Sunday, January 22, 2012

Robot Kitty Army

Shane: Wanna know what I'm going to do when I grow up?
Me: Yes, what?
Shane: I'm going to be an inventor!
Me: Cool. What are you going to invent?
Shane: Robot kitties.
Me: And what will they do?
Shane: Whatever I tell them to!

Brilliant, right? The boys spent the better part of two hours refining the specifications for the robot kitties. There will be 53 of them; 40 belonging to Shane and 13 to Weston. Shane's will all look like Henry or Jake, while Weston's will be white and fluffy. For some agreed-upon reason, they will all answer only Shane, and they will do whatever he says, except for robbing, stealing, swiping or killing. If he gives an order consisting of one of these forbidden activities, they will stand down.

Now, I'm not a girl to let a good labor-saving idea pass me by, so I could see the value of the robot kitty army right away, and I was quick to verify that they could cook AND clean up. And, in fact, I was assured that they will do as they are told, except for the prohibited tasks. But why stop there? I asked if they could get jobs and bring home the bacon, and was informed that they can, but their job qualifications apparently only allow them to be police officers or firefighters. I was a little disappointed, because I was hoping for fat cat bankers or hedge fund managers, instead of some underpaid public servants. I guess there ARE 53 of them; they ought to be able to keep me in wine. And I will definitely need copious volumes if I am going to be forced to live with robot kitties, no matter how much money they make.

I had hoped they were going to get started with the construction right away, but no, the boys have decided that the scheme is going to have to wait until they are adults. That's 4,913 days from now. Not that I'm counting. Or stocking up on diodes and fake fur.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Enough With the Snow Already

So! I took these pictures just before dark last night because I was just SURE I would wake up this morning and it would all be gone. But NOPE! It looked exactly the same this morning, and it looks basically the same right this very second. It HAS been raining since mid-morning, so it's getting good and slushy. Good thing, too, because everyone I know is going just a little bit nuts. And that DEFINITELY includes me. I have been working at home most of the week, but today Lloyd dropped me off at work in the redneck truck. I didn't even wait for him to stop before I flew out of there so fast your head would spin. I have NEVER been so glad to get to work in my whole life, and that includes when I used to get to drive bulldozers and drink beer at work. Not at the same time, of course. As far as you know. Because that would just be dangerous.

Now, because today was the first day I went to work this week, I have been thinking all day that it's Monday. Of course, it is not; it is, in fact, Friday, and an entire slushy, pouring-down-rain, giant-wet-laundry-pile abyss of a weekend yawns in front of me. Man, what I would not give for a bulldozer right now. I would make short work of that laundry pile and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have any trouble getting to the wine store. Or to Goodwill!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Duck! It's a Trap!

I don't even know what to say about this picture. There is a duck in the back yard. By the swing. A very, very stupid duck. For the love of all that is holy, THERE IS A TRAP THERE! And doesn't he see all that freaking snow? Shouldn't he be flying south or something? He did finally manage to depart with all of his feathers intact; I hope he has a cozy nest somewhere far, far away from the swing of death.

We had our giant snowstorm today; the worst (or best!) of it was to the south of us, but we got a respectable six inches, and a good day was had by all. The boys enjoyed a series of outdoor activities, like this one in which they played with the hose on the snow-covered trampoline. Naturally, this added significantly to the pile of wet/dirty clothes by the back door and now you need oxygen to get to the top to do the laundry. Not that I'm going to do that, of course.

Then, when they got all tired of playing outside, they came in and sprayed the hell out of the kitchen until the goldfish could gather their own food cleaned the cabinets and all the appliances. That's the news from the frozen wasteland of western Washington; I hope you are staying warm wherever you are!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hoist On His Own Petard

Doesn't that make you wonder what a petard is? Oh, I know you know what the phrase means, but do you actually know what a petard is? I had to look it up. I'll tell you, also, because when you go to click on the link, Wikipedia might be shut down to protest SOPA and PIPA. I thought I read yesterday that the revolution was successful and those outrageous miscarriages of justice were dead in the water, but perhaps I was mistaken. It happens, you know.

