27 November 2009

No Business Like... Snow Business?

It snowed this morning. I didn't get all hyped up about it because it wasn't very much and I knew it wasn't going to stick. You can see in this picture that it was mostly melting on contact anyway.

You can see that there is a significant layer of fluff on the car, though.

Nathan was surprisingly unimpressed with the "snow" thing I kept mentioning, although I'm sure that when we get more of it, and it stays around for a while, he will be much more interested. The cats, by contrast, were rather intrigued, even disturbed. I realized that my hyper-aware and intelligent ninja cats had never seen snow before, and they were very cognizant of the fact that the white flakey stuff in the air and on the ground was something very new. They are inside-only cats, so they were not able to directly experience it, but let me know something was going on: They ran around my ankles meowing, then paced back and forth on the windowsill, their noses pressed against the window glass while their tails twitched and swished in slightly alarmed agitation.

The first snow of the winter season!

Friday Five: Thanksgiving Edition

In keeping with the spirit of this weekend (Thanksgiving Day is on Thursday, but I can be thankful for a few extra days, right?), I offer a list of a few things for which I am thankful.

  1. My adored Baby Bug.
  2. Caffeine.
  3. My job, which provides me with a paycheck and which I generally enjoy very much.
  4. Lovely kind friends Erica and Jill, who invited Nathan and me to join their family and friends for Thanksgiving dinner in their new home. [Why didn't I remember to get a picture?!]
  5. My family, scattered from southern to northern California.

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving from the Buckeye State!

25 November 2009

Career Day Volunteers

I'm sitting here at work on the day before Thanksgiving, and I found myself fighting to stay awake (not enough sleep last night, of course), so I decided to take a quick break to wake myself up.

And now, I present to you yet another conversation from work. Hey, it's my best material!
Context: It started out work-related, as some of our engineers had gone to a local school to do a presentation for Career Day.

ME: Best (or worst?) idea ever: Volunteer for Career Day and show up dressed as a cheerleader or Mexican wrestler or something. When the (probably startled) teacher asks, “What career are you here to talk about?” just give her an Are-you-stupid? look and say, “I’m here to share about engineering”, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world.
HIM: That would be great. Go dressed as a giant fish or something. Or a sports mascot.
ME: A giant fish?! I don’t get it.
HIM: Oh yeah, the cheerleader and Mexican wrestler made a TON of sense. But GIANT FISH?? THAT’S STUPID!!!
ME: Because, you see, fish don’t have careers! Although now that I think of it, I wonder why they don’t. They do spend all their time in schools.

21 November 2009

Ohio High Holy Day

Yesterday was the Most Important Day of the Year. Bigger than Independence Day, Christmas, New Year Day. No holiday, no day of personal significance, nothing can compare to... the Ohio State versus Michigan football game.

After all, everybody supports Ohio State on game day. Even us.

We don't have a television, so we never watch any games, but we do like to go to the shopping mall (the mall, mind you, not even near the OSU campus) to see the hundreds and thousands of people decked out in OSU gear. I took a lot of pictures at first, because it really is a sight to behold; I've never seen anything like it in SoCal. However, I guess I've kind of gotten used to it lately.

Anyway, Ohio State beat Michigan pretty soundly, which is good; I won't have to deal with Cookie Boss being all mopey. He is obsessed with OSU, but I guess it's understandable in his case because (unlike most of the people around here) he actually went to school there.

13 November 2009


If I can get my posts for November up to thirteen, I'll be fine for NaBloPoMo, right? Right?!

Well, this week has been crazy. Baby Bug has been fighting some sort of virus. He has no symptoms like coughing or sneezing, and just ran a low-grade fever some nights and has had low appetite. I was concerned enough to take him to the pediatrician (if he doesn't eat like the proverbial horse, I do get worried), but he is really okay and (per the doctor) just needs time, cuddles, and plenty of fluids in order to get better. That is all well and good, but the practical impact is that the Bug has trouble sleeping, which means that I get little or no sleep at all.

So, I'm TOTALLY EXHAUSTED. I fell asleep while putting Nathan to bed, three nights in a row. I have barely read e-mail and (obviously) haven't posted on any of my blogs. My apartment is a total mess, and nothing on my to-do list has been accomplished for something like a week. I don't concentrate well at work, and I have tasks piling up. In a word: WRETCHED.

09 November 2009

Button, button, who's got the button?

Today, I discovered an otherwise accomplished person who does not know how to sew a button onto a garment. For reasons that I do not entirely understand, I was utterly flabbergasted. I guess I thought that things like sewing buttons and mending ripped seams were tasks that all adults just kind of knew how to do.

07 November 2009


A few numbers from my day so far:

Number of eggs Baby Bug and I ate for breakfast: 3
Thomas raisin English muffins, same event: 1.5
Incidental egg-to-muffin ratio: 2
Frappuccinos obtained: 1
Diapers changed: 3
Dead deer seen by the side of the road: 8 (The last one in a ditch by Arby's. Yeah, I know, right?! I so wanted a picture but I was driving.)
Live deer seen by the side of the road: 0 (But they're usually not out and about in the middle of the day anyway.)

