Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Things that suck

  1. The cafeteria here at 3MilesFromHome on holiday weeks. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that they did not have cream cheese for the bagels. And the only bagels they had were - I AM NOT KIDDING - chocolate chip and whole wheat. Not a single donut in the house. AND...the scrambled eggs were crusty.
  2. Sitting on the bench...the group double-you bench. I found out third hand that we're being released at noon today. If I didn't have friends upstairs I would never have known.
  3. The weather. Year-end festivities may be called on account of wind.
  4. My mood.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Recommendations

  1. Brooklyn Children's Museum. Really, really geared towards kids. Everything is touchable, and everything worked. MM had a really great time and took lots of pictures. Which brings us to my next recommendation...
  2. VTech Kidizoom Digital Camera. MM's favorite gift this year. He worked out how to use it as a plain vanilla camera and then, completely on his own, figured out all its fun photo effects features. Let me tell you, I look totally gorgeous with a pig's nose and bulgy eyes.
  3. Dim Sum with kids. MM ate his weight in shrimp dumplings.
  4. Amtrak. I know, I know, I know....I've recommended them before, but what's not to like about a mode of transportation where you can sit comfortably, use your computer (or watch your own movies), get up, walk around, have a pee or a bite to eat, and still get to NYC from DC in 3 hours? Without having to wait in line to take off your shoes?
  5. Watching one's grandma turn 90, and have a 94-year-old at the party say, "I wish I'd had her kind of energy when I was her age."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sorry so silent

I'm in NYC, hangin' with my family and eating dim sum and latkes and bagels. MM's been building with Lego and life in general is very sweet. We've been here since Thursday.

The socks have a taker. Second leg is almost done. Feet going on ASAP.

I'll be back in action on Tuesday.

I hope your holidays were beautiful and full of fun and love.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Latkes! Get yer hot latkes!

We invited MM's friend, SheIsAlmostAsTallAsMe, and her mom, IReallyLikeHer over for some hot potatoey goodness and the rest of the Hanukah scene last night.

The kids played Lego Star Wars while us grownups talked about everything and nothing as I fried up something like 30 latkes.

Neither of the kids were that into the latkes, but IReallyLikeHer ate 4 (as did I) and took some home with her.

They really liked the candle-lighting and were surprised that we gave SheIsAlmostAsTallAsMe a present (IReallyLikeHer was a bit chagrined that she didn't bring anything and I just shook my head and said, "no. You weren't supposed to.")

They left around eight. Gotta do that more often.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Looking for a Christmas gift?

Dick Francis: Break In (main character is named Christmas), and its sequel, Bolt
Margaret Maron: Corpus Christmas, Rituals of the Season
Georgette Heyer: Envious Casca
Agatha Christie: A Holiday for Murder (AKA Murder for Christmas, AKA Poirot's Christmas)
Charlaine Harris: Shakespeare's Christmas (NOT about the playwright!)
Murder for Christmas (short story compilation), first in a series, the whole series is great!
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity's Death and Aunt Dimity's Christmas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

One Thousand

One thousand posts.

Some long.

Some short.

Some happy.

Some sad.

Some funny.

Some really, really not.

Some thoughtful.

Some less so*.

Some self-absorbed.

Some less-so.

Some arty.

Some crafty.

Some industrious.

Some lazy.

1000 posts in 1322 days.

When I started, I thought I'd be talking more about books. And I did do some talking about books. But somehow, I ended up being more Mommy than Mystery. Or perhaps more Life than Lit. You don't always see the best of me here, but there are also things I can't won't don't talk about here for various reasons.

*Hmmmm....it seems I've never enjoyed knitting that sock. And yet...I keep knitting it. WTF?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Will these socks never end? (edited to add a quick pick-me-up)

I just found a mistake I made, and it's a whopper, seven rows back. Which is 385 stitches. Many of them involving the fireplacing cable needle.

I want to cry.

(ETA) But this made me feel better:

Monday, December 15, 2008

More of what I was thinking

1 year ago today, I was annoyed about genderized toys and today they still annoy me.

2 years ago today, I was probably thinking about latkes. But I don't really know, because I didn't post anything.

3 years ago today, I was relieved that MM was happy where he was. MM still remembers going to that school for 3 weeks. He was much much MUCH happier at PNP.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

So...

I was reading The Yarn Harlot who was talking about her Christmas knitting schedule, which was set up for her by her friend Lene, who has her own blog called The Seated View, and she pointed me to a site that I swear is waaaaaay better than Amazon.

Lene also linked to the 100 most often misspelled words, many of which give me heartburn.

You're welcome!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I love Carolyn Hax and The Daily Show

First, it's The 2008 Holiday Hootenanny of Horrors. Once again, not completely safe for work. Same reason.

Next, it's last night's Daily Show. The musical tribute!! I died!

GAHHHHH!!!! (ETA GAHHHHH!)

These (beautiful! sincerely, they are beautiful) socks will be the death of me.

Ways in which I have sucked mightily making these socks:
  1. Lost most of the original instructions, but was saved through the amazing generosity and kindness of the author.
  2. Knit half a sock leg in my normal twisted stitch (how the twisted stitch became my normal one is a story for another day) and found out that cables look not so great in twisted stitch. Did not want to rip. Knit second half of sock leg in flat stitch.
  3. Used #4 needles on ribbing as decreed. Switched to #6 for leg also as decreed...for knee socks. I am knitting the short sock. I was supposed to stick with the #4's.
  4. Started knitting second sock's leg. The ribbing looks TOTALLY different in flat stitch. Do I redo it in my twisted stitch? Or do I just keep knitting because these are already not going to be anyone's present this year.
  5. I have already decided to knit this leg in #6's because I'm NOT reknitting the other leg. I'M JUST NOT.

WAIT!! WAIT!! Perhaps I haven't screwed up as bad as I thought. I can knit the knee sock!

No, wait again. I already did the fireplacing decreases for the ankle shaping. I'd have to rip about 2 inches and then knit 10 more......

Help me, internets, you're my only hope.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Bullets of I love reading to MM

  • He always asks questions that Rowling answers in the very next sentence.

  • He really pays attention and anticipates what might happen next.

  • He loves when I use different voices for different characters and thinks my Professor Trelawney is spot-on.

  • Some words he has asked the meaning of: smirk, sneer, vaguely, tatty, briefcase, shabby, disdain, disgust, loathing, mutter, vulture, orb... (Extra credit, class! What chapter did we read last night?)

  • He got really excited when he realized that the creature on the cover was a hippogryph.

  • He loves to discuss with me the proper pronounciation of the magic words. Here's an excerpt of an actual conversation we had last night:


"I think they're short "u"s, Mom, because there's no silent E
or other helping vowel. See? It's CVC!"*


"But I think it's a long u followed by a short u, because it's
CVCVC! So the second u makes the first u say its name."



  • Sometimes he asks me to point to what I just read and then reads it again himself, trying to use my inflections.

  • He knows I know he could read the books himself**, "But you read faster than I do and besides, I don't know what all the words mean and I like when I can ask you."

*The stuff he's learning in first grade is awesome. He has to divide his spelling words up into categories: CVC (consonant/vowel/consonant), CVCe (consonant/vowel/consonant/silent e), CVVC (consonant/vowel/vowel/consonant), and Oddball. On his spelling tests, he has to mark the long and short vowel sounds. I NEVER had to do this. He's also doing sentence corrections. I don't remember doing that in school, either. With my dad at his job, yes. At school, no.


**He's reading the latest Magic Treehouse book for independent reading at school.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sock Blogging UPDATED!!!!!

