Friday, October 07, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me

Knowing that I started this puppy up last October, I checked just now to see exactly when. And it was exactly TODAY, one year ago that I started inflicting my words on the Internet. wipes tear from eye It was a bit like realizing in March that I'd been married 10 years. Whoa! Where has the time gone?

Anyhow, thanks to all my beloved friends and family (all 5 of you) who've stuck through it with me. Here's to another year of navel-gazing and bitching!

Paris Revisited

The specter of the un-blogged Paris trip has been hanging over me ever since we got back, but I have to admit that we were so busy and having such a good time that I didn’t jot down a single note while we were there. Trying to reconstruct the entire trip at this point seems fruitless, but I thought I’d at least hit the highlights. [LMIL—feel free to jog my memory in the comments.]

Lovely MIL’s Travel Guru (TM), Rick Steves, advises going to the Eiffel Tower in the evening because the lines are shorter, but we got an even better treat than a short wait. As we were walking away at 8 pm, flashbulbs started going off all over the Tower. It was an amazing sight that lasted about 5 minutes. Rick Steves never mentioned *that*!

The sewers were overrated. The history of Paris’ water and wastewater systems is fascinating, but it would have been more interesting if 1) the sewers we were walking through were a lot older without so many modern contraptions, and 2) if the museum was not situated *directly above flowing sewage.* The smell was strong enough that we never got used to it during the hour or more we were down there.

We skipped the Louvre for Versailles, which words just can’t do justice to, if you’re into a palace made of mirrors and gold. One fantastic feature that we will never again pass up on at a museum or historical site was the self-guided tour via headphones. It kept D.D. from getting bored out of her skull, and it was easier to learn about the rooms we were passing through than if we had to crowd around signs with hundreds of other visitors. Versailles—2 thumbs up.

LMIL insisted we eat in a real French restaurant at least once, so we got a recommendation at the hotel and settled in for a 2-hour meal. I ordered Steak Tartar. The waitress asked if I knew what I was ordering. Oh, yes. Mmmm...raw meat. If the idea of trichonosis never scared me off raw bacon, what’s a little raw ground beef prepared by a French chef? Everything was wonderful.

All in all, we had a great time. We were able to rein in L.H.’s checklist-tourist tendencies by hopping on a tour bus that lets you get on and off as often as you want for the whole day, so we were able to see lots more places than the first time, although we didn’t get off at as many. LMIL had her off-the-beaten-path tips from ol’ Rick Steves, so we even saw a few things we hadn’t known we’d missed before. I think LMIL is already trying to figure out how to get back to Paris, maybe as a “chick trip” with her sister. You could spend months there, only visiting one place a day, and never run out of places to see.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

D.D. Takes Ballet By Storm

Today was the pre-recital trying-on of the costumes that the ballet teacher spent the whole summer vacation (6 weeks) sewing. She had a couple of ladies helping her who I think are participants in her adult dance classes. Anyhow, they were a new audience for the hyped-up little girls (and one boy). I could hear from the waiting room that someone must have pulled D.D.’s string:
“I’m from America. My whole family is English: my mom, my dad...”

“My grandma sews for money.”
I got a mental image of LMIL standing on the freeway with a cardboard sign. Hee!


While LMIL was here visiting, she and D.D. had planned to make smothered steak (or “smothered snakes” in our idiolect). We ran out of time (or maybe energy) before they left, so I was forced to make it on my own. D.D.’s verdict? “Gwamma-licious!”

This 1950s vampire warns, "Don't Block My Driveway." Posted by Picasa

Little Route of Horror

We often see some unusual, potentially frightening things on the way to and from school. For instance, a couple of weeks ago, some contractors were putting some pipes in the yard of a house on our route. Scary! I know! Anyhow, one of them had this fake arm sticking up from under the front end of his truck, and it made me think of that segment from Creepshow 2: “Thanks for the ride, lady!” That movie gave me nightmares for like a year; I think I was 12 or 13 when I saw it, and my dad made sure to jump out and yell “Thanks for the ride, lady!” as often as possible. Needless to say, I didn’t mention that association to D.D.

Then there’s the charming dog we like to call “Cujo.” He looks like a white Husky, but I don’t know dogs. We only see him about once every 2 or 3 months, but when he’s out in his yard, snarling and trying to eat us through the fence, D.D. and I usually jump out of our skin. D.D. is usually an Animal Friend(TM), but on the rare occasion when I wonder why we haven’t seen Cujo in a while, she hopes he died.

Finally, there’s this fantastic “Do Not Block Driveway” sign (see prior post; stupid Blogger seems to think I've used up all my photo space). It just seems to sum up the whole surreal experience of Walking To School.


On the way home from school this afternoon, D.D. noticed that a street sign at the end of our block was lying across the top of a utility box instead of its usual place on the pole. She blamed some nameless, reckless teenagers: “Stupid teenagers are very crafty.” I can’t wait to see what she says about them when she is one.

When we got to the front door, she was telling me, “Last night, when I was terrorizing the squeaker [out of the Taboo Junior game], I was trying to get my Wut [anger] out.” She then went on to describe how she smashed it against the door to her room, stepped on its head, and even bit it a little. Between the crying and the carrying on, she managed to give herself a pretty bad headache. All this because we fussed at her for changing the tv channel without asking first. It’s a bad habit she has, and this time L.H. was taping something.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Now is the Time on Blogger When We Writhe in Self-Embarrassment

I have this handy way of learning something so that I NEVER, EVER forget it. It is called mortification. For instance, my high school boyfriend corrected me that it is “PRE-rogative.” (Stupid Bobby Brown.) We were both being asses about it, but that crow, it was bitter to eat, let me tell you.

As I spend more time on the Internet, I find that I mortify myself more and more frequently. That is only natural in a medium where words are all you have to present yourself. When I am not careful how I phrase something, or I try to be cute or flip, it invariably comes back to bite me in the ass. In the most recent case (in the comments of a blog I follow), I tried to go back and briefly but politely restate what I said, but I know it probably came off as being defensive. So now I have basically messed it up for myself to “hang around with the cool kids,” so to speak.

Fortunately, I have this little blog in which to do my penance. Consider this my dose of self-mortification.

Not Clear on the Concept

Lovely Husband was in a self-affirming mood yesterday. “I have lots of hobbies: I play guitar; I brew mead; I carve wood...”

“You’re a Viking,” Darling Daughter helpfully supplied.

We had to explain that being a Viking is more a way of life than a hobby.