Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to get a flat tire. In the parking lot at my daughter's school. The middle school. I never liked going to middle school the first time around 25 years ago. I like it even less when I have to sit in a parking lot for an hour with my three year old waiting for a guy to come and help me change the flat tire. Actually, there wasn't any helping involved. He changed the tire all by himself. And, I was parked next to one of the few shade trees in the lot. That was nice.

In theory, I could have changed that tire all by myself, but towing around a three year old complicates things a bit. Those three year olds know little to nothing about personal space, and the tire changing scenario is no place to teach that lesson. Plus, we have a Triple A membership. Thought I should cash in on that.

So after I rearranged the original dental appointments, the 3 year old and I waited at the tire place for the unfixable tire to be replaced (my decision, not theirs). The tread was really worn, and we are planning to drive to California in a few weeks. I thought I might as well take care of that and get the necessary alignment so that the right front tire doesn't wear down to the nubbins again. For an hour and a half, we kept the other "waiters" and the tire guys pleasantly amused by performing a improvisational dance routine choreographed by the three year old.

Those tires were slapped on just in time for me to dash over to the middle school one more time (carefully avoiding the parking place where we picked up two nails in the tire the first time around), retrieve the 12 year old, and dash over to the dental office. Only to wait again. This time, we waited 30 minutes. And then the three year old and I waited another hour on top of that. Luckily, we sneaked over to Wendy's for part of that time as I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast, and her daily food intake since breakfast consisted of 3 lollipops.

Today, the 10 year old had her turn at the dentist's office. More waiting. This time we were in that office 2 1/2 hours from start to finish. Don't ask. It's too complicated and boring to tell the story behind that one.

The amazing part of all of this waiting is that the three year old didn't melt down once. Not once. Even though she was tired and hungry and thirsty the whole time. We spent over six hours sitting around waiting for stuff to happen over the last two days. I am lucky if I get six hours of sleep a night.

And now we are patiently waiting for the end of May to come so that we can be reunited with Poetroad. I hope I don't throw a tantrum between now and then. Cross your fingers.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Silver Lining

To be fair, the last few weeks were not a total bust. Two weekends ago, we drove to Houston to visit CJ. We spent one day at the NASA Space Center. Poetroad was in heaven. Here he is posing with the astronauts:

Here is the actual control room used for all of the earliest launches - including the infamous Apollo 13:

And, Hannah and I went for another mountain biking adventure. This time we traversed the trail at Muleshoe Bend Park. Let me tell you, this ride was definitely more enjoyable than our trek at Reimer's Ranch. We still had to navigate some steep inclines and rocky terrain, but neither of us were near the "puking tired" exhaustion that we were on our last little biking adventure. Here we are biking. We took a short rest next to Lake Travis. Notice the trees growing out of the water in the final picture.

Poetroad also got to visit the Mecca of left-handed guitar players while in Houston: Southpaw Guitars. It was a surreal day for him to say the least. Good times!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Another Meme - consider yourself tagged

Besides spending my day trying to rid the house of burnt potato smell (darn microwave never worked right in this house!), cleaning house, taking kids to this that and the other place, fetching forgotten projects and taking those to school too, calling and receiving calls from the dentist and the coach and the school, and sorting through and packing crap so that I can move in a month...there isn't really much to do around here. lol

Anyhow, it's much more fun to blog and ignore my duties for a few more minutes at least.

Sooooo, with that in mind...if *I* can take a second to play, you can too. Here is a meme from Aerin's blog In Search of Giants. Play along if you want.

Side note: some of y'all, friends, really need to create a public blog so you can play along too!

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences, uhm, sentences six, seven and eight.
5. Tag five people and post a comment to the blogger who tagged you.

My nearest book is totally boring. It is Write Source 2000 - not even the latest version, I am sure!

Here is the text:

Also, try writing about your work to sort out your thoughts and feelings about it. See what your classmates and teacher think of your writing. And make sure to consult your handbook for advice and writing models.

There you have it. Now it is your turn.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm officially old: The Hollister Experience

Being the sensitive mother I am to the plight of her tween, I finally succumbed to her incessant begging and ventured into Hollister to see if there might be something I could nab off of the clearance shelf. I remember what it was like in the sixth grade to be one of the only girls in school who did not own a pair of the coveted Sticky Fingers or San Fransisco jeans.

