*Big DumpTruck*

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996
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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Dark Already?


Man, this stinks. Come back, daylight!!!

I can already feel Seasonal Affective Discorder creeping in. I don't exactly know that I have it, but I do know that it monkeys with your thyroid, and folks like me may need a little more medication in the winter.

*sigh*

posted by J L Permalink

Sock Impaired


I have some serious sock issues. All is not well in the land of the sock drawer, you know? Today, the socks I'm wearing keep trying to escape. If I didn't keep pulling them up, eventually they'd be bunched in the toe of my shoes. Annoying? You bet!

I currently have three drawers dedicated to socks. One for whites and tans, one for blues, browns, greens, basically any dark color that isn't black. And then one for black. That probably seems excessive, but what you don't understand is that some of those socks date back to a kinder, gentler time, a time when I used to wear sneakers and jeans to work. A time when I didn't have a kid. A time when I used to eat Doritos for lunch and not worry about it making my breath funky because who would notice?

I have a bunch of socks with no mates, and instead of throwing them out, they stay in a little pile because you just never know when the mate will show up, and if I have thrown out sock A, then I'll be in the same boat with sock B, thinking "I know if I just hold on to this the mate will show up."

I think it's time to dedicate myself to cleaning out my sock drawers. I'm going to get rid of most of the white ones because after a few years, they aren't really white any more anyway. I'm going to get rid of the faded ones. I'm going to get rid of the ones I haven't worn in over two years. I want to make that commitment to you, dear reader. You deserve it. You deserve a Jody who is not in constant sock crisis.

God Bless America and the Cotton Council.

posted by J L Permalink

Monday, September 29, 2003

Tied for 4th


And in the last seconds of the Fantasy Baseball League Regular Season, I pulled into a 4th place tie. I've been doing this league for four years now, and while I usually start off strong, I think this might be my best finish. I usually spiral into the toilet, which is why I'm glad it's a free, non-gambling league. That would be flushing money down the toilet, given my expertise. I didn't sign up for football because I found it too boring to have to wait a week, to do anything, you know? So I guess I have until next May to twiddle my thumbs.

I had something I was going to mention but now I can't remember what it was. So I'm going to finish putting together tomorrow's Daily Probe.

posted by J L Permalink

Why Yes, That Was Me on the Radio!


If you listened to WXLO this morning and heard someone give "brilliant" [their word] baby advice to Jen, that would have been yours truly. It's hard enough going back to work after having a baby without thinking of all the bad stuff - like missing all the milestones. Junior went to daycare at 12 weeks, and that whole first day nobody was allowed to talk to me about him being at daycare (I sent out a company-wide email when I first got back, because if I had to talk about it, I would burst into tears.) I had all those same thoughts about missing the first rolling over, the first words, the first steps - but the policy of the center (Little Souls Center in Waltham, to give them a plug) was that until mom or dad mentioned it to the teacher, they would NOT say anything about the baby doing this or that. So if he took a step at daycare, they wouldn't tell me unless I'd told them that he took a step at home.

If mama doesn't see it first, it didn't happen was basically the policy. So that was my advice to Jen this morning, and they liked it so much that I heard them pass it along to another mom going back to work next week.

I didn't call to hear myself on the radio, but luckily I didn't sound like an idiot. I always thought I'd make a great DJ, or at least a supporting one like Steve Donovan. Speaking of whom, I'm a little unhappy that the show isn't "Jen and Steve" anymore, it's "Zito and Jen". Steve is my favorite part of that show, darn it! I hope someone from WXLO reads this.

posted by J L Permalink

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Jody 1, House 0


Okay, for those of you who have been reading for a while, my house isn't a showplace, unless you mean showing clutter and more clutter. And more clutter. So I feel the need to update all of you whenever I actually get something de-cluttered. Today's success was the downstairs hallway between the kitchen and the front door. We don't use the front door for a couple of reasons, but one of them is that it's one of those views that you'd just rather not be someone's first impression.

Well right now that hallway is empty. My recycling is gone, the soda storage area, gone, the bucket and mop gone and the little 3-shelf thingy covered with crap, also gone. Now I have to find new homes for some of those things, but I'm still pleased that I finally took a stab at that area. Only 150 more things that need the same level of attention!

posted by J L Permalink

Not So Much Sunday as Rainday


I had heard rain predicted, so I knew that it probably would rain today, but that doesn't make me any happier about it. I really did want to go over to the Bolton Fair for a few, and I know it's rain or shine, but I'm not rain or shine. So after I go pick up a pair of jeans at JC Penney I guess I'll just have to come back here. I washed the kitchen floor last night so I suppose I can focus on some other task in the house. Maybe more cleaning up the playroom?

I didn't get around to doing anything painting-related up in that room, which is stinky because I don't want to fill it back up until after I paint it. It's not really a painting kind of day though, is it?

