Monday, December 26, 2011

The Mud Splatters Made Nice Patterns on the Windshield

The other day I got lost. Not, like, really really lost. I knew vaguely where I was and could have found my way home easily, but I wasn't trying to come home yet - I was trying to find a school. You see, Sweet Pea had an 'All-County Chorus' audition and I was trying to find a school across town. The music teacher gave us directions, but they weren't quite complete. The last step was to turn right onto road xyz, which I did. From there it failed to mention how far to go on this street to get to the school, or what side of the street it was on. So I drove for a bit, then saw some school signs. Great! It took a bit to find the entrance, but Sweet Pea and I found a nice close parking spot in the nearly empty lot and went into the building - the lit, but deathly silent building. Not a sound to be heard, not a person to be found. Yet the school was wide open.

Eventually Sweet Pea and I realized it must be the wrong building. What clued us in? Well, the lack of other people (and cars) for starters, the utter silence and the school name. Yes, we finally noticed the school name posted somewhere on the wall as we wandered down the silent halls and it wasn't the right name.

So, we left. We called the hubster and had him pull it up on Google Maps and he directed us. Turns out, it was very close to the original turn-off. The problem was, the road it was on was mostly hidden, and the big sign with the school name and arrows and such was back in some trees and it was very much like old driftwood - a soft gray with, I presume, some words on it somewhere, although they weren't visible in the dark.

In any case, we finally arrived. We parked off the side of the road with a bunch of cars and proceeded into the building. This was better - lots of cars, lots of people, lots of singing kids. I was pretty sure we were in the right place.

Everything went pretty smooth for a while. Sweet Pea had her audition, did wonderfully (although she didn't think so, but neither did any of the other kids) and then we were ready to get home. We headed out to the car, hopped in and proceeded to spin our tires for several minutes. I pulled forward an inch. I backed up an inch. Lather, rinse repeat until a nice trench was firmly in place beneath my wheels and the cars on both sides of me were covered in mud. (As was my car).

I would almost have paid money to see the look on the face of the car owners parked next to me. First it would have been "WTF! Why is my car all covered in mud! Crap! Stupid people. !@#$#@###'

Then, it would have been 'WTF. I'm stuck in the mud!'

So, I called AAA and got myself towed out. Quick and easy. And as the tow truck driver considered sticking around to pull out the other people - because surely they would get stuck as well - I peeled out of the lot, ready to head home and giggling at the patterns the mud made on the windshield, and side windows, and hood and all the cars that had been parked next to me. (Sorry - couldn't be helped.)


Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Skeletons

  Yes, I know. It's the Christmas season. But sometimes you have to have a little fun. I mean, Christmas cookies are awesome. Tasty little morsels of chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger, lots of icing and sprinkles, lots of red and green, trees and holly, snowmen and santas, presents and bells and stars and skeletons. Yes, that's right - skeletons. While making dozens upon dozens of gingerbread men I got bored and decided to decorate a little more unconventionally:

I must say, these gingerbread men taste even better than the ones with the red and green frosting. I think it's because they are unexpected - one of those 'Is that a skeleton cookie? It isn't Halloween is it? I thought it was Christmas?" kind of moments.


Monday, December 19, 2011

What the Heck is That Crazy Woman Doing???

  I recently rented a car. It was a Volkswagon Jetta. Now, maybe this is the way blinkers work now-a-days and maybe I'm just stupid but I'm sure, without a doubt, that the people driving behind me thought I was completely out of my mind.

You see, I would decide to change lanes, so I would press down on the blinker. In my car, and in every car I have ever driven, a slight push on it makes it blink and it continues to blink for only as long as I maintain pressure on it. A harder push will turn it on so it stays on until I turn and it clicks off. But in this particular car, this wild and crazy Jetta, a slight push would turn it on. What I finally realized was that a slight push turned it on for about 5 blinks, at which  point it would then turn itself off. But my reaction was,

"Crap! I didn't think I pressed it that hard. Damn thing turned itself on!"

