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

Friday, December 28, 2007

Taking a Sick Day

Friday, December 28, 2007 By 1 comment

Emmie is sick. Sort of. She has that rotavirus thing that everyone has been passing around. She's been pooping like a dysentery patient since two days before Christmas. But despite the fact that she hasn't eaten a full meal in almost a week and has the worst diaper rash I've ever seen on her (hey, look, there's only so much that changing diapers, applying ointment and taking frequent baths can do, okay?! I'm not a neglectful mother!), it hasn't slowed her down much between bowel movements.

At the moment, she is busy decorating our heads with various ribbons and bows from her vast collection of hair ornaments.

"Here, mama," she says, handing me a purple polka-dotted headband, sporting a matching pink one of her own.

"Thank you, sweetie," I say, slipping it on between typing stories. I'm supposed to be "working from home," but it's more like "laundry-doctor-dishes-e-mailing-and-telephone-calling from home." I have lots of notes, and I'm making progress on contacting people for interviews, but there's not as much written as there would have been at the office. I have managed to turn in two short pieces.

People are very very nice when you say you're working from home because your toddler is sick. They laugh off the kind of things that would offend them coming from the Metro Spirit office.

"Loot! I shate my booootie!" Emmie scream-sings. And the gentleman on the other end of the line just laughs.
"She's training for the convent," I say, dryly, watching her slip a blue polka0dotted headband onto Scott's head. I snicker at the sight. "You have no idea how wild those nuns can get behind cloistered doors. But anyway, tell me about your upcoming film series..."

Emmie brings me a bow to match the headband, and asks me to put one in her hair.

"Der!" she exclaims. "Now we de same! Mama hasa bow an' Emmie hasa bow!"
"That's very nice, sweetheart," I whisper, trying to appease her and listen to the artist at the same time. Oh, and type. Really, I need three heads and six arms to do all this.

Emmie takes a blue bow to Scott, who sighs heavily.
"Just put it on!" I hiss. I don't want her freaking out because she didn't get her way over something stupid. I'm having a hard enough time as it is.

"Fine," Scott says, as though the mere thought makes his penis shrink three inches. He slips the bow onto the front of his head and snaps it tight, next to the bright blue headband already ensconced in his red hair. "But if she brings me Dora panties, I'm drawing the line."

Where It's At

"I really like this watch," A.C. said. "See how silly I get when I have a gift card?"
"It is very cool," I hedge. "But it also has a lot of parts that will get broken off."
She stares at the screen, rather petulantly.
"But it has TWO turntables!" A.C. tries to convince me.
"Does it also have a microphone?"

Monday, December 24, 2007

Hell Hath Frothen Over

Monday, December 24, 2007 By

My gift to you. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This is Called Listening Under the Influence. In Short, Be Aware of the Unintentional Side Effects of Geritol Overuse. And Get Help if You Need it.

AUGUSTA, GA. - Holiday sales might be depressing, but it's no blue Christmas for Josh Groban. His album, "Noël" claimed an unprecedented fourth straight week at number one, a feat never before accomplished by a holiday album. Elvis Presley set the previous record, three weeks, half a century ago with 1957's Elvis' Christmas Album. "Noël" sold 669,000 copies, according to the latest Nielsen SoundScan numbers.

Mannheim Steamroller's "The Christmas Song" made its Top 10 return, climbing six spots to number five. The disc, featuring guest vocals by Olivia Newton-John and Johnny Mathis, is the group's eighth holiday album in 23 years.

Josh Groban? Mannheim Steamroller? What next -a re-release of the John Denver holiday album? The Captain and Tenille put out "Muskrat Christmas?" And what was he the captain of??!! It's enough to make me crazy! How can people listen to this crap?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Don't Tase Me, Bro" tops '07 memorable quote list

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 By No comments

By Arthur Spiegelman Wed Dec 19, 8:39 AM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Don't Tase Me, Bro," a phrase that swept the nation after a U.S. college student used it seeking to stop campus police from throwing him out of a speech by Sen. John Kerry, was named on Wednesday as the most memorable quote of 2007.

Fred R. Shapiro, the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, said the plea made by University of Florida student Andrew Meyer on September 17, accompanied by Meyer's screams as he was tased, beat out the racial slur that cost shock jock Don Imus his job and the Iranian president's declaration that his country does not have homosexuals.

Shapiro said Meyer's quote was a symbol of pop culture success. Within two days it was one of the most popular phrases on Google and one of the most viewed videos. It also showed up on ringtones and T-shirts.

Second on Shapiro's list was this tortuous answer by Lauren Upton, the South Carolina contestant in the Miss Teen America contest in August:

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don't have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us."

Upton had been asked why one-fifth of Americans are unable to locate the United States on a map and later apologized for her answer not making a lot of sense.

Third was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's October comment at Columbia University in New York, "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country."

Shock jock Don Imus comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team: "That's some nappy-headed hos there," was fourth.

Imus created a national outcry and lost his job at CBS radio in April, but returned to the airwaves in December with Citadel Broadcasting.

Other phrases on the list:

5. "I don't recall." -- Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' repeated response to questioning at a congressional hearing about the firing of U.S. attorneys.

6. "There's only three things he (Republican presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani) mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11." -- Sen. Joseph Biden, speaking at a Democratic presidential debate.

7. "I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody (Vice President Dick Cheney) who has a 9 percent approval rating." -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat.

8. "(I have) a wide stance when going to the bathroom." -- Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig's explanation of why his foot touched that of an undercover policeman in a men's room.

9. "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." -- Biden describing rival Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

10. "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history." -- Former President Jimmy Carter in an interview in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper.

Oh, English Degree, Where Art Thou?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 By No comments

Why a college degree is not necessary to work in journalism:

A.W.: "Is Spongebob one word? Does anybody know?"
A.C.: "It is. So it Squarepants."

Higher education at work, folks. With this level of intelligence, we'll all soon be living in pineapples under the sea.

Holiday Gift Idea

Wednesday, December 19, 2007 By 1 comment

"Next, put your junk in that box..."



Sorry, Fraendy Clervaud! But Jim Christian out-funnies most mortals.
And you have excited his wrath.
Hee. I said "excited."


Monday, December 17, 2007

THIS is a Real Advice Columnist

I don't know if it's really too much to ask that advice columnists try to impart wisdom and humor, but I ask it anyway. I wish we had more writers who met this standard.

In Odd News...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

War on Christmas? Sounds Like a Crusade

The Aiken Standard's publisher's granddaughter must have written this P.O.S., because there's no way that anyone else would have been able to publish something so obviously biased... right? Anyone? Bueller?

"The fear of offending someone by referring to Christianity's most treasured figure has driven individuals and businesses to declare 'war on Christmas,'" the article says. "But is the 'war on Christmas' battle being fought in Aiken, S.C.? We at the Aiken Standard wanted to find out. During our day-to-day out at stores and eateries, we said to clerks we hoped they had a Merry Christmas and gauged their reactions. Out of the 10 places we visited, we heard a return "Merry Christmas" only twice. Two clerks said, 'Thank you.' The remaining responses, except for one, were, 'You, too' or a variation thereof."

