Saturday, December 29, 2007

Good Housekeeping

The current score is definitely in the children's favor.

They are kicking proverbial parent butt during this two week period without childcare.

[Eight down -- seven to go. But who's counting? Ahem.]

Yesterday, when they were mercifully asleep, K and I collapsed on the guest bed.

"You have something stuck to your shirt," he said. "It might be a booger."

I looked at my sleeve. It was a piece of rice.

I pried it free from my shirt and flung it in the general direction of the trash can.

"It made it to the garbage can," I said. "I know it did."

"Yeah," K laughed "because you ARE Wilt Chamberlin."


The house will be clean again when they go back to school, right?


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tethers

On Christmas Eve in 2001, K and I barrelled uphill towards a town called Dalat in the highlands of Vietnam with seventeen other adults, all of us packed like sardines in the world's smallest mini-van.

It was freezing that night so the mini van windows remained tightly closed even though all seventeen of our traveling companions were chain smoking.

The van radio blasted a Vietnamese comedy show at top volume and, though the show's canned laughter indicated when the punch lines were delivered, no one in our van laughed even once.

K and I, western giants squeezed into a much too small Asian space, rode with our knees next to our ears in the swirling cigarette smoke wondering if we would find the Christmas spirit in Dalat.

We had only been traveling for two of the fourteen months we would backpack, but it was Christmas and we were feeling quite homesick.

We understood that Dalat had one of the largest Catholic populations in Vietnam, gambled that we might find some semblance of Christmas there and began the bumpy journey in the world's littlest van.

The van dropped us off
in what seemed like a random parking lot far from the town center.

Our only option was to pay two teen-aged boys driving mini bikes to take us the rest of the way.

Each of them balanced one of us and the enormous backpack we carried towards Dalat.

The town was teeming with people. Everyone was outside. There was some kind of festival or celebration going on.

K and I were desperate to stay together through the crowd, make it to our guesthouse, wash off the cigarette smoke and rest.

Miraculously, that is just what happened.

The next morning we awoke to search for Christmas only to learn that it was all over with the celebrations of the night before. There weren't even church services on Christmas Day - everything had occurred on Christmas Eve.

I remember us feeling incredibly sorry for ourselves and wandering around the deserted streets of Dalat.

Eventually we found a shop that sold Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars. We bought ten of them and called it Christmas.

This year my mom and a friend flew to Hanoi on Christmas Eve.

I haven't heard from my mom yet.

I suppose she hasn't been to her first Vietnamese Internet cafe.

I think I understand how she must have felt when I was half way around the world... like the tether that binds us might be stretched too thin or even uncharacteristically snapped with the frayed end blowing aimlessly in the wind.

World travel is certainly harder for the one who is not off on the adventure.

I can't help but wonder about her and how her trip is going.

Has she eaten a gelato on the shores of Ho Kiem Lake yet?

Has she admired the karst formations shooting up out of the river on the journey to the Perfume Pagoda?

Has she sampled a bowl of the Bun Bo Nam Bo at 67 Hang Dieu Street?

Has she seen Ho Chi Minh's masoleum?

Is she safe?

Mom?

I hope she finds the shops with the Cadbury chocolate if she needs them...









Monday, December 24, 2007

Language Barrier


My mother in law (a.k.a. Grandma New York) and I were in the kitchen cleaning snow peas together in order to get a jump on some of the holiday prep cooking.

I was talking about how K and I wish we lived closer to family now that we have kids.

"I wish we lived closer to you or to my mom," I said. "You know... so we could zip over and drop the kids off when we need a break from them."

My Irish American, raised in the United States mother-in-law did not skip a beat when she gave the deadpan reply,

"No speak-ah the English."



Saturday, December 22, 2007

Darling This Is It

Alex of Alex Year One tagged me for an eight weird things meme, but wanted it to be done about The Rooster.

So...


One: Cause You Left Me

Rooster will take a chunk out of your softest flesh.

[She thinks the arm is tasty too.]


