Friday, February 29, 2008

Haiku Friday: the I don't want to talk about it edition

Haiku Friday

I need to live through
The blood-letting of today.
Then maybe I'll breathe.

My world is damaged
By the end of what I know.
That's all I can say.

Wish me luck. Whichever way it comes out, it will be ugly.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Some of the excitement of yesterday's new career story is dulled this morning as we wait for massive layoffs. I am just sick about what is happening to a place where I have spent more than half my life.

I can't even fathom.

So I'm not gonna think about it. I'm not I'm not I'm not.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New beginnings ... or how I plan to get my life back

Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted to learn how to play the guitar.

She took lessons. She got pretty good, and she sang good too. A good combination for folk guitar.

When she was in college, guitar and singing were always a good way to meet new people in the dorm. During the summers, she worked in day camps, where guitar and kids' songs were a natural combination.

But then she grew up and put away those childish things. She got married and had babies and worked in the exciting but decidedly unmusical world of newspapers.

Funny thing about babies. They love music. Her babies went to Gymboree, where music and play were combined to make a fun time for all.

After her second baby was born, she figured out that she could work part-time at the paper and put her music skills to work by working part-time at Gymboree as well.

She was a popular teacher because she brought her guitar and a lot of energy to the musical part of the program.

She was also a popular mommy because she brought her guitar and her goofy songs and a lot of energy into her children's preschool classes.

Eventually, she had to make a decision between full-time newspapering and the satisfying but low-paying world of Gymboree. You can probably guess which one was the winner.

But the desire and the drive never went away. All through her children's school careers, she would sidle up to their teachers and say in a low voice:

"I play guitar. Can I come in and do music with the children?"

Teachers jumped up and down with delight -- and her musical career continued.

Marriage, divorce, remarriage, new baby, unpleasant ending to a marriage.

Money was tight, and preschool for the baby was expensive. So the mommy negotiated a deal with the director for a tuition break if she did a music class once a week for the whole school.

She loved sitting on the floor with the children, singing about the wheels on the bus and the ABCs and Tingalayo the wacky donkey and even about where you might put raviolis.

When the baby started kindergarten, she stayed at the preschool for actual dollars for another year ... and, of course, added the baby's kindergarten class to her schedule.

And then first grade.

And then second.

She taught those children every goofy (and curriculum-based) song she knew. They sang "It's a Small World" in 12 languages, including sign. She recorded each child, accompanied by her guitar, singing a special song for his or her mother for Mother's Day.

She was the cool music mommy.

Eventually, the school got a "real" music teacher, and the playtime she provided interfered with the pressures of the upper grades.

But the musical yearnings remained. As did the goofy songs.

Today, the "baby" is in eighth grade -- many years from those circle-time days.

And the mommy finds herself at a career crossroads.

Newspapers are a dinosaur in this internet-driven, technologically explosive age.

But music and preschoolers? A combination that will never die.

So this afternoon, the music mommy will return to the baby's preschool and talk to the director about a return engagement.

And possibly some referrals to other preschools.

And maybe, just maybe, an introduction to a renewed life.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stand up and CHEER!!

I promised photos from the cheer competition a month ago.

And if I promise, of course I must deliver.

Let me first say that this past weekend, the Roo-girl and her tiny band of girls traveled again, this time only for the day, but it was to a theme-park competition.

Let me just say, I HATE competitions held at theme parks. Six Flags especially.

Because not only do you have to pay the entrance fee for the competition itself, but as a spectator you have to PAY TO GET IN THE PARK! Granted it is usually a little bit of a discount for the comp/park ticket, but still. Urgh.

The other reason I detest theme-park comps? Because then you are at a theme park!!! And, of course, the girls don't want to go without riding the rides and making their parents insane!

Feh. Just feh.

Anyway, for this particular comp, I opted to not go (bad mommy, bad). Roo was happy to have me NOT be there (see Chapter 12: "Parents are a drag" in the teen handbook). She went with the coach, leaving at 4 a.m. (yes, you may now guess who got up at 3:30 a.m. to make sure the child was awake) and returned at 8:30 p.m., exhausted but exhilerated.

Because in addition to winning the competition (woot), the girls spent the rest of the day at the park! Oh joy. I would rather have slid bamboo under my fingernails.

OK, OK. It was a good day for her. Not only did the team take first, but Roo and her stunt group took first in the individual stuntdown. And she took second in the toe touch. AND she took first in the tumbledown. Yes, she was the queen of the universe today.

Am I sad that I missed that? Yes. Would I have prefered to go? Nah. She and I are both good with it.

Anyway, as promised, here is my girl in her favorite place -- in the air:

Fortunately, they actually CATCH her when she comes down:

Sometimes re-entry is a little fancier:

Here's another reason I don't breathe while she competes:

and ...

So, here's lookin' at YOU, kid!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fun Monday #54: the how-did-I-get-here-and-what-do-I-eat edition *EDITED*

I am hosting Fun Monday for March 3. You can start signing up in the comments on this post, and come back tomorrow to find out what fun I have in store for you...

Mariposa tells tales on her blog, and as the Fun Monday hostess for this week, she wants us to tell a tale or two ourselves.

In fact she wants more than a tale -- she wants pictures of ... COOKING????

Here is the challenge she has put forward:

(1) Please share to us how the NAME of your BLOG was made? I can't wait to hear interesting funny stories!

(2) Please share to us (in words or photo, though a combination of both will be a bonus!) your favorite/ most common dish!

OK, kids. The number one challenge is a piece of cake.

When I was about 8 or 9, we used to go as a family to a farmer's market. It wasn't a typical farmer's market, in that it was open pretty much all the time and included some stores, as well as produce stands, etc.

The location isn't so important as the stationery store that was there. There were all kinds of notepads that you could have printed with funny expressions with your name.

Now, Janet is not necessarily an uncommon name, but it isn't all that common either. I have met a few Janets through the years (summer camp, school dorms, other bloggers) but it's not exactly Jennifer, ya know?

So to find something with my name printed on it already was pretty exciting for me. I mean, seriously, other than that ... that ... SONG, Janet is not really a happenin' name.