First of all, where is the liberal media bias in this story? How did this woman get into a newspaper office? Didn't they ask her party affiliation at the security desk? This is an outrage! She should be working for the Republican Party!

Hyperbole aside, the point of saying "Merry Christmas" to someone is not some secret code for "Do you also accept Christ as your personal savior?" Or, at least, I hope it's not. The point is to simply wish someone has a merry Christmas, out of the goodness of your heart. I think people miss the whole idea of Christmas by insisting that people return it back to them. Isn't Christmas about selfless giving? Is it so hard to selflessly wish that someone has a merry Christmas, no matter what they wish you have? And, in my experience with store clerks, they're often wishing you would just get the hell out of their faces.

Saying "Merry Christmas" is a seasonal shift from the normal "Have a nice day."
"You, too" is a perfectly acceptable response; as is "Thanks." Although the first is preferable, in the way that "Bless You" is preferable to "Gesundheit," if only because it's easier to spell (thank you, built-in Firefox spell checker). In fact, because the statement is as much a vocal gesture of goodwill as putting pennies in the Salvation Army kettles outside the grocery stores, the only unacceptable response would be "Fuck you," or something of the sort. You wouldn't expect a Salvation Army bell ringer to give some pennies to you after you give to them. They just say, "Thank you." And that is - and should be - enough. Because you aren't doing it for a certificate of appreciation. You're giving money, or wishes for a merry Christmas, or holding a door open for someone in line behind you, because you are trying to be a nice person. Will you get something out of it? Maybe. The hope is that by leading by example, others will also be inspired to do nice things. And then the world will be a nicer place to live. And that's not impossible.

But it does become more difficult when you remove personal choice from the equation. Plato said that to be good, people had to think about being good. They had to internalize it as an intellectual pursuit, and reason through their own reasons for being good. Aristotle took it a step further and said that it's all well and good to think about being a good person, but you have to do good works, too. Exercising the good within you - as opposed to exorcising it, ha ha - is the way to be a truly good person.

And in by declaring that there is some kind of cultural war on Christmas, writers like this - or should I say paranoiacs like this - are removing the option to do good, which removes the meaning. When one is somehow required to say "Merry Christmas,"
it becomes a burden.

I say Happy Holidays. It's not to be PC. It's because I think of this time as encompassing a number of western holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. That's three, and that's plural, and I hope they're all happy for people and so "Happy Holidays" fits best of all. But most major religions in the world have some kind of celebration at this time of the year, so why not include them? I don't believe that we show our goodness by being exclusive and putting on a pious face in public and requiring such inanities as "Merry Christmas." I think we show our goodness by being inclusive, and putting on a humble face in public and giving to other people instead of requiring anything from them.

The Aiken Standard article continues: "Hints of awareness were spotted at Sunday's Aiken Christmas parade. Interestingly enough, we heard a young boy seated on a Boy Scout troop float in Sunday's Aiken Christmas Parade shout, 'Happy Hanukkah' to the crowd. Right after that, a Girl Scout troop float rode by, decorated with a mural of the Star of David, dreidels and menorahs."

When did "hints of awareness" become a bad thing? It smacks of the 2002 presidential election, when John Kerry was laughed at for being an "intellectual." I wouldn't have voted for him anyway, but I certainly hope that I live in a society where "intellectualism" and "awareness" are valued, not reviled. Besides, maybe the kids on the float were Jewish. Synagogues have been known to sponsor scout troups for the purpose of character training. Or, perhaps, those children really did simply hope that people who celebrate
Hanukkah had a happy holiday this year. I think that shows the kind of selfless inclusion that only children can display. And God bless them for it.

"While the 'war on Christmas' continues, Markovsky noted that he is seeing the 'pendulum swing the other way' — some are offended when Christ is taken out of Christmas, to sometimes be replaced with an 'X,'" the writer for the Aiken Standard goes on.

Well that just shows the ignorance of not only the people who are offended, but also the writer of this article. Because using an "X" for the sign of Christ has been done for centuries, as drawn from the Greek alphabet. The word Christ and its compounds, including the word "Christmas" have been abbreviated long before modernity. "Christ" was often written as "XP" or "Xt," and is still in Eastern and Greek Orthodoxy.

In fact, this symbol, which many Christian may have seen without understanding it's meaning, is called the labarum, or sometimes, the "Chi-Rho" (pronounce it like "Cairo). It also means "Christ," and was developed by the early Christian churches. This symbol used to hang on our Christmas tree in the sanctuary of the Presbyterian church, Grace Covenant, in Conyers, Ga., where I grew up.

The labarum, often called the Chi-Rho, is a Christian symbol representing Christ.


By numbers alone — gathered with our minimally scientific method — there is evidence of the war being fought in Aiken.


First of all, this woman cannot read or add. Because by her own count, 8 out of 10 of the people responded by saying "You, too," or some variation of it, which means "Merry Christmas to you, too," in verbal shorthand. According to the Census Bureau, 82% of all Americans self-identify as Christians. Of course, they're including about .05% who self-identify as Mormon, and a teeny few who self-identify as Eastern Orthodox, which this writer obviously would not include in her assessment. But, basically, it's a useful bit of statistical data. The flip-side: 17.9% self-identify as another religion, agnostic, atheist, or humanist, secular or no religion. Isn't it odd how secular and no religion are separate categories? People, if you take no other elective in college, take Quantitative Methods. Eye-opening. You really shouldn't believe everything you read about "scientific studies" in the news. More math in j-school!

Anyway. Back to my point.

As to what side will win and where it will lead us is anybody's guess, the article ends.

The fact that her research found that Aiken was generally representative of national trends wasn't good enough for that reporter. If this Aiken Standard writer has anything to do with it, the side that will win shall be the ignorant, uneducated and selfish side.

And we are all the worse for it.

Happy Holidays.

UPDATE:

A.C. brought this story up a few minutes ago.
"Is it possible that the kids were yelling 'Happy Hannukah' during the parade is because it is Hannukah?" she asked. "It's not Christmas."

And then she pointed out that right beside this story, on the Aiken Standard's website, is a click-through ad for the newspaper's "Holiday" gift guide. Not their "Christmas" gift guide.

Excellent reasoning, A.C. Your cool logic is always preferable to my histrionic emotionalism. It's nice to sit facing you every day. Except you have something on your forehead right now...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Overheard in New York... Six years Ago

From OverheardinNewYork.com

Tourist kid: Look! The Empire State Building!
Tourist mom: Where? I don't see it.
tourist kid: The big, pointy one!
Tourist mom: Oooh, let's take a picture!
Passerby: That's the Chrysler Building, you fucks.

Yeah. That would seem like a really mean thing to say to someone, except the last time I went to New York, I chaperoned a gaggle of Augusta State University college students. They were of legal drinking age, which concerned me, but all they really wanted to do was attend seminars and go see the Empire State Building.