Junior wants to make cookies, so I think I'm going to send his dad to the store with him to buy the ingredients. His dad is the king cookie baker anyway. That will keep them both amused while I do other things, and then there will be cookies available! Woo! (Junior doesn't EAT cookies, so the whole thing is kind of amusing. But we read the The Best Mouse Cookie Book for a bedtime story last night and he got baking in his head. Hey, he can cook lunch too, if he wants!

posted by J L Permalink

Saturday, September 27, 2003

No New Cows


Went to the Ferncol fair again this year, and no cows gave birth. We went down for the dairy barn tour anyway, and I asked about last year's fair calf and our tour guide said THREE calves were born over the weekend last year! She said our cow would have been out in the field anyway, because she was a year old. Awwwww, our baby is getting so grown up!

We spent a minimum of money this year, which was NICE. I only bought $10 worth of ride tickets (which worked out to 5 rides). I handed him the tickets, told him he had to decide what he wanted to ride, and that would be it. I have no idea how one goes about finding the oldest, rattiest looking rides, but they had. I went on the ferris wheel with Junior and actually had the thought "This is going to be a stupid way to die" as the thing shimmied every time we passed the motor. Ugh.

He also didn't beg to play games because there were only three, and one of them was a balloon popping game and he HATED how loud it was. So that was a nice perk.

posted by J L Permalink

Friday, September 26, 2003

54 is Too Young to Die


I'm starting to really freak about the people dying lately - they're too young! Today we learned Robert Palmer died of a heart attack at 54. He was healthy, didn't partake in all the typical celeb excesses (according to people who would know) and yet...he's gone now.

I need to go home and listen to "Every Kind of People," my favorite Robert Palmer song.

posted by J L Permalink

WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!


GO RED SOX!



Link to Picture on the Official Red Sox Website

Damn, I was only off by three nights. I wish they had clinched while we were at the game.

posted by J L Permalink

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Well, That's an Interesting Look


I got my hair cut last night. I like 75% of the cut. 75% of it looks the way I suspected it would when I made the decision to get my hair cut. But there's about 25% of the cut that makes me want to scream and harm the she-devil who was wielding the scissors.

What the ... was she thinking when she cut the bangs?

I told her to take an inch to an inch and a half off the length. It was getting long. But there was an implication, based on earlier conversation, that she just needed to fix the bangs. I am suddenly concerned that she thought "If I have to take an inch of the back, I probably have to take an inch off the front too.

It looks stupid, I know it does. You don't have to spare my feelings. Well, okay, spare them a little. But really, did she look at the rest of my hair, which was cut first, and say "now to complete the look, we go with the bangs of the lead singer from Mister Mister circa 1985, or Rosie O'Donnell when she quit her TV show and went for the Hitler look."

*sigh*

posted by J L Permalink

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Hey, Where's Boston Common?


Anybody seen Boston-online.com? I'm getting DNS errors. Don't make me send out the bloodhounds!

posted by J L Permalink

Wednesday Random Things


More thought pebbles:

posted by J L Permalink

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Freshly Bathed Boy


Is there a better smell in the world than your favorite boy fresh from the bath? I love the smell of his shampoo. Over the years I've exaggerated swooning whenever I smell his hair after it's been washed, so to this day he makes me smell his hair first thing after his bath or shower is done.

"OOOOO! That's the best smell in the world! You smell so clean!"

posted by J L Permalink

Consider this a bookmark


Nothing to see here. I'm using the blog to bookmark a site that I want to check out tonight. This is the way I'll remember - plus some or two of you might find it a useful link.

Word HTML Cleaner

posted by J L Permalink

7th Inning Stretch


Went to the Sox game last night - sat in section 29, which was okay, better than a lot of seats I've had at Fenway, but worse than some as well. Where I really wanted to sit was the green monster. I hope they never make those season ticket seats, because I like thinking that different people get the opportunity to sit there all season long. I want to have a chance, someday.

We had to leave before the game ended, because my mom and dad were babysitting and I needed to relieve them at a fairly decent hour. So we left, secure with a 5-2 lead. Then panicked that our leaving was the cause of the game going to 6-5 before they settled down and won 7-5. Sheesh, okay, next time I won't leave early. But it's tough for someone out where we live to attend a game during the week. If we'd stayed till the game ended we wouldn't have gotten home until after midnight.

So there you go, another win for the boys, another day closer to the Wildcard spot. Can you just taste it?

posted by J L Permalink

Monday, September 22, 2003

Teee voooooohhh!


[With a few minor Survivor Spoilers]
A million or two years ago, I first learned about a little thing called a TiVo. I heard about it from a technologically-advanced friend on a mailing list, and he told me about a beta testing program directive was running. So I jumped in. See, I was having issues. My wonderful child's bedtime was getting in the way of Survivor, I believe season 2 (although possibly season 1). His bedtime was just smack-dab in the middle of it, and because we only had a VCR, we could set it to tape but then we'd have to wait until 9:00 to watch the whole thing - any peeking prior to 9 and you could find out who got snuffed and ruin the whole episode.

TiVo solved the bedtime dilemma - set the thing to record the show, and whenever we got done with bedtime (nigh-nights, book, cuddles, etc.) we could just start watching it from the beginning, even if it was only 8:10pm!!

