Friday, February 29, 2008


Today is Linus' older sister's 12th birthday. Yep, a leap baby. I love how both logical and nonsensical it is to have leap year. I am all kinds of behind on my chores around the house, in getting ready for a weekend full of kid activities (b/c if you think the kids have forgotten about Sharpie tag - you are sadly mistaken), and in figuring out the bills/budget to be ready for March. Luckily for me March has been postponed a wee bit. Anyone else have a colorful weekend planned?

PS - I keep wanting to write about how I came across as racist/elitist myself in the tv interview when what I was trying to point out were the layers of racism and what role they played in the investigation. It's hard to find an entry point into the conversation - even if it's mostly a conversation in my head. I am inclined to jump in justifying and clarifying what I meant but another part of me has to acknowledge that as a white, suburban, privileged girl, I am not likely to be incredibly perceptive of all the nuances of racism no matter how much I try or how "good" my intentions are. So. In the part that got on the air I said (seemingly out of the blue),
I just don't think that even then, things were like that. I think a black man in our neighborhood might have just as easily have been overlooked because he was clearly a handyman, a worker man. I don't think it would have been particularly noteworthy.
I don't know whether it's because they chopped it or because I didn't articulate it well in the first place, but I certainly didn't mean to come across in a "Let them eat cake" kind of way. Here is more of what I was trying to get to: Yes, it was a white neighborhood. Yes, it is true no one reported a black man in the area. But the police chain of "logic" that followed was disastrously flawed by racism. To them - that there was no report of an alarming black man meant there could have been no black man around at all and therefore their black suspect should not be scrutinized despite other indicators that he could very well be the perpetrator.

Do you see how insidious this way of thinking is? It seems obvious to me that it is as racist to exclude as it is to target a suspect based solely/predominantly on skin color, but it played out in twisty ways. There were any number of good, honest reasons a black man could have been been in an area where he couldn't, at the time, have lived. I believe my parents and neighbors would have (in the absence of suspicious behavior) given an unknown man the benefit of the doubt, no matter his skin tone. I don't believe - even given the level of segregation at the time - that black skin in and of itself would have triggered the fear and assumptions of criminality the police presumed. The kind of racism that was ascribed to the people in the area wasn't necessarily there, but nevertheless it became the basis for police action and non-action.

It seems probable now that over 30 years ago an unlikely, white boy was suspected and wrongly persecuted while a suspicious black man went unscrutinized again and again and again. It would ABSOLUTELY have been racist and terrible to have had it happen the other way around - which I'm sure it has time and again elsewhere, elsewhen. But I can only speak to the case I know.

I'd like to say, too, that I don't think this was a case of "reverse" racism - if such a term ever applies - even if in this instance, the one who benefitted was black and the one targeted, white. Racism is racism. It is prejudice+power. The white cops had the prejudice and the power and it distorted their investigation, blinded them to other possibilities, and robbed them of a needed clarity. I don't believe I am wrong, naive or alone in longing for a "colorblind" system of law and order.

The last piece of the interview juxtaposed two of my statements, that in conjunction made no sense. I am quoted as saying
The cynical part of me feels like they just picked somebody who was unprotected and they targeted him. … They really believed they knew who did it.
Here's the full ramble: one side of me believes that since the police had no suspects (that fit their filtered expectations), they targeted the most (socially, economically, and politically) vulnerable person they could find close by. And then they pushed and pushed trying to make that piece fit into the puzzle. My more compassionate side recognizes the tremendous limitations and pressures the police faced and I try to give them credit for believing they had the real criminal. Ambivalence doesn't come across well in a tiny sound clip. Lesson learned. One of many lessons I have learned in this process.

I don't know if the man in custody now, the one being scrutinized decades after he should have been, had anything to do with anything. It seems likely given the reports of his DNA at the crime scene, but I'll let a court of law decide that. His being white, black or green won't bring my friend back to life or allow a 40-something year old man to relive his teenage years, this time without everyone believing him to be a rapist/murderer. A clear conviction could be considered justice - but would even that have the power to bring peace with it? I have to hope that there could be peace found in solving the mystery of my childhood friend's disappearance. But I also have to believe that peace and redemption are possible no matter the revelations (or possible lack thereof) at this point. Thanks to all for the encouraging words and kind thoughts.

