I realized he was getting agitated. Suddenly he exclaimed, “She looks like an alien!” He thought that’s what the baby actually looks like!

You should have heard us trying to explain to him what he was actually seeing. I tried, “See, it’s not like a camera picture. It’s done through my skin with a thing that actually is recording sound waves.” He nodded in obviously feigned comprehension.

A scene from previews for the movie “Daredevil” came to mind and I tried to use that to explain it. “But I haven’t see it ‘cause my mommy wouldn’t let me.” Finally, I hit on dolphins. That got a cautious, uncertain nod.

Bats? That did it. “Oh, yeah,” he said authoritatively, clearly relieved to be on familiar ground. “I know all about how bats fly.” He proceedrf to describe it to me in such detail that I knew he knew nothing. But at least he was no longer upset.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Dog is my co-pilot

Seen on the license plate of a Toyota Highlander registered in Columbia County: “GODZSUV”

I’ve never had the urge to ram my car into the back of another one, but just then...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christmas with the Krankies

My husband's parents go to First Baptist Church. It’s not my favorite place to be. First of all, any church where the deacons get into fistfights is not my kind of place. Second of all, I detect a higher-than-average portion of people who attend for the publicity benefits, it being the largest church in Augusta. They can be seen being pious by the largest number of people at one time.

His parents want us to go to church with them on Christmas Eve. I pretend to slit my throat. For a moment, I almost give in to the hormone monster and pitch what I call a “dog-at-the-wedding” sized fit (after the fit my mother had when we told her we wanted Scrabble at the wedding). It takes me what feels like an eternity to get my inner child under control and refrain from lying down in the middle of the kitchen floor, drumming my heels and screaming.

Scott: I don’t want to go.
Me: I don’t either. I don’t see how we can get out of it.
By this morning, he has a plan.
Scott: We’ll tell them we can’t go because we’re going to Midnight Mass.
I look at him, amused, but clearly he is a moron.
Me: You’re not Catholic.
Scott: Yes, I am.
Me: No, you’re not! Besides, (I launch into an imitation of his mother’s very obviously cultivated coastal-high-plantation Southern accent) “Why can’t you go to church with us, and then go to mass later?” (Sounds like this: “Whhhi cahn’t yoo goe tuh chuhrch whheeith uhs, and theein goe tuh mahyass latuh?”)
Scott: You can’t go to church twice in one day.
Me: It’s Christmas! You can go as many times as you want! Honey, I haven’t been to church in so long that if I entered the door I’d probably burst into flames. God saves up smites for people like me.
Scott: You were in church two weeks ago!
We went to a wedding.
Me: I just don’t see how we can get out of it.
Scott: Well, you’re going to come down with something.
Me: We have to see them tonight!
Scott: You’ll get better after church.
Me: You are not going to blame this on me.
Scott: But I. Don’t. Want. To. Go.
Me: So tell them that.
Scott (grinning): Okay!

Crap. We’ll have to go twice next year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Hey, Jealousy...

<> My husband has always been fearless. While it hasn’t always served him well, I regret that I will never have stories that begin with “So, when I was 8, my grandfather decided it was time I learned how to drive,” and “Yeah, I think it was the ‘Kiss My Ass Fridays’ and the phone bill to Japan that got me fired."

Monday, December 20, 2004

Holly Jolly, by golly

Scott’s grandparents gave us a little Christmas angel salt-and-pepper shaker set. We don’t have any Christmas decorations because - well, because we’re not Christian. The shakers were cute in a Precious Moments kind of way - which is to say they made me nauseous - and we brought them home with us because I love his grandparents. It was a regift from a party, she said, but she wanted us to have it. She said, “We already have a set. They must have made millions of them, ‘cause I see them everywhere.” That made me laugh. She’s just a total straight shooter, no airs about her.

I expected Scott to throw them in a box somewhere. But at home, he tore them open, moved my cutie mini Japanese teapot, and displayed the shakers above the stove.

“Oh, do you like them?” I asked, surprised. Don’t I sound like a complete snob? I hate me.
“No, I don’t like them. But they’re Christmassy, so they can sit there for a little while. And next year we’ll trot them out again.”
I laugh at his characterization: “And thus are traditions born.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Dog Dilemma

Barkley, is out of control. He chews. He poops. He pees. I dog-proofed the house, take him outside more frequently... nothing changes.

Mainly, though, he barks at top volumne. We’ve tried telling him “No!” To which he replies “RrrrrUUUUUFF!” We’ve tried putting him in time-out in his kennel, to which he replies, “RRrf! Ruf! RufRuf!!Ruf! Ruf! Ruf! Ruf! Ruf! Ruf! Ruf!...” you get the idea. We’ve tried popping him on the nose, to which he replies “Ruf!” (chomp on the nearest finger).

