Sunday, August 31, 2008

Haiku For You

Oldest Child was bored last Sunday, so I told her to go write some haiku poetry. Astonishingly, she took my advice (usually my suggestions get the exasperated eye-roll from the girls). She wrote quite a few, so I thought I would include a sampling of the best ones here.

(Note: In this first one I substituted the first fictional four-syllable name that came to mind for Oldest Child's name. Her dad wouldn't let her use his work laptop.)

No laptops allowed
for Camber Delane to use.
That is just not fair.


A haiku is a
form of pretty poetry.
Give me Mother Goose.


Sibling 1 is weird.
She has a really thick head.
Nothing is in there.


Mom's shoes: fun to wear!
Flip-flops, sandals and tennies
They are too big.


I bought tons of pens.
Blue and red and pink ones, too.
I only need one.


I have a large beard.
It is quite bushy and cool.
Too bad I'm a girl.


Mosquito bites itch!
They hurt when I poke at them.
Mom says, "Stop poking!"


(The whole family got involved and things started to get silly, as exhibited by one of Husband's creations.)

Carrots in vomit:
Why are they always in there?
I didn't eat them!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Venting my spleen

I am just going to complain for a minute. Yesterday was a disappointing and expensive day. Here's what happened:

Husband won an auction for some real library bookshelves that a university was getting rid of. I was so excited to turn the living room into a library, and the extra shelves would go into the garage to be used for storage purposes. We got the shelves at such a good price that it was worth it to rent a truck to pick them up, as they were in a town about 25 miles away. With Husband at work during the day, I had to arrange for the truck rental and for picking up the shelves.

You know that these truck rental companies are running a bait-and-switch operation. I was still surprised by how much MORE they charge than the advertised price for a day. After they added on the insurance and gas fees and all the other little bits and pieces, I was paying nearly $100 just to drive the truck off the lot. Fine, I thought. At least we're getting the shelves for a bargain. Those same shelves new would probably cost several hundred dollars apiece.

When by brother and dad showed up at the university to pick up the shelves, the jerk in charge unapologetically informed them that they wouldn't be able to get the shelves. Even when Brother explained that we had just shelled out a lot of money to rent the truck for that one specific purpose, Jerk In Charge calmly informed him that he couldn't spare the manpower to send someone over to the library to unlock it. He said this while three of his guys were sitting there doing nothing in plain sight. Even when Brother called Husband and had Husband talk to Jerk, Jerk didn't bend in the slightest. He wouldn't let them go, even though the website didn't say anything about not being able to pick up the shelves on a Friday. A heated argument ensued and Husband cancelled the auction. No shelves for us.

When I took the truck back I had to refill the gas tank to 3/4 level (which is another clever little tactic. Why not get the truck full and then refill it? Instead you have to guess when you've put in enough gas to hit the 3/4 level and the company specifically states they will not reimburse you for putting in extra gas but they will charge you $30 plus $5 per gallon if you don't put in enough gas), which cost money, and then the truck company charged me more money (79 cents a mile) for the 40 extra miles they hadn't already charged me for. All in all, the useless errand cost about $150. That's a few cents over their advertised price of $29.95 for a day. And I'm also angry with the Jerk In Charge and will make whatever complaints I need to to get heard.

I'm not usually obsessed about money. I like getting things at a bargain value -- who doesn't?-- but it really hurts the budget to spend that much money for nothing. I'm just mad about it.

Thanks for listening. This ends the venting session.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Things that keep going missing in the kitchen

1. The measuring spoons

2. The good measuring cups. I bought 2 (two) sets of them and I can't find any of them except the obscure ones, like 3/4 and 2/3 cups.

3. The tongs. Again, two sets. Nowhere to be found.

4. My desire to cook.

5. The kids when I need them to do their dish duties.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Houseboat Danger Dream

Here is a particularly vivid Danger Dream I had. It really freaked me out.

I am living on a houseboat with my family. We are in a harbor at the base of a city that covers a very steep hill, kind of like San Francisco. I know with absolute certainty that a tidal wave is approaching and we are all in danger, so I frantically run from boat to boat to warn our neighbors, but no one will take me seriously and leave. Finally, I run back to get my family up the hill. It is too late. The tidal wave washes over us and everything goes black.

