Friday, April 28, 2006

I (Heart) Corporate America

I know I need to develop a thicker skin. I’ve been aware of that for a while, actually.

For three days, I sat in roomful of opinionated, overweight white guys, listening to their arguments go around and around for hours, and leaving each day feeling like a bus had run me over and then backed over me and run me over again, just to make sure it had made its point.

After lunch on Wednesday the Marketing Deity himself took a moment to tell me how great it was that I could be there, because most people on my “level” never have an opportunity to see firsthand the important discussions that take place in these meetings.

(Yes! Thank you Marketing Deity! I am so very grateful that you allow a lowly maggot like me to be locked up in a hotel meeting room with these people for three days! Your generosity, it knows no bounds!)

Since Wednesday, his comment has gnawed at me. Since Wednesday, I have been irritated with myself for allowing his comment, which I'm sure neither he nor his staggeringly large ego even remember making, to gnaw at me.

This morning, back into my regular routine and once again in the company of my posse of co-workers, I was enthusiastically reassured that I am not overly sensitive. The man is sorely lacking in the people skills department. And they were happy to provide me with detailed examples in support of this fact.

What a relief to be around people who speak my language again.

(But I’m still going to work on that thicker skin thing.)

Monday, April 24, 2006

All Hope For The Future is Riding On Hashbrowns

The DemiGoddesses are taking standardized tests at school today and tomorrow. They love these test days because they get to point out to me that all the teachers reminded them to bring several sharpened #2 pencils and to eat a good, BIG breakfast on both test days.

“We must have eggs! And bacon! And hashbrowns!” they cheerfully reported, not actually saying but clearly implying that I will get up early and I will cook, or they will both do badly and their tragically (and entirely preventable) low test scores will keep them way, way out of the honors program and will not only dash any hope of scholarship money but also certainly make acceptance to decent colleges out of the question. Their resulting lifetimes of poverty and dismal dead-end jobs will be all. My. Fault.

Oh, the humanity.

In spite of their very clear instructions, I decided to nix the hashbrowns (they take too long and the carb overload would have only made them too sleepy to think). And since every egg in the house had been hard-boiled and dyed for Easter, their test day power meal turned out to consist of leftover Easter eggs and turkey bacon, along with a quick fruit salad that I threw together with bananas, peach yogurt and mixed berries. Because blueberries are brain food, of course.

It wasn’t exactly a breakfast bonanza, but it was a step up from their usual Eggo waffles, and I think I did pretty well considering that my electric skillet is still buried somewhere in the sunroom. (How much more efficient cooking becomes when there are no doors on any of the cabinets!)

The truth is that it was all for show, anyway. The Demis always do well on these tests, and I am really not one bit worried about their scores.

Besides which, getting up early this morning turned out to be easy due to the anxious dreams I had all night about being late for the agonizing three-day-meetings and forgetting to wake the children in time for their pre-standardized-test hashbrowns.

Friday, April 21, 2006

In Which I Wallow in Self Pity

The latest agonizing three-day meeting is scheduled to begin next Tuesday. These quarterly meetings are a *BIG DEAL* at my place of employment, and are attended by many vendors, agency reps and important clients from all over the country. Because my job requires me to spend all three days of this meeting seated at a table at the front of a giant hotel meeting room alongside the highest level executives at my corporation (which, by the way, is the only time I am ever seated within three floors of the highest level executives at my corporation), I like to try to dress a little more professionally than normal on those days.

This presents a little bit of a problem.

My office is pro-casual, and at home I’m all about jeans and T-shirts, so there’s never been a lot of professional wear in my closet. Then, three years ago I lost 35 pounds, and around that same time my financial situation went deep, deep into the toilet.

While I managed to gradually restock my everyday wardrobe with size-smaller clothes through a few fortuitous trips to the thrift store and my stint at Old Navy (subtract my employee discount from the clearance price and, yeah, I think I can squeeze $1.79 out of the grocery budget and splurge on this pair of khakis—the children can put water instead of milk on their Cheerios for a couple of days…), to this day, my closet still contains a number of dressier shirts and jackets that I refer to as “my fat clothes.” They don’t fit. They’re unflattering. But they stayed in the closet because it was either them or nothing at all.

