Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Washed Is Better Than Rotten, Right?

Here in the Nannified Universe, the brainwashing continues. First it was McDonald's, the sight of which now elicits cries of, "YUCKY FOOD!" every time we pass. And now, NOW I have conquered (drumroll, please)................THE TELEVISION!

Anytime I stay a little late at work, I let the kids do a little something I normally wouldn't. Tonight, I consented to a little after-dinner TV, but told them they'd have to play while I'm preparing the food. Soon thereafter, Jack came in and asked if he could make a paper plane stand (like a lemonade stand, but with paper airplanes) after dinner. "Didn't you want to watch a little TV?" I queried.

"NO!" he exclaimed, "I don't want to ROT MY BRAIN."

This is going better than I ever expected.

Today Is Better Than Yesterday Because Yesterday I Accidentally Made Yogurt In a Cereal Bowl

I set it out for Eponine, who is a little shy about finishing up the leftovers, so I have to leave it awhile, and then I forgot to go pick it back up. It got a little bit hot in here yesterday, what with the temperature outdoors and the fact that i'm upstairs and don't like to turn on my AC unless it's necessary and all. So right, leftover Honeycomb cereal milk, plus heat and the proper amount of humidity (all day long), makes a fine bowl of yogurt. Not that I tried it or anything, but seriously? It looked and smelled perfectly edible. It was custard style consistency. Really, who needs a yogurt maker when a hot kitchen will do the trick?

Monday, June 27, 2005

I Just Love How We're Self-Serving MORONS

I'm with Tony Blair here, and I would love it if he came out strongly against Bush.

Just who do we think we are, anyway? Oh, yeah, the world's biggest polluter. AWESOME.

Monday, 10:30am, and Both Children Are Crying

What a great start to the week! We have alternating cries of, "Mooooooommmmmy! Moooooooommmmyyyyyyyyyy!" and "I don't liiiiiiiiike Maaaaaaarrrrryyyyyy!"

Because, you know, it's completely unreasonable of me to send them to their rooms when they won't stop hitting, kicking, biting, pinching, and/or taunting one another. I should be fired, really, for expecting them to behave nicely. What am I thinking? Probably they just need a bowl of ice cream or a new toy because they are so mistreated. Geez.

Friday, June 24, 2005

I Believe I Mentioned That We Would Look Freaking Awesome

Behold our splendor:

the titans

We didn't win, or place, but we didn't lose pitifully either. I'd say we Titans did a fine job at the Jacob's Well Impact Group Picnic Olympics...especially in the STYLE department. How are you liking those knee socks and visors? Pretty spiffy, eh?

Here's one of me in the Cotton Ball on a Spoon Race:

cotton ball race

Please note the tan I got while wearing SPF 30. Please stop ozone depletion by walking or riding the bus instead of driving, recycling, planting trees, etc. The fight against leathery skin depends on you! (Oh, and there's also that thing about taking good care of the planet. That's nice, too. But, you know, whatever motivates you. I'm just giving you options.)

For more fun photos of the Picnic Olympics (including some fine ones of Jeff and Jason in the Blind-Folded Leap Frog with a Banana Race), click here.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I Officially Declare Today to be My Day Off

I had to make it official so I'd actually follow through. There will be no running today, at least not until the Picnic Olympics. I'm saving all my strength for the Titans. Go! Fight! Win! (Or, uh, look freaking awesome not quite winning. Whatever. Something like that.)

Pollution: Bad for the Earth, Good for my Pocketbook?

My young charges and I rode the bus to the Plaza yesterday as an adventure of sorts (one we'll likely pursue again), and we had a fabulous time. My favorite part was when I boarded the bus and the driver said, "Ozone Alert! It's only a quarter!" I delighted in saving that 75 cents ($1.50 total once we came back). I kept thinking, "Oh, SCORE! Only 25 cents!"

But, uh, hello?

I'm thinking maybe it's not such a big score after alll. Driving the kids to school today, I noticed a yellowish haze settled over downtown. That can't be something worth celebrating, no matter how tight my finances are.

Monday, June 20, 2005


I was going to go hang out with a group of knittish type folks tonight, and, you know, maybe knit or something, but I decided not to go for one very important reason: I don't feel like driving. That's all, really, just can't bring myself to get behind the wheel of the huge car I am currently using. I'm going to take a walk instead.

I hope all you knittish folks had a good time!

Friday, June 17, 2005

I Hereby Rename Bike Day "Damn Bike Day"

During the summer session at my young charges' school, they have special activities. Once a week there's a field trip, usually on Wednesday, and for the rest of the week the classes take turns having Water Day (Swimsuits! Flipflops! Sprinklers!) and Bike Day (Ride around a small portion of the already small parking lot! On your own bike! That someone who cares for you has to transport from home! I don't get it!).