The dream starts over again at the beginning, but only I can remember what happened the first time. Again the wave is approaching and I try to warn everyone. Again no one listens and the wave crashes on us before I can get my family to safety. Everything goes black.

The dream starts a third time. I don't even bother warning any of my neighbors because now I know they just won't listen. I get my family as far up the hill in the city as possible. We watch the wave crash into the harbor and gurgle almost half-way up the hill.

Here the dream changes and becomes less vivid, reverting into a normal abnormal dream.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Status Quo

Many thanks to Husband, who bought me a Toshiba laptop with his birthday money, I am back in the business of finding more interesting things to do than housework. My protestations that he bought me a gift with his birthday money sounded weak and insincere because I was so happy and excited to have my own laptop. I will remind him he has only himself to blame when the house is a mess, dinner isn't cooked and the kids are pulling each others' hair out while I'm blithely tapping away on the keyboard. Ha ha. Just kidding. That's normal without the laptop.

Things that are happening:

1. Kids are back in school. Oh, the quiet.

2. Child Six is teething with a vengeance, which means long nights and baby pain medications.

3. I ordered a new Classic Batter Bowl from Pampered Chef because Six reduced the old one to sad little pieces of broken glass. And, speaking of broken glass, I foolishly set my glass 8" x 8" dish on the stove to melt some butter for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Wow. I didn't know it would explode like that. Fortunately I had my back to it when it exploded because the glass fragments literally blew out into the whole kitchen. I'm still finding pieces hiding behind things. Word to the wise.

4. Every time I think about the presidential elections I get sick to my stomach.

5. We are the proud owners of 10 (possibly 20) used library bookshelves we bid on in a government auction. They come from a university and they're big honkin' things, which is why we wanted them. We tend to collect books. We have shelves full of books and more piled up on the floor because we ran out of shelf space. Our plan is to create a library in the living room, since at this point the living room is a fairly functionless space except for the piano.

6. My brother moved back in while he looks for a job and/or furthur university schooling. The kids love having him here, though Oldest Child had to give up her beloved room for him. He's a great guy to have around: smart, funny, great with the nieces and nephews. And he's single, ladies. He cooks, he cleans, he's good-looking, and he just hasn't found the right girl yet. Comment if you want more information.

Friday, August 22, 2008

There's a hole in my racket!

We had a Relief Society Summer social on Wednesday, and I had a ball. (Or birdie, rather. Read on) The food, which was potluck, was excellent. There was this amazing dessert. Husband would have forgone dinner for several days for this dessert. The cook is this little old lady, so quiet and demure, who used to work for a candy company and has these great recipes. When we asked her what her dessert was called, she replied quietly, "Better Than Sex." We all howled. She didn't give me the recipe, though. Someone claimed that she won't share her secret recipes, but I think she just didn't hear me. I'm going to pester her until I get it, and then I will post it here and all of you will fall off whatever healthy diet plan you're on and become addicts, there will be an epidemic of overweight Americans who focus only on getting their next fix, and I will go to court as many of you sue me for ruining your lives.

But it's worth it. The name says it all.

After eating that lovely dessert (okay, and other good stuff, too), we found that there were all kinds of games set up for our....pleasure. Ours is an aging ward. There are some young, skinny women who have not, well, grown into motherhood as much of most of us have; nor have they been fully introduced to the joys of an aging body. They jumped up and immediately began playing water balloon volleyball ( two people grab a towel's ends, put a water balloon in the towel, and then fling the balloon over the net). Some of us in the slightly older category looked on a bit dubiously. My friend, Carol, said, "Come on. This could be fun" and we went to see what we could play. We ended up playing badminton with some other slightly older ladies, my mom included. We defined the "bad" in "badminton." I haven't laughed that hard in a long time (which only added to the inevitable sore muscles the next day). The Chinese government would have replaced us in less than a second for a team much more skilled (and better looking, I imagine) and then had us shot for shaming their country. It was great fun. I'm proud to say that I sacrificed my body for the team (I'm still spitting out grass) and I could barely walk the next day. Oh, the aching glutes.