Since those days, I have cut down on my television viewing to maybe two grown-up shows a week. I just don't have time, and the shows I'm watching I don't want to watch with him or can't. But last night my brother-in-law called to say they were re-running the 1st episode of the new survivor (I haven't watched since the 3rd one) and I fell in love with the show all over again. I love the direction they took - make it more like real survival. Hey, if you chose to wear a Scoutmaster uniform, well then by golly you're going to be wearing that thing for 40 days. As if you were REALLY STRANDED SOMEWHERE. I liked the buying supplies thing too. That's when smarts pay off, not because the producers decided to supply you with four tons of rice. You want to trade your necklace for a big old chicken barbecue, I want to offer you my heartiest "well, done, I hope you win, honey" cause that was brilliant.

Drake Tribe, if you don't win I will personally come and beat each and every one of you with my own little version of the immunity idol.

posted by J L Permalink

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Best Keyboard Ever


Dave Barry mentioned this in his blog, I wanted to make sure you all saw it.

Best Keyboard Ever. The best part is the customer feedback. Please, please, if you're going to buy one, make sure you use MY link so I get the referral fee. You'll see why when you look at the price.

posted by J L Permalink

Update: The Curse of Babs


How could I forget to tell you! I think talking about it here broke the Yentl curse! Seriously, this weekend at the Johnny Appleseed festival (or "festibull" as Junior insists it is pronounced) I got an entry into a raffle because I filled out a Cultural Commission Survey. You got your choice of three items to take a chance on (like a Chinese auction) and I picked the cookie bouquet because it was one from the Cookies by Design place that I love. I was raving to Gary, the guy working the book (who went to high school with me) about these cookies, so he was laughing last night when he left a message on my phone that I'd won. And he swears it wasn't fixed. So he dropped the bouquet (all apple-y stuff about the festival) the morning and I took it to my sisters where it didn't last long. Man, those are some GOOD cookies.

So do I declare the Yentl curse over? Maybe I should have bought some scratch tickets...

posted by J L Permalink

Another Day of Pool


Okay, I think in the past 48 hours, I've spent 8 in my sister's pool. Now before you say "are you insane!? It's September 21st! You'll die of pneumonia!" let me remind you that they bought a heater for the pool, so really it's like swimming in a giant hot tub. Yesterday it was a little TOO hot (like, pushing 100) but they turned it down and today it was perfect. I mean, just exactly the most perfect temperature ever ever. There were 4 adults and 5 kids in the pool and I kid you not when I say we were all in there for at least 3 hours straight. My mom used to call me a fish, and Junior is three times what I ever was. I mean, for a kid who never liked to get his face wet, you cannot drag him out of the pool, ever. HOURS he'll spend in there. I mean, I can think of worse thing for him to do for 5 hours straight, you know?

But man, I'm completely wasted. And I had to come home to do a little laundry and pick up the house some, just because we haven't been home much since Friday night. Except I just want to go to bed. Being in their pool is like taking a gigantic bath, and you know how you feel all sleepy after a bath. But tomorrow night I'm going to the Red Sox game, so I had to get some laundry done now. I like wearing clothes to work. Ugh. Work. So soon?

I'm sad that it's so late in the year - they people are coming to close it up for the season around October 11th. I can't believe we're going to have to wait like 8 MONTHS before we can have a day like today again. *sigh*

Now sure, they can get a little more swimming in, but it's not going to be the same when it's only 60 out. Yesterday was about 83, today was 77. We blew off the Johnny Appleseed parade to spend the day in the pool and I'd do it again. Cause I like being in the pool. If I'm willing to jam myself into a bathing suit in public, you know I must enjoy it.

posted by J L Permalink

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Ahhhhh, that was a good day


I'm almost sad to be home and in the house. Time for bed, though. We had the Johnny Appleseed festival (pretty decent, but dudes, figure out the parking. I was thisclose to saying "screw it" and just driving home. Have you considered doing a shuttle bus from the Watertower Plaza or something?

posted by J L Permalink

Like Summah!


Supposed to be in the 80's here today - so forgive me as I say "BYE!" and you watch my dust as I head out to enjoy it.

p.s. Now I'm concerned. I thought I'd only lost a shirt that I liked (black, short sleeved) but this morning I couldn't find my jean shorts, the ones that actually fit and look decent. So now I'm missing two articles of clothing - did I accidently leave them up in NH when we spent the weekend? What else am I missing? I'm pretty ticked off right now...I loved that shirt AND the shorts. Grrrr.

posted by J L Permalink

Friday, September 19, 2003

Well That's Odd


The corporate homepage here at work carries some Reuters headlines - you get to customize which ones you want included in your default view, and I have three of them selected. During the day I peek at the page just too see what the headlines are. Just now I saw two listed on the Entertainment feed - don't you just hate when your drafts go out to the universe?