So, I would push it the other way to turn it off. But since it wasn't really 'on', instead of turning off, it would blink in the other direction for it's 5 blinks. And of course I would say, ""Crap! I didn't think I pressed it that hard. Damn thing turned itself on!" So I pushed it the other way.

Are you seeing the pattern here?

It went on like that. With my blinkers going:

Left blink, left blink, left blink, right blink right blink, left blink, left blink, right blink, right blink.

It only took me about a day to realize what was going on.

It took me another couple of days to remember and adjust my blinking habits. Just in time to return the car.


Friday, December 16, 2011

You MAKE that Stuff?!?

So, as I said, Christmas cookie season is upon us. I grew up with a mother who baked lots and lots and lots of many different kinds of cookies each Christmas season and I carry on the tradition - not all the same cookies, but a nice variety. The other day, Sweet Pea had a friend over as the baking fest was just getting underway.

It quickly became apparent that this little girl was not from a family that does a lot of baking. As I gathered up the dough, the rolling pin, some cookie cutters and some flour the questions began:

Girl: What's the white powder? (refering to the flour that I was sprinkling on the tabletop and the cookie dough to keep things from sticking).

Girl: Who makes this dough?
Sweet Pea: My Mom.
Girl: Your Mom MAKES it?!?!?
Sweet Pea: Yea, homemade is much better!
Girl: Stuff, stuff, munch, munch (I think she agreed)

Me: I'm out of green sprinkles so we'll use the red ones. I could make more green, but the red will do.
Girl with incredulous look on her face: You can make sprinkles?? How do you do that?

And throughout the process there was A LOT of "Can I do this?" "Can I help?" "Oooh oooh let me! Let me"

She had the time of her life rolling out the dough, cutting the cookies, marveling over the dough and the sheer quantity of it:
"Your Mom made ALL the dough?!?!"

I'm just so used to baking and all that goes into it that I find it funny when someone is amazed by the process.

On a similar note, in Sweet Pea's home-ec class recently they did some baking. Hearing her tell about the other girls not knowing some of the cooking basics that Sweet Pea takes for granted was amusing. Sweet Pea could have taught that lesson!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Music Makes Me Stabby

  The other day as I was making hundreds of thousands of Christmas cookies, the hubby tuned the radio to a station playing Christmas music. While I generally prefer to bake to heavy metal with screaming guitars, screaming singers, lots of swearing, foul language and heavy drum beats, I had to admit that some holiday music was more appropriate for the situation. My tendency to beat the imaginary drum sticks sometimes interferes with the baking process and we end up with dough on the walls and ceiling and fist prints in the frosting. Something a little more in tune with the season seemed to be in order. So I didn't complain.

However, after hearing some of the song choices the DJs chose to play I was feeling downright stabby:

Blue Christmas is Elvis. Ok. Elvis is cool. But come on! Those uber-annoying whoo-ooo-ooo-oo parts throughout the song are enough to drive me insane after hearing it once, let alone 6 times!

And what's with Dean Martin referring to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as 'Rudy'? Sacrilege!! Give the deer some respect! Use his full name. It's bad enough he missed out on years of reindeer games and spiked eggnog, but to call him Rudy?!? Inexcusable. And stupid.

Then there's Jewel breaking down into yodeling and jazz scat on Winter Wonderland. All I can say is WTF!

And I get that Taylor Swift is cute, and a good singer. And I know that she has a pretty good version of Santa Baby if you don't mind the country music twang thrown in and the fact that she is WAY too virtuous to be singing that song. But do we really have to hear that version over and over and over? There are other, much better versions out there. How about the original? Or even Madonna's version. Madonna at least has the personality to pull it off. Has Lady Gaga done a version yet?

And I think it may be Michael Buble singing Oh Holy Night. Or maybe it's Josh Groban. I really have no idea, but whoever it is, it's a god-awful, slow, put me to sleep version of an awesome holiday tune. Zzzz, wha? Oh, did I fall asleep in the cookie dough again? Let 's get something with a little bit of life on the radio!

