Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Open Letter to the Mosquitoes who Find me Delicious

Mosquitoes, Gnats, Noseeums, et bloodsuckers all:

While I can appreciate the need to sustain your short and (albeit) relatively insignificant life by exchanging your irritating, itchy, venom for my hemoglobin; I'd like to point out that there are far more desirable parts for you to feast on than my right eyelid.

I am, of course, speaking here from a strictly parasitic point of view.

From my own point of view, which is somewhat limited due to the swelling of my right eyelid, I would appreciate you keeping your stings to more cosmetically appealing areas such as but not strictly limited to: ankles. Left preferably, as I scratch right handed.

Thank you very much.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Impromptu Intertaining

Perhaps you've heard me mentioning the little soiree I'm having tomorrow. It is, in fact, a barbecue. And yes, you've been reading right - it's at 7:30 am.
Unsure of how to spin the tale of how this came to be - I'll just say that the powers that be in the Media Machine have decreed that there should be barbecue footage and due to scheduling conflicts, I will be rotissing my first chicken early tomorrow morning.

Unfortunately, and to the dismay of said Media Machine, none of our friends will be able to join us for an outdoor hullabaloo. At 7:30 in the morning. On a Thursday. Before work. Yeah.

Bravely, and alone, I set out to plan our "party" today.

First I should say that I have no idea how to use a rotisserie. Not to mention, this grill... it intimidates me. The lid? Just a guess, but I'm gonna say it weighs roughly 748 pounds. BUT, I managed to figure out how to light the whole thing and let it burn for a half hour like the delivery guys said. Step one. Check.

Step two, finding a recipe. The book that came with the grill only has a recipe for turkey. Strike. I looked on-line and found something seemingly easy. However, it did mention the not so smallish detail of tying up my bird.

I stuck my nose in The Joy of Cooking and followed the instructions for a "Simple Truss" and bondaged my chicken as best I could. However, based on a few different Law and Order episodes, I have a feeling my chicken will manage to strangle and somehow frame me before the day is done.

Now, perhaps because it's supposed to be obvious, but more likely it has something to do with the fact that there was no chicken recipe in that book (only mention of a turkey) there were no instructions on how to put poultry ON the rotisserie thingy.

I think my birdie is too small. Or my grill is too large. Far too large.

Regardless. My spices are prepared for the crack of dawn.

I bought a plant for the table.

And now that I'm home from Bed Bath and Beyond where I had to buy a turkey baster and meat thermometer, I've begun preparing some of the requisite barbecue side dishes and snacks. For... two? I guess?

My brow has barely unfurrowed all day... it's been just that confusing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

For Comfort's Sake

I'm pretty sure that of all the various bedroom accoutrements, the heating pad is one thing that could never, ever be considered sexy.

Mine, I must say, is especially splendid having been inherited by marriage thus making it 8 years old by default and assumingly 20 years older than that. The cover is pilled and horrible, but I'm afraid that if I wash it, it might simply disentegrate. Therefore, I put a pillowcase on my heating pad.

Picture the rediculousness for a moment. I mean, it's not like it fits.

So here I am, sinus pressure a rage - toting my heating pad from room to room like Linus with his blanket, cord trailing behind, and it occurs to me that at some point I have clearly given up many things fashionable for the sake of comfort. The other night, as I thought a wedge shaped pillow would really make things a lot more comfortable I realized that this was part of getting older.

I think looking at a persons bed can give you a glimpse into what decade of their life they are experiencing. Maybe not in actual years, but in mind set. I clearly remember my bed being covered in teddy bears and winnings from Riverside Amusement Park. Then, the body pillow. For a while, I needed to have all the decorative pillows that came with my bedset.

Now, I'm on to the wedge pillow. I put myself in my late 70's. Early 80's tops.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not Really Blog Worthy...

But since I need to write - here's a little brain sludge.

I was thinking last night about how we say "An" before a word that begins with a vowel. It makes good sense. "A apple", for example - just sounds silly. And then, there's "An historic event". What? Why do we do that? Since when does the letter "H" get to be a part of this vowel business?