Here is what it says now:
Bright, Sunny, Spring Seen on NY Catwalks

But here is what it said 30 minutes earlier:
Bright, Sunny, Jobless Spring Seen on NY Catwalks [my emphasis]

I finally read the article to see if the original was just a mistake, and halfway down the article it says the shows don't include many interview outfits. Really? Any time I've seen any pictures from a fashion show, I've NEVER seen anything I would wear to an interview - unless it was with Mr. Barnum or Mr. Bailey.

posted by J L Permalink

Didn't Eat the Beefaroni


I didn't need to put my hurricane emergency plan into place. (J-Mo - Beefaroni is canned pasta from the Chef Boyardee Company. You live in a Beefaroni-free world?) Well, I did go to bed relatively early, but I stayed up reading. And doing a little bit of this cross-stitch towel thing that I bought probably two years ago. I found it when I was looking for the pipe cleaners for Junior's art project, so I decided to start it. I figure if I do even 15 minutes worth of it a day, I may have it done this year! Woo!

I'm still reading the previously-mentioned book. It sort of settled down into a more normal romance novel, if you can get past the story line that there's someone breaking into homes to steal hand-crocheted underwear. Yes, our plucky heroin is famous for her handmade panties (oh that should pick up some Google traffic). At one point she didn't want to tell a potential suitor that she made them because she didn't want to bare her artistic soul or something or other. I should find the passage.

posted by J L Permalink

Thursday, September 18, 2003

What if I Missed My Chance?


I was listening to local radio station WXLO this morning, when they announced caller 10 would be qualified for this contest where they are giving away a car. That's pretty cool. I wouldn't mind a new car. Of course, I couldn't get through, I never actually get through.

That made me think - what was the last thing I won from a radio station? Stuff from WCCC when I was in college? Probably. But what if I sealed my fate back then when I won tickets to see Yentl and didn't go? What if the cosmic prize patrol said "You know, we arranged for those Yentl tickets as a test. You won them and received them, and never went. *flash of light* You are now ineligible to win any more radio contests.

That would stink. I don't want the rest of my life to be stuck prize-less just because Barbra Streisand made a movie that could be used to torture Osama, should he be captured alive.

=====

On a different subject, I thought I was hallucinating this morning. When I wake up, I look North-west out one of the windows (closest to the bed) to just see how light it is, etc. I leave the shade up high enough that I can see the treetops, sky, and a little bit of the roof of one house down the street. This morning when I looked out I saw...light pink stripes. I actually rubbed my eyes like they do in cartoons. The stripes, while light were well-defined and straight - there were three of them. After about 30 seconds, I realized they were actually clouds, and over the next few minutes they turned that hot pink color. But I seriously thought there was something wrong with me when the first thing I saw was a pink-striped sky. "Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning"

posted by J L Permalink

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

My Little Guy


For school, Junior had to work with us to create a little model of himself. You could be creative using materials found around the house (oh, okay, got lots of stuff around the house). He helped pick out colors and we cut the pants and the shirt, and he decorated the rest. Oh, he's the one who thought of twine for the hair. I didn't have any real glue so that's why it's got the brown in the hair - that's holding the twine in place.

I love the feet - he put ankles on them! You'll probably also notice the "smile". Oh Lord, the things you want to say to your kids but you don't because it's part of the creative process. When he first did it, it didn't have the upturned corners. It looked like the angriest kid ever. Frankenjunior. But he'd told me that it was a smile with the teeth showing, he added the upturned part to make sure it was clear that he was smiling. I love this little guy - I hope we get him back so we can put him in the memory book.




p.s. He added buttons to the shirt and fingers. Mr. Attention to Detail gave himself two on one hand and three on the other. My son is going to need remedial art classes.

posted by J L Permalink

Coincidence? I Think Not


What the? Not two minutes after posting that, I got some spam mail. The subject line? "Jody-the bear facts (cave)"

I mean, really, I thought it was fan mail. Well, it was about Viagra, so maybe it wasn't.

posted by J L Permalink

Bear Left


Oh my goodness, my Aunt (she of the chicken thigh recipe) just emailed that there was a black bear in their backyard at 5:15pm. AHHHH! She lives about 3 miles from here, as the crow flies, or as the bear walks. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

(I wonder if they got a photo?)

posted by J L Permalink

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Speaking of Romance Novel Barbie


We went to the library last night (the Ritter Memorial, but it's not for John Ritter even if he did do the voice of Clifford the Big Red Dog) and I grabbed two paperbacks off the rack. One of them, and I won't name it because I don't want to give the mistaken impression that others should find the book in an effort to emulate me, is bad. Really bad. I glanced at the blurbs last night when I opened the book and I immediately thought "OH NO!" Yes, I picked out a book that has been praised by non other than the AOL Writers Club Romance Group. Oh no.

I decided to start reading anyway. The plot? A mom fakes heart trouble to force one of her three kids to settle down and give her a grandchild. And the kids fall for it and when I just stopped reading they were tossing a coin to figure out who was going to give up his life for the whim of their lying sack of poop mother. Great, huh?

posted by J L Permalink

Monday, September 15, 2003

Santa is Getting Ideas...


