Monday, December 29, 2008

So Long, 2008!

Breaking out the fine whines a little early, in celebration of the end of this particular year and the start of a shiny, bright New Year! Passing the festive bubbly, sparkling cider, hot chocolate, mac&cheese, pizza, warm soup, and cookies, as needed.

As far as I'm concerned, fireplacing 2008 can just take its considerable suckiness and move right along. Don't let the door hit ya! I'm not a resolution-making kind of person (being unusually prone to breaking them in record time), but can't remember a year when I so looked forward to a Fresh Start. Now, please.

Of course, 2008 has not been all bad. My kids are healthy and reasonably happy; the kitties (and even the dogs) are so entertaining that one can forgive the usual lapses; my beloved is a hero; the terrific relatives far outweigh the difficult ones; the endless election season finally ended; have made new friends, and deepened some friendships; and avoided bankruptcy, outright insanity, arrest, parking tickets, major computer viruses, natural disasters, floods, locusts, etc.

Seconding KLee's sentiments last week, I'm grateful for the WW community, and hope it continues to thrive; there is nothing like sharing and caring and laughing about the stuff that comes up! You Pixies are the best.

What's up with you? Bring your whines and anti-whines, the mega-retrospective ones and the little current ones. Prizes for Old Skool, Elevated Risk of Mullet, Style, and whatever else seems appropriate.

UPDATE 1/1/09: Awards will be late today.


kathy a. said...

Antiwhine -- I'm not so into football, but am a fan of my daughter's marching band! She will be performing for OSU at the Sun Bowl on 12/31, so if you happen to be tuned in, root for the band! She is the very small alto saxophonist.

Small whine: We all got up at 3:30 a.m. to get her to the airport. There was luggage failure and an emergency re-pack. She forgot her music and had to come back for it. On the up side, checkin and security is a breeze at 5 a.m.

amy said...

early whiney-whine: we got invited to a friend's house for new year's eve - a family friendly party on the early side ("ball" drops at midnight GMT/7 p.m. eastern). i really want to go, even though we have always made it a rule not to go anywhere on new year's. my husband does not want to go, citing his social anxiety as the cause. (for context, the husband of this couple is my husband's friend.)

to be fair, the thought of going to a party does cause my husband legitimate anxiety until the party begins. but i like this couple and i'm trying so hard to make mommy friends, and these parents are good candidates, but i can't do it alone. going myself with kids but without husband is too awkward.

ongoing whine: typing with the onscreen keyboard is tedious. (it has taken me nearly 20 minutes to write this comment.)

in-lap anti-whine for 2008: a snuggly, smiley baby who i think just pooped.

amy said...

okay, until about an hour ago, i was uncertain whether i loved or hated vince from the shamwow commercials, but now i think i love him. i just saw his latest commercial for a kitchen chopper in which he chops nuts for ice cream and says, "you're gonna love my nuts."

fwiw, i own some shamwows from before they were shamwow (it's green and called super shammy), and they really are great. i do not, however, say "wow" every time i use one. it's something more like, "good! it'd BETTER absorb it - i paid twenty bucks for this thing!"

KLee said...

Amy -- my husband also hates "parties" and most other social situations. We have a deal that I only drag him to the ones that I desperately need to attend before I snap. It was for mostly when Offspring was small, and I was starved for adult interaction. He knew he shouldn't mess with me because I was WAY hormonal. Hm. Come to think of it, I'm still pretty hormonal.

At any rate, I would only request stuff like that every now and then, and he would go, usually without grumbling too loudly.

And, I HATE Vince from Shamwow. Really, really hate him. And Billy Mays. The husband showed me a graphic that you might like:

I warn you -- it's got naughty language, so don't look at it in front of kids who can read. :)

amy said...

1. THANK YOU for that image. i'm glad i had set my coffee down before loading it. and thanks for the heads up on the language of that image b/c the tot is starting to read pretty well.

2. this has offensive language in it, but it's right up there with that image:
"Shamwow holds 20,000 times its weight in water" is probably the only clean thing the guy says.

3. About the party thing - I want to go because I want to make Mommy-friends with the wife (and husband, too, really). I know their parenting style, and it's close to mine. I know everyone here knows how hard it is to find other people whose beliefs align with their own, and here is such a couple and a fireplacing gift-wrapped opportunity! But he won't take it!