I was right about MM's socks. I don't have enough yarn to finish the second one. And my local store doesn't carry it, so will have to call the store in Roanoke and ask them for another skein.

In other socks, I bought 3 skeins of Oatmeal coloured Plymouth Yarn Encore worsted weight to knit the March sock from "...And a Time to Knit Stockings," which I have started before, but never in the proper weight and it really needs to be in the proper weight and...I can't find the graphs for the cables. And this is an Aran sock, so it's all cables. OMIGOD! OMIGOD!!! Katherine sent me a .pdf of the pattern!!!!!!! WOOT!!!

Anyone seen my March sock cable graphs?

Also, anyone know how to translate a flat knitting pattern into a circular one? I have a pattern that I love for mittens, but am unwilling to go back to sewing up seams if I don't hafta.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I am evil

Because I lost my shit with MM. He. Got. On. My. Last. Nerve. And I just lost my shit.

And he lost: the movies we were at Barnes & Noble to buy (long story, suffice it to say that when I asked him to give them to me to bring to the counter at our turn and he said, "no," it was the last of many straws); his Leapster for a week (keeping on talking when I told him to stop talking); his Pokemon cards for a week (hitting me in the arm in the parking lot); and television until I say so (keeping on talking when I told him to stop talking).

The last part was at the top of my lungs.

Not my proudest moment.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

More links than you can shake a stick at

First, if you aren't reading Wil Wheaton's blog, you should be. Even if you're not as big a fan of Stand By Me as I am. He seems always to be first with the great YouTube clips and also writes intelligently about the process of writing.

Next up, The Yarn Harlot has a primer on how the Canadian Parliament works. Read it, especially if you're as pig ignorant about other countries' political systems as I am.

On that subject, Andrea is writing (beautifully as usual) about the Limbaughitization of the Canadian populace.

I'm getting a ton of insight into my committee work from Dave Hingsburger of Chewing the Fat.

Chris at Notes from the Trenches has a pretty amazing story to tell.

Moreena has posted some great photos

A year ago today, I posted this. Which makes me think I need to buy a buncha potatoes.

Two years ago today, I posted this. Which just goes to show you that I am an idiot because I forgot entirely about the fact that that trick worked and I have some stained clothes I could use it on!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

And yet more bullets because my coherence levels are low. Anyone know where I can stock up on that?

  • Finished: HP&COS. MM wanted to start Prisoner, but I told him he'd have to wait for tonight.
  • Denied: Boston Cream donuts. Curses.
  • Puzzled: Wouldn't you think the development team would be invited to the tech review with the customer?
  • Triumphant: Frost removed from mini-van by sheer cussedness. That stuff was stubborn, but I am scrappy.
  • Tuesday, December 02, 2008

    More random bullets

    Sunday, November 30, 2008

    Random Bullets of Holy Guacamole It's Been Five Days

    • Finished one sock for MM, have the sneaking suspicion that there will not be enough yarn to finish the second sock. MM's feet have gotten fireplacing huge. 7 & 1/2 inches from heel to toe.
    • Also finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to MM (he read the first chapter and a half on his own, but "you read faster than I do, Mommy"). Finished it at MIL's house on Friday, watched the movie coming back in the train.
    • Started reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to MM, and read 10 chapters on the train yesterday. We've just finished chapter 15, Aragog. MM guessed out who the dead victim from the attacks 50 years ago was!
    • MIL cooks a damned good Thanksgiving feast. And SIL makes a fantastic corn casserole (I got the recipe!). And did I mention my MIL's homemade pumpkin cheesecake? Oh. My. God.
    • If you're heading to anywhere Amtrak goes, just take it. The sleeper down was fantastic. What a great way to spend 11 hours traveling. Word to the wise, if you get a sleeper compartment, you also get your dinner included. And the dining car has great food.
    • Coming back, the sleeper was sold out so we took a day train and it took...all day. But no problem, as it gave us more time to read and watch movies (see points above).
    • The snack car is not equal to the dining car.
    • Don't let the snack car attendant put the heated hot dog on top of a Snickers bar.
    • Fantasia goes a lot faster when you fast-forward over the narrator.
    • Dancing hippos never stop being funny.
    • They're even funnier if you've just watched Madagascar.
    • Most useful purchase this trip: a head-phone-jack splitter so that I could hear the movies too!
    How was your Thanksgiving?

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    The problem with socks

    Is that you must knit two of them.

    Not just one. Not one-and-a-half. Two. They come in pairs, they are rather insistent that way. Like mittens.

    This is why I like hats.

    But I have some extra yarn left over from the secret mission socks and I'm knitting more socks. For MM because he's got the smallest feet in the house and therefore I am less likely to run out of yarn mid-sock.

    The good thing about kids socks is that they're small and eminently portable. The perfect size to bring to lunch with friends.

    To the Powers That Be at the cafeteria at ThreeMilesFromHome

    1. It makes sense when selling discounted refills on coffee if you buy the environmentally friendly refillable cup, to actually charge less than what you normally sell the coffee for.
    2. The point of an on-site cafeteria is to tempt workers to eat on-site so that they take shorter lunch breaks. This is undermined if you charge retail prices for your food. Seriously, what's with the $6.00 burger? Considering that it's a quarter-mile walk to get to you in the first place, you might wanna reduce your prices.
    3. Also, your oatmeal is too watery
    4. And where are the Boston Creme Donuts? Bring back the Boston Creme Donuts!!!
    5. Why are you charging $1.50 for the same size bottle of Coke that I can get from the vending machine right next to your door for a buck?
    6. And finally, they're called steamer trays for a reason. They're not called lukewarm trays.

    MM's adventures in cake baking

    He already knew
    • how to read the directions
    • how to crack eggs
    • how to turn on the mixer
    He learned
    • 1 1/3 != 11/3
    • why we crack eggs in a separate bowl
    • how to get egg shell out of the egg bowl
    • he's strong enough to hold the mixer himself (with two hands)
    • patience

    He ate

    • a piece of cake the size of his head

    Monday, November 24, 2008

    Reader's choice

    What do I post next?

    a) More one-sentence synopses of Georgette Heyer?
    b) One-sentence synopses of Dick Francis?
    c) MM's adventures in cake-baking?
    d) Questions for the Powers That Be at ThreeMilesFromHome's cafeteria?
    e) Other (fill in the blank)

    Things I can knit in a day

    A hat!

    Black Lion Brand Homespun yarn (acrylic/poly blend). US size 10 dps.

    Pattern adapted from this one (MM likes his hats on the plain side and he has a small, round head, so I went with a basic 2X2 rib and didn't do as many rows)

    Cast on 72 stitches, join up dps (no twisting!). {P1; K2; P1} for 30 rows.

    Decrease as follows (odd rows are as KT gives them, even rows are my own notation):
    Row 1 - {K2tog; P1; K2; P2; K2; P1; SSK} six times (60 sts remain)
    Row 2 - {K1; P1; K2; P2; K2; P1; K1} to end
    Row 3 - {K2tog; K2; P2; K2; SSK} six times (48 sts remain)
    Row 4 - {K3; P2; K3} to end
    Row 5 - {K2tog; K1; P2; K1; SSK} six times (36 sts remain)
    Row 6 - {K2; P2; K2} to end
    Row 7 - {K2tog; P2; SSK} six times (24 sts remain)
    Row 8 - {K1; P2; K1} to end
    Row 9 - {K2tog; SSK} six times (12 sts remain)
    Row 10 - Knit to end
    Row 11 - K2tog six times.
    Cut yarn, leaving long tail, and cinch through remaining live stitches.
    Pull through and weave in ends.