Thanks to my friend Jane for pointing out a little something I think my niece should have. I think everyone should have Romance Novel Barbie!


posted by J L Permalink

Batteries, Canned Goods and Portable Radios


Heard on the news this morning that the people who are in charge of saying this sort of thing (FEMA? Duracell?) have told folks in the mid-Atlantic states to stock up on batteries, non-perishable foods, candles and portable radios, cause the Hurricane is headed their way. I was thinking I'd still be able to use my "Y2K / 9-11" supply of bottled water and Beefaroni. Did folks throw out their portable radios and duct tape? I kept mine. I even have a solar one, so I don't need batteries. But I've had it for several years now. I don't need to run out and buy one.

Plus, I'm sure that by the time we get anything from this storm up here, it will just be a tropical depression ("Aloha! Have some Wellbutrin!") and I'll be pissed because I'll have spend a fortune on candles and have no reason to light them. So maybe I'll just take my chances and not stock up on batteries and candles. I figure if the electricity goes out, I'll just go to bed earlier than normal.

See, I have an emergency plan!

1. Eat Beefaroni.
2. Go to bed early.

posted by J L Permalink

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Missed the Air Fest Again


I offered to take Junior to the Air Fest at Fitchburg Airport today, but he declined for reasons that made me give him a knuckle sandwich (apparently he doesn't realize how much mommy loves planes). But that was his choice, and I realized that at $8 per adult plus a small bloody fortune to buy tickets for the carnival rides, I was better off with him saying now. It's kind of a tight week for stuff like $40 worth of carnival ride tickets, you know?

So instead I enticed him with a moonwalk/bouncer, and we headed up to Marshall Farm. Now I can't say enough about the local businessman who saved that farm from being turned into house lots. When the owner of the farm died two years ago, the stories going around last year were that they had to sell it. His parents, the previous farm owners, are in their 90s and just didn't want to have to handle it. I'm sure their hearts weren't in it anymore at that point.

Imagine my sheer joy when my dad told me that not only was it not closed, but the new owners were making all kinds of improvements. The U-pick is still there, although some of the open land that I don't think had apple trees, has been sold to a developer, and it looks like most of the houses are up, but you can barely see them from the barn. They're putting a deck on the barn for eating outside, they've removed some of the kitschy country-store decor stuff and added a deli and small bakery, and now there's a petting zoo. They had the old fire engine hay ride out in the apple orchard, and they had two moonwalks (one a slide). So for $4, Junior got to do the moonwalks as much as he wanted for the whole day. We didn't eat the BBQ, but it was there. For $8, he could have done the moonwalks, petting zoo and hay ride all day as much as he wanted. Not a bad deal, really, given that at plenty of places it's $2 for 5 minutes in a moonwalk. I've got evidence for you, too:

Now this is an almost 500k avi file, and I took it with my digital camera, so there isn't any sound, and it sideways because I don't have software to edit it, but there you go.


posted by J L Permalink

AP Wire Says There's Been a Breakup...


Of Bennifer! They are calling it a rumor. I love all the excitement. Better still, we'll only have to go through a month of break-up headlines before pictures of the happy couple will stop filling magazines and entertainment news. We may be able to resume a J-Lo-free life.

MAY, I said. Hey, I'm nothing if not a realist.

Okay, so heads up - next week's People cover will have the traditional "torn down the middle" photo of the happy couple.

posted by J L Permalink

Pins and Needles


Was it all a fake-out? We're all just dying to hear if Bennifer gets married today! Wooo!

No, really, it's kind of gray and rainy here, and I'm not sure we should go to the Air Show, because I'd hate to pay the entrance fee only to have to leave because of rain. So what to do today? Wait to hear news from California, of course.

posted by J L Permalink

Friday, September 12, 2003

Perfection


C Monks got an advance copy of the Bennifer vows.

posted by J L Permalink

Clifford!


Oh man, I needed to read it over at the working mom, but I forgot John Ritter did the voice of Clifford the Big Red Dog in the PBS series! Oh man, now I'm REALLY sad.

I wish I had a .wav of him saying it, but when junior was a wee one, he said CliffordtheRedDog in a crescendo (so that the highest point was "red" before dropping back down on dog. And he mispronounced Clifford.

red
the
ard
Clipp Dog.


*sniff*

posted by J L Permalink

Clearing the Cobwebs


Gonna give you some thought pebbles today, as I'm busy and tired and can't really string together long coherent thoughts. Oh, unless it's for work. I'm coherent at work. Really.

posted by J L Permalink

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Puzzle Still Not Finished


I just wanted to make sure you were all kept up-to-date on the puzzle situation.

posted by J L Permalink

Star of the Day


I'm wearing my red, white and blue sweater today. I wasn't going to, but then I thought "why not?" I bought it just after 9/11 - red sleeves, blue torso, with a white star in the middle. Someone saw me and said "Star of the day!" and I wondered it I should just agree, or if it was necessary to point out why I'm wearing this thing.