"Uh! You guys! There it is!" I whined and pointed.
"We want to go see it," Jennifer said.
"It's a million blocks away! It just looks close because of... uh... forced perspective, or something. It's a known fact that objects on the New York City skyline are further away than they appear," I said. But they weren't listening to me. Heather grabbed my arm and pulled me along.
We walked and laughed for a few blocks, six or seven of us free from exams, essays, waiting tables, editing a magazine, or anything else except to hang out in one of the biggest, most exciting cities in the world.
But I didn't want to walk 25 blocks to see a building I could just as easily see in "King Kong." If I were ever to watch "King Kong." Really, is there anything about the Big Apple that hasn't been exploited in a movie or an episode of "Law & Order?" I thought there wasn't, until I saw last week's episode of "Law & Order: SVU," that focused entirely on Nigerian Christian polygamist legal immigrants who had been religiously and politically oppressed in their own country. That's quite the niche market there.
Anyway...
We walked for a long time. I think one of my toes fell off. "I Left My Toe in New York City" doesn't have the same ring as that song Tony Bennett sang about his heart and San Francisco. But along the way, we passed a building with a line wrapped around it.
"Why is there a line there?" Sean asked me.
"I don't know. It's New York. People think there's stuff worth lining up for," I said, irritably.
And two or three hundred more blocks later, we were there.
"Tada!" I waved wildly with my hands. "The Empire State Building! Let's go."
But they marveled at the glossy exterior, the intricate scrollwork and the sheer immensity of it.
"Wow. Nothing like this in Atlanta," Marvin said.
"What?! There's all kinds of stuff like this in Atlanta, if by 'this' you mean tall construction-type objects," I grouched.
"Well, it's different when you're actually here," Sean snapped at me. And deservedly.
"You mean here as in outside in the cold winter looking at the base and not even the front door of a building we can't get into because we have no reason to he here?" I asked. Did I mention that I was voted Miss Congeniality on the trip? I think it was the aftereffects of all the booze in the limo. Hells, yeah, we took a limo from the airport to the hotel. We're pimps like dat.
But Jennifer, always the sensible one, was pointing at a plaque a few dozen feet above us.
"Uh, why does that say Chrysler Building?" she asked.

Holy shit. My whole life I had them confused.

Somehow, that was an even longer walk back to the hotel than it was to the Chrysler Building. And along the way, we passed that line of people again. Guess where they were.

Yep. The Empire State Building.
















L-R: Empire State Building and Chrysler Building from afar.








L-R: Empire State Building and Chrysler Building from the base.

Angel, We Have Heard on High

"Hey, I was going through a pile of laundry and guess what I found?" A.W. asks me.
God, there's no telling. Cat poop? Diamonds? Jimmy Hoffa?
"What?" I ask warily.
"Your suitcase!" she laughs. "I swear I''ll get it back to you one day.
Dude, I loaned that thing to her about 8 months ago. And if I missed it, I'd be pissed. But it's just one more thing to try to close the closet door on. In fact, I'm thinking about tossing a piece of paper in a gift bag that says, "Stacey's Suitcase, get it from Alice" for the office gift swap this year. But it was a gift when I graduated high school, because everyone was so convinced that I was off to see the world. I guess Milledgeville is part of the world... Anyway...
"Meh, I don't care. I'll let you know if I need it," I say. "Oh, wait! I'm going to Atlanta!"
"Oh, I'll bring it back to you," she says.
"No, it's just for two days. I'm only messing with you."
"Two days? You can stick your stuff in a Wal-Mart bag for two days!" she laughs.
"Well, then I'd feel like I was at Angel's house for Christmas!"

Angel wasn't even sitting at her desk. The snappy comeback was totally wasted.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Stupid Quote of the Day (Even Though I Only Post About One a Month)

Friday, December 07, 2007 By No comments

"New York Voices takes disciplined uninhibited singing to a new higher level of disjointed unity."-- Reno Gazette Journal

disciplined uninhibited?
disjointed unity?

eschew obfuscation!

The Stella Awards

When you get that Jury Duty notice in the mail, think about this before you try to get out of it. Remember that the biggest strength and weakness of our legal system is the "Jury of Your Peers"; if you get called upon for Jury Duty please do your part to prevent travesties like this from happening. Without further adieu for your enjoyment I present The Stella Awards...

For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico where she
purchased the coffee. You remember, she took the l id off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right?

That's right; the se are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the Stella's for the past year:

7TH PLACE:
Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

6TH PLACE:
Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, Cal ifornia won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

5TH PLACE:
Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count'em, EIGHT, days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the
homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish. Keep scratching. There are more...

4TH PLACE:
Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas , garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

3RD PLACE:
Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

2ND PLACE:
Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak t hro ugh the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000....oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.

1ST PLACE: (May I have a fanfare played on 50 kazoos please)
This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her firs t trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down, $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Win nebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Who knew they cared so much?

WWF Says Warming Puts Amazon at Risk

It's nice to see professional wrestlers taking an interest in the environment.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Don't Call Us, We'll Call You Out

Wednesday, December 05, 2007 By 4 comments

Monday, December 03, 2007

These Guys COULD Have Had a V8, But Instead They Had Some Bacon


The website says: "Our mission in life is to make everything taste like real, delicious bacon, without the fat or calories. You can contribute to this cause by making a purchase below. Choose from 3 bacon-filled flavors – Original, Hickory and Peppered – or buy all 3! Whether you're a regular griller or a gourmet chef, are counting calories or are a vegetarian who craves mouth-watering bacon taste without the bacon guilt, this is what you've been waiting for."

Or buy none of them. I'd think that the invention of Bacon Salt was a joke but it sounds like something my husband would invent.

Gum is Not Enough to Clean a Dirty Mouth


So I finally got my Buzz kit in the mail, with the new Sonicare UV Sanitizer in it. For someone who can't sweep a floor, I was ridiculously excited to have a cleaning tool. Then again, I don't brush my teeth with the hardwood. So whatever dirt the dogs has tracked in doesn't make it into my mouth... or does it?!

See, the thing about dirt and dust is that it is airborne. And experts say that no matter how clean your bathroom is, it's never clean enough to eat off of. Your bathroom will always be teeming with bacteria and according to bug buster, Dr Greg Saenz from Environmental Testing Associates.

Dr Saenz: "Things that they've found in bathrooms that have caused problems are e-coli [which] can make people sick. There are certain kinds of e-coli. There are some salmonella bacteria that have been shown to cause people to get sick. There's staphylococcus aureus that people are always concerned about."

Saenz checks everything that a consumer might handle, particularly toothbrushes. As it turns out, every time you flush your toilet, you're creating a bacterial fountain. And how far from your toilet is your toothbrush? In our small apartment bathroom... not very.

Dr Gerber: "There's bacteria and viruses that were in the toilet and they're ejected out all over the rest room surfaces."

In extreme cases, we're talking salmonella, which can cause severe diarrhea; norovirus, which can cause gastroenteritis; and even hepatitis A, which causes liver disease. So not only do they land all over the place in the bathroom, on your toothbrush, you also breathe them in.

Dr Gerber: "You can breathe them in, but I'm more worried about brushing my teeth with them."

Dr Gerber says we should clean every day, using bleach for sinks, drains and the toilet bowl and disinfectant wipes for high-use areas like bench tops, taps and handles.

AND CLEAN YOUR TOOTHBRUSH!

