Thursday, May 29, 2008

Self-Serving, Much?

Dear Mr. McClellan:

Nice book. Nice headlines. Nice advance in your fat pocket. Yay, you.

One question. A technicality, really. But I'm curious...this need of yours to speak what you say is the truth...this desire to do the right thing (right as John McCain prepares to take on an opponent, but who's keeping track?). This bombshell revelation, this sudden burst of morals, this patriotic urge of yours to make sure Americans know the whole thing's been a sham...

Where, exactly, was all of this when you stood on a stage before God and country and hundreds of news cameras dishing out the daily news from the Bush administration?

I mean, not to pick nits here, but you did stand up there and tell us all about the WMDs for at least several months. The information you say was wrong came to us from your mouth. Unless I'm misremembering, which I don't think is the case.

I'm having a hard time with all of this. I mean, look, we all pretty much know the whole quagmire was built on a foundation of pure crap. I don't believe our cowboy president any more than That Woman does, and we all know her stand on things (conveniently delivered in catchy soundbites). Nobody actually thinks there were WMDs and everybody knows this was a vendetta. Fine. You win on that one.

But why come out with this book now, if not for personal gain? Why not stand up when it actually happened at tell us all that the releases you read every morning were BS? Or at least, why not resign at the time and walk away? I mean, if you were really offended and all.

I have issues with people who release bombshells at carefully-timed moments, even if those bombshells are likely based in truth. I have problems accepting gospels from folks who were part of the deception. If your book is true, my fine friend, then you're as much to blame for the whole hoo-ha as the man wearing spurs in the oval office.

I hope your book tanks. I also hope you've enjoyed this little moment of fame outside of someone else's shadow, because it seems most of the country agrees with me. You, sir, are a slimeball and an opportunist. And I have no patience for either kind of truthsayer.



Wednesday, May 28, 2008


MSNBC ran an article yesterday that said owners of the first Prius cars to come off the assembly lines are now being hit with sticker shock b/c they have to replace the batteries--at a cost of about $3,900 a pop. Ta-ta, gas savings. That doesn't even mention the environmental impact of disposing of the massive energy cells that work thanks to several hazardous chemicals. The result of this is that many of those owners are ditching their cars and since nobody will really buy a vehicle that needs that kind of monetary investment with high miles, they're piling up in scrapyards. Nice. I remember writing an article on hybrids years ago and having a leading car expert tell me that they (US hybrids, not the electric/diesel models sold in Europe) were the biggest scam in industry history, and that anyone who thought they were buying something "green" hadn't done their research. Sadly, it looks like he might have been correct. Thank you, massive lobbying powers of the oil companies.

My neighbor locked herself out of the house yesterday--the lock on her storm door is apparently wonky. Her little girls were inside. She, rightfully, called the fire department. DH got home about 10 minutes after they arrived, grabbed his drill and ran down there. Literally just as he raised the drill to the lock on her storm door (which would have been about a $60 repair), we heard glass break. Everyone grimaced. So long, custom-sized basement window and hello $300 Home Depot bill. Ouch. I'm, um, leaving a key with a neighbor today. I also had DH show me how to get a storm door off its hinges from the outside last night. Just in case.

We had such a great weekend at the lake--the best family trip I can remember. Took advantage of lots of fun activities and attractions in the area and soaked up weather that was absolutely perfect. The funny thing is that we'd been talking in earnest about selling that house to buy something to actually live in here. We keep getting priced out of homes we like and neighborhoods we'd consider if only for more cash. But we looked at each other Monday morning and I said, "We can't sell this. Our family needs this." DH agreed. So I guess we're staying in my tiny 1,300 square feet of suburban paradise. It's the right decision.

Rowing machine is still kicking my butt. And my arms, my back, my legs, and my abs. It's a good's a good's a good thing...

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I woke up at 4 a.m. to take an Advil.

That has never happened after a workout before. Ever. Not at the real gym, not at the girly circuit gym, not from a video, not from a session out with friends. I've never been so sore that I had to trudge downtstairs in the middle of the night for painkillers.

I can tell that we are going to have a love-hate relationship. Bring it on...

Link no workee? Email me for an invite. mywriter at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Well, the conversation went well, the work got done (mostly), the day did end, and we didn't get the house.

