Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette







Thursday, February 28, 2013

Oh, Boy!

The kids and I got up early this morning and hauled our yawning selves down to the city for a doctor's appointment.  The Evil Genius had a date with a specialist regarding his gentleman parts (the Evil Genius's, not the doctor's, because really...), and I guess my fervent request for something after ten in the morning was misinterpreted as "Oh, please, make sure we have to get up early and slog through morning traffic!"

Luckily it was a fairly clean drive, and the few accidents that could have been along our way were handily avoided by the judicious use of back roads.  I swear I think it's a local ordinance that there must be no fewer than three small but highly traffic snarling accidents for every fifty miles of highway in the state, and at least one "Oh, wow!" incident each rush hour.

It took two and one-half hours out of our day, of which only about 30 minutes were spent in the doctor's office.  We will be scheduling a "procedure" in the near future to correct what I have dubbed a "shy ball", but which the medical community refer to as an "acquired undescended testis".  Acquired?  That makes it sound like we went to an auction, or shoplifted it or something.  My name's better.

It's not a huge deal and will take maybe an hour, but the recovery time will not be fun for the kid, because he won't be able to run, climb, ride his bike, or do anything overly active or strenuous for two weeks.  Two.  Weeks.

I'll pause here and let you digest that thought. A ten year old boy, quiescent for a fortnight.

One of us is going to need Valium for fourteen days.

In the end it will be worth the trouble, because uncorrected?  This condition has a higher incidence of cancer, and can lead to difficulties with..er...function...and reproduction.

The Evil Genius opined he'd rather spend two weeks not having any fun than have a higher cancer risk later in life, because cancer sucks.  Smart kid, him.

As an aside, never, ever look something like "undescended testis" on the Internet if you don't have a strong stomach, a strong heart, and are well fueled with lots of caffeine and some serious nerve tonic.  Thank goodness I didn't need anything visual...I shudder to think...

The rest of today was dedicated to the baking of banana bread, cooking corned beef and getting ready for a three day stint at the track.  Poor Someone...on his way home right now, he'll have this evening to unpack and settle in, then three days of relentless Sprout to contend with!  Welcome home, Papa...

So...what'd you do with your day, today?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Clean(ish) Sweep

One of the things I planned to do during Someone's absence was clean the Evil Genius's room.  I think I managed it...mostly...but only with the help of an incredibly good friend who rode herd on Sprout while the Evil Genius went and stayed at his dad's for a couple of days.  Without Angie's assistance, I would still be at it...or sitting in the corner, weeping...holy wow, she did Yeoman's duty for sure!

It took more than twenty hours over four days.

Here it is an hour after I began, when I remembered I wanted some "before" shots, which I usually forget:
 The bed hasn't had actual sheets on it for...umm...please don't alert the authorities...more than a year.  I could not get to it to make it, and the boy didn't mind nesting in blankets camp-style.  I know, I know...
 No wonder most of his clean laundry wound up on the floor - who could reach the dresser in there?
 Here it is a few hours in:
 Hey, there's a floor under there!

 I realized today that it has been more than two years since I cleaned in his room.  The mess began, as many messes do, with some visiting friends and some enthusiastic playing with Legos, K'Nex, and various other toys.  How many Legos?  A shop's worth.  I plan to photograph the bins another day.  They were dumped on the floor for play, then the friends left, and the mess stayed.  It was daunting to clean up, and after a while the Evil Genius gave up and just started piling things up, and...well...  Why didn't I do it?  Could be I am a Slacker Mom.  Could be there was a battle of wills,  Or...and I'm being honest, here...most likely it was that when I looked in there and contemplated cleaning it all up, I felt ill and had to lie down until the nausea passed.

The Legos, K'nex, and other tiny things were what took so long - sifting through dust and trash and bits of this 'n that took time.  He knows he's lucky I didn't just sweep the lot up and toss it.

Here it is at 11:00 Monday night:
 The bins under the bed and the basket by the door are the toys and games that survived the cleaning.  I was tough but fair - if it was broken, torn, missing parts, or had clearly been lost in that disaster for so long it wasn't even a memory, it was bagged.  Five large black trash bags are bulging to the limit.  I will slowly sort through the bins and put things away.  For now, though, I need to be done - my back aches, I am listing to starboard, and I itch from stem to stern.

Look to the right of the bed - that is Stuffed Critter Mountain.  He clearly needs more.
 The book shelf may have surpassed its load limit.


Still to do:  sort through the bins, wash, dry, and put away (conservatively) ten loads of laundry, and clean the closet.  The closet?  Oy, vey, I dont have the strength right now.  The closet will have to wait another day!  For now, I am happy that I could zip on a new mattress cover and make the bed.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I need a hot shower and twelve hours of sleep.  I'll get the shower, anyway...

