Sunday, December 12, 2010

Style Week!

We be stylin', this
Week. So write your verse, or your
Song, and play along!

Seasonal whines and
Anti-whines also welcome,
As they always are.

We got a tree, at
Last. Who knows if decor will
Occur very soon....

ETA: Stylish whines are encouraged, but not required. :)


amy said...

An early start to the Whiners' Ball
Had been all day my dream.
But Style Week? I'd rather have had
A Wednesday Primal Scream.

In other words, GAAAAAAAAAH!

Sarah at ratatat said...

'Kookoo' Claus is so scary
with his face so hairy
the two year old must sneak
up on him to take a peek

Three walks around the mall with fear
but eventually a photo standing near
but not - on - the big red guy
was achieved by and by.

I give up on a photo of all three
until next year, when we'll see.

kathy a. said...

oooh, a great and stylish start! amy, feel free to break into prose as needed.

so, tomorrow my daughter has jury duty! at 8 a.m. we dragged her out of bed at the crack of noon today to go tree shopping, so i'm sure the early hour will be no problem. ~snort~

the last time she had jury duty, she [a] got lost on the way to the courthouse a couple miles away, and [b] ran into the back of the police chief's unmarked car on the way home. (no ticket!) we're hoping this public service stint goes a little more smoothly.

liz said...

Our weekend was filled with plans
A cocktail party with NARAL fans
(We brought cake and brownies, too
to share with friends, both old and new)
Then to church we gladly went
In this season of advent
We're UU's though, and I'm a Jew
So it's less advent and more what's nu?
And then my spouse took himself
To our old house to play fix-it elf.
The dishwasher there has broken down
And our tenants wear a frown
We hope that the 'washer can be fixed
Or our budget will be nixed

liz said...

Mandate not allowed says judge
Cuccinelli wins

esperanza said...

Does a tongue twister count as stylish?

This fishy dishwasher does not wash dishes. So she switches to swishing dishes in the sink.

Does it work? I'm style impaired. Not to mention the dishpan hands.

kathy a. said...

this one decision,
liz, does not a cucc win make.
other courts contra.


guess who got lost on
the way to the court, again?
what was lost is found.

kathy a. said...

oooh, esperanza is stylin', now with dishpan hands! the 11/30 whining thread has excellent advice for that condition, among others.

is there some kind of dishwasher breakdown conspiracy in the blogosphere? because i've been hearing of several lately.

esperanza said...

I don't know about conspiracy, but I've had it with this thing. It has this fireplacing little door to the soap thingie. It's supposed to flip open to dispense the soap at the appropriate time. Many thing can interfere with the flipping open: too tall of a utensil in front of it, top rack isn't pushed in all the way, etc. Believe me, I've found several ways to thwart the soap door flippage. But now it's taken to not flipping open at all. It's little switch seems to operate, nothing is blocking it, but when I open the door in the morning, all the soap is caked in there, such that I have to chisel it out with an old knife and an ice pick. It's the kind of thing that would work fine if a repairman came, I'm sure.

But here is the conspiracy: several states have recently effected laws that require the removal of phosphates from dishwasher soap (and probably other things too). Apparently phosphates is what makes the soap work, because the new-fangled stuff doesn't clean very well. Harumph. Going back to the old-fashioned method.

liz said...

The dishwasher at our old house draineth not. Once drained, it will not fill.

Looks like the gizmo that controls power to the valve has blown its zap.

KLee said...

I must whine -- Juggling Freak and Offspring were watching a favored cartoon of theirs last night as we were putting up the tree. One character makes for of another by saying he has brain cancer. Having just lost my aunt to brain cancer, I found that in completely poor taste, and found no laughter in it at all. I began crying while trimming the tree. Juggling Freak and Offspring look at me like I've suddenly put a downer on the whole evening, though nothing is overtly said.

Was I just being too sensitive? I will admit that that nerve is still very raw, but I can't help the way I feel.

In other news, I am sick, for what feels like the forty-kajillionth time this school year. JF is now working in a hostile work environment, and is completely unhappy, plus did not get a recent job he interviewed for. Offspring turns 15(!!!!OMFG!!!) in less than a month, and there's still a metric ton of stuff to be done a.) before the end of school this week, and b.) before the holidays are over.....


sue said...