And speaking of falling asleep, or being put to sleep, what is up with the annoyingly slow, bordering on depressing, versions of Silver Bells, Home for Christmas, and many others? Isn't Christmas supposed to be a happy time? Full of fun, love, laughter, family, giving, etc? I don't want to fall asleep in my Christmas pudding while listing to Christmas songs. Nor do I want to cower in a dark corner contemplating self harm due to overplaying of slow, depressing renditions of songs that should be uplifting.

After a mere two hours of that (and I tried several different radio stations) I was ready to kill - either myself or the Christmas tree, or the radio. Gah! I'm feeling stabby!! Time to switch to some Christmas CDs with good music, or some nice soothing heavy metal.


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Fake Plastic Musty Scent of Christmas

So a couple of weeks ago (I know - old news!) we dragged the Christmas tree out of the basement. Doesn't that sound so un-holiday-like? I pull the bin off the shelf, drag it across the cold concrete floor, bump-thump-bang-crash it around the corner and up the stairs, hoping that I don't lose my grip and send it crashing to the bottom of the stairs where it will surely crush the cat.

Then we open the bin and the lovely scent of fresh pine musty plastic fake pine needles wafts out. Aaaah - the smell of Christmas.

The kids all love to help sort out the branches and put them in the trunk. I follow along behind fluffing them. No, really. They need fluffing. They've been mashed in a box for almost a year.

Then the next two hours is spent on swearing over the fact that NONE of the GD light strings from last year work, even though they worked fine when we packed them away last year. Fortunately I am now prepared for this and stock up on lights each year.

Then the next couple of hours the kids put throw the ornaments carefully on the tree. I follow along behind rearranging, otherwise, the same 10 branches in the bottom half of the tree, in the front, get all the ornaments. 

Child X: Mom! Why did you move that?
Me: Well, there were four ornaments on that branch. I couldn't see the ones behind.
Child X: But I liked it where it was!


Even Catzilla Relaxes at Christmas Time

Even Catzilla Relaxes at Christmas Time


Friday, December 9, 2011

The Great Doily Cleanse

The other week when I was emptying my room to turn it into our very own dojo, I had to do some cleaning. I threw out a lot of crap! It was great! I was digging through one of those 'under-bed-bags'. You know - those big plastic bags with zippers that you stuff full of things you don't know what to do with and shove under the bed. Yeah. I have some of those. So, while cleaning one out I tossed out several old purses. Purses are like shoes. I collect them. I love them. I can't walk past them in the store without looking. Just looking. The kids know to try to steer me around them. Sometimes they are successful.

But anyway, I threw away several old purses I will never use again. And while in that bag, I also found a collection of old burp cloths from when the kids were babies. I held onto them because they would make good rags. OK, now really. Who needs that many rags? I mean, I'm not an auto mechanic. I'm not into any hobbies that involve a lot of grease or gunk. And when I do get into something messy, the last thing I think of is the collection under the bed. I go to the sink, or get a towel, or a paper towel, or the hose, or just wipe my hands on my shirt. I think I've only used an actual rag once in the last 20 years. So I tossed them. Ha ha! Buh-bye!

And then . . .

I came across the doily collection.

You know, those lovely white crocheted things that adorn the table-tops and chair backs in old ladies houses. Yes, those. I had 10 or so of those. Very nice. I'm sure. If you like that sort of thing. Some of them were made by my grandmother's loving fingers - carefully and lovingly stitched and knitted and knotted and whatever else goes into making those things and given to me assuming that I would cherish them and put them out for display. Others probably came from the dollar store. Some were probably priceless antiques and heirlooms that I should pass onto my children.

Bah! They don't want those! In the trash! All of them! And as I did so I threw my head back and laughed. Ah HA HA HA. Look at me! I'm throwing these things away! Bwah ha ha ha! It was liberating. It was awesome!