05 November 2009

Kiss the Girl

I'm not a big Little Mermaid fan, but for some reason I'm finding Colbie Caillat's rendition of "Kiss the Girl" to be very addictive. I saw the music video playing in a Justice shop at the mall, and looked it up on Youtube.


Yesterday's post

I wanted to do a nice, informative post on some fun topic, last night. I truly did. I need to get disciplined about writing, if only because goodness knows I need to be disciplined about something. However, things went, as things in my life are wont to go, aft agley.

The most significant issue was the fact that my Baby Bug just refused to go to sleep. If you've ever spent more than 24 hours with him, you know that it is a huge challenge for me to get him down to bed, whether for a nap or for the night. He just doesn't like to sleep, and if I am present, he thinks he needs to be nursing because that is what he likes to do. It's not always bad; most nights, we have a routine that he knows and generally finds reassuring and that I enjoy as well, because it's good and healthy to have regularly scheduled time for bonding. Every so often, however, he gets fitful and throws the routine to the proverbial winds, and then gets even more upset because (I think) he is out of sorts and out of his comfort zone. Then I get frustrated, which feeds his frustration, and then we are both exhausted and short-tempered and building on each other.

So, yeah. It is really awful. I know every parent has hard times like that, but it's doubly difficult when one is a single parent. There's a feeling of isolation and despair, because there's no one else to turn to for help, and while God is ever-present, that knowledge doesn't really help in the moment. Maybe my faith is too small. I don't know.

Anyway, beyond the frustration of just having to deal with the horror of a fussy, sleepless child, there is the anger of having a to-do list that isn't getting done. I had several things that I really wanted to do, and they just didn't happen last night. I'm not talking about some ephemeral plans for fancy nonsense; I'm meaning things like just washing the dishes.

Finally, I just gave up and said "Screw it", and laid myself down on the bed next to Baby Bug, holding him and letting him feel that it was okay to relax and drift off to sleep. At least I was well-rested when I awoke at 5 am, but I hadn't showered or gotten our clothes out or put together our breakfasts and lunches. And the little guy still wouldn't let up. I went to shower this morning, and he came and stood in the bathroom and howled. I have no idea why he was upset, really. Then he insisted on opening the shower door (crying all the while), so that he got sprinkled with stray spray and I got a cold draft of morning air while soaking wet, and I rinsed shampoo from my hair while fuming, "Why? Why me? Why, why, why?!"

My cheeks, jaw, neck, and shoulders are constantly tense. I know that I'm clenching my jaw at night when I sleep. I can't go on this way. Seriously.

The only thing that makes this all okay is the fact that at least I'm not doing NaNoWriMo, so at least I'm not failing at that.

The Zeitgeist Bus? I missed it.

During a discussion of horror movies (we've been having those a lot around here, perhaps because of Halloween), someone (not me) mentioned that Vincent Price had starred in an earlier incarnation of a recent scifi/horror pic.

COWORKER: Who's Vincent Price?
ME: Vincent Price? He's famous!
COWORKER: Famous? I've never heard of him. When was he famous?
ME: He was in movies maybe 1940-1990. He did a lot of horror, like stuff based around Poe. He's legendary! He was in Laura.
BOSS: (popping around the corner from the next cubicle) He did the narration for the "Thriller" video.
COWORKER: Oh, gotcha.
ME: Huh?!

What can I say? I didn't live in the US or have a television during most of the 1980s.

03 November 2009



In the wake of Halloween, there are thousands of parents attempting to dispose of thousands of pounds of leftover candy. We have some here at work, right this minute, and in my opinion, it never hurts anyone to have the occasional sugar high in the office. But one unforeseen side effect of this year's post-Halloween sugarfest is the triggering of another memory, this one primarily gustatory.

In the US, there is a popular candy called Smarties. I do not care for them. They taste like sweetened schoolroom chalk.

US Smarties are a huge disappointment because in Europe and Asia, there is another kind of Smarties, and these are a Nestle version of M&Ms: chocolate candies with a hard coloured shell. Infinitely preferable.

I have occasionally wondered, but with no satisfactory answer: Why is there such a great divide between confections available in the USA and those in other parts of the world (including Canada, just to the north)?
Nutella is now available stateside, but whither my Pocket Coffee?

My Silver Queen bars?

My kue lapis?

My es cendol?

People in the US have so much, and yet... so little.

02 November 2009

A bit of funny

Here is an excerpt from an actual conversation I had with my boss regarding horror movies.

Him: I do like zombies as a horror antagonist.
Me: I can’t handle real horror [movies]. Nothing bloody or really scary. I think real life is awful and scary enough as it is, so I don’t understand why people feel the need to make fake nasty stuff.
Him: I think if you’ve lived next door to cannibals maybe zombies hit a little too close to home.

I'd add a bit of exposition, but I think it's funnier left as it is.

November already

November, and NaBloPoMo, crept up on me. I already didn't post on the first day of National Blog Posting Month (which someone, I don't know who, perhaps the Astronomer Royal, made up as a counterpart to National Novel Writing Month), so I'm a loser.

I don't know if I'll be able to even come up with anything entertaining enough to sustain 30 posts. We shall see.

01 November 2009

Happy Reformation Day

On 31 October 1517, Martin Luther afixed his 95 Theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenburg, Germany.

He did end up bringing change to the world.