Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hey folks, asking a favor here

A work friend of mine's grandson was born two weeks ago. He was due March 13th, and he's doing terrifically in the NICU, but if you have good thoughts to send to NICUs everywhere, would you do that today?

Thanks.

It's that time of year again

I missed it last year, I think. But here it is for this year: the first line of the first post of every month of 2009.

January: "Reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in bed, an hour after lights-out, with a flashlight." (that's my boy!)

February: "From this (picture) to this (picture) Lego-maven, Pokemon card collector (shudder), Harry Potter follower, singer, runner, funny, silly, smart, rockin' reader, polite (most of the time), considerate of his friends, loving, snuggly, and very very sweet." (my boy turns seven)

March: "Packed books and toys and there are still more books and toys to pack." (and not everything's unpacked yet)

April: "Look! I park in the garage!" (I never DID get around to posting pictures. Sorry 'bout that)

May: "MangeTout in New London is delicious. Please don't miss their Black & White Chocolate Macaroon Tart. Oh. My. God. That was amazing." (on my trip to Connecticut)

June: "If I weren't already pro-choice, reading Cecily's blog would have made me so." (really just a link to this post)

July: "On my way to the event." (I never did get more photos. Darn it)

August: "Had a great time talking with assorted wonderful people about politics, skylights, and expanding houses." (Talking about a weekend at my mom's country house)

September: "Couldn't find one of the houses I was supposed to visit yesterday." (I really hate that)

October: "Yesterday I did 23 doors IN HIGH HEELS." (Yeah. Not my brightest moment.)

November: "Yesterday was a whirlwind of meeting-and-greeting, walkingwalkingwalking, and dialing-and-smiling." (the day before election day.)

December: "Labyrinth card game: we love this game." (we've given it as a gift to three different families now)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I'm ashamed.

I didn't post about the tsunami last year, or this year. Over 230 thousand people dead in one day five years ago and I...forgot.

Silence.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thoughts on knitting a baby sweater

No, it's not for me. It's for a relative and I'll tell you all about THAT later on.

Things I will rip back for:
  • miscounting
  • not liking the way I did the increases (it made really obvious gaps)
  • realizing that I want the button band to be knit when the main body is purl and vice-versa (so it shows up better)
  • realizing that the lace pattern for the main body is not only too froo-froo (for an infant - my own opinion), but it will also take too long, and I will be guaranteed to mess it up at least once. This sweater needs to be done before the end of January. It CANNOT become a pair of aran socks. And since Elizabeth Zimmerman and Meg Swanson practically BEG you to switch out the pattern in the main body...I did. I'm using sand stitch instead.

Things I won't rip back for:
  • a sudden slubby section of yarn (either it will get lost in the nubbly pattern I chose after blocking, or it will just be a charming imperfection). Yarn is imperfect. Get over it.
  • Not including button holes. I hate button holes. Buttons have no place on baby clothes in any case - except in a purely decorative capacity. This sweater will have snaps and decorative buttons. So there.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the day before Christmas

And in the office
Workers were there but not one of the bosses
Each of us had planned our departure
Some by plane, some by train, some by gas guzzling car...


I'll work on the rest while I'm on Amtrak going up to my mom's.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Whoa Nellie! That was some snow!

MM wading through some of the more shallow areas.

About two-thirds of the way through the storm. As viewed through the screen.

At work now, alas. LCPS is shut down today and tomorrow. Wednesday is the start of Winter Break, so MM doesn't go back to school until Jan. 4.

Posh Place is open today from 9 until 4, but MM's stayin' home with MS. They're probably playing Wii Playground. I'm pretty good at the paper airplane races. MM is best at dodgeball. MS kicks butt at slot car racing.

If they're not playing with the Wii, they're doing kid-friendly science and electronics.

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's a "Partridge", John.



Bah dah dah dum.




The embedded video is of the Muppets singing "The 12 Days of Christmas" with John Denver.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's a two coat day.

Today I wore my Land's End Primaloft jacket (discontinued, it seems. At least, I can't find it on their site) under my 10-year-old red JC Penney pea coat. My torso and arms were mosty toasty, but my legs were complaining bitterly of the cold.

Seems that my lovely pants were not adequate to the job today. I should have broken out the long-johns.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The best of both worlds

I'm keeping Mystery Mommy, but I've also started a new blog for my political rantings and that's The True Adventures of the Doorbell Queen. Head on over and see what you think!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You'll never guess who I had a bloggy playdate with today!!

Angry Pregnant Lawyer! And Angry Boy and Angry Linebacker! MM had a great time playing with AB (until a lunchtime meltdown on the part of MM. Sad, but there you are).

I had a terrific time and can't wait until January when we can do it again!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where my mind is, while my body is at work

Dancing to Ulupalakua.



The embedded video shows a woman dancing the hula to a song called Ulupalakua. The song and dance are about an area of Maui which was/is the home of the Paniolo, Hawaiian cowboys. The original Paniolo were Spanish. Paniolo is how "Espanol" got translated into Hawaiian.

Lyrics and translation can be found here.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I am The Meanest Mommy In The World (tm)

Because I wouldn't let my dawdling son take his DS with him for after-school today.

Because we were late.

Because I had already said, "If I have to tell you one more time to hurry and get dressed, you will be sad."

And lo, he was sad. Point made. I hope.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Question for you folks

Should I change the name of the blog from Mystery Mommy to Doorbell Queen?

It's been much more politicky here than bookish for a long, long, long time.

What do you think?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Gifts for the whole family

Labyrinth card game: we love this game. Easy to understand and play. MM wins at it regularly. MS and I play it on our own sometimes.

Make and Break: Lots of fun. Not so great for the easily frustrated. We've actually developed some house rules because the top-of-the-box rules can make for a melt-down if one family member keeps rolling a 1 and picking complicated patterns (not that that would ever happen or if it did that I pouted about it for more than 5 minutes).

Guess Who Extra: MM got this for Hanukkah from my aunt and uncle. It got played pretty much non-stop Friday and Saturday and Sunday.

Spooky Manor for the Wii: Wii game for up to 4 players. We really enjoyed this, but it was over pretty quick.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Actual office-type full-size RubberMade wastebasket in the car

Best. Idea. EVER.

Extra trash bags would have been a good idea, too. They'll be added to the gallon jug of water and the roll of paper towels in the "trunk" area of the minivan.

The wastebasket made the water and paper towels unnecessary, but it comforted me to have them.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

At my mom's house

Mom (67)
TellsDonaldDuckStories (64)
His mom (?)
His two brothers (61), (49)
Their wives (64) (44)
My mom's brother (60?)
His wife (65?)
My sister (46)
Her husband (47)
His mom (?)
My cousin KnitsAndQuilts (40)
Her daughter (10)
My cousin WasShyNowFlamboyant (KnitsAndQuilts sister) (21)
Her friend NotAtAllShy (?)
Her daughter (3)
Me (40)
Mr. Spock (51)
Muffin Man (7)
My niece, SpendingASemesterInIndiaThisSpring (16)
My nephew, WasThePrinceInTheKingAndI (13)
My second cousin DrawsReallyWell (30?)
His wife (30?)
Their son (2)
Other assorted cousins (7), (9), (11), (12)


Were here Thursday, TellsDonaldDuckStories step-brother (attained as a grown-up) and his partner.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Holy Guacamole, it's been a week!

What have I missed telling you about?

The LCDC Harvest Dinner was bountiful and a lovely chance to thank all the volunteerific volunteers.

Driving to my mom's was a rain-fest, but fine.

Thanksgiving at my mom's is a wonderful family-filled food-fest. It is still on-going, so I will leave you with that.

