Friday, June 30, 2006

When Bathroom etiquette and cell phone etiquette collide.

I walked into the ladies room the other day and there was a woman at the sink brushing her teeth. This is pretty normal office behavior (believe it or not), so I didn’t bat an eye. But then I heard her talking to someone. I thought – that’s odd. Because there’s no one here that she could be talking to. And then, as I pondered that, I heard her spit.

Maybe she’s talking to herself? But NO. She’s not. She’s on the PHONE. in the BATHROOM while BRUSHING HER TEETH.

Now, I’m not sure what the conversation was that may have been very dire and important that she must be talking while in the bathroom and brushing her teeth. I couldn’t tell, because she was speaking a different language than the English I am accustomed to.

So now, I’m contemplating. Can I use the bathroom? I really had to go, after two cups of coffee and an hour and half long meeting from hell. Ordinarily, I am a little peeshy, but I decided that I wasn’t going to be bullied from using the facilities. So then, the decision came up – do I flush, or do I wait in here until she’s done?

What’s the main problem with this train of thought here, folks? Is it, I don’t know, the fact that I’m concerned that I am being rude to this woman talking on the cell phone in the bathroom?

As I wrestled with this whole train of thought, the woman puts her phone down, presumably to floss, and proceeds to put the phone on speaker phone.

And that’s about when I decided to go ahead and flush.

I walked out of the stall and over to the far sink and washed my hands. I stole a peripheral glance over to the Potty Mouth and saw that she seemed unperturbed. She just turned around, picked up her phone, secured her hands free device and went into the stall, chatting away.

I left her at that point, but I remain curious – what could she be talking about? And was that a male voice I heard on the other end of the phone?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Relax? We don't know the meaning of the word...

I haven’t written recently because I’ve been busy keeping Molly quiet following her surgery last week. It would be easier to keep a roomful of preschoolers hopped up on sugar quiet than this dog. To be fair, she was very quiet when I picked her up from getting spayed on Friday (that, and angry… she wouldn’t even look me in the eye!) And she was quiet during the car ride home and when we got into the house and for about 10 seconds after that.
Ever since, it’s been a whirlwind of lifting Molly up and down from the bed (so she doesn’t pop the stitches or work too hard or feel like she’s not the center of the family… or something like that), chasing her around the living room trying to get her to stop running and refusing to let her do fun activities like sprawling in the dirt, jumping on other dogs and eating bugs (the last one doesn’t have anything to do with the surgery– it’s just gross).
Luckily, she only has about a week left before the stitches come out and she can resume normal activity. Somehow, I suspect that’s going to bear a strong resemblance to this past week anyway.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Adventures in babysitting

today marked my first baby-sitting job in about a decade. the main difference between baby-sitting now and baby-sitting then is that a) my husband was totally allowed and encouraged to be here and b) it was for my kin - that is, my 14 month old nephew, baby e.

e stands for so many things.... Elmo, endless energy, eel-like, emphatic, effervescent... i could go on, but i'm really tired, so i won't.

but let me just give you the highlights.

my sister very thoughtfully left me a two page letter, cleverly addressed to Auntie Sara and Uncle Jason. it proved to be a handy napkin for e to mop up the spilled apple juice that he managed to squeak out of a no-spill sippy cup.

but really, the first couple of hours were great. we played peek-a-boo, we sang with the puppet elmo book, we jumped up and down on auntie's stomach while pinning her down to a beanbag chair... and then we fell instantly asleep with a cup of milk, our taggie blanket and a rocking chair.

this was a nice couple of hours. and prior to 5 p.m., auntie had lots of diaper practice.

and then it was dinner time. my sister instructed me to feed him pasta (right. carbs. i should have just put some red bull in the sippy cup while i was at it). i dutifully cut the ziti with my fork into thirds, and piled the pasta on his tray. i've witnessed toddler eating habits before, so i was prepared.