Two: For My Family

She was born on August 29th, 2005, the same day hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast.


Three: For My Heartache

She frightens me.


Four: For My Headache

She is permanently banned from any future hot tub parties.


Five: For My Lonely

She can hep you find yourself.


Six: For My Sorrow

She is my legacy.


Seven: N-n-no Tomorrow

She has located... the cat.


Eight: I Forget What Eight Was For

She can eat more Hebrew National All Beef Salami in one sitting than any man, anywhere, anytime.

And now?

I am supposed to tag eight people.

Could it be you?

Could it be you?





Friday, December 21, 2007

Full Time Family Time


Today is the first day of two full weeks without the mighty, mighty
parenting crutch called daycare.

The Mayor and The Rooster are home with me...



[cough, cough]

Oh, the togetherness!

We're off to a great start
thanks to Kristen who came over this morning with a GYNORMOUS bag of candy and five, pre-constructed gingerbread houses.

[Gingerbread Uncensored!]

I'm not sure how the next two weeks are going to go...

We'll have some Grandma New York in the house and maybe see a little Santa action.

I'm nervous, a bit unsure.

Will the kids win or will I?

[I'm totally keeping score.]

If they aren't good, I'll just have to take them to sit on Santa's lap every day.



(Back in the late 1960's Santa and I hung out
in the back of his station wagon merry mobile.)

Are you feeling my merryness?

I'm so merry.

I'm the merriest.

Ho, Ho, Ho.






Thursday, December 20, 2007

Are You Ready For Some Christmas?

Last night our friends Elke, Michael and their children came over to help us decorate our Christmas tree.

Elke and I were talking about the way that having children shifted the responsibility for maintaining (or creating new) family traditions from our parents or grandparents to us.

We now understand all the work that our mothers, fathers and grandparents did to make our holidays special, even magical.

[And can I just pause to say, “Holy CRAP! What a lot of WORK!”]

Because K and I are such control freaks so totally anal so organized, we hold a pre-holiday planning meeting where we review The Spreadsheet of Potential Festivities, make decisions, create complicated task lists and divide up the responsibilities.

[My mom teases us that our marriage is run like a business.]

[Have I mentioned the quarterly financial power point report K makes for me? No? Another time.]

K and I grew up with similar, suburban, big city, Christmas celebrations and so merging our family traditions hasn’t been too difficult.

There was no question, for example, that we would get and decorate a Christmas tree.

[Our friends Gwen and John (who are Quaker) wanted to get a tree, but their three year old daughter announced that she is officially Jewish -- and not just for the Hanukkah parties. She says that she is "Jewish all the time." The mere mention of getting a tree makes her SCREAM.]

[John is my friend whose New Year’s resolutions included eating more bacon and touching the breasts of men.]

With K and I there are only a few bones of holiday contention in the merging of our traditions.

It is all my mom's fault.

[THERAPY NOW!]

When I was young, my mother visited Colonial Williamsburg.





In Williamsburg, my mom got a wild hair up her…uh…early American settler.





From then on we had to string a popcorn and cranberry garland for our tree.


I admit, I love me some popcorn and cranberry garland. It does look nice.



However, I have spent many-a-night stabbing myself in the hand with a needle and it is not even Easter!


Finally, there's the issue of lights.

When K was growing up his family used multi-colored lights on their Christmas trees.

Things started out that way in my family, but the colonial hair up mom’s early American settler also brought the tradition of only using white lights.

[One must approximate hand dipped, tallow candles, right?]


So I grew up with white lights and CAN’T do colored lights.

And Huey from The Boondocks says,

“Oh, WHAT? Yesterday you were all “rainbow coalition Santa,” but today you’re all “Christmas Tree Lights of THE MAN?!!”






I'm a WHAT?!!!







What can I say?



White lights are my family tradition.





When my friend Lisa and her partner started a family they wanted to create a brand new tradition around Christmas and together they created Festivall.