Happy Thanksgiving week to you all.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thinking about Hunter Mill & Sterling & DAD

And what they have in common:

  • Welcoming all comers who share their sense of purpose.
  • Making excuses to get together rather than making excuses not to attend
  • Enjoying the journey as well as looking forward to the destination
  • Looking for ways to pitch in
  • Speaking up
  • Finding solutions
  • Encouraging enthusiasm
  • Growing membership even in tough political years.
  • (Sterling and DAD) Holding meetings at local restaurants - helps local businesses as well as boosting attendance.

What do your organizations do to boost membership and attendance? What could they be doing better?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And speaking of District Committees...

The Sterling District Committee is the hardest working, most enthusiastic, most volunteerific committee in Loudoun. They have a crew of people who staff the polls. A crew of people who walk and call and stuff envelopes and work back-to-school nights. A crew of people who work their butts off. MS and I never had to ask them for anything, every time we thought of something for them to do...we'd turn around and there they were

ALREADY DOING IT.

I was honored to work with you all.

Monday, November 16, 2009

You swine!

No, I haven't got it, but many of my friends do, so here is a list of books to read while feeling swinish.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I love the Hunter Mill Democratic Committee

I love it. LOVE. IT.

The enthusiasm and genuine excitement of that committee is just infectious. I can't kvell enough over them, and hope that I get to work with them a whole lot more in future.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Photo Goes Here

MM got a haircut on Saturday, but before going to get it cut, he got into his Halloween costume and we took pictures. Because we didn't get any pictures of him in his costume on Halloween.

He was Harry Potter.

According to my mom, he was Harry Potter. As they went around DC and to museums and into restaurants, people stopped them and took pictures. Little kids squealed with delight to see him. It was like being with a rock star.

So before his hair cut, we took pictures of him and then he said, "Mommy, I don't want you to put these up on your blog."

...

So, submitted for your approval, this word picture: A slender seven-year-old with shaggy dark hair, a lightning-shaped scar drawn tastefully on his forehead with lip-pencil, wearing Gryffindor robes, a white shirt, a rep tie, dark pants, dress shoes, and over-sized round glasses.

This was a comment in reply to Josh, but it got a bit lengthy.

Actually, Josh, what I want is everyone to have access to health care. Everyone. All over the world. With no barriers caused by financial issues.

What I want is Universal Health Care.

I don't care if it's government provided, though that's the easiest way to get there.

I want what Sweden has. I want what Japan has. I want what, yes, France has.

I want a country where no one has to choose between necessary health care and their next meal.

And I have to tell you, Josh, that coverage of abortion, and pelvic exams (not covered under the new law) and birth control is necessary health care to 51% of Americans. Especially when prostate exams are covered.

Not to mention that EVERY OTHER INDUSTRIALIZED NATION has government sponsored health care, and that, therefore, their businesses are at a financial advantage over ours since they don't have to pay outrageous sums to cover their employees.

Now, you may say, "Yeah, but look at their taxes!" and then I say: add up every penny you pay for things that their taxes cover and please realize that you are paying MORE than they are. As a nation, we are all paying more than any other industrialized nation for coverage with fewer people covered, shorter life spans, and poorer health outcomes.

Paying more for less? That's the American Way!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you

Thank you for wearing the uniform. For going through training. For risking your lives and bodies.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dear Democratic Members of Congress

I'm not sending this to my own congressional critter, Frank Wolf, because he's a tea-bagger. I'm making it an open letter to you instead.

I am a woman.

I am a hard-working Democratic advocate.

I ring doorbells. I make phonecalls. I hand out literature at the polls and on back-to-school-nights. And not just for my husband, but for every single democratic candidate for the last eight years.

I want healthcare reform. Actually, what I really want is universal health care, single-payer style, but I'll take what I can get.

I can get better than this.

You say your bill covers 95% of Americans.

But the Stupak amendment leaves me, and every citizen capable of getting pregnant, uncovered.

I am FURIOUS that you would vote for this amendment and this bill. How DARE you bargain with my body, my life, my health.

And what did you get for it? This bargain? Did Republicans come flocking to vote for the bill? No.

You are not going to get the Republicans to vote for any health care bill. You're not. Just face that and move on. Since you're not going to get that, why don't you try this: Go back to Square One. Universal Health Care. Single-Payer style. Medicare for Everyone. Starting at Birth. And women's health covered too.

Don't make me regret working to get Democrats elected. All Democratic candidates, not just the one I'm married to.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Not on the word-study list...

The word "pour".

But we did have "poor". "Poor is?" I asked.
"Not having any money!" they said.
"Okay. It also means 'not doing well.'" I amplified.
"It also means pouring water!" said AnxiousToPlease.
"Oooh! That's a homophone! A word that sounds like this word, but isn't." I said. "Here's 'pour'. P-O-U-R. We're not doing this one this week but I'll show you a trick. See that 'u'? That's a cup. Fill it with water and pour it out. Now look at 'poor'. P-O-O-R. Those two Os are pennies."
Nods all around.

We had a similar discussion over "four" and "for". If you are curious, "four" has four letters.

Made a TON of new friends over the last few months

See?

Went on a walk with a friend

When we got back, my friend was winded. Not a very long walk either. I think I need to put him on the Political Activist Workout.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Snark attack

So an ex-neighbor of mine at the old house sent out a snarky email to a neighborhood email list about us. I replied to the entire list with maximum cheerfulness and a side of snark (aggressively ignoring that he meant to be a meany, I mean)...

...and he took offence.

Which leads me to ask of you, my friends, what causes people to get offended when the person they are trying to attack takes the middle road of neither ignoring nor lashing out? Is it because responding with good humor makes the attacker look ridiculous?

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Well, There's Always 2011.

We didn't quite make it. We did better than the top of the ticket in the precincts I checked, but we didn't do well enough.

Our ground game was phenomenal, and I just can't even begin to describe how blessed I feel to have worked with so many terrific people. Our wonderful staff, the Unions, the Young Dems, NARAL, the volunteers of all ages, and everyone who helped in any way. Including many of you.

Thank you.

Today's the Day!

VOTE
Or suffer the wrath of The Doorbell Queen

Monday, November 02, 2009

I've already blown NaBloWriMo

Yesterday was a whirlwind of meeting-and-greeting, walkingwalkingwalking, and dialing-and-smiling. My computer only saw me when I Googled up a map and the weather and checked my email.

Today, I'm at work. MM & QuiltsAlot are out on the town, probably going skating. Tonight we're having Midnight Madness - our phenomenal volunteers are going to do a last minute GOTV push.

If you're in VA, NJ, WA, NY-23, and ME, don't forget to vote tomorrow!!

My endorsements*:
VA: Deeds for Governer, Wagner for Lt. Gov., Shannon for Atty General, and (in the 86th) Miller for Delegate. Everywhere else, please vote for the Democratic candidate (if there is one) for the House of Delegates. Remember that redistricting is coming up!

NJ: Corzine

WA: YES (approve) on Ref. 71

NY-23: Owens

ME: No on 1

*DISCLOSURE NOTICE: I am married to this guy. I have no close ties to any of the other candidates I'm endorsing.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Our ground game is phenomenal

Our campaign knocked on over 5000 doors TODAY.

FIVE THOUSAND doors TODAY.

Four thousand of those were knocked on by Young Dems from 3 nearby universities. I am so grateful to everyone who came out.

I did 106.

Then I made some calls to Obama voters.

Now I'm going to bed.

Friday, October 30, 2009

In my car right now

Is everything MM needs for the weekend. He's spending it with QuiltsALot and TellsDonaldDuckStories. They'll be canvassingtrick-or-treating with TellsDonaldDuckStories youngest brother's family (my cousins are MM's age); going to museums; and swimming in the hotel's indoor pool.

Am I jealous? YOU BETCHA!

Meanwhile, I'll be trick-or-treatingcanvassing my heart out.

MM & QuiltsALot will rejoin us Sunday night (TDDS is going back to work in The City) and will be exploring our area until Tuesday evenings Watch Party.

I miss him already.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's a BUY-cott!