Field trips are on a day that the kids don't attend school, and after trying one out, I determined that we wouldn't make the effort to do it again. Mary Liz's class has Water Day on Tuesdays, which is no big deal--we just put the swimsuit, towel, flipflops, etc. in a bag and drop it off with her. Jack's class used to have Bike Day on a day he didn't attend, much to my relief (and his chagrin--he hates to be left out of anything), but SURPRISE!, they changed it, and now it's on Thursdays.

All week long, Jack had been saying that he thought that somebody said it had been changed to Thursday, but of course I didn't believe him since: A) He couldn't remember who that somebody was, and B) His teacher, who is usually great about telling me about changes in plans, didn't mention it or send a note home. I'd glanced briefly at the class bulletin board, but didn't notice the change because this bulletin board is the Where's Waldo of bulletin boards, and heaven help you if you need to glean some information from it. The stripes! The plaids! The many pieces of clip art! Got an hour? You might find what you need!

Since I couldn't figure out if the day had been changed before Thursday actually arrived, I promised Jack that I'd go get the bike if necessary, but we weren't loading it in the car for nothing. Sure enough, when we arrived at school, Jack noticed one of his classmates bringing his bike to the back of the parking lot. "Crap!" I thought, "I promised him I'd go get it if he was right about bike day. And he's right." (The rightness, by the way, opens up a whole new doorway to nanny torture, as in, "But maybe you're wrong, Mary. Remember the time I was right about Bike Day and you didn't know?" Gah.) And so I ventured back to the homestead, loaded the bike in the car, and dropped it off at Jack's school.

Except that it wasn't that easy.

First of all, Jack is not a normal-sized five-year-old. He's big, like an eight-year-old. Therefore his bike is big, like an eight-year-old's. In the process of shoving the bike into the car, pushing this way and that to make it fit, I managed to get grease all over the right leg of my jeans. My favorite jeans. This is the first time I thought to myself, "Damn Bike Day." Once everything was situated, and the helmet was tossed in as well, I carted the damn bike for Damn Bike Day to the school, where I heaved it out of the back seat and rolled it, with the helmet hung conveniently on the handlebar, towards the back of the parking lot. Halfway to the official "Keep your bike here for Damn Bike Day" space, I heard a small clattering, like the sound of an important piece of black plastic falling to the black pavement. A piece of the helmet clasp had fallen off, and there was no way the helmet would stay on without it. I briefly considered just letting it go, but here I'd gotten grease all over my favorite jeans and carted this piece of metal all the way back to school, and I wasn't about to let Damn Bike Day go by without the damn bike being ridden. So I sought and I found and then I spent ten minutes painstakingly threading that damn piece of black plastic onto the damn helmet so Jack could ride his damn bike on Damn Bike Day. Problem solved.

Except wait! There's more! Because the bike has to go home!

On the way to take the damn bike to school, I'd just shoved it in the back seat since no one was actually sitting back there or anything. But the funny thing about picking up kids from school is that they have to sit in the back seat, thus making it too full back there for the bike. But no problem, right? I mean, I am still driving the mammoth car, which has a mammoth trunk, so surely the damn bike (which, by the way, lost its damn horn during Damn Bike Day, how awesome for us) would be easy to toss back there. Hahaha, joke's on you, nanny. There was twisting, there was shoving, there was a sound not unlike one that would be emitted by a constipated elephant. Turns out the damn bike is not an easy fit anywhere except in a garage, nor is it easy to get out. I can't imagine doing this every Damn Bike Day, and I won't. Now I just have to figure out how to break it to Jack.


Damn Bike Day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

In Which I Use Exclamation Points Until It Gets Annoying and Then Switch to Remarks About My Weirdy Runner's Tan and the Inefficacy of SPF 30

Hey! It's me! Here to ramble! With exclamation points! Because the coffee! Hasn't worn off! Even after my nap! And the children! They are still sleeping! It's a miracle!

Right, okay, that is kind of annoying.

So I got up at 5:15am to go running since I deemed it necessary for two reasons to make it to impact group on time tonight. Nearly killed me, or at least made my stomach a little queasy, but whatever. I ran. Before sunrise. Be proud. I haven't been very good at that lately. Time was when I would get up at 5am every Saturday to do my long run, thus avoiding the weirdy runner's tan lines until at least the end of June, but that was another time, and this time I've been sleeping a little later and going out at an hour that guarantees I'll be out at noon pretty much four out of five times I run. I have a spectacular set of stripes where my various running tanks hit, ranging from pale tan to dark red, the dark red being where I didn't rub in the sunscreen lotion because who expects me to remember that those tank top straps will shift as my body moves? If I could take a photo of my own back, I most certainly would, if only for your entertainment. All I have to say after that is: Buy the SPF 45, kids, even if it doesn't come in the bargain brand, because the SPF 30 won't cut it. Your two dollars will be well spent. Also, they aren't kidding when they say the sport kind won't run into your eyes and sting. Don't use some fancy schmancy something or other which may or may not have been peddled on an infomercial just because you want to protect your skin from the evils of acne. I think it's wiser to protect your eyes from the evils of blindness. For real.