So what did the notepad say, you might ask?

Why ... it said From the Planet of Janet, of course!

When I decided to start a blog, it seemed only logical to name it after my old notepad.

Voila, a blog is born.

Now, part 2 of Mariposa's challenge. Are we talking about something I have to COOK? Don't you all know that I am allergic to the kitchen? (Not really, but I'm not all that talented with a mixing bowl.) I like to bake, but cooking? Not so much.

So I really puzzled over how to respond to this quest.

I have favorite foods, but usually not stuff that I make at home. However, I make the most AMAZING brownies EVER.

Here are my secret ingredients:

Now, I am NOT going to give away state secrets, but let me just say that I basically follow the directions on the box ... and then I add my secret ingredients.

It looks like this when I mix it up:

Yeah, kinda nasty, I agree. But hey, kids, I'm not her. It does become this though:

Then I melt the caramels in the microwave. This is not something I have perfected yet. I used to get this great brownie mix with the caramel included, but I can't find it anywhere and I have been on a mission to find a replacement. Caramel sauces don't cook up right, so this time I melted your basic Kraft caramels and attempted to dribble it around.

OK, still not beautiful. Usually, I take a knife and drag it through the lines to make it swirly, but the caramels hardened too fast. Anyway the end result was this:

Eh. Still not beautiful.

But put it in the oven for 45 minutes and this is the result:

Nothing left to do but eat 'em!

And there you have it. Not my favorite DISH, exactly, but definitely the one I am known for.

Now, go see what the other Fun Monday'ers are up to. I'm gonna have a brownie before I go!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekly Winner: Feb 17-23

This was a light week for me. No hot water can just kick the stuffing out of a girl, ya know?

Anyway, here are a couple offerings as part of Lotus' Weekly Winners game.

Blossoming in the jungle:

Out at home:

Not a shining moment for our J-bear, but it wasn't really her fault. The runner on second was coming, and she had to go somewhere!

And finally -- Don't fence me in!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

60 things you didn't know about me and maybe didn't even want to

First, let me just say this:


Wonderhubby is a genius, having replaced the thermostat gas valve-y thingy, and sanity has returned to the Planet of Janet! Yay!

Second, I totally stole this from Dawn at Because I Said So. I thought it was funny (sorta) and wanted it for my very own. So here we are with:

60 Things You Possibly Didn't Know About Me
(Just for the record, the time frame for this is Friday night, for posting Saturday!)

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
Omigod. Let's see, a blank timecard from work, empty bottles that haven't gotten to the recycling center yet, old bills (paid mostly!), tapes, cds, um, candy wrappers, chorus music ... do I need to go on? It's so EMBARRASSING!

2. When was the last time you threw up
I have to go with Dawn's answer here: I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might jinx me.

3. What's your favorite curse word?
*go on to no. 4 if you don't like bad language cuz here it comes*
F*ck f*ck f*ckity f*ck f*ck. (Or f*ck a duck. That one has gotten me into a lot of trouble.)

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
My daughter, my husband, my friend Melodyann (her blog is currently "inactive" so no linky love for YOU!).

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
Getting into the shower at the gym, after swimming! Yay for hot water at the gym!

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Watching TV with the Wonderhubby.

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
Sleeping, I hope. Roo-girl is getting up at 3:30 a.m. (gasp!) for a cheer competition. Shoot me.

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
Is the TV still too loud for you?

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?
Coffee ... with "stuff" in it. I like texture with my fat content!

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
Diet Coke with fresh lime (mostly because I was out of Diet Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper).

12. What are you wearing right now?
jeans and a sweatshirt

13. What was the last thing you ate?
Penne pasta with eggplant and mozzarrella, followed by two Hershey's kisses!

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?

15. When was the last time you ran?
From what?

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
Cheer competition

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
Dory, responding to her comment on this post.

19. Ever go camping?
Yes. I like it as long as there are flush toilets. I'm not into the full outdoor treatment.

20. Do you have a tan?
Uh, NO! Just call me Casper the friendly ghost.

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
Only at a restaurant. Otherwise it's straight from the bottle, baby!

25. What did your last IM say?
"Love you ..."

26. Are you someone's best friend?
Yep. Totally.

27. What are you doing tomorrow?
Getting my daughter out the door at 4 a.m., going back to bed, then going to the water aerobics class at the gym, followed by watching J-bear's softball game at school. After that? Who knows. Perhaps the $1.50 hot dog combo at Costco and a lot of laundry and dishes left over from the great water-heater debacle.

28. Where is your mom right now?
Australia. Seriously!

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
My messy nightstand.

30. What color is your watch?
Stainless steel -- but it's gold- and silver-toned

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia?
Willowtree and his trivia game. Sunday is always Australia day. And I never do well at it.

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?
Maybe. It depends.

33. What is your birthstone?
Turquoise. Yuck. It couldn't be diamonds?????

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
I've done both. I prefer the drive thru in a pinch, though. Inherent laziness precludes me from wanting to park and get out of the car.

35.How many kids do you want?
I have all the kids I plan to have. Although grandchildren would be nice someday. (An aside to my children: please note that I said SOMEDAY!!!!)

36. Do you have a dog?
Yeah, two nasty rat dogs who still crap in the house.

37. Last person you talked to on the phone?
Wonderhubby, while I was driving home from work.

38. Have you met anyone famous?
Fred Astaire (sigh swoon). I am certain there are others, but I'm having a brain cloud over it.

39. Any plans today?
OK, now since I'm writing this Friday night, but you are reading it Saturday morning, I have no clue how to answer this. Or ... see No. 27. I'm in some weird time warp, I think.

40. How many states have you lived in?
Hmmmm. Three, I think.

41. Ever go to college?
Yes. I have a bachelors AND a master's degree. Don't be all that impressed. The masters got me exacty 45 cents more an hour for my first newspaper job.

42. Where are you right now?
In bed. Wonderhubby is sleeping. I am not.

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
Potential loss of livelihood.

44. Last song listened to?
Carrie Underwood's "I Told You So." I think I'm obsessed.

46. Are you allergic to anything?
Kiwi ... and cleaning.

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?