On a similar note, do you know what I bought recently? No, not a doily! Don't be silly. I bought one of those crazy sweaters with no sleeves that's like a blanket with a head hole. No, not a snuggie. More like a poncho, but less colorful, less south-western and more light-sweatery. It's very pretty. But whenever I wear it I feel like I'm wearing a big huge honkin' doily! I feel like an end table, or a nice velvet chair. The hubby concurs, but that may only be because he witnessed The Great Doily Cleanse.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Got my iPod on
Drums, guitars, voices and more
Lots of good music

Well, it seems I am the only one in the family that likes music with screaming. Imagine that. You'd think I get enough of that sort of noise with three kids. I think it's more that it's a familiar sound and I've grown accustomed to it.

Five Finger Death Punch has some awesome music - the lead singer tends to descend in deep-throated screams now and then.

In This Moment (a really crappy name for a band, but awesome music) has lots and lots of screaming - both from the female lead singer and from the male backup.

And on my Apocalyptica CD there is a song by some French death metal dude - Joseph Duplantier, Bring Them to Light. I love that song! Awesome.

But whenever I put any of that music on it sounds like this:

Hubby: What the hell is that?
Me: What? The music you mean?
Hubby: If that's what you want to call it.
Me: It's awesome!

Snickers: Mommy! Oh my god! That's terrible!
Me: What? The music you mean?
Sweet Pea: That sucks Mom! Switch it to [some god-awful pop station].
Me: God no! I can't do that. And besides. This music rocks!
Sweet Pea: Really.
Me: OK, I'll skip this one. The next song isn't so screamy.
Sweet Pea and Snickers in unison: Oh my god! That's worse! Is that a guy screaming too?
Me: Fine! I'll listen to it when I'm alone!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Mutant Orange Haiku

Monster mutant orange
Huge Cheshire-cat-grin segments
Will it bite me back?


Friday, December 2, 2011

My Wrists Are Smmmooookin'

  So, you know that I like to make and wear beaded bracelets, right? Did you also know that in the winter I like to blast the heat in the car? And by winter I mean the snowy cold months of January, February and March as well as the three months leading up to them and the three months after them.

Now, when I have the heat blasting out, it has to blast in just the right way. It can't blast directly into my face. I hate having hot eyeballs, not to mention the fact that since my laser eye surgery several years back my eyes are drier than normal, so having hot air blowing on them guarantees they will dry out like unbuttered toast and fall out. Not a good thing. So, rather than risk that, it blows out onto my hands and feet. This has the added advantage of warming up my hands, which for a good percentage of the year, are basically hand-shaped chunks of ice. However, I've recently discovered that having the car's heater blasting out onto my wrists - wrists that are covered in beaded bracelets with metal clasps and sometimes metal beads - is not always a good thing.

For instance, I'll be driving down the road, heat blasting, and will notice that my wrist feels funny. I'll wiggle it and, Ouch! Damn! Holy smokin' wrist bones batman! The metal beads get very very hot. This is going to interfere with my warm-up routine.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Green Pepper Coffee

So, the other day I went through the Dunkin' Donuts drive through and got myself a small coffee with cream and sugar. At least that's what I ordered. Since I hadn't had my coffee yet I wasn't entirely lucid so when she handed it to me and said what sounded like "Small punkin', cream and sugar." I took it as a compliment. I'm rarely mistaken for a 'small' person, but hey, she called me punkin' and I was in the car so maybe I looked particularly small and cute. I smiled and winked and went on my way.

It never occurred to me that there was any possibility in the whole wide crazy world that someone would want pumpkin flavored coffee! French vanilla? OK. Mocha? OK. Peppermint? Sure. Hazelnut? Cinnamon? Sure. Not my cup of tea coffee. I prefer plain. But I can understand.

But pumpkin? How about tomato? Or potato. Green pepper, anyone? Maybe onion? How about liver?

Now, I like pumpkin. I love pumpkin pie, and pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bars. I've been known to eat pumpkin pie flavored ice cream in my wild and crazy youth. Hell, I'd even make pumpkin pancakes if I thought the rest of the family wouldn't barf at the very prospect of it. But coffee?

