Monday, November 30, 2009

Color me content

It's home-improvement time in the Planet house.

A fresh coat of cheerful yellow for the family room/dining room/hallways.

Touchups of white for the trim and the stair rails.

And something new for the Roo-girl's room.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving thanks for the gift that keeps on giving


I'm sick.

I'm also drugged. This could be interesting ... kinda like drunk blogging, I guess, only not as much fun.

More like antihistamine/decongestant/ibuprofen blogging.

As I write this, my family is having Thanksgiving dinner. I am not.

I was uninvited.

Because I'm sick.

And my mom just finished 5 weeks of radiation and didn't want Typhoid Janet at the dinner table.

So no turkey dinner for me.

Well, later. They're bringing me a care package.

I hope.

But it's going to be HOURS before the care package arrives. In the meantime, I have eaten a festive Thanksgiving quesadilla.

Or three.

Honestly, I take it as a sign of returning health that I'm hungry enough to eat three a quesadilla.

Either that, or I'm ... uh ... what was I saying again?


Yeah, so unfortunately for you, there will be no amusing stories of Thanksgiving dinner to regale you with.

Or hilarious photos.

Although if you would like a photo of my pink, curly tail ...


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A full 'Moon'

It's what everyone is talking about.

Well, everyone who is female and has a thing for vampires.

Yes, the Roo-girl and I went out last night to see "New Moon."

We have waxed eloquent about the "Twilight" series and the first movie in the past. Maybe not so eloquent about the first movie, which pretty much lived down to her (and my) expectations.

The universal sentiment among fans seemed to that the second episode was GREAT -- and if only this director would remake the first one, life would be good.

But, as your resident cynic, knowing how I felt about the first movie, I was a little uncertain how I would feel.

Well. In a word (or two): Loved it.

Roo and I shared a bag of meal-sized popcorn, a soda and some chocolate (dinner of champions!) and almost 2 1/2 hours of a moony, whiny Bella, who actually didn't annoy me nearly as much as she did before.

I could even possibly ... maybe ... I think ... be convinced to join Team Jacob. Edward was too mealy-mouthed this time.

But that's not the point of today's -- ahem -- review.

It was the ending.

Edward: "Marry me."

Bella: "GASP!"

*Fade to black*

From behind us in the darkened theater came a couple of little sighs and a heartfelt "Ohhhhhh!"

And Roo burst out laughing.

"Really?" she cackled. "It's not like you don't know how the story comes out!"

We both howled at the "Moon" all the way home.

Monday, November 23, 2009

There's no "I" in Mom

I'm a cheer mom.

I admit it freely and proudly.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Life lessons learned on the cheer mats

The competition season has begun.

The Roo-girl and her compatriots are headed for their first comp on Sunday.

I'll be there, of course -- with my camera and my official team-mom t-shirt and my enthusiasm -- to watch the girls tumble, dance, cheer and GO for it.

The walkup to the start of the season has been an up-and-down affair. Girls who have quit. Girls who have been replaced for health reasons. Girls with skills. Girls without skills. There's no junior varsity team. There IS a junior varsity. They suck. They have amazing raw talent.

Eh. Whatever. I always want the same thing for my girl: a successful experience with something that makes her very happy.

But the drama of the summer and the fall has brought us to an interesting place.

As a little background, let me explain the facts of last year's team. Roo was one of three freshmen invited to compete. There was one junior ... and eight seniors.

Now, you and I can both do the math. When June rolled around, two-thirds of the team ... graduated and was gone.

So this year's team is mostly new. Fresh. Untested.

And very, very green.

Last year, Roo was the green one in a world of varsity advanced. The seniors NEEDED her to step it up -- and they let her know it in no uncertain terms. She had been the best one on her all-star team, and now then she was the worst.

So she learned. She learned new skills and matched the senior flyer step for step, twist for twist.

But at a cost, as she endured a barrage of criticism and torment from her teammates.

This year, she is the experienced one, with a green freshman flyer by her side.

But with a difference.


Tuesday night, the parents of this year's team were invited to watch the girls run through their routine before they take it into competition.

It was the first time they had done it in public, in front of people.

It was a little ragged, but they were pleased with themselves.

Roo groused a little on the way home that she can't do her best skills in the routine because the freshman flyer isn't there ... yet.

"It IS frustrating," she told me. "But I'm being really supportive. I don't want her to feel like I did last year."