but then there was the jello. as my nephew looked up at me with his expectant, sauce-covered face, i pondered my next move. jello is not a solid. it can't go right on the tray. in fact, jello, when faced with a toddler, becomes instantly liquid and messier than you ever could imagine.

i found a bowl, and what looked to be like a suitable spoon, and sat down. he looked at me with what can only be described as a maniacal grin. i had chosen to wipe clean his face and tray of all sauce particles before moving on to the next course, and he did look very angelic prior to the strawberry jello course.

he pounded the tray, but i was not buying. i spoonfed the jello, and like a little bird (with teeth), we managed to get through the jello course with only a little bit of jello in auntie's hair, down her shirt and possibly some on the chandelier.

(don't worry, jen, i totally cleaned it up. kenny helped.)

of course, dinnertime was when j decided to bail on me and go "check on the dog."

all in all, we all got along quite well. there was a lot of cuddling, a lot of playing, and eventually, a passed out baby e, a passed out husband and a very tired, but fulfilled auntie.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A four-cannon salute to dear ol’ Dad

Now, does this look like a man who would fire off cannons for fun? Who would ponder what kind of damage a beer can fired at a house could cause? Who may harbor a secret fantasy of being the small town hero who saves the day when a rogue band of hoodlums attacks out of nowhere?
Yes, yes and yes. This is my dad, he of cannon fame. He’s not actually preparing for battle in this photo, but is dressed for a speech he gave at the local historical society.
When I asked his permission to publish this photo, he said to make sure I let everyone know that he is now the proud owner of four cannons, two small and two big. Here’s his explanation:
Dad: The little ones are just salute cannons to let people know we’re being invaded.
Me: What are the big ones for?
Dad: Invasion.
The big ones haven’t been fired off yet because they need some sort of work done on them first. But the little ones are up and running… and are fired off at any opportunity (holidays, upon request, when strange people walk into the yard, etc.)
I can’t possibly be the only one with a father who mail orders 25 pounds of gunpowder, can I? (We suspect he probably made the FBI’s terrorist watch list for that eBay bid!)
A dad who spends his retirement years golfing, going on cruises or not investing in heavy artillery? Now, THAT would be crazy!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


i have no idea where this came from, because it's not a typical conversation in our household-- and certainly not our bedroom - but last night j was inspired to run through possible picks for boys and girls.

(no, i'm not pregnant. no, we're not planning yet.)

so naturally, we decided to do this via the alphabet. a -- adam, allister, arthur, agnew, adrian, albert (and all variations of). we only did this for the boys names. we have a handful of favorite girls names, which he has overnight decided that he likes. but towards the middle of the alphabet, it was less about what names we'd like for our child and more about how creative we could get with these names.

We pretty much vetoed Leviston Garret. And for a while, it was Xavier Yusef (purely for the fun factor of having a child with the intials XYZ).

i'm not sure where this sudden shift in mindset comes from, but it may be related to the rash of pregnancies popping up in the ol' insurance capital. what is it about the intials HMO and POS that drives men and women crazy?

there must be some double entendre that i'm not getting in the "consumer driven health plan" vocab.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


i have no excuse. it's been so long since i posted that my laptop reacted with a "who the hell are you" response. (actually, i had to clear my cache the other day and my blogger log in didn't auto-populate.) but, to make up for it, i'm adding a photo by popular request. bailey, at his cutest, back when he could fit on my lap -- comfortably for both of us, anyway.

i have no excuse, other than the fact that i suck. so, let me recap what you've missed:

1) bachelorette night at the rib-eye steakhouse, which caused me to remember why irish car bombs on a wednesday night are not the best plan.
2) a wedding where i actually witnessed a karaoke performance to "i like big butts"
3) i have learned what kind of underwear my (kind-of) boss wears -- and i wasn't alone in the discovery.
4) bailey has discovered a new way to annoy me at five a.m. and it involves waking me and watching me yawn, and then an impromptu display of affection
5) the setback tally may be somewhere around 423 to 212.
6) more fantastic shoe therapy, including black pinstriped pumps with crocodile toes.