48. Are you jealous of anyone?
I'm jealous of people who have their sh*t together when I clearly don't.

50. Is anyone jealous of you?
*snort* I have no idea why anyone would be.

51. What time is it?
8:50 p.m.

52. Do any of your friends have children?

53. Do you eat healthy?
I eat healthy ... and then I eat crap!

54. What do you usually do during the day?
Work too many hours, and sweat too much of the small stuff.

55. Do you hate anyone right now?
My boss. Yep.

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
Actually I'm more likely to say "hi."

58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
56 (noooooooooooooooooo! I just turned 55! Don't rush me!)

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
Yes, and I hate it there.

60. How did you get one of your scars?
Hernia operation when I was 18 months old.

Now ... aren't you glad we had this time together?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Haiku Friday: the start over edition

Haiku Friday

I had a haiku
already written today
but I threw it out.

Cold showers and jobs
are no longer important.
My boy has come home.

Seriously, that calm that flies in from faraway collegeland landed at 10 tonight, and all is well -- or at least better -- in my world. It just takes that bear hug from a certain young man and the grin that tells me he is as glad to be home as I am to have him home.

Additionally, in light of the continuing crisis in the newspaper business, I had a looooong chat yesterday with my BFF over lattes, trying to figure out what I really wanted to be when I grow up.

When we were done, I had an idea and a plan and a mission -- and the color was back in my face.

Yes, the light at the end of the tunnel may not actually be the oncoming train.

I'm not ready to reveal all yet, but I'm hoping I can wean myself away from the smell of newsprint and ink.

I am scaring the Wonderhubby half to death with this kind of talk, but it scares me more to have nothing to shoot for while my current livelihood circles the drain.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The good, the sorta bad and the very very very ugly


The Roo-girl: Is Nic's new duck gay too?

Evil Mother: WHAT?????

TRG: Nic (our very eclectic hairdresser person) has a new duck. I just wondered if it was gay like the other one.

EM: Who said the duck was gay?

TRG: Nic told A (her friend who is 12, thank you very much) that the duck was gay.

EM: *beginning to lose it* How do they know the duck is gay??

TRG: *gives EM "the look"*

EM: No, seriously, Roo. How does she KNOW the duck is GAY??

TRG: *eyeroll included* Oh, MOTHER, how OLD are you?????

EM: Bwahahahahaha.

I guess I'm not old enough to understand homosexual duck lovin'.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


We still have no hot water. In fact, things are actually worse because Wonderhubby actually had been able to light the pilot for short periods of time and create tepid showers up until this morning, when all hope was lost, and the pilot light was no more.

The silver lining, however, was that he called the manufacturer later this morning and *whoohoo* it's still under warranty and they are next-day-air'ing us a FREE thermostat'ish valve thing. Cost to us: $20 for the shipping.

Should be in hand Friday in time to be installed by my personal handyman on Saturday.

And my gym has agreed that I can bring in anyone I want to take a shower during this time of crisis. Of course that requires schlepping everything with you in the car and driving 5 miles or so, but hey! We all gotta make sacrifices.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The newspaper business is in much financial trouble. I have made my livelihood in print for more than 30 years.

The reasons that I am in a severe depression right now is because of this and this and this and this and this and this. There's more, but it makes me physically ill to link to any more.

My world is blowing up here, people.

It's not pretty. Not at all.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why we have had no hot water for four days

My poor Wonderhubby has been very sick.

Awful, yucky sick.

Not the pukey kind (anyone got some wood I can knock on??), but the feverish, achy, snotty, headachy, I-feel-generally-rancid kind.

And, God bless him, he is not a typical male when it comes to being sick. He isn't all whiny about his ailments.

No. What he is whiny about is: He feels like he isn't accomplishing anything while he is feeling puny.

What the heck???

Now, first of all, let me remind any who haven't followed along before now, WH is severely ADHD. He was the quintessential jumping bean as a child. Couldn't sit still. Add a little dyslexia to the mix, and you have an totally unfocused boy that they -- wait for it -- TAPED TO THE DESK in first grade. Although I am outraged beyond measure on his behalf, it also is some kind of testament to how bad he was if teachers thought that was the only answer.

But I digress. He's ADHD. His motor runs. Constantly.

So even when he is burning up with fever, he's agitated because he isn't DOING something. Saturday was spent doing nothing. Sunday, his temperature was down, and he was scratching at the walls from inactivity.

We took a little excursion for the $1.50 hot dog and soda deal at our local Costco, and when we got back, I poured him back into bed. He was still ootchy from sitting around, though (ootchy is a technical term). Poor thing. I felt so bad for him.

So we were lounging around together (I'm doomed to get this particular yuckiness, you know -- I spent WAAAAY too much time sharing airspace with him!), and the Roo-girl bursts into the room.

"There's no hot water."

So we dutifully turn on the tap in the sink. Son of a gun, she is CORRECT!

Ah, says the oh-so-handy-but-still-a-little-woozy WH. The pilot light is out.

So he dutifully relights it.

And it goes out again.


Everyone takes a sponge bath with chilly water. (Except me -- I go swimming at the gym early Monday morning, so I can have a REAL shower! Score!)

Now my poor sickly hubby has mustered all his strength to actually go to work on Monday. When you don't have sick time, you work or you don't get paid. And on his way home, he picked up the part to the water heater that he thought was the culprit. Please don't ask. It's some thermo-couply-something. My eyes glaze over when he talks about this stuff. I listen, but I have no freakin' clue.

And he installs it. Clever boy!

And the pilot light ... does not light.


So Monday night was spent investigating water heater parts and actual water heaters -- the tank kind and the tankless kind. Gotta love the internet. You can do your research from the comfort of your own sick bed.

And the bottom line, people? We're screwed. We can spend mucho buckos on a new valve-y thing, or for even more bucks, we can replace the whole shootin' match.


Wonderhubby cannot do this dramatic search-and-rescue-us-from-no-hot-water until ... the weekend! As well he shouldn't. He really needs all his reserves to make it through the workday, the poor thing.

So, here it is ... Wednesday. We have had no hot water since Sunday. And there is no pilot light at the end of the tunnel until Saturday.