I finally got one of those collars that makes a high pitched noise when a dog barks that supposedly they hate and makes them not bark so much. Wrong. He didn’t even hear it, but it sure annoyed the hell out of us. I gave it to my mother for her dog.

Our last resort: a shock collar. I haven’t bought one yet, but I’ve located and priced them. The collar says it’s only a pinprick, which has to hurt less than Scott whacking him on the nose... I really don’t want to do it, but it seems the only way. If there’s anyone who has any suggestions, please let me know!

Saturday, December 18, 2004


The dogs' favorite things to eat are: toilet paper, paper towels, and the cardboard holders for those. Tonight, we finished eating dinner and Barkley was trying to get to the paper towel on Scott's tray table. A mere two feet away, the paper towel was yelling "Your muthaaaaahhh!" from atop its safe perch. Barkley was straining at the edge of the sofa, whining.

I turned to pick him up just as he launched himself at the tray table. I mean, he threw himself into the air for all he was worth, paws outstretched and head down, like he really thought he could fly.

The tray table went flying - glass, paper towel, and magazine hit the floor, and so did Barkley. I covered my face with my hands. Scott leapt to pick up the glass before it all spilled out while I collapsed, laughing. He grabbed Barkley and put him in his kennel for a time-out, while I tried to get myself under control.

"If you do that in front of our child, I am going to be so pissed off at you!" he exclaimed as he latched the kennel door and tried to keep from stumbling over Scrabble, who was confused and excited by the spectacle.
"He really thought he had it! I mean, that was some ambition!" I snorted from the couch.
"It was so bad!" he stomped back into the room, Scrabble scrambling in close behind him.
"Honey, he's a dog. You have to admire his determination!"

Friday, December 17, 2004

Not a Way To Get a Raise

Boss: I’ll be back shortly. They’re opening a new furniture store downtown, and I’m going to the ceremony.
Me: Are you going to cut the ribbon?
Boss: Uh, sure.
Me: Don’t forget your tiara.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Dunlap's disease

Thursday, December 16, 2004 By , 3 comments

At last Wednesday's doctor visit, the OB detected an irregular heartbeat. Since Scott has a heart murmur, it was cause for concern. So I returned on Monday for three fun-filled hours of things shoved into my body (hey.. that's how I got this way!). What I don't understand is why doctors won't listen to me. I'm not claiming to have some preternatural control over my body, but - I mean, it is MY body.

For example, the doctor was trying to listen to the baby's heartbeat and couldn't find it.
Doctor (smearing jelly on my belly): Sorry about it being cold.
Me: That's cool. (heh. pun.)
Doctor (moving the wand over my belly): Hmmm.... (furrows brow)
She can't find the heart beat.
I wait.
She searches the same small area to the left of my belly button. I'm not one to tell doctors how to do their jobs, but...

Me: She likes to hang out over here.
I point to the right side of my belly, under my ribs.
Doctor (still searching same spot on the left): MmmHmm....
I wait.
Me: Really, I think she's over here.
Doctor (irritated look crossing her face): Well, let's see.
The second she puts the monitor where I pointed, the baby's heartbeat comes over the speaker. Her eyebrows go up.
Doctor: You know your baby!

How can I not know where a 9-pound mass of elbows and knees are smashing against my body?

Tai One On

We're planning a "serenity series" in the gardens, and my intern was calling around asking about yoga and tai chi instructors. She got a lady at an physical rehabilitation clinic who was rude and combative.

Lady: "So, you're going to have the classes... outside?"
Intern: "Yes."
Lady (scoffing): "Well, I don't think that's going to work."

In fact, one of the tenants of tai chi is that you should attempt to perform the exercises in natural surroundings. I was telling Scott about how rude she was.

"Damn," he said. "Don't mess with the tai chi people. They'll kick your ass."
"But, they're slow," I said. "So I can duck."

Fingers Too Frozen To Type

One of the visitor specialists at work neglected to turn on the heat before he left last night, so it's 48 degrees in the office. I've been working in a coat, scarf, and gloves all morning - and I can't feel my toes.

I called him at 8:30 to wake him up: "John, we need you to go ahead and come into to work now instead of at noon - oh, and wear shorts and a t-shirt."

It would have been more funny if I hadn't been talking to his voice mail.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

I hate maternity clothes

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve never been cool. I can’t match clothes more complicated than Grrranimals. But why do maternity clothes “designers” get their inspiration from Volvo? I’m wearing this shirt - yes, the same one I bitched about earlier - and I feel like an idiot.
“It’s just a maternity shirt!” Keela said.
I feel like my grandma’s couch.

