The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Month: November, 2004

27333 and change

I’m up to 27333 words. Not nearly as many as I meant to write over the weekend. I blame this cold-thing. My God, it just clings to you and you can’t shake it loose. Just sick enough that doing normal stuff like grocery shopping wipes you out for hours, but not sick enough that you take to your bed for the day. I didn’t have the energy to do too much, even though I wanted to. And the cough, it continues. Crab, moan and complain. I know, I know, there are people who have it far worse than me. I do know that, and I’m embarrassed to have taken up valuable air with my meager complaints.

It’s the season of the Giving Tree, by the way. You know, where you can select the name of a child and “make Christmas” for them. I usually do this, but this year at work the deadline is a week from Friday, and I’m just not going to have my shopping money lined up by then. So I don’t think I’m going to commit to a specific child here at work. On the other hand, I do want to help out, so my other option is to donate gifts to a general collection box. And in this box you can also include items for adults, household appliances, toiletries, and other things so sorely needed by those struggling to get by. I am a big believer in this kind of collection – for several years at my old job I ran a toiletry drive every year. So I do think this is probably what I’m going to donate this year. I am also going to look to my own community instead of the one where I work (no offense, but home is home) and will be gathering items for Ginny’s Helping Hand food pantry on Mechanic Street. (I had a URL for her but it doesn’t seem to be working. I’ll keep trying.)

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Too Much, and Not Enough

Okay, now that the DVD drive is working, it was time to go through all the video I shot down at DisneyWorld last month. Man, there was a lot of footage, but now that I’m done with it all, I can’t help but smack myself for the stuff I *didn’t* tape. I mean, what is my malfunction? Why would I be taping and then stop all of a sudden? Why do I not have more footage of us on rides? I think I was too worried about getting still photos, and there was at least a day if not more that I left all the video camera stuff behind because I just couldn’t handle carrying two cameras around. But there’s still not excuse for me not getting shots of us on the monorail (duh, we were wearing t-shirts that said “Monorail Breakfast Club” one day), or more of the hotel. Hindsight is 20/20, and every time we go on vacation I get a little better, but still, would it kill me to just shoot a ton of extra stuff so that I can have more to choose from when editing it all together? Grrrr.

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Thank You, Dell Guy

I just feel the need to give a shout-out to the live chat support line at Dell. They fixed me right up with a solution to my DVD burner problem and voila, I can now burn DVDs again! Woo Hoo! Now I only have 2 and a half hours of Florida tape to organize, edit and burn. That should take me forever.

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Things I Learned from My Kid, part 32

Tonight I learned that the very first food eaten by people was popcorn.

[Johnny Carson Voice] “I did not know that.”

He swears up and down that this is what his teacher told them today. The other day he came home and told me that Veterans Day was the day that we thanked all the people who fought the war with Columbus. Or something involving Columbus. I tried to explain that veterans are people who fought in wars, or even people who joined the military when there wasn’t a war, but he couldn’t shake that Columbus thing.

Either he’s only half listening in school, or his teacher is doing this on purpose to screw him up. I think I’m going to go with the former, because I know they had a Native American come in and do a presentation today and I’m wondering if somehow the whole corn being a dietary staple that they introduced to the Europeans came up, and was somehow mistranslated in Junior’s head. It does make you realize you can’t take everything the kid says at face value. My best example of this, ever, was the time his old babysitter came up to me and said, “Junior says that daddy wears black lipstick.” She had a look on her face that said “please tell me there’s some not-so-obvious explanation for this.” And I had to put on my Junior Thinking Cap and I realized that yes, Mr. Dump went through a phase where he was practically ingesting Chap-Stik, the ones with the black wrapper. And Junior turned that into black lip stick. Easy mistake. But the whole thing still makes me laugh.

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Ow, My Head!

I’ve got a cold. I was in denial for days, but I’m going to have to just face facts. When your coughing keeps you awake, you have time to think about it. I know it could be allergies, there is always that chance, but my cube-neighbor had a similar illness about a week ago, and right now I’m feeling kind of achy, and the symptoms seem to be not allergy-ish.

I am working from home today because I had someone coming to the house, and now I’m thinking this was pure luck because now I can take a nap to make up for some of the time I lost last night. I hate coughing. I hate that it keeps me up, and that it can keep others up. And trying to not cough makes it all worse. Ugh.

Oh, so now that the crabbing part of this post is over, it’s sixty freaking degrees outside! I’m going to put on a halter top and some daisy dukes and just go out by the cement pond to relax!*

*Oh, don’t worry. I don’t own either article of clothing, and I’ve got a plastic pool, but no cement pond.