    KT added some great curly cues to the top, but as I said, MM takes his hats with no nonsense*, so I didn't add them. The decreases came out great. I highly recommend KT's method!

    *MM changed his mind about the nonsense, but his nonsense of choice is a big ol' poofy pom-pom. Done!

    Saturday, November 22, 2008

    Posts from the deep....

    I found this one sitting there in Drafts from April 1st.

    Working title was "I'm probably going to hell"

    So...Lego Star Wars. We've finished the first set (eps 1 - 3) and are now working our way through the second set (eps 4 - 6). House rules are no screen time if MM gets a strike at school.


    Guess who has gotten maybe three strikes since we got the PS2 two months ago? Guess who stops whining immediately if we threaten no screen time?


    Weekdays, we play one chapter after school. Weekends, we'll play one chapter in the morning and one in the afternoon.


    MM is no couch potato, btw, he acts as though it's a Wii - jumping, dodging from side-to-side. It's truely adorable to watch.


    Plus he's figuring out lots of puzzles.


    I feel like a


    And that's where it ended. I don't remember what I felt I was, judging from the working title, it had to have been something with no redeeming social value. I wonder what it was.

    False Colours

    Twins!

    Need I say more?

    Friday, November 21, 2008

    Venetia

    Ah....Venetia.

    26 years old, no one she knows gets her sense of humor and her only eligible suitor is "worthy" and a dead bore.

    Along comes "The Wicked Baron", Damarel. He's got a scandalous past, but he always laughs at her jokes, and never asks what she means by them. He doesn't expect her to have friendly feelings towards her late unlamented father. He respects her horse-mad, book-worm younger brother and doesn't treat him like he's made of glass just because he's got a short leg.

    So what's the problem? That's what Venetia would like to know...

    I don't recommend the edition I linked to up at the top. It's a Harlequin and has advertising in the middle, which causes the spine to break and the pages to fall out. Get this one from Amazon.co.uk instead.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    Y is for children yelling because they are so happy

    And Z is for children running around and acting zany.

    Yes, MM was both Y and Z, the only child in his class to have two roles.

    And the turkey luncheon was pretty tasty.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    And since Susan brought it up

    The Grand Sophy*!! Holy guacamole, is this ever a good book. Sophy comes to stay with her cousins who are, most of them, getting into scrapes both romantical and financial. Sophy, who has reputation for being meddlesome, dives right in and straightens everything out in an outrageously direct way.

    This one should be read in a room with a skylight upon which the rain is steadily drumming.

    Next up: Venetia.

    *This edition, from Amazon.co.uk, is the one I have.

    The Two Exceptions

    An Infamous Army and Royal Escape. I got bored in the fourth chapter and stopped reading.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    Why I love Georgette Heyer

    I was first introduced to Georgette Heyer through Frederica, which is a regency novel. Later, when I'd read all she'd written, I realized that I'd actually read some of her mysteries one summer when I was staying with my grandparents in a rented vacation house on Long Island. Duplicate Death and Why Shoot A Butler, among others. I read Ngaio Marsh for the first time that same summer.



    With only two exceptions, all of Georgette Heyer's books are delightful. Her mysteries are well-plotted and cozy confections. She is practically unsurpassed for rainy-day-nice-hot-pot-of-tea reading. Seriously, if you are faced with a gloomy weekend, you could not do better than to curl up with one of Heyer's mysteries and a box of mallomars and just dive in.



    But today I'm going to talk about Frederica. Frederica is the eldest sister of a family of five. Their father has died and left them without much money. Someone has rented their (mortgage encumbered) estate so the family moves to London for "the Season" to bring Frederica's younger sister (a "diamond of the first water") out. Meanwhile, their distant relation, Lord Alverstoke is bored to tears and looking for a way to annoy his miserly sister who wants him to host a ball for her plain eldest daughter. When he and Frederica meet, he realizes that he now has the perfect plan to infuriate his sister. Soon, the formerly bored Lord Alverstoke finds himself hauling Frederica's family out of scrapes and...

    Well, you'd better read the rest yourself.

    Reminder to self

    When drawn into the debate about whether or not to have a second hospital in our county, remember to let folks know that CountyToOurEast charges for ambulance rides, and our county doesn't.

    Also, tell what the debate looks like from a Park Slope native's perspective. I grew up 4 blocks from a hospital. My best friends lived half-a-block from that hospital. The neighborhood high school was one block from the hospital. Hospitals nearby are good.

    Monday, November 17, 2008

    And finally

    This post over at Daily Kos reminded me of some lunchtime silliness the Mystery family indulged in yesterday.

    I noticed that the restaurant we were in served Bahama Mamas, so I asked, "If our President-elect ordered one of those, would it be Obama's Bahama Mama?"

    "Or perhaps if he ordered it with his breakfast-in-bed, it would be a pajama'd Obama's Bahama Mama."

    "If he ordered one for his sleeping Andean pack animal, it would be an Obama's pajama'd llama's Bahama Mama."

    "If the Andean pack animal choked on it, it would be Obama's pajama'd llama's Bahama Mama trauma."

    "And finally, if a play were written about it, it would be Obama's pajama'd llama's Bahama Mama trauma drama."

    Well, I thought it was hilarious

    I have no will-power

    I finished the series.

    Now I'm looking at my Amazon wishlist and wondering...do I buy The Host now or hope someone gets it for me for Christmas?

    And how do I wait until May for the next Charlaine Harris?

    Thursday, November 20, 11:00

    ThreeMilesFromHome's Thanksgiving Potluck and....

    MM's class play on The Thanksgiving Alphabet. MM will be "Y".
    I can't wait to see what "Y" has to do with Thanksgiving.

    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    More victory parties than you can shake a stick at

    Boy, does it feel good to be with so many people who feel good.

    One of MM's sitters is getting her citizenship next year. She asked me for some Obama memorabilia. She couldn't vote in this election, but she sure wanted to.

    Friday, November 14, 2008

    Costco has failed me, advice needed

    What's my next stop for inexpensive all-cotton high-cut und3rs? Target? JCPenney?

    Also, does anyone know how to keep kneesocks from becoming tourniquets?

    Also, to cut or not to cut (my hair), that is the question. My home team likes the hair long, but I'm thinking it's going to be a staticky, staying-wet-and-cold-all-day, pain in the ass for the winter.

    What say you?

    Thursday, November 13, 2008

    If you like Stephanie Meyer you will like

    Robin McKinley (Sunshine has a lot in common with this series)
    Charlaine Harris
    Peter Dickinson (Eve, King & Joker) (also, he's married to Robin McKinley)


    I bought New Moon. It's official, I'm addicted.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    I know one or another of you told me

    About Stephanie Meyer, but DAMN!!! Why didn't anyone TELL me about Stephanie Meyer?

    Question: do I now buy the whole rest of the series at once? Or do I pretend like I have will power and buy them one at a time?

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    11/11

    It always strikes me as odd that my county's schools don't close on this day, that the many defense contractors I've worked for don't close on this day. That this state, with the largest military cemetary in the country, doesn't observe Veteran's Day nearly as visibly as my native state does.

    Throughout the last 6 years, there has not been a day that goes by without my thinking of the people who are wearing the uniform of our nation, fighting our wars. I hope that they come home safely. And for those that have returned, and for their families, and for the families of those who have not returned, and for the families of those who will never return, I give my thanks, my respect, and my hope that we do better by you.

    Sunday, November 09, 2008

    Lesson learned

    Don't hold a political victory party in a sports bar. The speeches compete with the sound for the football games and the sports fans cheer in the wrong places.