Lisa says they did it because,

“My partner and I have many fond memories about our holiday celebrations growing up but it has become increasingly difficult each year to find the holiday spirit. Festivall is a way for us to intentionally celebrate Christmas, a time for spiritual renewal and celebration, rather than Capitalismas. Creating Festivall was our way of building a hopeful and meaningful family tradition connected to the spirit of community, giving, coming together and reflection on the year's end."

Lisa’s Festivall is a ten day celebration that starts every year on December 22nd.

The ten days of Festivall are:

  • 22nd Day of Fasting & Cleansing
  • 23rd Day of Self
  • 24th Day of Family
  • 25th Day of Tradition
  • 26th Day of Home & Hearth
  • 27th Day of Community Service
  • 28th Day of Discovery
  • 29th Day of Nature
  • 30th Day of Peace & Justice
  • 31st Day of Reflection & Renewal

Lisa's family celebrates each day of Festivall by following the day's theme in whatever way they wish.

I think that's pretty darned cool.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Your Own Personal Santa


"Look out the window, guys!! It's Santa!!" I yelled.

An African-American man dressed as Santa was, for some reason, standing outside of our local assisted living home and waving at passing traffic.

"That's not the real Santa," The Mayor told Rooster knowingly.

"What do you mean?" I asked him.

"The real Santa has light skin. That Santa had dark skin."

My jaw fell down to my lap.

"How do you know he wasn't the real Santa?" I asked.

The Mayor sighed impatiently.

"Mom. Remember last year we went to see Santa? He rode in on a fire truck, remember that? Santa had light skin."

"Well how do you know that THIS isn't the real Santa and THAT wasn't some light skinned guy dressed up like Santa?" I countered.

"Mom! The real Santa rides to restaurants on a fire truck!"

Then I got into an argument with a three year old about Santa's race.

"THE REAL SANTA COULD BE BLACK!!!!"

[Oh, the effectiveness of hysterical mothers everywhere!!]

I was not winning.

[All references to the Turkish origin of Saint Nicholas and the possibility of a family compromise around the idea of a Santa with olive skin where met with complete disdain.]

The Mayor's insistence that THE REAL Santa was white totally threw me.

It is important to me that my children grow up not just to respect difference, but to really appreciate it and, at the same time, to understand all that binds us together.

Later that same day, The Mayor and I read a holiday book in which Santa was a featured character.

"See, Mom!" The Mayor said pointing, "See! There's the real Santa and he has light skin."

I've been thinking and thinking about what I can say to The Mayor.

I want to say something that conveys my values around human difference and, at the same time, honors his strongly held convictions about Santa.

This is what I have come up with so far...

"Mayor, the amazing thing about Santa is that he has the ability to look exactly the way each and every little boy and girl needs him to look. Santa knows how to be just what each of us needs."

How's that?





Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Off To Burn My Bra...

I drop The Mayor and The Rooster off at daycare each morning and MORE THAN A YEAR AGO I developed a TECHNIQUE for my departure.

The Technique requires a series of hugs, kisses and big waves and, when performed correctly, The Technique ensures a smooth parental exit, free from toddler crying and whining.

I perform The Technique every day. (And then some.) (And then some more.)

Yesterday morning, as I was waving and moving towards the car and waving and backing up... I backed right into one of the teachers who was on her way in.

"You know," she said, "your husband did that same routine EVERY morning while you were out of town. He was SOOOOOOO cute."

Um... hello??!!

Am I not "sooooo cute" too?

Is it me or am I making seventy five cents for every dollar he makes doing the same work?

Dayum.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Jesse Allen

My Uncle Allen, my mother’s younger brother, was eleven years old when I was born.

He looked like this:



By the time I was five or six Uncle Allen was in high school and MAN, was he COOL!

I worshipped him.

In high school, he looked like this:




His high school bedroom at my Granny and Ady’s house was perpetually dark and draped in miles of chain link made from beer can pull-tabs.

It was the quintessential teen-aged boy cave.


When Uncle Al wasn’t home I would raid his room, read his Mad Magazines and eat his secret stash of bite sized Almond Joy candy bars.