Somebody just woke up. Over and out...or, uh, something else a little less corny...

How I Got Some Giggles This Morning

First: "And we hear Mr. & Mrs. Smith is pretty good for what it is. It will be fun to watch if only to see Brad Pitt as one-half of a couple in which, for once, he's the one who makes you think, 'You know, maybe you're just not hot enough for her.'"

And then: "Think of the children! Do you want to take her from them, just so you can suckle your deluxe, beloved, overpriced agua? You want to leave little Maddox an orphan, just because you have unspecified but nagging doubts about fluoridation?"

To get more giggles, read the rest of Angelina Jolie vs. Bottled Water.

We're off for our Wednesday rounds. Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Tuesday Notes

1. I swallowed my first bug of summer as I was running this morning. The worst part was that I could taste it, and it had flown too far in to get it out. EW!

2. I've been posting new photos on flickr from time to time, so if you haven't visited lately and you don't have anything else to do, go there now.

3. I started a wish list at amazon.com. You may think that "started" is the wrong word since it is already fairly long, but I do, indeed, mean started. If you're curious, here it is. I'll add a link to my sidebar at some point, just not at this point.

4. Happy Flag Day!

Oh, Hey, Look, It's the Bottom of the Barrel!

When my mom called this evening to tell me about Father's Day change of plans, I freaked out a little. Because Father's Day is, well, it's next Sunday. Somehow I was thinking I had a couple more weeks to get it together and scrape up some gas money as well as maybe a gift of some sort, but here I am, broker than the ten commandments and heading straight into a holiday which requires both a long drive and a present. Great. I think I might need a miracle to pull this one off.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

A Couple of Personal Messages, and, Oh, Yeah, It's Been Six Months

First of all, to the man who honked at me but had not a normal horn, but one that sounded like an artificial duck, you scared the crap out of me, and I'll thank you not to honk at me again. For the love of all that is holy, man, what is UP with the duck horn? It is so not doing you any favors. And also? Is very, very, too much entirely LOUD. Have the nice guys down at the GM dealer put the normal horn back on.

Next, to the guy who yelled "YO!" out the window of the gold Lexus SUV, do I know you? If so, um, yo! If not, um, shut up already. I'm tired, I'm sweatier than you've ever been in your life, and I will kick you into next week. Thank you.

Finally, to the makers of off brand health products everywhere, two of which will not be named so as not to reveal my secret ailment, and one of which is ibuprofen, nectar of the gods, thank you so very much for the relief at such reasonable prices. What would I do without you? Suffer, that's what. I heart you, oh makers of generic goods.

Finally onto that part about six months: The experiment update. There's a pot of beans simmering on the stove, and one in soak mode here in the office/kitchen annex, mashed potatoes in the freezer, and a bevy of cereals purchased for $1.87 or less in the cabinet. I am rich indeed, at least when it comes to wholesome food which I can consume, which is good because I went out last night, and, feeling all capricious, ordered an adult beverage, thinking, "It can't cost more than $5." Turns out it pays to check on that because really it cost $7.99 plus tax and tip. $7.99! I mean, come on. I could have purchased 68 servings of cereal for that, and believe me when I say I'll be sipping on Shirley Temples with lime from here on out and saving the real cash for Fruity Pebbles. And also for the new pair of shoes I'll be needing post December 11, as I have worn all the way through the soles of my old standby, do-anything shoes, a charming pair of black mary janes which are now a little less charming when it comes to, say, functioning like shoes instead of bits of flopping leather. I'm also noticing how fast black shirts fade, so there may need to be a special allotment for replenishment there as well.

All in all, I'd say it was a successful, albeit expensive month. Even when one is not buying clothes or shoes or eating out, there are still a lot of things that can creep and need to be paid for (you know, like drinks...drinks that cost $7.99...plus tax and tip after that $7.99...those kinds of things). There were some leftover bills from Europe, a lot of gas put in the car to attend special events that were a bit far away, a car repair, and plenty of places to go that actually cost real money. I'd like to say that this month will see less money exiting my bank account, and more money applied towards debt reduction, but the truth is that people keep getting married and having birthdays and giving birth, and then there's Father's Day and who knows what else, so I'm afraid I won't be getting off easy this month either. But I'll buckle down and figure it out. I do still have my cleaning job once a month, which I hate, but is, frankly, the fastest way to make 110 bucks besides a career as a dancer at Satin Dolls. I guess I'll keep that, and continue to repeat under my breath, "When I'm done, there's a check, when I'm done, there's a check, when I'm done, there's a check."

