Thursday, December 27, 2007


The Thanks of a Grateful Pixie Nation to Miranda, who posted the best holiday music video, and to Yankee Transferred, who shared the most delicious recipe for coffee cake!

Many hugs to Camera Obscura, whose mom just got out of the hospital (but the nasty cold making rounds at CO's house may prevent a visit), and to Sara, whose uncle is very ill with cancer. Thinking of you and your families.

Ouchy Ooochy OUCH Awards to KLee, who suffered an unfortunate ankle injury accidentally inflicted by her husband while white-water shopping at El Diablo WalMarto, and to her beloved, JF, who also accidentally inflicted chemical burns upon the delicate underarm region of his anatomy.

Style Kudos to That Mommy, for a Christmas cookie recipe guaranteed to take the edge off of any holiday tensions! This is probably a total coincidence, but That Mommy also wins the coveted Gritted Teeth Award, for her grandparents ("a blip on our Jewish family tree") backed up a truck and offloaded a large amount of consumer Christmas.

Miracle of the Season Awards to Miranda, who not only survived the semester, but whose Mom went all-out to make Miranda's half-sister feel welcome at the celebration; and to Margalit, whose kids are doing better! Yay!

Thanks for playing this week! The brigadoon will return next week, hosted by the fabulous Sheila. A safe and happy 2008 to all!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On your mark! Get set! HO HO HO!

The cats already have their big present: the bestest toy shop and gymboree in the cat universe! They are in heaven -- especially the young foster kitties, who also appear to have special artistic talents with ribbon. Thankfully, there are a ton of unbreakable ornaments to festoon the battable sectors of the tree. We'll be finding them under the furniture for months.

That's about it for completed holiday preparations, unless you count the big bow I put on the shiny new water heater installed on an emergency basis last week [we are all about romantic marital gestures, around here]. I've got YT's Christmas Coffee Cake recipe and a partial possible menu. Got presents, but done no wrapping for those who will be here on Christmas. The cards, they did not happen, and I'm resigned to trying to make amends at some future date.

Also, the ants have begun the annual holiday pilgrimage to our kitchen. My husband has begun the annual festive hunt for tiny cracks that he has not sealed up during previous skirmishes. It's a classic war of the wits! We've already had the first snippy little exchange over something very stupid, too, so I'm calling this holiday ready for business.

Friends, Pixies, Elves, Parents, Adult Children of Persons, and Honorable Citizens: Bring your whines and anti-whines! Pass the virtual seasonal beverage of choice, and anything delicious! Hurl the fruitcakes, offer up those needing cluesticks in their stockings, and share the good, the great, the amusing and amazing!

This week's Brigadoon is an extended session, in honor of the season's vast array of emotional opportunities. Posts close Thursday morning. Be sure to nominate fellow travelers who are deserving of awards!

PS: Here's something to renew your holiday spirit. --Miranda

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Awards! Guest Presenter Edition!

Good evening, folks! Welcome to the Umteenth Hepdominal Whining Awards!

Tonight, we are presenting a special award to a woman who is not only stylish, but seasonal!

Here to present that award is our good friend - humorist, music critic, songwriter - Gary Oxford!

Gary: "Back when I started reading blogs, I never once imagined that the funniest thing I would ever read on a blog was an ode to how menstruation was interfering with the amorous activities of a couple of middle-aged lesbians, set as a parody of a holiday song."

Liz: "Let's take another look at the song, Gary."

Yankee T:

Oh, the periods they are frightful,
Menopause would be delightful,
But 'til you hit the big five-oh,
Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.

It doesn't show signs of stopping,
So we might as well go shopping,
No need to turn lights down low,
Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.

When we finally kiss goodnight,
We'll pretend that no sex is the norm,
And if you really hold me tight,
I'll try to ignore the red storm.

Your desire is slowly dying,
And the sheets, they are not flying
But since I still love you so,
Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow.

(There's always next week, right?)"

Gary: "Yankee T - you're my hero and deserving of the grand bull moose award of Lifetime Achievement in Stylish Whines."

Liz: "And Gary, here's your award - an extra-absorbant towel with which to remove nasal-blasted Chai tea from your iBook keyboard."

Liz: "And here's Kathy A. with some more awards."

Kathy A: "'Ain't work grand'...for Susan and Sara! [And] DMD! A Woman of the Year virtual trophy and a very sturdy lock for your office door!"

Liz: "And a year's supply of Bag Balm."

Liz: "And now, for Sue's doctor, we have the Advanced Medical Clue Stick. For Margalit, the WTF award, and for S. the coveted boomerang award for the fastest whine to anti-whine turnaround. Many hugs for you all dealing with toothaches, heartaches, and headaches (both literal and figurative). That's it for this week. See you at our special time next week when Kathy A brings Brigadoon early for Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wednesday Whining: Liz got a job edition

Antiwhine - I got a job covering a maternity leave for the month of winter break!
Whine - It starts tomorrow.
Antiwhine - MONEY!!!
Whine - Long commute.
Antiwhine - BUS SERVICE!
Whine - Gotta leave at 0630.
Antiwhine - MONEY!!!

So awards will be late on Thursday, 'kay?

Please tell your tales of Whine and "No"ses. Holiday shopping? Baking? Money woes? Obnoxious bosses? Bring 'em here! Shoulders a-plenty!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


There’s no doubt about it: kathy a. wins a hall of fame, lifetime achievement Style Award for her little ditty that sums up so much that we pixies whine about: Disengage!

Old Skool competition is high this week . . .

- Diane was chewed out by Mrs. Fancypants for not properly addressing Mr. Dr. Fancypants!
- Elizabeth locked her keys in her car but didn’t get it stolen!
- Liz had a flat tire, but still got to her final final on time!
- Sara’s son’s teacher didn’t even read the poem she crabbily lovingly constructed!
- Turtlebella’s nose is cold!
- Sheila has (c)han(n)uk(k)a(h)* wax under her nails!
- That Mommy thinks “All those people selfishly wishing for the future to just get here already are speeding up time”!
- Magpie can’t get no respect for her successful volunteer efforts!

The lull between major holidays has a lot of us in its thrall. Thank goodness.

Not feeling so good this week: Hugs, sympathy, and wishes for good medical care go to KLee’s dad and Camera Obscura’s mom. I hope Elizabeth’s cold thingy doesn’t last too long, Andy gets his contact lenses sorted out, Margalit gets her plumbing fixed and a ride when she needs one (fireplacing fireplacers!), Scrivener gets his almost-ex out of his hair, and Genevieve’s co-worker enjoys her package when it comes in the mail, instead of with a hug.

By popular acclaim (and a whole lotta chuckles) the Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes to KLee for " and I guess it decided to commit tree hari-kari." Third time’s the charm, right KLee?

Mazel Tov to Liz on finishing finals finally, and to Miranda for her fancypants award! Woohoo!

Thanks to everyone for playing, and tune in next week when the Christmas celebrators can complain about last minute mall crowds and the (c)han(n)uk(k)a(h) celebrators can complain that the house still smells like latkes and all the chocolate gelt is gone.

*credit to wolfa for this marvelous way of spelling the Jewish winter solstice holiday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Whining: Through the Blurry Glass

Welcome, whiners, to the mid-December whinefest.

It's slushy and slippery outside, I'm solo-parenting this week, and family are about to descend for a fun visit. Which part will be less than fun remains to be seen, but I'll let you know next week. My SIL is bound to say something tactless, and my mom will find something random to criticize. I am somewhat immune to this since the time she told me I don't have enough medium-sized mugs. Big ones, small ones, but not enough medium! The horror! But I love them, and we will have some fun.

My real whine is that the weird new glasses prescription I've been trying so hard to get used to? Might just be wrong. It occurred to me yesterday to close one eye at a time, and I realized that the left lens is making my vision blurry, not sharp. Well, that makes it harder to see, doesn't it?

I think I'll run in to the glasses place tomorrow to see if they got the lens wrong . . . if not, then back to the eye doctor, hunh?

Don't fear for my safety, I am still using my old glasses when I drive.

What are you doing this week? Slipping and sliding? Groaning and moaning? Swearing and shouting? Wrestling other shoppers for the last Cabbage Patch doll? Share!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

walking in a whining wonderland

Thanks to all for playing this week. It's time for awards...

