Monday, December 28, 2009

The Whines of 2009!

Welcome, Pixies, to the Year-End Edition of the Whiner's Ball! As most of you know, we consider the WW community to be a place where we can leave all of those little troubles that plague us far, far behind. I know, in my own case, having a place where I can get even the most piddly, insignificant-seeming worries off of my chest has made a real difference. I have come to cherish my WW friends, and to look forward to our discussions and relish the fact that I always have a place where SOMEONE understands. The WW community has become a virtual room where friends gather on the comfy couches and have fellowship.

2009 was a rough year for many people, pixies included. We've heard some awful, heart-breaking whines, but we've heard some positive and uplifting anti-whines as well. This is your chance to tell us about the things that 2009 brought you, for better or for worse.

You may whine in all traditional categories, as normal, and there will be a special Whine of The Year prize as well. This is given out at my sole discretion (To hell with what all the other moderators think! What a way to make friends and influence people, no?!?) for the most awful, biggest, heaviest whine of them all. Other prizes are up for grabs, depending on the category and seasonal whim. Regular weekly whines are permissible, and moreover, suggested!

To you, pixies, I send wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2010. May all of your cares be small, and may all of your joys be great! May your significant others realize your worth and make light your burdens; may your children grow to love you more each day, and may each day with your families be better than the one before. I know all the other moderators join me in saluting each of you for making the WW the place that it is today, and send you all our best and hope we keep this community alive for a long, long time to come.

Let the final whine of 2009 begin!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day Edition

The festive week started early with the SNOWPOCALYPSE, causing travel delays, party cancellations, school closures, and wild outbursts of sledding! Congratulations to the hardy Pixie survivors.

Congratulations to Mini-Baboo for achieving 34 weeks!

Happy Birthday to Purple Kangaroo!

Elevated Risk of Mullet Awards to: KLee, who wishes for just enough snow to build "a snowman larger than a Darth Vader figurine"; Amy, who complains, "i've been trapped under a sleeping boy for two hours. he's sweating like a frat boy during finals, and he smells like one too"; and Esperanza, whose chance to sleep in was foiled: "I blame it on Mini-Baboo, who apparently has eight appendages and lifts weights at 6 AM".

Old Skool Awards to" Sarah at ratatat, for "I had to scramble to even out my kids present load. How did my older daughter get 11 and my son get 4? A trip to Target fixed it, but the gifts aren't as thoughtful"; and Liz, who complains, "I hate shopping for presents. That is all."; and Madeleine, who admits, "Paaaaacking. Hate it."

Emily wins the Style Award, hands down, for her haiku:
Beautiful snow falls
Children play so happily
More cleaning for mom.

Miranda gets the Grace Under Pressure Award and two weeks at a quiet spa for efforts to be festive in the company of someone at the polar opposite end of the emotional scale.

Therapeutic Breakthrough Award to Purple Kangaroo, whose child's new therapist is a huge improvement, and who is getting to the bottom of some sensory issues. Thanks to the Pixies who chimed in with encouragement and suggestions, especially Amy and KLee.

Sue wins a Purple Heart for dealing with the busy church Christmas agenda, two bereaved families, one holiday funeral, no volunteers for a funeral luncheon, and shoppers who found it inconvenient when she told them they couldn't park in the church lot on the day of the funeral. Extra Cluesticks to the shopper who called Sue "rude."

Anti-Whine of the Week Award also goes to Sue, who scored a massage! Runner up is Liz, who nearly had the office to herself on Christmas Eve and got to leave early!

Miss My Girl Award to Esperanza, who found her quiet house too lonely.

No to Snow Award to Jenevieve, whose boy doesn't like it.

Mama Drama Award to KLee, who only wanted to plan a little skating party but ended up trying to sort out why someone's mom was afraid her daughter was being left out by being invited. Huh. Glad it worked out in the end.

Relative Madness Award to PK, who discovered that a cousin is dating someone in prison for severely antisocial acts. Oy.

Ouchy Award to Days, who developed a festive holiday abcess. We hope that has cleared up!

You Can't Get There From Here Award to Elizabeth, whose flight was cancelled. A bonus Guilt Trip Laurel for dealing with the MIL who expected her to get there anyway.

Baby's First Christmas With Grandma Award to Amy, whose MIL wanted to treat the second Christmas like the first, complete with the hat she sent last year. Huh?

Best to all the Pixies as we sprint toward the finish of 2009. See you for the Year End Roundup, which will be hosted by the delightful KLee!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Four Calling Birds

The SNOWPALOOZA special edition will remain open until all the snowplow fairies have done their work, so keep whining as needed! ETA: the snow thread is now closed, but snow whines are still welcome here!

We already knew this coming week would be overflowing with joy and other things, right? The Whiner's Ball will be holding extended hours this week, with awards expected Saturday or so.

Here at La Casa de Moi, we had a miracle over the weekend, and there is a tree, decorated within an inch of its life with every ornament that has somehow survived years of feline seasonal excitement. There are stockings, and a wreath. The UPS guy and FedX guy have been cheerfully delivering packages ordered in a rushed fashion from the Fabulous Internet. The rest of the menu is unsettled, but I secured a nice ham before they got snatched up.

My daughter is coming home for a visit from Japan on 12/24!

And my son, who has been proudly on his own for 2 years, 11 months, and 10 days, not that I'm keeping track, just asked if he could move back home for the time being, because those people where he has been staying never let him sleep. And lo, the nest, she is not looking very empty. Possibly not entirely peaceful, either.

Major anti-whine: Next Friday will be 29 years since my beloved and I met at a party thrown by our mutual friend's parents. That particular holiday wins the lifetime achievement award for Best Evah, but I hold out hope that each will be good in its own way, for all of us.

And the parts that aren't? Well, that's what the Pixies are here for. Have at it!

Friday, December 18, 2009




One thing's for sure, I probably won't be canvassing. Or going to the NARAL holiday party. But I hope I'll be doing both.

How's about you, pixies? Especially Elizabeth, whose idea this was.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Coffee! More! Coffee! More!!!!!

To summarize this week's whines: we're still here. But we're really tired. 'Nuff said?

Seasonal Award/Old Skool Division goes to kathy a. who started us off right this week, with this understated whine:
i'm way behind on the holiday thing.
Seasonal Award/Campaign Season Division for liz, whose decorations for BOTH of the Judeo-Christian Winter Solstice Holidays were in storage. Rescued by now, I hope.

Seasonal Award/Out of Season Division to KLee's Offspring for injuries sustained while ice skating in a place that is 75 degrees outside. I bet she doesn't even own snowpants, hunh? They are good for padding even if you don't need the warmth.

Seasonal Award/Family Fun Division goes to Emily for her MIL's passive-aggressive compliment about the dessert table.

Seasonal Award/Sums-it-up Division to Sarah who wonders:
What to buy my husband for Christmas? No money for fabulous. Not enough creativity for creative.
Ain't No Valley Low Enough Award to Redzils, who is sinking under the weight of everything that didn't seem so bad last week, plus more. If pixies wishes could lift you up, you'd be floating again by now.

Stylish Whine Award/Seasonal Division to liz for her fabulous eight nights of Hanukah!

Stylish Whine Award/Haiku Division to kathy a. for her plaintive plea to an errant former colleague.

Elevated Risk of Mullet to Sue for pretty much everything, but especially "If it had lasted much longer I would have had to set my hair on fire just to get out of the room." And all our sympathy on the most ridiculous meeting, ever.

On kathy a.'s orders, "extra prizes to esperanza and her hormones, and to amy and the bad very bad ugly bedtime routine." Hear, hear. This too shall pass. But not as soon as you'd like, apparently.

Cluesticks for esperanza's husband, or maybe his doctor, for even contemplating a medication shake up during The Season and with the Mini-Baboo about to make an appearance. Sigh.

Double cluesticks for Amy's husband. For the love of god, man, your wife is infant furniture all night, every night. Pick up the slack around the house. (This may be the most useful thing in the Sears baby book. He makes it pretty clear that clean up is Dad's job.)

Candy canes and jelly donuts (really? you like those?) for all the helpful pixies, especially JenR collecting gift ideas for biker hubbies. Um, hubbies who bike. Yeah, that's better.