Okay, then. Tally ho, kids. Until next month...

Friday, June 10, 2005

Yes, I Think It's An Emergency. Uh, Kinda.

We are going to Starbucks today, and it's our second time this week. My usual rule is that I go only once a week unless it's an emergency, but I swear this is an emergency or at least a quasi-emergency. Witness:

1. The whining.

2. Field trip to the zoo on Wednesday. In the heat. With a lot of preschoolers. And one particular preschooler that I am in charge of who kept running away because it was more important to him to hang with his friends than to listen to his nanny. (He wised up, by the way, when I employed the Freakishly Uncomfortable Shoulder Grip and told him in no uncertain terms that we would be talking about it later, and no it wouldn't be a pleasant experience and wasn't he lucky that his sister was being so good, or we would've gone home an hour ago.)

3. The whining.

4. There are, currently, three technicians of various trades working in the house, and I must keep the children out of their way. We have to wait for two of them to finish so we can sign things before they go. Thus the children are being held against their wills in their bedrooms in order that they might not harm each other or try to tell the technicians how to do their jobs.

5. The whining.

6. I had to make a stop in the Target Health & Beauty section recently to buy a couple of somethings for an embarassing and very uncomfortable health problem. No, I'm not telling you what it is. Yes, I do deserve treats of all sorts for not whining about it.

7. The whining.

As soon as possible, we're off to Starbucks. Honestly? I kind of wish they'd deliver.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Tagging Along

I was tagged by Ashley to a do a little book post, which I meant to get to sooner than, say, now. Without further ado, here are my answers:

1. Total number of books owned: 402, no wait, 404, no wait, here are three more, 407, and I loaned out who knows how many, so shall we say somewhere between 410 and 425?

2. What was the last book you bought? The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, by Ronald J. Sider

3. Last book I read: The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis and also Boundaries by Somebody Cloud and Somebodyother Townsend and also Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner (I can't seem to read just one book at a time.)

4. Five books that mean a lot to me: Rilke's Book of Hours, Love Poems to God, by Rainer Maria Rilke; Tunes for Bears to Dance To, by Robert Cormier; The God of Small Things, by Arhundati Roy; My Antonia, by Willa Cather; Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

5. Tag five people and have them do this on their blog. Um, what if I can't think of five people who I'm comfortable asking that haven't done it? I'll start with this:
Shiz, who reserves the right to refuse to participate if she doesn't feel like doing it, and who may have done it already anyway.

Jared, who should do it at least to update his live journal.

Any other three people who feel so inclined, please pick up the ball and toss it.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

What You Don't Know Might Not Matter So Much

Yesterday at a wedding I attended, I traded my cars with my parents; they brought their "extra" and I surrendered my Subaru in hopes that when I pick it up it will have both a working starter and a working air conditioner. The first is a given, the second, well, here's hoping...

I mentioned to my dad today at my niece's birthday party that, as much as I hate driving the extra car because of its mammothishness, it is a much smoother ride than my car. Dad said, "Yeah, we noticed your car is pretty bouncy. You need new shocks."

"I do?" I asked, surprised that something (besides the problems I know about already, that is) was wrong. I hadn't really noticed, to be honest. When a car is from 1985, there are a lot of things that seem perfectly natural that may seem troubling on a newer car. I mean, it's from nineteen-freaking-eighty-five. "Do I have to have those replaced?" I queried.

"No," he answered, "not if you don't mind the bouncing."

"Oh, well, then, let's just forget about that then."

One more repair averted, a more fun ride for the kids among us. Let's hear it for 1985.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

For the Record: I Wasn't Born Yesterday

Here in the Nannified Universe we have a brand new way to misbehave: outright, obvious lying. News to my charges, in case you haven't figured it out yet: If I see you with my own eyes or hear you with my own ears, don't even try to tell me you didn't do it. I won't even let you finish your lying sentence. If you mess up and do something wrong, fine; I don't expect you to be perfect, and you certainly do try pretty hard to be good. Take your consequences and let's get it over with; we'll all be relieved. But the lying? THAT. HAS. GOT. TO. STOP.

Oh and also? Don't get mad at me when I don't let you finish your lying sentence. I'm trying to save you some trouble, buddy. You'd do well to close your mouth the moment I say, "Nope." I really hate to repeat myself. Several nopes in a row makes both of us very frustrated. Just stop it already.