No KLee, you were not being too sensitive. Not at all. I'm sorry your tree decorating was so sad.

Whine: Speaking of sad... sorry, no style points for me tonight.

MS Sucks!!!

That is all.

liz said...



Posting from phone. Husband fixed tenants' dishwasher.

Jenevieve said...

Whine, to the tune of 'O Holy Night":

O, Painful Back,
My eyes are red and streaming
this is the pits and I want it to cease.

Long lay Jeni in quiet supine posing
Till I felt like I could get up and function

A thrill of pain, the searing burn is shooting, for SI joints and twinge-ey nerves are scorned.

Fall on my knees! Oh hear, the sad vet moaning:
"O let it stop, this pain in which I live;
O back, O painful back, O back spasm!
O back, O painful back, O back spasm!"

Okay maybe that's a slight exaggeration. But really, 10 days of being doped up on pain meds? Usually my back's out for 3-4 days. BOO.


"Cookie time, cookie time, baking time is here,
Oh what fun it is to bake and whip and roll and stir..."

Menu: Giant sugar cookies, speculaas, cinnamon stars, mexical wedding cakes, cranerry-butter coins, peanut butter chocolate chippies, matzoh crack. Yes!! Anyone living within driving distance of ventura county, come by!

kathy a. said...

Major hugs to KLee, Sue, and the stylish Jeni. xoxoxo

KLee, noooo, you are not "being too sensitive."

Jenevieve -- nummers! But ouch, too.

emily said...

I'm not sure if this is stylish--it's definitely b***chy:-). The rules, which only exist in my mind (and here:-)) help me continue enjoy hostessing.

Rules for Guests (and by guests, I mean family!) Helping in My House

(note: this only applies to guests for one meal/less--rules for longer guests negotiated on a case-by-case basis as we only infrequently have overnight guests and they vary in independence/neediness)

1. If you offer to help, I will assume it is a pro-forma, courtesy offer and will decline, graciously.

2. If you offer a more than once, I will assume that your offer is sincere and am likely to ask you to do something. Do not sigh or otherwise try to indicate that, even though you have been following me around saying "isn't there *something* I can do?", you were really only being polite.

3. If you request to help more than once (see rule 2), please be sure that you are offering actual help and not:

a) looking for the opportunity to get into my kitchen to tell me that my storage methods are wrong.

b) looking for the opportunity to scrutinize my ingredients and tell me about the various locally sourced, wildly expensive items that I should be using (especially if you have no children and more $$$ than me)

c) looking for the opportunity to generally criticize my life while I am held hostage by the preparations.

4) If you request to help more than once (see rule 2), please be sure that you are actually capable of offering help and not:

a) going to follow me around the kitchen waving a peeled vegetable at me saying, "where are the knives" when they are residing in the knife block in front of you.

b) going to ask me every 10 seconds if what you are doing is "ok". If I had real issues with the completion the particular task, I wouldn't have asked you to do it. Please use your judgment--I know you are a competent cook/clean up person or I wouldn't have let you in my kitchen (regardless of rule 2).

5) If you ask to help more than once, and I continue to decline, please stop asking! You have likely violated rule 3 or 4 in the past (multiple times for some of you). Please sit down, enjoy a glass of wine and tell some other family member how they should be living their life.

Thanks for coming!

Emily said...

Esperanza--the soap door thing finally pushed us to buy a new dishwasher. It works so much better (i.e. you don't have to wash the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher) than the old one! I hope you can get a new one too and enjoy:-).

I had the same problem with the phosphate-less soap--we switched to some of the tablets (I think they're "finish" recommended by Consumer Reports) and it's been better. I had just assumed that the tablets would be way more $$$ than the liquid/powder but that hasn't been the case (esp. if I can get the giganto box) I'm not sure if that will help with an older dishwasher though.

Jeni--hope you're feeling better and I am very impressed that you could be so creative while in such pain. (Of course, true artists suffer for their work:-))
{{{KLee}}} Go with your feelings!
Liz--so good to have a handy (that's handy, not hand*s*y) husband:-)

esperanza said...

emily, I heart your rules.