Anyway, a petard is/was a small bomb used for breaching gates and other fortifications. It now means 'firecracker' in French, and is slang for 'handgun' or 'joint'. If the bombmaker blew it and the bomb went off prematurely, he or she might be lifted by the explosion and thus 'hoist'. The phrase 'Hoist with his own petard' was coined by Shakespeare, in Hamlet.

Fascinating, right? And why the hell am I talking about petards anyway? Good question, my friends! Check out the pictures from my backyard this afternoon. Apparently, while I was at work yesterday, there was some sort of fishing line trap fashioned in the vicinity of the swing. I'm not sure what it was intended to catch, or how it was constructed. I've learned the hard way not to ask too many questions, see. In any event, Shane was snagged in the snare of his own devising; don't you hate it when that happens? And do you like how I took pictures before snipping him free? Oh, don't get your panties in a bunch, there was no blood, OKAY? And I think he has learned a valuable lesson, don't you? I'm pretty sure he'll build his trap in a more advantageous location next time. And as for the rest of us, we now know what petards are. So yeah, a good day all around!

On the snow front, we are anxiously awaiting the promised megastorm; it is supposed to dump like crazy today. I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More Snow

Good morning to you, wherever you are, my friends! It is super early at my house- I woke up way before the alarm went off and got ready for work, only to find that we are having a late start today. I considered going in on time anyway, as I deeply appreciate the quiet pleasures of the early mornings in my office, but I live in fear of being called an overachiever. It's a constant problem, you know.

So, instead, I am attempting to enjoy the early morning at home. It's quiet, so there's that. I mean, except for the cats chasing each other around and yowling and banging into things. As you might guess, my office isn't particularly neat, and as I'm sure you know, I have a high tolerance for sloppy messes. But you should see my house this morning, people. There is a mound of snow clothes and boots about three feet high by the back door, along with a Magic 8 Ball and a box with a door cut into it. The living room is littered with the remains of some questionable game, consisting of three broken down boxes, 457 stuffed animals, and a small cooler. Oh, and a toilet seat. Don't even ask. Really.

Honestly, it's a miracle I can sit here and blog and drink coffee instead of cleaning up, but I take my underachieving very seriously indeed. Only I'm going to have to pick my way to the kitchen soon, because my consumption of fried potatoes isn't up to par lately. It's a fine line, you know, all this balancing business. In fact, it's pretty exhausting and I might need to go lay on the couch and drink beer in my underwear. And eat fried potatoes.

I will leave you with some pictures of yesterday's sunrise. Cliff Mass says we are going to have a major snowstorm starting tomorrow, so that should be super fun. I just hope someone is going to get up off his or her lazy ass and tidy up around here, because otherwise I am going to have to hang out in the car, and there are no fried potatoes in there, so that would really suck. Mmmmmmmmmmmm, fried potatoes!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


It's snowing, y'all!!!! The ground is barely covered right now, but we have high hopes for the rest of the weekend. The boys have made a proto-snowfigure and piled a bunch of snow on the trampoline so they could jump around in it.

And, of course, there is plenty of indoor fun to be had:

Friday, January 13, 2012


There are no words, right? But I have some anyway! This is my backyard this afternoon; isn't it STUNNING?

Now, for the pre-weekend update:

-I got a new phone. With insurance. All my contacts are lost, so if I need to be texting you, send me one with your name. I did receive one today that said 'This is your phone. Don't drop me in the pool; I'll be good, I promise!' Very amusing, but not especially helpful in restoring my contacts.

-I just agreed to play Monopoly, God help me. I just hope I still have a stash of wine in the bathroom but I might have wiped it out the night I dropped my phone in the pool.

-Cliff Mass says snow over the weekend! Keep your fingers crossed!