My high-school social studies teacher taught me that economics is about using limited resources to satisfy unlimited wants. Although I could debate whether being required by the city to pay them to remove the Dutch elm-diseased tree in my back yard qualifies as a “want,” I have come to understand the concept of prioritizing when funds are limited. So even now that my finances have improved somewhat, the “fat clothes” remain in the closet because the Demigoddesses both needed glasses, Demi the Elder needed braces, the car needed two new distributor caps in two years and, oh yeah, I still don’t know how much the work on my leaky house is going to end up costing me.

But yesterday I decided that enough is enough. After three years, my old clothes have finally reached an acceptable level of depreciation, and I cannot face another agonizing three-day meeting wearing ill-fitting, outdated clothing. So I went to the mall.

Scouring through the clearance racks in four different stores, I came up with two shirts, a beaded cardigan and two jackets, all of which had been marked down at least twice. In all, my new wardrobe cost the extravagant sum of $80.

The guilt set in immediately.

All evening long I silently berated myself for spending such an outrageous amount of money on frivolities in the same month when I paid taxes, had a new master cylinder put on the car, and still have to buy knobs and hinges for all the kitchen cabinets. Just a few days ago, I warned the Demis not to ask me for a single cent—not even lunch money—until the end of the month. And then I went and lost my mind and wantonly flung money all over the mall. What was I thinking?

So I tried all the new clothes on again and gave them one more good look in the mirror. One of the jackets really didn’t fit quite right. And I wasn’t completely in love with the color of one shirt. And the beads on the cardigan? They would probably fall off before too long anyway.

So. Back to the mall with me. I’m keeping one shirt and one jacket and returning the rest. I feel so very reasonable and mature, and I know it’s the right thing to do, but God DAMN it sucks to be a grownup sometimes.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Oh, Just Go Watch TV, Then.

DemiGoddess the Younger: I'm bored.

EverydaySuperGoddess: It's a beautiful day. Go outside and play.

DY: But... I don't have any friends.

ESG: How very unfortunate. But that's exactly why we have a dog. Play with her.

DY: She bites me. She's full of violent rage.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rock On, Sisters

A few weeks ago I was on the couch watching the Twins play the Red Sox in one of their first televised spring training games when there was a knock on my front door. I assumed, since baseball was on, that My Ho had dropped by unannounced to watch the game with me, because that is the sort of thing he sometimes does, usually bearing ice cream or buffalo wings (as I have mentioned previously, he is the best boyfriend ever). But that night when I opened the door, to my bitter disappointment, it was not My Ho at all. Two women with clipboards were on my doorstep.

Crap, I thought, they're selling something. And now I’ve gone and answered the door and rendered useless my usual passive/aggressive ignore-the-knocking-until-they-go-away approach. I had left myself with no choice but to resort to Plan B: Thinly Disguised Rudeness.

I mustered up my “are you REALLY going to try and sell me something when baseball is on?” face, and opened my mouth to implement Plan B. But before I could make a sound, the clipboard woman with crayon red-dyed hair said, “Hi, we’re here from Pro Choice Minnesota.”

(Cue the scratching record needle sound clip.)

“Oh my God,” I said. “Where do I sign?”

They tried to give me the pitch anyway, about South Dakota and Mississippi and Missouri, about how women's health and rights are being jeapordized all over the country, and I said, “I know! It’s terrifying! GIVE ME THE CLIPBOARD!”

As I added my name and address to the list of signatures they’d already collected, they told me they were going door to door trying to raise support and funds. On behalf of my daughters, my sisters, my niece and myself, I thanked them sincerely.
And then I went and got my checkbook.

There aren’t many good reasons to interrupt me when baseball is on (my children will testify to that). But that was a good one.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Still. Painting.

Friday I spent the day scrubbing years of accumulated grease and grime off my kitchen cabinets, and removing the cupboard doors and all the hardware.

Saturday I taped and primed the cabinets and woodwork. Applying “Super Gripper” primer was a little bit like painting with glue, but even so, one coat didn’t completely cover the dark stain. So I taped and primed again. After that I had to stop because it was 2:00 a.m., and I was out of tape. Again.

Yesterday I couldn't buy any more because all the stores were closed for Easter, which is probably just as well. After brunch with the family at my mom and dad’s house, My Ho took the DemiGoddesses and me to the Twins game, and I spent much of the day nibbling chocolate, picking primer off my person (I look like I have some kind of horrible blotchy white peeling skin disease), and not taping or painting anything at all. Not even a drawer front.