We women can get just as giddy and silly as a bunch of teens when given the chance. The kids have to be safe somewhere else, the menfolk banished, and we have to sort of let ourselves relax and allow our naturally young and vibrant personalities out. I love being a mom and a wife, but I am still surprised that what I think of as "the younger me" is still in there, under the layers of responsibility and duty that is my daily life. Even my mom relaxed like that, and she is a woman who hardly ever allows herself to just be. She plays so many roles and has so many things on her plate, and she thinks that relaxing is wasting time -- time that she has so little of. Even Mom was laughing like a loony.

But now I need to return to my duties and responsibilities and cook dinner. The kitchen is an absolute mess, which may not surprise some of you who have seen the normal state of my kitchen, but since the dishwasher broke we've had an even harder time keeping it tidy. I could cry. Seriously. I could weep. I am hoping that Husband can fix it over the weekend, but if not, you may be reading my obituary in a couple days. Who wants to live when every dish in the house gets dirty in a matter of minutes?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

36 Things About Husband You're Dying to Know

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HUSBAND! I wanted to do something special for him, so I thought I would borrow my friend, Allyson's, idea. She listed as many things people may not know about her as she is years old.

36 Things You May or May Not Know About Husband

1. He is "allergic" to cauliflower and brussels sprouts.

2. He comes from a little town in Wales, but strangely is not fluent in Welsh. He, can, however, speak a few words and knows how to say the longest village name in the world.

3. He sings well but won't admit it.

4. He likes country music. He's always making me listen to songs that get me all teary-eyed.

5. He has no use for Morris Dancing.

6. He knows The Princess Bride by heart.

7. He loves flavored milk, especially chocolate.

8. Though he has lived 10 years in Utah, he has never skied "the greatest snow on Earth."

9. He has five brothers and one sister.

10. He is the second oldest.

11. He is learning the saxophone.

12. He hates folding laundry but doesn't mind putting away the grocery shopping.

13. He won the Best of Festival award in a competitive film festival for his animated film.

14. Given enough time and interest, he can figure anything out.

15. He got straight A's through college, which he thinks is amusing as he did fairly poorly during elementary and high school.

16. He can put on just about any accent.

17. He once told off a General Authority who questioned his justification for marrying someone he met while on his mission (me). His answer to the GA was, "How did Nephi justify killing Laban? The spirit told him to do it. The spirit told me I am supposed to marry her, so who am I to argue?" Elder Pinnock (now deceased), couldn't refute that very well. They remained friends.

18. And speaking of odd ways to find the one you'll marry, he proposed to me over the phone. It was the most romantic phone call of my life.

19. He has developed his own clothing line called "I CAN Wear."

20. He can legally find anything for less than retail. Anything.

21. He is a writer. He has written and is in the process of writing some short stories. He has also written quite a few poems and songs.

22. He didn't used to be an avid reader until he married me. Now he loves to read.

23. He once bleached his hair a bright, sunshine-y yellow.

24. He likes pecan pie without the pecans.

25. He would rather eat dessert first and worry about the rest of the meal if there's time and interest.

26. He's a great storyteller.

27. He's also a great practical joker. He's gotten us all many times. At one time, he had my mother yelling "Crunchy Frog shake, please," at the drive-up window at Iceburg.

28. He had really curly hair as a child but didn't like it because his brother used to tease him.

29. If you say " G'day, Bruce" with an Australian accent, he knows exactly what you're talking about.

30. He thinks the TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is the best show on TV because it actually means something. It helps real people and brings out the best in neighbors and communities.

31. He refuses to wear socks with holes in them.

32. He's a great dad. The kids love playing with him and he comes up with the best games.

33. He also helps them with their homework whenever they need it, and somehow he can do it without making them scream in frustration (which is what they do with me). They come out laughing.

34. He's a great husband. He tells me he loves me every day, and he really means it. He also remembers things that I've mentioned that I like. I'll get them as a surprise in the mail (if he's ordered something) or he'll bring it home. He's very thoughtful.