As I drifted further into slumber, and my thoughts got arguably sillier and sounding more blog worthy, I thought of the early settlers of our country. No doubt those people who made up some of these rules. I got to wondering if they didn't have British accents.

Maybe Hello - that was pronounced, "ello". Chucking "An" before an "H" makes perfect sense when you never pronounce that "H", ya know? "An istoric event" lets say. And, lets say it with a bit of English flair, if you please.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The All-American Slam pt1

I can't even begin to describe the mayhem that is my back yard right now. Many of you know that I recently won a contest - prize being a make over of my yard.

Many of you may also recall the state of said yard, the pinnacle of which - the "deck" or platform really, because it long ago lost its railings - really, really needed to come down. It was rotten and an eye sore when we bought the house.


Work began last week, but because of the weather - only one real day of much got accomplished. Today however, all contractor hell broke loose here at camp. Things were delivered, dumped, cut, chopped, chipped, and orchestrated in such a fashion that I almost feel like what happened at 9am was yesterday. That makes sense right?

Things are going well with this exception. I'm not really sure who anyone is, and it's far too late to ask. I've been working with these people for about a week now, and everyone has introduced himself to me with a handshake and a really All-American name. "Scott", "Tim", "Rob", There may have even been a "John" in the mix, I'm not sure and I'm almost positive that there are not one but two Scott's - just for good measure.


Here we are. I have my mind on my lawn. My kid. Her spitting up on her self, myself, and other selves - on camera. Oh yes, my mind is also on the cameras, and in the very back of my mind - I'm playing Contractor Who's Who. It's fine, really - until they ask me a question about someone.
"So, did Brian talk to you about the tree?"
"Um. I think so." I say.
"Did Tom go over the plans for the mulch with you?"
"Oh... he was here yesterday, right?"

Coy. Slick.

Uh huh. No idea what I'm talking about. And I know it's really obvious.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

And What Do You Suppose THIS is? - a repost


Do you think it’s possible that the roots of all the weird plants in the entire world grow directly into my yard?

Me too.

Digging away yesterday, minding my own business, I found this.

I’ll admit it, for a minute I thought it was a wire. Living in a part of Colonial America, I’ve seen some that resemble this. Once I regained my senses, I pulled and followed. My detective skills led me in two directions – under the steps of the deck, and under the grass, towards the ferns I have yet to de-weed.

I don’t get it. It’s a root of nothing. Or maybe it only wants me to think that.

Down towards the back of the yard, there’s these leaves. Big ones.

Curious, I asked Matt what they were. Curious, Matt got a shovel. Curious, we both scratched our heads.

My first thought with a big smile was “Carrots”! It didn’t take me long under Matt’s smirk to snap out of that false identification. As it turns out, there’s about a 50’ square network of these, all rooted together underground. Perfect.

Our yard belongs to the wild. The violets have clear control of the lawn

the Squirrels use it for storage

and a (flock, school, group, gaggle?) of ants has now taken over my little garden, thanks to a muffin “crumb” Matt chucked in there. They startled me out of my flip-flops when I was watering and the ground started moving.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Picnic - a repost

In my family, it’s usually me who notices things. Matt could walk by and sit on a new sofa before getting it. That’s why I was a little surprised when I heard him call me from the other room yesterday.

Matt: J!
Me: Yeah
Matt: This picnic…did you look at it?

(He’s referring to the cover of a magazine we got in the mail yesterday, and yes – he’s yelling to me from the bathroom)

Me: I saw it, but I didn’t look at it I guess.
Matt: I would never wanna go to this picnic. It’s really weird.

Matt: All they have to eat is apples. Oh and a pear.
Matt: And there’s a guy wearing overalls…
Me: …maybe you can show me when you come out.
Matt: Okay.

Well, I must admit – he was right. This is the most bizarre picnic I have ever seen in my life.

The guy in overalls is just the beginning, but let’s start there. Overalls and a 30’s gangster hat, with a sweater over his shoulders. As far as I know, these three fashion statements are exclusive of each other. I know of no situation where they can or should be combined. Ever.

On to the fella on the right. I don’t know if you can tell, but his very fashionable shirt is unbuttoned at least down to the belly, revealing his naked chest.