-Many things are swirling around in my head, refusing to gel. A real post might be coming later but right now I am totally just sitting here continuing to type so I don't have to get up and play that loathsome soul-sucking game that's mocking me from the living room. At least it hasn't texted me yet.

And..... that's it for now, my friends! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Good Bird

****Dead Bird Warning: this post contains dead birds. My more sensitive readers may want to look away now. Please be aware, however, that the birds were long deceased through no fault of my own before I sat down to write and no birds were harmed during the making of this post. I agree, the warning might be a little over the top, but I have such delicate readers these days, and also, I am just now getting those PETA freaks off my back for the whole hamster ball thing.*****

Whew, that was EXHAUSTING. Seriously, I need some fortification before I can even get to the point of my post. But first, I know you all want to know the all-important status of the pool-soaked phone. Sadly, I have to report NO JOY. I did figure out how to get my messages using another phone, only to find out that my jury duty scheduled for tomorrow got cancelled. Too bad for me, I was looking forward to performing my civic duty lounging around the courthouse, watching people crazier than me go by. Naturally, the appeal dims somewhat if I don't have a device upon which I can gossip about the crazy people with all my friends. I can do that at work, of course, which is where I will now be spending my day instead.

I'm trying to be patient on the phone and let the rice work its magic for a while longer but I'm not sure how much longer I can go. I might have to hit the zombie store before bed tonight. Oh, geez, I just thought of something. If I recall correctly, I was going to use my shampoo/conditioner/deodorant money to fund the new phone. I'm not sure what else I can give up, plus I started using shampoo again. Dammit. Anyway, that is NOT what we're talking about today. No, we are talking about A Good Bird. Two good birds, to be precise. A blue jay and a sparrow, to be even more precise. And no, I do not want to argue about blue jays and steller's jays, DAD. They are blue in color, hence they are blue jays. The end.

Moving on, you might remember the rat wars at my house. Well, the rats are back, and the war has been raging on for the last week. In some ways, this is good, because it keeps Lloyd occupied, and you probably know he is very dangerous when he has too much time on his hands. Remember the earthquake exercise? Unfortunately, though, there were a couple of unanticipated bird trappings over the course of this new campaign, or as Lloyd likes to call them, 'acceptable collateral damage/civilian casualties'. This is not unprecedented; we had a near-miss last time when a particularly stupid jay got his noggin skinned when the trap snapped. He was fine, though, he just looked like he had a reverse mohawk for a few days. No such luck this time; the two good birds bought the farm.

When I came home from work, the boys showed me their handiwork: a bird cemetery in the back yard, dug right into the lawn. They did a nice job, don't you think? The birds' names are Shane and Ago (pronounced aggo, not like in 'a long time ago'). I especially like the dandelions and the silver colored shower curtain hanger on Ago's grave. And then, for good measure, they devised a fishing line barrier around the trap to keep any more birds from getting caught. That seems like a pretty good idea, because the trap is surrounded by bird seed. There have been no rat sightings for a couple of days, so maybe the cheese and rat poison savings will offset the cost of my new phone and I can keep my shampoo. That way, everyone wins. Well, except the rats and the two good birds, I guess. As I come to the end of this post, I am really regretting the promise I made to Ina because this would be an excellent spot for some good bird/rat eating jokes. Oh well, I always keep my promises, so have a good night, everyone!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Say, do you guys remember when I got my new phone? There were zombies and everything, and it wasn't so long ago. I was terrified of it, as you might remember, but it's pretty easy to use and I have gotten sort of fond of it. I like taking pictures and sending them on the spot, texting all my friends, and reading my email at the grocery store. I have even grown to like the purple and white bird cover, and not just because it repels the zombies. I have resisted facebooking at stop lights, though, unlike some people I could mention.

Have I mentioned that we have the boys back in swimming lessons? I rooted around for a while on here and SFK looking for posts I may have written about swimming lessons before, but I couldn't find any, so I may have been too traumatized. We have tried multiple times before with less than stellar results. First at Osan, where the instructor tried to get Weston, who is timid in the water, to get his head wet by mockingly comparing him unfavorably to a girl. Then at a place around here, where the instructor let the un-buoyed and untrustworthy two year old Shane propel himself around the edge of the pool with her back turned until he went under and Lloyd had to fish him out by his hair.