Which brings us to today, otherwise known as day eleven of my kitchen improvement adventure. My microwave and toaster oven remain on the dining room table. The silverware is still buried under a growing pile of mail on the buffet. The stove and refrigerator are covered with plastic dropcloths and miscellaneous hardware items. One side of the kitchen sink contains dirty dishes, the other side contains a bucket of TSP substitute. Little bits of wallpaper have been tracked all over the house. The DemiGoddesses have lived on takeout food for over a week, and today I spent my lunch hour at Home Depot buying drawer pulls and (surprise!) more tape.

The chaos that has consumed my house is making me crazy. But I will persevere. I will endure.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Bring On The Chocolate Bunnies

(Reprinted without any permission whatsoever, but totally worth the danger of being sued...)

Jesus Shaves
by David Sedaris

"And what does one do on the fourteenth of July? Does one celebrate Bastille Day?"

It was my second month of French class, and the teacher was leading us in an exercise designed to promote the use of one, our latest personal pronoun.

"Might one sing on Bastille Day?" she asked. "Might one dance in the street? Somebody give me an answer."

Printed in our textbooks was a list of major holidays alongside a scattered arrangement of photos depicting French people in the act of celebration. The object was to match the holiday with the corresponding picture. It was simple enough but seemed an exercise better suited to the use of the word they. I didn't know about the rest of the class, but when Bastille Day eventually rolled around, I planned to stay home and clean my oven.

Normally, when working from the book, it was my habit to tune out my fellow students and scout ahead, concentrating on the question I'd calculated might fall to me, but this afternoon, we were veering from the usual format. Questions were answered on a volunteer basis, and I was able to sit back, confident that the same few students would do the talking. Today's discussion was dominated by an Italian nanny, two chatty Poles, and a pouty, plump Moroccan woman who had grown up speaking French and had enrolled in the class to improve her spelling. She'd covered these lessons back in the third grade and took every opportunity to demonstrate her superiority. A question would be asked and she'd give the answer, behaving as though this were a game show and, if quick enough, she might go home with a tropical vacation or a side-by-side refrigerator-freezer. By the end of her first day, she'd raised her hand so many times, her shoulder had given out. Now she just leaned back in her seat and shouted the answers, her bronzed arms folded across her chest like some great grammar genie.

We finished discussing Bastille Day, and the teacher moved on to Easter, which was represented in our textbook by a black-and-white photograph of a chocolate bell lying upon a bed of palm fronds.

"And what does one do on Easter? Would anyone like to tell us?"

The Italian nanny was attempting to answer the question when the Moroccan student interrupted, shouting, "Excuse me, but what's an Easter?"

Despite her having grown up in a Muslim country, it seemed she might have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. "I mean it," she said. "I have no idea what you people are talking about."

The teacher then called upon the rest of us to explain.

The Poles led the charge to the best of their ability. "It is," said one, "a party for the little boy of God who call his self Jesus and...oh, ****."

She faltered, and her fellow countryman came to her aid.

"He call his self Jesus, and then he be die one day on two...morsels of...lumber."

The rest of the class jumped in, offering bits of information that would have given the pope an aneurysm.

"He die one day, and then he go above of my head to live with your father."

"He weared the long hair, and after he died, the first day he come back here for to say hello to the peoples." "He nice, the Jesus."

"He make the good things, and on the Easter we be sad because somebody makes him dead today."

Part of the problem had to do with grammar. Simple nouns such as cross and resurrection were beyond our grasp, let alone such complicated reflexive phrases as "To give of yourself your only begotten son." Faced with the challenge of explaining the cornerstone of Christianity, we did what any self-respecting group of people might do. We talked about food instead.

"Easter is a party for to eat of the lamb," the Italian nanny explained. "One, too, may eat of the chocolate."

"And who brings the chocolate?" the teacher asked.

I knew the word, and so I raised my hand, saying, "The Rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate."

My classmates reacted as though I'd attributed the delivery to the Antichrist. They were mortified.

"A rabbit?" The teacher, assuming I'd used the wrong word, positioned her index fingers on top of her head, wiggling them as though they were ears. "You mean one of these? A rabbit rabbit?"

"Well, sure," I said. "He come in the night when one sleep on a bed. With a hand he have the basket and foods."

The teacher sadly shook her head, as if this explained everything that was wrong with my country. "No, no," she said. "Here in France the chocolate is brought by the big bell that flies in from Rome."

I called for a time-out. "But how do the bell know where you live?"

"Well," she said, "how does a rabbit?"