In the midst of all this we have the soccer mom in khakis and the Sunday best lady in her summer dress. Who coordinated this outing and where did they think they were going?

Now, we assume these are two couples… two fully brunette couples. Did they abduct those really blonde kids or what?

And yes, they are eating apples, strawberries, grapes are strewn about… and what’s that in the basket? A squash? It’s not like any melon I’ve ever seen. Whatever it is I hope they aren’t gonna cut it with that butter knife on that French Toile china.

Back in the Saddle... Again

Been a while since I've blogged. I know.
Things have been busy though, so...

But let me stop with the excuses - the promises - the yadda yadda and get to my thoughts today. I got the email that some of you may have as well... clean out your Yahoo archives! Move em! Save em! Tattoo em on your arm... but do something, cause they're going by the wayside.

So I did. And I read some. And it made me want to write again. I guess I never stopped wanting to write, but it made me want to get myself in gear and do it. What better time to jump in than while I have the most incredibly blog worthy event going on in my back yard?

But I'm writing it at a new-mom pace, which means maybe not a blog a day. In the mean time - I'll be posting some old Yahoo blogs. Getting back into the swing...


IMAGE:© Philip Gould/CORBIS

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Black Wool - An Awkward Tale

For no reason other than "It goes with everything", nearly all of my outerwear choices are black. Black coat, scarf, hat, mittens. And for no reason other than I live in what this year feels like the Arctic Tundra, nearly all of these selections are wool.

Black Wool.

Although my mittens have caused me much trouble in the past, today the outerwear mishap I blog of is my scarf.

My scarf, of black and white wool, has been of particular interest to my three month old of late.

Excellent! Anything to occupy her! I drape it over the back of the couch and she stares at the contrasty dots for ... well, minutes on end. She coos and wiggles and has even started grabbing for it.

Grabbing. Trouble. I look away for a minute or leave the room and come back to find her under, over, on top of, or somehow swirled up in said scarf. She's still having a heck of a time mind you - a fist full of it waving to and fro, legs-a-kicking, and nowhere near close to strangling herself. Trust me - she could never find her own neck.

So what's the problem?

Stick with me on this. If you look closely at the pictured scarf, you'll note the little white fibers that show against the black background. I took a photo of a single strand for reference, but couldn't bring myself to post it. If you're familiar with the wool fiber, you know that it's rather short, rather kinky, and tends to have a slight... shall we say... curl?

I know.

So, there's my daughter covering herself in wool fibers. From my scarf. My black and white scarf. And there's me, with practically black hair, bringing her out in public to various doctors appointments.

Here's where it gets awful.

Somehow, those wool fibers? They get everywhere. No matter to what extent I inspect her in a bath of natural sunlight before we leave the house, it never fails. The doctor is examining her and I suddenly spy a short, dark, curly wool fiber on her earlobe. Stuck to her diaper. Peeking out of her sock.

I realize I'm being overly paranoid. A wool fiber surely looks like a wool fiber. However, standing there under the harsh flourescents in front of a doctor and half naked baby with a bald husband beside me, I'm not reassured by this knowledge.

Neon green. I think I'm gonna have to go with neon green wool from now on.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

If It Ain't Beef...?

While indulging myself in a recent Fillet-o-Fish craving, I noticed something peculiar printed on my McDonald's bag. Forgive the misquote, but it proclaimed something along the lines that their burgers are made with 100% beef.

It got me to thinking.

I won't get into my train of thought on this one. Seriously, I think you can follow it without me leading you down that path.

The thing is, as I shoved the fries (clearly placed on the top of the bag for convenience) into my mouth while stopped at a red light, I got to thinking about the brilliance of marketing. Sometimes... okay, most times - I wonder if I give them too much credit, those marketeers - but just then, I read something about how changing the color of a Sprite can by a Pantone shade or two can make people think it tastes different.

I fear them. The marketing overlords.

The McDonald's thing for example, I picture them - sitting around a grossly large table, on the umpteenth floor of - well, in my mind's eye, it's the tallest McDonald's ever. They're plotting. Peering over tented fingers. Saying things to each other about one-hundred percent beef.

