Monday, October 30, 2006
James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
Go Ask Alice - Anonymous
I have three more in transit:
In the Night Kitchen
Julie of the Wolves
Mommy Laid an Egg!
I have found, quite by accident, that juvenile fiction is about the only thing I can read right now because it's easy, short, and uncomplicated enough for me to remember what's going on. So the ALA list is the perfect fit for me, since much of it is juvenile fiction. Which makes sense, because I imagine most books are challenged because of what they might do to the children (won't someone think of the children?).
On that line, I don't know why the three books I read were so subversive. James and the Giant Peach? Are we afraid of the scary aunts that are mean to them? Are You There God? Ooh, we find out sometimes friends aren't as good as we though they were, and that 12-year-olds get their periods and wish for breasts. It was a revelation.
I can see why parents might have issues with Go Ask Alice, I thought it was pretty graphic too. But in the end, it's a pretty good tale of why you shouldn't do drugs. I would never even consider banning books, but this one is the closest I would come to thinking an age limit would be appropriate, like PG-13 movies. I still believe that's a parent's job, though, and I fully intend to know what my kids are reading.
[Note to self in 12 years - you will surely be eating these words, just one of many statements that you were so sure of but which were not practical in reality. Your children will not always tell you what they are reading, especially when it's dangerous material written by the heretic Judy Blume. Nice try.]
Saturday, October 28, 2006
After Pants and I have been together 10 years, I finally had to tell him. It was written all over my face. I hate Led Zeppelin.
Meimei wore the cutest little sweater this evening, extremely sweet. My baby's growing up!
My glasses are about 4 1/2 years old, the longest I have ever had a pair (the longest my prescription has ever permitted it) and I just got them repaired this week. Repaired. For free. Who knew? Go titanium frames!
Although I have watched entirely too much Law & Order for any one person's lifetime (I do not count Criminal Intent or L&O with Dennis Farina), I have actually caught two episodes in the last week that I have never seen.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Stop internet copyright theft-
Follow Syl's adventures only at
Monday, October 23, 2006
I think Elmo was krunking on Sesame Street this morning.
Why is it that I can't find time to clip my toenails but Britney Spears can lose all her baby weight and more in one month? Oh, wait, she has millions and millions of dollars. That must be the difference.
Kitten pointed up to the kitchen counter today and said "cook". And lo and behold, there was a pack of chocolate chip cookies on the top of the case of water on the counter. So, 9:00 am be damned, the kid got a cookie.
We've been putting one of Meimei's hats on Kitten and it looks like a little skullcap. She's my l'il gansta, my homeslice. Pants tried it on too, but he just looks Jewish.
I found Caribou Coffee granola bars at Sam's Club yesterday. Now I can be legitimately hopped up on caffeine all day and truthfully say I only had one cup.
The "House of Hatred?" Please, Dr. Phil, putting 6 people in a house that hate each other so you can film it? How Geraldo of you.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
In other news, Kitten fell down the stairs on Thursday, so now I will have to carry her down the stairs until she is 3, as she won't go near them. She wasn't injured (except her pride), so it actually turned out to be an effective deterrent to her fascination with the steps.
Meimei is awake and aware a bit more now. She holds her head up pretty well for short periods and smiles and coos occasionally. She is still sleeping with me, mostly out of my own laziness because I can just feed her when she wakes up and sort of sleep through it. She does kind of have a problem sleeping by herself, so now that she is two months old, we will need to start transitioning her to her crib. I go back and forth on the reflux medicine, but we still don't have her insurance card, so it's a moot point until that comes. Thankfully, she, like Kitten did at this age, is sleeping from about midnight to 6 every morning. She's not as good of a day napper, but I can usually get her to go down while Kitten is down for a nap each day so I can get a shower in or get some things done around the house.
Kitten is doing much better with Meimei, all evidence in the picture to the contrary. She likes to hug and kiss her and doesn't push or get aggressive with her as much anymore. She says her name quite a bit and has twice tried to offer her own nukkie when Meimei is crying. Makes a mom want to get all teary.