It was a decent point, but at least a rabbit has eyes. That's a start. Rabbits move from place to place, while most bells can only go back and forth--and they can't even do that on their own power. On top of that, the Easter Bunny has character; he's someone you'd like to meet and shake hands with. A bell has all the personality of a cast-iron skillet. It's like saying that come Christmas, a magic dustpan flies in from the North Pole, led by eight flying cinder blocks. Who wants to stay up all night so they can see a bell? And why fly one in from Rome when they've got more bells than they know what to do with right here in Paris? That's the most implausible aspect of the whole story, as there's no way the bells of France would allow a foreign worker to fly in and take their jobs. That Roman bell would be lucky to get work cleaning up after a French bell's dog--and even then he'd need papers. It just didn't add up.

Nothing we said was of any help to the Moroccan student. A dead man with long hair supposedly living with her father, a leg of lamb served with palm fronds and chocolate. Confused and disgusted, she shrugged her massive shoulders and turned her attention back to the comic book she kept hidden beneath her binder. I wondered then if, without the language barrier, my classmates and I could have done a better job making sense of Christianity, an idea that sounds pretty far-fetched to begin with.

In communicating any religious belief, the operative word is faith, a concept illustrated by our very presence in that classroom. Why bother struggling with the grammar lessons of a six-year-old if each of us didn't believe that, against all reason, we might eventually improve? If I could hope to one day carry on a fluent conversation, it was a relatively short leap to believing that a rabbit might visit my home in the middle of the night, leaving behind a handful of chocolate kisses and a carton of menthol cigarettes. So why stop there? If I could believe in myself, why not give other improbabilities the benefit of the doubt? I accepted the idea that an omniscient God had cast me in his own image and that he watched over me and guided me from one place to the next. The virgin birth, the resurrection, and the countless miracles-my heart expanded to encompass all the wonders and possibilities of the universe.

A bell, though, that's ****ed up.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of My Dog

Fucking Rabbits!
FUCKING rabbits!
Fucking RABBITS!!



She got out yesterday afternoon. I forgot I had left the deck door open, to help dry the primer in the kitchen. Through the sliding glass door I glimpsed a pale gray arc streaking over the chain link fence and I knew, too late, she was gone.

It’s hard to begrudge her when she escapes. She lives to run, and up at the lake, where I can set her free to roam in the woods, she is in dog heaven. At home in the suburbs, though, there are laws against that sort of thing. Every time she gets out, I worry that she’ll get hit by a car, or pester a neighbor, or, worse, happen upon another unsuspecting poodle. I have bailed her out of dog jail twice, and have resolved loudly on many occasions to give her away to someone who has a farm where she can run and run and run and run. It’s the humane thing to do. But I don't. Because I adore her.

She tears in and out between the houses, under hedges and over fences, a flashing, fluid torment to the neighborhood wildlife which, truth be told, is really getting out of hand anyway. She doesn't usually go far, and she runs out of steam before too long. After a while, if I'm lucky, I'll hold open the door for her and she'll trot cheerfully back inside, proudly sporting her latest fragrance, "eau de rotting carcass."

She goes directly to her bowl for a long, sloppy drink before collapsing onto the kitchen floor, thumping her tail on the linoleum and grinning gratefully.

Fucking rabbits.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hopeful. Yes.

Well shut my mouth and call me Clyde, the Twins went and won their home opener last night. Nearly all the things I asked for in yesterday’s post came true. Bradke didn’t strike out every batter in the first inning, but he did strike out two of them, and third was put out without much trouble, without any of his usual first inning giving up of homerun after blessed homerun (Not until the second inning, anyway. Progress, not perfection.) Rondell White got a hit (as did pretty much everyone else), and Batista? Totally Boyfriend of the Day.

I’m thinking I should have asked for more. Like peace in the middle east, an all-liberal supreme court, cures for cancer and AIDS, and, oh yeah, a nice little Powerball win so I can pay for the DemiGoddesses’ college tuition and also buy that gorgeous bungalow that’s for sale over on Webster Avenue. Because, let’s face it, at this time yesterday, it all seemed about equally likely.

But hindsight, it is 20/20. The opportunity has passed, and even without the pork-barrel wishes, I’ll take the “hope opener” exactly as it was. Thanks, fellas.

Today’s Kitchen Improvement Task: The Priming of the Walls

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hello Again My Darling Beloveds. It’s been too, too long.