Thank you, everyone, for the good company and the delicious virtual treats. Join us next week when kathy a. eases us through the last of the Seasonal.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Three French Fries

In honor of Hanukah, I mess with the traditional count-down song just a little bit. There is not a whole lot to whine about in a holiday whose only requirement is the eating of fried foods. And eat them we do!

Anti-whines for the holiday: Snuggly Girl didn't really like the sweet potato/scallion latkes or the donuts with chocolate or dulce de leche filling. More for us grownups! (I also made standard latkes, so she wasn't totally deprived.) (And I didn't make the donuts, before anyone gets super impressed. My favorite Jewish bakery goes beyond jelly to make me happy!)

Whines for the holiday: I forgot again! and bought the fancy-schmancy artsy candles that don't actually fit in either of our menorahs. Every night we have to shave the bottoms off an increasing number of candles. (AW: My Love likes to do this job with flame, and who am I to judge as long as it gets done without my input.)

Last night I went to wash some pots before starting to make dinner and looked down to see blood on one finger. Pixies will not be shocked by another whine involving me, my kitchen, and blood. But this time I hadn't been cutting anything so I really don't know what happened.

Whine: blood on the cuff of my white cotton turtleneck (on the opposite side, where I hiked up my sleeve for dishwashing, I assume).

Anti-whine: no blood on the lovely cream-colored fisherman's sweater I found in the back of my sweater shelf and wore for the first time yesterday!

One more unrelated but very real whine: I have bad ankles. I have a sneaker style I love and have bought consistently for 10 or more years. I wear them every single day for most of the year. I could buy them sight-unseen, and they were always perfect. I need a new pair and was planning to ask My Love to pick them up this week on a business trip (much cheaper south of the border). But while browsing the company site, the first whine was: no stores close to where he'll be, and the second whine was: dozens of comments that the Version 8 of this shoe is DIFFERENT than previous versions and lots of long-time wearers are very upset. Argh. I'll have to go to the running store downtown and try them on (comments suggest a half-size up might help) and then if they fit I'll have to pay the local price for one pair to avoid being a jerk, before going back to ordering them. Or will I even trust that the new size will continue to fit? Maybe they'll hear the outcry and change back for Version 9. Argh! Why do the good things in life have to change, ever?

So what could be better than that? Flame, oil, blood, potatoes, footwear. We've got it all. What have you got?

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Land of Lost Mittens and Candy-Striped Cluesticks

Greetings, Pixies!

We begin with congratulations and a hearty round of cheers for Esperanza, whose Mini-Baboo has achieved 32 weeks, and Dr. Days, who completed her dissertation defense! Let the happy dancing commence.

Sarah at ratatat wins the Seasonal/Old Skool Award for multiple missing hats and gloves, even this early in the season.

Elevated Risk of Mullet Award to Madeleine, for her sympathetic description of searching for lost hats on the schoolyard, looking for "sodden lumps of the approximate color." Runner up is Sarah, who complains that the media covered the snowstorm like it was a "terrorist attack from mother nature."

Word of the Week Award to Sue, who inadvertently invented "cat bark," a term that shot straight to the Pixie Hall of Fame.

Gloves and a cleaning fairy to Days, who brings the Bodily Fluids in the form of industrial quantities of cat bark and kid bark. Hope everyone is feeling better, pronto!

Domestic Goddess Award to Liz, for resisting the traditional cleaning freak-out when her dad came to visit. We bow to your example, and hope to employ it ourselves.

Chin Up Award to our own Redzils, who cannot blog at work, has a soul-sucking job and long-distance relationship, but is still maintaining a good outlook.

Glamorous Life of the Academic Award to Amy, who dealt with the snowstorm and the hopelessly clueless student.

Luncheon Award to Esperanza, whose Sweet Baboo, the little traitor, had a meltdown before said luncheon, and then performed like a little star for the little old ladies.

Speaking of performances, Madeleine wins an Old Skool Award for the whine of learning last minute that someone needs a particular clothing item for the concert that day. Saved by the fortune of having a clean shirt of an appropriate description!

Bah Humbug/Work Division Award to JenR, whose company is offering no raises and even more unpaid days off next year. Ho freaking Ho Ho.

Dragon Lady Award to Sue, whose eyes shoot flames and collar leaks a little steam when nobody shows up to decorate the congregational tree.

She is not the only Pixie so afflicted this week. KLee wins the Friend of the Flake Award, for grace in the face of angst created by someone dropping the ball on commitments.

Meanest Mommy in the Whole Wide World (TM) Award to Liz, who not only engages in the morning "time to go, let's get going, can you please hurry" ritual, but also requires her child to go to school unequipped with Nintendo products. The inhumanity of it all!

Pass the Anesthesia Award to Jenevieve, whose current rotation is wearing her to bits. But today's the last day!

Seasonal Cluesticks to a wide variety of persons, including family members, friends, co-workers, employers, congregants, weather reporters, and whoever is hiding all the gloves and hats.

May we all avoid barkage and find some joy this week!

Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating!

See you next time, when the fabulous Madeleine will host.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Two Turtle Doves

This week's festivities are beginning early, for seasonal reasons. Only last week, we had reports of holiday photos * holiday sweaters * and barf, all in one whine, and every good pixie knows that is just the beginning. We also heard of clock and car failure, and the snow hadn't even started then.

So, I'll start with an anti-whine, which is that my sister's wonderful annual family party was glorious, and I got to dance and sing with my nephew, and my Fabulous Aunt told old stories I had never heard before [some of them proved definitively that she IS my late dad's sister], and well, great food and great company all around. The difficult sister called in, and we kind of passed the phone around -- I recommend this arrangement. Highly recommend. Good wine also helps. Also, the "no gifts" rule, with an exception only for minors.

In whines? Oy, the Project of Doom. Got a draft done, thank dog; need to do fixing, and backed up on other work. My house is a disaster. No, zero, nada, zilch shopping done except the gift for the nephew who danced with me. My best pants have cat barf on them. Not fresh. Gah. At least I didn't wear them to the party.

So, what's new with you, in this intense seasonal time?

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Mixed Emotions Award to esperanza, who isn't sure if she's sad or glad to be on the sidelines during this normally busy time of year for a religious professional. Mini Baboo says "Thank you for staying on the couch, Mama!"

A+ Award to Jeni who is DONE with her boards! Yahoo! We hope your headcold/earache has evaporated by now.

Whines of the Season Award (Old Skool Division) to Days for "writing, marking, shopping, baking, packing, get-togethering." This category will be open all month.

Whines of the Season Award (Bodily Fluids Division) to Amy for the holiday sweaters/family photo/barf attack trifecta. We hope not to be giving further awards in this category, but who am I kidding? Open all month.

Household Fluids Award to Elizabeth for a leak!!! In the Living Room Ceiling!!! Please tell us this isn't rapidly becoming a giant nightmare.

Old Skool Award (Whine division) goes to Amy, whose bathroom clock aspires to be a kitchen clock. What can we say? The clock wants what it wants.

Old Skool Award (Anti-whine division) to Sue for "my office is warm today." Sadly, I too have had several offices where that is a notable event.

Automotive Awkwardness Awards to Elizabeth for a flat tire at 5:35 am (dear me) and to JenR with the temperamental starter. May both of yourses luck improve pronto. (I am aware that the plural possessive of your is probably your, but it just wasn't working for me.)

Elevated Risk of Mullet Award to esperanza, without doubt, for this fantastic advice: "JenR, if your keys are related to Amy's clock, maybe you should just take the car to the kitchen and they will work."

Whine of Style Award to kathy a., for wit in the face of adversity and an excellent Captain's Log entry.

A Day Late and a Whine Short Award to Emily, who's whine didn't show up on time.

And finally, Liz for the win, hands down, for Most Exciting Morning: "Woke up at 0600 to the melifluous sounds of 9 Federal Marshals knocking on the door of the house right next to us, shouting 'Hands up! Police!'" Nothing compares to that.

Stay healthy, pixies. I hope your December keeps ticking along nicely, but if not I'm looking forward to hearing about it next week!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December's gotta be better, right?

Well. I've now been sick for four weeks straight. And yes, that does make me whiny. We had a much warmer than usual November, which was helpful on those days when I did leave the house, but there was a long stretch in the middle there where it hardly mattered because we were curled up on the couch fighting for the snuggly comforter. I guess it would have been more miserable running out to the doctor's office if it was cold.