For all of you oldies (specifically, anyone who is over thirty or acts over thirty) - and for those who do not have a teen or tween in the house, Hollister is a brand of clothing. While Hollister caters to the preppies ("Dudes" and "Bettys"), it's the rich surfer look that defines the Hollister style. But instead of branding their products with a cute little alligator, a majestic eagle, or a pony riding polo player, their clothing is emblazoned with a seagull. I hate seagulls - more like sea rats. As any land lubber knows, seagulls - beyond being annoying - are also the poster animal of the garbage dump.

I digress...

As you've probably guessed, I'm not all that "into" branding or brand names, although I do appreciate that some brands signify "quality" and "attention to detail" over other brands. Still, is it necessary to charge $39.00 for a skimpy thin cotton tee that probably cost $1.95 to make? Not to mention the fact that somewhere in Peru or Vietnam is a sweatshop where the calloused yet nimble fingers of eight year olds work tirelessly to create said product?

I digress again...

Still, to know Hollister is to visit the store, which an oldie like you or me might have trouble finding at first considering that the store entrance is made to look like an old surf shack, and the store name is hidden somewhere beneath the fake palm branch jutting out of the fake weathered pier stump.

Once you enter the store, you'll notice that the music is really loud. No. REALLY loud. REALLY, REALLY loud. "I can't hear my own thoughts" loud. And this is coming from someone who is a rocker at heart and likes to listen to loud music...

Next you'll notice that the store is really smelly. Overpoweringly smelly. The kind of smell you would expect to be overwhelmed with at a martini bar frequented by single 40 something men drenched in Polo cologne. In fact, if you have chemical sensitivity, then stay away from this store (and the martini bar at happy hour on Thursday nights).

And, you'll notice that it is very dark in there. Only a few display tables and shelves are lucky enough to be illuminated by the canned lighting.

My Hollister visit was nothing less than memorable. I found the store, covered my ears, ignored the smell, and was able to feel my way to the back room where clearance items always are in any store. Quickly, I grabbed two shirts, pushed past the dense fake palm branches, and made my way to the checkout counter. At the counter, the sales boy mumbled something - well, his lips were moving, and I keenly deduced that he was actually speaking. Nevertheless, I could not hear over the din, so I smiled and nodded. He said something else (at least I think he did as his lips were again moving), left for a few seconds, and returned with another shirt just like the one I chose. I guessed that there was some problem with the tag of shirt number one, and nodded as I thought I heard him say "same size."

After I made my purchase, I returned home only to discover that he gave me the same size in the WRONG shirt. Both were yellow tank tops, but the patterns and styles were totally different. Which meant I would have to return to the store AGAIN. Mistake or marketing ploy? Hmmmm...

My second visit to Hollister was pretty much identical to the first, but this time I brought three of the four daughters. I let the two younger kids run amok. The sales girls seemed unaffected by our disruptive presence as they were too busy spraying the shirts with cologne.

To be fair, the sales girls and boys were very sweet. Mostly, they tried to hide their surprise at our aberration from normal shopping trends. Not one shouted,"Go back to Old Navy where you belong!" I made my exchange, we felt our way to the exit, and smiled and nodded at the sales girls at the entrance/exit as their silent moving lips indicated a "good-bye, shop here again" farewell.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Beginning of The End

It's really happening. We are moving to California. Today, Poetroad began the journey to Sacramento. His new job begins next Monday.

I have to be honest. Leaving Austin is like breaking up with a lover who is no good for you. You know you *have* to leave, but every fiber in your being wants to stay. Poetroad and I have never been so attached to a place. It's a very strange feeling. I know Poetroad's heart aches. There are a lot of people here who are artists like us. You know - weirdos. We fit in here well.

That being said, Austin is just a city. Life will go on. Sacramento awaits, and there are memories to be made there.

So on our last night here, we went out to eat at a place that could be called "Austin Authentic" - The County Line: Home of the Big Rib. Notice the statue of the two headed calf on top of the building.

Here is Poetroad eating a big rib. Mmmmm! Tasty!