Tonight is the Twins home opener—and just now I accidentally typed “hope opener,” which, in a way, it is as well. Because the Twins’ first two series in Toronto and Cleveland were, let’s say, disappointing. But tonight they return to our own glorious Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, to face Oakland on the home Astroturf, before legions of fans who adore them unconditionally. The fans who love them even when they are plagued by both a weak offense and, remarkably, a less-than-stellar defense. The fans who continue to choose to ignore the 2005 season, and also the eerie similarities between it and the last six games.

The Twins will bask in all of that unconditional love and will be inspired to turn it around and begin fulfilling the potential that we insist they have. Tony Batista will become a third-base powerhouse. Designated hitter Rondell White will actually, you know, get some hits. And Brad Radke will strike out every batter in the first inning. And the second. And the third.

I need this blind optimism. I need a “hope opener” to counteract the growing sense of inadequacy I feel when I look at my poor, chaotic kitchen. Because, in spite of having completed painting the ceiling yesterday, late last night as I looked around at the mess, as I thought of the days of work that still lie ahead, a horrible thought came to me. A tiny voice inside my head asked, “What if, when all this work is done, this kitchen is just as ratty looking as it was before? What if it ends up just as ratty looking, only in a different color?”

Monday, April 10, 2006

Born Blue

The painting of the cupboards was the part I was dreading. Removing the hardware, cleaning, sanding--all of the prep work was going to take a lot of work, not to mention the actual painting. The walls? That was supposed to be the easy part. I was just gonna rip off that peeling wallpaper, clean off the glue and be good to go.

Except that underneath that peeling wallpaper was another layer of peeling wallpaper. And underneath that second layer of peeling wallpaper was a third layer of wallpaper that was not peeling at all. In fact, that third layer, with its vertical stripes of fat yellow and orange flowers (which, actually, complemented the exposed insulation in the sunroom rather nicely), appeared determined to stay exactly where it was. And given that it had probably been exactly where it was since 1964, I knew I was in for a battle that would make the wallpaper nightmare I once defeated in the bathroom look like a pedicure at Spalon Montage.

One day and two bottles of Dif Stripping Gel Spray later, I was miserable and aching and still had two and a half walls to go. That’s when I happened to notice the fine print on the back of the Dif spray bottle, under the words “Safe! Fresh Scent!” where it said, “This product contains chemicals that the State of California has determined to cause cancer.”

Clearly I needed a new tactic, but the thought of making a trip to the hardware store to try and rent a steamer only enhanced my misery.

My Ho happened to call just then. He asked, “Can I bring you anything?” Because he is good like that. I knew he was talking about lunch or maybe even an Icee, but in a self-pity drenched moment of snark I answered, “Yeah, you can bring me a steamer. Do you happen to have one of those handy?” There was a brief pause, and then My Ho, who is now my hero, spoke these fateful words:

“I have one of those little Scunci steamers. Would that work?”

I nearly wept with joy.

I (Heart) You

Through the course of the day yesterday, I discovered traces of two more wallpaper layers. For those of you who are not so good with the numbers, that’s a total of FIVE.

Relieved of their unsightly burden, the walls in my kitchen have now been stripped all the way down to the paint they were born in. Way back in 1940, it came into the world a shade of pale, pre-war baby blue.

It's very sweet, really.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Spring is Here, and You Know What That Means

Every year about this time, for just a few weeks, small window of opportunity opens. The weather becomes warm enough to finally crack the windows and let some fresh air in, but summer’s heat and humidity have yet to descend. The dark months of winter give way to spring sunshine that illuminates the dingy, neglected corners of the house. The robins have returned to the yard, baseball is back on TV, and it’s time for me to paint something.

This year, I’m overdue. What had become a ritual rite of spring for me was thrown off last year by my second, part-time job. The window of opportunity came and went while I was busily straightening stacks of Perfect Fit V-Neck Tees and pitching Old Navy credit cards for grocery money. But now, with a new floor scheduled to be installed later this spring, the time has come to undertake my most ambitious project to date. I’m going to paint my kitchen. Cabinets, too.

When we moved into our house back in the summer of 1997, I looked at the pale blue and mauve wallpaper border in the kitchen, the one with the precious little gingerbread-style houses and the kitties and puppies printed on it. I looked at that wallpaper border and I thought, “That hideousness has got to GO. IMMEDIATELY.”