Please ask your school's library to order Love Ya Bunches for their Scholastic Book Sale. And then buy it. Buy two. Buy seven.

Because Scholastic needs to learn that families come in all shapes and sizes: some have a mom and a dad; some have just a mom or a dad; some have no mom or dad, but a grandparent or other guardian; some have two moms or two dads; some, like my family of origin, have two moms AND two dads. They are all still families, and they should be represented in books for sale at the fair. Especially if a book WOULD have been represented if the family had heteronormative parents.

When I was young*, I loved reading Paula Danziger's books, especially The Divorce Express (I still have my autographed copy), because it was such a joy to see MY FAMILY represented in a book (the main character, Phoebe, has parents who share custody - and their starting custody arrangement was the one my family had for my entire childhood)

So join the BUY-cott! Ask for Luv Ya Bunches, and then buy it.



*Who am I kidding? I still read it at least once a year!

7 days left

Holy guacamole.

The Governor was a total sweetie last night. Talked with Muffin Man and made him laugh.

We had about 60 volunteers show up for the event and then boom! it was a walking/calling/envelope stuffing extravaganza!

Did I mention that thing about there being only SEVEN! DAYS! LEFT!?

Holy guacamole

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meet the Governor!

Where: Miller for Delegate HQ 22360 S. Sterling Blvd. in Sterling
When: Monday 10/26 (TONIGHT!) @ 4:30 PM

Come on out and rally for GOTV!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Putting People First

With thanks to my many friends who have talked to me about this, both in person and on various blogs - especially Dave from Rolling Around in My Head and laureldhel from Hoyden About Town.

Putting people first means saying "children with autism" instead of "autistic children" and "people with disabilities" instead of "the disabled".

Remember, just because someone has autism or is disabled doesn't mean that that is the be-all end-all of that person's existence. Zie may also be a baseball player, or a brilliant writer, or love music, or be a die-hard Skins fan, or root for anyone who plays against the Yankees, or all of the above. Zie may have problems unrelated to disability or have an otherwise perfect life. But the point is, zie is a person.

I have found, facing my own biases, that this word order matters. The more I use person-first language, the more I am able to recognize that there is more to a person than the thing that makes that person different from me, whether that difference is in gender, or mobility, or sexual orientation, or heritage, or education level.

Everyone has their own "I Am..." list. Putting people first is a good way to acknowledge that.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More MM

  • He's become fond of a certain singer who was embarrassed on national tv recently. I, getting sick of hunting for her music on the radio for him, bought him her CD and we are listening to tracks 3 and 6 ad nauseam. When I was his age, I was obsessed with The Monkees, and wished my name were Valleri, so I now owe my mom an apology.
  • It turns out he had homework this weekend (work he hadn't finished last week) and didn't do it. He did inherit my genes after all.
  • He's gotten blase about my volunteering in his class, and did the eyeroll at me when I kissed him goodbye. Well, excuuuuuuse me, Mr. ClungToMeLikeABabyChimpWhenILeftLastWeek.
  • He opted to bring his lunch today, which would have been fine if we'd discussed it yesterday MORNING instead of yesterday evening. In his bag, 2 hard-boiled eggs, some bread-and-butter, some Halloween candy (yeah, yeah), a juice pouch, and some grapes for snack. Not bad as it goes, but it's a darned good thing we had eggs in the house.
  • He's a great big ham and I love him to pieces.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Muffin Man

  • Writes long, complicated sentences.
  • Knows what 300 squared is.
  • Loves math and does his math enrichment packs without any help from me. Unfortunately, he's not so hot about reading instructions. Fortunately, he's in great company in his class. (I grade the math enrichment packs - the mistakes he makes were common to a third of the class. They looked at the picture examples instead of reading the instructions.)
  • When asked by a voter why they should vote for his dad, piped up with "Because [the other guy] voted against the stimulus package!"
  • Is pretty happy to go with us to various campaign shindigs as long as he's got his DS with him and has eaten or can have food at the event. He finds a corner, settles in, and sometimes joins the conversation.
  • Is less happy about the amount of time spent with sitters while I do doors, but doesn't want to do doors with me either. He's pretty darn pleased that the election is less than 3 weeks away.
  • Will be a bit scruffy for school picture day next week because he's growing his hair out for Halloween. He's going to be Harry Potter.
  • Has had his desk moved at school because he has a tendency to stand up while doing his work (still leaning on his desk), and is a bit chatty (but in all fairness, his teacher said, he never STARTS the conversations. The problem is, he also never finishes them.) She's fine with him standing up, but he needs to be where he doesn't block the view of or bump into other kids. He doesn't seem to mind having been moved.
  • Thinks that since he was born in the middle of Winter, he shouldn't have to wear a coat. buzz! Wrong answer! Actually, I make him BRING a coat, but I don't make him wear it.
  • Hates tags in his clothes.
  • Is the most snuggly 7 year old on the planet.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bullet Points of a Busy Weekend

Saturday:
  • Breakfast with MM. Delicious soft-boiled eggs at his request.
  • Dropped him off at the babysitter's, where he was greeted with cheers and fawning adoration by her 4 YO nephew.
  • Went to Sterling Fest. Handed out tons o' literature, met Paradox13VA (and became an inarticulate gibbering fan girl - I love meeting bloggers I admire. Especially unexpectedly!)
  • Knocked on 77 doors, gave out (and planted) 4 yard signs.
  • Picked up MM from the sitter's, where my arrival was greeted with groans of disappointment from the 12 or so children jumping on the back-yard trampoline.
  • Went home.
  • Had dinner.
  • Fell asleep.

Sunday:

  • Out to a local restaurant for breakfast (bagel and lox, mnmmmm!)
  • A rousing game of Clue (MS won)
  • Lunch (ham & cheese sandwiches)
  • Took MM to see The Flying Karamazov Brothers, whom I first saw when I was his age. He loved them almost as much as I do. Alas, we forgot to bring a challenge object for the Champ to juggle. MM got a set of juggling balls. Much of their show is new, but they still had some of the same routines from when I first saw them. They are delightful.
  • Sushi for dinner.
  • Bed.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Mr. Spock speaks

At a Young Dems event.

He mentions the Progressive Kick site that I mentioned here. They are doing a matching fund challenge. Please donate there, and scroll down to Mr. Spock's picture to dedicate funds to him.

Thanks!!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I've got a song in my head

And I'm worrying about it.

It's Tom Paxton's "Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation"

And my brain has replaced "Lyndon Johnson" with "Barack Obama" and "We're sending fifty thousand more, To help save Viet nam from Viet namese." with "We're sending forty thousand more, To help save Afganistan from the Afganis"

So, like I said...worried.

You must read...

This post. Sincerely.

Monday, October 05, 2009

What I did this weekend - now with Video! And edited for a typo!

Brought the coffee and donuts to the balloon filling station for our float (awww) in the (awww) (awww) Herndon Homecoming Parade. Woot!

The Parrot:



What's that spell?



Then I did a hundred or so doors on Sunday.


Bonus video: MMMS's speech at the event with the Governor

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Relearning old lessons

Yesterday I did 23* doors IN HIGH HEELS.

These are black patent-leather oxfords that are comfortable shoes in general, but not up to the rigors of road-work. I didn't want to take the time to go home and change. It was an experiment, I should've known better, I will never ever do it again.

The biggest reason it was a mistake was because they slowed me way down. They weren't uncomfortable per se, just not the right shoes for the job.






*Should've done 39, I'll do the left-over 13 this evening

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Uncertain

So, as you all know, I'm back to walking at least two hours a day at least four times a week. And it's having an expected but unlooked-for and undesired effect: I have lost some weight.

Which, not surprisingly, has been noticed.

What do I say when people comment on it?

I'd like to say, "I didn't mean to."

I'd like to say, "It's not what I intended."

I'd like to say, "It's not surprising given I'm walking at least two hours a day at least four times a week."

What do I say?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday morning summing-up.