In the meantime, I cannot wash dishes (can you imagine doing dishes in cold water with Typhoid Larry wandering around???). I cannot do laundry because, not only is there no hot water, but the water heater is in the laundry room, which is now all torn up to heck (oh, darn, I'm soooo heartbroken).

What's a compulsive blogger to do? Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Roo. Just my Roo

I would like to talk a little bit about my daughter.

The Roo-girl is, at 13, quite the young lady. She is kind, caring, loving, still a mommy-snuggler, and yet at a moment's notice, she is a raging hormonal nightmare, epitomized by that rolling eyeball and the snotty tone that makes me want to rip her vocal cords out through her nostrils.

Ah, the teen years. We've only just begun ... and yet, she's come a long way, baby.

(Way to go, mixing two cliches in one!!)

She was an extremely high-maintenance baby, toddler and preschooler. She was the first girl after my three boys and her father's two. To say that she was treated as a princess is an understatement.

Pink. Barbies. Ballet. Long hair. Spoiled much? Yeah.

But there was trouble in paradise. Her father is the one I have mentioned before. The evil one. The devil's spawn. He who shall not be named.

And after he threw me through the kitchen door in 1997, and the police escorted him from my home, and we went through the child-custody arrangement from hell ...

He died.

And he did not die of a pleasant disease. It was ugly. One that he apparently had but failed to disclose throughout our five-year marriage, and one that threatened me and my breastfed baby. Do I need to spell it out? Only a miracle saved me from his fate. I don't know why, to this day, my daughter and I were spared.


Because we were still only separated, and not yet divorced, his death put me in a unique position. I was technically a widow. Yet I grieved not.

And my boys? They had suffered emotionally at his hands. And they rejoiced with me.

We had been freed.

And yet ... I was the mother of a 3-year-old who grieved for her dead father.

For nearly 10 years, I have walked the fine line between hating a man and protecting his daughter from my memories. But please -- do not think me virtuous because I was far from perfect in my ability to do that.

For example, the day that a shrieking, hysterical 4-year-old Roo told me that I had needed to "say sorry to Daddy" and everything would have been ok.

It had been a long and difficult day with her, and this was not the first time this statement had come up over the intervening year. I snapped, giving her a brief glimpse of the horror that had been my life. "No," I screamed back at her. "Daddy hurt me, and he needed to say sorry to ME!"

These incidents cropped up every so often -- mostly when my emotional reserves were low -- but for the most part, my daughter cherishes her memory of a father long gone.

As I believe she should.

Which brings me to the present -- and our recent weekend in the snow. The boys spent all day on the slopes, and Roo, choosing not to ski this time around, spent her day with me.

And so, as we shopped and ate and read and snoided free wifi together, I asked her the following: "What do you remember of your father?"

I don't know what possessed me to ask her. Really I don't.

"I remember that he loved me."

Yes, that he did, my baby girl. He loved you something fierce.

"And I remember falling asleep in his car and having him bring me inside."

A sweet memory to keep.

"But I also know that he was horrible to you -- and that's not cool with me."


So I pressed. Just a little.

"I really just wondered how you feel about stuff, Roo. After all, I've put you into a situation now with a stepfather and ..."

"No, Mom, actually I really consider Wonderhubby to be more of my father than he was. WH certainly is better for all of us."

That sound you may have heard a week ago Sunday was all the breath being sucked out of my body.

From the punch to the solar plexus.

"Really?" I asked in a small voice.

"Totally," she replied with that look on her face that said "believe me, I don't lie."

I am a lucky mom.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fun Monday #53: the what in the world is so funny edition

Sayre, who always Smiles, is our hostess for this week's Fun Monday.

She is interested in funny things we see in our day-to-day lives.

Here is what she says we need to do for today:

Every day as I go to work, I see things around me that make me laugh. Usually these are in the forms of signs. So take your camera with you as you go about your business and take a picture of the things that make you laugh along the way (but it doesn't necessarily HAVE to be a sign).

Well, I am going to pull a Swampy and break the rules, sorta.

Cuz I tried all week long to find something funny in my travels, and I failed to be highly amused by anything.

However, I DID have get a smile from my baby girl for Valentine's Day.

She is the queen of the crappy homemade cards. Don't just take my word for it. Check out her trademark:

Anyway, Valentine's morning dawned, and here is what awaited me:

Why, it's a crappy homemade card!!

Open it up and here was what was inside:

Singles Awareness Day? Don't know where she got THAT, but oh that Roo-girl. She knows the direct route to my heart: Toblerone bars. Mmmmmm. Also please take note of the directions at the bottom to "Check the freezer."

So, goody-two-shoes-and-direction-follower that I am, I dutifully trekked to the freezer. Where I found this:

Cuteness, thy name is Roo-girl. U-no bars? They are hard to find ... and they taste best when frozen. And my daughter? Totally knows my weaknesses. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

If you look carefully where I directed you NOT to look at the ice cream in our freezer (!!), you will see her directions to look in the pantry -- where the soup is.

Where I found this:

There actually were two heart-shaped sugar cookies in separate plastic bags. One for me, and one for Wonderhubby (but he ate his before I should shoot the photo!). Apparently, her Roo-ness was baking while WH and I were meeting the Drama King and his boyfriend.

Anyway, it's not a funny sign or an internet giggle, but it did make me smile.

And it tasted good too! And... how can you resist this face?

So now if you want LAUGHS, go visit the rest of the Fun Monday crowd. We're pretty fun, all right!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekly Winners: Feb. 10-16

I had leftover snow photos in my camera from last weekend. And since I seem to be obsessed with the stuff, I'm offering up the end of my vacation as part of Lotus' Weekly Winners game.

Sunny day, sweeping the ... clouds away:

See? Snow is coooooool:

Portrait of a teenager as a silhouette:

I think she's picking apart a scone or something. Honestly? I don't remember!! But please note the open notebook to the left. She's writing a book. More on that later.

Swimming pools and snow -- oxymoron?

This amazed me ... that I could go for a swim and see snowbanks out the window. The reflection was kinda cool too.

The road home:

All good things must come to an end.