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Galloping Toward Christmas

I told Junior he needed to get working on his list for Santa. I have a good idea of the things that have been catching his eye the past few months, but he does still get to write his own list. He immediately grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil and said we needed to watch some “good commercials”. Oy. I can just see him creating a list of just the things that happened to be advertised within a certain narrow window of time. He does understand I have veto power. As in, he can ask for Matchbox sets, but not Hot Wheels sets. I’ve talked about this before. Matchbox sets are build to last. I think you can stand on them and they won’t break. You can pick them up and move them and nothing falls off. Hot Wheels sets are exercises in frustration. Once you finally get it all put together, you can’t breath on it or it will fall apart. And I think they have less play value. But I’ll be darned if I’m going to buy a race set that leaks goo all over everything, or another where every time you go around a dinosaur attacks and you have to put the set back together. Nope. No way.

I think I have him convinced on the Matchbox Rocket park. He loves amusement parks. He loves car sets. A match made in heaven!

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KSears, or SMart?

I’m not too sure how I feel about the big Sears-Kmart merger. I don’t think I like it. I like Sears, I really do. And I like them more now that I can buy Lands End clothing there. Big bonus.

I don’t like Kmart. I used to – I actually grew up a 9 minute walk from the one at Twin City Mall. (Yes, 9 minutes. I used to work at Victory in high school and knew exactly how long it took to get there. I have added a bit of time to get across streets, etc.)

But at some point, all the Kmarts seem to go down the Ames road. Trashy junk. The one at Twin City was a filthy mess. The aisles were always a wreck, the shelves were bare. I think they decided to appeal to a decidedly downscale market, if you catch my drift. Now I’m told the store got a new manager who really cleaned the place up, but it’s just so not the Kmart of my youth. I can’t explain it. It has a kind of a “dark” feel, but I can’t explain what I mean by that. It’s a harsh feeling. I don’t get that vibe from other stores, so maybe they need to change their lighting or something so it’s less harsh. Or make the whole store more airey, somehow.

So what I’m saying is I think Sears is going to watch their reputation go in the crapper, unless they keep the two completely distinct. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking with it.

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Can I Go Back to Florida?

I’m already tired of winter, and it isn’t even winter yet. I have a picture on my desk of Cinderella’s Castle in the background and all the Red Sox balloons in the foreground, and it is depressing the hell out of me. I guess that’s a sign of an excellent vacation. I can’t think of anything I would have changed, if you can believe it. Well, I think maybe I would have tried to be better about writing in my journal, but that’s not really vacation-specific.

Man, was it only three weeks ago that we were having breakfast in Norway with the Princesses? I could go for some of those cheesy potatoes right about now. And some sunshine.

*sigh*

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Halfway Mark

It’s the Nanowrimo halfway point. Technically, I should have 25000 words written by the end of the day. In reality, because of my mess-ups early in the month, I’m writing more each day, but won’t hit 25000 for another 2 days (and I’ll still be on schedule for the end of the month). Unless I can find 6000 words in me today. If I couldn’t do it on the weekend, when I wasn’t working, I doubt I’ll be able to do it when I am working. This is just a guess.

And what is it about JC Penny that makes me buy stuff I didn’t go in to buy? We went there Saturday to buy some new pillows for when the kids come up. They’d been stuck with some of our older ones (because they don’t sleep here every night) and after keeping them down in the basement on the futon, they were smelling a little musty. So I said we’d throw out all the old pillows and replace them, and store them upstairs when the kids aren’t here so they won’t get musty again. They sleep downstairs in the finished basement, on the futon, and we can’t seem to keep it from getting a teeny bit musty down there. Not wet, but you know.

You are supposed to replace pillow annually for allergies anyway. Not that I do, but this reminds me off Dana, my college roommate, who couldn’t sleep without the pillow she’d had for most of her life. It was a pretty beat up thing. An allergist would have probably dropped dead at the sight of it. I wonder if she still has that thing? Or if her kids now have their own pillows. Hey, DanaMarie, if you’re reading this, give me a holler!

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Snowman Update

It got sunny and warmer today, and everything seems to be melting nicely, if not slowly. Mr. Snowman (see below) was sort of listing to one side.

Junior: Mom, I went to check the snowman and he was all melty.

Me: Well, I’m not surprised.

Junior: Ya, so I [and at this point, I expected him to tell me that he started working to shore up the droopy bits, because this is the kid who cried when the little bug-like creatures in the video game Pikmen were eaten by bigger bug-like creatures. So he’s going to try to save Frosty, right?] smashed it with my foot.

I think I went into shock. Sure, every other six year old boy on the planet (and plenty of the girls) would have done that. But not mine! And yet, Frosty is no more. What have you done with my child! I blame public schools.

(Oh, that reminds me. I got a letter in the mail today from the assistant principal, telling me that Junior has excessive absences, and if he’s going to be out he needs to bring a note with him. Um, ya, so what did y’all do with the note that I sent in with him two days prior to him being out, just in case the teacher forgot the conversation I’d had with her two weeks earlier? Huh? Do you people talk to each other at all? Did you check out his made up school work and the vacation journal he wrote? Huh? )

Sheesh.

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