Friday, February 22, 2013

I'm A Little Bit Country...

...the Rock 'n' Roll will come some other time...right now, I'm sharing a few of the songs that make me smile when I hear 'em.

 Ain't this the truth?

 The Evil Genius used to sing along with this...its still one of our grinning songs.

I know it's wrong...I do...but the Evil Genius used to sing along with this when he was five and I laughed so hard I...well, never mind what I did...

There are many things I enjoy about his song, but the tight harmony tops the list.

What're you listening to these days?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ten Days

Someone is away visiting a friend and attending a Heathen Moot, so for the next ten days I am solo Mama.  I have plans for those ten days...we'll see if I manage to follow through.

What plans?

Well...I'd like to say I'll be losing eighty pounds, winning the lottery, and curing cancer, but...no...

Today I got a little sewing done, then took the kids to a place where they could jump, bounce, slide, run, and generally exhaust themselves have a blast.  We met friends there, and then went out to dinner en masse to a local joint that lets kids eat free on Tuesday night.

Tomorrow is band practice, then home for more sewing.  While I sew, the Evil Genius watches/plays with Sprout.  He's grand - she thinks he's the best toy ever.

For the rest of this week, we'll be working on getting the boy's room cleaned up.  Hopefully this time I'll take before photos, but trust me when I tell you it's...well...wow...

This weekend a friend is coming to stay and distract the kids wile I work in the Evil Genius's room, and then we're celebrating her birthday next Tuesday.  Another rehearsal Wednesday and then...well, Someone will be home!

Whew, I'm tired just thinking about it!

What do you do when your partner/roommate/parents are out of town?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Comme Ci, Comme Ca

So I'm officially a year older as of last Friday.

Funny.

I feel about the same.

Oh, well.

Comme ci comme ca about sums up how I feel about everything right now.

Huh, I guess I still have use for the little soupcon of Francais that hasn't gone down the rabbit hole of memory and become lost in all the clutter down there.

How're you feeling?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I've Been A-Searchin'

Looking something up on the Internet is something of a crapshoot.

Search The Blue Nowhere and you'll find all sorts of things, from medical journals to crackpots in caves posting the ephemera of their dreams as fact.  The unwary seeker could find themselves mired in a morass of misinformation at the click of a mouse.

Researching a medical condition ups the ante considerably.

If the denizens of Blogopolis, Wikiworld, and all points between are to be believed, everything leads to cancer, death, and unsightly body hair growth.

One almost needs to know about what one is researching before beginning, which somewhat defeats the purpose.

I have found plenty of wonderful resources regarding fish tanks, snakes, recipes using water chestnuts, and a host of other trifles.  I have found plenty of dubious results when mining for informative nuggets.  Sometimes it is not easy to discern fact from fantasy.  I like to think I have a good filter, a keen sense of (although I'm not terribly attached to) reality, and my wits about me, and I find it easy to get lost on the information highway, make a wrong turn, and wind up in some backwater burg where eye of newt is still the most popular panacea for what ails ya.

Again, I feel as though I am well equipped to research - I have a nominally good head on my shoulders, a small but sturdy foundation in medical fooferaw (that is TOO a word, spell check!), and a steady disposition when it comes to things that ook normal folks out.  Ask anyone who knows me and they'll likely say "Who are you and why are you talking to me?", but then they'll tell you I am not prone to panic or faint when there's blood or weirdness happening.  I don't weep and wail when told that I or someone I love has something unpronounceable and entirely new to my medical lexicon.  I buckle down and look it up, learn the ropes, arm myself with knowledge, and face the enemy with fair confidence that I know how to vanquish it, or at least say its name without sounding like I have an affliction of an entirely different sort.

Something unremarkable, like, say, finding a cold remedy, can be amusing, occasionally enlightening, and not terribly unpleasant.  Looking up something less common, though...perhaps a condition your child had been diagnosed with...that's a whole other story.  Posts passing themselves off as expertise are written by the cousin of a friend who heard about the condition from their hair dresser's grandmother's veterinarian while stomping grapes ten years ago.  Posts that could be truly informative are two-hundred pages along on the list because hey!  Who needs real information, anyway, when we have The Internets to entertain and distract  us?

Search results should come with a warning, something along the lines of "Caution:  results contain 80% doom and gloom, 15% BS, and 5% grammatical errors and may cause cranial swelling, lacrimal eruptions, and spontaneous combustion."

Traveler beware, here there be dragons.  No, really, there are whole pages dedicated to proving the existence of dragons - I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Who Wants Music on Monday?

I know these folks - they are firecrackers, for sure!

I think I'll go get my drum on...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Little Things That Bring A Smile

Two of my favorite little poems, by Emily Dickenson.