Buyer's regret

I bought a maternity shirt that fits well, and is as flattering as a maternity shirt can be. Now think the shirt looks like something polyester that my grandmother might wear. Scott insists that he really likes it. So I'm keeping it, and getting used to it. But this morning, when I put it on to go to work, I just felt so old.

Me: I feel like I'm wearing a carpet.
Scott (laughing): No, you're not.
Me: I look matronly.
Scott: No, you don't. You look motherly.
Me: Same thing!
Scott: No. Matronly is bad. Motherly is good.

I consider this for a minute. Maybe it's an identity thing. I've never really considered myself "mother" material. But I guess I have to get used to it now. Then it hits me...

Me: I don't want to look motherly. I want to look "milfily."
Scott (laughing): You do.

I glare at him because I am not a moron. What I look like is a beach ball with legs.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

I'm just really mean at heart

<>So, Scott and I watch "Jeapardy!" a lot, because we're nerds. In fact, we're old, married nerds, which is even worse. Competing was a chick from Warrenton, Ga., which is right down the road from us. This lady was devoid of personality, wit, and charm. In addition, she had one of the most unattractive Southern accents I have ever heard.

Scott: Good LORD, that woman!
Me: I know.
Scott: How did she make it on this show?
Me: Well, she's not stupid. She's a newspaper editor in Tennessee.
Scott: Oh, really?
Me: It must be the Mountain Monthly Press.

Bad Mommy

So I bought the shock collar.

I put it on Barkley and Scott and I waited. He RUFFED around the house for a few hours before I finally said, "Honey, I don't think it's working." Turns out the battery was in wrong. More waiting.

Then, it was time to go potty. Once outside, Scrabble spotted a squirrel, his arch-nemesis. He couldn't hate them more if they were midget ninjas attacking at our back door. He took off after them, running and barking at the top of his lungs. Barkley, a follower of the lemming category, said to himself, "Yeah, me, too!" and leapt forward with a merry "RRRRRUUFF!" ...
and promptly fell over squealing like a pig!

He scrambled up and ran around for a minute, yelping, until he realized that just made it worse. Then he stood there, confused and pissed and a little breathless, while Scrabble nosed him and whined sympathetically - and set the damn collar off again. God! It was painful to watch - and funny as hell. I chased after him, crying and laughing, until I was choking and had to stop. It's not supposed to effect him that way, but there is a Saint Bernard on the collar's package, and he's so teeny tiny that it probably wasn't meant for him.

He spent the rest of the day clinging to me and hiding under chairs. Poor baby. But it's been a unusually quiet couple of days.

Scott decided to try it out. He put the collar on his neck and gave a tentative bark. "Ruf!"
Nothing happened. I snickered.
"Honey, you're going to hurt yourself."
"RufRuf!" He barked some more.
Nothing. I laughed out loud.
"Stop it, for real."
He grinned.
To watch a 33-year-old grown man with a dog collar on, devilish look in his eye, yelling "ruf! ruf! Ruf!" in an uncanny imitation of an eight-pound Jack Russell puppy... oh, man. I was laughing and crying until I couldn't breathe, covering my face with the pillow and squealing "Stop it! You're going to knock yourself unconscious and I can't lift you!" He kept up, getting louder until finally he jerked the collar away from his neck.
"Whoa. It got me that time," he said.
"Really?" I gasped.
"Yeah. But it wasn't bad. It was more annoying than anything."

I was relieved but I'm still a rat-bastard for shocking my dog.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Scott: You're just too easy. Like that lady at Petsmart that day. I would have turned around and said, "Shut up!"
Me: Yeah, I couldn't believe that (mimicking lady in line, huffy and patronizing): "I can't believe you docked your dog's tail!" (returning to my normal voice): I didn't dock his tail, lady. He came like that.
Scott: I would have knocked that dog food she was buying right out of her hands.
Me: Well, honey, it was her lunch for the next day.
He spits beverage, laughing: That was wrong.
I shrug: Nah.

Friday, December 03, 2004


I fret constantly over the semi-permanence of the physical changes a pregnancy brings on. I didn’t know how vain I was until lately. I worry that I’ll never lose the 20 lbs I’ve gained, that Scott will no longer find me attractive, that the stretch marks that appear after you have the baby will make me look like one big elephant’s knee.

Scott laughs it off, insisting that he will always find me attractive.
“Besides, once you have the baby, you’ll have your old body back,” he assures me. I mull this over for a second, examining my stomach - well, what I can see of it.
“No,” I sigh. “I’ll have someone’s old body, but it won’t be mine.”