Friday: Volunteering at son's school; work; faculty soft-ball game at son's school. Good time was had by all.

Saturday: Rain. Rainy rainy rain. Grocery shopping. Dinner at Jimmy's Old Town Tavern (aka host of the event for which I'm still awaiting pictures)

Sunday: Doorsdoorsdoorsdoorsdoors. DOOOOORS. Including the sighting of many of our yard signs at doors I had not yet knocked myself. I love spotting our yard signs in the wild.

This morning: Volunteering at son's school. Back at work.

Link of the day: Blue Commonwealth's interview with Mr. Spock.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yesterday's doors

Were phenomenal. I only did a few (started late and had several long conversations), but each contact was one of beauty. Here are the top three of the night:

  1. The Donor. Terrifically nice man who I actually spoke to on the phone a couple of weeks ago. He gave me a check for $51.00, took two yard signs, and promised to work on his next-door neighbor.
  2. The Volunteer. He already had our yard signs up all over his yard. I admired what he's done with his house and schmoozed for a bit.
  3. The Guy With Our Opponent's Sign. Turns out he took it because the high school kid who knocked on his door was so nice. He promised to take one of ours as well. Took a bumper sticker, too. Promised to take a Deeds/Wagner/Shannon sign. He hates McDonnell and was appalled that our opponent voted to restrict women's access to birth control.

I love me my doors. LOVE MY DOORS.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I've lost count.

Sorry. The doors haven't been counted in a while. I know I knocked something like 150 in a group yesterday. Today I did...what...thirty? More? I just don't know.

I have 10 left in that pack. Ran out of daylight. I'll do 'em tomorrow and start a new pack of 69.

I've given out yard signs! And bumper stickers! And found volunteers! Four people at the event Wednesday were there because I recruited them at their doors or while they were out walking their dogs. As were a few at the event Sunday. I love coming in to the office and finding people who've come in because I sent them there from my walks.

Today started out beautifully (volunteering in MM's class), and had a really rotten center, but the doors were refreshing and so was reading Chapter 4 of Elizabeth Enright's Gone Away Lake to MM at bedtime.

How's by you?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The way my mind works

I was reading this beautiful post, on Uterine Wars, and choking up, trying not to sob out loud (at work) when I suddenly got this song stuck in my head.






And I'll write about it later, when I can come up with more descriptive words than AWESOME!!! and FANTASTIC!!!, but if you're curious, here is a write-up on last night's shindig.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Governor! The Governor!

He's hosting a party for Mr. Spock. Tonight!!! I am so nervous and excited and did I mention nervous?

I am wearing this dress and a necklace my mom gave me.

Did I tell you how nervous and excited I am?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thumbs-up

Muffin Man gets out of the car and slides the door shut, peers in the window to look for my thumbs-up to show that he closed it properly, and heads on into school.

That last look into the car comes with a thumbs-up of his own and it is the image I carry with me all day. His sweet grown-up baby face, his tiny little huge hand.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Out of a Clear Blue Sky

Lorisa Ceylon Taylor, Age 31, Died 09/11/2001

A "happy woman, always laughing", a dancer, an athlete, a good friend, "full of life". She and her husband had been married ten years and a day when the planes hit the buildings. Their anniversary had been celebrated the Saturday before with an evening of dancing.The evening of the actual anniversary, the 10th of September, they celebrated quietly at home with their three daughters.

The morning of the 11th, Lorisa kissed her husband and children goodbye and took the train from Flatbush to her job at Marsh & McLennan on the 94th floor of the North Tower. Her mother rode the train with her.

She is sorely missed by all who knew her. Her daughters live part-time with their grandmother, who lives nearby their dad. A story from the NYTimes says,
Mr. Taylor said that leaving them with Mrs. Dunbar allowed his grieving mother-in-law "to hold onto a little of what she lost," while giving him "time to myself and to hang with my friends." She agreed. She craved the children's presence, she said, because they were "a piece of Lorisa," and the tasks of caring for them kept her from sinking into despair.


I got my information for this post from The New York Times (via globalaging.org), the Tribute Page for Lorisa Taylor, Legacy.com, and CNN's memorial page.




I've done this before.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Speech I Took With Me to Alexandria

I didn't say exactly this, 'cause I tried not to look at the paper much and only had three minutes, but here is what I prepared after seeing Obama's speech to students yesterday (the stuff in italics is what I didn't say, though I brought it up later when McDonnell's Thesis came up):

Thank you for letting me come and speak to you all tonight. I'm so glad to be here representing my husband, Stevens Miller, in his race against Tom Rust for the House of Delegates.

I'm not sure how many of you watched Obama's speech to school children today. I know my son didn't get to see it today, but we're gonna fix that*.

What struck me most about the speech was how much it took from last year's campaign. Obama's message was not "Yes I can". It was, "Yes WE can."

And the school speech was the same. It is the government's, and parents, and teacher's responsibility to make learning as accessible to all as possible, but it is each individual student's responsibilty to take charge of their own education and not let any opportunity pass them by.

Which led me to think about this year's campaign. Are we, each of us, doing what we can help turn Virginia blue? Are we, each of us, doing what we can to make sure that we're not stuck in a nightmare situation where we've got Backwards Bob McDonnell as Governor, Bolling as Lt. Gov, Crazy Cuccinelli as Atty General, and they're backed up by a right-wing republican House of Delegates?

I don't know how many of you know Delegate Tom Rust. I know that on my canvasses - and I'm a canvassing addict - I love me my doors - I keep meeting people who are strong Democrats who think they know Tom Rust. But then I ask them, have you looked at his voting record? And the answer comes back "No." And I say, "Do you think Pharmacists and doctors should be able to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control pills for adult women?" And they always say, "No." and I say, "Well Rust does. He voted to allow Pharmacists and doctors to refuse
to fill those prescriptions."


And that's before I talk about the Rust/Albo Abusive drivers fees and the voting down of Obama's $125 Million in stimulus money and the broken promise to parents of autistic children.

Every door I've knocked, every person I've spoken to, has made a difference. I can see it. I can feel it.

And I need your help. I need each of you, Each. Of. You. to take responsibility for how this election turns out. I need you to set a goal for yourself. Twenty doors a day. Call two friends to go canvassing with you this weekend. Make 10 phone calls. If you can't walk or call, bring food to a phone bank or bottled water to the start of a canvass. Donate money to buy bumperstickers. Agree to take a bumpersticker and a yard sign. Convince your friends and neighbors to do the same. Promise yourself you will do one thing each week. One thing. to ensure we win**.



*It's fixed. LCPS will show the video to every school child unless their parents opt out.

**I may have finished up by saying, "Dammit! We CANNOT lose this thing!"

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The really fun parts

Not everything about being Teh Candidate's Spouse is fun, but some parts are truly over-the-top fun, and tonight is one of those.

What does Teh Candidate do if zie needs to be in two places, making two speeches, at the same time? Hir Campaign Manager sends Teh Spouse to do one of them*.

And that's me!

So tonight, I'm going to deliver a speech to the Alexandria Democrats. If you happen to be in or near the Alexandria Democrats meeting tonight, come and say hi!

I'm pretty sure I'm gonna talk about doors and the fact that our opponent ain't the moderate he's pretending to be. I may mix in a bit about Obama's address to school children. I will definitely say something about how cool it is to live in this moment in this Commonwealth.

*Actually, this occurs only when we can get a sitter. Which we could tonight. I'm looking forward to it!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Superintendent of our schools has a history

A history of censorship in the face of controversy. And he's doing it again. He's decided that President Obama's speech won't be shown to our county's public school students. While I would not condemn him out of hand for deciding not to broadcast it on the first day of school, the thing that gets me steamed is this:
Since this is a webcast, principals or teachers may elect to retrieve the speech at a later time and with the preparation or related activities appropriate for students at your school level.
Which means he's not just saying, "this is disruptive for the first day of school." He's saying, whether we show it at all or not is a function of how loud parents scream at their principals and teachers.