The waiting for the other shoe to drop award to Madeleine, whose father suddenly wants her to know where his will is (and whose name I apparently can't spell -- sorry).

The lost that loving feeling award to Sarah, for whom sex has become another item on the to-do list (with thanks to Kathy A for the suggested title).

The got those health care blues award to Sue, Margalit, and That Mommy.

The style award goes to Lisa V for "I turn 44 next week. Forty-FOUR!! How is it that I am suddenly this far over forty? And I'm not rich, thin, charming, emotionally balanced, wise or a good skier. Shouldn't I have accomplished something by now?"

And the old skool award goes to all of us worrying about too many, or too few, or the wrong gifts.

Wishing everyone twinkling lights appropriate to the holiday(s) of their choice and the sort of light fluffy snow that looks great clinging to the trees but doesn't stick to the road or sidewalk.

Until next week....

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Another Wednesday

Huge thanks to Kathy who gently reminded me that I signed up to host since I'm such a space-brain that I had totally forgotten.

My whines: I'm not ready for it to be Hanukkah yet. I'm afraid my kids are present-obsessed ungrateful monsters who have no appreciation for how lucky they are. There's not enough snow to make snowballs with, but enough to make me dread my commute home tonight. And the idiots who fixed our car last month installed a locking gas cap on the tank -- without telling us! So I got to the pump yesterday morning and discovered I had no idea of how to get the cap off. (Fortunately I didn't actually run out of gas as a result.)

Please whine away!

-- Elizabeth

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Awards: The Crystal Edition

Another Wednesday has passed, folks. Most of us made it through, and with relatively little bloodshed. I say that's a win for everyone!

You learn something new every day. Apparently, the fifteenth wedding anniversary is the one where you gift your mate with crystal. Since Crystal didn't want to be wrapped up and stuffed into a box for my husband (she's not very obliging that way, darn her infernal soul!), we did Our Own Thing as usual. We decided to go for a family meal this Saturday to our favorite, and expensive, restaurant. We amended that we could *make* each other gifts for the actual day instead. In keeping with my (very large and financially ruinous) craft jones, I made Juggling Freak a card. When I arrived home from school today, he'd made me an adorable little clay penguin. (Yes, I have a thing for penguins. It all goes back to my wild love of Opus from the "Bloom County" comic strip. Don't ask. It's complicated.)

Anyhow, another thing upon the now miles-long list of Things I Did Not Know, is that if your husband gets sick and REALLY stuffed up, all that mucus that's clogging up his sinuses will eventually begin leaking out of the tear ducts in his eyes, giving him a gloriously nasty case of "viral-induced" conjunctivitis. I will now go wash all the pillowcases and sheets on our bed.

I also learned that I shouldn't wear my Crocs to school on days when it's expected to rain, as our main hallway has those institutional floors, and I hydroplane like a muther.

I've also learned that I have some awarding to do!

This week, In the "Whine of Substance" category:

Esperanza, who still does not have her wee one home with her from the NICU. It's bad enough that your sweetie is still there, without having to deal with the Drama Mamas who wail and rend their clothes because their baby has to stay OVERNIGHT in the NICU. Yeah, when you've got your own parking space at the hospital, *then* you're allowed to whine, you overly-dramatic wench! (The Drama Mama, not Esperanza. In case I wasn't clear. Like I am nine tenths of the time.)

Uccellina, and the insurance, or lack thereof. That's awful. Nothing like throwing you to the wolves all at once, is there?

Turtlebella, for the not-even-trying woes. And here's to hoping that pretty soon, your whines will be all about morning sickness and nipple pain. After all, someone's got to bring the boobage to the party.

Jenr for the boss putting off the performance review, and thus THE RAISE that *comes* from said review **AND** the sucky timing at being looked at for the Dream Job at the worst time. Here's crossing our fingers that they do remember you in the spring!

And in the "Not Minor By Any Means, But Still Extremely Vexatious" category:

Devil MacDawg with her Little Miss S's violent tantrii since the arrival of Baby Mac. Can we say "sibling rivalry"?

Margalit's Neverending Story of How Mental Illness in The U.S. Blows Donkeys, and the assorted crap that that dumps on her life. This, in addition to the busted toilet, complete with the landlord that cares not, and hives. Where's that Morton's Salt again?!

Liz and her brief ode to school: "School. Gah! Tearing hair out!!!" Higher learning has sure refined her editorial skillz, has it not?

Sue, and her GP, who is lacking the "humor is not appropriate right now" button. "Fireplace," indeed!

Jeni, who is apparently attending vet school where the administrators follow Corndog's New Math Principles. Apparently, under the New Math, five *does* actually equal 12! I'm damned if I know how they do it, but there it is. Probably has to do something with the conversion of American units to Scots, or something.

Amy's lament: "skool is dumm." No, honey -- that might just be your students. And their essays. And the fireplacing calendar. And....

The "Stylin' and Profilin'" goes out to thatmommy for not only becoming a mother of a THIRD child, but by doing so IN VERSE, and partly in Russian! Wow. Now, I just feel inadequate. :)

A special award, in honor of our founder, goes to Mrs. Coulter. She may now display the shiny, slashed, and x-ed through Dragon Scale of Gender Inequality proudly on her mantelpiece. Or, hurl it into the sun. Whichever.

kathy a. wins the coveted "Elevated Risk of Mullet" award this week via her diatribe to a glossy depiction of a higher standard of living: "I
want to beat them over the marketing lobes of their puny souls with a cluestick the size of a cannon, but haven't yet worked up enough energy to alert the consumer protection people about idiots who send highly-scented, diamond-encrusted, multi-pound junk mail to strangers." Hear, hear. When you think of a way, please do share!

Thanks to all for the whining this week, and all the lovely "happy anniversary" wishes. You guys rock out loud! Until next week, when Elizabeth will be the hostess to wow us with her presence and wit!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Whiner's Ball: Anniversary Waltz Edition

Welcome to the Whiner's Ball yet again! I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, and people are now recovered from the tryptophan-induced lethargy that came after. And those of you that braved the shopping: you lot are demented!

I'm celebrating my 15th wedding anniversary this Wednesday, hence the title. In honor of the momentous feat of my husband and I surviving all those years together, and not yet having killed or seriously maimed each other, I will try my level best not to join the voices upraised in (agonized) song this week. For those of you who'd like to read my tribute to fifteen years of wedded bliss, check my place on Wednesday.

What's new by you, pixies? Anything momentous to share? Any gripes that need airing before you spontaneously combust? Fire away when ready!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Prizes: The "*Urp!* - I Ate Too Much!" Edition

Okay, pixies... this is the master plan: YOU get to award the prizes this week! Read back through the whines, and you award your own prizes as you see fit.

I'll start us off with a "Elevated Risk of Mullet" award: to Corndog for his astute assessment of the new math and the state of politics in our country via the winning entry, "30 people = 2 turkeys...If this were true, wouldn't turkeys be running the country? This is why I never understood the new math. Plus they kept changing what "x" was." You have, sadly, described our current leadership very accurately.

Now it's all up to you, the glorious pixie posse! Award as you will, and let the turkeys fall where they may!

P.S. -- The whining thread remains open, too!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Special Edition: The Whiner's Banquet

Welcome, one and all to the Whiner's Version of the Thanksgiving Feast! We, the moderators (mostly other people, since I tend to read emails way after the fact...) have decided that this week's Whiner's Ball be deemed a Multi-Host, Week-Long Extravaganza! Much in the tradition of my family Thanksgivings, this way, the work is divided, and no one person is stuck doing all of the onerous (though fulfilling!) work alone.

By the way, I'm bringing Praline Sweet Potato Casserole; dinner rolls; Penne Pasta with garlic breadcrumbs, Olive Oil, and Almonds; and a Chocolate Raspberry Torte to the festivities. And that's just *my* contributions! My mother, who is hosting our family's get-together this year, plans to also make: a standing rib roast, a "small" turkey (small to my mother means anything you *don't* need a forklift to move), sausage stuffing, broccoli with cheese sauce, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, fried corn, and macaroni and cheese. And, I'm quite sure that there will be more. Can we go ahead and loosen our belts in anticipation now? I'll have a bottle of Pepto-Bismol with a bucket chaser as my beverage, please!