(Source: http://health.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=272059)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Still Life With Toddler

Sunday, December 02, 2007 By 2 comments

Emerson is being a turd tonight. She is just refusing to go to sleep.
"I wan' new boot," she says, after four books have already been tossed aside.
"Honey, we've already read four books - that's two more than usual. Now it's time to go sleepies," I tell her gently. We hug and smooch and I tuck her in.
"I not go sleepies," she says, with a grin.
"That's fine. Just lay here with your eyes closed," I say.
"I not close-a-eyes." she says.
"Okay. I'm going to close the door, now. I love you."
"I lub you, too, Mama. I not go sleepies."
"Goodnight."

I settle into the couch with my book, and I sometimes hear her singing to herself. But I don't hear her feet pounding back and forth across the floor, so I let it go. But then I hear the door open.
"Mama? I hafta go potty!"
"Oh, good girl!" I take her hand and we go into the bathroom. "I have to go poo-poo!" she informs me.
And yet, she accomplishes nothing.
I chase her around trying to get a diaper on her. She puts her hand up in my face: "No! I do it!"
And I offer her the option of diaper or time out. Surprise! Diaper wins.

And then we get back to her bed and spend some time snuggling and smooching. "I mate a poo-poo!" she says. She lies. She's just trying to get out of bed.

There's a lot of smooching. Is this starting to sound inappropriate? Do all mothers and daughters smooch each other this much? Whatever. It's awesome that she's so affectionate.

She smooches me again, hard, and holds it, her eyes wide open. "Mmmmmmmmmmmmwwah!"
"Thank you!" I gush.
"NO!" she shrieks. "Say bleh!"
I laugh and pretend to have eaten something gross.
"EEEwwww! Blech! Bleh bleh bleh! Pfft! Patooey!"
She cackles and smooches me again, then pulls the routine herself, rolling her eyes and wiping her lips with the back of her hand.
"Okay, honey. That's enough."
"Wait!" she grabs my cheeks and looks intensely into my eyes. "Lithen! I hab to teyyou sumping."
"What?"
She leans in as though to whisper something in my ear... and licks me!
"Gahhhh!" I shriek, while she collapses in laughter. "Sick!"
She pats my cheek. "I sooorry, Mama. You wanna big hud?"
We lean in to hug... and she licks me again!
"Ahhh! Stop that, cookoo!" I shriek, while she rolls around on the bed, ridiculously pleased with herself. When she stops belly-laughing, I tickle her a sec.
"Okay, sweetie. It's time to go-"
"WAIT!" she shrieks, grabbing the sides of my face again. "Lithen! I hab to-"
"Oh, no! I don't think so!"
She guffaws, but refuses to let go. "No, lithen!" she shrieks, millimeters from my nose. "Lithen! I hab to teyyou sumping!"
I grab her face and lick her from from cheek to her forehead to her other cheek. She falls, face-first, on her pillow, laughing so hard she can hardly breathe.
"Mama! No lick me!"
"You no lick me!"
We snuggle for a minute, and then I tuck her in again, promising to leave the door open a crack.

I settle back down on the couch with my book, and 20 seconds later, Scrabble starts to bark his head off.
"FRABBLE! HUSH UP!" she shrieks from her darkened bedroom.
"That's enough, Emmie. Be nice," I scold, and get up to look out the window.
"I sooorry, Frabble," she calls.
It's Scott, home from a dinner with friends. He comes in and booms his radio voice all over the house.
"Daddeeeeeee!" Emmie shrieks from the doorway of her bedroom.
"Hey, all yours!" I call, merrily. He grins and goes in to soothe her.

Ten minutes later they come out.
"She's got a poo-poo," he says. Ah. She fooled him, too.
Instead, she clambers up in my lap and lays down with her head on my shoulder.
"Less sit onda couch and watch teebee," she says.
Scott turns the television off and leaves us for a few minutes while we snuggle.
"Close your eyes, sweetheart," I tell her, and she does, covering her eyes with her left hand. She did the same thing as an infant, when she was sleeping during the day.
Scott comes back in, munching on a granola bar. Emmie hears him and sits up.
"You hab a cookee?" she asks, and climbs down from my lap, to clamber up into his. She sits on his lap, facing him. "You like a cookee?" she asks.
"Mmmhmm," he says, his mouth full.
"I wan sum," she says. "Pwease?"
He gives her a bite while I try to contain my laughter.
"MMmm! I lub it," she says. "Iss good!"
He take a bite and offers her another one.
"I wan hode it," she says, cocking her head to the side and furrowing her brow.
"Ohh, no," he says, while I laugh harder. "I hold it."
She takes the bite he offers.
"MMmm! I lub it. You lub it, too?" she asks.
"It's good," he replies, amused.
She gets most of the granola bar, and then asks for a popsicle.
"Oh, no. It's time for sleepies," I tell her. Scott fills her cup with apple juice and we tuck her back in.
"Dank oo, Daddy," she says as her nudges the cup into a crook between the bars. "I lub yoo, Daddy. I lub yoo, Mama."

We smooch her good night, and she stays this time.
Part of me wishes she hadn't.

But she drifted off to sleep in just a few minutes, stuffed white bunny clutched tightly to her chest, one ear lolling over her eyes.
I think she put it there on purpose.

I Forgot: Add 'Gin and Juice' to the List

So I wrapped up some work stuff during which I finished laying out the calendar pages but did not touch any of the extra administrative stuff that is very much sitting on the side of my desk chucking spitballs at me at regular intervals. I call Scott.

"Hey, honey, will you check and fridge and list off the things we need? I'll stop by the store on my way home."
He begins listing off the usual: deli meat, bread...
"uh, let's see... some iceberg lettuce..."
"Iceberg lettuce? Uh-uh. I'm not buying that. I'll get romaine."
"I said iceberg, beeyatch!"
We crack up laughing for a few minutes. Iceberg is nothing but water and chlorophyll, while romaine has a couple of vitamins clinging somewhere on the leafy green sections of the plant, at least. But he's all "lalala, I can't hear you!" That, ladies and gentlemen, is my 36-year-old husband in a nutshell.
"What else?" I ask.
"Hmmm... yogurt, soda, cheese..."
"Mmmkay. Yogurt... Diet Coke... Sprite... sliced cheese..."
"The block is fine."
"The sliced is more convenient for sandwiches," I reply.
"Actually, I find the block more convenient."
"No, you don't! You just want the block!"
"That's right! And don't forget my iceberg, beeyatch!"

Friday, November 30, 2007

How I Feel Every Month (no, not at THAT time of the month...)

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Screw you, Bellsouth!

Cheese & Crackers

A.C.1 sent an e-mail to our IT guy, joking that if my computer isn't repaired that I would kill everyone. I get a call shortly after and have to explain that she was joking. A.C.1. overhears this and runs to A.C.2. A.C.2. comes over and wants to know why I'm angry.

Gah! PLEASE TAKE NOTE: I AM NOT ANGRY AT ANYONE! (except A.C.1.)

So I knock some of the Goldfish out of A.C.1.'s hand. She retaliates by chucking some at my head. They land in Tent City, the hovel E.B. has built for herself. E.B. - who walks with a cane - has a perfectly functional pair of arms and throws them back. A.C.2. chucks another at her.

"Don't make me come over there!" E.B. threatens her.
A.C.2. is unafraid: "Oh, it'll take you a half-hour to get here."

Seriously, people. Politically correct? Ever heard of it?