35. He is an amazing man. He's intelligent, funny, compassionate, kind, practical, and he can't stand sitting around doing nothing. He tries to always be in tune with the spirit so that he can live the life he should and wants to do. I can't express my love and admiration for him.

36. He's ten months younger than me, the little rat.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A couple weak and random thoughts

My mother-in-law gave me a fridge magnet that says, "Cleaning the house while the kids are growing is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing." That's so true, but it's probably more like shoveling snow while a snow plow is burying you in a 10 foot pile. You keep shoveling in desperation, but at some point you have to face the fact that you're losing the battle.

Why is it that I can tie the garbage bag around the trash can rim when I'm not thinking about it, but the moment I concentrate on it I simply can't do it? I also can't remember phone numbers unless I make my fingers push air telephone buttons.

How come you can't re-create the fabulous hairdo your stylist gave you? I'm not so fabulous anymore (help me, Patrick!), and I'm not sure even the rockstar eyes will help. They sure are fun to put on, though.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bouncy Castle Indignities

Still no computer. What will I do with myself? Oh yeah, laundry, cooking, cleaning... Help me! If I didn't have a library card I'd probably go insane.

The van is showing the "low fuel" light now. I have been pretty frugal the last few weeks, which probably still isn't frugal enough. At least gas prices are coming down a little now. The kids keep pestering me to take them to IKEA, but it's so far away that I have put them off. We go grocery shopping, to the library, to the park, and if it's farther than that I tell them to put on their helmets, get on their bikes and have fun. I, for one, have changed my habits because of gas prices and rising food costs. You can tell that to the surveyors who ask you.

Last night was the culmination of all my smaller children's hopes and dreams. Imagine if you will: going to a big grassy field and playing on three huge inflatable toys as much as you want and as often as you want (no lines) without paying a cent. And dinner, too. It was our ward party last night. The adults ate pulled pork sandwiches and all kinds of potluck goodies and the kids failed to eat at all because they were playing on the inflatables the whole time. I'm sure we weren't the only family leaving for the night with kids complaining about hunger. "Why didn't you eat? There was loads of food?" And they all answered, "But I was having too much fun!"

I actually went on the obstacle course. I raced against Child Two, who is, in my defense, really sporty and energetic. I lost so miserably that it's hard to describe. She zipped under the obstacles, over the hills, up the wall and down the slide while I was still trying to negotiate the small round opening at the beginning of the course without losing all of my limited dignity. It took me two attempts to scale the climbing wall (there was a long pause between attempts as I contemplated the sorry state of my upper body strength), and after I flopped down the last slide, all I could do was lie in the grass and pant loudly and unattractively.

I didn't even look at the bouncy castle.

Husband, to make me feel better, reminded me that older, heavier adults really sink into those inflatables while those light little kids skim across the top. It was kind of him, but I did not see him floundering around like a moose who had, suddenly and inexplicably, sprouted three extra legs while trying to exit a pool of quick-sand. I think he even beat Child Two on the obstacle course. He had so much fun that a kid who was visiting and didn't know him said in disbelief, "You're the bishop?"

What, bishops can't enjoy a bouncy castle?

Anyway, we had a good time, and after I recovered from the obstacle course I had several dignified adult conversations with some ward members, which is what I'm hoping people will remember. Child Five lost his shoes and we have no idea how or where they went, but he was due for some new ones, which he got today. It all came out well in the end. I'm only a little sore.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The PTA nabs me again

Our computer decided to go kablooie (in fact, that's the exact sound it made), so I have been unable to get a new post out.

Fortunately, you haven't missed anything.

With the computer down, I did get a lot done in the housework department. I won't bore you with the details, but three words: washed cupboard doors. Eh? Know what I mean? No more blobs of jelly, streaks of...whatever it was, unidentified dried bits of an indeterminate foodstuff.