I might or might not have shot this on my way to work this week. (Surely, I would never take my eye off the road to take pictures!)

And the obligatory Roo photo -- one of my favorite valentines!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Catching up: Roo'isms and a meme for me me me me!

Cleaning out the Roo-girl files:

Please excuse the dated quality of these items -- I wrote 'em and then other things popped up. I hated to waste perfectly good Roo'isms just because other, better stuff came along. Just pretend it's a week and a half ago, OK? OK!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The TV is blaring in my room. The "Today" show is on.

And they're talking endlessly about Britney Spears' premature release from the psych hospital.

And the Roo-girl erupts with indignation:

"Oh puhleeeeze! This is supposed to be the news. I don't want to hear about Britney! That's why I watch 'The Soup'!"

OK, then! You go, girl!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Roo-girl: Look, you voted!

Carpool Girl: Huh?

Evil Mother: Wonderhubby sometimes collects the stickers you get when you vote and sticks them on his dashboard.

TRG: Yeah, you know ... like Super Tuesday? Isn't Mr. History Teacher having you follow the election?

CPG: Right. Um, what is Super Tuesday again?

TRG: Oh. I guess Mr. History Teacher isn't following the election in class.

CPG: Well, yeah, he is. We are. But I just wasn't sure. When is Super Tuesday again?

TRG: *smacks her forehead in amazement* It was last week!

CPG: Oh. Yeah. Right.

TRG: What's the matter with you? Are you living under a rock?

CPG: Um. No?

TRG: *shakes head and moans slightly* Oh brother!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ferocious pounding on my bedroom door. Like the house is on fire.

Evil Mother: What? What?

The Roo-girl: *wide-eyed and seemingly frantic* I DROPPED THE SPIRIT STICK!!

Evil Mother: Huh?

The Roo-girl: The spirit stick!!!!! It's a cheer thing. You're never supposed to let the spirit stick hit the floor!!! And mine dropped!!!!

Evil Mother: Oh. Bad luck coming, eh?

The Roo-girl: Oh yeah, I'm going to HADES!!!!"

I fell on the floor laughing. Apparently this came from "Bring It On," which I have seen but ... ahem ... not memorized like CERTAIN people I know.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tag, I'm it.

Carolie, a friend of the well-respected blogger named Da Momma (who says she doesn't do memes unless Carolie says she should!), has tagged me for a meme. (Actually she tagged me a loooooong time ago. I'm just slow.)

And if Da Momma answers Carolie's meme request, who am I to refuse?

So, here we go:

The Rules:

* Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
* Share five random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
* Share the five top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list.
* Tag a minimum of five random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog.

I was tagged by Carolie.

Five random/weird facts about me:

1. My girlfriend and I had a pact that we would get our bellybuttons pierced for her 40th and my 50th birthday. I chickened out. (She still wants to do it.)

2. At work, I am unbelievably organized, but at home? Not so much. (That is the understatement of the year, by the way. I am a classic slob.)

3. If I thought I could make a living at it, I would happily give up my lucrative position and sing. Full time. (You can judge if that should happen here and here.)

4. I hate cooking. Well, I like to bake, but I suck at making full meals. I take every shortcut known to man.

5. My secret wish as a child was to be an ice skater and go to the Olympics. (Except for the part where I am the biggest klutz on the planet and can trip over a painted line.)

Five places I want to see or see again:

1. Tahiti. I have had a decades-long desire to go there. I have no idea why. (In fact, it topped my Bucket List for Fun Monday last week.)

2. Israel. Although I'm admittedly a little concerned to due to current political (and safety) conditions, I would LOVE to go back to Israel. I've been twice -- once in college and once as an adult, and I can't get enough.

3. Japan. I was there in May. It was incredible. I would like to do it again -- and see other parts of the country that I missed.

4. China. Why? Why not?

5. Alaska. I want to take an Alaskan cruise some day. (Also on my Bucket List.)

Five people I am tagging:

Oh really, I don't think so. I cheat that way. So many of you have done it already, so if you want to do this meme, consider yourself tagged.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Haiku Friday: the barracuda dinner edition

Haiku Friday

The day I thought would
never come -- my son has brought
a boy to meet mom.

We meet for dinner
at our favorite hangout.
The Drama King sweats.

But there was no need.
The significant other
is adorable.

Oh my friends. This was the cutest thing ever.

Poor Drama King. As we approached the restaurant, we could see the two of them inside. DK ducked down, trying to hide.

But the boy? Stood right up with his hand extended and introduced himself. For purposes of blogland, we shall call him Rocky.

Good-looking. Intelligent. Witty. Attentive. Fun. Polite.

The only dowside I see here is that Mr. Rocky went to the wrong college. He went to the crosstown rival school that I was raised to hate hate hate. Think Texas and Oklahoma. Or Army and Navy. Or Superman and Lex Luthor.

You have to understand that my favorite college football teams are my alma mater and anyone who is playing that other hated place.

This is big, people. Big.

But I guess I'll get over it. Maybe.

Anyway, the meal went very well. They are adorable together. I was actually surprised at how publicly hands-on they were with each other. There was hugging. And under-the-table hand-holding. And loving looks between them.

DK was positively bubbly. So not the boy I have known for 24-plus years.

In the past, he has been my dark child. The one who swirled and reveled in his own misery. The one who had a way of screwing up every good thing that would come his way in favor of a more inappropriate direction. The one who felt cheated (well, he still does, but never mind that). The one who, quite frankly, I thought wouldn't live past his teen years -- either through lifestyle choices or by his own hand.

So to watch him blush and look at this young man with light in his eyes was ... well, heartwarming.

And to watch Rocky look back with the same look? Priceless.

Oh, and the title of this post? The barracuda dinner?

That comes from the first time that Wonderhubby and I had dinner with my parents. My parents need a post all unto themselves, but for now let us just say that they did not consider the first several times they had met him to be adequate. They needed to have dinner with us. We called it pirhana dinner for four.

We sat down at the table, food was served, my mother set down her fork, crossed her arms, looked at Wonderhubby and said these immortal words: "So, is that your real name or is it short for something?"