I should go back and make my PS the main post, but it'll have to stand as is. I'm getting on with my day now that I have all of that out of my head!
Peace, peace, peace.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chaos And The Squid Of Provocation

Last night, as we were trying to get supper* on the table, Chaos and Mayhem had a crazy loud dispute over the word - and I'm going to have to spell it the way it sounded when Chaos said it - provok-shun. Mayhem (correctly, but irritatingly in the way only little brothers know how to do) maintained that it was not a word. Chaos said impatiently, "Of course it's a word. Provoke, provok-shun. What else would it be? So there are these giant squids who attack without any provokshun..." Not to be distracted by the actual story Chaos was trying to tell, Mayhem steered the argument back to the word - and they ended up bringing the ruckus to Bet and me. Naturally we offered the word "provocation" which Chaos pronounced "illogical" on the spot. Be that as it may... Mayhem tried to gloat; Chaos tried (half-heartedly) to keep arguing but he really wanted to get back to the squid story; Bet and I tried not to laugh (or be grossed out). Chaos went on to describe the squid whose head/body was bigger than Mayhem, whose tentacles were longer than Bug, and who had teeth (in the suckers on its tentacles) "more sharper" than knives. Ay yi yi. More sharper? WHO is this child? Bet said, "Are you sure he's your kid?" (Thoughtful pause while I reminded myself that not only had I seen his red-headed little self emerge from my body lo, those many years ago - but I, Lilymane, had in fact said, "there was police cordons and heavy 70's cars parked on the side of the road..." on local television this very week.) "Yep. He's my kid." I love him to bits. Even if doesn't think so as he complains that no one ever listens to his stories, everyone always argues with him, and people are forever correcting him. And making him do chores. And sending him to his room without the least, little bit of provokshun.


*Supper, by the way, was Shepherd's Pie - three variations (meat, vegetarian, chicken) and salad - NO SEAFOOD. Nothing to instigate a discussion of giant, razor-toothed squids rampaging for no reason. In case you wondered.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Love Of Cob

I LOVE cob. I am in awe of <---this. For more info on the artist Sarah Machtey (and some incredible pictures of the work in progress) of this cob stairwell - go here. Someday I want a cob house or writing studio or something!

I tried to post about my reaction to the second (and final - thank the gods!) part of the interview that aired last night, but I just couldn't face it. Hence your getting cob. And a quick word to say that we biked Monday, swam yesterday and ran today. Registration for the race is on Saturday. I hold it out in front of me when I can't cope with anything else. Peace.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tummy Report: Writhing

Note to self: NEVER, EVER, (for any reason under the sun) agree to be on television again. I haven't even seen the interview but reading the transcript and the online description of the interview? AGONY. I'd love to think they misquoted me (grammar mistakes, leaving key words out, etc) but chances are it's even worse in the live action version. The script says that what has haunted me the most (since I was supposed to be with her the day she was kidnapped) is that if I had been with her that day maybe something awful would have happened to me too - but that's not the part that haunts me!! Well it's a part of it - but the bigger part is if I hadn't been sick - if I had been able to be with her - would we have been too big of a target - would she be alive today - would my presence mean that she would have been safe? THAT'S the part that is haunting. And when the interviewer said the "stories" would be on two nights in a row - I thought that she meant my part was one of a couple of bits they were doing and I'd have to watch both nights to catch it. Turns out my part stretches over two nights. I'm on twice. Egad. I don't regret my impulse to tell the side of the story where the "victim" is still a little girl who never set out to be an icon or milestone. I just wish I'd been more articulate. Bleck. ANYWAY.
**Edited to add: ok, having now seen the the video, the subject/verb agreement (or lack thereof) was all mine (but I think I switched ideas mid sentence) and thankfully, the other two sentences which sounded so moronic in transcript actually make more sense with my pauses, facial expressions, and hand motions. Still. Never again.

On the B List of nauseating factors: I realize I am paying my attorney to play lawyer games. I just don't want her playing them with me. Today I have to finish up my portion of the "discovery" process. You know what I've discovered? I hate this.