i'm laying on my couch right now, trying to make up for lost blog time. (it's a good thing i have a laptop, otherwise this position would be slightly less comfortable). bails is at my feet, keeping them toasty. my energy has slowly leaked out over the past three days. today is my mom's birthday, and the plan is to sneak over to their house with some flowers and a gift so she has something to come home to. we also have big plans to sneak over their house at ungodly hour a.m. tomorrow to make eggs benedict for my dad. i'll let you know how that turns out.

but, i vow to do better. i swear. otherwise KAT has threatened more Peke-a-poop stories.

Friday, June 16, 2006

My laugh for the day...

You're preaching to the choir, brother! Ok dear readers, hopefully you have caught this not-so-subtle hint that we could use some comments, praise, complaints, humerous stories, etc. Introduce yourselves, make fun of SJ and KAT, whatever makes you happy... Our topic of the day is: What You've Been Doing With The Time You Normally Use To Comment. Talk amongst yourselves...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

College finally pays off…

After weeks of having this at the back of my mind slowly driving me insane, I finally figured out how to link certain words in an entry to past entries (like this). I’m so proud of myself, I may give myself the rest of the day off from work to celebrate (or I’ll stay in my office, surfing the Internet, pretending to work… much like I’ve been doing all week).
Remember your high school guidance counselor convincing you to apply to the most prestigious (and expensive) college because “the name” was practically guaranteed to help you get a job? Having attended one of those (not in the Ivy League, but it’s on the Forbes list “Top 100 Richest Colleges In The World That Will Still Stalk You for Money After You Graduate” or something like that).
My point is, it wasn’t this institution of higher learning (where I took classes like, “Television” and “Ideas in Mathematics”) that helped me get a job… or even helped me learn to link entries ( like this). Actually, I’ll have to give credit to my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Guerrero, for this one. It was her guidance in helping me learn to read that led to my being able to understand Blogger’s instructions about how to link entries.
So it was actually a pretty easy thing to do (although all that HTML code is kind of intimidating who didn’t have an email address until she arrived at the aforementioned University of We Assume All Our Graduates Are Huge Successes And Will Seek Thousands of Dollars In Donations From You). Seeing as how I’m not a television-watching idea maker in the field of mathematics, I’d say someone owes me a tuition refund.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'm in love...

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be some shocking confession that will leave SJ confused about whether to remain true to me or tell her husband his best friend is being cheated on. In fact, the PH knows all about my new passion… and was there when it happened.
You see, I’m in love with a house. Not a house I live in, mind you. Nope, a house that belongs to someone I’ve never even met (although I can we'd get along because we have similar decorating styles).
Since we don’t relish the thought of living in a tiny cottage on someone else’s property forever, the PH and I decided that our first house is somewhere in the near future (“near” being relative– I’m talking about at least eight months from now). We thought we’d do some homework by attending open houses yesterday.
It’s a process in itself because it involved perusing the Sunday paper, circling the houses that were in the area/ actually open that day/ in our price range/ cute, going on-line to download directions to them, wearing nice clothes so we look like we’re not wasting the agents’ time and tramping through strangers’ homes (which is kind of fun because you get to see how people decorate). We hit up a couple of homes on our list and then went by a few advertised on roadside signs.
The ranch had a huge living room and yard, but the kitchen and bedrooms were tiny. The PH said it was his favorite, but I wasn’t as enamored. The bungalow had no yard except a strip of grass with a broken-down car (we didn’t even go inside). The cape was really nice from the outside, but sat sideways in the lot and had a tiny yard and neighbors squeezed in on both sides. The split-level had two huge yards, prompting us to consider putting up a volleyball net in the front yard for regular games, but had a weird layout and was totally overpriced.
But, in the middle of all this, we happened upon my dream house. A 66-year-old house with three bedrooms, a large kitchen, a semi-finished basement and a beautiful yard full of small gardens. It had character, like the arched doorway in the living room, the built in bookcase and hutch and the garden room in the basement that provides access to tools for the gardener. It was beautiful.
Of course, as you can probably tell from my pining, it is not to be. I don’t think the owner would be willing to accept the tiny down payment we’ve saved so far, nor would she probably want to keep living there until our lease is up next year. I knew when we left our house yesterday that we wouldn’t be coming back as homeowners, but it’s still tough to pass up that place.
I guess it’s good practice for when we are ready to make an offer. And it gives me something to judge other houses against. But boy, was it hard to return to our tiny place with an overgrown field for a yard after leaving that place!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Getting personal with the vet tech...