But, seriously -- in the spirit of the season, I say to you all: May all your whines be small, pixies. May the joys in your lives far outstrip your sorrows. May you be fortunate enough to hold your loved ones close, and to tell them what they mean to you. May the blessings, both great and small, flow for you and your families, and may you know how truly loved each and every one of you are. Give thanks, pixies, that we have this wonderful community here who provide support and laughter in times of overwhelming stress and sorrow. Be glad of the friends we have made, and who gather around our virtual table to share in the gifts that we bring to each other. I wish you peace and happiness, from our table to yours.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Awards! The laundry list edition

Seems like everybody's got the "Life's going to hell in a handbasket" blues this week.

The Good News/Bad News Award goes to....

  • Redzils who has a stupid paper due (BOO) BUT will be seeing her boyfriend for Thanksgiving (YAY) BUT meanwhile the boyfriend is being all good samaritan-ish with a homeless ex-fiancee (nicknamed "Imelda" for good reason).

  • That Mommy who forgot to pick up her baby at daycare for a well-baby appointment even though she remembered to go to the well-baby appointment because of sleep deprivation BUT said sleep deprivation is caused by all the assorted stuff one has to do to prepare for the homecoming of the newly adopted Kid3!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

  • Esperanza who is NOT having supply issues and her baby is gaining weight (YAY!) BUT is having clogged ducts and poor baby is still in the NICU (BOO). We hope baby comes home soon!!!

  • Debangel who sold her dad's house to a very nice lady who is also the director of an assisted living facility (YAY) BUT whose dad not only groped the nice lady director --- he also has a stash of Viagra in his nightstand (all together now: "Ewwwww").

The Style Award goes to...

  • Kathy A. for her ode to the Dancing Dads. I'm sorry you couldn't be there too, Kathy A.

The Bringing the Bodily Fluids Award goes to...

  • S.: "And when we arrived home it was to the all-too-familiar smell of Annoying Dog's bloody diarrhea." What more can one say?

The Holy Oxymoron Batman! Award goes to...

  • Swissmiss: "Anti-whine: In-laws!" I don't think I've ever heard that phrase uttered before.

Homebaked brownies to the folks who are swamped by work, parenting, headaches, backaches, food-poisoning, ill family members, spouses who are travelling, periods, the TWW, and zits.

That does it for this week! Tune in next time to see if MM can ask again in a nice voice!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Wednesday Whining: But I Said, "Please" Edition

It's been Wednesday all week here, from the point of view of a certain 5-year-old.

Earplugs, anyone?

How are y'all doing this week?

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Congratulations to DevilMacDawg on the safe arrival of Baby Mac!

Woo Hoo to Liz for a winning campaign!

Many hugs, chocolate, and sympathy for Scrivener, Margalit, and Andy.

Condolences to all who are suffering this week from corn allergies, exhaustion, tantrums, broken stuff, traffic tickets, breakups, deep personal insults, unfinished papers, flaky appliances, ice outside already, critical questions about the placement of months in their assigned seasons, time changes, layoffs at work, not getting laid off and receiving the severance package, pet power plays, litter box accidents, divorce, multiple meetings, unbloggable job stress of a beloved, grade-mongering emails, loud phones, strep throat, overly-efficient squirrels, dirty dishes, time change blues, performing as the bearer of bad news, word manglings, giggles, behavior modification, snow already, single parenting, second grade homework, vomit, carlessness, therapy, acting-out children, hospitalized children, blaming children, dealing with the phone company, lost elections, and plain old worn-outedness.

There is serious competition in the Old School category this week: Andy (pieces falling off the car, broken glovebox and lights, no spare tire, etc.); S (computerized phone calls, to the wrong number, in which the computer malfunctions); and Neighbor Lady (how come all the spoons are always dirty?).

Best New Invented Word Award to DevilMacDawg, for "tantri," the multiple of "tantrum."

Elevated Risk of Mullet Award to Mykal, for "peak whininess."
Thanks to everyone for playing! Join us again next week for another installment of "better living through whining!"
Editorial Update: A column in today's local paper discusses COMPLAINT CHOIRS!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Blues: Now Available in Extra-Whiney

This week's edition of the Whiner's Brigadoon is brought to you by the Federal Bureau of Stupid Things, which ordered us all to "fall back" this past Sunday. As a direct result, several clocks in my house now belong to different time zones, it gets dark way too early, and I wake up at a fireplacing indecent hour. Did I mention that this makes me feel crabby?
Whine: On Friday, husband gets to go to "Dads' Weekend" at daughter's university, and I get to stay home.
Antiwhine: The marching band* has lined the dads up to help with pregame and half-time shows at the big football game, and I am reliably informed that this commitment involves "fun dance steps" to the tune of "Men in Tights." On national television! Suwwweeet! Husband last danced at our wedding, and that didn't involve a chorus line. [Anyone who thinks parental devotion is not deep and true had best think again.]
Whine: The feral foster kittens who came to stay with us last week still hiss and growl when they see me. But, antiwhine: Baby kittie growls are the cutest things in the universe, and they do not seem to mind cuddling at all, once caught. They hide in the exact same easy-to-find spot every time, for cuddling convenience. It's all about appearances, baby.
What's new with you? Secret special prizes for the extra-whinies this week!
Posting early today on accounta crabbiness; also, Blogger has a scheduled outage at 11 p.m. PST.
* Daughter plays alto saxophone in marching band. The photo is not a real alto sax. It is amazing, what a bored person can buy at the craft store for $3.50.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Prizes: Happy Cheap Candy Day!

First, kudos to Queen of West Procrastination for naming this glorious day!

Big hugs and many pixie good wishes to Esperanza and her sweet baboo, and to Margalit.

Cheers for Mrs. Coulter, whose scary whine of last week turned out to be a false alarm.

Condolances and handfuls of choice leftover candy to everyone suffering from: Craft Deficit Disorder, hospitalized children, difficult children, a shortage of trick-or-treaters, ruined aspirations for money-making, overwork, too many weeks before Thanksgiving, feelings of oldness, jet lag, dads who get fired for reasons unknown but icky to contemplate, tiredness, work overload, remodeling, marauding wildlife, stomach flu (kid version and/or parental version), coffee twitchies, concerts missed, allergies, declarations of kid independence, divorce and all its wonderfulness, headaches, depression, giant pimples, painful corns, asthma, and other maladies.

Style Award goes again to Yankee Transferred, for her moving piece, Ode to Halloweens Past and Teenager Present, which concludes with the timeless advice, "Enjoy your little ones while they are little."

Elevated Risk of Mullet Award to Klee, for "Damn you, train of thought! I'm not your friend anymore!"

Old Skool Awards: to Andy, whose landlord replaced the apartment washer with one that takes money (the nerve!); and to Kabbage, who whines of the "cognitive dissonance induced by listening to Christmas carols . . . while I'm dodging trick-or-treaters."

Joy in Mudville Award to the Boston Red Sox and fans!
Along those lines, the Best Pumpkin Award goes to Genevieve, who carved hers with a Boston B.

Best Costume Awards to all those dedicated parents who assembled costumes representing Peter Pan, ghosts, Supreme Ruler of the Universe, Singing Ninja, Naruto, Buzz Lightyear, Green Goblin, and thousands of other creatures of the imagination! Toasts for all with the adult beverages of choice.

Best Costumes-That-Could-Have-Been Awards: to Liz (who tried for Ang the Avator and Luke Skywalker, but failed to score); Andy (who wanted to be Zombie Jesus but had no party to attend); and Klee (whose daughter fell over the coolness cliff this year and refused to trick-or-treat).

Best Costume Story Award to Liz, who left us rolling in the aisles with a tale of college thespianism. Liz receives a tasteful virtual prize:

That's it for this week's edition of Wednesday Whining! Join us next week for another exciting installment!

Edited to add: Remembering What It's All About Award to Esperanza! Apologies for the oversight.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween at the Whiner's Ball

Greetings, Ghosts and Goblins, Witches and Werewolves! Come share with us your tales of gloom, horror, and smashing success! Quick, pass the candy before the kids eat all the good stuff.