    There were a TON of Obamaniacs there, though.

    Saturday, November 08, 2008

    Friday, November 07, 2008

    It's not all chocolate and buttercups

    So many others have already talked about this, more eloquently than I ever could and more personally...

    Just as many Webb voters in Virginia also voted for the horrible anti-gay marriage amendment two years ago, many Obama voters in Florida, California, and Arizona voted for similar bans.

    How could they? How could people simultaneously vote for a man whose focus is on bringing us all together and vote for Jim Crow?

    I am also disappointed that Arkansas banned adoptions by unmarried couples but more people voted AGAINST this ban than voted FOR Obama.

    All I can offer as a hopeful thought is this: young voters, both Democrat and Republican voted overwhelmingly against these bans. And Connecticut voted for equality. And what S said.

    Wednesday, November 05, 2008

    Props also to my mom and to you

    My mom lives in NY, as y'all know. She made calls to PA and OH every day and went down to PA to register voters. I'm so proud!

    I'm proud to know all of you, too. Proud of the work you all did and the votes you all cast. You inspired me with the things you wrote. There are many of you who I kept in my thoughts all day yesterday -- including one who voted for McCain but who will be helped enormously by the proposed healthcare policies of Obama.

    I hope those proposals become reality.

    Hugs and kisses

    Tuesday, November 04, 2008

    WE WON!!!!!

    The precinct I ran.
    The district MS is the Supervisor of.
    Our county.
    Our State.


    The whole ball of wax.


    I feel like I'm made of champagne. Happiness is just bubbling out of me. I love that all the work we did, the walking and the calling and the sample-balloting really showed.

    Today...

    Last night 100,000 people showed up for Obama in Manassas.

    This morning the line was already out the door and around the corner and around the other corner when I got to the polls at 0530.

    Most people on that line wanted the Democratic sample ballot.

    I've had enough staff all day to be able to take two quick breaks.

    The Republicans finally sent more people. They're all standing clumped up near the door. My folks are spread out in the parking lot. We're not missing a single person.

    General observation: Democrats vote early in the morning and are willing to wait on line. Republicans vote in the middle of the morning.

    It's only rained a little bit, I hope it stays dry for the rest of the day.

    My feet hurt, but I'm pumped!!!

    Monday, November 03, 2008

    Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

    Alaska and Arizona have our guy within the margin of error.

    I don't believe it. I just don't believe it. I no longer believe any polls. They must all be wrong and we are going to lose.

    I need another door to knock. I'm chewing my fingers to pieces.

    Is it Wednesday yet?


    GET OUT THERE AND VOTE!!!!

    Sunday, November 02, 2008

    I. Am. Walked. Out.

    I have knocked my last door. 80 plus today...I don't KNOW how many yesterday...maybe 90? I don't care.

    I am tired.

    Tired.

    Obama had better win, is all I'm sayin'.

    I'll be coordinating nearby precinct so I'll be there from 5:30 in the fireplacing morning until the polls close.

    He'd better win.

    Thursday, October 30, 2008

    This post is all about the Muffin Man

    He knows about Santa Claus. A little girl in his class told him.

    "Mommy, does Santa Claus exist?"
    "What do you think honey?"
    "I think it's you and Daddy."
    "Well, you're right. But we do a pretty good job, don't we?"
    "Yeah!....Can I be Santa too?"

    My heart broke.


    Every night, when brushing MM's teeth, I sing him a song that I made up. It's a little Elvis-y and MM loves it. I am thinking of singing it to Dr. Corndog, have him record it with guitars and all and make it a billion-dollar children's hit.

    Also, most nights I sing to MM after the lights are out. I have a little repetoire for him to choose from: The Star-Spangled Banner; O What a Beautiful Morning; People Will Say We're in Love; Somewhere Over the Rainbow; My Johnny Was a Shoemaker; or A Few of My Favorite Things (this last one gets sung ala Ethel Merman - cracks him up to the point of hiccups). MM was overwhelmed, as I was, by the sound of over 30,000 people singing The Star-Spangled Banner and saying the Pledge of Allegience at the Obama Rally (I'm sorry, I can't get through one post without the election creeping in!)

    I need a break

    Today and tomorrow, I'm straightening the house (changing sheets and towels and vacuuming and making sure the bathroom is sparkly) for the campaigner we're hosting. And aside from that, I'm not doing any campaigning until Saturday.

    I am tired.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    Write to Marry

    Crunchy Granola, along with a host of other people, is writing about the right to marry today.

    Twelve and a half years ago, on a misty day, MS and I were married by a judge who wore bright red barn boots. We were married at my mom's house, in a big tent, with our family and friends around us.

    There was no religious component to our wedding. We wrote our own vows, exchanged rings, and signed the paper. Love made that misty day sunshine-y and beautiful.

    There was nothing about our wedding (except, perhaps the clothes we wore) that would have been different if we had been two women or two men instead of a man and a woman. There is nothing about our marriage (except, perhaps the way we conceived our child) that would be different if we were two women or two men instead of a man and a woman.

    We are a white man and a white woman married to each other and living in Virginia. If we were a bi-racial couple 40 years ago, our marriage would not have been legal in the state we live in. If we were a same-sex couple now, our marriage would not be legal in most states, including the state we live in.

    In the same way that it was wrong to out-law bi-racial marriages, it is wrong to out-law same-sex marriages. A marriage should be a union between two adults who love each other.

    If you live in California, vote NO on Prop 8.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    An invitation

    If you live in my area of VA, or in nearby MD, or DC, would you like to come walking with me this weekend?

    I've got a baby-sitter to take care of MM both days and will be walking from 10-6 Saturday and Noon-6 Sunday. It's a GOTV for Obama walk-a-thon! How many doors can we knock this weekend? If it rains, how many calls can we make?

    If you live in solidly blue MD or DC, come on out to our (now) purple state and help turn VA blue!!!



    Also, if you can take the day off on Election Day, come on out to the precinct I'm heading and help me hand out sample ballots. Or go to the nearby HQ and help make calls to GOTV! Or, if you're a lawyer, go and Protect the Vote. Genevieve's doing it!

    Sunday, October 26, 2008

    Today was a perfect day for walking

    T-shirt weather! I picked up another volunteer and id'd at least a dozen strong Obama voters.

    Next weekend is going to be reminding friendly voters to get to the polls. If you've never walked or called, next weekend is the best time to do it. Friendly calls, lots of excitement!

    What an Obama Volunteer does when it rains

    "Hi! I'm your neighbor, Mystery Mommy and I'm volunteering for the Obama campaign. I'm calling today to ask YOU to volunteer too! Only tennine days left until Election Day! There are a ton of volunteering opportunities from making phone calls like I'm doing right now, to door knocking on nice days, to bringing food to the local headquarters to feed the phone-banks! I could also use folks to help me hand out sample ballots on Election Day at YourVotingPrecinct! Can we count on your help?"

    I got 1213 out of the nearly 100 I called. And one at the kids birthday party I attended.

    I am DANGEROUS.



    I've also been promoted. I'm now the Election Day coordinator for YourVotingPrecinct (as opposed to MyVotingPrecinct. I actually live closer to YourVotingPrecinct). MS and I are also going to host an Obama volunteer for the last four days.

    Annika update

    She's doing great!

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    I was noodling through youtube

    ...looking for this from 1980*



    when I found this from the '70's:



    Holy guacamole. Prophetic or what?**




    *Somehow, being at the Obama rally made me think of being at this concert when I was 11.

