You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2008.


WICKEDThe birthday present for DD was almost a year late. We did try last November but the stage hand strike put the kibosh on it. Then it took a bit to find a compatible date between the two of us. All this fuss and bother and expense? *SO* totally worth it! I have enjoyed the cast musical CD and (I sang along silently – I hope!) this lived up to all my imaginations and then some. Glinda (“the ‘Ga’ is silent”) was the perfect Valley Airhead, and Elphaba was a perfect hippy peace-nik, earnest in her attempts. GO SEE IT.

Green NailsThe weather – was wicked warm so my original outfit underwent major adjustments, skimming down to a white tee, embroidered jeans and a marvelous necklace by Kate. We both had green fingernails, natch.

calorie menuThe train – wicked late getting into NYC – all the incoming and outgoing trains were using a single track. We had to stay off to the side as (we counted ’em) FIVE trains left NYC before we could get into the station. This seriously crimped our plans for a nice theatre luncheon. We found a cafeteria-style (sorta) restaurant next to the theater which featured menus up above, showing both the calories and the cost of each item. – wicked weird –

Afterwards, back in NJ, Susan treated me to dinner at Everything Asia (I think that was the name) for my birthday. Awesome food, excellent service and marvelous company.

Wicked BonfireWicked Fun – The bonfire at my sisters. Her DH is somewhat of a pyromaniac. Ahem. After the fire became approachable we played a variation of Orijins. Grand, fun word game. We likes those.

Wicked ow – Sunday Brunch by the river…We had window seats and everything! I don’t know what was in the potato pancakes I ate but I was slammed with a migraine shortly after. The overcast skies and glare did not help. Light hurt my poor eyes, which are unable to constrict the pupils small enough to cope with the glare. I squint. I wear hats with brims and sunglasses. I take pain meds that do not interfere with driving. They do not work.

Just plain wicked – Traveling Traffic – NYC & the Pope – I was relying on the GPS to get me home the quickest way possible and I kept hitting the detour button a zillion times hoping to avoid traveling through NYC….so it took me by Yankee Stadium…traffic backed up the whazzoo because the Pope was visiting and giving an appearance there. Not exactly a speedy route.

More wicked ow – Migraine affects my brain big time. As in, it doesn’t work. I was happy to drive along the Merrimack Parkway. It was pretty and all. The landscape was greening up very nicely and gave me an early view of what was in store at home in another week or so. I admit it was lost on me for the most part. Mostly I gritted my teeth and just tried to get home without crashing so I could take more appropriate meds (calling a spade a spade, they were serious DRUGS which cannot be used while operating heavy machinery,…seriously. They mean it)

I did get home at a reasonable hour, even. I said hello to DH and the puppies, took the heavy meds and crawled into bed. Four hours later I crawled out of bed and took more. The morning came too soon, a mere 10 hours later. I prayed a shower and moving about would cure the lingering ache and trucked into work. I lasted two and a half hours and had to call it quits. I crawled home and into bed again. More drugs. This new med I am taking for migraines takes up to two hours to bring relief. ARE THEY INSANE???? After taking the maximum dosage allowed I finally felt some relief and was able to gingerly leave my bed around 3 in the afternoon. I was still foggy but functional (after a fashion—I had to undo all the knitting I tried to do in that time period) and with another early night was able to return to work on Tuesday, once again back to what passes for normal (not a bad thing, actually).

Wicked UsAll in all, comparing the Wicked Bad and the Wicked Good of that weekend, I would do it again in a heartbeat to enjoy my DD, the musical, DSis and DN (dear nieces). But I’d probably pack some drugs.

Next up…A Harlotting we will go!

A year ago she was planning her June wedding and eagerly anticipating the arrival of her second grandchild.

A few months later she scheduled her surgery for the fall, allowing herself and her new husband time to store up additional funds to cover them while she was recuperating from what is now almost a routine out-patient procedure. The surgery exposed her cancer.

The initial treatment went well. She looks fabulous in her red wig. Her husband agrees he now has three wives instead of one: the beautiful blue-eyed blond he married, the crazy redhead, and the manic bald woman running around the house. They laugh. They smile.

The older grandchild likes her wig and would love to try it on. Knowing her, she may have let him but we have no photos of that. We take more pictures but there never seems to be enough. She is surrounded by them on windowsills, bulletin boards, and on end tables. They are in piles, in photo books, and posted online.

She is my younger sisters age. She is dying.