"Just a vague 9 point tag line on the bags." They say.
"It'll make them wonder." They grin.
"Exactly what... what am I eating elsewhere".

And my brain switches to overhead cam where they look up and laugh directly into my face.

Of course, by the time the light turns green and my greasy fingers are back on the steering wheel, I'm sure I've overestimated the powers-that-be. Surely, someone just innocently said, "Hey, our burgers are tasty, nutritious, and delicious, and it's because they're made of cow. Let's let folks know!" I'm further convinced, it was the suggestion of a smiling employee as depicted on those paper tray liners because I realize McDonald's listens to and values the opinions of all Team Members.

I'm sure that's the case.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stopping and Shopping... Yes, Again.

Admittedly, the last time I was in the grocery store the leaves were changing colors. But really, I was largely pregnant, buying apples by the barrel at least once per week and having the requisite conversations with the check out ladies about labor and such.

Apparently, I have long since been forgotten.

Yesterday I ventured into Stop & Shop and did my usual lousy job shopping. I do okay in the sections where they sell actual food. Those perimeter areas where food is food, or at least the boxes have pictures of the meal you'll be nuking. Frozen aisles... check. Produce... check. It's the area in the heart of the store - those rows and rows of ingredients that perplex me. I can skip the middle twenty or so aisles because, really - to concoct something seems beyond me at the time.

I'll confess, I looked at my cart and contemplated self checkout. Let's face it, something about a purchase mainly consisting of cold cereal, a half-dozen lemon poppy muffins and a loaf of banana bread kinda screams, "Take care of this yourself". But no. I found myself loading my umpteen boxes of cereal onto the belt as they inched towards my old friends.

I smiled in case the cashier lady recognized me.
She did not.

The bagger then gave me the standard check-out comment that I wait for. "Wow, your kids must really like cereal." To which I smile and get busy swiping my debit card through the machine thingy.

Unfortunatley, my one box of Rice Krispies too many pushed her onward. "How many do you have?"

"Oh, just one - but she's a newborn - so cereal is all we're eating these days." I laughed. She squinted. All I saw was Kellogs. The moment was made more awkward as she continued bagging and grabbed my pop tarts.

It's always been clear that I need help shopping. I was often accused of having kids long before having them, and seriously, the one I have dines on formula so she doesn't count. Apparently I eat like a seven year old. This concerns me for many reasons, not the least of which is that in eight short years, my child's nutritional needs will outgrow my own.

Perhaps I'll hire a nanny that can cook?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Greetings From Mo-Beel

So we've got this mobile. And by the way, is it mobile like mo-beel Alabama or mobile like mo-bull for the baby to look at?


Like so many things that seem simple, when it came time to register - it suddenly loomed complex. Something to lull her to sleep or stimulate her teeny neurons? How important was it to match the crib set? Did it really need to turn, sing, dance, cook and clean?

I read numerous reviews. If you know me, this doesn't surprise you. Research, it's what I do.

And so, we settled on an unsightly neon job by Baby Einstein that promised to fascinate my child. As you can see, it has swirls and balls and animals a plenty. I'm not gonna lie, it scared the bejesus out of me.
It sat idle for a long while. Lets face it, her entire room sat idle for a long while. In our brief attempts to get her to sleep in the crib, we fired up the mobile and she stared fixedly before busting out in proclamation that she would not, could not, stay in her crib.

Eventually, she broke.

Enter mobile.

She looked at it.

It looked at her.

And all the while, Beethoven twanged baby-like in the background. I'm not sure they know what to make of each other yet, but if my child turns out to be a genius... I'll know why.

Welcome To My World...

I had a really good idea for a first blog some time early this morning, probably right around 2:30 AM. Then again, perhaps it wasn't such a good idea. Things seem really different during those strange single digit hours pre-dawn.

I don't remember what it was, other than it was about my new daughter. Sounds weird to say, like - "My new shoes", or "My old car". Quite strange still, when I look at her - 3 months after she was born and realize that I conjured her practically out of thin air.


Here I am to discuss who knows what. I can only promise to share with you the muse that won't let me shush. Here we go...