Pirhanas. No lie. It was a grilling. And he passed with flying colors, but that doesn't make it any less obnoxious.

Over the years we have joked about the pirhana dinner for four. All the kids know about it.

So when it was time to meet "the boy," DK figured that Wonderhubby and I weren't as bad as pirhanas and referred to it instead as the barracuda dinner.

I laughed.

And then I asked Rocky, "Is that your real name or is it short for something?"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

From me to him ... with all my love

To the love of my life, the apple of my eye, the cream in my coffee, the light at the end of the tunnel, my valentine every day ...

01 Valentine copy....

I love you ...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I know you can't get enough ... don't deny it!

Before I tickle your funny bones with more of my children's mouthiness, I feel the need to explain something.

There were a couple comments yesterday about how people could never ever have said stuff like that in front of their parents.

Hey, me too, kids.

I would never have talked to my parents about sex or my sex life in a million, zillion, quadrillion years.


What I love about my boys is that they do not feel the need to edit just because their mother is there. I learn a lot about them by listening to them talk ... and get a lot of laughs out of it as well.

Plus they are not uptight around me in the way that I am uptight around my parents. It's a free and easy relationship that I cherish. The only problem is when they get a little wild and woolly around the Roo-girl. Her response, though, is usually "Huh? I don't get it."

To which we all respond in unison: "Good."

That being said, I hereby bring you ...

Even MORE from the snowy wilds of the Planet of Janet.

Drama King: I want to try snowboarding next time.

Evil Mother: Only if you want to fall on your butt.

Drama King: I'd wear a butt pad.

Evil Mother: Then you'd fall on your BIG butt.

Drama King: Hey, big butts are the gay man's equivalent of colorful plummage!

Evil Mother: Bwahahahahahaha!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Drummer Man: My friend put all this Christian rock on my iPod. I don't know why.

Evil Mother: Christian rock?

Drummer Man: *showing he is really a nice Jewish boy again* Well, he knew I'd like the music. I don't listen to the words anyway. It's the music that counts for me.

Wonderhubby: It's got a good beat and you can dance to it. You giving it a 95?

Evil Mother: You're showing your age.

Wonderhubby: Duh. Look at my FACE!!!!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The interplanetary males are unloading the ski equipment on Sunday morning for their last day on the slopes:

Wonderhubby: Grab the Drama King's poles, would you?

Drummer Man: Thanks, but I'll leave that to his boyfriend.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And so the telling of our weekend ski adventure comes to an end. Tonight is dinner with the Drama King and the new boyfriend. Of course I'll give you all a full report.

You would expect anything less?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I promise ... and so I deliver

First, let me just say that your overwhelming response to my recording of "Unchained Melody" was ... totally overwhelming. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your amazing words of kindness and praise.

A couple people who said they couldn't play it wanted me to send it to them. If you really want this, shoot me an email at jsongbird4 (at) aol (dot) com, and I'll send you the original mp3. (And thank you for wanting to hear it so much that you're willing to do that!)

And for those of you who thought I should be on "American Idol" -- I do so love you all. But really? I'm waaaaaaaaay too old for them!

OK, on to why you're REALLY here this morning:

More from the snowy wilds of the Planet of Janet.

(And to protect myself from CPS, may I please point out that for the most part, nothing nasty was spoken in earshot of the Roo-girl. Unless you see her as a conversation participant, she was not around or in earshot. Sometimes, my boys have a little bit of decorum!)

Girlfriend talk:

Drummer Man: She wants to live on her own before we live together.

Evil Mother: That's probably a good idea.

Drummer Man: Yeah, well, that's her position on it anyway.

Evil Mother: What's your position?

Drama King: Missionary.

Wonderhubby: Oh, that can get boring.

Drummer Man: I'm with you there.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

At your local Wendy's restaurant:

Wonderhubby: You could have had a buffalo burger at that other place we were at last time.

Drama King: Yeah, or ostrich ... or venison. That's what Z-man had.

Evil Mother: *shudder* Feh.

Drummer Man: *not always the sharpest tool in the shed* Was it real buffalo or was it like buffalo wings ... just called that, even though it's really chicken?

The Roo-girl: *her blondeness WAAAAAAY showing* Buffalo wings are chicken?

Loud laughing and general hysteria ensued. Followed by this:

Wonderhubby: There also is beefalo.

The Roo-girl: *clearly having a bad hair day* Is that a Jewish thing?

Evil Mother: WHAT????

The Roo-Girl: You know ... beef-alah ... like mammalah. It's a Jewish thing, right?

All of us in unison: Beef-alah??? Bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ski boots = bad:

Drummer Man: Maybe in 10 years, they'll have ski boots that aren't a pain to get into.

Evil Mother: Well, they do make those rear-entry boots.

Drama King: *says nothing but bursts into maniacal hysterics*

Evil Mother: You. Bad. You're BAD. And gross, too.

Drummer Man: Hey, Mom, we're adults, ya know? We get this stuff from TV and movies.

Drama King: Well, maybe YOU do. I get it from real life.

Evil Mother: Lalalalalalala I can't hear you!!!!

To be continued ...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fun Monday #52: the music of my life edition

The Crown Princess played RIGHT into my evil hands with this week's Fun Monday challenge.

Remember last week when, as part of my Bucket List, I wanted to sing in public? My precise words, in fact, were this: "I want to sing in public. Not just karaoke sing. I want to have a one-woman concert that sells out the house. I don't need Carnegie Hall. An intimate club setting would work too. I just want the adoration of the crowd. (An ego? Why, yes. Why do you ask?)"

So here is what Ms. Princess asks of us today:

Music plays a vital role in most of our lives. It is everywhere. I want to hear the ONE song that is you. The song that whenever it is heard, you smile. I am not looking for the soundtrack of your life, just that one song. Your friends hear it and think of you. You can post the video, the lyrics, the wav file.

Ah, CP, you know not what you ask.

Because several years ago, in a fit of romantic I-don't-know-what, I recorded a CD of the Wonderhubby's fave-rave songs that I sing (yes, in karaoke. Told you... that's not enough for the Bucket List version!)