This is cowardly. And it's wrong. Here's an excerpt of a letter I wrote to our Superintendent and the Chairman of the School Board:
An address on the importance of education, staying in school, and taking responsibility for doing as well as one can in school is an important one. Especially when that address comes from the son of a single mother who got to where he is through hard work and dedication to his school work...

I do understand that the first day back at school is a busy one, that there is confusion on all fronts and that another day might be more convenient for showing the address. If that is the only reason LCPS will not be showing the message in real-time then please announce immediately which day it will be shown to all students in every school, otherwise it will appear that we have another instance of [the case of three flightless waterfowl].
Seriously, the taxpayers of Loudoun County have provided televisions for every room of every school. The auditoriums each have projectors and large screens. All the schools have at least 2 of those fancy electronic white boards. How hard is it to pause the day to show a speech on the importance of education given by a man who embodies that sentiment?

And that is why I tweeted this yesterday:
I pledge allegience to the flag of the United States of America & to the Republic for which it stands but don't show me the President
Having said all that, I should just have said, "Yeah! What SHE said!" And also, "Yeah! What HE said!" (ht SewCreative who commented on a post on Our Loudoun Schools)

Friday, September 04, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mummy/Crit asks:

"Helicoptor ride? Tell me more!"

One of the fantastic things about having an elected official in your family is that sometimes you get invited to do fun stuff - like getting to ride in a helicoptor for an aerial tour of Leesburg and its environs. Saturday was Leesburg Airport's Open House (at Goddard Field) and they were giving helicoptor and F17 rides.

MM went from, "but what if I get airsick?" to "YEEEHAAA!!!" in less than 2 seconds. He loved wearing the headset and talking to the pilot. He loved counting swimming pools from the air. He loved looking at the little toy cars and trees. I loved looking at him looking at all those things.

We flew over the Leesburg Animal Farm Park and generally all agreed that the flight was too short and that we could have done that all day.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bawk!


This is MM, acting like a chicken at the local soup and salad place. He's wearing his daycamp shirt, which is bright orange, white, and dark blue.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

If you know the word's offensive, why would you say it?

It's not about being PC, it's about not being a douchebag.

Deliberately using words that are hurtful, when you KNOW THAT THEY ARE HURTFUL means that you are not a nice person.

Two people who have children who fall into the category of people you have just insulted are sitting within hearing distance of you and you know it and you used the word anyway. And you'll use it again. Because you, YOU*, are a douchebag.




*Obviously, the YOU that I am talking about is a co-worker who doesn't read this blog. But I did tell her to her face that I thought she was being pretty horrid.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Saturday saw us back at Old Navy


SQUEE!

DanielK @ Blue Commonwealth wrote some lovely things about Mr. Spock!

The Truth About 200 Doors

  • No matter how comfortable your shoes are, after 200 doors, your feet will hurt.
  • No matter how cool and breezy it is, after 200 doors, you will be sweaty and stinky.
  • Wearing an Obama '08 shirt saves time at the doors. People who love him and people who hate him declare themselves immediately.
  • It's much easier to find people who will volunteer for a campaign on a beautiful sunny breezy day.
  • Ground-floor-entry town-homes are still my favorite.
  • Two 32-oz bottles of Gatorade are not enough for 200 doors.
  • The Thermos Hydration Bottle works beautifully. I left it in the car while walking (my walk was broken up into pretty separated locations) and even after hours in the car, my gatorade was still icy cold. The lid locks down so that it doesn't inadvertantly flip open in your bag, but when you do flip it open, it stays open without needing to be held. I love it. Will buy many many more as gifts for the campaign staff and volunteers. (I bought mine at Wegman's. Thermos has neither solicited nor paid for this review.)
  • Next time, I'll start earlier and see if I can do 250.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Pours, The Pours!

Had a good canvass last night. Great conversations, picked up a volunteer, got sympathy for looking like I went fully-clothed into a sauna (it was just a wee bit humid). And then, suddenly, the breeze picked up, everything felt fresh and cool and fragrant.

And the sky turned a roiling, ominous, purple-greyish colour.

And I tweeted this: "Good news is it's cooling off. Bad news is it's about to pour."

And then the skies opened up. And I kept going. I rang the doorbells, I wrote my personal notes, I left my lit at the doors. And the ink on my personal notes washed away. My lit became wet and crumpled. Covering it with the clipboard was ineffective.

I tweeted this: "I am a drowned rat."

But it wasn't me that was melting, it was my lit. And then it started raining harder.

And I packed it in for the night. I walked back to the car, my sandals going squitch, squitch, squitch, my hat brim pouring rain like a store awning, the back of the clip-board swelling up and losing little pieces of itself, the world barely visible beyond my fogged and spattered glasses.

And I thought, "I've really got to remember to pack the rain-poncho and some zip-locks in my lit-bag! Then I could have kept going."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The doors! The doors!

The poor things are being so neglected. Our sitter, a wonderful woman who works at Posh Place, has been ill and the doors aren't getting done*. Which is actually okay since I have a deadline here at work. Which makes me ask, why am I posting?

Procrastination. It's like guilt you make yourself.



*by me. Mr. Spock is diligently door-knocking.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

At first, I couldn't find him

We were at Old Navy, buying up some of those $2 tank-tops. I turned around and MM wasn't immediately visible.

Can you find him?


He fooled some customers and a store clerk!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Did I tell y'all about NARAL?

They endorsed my very own Mr. Spock!
NARAL PRO-CHOICE VIRGINIA PAC ANNOUNCES ENDORSEMENT OF DELEGATE STEVENS MILLER, DISTRICT 86

Endorsement highlights organization’s dedication to building a pro-choice majority in the Virginia House of Delegates

(Alexandria, VA) – Today, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC, the commonwealth’s leading advocate for personal privacy and a woman’s right to choose, announced its endorsement of Stevens Miller for House District 86, who is challenging anti-choice incumbent Delegate Thomas Rust.

“Voters in House District 86 are fortunate to have the opportunity to elect Stevens, who is committed to fully protecting women’s health,” said Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Stevens Miller is running against Delegate Rust, who has promoted politics and ideology over comprehensive reproductive healthcare. Delegate Rust has moved from being a moderate to an 100% anti-choice delegate.”

“Stevens Miller is a pro-choice leader who is vowed to work on the legislative level to help prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion – values the residents of the 86th District look for in their legislators. We are thrilled to endorse Stevens and look forward to working closely with him in years to come.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia supports candidates who are dedicated to family planning, preventing unintended pregnancy, and increasing access to reproductive healthcare for women and families. The organization’s powerful statewide network of activists will mobilize pro-choice voters throughout Virginia to help elect Stevens Miller and other pro-choice candidates in November.

Mr. Spock says:

"NARAL’s endorsement makes it clear there is no comparison between my opponent and me on the issue of choice. I am honored by NARAL's faith in me and pledge to work in Richmond to protect the reproductive rights of women."


Delegate Rust (R), along with his slate-mates McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli are anti-choice and anti-birth-control. We need to get Rust out and keep his slate-mates far away from the writing and enforcing of laws that limit the choices of women in Virginia. So once again, I'm asking you to donate to Mr. Spock's campaign. The ActBlue thermometer is back up at the top of the page. And once again, I'll blog your requests! A donation of $5 helps us buy paper to print walksheets, and sunscreen for walkers. A donation of $500 helps us print mailers. Help us keep their laws off our bodies.

(Edited to add) Lowell had a timely post on his blog about Bob McDonnell that included this spot:


We can't allow that man to win, nor can we allow him any anti-choice friends in office. Please help Mr. Spock kick one particular anti-choicer out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Question about Mancala

MM's been playing Mancala at camp a lot and they play this way:

Your turn starts when you pick the stones from a cup. You put one stone in each cup you pass including your own (but not the other person's) mancala. If your last stone goes into your Mancala, you go again. If your last stone lands in a full cup, you pick up all the stones from that cup and keep going until you hit an empty cup. Then your turn is over.