Outside her hospice room her husband has added bird feeders to the garden she can see through the large, almost bay-sized window. Yesterday there was a freshly-filled bird bath as well. The sound of bird song was constant but not cacophonous. Back at home there are deer and raccoon feeding side-by-side in their yard. Her husband brought several photos of what he tells us is a daily occurrence. She asks if he remembered to refill the deer food areas and he promises yes, he does.

We all smile and talk about things of the ‘now’ interspersed with queries as to her comfort and pain level. When the ‘call nurse’ button was accidentally pushed while adjusting her bedding, the nurse showed up in less than 30 seconds.

She angsts over not being in her red wig when the grandchildren arrive, but they do not notice anything amiss in this woman with the bright blue eyes. She is “BoBo” and they know and love her regardless of wig or make-up. They crawl carefully on her bed to plant gushy kisses and hugs. The older grandchild amuses her and himself with a new puzzle.

Her son angsts over how to explain BoBo’s illness to his young son, who adores his grandma. She plays with him and dances with him, feeds him his favorite foods, and adores him right back. A child psychologist is on staff and will be glad to help.

I knit a prayer shawl for her, tucked in a shawl pin and a card, and sent it to her home. I was thinking we would see her, but time was going by and we weren’t. I wanted her to have it so I mailed it. It probably arrived the day she was admitted to the hospital where she stayed for several days before being admitted into the hospice facility.

A call is in to the Dana Farber Institute to see if there is any possibility of clinical trials she could take part in. If so, she will be moved from the hospice facility to Dana Farber. I have seen people this ill recover before. I pray. Hard.

Our puppies, now 3 and 2-and-a-half, will always be puppies to me. While my children will always be my children with cherished childhood memories, they are now both fully adult. I am thrilled with the people they are and are still becoming. I enjoy talking to them about their lives and activities. Granted, I hear far more from my dear daughter than my son. He usually calls when he is bored, while on a long car drive, or otherwise at a loss for amusement. I know he loves me and we will do more catching up later on. Meanwhile, I am fairly sure he isn’t bored .

Fortunately, my daughter is more forthcoming with her daily minutiae. Her frequent phone calls help ease the ache of her physical distance. By car she is 5-6 hours away and thus, not a one-day jaunt. Far enough to require planning for puppie care, if nothing else!

For daily childlike amusement we have Dixie and Duncan. Their breed(s) are known for an eternal childhood of playfulness. They are always up for a romp, a walk, and a view of the front street (Oh look! a bird! Oh look! a squirrel! oh look! something moved!) Each vision is heralded with a joyful ‘woof! Come see!’ and I reminded of all the times children called out “Look! Look at me! See what I can do! See? Look at me! Watch me!” as they do or show me something for the bazillionth time. I would dutifully look up and cheer, or enthusuastically clap applause until my hands were sore and my voice hoarse.

Our grandson Liam is at that age of nonstop chatter, providing a constant backdrop to daily life. I only see him a few hours every week so this is still a delightful development. His mom is handling the endless stream of repitition very well.

As much as those times drove me to distraction when my kids were small, I really miss them. When did it change? When did every piece of their day stop being something terribly important to share with mom? When did they start editing their experiences to only show me what they felt safe to share? I am pleased that my daughter and I can talk about anything and everything under the sun. But I know even her conversations are circumspect regarding certain people.

Perhaps it is a mom-son thing, but Phil and I? We don’t chat. We call and touch base, leaving messages on each others cell phones. A typical phone call where we actually reach one another is 5-7 minutes long (a few have gotten longer but there were extenuating circumstances). I regularly send him snippets of email (he hates to read and won’t if he doesn’t have to and it isn’t about sports) and have stopped looking for answers. If he didn’t update his MySpace page almost daily, I would wonder if he was even alive.

Whenever the puppies go on a tear of “Look! Watch me! See?” and are barking at something outside on the front lawn, I remember the days when Phil would rush up to me, face flushed with excitement, eyes dancing with mischief and say, “Look, mom! Look! Watch me!”

I love getting catalogs. While other people scramble to be removed from multitudes of mailing lists, I don’t. Well, not usually. Mostly I enjoy looking at the various fantasy products, ripping out pages here and there of things that catch my interest. The fact that I cannot afford most of them is besides the point. Let’s face it—they are treasure troves of amusement. Want proof? In the past month I came across the following product:

poop freeze
poop freeze product
Isn’t that a manly hunk of a man with the accessory shoulder holder? I gotta tell you, the product copy is every bit as weird:

POOP-FREEZE™ is an emergency pet product that every pet owner should have. Just keep it under the sink for those occasions in which your pet has diarrhea or loose stool. POOP-FREEZE™ is ideal for new pet owners as their pets are learning the basics of potty training. POOP-FREEZE™ is also great for seasoned pet owners who’s pets occasionally make a mess in the house. POOP-FREEZE™ is safe to use both on carpet and vegetation. Just Frost & Toss with POOP-FREEZE™.

