Saturday, July 30, 2005

More D.D.

There are few things in the world my child loves more than water, string, and paper, or any combination thereof. [The mini-crossbow with suction-cup arrows she got from a magazine in the meantime might be giving the other bits a run for their money, though.] L.H. and I have seen a wide variety of mail games D.D. came up with on her own: Delivery Duck, who speaks in a robotic quack; Letter in a Bottle, which requires a full bathtub and an empty soda bottle; the Mail Basket, which is an Easter basket tied, with a string, to the upper railing on the stairs and hoisted up and down between sender and addressee; and your basic Mailbox, which started out as a Lego box, but through the power of D.D.'s imagination and a coat of paint, has become—a mailbox!

As I've been cleaning out D.D.'s toy boxes (a couple of Rubbermaid storage bins and a cardboard box left over from our trip to Texas at xmas), I have come across more bits of paper and pieces of string and yarn than a whole kindergarten art class could use in a year. Once I got all the string detached from her toys, I made a mental note to address the string tied to every knob, bed-rail, and handle in her room tomorrow. Too tired today. Frankly, I'm surprised she hasn't accidentally strangled herself by now.

Once I finished the first toy box, I was covered in dirt and glitter, so I felt filthy but glamorous. Fortunately the other boxes turned out to be much cleaner. Hoorah! The boxes are sorted and repacked, but I still have to go through a couple of shelves in the cabinet and the space under her playbed, then actually *clean*, like with the vacuum and a dustrag. A mother's work is never done.

D.D. should actually be helping me more, seeing how she has so much free time on her hands. I'm not talking about school vacation; she is restricted from tv over the weekend because she used up *an entire bottle of dishsoap* washing a toy tea set with only 3 place settings. L.H. and I still haven't figured out how she managed to do it: she was only out of the room 5 or 10 minutes, and there was no mountain of suds to indicate that *an entire bottle of dishsoap* had just been used up. She got punished because this is not the first time she's done something like this, and she's been warned not to do it. It is really frustrating to be giving her a bath and find that both the liquid soap and the shampoo bottles have been filled with water, so there is about 5% soap to 95% water. Aargh!

She has tried to be more helpful around the house to make up for it, like being my quiche-mixing helper and table-setter last night, but she's going to find that from now on, she's going to have more chores, if only to keep her out of trouble.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Correction to July 26

L.H.'s comment about my abruptly ending post from a few days ago actually referred to the fact that several lines disappeared between typing and posting, not my bad post-ending skills. So I dug out the original post (thank goodness I learned my lesson from using Hotmail not to type directly into a Web-based program) and have fixed it. Sorry.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Just Call Me Cussy McFoulmouth

Despite evidence to the contrary here, I really don't curse that much. Well, I don't consider it to be much: my daughter is not unfamiliar with the words "crap" and "ass." But I try not to let it be every other word. Of course, all bets are off when I'm driving the hairpin-filled road over the hill to get D.D. to ballet. Last week was particularly bad; *three* assholes had driven over the line into my lane in a curve. Hel-lo! White lines, people, use 'em! I have noticed a lot of the locals kind of aimlessly slaloming up and down the hill, and it drives me batshit, because—dangerous!

So I'm glad that D.D. has way outgrown the parroting stage, because the grandparents would be treated to a tiny-voiced rendition of "Goddamn! Asshole!" [Yes, two separate words—one to curse the situation and one to curse the shit-for-brains endangering our lives.] Worse for me, D.D. is in the reminding stage, so I get to hear that I shouldn't say such bad words. I'm thinking, "Hey, kid, you're lucky I don't have a missile launcher on this car, because the input from your eyes would be much worse than that from your ears."

She's not Miss Perfect, either, let me tell you. While trying to construct a temple out of Legos (so she'll be an architect instead of an engineer!), there was a repeated series of collapses during the roof-building phase, followed each time by an angry "shit!" So I got to be the reminder, which is actually the natural order of things.

Now I'm remembering when she was a toddler, and she'd refuse something to eat by saying, "I don't want that cwap!" It was so funny that we had a hard time scolding her with a straight face.

But it's not all cursing and carrying on at Chez Nee.

D.D. decided the other night that her tie-dye t-shirt just wasn't fancy enough, so she bummed some gold ribbon off me and began to sew it in a big bow on the front, then to take the extra and make a loopy pattern across the stomach. Tres chic!