Special to the Brigadoon this week: a Costume Contest! Prizes for best costume, and best story concerning a costume. *

Let's get the ball rolling with a Treat: the Great Pumpkin arrived early for fans of the Red Sox! Our own PS hosted the only sports commentary that has ever captured my interest for more than 2 minutes. The dessert recipes alone were worth the price of admission.

And another: I just got Molly Ivins' last book, The Bill of Wrongs, and so far it is wonderful.

On to the Tricks: Did you ever get a phone call at 6:30 a.m., and nobody ever calls then unless someone has died, so you know it is an emergency? Yeah. That happened this morning.

My evil SIL's "emergency" is that she wants to unload some crap that she doesn't want, because she is moving soon, and when she moves she unloads the old because she buys expensive new crap, and the old often ends up in my living room. Her excuse this time is that she wants to give it to our son, who doesn't even live here; this would seem generous, except she hasn't so much as spoken to him in 18 months and fails to remember him on occasions like his birthday and Christmas. So, it boils down to wanting to leave her crap in my living room, again. It's just "easier" that way, doncha know. On the up side, she and I don't speak, so I just have to deal with her leftover stuff, not her personally. [Her brother says, "whatever" to get her off the phone, but there is hope that one day he will say, "How 'bout you call one of those donation places, like a normal person?"]

I'm sure you've got better whines than that one, so have at it!
* I do not have the faintest idea how to post photos in comments, unless you have an URL to link. So, use your words, is the host's advice.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Are You Butch Enough to Use a Plunger?

That is my question to you all.

If detailed discussions of toddler poop make you squeam, just head right down to the comment fields.

You Have Been Warned.

Z. has been pretty darn consistent about pooping in the potty for a few months now, but I made a maternal blunder and fed her apple juice when there was no potty anywhere around. Now, just to embarrass my child beyond all belief if it ever happens that she finds this particular entry of this Brigadoon blog in her teens, the way Z.'s poop hits her diaper creates an item that must be flushed, yet is shaped just exactly so that it will not. It requires the use of a plunger. Every single time. In the few months since the last time we needed to flush poop from a diaper, Z. has gotten bigger. She eats more. You see where this is going. Tonight, every time we wander up to the second floor, we plunge a little. It's a good thing we have more than one bathroom in this house, that's all I can say.

In pettier household news (ha! pettier! I kill myself), why am I always the one to let the dogs in when I'm NEVER the one who lets them out? Inquiring minds want to know.

And, yeah, yeah, I'm writing this one despite my hiatus. I miss you guys, but my plate is still pretty full in real life. I'll be back when things settle down, I promise.

So pixies, what's going on in your lives? --Sheila

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Awards: The Margarita Edition

I figure all that Morton's Salt ought to not go to waste, so I have whipped up a trash can (see, I told you we was classy!) full of virtual margaritas for the pixies to imbibe! And, after a week like this, I say we all deserve a libation, or forty.

Let me start, first, by saying that Phantom always made this gig look so effortless. Sue, I think we all knew *exactly* what you meant when you said you miss her. I do as well. Who knew how hard it really is to whittle down what ALL seem like worthy WW contenders? I know that it's all in fun, but having a support system really does help me get through some weeks, so I hereby award everyone a "I Am A Worthy Whiner!" Award. You all deserve one!

Whines of Substance this week go to:

Amy, and Sarah at ratatat for their wanting-to-be-pregnant woes. I wish I could offer sage advice, but look what I got to work with! Or not. (With family like mine, it's probably best if we don't reproduce much, anyway.) I wish you both the best of luck, and will pray that next month, you'll be getting "We Know What YOU'VE Been Doing!!!" Awards.


Anonymous for the S.O., and the "drifting apart." You have many hugs and well-wishes headed your way, Anon. I'm so, so sorry.

Old Skool Awards this week head out to:

Turtlebella, because I am right with you on the plant-killing. I've often said that I have a black thumb, because my mangling of poor, innocent houseplants borders on the terrifying. I love them, but I can't manage to keep them alive. I've killed air ferns, people. AIR FERNS. Things which are supposed to subsist solely on the air around them, and I have managed to convince them that this is not a wise move on their parts. I've killed cacti. And Chia pets. My freaking CHILD could grow a Chia pet at age five, but I apparently lack the necessary skillz to keep greenery from becoming blackery. That being said (or ranted, as the case may be), I feel your pain, Turtlebella.


Elizabeth for the stress and self-loathing incurred when knowing you have a deadline for articles and chapters looming, but yet not having the motivation or wherewithal to get said projects done. I know how hard it is to get motivated -- I figure each day is a success when I walk out of the front door in the morning with my clothes facing the right way out.

"Desperately in Need of a Handy Cluestick" awards go out to:

Sara and her suffering child for the trials of dorkdom. Feel free to wield the cluestick on people who hurt your beloved with gleeful abandon. Those mean kids never seem to get better, unfortunately. The only thing you can do for your baby is be supportive, and tell them you dealt with much the same growing up. It sure doesn't make it hurt any less, but maybe your child, with time, will grow to see that YOU didn't turn out so bad, and neither will they. Until then, the beatings will continue until those kids learn to keep their big yaps shut!


Miranda for her fireplacing fireplacer of a professor. Have these people not ever heard of an internal filter?!? If something seems like it's a Bad Thing to do or say, chances are you should probably NOT DO OR SAY IT! I'm so angry on your behalf right now! Did this professor actually think his/her conduct would *inspire* you? It would just piss me off. And, in fact -- it has. Many apologies are tendered to you at the actions of this assmunch. Not all people should be teachers, and this eloquently proves my point.

Awards of Mega Margaritas go out to:

Sue for the endless headaches. I have said before that I just don't know how you do it. I know I couldn't. I hope that you find some relief soon. Something. ANYTHING. I will pray that God lifts this burden from your already-full plate. Surely, someone in His service should not be laden with this affliction for so long.


redzils for the mother woes. And the angst, and the faraway boyfriend, and the ill grandparent. I see you know what I mean about it pouring. Salut!


Margalit for having a therapist who just may be the one who is *whacked in the head* for trying to blame Son's problems on Daughter. Um.... what the fireplace?!? I know there's a sibling dynamic, and a struggle for the affection of the parental units in any sibling relationship, but what the hell was this person smoking?! Also, for the migraine, the not sleeping and cranberry-pill solution to the cat's blockage. (May I suggest a cork for the kitteh?) All these other difficulties make the situation with the therapist so much more onerous. You can have *two* margaritas, Margalit. One for you, and one for your therapist, because the color of the sky in his or her world is probably the same color.

Hugs and wishes for better tomorrows for everyone else. Please check back with us next week, when the sublime and sultry Sheila is bringing the Brigadoon back from the ether.

It Never Rains, But Pours

Welcome, pixies to the Morton's Salt edition of the Whiner's Ball. This is dedicated to all of you who just can't seem to get out from under this week. And, of which I am one.

Let's just say that things started off annoying, and got downright brutal from there. Those three of you who read my blog know that I went off to the mountains of North Carolina this weekend for my cousin's wedding. (This is where the annoying part starts, sliding into the brutal.)

There are definite reasons that I live far, far away from most of my family. We arrived in the mountains, my mother, my daughter and I, at 12:30pm on Friday, and were immediately put to work. Now, don't get me wrong -- I don't mind helping out -- not at all -- but imagine my surprise when I, an actual *invited* guest to this shindig, was expected to make the coffee and act as a waitress for those people attending the rehearsal dinner. I did as I was asked, knowing that tempers were short, and that they are my family. I wasn't real pleased, mind you, but I wanted her day to be special.

I lost my cool on Saturday, though, after being bitched at for doing a task that I was asked to do. I threw a little hissy of my own, and proceeded to announce that I was an invited guest, not a hired hand. I was sick, still hacking with that cough that earned my coveted "Elevated Risk of Lung Butter" award last week, and every! single! fricking! person! smoked like there was no tomorrow and cigarettes were their only sustenance. Well, I exaggerate slightly. I didn't smoke, and neither did Offspring. We were downright lonely.

The luster of the weekend was also tainted by the fact that Monday was my birthday, and I gave up my entire weekend to assist people who treated me like domestic help, and on top of it, I missed celebrating with my husband and daughter to travel five hours (through three states) and get bitched at.