I smiled.

Because there's more to cheer than how high you can fly.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Birthday dinner: singing for our supper

The location of a birthday dinner is always the choice of the birthday boy or girl. We've done barbecue, teppan tables, sushi, our fave-rave local Italian place, burger places ...

Whatever rocks the guest of honor's world.

Drama King's birthday dinner was -- fittingly -- at a highly dramatic place with singing waitpeeps.

Periodically (every few minutes, more like), a waiter or waitress would take the mic and belt out a song. Everything from opera (really!) to show tunes to Frank Sinatra.

And so it was that one of the guys started singing "All the Way."

Z-man: *mumble mumble mumble* Elton John ...

Evil Mother: Elton John?? No. That's Frank Sinatra!

Drama King: Did you just say Elton John? Your gay card is revoked!

Evil Mother: *snort*

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

Drama King: *watching yet ANOTHER waiter get up to sing* I wonder if they consider this side work.

Z-man: Sidework?

Drama King: Dude. You went to culinary school. You know restaurants. You don't know what sidework is??

Z-man: Hey, I worked in the kitchen ... in the BACK!

Drama King: Oh, probably if I had said "sideworko," you would have understood.

Z-man: Ohhhhhh!!! Sideworko!!! Of course!

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

The Roo-girl: Mom, are you going to see "New Moon" with me?

Evil Mother: Sure.

Drama King and Z-man: *in unison* Ewwwwwwwwwwwww!

The Roo-girl: Hey, I know kids who already have bought their tickets.

Evil Mother: Hey, I know ADULTS who already have bought their tickets! *Hi, Holly and Jeni!!*

Drummer Man: I've got mine already.

*All eyes swivel to look at him*

Drummer Man: Bwhahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

Z-man: Whew! I was worried there for a second!

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

Drama King: *poke*

Evil Mother: Grrrrr ...

Drama King: *pointing to Rocky, who was actually sitting across the table* It wasn't me. It was HIM.

Rocky: Uh, yeah, I used my tentacles to poke you.

Drama King: He is the terror of Japanese school girls.

Evil Mother: ?????????

Drama King: Tentacle porn. Look it up.

Evil Mother: *facepalm*

Monday, November 16, 2009

Everyone needs a good cry once in awhile

Most people cry at the movies or when a certain song is played or even over a good book.

Apparently, I cry at football games.

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekly Winners: November 8-14

Look! Up in the sky! It's both an amazing view ... and my daughter.

Like cotton batting:

Amazingly enough, this was shot with my iPhone!

How did her hair grow so fast??

Her friend put extensions in her hair ...


Even my talented girl loses her balance occasionally

And one last time for the 2009 high school football season:

My Friday nights are back to being my own, but I will miss
the time I spent on the track with the girls as their official photographer.
Now, on to basketball and competition season!

Thanks for visiting ... Now go see the lovely Lotus for more Weekly Winners!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Let he who is without sin cast the first (mile)stone

Gather 'round, my friends, for I have a tale to tell. Although some of the details you will have to figure out for yourself because it's ... um ... well ... PRIVATE.

The place: Our local grocery store.

The cast: The Evil Mother and the Roo-girl.

The reason: Oops. I can't tell you. You'll have to guess.

The Roo-girl scanned the shelves. So did the Evil Mother.

"Why are there so many??" the Roo-girl snarled. "How do you know what you need?"

The Evil Mother shrugged. "It depends. Let's just pick one."

"The sport kind, then," Roo answered. "Oh, and my friend said they make some *product deleted* for thongs."

"They make them for thongs??" said the Evil Mother, slightly horrified.

"Yes," answered the Roo-girl, still poking at the boxes.

And so they do. And there they were. Right there, albeit slightly hidden, on the top shelf.

Those things.

For thongs.

Because otherwise, how could a girl have that fresh feeling during ... well ... yeah ... then.

My little girl is a woman.

And now we BOTH need chocolate.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009



A simple -- but meaningful -- number.

Twenty-six letters in the alphabet.

It's the atomic number of iron.

Michigan is the 26th state admitted to the union.

It's the length of a marathon, give or take a yard or 385.

A rhombicuboctahedron is a 26-sided object.

XXVI in Roman numerals.

110102 in binary.