I don't have cancer. At least not bladder cancer. I have had blood in my urine since I came home from my gall bladder surgery and after a couple of visits to my regular doctor, they have sent me to a urologist. The urologist has determined that I do not have cancer, which I was already pretty sure of. I had an abdominal CT on Wednesday and we are awaiting the results. People, this is nothing, the worst case scenario, has already been ruled out. I'm hoping this is all over before I have to have a tube snaked into my bladder, which is scheduled for November 9. Ick. No pictures of my bladder, you'll just have to use your imagination
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Let me explain. This house has a well. It was built before there was city water here, in fact, this was the only thing at the end of a dirt road in the middle of a field. But I can't make a bottle with well water, so the previous owners switched the house over to city water. None of us wanted to cap the well, however (WAY too much paperwork), so they had it hooked to the outside water.
One does not generally run outside water in the winter, however, so the well was also hooked up to the icemaker so the well pipes didn't freeze up in the cold. Don't ask why this was the option, but it's just the way it is.
So the fact that my icemaker is broken is a titch more of an issue than most people's icemaker issues. I have no idea what will happen if the well pipes freeze, but I definitely do not want to find out. And since my refrigerator is a Magic Chef (yes, that is a brand name) side-by-side from approximately 1982, we're just going to replace it. And by god, if we are getting a new refrigerator, I am not leaving the store without new appliances in the kitchen. The fridge is the last piece I would have replaced.
Since many of my regular readers have not seen my appliances, I will attempt to enlighten you.
Stove: Lady Kenmore, definitely original to house. Someone, I don't remember who, walked into my kitchen and exclaimed that they remembered their mother desperately wanting the same stove in the 70s and then being mad when she got it because it's horrible to clean. I feel you sister. The solid surface cooktop is WHITE. The stove itself was once Almond, I believe, but the oven door was spraypainted black at some point, probably in the last few years. The oven cooks hot, sometimes. The stovetop cooks even hotter. I can't get down to a simmer on any burner. And the bottom drawer is off and basically just sits on the floor.
Microwave: most likely original. I especially enjoy the faux woodgrain detailing. Kashka walked in and immediately said, "That's from the Carter Administration." Actually cooks unevenly, so much so that one side of the hot dog will be burnt and the other side still frozen. And there's some cap inside in the top that appears to be coming off. That can't be safe. My kids are going to grow extra toes.
Dishwasher: an add-on, which I know because of the hose running through the cabinet between it and the sink. Also from the crappy framing patch-up job around it. But it can't be much newer than the early 80s. The seals are pretty much corroded off, I'm surprised it isn't leaking into the basement. The dishwasher doesn't really clean much of the food off anything, I pretty much have to wash everything before it goes in. And many of the little metal dividers on the racks have broken off (and are still breaking off) and then the rack rusts where the pieces broke off.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
"Michelle Bachman voted against legislation that would make it illegal to run a meth lab near children." Um, isn't it already illegal to run a meth lab? Would it be MORE illegal if the legislation passed? Not that I'm a Michelle supporter, but come on. Isn't there something more effectual to bring up?
"Patty Wetterling was even endorsed by a radical special interest that suggests we negotiate with the Taliban." This commercial is doing its best to suggest that Wetterling herself would like to go pal around with the Taliban. And you know what that means. (You don't? Me either, except that it appears to be a vague suggestion that she has a secret We Love Osama sign that she's waiting until after the election to try out.)
Patty Wetterling herself was a little quick to jump on the "let's flog the Mark Foley log" bandwagon, and I think using this as a political step is a bit ugly. It smacks of Republican scare and smear tactics and I don't like the Dems stooping to it.
On the other side of the coin, the Republican Committee's commercial saying that Patty Wetterling is untrustworthy because she told the Dems she wouldn't run again is a bit seedy. What do the Republicans care? She's endorsed by the Dems, they don't seem to mind that she changed her tune. And has anyone noticed how they are showing the "ripped paper" graphic during the commercial when they reference actual newspaper articles, but they also use it at the end when they say she's "another liberal that can't be trusted", making it look like that was also said in print? Oh, and using one letter to the editor to show that "her own party" doesn't think she's trustworthy is just pushing it too far.
Okay, so not terribly bipartisan, but I'm so tired of theses commercials. Can't elections be over, please?
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Meimei is 11 lbs 1 oz. She got 4 vaccinations and an oral for Rotavirus. She has been crying since 6:30 and only stops if I hold her and constantly pat her back (which makes typing harder). But I have some Tylenol so hopefully she'll sleep tonight.
Kitten is 24 1/2 lbs. and 30 1/2 inches. She got 2 vaccinations.
Pants got a migraine and went to bed at 8 after Kitten went down.