In all fairness, it was OK. I didn't mind the flavor although it was unexpected. What I did mind was the 100 additional calories and 23 grams of added sugar. Holy great sugar overdose! I get plenty of sugar on a daily basis and don't need that much added to my coffee!

Tasty? Yes.
Worth the calories and sugar? No.


Monday, November 28, 2011

My eyes! Ouch! Owwww! My eyes!

I visited my mother the day. While there I had some cookies. Doesn't that sound boring? Everyday? Mundane, even?

You would think so. But you would be wrong.

It started out innocently enough. It was a 'single serving' pouch with 6 round sandwich cookies. I opened up the end, carefully reached in with my index finger and thumb, grasped the first two cookies and pulled. I was too lazy to actually split the wrapper down the back and they were lodged in there pretty good, so I pulled harder. I grabbed those cookies with every bit of strength in my finger and thumb. I will NOT be beaten by a mere cookie!

And of course, before I knew it, it was the sugar container all over again.

The cookies E X P L O D E D. Cookie crumbs went flying in every direction, across the table, up into the air, but mostly up into my face and hair. I immediately began shrieking, "My eyes! Ouch! Owwww! My eyes!" and proceeded to blink furiously and pull at my eye lashes in a futile attempt to dislodge the cookie crumbs from my eyes.

They finally dissolved and presumably floated around to my brain with the assortment of eyelashes, dust and gnats that get into eyes and eventually disappear. Everything was back to normal.

That was the least satisfying cookie I've ever had.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Four?!? Is That All?!?!

I'm still working on the chin-ups. I know - you don't care. But I do, so I'm going to tell you about it. I was so excited! The other day I did 4!

"Four?!?!" you say. "Is that all?"

Yes, four. But I am very proud of that four. And when I say four, I mean four at once - in a row. I usually do several sets of 2 or 3 and get up to about 8 reps altogether. But until now, my max in a single go has been 3. But for the first time I did four in a row.

I suspect that this would move along a little faster if I didn't take breaks from practicing them. But my arms were in rough shape for a couple of weeks from a Kenpo seminar so I couldn't flex my forearms - made it difficult to grab the pullup bar. But I'm back in action now and before you know it I'll be doing 5, or 10.

And yes, much like when I achieved one and then two and then three, I will most-likely update you on my progress as I get to five, and six (and you can see where this is going, can't you?) I can't ever always blog about exciting, interesting or weird things.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Rolling for an Audience

So the other day Sweet Pea and I were rolling in bjj class. It was fun and challenging. A big part of the challenge was trying not to squish Sweet Pea, but there were some moments where she had me in side control where I had difficulty getting out. There was a lot of giggling, some struggling and much to Sweet Pea's amazement and amusement, an audience.

It was the end of class and the next class was coming in. I think we attracted attention with our giggling. We were also moving more than some of the other rollers. We would disengage and start again and there were a few moments where she was airborne.

After class she was practically glowing. She did well, had fun and best of all, had an audience. Right up her alley.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

no no no no no not that not that!

  From what I've seen online, and in the dojo, most people who are rolling in bjj are relatively silent. There is a lot of panting, a bit of grunting, some heavy breathing, loads of sweating. You know, the typical sounds for someone who is working real hard, using their muscles, etc. Pretty typical. But I am amazed and amused by the sounds the hubby and I make while rolling.

Here are some examples of things you may hear us utter - some are pretty standard terms, others, well, not so much. It's our own bjj lingo:

tap  :   verb
     1. My hands are trapped in some terribly unfortunate position and I can't get them free to tap
     2. You won - now back off

chest  :  noun
    1. You are crushing my chest and I can't breath. Let up a little.

oooof  :  onomatopoeia
     1. You have just crushed me and I don't have enough breath left to say 'chest'.

whOOoo  oooooo  :  onomatopoeia
      1. You have just twisted me into a pretzel and I have no hope of escape. This is often followed by 'tap'.

shit  :  expletive
      1. You have gotten me into a choke. Again.
      2. I am trapped and utterly helpless. Again.

no no no no no not that not that  :  revelation
      1. I am about to be twisted into a pretzel or some other unfortunate position like back control and will twist my own self into a pretzel to try to avoid it.

uberhootentrout  nonesense 
     1. the universal release word, similar to 'tap' in that it means 'let me go now!', but different in that no one can remember that word when it's needed most.