That interaction made me a little self-conscious, and looking around, I don't see too many other people in flag-mode. Last year I was unemployed on the 1st anniversary, so I wore a denim shirt that has a flag decal sewn over the pocket, like I'm a patriotic car mechanic. I was working at Vibren on 9.11.01 and we filled the office with flags and red, white and blue bunting in the weeks that followed. I'm not going to go into my "here was my experience that morning" but you can believe I can remember every minute of that day like it was yesterday. So ya, I'm wearing red, white and blue today, and I'm happy I am.



posted by J L Permalink

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Where to Draw the Line


As a parent, you spend your whole life drawing lines and making rules for your child and for yourself. How far do I go? How far do I let him go? Some of the lines are very serious and must be enforced (You must hold a grown-ups hand when you are walking in a parking lot because you are too short and the drivers can't see you). And then there are those like last night.

I bought Junior a 100 piece Power Rangers puzzle last night. I thought it would be good for the old noggin after 5 straight years of cartoons. (Okay, only a slight exaggeration) Now a 100 piece puzzle for a 5-year-old is actually a tricky thing, and in our case, he is still building the skills that allow him to look at the picture on the box and match what he sees on the individual pieces to that picture.

It's a total exercise in frustration for me. I'll admit it. It's one of the few things that drives me buggy. We try to do the outside edge first, like good Americans, and I clench my fists every time I have to repeat "No, you need a piece that's straight on one side". We worked on the puzzle for quite a while - eventually his interest lagged and I didn't want to force him to stay there and finish the danged puzzle. What kind of freak would that make me? And I didn't want to do the puzzle for him. That's the line I'm talking about. How much should I help him, and at what point is it no longer help? As a toddler, he was notorious for saying "you do it" for everything. And sometimes it's just easier to say "here, let me finish that so we can get on with our lives". But I want him to learn how to do a puzzle.

Maybe we'll finish it tonight.

posted by J L Permalink

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Another Banner Virus Day


Okay, another few hundred copies of sobig today. Tell me...is this thing just living on it's own out in the wild now, feeding on nuts and berries and drinking water out of puddles, or are there still a whole pack of mouth-breathers out there who haven't heard the news that there IS no screensaver, that "That Movie" isn't really a movie, and that nobody is actually thanking you for anything. Seriously, we're a month into this now, I personally know people who have received TENS OF THOUSANDS of copies, and just when it slows a little, there's a banner day like today.

Also - I would really appreciate it if ISPs (including my own, for goodness sake) would turn off the auto-notification that a received email contained a virus. People, I did NOT send out all those emails. Do NOT send an autoreply to a forged header saying that my system might be infected. Do you understand that you are ADDING TO THE PROBLEM? I'm getting 40 tons of crap email a day now, and if 10 percent of the crap is from ISPs being pro-active, that's 10% too much. They KNOW the headers are forged. I'm begging my ISP - check the logs. I'm not sending any messages with those titles. Stop threatening to tell my ISP on me! You ARE my ISP!

p.s Can someone please tell me how to get Microsoft's .net messenger OFF of my system? I don't want it, I don't use it. And now on a daily basis it launches itself to tell me I need an important upgrade. Yet, there's nothing listed anywhere for me to uninstall this beast. I'm getting Mighty cranky about this.

posted by J L Permalink

Open Letter to David Blaine


Dude, seriously, a nice anti-depressant and long hours of therapy will really help you out. I fear that if you don't get the professional help you need, they will lock you up and throw away the key.

6 weeks in a see-through box with no food - what's the point? I hear a big old cry for help, that's what I hear. I mean, even if you don't die, and that might very well be your goal, to die in a see-through box suspended above the Thames, what's the point of having the world be aware that you're peeing into adult diapers where everyone can SEE you for all that time?

There's being cool and daring, and then there's being psychotic. Some would say you've already crossed the line. And even if you succeed, people are going to assume that it wasn't "real," that you got food, or that there was something in the water you are allowed. That is the only way they should allow you to do this, otherwise it's a very public suicide. We all get a front row seat to watch your organs shut down.

And another thing - six weeks is too long. We'll all lose interest long before then. "David who? Oh, the psycho guy who doesn't need to eat? Ya, call me when he does the 'no air for six weeks' trick. That'll be a good one. Har har har."

So come down out of the box, and get thee to a therapist. You're like the kid in the playground who has to keep doing more dangerous stuff just so that the other kids will pay attention to him. "Look at me! I'm going to climb up on the roof of the cafeteria!" It wasn't cool then, and it isn't cool now.

Signed,

A concerned American

posted by J L Permalink

Monday, September 08, 2003

Where's the Sun?


I thought it was supposed to be sunny this week? How am I supposed to wake up early if it's dark and overcast? A little help, please?

posted by J L Permalink

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Dope Slap Sunday


Thanks to Ross from Localfeeds I may have that not showing up problem licked. No more excuses to feel bad for myself, eh? Well, of course I have plenty of those.

I was struck this afternoon/evening about how I have no friends. No, wait, don't be posting stuff in the comments about how loved I am...I mean real life people who would call me up and say "dudette, I'm making chicken lo mein, bring a fork" or whatever. We won't even go into the whole lack of a real social life. I just don't have people to do things with, other than my son. Now don't get me wrong, he's fun, but I think the two of us spending a couple of hours at my office this afternoon was his idea of fun either.