On the brighter side of things (aka things that don't make my stomach hurt): Chaos gave me a big hug this morning and told me he loved me. Often I get that response when I buy Totino' pizza rolls or agree to let them do something silly (like have a special supper where we watch "Men In Tights" ) but this time there was no prompt. I gave him a big squeeze back and said, "Wow. I needed that." He said, "Yeah, I know." And we listened to Rob Zombie at max volume all the way to school.

Brighter thing 2: I was telling Chaos something about the weather forecast today and he asked, "What did you just say about devil monkeys?" Uh, nothing. I would have laughed it off except twice this weekend Bet misheard me say something about monkeys. Once she thought I said something about "adventure monkey" and then "monkey time" - which makes me wonder what on earth I'm saying that sounds like I am monkey obsessed! (I promise you I do not often willingly talk about monkeys. They gross me out - poo flinging, screechy, little beasts that they are.)

As much as I would like to blog more - I have to go gather, copy, and mail documents and then I have to wade through emails with attached Tapioca sludge (<--emails that made me ill the FIRST time I had to read them so I can't imagine today will be any better.) You know I'm dreading my day when the idea of doing laundry instead sounds like heaven! Peace to the people.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

One Is Silver And The Other Gold

Last night when Bet looked at the caller ID and answered the phone, "What up G Dog Homeslice Pickles?" I was pretty sure it was our buddy Rob calling. (Rob, the one we called to ask what a spleen looked like - that Rob.) The call turned out to be from his wife - but Bet would have answered the phone that way for any of the three of them (Rob, his wife, or their daughter) because as she put it, "They are all G Dog Homeslice Pickles to me."
These are the folks that let us steal share their Christmas Cookie Day tradition. These are the folks who came and ran the Country Music Half Marathon (in tutus) with us. These are the ones who offered more than a couch by letting Bet be the crazy aunt in the attic (or really in the spare room with the piano) for a school year when she was planning to move to TN to be with us and didn't want to get stuck in a lease. The G Dog Homeslice Pickles are friends, indeed.

Tonight Bet and I are driving to DC for a girls' weekend away with my Navy buddies. LT (the one who retired, broke her collarbone, and is still training for the triathlon with us) has come east and DC is the central gathering point. LT, Bren, Jen and I have been friends for 20+ years and have many inside jokes (<-- some of them in Russian, which marks us not only as spooks, but old spooks.) There will be some newer shipmates of LT's joining us. (One new friend works in the Capitol, hence the private tour tomorrow - sweet!) I can't wait to meet LT's new friends and have Bet meet my old ones. The bonus is that we also get to see a college pal of mine, meet his new wife, and give them congratulatory hugs for their baby-in-process.

Linus has to work the weekend but Unky Dunky (who is an uncle by choice, not by blood or marriage) is going to come hang out with the kids and play Warhammer. I'm missing our other two uncles of choice (Karl and Richard) - but we can hardly complain as they helped us move and warm our house. It's pretty cool to have this many uncles for my kids without having had to put up with (smelly) brothers all those years ago!

Not sure why I'm rambling about friends this morning. Friendship is just on my mind. Maybe it's because my best friend from high school turned 40 last week, but I don't have a way to get in touch with her. (The silly rabbit moved to Florida and left her comcast email behind. Hello! Yahoo, gmail? Work with me here people! Noelly - I can't find you!)

Maybe friendship is looming large in my mind because I'm totally proud of us for spending $97 and saving $90 at the grocery store last night. I'm bragging on us even though we're not yet in the same league as C is for Coffee and Salsa Man (who once spent $133 and saved $211) much less with Sandra and Grant - who once worked it so that they "bought" forty (40!) boxes of cereal and the store had to pay them a quarter a box. Minor leaguers that we are, we wouldn't have known how to shop like this without the coaching from our thrifty pals.