And today, it's the age of my Number 2 son, the Drama King, who today takes his first step into his LATE 20s and his second quarter-century of life.

How did this happen? When did my little boy with his head in the clouds turn into a man?

Oh. Wait.

Happy birthday, Drama King. I love you, even if you don't want to grow up.

Monday, November 9, 2009


It's the calm after the storm ...

(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weekly Winners: November 1-7

A little bit of this (politics), a little bit of that (Starbucks holiday drinks!!) and, of course, cheerleading!

Yo yo yo ...
Whether or not you agree with his politics, you have to admit
that Z-man's sign for a Repeal Prop 8 rally was HILARIOUS!

Be still, my beating heart:

Holiday drinks (and cups) are back,
and I am r.e.s.i.s.t.i.n.g. the eggnog latte with all my might.
But a snow day might be nice ...

This loses something in the translation:

Ok, click on it to biggen it. I swear it looks like there are dead football players littering the field
(but they're just stretching)


Peel-off back handsprings ... my girlie in the middle

The Roo-girl goes over the top:

This shot is this week's winner, in my opinion ...

Thanks for visiting ... Now go see the lovely Lotus for more photos by people who don't spend their time dreaming about eggnog lattes and snow days.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Memories ... sweetened through the ages just like whine

We were at Starbucks again, the Roo-girl and I.

Don't judge me. It was a late-start day (oh, how I LOATHE late-start days), and I dropped her off to meet her friend before I toddled off to work.

I ordered our drinks and stepped to the side ... and a woman stopped me.

"I know you from Local Synagogue. You're Janet, right? I'm Kevin's mom ... from the preschool."

I blinked at her ... and remembered. Sorta.

She looked behind me. "And you're -- um -- Roo-girl!"

Roo nodded, and I smiled. "Do you remember Kevin?" I asked her.

She shook her head. "Well, you were only 3," I said.

The woman and I exchanged a few pleasantries, and she left with her latte.

I turned back to Roo. "You really don't remember?"

Roo rolled her eyes.

"Mom, how do you expect me to remember that stuff?" she snorted. "I can't remember BREAKFAST!!!!!"

Honestly? I found that much funnier than she did.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

There's nothing to fear but ... uh ... never mind

I don't consider myself a chicken.

A lot of things that scare people don't scare me particularly.

Bugs? Eh. I'm the resident squisher here.

Snakes? Just ask J-bear which stepmother begged to be able to watch her feed the slithery thing. (Yes, it eats "pinkies." Yes, I took pictures. And no, I won't share. You're welcome.)

Scary house noises? Pfffft. I spent too many years having to be the one who investigates. No hiding under the covers for this former single mom.

Walking in the dark? Not my fave-rave, but I am capable of going between car and house or house and car at midnight by myself without fearful glances.


Driving in the fog?


On a recent night, when I drove home from my chorus rehearsal, the fog rolled in -- and my sanity rolled out.

I swear I still have the imprint of the steering wheel on my hands, and the thought of it still makes beads of cold sweat drip down my back.

I apologize to those on the freeway with me that night. Those who zipped around me at 55 miles an hour, while I crept along at 40 (at most).

Sorry, people. When it's that impenetrable, I don't travel further than my headlights can illuminate.

The best moment was cresting over the hill and seeing the clouds dissipate ...

... So I could finish the drive in relative peace.

And be a big brave bear once again.

Beware, bugs. I'm a-comin' ...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Say cheese!

One of the great pleasures I have had this fall has been as the "official" photographer for the Roo-girl's varsity cheer team.

It has given me some street cred with the girls, the cheer moms, the coach and the adviser -- as well as a field pass for the football games.

A total blast, let me tell ya.


(Continued at Mid-Century Modern Moms)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weekly Winners: October 25-31

With only two more weeks in the football season, I am coming to the end of my rope on creative ways to shoot my daughter and her team.

This week? A little tumbling. A little cold weather (jackets necessary). A little up-in-the-air duet.

Over backwards:

No, not my kid. But a cool shot, I thought.

Go!!! (And wear a jacket, for heaven's sake!)

What goes up must come down ...

The expression on her face as she lands cracks me the heck up!

One, two, three ... JUMP:

My girlie on the left, her cohort in crime on the right.

Go visit the lovely Lotus for more photos by people who are not in mourning for the impending end of the high school football season!
All Rights Reserved. Planet of Janet, 2010.