On the drive to the mountains, I learned that my maternal uncle would not be making the wedding because he'd suffered a heart attack on Thursday. The good news was that it was a mild heart attack, but the bad was that it occurred in a bad location. We drove through CityOfMyBirth on the way back home on Sunday, and stopped in at the hospital. He seemed in good spirits, but is still in the Cardiac unit, due to episodes of defibrillation.

Monday dawns, along with my birthday. I am feeling every single one of my 37 years, and took to telling people that I was three days older than the sand in Jesus' shoes. "37" may just be a number, but it is seriously messing with my head.

This morning, I'm jolted awake by my husband who says that his mother checked into the local ER overnight for a massive gall bladder attack. Being a fairly sound sleeper who occasionally dreams that her family members are blue triangles (Damn Ray Bradbury and "I Sing the Body Electric"!), I called him later at work to make sure that was not a hallucination. It was not. M-I-L is set to have the stone removed tomorrow, and the gall bladder removed this coming Thursday.

Can someone please stop this week? I want to get off!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Prizes! Prizes! We love Prizes!

Oh, I'm so sorry it's come to this - late posting of prizes while my dinner is cooking in the oven. Yeah - we won't have dinner until after 7 tonight, again. But at least I cooked something!

First, I think we all need to stop and give our dear pal Scrivner a big group hug. You've been through hell and back, even more so than we knew.

Second - HOORAY for Esperanza. May your NICU experience be brief and pleasant, and may you rid yourself of the dreaded pump quickly. Congratulations!!!

On to the style awards - Kathy A's lovely ode to a dear Kitty Cat takes it running away this week, and here's hoping your dear Friskie-toes has more frisky days ahead. Back to what it's all about here - we have two winners in the Nipple Category - the aforementioned Esperanza, and also Jenvieve. A special bodily fluids award for Liz. Snot and pee, all at once. Oooh boy. That sounds just fun. A hearty dose of clue stick whackings to clueless moms and dads and beer-hogging husbands.

Coming in with an elevated risk of mullet, I gotta hand it to KLee with the "Lung Butter." EEWWW!!!

Lastly, the Old Skool Whine award has to go to Queen of West Procrastination and her sneeze-inducing iPod. Oy!

That wraps it up Pixies - If I left anyone out, I'm so sorry. But dinner is now about ready. Y'all have a great week!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Welcome back to the Whiners' Ball

Ah dear pixies, it's that time of the week again - time for us to come together to kvetch, moan and groan about the things in life that just aren't going our way. That fabulous indulgence of whining for whining's sake. You know you love it - it surely makes me feel better!

I've been an absent whiner, blogger... well almost everything. Something about a new job, a 2 1/2 year old, a law student husband and pregnancy tends to suck the ever-loving life out of anyone. Add to that the heat we've had and the desire to socialize with family and friends, and you have one absent blogging lady.

But I really can't complain too much - I'm uncomfortable, tired, crabby and generally no fun at all, but isn't that the way of anyone at almost 37 weeks pregnant and counting? And my husband is busy in only the way 2Ls can be - you lawyer types (or married to lawyer types) will understand. Oh, and I got the biggest joke today - notification from the Ga Bar that they will publish the exam results at 4 pm on October 26. The same day I'm scheduled to have a c-section earlier in the morning. Uhhh, pass or fail, I don't think I'll be too concerned!

So have at it, Pixies - to borrow a line from our "Founder", How's by you?

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Hugs and 5 pounds of the Halloween candy of choice to all the Pixies, whose worthy whines this week include (but are not limited to): neighbors so in need of a hobby that they string the roof with halloween lights; the annual Halloween Costume Scramble; irritating and/or clueless customers; lectures on "responsibility" from someone who lacks that particular quality; missing classes, eek! (even for a happy reason); control freaks; dental work; serious illness of a dear and long-distance friend; managers, and endless meetings featuring management-speak; cold in the nose; painful therapy; precocious looooove; spitup; fundraising; self-branding; self-decoration with sharpie marker or printer ink; and medical woes of various sorts.

Scriv, we'll help supply the bunker. Margalit, here's hoping things settle the fireplace down.

STYLE Award to (and crossed fingers for) Kathy R., for "My Doctor’s Ode to My Mystery Malady."
It wasn’t ovarian cancer.
It can’t be because of the cyst.
Your “samples” are coming back perfect.
What could it be that we’ve missed?

The ultrasound, it showed us nothing.
The symptoms, they intensify.
We’re stumped by your mystery illness.
How ‘bout Friday a nice MRI?

ELEVATED RISK OF MULLET Award to Diane, who asks: "When they go out in public, do they just leave all their marbles in the car?"

OLD SCHOOL Award to Sue, who has a code in her node (cold in her nose), which caused her to introduce the BEST NEW SWEAR WORD, "Sit." As Pug&MooseMama observed, "My dogs may be confused, but hey," sitting isn't a bad thing.

Hooray for ANTIWHINES of smilingsmilingsmiling, money in the bank, and others bringing joy to Pixies this week!

Best to Moreena and TEAM ANNIKA, in their run/walk/wagon ride to raise money for the American Liver Foundation's research, education, and outreach!

See you next week, for another exciting edition of the Whiner's Ball.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Let the Whining Begin!

This week's installment of the Whiner's Ball is brought to you by the cat formerly known as Anonymous, now positively identified as Psychotic Kitty, whose apparent new mission in life is to make sure I never for one tiny little second ever think I have an "empty nest." Because she needs me! Desperately! So badly she'll eat the packing tape off of boxes and barf in a very decorative manner, if she can't sit on my keyboard or my head -- while maintaining her daily expressions in the tub. Is it evil to feed her catnip, just to chill her out for a little while?

In Anti-Whines: Daughter has been off at her university for a couple of weeks, and is actually enjoying her classes! Her band performed at her first big football game, and she had a blast! The game wasn't televised here, so her dad and I have become pathetic but proud old people, getting excited about a webcam shot [refreshed every 30 seconds] of a giant stadium video screen shot [random] of something involving our baby. Woo Hoo!

Bonus Question: If you are asked to recite the last 4 digits of your SS number, do you have to recite the whole thing in your head before you answer [like singing the ABC's to do filing]? Or is it just me?

Bonus seasonal whine: Don't get me started on seeing Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas stuff all over the stores. These people are pathetic, or they would have New Year's and Groundhog Day and Valentine's Day stuff out, too. And Arbor Day, what ever happened to that?

So, we are definitely in an Old Skewl mood over here at this week's Whining Central. How are things for you? Bring on your whines, big and small!
Edited to add some Breaking Pixie News! Our friend Moreena, mom to the fabulous Annika and Frankie, is helping sponsor a fundraiser for the American Liver Foundation! She and TEAM ANNIKA will be walking, running, and riding in the wagon to raise money to support liver research and medical advances! Please help Moreena and TEAM ANNIKA reach their fundraising goal of $5,000; every little bit helps, and with her typical humility, Moreena will be thrilled with each $5.00 donation. (Ed. Note: Please dig deeper if you can.)
Annika is 6 years old and awaiting a liver transplant. See the site to learn more:
* Donations can be made anonymously. There is a message section in the donation form, so if you want to send pseudononymous greetings, you can.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Sorry I'm a little late with the awards ceremony, but I've just started a boot class at the gym down the road and it took some time today to recover enough from it to type. Since it's now Thursday, I won't whine about how much my arms feel like rubber or about running wind sprints uphill. Really, I won't.

The Glad to Hear That You're Alive award goes to Margalit after her 5-day adventure in the hospital followed by a less-than-joyful return home.

The Old School Awards go to Sarah for "feeling oh so lazy" and having "a mild cold, and to Jenr who has a shy and/or stubborn baby on the way.

For the Style Award, all the pixies unanimously chose YT's "Ode to a Good Friend" as deserving distinction; however, seeing as how her ode was entirely an anti-whine, I don't believe it qualifies in this category. Therefore, I'm awarding the prize to kathy a for her silly haiku about the cat going in the tub. Honorable mention to Jenevieve for the alliterative whine/antiwhine "colic" and "cookies."