Why Jason is Hard to Take Seriously

I Write Words Every Week, and THIS is the Best I Can Come Up With?

So I'm on the phone with Diane Campbell about Rock for Tots when my (arsehole) computer locks up.
"Uh... hold on a sec. My screen won't move," I tell her.
"Oh."
...
...
...
"Crap. That spinning thing of death won't go away."
"What thing?"
"The thing. The spinning thing. The... sand clock."
"Uh... okay. I don't know what a sand clock is."
"You know. The sand that runs down and... the sand clock!"
"...Okay."
...
...
...
"Hourglass! I mean hourglass!"


All I want for Christmas is a thesaurus.
But I doubt they have an entry for "sand clock."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's 3 a.m. I Must Be Sleepy

Scott is snoring so loud that the windows are rattling.
"Honey? Will you roll over, please?"
(snoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorrree....)

"Sweetie? Can you roll over, please? You're snoring kind of loud."
(snoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorrree....)

I shake him gently.
"Scott. Will you roll over? Honey, you're snoring."
"mmmmm."
"Scott? Can you roll over?"
"mmmhmm."

(sigh)
I try to roll him over.
"You're snoring, honey."
It's like trying roll over a gorilla.
"mmhmm." he says.
MMhmm to what?

"Scott. Roll over."
"mmhmm."
"Hey!" I push him again, trying to get him on his side.
"wassa madder?" he mumbles sleepily.
"You're snoring. Can you roll over?"
"Look, everyone around here has chops," he says.
...
"What?!"
"Everyone here-"
"No, I heard you. I just don't know what you're talking about. Can you roll over?"
"No. If you have the ammunition, step forward. If you don't, don't"

Part of me wants to smack him upside the head, but it's too funny. What goes on in his head? I start laughing, which finally wakes him up. He rolls over and looks at me.
"What. are. you. laughing. at."
"What ammunition are you talking about?!"
(dramatic sigh) "Fuck. off."
He tosses himself out of the bed and slams the bedroom door on his way out. I heard the back door open and slam behind him. He's having a cigarette. That's the thing to do when you're half-asleep.

I'm still chuckling when he comes back in, slamming the door, still angry, but I doubt he knows why.
"What are you laughing at?!"
"You!"
"Why?"
"Do you even know why you got out of bed?"
"Um... no."
"There you go."

We quiet down and begin to doze back off to sleep....

(snoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorrree....)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's a Cover-Up!

Zombie attacks!

Laugh if you want, but don't say I didn't warn you.





(UPDATE): SEE??!!!




ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Augusta Opera's Amazing Holiday Performance

Professional stars light up the winter sky with a concert for the holidays

BY STACEY HUDSON

AUGUSTA, GA. - Four professional soloists join the Augusta Opera chorus and the Augusta Children’s chorale this year for their annual holiday performance.

The organization draws singers from some of the world’s most prominent opera houses for their shows, “Four absolutely phenomenal international opera talents,” said Managing Director Les Reagan. Returning for repeat performances in Augusta are mezzosoprano Maria Zifchak, from the Metropolitan Opera House, and baritone Corey McKern, from the New York City Opera.

Maria Zifchak (TOP) and Corey McKern (BOTTOM) return to the Augusta Opera for their holiday concert.

“There are a lot of favorites that people are used to hearing for many years, but we also have some new pieces… some traditional carols that we haven’t done before,” Reagan said.

Audiences will remember Zifchak’s stunningly lyrical performance as Suzuki in the Augusta Opera’s presentation of “Madama Butterfly.” Her beautiful tone and perfect pitch provide a rich tapestry upon which to embroider each scene.

Fans will recognize McKern as Marcello in last spring’s “La Boheme.” McKern is a former grant recipient from the Sullivan Foundation, as well as the first place winner of Opera Birmingham, Shreveport Opera and Mobile Opera competitions of 2005.

Joining the returning singers are two newcomers to the Augusta Opera: Mary Elizabeth Williams, and Mark Panuccio.

Williams is an exciting young soprano with a world-class voice whose career is just beginning — if you can count leads on Broadway as newbie entertainment. But in the world of opera, she has performed all over Europe and the United States, including a stint in the young artist program at Opera National de Paris.

Panuccio is a singer born with a dramatic expressiveness that adds a visual flair to what is normally an aural experience. He is a world-traveled tenor who spent five consecutive years with Spoleto, Italy’s grand Il Festival dei Due Mondi, under the baton of notable composer Gian Carlo Menotti.


Hot young opera talent Mary Elizabeth Williams joins the Augusta Opera for the first time on Dec. 2.


Award-winning singer Mark Panuccio makes his Augusta debut in the Augusta Opera's 23rd annual holiday concert

The point of listing the performers resumes? We haven't even touched on the half of their accomplishments. It's a chance to see the calibre of performer that only a few groups in Augusta can arrange.

Added to the grandeur of world-class soloists is the rich backdrop of the Augusta Opera’s talented local chorus, and the sweet spirit and sound of the Augusta Children’s Chorale.

“It’s such an Augusta tradition for a lot of people that words we hear are that it starts the holidays for a lot of people,” Reagan said. “The soloists have some absolutely lovely holiday pieces that they are doing.”

Many Augustans can’t trim their Christmas trees until they hear the final strains of Holst’s “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” and they can’t even think of boughs of holly until they “Make Their Garden Grow” with Leonard Bernstein’s timeless music from “Candide.”

And to facilitate the community spirit of the season, a formal tea in the parish hall will split the two performances.

“Some people come to the first show and stay to tea, some come to tea and stay for the second show,” Reagan said.

Either way you choose to spend the day, your season is sure to be merry and bright.

23rd annual Edward Bradberry Holiday Concert
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Dec. 2
Shows at 3:30 and 6 p.m.
Formal tea at 5 p.m.
Show tickets: $39.45 (including tax)
Tea: $10
706-826-4710
Augustaopera.com

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

But She Might Throw an Espadrille at You

"Is Alice's car in the shop?"
"No, I was just taking her around back to where she'd parked."
"Oh, good."
"I don't like her to walk back there by herself."
"Me, either."
"She's teenies. She's wee. We have to take care of her."
"I don't think I'd want to mess with Alice. She'd stab you with her pointy boots."
"No, she wouldn't. That would mess up her shoes!"

Poll Position


































Calendar Girl

"What day is next Thursday?"

Uh, that would be Thursday.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stacey Hudson: Pet Detective

AUGUSTA, GA. - So I'm pet-sitting for a co-worker with two dogs, one cat, two birds and two fish. Sounds like a lot, but animals I'm fine with. It's plants that tremble in my presence. Scott used to try to keep plants when we were first married. After a while, even the cactus died. It was me, trust me, Scott thought so, too. "Stop looking at the plants!" he would shriek. "They know!"

We don't have anymore plants. But we have managed to raise a puppy and a toddler with few problems. There was that stomach ache the dog had, but he got over it.

So they leave on Wednesday, and I go over during Emmie's nap time on Thursday. When I get there, only Porkchop waddles out to greet me. Uh-oh. Usually I'm greeted with great symphonnic fanfare (read: howling).

"Sydney!" I call. "Come here, baby!"