It was a Valentine's Day present to him ... and he plays it all the time. It's even on his iPod.

So this is the best of it. The song that truly is associated with me, me, me! (And yes, that really is me singing.)

Unchained Melody.m...

A tip of the hat and many hugs to Melodyann, who totally saved me from myself and got this sucker up on my site. Love you ...

Tomorrow? More fun and frivolity from the weekend ski trip. It's a must-not-miss.

Meanwhile, I'm going to check out everyone else's musical Mondays.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weekly Winners: Feb. 3-9

Snow may not be a novelty for many of you, but for me? It's a rarity.

So I'm playing Lotus' Weekly Winners game from the mountains. You will have to excuse my fascination with icicles and snow.

The butt-crack of dawn:

(He's serious about getting on the road early. The boys were cranky.)

The road ahead:

The driver:

He rarely gets to be shown in this space. I thought I'd give him an opportunity!

The fascination with ice and snow continues:

Now this? This I fail to understand. It's FEBRUARY already!

And because no post from my vacations is complete without an inappropriate-conversations story, I present you this snippet from the car ride. (I promise more later, unless Child Protective Services comes for me first.)

Drummer Man and the Drama King are wrestling with their cell phones, trying to read each other's text messages to their significant others.

Drama King: Aw, it's all "I love you" and "I love you too."

Drummer Man: *snort* Those aren't the dirty ones. THESE are the dirty ones.

Evil Mother: *reaches back and snags his cell phone* Gimme that.

Drummer Man: Noooooooooo.

Evil Mother: *reads something about body parts that she canNOT repeat for the listening audience* Ahhh! My eyes! My eyes!!

Wonderhubby: Learn something?

Evil Mother: *smacks Wonderhubby firmly on the leg and rolls eyes*

Drummer Man: What?

Drama King: She'll show him later.


Yep, I have scarred my children for life. And in case, CPS is reading, the Roo-girl was watching a dvd in the backseat with headphones on. So there!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The "Twilight" of our existence

We arrived late Friday night at our midway stop en route to our fabulous weekend ski vacation. I already have collected fabulous dinner-table conversations to regale you with later.

But in the meantime, I leave you with a tale of this time of great mourning in our house.

For several days, the Roo-girl has been eagerly anticipating the announcement of the release date of book 4 in the Stephenie Meyer "Twilight"/"New Moon"/"Eclipse" vampire series.

One of her friends had told her it would be in May. This was way ahead of the October or November date she thought it was going to be. This was such an exciting change that apparently she and several of her friends danced around school on Wednesday, chanting "It's May! It's May! It's May!"

Obsess much?

Never let it be said that I don't rain on my little girl's parade. There was an announcement on Thursday that the official release date is ...

*drum roll please*

August 2.

Oh the moaning and crying and rending of garments that ensued!!


If her lower lip had gotten any lower, she would have scraped it on the pavement.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On a similar theme, her royal Roo'ness decided she needed another instant messenger screen name. This one proclaimed an imagined relationship between her and the main character of her obsession-compulsion.

Prompting this response from her older brother:

Drama King (9:44:30 PM): Your daughter is diseased. Have you seen her new screenname?

Evil Mother (9:44:40 PM): yes

Evil Mother (9:44:44 PM): you know what this is from?

Drama King (9:44:50 PM): Yes.

Evil Mother (9:45:05 PM): i dont know ANYONE else who obsesses about stuff this way

Evil Mother (9:45:47 PM): do you? :-P

Drama King (9:46:24 PM): Are you implying something?

Evil Mother (9:46:45 PM): not me

Evil Mother (9:46:47 PM): oh no

Evil Mother (9:46:49 PM): nono

Evil Mother (9:46:53 PM): no no no no

Drama King (9:47:19 PM): Lol, when you see me with the screen name of peterparkerismybf then we'll talk about obsession.

Evil Mother (9:47:43 PM): ROFLMFAO

Yeah, we grow 'em normal in my neck of the woods.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Haiku Friday: the snow-bunny edition

Haiku Friday

It is time to use
vouchers we got when snow drove
us off the mountain.

We're heading back to snow country tonight. That serious skier, Wonderhubby, was cheated out of two days of freezing his ass off when major snow storms cut short our vacation in January.

We'll leave after I get off work and drive halfway, once again getting up at the butt-crack of dawn Saturday to drive the rest of the way and get equipment rented so that they can be on the slopes before 9 a.m.

And I? Why, I will be a duchess, sitting on my lazy kiester with a delicious breakfast and a latte at the local free-wifi hotspot.

Then I may possibly go shopping, ending up at the coffee shop with free wifi in the afternoon.

Perhaps also I will sit in the jacuzzi at our hotel ... because for the first time EVER, we are not staying at Motel 6.

Luxury awaits me.

Poor J-bear has to work all weekend, so she won't be there, and the Z-man is still away at school. But you can just imagine the fun and frivolity that will prevail at meals with the Drama King, Drummer Man and their favorite target -- the Roo-girl.

I can't wait.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It's the little things that make up the big things

The Drama King is gay.

I've mentioned this in passing before.

He's very open about it. In fact, he has been "out" since he explained his sexual orientation to me in no uncertain terms at the age of 16.

It was one of those watershed moments in parenting. I still am amazed at the words that came out of my mouth that night.

It doesn't matter to me if you are gay, straight, green, purple or polka-dotted. You are still my son, and I will always love you.

The only thing that bothers me, though, is this: Being gay is a harder road to travel, and it makes me sad that you will have to travel that harder road; that things will not be easy for you.

Otherwise, you're still you. That's the bottom line.

Pretty good, eh? I impressed myself as well.

Anyway, it has been more than a hard road. It's been quite brutal, in fact, and he has suffered the ups and downs of a difficult and dark personality as he navigates it. Do not forget that this is still the young man I threw out of my house on Christmas night two years ago.

For the most part, he has been a bachelor, so to speak. A couple of brief and not-so-shining relationships. Usually he picks the bad boys, including one that led to a period of time we both choose not to think about. Something about that self-destructive streak ...

So imagine my surprise a month or so ago when we had this instant message conversation:

Evil Mother: hey

Drama King: Whatsup?