But! Moving on! December holds its own delights and is off to an excellent (whiny) start. SG's bus driver, a sweet, reliable, friendly, RELIABLE driver, has moved to a more coveted route. Today was our first day with a temp driver who was 25 minutes late, apparently because no one told her to avoid a patch of terrible construction traffic. If you think I felt whiny, as I stood breakfast-and-tea-less at the bus stop, you would not believe the whines from SG, who doesn't like to be late to school. She was a non-stop whine factory until I pointed out (about 20 minutes in) my breakfastlessness. Then she reduced her whine level slightly. Slightly.

In anti-whines, we were able to shelter in the foyer of the school where we wait for the bus so we kept warm. I got home in time to eat something before my 9 am meeting. And I didn't just miss my cleaning person (who I feared was going to wait a bit and then drive away) because she was home sick. That isn't really an anti-whine, since we canceled her last visit when we were all sick, so the dust bunnies and grime are building up. But, hey, other than the guilt at not actually wanting to do any cleaning myself, we'll survive. Also, in anti-whines, the sore throat I had last night and this morning seems to have eased. Or is that just the ibuprofen? (The possible whine there being that it may be a side effect of the steroid inhaler for my poor sad lungs and I'm not sure what to do if it is. Except maybe haul myself back to the doctor. Again.)

My upcoming Solstice Holiday woes are minimal because we have only SG and her grandma to shop for, and I've got one gift already and am knitting another. But some of you may be staring down an impossibly long list of impossible to find items, with value exceeding your budget, or trying to bake 500 cookies, or something fun like that. Do share!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

No prizes this week. No time. Sorry

Thank you for coming! Sorry I was a poor hostess! Feel free to give awards yourselves in the comments!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving makes a really good word to use in Hangman

Very few vowels, and a bunch of uncommonly used consonants. If you're playing Hangman in the Spring, you'll definitely win the round. Not so much in November.

We're going to be driving 6 hours up to my mom's house tomorrow. Then Saturday, we're driving down to NYC. Then Sunday, we'll be driving back here. I may or may not be on-line for most of that. Please leave your whines here. Whining will be open through at least Saturday, given the high whine content of most T'giving get-togethers.

Edited to add, I'm sorry that this is a United States-centric post. All non-T'giving and International whines also accepted.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Breathtaking Post of Folly and Triumph

Let's begin with a triumph: Congratulations to Esperanza, who is currently more pregnant than she has ever been! Passing the chocolate cake, and plenty of Stay Put, Mini-Baboo wishes. Gravy Days from here on out! (hat tip to Amy, for the gravy.)
Our own KLee wins the Booyah! Award for acing her final! Happy dancing and confetti all around. Or as Liz says, "PARTY WITH THE SMARTY!"
Sue wins the Meeting Scheduling Death-Stare Showdown Award, for successfully drawing the line at the dreaded endless breakfast meeting of doom being held on her one and only day off. Way to go, Sue! Also, the Pixies agree that Sue's workouts have resulted in muscle gain, so those breakfast people had better not mess with her.
On to the follies. Emily wins the Old Skool Award for her report on people who pick the walnuts off the top of the bran muffins. Sounds like an inside job to us, and if this happened at our houses, we would know exactly which miscreant(s) to suspect. Runners up are Liz, who spilled coffee on her tissue box, and Sue, whose cat barfed in the laundry.
Parliamentary Procedure, My Aunt Fanny Award to Liz, for her dramatic and entertaining report on a meeting that sank into a morass, with certain persons showing their ugly sides and Robert's Rules of Order preventing salvage operations. And the best part, after all the mayhem? Oh, nevermind, no quorum. Says Madeleine, "ha ha ha ha ha, no quorum, ha ha ha. You're killin' me here, liz."
Neighbor Lady richly deserves the Elevated Risk of Mullet Award for her priceless response to Liz's report: "Who is this Robert, anyway? And who said he could be in charge???!" Sue diagnoses Robert as a schoolyard bully, and who are we to argue?
There was a small misunderstanding about the suggestion of duct tape. It is not recommended for baby-stay-put, or for direct snot removal, but might help with a snot-sucking bulb that has developed a hole. In any event, Esperanza wins a virtual fresh new snot bulb that works, for her Whine of the Bulb, and soothing seatage for her Whine of the Butt hurting after 4 hours of schlepping around to various medical appointments. And all this on top of losing her internet for days! And ear infections -- two for the Sweet Baboo, one for each ear!
Bad! Pizza! Award to Neighbor Lady, who took a risk on the lactose intolerance, but teh pizza was so not worth it. Maybe the soy cheese suggested by PK will work? But on a better pizza!!
Fire Hydrant Crisis Award to KLee, whose daughter's school bus hit one. Oy oy oy. Plus migraine, enough to make anyone want to stop the week and let them get off.
Taxi, Please Award to Madeleine, who made it safely away from the virusy, feverish situation at home, but is stuck in a hotel away from both the conference and room service. Hope there is takeout and something decent on cable, anyway.
Amy wins the Voice of Reason Award, for dealing with mamas in the play group who think they can and will control all giftage from relatives and friends for ever. Ha ha ha ha!
The Cluestick Posse is saddling up this week for the people tormenting Purple Kangaroo with their extensive "friendly advice" about caring for a child with difficulties about which they know nothing. No, dudes, this isn't a problem you can solve by blaming the parents. PK's gracious refusals to respond in kind earn her a Purple Heart of Parenting Award.
Condolences, as always, to those who are under the weather, those with family who are sick, those who are sick of the weather and/or the season, those with homework woes, and those with other woes of any kind.
See you next week, when the fabulous Liz will host the Thanksgiving Edition!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Going To Take It Any More

Hi! Today is my beloved's birthday. We'll have a nice dinner with our son later, but have started the day with the scent of fraud on the telephone bill.

Some company (Tr@ns@act!0n Cle@r!ng) has charged us $13.99/month on the last couple of phone bills for bogus services that we never authorized. Quelle surprise, the number for billing inquiries cut me off, twice. Dr. Google says there are a number of complaints about this company's fraudulent practices, and that it is associated with another company that ponied up a large fine recently for similar deeds. So, I've filed a complaint with the FTC; plan some choice words with the phone company (AllToodle&Tweedle) allowing these jackasses to bill me; and I'll get in touch with the state department of consumer affairs. Maybe the consumer fraud unit of the state AG's office, too.

We aren't so special; this outfit could easily be scamming thousands or millions of others. (There is actually a word for sticking unauthorized charges in teh phone bill: "cramming." But I prefer "fraud.") Cluesticking is totally inadequate to the circumstances, especially when every one of us has worries about financial matters, personal and large-scale.

Edited to add: Fraudulent Cle@r!ng was billing on behalf of a company called R0cketC0mm, which itself has been accused of similar scams using other billing services to invade your phone bill. So far, my experience with phone menu heck and terminal hold at AllTwoodles is unsatisfying.

Hope the ailing Pixies are feeling better this week! What are your whines and anti-whines?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Awards: Just Not Happening Edition

Hey, pixies. I think you will understand when I say that I just won't be able to write an awards ceremony this week. I'm breathing a lot better today, but I still feel weak and get winded if I do too much. Any energy I've got needs to go into prepping for a work trip I might or might not take next week. (Even if I decide not to go, I need to prepare materials for a colleague who will play my role. His family is only 50% sick, and he isn't in the sick half, so it seems likely he can make it.)

I hear overall travel numbers are down lately and I don't doubt it. This wide-spread flu is for real.

I know several of the pixies manage chronic illness without much reprieve. I salute you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Inevitable Edition

It had to happen. I've been fighting a cold for a week, tired every night but not really worse than the day before. So today when Snuggly Girl woke up with a headache and a low fever I wasn't shocked.

The good news is that she was really sad that she couldn't go to school.

The bad news is that a set of books she desperately wants to re-read (for the umpteenth time) is sitting on the library hold shelf and we can't get there to pick them up. I was gonna take her, but My Love talked me out of it, and when her fever went up to 102 this afternoon I was glad we didn't go merrily spreading germs around town, even if I don't think it's the Flu. But 102 this afternoon means no school tomorrow either. Hmph.