My husband admitted last night that he knows his social needs are more easily met than mine and he gets all the social interaction he can stomach at work all day, while I'm at home with small children. Even when I am working, I work weird hours, so I don't see many/any of my colleagues enough to make friends there. (That's the irony of "community college" life: at a university, you are basically trapped fulltime and forced to socialize, thereby creating a community; whereas at a community college, the population is made up of commuter students and adjuncts who split just as soon as they can, thereby undermining any potential of community building.) I have limited opportunities and I'm already bad at the whole Mommy-dating thing, so I'm really sad about not going tomorrow. (I have decided not to go by myself, even though my husband endorsed that.)

I guess I'm just feeling isolated and lonely. My best friend in the whole world moved to DC because she couldn't find a job here (EFF U, Michigan), and she was the last of my in-state friends. My other friends are at least 5 hours away. No wonder I read so many blogs.

kathy a. said...

wow. i guess i'm culturally deprived, because i'd never seen shamwow before... that's, uh, something!

amy, sorry about the party. it is really hard being isolated, and really great having parent-friends. my husband is not much of a social person, either -- but family-friendly parties turned out to be a place where he felt much more comfortable. the dynamic is so different from "adult" social occasions, with kids running loose and being adorable, conversation running toward parenting, etc.

is it the "party" part that makes your hubs anxious? since he knows your mama-friend's husband, would he feel less anxious on a joint kid outing somewhere?

amy said...

most likely, the only people we will know at this party will be the host couple, and the idea of navigating a room of strangers is a big part of the dread for my husband. i'm with you - having children in the room gives everyone an out from the normal party stress b/c the conversation no longer has to be about you. plus, you have the easy exit from any conversation when you have a diaper to change.

my husband would prefer a one-to-one family visit, but it's hard to do, especially with this family. they have a severely handicapped daughter and two younger children, so they don't do outings. they tend to host everything so they don't have to disrupt their daughter. if we want to invite them to do something with us, we are essentially inviting ourselves over, and we usually can't bring ourselves to do this. hence the reason why i haven't seen either of them in over two years. my husband manages to go to working lunches with the husband of this couple about every two months, so he has no personal need to make any effort to get us all together.

i feel like i'm making my husband out to be a bad guy. he's not. he's even started putting the condiments away when he's told to. ;) this is just a touchy spot for him. and me, too, i guess.

Madeleine said...

amy, I have a somewhat similar situation -- my husband needs less social life than I do, and he sees people at work while I work from home and schlep the girl around. I've gotten used to going to see friends without him, because I need the social life. On normal occasions he pleads work (tenure-track, the work never ends) but that wouldn't work for New Year's Eve.

I'd suggest, if you'd like to take the kids but feel awkward about his absence, that you go and say he came down with a cold. A white lie for everyone's benefit is OK in my book.

We have good friends who almost always have us over -- at first it was because their younger daughter still naps. But also they have a much bigger house. And they keep kosher. We felt awkward for a while, but you know what? It's easier for them to have us over, and we all have a good time. But it does make it harder to initiate, because yes, we are inviting ourselves to their house.

Madeleine said...

And now, winter break 2008 by the numbers:

5,682: number of times in the past week and a half I have told Snuggly Girl to blow her nose. Will this cold ever end?

4: number of times Snuggly Girl has agreed to my suggestion that she blow her nose.

1: number of times I was screaming inside my head "Would you just f'ing blow your nose already?"

0: number of times I actually screamed it. And a week later I'm all zen about the endless sniffing and snuffling. This must be the anti-whine.

purple_kangaroo said...

Whine: We had so much ice and snow the last couple of weeks that we were essentially snowbound. Thus, no to very little birthday and Christmas shopping got done.

Antiwhine: DH and the kids made dinner and a birthday cake for me. No gifts were necessary. And we had a fabulous, quiet, cozy Christmas week with just our family.

Antiwhine: Three ultra-cute baby bunnies to dispel the kids' whininess over the fact that we got a service dog instead of a family pet.

Whine: One bunny lost her tail--on my birthday, in the middle of a snow-and-freezing-rain storm. Either a dog or a small child apparently grabbed it through the cage wire, and then she tried to hop away. The half of the tail that was left was NOT a pretty sight. She is going to be OK, though.

Whine: Christmas Eve, the snow-and-ice storm brought a branch through our roof. It is currently still sticking out of the ceiling of this room.

Meanwhile, I was staying up all night sewing matching nightgowns for the girls and their dolls (see first point, about the weather preventing Christmas shopping). And my beloved 3-year-old promptly threw a fit when she saw her nightgown, refsed to put it on, and said she hated it and was was "scared of the mean ladybugs on it"--even though she picked out the fabric.

Antiwhine: We are all safe, warm and together. And all three kids have wanted to wear their nightgowns night and day since the night after Christmas.