    **I had only ever remembered the first three verses of this song, it's the last verse that just knocks me on my ass.

    This is beautiful



    H/T Leesburg Tomorrow

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Estimated...(ETA more links)

    This is what a small portion of an estimated 35,000 people look like:

    They look pretty real to me.
    And this is who they all came to see.



    I should have recorded it as a movie. D'oh! Here is some of what he said. I brought along MM, and a friend of mine and her daughter. My friend got a hand grasp and an autograph. We were both just blown away by the incredibleness of the experience. So many people, so much enthusiasm, and a candidate that makes us want to go vote FOR him. MM and my friend's daughter were thrilled to have been there.

    Here is what Raising Kaine says about it.

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Over 100 doors, yesterday and today

    Colin Powell made a difference.

    And so did Nancy Pfotenhauer. (MS was out there with me today in a shirt that said, "A REAL VIRGINIAN FOR OBAMA")

    And the picture of St. Louis.

    And the thought of 632,000 people who never donated to Barack Obama before deciding in the span of one short month that it was time to get off the pot and donate. In September, the Obama Campaign got 150 Million dollars in contributions averaging less than $100 each. If you can't donate, walk and knock on doors, call, work the polls on election day. VOTE. If you CAN donate, walk and knock on doors, call, work the polls on election day. VOTE. If you can't donate, or walk and knock on doors, or call, or work the polls on election day, then you better get out there and VOTE.

    Money doesn't win an election. Knocking on doors doesn't win an election. VOTES win elections. Money buys literature and yard signs and buttons and postage and tv time and phone lines and rent. Volunteering gets the word out. Only VOTES get the job done. Get out there and vote.

    What's old is new again

    Topical before, topical again. Love that Christine Lavin!



    Take that Palin!

    Saturday, October 18, 2008

    Bling, bling, BLING, Democrat Rabbit!

    My house (that truck doesn't belong to us).
    My car. Driver's side...
    Center...
    Passenger side...
    Me.

    No doubts as to where I stand, eh?



    And here are the socks. They've been packed and sent. I hope they keep the recipient warm and cozy through the watches of the night.


    And, in other news, MM asked me if I'm the tooth fairy. Sigh.

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    Thoughts on last night's debate. EDITED (again) (and again) TO ADD (yet) A(nother) LINK

    TRANSPLANTS are equivilent to cosmetic surgery and shouldn't be covered in a generic plan? ARE YOU SHITTING ME?

    "'Health'"? Really? (Phantom Scribbler just pointed out Julie's post on the scare quotes which actually says what I meant to.)

    And here's what Cecily has to say about it.

    And Dooce points to Alexa's post.

    Julie and Cecily and Alexa. Thank you for saying it when I couldn't.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Holy guacamole

    Did you see that? He all but said, "McCain, you ignorant butt". I can't wait to see what the papers have to say about it.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    A response

    A guy I used to work with, who I like a lot mostly except once every four years, keeps forwarding me anti-Obama emails. Today it was about ACORN. I sent him back a link from Momocrats about McCain having his own ties to ACORN. So he said, yeah but it's not apples to apples. So I sent back this:

    ... Just sayin' that if we start throwing mud around because of who the candidates have worked with or done speeches with, we're gonna have a mighty messy country.
    F'rinstance: Obama and Ayers. Fine. McCain and G. Gordon Liddy and Paul Schenk. Okay? So we've got BOTH candidates "associating" with militant domestic terrorists. And while G. Gordon Liddy has moved into the mainstream, so has Ayers.

    ACORN may be overzealous in getting people registered, I don't know. I haven't particularly paid attention to them, being more interested in trying to help come up with new ways to make a 20% funding cut in the budget of the board I'm on not mean that we're going to have to stop serving some of the mentally ill or intellectually disabled in [my county]. What I do know, is that there are partisans on the Republican side who are just as overzealous in scaring vulnerable voters away from the polls. Again, neither side is covering themselves with glory.

    Let's stick to what our candidates are actually doing and saying. Neither looks great if we go back 20 years (Obama: "Of course I inhaled, that was the point" and McCain in trouble with the Keating Five, and leaving his crippled first wife for a younger, richer one). Neither has exactly been quick to disavow the rhetoric of their ministers.
    Both have visions of where they want the country to go and how they'd like us to get there. That is what I would really like to talk about with you. All the rest is just crap.


    HT to Cecily, Momocrats, and the folks they linked to.

    In which MM comes to work with me and has fun doing actual work

    We went down to the mail room to peel labels off 167 boxes for re-shipment, stacked 'em, watched them get shrink-wrapped, and pushed the cart full to the store room to await the trucks. Then, MM got to push the empty cart all the way back.

    The busy work I do to keep from going crazy is a perfect task for a six-year-old. I love my job.

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    The socks are done.

    I will photograph them tomorrow and send them on a secret mission across state lines to offer aid and comfort.

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    I failed platelet donation...

    Will they confiscate my diploma?

    To quote my reply to an email from Kathy A.:
    "They blew out the vein on my left arm (after I'd been on the machine for about a half-hour) and then, when they moved over to the other arm, I started feeling woozy. Which, it turns out, is because my left arm was still bleeding pretty heavily.
    I didn't give enough for them to use any of and I won't be able to donate again until December 5. I am disappointed."
    And I got a lovely elbow bruise as a bonus! However, I'm ready to try again in December. Maybe next time, they'll listen to me when I tell them I don't think the needle is in right.

    Wednesday, October 08, 2008

    On my way to bed now, but my thoughts are in Chicago

    I hope all is going well.


    May all our children outlive us. May we live to see to see our children's children have children. May their lives be as easy and happy as is good for them. May they be useful, and kind, and compassionate. May they be trust-worthy and strong. May they make the world better for having been in it.

    Moreena will be up-dating through the night

    Here. As of 8:30 PM, things were moving apace.

    Go support Moreena, Annika, and the rest of the Tiede family

    Annika is getting a new liver

    Monday, October 06, 2008

    One sock down

    One on the needles. I expect to have a pair by the end of the week.

    In other news, Virginia seems to have fallen in a vat of indigo, as does Ohio. I am hoping that these trends are real. Keep knocking those doors!

    Thursday, October 02, 2008

    Would you believe????

    I totally neglected to bring any knitting gear with me to this conference because I am a dork.

    And then, last night, a woman got on the hotel elevator with me, carrying a small pretty shopping bag.

    "What did you buy?" I asked.

    "Yarn!" she said. "The only yarn store in Roanoke is five minutes away from this hotel! And it just opened TODAY!!!"

    It was a sign.

    I went. I swooned. It's a great store in a house across the street from the mall near the airport. Really nice inventory of sumptious yarns. I bought the makings of a pair of socks. Local yarn (Blue Ridge Yarns Jubilee in Evening Jewel).

    I knitted six inches on it during the two (really excellent) sessions I went to today. It was just lovely.

    Wednesday, October 01, 2008

    It's almost 7 PM and so far today

    I woke up at 4:30 to leave at 5:30 to drive 4 hours to a place SW of me in my state to attend a conference on my volunteer committee work.

    Good conference. Good workshops. Good food at starting luncheon.

    My hotel is nice, but not as nice as the conference hotel which is NICE. I wish I were staying there, but it is also EXPENSIVE.

    Must go find food for dinner, no restaurant in hotel.

    Night all.

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Wow, he just makes it so easy!

    From today's NYT:

    Mr. McCain defended himself from critics who said he had acted impetuously by returning to Washington last week to work on the bailout proposal, which some said had made a deal more difficult.
    “Some people have criticized my decision to put my country first, but I will never, ever be a president who sits on the sidelines when this country faces a crisis,’’ said Mr. McCain. And Mr. McCain, who spent this weekend in Washington working the phones, but did not actually return to Capitol Hill , said: “I know that many of you have noticed, but it’s not my style to simply ‘phone it in.’ ”

    Sunday, September 28, 2008

    Pop (corn) goes the eyetooth!