You should try bjj. It's fun. Really.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Up to the Windowsill For a Leisurely Meal

A couple of times a week I try to go into the basement to workout with my kettlebells. The cat often accompanies me. It's can be somewhat unsettling. Every time. And I mean Every Single Time that I lie on the floor, for sit-ups, or kettlebell stuff, or for any reason, she eyes me, then she stands and slowly stalks over to me. Regardless of what I'm doing, she rubs herself along the side of my head or face or shoulder.

But I know.

I know!

I can see it in her eyes. What she really wants to do is attack. Like a wild panther. Like a leopardess. She wants to go in for the kill and drag my lifeless carcass up into her windowsill for a leisurely meal.

I think I may close the door behind me, leaving the cat upstairs, when I work out from now on.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Now All She Needs is a Gazelle

   I don't think I have ever moved so much furniture in such a short amount of time.
I don't believe I had that much crap in my bedroom.
I don't believe I managed to stuff so much crap into the spare/computer room.
I didn't think it was possible to stack furniture so expertly.
I don't believe how bare and clean my bedroom is now.

What am I talking about? Well, I have a nice big bedroom with a high ceiling. It now contains a bed, a dresser and a set of shelves. Period. All jammed into the far end. The rest of it is just open space. A huge, empty, yawning space.

A savannah.

A wasteland.

A desert.

A dojo.

Yes. Our very own (small) dojo. Hubby can practice his Iaido, we can practice our katas, we can do our bjj rolling. It's tight - we crash into the walls sometimes, but if we're careful, oh so very careful, we can make use of this space.

We actually considered moving the bed into the closet to make a little bit more space, but that seemed a bit extreme. And by extreme, I mean, more extreme than the craziness we already just did.

But we can always move it back if we decide we made a bad decision or if we end up not using it. And in the process I managed to throw out a lot of old crap that we should have gotten rid of long ago. If nothing else it was good exercise.

And the cat loves the open space. Whenever she gets a chance she sneaks in (it's a forbidden room for kitties) and sprawls out in the middle of the open space, no doubt imagining herself a lion on the savannah. Now all she needs is a gazelle.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Doggie Drugs, Kittie Quaaludes and Rodent Roofies

We have a couple of guinea pigs. Skinny little Ellie and plump little Oreo. Sweet little things they are, especially Ellie. We've had Ellie for 5 years and she is really the nicest, cutest little rodent you'd ever want to meet. I noticed recently (well, Sweet Pea noticed - I really don't pay all that much attention to the pigs except when I feel like I'm being badgered into giving them yet another carrot just to shut up all the wheeking when I open the refrigerator) that one of her front teeth was very very overgrown. I've read that this sometime occurs with guinea pigs and it's a simple thing to clip their teeth.

You think you can see where this is going, can't you? You're wrong. There is no way in hell that I am going to try to clip guinea pig teeth. Nuh uh! No way. I'll clip the occasional claw, but they are on their own with their fangs.

Anyway, like I said, her tooth was overgrown. She is also the skinniest guinea pig in the world. She's really just fur, skin and bones. She wasn't always that way. I suspect part of the reason is that she has trouble eating with that tooth in the way. I must have been having a very sympathetic and guilt-ridden week because I kept thinking about her dying a slow, horrible death by starvation just because I wouldn't fork over $15 bucks to get her tooth clipped. And she's been such a good piggie. And she has at least 2-3 years left in her if we take care of her.

