Monday, January 28, 2013

Culture week

What with one thing and another, I pretty much stopped watching TV ages ago.   Too busy with work and raising the kids; nothing I much wanted to see; and besides, nobody would give me the remote control.  And then the final blow -- when the kids moved along, our former family room became the Dog Room and Electronic/Bike Workshop.  I am not really a dog person, and this is a dog-intensive room.  My eyes are itching just thinking about it.

Then last year, I accidentally became addicted to two shows:  Grey's Anatomy, and even more dangerously, Downton Abbey.  Grey's began as an occasional Netflix indulgence, but soon enough I ran out of episodes, and bought the last season.  The network runs recent episodes for free, so I mostly get my fix that way, at a convenient moment.  But then -- Downton, my real downfall.  Furtive internet purchases in the night; savoring each chapter twice.

And now, I have startled the dogs, my husband, myself (and deeply worried the cats) by taking over the Dog Room on Downton Sundays, because that is where the TV is.  The season is short; the need is urgent.  Last night, one of the dogs took advantage, snuck away, and ate all the cat kibble in the kitchen; and I was so absorbed that I did not even notice. 

Recently, I've also started cooking more -- trying new things.  It's fun -- delicious and nutritious!  Problems:  [1] we're at the point of being overrun by the bounty, so I need to start remembering to freeze some of it; and more seriously, [2] omg, the dirty dishes.  We all hate doing dishes.  On the up side, I got this sweet cut-resistant glove so my thumb does not get shredded any more on the mandoline, a merciless instrument that is basically the best thing evah for slicing potatoes, onions, and etc.

Anti-whine of delicious anticipation:  teh Wednesday Book Club begins this week!  Liz is hosting, and the first book is Venetia, by Georgette Heyer.  I expect there will be spoilers in the thread! 

Music anti-whine:  Over the weekend, we went to a lovely concert.  It was a youth orchestra that my daughter was involved with in high school; we have kept in touch with her long-time saxophone coach, a wonderful musician and great guy, who will be conducting the orchestra going forward.  These kids are great!  The current group only has 3 members older than 9th grade; and they are still playing this fabulous, challenging music.  The concert was basically a tribute to the founding conductor, retiring after 20 years.  There just aren't sufficient words to describe the awesomeness of enthusiastic music educators who infect their charges with both understanding and love of music.

So, what's happening?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Post Birthday Party Fog Awards Show

Dear Pixies,

I'm sorry, but you are not getting the best part of my brain today. She is just about gone...someone stayed up too late last finishing this for Mini's birthday party:

As promised, the Elevated Risk of Mullet goes to liz, for this sentiment: I am holding on tightly to the thought that these are the last, lingering farts of a dying breed. Originally referring to her duly elected state Senator, we at Wednesday Whining can think of so many other worthy antecedents. 

The Cluestick Posse has new personnel: toy (including Legos)-strewing three-year-old birthday party guests. Sure to strike terror in the heart of anyone over the age of 7 1/2. And these little darlin's will be busy: work, internet service providers, people who don't appreciate broccoli-cheese soup, sinus infections, negative temperatures, muscle spasms in muscles you don't want spasm-ing, and tummy bugs (one party guest had to call and cancel because of yucky tummy bug going around Our Town). 

Homemade! Bagels! to: husbands who make dinner, the producers of Downton Abbey, lives with lessened drama and smoothly-running boyfriends, and friends who help clean up after birthday parties.

Snorfles and a Style Award for kathy a's haiku regarding the ConEd misunderstanding. Sue and I speak the same preacher-speak, so I knew what she meant and was mighty confused by the electric company talk!

Sympathies and tears for all who continue to deal with the results of gun violence. 

Tune in next week (that being tomorrow), when kathy a will host the Whiners' Ball!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cabin Fever Whining

W: That's right. Sweet is *still* running a fever. She feels awful today. Back to the pediatrician. Secondary bacterial infection, throat. Penicillin. Fever should be gone by Wednesday or Thursday. Which, if you're counting, is a week straight. I'm hoping he's wrong and it will be sooner. I'd love for her to be able to go to school on Wednesday.