Kitten, on the other hand, did not cry for one second when she got her shots, tore the band-aid off immediately, and seemed to be much happier for the remainder of the day than she has been in two weeks. Um, can I get another couple of Hep A injections, just to keep on hand? Just for days when she really needs an attitude adjustment.
I, too, have found my content scraped on Bitacle.org. (P.S. - Never perform a websearch on the word "buttcrack".)
Anyway, Bitacle, if you don't know, is scraping blog feeds from across the net and allowing users to "search" blog contents. It appears that they are bringing you to the blog, but they are not. They have stolen the content and you are never actually leaving their website. They are then surrounding it all with ads, making a mint off the ad revenue, and not sharing any of it with the content authors. With me. And couldn't we all use a little extra smack, if our material will generate funds?
So my website will change just a touch, adding a few items like the copyright symbol and the No Commercial Use of Content badge seen above. I'm flattered that I'm amusing enough to be scraped, but they can't make money off my work. If anyone's going to make anything off it, it's going to be me.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Oh, and the fact that in both bedrooms there are cords coming up through slits cut into the carpet. Great job, dude, really professional.
I could go on, but I must stop or this could get much, much longer.
Did I mention the barn door track in the basement?
How about the bedroom that must be accessed through what we will call an "anteroom". Whose door is about 2 feet wide. Weird.
Or maybe the bargain basement patio doors that don't stay on the track. Or the matching set of black aluminum blinds upstairs that all work backwards. And black? Not my first choice. Doors are black too, must be where they picked up the color scheme.
Or the three sides of what is actually quite nice steel siding, and the inexplicable 70s front on the house, which I believe is actually painted plywood. And the garage doors that are a different color., which was obviously intentional, but truly tacky.
Or the dishwasher hose that runs through one of the cabinets to reach the disposal.
And, oh, there are so many more. And because we know the history of the house, we actually know about several of the half-assed things that they actually fixed before attempting to sell. Someday I will tell you about the powder room in the basement...
Sunday, October 15, 2006
So anyway, back to the vents. One day at Lowe's, I wandered into the vent aisle and bought one that I thought looked right, although I hadn't measured. It was wrong, of course, so I measured the vents upstairs and went back to Lowe's to return the 10x6 and purchase five 14x6 vents.
Got them home, and what do you know? You can't measure the vent, you have to measure THE HOLE IN THE WALL. Duh, Syl. So back to Lowes we went, returned the 14x6 and purchased the 12x4 vents that would prove to be correct. I was one short because I had counted wrong, not that it mattered because I had purchased all of the wall vents they had in that size. That's right, apparently this size is odd for some reason. So I installed the five I had and only needed one more to complete the upstairs and be done until next spring, when I will have to replace the downstairs vents so I can close them.
So I ventured to Home Depot today, all for naught. They have 12x4 floor registers, but not wall registers. And floor registers can't be screwed in, so they tend to just fall out of the wall. So I went to Menards for the first time in many moons and actually found the right vent.
Now the only thing left to do is glue the bathroom vent on. It's currently propped up with the bathroom trashcan because I don't think I can screw the vent in through the wall tile. I will glue it up like the last one was, and we shall be done with this particular project, which took several weeks longer than it was supposed to.
Ah, but here's the kicker. I can feel that there is a vent behind the cabinet that the previous owners added into the kitchen. I could feel the air coming through it, making the floor cold, and I can feel the heat now, making the floor hot. This makes me worry about the dry goods I have stored in that cabinet, although the cabinet is not good for much else.
If one was to add in a cabinet, wouldn't one close off the vent one was placing the cabinet over?
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
This is making for some fairly rough days on the homefront. She throws tantrums at the drop of a hat. She is having trouble sleeping. And she's in a ton of pain and is chewing on everything. Things have been pretty rough all this week, but have been getting a little worse each day, until today she melted down at about 5:00 and couldn't pull it together. Poor kid. Poor me.
Now she's drugged and sleeping and hopefully we will have a better weekend. Through preventive pharmaceuticals.
I have a burning need to go to Ikea and thank god this is a larger trip than I am willing to take on yet. I can handle Target, even a two-store trip with both girls, but something that far away that will require me feeding both and possibly, god forbid, messing with naptime, scares the hell out of me. This is the only deterrent for my going there to spend what will surely amount to hundreds of dollars.