So, knowing it was crazy, I made an appointment for her. And of course, as is the way with car repairs, vet visits and trips to the grocery store, there is always more that needs doing/buying once you get there. Let me tell you, I felt like an utter fool sitting in the vets office with my box o' piggie. I mean, really. Bringing a guinea pig to the vet?! That's crazy!

So, the vet pokes her, prods her, squeezes her, feels her all over, amid a chorus of wheeks, squeaks, grunts and rumbles, then takes her off to try to get a look at her mouth.

I figured the stress of all the man-handling would probably do her in right there. I was hoping they wouldn't charge me if she died on the examining table. And honestly, not to be heartless, but it would have been somewhat of a relief not to have to walk through the waiting room again, mortified and embarrassed with my box o' pig.

But finally the vet was done and he brought her back out, happy and healthy if somewhat trembly. He sat down. He looked very serious. I expected a diagnosis of heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. But he proceeded to tell us that she's very skinny. A very observant man right there.

Then he very seriously told us all sorts of ridiculous things about her teeth, and how they are all overgrown, and how with a little surgery they can fix it right up. And did we want to make an appointment to send her to Cornell for surgery?

I'll stop to give you a moment to catch your breath. I know it must be hard to read this through your laughter.

The hubby actually laughed in the vet's face. It would have been very comical if the vet hadn't looked so hurt. I just know he thought we were heartless fools. He kept avoiding the hubby's gaze after that. I managed to keep my laughter contained and just stared at him in disbelief, trying to look sympathetic and concerned. I mean, that poor man really looked like he thought getting guinea pig surgery was a good idea. I think he was high - strong doggie drugs, kittie qualudes or rodent roofies or something.

Needless to say, we passed on bringing her to Cornell for surgery and opted instead for a quick snip of the long tooth. We brought her back home, dumped her back in the cage with a pile of carrots and broke the news to her and Oreo that there would be no more vet visits. That they were entirely on their own. They should keep their own teeth ground down by chewing on the nice hay I provide.

They were very understanding.

You know, in some parts of the world the little rodents would be running around my feet all day and when it was time for dinner I'd pick one up, wring it's little neck, skin it and serve it for dinner. I might consider such a thing myself except Ellie is too darn skinny. Now, Oreo on the other hand is nice and plump.


Friday, November 11, 2011

This Dolphin Says WHUMP!

Snickers won a huge plush dolphin at the fair this year. It was one of those games where someone wins everytime and it was Snickers, Doodlebug, Sweet Pea and I playing. So the odds were pretty good that one of us would walk away with a prize. And sure enough - Snickers won! He chose a huge golden yellow dolphin that is about 3 feet long. He was ecstatic! It was stuffed with tiny little styrofoam balls so it was nice and light and made a soft shushing/hissing noise when you shifted it. He actually carried it around the fair all by himself for quite a while before I ended up with it.

But, as we discovered, that Styrofoam was dusty. Little clouds of Styrofoam dust ploofed out regularly. So much so that Snickers decided he wouldn't sleep with it for fear of suffocating on the dust in his sleep. So, it had a place of honor on top of his book shelves. But he really liked the thing and wanted to sleep with it so I told him I would replace its guts with some other stuffing that was less likely to kill him in his sleep.

He was a little worried but I reassured him - a single small incision and a little bit of time and Dolphin would be back up and swimming in no time.

So I set to work. I opened up the seam in Dolphin's tail and poured and squeezed and squished and dumped out about 17 cubic yards of Styrofoam balls. And of course, as is the way with tiny Styrofoam balls, and as is the way with me and my lack of aversion to making a mess, the operating room was covered in a half inch of Styrofoam balls that somehow missed the garbage bag. Now, we're not talking a nice even 1/2 inch layer across the floor. We're talking a layer on the floor, and on the chair, and on the table, and stuck to the front of the cabinet, and covering every inch of my legs from the knee down and static clinging from the tip of my little finger up to my armpits. Every nook and cranny within 3 yards of the surgery site had anywhere from a few little Styrofoam balls to a thick coating.

It was a mess!

It was disgusting!