Also during this time I have registered Oldest Child at her junior high (if it's public education, how come I had to fork out $143 for class fees and other stuff?) and the next three into elementary school. When I found out I'm on the PTA board at the elementary school,I also found out that I am in charge of Maturation Night for the fourth through sixth grades. That is the night when these kids learn about what is happening or will happen to their bodies as they go through puberty, and also a little of what happens to members of the opposite sex. I don't really have a problem talking about that kind of thing, but the PTA presidents (it's a triumvirate this year) informed me that they were getting a district nurse to take over from the last mother who used to do it. All I have to do is set up the chairs and maybe provide some delicious refreshments for the traumatized children. Easy. I was ready, though, to teach the class to the girls, provided the last mother gave me all her notes. Husband, however, said "NO WAY!" about teaching the boys, so I guess this works out best for all.

Husband and I have bought plane tickets to St. Louis. We are not bringing the kids. My youngest brother-in-law is getting married in Nauvoo and we get to attend. The kids are all mad at not being able to come, but I can't help but be happy that I get to spend some time with Husband alone. All he has to do is find a sucker -- I mean, substitute -- to take his class of 36 for a couple days while he's gone.

This is a borrowed computer and my time is up. I don't know when I'll get another computer; the motherboard is completely fried on the old one. Husband is working on a solution, and as he is pretty genius about these sorts of things, I expect it won't take too long.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Six Word Memoir and Finish These Five

A long time ago (but not in a galaxy far, far away), the Father of Five asked me to come up with a Six Word Memoir. I have not forgotten. In fact, my mind has been churning it over and over, my subconscious messing around with different things (sort of the 1000 monkeys typing idea; eventually something coherent is bound to come out, right?) and I have now (trumpet fanfare) completed my task. It isn't funny or witty or Mark Twain clever, but it is truly what I believe about my life. I have had amazing experiences and met incredible people. That hasn't stopped. So, without more ado, here's my Six Word Memoir:

Everything that's important I already have.

And now, I 'm going to borrow another idea from the Father of Five. It's a meme he was sent, but I won't tag anyone (mostly because I haven't progressed to the point of even knowing how yet), so if you also use this idea, leave me a comment and I will read your blog. C'mon, it'll be fun. It's called

Finish These Five
1. Ten years ago...
2. Five things on today's "to do" list
3. Five snacks I enjoy
4. Five things I would do if I were a millionaire
5. Five places I have lived

1. Ten years ago I was expecting my third child. We had been living in Utah for about a year and Husband was working as a physical therapy assistant. I was working part-time for a bookstore -- mostly for fun as I didn't make much. We lived in a small apartment with no yard for the older two girls to play.

2. Five things on today's "to do" list: laundry (incompleted. The washer isn't spinning for some mysterious reason), clean something (completed. We went and bought a thrift store shelf to put all the kitchen appliances on, and now I have COUNTER SPACE!!!), clean something else (incompleted, unless Children Five and Six count), come up with something for dinner (completed. I really have started hating cooking. After 14 years it seems to have lost some of its charm. But, tonight, the kids and Husband got a little treat: nouilles et fromage en casserole. Okay, it's just macaroni and cheese, but they got fed, didn't they? And I cooked it from scratch.), and finish my book (completed. It was A Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. And it's good.)

3. Five snacks I enjoy: Haagen-Dazs has this incredible ice-cream out right now. It's called "Fleur de Sel Caramel" and it's described thusly: "Fleur de Sel caramels covered in a chocolaty coating blended into caramel ice cream with caramel ribbons and French sea salt accents;" corn chips and cottage cheese; Cock and Bull brand ginger beer; blueberries with cream and sugar (anytime, anywhere, every day, for any meal. I LOOOOOVE blueberries.); leftover pizza (again, anytime, anywhere, every day for any meal. I love pizza).

4. Five things I would do if I was a millionaire: pay off the mortgage, pay off the student loan, invest some, set my parents up for retirement (I'm assuming I have multiple millions, not just one), anonymous charitable donations.

5. Five places I have lived: California, Idaho, Minnesota, Wisconsin and England.

My brain is not working tonight (probably the French food, ha ha) but I still managed to spit out quite long answers to these simple five questions. Answer them for yourself and let me know. I'll be interested to see what you have to say.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hair by Patrick

Well, I am fabulous.

Why? I just had my hair cut by Patrick, possibly the best hair stylist in the city. My mother gave me a gift card for Christmas and I put off using it for months and months because I was waiting for my hair to grow long enough to give him something to work with. The time came when I could not stand my grown-out cut one more day and I made the call. I have yet to find out what Husband thinks. If he really likes it then I will justify spending $40 a pop for a style.