That is the online sanitized version from the company. Let’s look at what was in catalog 1:

Poop Freeze Creates Excretory Confections
Blast that shit with a $12.99 can of Poop Freeze, turning your pet’s hefty hunk of steaming junk into an ice sculpture complete with a white crusty film that makes it oh-so-scrumptulicious to pick up.

Best of all, it contains no CFC’s and doesn’t harm vegetation. Plus, instead of carrying around that warm mushy plastic bag in your pocket, now you can carry around a disgusting ice ball. Big improvement. – Charlie White

Or this one from catalog 2 (Skymall):

Pick up after your pet the quick and easy way.
Poop Freeze is an easy, earth-friendly way to do your “dooty” and clean up after your dog. It chills animal waste to -62°F, creating an outer “crust” that enables you to quickly place in a bag and dispose. Makes picking up loose stool and diarrhea easier. Effective for all kinds of pets, including dogs, cats, birds, etc. Indoor or outdoor use. Safe for humans and pets when used as directed.

What cracks me up about this one of the “No air delivery.” line.

In addition I found not one but TWO companies offering dust covers for washers and dryers…with RUFFLES. My washer and dryer don’t get enough rest to be covered up, even with no kids in the house. They aren’t in any “entertaining” area, so I don’t have that worry, either.

I was informed that people who have summer cottages might do that..cover up their washer and dryer during the off season when no one is there. I want to know why for? If no one is there, why bother? These things puzzle me. But I also find them amusing, hence, no do-not-mail for this set of catalogs.

On the other hand, if I could just convince myself to throw them away when the next edition comes out instead of feeling pressured to check each page of every edition (in case I missed some fascinating new product on sale) I might be able to reduce the pile of paper by a foot or three…or more…

Or, Clueless in the Company…(that would be me)

In a recent contest held in our department, we were asked to guess how long a certain person (let’s call her Lorelei) had worked with the company. Since date-of-hire is publicly available knowledge (It must be, right? Prospective employers can get that information with just a phone call.), I went down to A/R to ask. But when I got there, Lorelei was also there. I have _never_ seen her in that department before. She said the same of me, and knew immediately the reason for my presence.

Lorelei insisted I was “cheating” to ask for the info. Cheating??? I was flabbergasted.

Leaving A/R I passed by an employee (let’s call her Carlene) who has been with the company for 27 years. I knew how long she had been here because I remembered two years ago was her 25th Anniversary celebration and people tend to make a fuss about milestones like that in our company. Anyway, Carlene was able to help me narrow it down to under 20 years and more than 15 years. She recalled having a list of long-time employees with their date-of-hire in her files. She promised to dig it out for me.

Since I have all the patience of a boiling teakettle, I didn’t stop there.

The information I was looking for had been in the company newsletter a couple years back, so I went to the newsletter archives. Good memory—I got the correct issue on my first try. Lorelei has been with the company 17 years. I submitted my entry before the deadline (and before I forgot about it again).

Did I mention there were prizes involved?

the prize

Today the winners were announced. I was not the only person who got the right number of years. There were murmurs of collusion when my web teammate was announced, but she did it all on her own. She ALSO remembered (oh heck. Let’s call her Janice, okay?) the company newsletter. Janice and I received the most elegantly packaged body lotion. The scent is light, refreshing, and not overpowering (MUCH appreciated, that). Lorelei also got the prize for being such a good sport.

Lorelei proceeded to tell the story of how I tried to “cheat” by looking up the information in A/R. Others were aghast (lovely word, don’cha think?) at my “devious” manner of determining the answer.

Which left me feeling totally flummoxed. I considered getting the right answer a matter of research and using my resources wisely. I did not (in my mind) “cheat” in any way, shape, or form. Others thought I should have used common sense, to which I replied that there wasn’t any in this if I was supposed to pull out of thin air a guess as to the length of Lorelei’s employment here. The replies insisted that yes, I *WAS* supposed to just “guess.”

That’s one of the silliest things I ever heard. But, when in Rome…

Next time (if there IS a ‘next time’) I’ll be sure to check what, if any, rules there are for contests.


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