Maybe I'm thinking about friends because I've just finished making my morning blog rounds. I've been blogging long enough now to have old webfriends and new! While I've only recently met friends like Titan and Not, I've "known" DebR of Red Shoe Ramblings for two years now. (In computer years, that's somewhat akin to having known each other since kindergarten, right?) Also, I've been skulking around the ether long enough to have imaginary friends. Er, that doesn't sound right. They're real, it's the friendship that's all in my head. Erm, that doesn't sound much better does it? What I'm admitting here is that, while I can't think of anything intelligent to say in their comments, I obsessively harmlessly lurk around mimismartypants', Maxine Dangerous', and Miss Zoot's sites. (Well except for that one time I accosted Zoot in the airport!)

So here's to friends - far and wide, old and new, known and yet to be known. Hip hip hooray (x3)!! Peace.

Forget The Gold Star - Give Me A Sharpie

Have I mentioned that my children are Sharpie-mad? Chaos would rather be caught without underwear on than be Sharpie-less. (I kid you not.) It's handy on a regular basis: they label (and often decorate) the freezer bags when we're processing groceries into the deep freeze, they whip Sharpies out when I've forgotten a pen, and where do you think I got the red and black ink for the zombie-fest? I do have to remind them that PERMANENT marker bleeding through onto the tabletops and counters is not a good idea. (A couple of scrubbing sessions with clorox and wood cleaner and the threat of a new table coming out of their pocket has almost solved that issue.) When we found a multi-pack of Sharpies for half price this week, we decided to take a page out of Bet's book of teacher tricks and dole them out as a reward. Last night we presented the first family Sharpie award to Mayhem who has managed to stay out of homework lunch, get his planner signed, AND take the trash and recycling to the curb three weeks running without complaining (justifiably!) that it should be someone else's turn already. He got to choose his favorite color from the pack. Each week (or whenever we remember to) we're going to award a Sharpie to the kid who shows the best attitude (or whatever we want to encourage that week.) I was all kinds of pleased with myself - until there was an impromptu game of "Sharpie Tag" in the kitchen last night. I'd have fussed more, but I'm pretty sure that Bet started it. I know she's the one who agitated to set up an organized game of it for next weekend. Clorox anyone?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sad But True

Bumper sticker seen in Carrboro:

At least the war on the environment is going well.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Easy As Pi

Havoc's first pie (which geek-chef that he is bears the declaration Easy as (Pi) on the top in sugared dough.) I wish you could smell the apple and cinnamon. Yummy!
Also had to share the gorgeous flowers Bet gave me for Valentine's day. Linus is finally home again. Of course there's data center drama so likely we won't get to see him this week. But we'll know he's close! Pie, my loves all being together, and glorious flowers - a few of the things making my rainy Monday morning bright. Hope you have a few of your own. Peace.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dude, Where's My Spleen?

As a treat for the older boys, Unky Dunky took them to the sneak preview of Romero's Diary of the Dead at the Carolina Theater last night. It was an anti-Valentine's Day Zombiefest. Perfect, eh? Those of us left at home (Havoc, The Ninja Princessa, Bet, and I) decided to have our own zombie fest by making cookies. Zombie cookies! Zombie-barnyard-animal-warrior cookies, even! (It was a sign from the universe when we found kits this week with cookie cutters in the shapes of cows, pigs and manatees!) The pictures should all be clickable for a closer up view: This is the Cow Army Headquarters. See the Zombie crawling through the minefield of cowpies? Havoc and Bet made the cut-in-half cow. Please note, Havoc also decorated the back fence with body parts.
The Manatees of Death were for Chaos - because only he could want to turn a gentle, sweet, lovable creature into a bombadier.
The pig cookies were pink! Pink dough. Ooey-gooey red/pink frosting guts. Pigs of doom! As much fun as the zombie farmyard army was, the coup de grace was the spleen cookie. Last night the guys went dressed in their best zombie attire (which if you didn't know - officially consists of zombie-themed shirts, boots, leather trench coats, and pants with clanking chains <- so we can hear them coming and outrun them?) Chaos has a shirt (that he loaned to Bug last night) that used to be a normal t-shirt: short sleeve, brown, nice heavy cotton. "Somehow" it got a horizontal rip in it and Chaos decided to add further Sharpie modification by writing the words "Give me back my spleen" above the rip. (I'm not sure from whence came the original spleen fascination, but spleen comments have been a running gag at our house for a while.) Bet (who was the only one patient enough in the first place roll and cut out batch after batch of deformed livestock cookies) finally said enough is enough - we're making one last, awful cookie. How about a spleen cookie? There was some debate about what a spleen actually looks like wherein the Princessa immediately suggested googling pictures of spleens and then almost as immediately turned green and said, "Wait! On second thought, don't!" You know it's probably the weirdest phone call our buddy Rob (the science teacher) has ever gotten, "Hey, what does a spleen look like?" After all of the suggestions were made, here is the final result: There was a brain cookie too - but everyone knows what brains look like and it got eaten before I got a good picture of it anyway. Hope your Valentine's Day was as filled with love and fun as ours. Peace.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One Week Into Lent And I've Blown It