He never seemed to mind.

One year, Uncle Allen organized all the students in his high school woodworking class to make furniture for the dollhouse my Grandfather was building for me for Christmas.

On Christmas morning I noticed that the underside of each piece of dollhouse furniture was signed by the high school friend who made it.

Uncle Al and his high school friends made me feel like the luckiest kid in the world.

[I wanted to name the dolls Syphilis and Gonorrhea, but that is another story...]

My Uncle Allen has always been a quiet, patient and incredibly kind person.

He doesn’t say much, but what he does say is always thoughtful.


This past weekend my mother, her sister Nancy and Uncle Allen traveled to Virginia to finalize the closing of my Granny's estate.

[It seems totally unfair to me that there is so much complicated administration required in death.]

My Aunt arrived at my Granny and Ady’s house first and turned on the lights, the heat and the water.

Their sister's early arrival made things easier for my mom and my uncle. They imagined Nancy’s arrival was much harder.

The three of them went together to the county clerk's office, the banks, the insurance agencies and elsewhere to close Granny's accounts and “finalize” things.

Their work went much more smoothly than any of them had anticipated and they were grateful for that.

They couldn’t remember the last time the three of them had been alone together.

Though they were all scheduled to stay through Sunday, my Aunt drove home a day early due to the weather report leaving my mom and uncle alone in their parents house.

On Saturday afternoon Allen went down to the basement to put together a new set of bunk beds.

After a few minutes my mom went downstairs to join him.

“I need to help you,” she told my Uncle.

“Oh?” he said.

“I can’t stay up there by myself.”

My Uncle nodded his head, understanding.

He looked up at her and said,


“I need your help.”

I was thinking about this story when I read a post Aliki wrote about a tribe that believes that the dead live again when their loved ones speak their names out loud.

[That may be true, but I'm still not speaking to my Granny though she is always at my side.]

I think there are other ways the dead live on.

I see so much of my Grandfather in my Uncle.

Uncle Allen answers the phone by saying "Howdy" exactly the way my Grandfather did.

Allen is my uncle's middle name, not his first name.

His full name is Jesse Allen, just like my Grandfather's.

Though all of his family members call him Allen, my uncle is called Jesse at his office.

On his resume my uncle's name appears as Jesse Allen. When his employer initially called him Jesse my uncle didn't correct them.

Most importantly, like my grandfather, my uncle is patient, understanding and kind.

I don't see my Uncle Allen often enough, though I have seen him at two funerals this year.

I wish he and I lived closer to each other.

My Grandfather lives on through my Uncle Allen. I see that now more than ever.

Today I am missing them both.






Friday, December 14, 2007

Gater Kisses

Okay, so I am sucking as a blogger lately.

I can't help it.

I'm working harder than usual (the NERVE of some employers, eh?!)

On top of that, I... uh... was visited by Aunt Flo at Thanksgiving and then two weeks later BAM she was back. Excuse me? Hello?

This can only mean that I am officially ancient and that maybe I'm GOING THROUGH THE CHANGE.

Which would mean that I am going to go all hormonally haywire and roam around the house crying because I am old enough to be the teen mom of James McAvoy and fantasies about him are just plain sick at my age.

Now I can only have "respectable" fantasies about old geezers.

Abe Vigoda, where are you now you hot tamale of my dreams!!!

Help me Baby Jeebus!

On top of everything else, K has been out of town for three days and, while the children have been miraculously well behaved and genuinely fun to be around, there are lego's in my bed where a hunky, hunky man should be...

He has just arrived home.

[Swoon.]

Here is just one of the many reasons why I love him so.






...and now... It's BUSINESS TIME!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dojo

I really don't have anything in me today.

However.

Thanks to the trusty blogger video uploader I can now share the never released, failed pilot
television series starring The Rooster.

I can't believe this show didn't get picked up back in late 2005.

I mean, who doesn't like a baby ninja?

Behold...

Episode One

video


Episode Two


video


Episode Three


video


The Final Episode


video


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Catch 'Em

“Catch ‘em, Daddy! Catch ‘em, Daddy!” they shouted.