And regarding the dishwasher, I did try the finish tablets (we read Consumer Reports too!) and they didn't seem to make a difference. The dishwasher isn't that old (I don't think), so I'm not sure what the issue is. Alas, getting a repair or new dishwasher falls under the giganto whine called "We Live in a Church-Owned House."

KLee, no such thing as wrong feelings.

Jeni, hope your back gets better pronto. We are candy-making here, but your cookies sound yummmmmy.

Sue, yes indeed it does.

New whine: after a tear-filled list of all that has gone wrong for me this morning, hubby kissed me, hugged me (that's not the whine part, it's coming) and said, "take care of Mommy" as he WALKED OUT the door. Right. Grr.

kathy a. said...

fab house rules, emily!

bleah, esperanza.

well, i'm not going to the memorial for my cousin's husband today, after all. i'm going to the hospital to sit with her daughter instead. the daughter has a lot of psych issues going on, and she stopped eating, and got so weak that they went to the ER last night. she's admitted for a few days to get her physical strength up, and then they will deal with the depression plus.

i don't know how one person can deal with so much, all at once -- losing her husband, all the out of town relatives here for the service, her daughter's problems coming to a real crisis. my poor cousin must be on autopilot at this point.

Sarah at ratatat said...

Oh Kathy, your poor cousin and her family.

Grrrr for Esperanza. Double grr. Of all the annoying things a husband can do.

Emily - your rules are awesome.

A tissue for KLee and hope it hurts less.

Sarah at ratatat said...

Just got the call - my husband's car is broken. It made terrible noises and he brought it home. The shop says the catalytic converter fell off and when it fell, it broke an oxygen sensor off too.

Whine: $$$
Whine: we replaced an O2 sensor just a few months ago on the same car.

And before I forget again - major style points for Jeni. Get well soon.

kathy a. said...

AW: i am so so so grateful that my kids are healthy.

W: my cousin's daughter is not. not eating or drinking. awake, but not responding; she said 3 words in the five hours i was there. no eye contact even. and etc. scary shit.

AW: my cousin is a saint.

esperanza said...

Wow, kathy a., that sounds so difficult. I'm glad you could help your cousin out in this way, and she must be one tough cookie. Hugs to her and her daughter and you and the whole fam.

liz said...

Wow. Hugs all around. To Kathy and to Esperanza and Jenevieve and KLee, and anyone else I may have forgotten.

Sue said...

(((kathy a ))))) so very sorry. Hugs to all the other pixies too. Rough week around here.

Whines of Indecision: Tonight is our family Christmas dinner (with my family - hubby's family comes to our place Christmas Day). With my crew, we go to a restaurant b/c hubby can't get into any of my sister's or my Dad's place.

AW: Nice restaurant

W: My family is very.....complicated.

W: It's -35C out there. (At -40, the Fahrenheit and Celcius measurements are the same, fireplacing cold.)

AW: Sometimes it's just nice to play dress-up and put on the bling and go out.

AW: I am exhausted, but at least I know that when I get some sleep, I'll be generally healthy. Also, I have a warm place to sleep. It's all about perspective.

Days said...

(((Pixies))) What a wicked week.

My (anti)Stylish Whine: My boy's only birthday wish was matching dog/owner sweaters. They be stylin' in their red and green argyle.

It's been a somber week here. Miss M's celebration of life yesterday was beautiful and heartbreaking. We are so sad for her parents and sister. Today is the anniversary of a loss in our family too, so we are headed out to the cemetery to lay holiday wreaths.

AW: Holiday concert at the kids' school this evening. Son has a solo!

JenR said...

w: my whine disappeared.

hugs everyone.

original whine: A shipment of my niece and nephews' gifts has disappeared between Am@z0n and the house. The replacement package will most likely be late.

kathy a. said...

oh, sarah -- a major car part *fell off*???? big bah humbug to that.

sue, hope you have a nice dinner and that nobody displays their "complications" too overtly.

((( days ))) such sadness. i LOVE your boy's b-d wish, though!

jenr -- say it ain't so! betrayed by am@azon? the posse has opinions about gifts being late because someone else messed up.

passing some of the oatmeal cookies i baked; they are pretty good, studded lightly with butterscotch chips and dried cran. must remember to buy chocolate chips for those times when only baking will do.

liz said...