The Remembering What It's All About Award goes to michaela, who may not have brought the nipples to the Whiners' Ball, but she did bring the bodily fluids in the form of sweat behind her knees.

And the Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes to Amy for the line "My daughter is only three and she has beaten me." Some sort of honorable mention for the inversion of that phrase by K: "Hugs to [...] the parents whose children are beating them." I just find that amusing.

Finally, thanks for all the well-wishing and support for my friend. I have not heard much of anything about what's going on since the end of last week, so I'm feeling pretty nervous. Hopefully, I'll have an update in next week's whining thread, and hopefully it will be an enormous anti-whine.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Whine some little whines for me

Howdy pixies, you ready to whine?

I'll try to lay off my long catalog of the-sky-is-falling whines and just pass along this one. Earlier today, a charity was scheduled to come by and pick up some clothes we were donating, and once I had them packed up, labeled, and placed outside I decided to get ambitious and also give away some of the boxes of baby clothes and toys that have been stuffed in boxes on a shelf in the garage for a couple of years. I've been reading a lot of Buddhist self-help books these days and thinking about this idea of letting go, and this seemed like a good exercise for me given my fundamental pack-rat nature. So I gave away a whole slew of the toys my kids played with when they were babies. I went through them all and remembered when the kids were so small and gave them all away. I only kept one little toy, a small octopus rattle that was the very first toy each of my kids reached for when they were babies. I don't know what to do with it, maybe I'll hang it from the rear view mirror of my car. I spent most of the morning feeling really sad and nostalgic. Remind me should such a situation ever arise again, that it's best not to stir all that up in the middle of a period which is otherwise thoroughly chaotic.

How's about y'all? What's going on in your neck of the woods?

P.S. I know I said I'd lay off the big-time whines, but my friend who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer goes in later today for a biopsy of her liver, which if it comes back as benign growth would make her cancer stage 1 or 2 instead of 4. Then tomorrow she'll have the tube inserted into her chest for her chemo treatments. Please think healing thoughts for her.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Awards - Cluestick Squad Edition

The Day of Atonement is nigh and boy, do the people who populate the Pixies' individual universes have much to atone for. Instead of shiny apples, the Cluestick Squad unanimously elected to chop down an entire orchard and fashion a plethora of cluestick sizes, shapes, and colors. We promise to look very threatening with our cluesticks as we encourage bosses, spouses, family members, children who don't take their required medications, mental health professionals, car dealers, digestive systems, reproductive systems, immune systems, retailers already decorated for both Halloween and Christmas, tree branches that fall on vehicles, mammographers, children who go to college far away, and fellow commuters who can't be bothered with either braking or signaling - anywhere a Pixie feels unheard, unloved, and unappreciated - to correct their ways. We will not take no for an answer!

An apple strudel to Yankee T for her always stylish verse that never goes out of style. It is the black of the Whiners Ball.

Finally, a homemade apple pie prize for Elevated Risk of Mullet is awarded to Debangel for fearing she is at Elevated Risk of Pullet. You also get a special commemoration clue stick engraved with bologna sandwich.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Will I look dorky with a parka over my tube top?

I know I complained about the weather being too hot just two short weeks ago, but the solution, Mother Nature, was not to cycle through all four seasons as quickly as my children cycle through their respective feelings of love, friendship, and loathing during the two hours between dismissal and dinner. So take a chill pill, Mother Nature and let us enjoy the transition from late summer to early fall.

So how's it going, Pixies? Are you kids still liking school? For those of you who instruct, have you found a few students who seem positively enthused in your subject? For those of you who are students, have you found a few instructors who seem positively in their subject? Dish below and shiny, fresh-picked apples await those who submit delicious whines of style, whines with elevated risk of mullets (or mallets!), and most humorous old skool whine.

Hugs and chocolate (and stronger tonics, if need be) to all those with more substantive whines.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Hugs and chocolate to everyone this week! Double helpings for Mrs. Coulter, Debangel, Purple Kangaroo, Amy, Diane, Scrivener, Camera Obscura, Mykal, Margalit, Sara. Cluesticks to all in need.

We're all doing the happy dance for Jeni, whose beautiful son Hosea has arrived!

Condolances to YT and her Gigi, and to That Mommy. Our thoughts are with you.

Old School Awards to:

* Kabbage, who whines that she saw her first Christmas ornaments before labor day, and got the first catalogs already.

* Scrivener, whose temporary crown was felled by that old nemesis, chewing gum, AND whose wife responded to his hard-won new buffness by observing that his pants don't fit.

* Queen of West Procrastination: "Curse you, large plate of spicy fries that I ate yesterday!"

In the Style category, kudos to Sue, for her fireplacingly elegant prose submission, "Conversation with Square One."

Elevated Risk of Mullet Awards to:

* Amy, for "you can't win [the baby lottery] if you don't play."

* Sara, who did "battle with the fierce Beast Excel," only to find someone else got the same fireplacing assignment, too, and she could have skipped all that fun.

"Ain't that the truth" Award to Mrs. Coulter, for the observation, "A three year old does not provide effective commiseration."

Bad Socks, Bad! Award to Sarah, who is currently and may forever be struggling with the dreaded clothing aversion temper fits.

Special recognition for cluestick-worthiness: the boss of our own Name Under Development, who cannot trust an 11 year employee with a credit card to buy paper plates. That's a morale builder every time!

Thanks to all the pixies for playing. The brigadoon will be back next week; hope to see you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Welcome to the Aloha! edition of the Whiner's Ball, sponsored this week by cute little invisible dragons, which used to roam around my daughter's tiny hand and tell her stories. The dragons liked chocolate, a lot; also bubble baths, silly books, TtFTE, and pretending to be fairies with magic wands. Or veterinarians. Or rock stars. It kind of depended on their moods.

Alas, my baby daughter got too big for her dragons, and now she is heading off to college in another state. My big antiwhine is: wow, a whole new world! I'm so excited for her; a million doors will open. She's taking a bunch of interesting classes to help her decide her major, and she'll be in the marching band. And her roomie is from Hawaii! Aloha! We had one last mom/daughter adventure Sunday, visiting a huge street fair where we saw absolutely everything: dogs, dragons, dancing, taiko drums, art, art cars, jewelry, old friends, bands, food, people, and a ukelale orchestra with hula dancing!

Whines: OMG, impending empty nest! And OMG, she'll be so far! And, since she is supposed to put all her stuff in the car Friday, is it really too early to, like, think of packing?? I've become the kind of pathetic old person who buys shelf paper and toenail clippers and sticky-notes and 300 other random items for a legal adult, because she might never be able to find them there. There is a danger of flooding when we leave; better take kleenex.

Passing the adult beverages, pineapple, macadamia nuts, and teryiaki kabobs. Tell us your tales of doom, dismay, victory, and humor! Prizes for style, elevated risk of mullet, and old school whining entries! Please make up an undercover name, if you must whine even more anonymously than usual. Aloha!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Special Edition: 9/11

Six years, my friends, since everything changed.

Six years, since we heard the horrible news, one way or another.

Six years, and I suspect a lot of us are still trying to make sense of what happened, and what has flowed from that.

9/11 was a collective tragedy. Please share your memories, thoughts, feelings, if you wish. This thread will stay open until Thursday.

Thanks to Robin Andrea at, for the inspiration of her lovely post.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Prizes: Never surrender!

This awards ceremony is brought to you time-delayed courtesy of the giant timesuck, I mean insightful discussion taking place at Bitch, Ph.D. on American attitudes toward money as seen through the lens of the insane cost of housing. What does that have to do with Wednesday Whining, other than some overlap in participants? This comment, which might as well be our rallying cry:
Forfeit whining rights?

And on that note, I award the Whine of Style to Yankee Transplant, for a beautifully structured poem on how good life is, which leaves her nothing to whine about. Nooooooothing to whiiiiiine about! It’s a tragedy.

(And a nod to my very own Snuggly Girl, who had basically the same complaint after her first day of school, though she expressed it without style. And followed up with two nights of sleep disturbance. Worrying? Naaaaah. Not her. But I digress.)

Whine of Substance awards (and buckets of hugs) to:

KLee, because sewage in the workplace? Not OK.

Sue, whose endless headaches and depression leave her apathetic about the chicken and the egg.