I tried to give up Tapioca for Lent, but he won't leave me alone! I thought that since he's waitng until Spring Break to see the boys and our mediation is set for Easter Monday that I could get through the Lenten season without struggling with him. I won't bore you with all the details (especially the ones involving insurance coverage) - but in addition to calling my house at 9 am two mornings in a row and hanging up (what, he thinks I don't have caller id??), he is (through his attorney) bugging me about scheduling a time to depose me. Again, so much for going into mediation with any honest effort at resolution. It's merely a logistical hurdle in the way of putting me on trial. BLECK.

Still - I'm working on ways not to be in the struggle. Bet says I need a mantra to turn to instead of spinning my energy up about him and his crazy-making ways. How very Lenten! In my most Episcopagan way, I've decided to turn spin into spin. It's too cold to run, but Vivian (my bike) is on the trainer and I can ride inside. I can take the adrenaline my body automatically produces to fight him - and I can use it for a better purpose. I can train on two levels at once. I already knew I can't complete this triathlon without connecting to my deepest strength and honoring the creative force I'm a part of. I'm just adding to that knowledge by turning turning Tapioca churn into muscle!

Looking at it that way, I haven't truly blown my Lenten discipline. I have struggled with my not struggling with his shit - but it's aligning my internal compass. I call that a saving grace.

Linus, on the other hand, is actively avoiding salvation this week. One of the things I love best about him is that sometimes he's so very Linus. He's in San Diego for a conference and to train his replacement with the old company. He likes his replacement and he likes the new president. The slimy sales guy that's with them? Not so much. At dinner (the company dinner!) the other night, the slimy sales guy turned to Linus and said, "Maybe the reason for this whole trip is not to save (Name of Previous Company), but to save YOU. Maybe God's ulterior motive is to give me a chance to witness to you so that you can accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior." At which point Linus responded, "Mr. Slimy Sales Guy - let me explain this concisely and clearly so we can get on with our supper. I reject Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Knowingly, willfully, and intentionally. Dessert anyone?" Linus is quite spiritual but not remotely Christian. I don't think Mr. Slimy Sales Guy knew what to do with him after that.

We're an odd mix, the three of us: me (pagan and liturgical both), Linus (fully recovered Catholic, now techno Taoist), Bet (with her M.Div and silent faith, who is fascinated by popular religion yet repulsed by church). Somehow we fit, though. Supporting each other - spirit, mind, and body. Which is enough of a ramble on religiosity for this pagan sex/hallmark holiday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Not Surprising (At All)

Currently my dog (Wasabi) is curled up on Bet's bed and Bet's dog (Tallulah) is curled up on my bed. We took Tallulah to the vet and asked about her habit of balancing on three legs to pee with the other leg raised up at a weird angle. "That," he said, "is a girl dog trying to pee like a boy dog." Which is strange because our boy dog pees like a girl dog. We bought them matching toys in different sizes - the small rope and squeaky snake for the puppy, the big rope and big squeaky snake for the big dog. It took them about two seconds to snatch the one meant for the other dog. Doggies, doggies, quite contrary - that's what we have.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Who Comes Up With This Stuff?