AW: My son dressed "fancy" to go to the Theatre to see a live production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

He laid out his own clothes (white shirt, suit, tie, dress shoes, and white sports socks), got into them himself (we had to adjust him a bit. Amazingly, you're supposed to button the top button of your dress shirt and tuck it in. The tie goes at the very top, not just above the last button you happened to button.)

What a change from the struggle to get him into this outfit.

kathy a. said...

yay for fancy clothes!
boo for re-decorating
cats. but no breaks yet.

KLee said...

Whine: I am sick, AGAIN, with a deep, rattly chest cold.

Anti-whine: I lubs me some FloNase, which my doc so thoughtfully prescribed during the LAST bout of this crud...

W: Said FloNase has disappeared, and I have no more sick time accrued at work.

A/W: I only have to work tomorrow and Friday, and then I'm off until Jan. 3rd!

W: I still have to hack my way into consciousness in the morning.

A/W: As part of our Christmas/holiday celebration, I can wear my jammies to school in the morning if I wanna.

W: Jammies are dirty, so probably not nwear them, and it's too dang cold anyhoo.

A/W: Tomorrow is also Staff Treat Day at work, and I made chocolate-covered cherry mice to share!

Ah, the ebb and flow of whineage....

kathy a. said...

KLee -- you're back! the holiday mice and party sound delightful!

amy said...

Thank you for the invitation to break out into prose, but if I do, I'll forfeit my entry in the brevity category. ;)

Whine of a Parent: the tot is having big problems in school. She's getting picked on, and for about two weeks, cried after school nearly every day. The bigger problem is that she quit eating. I called the school, even though she begged me not to. I didn't tell her I did it, but I'm not sure it'll make any difference anyway. She's so hypersensitive that what is minor teasing to another kid is very hurtful to her.

To make a long whine marginally shorter, I've contacted her old therapist, and we're starting up again in January. We love this woman, and I was so grateful that she not only agreed to help us find help, but she insisted that she be the one to see her. This is a great weight off of my mind. She has a fantastic bond with the tot.

Anti-whine: I guess this is the impetus to get me blogging again? I started the blog as a way to track the tot's progress with textures and eating, but I quit when tater was born. (Enter FB.) But, I've spent some time looking through the archives, and I want to start again and I guess I have something to write about.

Whine of a Child (in-law): I am not even sure I can verbalize this, but even after venting to my husband about this, I am still so mad at his mother that I have doubts about my ability to act like a grown-up when we see her at Christmas. I am a practical person. She refuses to buy practical gifts. Historically, she has harassed me to the point where I fill my am@zon list with crap that I only marginally want so as to give her something to give me. Usually it's CDs or audio books and gift certificates to places I generally like to shop. Every year, I remind her: I like practical gifts. They MAKE ME HAPPY. H!A!P!P!Y! Please accept my list or don't buy me anything. I really am okay with that. But, no. Of course not. So, the other night, we had to have this fireplacing conversation AGAIN. After I ran through the list of stores for gift cards, she indirectly asked me what I'd buy. Basically? Stuff I Want. Stuff On My List. She flipped and said she won't give me them then because it would be the same as buying practical gifts, and WE ALL KNOW SHE DOESN'T BELIEVE IN THAT.

OMFG, is it January yet?

Sarah at ratatat said...

Amy - oh how frustrating. Does she check up on you - i.e. can you donate all of the crap afterward?

Sue - good luck with the complications. And thanks for the C/F convergence - I was just thinking I should Google how that works. I think the radio said it was about 5 F here, so pretty darn cold.

KLee - get well soon.

Liz - awww. I a awed at how they grow, especially when I am not looking.

JenR - really Am@z0n failed? I think that would fracture my world view about now.

W: the car repair shop called. My husband's car is "special." The only version of a catalytic converter his car will accept is at a dealer in Texas. (She tried 2 locally, but for some reason his car has the California emissions kind) We live far far form Texas. So another week without the car and much more $$$$.
W: Wish I was in TX.
AW: service manager is a woman and very nice and I trust her.

AW: first day of the new job was uneventful. Nice even.

amy said...

