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!