That last part was hard. I cried a lot last night, honestly. Stupid, huh? It was just so stinkin' perfect and I guess I let myself want it too much. But there were a lot of other people who thought it was perfect too, and they have way deeper pockets than we do. (not that I spent any time last night hoping the damn thing falls down on them. nope. not my style.) This was the first house that didn't have a "but", as in, but there's a highway in the backyard, but the high school stinks, but there's standing water in the basement.

Anyway, what is just is. We'll survive it. Today means work and getting DH's car serviced and shuttling kids to and from and trying not to think about it too much. Stupid house.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Today is my last day to co-op at preschool. Four years of helping in the classroom every other week comes to an end. September brings big-kid school for everyone.

Today I have to have a conversation with someone that I really don't want to have. I was up half the night figuring out how to phrase what I need to get out, and then had two dreams about the talk. But it needs to happen. Rationally, I know that. I just hate face-to-face confrontation.

Today, we put in our last bid on the house that physically hurts me to see, I want it so much. The house is so perfect for our family and the neighborhood fits so well into what we've always wanted that I can't put it into words. It's also pretty well out of our price range. It's not a new house, it's not a particularly gorgeous house, it's not in perfect shape. But my heart says it's our house. I'm 90 percent sure someone else will get it--someone for whom hours and hours of number crunching and hard decisions has led to a higher bid amount. Ours didn't (and I'd love to know how so many people are making it work out), but I need to at least try once more. Just in case.

Today, my clothes are looser but the scale is up. I grow confused.

Today, one of my best friends is seriously ill. I'll say prayer after prayer for her. And for me, if we're being totally honest.

Today, I need to schedule an oil change, call to have a Dumpster removed, try to finish three interviews, and start writing up some business profiles for a local publication. All between 12, when preschool ends, and 2:45, when I go to pick up DS from the big-kid school. It'll work out, it'll work out, it'll work out.

Today will pass. One way or another, tomorrow will come.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Tried two new recipes this week that are to die for, both from Cooking Light Magazine. The first was Nathan's Lemon Cake, which even DH liked (and which is technically a dessert but would be a delicious breakfast too). DH is not a cake guy. The other was the Sicilian Chicken we had last night. Oh. Ma. Gawd it was yummy. I left out the raisins, and think next time I'll skip the flour step just to see what happens--I don't think it added anything to the dish. Yum, yum.

I have book club tonight. I'm supposed to lead the discussion. And I only read half of the book. But yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuk. There are very few books I can't plow through. This was one. Obtuse and dense and leading nowhere. Bleh. Ptooey. Next we're reading Bridge of Sighs, and I can't wait. I adore Richard Russo.

The ILs are back in their house. Cleanup happens this weekend. I need to remember to call about the Dumpster at 7 a.m. tomorrow or woe will be I. Not as woe as I was when they were staying with us earlier in the week, but pretty darned woe.

Pondering one of the new BlackBerry phones when they come out later this year. I know. I'm email addicted as it is. But it sure would be nice to not have to haul my laptop around every time we go away. I need to check and see what that would do to my monthly rate. God knows Verizon won't just put that on their website, nosiree Bob. Kind of makes "customer service" an oxymoron, huh?

Would someone please explain to my Realtor that I don't, in fact, have an envelope stashed under my mattress with a spare $70K in it, and can, therefore, not afford the asking price on the house I really really want? Thanks. I must be speaking Swahili or something, because I keep saying it and she keeps pushing the issue anyway. Trust me, woman, nobody wants me to buy that house more than me. It just can't happen. While the foreclosure mess is interesting from a distance, I don't have any desire to participate.

And speaking of houses, there's a vacant new one in my neighborhood. It's been on the market for at least a year, probably closer to two. I went up on the front porch of it yesterday to take a gander, and there are two bird nests sitting there. They're vacant nests. It looks like they fell down from behind a light. Would it be stealing if I took them to my daughter's preschool class? I mean, nobody lives there, right?

Did y'all hear that Electric Company is coming back to PBS? *grin*

I ordered a rowing machine today. Pretty excited about that. I don't have room for an elliptical and this is the next best thing. I can row myself thin (see? i said it out loud. now it has to happen) and watch the news in the morning. Sweet.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Paging Mensa

She's crying again.

For the love of Pete. Please please please tell me Americans aren't so stupid as to fall for the tears a second time. Someone restore my faith in us and tell me you rolled your eyes too, knowing that it's all part of whatever strategy she's employing today. Tell me you get that.

And while we're at it...enough with the analysis. He lost West Virginia. Duh. It's West Virginia. And he's not exactly a West Virginian, if you get my drift. And yes, racism is alive and well and thriving. You can all go back to your assigned workstations now.