Margalit, whose kids have pulled a switcheroo on her. And extra hugs to get you and the Boy through tomorrow’s funeral.

Elevated Risk of Mullet award to turtlebella, for “But really, I'd prefer just to have the sour skittles without the whine-induction.”

Seasonal Anti-whine award to Sue for “New pens.”

Finally, a great big back-to-school hug for everyone who sent a baby (of any age) off into the unknown this week. And everyone who tripped on them as they bumbled around their new school.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Whining: the post-Labour Day edition

It's Back! To! School! for us this week. My please-god-let-it-end whines are less about summer vacation itself (we had a pretty good time) and more about the capacity of my child for anticipatory anxiety. The wailing at bedtime for the past few nights has been nuts. Probably developmentally appropriate and all, just nuts. Because the chances that she’ll fail second grade because she doesn’t have a red marker are fairly low.

We went marker-shopping last Friday, which freed us up to move on to the real worries. The chances that she’ll have a mean kid in her class are somewhat higher than the second grade failure rate. And my guilt that I didn’t find better ways to deal with her mean-kid experiences last year is, you know, huge. Nothing beats finding out over the summer that the reason she didn’t eat much lunch last year was because the kid across the table was kicking her, so she just wanted to get outside as fast as possible.

Things will be a blur once I pick her up today, so I’m going to open up the whiner’s ball and save my First! Day! of! School! whines for later. Those of you who are a week or so in can feel free to remind me that the drama will die down. And those of you without kids can feel free to complain about how much worse the traffic is now that all those darn students are back.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Prizes - Duck and Cover Edition

This will be short since I have a houseful of extras today and a wedding to help get ready for. I'm also inventorying my crockery since it is a family affair. However, I promised myself I will let the bride make the first toss. The most sophisticated of prognosticators have determined that she will most likely to lob several large platters tomorrow. Seriously, mazel tov to the bride and groom. They've overcome a lot to get to this point and I am so happy for them.

Best Target of an Angry Flame-Throwing Pixie Mob goes to Sue's harasser. Sue, I really hope this sorts itself out quickly for you.

The Award of Free Time Three cheers to all the pixies whose little wildcats are now the responsibility of schools for a least a few hours a day. A round of peace and quiet for the busy mamas who have survived the Heatwaves and Monsoons that made up Summer 2007. Y'all, don't be like me and then volunteer for every freaking PTA committee because all that free time starts to feel scary, okay?

Style and Elegance Award Brava to Yankee T for her elegant "A Whiny Poem About the Heat." I've long admired your ability to not just string words together coherently, a feat in itself for me most days, but you can do it verse. A beautiful, old-fashioned silk fan for you so you can cool off the Scarlet O'Hara way.

Baby, Get Out Her Belly Award. Jenevieve, I hope your baby arrives soon. Sending you speedy labor vibes to help get things started.

Serendipity Award to Jenny F. Scientist for finding some expensive antibodies when cleaning out her defrosted samples. A pair of permacold freezers for you.

Before the Brigadoon disappears into the horizon, let's give a lifetime supply of crockery for Mykal, Turtlebella, Queen of West Procrastination, Phantom Scribbler, DevilMacDawg, and all the other pixies with toxic relatives or impossible officemates.

Thanks for playing along and I'll leave the comments open for any impromptu awards from the floor. Until next week, when Madeleine will helm the Brigadoon. Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wildcats in the house

And in the fridge and on the computer and fighting over the television and, goddess forbid, breathing right next to one another. I am going to be so happy next Tuesday when the kids all go back to school. That's all I'm saying.

My oldest is starting high school and has already been asked out for Homecoming. His classes are all rigorous and he's excited to start his next chapter in his life. I'm not sure I am ready for all of this. Just ignore the pile of sodden tissues next to me, 'kay?

The Dancing Girl has yet another amazing teacher. Best of all, Zilla has the most wonderful first grader teacher in the world. His sis had her a few years ago and this should repair the emotional damage caused by that awful kindergarten teacher he had last year.

With that one major whine/anti-whine combo (plus no school buses for their special program this year because our state legislature is Teh Suck), I invite pixies one and all share their whines. Prizes will be awarded for Style, Old Skewl, and Elevated Risk of Mullet. As always, sign your post with *something* so we may properly direct our liquor, chocolate, coffee, and recalcitrant children hugs.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Awards!...better late than never edition

And perhaps also better something than nothing? It's been a lunatic day, in my head, anyway.

This week's Whines of Substance go to

Esperanza, who is sad for her baby-to-be.

Yankee, who's pulling hard for Gigi's birth mom.

And Liceridden, who is itchy and minus a desire to live.

And it is already 6pm in my time zone, and I need to go to the co-op, so I am going to leave the comments open this time for DIY awards. Have at 'em, all!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hey, boys and mostly girls ...'s time to whine!

Whine: the rain. Grey, cold, and dragging on for days. It's summer still, so it's not actually sucking the happiness out of my chest the way it will a few more months down the road, but it's making me a little more wistful than August usually finds me. And I miss the pool! Which is closing soon!

Danged hurricane season.

Antiwhine: I am smack in the middle of the Eastern seaboard, an hour's drive from the shore, let alone anywhere near the Gulf, let alone in the Caribbean, so that sure makes my whine look whiiiiny, doesn't it?

Further whine: next week, school starts so I will need to be getting up at 6 instead of more or less whenever I feel like it. Which means I need to stop going to bed more or less whenever I feel like it.

Further antiwhine: There's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.*

And one last antiwhine: my girl is going to be in a new room at daycare, one where the policy is to support potty training instead of to thwart it. She had her first dry-from-waking-up-to-going-to-sleep day this week! There was cheering and clapping and a present to unwrap! I gotta say, the bare tushy approach is a marvelous thing.

And now the floor is yours.

Remember--no anonymice. If you don't want to sign your post, make up a fancy new pseudonym so we don't feel obliged to take it down.


*(points to the first pixie to catch the reference)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Awards! Morning at the doctor's office edition

Old Skool Awards first: The Birthday Letdown Award goes to tiruncula who wants her other dollar. We're taking up a collection for you!

The It's Too Darn Hot Award goes to Scrivener (no AC and over a week of over 100 degrees! Oy!), to devilmacdawg (pregnant! In Texas!), and to camera obscura (who's also having to deal with Too Much Laundry and Not Enough Appliances).

The Waiting is the Hardest Part Award goes to queen of west procrastination who's waiting for her Exciting! New! Computer! to arrive from its sojourn in the States.

The coveted Style Award goes to:
  • kathy a., who's also in the running for Elevated Risk of Mullet for "Somewhere over the rainbow/cats won't poop/in the bathtub where/it is hard to scoop"
  • YT for her Whiney Ode to Kids Who Leave For College ("Two! Two College kids this year!")
  • and lastly to Turtlebella who sings about her mother and Ex? Step-father.

And now to the Elevated Risk of Mullet:

  • First Runner-up goes to....uccellina who is so graceful as she "does the dance of morning sickness"
  • And the winner is...debangel!!! With the immortal words:
    "if I give you a dollar, will you promise to at least think about changing it
    into pennies and administering it to Gramma Scrooge in suppository form?"

Hugs and lots of sympathy to ccw for in-law woes (hooray for finding your BIL's mom!); to k and her childcare provider - thank goodness no one was hurt; to margalit for her son who's having a manic episode and who also has to deal with idiots; to KLee for her roof and the pending city inspection thereof; and to sue and her friend who is being stalked by a scary ex-husband (

And that concludes this portion of our awards broadcast. Tune in next week when our host will be Sheila (S.)!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wednesday Whining...on the road edition

Hi y'all! I'm here in Humidity Like a Brick Wall region, where I just visited with KLee - a major anti-whine in itself. We'll be flying back tomorrow, so I hope I'll have some winging wingeing.

So, what're your beefs?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Awards: Heatwave Edition

Oh, whiners, have we got awards for you! Pull a chaise up on the verandah, and snag a passing waiter (or cabana boy, whatever your preference might be) for a drink and some dainty sammiches.

This week, we have many people vying for Whines of Substance!

* Sheila's ongoing battle with a moldy basement, allergic family members, firing toxic employees, tax woes, and potential eye surgery. Lord, Fates, or whomever is up there mucking around with stuff -- cut Sheila a break all-damn-ready!