After I came home I played with my makeup (I may be 36 but I'm still a girl) and gave myself some Rockstar eyes just for fun (really, really dark shadow all around) and tried some light pink gloss. I didn't have time to wash it off before the house erupted in its normal chaos, so I did the dishes looking glamorous. Well, I thought I was glamourous. The girls each came in and told me I was wearing too much makeup. We rockstars always wear too much makeup. It's the music in us.

Husband just came home and declared the hair cut a success. He also said I looked like I'd been punched in both eyes. I guess the Rockstar eyes are only for clubbing nights.

Husband and I both completely forgot our 14th wedding anniversary yesterday. We were sitting around in the evening and he looked over at me and said, "Happy anniversary," and I gasped with horror. Isn't it usually the wife who's supposed to be all upset when her husband forgets? I honestly hadn't even thought of it up to that point. At least Husband had remembered a few times throughout the day; he'd just forgotten to mention it when I was around. We ended up doing nothing. Oldest is at camp and she's our designated babysitter (lucky her), and we usually have to book my parents as babysitters. Maybe we'll get out this Friday and see a movie in a theater, something we haven't done in months. That would be fun.

For the record, I don't go clubbing. I'm waaaaay too tired in the evenings for that. The thought of going into a hot, crowded room and having my ears assaulted by deafening, bass-heavy music while lights flash on and off is no longer my idea of fun. That's how old I am. Now my idea of a night out is dinner and a movie, unaccompanied by children. We're home by 11.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Restaurant Style Fries

Here's the secret to restaurant-style fries you can make at home: fry them twice.

You heard me.

Cook them once in 340 deg. F (170 deg. C) oil for about four to six minutes, depending on thickness. Take them out and heat the oil to 370 deg. F (190 deg. C) and fry them again until golden brown.

Salt them and make your own fry sauce with some mayonnaise or sour cream, ketchup or barbeque sauce, and pepper.

I just thought I'd share that as dinner tonight is meat pie and "chips," which are, of course, fries. Also zucchini, which deserves its very own post. Mmmmm.

Yada, yada, yada

In my experiment in self-editing, I thought about the use of the phrase "yada, yada, yada." I know it's not an acceptable literary device, except in Seinfeld books, but it is a useful tool when you don't want to write the whole story and know your listener or reader will get the gist of the missing story element.

For instance, if I write "I opened the deliciously new Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, and -- yada, yada, yada -- my room only got 75% cleaned," anyone who knows me (and most of those who don't) would understand what happened in the yada'd part of the sentence.

The key is, of course, not to use "yada, yada, yada" for too much information, or information that is not a logical segue into the ending part of the sentence. In this sentence, "I was cooking dinner and -- yada, yada, yada -- I think my toe is definitely broken," there is no logical connection between cooking dinner and breaking toes; the yadas become either comical or frustrating, depending on what other information you can glean from the rest of the writing. I'm still trying to decide which will be the case here.

Please do not comment on the fact that my experiment in self-editing has taken up four paragraphs. I am painfully aware. When one has been in the habit of writing long, detailed entries in one's journal for most of her life, writing short, descriptive yet compact stories is a problem. It is one I hope to overcome for my writing career's sake.

And the answer to the yadas in paragraph three is that Child Six pulled all the stacked glass casserole dishes out of the bottom cupboard, where they were on the second shelf, directly onto my little toe. I haven't yelled that loud since I found my nephew and my daughter standing in the kitchen surrounded by a dozen or so thrown and broken eggs. What are you gonna do, though? I taped it. It's painful but endurable.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Clever Title #4

I checked out the latest issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine from the library, so between that and cleaning my room (one mess among many), my day is packed.

DeToqueville who?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pioneer of Blogging

Child Five, who just turned four, came to me and very seriously said, "Mom, could we get a guitar so I can play the song that's in my heart?"