Wake me up when it's over.


It's been a wild ride over here the last few days.

Sunday morning, I got an email at 7 a.m. The house we really wanted is not to be ours. Not the end of the world, but disappointing.

Sunday, my ILs came to stay for a night. "High maintenance" doesn't begin to cover it. Within 10 minutes, my house looked like a bomb went off. I cooked dinner for six adults (think anybody would offer to help? God forbid.), cleaned up, read my paper, and slept. On the couch. In my office. Nice.

Monday was Grandparents' Day at DS' school. Sounds nice. But it's a nightmare. That ended just before lunch, so I made lunch for four people. (Think anybody would offer to help? God forbid.) Cleaned up and DH came home to take MIL and FIL back from whence they came. I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up shrapnel. (For the record, my piano is not an appropriate place for the Great Lineup O' Medications and my footboard is not a rack for hanging clothes on hangers.)

About two hours after they left, the phone rang. DH. MIL/FIL's house had no power and a flood in the basement. Which is filled--to capacity--with more shit than you can imagine. Fan-flippin-tastic. He said he was going to bring them back to our house. I burst into tears. Conversations were had. They went to stay with my SIL. I spent the rest of the day renting Dumpsters and finding stores with generators. And cleaning. Unbelievable, I know. But my house was completely trashed by these two little old people. Never seen anything like it in my life.

Yesterday morning, SIL called. Losing her mind. "Five minutes after they got here, it looked like a tornado had gone through," she said. I nodded. I know. (I got an email from her a few hours later. It just said, "I'm going to lock them in my bedroom." *grin*)

I spent the day catching up from the weekend. Wrote two articles, to the tune of 4,800 cumulative words. Conducted three phone interviews for other articles due this week. Took the kids to and from school. Put a ton of laundry away. Walked the dog. Shuttled DD to and from ballet. Took a call from DH, who said SIL was taking his head off. Well duh. Got everyone to agree that MIL and FIL would go to a hotel.

DH got home late last night from their house. They got the water pumped out and started taking all the soggy crap outside. It's going to take the whole weekend to finish that process. Fun times. For the record, I do feel awful that thier house flooded. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But there is just no reason on this earth to have so much absolute garbage in one's home. None. And everyone is angry about that. This could have been so much easier.

I also got an email from a dear friend, saying that her family had lice. I decided she had it way worse than me. (((Friend)))

Today, I get to return two sets of license plates to the MVA, take the dog to the vet, hit the grocery store, pick up a birthday present for my mom from my MIL (no idea why she can't go to the store herself, but whatever), ship that, try to set up six or seven phone interviews, go to the bank, try to get two more contractors to call me about an addition to this house (recession? what recession?) and take care of all the other daily crap that needs to be done. And finish my bookclub book. Which I hate. Every page is a struggle. Feh.

So that's my rant for the day.

On the flip side...the sun's out after many days of torrential rains. My kids are healthy and happy. I have work, which is more than I can say for a lot of people this year. My house, while small, is nice and on a great street in a good neighborhood. The basement disaster will get resolved. DH is in no rush to have his parents come visit anytime soon. Small favors...

Monday, May 12, 2008


My in-laws have stayed with us since yesterday. I hosted everyone else for Mother's Day. My house looks like a bomb went off. There is stuff everywhere. This afternoon, I have to take them halfway around the Beltway in pouring down rain on the cusp of rush hour, with both kids in the car, and then come all the way back.

Remember that scene in Ferris Bueller when Cameron screams--that long scream when the camera seems to start in his throat and come out with the noise--and the whole city reverberates?

That's my blog post for today.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Just a thought

Do you think Jon and Kate are intimidated by the Duggars?

Yes. She's having kid 18 next year. More than my brain can even wrap itself around--in all seriousness, there are other hobbies! Thoughts?

Thursday, May 8, 2008


What's PaperBack Swap?

Ahhhhhh, grasshoppah. PaperBack Swap is the best thing to happen to my brain and my bank account in a very long time.

PBS is an online book swap. It's free to join. What you do is list the books you have to give away (and hardbacks are fine). Members then can search for books. You get an email requesting one of your books, you print a label for it from the site, and you mail your book off. When the requesting member receives it, you get a point.

Every point you earn is good for one book that you can then request. And there are thousands and thousands of books--I've gotten just about all of my bookclub books there this year (minus two new releases), several bestsellers, several fantastic cookbooks, lots of kids' name it. For the price of postage to mail my own books away.