Not only do I wonder who thought of these things, but who the hell buys it?? I think there are some seriously disturbed folks out there making big money off of weird shit. Just saying. Peace.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Somebody 'Splain Me

I weighed myself just before I went to bed last night. I weighed myself when I got up (right after I peed and before I got in the shower) this morning. Somehow I gained three pounds while I was sleeping. How the hell does that work??

Our New Thing

Thanks to our buddies C is for Coffee and Salsa Man - we are recession-proofing our pantry. (The nod also has to go to Grant and Sandra who tried unsuccessfully to infect us with the savings bug years ago!) I'm pretty sure I've already mentioned that we signed up for The Grocery Game last month. Our goal has been to save more than we spend. We did that once on a small run to the store where we saved $38 and paid $31. We're getting closer on the big, weekly shopping trips but we're not quite there yet. Still, looking at the receipt where we paid $153 and saved $110? Happiness making.

What are we doing with all that fabulous "extra" money? Err, paying the lawyers. Bleck.

It does feel a bit like no matter how much we save right now, we won't be able to get out of the hole. To counter that, I look at the pantry overflowing with food and I celebrate the abundance in our life. I am trying to get myself to the thrift store to donate the clothes we've been culling from the overflowing closets. I want to keep good things flowing to and and through our home. Getting kick ass bargains on food we eat anyway makes me feel powerful and responsible. Giving what we can no longer use to someone who needs it makes me feel connected and aware. Being intentional in one area gives me energy to stay open and intentional in other areas.

It's a little mysterious how using a $.75 (which doubles to $1.50) on a tube of toothpaste (which was 1/2 price already) can help me get to the post office (which if you know anything about me - you know I am, for all intents and purposes, permanently disabled in the postal department.) I cannot explain it. You'll have to take it on faith. (And maybe wait to believe it until you see the valentine I mailed you.) Peace!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Old MacDonald's Farm - Version 5.1z

I'm not sure that washing dishes is good for my children. Sure, they're learning great lessons in terms of cleanliness and responsibility. It's the intellectual contamination that has me worried. KP spawns absolutely weird conversation here in Lilyville. Some while back I was called in to referee a debate about which animals are smarter - dogs or pigs. (That part is normal enough, I think. Most people don't really know - or don't want to know - that pigs are pretty darn smart. Wilbur and Lassie could go toe to toe (or hoof to paw) in an IQ test. But bacon is too yummy to have to eat with a side of guilt so we conveniently ignore the idea of smart pigs. To return to our muttons - or dogs and pigs...) After putting in my two cents, I went back to the library while they continued to argue loudly enough for me to hear. They debated which kind of smartness would make a better guard animal. How loyal are pigs? How trainable? How sneaky can they be? (Stealth pigs.) And how strong are they? Could they carry Uzi's?
Errrr, WHAT??
Their conversation veered off from there. They began equipping different barnyard animal armies with various weaponry. Pretty soon they had chickens with grenades, cows with semi-automatics, and pigs with plastique. Nice, eh? This is apparently a game they are designing. There is a forest version too. It has upgrades with foxes, squirrels, frogs, and manatees. At that point I did have to butt in and point out that manatees do NOT live in the forest. "That's why it's an upgrade," they explained. Ahhhh. For a low, low extra charge you too can get the Manatees of Death!
Lest you think my children are merely bloodthirsty wackos, I must tell you that the next part of the conversation is worse! Zombies! (Naturally. It seems like every single darn conversation my children have these days includes at least a token mention of zombies.) Overheard:
Mayhem: Dude, zombie goats! We gotta have zombie goats.
Chaos: Goats? Naah, how about zombie weasels?
Mayhem: Dude, have you seen a zombie goat?! They're AWESOME!
(In my head, I'm thinking, "Dude, have you seen one? Because maybe we need to go to the doctor or something if you have.)
Ninja Princessa (not to be outdone): What about vampire cats? That would be better.
All three boys (shouting): NO VAMPIRES! No, we hate vampires! Vampires suck!
Gales of laughter. Finally Chaos gets a hold of himself enough to say, "Zombies only."
Mayhem: What about fish?
Chaos: Oh! Piranhas! Zombie piranhas!
Bug: How could you tell they were zombie fish as opposed to regular fish?
Mayhem: Dude, they'd try to eat your brain!
Bug: Piranhas already try to do that.
Chaos: Good point. No zombie fish.
Mayhem: I'm telling you. Zombie goats. They're awesome.