The Mayor and The Rooster blew kisses and threw them out the back window of our car as we drove away from the commuter rail station.

“No!” Mayor shouted. “You don’t say it, Roo!”

[A tiny girl released a great wailing…]

“He said NO to me, Mommy! You are making me SAD, Mayor!”

“Roo,” I said, “Daddy caught all of your kisses. Don’t worry.”

“Did he catch mine?” The Mayor asked.

“Only the ones that you threw when you were being nice,” I told him. “When you were being mean to Roo they fell --PLOP-- right on the ground and didn’t reach him.”

“Why, Mommy? Why didn’t my kisses reach him?” he asked.

“Only kisses thrown in niceness and love can fly. Kisses thrown with any meanness nearby get weighted down and become too heavy. Kisses with meanness on them fall right down to the ground.”

There was a moment of toddler contemplation.

Then 1,000 lovely kisses were blown from the backseat of our car.

“Catch ‘em, Daddy! Catch ‘em, Daddy!”

“What happens when we get too far away?” The Mayor asked. “Do all the nice kisses reach him?”

“If a nice kiss doesn’t reach Daddy it finds someone else to land on,” I explained. “Someone might be walking along, minding their business, going to work when suddenly… --SMACKEROO--…one of your nice kisses lands right on their head!”

Roo and The Mayor laughed at the idea of their kisses falling on the heads of random strangers.

With renewed enthusiasm, they threw millions of light-as-air, love-filled kisses out the window chanting,

“Catch ‘em! Catch ‘em!”




Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Consolation

"You're not going to wake me up are you?" he asked.
Last week K worried that I would wake him when, in order to catch my Biloxi flight, I had to rise at the butt crack of dawn.

(Dawn WHO??!!)

I put on my vixen voice and reassured him...

"Oh, YES baby... I'm gonna wake you at 4:30 a.m. to MAKE THE BIG LOVE. Then we'll lie there with our skin sizzling so hot we could cook bacon on it."


He eyed me suspiciously for a minute and then turned back to his computer grumbling to himself,

"Yeah. That's EXACTLY how it's going to go down. At least I know I can cook myself some bacon..."




Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Power of Stories

On Friday, on the last day of our staff retreat to the Gulf, we traveled to New Orleans to visit Hands On New Orleans, the sister organization of the one we volunteered for in Biloxi (Hands On Gulf Coast.)

The staff and volunteers there took us to meet Ms. Jessie, an elderly woman whose house they just finished renovating.

They told us about all standing with her and waving goodbye as her FEMA trailer was pulled away.

They also showed us a public school they have worked on in an area severely hit by the storm.

All the public school libraries were completely wiped out during the storm.

Of course they would have been.

It hadn't even occurred to me.

I thought about how much The Mayor and The Rooster love to listen to stories.

I know not everyone can go down to New Orleans or the gulf in person to help with the rebuilding effort, but I did find a way that everyone can make a small difference...

Books purchased through Hands On New Orlean's Amazon.com wishlist will be sent directly to the Singleton Elementary School in New Orleans. (If the link doesn't work, just search for "Hands On New Orleans" in the Amazon wish list search function.)

If you have a mind to help I can promise you that the children of Singleton would find your gift miraculous.

I'm about to send an e-mail about the library wishlist to everyone I know...




Friday, December 07, 2007

Water Line

Yesterday morning my colleagues and I painted the exterior of a house belonging to a woman whose home was flooded in August 2005 during hurricane Katrina.

My fellow co-workers also framed walls for a new house and painted murals in a daycare center that will finally re-open next week.

Because so much work remains to be done along the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans, we held our staff retreat here and decided to donate our time as part of the agenda.

On the first night local residents came to our group dinner and told us their stories.

I invited Megan from Velveteen Mind and she read her Victor Vito blog post.


My colleagues were moved by the profound way that her story blended the ordinary details of life with the devastation of the storm.



She was charming, funny, eloquent and poignant.