It was glorious!

Like a warm snowstorm localized around me and the Dolphin. It was all I could do not to throw handfuls up in the air and twirl around, eyes closed and tongue out. But I had to draw the line somewhere.

So, after cleaning up the mess, vacuuming the floor, my pants, my shirt, the cabinets, the bookcase, the computer and the cat I then decided to shake out the Dolphin for good measure to make sure I got it all. Then, after once again  vacuuming the floor, my pants, my shirt, the cabinets, the bookcase, the computer and the cat I got out a bag of polyester fiber stuffing.

I stuffed and I stuffed and I stuffed. I stuffed approximately 20 pounds of stuffing into that thing.

Remember that nice shushing, hissing noise I mentioned? Yeah, that's gone. Gone into the huge garbage bag. Gone into the guts of the vaccuum cleaner. Now this Dolphin says WHUMP! It's quite an impressive sound!

I carefully sewed up the tail and Snickers was delighted with the change. If only he could lift the darn thing! But with perseverence he managed to wrangle it into his bed.

And while it's an improvement and he no longer fears suffocating on the Styrofoam dust in his sleep, he now has a new fear. He fears being crushed to death under the weight of the thing should it fall onto him in the middle of the night. Not to mention the forhead bruises and elbow contusions from accidentally bumping into the thing in the night.

I promised him I would perform a followup surgery - a liposuction - to remove some of the excess fat. Hopefully when all is said and done it will be 10 pounds lighter, soft and snuggly and no danger to anyone. Only time will tell.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sweating, Panting, Struggling, Shifting, Swearing, Pushing and a Tiny Bit of Actual BJJ

So, how is BJJ going, you ask? It's going very well, thank you very much. In case you don't know (and there's no reason you would, and even I didn't know until about a week ago), 'rolling' is what they call it when you grapple/wrestle/roll around with your partner and try to sweep them, or get them in an arm lock, or a leg lock or a submission while trying to avoid getting yourself caught in one of those situations.

As the hubby and I practice our moves and get slightly better at a few of them, a couple of our practice sessions have ended up with us rolling - much like when the gerbils got into a fight - teeth and nails and fur flying, rolling bodies with no obvious winner, lots of swearing (mostly from me), lots of sweating, panting, struggling, shifting and pushing and a tiny little bit of actual BJJ.

Every once in a while I find myself grabbing a leg the right way, or getting my arms just right, then drawing a complete blank on what comes next.

Here's some of last night's conversation (if 'conversation' is what you can call those grunting, panting phrases uttered between my curses):

Me: Oh, wait, wait, don't move. I know he told us how to get out of this one. I need to think.

Me, trapped under the full weight of the hubby with little ability to move at all, let alone breath: Oh crap! He never told us how to deal with this one. (I'm suspecting it's because I never should have let myself get in that situation in the first place.)

Hubby: Whoa! Watch that knee! (That knee was too close for comfort!)

But the good news is, when I'm rolling I do remember some of it and see glimmers of hope that I may get better at it. I also recognize when I've completely screwed up, often just before that final moment when I'm stuck. It makes me hopeful that one day I'll be able to do something about it before it's too late.

There's something to be said for actually getting something to work though. Every once in a while I end up doing something right and get the hubby in an arm lock, or almost manage to sweep him, or I end up on top. Whoo hoo! Ha! Gotcha! Then of course, the tables turn again. But every little victory is awesome!


Monday, November 7, 2011


  A haiku for today:

My three favorite words
I have no idea why
Uber, hoot and trout.

Why, you ask? I just said. I have no idea. I just like the sound of them. Hoot makes me think of fuzzy little owls - like burrowing owls.
Trout just has a certain ring to it - it rolls nicely off the tongue.
And uber - well, it's just an uber-awesome word.

We have a new word in our  house now:
Uberhootentrout: [oo-ber-hoo-ten-trowt]
1. the utter silliness of Mommy
2. a byproduct of the utter silliness of Mommy

As in: What is all that uberhootentrout out there?