And I'm feeling moderately crappy myself. Tea and chicken noodle soup, pixies. Would you like some?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Awards! Better very late than never edition

This week and weekend have been very much about catching up on things left undone throughout the campaign season, so I apologize for having left this undone too.

Elevated Risk of Mullet goes to Debangel for "Liverdance"

Whine of Substance goes to P_K on behalf of AJ. I'm glad that the new doctor seems good, but I'm so sorry that AJ is having such difficulties. I do hope that you can find a solution for her.

Runner up goes to Amy on the waiting for the other shoe to drop and to Jenevieve whose brother is in deep trouble (but who seems to have made at least one good decision) and whose parents like to leave her out of the loop.

The Cluestick Posse is getting sent to the grandmother of KLee's student. Refuses to learn ASL, does she? We'll fix THAT.

The Cluestick Posse is also getting sent to 53% of the voters in Maine. They suck, and we're gonna make sure they know it.

The This One Time At Band Camp Award goes to Amy - whose Tater apparently can't sleep through anything EXCEPT band practice right under his crib.

The Unbloggable Good Things Come To Those Who Work And Wait Award goes to Kathy A. Hooray!!

The You Must Have Been A Boy Scout Award to Emily for having an extra shirt in a time of need.

Hugs and love to everyone else. Esperanza, I hope you pick out a girl's name fast! I'm partial to Margaret myself.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

WW: Election day edition

By the time this posts I will be out at the putative busiest polling place begging people to vote for my husband. I don't know what the weather will be, but it will be fireplacing DARK out. Please, for the love of all that is holy, please do not let it be rainy, foggy, or too bloody cold. Thank you.

I hope that No on 8 wins in Maine.
I hope (yes, yes I do) that my husband wins.
I hope that Deeds and Wagner and Shannon win here.
I hope that the Dems win a majority in the VA House of Delegates.
I hope that the Dems win in NJ.

In that order.

See you all tomorrow with news. In the meantime: Whining Time is officially open. Pixies....start your whining!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mile-high Awards

This awards ceremony is taking place at cruising altitude,* when I shoulda been home by now, courtesy of two (count 'em, two) flights in the same day with mechanical problems. But it is no longer Wednesday, so let's smile and move on. Pixies can haz mini kit-katz, no matter what KLee's brother thinks!

Creeping Crud Awards to all the pixies who are sick, have kids who are sick, are trying desperately not to get sick, or have friends with kids who are very sick. This is nearly everyone, but the verifiable list is: Sarah, esperanza (with bonus whiney husband!), Amy, Neighbor Lady (bonus throw-up phobia *and* fake sunburn), Sue, Jen, and maybe I missed someone. It's been a long week.

Future Michael Jackson Award to Amy's Tater, who learned to clap his hands and dance last week! When he does both them at the same time please make the pixies a video.

Old Skool Award goes to Elizabeth and Sue for Grumpiness of Unknown Origin (hat tips to Sarah for the diagnosis). And to Jenevieve who can't find a chocolate ice cream she loves. That *is* hard.

Second Verse, Same as the First Award to esperanza, for the second round of messy window-replacing right when the house was getting cleaned . . .

Much empathy to Emily, whose kids don't load the dishwasher but get offended when she points it out. (Did I ever tell y'all about the time during Senior year of college when I offered to show one of my roommates how to change the TP roll? It was a tricky mechanism and I thought maybe she hadn't figured it out in all those years. Ahem.)

Stylish Whine Award to kathy a., for her ballad of incompetent street repair schedulers. Bonus points for sending her song to the Powers That Be and actually getting some action from them! Sometimes whining is its own reward, and sometimes it Gets Things Done. Huzzah, kathy!

All of our accumulated patience points are on loan to Purple_Kangaroo, until such time as her girl gets some effective treatment so she can stop the constant worrying about POISON. So much to deal with, P_K. We wish we could help.

It's the Stupid Economy Award to Amy, in anticipation of the imminent job loss in the family. Let's hope the lead time is useful for more than just extended worrying. And a side of Silver Lining for the expected improvement in whining content.

Elevated Risk of Mullet is a tough competition this week. On the one hand, we have Jenevieve with "I will not accept this full-sentence-speaking, guitar-playing, potty-training, sous-chef." (Send him over here -- I could use a sous-chef!) On the other hand, there's Emily's succinct description of Liz's corporate fun day: "Nothing says "team building" like handing out sharp knives and inviting competition!" But on my third hand, available due to extensive parenting experience, there's Elizabeth's nomination of Emily's entry in the category: "Elevated risk of milk coming out my nose to Emily." Gah! A richness of pixie wordplay this week! Prizes for everyone!

Pixie condolences to kathy a. on the loss of your stepfather. I hope the family funeral extravaganza is the best that it can be.

And more condolences to KLee and her co-workers for the loss of a co-worker and the attendant group anxiety.

Hugs to Margalit on the loss of her Worthless (but much loved) Pet and her continuing medical uniqueness. Don't you feel special?

The cluestick posse has been detached to deal with the unreasonable medical billing person who is making kathy a. crazy. And probably a return visit is due to the therapist who made P_K's daughter worse. P_K is still dealing with the fallout, so why should the therapist be spared?

Join us in nearly no time at all, when Liz hosts the Election Week Extravaganza.


*Most of it, anyway.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Whiny Witches and Grumpy Ghosts

It's almost Halloween, and my whines this week are not scary, really, but more trick than treat.

I'm traveling at the end of the week, to speak in front of college students, for whom I am supposed to be relevant and engaging. Urp. Still putting my materials together. Still waiting to hear back if I'll have live internet or need to run on screen shots and downloaded movies. Noticing that I am disrupting three days of my life to give a 40 minute talk.

And meanwhile we're doing a big project at work for a high-profile client which is a leetle bit of a stretch for us (read: OMG why did we agree to do this?). My wonderful boss, who can work miracles on her average days, is having some far below average days for good reasons and has asked me to pick up the task. Urp again.

Life will go on. The hotel in College Town claims to have internet access. And I have all of you to commiserate.

How does your week look? More tricks or more treats?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Late Awards, but not so late as predicted...

Thanks for your patience, Pixies! Your hostess has concluded that the Albatross Project will not be finished by tomorrow. AW: overnight mail. W: darned thing is not done.

'Tis the season for wacky-looking kidlet photos! Picture's Worth a Thousand Words Awards to Neighbor Lady, whose son gets a do-over but he promises not to smile for that one, either; Amy, who gave Tater an unfortunate haircut just in time for the one-year photos; Liz, whose son acquired an attractive facial bruise right before pictures; Madeleine, whose sweetie was all primped and gorgeous by the time she discovered the note saying photos would be a few weeks later, and the rescheduled date was pizza day; and Purple Kangaroo, whose kids have a talent for facial mishaps immediately before photos.

Purple Kangaroo also wins an Elevated Risk of Mullet Award for her additional photo observation: "and the likelihood [of non-photogenic injuries] is quadrupled if they're actually being in a wedding party." But we appreciate the silver lining offered by PK: these photos will be the interesting ones in 30 years.

Another Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes to Madeleine, who advocates comfort in clothing, but remarks, "It helps to have no sense of style."

Itchy Shirts and Tags Awards to Liz, whose son wanted to look spiffy for the school photo, and sacrified comfort for handsomness; Esperanza, whose mom still removes all tags; Sarah at ratatat, who reports an additional problem with the tagless printing inside garments; and Purple Kangaroo, who solves the tagless printing itch by wearing afflicted undergarments inside out. Voila!

And speaking of undergarments, is there any single item of clothing more likely to bring out the whines than bras? I think not. Foundations Awards to all with undergarment woes and joys this week, including Liz, Sue, Emily, Esperanza, Purple Kangaroo, Elizabeth, and Madeleine.

Old Skool Award to Madeleine, for "total lack of motivation, plenty of work to do." Hearty agreement from several sectors of Pixieland. Also to Amy, whose cell phone died.

Bodily Fluids Award to Emily, whose cat jumped on the bed and woke her up, so he could barf. On the bed. Yuckerino.

Best Anti-Whine Award to Elizabeth, who reports a grueling marathon of work and family and etc., concluding, "Halloween costumes are my husband's problem."