The other community guest was a man named Grady, the uncle of one of my colleagues.



The first thing Grady told us was that he usually avoids talking about his experience during hurricane Katrina.



Before the hurricane Grady lived with his wife and three children in a nice house near the beach in coastal, Mississippi.


He was the CEO of a successful company that he founded.

He drove a nice car.

Grady’s elderly father, reliant upon an oxygen tank to breathe, lived in the house next door.

During the summer of 2005, Grady’s family evacuated their home five times for hurricanes and, on one of those occasions, it didn’t even rain.


On the morning of August 29th Grady didn't think it looked like Katrina would hit the Gulf Coast.

He and his family decided not to evacuate and stayed at home.

At noon that day, the situation looked more dire so they decided to drive two miles inland to Grady’s office.


They brought their boat and left it set so that if the water rose the boat would rise with it.

The water rose.

Grady told us how fast the water came into his office building and kept coming.



He had one life jacket.

His six, eight and ten year old children worried.

When the water started to become dangerously high, Grady put his six year old in the life jacket and tied a rope around him.


Grady, his wife, his father and the other two children held on to the rope and prayed.

The family decided that if the water rose too high they would break a window up near the ceiling, escape and swim around the building to the boat.

I’m not sure where Grady’s father’s oxygen tank fit into the plan. Perhaps it didn’t.

Meanwhile, the water kept rising.

The children began to cry.

The eye of the storm passed over the building.

The water kept rising and rising… and finally…finally…it stopped.


When the water receded they had to walk the two miles back to their neighborhood and make their way over six blocks of debris eight feet high to find the spot where their house had been.

It took four days for Grady to find what remained of his house four blocks away.

With all communication cut off, Grady’s family had no way to understand the magnitude of the storm's impact. In other parts of the country their extended family had no way to know if they were alive.

As Grady talked, I couldn’t help thinking about how frightened he must have been during the storm. I thought about how responsible he must have felt – responsible for protecting his family, for making the choice to stay, for needing to save their lives.

I thought about the nightmares that jerk me awake in a cold sweat – the ones where something terrible has happened to The Mayor and The Rooster. The ones where I can't save them.


I thought about Grady living through this literal nightmare.

It took my breath away.

After his talk, Grady told me that the thing about his experience that hurt him the most was that his children were robbed of the secure knowledge that he was Superman. They saw his raw fear and it stripped them of their innocence. More than anything else, this is what he wishes he could erase.

The physical destruction caused by the storm is no longer represented by piles of debris or the twisted remains of buildings but rather by endless stretches of emptiness marked only by driveways and stairs leading to the ghosts of vanished front doors.


I wondered about the destruction that I couldn’t see.


Grady’s family evacuated to his wife’s family farm in Georgia and they still live there.

Though Grady commutes back and forth between the farm and the gulf to work, his family will not return.



They don’t even want to visit. They are not coming back here.

What is it like to live with the memory of their experience?

Megan told me a story about a woman who worked as a nurse in a mental health facility before the storm.

Because the patients couldn’t be evacuated, staff had to stay and work or lose their jobs.

The woman stayed and because she stayed, so did her husband and son.

After the storm, when she was able to finally make it back to her house, she found her husband and son had drowned in the family living room.

She was found cradling the body of her son on her front porch.

She had been sitting there holding him for days because there was no one to come and collect the dead.


“So is everything rebuilt now? Is everything back to normal?”


Megan told me how much she hates this question.

It’s not rebuilt. It’s not back to normal.

What was lost will never be returned.

Grady told us about the second storm surge, the wave of volunteers who came from all over the country and arrived well before the government with water, ice and bread.

The volunteers brought simple things like toothpaste and soap. They brought baby formula and diapers.


“They restored my faith in humanity,” he said.


I wish I had been one of those volunteers but on the day of hurricane Katrina I watched CNN, labored and gave birth to The Rooster.

This is the first time I have had the opportunity to come to the Gulf to volunteer.

Yesterday I painted the house of an elderly woman who has lived in a nursing home for nearly two and a half years.