Definitely eat at The County Line if you are ever in Austin. Beware of one tiny detail, though: if you are looking for healthy options on the menu, this is not the restaurant for you. Vegetable dishes include potatoes (mashed or fried), baked beans, coleslaw or salad. They do not serve fruit. Make sure you order a plate of homemade bread for your appetizer - it's delicious. For the main course, I recommend the brisket or the ribs.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

On Time

Being "on time" is overrated. Most of us got the finger-wagging-stern-reprimand as children to be "on time" *or else*. Or else you won't ever be won't keep a won't have any won't succeed in life...yadda, yadda, yadda.

I've been to the dentist more times this past month than I have in five years. Not once has my dentist been "on time" to my appointment. Once she called and said, "We are running behind, so don't come in for another half hour." When I got there, I still had to wait in the waiting room another half hour. But this isn't new to any of you. How many hours, do you suppose, you've wasted in the waiting room at the doctor's or dentist's office? Are they all a bunch of losers because they are constantly late? If so, I want to be a loser like that.

JG was only late once this week, by the way. So as long as she wants to be a doctor or a dentist, she will do just fine in life. Or she could be an artist. Everyone expects artists to be in their own little world anyway.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Six random things about me

I was tagged yesterday by Poet Peter . Now the fact that I am joining in on this meme is fairly significant. Mostly because I am a lurker. There. I said it. And agreeing to play will force me to "out" myself. Ah, well. It's about time, I suppose. Anyway...

The rules:
a. Link to the person who tagged you.
b. Post the rules on your blog.
c. Write six random things about yourself.
d. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
e. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

Wow. At first I endeavored to share information that would be new to my readers. And then I realized that there really isn’t much that I don’t talk about here. Have I no standards?! Some of this will be old news. Really old news. Quite possibly, there won’t be anything new to read about me. Anyway, here are six facts the interest *me* about myself.

1. I like to eat peas.

2. I am a recovering emetophobe.

3. We found a gecko in a Barbie car in our house the other day. It was trying to make a quick getaway, I suppose. The cat likes to bring geckos in and “play” with them. I’m going to miss living in Austin!

4. Soccer is my favorite sport. Also, I like to run even though I can’t break an 8 minute 30 second mile. When I whine about that fact, Poetroad says, “Honey, I love you, but you aren’t built to be a distance runner.” Nevertheless, I still like to run long distances in this 5’3” 135lb frame.

5. I never learned to diagram a sentence. I prefer descriptive grammar over prescriptive grammar anyway! (I know - what a cop-out).

6. This week, I quit what I lovingly call my “un-job.” I was hired at a competitive rate to do some contract editing work for a company where their engineers survey properties, pieces of land, and such, assess the environmental impact certain activities have on the surrounding community, and then write reports about their findings. I’ve worked for them since November 2007, and to date, I haven’t edited even the tiniest e-mail or report.

Now, the people I'll be tagging...

Maren's Daddy

Monday, April 21, 2008



About a week ago - the day I stayed ( up until three A.M. to edit Poetroad's paper - Drason challenged me to play a little game against him on Facebook. It's a word game akin to "Boggle." Needless to say, I lost that little game. I was trounced. Spanked (pane...panes...dank...span...pan...pans...end...). And being the competitive person that I am...and not wanting to be a total loser (lose...rose...role...roles...sore...lore...), I thought of a way to beef up my boggle-and-the-like-word-game skills (kill...sill...skill...). Over the past week, I've been playing these silly word games every chance I get. But after a week of doing this, something has happened to my brain (ban...rain...ran...bran). Now I am constantly thinking of words that can be made from other words. And making rhymes. Times. Mites. Site. This bites.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Always behind the 8 ball

It is April 15, and normally I would be frantically picking up tax docs from the tax prep people and then rushing over to the post office to stand (and stand) in line in order to ensure that my taxes were in fact delivered on time. This year, I filed my taxes online. And, in case you didn't notice, I said "I." Yes, people. Watch out for flash floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the like today. Hell must have frozen over. Mrs. "numerically challenged" did the family taxes this year. And she did them by herself. And she did them a week early.