I struggle with the lock on the back door, afraid the key will snap off in my hand. I remember that they only have one key to the house, and that they were forced to climb in a window the last time I pet-sat, because I took the key with me. Calling a locksmith would be slightly more work, so I hold my breath. In the quiet - as I've now stopped talking to myself but not the voices in my head - I hear a high-pitched whining.

I lean over and peek in the doggie door. "Sydney?" I don't see her, but I hear the metal fence rattling. There she is, standing just outside the chain-link fence.

"What are you doing, silly?" I ask. She wags her tail and I unlatch the gate to let her in. She slinks in and wanders mournfully around the backyard. She won't come near me, and won't let me pet her. I decide to let her alone. Better not to force it.

I'm careful to watch for Petey, the cat, who likes to slip out as people slip in the back door. No sign of the feline. Porkchop waddles in with me. The birds are twittering, and Porkchop takes noisily off, galumphing up the stairs.

I check the food and water levels for the dogs, the cat, and the birds, then head upstairs behind the snuffling canine to feed the fish.

Wait... Where are the fish?

Window. And Windowlina. Names easily discerned to have been awarded by a 6-year-old. But now they are gone from the aquarium that sits in her room. I sprinkle fish food in the water and wait for the hungry mouths to appear.

Nothing.

I peer in between the "decorative" rocks, plants and cartoonish structures. No fish. Concerned, I take off the top to look for floaters. Nothing.

**gasp!** PETEY! Oh, god. The cat ate the fish.

I scramble through the house, panicked, looking for the cat as best I can without invading the owners' privacy. No cat. And what would I do if I found him? Pump his stomach? Oh, crap. The cat ate the fish and then escaped.

I run outside to check the area they told me he'd be: first the closet in the mudroom, then the crawl space under the house. No cat.

The cat is gone. The cat is dead. I killed Nola's cat.

Just then, I realize the yard is quiet. Too quiet. Sydney is gone again.

GAH! They've entrusted me with their house, their beloved pets, they've been gone one day and I've already screwed the whole thing up! They're going to kill me.

I spend about 45 minutes driving around looking for Sydney and Petey. I come back to the house and see Sydney waiting at the gate and let her back in with a mild scolding. I search the yard to see how she got out, and I can't find anything. I conclude that the gate must have been improperly latched and take extra care to close it behind me as I leave. I have a turkey in the oven, after all. The cat will just have to wait.

I return that evening, after everyone has gone to bed at my house and the dishes are (mostly) done. Sydney is cuddled in the mud room with Porkchop, and I see evidence that the cat has been eating his food, so I know he's in the house.

But the fish are still gone.


I return the next day to check on everyone. Sydney's gone again, but she's back within minutes. I try desperately to bend the fence back in, thinking that she's squeezing out through the small gap where it doesn't quite match up with the rest of the fence - and I double-check the yard for escape routes. It HAS to be the gate!

The cat's still eating, even though he's turned invisible, and I go upstairs to gaze hopefully, hopelessly, into the fish tank. How will I tell a 6-year-old that her goldfish are with Jesus? Do they have aquariums in heaven? How do the clouds support them? Actually, that might explain some of Britain's weirder weather.

Anyway, maybe the fish are hiding among the stuff. I feed the water diligently and consider making a run to Petsmart. Were they solid orange fish, or were they splotchy? Was there one of each? Oh, Window and Windowlina! I'm so sorry in your death that I didn't pay more attention to you in life!

Maybe a gift card, and she can pick out her own fish, I muse, as I stare out their cool window at the street below. And there goes Sydney. Crap! better get this stuff fixed before they get back or someone gets hurt.

Okay, fine, before a mammal gets hurt.


The next day is more of the same. Where is Sydney? There she is. Where is the cat? No idea. Phantom cat eats invisible foods. Where is Sydney? Oh, she came back.

Porkchop is never hard to find, and birds stay in their damn cage like they're supposed to. So two of the five animals are behaving for me. That only works out to (mumblemumble)%. That's not a passing grade.

Finally, it's Sunday. I think. I've kind of lost track as to where I am in the story...

Anyway, still no cat, that ate the fish, which are gone, and Sydney is all kinds of magic with the escaping like Houdini thing. I don't know how to stop this train wreck and I seriously consider calling Tom and quitting rather than work with someone who hates me for breaking her daughter's heart by setting up her fish for doom. But replacing the fish is all too Saved By the Bell for me, so I just decide to suck it up and own up to it...

maybe. I still have some time before they get home.

I wring my hands and gnash my teeth and worry myself into non-action. So I show up on their doorstep that evening all, "Hey! How was the trip! It's so great to see you! Happy Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Uh... Happy New Year's and Happy Valentine's Day! Super great! Awesome! Sorry the fish are dead! Pretty Christmas tree! Cool! Love you guys! See you later! Woo-hoo!" like the giant spazmatron that I am.

They tell me that the damn fish died weeks ago.

Gobbled Up

So this was my first Thanksgiving cooking dinner for guests. It was just Scott's grandparents, who would have praised a turkey sculpted from clay, but we wanted it to be a nice evening for them. They are such awesome people.

So we started prepping on Monday, cooking on Tuesday, brining the turkey on Wednesday and roasting on Thursday. It was a lot of work for really just a few dishes, and a meal where the actual eating time probably took 40 minutes. I was so terrified that I would set the house on fire. I mean, once I exploded a glass baking pan full of stroganoff. It blew open the oven door, and splattered the creamy mixture all over the place - on the ceiling, behind the back door... we've never figured out what happened. But knowing me, if something like that was going to happen again, it would be when it meant the most to me. And after days of careful preparation, portioning, measuring and cooking...

Nothing happened.
Everything was awesome.
Really!
Even the leftovers rocked.

Here's hoping all of your holidays were merry and bright!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

GIFT GUIDE!


AUGUSTA, GA. - Let me tell you about my father. There's no point in bothering him with gifts unless it's golf related. If you want to give him a gift, make it a gift certificate for golf. Or golf equipment. Or golf balls. Men never have enough balls. But after a while, that gets damn boring for everyone involved. Enter the website above: excitations. They arrange for experiential gifts, like learning to do circus acrobatics, or Segway scooter tours of Atlanta, or glider flying or whatever you can imagine. Everything from $50 for indoor rock climbing lessons to the sky's the limit: two fighter plane missions for about $2,000. And they have packages for about every age.

Anyway. I'd recommend it for someone who has a similar predicament (Amy) because they also have gourmet food excursions. Or private tours of the Braves Turner Field. Or... maybe I'll just get a gift certificate to the site and let them choose.

But for me, it's got to be the Aerobatic Bi-Plane Flight. I always wanted to ride in one of those.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More Math in J-School!

We're ranking short stories for the Metro Spirit contest and one of us (who shall remain nameless), is having some problems. The instructions: of the dozen finalists, rank them in order of preference from 1 to 12.

"Uh, you have two twelves, [name redacted]," I say.
"Yeah..." she walks back to her desk.
"And you have two elevens, and two nines..." I'm confused.
"Yeah?"
"Well... you don't have a one," I say.
"What are you talking about? I did what we were supposed to do, didn't I?" she says.
"Um, no, you were supposed to rank them from 1 to 12 in order of which is best," I say.
"Oh, you're kidding me."