I highly recommend it. Click...

ps--Once you're a member, you can earn referral points when people join based on your good word. If you join, I'd love the referral--the email I use for that account is mywriter at gmail dot com. Thanks!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Regularity Rules

Last week, my Swiffer mop snapped in half while I was mid-way through cleaning my kitchen floor. The long handle collapsed, right in the middle.


I got online and sent a comment through the "customer service" link on their website. It was polite and calm--I mean, it's a $17 mop. I just said that it had snapped in half and that I was kind of surprised by that.

The next morning, I got an email from their customer service people telling me to watch my mail for something. Free mop, right?

Today, my envelope came. Inside were two $2 coupons.

For Metamucil.

I think they're trying to tell me something...

(true story...I swear)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Let Me Off...

The past two days have been a whirlwind. Jury duty, dinner out, lots of housework, followed by a deadline and a last-minute decision to buy a house...which meant financial document pulling, many decisions, and several frantic phone call.

Only to learn that there were three other offers on the table that trumped ours. Ah well. Not meant to be. (And a deep apology to those of you who had to listen to me in the process...I solemnly swear to shaddup until I have a ratified contract in hand next time.)

I ate a lot of chocolate today. Quality stuff, but a mass quantity of it. Am now having Fat Girls' Remorse. Plbth.

The sun is starting to set. And I had a flashback to the weekend...we were in a store and a song came on that took me right back to college. I just downloaded it.

Enjoy, my friends. Dance. I am.

Monday, May 5, 2008

My Butt Hurts

The weekend was a whirlwind. I went away with some girlfriends and had a great time on the beach, at restaurants, shopping, and just hanging out sans little people and Cheeto-tinted handprints on my clothes. Came home after dinner last night, straightened up the kitchen, made lunches for today, put my stuff away, read the paper, and crashed in bed.

Today, I sat on my ass.

You might think that sounds like a good thing. Au contraire, my friends. Because today, I participated in this country's great and noble justice system. Today, I had jury duty. I finagled rides home from schools for my kids, swapped out my co-op day, begged a relative to babysit for the afternoon, moved my paying work around, and generally created a lot of chaos on the homefront to do my civic duty.

That meant reporting to the courthouse at 8:30 and standing in a big, long line outside before passing through a metal detector and heading to the jury lounge. And that sounds nice, but it's a lot like an airport. Metal chairs in rows, vending machines, TVs suspended from the ceiling.

We watched a video starring the late Ed Bradley around 9 a.m., telling us all about the history of the jury system. We were greeted by a judge. We were given papers and thanked.

There were 300 of us. In the jury room. Which looked like an airport.

The morning passed. Hour by hour. I emailed. I read my book. I got some nuts out of the vending machine and munched for awhile. I peed.

At around 12:30, we were told to go to lunch. Nobody had been called yet for a trial. So all 300 of us headed out. Lunch lasted an hour and a half, which provoked some grumbling from people who'd really rather get this court show on the road. When we got back, at around 2, I snagged a seat next to an electrical outlet (there aren't enough outlets, for the record) and got to recharge my laptop.

I read the paper. I emailed some more. I fidgeted and stretched and sighed, and listened to other people's cell phone conversations. I thought about how much work time I'd lost and calculated the money I didn't make. I wondered how my kids' school day was. I remembered we had no bread in the house and hoped I'd have time to swing by the store on the way home so we'd have lunch tomorrow.

Finally, at 4 p.m., we were set free. Everybody was given a check for $15. All 300 of us. None of whom ever got called to do anything beyond sit in the jury room that resembled an airport.

Did you get that? Not a single person. But all 300 of us got paid for the day. I thought about how much of my tax money went down the judicial toilet today, and I got good and angry about it, and I pondered how things could go better. I thought about an on-call system--everybody has cell phones. I wondered about beepers. And I pondered the sense of having three hundred people sit around for nine hours, doing nothing, and then dipping their hands into the public coffers for the privilege.

I stopped by the store on the way home, so we have bread now. One thing got accomplished. Tonight, I'll sleep on my stomach and give my butt a break. And in five years when I get called again for this, I'll remember to take a few movies with me. But I hope that by then, something might have made all of this more efficient.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My Favorite New Commercial

They're playing the life out of it, but I just love this. Watch for the split-second cameo by a singing Stephen Hawking!