She and her friends have decided to make an all-girls club, and they call themselves the "Wild Girls", after the soccer movie called Die Wilden Kerle (the wild guys). The only thing is, the other girls in their class also want to be the Wild Girls, so it's a permanent point of contention between the groups, I'm afraid.

Yesterday was D.D.'s last day of school. She has 6 weeks off for summer vacation and goes back in mid-September. She was awake for 10 minutes this morning before she declared that she was bored. It's going to be a long 6 weeks.

I just hope she goes back to staying in her own bed all night. One morning at 5 am, I heard her alarm go off, then she came cheerfully traipsing up the stairs with her tiny American Girl lamp as a flashlight (15 watts can be pretty bright in a dark room). She was quite proud that she had gotten herself up, but I was less pleased to be awoken when I had an oral exam a mere 4 hours later. Then last night she made it into our bed again. Of course, it was stiflingly hot, so I can understand that it was hard to sleep. L.H. hooked us up with the fan, and we managed to sleep the rest of the night in slightly crowded coolness. (LMIL: it clouded over this morning, so that makes 1 hot day for about 8 cool days; think you guys can handle that?)

We heard this horrible song on the American radio station. It was a "heavy-ish" rock song, and the chorus was something about "Have a Nice Day", sung in this kind of tough-guy, growly voice. It was the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I couldn't tell if it was supposed to be ironic or sarcastic, which would make it seem more acceptable in my book, but I got the impression it was sung straight. I mean, did the band have a big, yellow smiley face on their album cover? Are the other songs on the album "Y'all Come Back and See Us" and a remake of "You Are My Sunshine"?

As much as I'd like to blather the day away, D.D. and I have a date with her horribly messy room.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

You wanted photos, you got photos! Here is the perfect dress for a hooker on her big day. Posted by Picasa

A Week of Fun

L.H. pointed out that my last post ended rather abruptly; to tell you the truth, I ran out of steam and notes at the same time. But you are free to think that I was abducted by aliens at that point, or that I was rendered unconscious by the neighbor's "washing machine music," as L.H. calls it.


Life didn't come to a complete halt for us once the university semester was over on July 15. L.H. is just now finishing up the last of his grading, and I had the 2-part Latin exam looming over my head. Plus I had a week of marinating in Harry Potter 6.

I did manage to crank out a baby outfit over the weekend for a friend who is due in August. D.D. and I had checked out 2 DVDs from the book bus, so I spent a lot of my weekend crocheting and watching Monsters, Inc. and Bend it Like Beckham. I'm a whirlwind of activity! [There's a scene in BILB where the heroine is being fitted for a sari, and the seamstress quips, "I'll make these mosquito bites look like juicy, juicy mangos." Damn! Why isn't she my seamstress?]

I have also spent a lot of time being a grouch. I blame it on hormones, or maybe the thought of my second Latin exam poking me in the brain. Of course, one day I think we all got up on the wrong side of the bed, because none of us could be civil. "L."H. even asked if I was "riding the crimson wave," to which I responded that he was a "whirling vortex of suckitude." That put us in a better mood; L.H. has suggested that we start using my new phrase everywhere. [Actually, I *think* I came up with it on my own, but I'm like a word-magpie, picking up shiny words I come across. So I don't want to make any easily refutable claims.]

L.H. had a really crappy Monday last week, even compared to mine. I had the 3-hour Latin exam, but he locked himself out of the house. He was scheduled to pick up D.D. from school and take her with him to a meeting on campus. As it so happens, HP6 was delivered that afternoon, and in his haste to dress (it was a hot, muggy day) and meet the mail man in the stairwell, he left his keys inside. With every window in the house open against the heat, a pretty strong breeze gets drawn into the apartment...and the front door slammed shut. L.H. was so flustered by being locked out that he forgot he had shoes in the wardrobe in the stairwell and went to pick up D.D. *barefoot*. The new neighbors let the 2 of them stay there and tried to call the landlord. When they got ahold of him, his helpful advice was to borrow a ladder from his shop downstairs and climb up the roof to the open terrace door (on the 4th floor). The whole afternoon was a disaster.

Then another day he had a minor accident on his bike.

[Oh, no! The Maniacal Laughing Woman just got on the bus!]

All in all, it was not one of his better weeks.

[Now she is talking loudly to herself, to the point that the guy behind her got up and moved to the back of the bus.]