Cutie Pie Award to Esperanza, who feared she was an ogre for not costuming her little Sweet Baboo. And the verdict is: not an ogre! And Sweet Baboo is a cutie pie just as she is! Also sending good Pixie wishes for Sweet Baboo's quick recovery from whatever that bug is.
Go, Baby! Award to Sarah at ratatat, whose baby is really truly walking!
Good Idea Award to Sue, whose congregants are just bursting with ideas that they want someone else to implement. Now. Madeleine helpfully suggested the Good Idea Rule -- you want it, you're responsible -- but Sue and Esperanza contend that rule is somehow suspended in church, along with the Grownups Should Act Like Grownups Rule.

Bumper Sticker Award to Sue as well, for her envy of a B*tch On Board sticker.

Medical Trauma Award to Neighbor Lady, whose blood draw left her with a huge ouchie.

Political Trauma Award to Liz, who reports that the insurance lobbyist was confirmed for a health council. Yikes. The Cluestick Posse is hereby dispatched to deal with the responsible parties.

Love and hugs to Sue, whose friend was just diagnosed with lymphoma. Also to Purple Kangaroo, who is searching for a new therapist for AJ, and to Sarah, whose daughter is also struggling.
Thank you for playing this week! See you next week, when your host will be the fabulous Madeleine!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Procrastination Edition

Wednesday comes early this week, and will likely finish late. Yes, I'm procrastinating at this very moment, because my brain is so fried that it might explode if I do any more work today. The rest of the week looks about the same. I have to make up for pitiful progress on a piece of a project by cramming my little heart out this week. My behindness wasn't totally procrastination; other stuff going on, yadda ya. But the deadline, she looms.

Maybe I'll use my insomnia to cover some of the reading? Time will tell. At least I got round one of another bothersome something done today, and someone else will be wrestling that one this week. The office cats are helping a lot by being cute. I may have to fire one for bathing on my paperwork, though.

Passing the chips and guacamole. What are your whines and anti-whines this week?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hippo Birdie, Two Ewe!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to KLee and Neighbor Lady! We are tossing confetti and passing a variety of cakes in celebration! Everyone is invited to sing and dance!
Let's talk about the age thing, shall we? I'm pulling out the nerf cluestick for KLee's Offspring, because 13 is approaching ground zero for "I Know Everything." Emily is 47; I am 52; my Fabulous Aunt will be 71 tomorrow! As my dad used to say on birthdays, "It's better than the alternative." And I say, 39 is a very good age.
The Cluestick Posse is hereby activated for duty as follows, with adult-style cluesticks: [1] Purple Kangaroo's daughter's idiot therapist; [2] all the parents who have failed to RSVP to Elizabeth's son's birthday party; and [3] Jenevieve's nasty vet school instructor.
A special Cluestick Wedgie (TM) is also on the agenda for Debangel's beloved, who shows off his loose pants as Debangel expands to approximately the shape of a whale. (Thanks to Sue for that suggestion!)
Jenevieve also receives the Terrible, No Good Day Award, as suggested by Neighbor Lady. Glad the grade will not really matter, but we are all unhappy with the Dermo Guy's teaching methods and lack of general decency.
Elevated Risk of Mullet Award to Amy, for "facebook is broken today. keeps telling me i have no friends. :( x 2" Runner up to Debangel, who explains to the babe-to-be that the bladder kicking must stop, or "Mama is *not* buying you that pony."
We're gonna have to cluestick Sue's husband for this, but he receives an Honorary Mullet for unwanted commentary before coffee: "Folks, we are seeing the rare Three Dwarf morning. Sleepy, Dopey, AND Grumpy. Approach the subject with care." The prize is no coffee for as long as it takes to stop being so "amusing" at oh-dark-thirty.
Old Skool Award goes to Emily, who speaks for us all with her classic whine about Christmas stuff showing up at the mall weeks before Halloween. What the heck, we're saddled up already, so let's cluestick those mall marketers while we're at it.
SQUEEE! Award to Liz, for two, two, two kinds of squealing! On the AW side, adoring fans of her husband at a debate! And then on the W side, the fan belt.
Wanna Get Away Awards to Sarah at ratatat, dealing with dueling viruses while her husband is out of town, and PK, whose daughter with OCD is not the easiest patient when a virus also strikes. "I am about to run away screaming while also pulling out my hair" sounds about right to us.
Is It Really Too Much to Ask Award to Esperanza, who asked the muddy window guys to please wipe their feet, but fears that the housecleaner's efforts will be undone anyway. (Thanks to Amy for the suggestion.) This award comes with bonus cluesticking.
Basement Follies Award to Madeleine, who had a fun-filled long weekend cleaning up so the asbestos people can do their thing. Fun fun fun. And the Runner Up is Sarah at ratatat, whose Dad is yelling at his basement project, bringing up some of Those Issues.
You Can Do It Award to KLee, who is doing great in her class! Yay!
Extra servings of chocolate cake to Espreanza's Mini-Baboo and Debangel's daughter-to-be, whose birthdays will not be for a good safe while if the Pixies have anything to say about it. Esperanza, we think the chocolate cake has worked well so far; boo on worrying about weight gain for now.
Best Dramatic Interpretation of a Complaint Mama Didn't Know She Had Award to Esperanza's Sweet Baboo, acting out Mama's back pain. Ouch!
THANKS A LOT, Aunt Flo Awards to Elizabeth, Liz, Neighbor Lady, and anyone else similarly afflicted.
Here's hoping that all who are suffering illness and adversity see a swift, painless, fair, and happy resolution.
Thanks for playing! See you again next week!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shake it, shake it, shake it up, baby!

Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends! Happy three-day-weekend to some [but not all] in the U.S.

This week's festivities are brought to you by the 20 year anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. My kids were itty-bitty at the time, and we were staying with my sister in San Jose. We sang a lot, as we made sure the gas was off, got supplies, cleaned up the glass, righted furniture, and so on. Twist and Shout was a favorite, because we were shakin'! My son also kept singing the Happy Birthday song, because of the candles we had while the power was out. Wooo!

So, I'll just lead off with a huge anti-whine: horrible things happened in that quake, and we were so very lucky. I will just never forget how wonderful people were, coming together during that disaster. We were so busy trying to keep the kids calm and take care of the basics that we did not even hear for hours about how bad it was. My beloved was still in Japan, and I couldn't reach him until the next day to say we were OK. The singing, that helped a lot.

What's shaking with you this week?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Forestry Division

This weeks awards are brought to you by trees everywhere. Winners of the "Timber!" Awards are Madeleine, who complains that a tree fell on her internet, and Elizabeth, who reports that a branch fell on her car.
Old Skool Award to Emily, whose new washer is bigger and she has lost her laundry rhythm. "And laundry used to be the one thing I could count on," she laments. Runner up to Liz, whose pants hem came undone.
Elevated Risk of Mullet to Sue, for her complaint about a breakfast meeting: "There is no hell, by the way, anywhere else. It's right here on earth, and it serves up eggs." And also to Esperanza, for her brilliant suggestion that neither sick people nor others should have to clean puke: "Puke should henceforth be self-cleaning."
What Twice Was Lost is Now Found, Again Award to Amy, who located the tickets this time in a Trivial Pursuit box. Whining works!
Hell's Kitchen Award to Neighbor Lady, who tried again to make pad thai, once again without edible results, and then the garbage disposal died while clearing the mess. Such that emergency plumbing was required. Ack!
There is much competition in the bodily fluids category, snot division, this week! Esperanza celebrates her Sweet Baboo's mastery of a favorite developmental milestone, blowing her own nose! Emily complains that she has a runny nose and it is sore.
The Cluestick Posse is saddling up for Liz, who righteously whines that an insurance lobbyist was appointed to a health council; and KLee, whose school is in desperate need of repairs but was apparently removed from the list of schools to benefit from a tax measure passed two years ago. Unacceptable! After that, they'll swing by the post office to nab that person who parked blocking the drive-up mailbox when Emily wanted to use it.
Many thanks to Jenevieve for the cheesecake, and the cuteness report on Hosea.
Tell Us More Award to KLee, who joined the whines about pedestrians darting out from between cars with the intriguing observation that she nearly killed a celebrity that way.
Swift recoveries to all who are suffering from illnesses. Hope Elizabeth's mom and dad are OK.
Thanks for playing! See you next week!