    MM lost tooth number 5 today while eating popcorn. He spit out what he thought was an unpopped kernel and found a tooth instead.

    On my way to greet the tooth fairy!

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    Reason

    Why I'm voting and walking and calling and writing for Obama/Warner/RhymesWithSeder. The end of a series:

    "I like your pin. I'm voting for him. No more Republicans for me. I'm telling you, I've been to Viet Nam, Desert Storm, and the present conflict, and 'Nam was well run compared to what we're doing now."

    - Army man on Amtrak yesterday.

    Iraq. Afganistan. Katrina. Darfur. Wall Street. Mortgage Crises. Remember how they made it tougher for people to get out from under predatory lending and credit cards? Bankruptcies are only available for the rich. Mess after mess after mess. McCain is complicit in every one. So is Wolf. Gilmore had his own issues here in VA.

    We need Obama and Biden, Warner and RhymesWithSeder. Obama and Biden KNOW how tough it is out there for families. They've lived it. Warner knows how to take a budget deficit and turn it into a budget surplus. And RhymesWithSeder has a wealth of health care knowledge.

    So that's why I'm voting and working and walking and calling for the Blue team. Anything else would be unreasonable.

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    I met Senator Biden and his wife

    They are so nice! And I sat right next to Barbara Mikulski!

    It was a great time in this swing county in this swing state.

    If any of y'all in a solid state want a place to make a difference in the electoral college, c'mon over here and help us out. We need walkers and callers. We need to turn VA blue!

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    Also, what Jody said.

    Read it.

    We interrupt this Pro-Obama program to bring you an Anti-McCain Moment

    Did you read Eugene Robinson today?
    "John McCain was telling the truth when he said that economics wasn't his strong suit. In response to what many economists have called the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the Republican nominee has sounded -- and let's be honest here -- totally, embarrassingly and dangerously clueless."
    Robinson spells out the ways in which McCain is horribly out-of-touch and sums it up thusly:
    "Here's something that really ought to grab everyone's attention: McCain supports George W. Bush's idea of channeling at least some Social Security funds into "personal accounts" that individuals would invest on Wall Street. Some of that money would have been entrusted to firms such as Bear Stearns (failed), Lehman Brothers (failed) and Merrill Lynch (sold at a fire sale). Imagine what this crisis would be like if Americans' Social Security benefits were evaporating along with their housing values and their 401(k) accounts.

    This is the man who's going to reform the economy?"


    Go read the whole thing.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Reason 7 - Updated!

    Why I'm voting and walking and calling and writing for Obama/Warner/RhymesWithSeder. Part seven of a series:

    Domestic Violence

    My internship last year was with a local women's shelter. Perhaps you didn't know that Biden is a hero to the people who work with victims of domestic violence?

    " Senator Biden wrote the ground-breaking Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the 1990s that set the national agenda on criminalizing violence against women and holding batterers truly accountable. It encouraged states to set up coordinated community responses to domestic violence and rape; was the catalyst for passage of hundreds of state laws prohibiting family violence; and provided resources to set up shelters so battered women abused by husbands and boyfriends had a place to go. The law also established the national hotline that over 1.5 million abused women have called for help. By empowering women to make changes in their lives, and by training police and prosecutors to arrest and convict abusive husbands instead of telling them to take a walk around the block, domestic violence is down 50 percent and rape is down 60 percent nationwide.

    Each time the Senator renewed the Act – in 2000 and 2005 – he pushed for new initiatives. In 2000, the Act was attached to ground-breaking laws on human trafficking – crimes where over 80% of the victims are women. In 2005, the Violence Against Women Act tackled issues like domestic violence in public housing and treating children witnesses of family violence." - from Biden's senate web page.

    This is the man Obama has picked to be his VP, a man of principles, courage, and compassion. As opposed to McCain's VP choice, the former mayor of a town that, while she was in charge, billed victims of sexual assaults for rape kits. Yeah. Nice.

    Oh! And the AP reports that the McCain camp claims that the REAL reason she fired Monegan was not because he refused to fire her ex-brother-in-law! It was because Monegan was seeking federal funds to fight sexual assaults! (ht to Bitch PhD)

    Health Care, Energy, Tax plan, Social Programs, Amtrak, Ethics, Domestic Violence. Seven down. More to come.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Reason 6

    Have you noticed that I have 5 reasons up and I haven't even mentioned Iraq?
    Or Afganistan?
    Or Walter Reed?
    Not mentioning it here either.


    Why I'm voting and walking and calling and writing for Obama/Warner/RhymesWithSeder. Part six of a series:

    Ethics

    Openness (look at his Google for Government initiative) vs. Secrecy ("whoops!").
    Honesty vs. Lies (Didja hear? McCain invented the Blackberry!)

    More can be found here (ht to Cecily)

    Eight years of fatal lies, cover-ups, and a culture of secrecy are enough.

    Health Care, Energy, Tax plan, Social Programs, Amtrak, Ethics. Six down, more to come.

    Reason 5

    Why I'm voting and walking and calling and writing for Obama/Warner/RhymesWithSeder. Part five of a series:

    Amtrak

    Or, more specifically, rail infrastructure. Move more people faster for less money. Now, y'all know how much I love Amtrak. What you may not know is how angry I was back in 2001 when Congress was bailing out the airlines and saying that they were going to de-fund Amtrak.

    I wrote letters. To my congressman, to both Senators, to the head of the DOT, to the NYT and the Washington Post. I was steamed.

    The gist was, did they not remember that Amtrak was the only transportation available to move people over distances when the FAA grounded all the planes? How dare they bail out United -- who let their planes be hijacked! -- and let Amtrak fail? You can't fly trains into skyscrapers, people. A thriving rail system is a matter of national security.

    Not to mention that trains (passenger, cargo, commuter) are highly efficient and reduce congestion. Safer, more comfortable, less expensive, and less polluting than cars or planes. Faster than cars (sometimes even faster than planes when you count the time spent in airports going through security, getting delayed on the tarmac, and waiting for your luggage which missed your transfer at Raleigh/Durham).

    I want a Veep who believes in the rail system and who has used it to commute to work everyday for the last 30 years.

    Health Care, Energy, Tax plan, Social Programs, Amtrak. Five down, more to come.

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Reason 4

    Why I'm voting and walking and calling and writing for Obama/Warner/RhymesWithSeder. Part four of a series:

    Social Programs

    Because we need some REAL compassion in the White House. Not just lip service. Not hand outs for friends and cronies and a punch in the nose for the rest of the country. Compassionate conservatism, my Aunt Fanny. McCain couldn't care less about what most of the country is going through. Today 12,000 people lost their jobs. This past weekend, thousands of people lost their homes. Gas prices are through the roof. Heating costs are going to be brutal this winter. It's going to be a choice between eating and staying warm for many people and there's only one candidate who cares about that.

    Obama. For people in poverty, for people with disabilities, for all of us. Education. Access. Jobs. Security. Respect.

    “We must build a world free of unnecessary barriers, stereotypes, and discrimination .... policies must be developed, attitudes must be shaped, and buildings and organizations must be designed to ensure that everyone has a chance to get the education they need and live independently as full citizens in their communities.” - Barack Obama.

    Health Care, Energy, Tax plan, Social Programs. Four down, more to come.