Nine years later, it’s still there. And daily, it mocks me. One by one, the knobs on the cabinets have broken and detached themselves. The dark stained wood of the cupboards has grown progressively darker and more grimy.

I would love to rip out the whole mess and replace it with brand new cabinets and countertops. Or, even better, get rid of the entire leaky, dingy, crawling-with-ants (Already! In April!) house and buy me a fancy new one with a giant, sparkling kitchen featuring ample storage space and task lighting. But given the budget constraints involved, the only thing I will be replacing is the hardware. And maybe a that miserable kitchen faucet. Maybe.

Doors and hardware will be removed. Surfaces will be cleaned and sanded and cleaned again. Professional paint store people will be consulted. There will be priming, and there WILL be painting. Emboldened by past victories in first one bedroom, and then another, by the transformation I imparted in the sunroom, and by my triumph over unimaginable adversity in the bathroom (and the nightmare wallpaper that had been ionically bonded to the walls since 1947), I am braced to give it a go. Tomorrow, I will embark on a reconnaissance mission to Home Depot.

Pray for me.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mmmmm… Tastes Like NASCAR

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Crock-Pot® slow cooker as much as the next culinarily-challenged Goddess.

But for some reason, this particular item represents everything about America that makes me want to move to Canada:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Have Fun in Your New Foster Home

The Twins lost their season opener against Toronto last night, but my disappointment was tempered somewhat by the fact that I was able to watch the game in the company of a gaggle of Batgirl fans and friends-of-Batgirl-fans. The evening included appearances by Ms. Clara the exceptionally beautiful and well-behaved Batbaby, and Twins bloggers Twins Geek, Frightwig and Aaron Gleeman.

Eavesdropping on conversations between those guys, Batgirl and My Ho was an educational, if humbling, experience. They know ball in a way that I still only aspire to, and while I hope to one day be able to hold up my end of a conversation about Johan Santana’s ERA during early season games, for now I mostly just listen and keep my mouth shut. Because I am rather proud of the progress my technical knowledge of the game of baseball has made over the past few years, but I admit that a part of me is still in it for the hot guys in baseball pants.

(Speaking of which, Johan may have had a less than stellar first outing of 2006, but his butt waggle is already in excellent form. Must be those games he played in the WBC. Viva Venezuela!)

The gathering took place in a bowling alley/restaurant/bar not too far from my house, and I brought the DemiGoddesses along, as per usual. They like hanging around in bars watching grownups drink alcohol and watch baseball on TV. Really. And anyway, I wasn’t the only parent of questionable judgment there. One of Demi the Elder’s best friends and her dad also joined us, and because we cannot go out in public without My Ho running into someone he knows, it turned out that the friend’s dad and My Ho went to college together.

Of COURSE they did. Because the world is tiny and My Ho has worked with or gone to school with or coached basketball with every third person in it.

In the end, the game was over in plenty of time for us to get home and to bed at a reasonable hour. But even so, this morning at breakfast, when Demi the Younger said she was going to tell her teachers at the junior high all about how she spent last evening, my reply was, “Super. You go right ahead and do that. I’m sure your new foster parents will be much nicer than I am, anyway.”

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Year's at the Spring

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
The season opener’s at seven*;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
Santana’s from heaven—
All's right with the world!

—Robert Browning

*Eastern Time, Six Central

Monday, April 03, 2006

Joyfully Expressing While Doing the Laundry

Gigglin' Holler-glop With Color-Safe Bleach

We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging

Sorry for my silence last week. I was sicker than I have been in a long, long time, the effects of which continue to linger in the form of an alarming sounding cough that last night caused me to ask My Ho, "So, how long should I live with this hacking before I go and get a chest x-ray?" I do actually feel a lot better, so I'm going to give it a couple more days.

The problem with being a sick single parent is that when I'm down for the count, nothing gets done. The mountain of laundry that has accumulated in my basement would make a grown man weep. And it's funny how I can go an entire week without cooking and yet, the dirty dishes still pile up. The Demigoddesses took turns loading and unloading the dishwasher at various points during my illness, but it seems they do not possess the engineering skills necessary to fit all of the dirty dishes into the washer at one time.

So over the weekend, once it was clear that I could, in fact, be vertical for more than five minutes at a stretch, I spent a good deal of time digging out. We've got a way to go yet, but both Demis had clean pants to wear to school today, so that's something.

I guess that's what I get for scoffing at the idea of getting a flu shot.