Evil Mother: nuffin

Evil Mother: you didnt talk to me last nite

Drama King: Aww ... was on a date

Evil Mother: a good one?

Drama King: I'd say so. We went to a super fancy restaurant, where I had duck that cost 30 dollars.

Drama King: It was his idea tho, so he paid.

Evil Mother: wow

Drama King: Yeah.

Evil Mother: is he nice?

Drama King: Yeah

Evil Mother: anyone who would pay $30 for your duck dinner ... that sounds like a keeper to me

Drama King: 0:-)

Evil Mother: so when do you bring him home to meet your mother?

Drama King: A week before the wedding?

Drama King: ;-)

Evil Mother: you are a baaaad baaaad boy

Drama King: You love me, admit it

Evil Mother: totally

That was a month ago, like I said.

Tonight, I got a text message from him (God forbid we should actually communicate with the spoken word!) about the Catch-22 of needing new pants for work but needing to work so he could afford the pants.

*Insert heavy sigh here, while I apparently needed to buy my 24-year-old son a pair of black pants*

Anyway, we're standing in line so I can pay for said pants, and he turns to me and blushes an amazing shade of tomato red.

"So, um, Mom ..."


"What day next week ... uh ... would you like to have ... er ... dinner with ... um... B and me?"

I wish I could have had a picture of the look on his face -- and on mine.

He's bringing a boy home to meet his mother.

Now, this is a first.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

How I ALMOST got an iPhone

Oh, brother.

I'm so disgusted.

The Wonderhubby's company had its annual kickoff breakfast Monday. Apparently, this year, it morphed into lunch too.

Because they were celebrating a pretty-high-up-there anniversary of the company.

So all the employees troop in for all the festivities.

Which include door prizes.

Digital cameras.

42-inch plasma TVs.

80-gig iPods.

Video cameras.


A whole bunch of other coolio stuff.

And two iPhones.

Oh, iPhone, how I covet thee. How many ways can I express my love and desire?

What's a techno-geek like me to do?


Or not.

About 100 employees. Multiple cameras, laptops, iPods, etc.

And my husband did. not. win. a. single. thing.

Plus, he said if he had won the iPhone, he would have totally given it to me, his most deserving and loving (and whiny) wife!

Oh, MAN, I am bummed.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It's 3:30 in the morning ... do you know where your children are?

We usually do.

Know where our children are, I mean. At least last night we knew exactly where J-bear was at 3:30 a.m.

She was in her bed down the hall.


Why, yes, I was asleep right next to him at the time. Thanks for asking!

Here's how this went.

Ms. J had been sick most of the weekend, running a high fever with a sore throat.

Ah, strep, perhaps?

No, more like some nasty bug that burns itself out in a couple days. We ruled out strep in a Sunday morning run to urgent care, and by Sunday night she was doing much better.

So it was to be back to school on Monday morning.


There I was, sound asleep, minding my own business when *deedle deedle deedle doo doo deedle doo* the Wonderhubby's cell phone -- signaling a text message -- jolted me awake.


I growled at WH: "What does she want?" (I knew who it was. There is only one possible culprit.)

"Her throat hurts and she doesn't think she can go to school."

Did I say it was 3:30 in the morning?

Was this something we REALLY needed to know before ... say ... 6 a.m.?

The only reason WH wasn't as angry was that he was already up (men and their tiny bladders -- gah!), but to his credit, his annoyance level was high that she woke me up ... especially because then?


Needless to say, this led to a cranky day for me.

And a new rule: Unless there are copious amounts of blood or other inappropriate bodily fluids, you may not text us between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.


Never mind the weird part about her texting us from down the hall.

But you wanna know the funniest thing?

At about 3 o'clock Monday afternoon, she texted her father again.


Can you say NOT?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Fun Monday #51: the bucket list edition

Tiggerlane, who still thinks she is a neophyte blogger even though she really is pretty adept at it, is our host this week.

She wants us to delve deeeeeep into our secret dreams and do the following:

Have you heard of The Bucket List? Well, that's what I want from you! Make a list of things you want to do before you die. It must be at least five items -- and you can make it as long as you desire. Photos are optional. And let's hear about some of the wackiest, most bizarre to-do's on your Bucket List!

Ah, my bucket list.

Truthfully I don't really have one, so this challenge made me sit down and think.

Since thinking is always my best thing, it was a little difficult to narrow it down. Much of my world involves just getting through the day without tripping over my own feet or forgetting to be somewhere I promised to be.

But here is what I came up with.

1. I want to go to Tahiti. For reasons I have never understood myself, Tahiti is the first place I mention when people ask about dream vacations. It's supposed to be hot and muggy there, I hear. So I don't know what it is about it that draws me there. I just want to go.

2. I want to dance at my great-grandchildren's weddings. Hey, why not? I don't want to be gone until after my grandchildren have babies... (No, I don't have grandchildren yet.)

3. I want to sing in public. Not just karaoke sing. I want to have a one-woman concert that sells out the house. I don't need Carnegie Hall. An intimate club setting would work too. I just want the adoration of the crowd. (An ego? Why, yes. Why do you ask?)

4. After I have satisfied my burning need to go to Tahiti, I would like to travel. I want to go back to Japan, take an Alaskan cruise, tour Europe, possibly an African safari (though my brother once said he'd show me his photos and save me the time and trouble).

5. I would like to organize and properly display the photos of my family and my children. This is a problem that goes back almost 27 years with the birth of my first child (OMG, he's going to be 27 in May!!!). I am not a scrapbooker. Nor am I organized. Nor am I creative. But it makes me sad that my children's baby and childhood photos are not put together in a way that makes sense. This will never happen, by the way. I just don't have the creative gene for this kind of stuff.

Well, that's five. That's what Tiggerlane was asking for. I feel totally lame for not being able to figure this out in a more interesting manner, but ... I have a very comfortable, happy life. It hasn't always been comfortable or happy, so the fact that it is ... well, other than an iPhone, I don't want for much.

So if you're looking for me, I'll be checking out the things that other Fun Monday'ers want to do before they kick the bucket. Maybe I'll get some good ideas!
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