She reconsiders and begins counting...

"I just can't do one through 12!" she says.
"I can give you the list of numbers in between," I offer.
A.W. and I spend a few minutes chortling our asses off while she threatens to beat us.
"So, I rank them from 1 to 12, in order of which I like best?" she asks.
"Yes," I answer.
"What if I like one but I think the other is more interesting?" she asks.
"What?" T.G. asks. He's getting frustrated.
"Which would you give $100 to?" I toss out.
"Oh!" she appears settled and gets to work.

"God, I have two twelves," she says.
"Why? There are more numbers to use," I laugh.
"Well, I like them both," she says.
"Uh... you know "one" is the best, right?"
"Oh, are you kidding me?" she cries, exasperated.
"No! One is the best!" I laugh.
"You're doing it backwards!" she says.
"No, we're not!" I run over and snatch the paper off her desk. "I'll just do it for you!" I joke, and hand it back.
"Yes, you are! We did it the other way when we were reading them!"
"Wait, did you score the stories the same way?" T.G. asks.
"Oh, god," I laugh.
"That's what I'm wondering," she says.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just Gift Wrap it, Why Dontcha?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 By 1 comment

Stupid headline of the day: Student Slain to Death Near U of Chicago

Imagine! Someone slain to death!

Car Trouble

"So, does anybody know a good body shop?" A.C. asked.
We all looked at each other.
"Did you get in an accident?" A.C.2 asked.
"No. The hinges in my driver's side door have been coming apart for the last nine months," A.C. said.
"Oh, that's not good," A.C.2. said.
"Yeah. They finally came off last night when I was driving home."
"What?! Your door fell off?" I asked.
"Well... technically. It's still held on by electrical wire."

Nice. I was looking at my car this morning and groaning because I haven't gotten minor damage from a break-in and a low-speed deer collision fixed, but now I feel much better.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Perfect! I Hate Holiday Cards!


This company has stuff from designers around the globe to make anyone happy - but primarily people like me, who get hives at the very thought of Thomas Kincaid. I mean, seriously? A snowy cottage in the woods? What century is that from? But anyway... One-eyed alien Santa Claus. That's for me. And Moo has it. And things that are pretty, and kittens, and puppies, but also crap you can't find in a Hallmark store. Things to scare your grandma. So maybe save a kitten for her. But everyone else: one-eyed alien Santa Claus is coming to probe you (and, of course, leave you presents).

Sweet.

Their first product, MiniCards, came about when they realized that sometimes, people want to hand out details of web sites, and they just didn’t have a nice way to do it. A business card was too cheesy, too serious, or too… businessy, and didn’t represent people and their sites the way they really are. A hastily scribbled piece of paper is more personal, but who ever has paper or a pen when you want it? People needed something else.

So: MiniCards. Little cards - about half the size of a business card - with your own photos, designs and text on. Made in boxes of 100 with the option of having a different image on every one.

And stickers.

That's Moo. With some of the most innovative products and designs around at affordable, consumer-driven prices. Illustrations from Japan? Check. Photos from Europe? Check. Whatever you want of your own? Why not? Same price.

Lovely.

Frogpond Badge

So I missed yet another social event outside of work because I think work had me so tired that I got sick. I did my normal Saturday morning stuff with Emerson, and the three of us put up and decorated our artifical Christmas tree, but by the time her nap-time rolled around, I couldn't keep my eyes open.

The two of us slept from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and by 6 p.m., when I'd finished cooking dinner, I was sleepy again. I took a shower and tried to gear up to go out for a birthday party, but my headache and nausea wouldn't go away and I just couldn't wake up. I finally gave up and crawled in the bed at 8:30 p.m. and slept like a rock. I got up long enough today to make Emerson waffles for breakfast, and then as soon as I could, I went back to sleep. I just woke up and I don't feel much better. And now my throat hurts.

I blame long hours at work, but it could be anything. I could just be coming down with something. My boss felt like he was, too, so maybe that's it. But I really need some time out of the house and away from work, and I was really looking forward to the two birthday parties scheduled yesterday.

(sigh)

Not that I don't love my job, because I do. But I loves me some birthday peeps, too. And it seems like every time something fun comes up, I have to back out at the last minute. So instead, I'm spending my day planning Thanksgiving dinner.

Oh, well. At least I'm not nursing a hangover...

No, I'd rather be nursing a hangover.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My Kind of Tea Party


Available at Fat Man's Forest.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Secret Life of...

Toothbrushes! That's right, I said TOOTHBRUSHES! Do you have the slightest idea what happens to your toothbrush when you turn your back? I mean, besides what my co-workers at The Metro Spirit are capable of.Like it or not, lots of unpleasant things can happen to your toothbrush when you're not around. To learn more about the secret life of your toothbrush, visit germshappen.com (coming soon!). In the meantime, you need to check out the UV Sanitizers available from area retailers like Bed, Bath & Beyond.The UV Sanitizer helps eliminate millions of germs on your brush head. It sanitizes and stores brush heads for a confident clean every time you brush. Because what good is hand sanitizer when you're sticking dirt directly into your mouth?

That's How I Roll...


Apparently right through stop signs.

A Photo Journal of Crazy

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 By No comments

This is how we rock it at our house. Check out the Sharpie "tattoo." Yeah. We're rock stars. And the second photo? A Hello Kitty hair clip, diaper and snow gloves. What more can a 2-year-old possibly need?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Not to say that Nona and Opa aren't fun-loving people. I mean, check out Emmie's Halloween snack time photo:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

But more often than not, when I pick up Emerson at her grandparents' house,
she looks a little something like this:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Yeah. Not for nothing, but she's going to be an extremely confused teenager. We're already saving for her therapy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Just Some Straight-Up Whining

Monday, November 12, 2007 By 1 comment

Emerson is coughing her little lungs out. She's prone to respiratory infections (it's just a cold, people!), but they make her so sick that she can't sleep, she screeches suddenly, frequently, during the night and generally makes it impossible for me to get any rest...

... and yet, there's my husband, deforesting the whole of the Amazon in his sleep. Tell me: how is it that he can hear his blankety-blank cell phone on vibrate in the kitchen at 3 a.m., but he can't hear his own daughter hacking her lungs out and crying for her mommy and daddy when we share a wall with her? Doesn't that sound like selective hearing?

"Well, if I don't hear her, wake me up," he said to me just now, and all I could think was how conveniently close to my foot his balls were located. How is that supposed to help? I wake up, wait for him to wake up, spend 10 minutes trying to wake him up, during which he repeats "uhhuh. Mmmup." while making no movement to the affirmative, and then finally being forced to get up out of bed, now smoking - literally, smoking! like, smoke pouring out of my ears! - with fury as I try to comfort my now-hysterical 2-year-old. Yeah. Really good plan there, hoser.

I try to explain this to him with a minimum of arm-flapping and high-pitched vocalizations, but I'm pretty sure that all he hears is "CAAAAAAAW! CAAAAAAAW!" I see confusion, revulsion and a touch of fear in his eyes, like he had come too close to an aquarium housing a live cobra right as it attacked the glass.

"Well, I'll try to sleep lightly, but I don't know what to do about it," he said, kissed me lightly on the lips and went to bed.