Over the weekend, I bought Mancala for us to play at home ($4.99 at Target). It came with some printed rules. They are as follows:
Your turn starts when you pick up the stones from a cup. You put one stone in each cup you pass including your own (but not the other person's) mancala. If your last stone goes into your Mancala, you go again. If your last stone lands in a full cup, your turn is over. If it lands in an empty cup on your side of the board, then you can take the stones in the cup opposite and put them, and your last stone, into your mancala. Your turn is over.

My question is this: How did MM's day camp start to play with different rules? Their mancala sets are identical to ours at home (except that they've replaced the slippery clear glass half-marbles with less-slippery and more visible stones from a "gem-mining" field trip).

At home, we stick to the rules that come with the games. Variations tend not to be fair to the "away" team, as it were. Is the summer camp version a version in common play elsewhere?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mommy, somebody told me luck doesn't exist..."

"...what do you think?"

"I think we make some of our luck ourselves."

"How?"

"By keeping our eyes open and our ears open and our mouths closed. And by being kind and thoughtful to others without being asked."

"Oh! I get it. Like if you're talking and not listening, you'll miss it when the teacher tells you something important? And that's bad luck? But if you listen and don't talk, you'll hear what you need to and if someone sees you being helpful at school, you can maybe get a prize and that's good luck!"

"That's it. And when you found that penny, it's because you were keeping your eyes open."

"People make their own luck. I like that."







I just realized that I'm going to have to tell him that sometimes bad things just happen and sometimes good things just happen, even when we haven't done anything to "deserve" it. Yipes. I've told him this before, but I'm afraid that the "you make your own luck" theory may be contradictory.

Yesterday was hot. Really, really hot

Maybe not Texas hot, but hot nonetheless.

I had 2 packs of doors to get through. One, a pack of 59, the other, a pack of 53. Single-family detached, one-car garages. I finished the pack of 59 in a bit under three hours. And I was soaked through. Drank 3 bottles of water on that walk. It was HOT. Except when it was breezy. The breezy was nice.

Then I went back to HQ for a meeting, looking as wilted as a corsage three days after prom. Ate a sandwich. Drank a vitamin water. Went back out into the fiery sunshine to do more doors, passing SturdyCampaignStaffer as he came back from doing nearly 100 doors ("mostly apartments").

I did another 29 in a bit over an hour and then had to stop for the day to pick up MM from the sitter's house.

I was soaked through again. Had gone through another bottle of vitamin water. I was a limp rag doll.

It was hot.

But I did 88 doors. I wish I had gotten through all 112, but I did 'em. Today it's hot again, and I'm going to finish up the last 24 from that pack I didn't finish yesterday and then I'm going to pick up another pack and get 'em done.

Because I am Mrs. Intrepid Campaigner, Queen of the Doorbells! SturdyCampaignStaffer out-canvassed me yesterday, but I WILL earn the title!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

On Earning the Title

Folks, my daily average is about to go way down because my walking schedule's about to get wonky.

Here's my new walking schedule:
Sunday: 12-6 (babysitter)
Monday: 5-8 (babysitter)
Tuesday: 5-8 (babysitter)
Wednesday (most weeks): 5-6 (between work and MM pickup)
Thursday (most weeks): 5-6 (between work and MM pickup)
Friday: 5-6 (between work and MM pickup)
Saturday: The occasional shift if MM has a b-day party or playdate, or when he feels like coming with me.

So, 3 days a week I'll do 70 - 100 or more doors and 3 days a week I'll be doing 25-35 doors.

That's 15 hours of walk time, over 400 doors a week. I guess I'll track my weekly average too!

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Tweets That Went Astray

Here are the Tweets that never went through, much to my chagrin. I thought I was keeping everyone updated and excited, but no...the tweets went into the ether never to return until today! With commentary in the parentheses!
  • On line at Obama/Deeds event! So many happy people! (waiting to go thru the metal detector, the secret service guys were really nice and friendly)
  • This is so much fun!
  • Amazing how many people I know at this event! (Seriously, out of the thousand-plus people there, I had met at least 150 of them before! Including several from non-political sources - like my friend whose son is friends with MM.)
  • It's like a big party!
  • Ryan Myers is talking 'bout Loudoun! (The Loudoun crowd is loud and proud! Our cheering rocked the hotel!)
  • So many people here! If everyone here does doors this wkend, 100,000 doors'll get knocked! (@EliseRichman points out that not everybody is a door-knocking demon like the Doorbell Queen. I say, pfft! What's 75 to 100 doors each among friends?)
  • We need to get walking and knocking!
  • Tell 'em Tim! (Tim Kaine was talking about McDonnell and the Republican-led House of Delegates turning down $125 Million in stimulus funds)
  • Tell 'em Creigh! (Creigh was talking about how foolish McDonnell is for wanting to pay for roads by taking away money from schools)
  • We are FIRED UP!
  • Obama's roasting Deeds. The crowd loves it. Now he's reminding us of Creigh's xlnt record.
  • Now Obama's reminding us of his own xlnt record.
  • I love listening to our President talk intelligently about problems and solutions.
  • Wonderful event! I sent many tweets and not one went through.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Question for the health conscious

MSN has an article up today on 10 Common Medication Mistakes That Can Kill. At the end of each segment they have a suggestion on "how to avoid it". Each of their suggestions requires questioning the doctor and/or pharmacist to make sure they know what they are doing, that they haven't overlooked something important (like your age! and the fact that you're taking something else that contains that ingredient or has that side effect!), and that they've prescribed/dispensed the correct dosage and/or medication. One suggestion is that you ask the doctor to put on the precription why sie is prescribing that medication to help eliminate confusion at the pharmacy.

And all of that is very wise and sensible and good but...given that the AMA just considered a resolution to code for non-compliant patients (defeated - this time - thank goodness), how well will MSN's methods go over with some doctors and pharmacists?
I'm not even starting on the question of how the patient is supposed to get the doctor's attention back to even ask the questions considering that by the time a patient receives a scrip in a doctor's office, the doctor is on to the next patient.

I am, again, thanking goodness that my doctors and pharmacists seem to actively encourage questioning, but holy guacamole, that's by no means universal, is it?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Found another McCourtish post

Can you tell me what time it is?

This one was written at work at the end of a long irritating day, when I was facing an hour-plus commute back home. I remember writing it with McCourt's voice in my head. I still like the footsteps going to and fro and the note at the end. It's short, but I took my time with it and it kept my spirits up the whole grinding way home.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

72 doors and the Skechers were not up to it.

They're cute as all get out, but they're not ready for prime time campaigning. Three blisters. Not Cool, Skechers. Not cool. I finished the doors, but my feet were Officially Pissed Off. And my hourly door rate went into the cellar. 24 doors/hour? What am I? An amateur?

I've got my trusty Liz Claiborne sandals on today (can't find a link). I think I've got 80+ doors to do this evening.

Monday, August 03, 2009

And! (Now with picture!)

I forgot to tell you that my mom dyed my hair for me.
I has no grayz! Not one person has noticed without my pointing it out to them.

This is me taken with my cell phone in natural light. No makeup. And no grey.

Back from a weekend away.

Had a great time talking with assorted wonderful people about politics, skylights, and expanding houses. And then we did active things like jumping rope, jumping into a pool, watching the wildlife (I got thisclose to a wild deer), sitting on a screened porch while the rain came pouring down outside, and playing Scrabble. For the record, the Scrabble Player's Dictionary (4th Ed) doesn't include "jew" but it does include "nazi."

Discuss.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Added Some More Folks to the Blog Roll -->

And you'll notice that they have the little asterisk indicating I've met them in real life. They are high school friends who also took McCourt's class and who write much better than I do.