Monday, October 5, 2009

In which Ms. Manners addresses the automotive public

I am mostly chained to my desk this week, but for the occasional errand. On this morning's break from the home office, other citizens reminded me of some enduring whines, and I didn't even have to get on the freeway. I'm sure you commuters and busy persons have more, but here is a starter list of Road Whines:

* That Stop Sign? Just because you are right on the fireplacing bumper of the car that stopped before you doesn't mean you get to speed on through as soon as they get going.

* Turn Signals. Use them. Srsly.

* Pedestrians: We love you! Don't break our hearts by dashing out from behind a parked car. Don't amble down the middle of the street when there is a sidewalk.

* Speeding by a preschool? Today's your lucky day, since the motorcycle cop was there to deliver a message. HA!

* Double-parked delivery trucks when there is curb space available: I do not favor violence, but sometimes I dream of citizen complaints via paintball [if that wouldn't make me crash while trying to change lanes].
Edited to add: don't get me started on those people on the freeways -- the speed demons who think tailgating plus swift unsignaled lane changes and rude gestures make them King of the Road, especially if they are also conducting personal care and/or yelling at their brokers and/or significant others on the cell phone. These are a few reasons why I love public transit.

What's whiney and anti-whiney by you this week?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Awards! I shouldn't have worn my flannel-lined jeans to the parade edition

Started out as a good idea, but was soon soaked in leg sweat. Ewww. However, our float ROCKED and our crew was both much larger and more enthusiastic than the incumbant's. I ran around doing my DQ schtick and MM smiled and waved.

On to the awards!
Jenevieve gets a special award all her own for dispensing long-distance veterinary advice as needed. Vednesday Vet? YOU ROCK.

Esperanza wins a case of DEET for her Sweet Baboo's adventures in Mosquito Land.

Madeleine wins the Kanye West Award for having to listen to a "mushy pop love song on eternal repeat"

Elizabeth wins the How Do You Spell Relief? L-I-V-E-R-T-R-A-N-S-P-L-A-N-T Award. We're so glad that your mom is recovering!

The Cluestick Posse is being sent out to Purple_Kangaroo's daughter's therapist who has had a massive case of Epic Fail. Also, P_K's dog was sick and is now on the mend, see Jenevieve's award, above. Also her church and her family are totally inspiring.

Sending love and supportive thoughts to Sue's sister.

Sending earplugs to the many of you who host band practice. You are better spouses and parents than I am.

Sending resounding cheers to KLee for her aunt's recovery! YAY!

Best Anti-whine Award goes to Esperanza:
"Antiwhine from me today: Went outside to find sprinkler that was not working, water gushing across driveway. Antiwhine? Yes. Because Sweet Baboo said, "ater! ater! and tromped through it leaving sweet little footprints across the driveway." Two things she couldn't do six weeks ago. I am so thankful for her recent progress. And her birthday is tomorrow!"
Sending a case of Elmer's Glue-All to DebAngel (who brings the bodily fluids this week) to fasten her butt to the couch. Listen up, still gestating baby! YOU STAY RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE FOR ANOTHER TWELVE WEEKS! You hear? And Deb, no more bodily fluids until 38 weeks, okay?

Amy, buy the food and don't feel guilty.

P_K's NLASS gets the Elevated Risk of Mullet this week for mishearing "This is (Name), (Baby Name)'s dad". Wow.

Hugs for those with financial, familial, professional, and other woes. KLee, hugs for your co-worker. Margalit, thinking of your family.

That's it. See you all next week! And Oh! BTW! We had more postings this week than any since the first week we went up here (h/t Kathy A.)! Mwah!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

WW: Too much to do, too little time to do it in edition

Did you know that we are 36 days from the election? And I'm here at work instead of knocking on doors?

Need to do laundry, pay bills, feed my child...and here I've got a meeting at 10 AM that I'm not prepped for.

How's by you?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prizes: Keep on Keeping On Edition

Old Skool Award to Emily, whose recipe for shredded beef tasted fine, but the beef would not shred. A hearty Pixie welcome to Emily, too, and may future adventures with the crock-pot have better visual results.

Runner up in the Old Skool category is Sarah at ratatat, who had to go off her allergy meds to see the allergist. Gah. Hope the headache is now a thing of the past.

Go, Mini-Baboo! Award to Esperanza, who says: "Mini Baboo land is apparently the place to party while mama is trying to go to sleep. Which is not a whine, of course." We're happy-dancing right along. Esperanza also gets the When It Rains, It Pours Award, this time for the literal rain after two years of drought.

Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes jointly to Sue and Esperanza. Sue rightly complained that "Little girl kitteh has taken to kicking me in the arse during the night." And Esperanza was thusly inspired: "Note to self: use 'arse' more often. makes me giggle." Us, too.

Amy wins the Remembering What It's All About Award, Weaning Division, for her Tater's unwillingness to be fed anything but the real thing by Mama. Amy's husband gets a short but pointed visit from the Cluestick Posse, whose message is: "Disinfect the wound. Thank you."

The Cluestick Posse is once again visiting Sue's docs, while Sue, meanwhile takes further decisive forward-moving action ON HER OWN. Cluestick Service Awards to Madeleine, who lamented, "Sue, will we EVER be done cluesticking your doctors? Dear me." and to Liz, who added, "I'm getting out my extra-special, limited-edition, ebony with mother-of-pearl inlay cluestick to bring down upon the heads of your docs."

Being Grownup: Who Needs That? Award to Sarah at ratatat, who managed 5 days of 24/7 parenting while her beloved was off moutain-biking with the boys. Sarah wins valuable mommy time-outs at her pleasure, adding up to 5 days plus interest.

Automotive Woes Award to Liz, who rarely ends up in tears. In fact, Liz also gets the Energizer Bunny Award for all the classroom volunteering, doorbell ringing, event-juggling, and good mommy work, in addition to regular work and, ya know, everything else. Like Aunt Flo.

Much love and many good thoughts to KLee, whose aunt is struggling with a brain tumor. Of course, you have to be there. That is what families do.

Love and strength also to Margalit, whose son needs help in the worst way.

Thanks, everyone, for your good wishes about my big boy, who seems to be on the road to recovery. And thanks for playing! See you next week!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Little Pieces of Heart Edition

We all have them, those people and ideas and things that take hold in our hearts, and our lives take a different path. Now, I may complain about some side-effects of pet ownership, but it's been a hopeless love affair from my earliest years, and the beasts make me laugh every single day. A passion for fairness took root and grew, nurtured by a thousand stories and experiences. My beloved held the key to my heart, and we have had amazing adventures, not to mention the children we both hold so dear. Our babies are all grown up, but . . .

AW: Today is the annual Bazaar at the church one block away! It is a wonderful celebration, with food, music, games, prizes, crafts, plants, bake sale, etc. Many congregants are Japanese-American, so the food includes sushi, udon, curry, fabulous teriyaki cooked on a giant grill they build each year; there are taiko drummers; crafts include beautiful cards and origami. Daughter loved that bazaar, so we took photos. Which I guess is like sending coal to Newcastle, since she is in Japan, but she doesn't want to be left out of events back home.

W: We're really proud of our son, who had a rough patch in his teens but is working and supporting himself, living independently, pursuing his music. But he was beaten up a week ago when leaving a show, and has been sick for days with a sinus infection, and he has no health insurance. He absolutely refuses to go to the ER, but will let me take him to the doctor tomorrow. This stuff scares us. Badly.

AW: Cats. Very silly cats.
AW: New watchband. I decided that even though the superglue was holding on the old one, I'm worth it. ;)

AW: Whining. Let the festivities begin!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bare Bones Awards

Whines of Substance Award to Madeleine, for the asbestos needing removing in her basement; Sue for teh headache; and to purple_kangaroo and her community, for their losses. P_K, we’ll be holding your family and theirs in the light.

Old Skool Award to kathy a and Sue for cat poop, again. We should send the award to the cats themselves, fo r keeping us real.