Without getting into the details, there was a miscommunication between Molly’s parents that led to her getting fed a few hours late yesterday. Left to her own devices (and cooped up in a bathroom for two hours too long), the mischievous Peekapoo discovered the trashcan in the corner.
SJ’s advice to me when we first got the puppy was, “Tuck in the shower curtain, keep the toilet seat down… oh, you know what to do…” For a while, we did. We kept the can outside the bathroom (nothing says “welcome to our humble abode” like trash in the living room) and vigilantly tucked in the shower curtain, put down the toilet seat (actually, one member of our household has always done this while the PH is still acclimating to it) and made sure all towels were hung out of the reach of our tiny terror.
But, with time, we slacked off on puppy-proofing the room and had no problems. Until yesterday. I came home to a dog that very clearly needed a few moments in the field out back… and a bathroom of strewn garbage. Again, without going into detail, I will only say that it involved a lot of torn tissue, a few wrappers… and a possible missing feminine product.
A panicked call to the vet later (what kind of tampons I use is probably now part of Molly’s medical records!), we were able to relax. The very nice vet tech explained that a dog of Molly’s size probably wouldn’t be able to ingest the thing whole in one gulp and had chewed it into tiny bits before swallowing it. Well, thank goodness for that! In any case, we were told to keep an eye on her and to never, ever let it happen again (just kidding about that second part, but I would have accepted a good scolding since I was beating myself up about it anyway). In any case, the puppy was as energetic as ever and it seems that it was a false alarm.
I don’t relish the idea of ever having to inventory my garbage again, so, if you come for a visit, please throw out your tissues in the living room.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Family Ties meets the Great Outdoors

I apologize. It’s been a long time since I posted. but, as you are now aware, it’s true. I was fishing. with my family. and by family, I mean, my spouse, my parents, my sister, her spouse and her one-year old spawn of Elmo and Vanilla lce. in upstate Vermont. where asking for “wireless Internet” is kind of like asking for a salad at Ben and Jerry’s.

so, apparently, there are parts of me that are at odds with my Vermont fishing self. (which clearly shows you how my coworkers don’t know me at all – I mean, I once spent a good two hours tromping around in the mud to rescue orphaned pollywogs from a pool cover).

Because when I returned to work, the concept was way too foreign for my co-workers to manage.

“you went fishing? like …. for fish with lures and bait and everything?”

“yes. I caught a large toothed fish, too.” (so confession time – every fish with teeth, I had my dad take off the hook. I value my digits and I like to think my dad likes still being my dad.)

“but. you? went fishing?”

why is that so hard to believe? is it because of my staunch high-heels make you feel good/anti-black nylons position?

so, what I learned from my summer vacation is this: I’m not ready for children – mostly because I’m not ready for more Vanilla Ice. My mother, in her grandmotherly glory, bought a snowman that sings “Ice, Ice Baby” for baby e. And oh good lord. if I hear one more chorus of that song, I shall do something very bad with that snowman.

and on Sunday, I had a baby shower. we went from talking about the crazy things we did when we were younger (like 8 years ago) to the benefits of Tums. I wish I was kidding.