(ETA: also added a political blog. It's asterisked, but it's a cocktail party meet, not a high school friend! Also added Rev. Songbird who I was missing for some unknown reason.)

I need to clean up the rest of the roll pretty soon. Several out-of-date links.
(ETA: Done, for the most part.)

Also, if you link here and you'd like me to link back to you, send me an email! My email is liz AT (mylastname)household DOT com. I don't promise reciprocal linking (f'rinstance, I tend not to link to blogs that are purely about selling things, or to ones with really mean commenters and no comment policy in place to control them), but I love broadening my blog community.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Small whine.

I really want to go to the Sock Summit.

Question about stats

You may have noticed that I'm keeping track of days and doors there on the right -->

I have it broken down by days, doors, and average doors per day. But the truth is, I don't do the same number of hours per day. So...to keep the stats more honest, should I break it down by doors per hour instead of doors per day?

F'rinstance, on weekend days that MM has a playdate or a babysitter, I can do six to eight hours of steady door-knocking. Most weeks I do three to four hours per night on Mondays and Tuesdays (I have a sitter take MM home from daycamp.)

I do tend to do about thirty doors an hour, except of course for last night, when I only did twenty, but to be fair, I did have general anesthesia the day before.

Tell me, friends in the interwebs, which way best satisfies the stat geek in you?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

All done!

So Sunday was unpleasant, as was Sunday night into Monday morning, but the procedure itself was fine.

Anesthesiologist: "I'm going to add the anesthesia to your IV now. You'll feel a little dizzy."
Me: "Oops! I forgot to take off my glasses!"
Anesthesiologist: "It's time to wake up now!"

Seriously.

And the Gastroenterologist's report says I did excellent prep. So Sunday was worth it.

And I slept for 19 out of the last 24 hours.

And I don't have to do this again for another 10 years.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Today I am missing out on a picnic I wanted to go to

Instead, I am staying in the house drinking lots of fluids and eating Jello. Am I sick? No. I am not.

I am prepping for a lovely procedure tomorrow morning.

The prep involves a bit of unpleasantness.

Basically, they're checking to make sure that all that todo back in May hasn't done any damage.

So far, I can tell you that orange-flavored Jello isn't half bad. I will report out on Peach (Edited to add, Peach isn't as good as orange, but still edible) and Lime later. I will not report out on orange-flavored Gatorade with added preparatory ingredients (Edited to add, tastes fine, especially cold).

So you're not going to see me at the doors today or tomorrow. And I really think that's a good thing.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Doing Doors in the Rain

Was still fun and rewarding, but involved complicated fussing with the rain poncho which slowed me down. Also, it was too hot to wear the poncho and I got sweaty, so I took it off and just carried a few sheets at a time with me and just enough literature for those sheets' doors. 'Cause the literature was getting wet and puckering.

Fortunately, the rain stopped after the first street. But then the mosquitos came out. And they LOVE me. Yum yum!

So, for tonight, I'm going out there bathed in bug repellent - and you'd better believe that I'm doing doors rain or shine. Bugs or no bugs. Because I AM the Doorbell Queen.

65 doors last night.
87 the day before.
588 total in 8 days.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Frank McCourt died yesterday

He was my favorite teacher in High School. He was funny, and cranky, and made fun of Ernest Hemingway ("We went fishing. It was good.")

Our assignments in his class were to read short stories by famous authors and then to write a short story about something we knew in the style of the short story we had just read. Mr. McCourt insisted that we only write about things we knew - even if it was a fictional story it could not include people whose lives were very different from our own.

I will write more about him later, but I think I won't be able to top what my classmate, Daniel Radosh, says about him in his blog.

Goodbye, Mr. McCourt. I will always be so grateful to you.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Annoying and yelling and awful is he.
If high pitched whining is something you wish
Then you'll find this cartoon to be just delish.

MM is ill and Nickelodeon is having a Spongebob Marathon.

Somebody please send earplugs.

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The truth about doing doors

My favorite doors are apartments. They go really fast and you can spend more time talking to people who are home since there's less time waiting for someone who isn't to answer.

My least favorite are two-level homes without doorbells. I never know if I've knocked loud enough.

My least favorite walk sheets are the ones where there is a lot of walking and not so much doors.

My favorite walk sheets are the ones where you can park your car once and chart a path that has you knocking every door without retracing your steps EVER.

If you weren't home when I knocked on your door, you'll know it was me who came by if, on the literature that was left rolled up between your door knob and the jamb, there's a note that says, "I'm sorry I missed (your name)!". And a little dash and my name and an arrow pointing to my face in the picture of Mr. Spock, MM, and me.

I love talking to people on my walk sheets. My favorite encounters are with folks who are out gardening or washing their cars or walking their dogs. I like being able to stop and chat with them without having to ring the doorbell to summon them from what they were doing.

I don't know how many doors I'll knock by the time this is over, but I know I'm going to savor the time walking outside, meeting nice people (and some grumps), and having stories to tell.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Knocking on those doors

Today was not the best day, door-wise. I finished up that pack from a couple weeks ago (first time the gate was open since then), and then found out that my directions to the next location were just a smidge off. By about a half-hour's drive. So I called TerrificCampaignManager, and he texted me the correct directions while I got an iced coffee. Then I started on that new pack and got a call from my SIL who had taken MM to the movies that they were done with the movie earlier than she expected so I went to pick up MM from her. All told, I put in an hour and got 30 doors done.

Sigh.

Still, two minutes a door is a good average. But...I wanted to get in more hours.

Again, sigh.

In any case, I just finished entering my walk-sheet data from the big pack, so that takes some pressure off the staff.

Now it's grocery-shopping time and then I'll do some phone calls.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Important Announcement

Look! I'm so proud!

To dye or not to dye, that is the question

Whether 'tis nobler to have frizzy ventral locks of silver
Or to take hours in a salon and by coloring smooth them?
To dye, to be gray no more and by this dye to say we end
The heartache of frizzy brittle natural locks that age is heir to?
'Tis a consumation occasionally to be wish'd
To dye, to maintain, to maintain...ay there's the rub
For in that coloring what roots may come.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Seen while getting the car scrubbed

...the weirdest commercial ever. At lunch time. On a Summer weekday. On CNN. For a product the purpose of which I thought was not able to be talked about on television during daytime hours. Which I will not be using the name of here.

I believe it rhymes with Decks Kens.

This was an "HBO shows this feature only at night" commercial, people. And it was at lunch time. On a Summer weekday. On CNN.

I am........

Speechless.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Back!

Boy, that was great!!!

Nephew was terrific as Prince Chulalongkorn. He has a deep voice (had to lipsync during children's chorus due to deepness) and so when he sang his solo, the audience was totally surprised and laughed and then applauded.

Everyone was in a good mood. Fun was had on all fronts. Taboo was played, homemade ice cream was eaten, fireworks oohed and aaahed at.

The weekend was an unadulterated success.

How was yours?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Off to Vermont for the weekend!

Going to see my nephew perform in The King and I!

Plus, I'll see all 4 parents, my grandmother, my sister, her husband, probably his mom and sisters and their kids!

Yay!

Posting will be light.

Have a happy Fourth!

Monday, June 29, 2009

"THAT'S Michael Jackson??"

Says my son, incredulous, on seeing the video in the last post. He'd only ever seen "Bad" and "Beat It" (as introductions to "Fat" and "Eat It"*).

"That doesn't LOOK like Michael Jackson".

No, my son, it doesn't look like the Michael Jackson you've seen in the later videos. Alas. Michael Jackson was a prime example of a person who seemed to have everything, but hated what he saw in the mirror everyday.

*Weird Al gets a lot of play time at our house. Firstly, I think he's brilliant, and secondly, there's a video of "Yoda" using Lego figures...and that's a combination that's hard to beat.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wishing he had been as happy as he appeared to be here

I want to be these people when I grow up

As seen at The Seated View: 90 years old and cuter than puppies

Yes, it is ON, plus link to details of a fun event!