What do I want to spend on? Stuff for my house. We are actually doing quite well on home improvement here, with not too many projects purchased but unfinished.
We have purchased supplies for, but not completed:
- half of the child-proof cabinet locks
- large bathroom mirror
- bathroom wall decor (downstairs)
- front door handle and side door deadbolt (doors need to be drilled)
- light fixture in hall and Kitten's room
- upstairs vents
- new thermostat
And I want to buy:
- wall cabinets for laundry room (above washer and dryer)
- shelves for downstairs bathroom
- bedside lights for master bedroom
- shelves for Kitten's room
- more shelves for kitchen
- Lots more organizational goodies
But I think I have decided that, as long as my will can hold out, I will not buy anything more until all purchased projects that I can complete are done. So today I intend to get all of the vents installed, as that is a heat-affecting, and therefore money-affecting, endeavor. If I still have time, I will hang the bathroom thingy and the remaining cabinet locks, since I will have the drill in the house already.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Which reminded me of other purchasing stories I have heard. Everyone knows that most men won't purchase feminine products, but one guy my mom worked with said he didn't mind that, but wouldn't buy pantyhose. He said there would never be a clerk questioning whether or not he was using the feminine products...
My brother would never go into a store to only buy toilet paper, concerned that the clerk might think he was just really desperate to take a crap.
So what won't you purchase?
She's getting pretty good at walking now, too. She's getting much more confident, even switching hands mid-circle (although she always wants you to hold her right hand when she stands up). She took a step a couple of times last night between objects and she stood still on her own for up to 5 seconds a couple of times too, before falling down out of fear.
So we're getting close to walking. I'm excited because it would be nice to be able to have her walk out to the car or over to the playground, or just out in the yard. Plus, there's just geeked out parent excitement watching your kids do stuff for the first time. It's knowing you had a part of it, like inventing the wheel just for this kid. Or, at least knowing they will learn in spite of you, no matter how lame you are.
But I am also terrified that she will want to walk everywhere, and then will want to take off. She continues to test us around the house, just to see where the line is and what we will do if she crosses it. So we might be investing in a leash, another thing I said I would never do, but would so do.
In other Kitten news, we are now brushing her teeth nightly. I brush mine and she lets me brush hers. It's only been a couple of days, so I'm not super concerned yet about how clean they are getting, just that she gets used to the process and the brush. This is a child who will not wear a hat, so I expected getting a toothbrush in her mouth to be much more difficult. The only problem is that she sees me close my lips around the brush, so she closes hers. So now I have to brush with my mouth open so she will open up and I can brush her teeth. But it's weird. Try it and see if you can do it without drooling toothpaste all over yourself.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Bringing up Monica Lewinski as an answer to Mark Foley. Um, yeah, she was a legal, consenting ADULT. Not so much with the Page. Nice try, Sean Hannity, but you can't make this a democrat problem.
Bringing up allegations against a democrat regarding a Page from 1983. Yeah, that wasn't 23 years ago. Roll again, Sean.
Using the shower when you know it leaks. Brilliant, Syl, brilliant.
Double strollers. They are either WAY too heavy and unweildy or you can't put an infant in them until they are at least 5-6 months old. No good way to motor 2 kids around, really.
Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What? by Mem Fox
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
I'm ashamed that I haven't read some of these, and some I'm ashamed to admit I have (spanky books). I've been meaning to catch up on my Roald Dahl, but first I have to see what my current library fine is.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Sometimes Meimei just wants to be left the hell alone. As opposed to all the other times she wants complete physical contact.
Kitten's mood is touch and go with the discipline issues, but we did have a lovely time playing on the playground the other night, just the two of us. Until we went down the slide and it was wet at the bottom, so I looked and felt like I wet my pants the rest of the time. But Kitten had fun.
We now take a walk every morning to the big park, mostly because Kitten really enjoys the wagon and can't get into trouble. Except today she threw her sweatshirt out of the wagon sometime between the far end of the baseball diamonds and home. Oh well. My bad for leaving it in there and not paying closer attention.
Meimei's ability to not poop is freaking me out. She goes days, but it never comes out as constipated, so the books say she's okay. Whatever.
Kitten watched most of Sesame Street this morning before she lost interest. So I bought a DVD today in case of emergency. And she loves Johnny Cash, so I bought At Folsom Prison for our lunchtime listening pleasure. Yeah, she's cool.