Whine: The horrible head pain has continued, increasing enough that I have not slept much for the last few nights and finally went in to Urgent Care tonight after nothing I tried taking or doing last night so much as took the edge off.

Diagnosis: TMJ. Great fun, that. The topical stuff didn't do much for it and I can't take the other anti-inflammtory because I already took Ibuprofen earlier this evening. I have already discovered that TMJ laughs at ibuprofen, muscle relaxants, hot and cold packs, and even painkillers with codeine. 8 to 9 pain levels do not, however, leave me laughing.

Another whine: My DH looks absolutely haggard, but says he's ok and there's nothing wrong--he's just tired and stressed. Talking hurts my TMJ, and it's really hard to be appropriately sympathetic and sensitively draw out the spouse to talk about whatever is bothering him when one is writhing, groaning and crying in pain. I'm just saying.

Antiwhine: Mira (my dog) and I have been accepted to the owner-trained service dog program we applied to So now we have professional training help.

purple_kangaroo said...

Oh, and one last whiny whine: Something on my computer keeps trying to take over the window so I can't type. Which means missed letters and spaces while whatever it is tried to hijack my cursor.

purple_kangaroo said...

I'm supposed to get a dental cleaning tomorrow. It's the last day of the year and will use up the last of my benefits for this term of the insurance. If postpone it, it will make less money available for next year's dental care. But as excruciating as opening my mouth is right now, I don't know if I can go through with it.

WWYD, pixies?

amy said...

i don't have any idea what i'd do about the dentist thing, but i have an idea that your computer has a virus or some malware. my husband just installed a fantastic malware scanner on my computer about two weeks ago, and it's free. i don't know where he found it, but i'm sure you can google for it b/c that's how he found it. it's called Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Scanner.

@everyone with ideas about my party dilemma: thank you. i don't know yet what i'm going to do, beyond going back to sleep since the baby and the preschooler are both sleeping. i'll be back later with an update.

Sue said...

Votes for PK for having a tree through her roof. Holy Moly.

PK - I've heard that Trigger Point Therapy (either by acupuncture - dry needling - or injection) is really successful. Anyone in your area with skill in that kind of treatment?

Whine the First: My dad and his wife invited me to their place on Sunday night. I COMPLETELY forgot. He called yesterday to very politely say that they 'missed us' at Sunday's party. Oops. It's taken me YEARS to get to a reasonable, adult reltionship with my father, and I go and forget his party. Crap. I feel awful about it. On the other hand, by Sunday night, after four worship services in a week, I wasn't up to much partying...

Whine the Second, continuing the party theme: I'm a terrible hostess. It's been so long since I've been well enough to entertain that I just don't know how to do it anymore. We had a few people over last night and I felt like a complete shmuck. I didn't notice when people's drinks were low, so they refilled their own. (I did provide the first one, does that count for anything?).

Also, a few people brought gifts - housewarming kinds of things. I didn't know whether to open them at the time, or later, because not everyone brought something. I chosed to wait, so as not to make anyone who arrived gift-less feel uncomfortable. But then I thought the others might have felt slighted.


I've become a social misfit. Entirely. Bleh.

kathy a. said...

oh, dear, PK! too much! xoxo

sue, sorry you missed your dad's party. but i think you are being hard on your hostessing skillz.

late-breaking whine: i called my difficult sister yesterday, the one recently diagnosed with cancer, and she totally went off on me with 10 years of bitter grievances against me and others, mostly fictional. we worked hard to avoid such outbursts during our mother's illness. i saw her at the funeral and a big family party in the fall, and that went OK. we have had several pleasant talks this month, and i thought maybe we were past the worst of it. apparently not.

it blindsided me, although this is always the way with her. out of the blue, the most vicious stuff pours out in floods. it is impossible to engage with her, because that just brings more. normally, she does this kind of stuff in late-night emails, when she is good and wasted; this conversation was around noon.

she has not yet seen an oncologist. her cancer has spread at least to the lymph system, but she does not seem to have any idea that makes it more serious (at least stage 2 or 3). i feel really bad for her and am very worried. but i can't handle those kinds of encounters. at. all.

liz said...

Amy, go to the party and whisper to the host-husband that your husband will see him one-on-one soon and let that be all.

PK, I have TMJ too, though not at your level at the moment, and I vote you go to the dentist now because a) it would cause a flare-up anyhow and b) dentists can actually do stuff about TMJ. Mine recommended a bite guard.

Kathy A. I'm sorry that your sister is an ass and sick and an ass about being sick.

Sue, I think you did fine as a hostess and round these parts gifts don't get opened until after the party. And your father will live.