This time didn't start out too promisingly, either, because the teacher forced Weston's head underwater when he wasn't expecting it. Who thinks that's a good idea? I would be so furious if someone did that to me but because he's just a kid it's okay to terrorize him? Anyway, he was willing to go back if he didn't have to have his head underwater unless he wanted to, so we talked to the teacher and she agreed. Actually, Lloyd had to threaten her, I think. He still won't tell me what he said to her, but whatever it was worked, and the lessons have been going fine for several weeks now.

So, tonight, we were at the pool. I was minding my own business, daydreaming about the tropics in the moist warm air, when the teacher told Shane for about the sixteenth time to hang on to the edge of the pool while she wasn't looking instead of paddling around. Sensible, because he can't swim, of course. I walked over to the edge and bent over to remind him that at swimming lessons we listen to Miss Denice and do what she says or else we can't come back to the pool. When I did, my new phone slipped out of my shirt pocket, bounced on the concrete and slipped through my grasping hands straight into the pool. Right now it is resting peacefully in a bowl of rice, and I am sucking down the wine to soothe the withdrawal pains. And, I had to bust the rice out of the emergency kit. But, dude, if that's not an emergency, I don't know what is.

Geez, I hate swimming lessons.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Past Comes Back to Haunt me, and a Turkey in a Dress

Yes, that is a turkey in a dress. No, I do not know why, thank you for asking. I could try to explain it but I would probably not be successful, so I will just say that in my family, we do things like put dresses on turkeys. Seriously, I don't know why. But I do think that particular shade of blue is not that turkey's color and next time we should go for more of a forest green or some other jewel tone. Or a plaid, perhaps- that red and blue and green one. Come on, you know what I'm talking about, admit it.

There is, however, a reason for the turkey itself. The boys and I went to my dad's house today to have dinner with the cousins and the aunts. My dad has been sorting through pictures and other assorted items and there is always a bag or box (or both!) with my name on it. Sometimes I just set the whole thing on fire but once in a while there is some good stuff in there. Today I hit the jackpot with some letters I wrote to my parents from college in 1988. I scanned one of them so you could see the art work. I'm not going to transcribe them, but here are my favorite excerpts:

Letter 1:'s really boring here. I even cleaned my whole apartment. I made my bed this morning too WOW!!!!!!!..... it should be another fun weekend. Somebody put a toilet in the middle of the fountain and it wasn't me, and I don't know who it was. Aren't you impressed?

Letter 2: Susannah is going to stay with us over Memorial Day, ok? Her family moved to Alaska and she has no home. Can I have some money? I need to eat. All I have is condiments.

That is some classic literature right there, people... And speaking of classic literature, also in the box today were two college texts on cat anatomy. Interestingly enough, when we got home Shane asked, 'What's the inside of a cat look like?' I'm not sure if he knew about the books in advance or if it was just a freakish coincidence, but either way it worked out well for Shane. The cats, not so much.

Overall, it was an excellent day. The kids played outside for hours- it was freezing cold and they wouldn't even put coats on. They had some awesomely questionable game about grizzlies, guns and dinosaurs. Here, you can see a snippet for yourself:

Then Jennifer and the aunts and I had an argument about the advisability of small children peeing outside. Strangely, I found myself in alone in a minority of one but I PREFER that they pee outside. The bathroom stays way cleaner that way. Who can argue with logic like that? Plus it saves valuable playing time. And even if you don't have a preference, why would you care? I WOULD rather they not pee in parking lots, or at least not when I'm with them, but what are you going to do, right? I will not back down on this one, my friends. Who's with me?