Anyway, instead of just eating whatever Junior is having (pasta pasta pasta) I made myself a cool dinner that *I* wanted. It was amazing, actually. I made Chicken a la Aunt Barbara (chicken thighs sauteed with green peppers in a little grapeseed oil, salt and pepper. That's it. You can use olive oil, I just prefer grapeseed), garden tomato and feta tossed in a touch of Ken's Greek dressing, and a few of Junior's medium shells with a smidge of butter on them. That's it. And it was PERFECT. I think the secret is to start the chicken and peppers at the same time. Last time I threw them in about halfway through and there wasn't much of the pepper flavor in the chicken. Tonight I had to force myself to not finish the whole package in one sitting. I can't wait for dinner tomorrow!

posted by J L Permalink

But, But, I updated!


I keep wondering why Blogrolling knows I've updated (I ping by hand) and even lists me as recently updated, yet I don't show up as updated in the blogroll on my page. Something about that really annoys me.

Went grocery shopping. There's a major Cookie and cracker sale at Shaws. I guess September is cookie and cracker month.

My comment to the priest in Fitchburg who embezzled 250k from the parish: What part of "Thou Shalt Not Steal" doesn't apply to you?

Oh and as a follow-up to Junior waking up way too early yesterday? Even earlier today. As in before 6am early. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

posted by J L Permalink

Mister Crunchy Says: I Choose You!


I read Chris's reply to my maze post about his kids only taking left turns for the first ten minutes in the maze, and I was laughing so hard that Mr. Dump had me read the reply. I told him how much I enjoy Chris's website, and clicked on the link over, and almost hurt myself reading the Mister Crunchy: I Choose You! article. Anyone who has ever had to suffer through an episode of Pokemon (or heaven forbid, one of the movies) will appreciate this. The whole show requires a suspension of disbelief that lately I just can't handle. I have lost patience with cartoons that just expect me to say "Okay, that's not how things happen in real life, but sure, I'll assume that it can happen just so I won't turn of the television." This happened to me last night with Rugrats. Now I know that on a regular basis the plotlines expect you to just say "Ya, okay, whatever" [See: Rugrats in Paris - we need Stu to come fix the big Reptar robot, oh hell, sure, why don't you take your family AND your neighbor's families with you, on us. Let's see, that's plane tickets to Paris for 7 adults and 6 kids, and then first class accommodations. I hope you have Passports, you leave in the morning."]

Last night's Rugrats had all of the above plus two sets of grandparents, an extra wife and daughter (12 adults, 7 kids) hopping on a plane to an island on a whim. When they get there, there's only one room available. Next thing you know the hotel is having a treasure hunt, and the prize is to be upgraded to the 5-bedroom Presidential suite. Oh, okay. The hotel has a 5 bedroom suite that they're handing out to the winner, even if it's just some guy there alone. *sigh* I'm such an adult. Or maybe the writer in me thinks they need to try harder if parents have to watch these shows with their kids. Anyway, go read "I Choose You!" You'll thank me later.

posted by J L Permalink

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Quiet Back There!


You guys keep it down. I'm going upstairs to inhale the new National Enquirer. Let's all cross our little digits that Junior sleeps past 6:30 tomorrow. He didn't this morning. He does every WEEKDAY morning. But not today, no sir.

posted by J L Permalink

Corny


My parents found an alternative to the Davis Farmland Megamaze - this one was owned by the Lull Farm folks, out in the field next to where they do the pick-your-own strawberries. I was expecting something pretty lame, along the lines of the little one we did last year at a fall fair we went to.

Well, for $4 a person, it was already making me happy. And then we proceeded to get lost in there for almost an HOUR before we gave up and went back out the entrance because Junior had twisted his ankle a little and was getting tired of being in the maze. What was funny is that neither me or my dad wanted to give up - I mean, I'm sure we were seconds away from figuring it out! I mean, after an hour, you want to just FIND the exit to say that you finished the darned thing. Once we got out we asked to see the blueprint that we knew the guy had. Dang, so close and yet so far. Next year we bring a periscope and better shoes.

posted by J L Permalink

Friday, September 05, 2003

Wow, Love that Ride


Just read about the person who died at Disneyland today on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Boy, we have ridden the one in Florida MANY times. It's one of the few roller coasters Mr. Dump would ever go on, and Junior, speed freak that he is, loves it too.

I can't even imagine how the engine uncoupled from the rest of the cars, or how that would cause someone to actually die. God, the whole thing is awful. You read the carnival rides and amusement parks aren't regulated enough, and yet when you're there you just trust that nothing bad will ever happen. And then in one the places that I would expect everything to be just that much safer, this happens.

posted by J L Permalink

Giving It Another Shot


I'm always searching for new ways to get people to this site. I like visitors. Visitors are good. Some people get thousands a day, and I bow to their web-fu.