I am feeling whiny about many things starting with the cafeteria here. Not only was there no cream cheese for the bagels, there were, for all intents and purposes, no bagels either. And the grill closed at 0930 (I got there at 0936) so I couldn't have a breakfast sanddwich. And the scrambled eggs were crusty.
So I'm a little hungry. And grumpy.

liz said...

And I misspelled "sandwich" so I am also dopey.

Sue said...

Sorry to hear about your sister's rant. You shouldn't have to bear her crap that way. It's just wrong.

Liz - crusty eggs can really wreck your day, yes? I'm not a huge fan of eggs at the best of times, so if they aren't perfect, I get totally whiny. And no cream cheese????? WTF?

JenR said...

Today, I have a poorly written haiku brought to you by the letter P (for projectile!)

Yuck! Baby throw up
grossest slimy smelly stuff
Only lands on me

(Also... fever? WTF? 103.4, then 98.4, then 102.1, then 99, then 102.3, then 103, then 98.6, then 101.2. then 99... Make. Up. Your. Mind.)

JenR said...

An addition to the fever comment... anybody know what's up with thermometers? We have the standard rectal/oral thermometer (with plastic sleeves!) and a fancy-dancy ear thermometer. They never agree unless used on adults. Last night on baby the measurement was 2 whole degrees different - so do I believe the scary 103.5 from the rectal one, or the not so scary 101.6 from the ear one? I'm confused.

kathy a. said...

thanks, liz and sue! my fabulous aunt janie called last night, and confirmed her fabulousness by saying we just need to put our own family first, and let certain relatives deal with consequences of their decisions.

responding to concern with venom is a decision. not becoming informed about the illness is a decision. she endorses my decision not to call again, and doesn't plan to call herself for a week or 2. aunt janie happens to be an excellent resource for my sister re breast cancer, but she understands it is sister's choice whether or not to take advice.

everyone needs a fabulous aunt janie in their lives, in my opinion.

kathy a. said...

oh, jenr is stylin'! so sorry about the bambino. don't have an answer about thermometer discrepancies, but when you are seeing 101's and up, i'd just call the doctor. xoxo

esperanza said...

Whine: At the grandparents' house. Eight grown ups (that is, if you're including the 13 year old, and two babies). Nice to be here...but, my inner introvert is already tired. I wanted to go return a Christmas gift? Required FOUR other people to accompany me. Sigh.

Also, whine: I stupidly scheduled my breastpump breakup with the holiday season. I cannot eat enough for four lumberjacks anymore, as I have been doing for over a year now. I'm too full of holiday goodies.

But...oh pixies, do you know how much more TIME I have in my life? Glorious.

Small whine: a plugged duct slowed down my breakup process, but we're getting very close.

Happy 2009, everyone.

purple_kangaroo said...

JenR, the retal temperature is supposed to be the most accurate because it's a "core" body temperature. Hugs.

purple_kangaroo said...

Thanks, everyone. At this point I'm seriously wondering if I could talk someone into giving me some anesthetic or something that would completely knock me out. That, or remove my jaw.

kathy a. said...

((( PK ))) call your dentist or doctor, sis. there's gotta be something they can do for the pain relief.

Sue said...

JenR for style - no question.

I just went to pick up my two refills for my medications. Normally, I only pay the processing fee (about $11) and my extended health care plan covers the rest.

Tonight. Not so much.

My coverage has been cut off. Just like that. No one called to tell me I no longer had extended health coverage. Nope. They just collected their premium, cut me off, and I put out $98 for my prescriptions.

Dear Fireplacing Insurance Company: This will NOT get me back to full time work more quickly. Capice?

purple_kangaroo said...

Kathy A, the people at thedentist said, and I quote, "There's nothing we can do for you. We're so sorry. You've probably heard that before, haven't you? I hate to see you in so much pain. We feel helpless, but we can't do anything for you." They did tell to keep taking the stuff the doctor gave me (the stuff that's not working) and gave me a referral to a TMJ specialist.

My doctor closed early today, and will be clsed tomorrow too.

I think maybe the oxaprozin might finally be starting to kick in a little, though. Maybe hopefully I'll be able to sleep a bit tonight.

KLee said...

PK, I have TMJ as well, though like liz, it sounds in no way, shape, or form as bad as yours. What mine suggested, like Liz was a bite guard. If you want to go the "cheap route", go to your local discount store, and buy a mouth guard from the sporting goods department. Wear it while you rest, and it forces your jaw into the proper alignment. Or supposed to, in theory. If it doesn't work, then you're only out about $2.50. Other than that, the only thing that helps me is to blow up my cheeks really full with air, and hold for about 30 seconds. That stretches the muscles along the side and buys me a little relief. Wish I had more tips for you, but I've had it for 13 years now, and still no "cure."