I think what I'll do is put his cell phone in the other end of the crib, then hit "redial" whenever Emmie cries. Yes. This experiment will be lots of fun...

No. I will wait until tomorrow when I have my camera.
Trust me, Emmie will still be sick.

Let's Hope He Doesn't Bring His Locker...

Monday, November 12, 2007 By


A.W.: "I was telling my friend about the hubbub around the office about the Avett Brothers. I said, 'You would have thought that Davy Jones was coming.' ... It was all I could think of."

The Avett Brothers and Their Youngest Fan, Who Happens to be the Daughter of Their Most Rabid Fan (Seriously, You Should See Her Foaming at the Mouth)

Scott Avett poses with his youngest fan.

Not Making Any Friends, Are They?


From Sylvia Cooper's "City Ink" Column:


HAUGHTY CULTURE: After months of delay, the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame board voted last week to allow the city to operate the gardens for the next six months, but there won't be much to see.

"It was very depressing," said Augusta-Richmond County Extension coordinator Sid Mullis, who went to survey the gardens on behalf of the city. Weeds and dead azaleas were everywhere.

City officials say the Hall of Fame has taken the statues, killed most of the plants and expects the city to give it 25 percent of the revenue generated from events held there, and approve any new ones the city proposed.

Usually I try to refrain from talking about these people. I'm not all that rational when I watch them make decisions that screw up the place where my husband and I were married. But I don't see how links to already-published stories can do them much more damage.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Have I Ever Told You About...


So this site lets you earn Points for doing what you already do online; shopping, reading emails, playing games, searching the web, taking surveys, and more. I've been a member for five years, and I've redeemed my points for hotel stays, retail gift certificates and gas cards.

Check out these handpicked highlights:

  • A Dedicated Toolbar that you can add on to your browser — it shows the best results from several top search tools, and also lists products by their Point-earning value.
  • The Travel Center has partnerships with both Orbitz and Hotwire, so when you book a travel package, you can get Points in addition to your airline miles.
  • All the Easy Points are in one place, so if you have some time to kill, you can browse around, see what's interesting, and pile up some Points.
  • A Games Center, for time-wasting, Point-earning multitasking.
Visit MyPoints.com, Inc.

Frogpond Badge

Friday, November 09, 2007

Snap

A.W.: "Your hair looks cute, Stacey. I would have never thought you'd done it yourself."
Me: "Thanks!"
A.W.: "I would have thought Emerson did it."

And That Explains Banjos

A.W.: "My father is a guitar collector, and every family vacation we took revolved around guitars. So I have as much interest in guitars as I have in getting the clap, or something."
Me: "And yet your brother plays guitar..."
A.W.: "Well, he can't say the 12 months of the year in order." My mother always said, 'He's got a piece missing.'"

Obviously a Shortage of Lawyers in Japan



Thanks, Duane!

Concerned Parents, This Way

Friday, November 09, 2007 By No comments

A.C.: "Did you hear about the toys made of GHB?"
Me: "Oh, yeah. That's insane!"
A.C.: "How does that happen?"
Me: "I don't know."
A.W.: "Are y'all talking about those beads?"
Me: "Yeah."
A.C.: "They're supposed to be these hot items for Christmas, too!"
Me: "They're a stupid toy. I saw a commercial for them when I was at my parents house and I thought, 'That's just dumb.'"
A.C.: "Yeah."
Me: "I'm only going to let Emerson play with sticks."
(laugh)
Me: "And rocks. Rocks and sticks. And then she can join Hamas."

Look! They're still for sale!:
Here
Here
Here
Here

What, exactly, does "RECALL" mean to these people?

You Are My Giant Ball of Space Fire

Friday, November 09, 2007 By 1 comment

So after a rough night of Emerson waking up every hour, I woke up yesterday morning looking quite a bit like this:
But Scott looked at me lying on the bed with Emerson, having one of our nonsensical conversations, and said, "Emmie, isn't your mommy beautiful?"
Emmie patted my face and nodded. "See's lite shunshine."

I thought for a while that I had gotten the wrong baby at the hospital. This child is too good to be true. But now I remember that I ate a Little Debbie Nutty Bar every day that I was pregnant, and washed it down with Diet Coke. Because nutrition is important to me. The chocolate, peanut butter, sugar wafers, caramel syrup and caffeine must have bonded together to mold the ultimate sweet: Emerson. She's kind of like a Powerpuff Girl that way. Without the beating people up part. And the flying. Although that would be cool. I could tie a rope to her leg and carry her around like a balloon.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Because I'm So Mature

The Mayo Clinic released this very informative article. I don't remember medical information being this funny...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pencil in some "face time"


ikordo is a free online meeting planner that negotiates with attendees to find the perfect date and time for your meeting.

Tell it when you want the meeting to happen, for example, 'next week between 9 and 12pm, please'. It goes back and forth with your attendees and finds a match, mails confirmation and also sends SMS reminders to everyone. ikordo does this by sending out meeting invites and by interpreting plain English e-mail responses to build a picture of everyone's availability.

Here are a couple of quick facts about ikordo:

* ikordo is a free service
* ikordo is fully time zone aware (it understands that 9am on the east coast of the US is 2:00pm in the UK) and communicates with invited attendees in their local time.
* ikordo can text reminders to you and all of your meeting attendees when the meeting is planned and just before the meeting.

I hope that soon ikordo will offer synchronization with plaxo and with outlook. That would make it even more useful. But for now, it's a great alternative to the S.O.P.

Frogpond Badge

I can has no inshurens commershuls

Monday, November 05, 2007

Jacob's 10th Birthday Party

The coaches laugh at the chaos they have wrought.

Emerson tries her hand at b-ballin'.

Go West, young man. Then catch the dang ball.

The pre-cake chaos.

Tackling the competition.

Poor Rachel had broken her right arm a couple of weeks before.

This seems like an unfair matchup.

My sister blows.

Laughing at something on the Disney Channel. Nothing on that channel is funny,
but when you're 10 years old, I guess you don't know.

Pretty portrait of a mom and her daughter.

Dangit. My shoe done broke.

My little desperate housewife.

Birthday cake: Emmie's entire reason for being.
Some people live for world peace. Others for art or music.
Emmie lives for confectionery goods.

Jazz hands! Dude, that's backward.

"And that's why your mother is crazy, Emmie."

Did I mention that my sister blows?


Some running with a side of tackling. Yawn.

I am a television zombie...

J.D. gives instructions to the birthday boy.
I don't know what they talk about on the field.
I'd just say something like,
"Okay, throw the ball in that direction, and maybe one of our guys can catch it, okay?"

J.D. tries to tell his youngest son that he loves him,
but Jackson cannot be dissuaded from
grumping around because it's not his birthday, too.

The birthday boy deminstrates excellent manners.
Right upside his brother's head.
You guys, this child got more money in one hour than I make in a day.

More tackling. Ho-hum.

Yay! Cake!

Cake on the back deck.

Emmie went on a hunger strike until she got her cake.
Seriously. She refused to eat anything.

Lounging around. Pretty sure she was just flat out bored.

It seems we've switched to volleyball.

Little girls and telephones. The attraction never ceases.

Post-cake sugar rush!

I want presents!