    Reason 3

    Why I'm voting and walking and calling and writing for Obama/Warner/RhymesWithSeder. Part three of a series:

    Tax Plan

    People, our country is in deep deep financial effluvia. Now is not the time to be buying into the trickle-down theory. 'Cause what's trickling down ain't helping. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class are getting poorer.

    I like Obama's tax plan. Hopefully, I'll be in the 2% that gets taxed MORE and I still like it.

    I like what it does for the folks who need help, I like it a lot.

    I like that it rolls back the unconsciencable Bush tax cuts for those who earn more than 250K.

    I like it. I want it.

    My co-worker whose family grosses more than 250K hates the Obama plan. Because she wants to buy another SUV with the money McCain will save her. Yeah. Nice. What she doesn't understand is that her taxes will probably go up under McCain because he'll tax her health care bennies. Good luck explaining it to her, I've tried.

    There are so many with so little and so few with so much. I think that Obama's plan is fair and reasonable. Also, it's fiscally conservative.


    Health Care, Energy, Tax Plan. Three down, more to come.

    Reason 2

    Why I'm voting and walking and calling and writing for Obama/Warner/RhymesWithSeder. Part two of a series:

    Energy

    Drill baby drill is not an energy policy. Looking for ways develop and promote renewable energy sources and to conserve what we've got? That's an energy policy.

    One of the things that really frosts my cookies about the current administration and the backers thereof is the sheer waste. Particularly the waste of the opportunity given by 9/11 to shake us out of our routines and promote energy independence. Victory gardens in every yard and solar panels on every roof! And instead our bozo-in-chief told us to go shopping. Yeah. Nice.

    Imagine what we could do to change our energy landscape if we had a president who cared about anything other than putting more money in his friends' pockets. Imagine investment in public transportation, solar and wind power, geothermal, non-toxic insulation, telecommuting, sidewalks and bike paths. And if all that helps slow down global warming at the same time, that's just icing on the cake!

    So. Health care. Energy. Two down. More to come.

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Reason 1

    Why I'm voting and walking and calling and writing for Obama/Warner/RhymesWithSeder. Part one of a series:

    Health Care

    We've spent the last few years paying for private insurance. And people, let me tell you, it's expensive. MM and I are on one policy and MS is on another. To keep our payments to a reasonable level, we agreed to $40 co-pays, which shocked the crap out of the receptionists at our GP and Pediatrician's offices.

    Here I have to pause to let you know that MS is a bit older than I am. Even with us paying high co-pays and high premiums, getting private insurance for him was nearly impossible. One big benefit of working again is, well, benefits.

    Health care coverage shouldn't be a crap shoot. Doctors appointments should not be luxuries available only to the lucky covered few. And there shouldn't be life-time maximums for coverage either. Remember when Annika was in danger of losing her insurance coverage a couple of years ago?

    Our country pays more for health care coverage than any other country and we have fewer people covered than any of the other industrialized nations. That is a crime. Why can't we put all that expenditure into something that will cover everybody? Most of us who already pay into an insurance policy would never even notice the difference. It would put our businesses on an equal footing with those in countries with nationalized health care.

    Now, there's a woman I work with who disagrees with me. She's voting for McCain because she doesn't feel the need to share more of the over $250K her family earns annually. Why should she carry the burden for the lazy asses who aren't working as hard? She pulled herself up, so can they. Yeah. Nice. I pointed out to her that if the burden were taken off of our employer to insure all of us, we might get paid more. No dice. Sigh. Updated: Kathy A. drew my attention to more McCain shenanigans. I HAVE to tell my coworker about this. Taxing employer benefits and reducing protections for all.

    I just feel that I'm willing to pay more to make sure everybody is covered regardless of age or health status. I'm willing to pay more to make sure that no one has to choose between a doctor's visit and a meal, a dentist's visit and rent, a pair of glasses and a pair of shoes. I'm willing to pay more, but I'm also willing to bet that compared to what I was paying insuring myself privately, I'll be paying less.

    Walking

    For Obama. For Warner. And for RhymesWithSeder (tryin' to keep it semi-anonymous here).

    It was a good walk: first-floor-entry town homes and 3-story apartment buildings, not too challenging for the tootsies. The first door was a Strong Obama Voter. She'll probably volunteer. Then there were a bunch of not homes, about 30 in a row. There were a couple of Leaning Obamas who had never heard of the other two. One "No Thank You." One Leaning Republican (according to his wife). One "Not interested, go away." One "they don't live here anymore." (I asked that one if he'd registered since moving in!) A couple of realtor key boxes.

    I knocked on 64 doors in less than 3 hours. Left lit at most. It was a good day.

    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    XXL

    Had to buy new shirts because the ones I bought back in the Spring shrank in the wash and are gapping (at least, I'm pretty sure it's shrinkage...though what with the ever-expanding nature of my rack, who knows?)

    I bought 'em in XXL, on the theory that if they shrink they'll still be big enough.

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    Poll

    What do you think should get priority in a school system?

    Your choices are:

    a) Large High School campuses with room for football and soccer fields*
    b) Lots of technology including interactive white boards in every classroom
    c) Full-day Kindergarten system-wide

    Pick two.

    *For extra-curricular team sports ONLY. These fields are not, repeat NOT, for use during recess. Recess not included in HS anyway. Nor are they for use by kids not involved in team sports as places to play, say, Ultimate Frisbee or capture the flag or what not outside of school hours.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2008

    Adventures in brown bagging - Uh oh Spaghetti-Os edition

    It's hard to eat the same lunch at the same time when one of said lunchers has asked for crappy food.

    MM was disappointed to hear that I, his mama, would be eating a different lunch, albeit at the same time. "But...but...mama, don't you like Spaghetti-Os?"

    No, my little man. I Do Not Like Spaghetti-Os. Chef-Boy-Ar-Dee Beef Ravioli, yes. Spaghetti-Os, no.

    "So what are YOU bringing for lunch today?"

    I have a lovely veal cutlet sandwich made with leftovers from last night (Wegman's hormone-free, pen-free veal).

    "But...but...mama. That's not what I'm having."

    I know. You, you my little man, are having exactly what you asked for. (shudder) Spaghetti-Os with meatballs. Enjoy them.

    "(Big sigh) Alright. But you don't know what you're missing."

    Friday, September 05, 2008

    Security Blanket Sweatshirt

    When I brought MM to his new school last week to meet his teacher and see his classroom, I also bought him a hooded pocket sweatshirt with the name and mascot of his school in the school colors across the front.

    He loves that sweatshirt.

    The first day of school, he wore it and felt confident and part of things.
    The second day of school, he wore it and felt confident and part of things.
    The third day of school we couldn't find it.

    Oh No! Mommy! I don't want to go! Come with me!

    Last night, MS found it (in the cabinet of MM's new desk...yeah, that's where I would have put a beloved sweatshirt too. Sheesh).

    Today, he wore it and felt confident and part of things.

    I have a feeling that come June that sweatshirt will have been loved to pieces. Perhaps I should buy a few spares.

    Thursday, September 04, 2008

    Adventures in brown-bagging

    Today MM and I both brought our lunch.

    MM has a Salami/Bologna/Swiss Cheese sandwich on white. No mayo. No mustard. Cut into two triangles. No crusts. He also has a side of Fritos, 2 chocolate chip cookies, and a fruit punch. I also sent a cloth napkin to make up for the juice pouch.

    I have a Salami and Swiss on white cut into squares with mayo AND mustard. Crusts left on. Leftover guacamole and some corn chips. I have a cloth napkin to make up for the bottled water I'm going to buy.

    MM is totally excited that we're going to be eating practically the same lunch! It's almost like eating lunch together! Woot!