I also got in a good thrifting trip. Good thing, too, because I really needed some wine glasses. I break about one a week; that's probably how I'll tell time after the earthquake. I found six new ones for 69 cents each, but I broke one on the kitchen floor when I got home. It was still wrapped in the paper, though, so the cleanup was super easy.

So that was my day; I hope you are having a fantastic weekend!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pass the Frozen Chickens and Make it Snappy

Check out my new brainstorm, you guys! This is a plan for improvements to my office. And boy, could it use some! See, I live in a four-cube room with three excellent cubers. That's like a neighbor, only in a cube. Like a cubeneighbor, get it? The problem is the other people that so often want to come into our blissful kingdom. Seriously, sometimes someone wanders in there that's a real pain. You would not even believe it if I told you. Another problem is the cynical and not-necessarily-complimentary opinions are always flying around freely, and loudly, in our flunkie haven, if you get my drift. We have been debating the most effective alarm system for some time now. We're a Government operation, you know; we can't do anything too quickly. The best candidate until I had my epiphany this morning was one of those annoying santas with a sensor that says 'ho ho ho' when someone goes by. We could probably get one for 75% off now, too, which is good because everyone is so stingy with their damn tax dollars these days.

I was just minding my own beeswax this morning when it happened. It was bright and early and I was listening to a little Meat Loaf and having some coffee when all of a sudden the whole scheme just came to me. It's like a curse, y'all! My favorite part is the frozen chicken cannons, because they can be totally recycled. See, you fire the cannons, then barbecue the ammo using the pedal-powered generator, then you toss the carcasses to the alligators in the moat.

The rest is pretty self-explanatory, but I should point out that my cube is the one on the left in the back, where the command and control center and the escape hatch are located. That is because I am definitely the brains of our operation and if we get overrun I need to get out so I can re-establish our empire somewhere else in the building. Normally you would find me curled up in a ball under my desk whimpering, but if the chicken cannons fail I'm definitely bailing, and quick. I'm leaving the alligators, though, because they're kind of stinky.

I bet you think I'm kidding. Oh, you have no idea..... Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tired? Me?

It is 4:52 a.m. at my house. I have already taken a shower, fed the cats, messed around on Facebook and guzzled the better part of an entire pot of coffee. Why on earth would she do such a ridiculous thing, you might be asking yourself right now. What the hell is wrong with her? Doesn't she know how important it is to get an adequate amount of rest? WHY YES I DO, THANK YOU FOR ASKING, MY CURIOUS FRIENDS.

I didn't mean to get up in the very, very pre-dawn hours, of course. I went to bed at a reasonable time last night, after having watched Young Guns, which I like very much and which reminded me of my sweet friend Susannah because one day in 1988, while we should have been studying, we drank many beers and sat in the theater and watched it loop at least three times. I can't recall exactly what we liked best about it but I do know that Charlie Sheen was much more appealing when he kept his crazy under wraps.

Unfortunately my pleasant dreams of the old west were rudely interrupted by two children and two cats crawling under the covers, in rapid succession, one after the other. Plop, plop, plop, plop. After about the fourteenth knee to the kidneys, I got up and looked at the clock. It was 3:44 a.m. Yep. I figure I can function until about ten before I crash. At least it's staff meeting day; they prefer it when I'm docile.

And, of course, since the kids are still asleep in my bed, once again I am facing the getting dressed in the dark issue. I've learned a lot since the first day it happened, but I'm not sure I've ironed out all the kinks. Also, I had to shake a cat off the black sweater that was on top of my clothes pile, which is likely to cause me some dismay under the bright and unforgiving office lighting. I think I have a viable solution to that, too, though. I'm pretty sure the facility management guy at my office won't let me put the lights out in the bathroom and break the mirrors, so I am going to teach myself to pee with my eyes shut. Oooh, and one of those cat cone/collar things to prevent me from looking down!!!! They come in all different colors, I should get a bunch and wear one every day! Wow, getting up early doesn't dim my brilliant idea generation factory AT ALL. Good to know. I'm off to get dressed now, I know it's going to be a fantastic day!