Mr. Spock did ninety-SIX doors last night. Huh. I'll out-walk him this weekend, yes I will!

I'm gonna walk his shoe leather off. It is so on. He can't outwalk the Doorbell Queen and get away with it!

In other news, I spent the evening cozily in the Campaign office with two bright young campaign staffers burning up the phone lines to let folks know about an event Tuesday night. MM patiently played with his DS and ate Oreos while I said this over and over and over:

"Hi! MysteryMommy calling to invite you to an event that the Dulles Area Democrats are hosting for my husband, Mr. Spock! Mr. Spock is running for the House of Delegates against RepublicanIncumbant this year! The event is this coming Tuesday night from 6:30 until 8:30 at our friend ReallyGenerous's house in Herndon. His address is (details here). Steve Shannon, Ken Plum, and Sharon Bulova will be co-hosting the event - along with many others! I really hope you'll join us. Please call (RSVP number) with any questions or to RSVP!"


Left lots of messages and talked to some really nice people. If you're in the area Tuesday night, come and mingle!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The BlogHer ads really annoy me

Have you noticed that if you try to use the back button to get out of the pages that have them, you find yourself stuck on that page? I'm going to leave a comment about it on the blogs that carry them to see if they can solve that problem.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I am Mrs. Smug Campaigner, Queen of the Doorbells

That's right, uh-huh. I did 95 doors in just a little over three hours. Yes I did. I would have done 110, but I ran out of hand-outs.

Beat that. I dare you.

And now, can someone please remind me of the mechanics of getting out of a chair? My legs seem to have gone on strike.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Last days...first days

MM's last day of first grade was Friday. He's sad that Ms. LovesTheHokies won't be his teacher any more, but is very pleased with his experience as a first grader and is ready for summer camp.

The stuff he learned this year just amazed me: they started on multiplication (he knows what 7 * 9 is!!!) I don't remember doing multiplication until 3rd grade, but then again, I went to a somewhat strange elementary school.

His handwriting and spelling are miles above where they were last year.

And he's just the sweetest little big guy in the world.

Today he starts summer camp at Posh Place. The new camp shirts are great: tie-dyed orange, white, and blue in big stripes. There's no way these kids are getting lost on field trips.

It's Monday, and that means they're going to a water park today. I don't remember where they're going tomorrow and Wednesday. This Thursday they're going to the restaurant with the pizza-serving, singing rat. Thursday night, I'm going to scrub him in water as hot as he can stand, with lots of soap, and then I'm gonna make him gargle. He is NOT going to come down with Upchuckie Sneezes.

Starting in July, they'll be having swimming lessons on Friday. This is yet another reason I love PP. I asked at the end of last summer if they could provide swimming lessons this summer, and they asked other parents if that would be something they'd want too, and they worked it out. I love that they listened and responded so well to my request.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Public Service Announcements

1) LIBRARY BOOK SALE!!!

2) Laugh for a Cure (July 11, 9:00 PM at House of Wing in Herndon). Several comedians lined up to make us laugh for the small donation of $15/head.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thirty-six doors yesterday after work

Took me less than 2 hours, which isn't bad but could be better. Met lots of nice people and had some great conversations, including one with a "big fan" of the other guy.

I can't wait to get some lit from the state-wides so that I can get double duty from my doors.

If you're free this Sunday, do you want to come with me?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another reason to be FIRED UP!!!

This was in my inbox when I got home from the kick-off:

Mystery Mommy --

Last Tuesday, Creigh Deeds won the Democratic primary for Governor of Virginia. In a hard-fought race, Creigh ran a terrific campaign and beat two fierce competitors by winning votes in every corner of the Commonwealth.

I know a thing or two about tough primaries, and I know a thing or two about running tough races in Virginia. Creigh Deeds' victory once again shows the power of people at the grassroots to win elections and bring about lasting change -- and he will be a better candidate this fall because of his hard work to win the nomination.

Creigh has been a dedicated public servant his entire life. As a county prosecutor and state legislator, he's been a strong advocate for economic development, high-quality education, and affordable health care -- and he's gone to great lengths to protect the environment and institute smart public transportation.

Now he needs your help to make sure Democrats retain the Virginia governorship. Please visit his website and get involved today.

Creigh has an ability to bring people together, build consensus and deliver results. He will bring the same bipartisan, pragmatic approach to politics that former Governor and now Senator Mark Warner and my friend Governor Tim Kaine used to help Virginia move forward over the past eight years.

I know that approach works because I've spent some time in your great Commonwealth. In my experience, Democratic candidates with a pragmatic approach to solving problems can be successful. That's the approach my campaign took last November to put Virginia in the Democratic column for the first time since 1964. And that's how Creigh Deeds will win this fall.

Learn more about Creigh, and get involved today:
http://www.deedsforvirginia.com/

I look forward to working with Creigh to keep the Commonwealth strong and to bring about the economic recovery and renewed prosperity Virginians demand and deserve.

Sincerely,
President Barack Obama


WOOT! Point me at some doors, people!

I don't know about you, but I'm getting fired up!

Was just at Jay Fisette's kick-off and had a blast. All sorts of people were there getting totally jazzed about the election. Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner, Steve Shannon, and Jim Moran were there, along with Ken Plum and a host of other luminaries.

And, bloggy fangirl that I am, I am totally psyched that I met teacherken!

The whole crowd was truly buzzing with the energy generated by our great candidates. It's going to be a great campaign season, folks. I can feel it.

Can you?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Been a bit crazy around here

Seriously, and yet not much to write about.

Except this coming week is the last week of MM's first-grade year.

I'm all verklempt.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

And the Democratic Party Nominees are...

Creigh Deeds and Jody Wagner!!!

Congratulations to the both of you!
As I said two posts ago, we had an excellent crop of candidates this year. I am really pleased that both our new nominees won so decisively - great momentum going into November!

I'm so excited to start knocking doors this weekend! MM's coming with me.

Virginia Primary Day - RIGHT NOW!

Polls opened at 0600. I voted at 0710. Was third person at my polling place to vote.

No yard signs, nobody handing out lit. Granted, our polling place is small, but still!

Candidates! Step it UP!

MM marked the ballot for me. Moran & Wagner. We both got stickers.

Now, it's your turn. If you're a Virginian, go vote!!!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Virginia Primary Day TOMORROW

I'm voting for Brian Moran for Governor and for Jody Wagner for Lt. Gov.

While I like all three candidates for Governor, Moran and I agree on more issues than the other guys and I.

And I've already told you about my lovely conversation with Jody.

Wednesday will see me happily packing the winners' lit into a bundle with ours* no matter who that is, but today I'm asking you to go tomorrow and vote for Brian and Jody. I think they are the best choices for the job.


*Look at the fun time we had at the Herndon Festival!!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

UP

...Was delightful. I think I enjoyed it more than Muffin Man and DeepVoicedFirstGrader, but they liked it very much as well.

They are now down in the playroom plotting to use Lego to take over the world while I bake brownies in the hope of achieving world peace through tummy dominination.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Blogging the Lost

Anyone see my copy of HP7? We finished HP6 last night and I can't find it.

Maybe I loaned it to someone?

I guess I'll borrow it from the library if I can't find it.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Fluff

Bought some dresses on-line from JC Penney and they arrived yesterday. One was a YES! (though it needs a bit of hemming on the bottom and taking up the shoulders on the top), one was a NO! (truly a no-hoper), and one required a second opinion. It has now been agreed that the third one is a keeper with hemming and the inclusion of a button on the jacket to make it say, "tailored" instead of "potato sack".

This is truly helpful since I will be attending several summer events and don't want to show up in the same primrose dress for all of them.

In other news, we bought new Keen sandals (alas! no orange this year) for MM and, due to the fact that I had a LOT more money on a Nordstrom's card than I thought, they cost us a grand total of $1.24.