I'm giving the localfeeds thingy another shot. I tried to add myself before, but I just looked now and I'm not listed as having recently updated (recently as in the last 24 to 36 hours) which I have. And I do fit their "within 50 miles of Boston" requirement. There isn't a localfeeds page for Worcester; I'm listed as being within 18 miles there. I don't think it would be of as much interest as being considered a Boston blogger anyway.




posted by J L Permalink

Thursday, September 04, 2003

The Fall Fundraiser is here!


What prize do I win for my son being the first on the block to bring home fundraising crap today? 3 days into the school year. He tells me that if we sell enough stuff they get to have an ice cream party.

"But honey, you don't even like ice cream."

I looked through the "crap" and actually, it's like a greatest hits of fundraising catalog. There are candies, cards, flower bulbs, calendars, wrapping paper, kitchen stuff, etc. A quick pass through and I saw quite a few things I'd consider, including some really cool Spongebob wrapping paper.

The company sponsoring this is Katherine Beich. When I was a wee little Girl Scout, we sold candy to raise money for a bus trip to Disney. Week in, week out, we sold candy. I had regular people who I kept supplied with their favorites. This is the same company, and some of the same candies are available. Wow, what goes around, comes around. But now there's a big "no door to door" thing on the front, which is fine because in my neighborhood there are 4 other kids selling the same packets. I can just see us all fighting over the territory - we'd get 7 houses each and one kid would have the advantage of his aunt living across the street.

If you know me and you read this and you want to see the catalog (no obligation, seriously) just ask. I don't see myself approaching people much past posting this.

posted by J L Permalink

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

What I'm Up To


I wish People Magazine came out twice a week. I wouldn't want to have to pay twice as much for my subscription, however. I just like having an unread People Magazine around in case of emergency. I'm not sure what the emergency is - possibly a "I don't have anything to read" emergency.

I'm actually finishing up a romance novel, Born in Ice. I only read romance novels by a few authors, and Nora Roberts is pretty much at the top of that list. This one is about 8 years old, but it was passed along to me and I'm enjoying it greatly. I realized that I really like the characters in the book, and I'm going to be sad when it's over. It's the 2nd book in a trilogy - I don't think I read the first one, but maybe I'll check the library.

My nephew had his first day of kindergarten today - I hear he did better than his dad did. Dad sent a note that actually made me all weepy. I hope he doesn't mind but I'm sharing the last line with all of you, which refers to him watching his son go into the school for the first time by himself (he didn't know dad had watched him get off the bus). "Then they played follow the leader and went inside to grow up."

*snuffle*

posted by J L Permalink

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

He Had a Great Day!


Had to drag any details at all out of him...the first words he had for me were "I can't believe daddy unlocked two new levels in Super Mario Sunshine!" (which was a conversation he had with daddy yesterday or the day before).

Basically, a good day. They learned they had to raise their hands if they wanted to say something (for him, this skill had better be pass-fail), they learned about the flag in the classroom (part of learning the Pledge, if I'm not mistaken), and the big thing was that they learned that if the bus was going down a hill and stopped quickly, their heads would hit the seat in front of them.

No, really, that's the first thing he said AFTER talking about Mario. Yes, that's probably something useful to know. I told him that he should sit back and try to keep his head in place.

posted by J L Permalink

Doing Fine, Thank You


Really, I'm doing very well. I didn't even cry this morning. I mean, I teared up a bit as he walked up to the door of the bus, but I stood steady with the video camera, and he never even turned and looked back. Luckily he chose a seat on the side of the bus where I was standing, so I did get to videotape him through the window.

My only regret is that I couldn't videotape and take pictures, because I'd love the one of him sitting in the window. But you have to make your choices, and I thought video was better for today.

My big boy, riding the school bus! Right now they're finishing up the day. The busses pick them up in about 20 minutes or so. If it wasn't raining, they'd be playing outside while waiting for the bus. I can't wait to hear all about his day!

posted by J L Permalink


I'm sitting here in the lot waiting for the bus. I'd have taken him a little later but I didn't know if it might come early.

posted by J L Permalink

Monday, September 01, 2003

Packing it in the for the Night


Okay, today was more of a slack-off day. Spent some time with my parents, picked apples (yecch...the good ones aren't out for another week or two. I prefer either Macoun or Cortland, quite frankly) and had a burger at the little barbecue they were having. It was just nice to tramp around out in the fields without a ton of other people.

Then we came home and I spent over an hour breaking down boxes from my cleaning because tomorrow is recycling day. The guys who pick up my stuff are going to wonder if I celebrate Christmas in August, there is so much stuff out there.

So now we're putting everything away for the night to go get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow is...taa daa daa daa...the first day of kindergarten. I'm not "upset" or anything (although I reserve the right to shed a tear or two) but more stressed that I'm going to forget something. Ugh. So weird to send him off and not be there to "take care of things." I mean, I don't do that for him now, but it's different, public school versus daycare I pay for where I can have certain expectations.

And I'm still sad that he has to go to daycare before and after kindergarten. I really do wish I was in a situation where I could just pick him up at noon and take him home with me. If wishes were horses, eh?

posted by J L Permalink


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