Of course this day (and the intervening week) couldn't be filled with peace. No time to revel in my euphoria. Poetroad has a 20 page paper due today. You remember what happened when his last paper was due in March, don't you? We didn't sleep the preceding week, and we worked on that paper up until the very last second before the stroke of midnight - right before he had to click "send" to ensure the the paper would be submitted on time. Perhaps I'm exaggerating a bit, but mostly I'm accurately describing the scene. And when I say "we," I mean to say that I edited the paper (You know how harsh I can be in my editing, right friends? Sometimes it sucks to be married to or friends with an English teacher.) and formatted the bibliography page. Which would be easy if Poetroad would stick to the minimum number of resources required for this research paper (six). But of course he used no less than four times that. I'm not kidding. You thought I was the only obsessive compulsive person in this family?

Anywho... back to work for me...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Absolutely not!"

was my reply when the 12 year asked me if I could help her cook up some food for her history class the next day. It was 5:00. I was tired. The "I could hardly keep my eyes open" kind of tired. Also, I was on my way out the door to take the 10 year old to dance class. I still needed to make dinner for my own family that evening. When would I have a chance to rush over to the grocery store in order to buy the necessary supplies for this little "dish" for history class?!!! I needed to get more information.

"What exactly did your teacher say? When did he ask you to do this?"

"Well, when I was on my way out to the bus, he saw me and said, "Hey, you know how we were talking about bringing a dish to class? Why don't you do that for tomorrow?""

"Oh, so is this for a grade?"


"Well, he can't do that. He can't say, "Bring this dish" and then expect me to drop everything so that I can help you get it done."

"I know. No one likes him."

"Well, you can just tell him at school tomorrow that it is rediculous of him to make that kind of request."

"Ma, you won't have to do a thing. I promise."

"Right. I've heard that before. What were you thinking that you wanted to make?"

"My group was studying China, so I was thinking I could make stir fry."

"Stir fry for 25 people? Are you kidding me? No way. How exactly were you going to keep that from spoiling? Your history class is at the end of the day. When have you made stir fry before?"

"Stir fry is easy to make."

"Honey, I have to get going. I'm sorry, but I need to have more notice than this. You'll just have to tell your teacher that we couldn't make it happen. I have to put my foot down on this one. My answer is definitely NO." it only took us a few hours to make pot stickers that night. One for every kid. The 12 year old now knows how to blanch cabbage and make dough. We packed the pot stickers (and dipping sauce) into a little cooler so that the "dish" would still be edible at the end of the day.

Everyone loved them.

Shut up.

The rest of the girls got in on the cooking action the next day. We had to do something with the leftover filling, didn't we?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Speaking of shortness

"you look much taller in your photo"

Anthony - you are hilarious! Your comment reminds me of a little inside joke Poetroad and I have.

Neither of us are particularly tall (I am 5'3" and Poetroad is 5'7"). More than a few times, when Poetroad and I have watched a movie or TV show with my dad, my dad has said something such as, "You know that John Wayne is kind of short in real life? He's only like 6'1"." Or "Tom Cruise is tiny. He's only 5'7"."

Of course we've taken that to a whole new level. "You know that John Wayne is tiny in real life? He's only like 4'11". Yeah, it was hard work surrounding him with all of those short actors. Did you know that Robert Duvall is really a dwarf?"

To be fair...

Tall vs Short

Some of my best friends are tall people...

[Ouch. When she starts out with a line like that, you know it's going to be a scathing diatribe railing against the "tall."]

For the record, I measure up to a mere 5 feet 3 inches tall. That's right - I've gained an entire inch since the eighth grade. Surprisingly enough, I was born to a family of unusually tall people; for example, I have an uncle that is 6'8", a brother that is 6'5"+, another brother that is 6'3" (AND a nephew that is that tall - he is only in the eighth grade), a father that is 6'1" and a mom that is 5'7". She is the shortest of the lot - until I was born, that is. Whatever. I'm not bitter about it or anything...

Anyway, since I'm practically dwarf-hight, it wouldn't surprise you if I observed that America caters to the "tall." At the grocery store in order to get the deli guy's attention, sometimes I have to make a scene because I can only see over the deli counter if I am on my tip toes. In addition, potentially, if I am in an automobile accident, I am in more danger of being injured; heck - a tall person could walk away from a minor accident, and my neck could be broken as a result of the deployed air bag. Also, I have to climb onto and stand on the counter in order to reach the top shelf in my kitchen cabinets. These are typical obstacles I face on a daily basis.