Pixie cheers for kids-out-of splints, daughters taking good advice, successful anti-hate rallies, good community, Klee’s whine-less week, clean houses, Sue’s dad, Amy successfully blogging the lost (and finding the tickets!), successful events with Governors and evening purses, research assistants (um, yeah!), and a successful peek at the Mini-Baboo.

Pixie boos for cramps, lost stuff, lack of energy, feeling sick, pants without pockets, job fairs that feature mostly insurance salespeople and investment salespeople, and kids who need your company just when you could use a break from theirs,

The Cluestick Posse will be paying a visit to Sue’s moody doctor this week. Dude, we get that your life isn’t all sunshine and roses, but it’s time to *stop taking it out on your patients.*

I personally want Madeleine’s Fashion Fairies to pay me a visit too.

And, finally, the "I am Full of Good Ideas" award, to all the Pixies, and particularly Liz, who suggested places Amy’s tickets could be hiding.

The awards are a little bare bones this week, but I have to drive seven hours to the town where I went to college and run a marathon. See you next week!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Straight from the (almost) frozen north!

Hi Pixies -

It's 37 degrees Farenheit here this morning - brr! All my winter gear is still packed in boxes, in a storage unit 30 minutes away, because I am not in my own place yet. I think that is a double whine - still camping with friends three plus months after my move, and cold!

Fortunately fall here is gorgeous, I'm excited to be running my first marathon here on Saturday, and I've got a good cup of hot coffee as I type this.

How about you? What are your whines and antiwhines of the moment?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ready, set, awards!

Hello Pixie pals. I know many of you are familiar with the ills of procrastination, so I will freely admit that I have 19 minutes in which to write and post these awards. And . . . go!

Hands down, the Remembering What It's All About award goes to debangel, whose sore, pregnant boob got honked by her work-child. Congrats from all of us on the prospect of a healthy baby girl, and for the record, no, placenta-brain, I don't think you did tell us that already!

Musical Chairs award to JenR for successfully getting her son placed in the new daycare room instead of yet another stop on the carousel of childcare.

What??!?! This Again???!!?!?!? award to Sue, for the return of Teh Headache and the doctor runaround. We're all blue for you, Sue.

How'd That Get There? award to amy, whose camera was in a bag of groceries. Hmmmmm.

Sign of the Times award to Elizabeth for continuing bank-failure issues.

Style is a tough competition this week. Kathy a. delivered two fantastic haiku (and a package to Japan) while Liz dished up a plaintive ode to the lack of plaintive posts on Wednesday.

Hero award (in absentia) to Sue's son for excellent handling of a tough situation, and in advance to Sue for the great speech I'm sure she'll give tonight at the rally.

And Hero award, with hat tip to colleagues, to KLee and her co-workers who work with children who are deaf, hard of hearing, and autistic.

And . . . 5 minutes left.

Marvelous Mysterious Slow-moving Miracle award to kathy a. for the unbloggable something she worked on 15 years ago that is finally coming to pass. We're proud of you, for whatever it is.

Old Skool award to Sue for "Aging Actually Sucks." Time for the Old Lady Glasses!

Time's up! Apologies to anyone I missed . . . have a good weekend, and we'll whine again next week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

WW: Back to School Edition

It's back to school day at my house, though I know some people started long ago.

Whine: Snuggly Girl's new school anxiety was about as bad as expected.

Anti-whine: She unexpectedly snapped out it last night and started spinning tales about a Mr. Bean-like character for whom she has several humorous adventures planned. I can't tell you too much in case she publishes them some day . . . but one involves a boomerang, another involves hamsters, and a third involves a parking ticket. Hilarious!

Bonus anti-whine: I take total credit (though I probably don't deserve it) because the change in mood started with me asking her to list 3 Good Things about the New School. And she did. And was cheerier ever after.

Minor and expected whine: The wistful waving from the school bus window.

Bonus whine: Back to work, piles of emails, urgent meetings. But hey, at 3:20 I'm done and I vow to ignore the computer until she's in bed tonight.

What's whiney by you this week?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Awards! My county's school board is a buncha cowards edition

First, to Sue, for her obituary search, this video:

Elevated Risk of Mullet goes to Esperanza for
Whine? Antiwhine? My boobs and my tummy are having a race to see which will stick out the farthest. I believe that tummy has edged out a victory just this week, but perhaps boobs are unfairly held back by a too-small bra.

Also sending hugs and a copy of this book to keep that second shoe from dropping.

Kathy A. Remembers What It's All About with the boobal squashing. I'm glad you got a clean bill of health and also wonder where the priorities lie at the hospital. Sistine Chapel beauty aside, how many free or low-cost mammograms could have been given for the cost of the decor?

Sue wins for Style. Said that is all that needs to be.

Madeleine brought the Bodily Fluids this week. Cross-stitch your new motto on a sampler and hang it on the wall of your kitchen.

Sending out the Cluestick Posse to whale on KLee's daughter's school staff. Sincerely.

Hugs to those dealing with angry drivers, irritating menfolk, SFBMs, forgotten meds, and all other issues.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

That Back-to-Schoolish Sort of Something

The air is crisp, like the first bite into a tart apple. The sky is blue with cotton ball clouds. The humidity is non-existant. All of which means I need a new wardrobe and shiny new shoes. And a new bag. With freshly-sharpened pencils!

Well, I got them for Muffin Man at any rate. Living vicariously is the new black.

He starts back to school next week and already has three friends in his class. So life is good.

What's on your minds?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fall Madness Edition

Pixies, you are gems for putting up with an excessively whiney host this week! Other weeks, too, but my fretting knew no bounds whilst our girl was off to the other side of the entire fireplacing planet.

Frozen chocolate drinks for everyone! [h/t Madeleine.] If it's not the heat, it's the humility this week -- lots of transitions going on in Pixie-land.

Liz, of course, sweeps the Mullets with her campaigning whine: "The bottoms of my feet resemble, in color, the hind quarters of a baboon and they feel like someone rubbed them vigorously with coarse grit sandpaper." She retains her sterling reputation as the Doorbell Queen. We are sending soothing virtual footbaths and cool insoles.

Style Award to Madeleine, for her Whine/anti-whine, nine year old style:
SG: I'm bored!
Me: Are you bored enough to come try on some clothes your grandma sent?
SG: Yes!

Old Skool Award to Sue, for the whine of too many emails on vacation. Kudos to Liz for suggesting the solution. And the runner up is also Sue, for her hotel not having the channel of her guilty pleasure. Second runner up is Liz, for bad cafeteria food.

New School / Budget Cuts Award to KLee, who (like most teachers) is already woefully underpaid, but must take a pay cut for the privilege of herding and instructing her charges. Boo. Cluesticks to whomever decided to add to the fun by stuffing her classroom with excess furniture.

A+ Award to Esperanza, for good news from the OB! We are glad you retain a close relationship with the couch, anyway.

Spa Party Survivor Award to Sarah at ratatat, who bravely hosted a gaggle of 8-year-olds for an exciting birthday party! Which was only 6.5 hours but felt like it lasted days, possibly weeks!

Junior Whiner in Training Award to Esperanza's Sweet Baboo, who somehow deduced that it was Wednesday.

Brilliant Idea Award to Liz, who complains: "My whine is I had a brilliant idea. It was brilliant, I tell you. And I handed this brilliant idea off to the people who could make it happen, who also think it's brilliant. And they told other people who could really make the brilliant idea shine and sparkle brilliantly and they think the idea is brilliant too. And it will happen...but not for another couple of weeks."

Best to all until next time!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Separation Anxiety Edition

Daughter finally started packing on Friday, for her year away. She's currently on a plane over the Pacific, and will reach her hotel near the university in about 20 hours. So far, it only appears that she forgot to pack earrings -- not bad, considering the frenzy of the past couple of days. For, before one can pack, one must unpack the things dragged home in June. There was laundry to be done; there were needed items to acquire. There was sleep to be missed. There was mother/daughter synchronized hormonal enhancement.

In antiwhines, there wasn't any yelling. She did get it all done! This morning she started crying as the last few items got stuffed into bags. In an act of maternal bravery, I held off until she got through airport security. Her dad and I finally staggered off, clutching one another and remembering all those things that make it hard to let her go.

What's the news up your way?

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Perks of Pregnancy Award to Debangel, who says: "Anti-whine: Am eating Pop-Tarts for dinner and am mature grownup so nobody can stop me. Neener, neener boo boo."