I have no idea what the eventual outcome was on which zombified animals got the nod. They had finished up their chores and carried the conversation upstairs. The kitchen was spic and span. I had absolutely nothing to complain about, except... zombie goats? It's just weird, man. I'm telling you. To make matters - well, not worse - just more public, this whole conversation happened on a night when Mayhem's best buddy, Justin, had stayed for supper after ultimate practice. When Jan came to get her son, she and I had such a nice talk. She's articulate and put together, but still down to earth. She has two sons (the youngest of whom is Mayhem's buddy). I think we could be friends - if she wasn't secretly put off by the zombie obsession my children are foisting off on those around them.

Jan: Thanks again for letting him stay. I thought his dad would be at practice or I never would have made a doctor's appointment.
Me: Oh, he was no trouble. Polite, fun, and he helped with the dishes even though I told him he didn't have to. We love having him.
Jan: That's great to hear. Wish he'd help me once in a while. (<- Said archly, eyebrows raised, looking down at her son.)
Justin: Well, I helped the kids. The kids do the dishes here.
Jan: Oh! Great tradition! Let's start that too.
Justin: Mom! It's no fun at our house. Here they have lots of kids and they talk about cool stuff.
Jan: We talk about cool stuff.
Justin: Mom, I mean really cool stuff. Like zombies. And manatee bombadiers.
Me: Zombies. Their favorite topic of conversation. I try not to worry about it. (I may have laughed in a nonchalant way at that point. Or perhaps it came out more as a worried chuckle.) Do your boys talk about zombies?
Jan: Not that I know of really.
Me: Ah. Hope it's ok with you.
Jan: You know, if it takes talk of the undead to get kids to cheerfully clean the kitchen, I'm all for it! You should write a book.

Don't you LOVE her? What should my book be called? Zombies Onboard? Parenting Teens The Undead Way? Peer Pressure: The Z Factor?


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Making The Rounds (Finally!)

mimismartypants cracks me up!! I am always up for some Nora adventures and even non-Nora posts have gems like "I love gulags!"
Slowly, oh so slowly, am I catching up with everyone.

My New Favorite Sticker

Linus went to a geek convention and bought this old school gamer bumper sticker:

When I was your age, we had to roll our dice up hill both ways, in the snow.

We're geezer geeks!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tongue Tied

Bet and I got to have lunch together yesterday. Since she is a school teacher this is highly unusual. It only happened because the "all day" training off campus turned out to be only "some of the day." Most times for lunch, Bet has to try to get a few bites in between answering math questions (on days she doesn't have lunch duty) and (on days she does) keeping the craziness of the seventh graders in the cafeteria to a minimum. Not only did we have a chance to spend some unexpected time together, but we found a fantastic sandwich place. All organic, natural, handmade yumminess. I had bacon, gruyere, and cremini mushrooms grilled on sourdough toast. We played our favorite game and talked. It felt sinful and decadent to have such fun in the middle of the day. And that was apparent because when I was trying to say something about avoiding the "lunch rush", what I said instead was "runch lush." It made us laugh. Instead of being part of the lunch rush, we were indeed part of the runch lush. Isn't "lush" a fantastic word? Lush - rich, abundant. (Not sure what to do with the nonsensical word "runch." It's fun to say and makes me laugh - even without a real meaning.) I treasure times like yesterday - stolen moments, thoroughly enjoyed. I'm looking forward to our next runch lush. Peace.

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

Havoc is suffering from a migraine that had him puking last night. He is susceptible to pressure fronts and food triggers and surely some other, less easily defined factors, like stress. Because he was sick and we were all off schedule, I was taken aback when my ex called this morning to reassure the boys that he was ok. He didn't want the kids seeing or hearing the news and worrying (which was a right decent thing of him, really). But since I hadn't seen or heard the news, I had no idea what he was talking about. Now I know. Now I'm praying - gratitude for knowing that my friends and family are safe and solace for those who are not as fortunate and who are suffering this morning.