* Margalit and her angry son, being attacked on her own blog, prickly heat, a demented attack cat, and disappearing blog job. One of these things alone is enough to fell most people, so Margalit, you have our enduring sympathy and wishes for all anti-whines for you in the future. Big hugs and congrats on your daughter's excellent visit to the hospital.

* Liz and the death of her grandfather. We're so sorry. I hope he went without pain. And I'm glad that you were able to be there with your family. Many pixie hugs heading your way.

Style Award: By popular vote, and for sheer cojones by all parties involved, Yankee Transplant sweeps the category with her sonnet to screwing. YT, you have the sympathy of all the parents (current and to-be) in the ballroom. It's not a funny situation, but you took something so fraught with parental landmines and turned it to gold here. You win a Lifetime Achievement Award for Style and a bathtub full of the liquor of your choice in order to make it through. And the ever-loving support of the pixies. Bitch if you want, baby. We got your back.

The Old Skool Awards this week go to:

* Kate/One Tired Ema for having "Jenny from the Block" stuck in her head. Isn't that considered cruel and unusual punishment? I heard that the gubmint was thinking of using that as a torture technique.


*Andy, who can't play video games anymore. He also must be getting a crowded mantel from all the Old Skool statuettes. Andy, does a little black rain cloud follow you, and just cosmically screw with you all day?

"Elevated Risk of Mullet" Award for funniest use of language:

Lisa V. wins a solid gold purse liner for her upcoming dog purchase. And, if you go with the glasses, make sure to grab the JackieO-esque frames. Part of the package, dontcha know?

The one-time awards, suggested by our wonderful whiners are as follows:

Trillwing gets a "Sounds Like Something I'd Do" nod from Jeni for breaking her nose. Ouch! Poor Trillwing. Pass the ice! Get better soon, and watch those doors! Those bastards have the habit of just jumping out in front of you!

The "Doublemint Mazel Tov" goes to Uccellina who is expecting twins! Here's where we all break into a Kermit the Frog moment, and shout "yaaaaaayyyy!" for Uccellina. May your pregnancy be easy and without complication; may your babies be beautiful and blessed, and may you always be as happy as you are right now. Best wishes from all the whiners. It couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

I hereby award a "Lawn Maintenance Avada Kedavra Spell" to Dr. Corndog. On second thought, you may not want to magic the grass into flaming death just yet. Let it grow a bit more, and hide the lightsabers in a far corner. When the boys go searching for them, hope jungle animals kidnap the younglings to raise as their own. Hey -- it could happen!

Turtlebella gets a "Voodoo Fertility Ritual Dance" just for the sake of completion. Covering all the bases. Everyone's rooting for you, Turtlebella. We're all hoping for you to soon be as fertile as the Napa Valley.

To all, thank you for whining along with the rest of us. It makes us look less needy if we all whine en masse.) All of your whines are worthy, and I raise my glass in your honor. Now, if you'll pardon me, I have to go hunt down the guy with the mini-cheesecakes. Until next week, when the utterly divine Liz will be hosting the Whiner's Ball!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Days of Whine and Cheese

Welcome to yet another edition of Wednesday Whining; another chance to let our collective hair down and get off our chests those things that are bothering us.

My whine this week: I am a confirmed flatlander. We had a great weekend vacation to the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, where I began gasping for air like a landed salmon after attempting to walk back up to the house after visiting the gardens. The change in elevation, she is not my friend. I will talk badly about her behind her back from now on.

I also went off my diet, but that's an anti-whine, and probably better for the world since I am not such a bitchy wretch when I have chocolate in me.

How about you pixies? Anyone care to loll on the verandah with me, drink cocktails, and pretend that we're as rich as the Vanderbilts? Hey -- we can dream, can't we?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

And the envelope, please

Well, before the whiners' ball vanishes into the mist for another hundred years week, there are some awards to hand out around here ...

style: our poets were not so much in evidence this week, but I was moved not just by the content of Scrivener's whine on how hard things are hard but how the pace and repetition made me feel it. Scriv, we're all hoping things get easier for you.

old skool: Andy's having a hard time finding soda pop that tastes like, well, soda pop. Hey, Andy, you can always try making your own!

elevated risk of mullet: kathya for "heh, we're breaking ground on new rungs of hell"

I'm also giving a nod for Compactness of Whine and Anti-Whine to Jody, and ...

OMG, Uccellina!!!

Thanks for playing, everyone, and a personal thank-you to Elizabeth for telling me to put some antifungal cream on my feet, already. Seeya next week in the comments when the lovely KLee plays host! --Sheila

(as the mist envelops us, comments are closed)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Let the whining commence!

My whine for the week is that I can't swim laps. Why not? you ask. Well, I'm so glad of a chance to tell you.

On Sunday, I stubbed my foot between my toes. It was right before bed, and I cursed a little and went to sleep. The inter-toe area was a little sore Monday morning, but nothing that a person couldn't ignore. Until I took off my shoe in the changing room at the pool in the afternoon. And once released from the leather that was holding my pinkie toe against its companion, my inter-toe area just plain throbbed. I investigated, and apparently I did not simply stub those toes, I actually managed to wrench my little toe far enough away from the rest of my foot to cause a small crevasse to open up. The water on the changing room floor is none too reassuring. This morning I smeared the crevasse with neosporin and hypericum-calendula ointment because why use one mode of western medicine when you can use two? I even wrapped both toes up in a couple of Z.'s peuple cat band-aids for good measure. But walking up and down stairs is a little on the ouchie side. And my office is on the third floor.

Anyone else out there read Apex Hides the Hurt? The part about the limp? No? Well, I wish I hadn't either.

Anti-whine: The store was named in the annual best-of list put out by Slick City-Name Magazine, and was featured prominently with a very nice photo, and a local TV news crew came by to film a spot to boot.

Whine: I had to go to my competitor to buy the dang magazine.

Okay--your turn! --Sheila

Standard anonymity/pseudonymity spiel here: Blogger allows anonymous commenting, but the Wednesday Whine does not--there is a small roaming herd of moderators patrolling for anonymous comments to delete, so if you have a whine you don't want to sign with your name (or with your olde familiar pseudonym), just make something up the one time so we don't feel honor-bound to take it down. Also, if you goof on pseudonymity, Blogger allows you to delete your own comment via the little trash can icon. Just copy the comment first to repost. The roaming herd of moderators will try to catch you if cry for help, but DIY is your speedier option.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Winning by whining

Hugs and chocolate to all the whiners with Whines of Substance! It's been a rough week for several people, I can see.

Style Award for bringing grace and poetry to the Whiner's Ball:

  • Yankee T for:
    Won't you come on, my A/C?
    Won't you come on?
    I sweat the whole night lo-ong.
    I've done the cooking honey,
    It's hot as hell,
    Can't find my old saro-ong.
    You remember that one cool evening,
    I turned you off
    While heading upstairs to the john?
    I know I'm to blame,
    Now ain't it a shame?
    My A/C won't you please come on...

  • Purple Kangaroo for a long poem that includes the following verses:
    The verdict was in.
    We canceled the sitter
    Dinner got burned;
    The steak tough and bitter.

  • But the kids all slept
    Early and well
    Leaving us with
    Some time to kill.

    So what did we do
    To celebrate
    Our great and marvelous
    Year number eight?

    We cleaned the house.
    Oh, yes, we did.
    We talked and scrubbed
    When the sun hid.
The Old School Award for those really pathetic little whines, the ones that we all have, except they usually just irritate us, only in this case they are awfully amusing
  • Margalit for the impending loss of the Weekly World News.
  • Phantom for leaky pull-ups.

"Elevated Risk of Mullet" Award for funniest use of language:

  • Klee for "the reason that I'm on a diet is that I have sucked small children and a couple of satellites into my gravitational orbit."
Debangel was on a roll in giving out awards, and gets credit for handing out the "Elevated Risk of MALLET" award to the fireplacing idjit who gave Scrivener the wrong information, and the "Life's an Itch and Then You Die" award to Robin Andrea.

And I'd like to offer a special aint it the truth award for Margalit for "Mental illness SUCKS, I tell you!"