Don't even venture to say that you tall people have tried to accommodate us. Sure, we have our own clothing line fashionably referred to as "petite." The tall have "big and tall" wear too.

But what really chaps my hide is how the tall seem to think that they are "entitled" to certain liberties. Such as standing in the front row at her child's choir concert at the "standing room only" performance. At least be considerate and duck down so that we shorties can also see.

Funny thing about that - even if I arrive early, those tallies always seem to be there fifteen minutes before me. Always standing, too. Geeze - even when I am standing in the front row, I have the decency to scrunch down so that the shorter ones - such as the random 4th or 5th grader - can see. In any event, at every choir or band or dance recital there is a random head or shoulder in the foreground of the picture. Oh, I hold that camera as high as I can - I don't even look in the viewfinder anymore, but the camera lens still won't reach over the shoulder of the guy standing in front of me.

Whatever. My daughter was busy picking her nose at this morning's performance anyway.

Monday, April 07, 2008

I should say something.

I know I should. Really, I want to say something. Worth reading. So when I am not so darn tired, I will write about...something. Such as the exploits in coaching soccer for my oldest daughter's team. Or the fact that I just found out that one of her teammates is the daughter of this guy (I should have had a clue when we practiced soccer one afternoon at their house...on their baseball field - the baseball field they made on one of the lots they own adjacent to their house).

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I ate leftover spicy crab rolls for lunch,

and decided to garnish each with a generous squirt of wasabi. I didn't realize, however, (until much later) that the entire packet of wasabi was meant to be doled out sparingly over all of the rolls in the tray and not slathered on just the two rolls I ate.

In other news, my sinuses are well drained right now.

When it rains here, it pours.

On the heels of a not so fun infection I am battling (can I just say that I was completely out of sorts yesterday - spelling my name wrong, taking two naps, and acting completely cranky), I went to the dentist today for "Root Canal Part Dux."

Going to the dentist wasn't a party, but it wasn't painful either. Mostly, being there was annoying only because it takes so much TIME to do these root canal things. Time that I'd rather be spending doing fun stuff like reading or writing or cleaning up dog poo.

Anyhow, the deed is done. Hopefully my tooth will behave and stop hurting. Soon enough, I'll get the crown put on and be done with the dentist for awhile. At least my dentist is cute and entertaining (and we are about the same age, which equals "shared experiences"). While she was working on my tooth this time, she talked about cleaning the clutter from her mother's house. (Anyone remember the seven can openers I cleaned out of my mom's kitchen last summer?) In particular, she got rid of her mom's kitchen "rainbow" collection. My dentist said, "I asked my mom if she was trying to make some kind of gay statement with all of these rainbows - not that there is anything wrong with being a lesbian or anything - or if she just liked to decorate with "ugly.""

Of course I laughed hard at that.

I think I'll take a nap now.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Birthday Hangover?

No, I wasn't out drinking all weekend. Poetroad did take me to U2 3D at the local IMAX on Friday night. Phenomenal! Really - I felt like I could reach out and touch Bono (And Larry Mullen Jr. - oh you know how I feel about him; do you realize that I've had a crush on him for almost 25 years now?!).

OK, I'm back. Had to take a few minutes to stare at Larry pictures.

Anyway, we know a guy who saw U2 3D twice, and he really isn't a U2 fan. Crazy, eh? The concert experience is just that cool!

On Saturday (the actual birthday), the kiddos made and served me breakfast in bed. They made my favorite: strawberry waffles. That evening, Stef and Katherine took me out to dinner and a movie (I finally saw 27 Dresses. I think the character in the movie owned the dress that I made my poor bridesmaids wear at my wedding...only I knew they would never wear it again, and that is why I didn't make them pay for it...and the irony is that Ch@ndy let a gal choose one of her dresses so that this girl could be finely dressed for the prom...and the girl chose to wear the bridesmaid dress from my wedding, lol).

On Sunday, the kiddos and Poetroad made a fine feast for dinner, and then we glutted ourselves on lemon bars and brownie bites for dessert.

And the frivolity just kept going and going and going, I tell you! So much so that I ended up needing antibiotics today (no joke). But I'm feeling much better now.

All I have left to say is, "Hello, 38. I didn't want to be you, but you dragged me there feet-first-kicking-and-screaming nevertheless."

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go slather some lard on my neck wrinkles.