Yesterday while on an errand, I walked past an unfortunate example of why tanning is bad. This woman was probably 60. She had on a blouse with a wide neck, which had slipped off her shoulder. There was no bra strap, so I got an eyeful of a broad expanse of what appeared to be rich, Corinthian leather. *shudder*

We have spotted more doppelgangers this semester. A friend of a friend was teaching D.D. belly dance, and it turns out that she looks almost *exactly* like my friend Dani, down to the color of her hair and the style of her makeup. And a guy in my Latin class is the spitting image of her husband, Jason, if only Jason grew his hair out waist length and dyed it black. It's getting a little freaky.

Every few weeks, an old, white van will be parked across the street, then after another couple of weeks, it'll be gone. I don't know if the owner has a work schedule like on an off-shore oil rig—2 weeks home, 4 weeks on the rig—or if he just can't always find an open spot on that stretch of the street, but the reason I notice the van is that the back side windows are covered with a poster from Pirates of the Caribbean and a poster of what I think is a VW Golf. Now, I'll be the last to complain about Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom being visible from my house, but it still seems odd for someone to cover their van windows.

On the street that runs parallel to the main shopping street, there is a high turnover in businesses. My newest favorite shop for window browsing sells scented oil and crystal lamps and fountains. If I had an extra 300 bucks to blow on myself, I'd buy the fountain that has a base made of jagged amethyst crystals supporting a clear crystal ball that spins on the flowing water. It is mesmerizing. Of course, if I had it, I would spend all my time gazing at it and would forget to, you know, eat and stuff, so maybe it's better that I enjoy it from the safety of the shop window.

My butt has fallen asleep because I am sitting on the floor in the hall outside my teacher's door, waiting to talk to him during his office hours. Perhaps I will stand and wait. Ciao!

[Added after the office hours:]
I just found out that I made the second highest grade on the final for one of my linguistics classes (German inflectional morphology). The guy whose history course I took (which is only graded pass/fail) said my exam there was "weak for a third semester student." Fuck him right in the ear, says I.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

More blibber-blabber, but with love

I have finally crawled out from under my rock. I did the oral exam for Latin this morning and found out that I passed the whole thing and should be getting my certificate in the mail soon. Hoorah! Now I can stop cramming Latin into my brain and start doing more important stuff, like money-earning work and writing self-indulgent blibber-blabber on the Internet. Woo! Hoo!

After encountering Maniacal Laughing Woman on the bus yesterday morning, I realized on the trip home that Drunky Hair Guy is really not so bad. So he flips his hair and is a bit unsteady on his feet. [Then again, the way he was fiercely scratching his head, I was glad to be sitting half the bus away.] At least he doesn't burst into hysterical laughter while everyone around him looks the other way, strenuously avoiding eye contact. The MLW got off at my stop, and she had another spastic laugh attack in the middle of the street. Thank goodness I've mastered the art of purposeful walking and managed to outdistance her.

Attack of the low-rise jeans! Aaack! I swear, there are only about 10 women in the world with the right shape to wear these pants, and yet they are squeezing the hips of every young woman I come across. It is bad enough when the end result is two fleshy pockets at waist-level that appear to be filled with mashed potatoes, but it is worse when one of the pockets is sporting a large hairy wart (seen in the shopping district). I know, people can't help having warts, but for the love of all that's sacred, don't exacerbate the scary hairiness by making it protrude atop a gelatinous mound of denim-bound horror.

If you ever think of renting the movie Seven Days to Live, don't bother; we saw it on tv recently. It's supposed to be scary (and I guess the zomby-ish creatures arising from the backed up sewer in the basement are icky), but at the "Fall of the House of Usher"-esque climax where the house collapses, Lovely Husband had to say, "So I built another house. That one fell over, caught on fire, then sank into the swamp." If the scariest part of your movie prompts quotes from Monty Python films, you've missed the boat.

I know I've mentioned the bicyclists around here, and up until a few days ago, L.H. and Darling Daughter had a little joke about them: Boy, are they going to be pissed when they realize how far off course from the Tour de France they are! Hee! Hee!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Call for help

Help! I am trying to think of something that is technically edible, but slightly disgusting. Along the lines of escargot, but not just lying around in nature. Maybe something that has to be prepared, like a jar of pickled eggs. And it must be "clean" enough to hold in the hand without filthing it up (or maybe in a cloth sack).

Ok, let the brainwaves roll in!