W: I expressed mild surprise and thankfulness that the clinic was open today. He said, "of course we are." I said, "but it's a holiday." And he said, "but not a real holiday." Sigh.

AW: um. It's a bit of a relief to get off of our hamster wheel.

AW: no one else in the house is sick.

AW: friend from hubby's church has now rescued us two Sunday mornings in a row. We have very flexible jobs, except for Sunday morning. And a feverish Baboo cannot go to the church nursery. Wonderful NG came and stayed with the Baboos and exposed herself to goodness-knows-what two weeks in a row. I think I'm getting her flowers tomorrow.

What's happening with you, pixies?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Shiny Medals, Chocolate, and Handwashing for All!

Everyone gets a shiny medal this week, especially Miranda, who made it through the week. That's worth celebrating, we say! And the rest of us want to try the broccoli cheese soup. (you have a cheese guy? There are cheese guys? Not out here in the sticks, but I think I'm jealous).

Handwashing, ibuprofen, heating pads, plenty of fluids, and chocolate for all who are sick (especially NL's NB, Sue's MiL, debangel's surgery recovery, kathy a's earache). Extra surgical masks and more chocolate to those who are impersonating nurses.

Pats on the back to Liz, for her expert listening skills, and fingers crossed that said skills can bring home the bacon with a new job (bonus! incompetent boss will be left behind at old job!)

This week, we are arming the cluestick posse with (~shudder~) legos. They will be a busy crew, what with liz's supervisor, Sue's presbytery, all other presbyteries (just covering my bases here), Miranda's presbytery-like clowns, debangel's ex, comc@st, kathy a's SiL situation (not sure the SiL would benefit from the posse, but surely someone needs to step on a lego in that whole deal), people who call other people "reprehensible," and whoever is in charge of incubation periods.

See you next week, when you will undoubtedly have a less-whiny hostess.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop Whining

AW: fantastic weekend at the youth conference, keynotes went well, I had my very own private room and took care of myself reasonably well.

W: the amount of flu germs floating around that place was mind-boggling

W: returned home to a sick Mini. I'm extremely suspicious that *she* also has the flu. Yes, we got the (only 60% effective this year) vaccine. Fever up to 103, chills, exhaustion, stuffed up head.

So....surely someone else in this house will get the flu in the next few days. What to do? I sent Sweet to school this morning, and Mini is very sad she has to stay home.

Also, W: allergies

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chi-chi for all!

Sorry; awards were delayed by extreme frustration.  Your host is normally made of stronger stuff, but was nearly in tears by the time the 8th person yesterday at that ISP rolled around -- after talking to several more the day before.  (I'd already been working with the place the missing emails come from, for close to a week; and they had run it up their tech ladder.)  Gah.  The last straw was when I got transferred to billing, for refund of a totally unnecessary charge that someone insisted I had to pay to proceed with tech help; and their own billing department does not have access to the database containing this charge -- a charge that had been confirmed by email. 

Today, my problem got bumped to a department that might actually be able to do something; and best of all, they are allowed to make outgoing phone calls!  Which you all are going to think is just a joke, but apparently not, according to one of yesterday's techs.

Esperanza wins the Ritzy Restaurant Award for her submission of "(I am not making this up) Mr. Taco".  We're laughing with you!   You are entitled to chi-chi food any time you meet another Pixie, in person or virtually. 

The Hooray for Visiting Sons Award goes to our own Sue, whose entire clan gathered!   As a special bonus, Sue wins a valuable set of Chi-Chi Ice Packs, for the uncooperative hamstring.

Neighbor Lady wins the Living Vicariously Award, and a small chi-chi edible schoolyard garden for the Neighbor School(s).

Aunt Flo wins the Good Timing Award, arriving in time to make Debangel's surgical preparations just that much better.  Fortunately, everything turned out groovy, and her sweetie was there for her, and her baby munchkin came home beforehand and lent a great deal of heartmelting sweetness, so Deb wins the Great Outcome Award

The Pulitzer Prize for Publication goes to Sue, who has a new chi-chi writing gig!  We knew of her awesomeness before she hit the big time.