    My job so far has involved a lot of paperwork. I love my commute. Love. It.

    Wednesday, September 03, 2008

    What he likes best

    1. Eating his lunch that he brought from home in the cafeteria.
      He's never brought lunch from home OR eaten in a school cafeteria before. He LOVED it. Today he brought lunch again, but he's going to BUY ice cream. He's totally into it.
    2. Walking to class BY HIMSELF after getting off the bus.
      That's new, too. Never happened in a place where there weren't bedrooms before.
    3. Taking the bus. He really liked that alot.
    4. Everything.

    Friday, August 29, 2008

    First grade orientation/Back To School Night

    Thursday afternoon, I took MM to meet his new teacher and see his classroom. He was so excited. He loved the classroom, loved that he gets his! Very! Own! Desk! With his name on it, even! He loves that there's a shelf underneath it with books! Already! He loves that his teacher put together a get-to-know-your-classroom scavenger hunt and that he was one of the few kids in the class who read it and wrote his answers without any help.

    On our way there, I asked him, "Do you think Miss B will be tall or short?"
    "Short."
    "Thin or fat?"
    "Thin."
    "Glasses or no glasses?"
    "No glasses."
    "Freckles or no freckles?"
    "Freckles."
    "Nail polish or no nail polish?"
    "No nail polish."

    He was right in every respect except freckles. She hasn't got any. She also looks a lot like his music teacher from Posh Place, so he feels comfortable with her right away and feels like he's got the ability to predict what life will be like in her class.

    It seems that the curriculum may be more laid back at his new school than it was at Posh Place, but that he will be given more responsibility. That's fine with me as long as he remains excited about learning and mastering new things. The focus will be on literacy skills, which he already has in spades. They only get music, art, and Spanish once a week each --- Posh Place has them every day --- and art is really something he loves, so I'm hoping that they'll get time to draw in class as well.

    And that's all there is to report at the moment...We'll know more after Tuesday!

    Three Years

    And The Post seems to have nothing to say about it if you look at just their home page. A search finds articles in their B section, but that's it.

    Three years ago today, Katrina hit. Today Gustav is on its way. Has anything changed for the better about how the governments will respond?

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    Loving my new employer already

    Got an email with a link to a website where I could fill out all the paperwork (direct deposit, W4, I9, yada yada yada) on-line. And then I printed it out and also saved soft copies. All that's left is for me to bring proof of citizenship with me on Tuesday.

    This place is on the ball.

    Once they got all the probing done, that is.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Updates

    • The lamb turned out really good, except that I over-cooked it. Next time I'll put in the probe thermometer.
    • Speaking of probes, my past has passed muster and I'm starting work Tuesday.

    Monday, August 25, 2008

    Cooking from the garden - making it up as I go along edition

    Today's experiment: Boneless Leg o' Australian Lamb in the Slow Cooker.

    Ingredients from the garden: Mint and Parsley

    Other ingredients include:
    A 5.5 lb boneless leg o' lamb (including juices from the packaging)
    6 cloves of garlic
    1 can sliced carrots
    1 cup wine
    3 cups water
    1 pkg onion soup mix (what's a slow cooker recipe without onion soup mix?)*
    Olive oil

    I put the olive oil in my largest skillet and heated it up. I took the Leg o' Lamb out of its package, poured the juices into the slow cooker and put the LOL into the skillet to brown on one side for 5 minutes.
    Meanwhile, I rinsed the mint and parsley and began taking their leaves off their stems and putting them into the chopper attachment for my stick blender (mine is older than this and didn't come with a whisk).
    Then I turned the meat over to brown on the other side for another 5 minutes.
    Meanwhile, I added the garlic to the chopper attachment and pulverized the garlic, mint, and parsley into a lovely aromatic mash which I scraped into the slow cooker. I added 3 cups of water and one of wine. I added the package of onion soup mix. I stirred. Added the carrots. Stirred.

    I brought the slow cooker pot over to the stove and placed the meat lovingly therein.

    I scraped all the brown yummy bits off the bottom of the pan and added them to the mix.

    Put the pot back into the slow cooker base. Covered. Set to low.

    I don't know how it's gonna turn out, but it sure smells delicious.



    *I didn't add any salt since the soup mix is waaaaaay salty.

    Saturday, August 23, 2008

    Gimme Fever

    MM's had a fever since Tuesday night. Finally, finally, he's back to normal today so that we can go on a bloggy playdate with a fellow Whiner and her two children.

    His illness made me miss lunch with APL, darn it, but we're rescheduling for next week.

    His fever was one that the pediatric NP we saw on Wednesday says is going around and lasts about 4 days. It had no other symptoms (although now he's got sort of a phlegmy cough). He wasn't even very grumpy.

    Thank goodness my job DIDN'T start last week so that staying home wasn't an issue.

    Oh! And my job won't start next week either, because they haven't finished digging into my past yet. The things we go through to get a job around here.

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Practice makes perfect

    I don't know if I've told you folks, but MM will be riding the Big Yellow Bus pretty soon. Kind of ridiculous since his school is within walking distance of our house, but necessary since it is beyond where the sidewalk ends. To get to school using a path with sidewalks would mean walking a mile around the school and coming in from the opposite direction.

    Thus, the bus.

    It will arrive on our corner every weekday morning at 0729 starting two weeks from today.

    We are used to waking up at 0730. You see the problem.

    So this week we're practicing. We all wake up somewhere around 0700, get dressed, eat breakfast, walk to the bus-stop (right across the street from our house), wait until 0729, and then go back indoors to play with PlasticBricksFromHolland until it's time to go to day camp.

    It's already pretty obvious that we're going to have to move the wake up time up a bit. MM was unable to finish eating breakfast within the time-frame we've currently got.

    This means an earlier bedtime. Which means an earlier dinner.

    Feh.

    But he's pretty darn excited about it all. Come to that, so am I!

    Friday, August 15, 2008

    I've heard differently

    I had to go pee in a bottle again because the lab goofed and did the wrong test.

    The good news is: I don't have gestational diabetes. Which is truly a relief, since I'm not pregnant.

    Start date a week from Monday, unless I hear differently.

    Thursday, August 14, 2008

    Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    Eerie silence

    My computer has been snarling at me, despite many reboots. MS comes along, reboots it, now it works.

    Must catch up on email and whatnot. Be back soon.

    Saturday, August 02, 2008

    Whoa

    The world is spinning too fast.

    MM, who is now sporting the classic 6-year-old smile (great big gap there in the middle where two teeth used to be), is going to sleep over at DeepVoicedFirstGrader's house tomorrow night. The following three nights he will spend at my SIL's house. Because MS and I will be at a conference in CityWithFamousIslandPrison, 3000 miles away.

    For four days.

    MM is staying at DVFG's house tomorrow night because MS and I are leaving on a 0705 plane and MM's daycamp doesn't open until 0630. DVFG's mom will take them both to daycamp later in the morning.

    He's been looking forward to staying with SIL for months. MONTHS. And not just because my BIL has every Lego Star Wars kit known to man-kind.

    But I am sitting here, filled with wonder that my baby is a gap-smiled six-year-old who is going off on sleep-overs, and wondering what the hell I'm thinking leaving my baby for 4 days. MY BABY.

    He's such a big kid now.

    Friday, August 01, 2008

    Is it just me or is blogger being difficult today? UPDATED

    It's coming up as a Windows Explorer error for me. I can't read anybody's posts from today. Is it just because I'm the last to still be using Uncle Bill's software instead of Firefox?

    Update: I downloaded and installed Firefox and everything is now hunky-dory. However, I think Blogger would do well to check that puppy out.