Because, that's why.


HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,
  
And sweetest in the gale is heard;        5
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
  
I ’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;        10
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

’M nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They ’d banish us, you know.
  
How dreary to be somebody!        5
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

~~~~~~~~

Have you a beloved verse?  Which one(s), and by whom?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Boycott*

Mum and I both take a dim view of February.  People we love die in February.  Things break in expensive ways in February.  February is when I am officially older by the calendar.  For a short month, it packs a big wallop on our lives, and we don't like it.

To combat February's effect, Mum goes on a cruise to warmer, sunnier, places.  She's off, now, on her annual adventure, leaving her cat to rule the roost and me to invade her house when no one's looking (which I do from time to time with and without the family, because I don't thinks it's a good idea for a house to be empty for so long).

We joke about boycotting February.  In a way, that's what her cruise is about - getting out of Dodge until the month is mostly, or entirely, gone.  

Me?  I'd love to join her, but it's not feasible.  There are the cats, and the kids, and now fish, snakes, and snails.  There's Someone. There's the expense.  There's the idea of wearing a bathing suit in public.

So I stay here and muddle through varying shades of beige until the month is over.  With any luck, no one will die on my birthday again, or anywhere in the month.  With any luck nothing will break (too late, but that's another story), or blow up, or fall apart, or melt, or otherwise cause messy, expensive mayhem in our lives, at least for these few weeks.  With any luck this sinus thing that's hammering me will not get into my lungs and leave me useless for weeks on end.  With any luck, the daffodils out back will bloom all sunny and cheerful and I can shoot some photos and smile.

And it's not all bad - K2 was born in February, and our friend A, and T, and Abraham Lincoln and Galileo  so I'm in pretty good company, right?

No, sorry...February still sucks out loud.  I'm crawling in bed and I'm not coming out until the iris bloom.  What's the number for room service?

*Have a great trip, Mum...take lots of pictures, get tan, and bring me back some of the Caribbean, please!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

If Only I Was a 'Bean*

Sometimes I wish I was a lesbian.

Hear me out.

I like men.  I love men.  I enjoy masculine energy.  I like the way men smell (well, most of the time), the way they sound (although sometimes the noises emanating from their hindquarters can be a little...distressing), and the way they feel (rough, smooth, firm, soft, warm, cool, delightful).  I like when a man looks at me like he thinks I'm okay.  It makes me feel warm and happy when Someone looks at me like he doesn't want to look at anyone else in the moment, like he thinks I am marvelous.  I like lying in his arms at night, warm and safe in his circle.  I wouldn't trade that for anything.

That said, do sometimes wish I was a lesbian.

Why?

Because I know some beautiful, amazing women, that's why.

I know some sexy, intelligent, funny, daring, bold, witty, compassionate, kind, strong, brave, adventurous, creative, thoughtful, caring, wonderful women.  Some of them prefer women, some prefer men, and some are happy to dip in both pools.  If I was inclined towards the feminine I'd have one heck of an array to delight in.  The idea of loving, and being loved by, these incredible women is a provocative one.

I like talking to other women.  I like cuddling with other women (hey, I'm cheap, I'll share a bed in a motel if it means I don't have to pay for a whole room).  I dig female energy.  I'm just not attracted in THAT way, which sometimes is a pity because, again, I know some brilliant ladies.  Presuming they were into me, I'd be only lucky lassie!

I don't suppose same sex relationships are any less work, any less complicated, than heterosexual relationships.  I don't suppose they are better or worse.  I do wonder if women (or men) can relate better to each other than do the different sexes.  I wonder if we are more capable of empathy with our own.  I know that I am more comfortable addressing certain issues with my female friends than with the men in my life, things I think my gender community is better suited to understand than is the opposite sex.  It's a bias I am comfortable with.

So I sometimes think I am missing out on something pretty good, not being a 'bean...but I am what I am, so I will simply keep on loving my ladies in a sororal kind of way and let that suffice.

Have you ever felt that way?

*In my youthj, I lived with a gay man who called lesbians "beans", for short, and for some reason it sticks in my head...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Something to Think About

Is it better to put your children in a car and drive home drunk, or to sit out the drunk or spend the night in someone else's house until you're sober?  Do you listen to your pride and leave so your hosts don't see you drunk, or do you listen to your good sense and stay where you are so you're not endangering yourself, your kids, and everyone else on the road?

What kind of world, what kind of society, do we live in that anyone would feel the need to make such a choice? 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ain't That a Kickstarter in the Pants?

In a blatant bit of self-promotion, I am posting this link:  Spiral Rhythm, Let the Magic Begin.

Clicky, clicky, if you care to help a band get another album produced.  C'mon, support the arts!!

Thanks.