Ain't That the Truth Award to Amy, for her response to breaking news that Debangel's cat was eating her Pop Tart: "I'd like to call for a cluestick posse to visit debangel's cat (she's pregnant! she should get to eat what she wants!), but it's a cat. cats don't care about clues. I know -I've tried."

Elevated Risk of Mullet Award to Sue, who complains: "I spent ten hours in two different airports yesterday because of "delays" (shakes fist at fireplacing Air Canada, whose motto should be 'We Don't Care Because We Don't Have To.'"

Brown Wrapper Book Drop Award to Esperanza, who laments: "since I am (doctor's orders) a lazy bum, I have been reading more than usual. My favorite escape reading is the trashy novel. But when one is the preacher's wife, one should not check out trashy novels from the small town library, nor purchase them from the small town stores. So, I'm reading a *slightly* higher quality of book."

Just Like a Junior High Group Project Award to JenR, who has unwittingly become the "go to" problem-solver, leaving no time for her own darned work. Hat tips to Esperanza and Sue.

Water Follies Award to Sarah at ratatat, who reports: "My whine/anti-whine is that we almost drowned the older kids last week. But we didn't." Pixie Central agrees that the only possible reaction was to crack jokes the rest of the week!

Fuzzy Bunny Award to Klee, who has a new member of the family!

Cluestick Posse is hereby dispatched to deal with Purple Kangaroo's neighbor, the one whose fireplacing hobby is calling animal control on various families in the vicinity.

Oooh, Shiney! Award to Elizabeth, who is pleased with her new (and cheap) laser printer.

Many hugs to Pixies struggling with life-threatening issues. Condolences to Pixies who have this week dealt with: police response to a false alarm; ouchy broken bones; kids who don't want meds; transportation woes; heat; broken hearts; family and personal sicknesses; the aftermath of oral surgery; deadlines; travel; awkwardness; and other complaints of the season.

Thanks for playing!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer, she is winding down

My sweet daughter, age 2, taking "her piece" of the cake.

My big fat whine is really an antiwhine, because my daughter will be flying off Sunday to fulfill a dream she has had for years and years, to spend her junior year of college in Japan. I'm not kidding, she probably first thought of this 8+ years ago. And through some set of miracles, it is happening -- even though Mom thinks it is awfully far and isn't 11 months really a LONG time?

We had this whole adventure at the Consulate today, because boy howdy, do they want a lot of information before you get a visa -- even though she already had a Certificate of Eligibility from the Japanese Ministry of Justice, which might well be the prettiest thing in our entire house.

They wanted new passport-style photos, without glasses. Also, they wanted street addresses and phone numbers not only for where she is going, but for her regular U, and for the fireplacing hotel she will stay at the first night. [Really, they wanted her dorm assignment, but we don't have it yet. And the hotel's website is in Japanese, which wouldn't show the characters on the computer I managed to borrow in the city.] It all worked out, and fortunately the strike on the commuter train was called off last night, so we could get there. She'll get her visa on Wednesday. And possibly start packing by then.

Lest you think I'm going all fancy-pants on you, I continue to have usual whines: ze litter boxes; son lost his temper with me again; my computer's continuing stupidity; and dagnabbit, how can someone of my age get zits?

Let the Whines and Anti-Whines begin!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

About Esperanza

There are some weeks when all of the commenting Pixies achieve overwhelming consensus on something, and this is one of those weeks. It is official: Esperanza is not a weenie! We are also impressed with the Care Posse's willingness to do what needs doing. [They don't call themselves that, do they? We mean it in the most complimentary way.]
In addition, Esperanza wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award, for elaborating that she feels like a strong woman, but "My uterus, apparently, has a different self-image."
Liz takes home the Old Skool Award with her classic: "I hate being grumpy. I hate that it makes me resentful and ungenerous." Runner Up is Elizabeth, whose hands got all swollen and achy with the heat.
KLee wins the Tooth of Wisdom Award for Dental Bravery. Sending virtual icepacks, painkillers, and ice cream, as needed.
Redzils brings the fluids this week, in the form of flooding. Because the flood consumed her delicates, we award her the Ark of the Unmentionables Award.
Madeleine wins, hands down, the Intrepid Flyswatter Award for continuing local efforts to eradicate the fruit fly. We are torn between admiring the engineering genius, and thanking our stars that the flies are in your kitchen, not ours.
Sue has earned the Sloth Life Award, for enjoying her vacation. And, thanks for the Pixie Dust!
Hugs and condolences to JenR, whose family lost a cousin way too soon. JenR also wins the "Whining Works" Ribbon, as her mom is coming to the rescue on the child care front.
NUD wins a valuable Visit From The Class Prep Fairy, since that stuff didn't get done during her relaxing visit to MIL's cottage. We can hardly wait to hear what prizes she wins on the work-related trip!
Domestic Tranquility Award to Amy. We aren't reckless enough to offer specific advice, but rest assured that there were nods of recognition all around the Pixie Campfire. At Madeleine's excellent suggestion, we are sending virtual fudge.
Sorry for the lateness of the awards! My glam work life took me 500 miles away, so I could spend several hours looking at stuff in a basement and then fly back.
Have a good week!

Monday, August 10, 2009

All Wired Up Edition

Do you ever do something different and stay out late, and then you are too wired to sleep for a good three hours or so? Well, we went to a local production of Singin' In the Rain at an outdoor theater, and it was fun, but we were with this crowd from my beloved's work for close to 6 hours, including the potluck, and the guy next to me arranged it all so everyone could see his daughter in the play, and it was fun, but here I am at nearly 1:00 a.m., feeling like I had coffee even though I didn't.

So, breaking out the whines early. Awards are likely to be late, too, because I'll be on the road [so to speak] most of Thursday. The trip is an unspeakable work whine, but I heard rumors about free wireless at the destination airport, and possibly also on flights to/from that destination, so that would be an antiwhine.

In real anti-whines, the quilt got where it was going, and in time to be enjoyed. One of the formerly feral cats has been asking for loving, and he even purred!; and the other finally let me pet her! It's all about the love.

How's by you?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Awards - FIRED UP edition

This is where I was yesterday.

Pretty cool, no?

Kathy A. gets the Get 'Er Done Award for organizing and completing a loving quilt in less than a week. We are all thinking of your friend and your step-father and you in this hard time. And sending out a pickle posse for a hard-hearted Hannah (or Herbert) who said, "no, i think i'll pass." What a douche-bag.

KLee gets the time-honored Trouble With Telephones and Teen-agers award for her daughter's texting WHILE BEING YELLED AT FOR TEXTING! I work for a phone company and even I say, hide the fireplacing thing in the back of the cleaning cupboard. She'll never look there. Bright side? Not "sexting", yes?

Madeleine gets Elevated Risk of Mullet for "Wow, the suckitude is starting early this week." and for "KLee, I'm guessing that the lack of sleep from being up texting at 2 am is not helping her stress levels much. Maybe she'll be more reasonable when she's caught up on her beauty sleep? Or in 10 years, which ever comes first."

Esperanza wins Whine of Substance this week for being told not to lift her not-yet-walking Sweet Baboo for fear of "straining". Sending step-stools and stool softeners.

Sue wins Style for her two-word whine: "Barfeh Kitteh"

Sarah at Ratatat wins the Yes! That! Award for "My whine is that I'm feeling whiny."

Amy wins the "And we shall call it... the WHEEL..." award (ht to Elizabeth) for her marvelous invention.

Hugs and love to all you with kid whines, tooth whines, toe whines, money whines, bra whines (go up a bra band and down a cup or up a cup and down a bra band! And go to a good bra store), and too-far-away-from-loved-ones whines.

Night all!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Cute Blue Shoes Blues

My new cute blue shoes, bought specifically for walkingwalkingwalking, are good for 36 houses MAX. After that, they rub blisters on the tops of my poor feet. And blisters are not cute.

Lo, I am blue.

But I went on with the walking and finished all 72 doors and therefore I am muy macho.

Que es mas macho? Walking with blisters or cleaning car sick out of a minivan half-way through a 6-hour car trip? My experience says walking with blisters es mas macho. But I did 'em both this week.

How was your week?