I realized that none of my family has a blog. I am a pioneer. Wow. Sadly, I am a pioneer in a vacuum, as none of my family ever read this blog. Oh, they may have checked in here and there but the only one who ever left a comment is Husband, and that's only because I wanted to know if it actually worked. So if you are a member of my family and you're reading this, COMMENT already. Husband included.
For those of you who read and comment, thank you. I love getting those. You bloggers know that we need validation. Why else are we exposing our fragile psyches to the world except to get that elusive rush, that self-confirming knowledge that we ARE?

I blog, therefore I am?

Maybe it doesn't start out that way. Maybe we (and by "we" I mean "me") innocently start blogging as a way to inform friends and family (family who don't even read this. Huh.) about what is going on in our lives; but little by little these become a way of creatively expressing ourselves, of exposing a little of ourselves to the world at large. After all, anyone could read this. What will they think? Is this blog too boring, too long, too... whatever?
I was chasing some links in friends' blogs and found a couple more blogs to add to my list of Blogs I Love to Read. I will add them if and when I get permission. (I have asked. I'm just waiting for the answer.) There are as many ways to write a blog as there are people. I have quit trying to think of ways to make my blog more like someone else's. Besides, Shanna assured me that she likes my long essays. You did, Shanna. I heard you say it. No going back now.

In daily news, I had to play the piano for Primary today, as my dad, who is the regular piano player, is out of town with my mom at an Isagenix convention in Las Vegas (the idea is that out of a desperate need for air conditioning, no one will try to wander off and sight-see outdoors during the hottest possible month to be in Las Vegas. No, I kid. I'm sure the convention is enough to keep people voluntarily in their seats. I've heard good things, though I couldn't go.). I had to take Child Six with me, but he bumped his head really hard during "Do As I'm Doing" and I had to take him out while he cried until he turned purple. Fortunately, someone else was able to take over for the second half. Six and I wandered the halls, as usual, and I had to keep a constant vigilance lest Six wander into the clerk's office and mess around with the computer mouse and keyboard. I'm sure he couldn't do any good there and probably much damage.

Husband had to take Five to the bathroom while I was otherwise occupied. Ha! I told him all the time the girls were little and I was constantly having to accompany them to public bathrooms at every single store we went to that when we have the next five kids (we won't. Don't worry) they are all going to be boys and he can take them to the bathroom constantly.

Oldest Child came back from Oakcrest camp and immediately went on a sleepover to her best friend's house. She came back late last night, still unshowered, and collapsed into her own bed. I made sure she had a shower this morning (no arguments from her), and when she came out of the hot and steamy bathroom45 minutes later, she sighed in satisfaction at being clean. Next week she goes off to Rough Camp.

Friday, August 1, 2008

If guys ruled the world...oh wait, they do

I have a massive zit right smack dab in the middle of my chin. It's looking close to eruption, but since I'm not a zit-picker, I'm sure there are people I pass whose fingers just itch to pop it. Why have I not left that particular teenage angst behind? I use Clearasil, for goodness' sake.

I told my friend, Shanna, that I'm outing her on her use of Club Penguin for relaxation purposes. She borrows her daughter's penguin and then plays all the games. Apparently, she's really good at the sliding hill -- so good that other penguins get frustrated when they can't keep up. Those are the boy penguins. Even in the virtual world boys are competitive. I keep telling Husband that if enough guys find something interesting, eventually it will turn into a competition. Take Iron Chef, for example: a guy came up with that concept. It's not like women are stupid or anything, we just wouldn't normally equate cooking with a cut-throat, sweat-inducing, to-the-death duel.

What if guys suddenly became interested in things that normally attract women? Would we have X-treme Scrapbooking World Classics to watch on TV? We'd gather around with friends and family, snacks and appetizers spread across the table, and yell encouragement and abuse at the competitors. "Way to use the embosser!" "No! NO! NO! Why are you using the double-wave edge scissors on a geometrical design??? You idiot!"
And, of course, the crowd chant: "Crop it! Crop it!"
One of the refs would call on an off-sides glittering.
Yellow flag would be for overuse of glue.

Anyway, back to relaxing games you can secretly play, try Club Penguin or (Husband's favorite) Magic Pen. Or Monkey Kick-off will keep you mindlessly occupied for hours. Kids, too.