Speaking of awsome gigs, Esperanza wins the Oratory in Action Award for speaking several times at a youth conference.  These things must have gotten more chi-chi since the olden days, because she has a private room and internet, whereas I recall bunk beds and freezing bathrooms and bed inspections and rather enthusiastic (some might say gleeful) methods of rousing the young folk in the morning.  Then again, I was one of teh youth, and maybe that part has not changed so much??

Liz once again wins the Great Advice Award, always timely and thoughtful.

Despite some ugly work stuff, Miranda wins the Best Anti-Whine Awards in both the professional and personal categories, with nuggets like "My brain is in demand for its smarts" and an active happy chi-chi social life!  Yay!

Hooray for Baboos Who Sleep!

Cluesticks to the deserving, including but not limited to people who cannot keep work out of the funeral, work politics, insurance companies (a perennial favorite), whatever stuff is going around, and big fat internet service providers whose corporate customer service plan assumes that you are not only stupid, but so stupid that you will buy more of their stuff when they play those ads during the hours on hold.  (This particular Posse list may be a little biased.)

Condolences to Miranda on the loss suffered by her friend, and to Esperanza for needing to wrangle a whole new health plan + new providers + the inevitable insurance woes.  

Thanks for the birthday wishes, and all-around friendship.

Apologies for lagging on the Wednesday Book Club, but will try to get a schedule up later today.  Suggestions always welcome in the comments -- both for books, and on the organization of the only internet jammie-wearing book club offering virtual chi-chi snacks at all times.

Please join us next week, when the fabulous Esperanza will host!

Monday, January 7, 2013


This is my daughter, who decided to eat the big piece at her party all those years ago.  Her birthday happens again this week.   I should probably bake something, but it will not be as well-decorated as the one pictured. 

What's happening?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Awards: late is the new early

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  (You can see why I always flunk New Year resolutions.)

First, kudos to all for making it through most of the first week of the year!  The other 360 days will be totally achievable.  ;)  

And in the spirit of getting things done, Esperanza wins the You Can Do It Award, for the various youth conference speeches she's writing at a furious pace in "non-Baboo" time.  Go team go!  How do we know she can do it?  Because Esperanza just spent two solid nonstop full-time unbroken weeks with the Baboos, through the holidays, leading to her winning the Great Escape AwardHubby came home early from work today, unexpectedly. I said, "I'm running away from home." Went shopping (boring household stuff) and now at his office working on aforementioned keynote speeches. Thus bringing to an end the TWO WEEKS I've been with the Baboos nonstop.  Very inspirational!

Congratulations and a toast to Debangel, who is off snuggling with her sweetie in the snow, on a grownup getaway!  Awww, you love-birds.  We like lots of little honeymoons -- the same way we used to take a nibble at a time of the chocolate, and savor it, so it would last and last.  

The timing could not be better, because The Jerkface Ex is upping his game.  Our own Liz rode to the rescue, reviewing the e-mail evidence and winning this week's coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award with her report:  "True fact, debangel's shower sac ex is one of the top five biggest assholes I've ever heard about that hadn't been elected to something."   Obviously, the Cluestick Posse will be on regular rounds, honing our skills with an example of exceptional assholishness.

Meanwhile, back at the cubical farm (or its equivalent), Liz was busy winning the Big Corporate Software Geniuses Suck Award, because something got really screwed up, big time, and she was doing a line-by-line to find out how bad and in what way.  So, the Cluestick Posse is also assigned to various corporate entities and the responsible minions lurking therein.  It will be good exercise, if that was on anyone's list of things to ramp up this new year.

Best Year-End Report was from Sue, who noted that she had a great sabbatical, and "Migraine treatment that works. Discovering food triggers and managing to avoid them almost all of the time. Reading LOTS of good books. Writing a good research paper. Feeling loved."  Yay!

Greatest FB ResolutionLiz's friend is posting only in haiku!

And, Yay for the Wednesday Book Club, which to date includes Liz, Purple Kangaroo, Esperanza, Sue, and Neighbor Lady!  And a bunch of suggestions; we'll figure out a schedule.