In February her house, entirely renovated by volunteers, will be finished and she will finally be able to come home.

Both Megan and Grady talked about their faith that the Gulf Coast would be reborn into something greater than it was before.

Despite their experiences, both of them believe that the utter devastation was, itself, a catalyst for the Gulf Coast’s renewal.

They described people and communities coming together to collaborate in ways that would never have been possible before the storm.

Their enthusiasm and hope were contagious.

I found myself swept up in it, and felt part of something larger than myself.

In so many ways, I am so grateful.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

If You Don't Know Me By Now

I arrived in Biloxi this morning and what was the very first thing I saw?



The bus driver asked me who I was and why I was having my picture taken with the HOTARD bus.


Who am I?





Puh-leeeeeeeeeze.




I'm the undisputed QUEEN of the hotards!!



Wednesday, December 05, 2007

House Music

This evil Mama is on the road to Biloxi today so...

Wave your hands in the air!

Wave 'em like you just don't care!

And all the short people say... Yaaaaay...


"Yaaaay!"




Lemme hear ya say, YAAAAAY!


"zzzzzzzzzzz..."





Lemme hear ya say, YAAAAAAAAAAAY!


"zzzzzzzzzzz..."

IMG_7550


Oy!

Lemme hear ya say, YAY!




"zzzzzzzzzzz..."


IMG_7550


What. Ever.

Git yer own dayum sippy cup.



Peace out, short people.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Who You Calling A Hotard?

Tomorrow I'm flying to Biloxi for a staff retreat.

The staff retreat planning committee sent out an e-mail yesterday outlining the itineraries for travel groups 1 and 2.

I am in travel group 1.

I have to be at the airport at... I don't know... practically the night before.

Travel group 2 flies at 1:30 in the afternoon.

[WTF?]

[Oh, no you people DINT give me the air travel shaft?!]

[Oh. Yes. You People. DID!]

[Thank GOT Megan is coming to kidnap me when I get there!]

Despite the Butt Crack of Dawn departure, the news is not all bad for my travel group.

Friendly people driving automobiles will pick up my travel team from the airport, but travel group 2 will be picked up by a "Hotard Coach."

I take some consolation in knowing that my place of employment believes I am already fully competent in
the art of combining promiscuity with mental slowness.

No Hotard coaching needed here!

Oh, the proud!






Monday, December 03, 2007

City Sidewalks

Driving around town The Mayor pointed randomly at Christmas wreathes, lights, trees and other holiday decor and at each one he yelled,

"MUT!"

("Mut" sounds like Put - as in "Put. the cookie. DOWN, Lady Flabina!")

Pardon? Mut?

As it turns out, "Mut" means "everybody is getting ready for Christmas" in Mayorese.

Because I am a super-efficient, anal freak, I have always loved simple, economizing words.

For example, I'm a big fan of the British word "chuffed" which means "quite pleased" but also connotes a sort of blushing pride. All of that captured in one word? Brilliant.

So it follows naturally that I would appreciate the word "Mut," --- in particular, I like the idea that I can walk into a department store and loudly say,

"FOR THE LOVE OF DOG WOULD YOU LOOK AT ALL THIS MUT!!"

I'm not sure The Mayor has developed an enduring sense of the Christmas spirit despite his contribution to the holiday lexicon.

Yesterday, as my neighbor was straddling his roof (in a rather provocative way, I might add) trying to get the "DOG, JAM, EFFING CHRISTMAS LIGHTS" to work, The Mayor picked up a toy rifle from their yard, aimed it at the struggling, roof humping neighbor and yelled,

"I'M GONNA BRING YOU DOWN!"

Oh, I'm just tingling all over with the holiday cheer.


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Booty (Not the Pirate Kind)

After a satisfying day at the beach...






My brother and Grandma Seattle were feeling SO FINE that they provided the evening's entertainment...

video

...and here's how excited my brother was about the fact that I would be posting that video on the internet...




Wheeeeeeeeeeee!