Sarah, I don't know if she would notice the absence of items, but she does point out when she sees something that she gave us or the kids, like the shirt she gave Tater for his birthday that he wore at Thanksgiving. I think I'm going to adopt my husband's general approach to gifts he wants -- consumables. Foods, treats, cigars, fancy liquors, magazines, etc. Then, if they're not around, there is a plausible explanation. That's not why he does it, but whatever.

Regarding your car problem: first, I'm SO SORRY. Last week, my van broke down and I had to get a rental for two days. What I learned was that the local rental company Enter Prize (They'll Come And Get You!) has a deal with the body shops and mechanics. When I told the rep my car was at the So And So Mechanic, she gave me a rate of $25 instead of $42 per day. I don't know if that will help you, but I couldn't not share that with the pixies.

amy said...

Dear Pixies, WHINING WORKS! This morning, I got a big breakthrough in the tot's teasing mystery at school. I didn't share this earlier, but one of the teasing situations (yes, there are several) is on the bus. I lamented to my next neighbor, who has two kids on the bus. She shared with me that she thought her son was being bullied too, but couldn't get one iota of info out of him. She thought it *might* be happening on the bus. His sweet demeanor has changed, he's quit talking, he's generally sad, and so on. Well, what do you know? She probed a bit to see if her kids had seen the tot getting picked on, and Lo! Behold! Her son isn't the one getting bullied at all! Her son has been troubled because he's seeing the tot get bullied and he didn't know what to do!

This might seem silly, but I feel so relieved and validated to learn this. I've felt powerless to help the tot, but this gives me something more to go on. She's NOT overreacting, and she's NOT imagining it or turning one instance over in her head so it feels like a frequent occurrence.

amy said...

Nominations and Hugs

I'd like to nominate Jenevieve for a Style Award, Music Division (Sub-category, Holiday), and I'd hug you, dear, but that might reactivate your back.

I'd like to nominate KLee for a Nibbled to Death By Ducks for the OMFG, Everything, and I'll send you a hug and concur that the Pixies are right -- you are entitled to every emotion, and that cartoon made a tasteless and hurtful joke. Who the Fireplace jokes about people having cancer?! W-T-F-Ever.

I'd like to nominate Emily for a Technical Writing Award, because those rules are so clearly written, even pesky family houseguests *should* be able to understand them. And my hug is one of thanks, because I swear, if I did cross stitch, I'd cross stitch that list and hang it in my foyer -- it's just that brilliant.

liz said...

Amy, I hate bullies. HATE.

Ideas, if desired:

Call the school to alert the principal and the bus driver that this is happening.

Maybe carpool with your neighbor?

Sending a multiplicity of hugs.

liz said...

Whine: I seem to be the only person who dressed up for the office party.

AW: I am VERY CHRISTMASSY in my red business suit and tiny wreath pin.

Whine: WHAT THE HELL PEOPLE? There is not even an ugly christmas sweater on display.

AW: For the white elephant exchange, I brought a People Yearbook for 2000 (hand-me-down from my sister, has a lovely photo of JFK, Jr. on the cover), and a bottle of cheap champagne.

amy said...

Thanks, Liz! I talked to the principal last week, and I'll call her again. She is VERY cool, and she loves the children SO much. (The teachers are on the fence about her, because she puts the kids' needs over theirs, but hey -- from a parent's perspective, that's *awesome*!) I have heard tell that when there is a problem on the bus, she will ride the bus for a while to handle the situation herself. I'm pulling for that measure to be attempted before I bail and just start driving the tot. Will update as things develop.

Days said...

No pook? That's odd.No bark? That's odder.
Alas, a tale of my eldest daughter.
At the school event last night,
She nibbled goodies with all her might.
She gulped hot cocoa from her cup.
And later, all those snacks came up.
Up on the walls, up on the bed.
Up on her clothes, up on her head.
She didn't wake up mom or dad,
And now the smell is really bad.
But she's fine today, and off to school,
While I clean up this mess. Uncool.

liz said...

Oh Days! Ewwwww!

Days said...

((Amy)) Glad to hear that the principal is on the ball, but that just sucks. I am always at a loss when it comes to bullying.

((Klee)) Feel better soon.

Days said...

And Liz, for a Fancy Dress award.