We went to visit my family, and got back a couple of hours ago. We were run three-fourths of the way off the road by an ass in an SUV (one of those people Margalit refers to as Massholes --I doubt they were from Massachusetts, but they were just THAT BIG of an asshole, they warrant the name...) who was trying to play chicken with a merging semi; and then a second incident where a driver came at us head on while barreling down a two-lane country highway. Apparently the driver in front of him wasn't going fast enough, so he decided to pass. Both times, I was lucky enough to see trouble coming, and we wound up jouncing through the median, hoping to God that we hadn't just soiled ourselves. Both times were a near miss. On the upside, the adrenaline kept me well awake for the rest of the ride home. So much so that it's three hours later, and my heart is still a little fluttery.

Amy, thanks for the shamwow parody. Here's another one that's about a cookie, but the same rules apply -- no kids, and you probably want to have the sound on low...

This is what my husband does for fun....surfs the internet for weird stuff.

margalit said...

TMJ is totally painful and the ONLY thing that helped mine is getting that plastic insert made for my mouth. Now you can get them from the pharmacy, but back then they cost a frigging fortune.

Stop and Shop is giving FREE prescriptions for common generics until March 2. In case people need meds.

OK, let's talk about me, shall we?

My 4 hand blown and totally gorgeous martini glasses that I have had for years have disappeared in the past week. Gone, vanished from the house. Nobody has ANY idea of where they are, either. UhHuh. Methinks my daughter gave them to someone as a gift. In fact, I'd bet that they are now in Scummy Boyfriend's parents house.

We are broke. Big surprise.

I had the bloody nose from hell last night at 5 am and got blood everywhere. Now my home looks like a crime scene from CSI. As long as Horatio isn't coming over, I'll deal with it, but ugh...gross!

Elder cat has started peeing in kids rooms. At least he has moved on from mine. Since there is no floor in kids rooms, carpet being dirty clothing, I couldn't care less. Let them suffer for once.

Hanukkah was totally cancelled after Daughter's behavior, and I got them NOTHING. They seemed to survive, however. Interesting, eh?

It has been 3 full weeks since we had a housekeeper. I could speak volumes about this, but why bother. You know the drill.

We are, of course, snowed in again. And I ran out of my heart meds yesterday and cannot get them until Friday. Ask me just how much I hate the plow guy we have this year.

Oh, and one of the windows in the attic blew out yesterday during the wind storm. So we have only a storm window until Friday.

My kids are both at NYE parties. Me, stuck at home because I couldn't get to mine. They got rides. I had to drive. So happy new year to me. Alone, in my pj's with NO martini glasses. Yee Haw!

Sue said...


amy said...

I apologize in advance for the length of this.

I ended up not going to the party. I was prepared to go, had my daughter pumped up for going, was getting ready to shower and leave when my husband asked me which kid I was taking to the party. I told him both. I don't have the right word to describe what he did, but it's what he does. He goes into hyper-protective mode, which last night took the form of insisting that he had to go with us because his "whole family would be on the road with the drunks."

I'm not sure how one wife and one child is that much different from one wife and two children, but whatever.

Then enter the anxiety attack because it would effectively be a work event with required schmoozing. He acted so beat down about it but he wouldn't just let us go, so I caved and said I wouldn't go. Which led to the same conversation we had the other night: "I can't ask you not to go" vs. "I'm not asking you to come with me", plus "I just don't want to go" and "I said you don't have to".

He felt so guilty that he did something he's never ever done, something he long ago swore he'd never do: offer me a bribe. He offered to buy me anything I wanted if I'd just stay home. The complicating condition was that I also had to not be bitter about not going. (For context, we are not people who buy extravagant things for, well, any reason. Example - we have never bought each other anniversary gifts, not even when we were dating.)

After a long list of things I said I wanted but he nixed because they were things he would do anyway if I reminded/asked him to (including a get together with party-host family), I settled on giving him the task of finding and purchasing a nearly impossible to find pair of earrings. (I have a favorite kind that I've been trying and failing to find [yes, even on teh internets] for three years.) Apparently I set the bar too low because when he finally found some online last night, he said he also ordered me an extra surprise.

So, I missed the party but I'm getting something shiny and I am a little bitter anyway. If there's a lesson I can take away from last night, it's this: even when you think there's no chance of getting it, it's a good idea to have bribe ideas in mind. No one should be caught unprepared when gratuitous jewelry or a Disney vacation is on the line.