Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Kids Say the Darnedest Things (Geek Edition)

  • Last week, we let the big kids stay up and watch Survivor: Guatemala (the first season they've been allowed to watch it). Franny kept getting it confused with Lost (which they are most emphatically not allowed to watch). When it was over, she asked, "Next week, can we watch more Lost Guacamole?

  • Last night, on the way to Cub Scouts, Drew was talking about how he wanted to do archery. He stopped, thought about it a minute and said, "You know, a bow and arrow, a slingshot, and a rocket all operate on the same principle. . ." Pretty astute for an eight-year-old!

  • At nap time, I read Alec a book and then sing him a song. Today, when I asked what song he wanted, I expected one of the usual requests ("Bus," aka "The Wheels on the Bus," "Hushbye," or "Staaah," aka "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"). Instead he said "Dane!" I said, "Um, what honey?" "Dane, Dane, sing Dane" - it took me a minute, but I realized what he was asking for. . .Adam taught him "The Ballad of Jayne" from Firefly. . .

Monday, September 19, 2005

The first day of the rest of my life. . .

Adam went back to work today, so my convalescence is officially over, although I'm still trying to take it easy. I actually feel so much better than I expected to at this point - I'm still sore, and I think my synthroid dose needs some tweaking (good thing I have an appointment with the endocrinologist tomorrow!), but I already feel so much better than I did before the surgery. I'm still having some neck mobility problems, but I was able to drive the kids to school this morning without any difficulties. And the incision is healing very nicely. The bruising has mostly faded, so I no longer look like someone tried to throttle me and then slit my neck, and the incision, while noticable, isn't glaring.

Had a pretty social weekend. My brother, Ben, is in town from New York (for the Austin City Limits Festival - he can pick up some work there through his old job, and make a quick buck or two) and we had dinner with him and my mom on Saturday, and swam in mom and dad's pool. It sounds like Ben's having a hard time making the transition to NYC living. He's working his ass off (and barely has time to go to auditions) and living as frugally as he can, but he's still barely making ends meet. He's doing some great work with a theatre company that he fell in with, and has written a play that they want to produce, but it's all for free. He seems a little disillusioned, and I hate it for him, because he was so excited about this move. But it was great to see him.

Last night, Merideth and Will and their kids came over. We cooked chicken on the grill and had a cookie baking bonanza (oatmeal chocolate chip and regular chocolate chip!), and the kids played in the sprinkler mud. Merideth and I concocted a clever plan to do some bulk shopping and then spend a day cooking a bunch of meals that we could stock our freezers with. Any suggestions of recipes that double and freeze well are greatly appreciated!

Tonight I'm supposed to go to my book club meeting (to discuss Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake, which is depressing as hell, but inventive and cunningly constructed). I really want to go (I haven't been in months), but Drew has his first Cub Scout meeting tonight (right up until the time book club starts) and I'm already feeling pretty worn out. I think something's gotta give. . .

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Meme thing

Adam tagged me for this meme a million years ago. Since I'm trying to sit down and not do too much, I thought I'd finally post it here. . .

1. Where I was ten years ago:
Starting my third year of graduate school. My marriage was rocky and we were both drinking way too much. I'd had a miscarriage the previous spring, and a close friend from grad school had been killed in a car accident 2 months later. It was a rough time.

2. Where I was five years ago:
At home with a 3 year old and an almost 9 month old. Franny was crawling and pulling up and Drew was in preschool 2 mornings a week. I was starting to feel like I was getting the hang of the stay at home thing, although Adam was still working the evening shift, which made life hard (doing bedtime for an infant and a toddler by yourself is not fun!)

3. Where I was one year ago:
Working from home, with a 7 year old, a 4 year old, and a one year old. Drew was in second grade, Fran was in preschool 4 mornings a week, and Alec was going 2 mornings a week. Writing a monthly column for Austinmama.com. I was beginning to think about going back to work full time when Fran started kindergarten.

4. Where I was yesterday:
At home and at the surgeon's office, getting good news about my thyroid biopsy

5. Where I am today:
Home with Adam and Alec, still recuperating from surgery.

6. Where I will be tomorrow:
Ditto

7. Five snacks I enjoy:
1. Almond M&M's
2. Baguette and brie
3. Tzatziki and fresh pita bread
4. Queso and tortilla chips (with a margarita!)
5. Snickerdoodles

8. Five singers (or bands) for whom I know the lyrics to most of their songs:
1. Nanci Griffith
2. Lyle Lovett
3. Maura O'Connell
4. Jimmy Buffett
5. The Beatles

9. Five things I would do with $100,000,000:
1. Pay off all my debts (and all my family and friends' debts too)
2. Sell my 1970's tract house and buy an Arts and Crafts style bungalow in Hyde Park
3. Buy a big sailboat
4. Travel all the time
5. Have all my clothes custom made

10. Five locations I would like to run away to:
1. the Caribbean
2. The Florida Gulf Coast
3. London
4. Paris
5. Wales

11. Five bad habits I have:
1. Procrastinating
2. Eating for comfort
3. Not keeping track of expenses
4. Biting my cuticles
5. Speeding

12. Five things I like doing:
1. Reading
2. Writing
3. Cooking
4. Eating
5. Gabbing with my friends


13. Five TV shows I like:
1. Lost
2. Survivor
3. Buffy
4. Firefly
5. thirtysomething

14. Five famous people I'd like to meet have dinner with (if I'm going to meet someone famous, I'd like to have the chance to actually talk to the person!):
1. Harlan Ellison
2. Molly Ivins
3. Neil Gaiman
4. Johnny Depp (what can I say, I'm shallow)
5. Liz Carpenter
(Oddly enough, I've actually met everyone on this list except Depp - I just didn't have a chance to really talk to them.)

15. My biggest joys:
1. Seeing my kids turn into people
2. Spending time with Adam
3. Writing something I'm really proud of
4. Getting lost in a good book
5. Being in the water

16. My favorite toys:
1. My laptop
2. My ipod
3. My kitchenaide mixer
4. The internet (does this count?)
5. Waterskis

Monday, September 12, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

I've been collecting links for a while and this is a general omnibus of good information on what happened and how you can help. . .

Ways to help

Adam posted a pretty comprehensive list of reputable charities

A few additional ones I like:

Modest Needs (an organization that provides help to the working poor/those who make too much to qualify for other aid but who experience short term financial emergencies)

SHARE (Secular Humanist aid organization - great for folks who don't want to support religious charities)

Project Backpack and Kids of Katrina - both are collecting school supplies for displaced kids

If you're at your computer a lot you can enter information in a single database of missing people

Can't donate money? Check the Red Cross guidelines to see if you can donate blood. Then find a blood drive in your area.

There's apparently a desperate need for plus-sized women's clothing in the shelters (especially bras and underwear). If you don't have any to donate, you might consider ordering some from somewhere like lanebryant.com or roamans.com and have it shipped to the appropriate address. Your donations of new or gently used clothing can be sent to:

Helping Hands for Texas
c/o Alamo Premier Mortgage Group
10223 281 Freeway, Suite 200
San Antonio 78216

or:

Salvation Army
5302 Harry Hines
Dallas Texas 75235

Commentary and News

Adam's also made some fabulous posts about the situation on the Gulf Coast and the government's slow response. I particularly liked this succinct list of ways folks from the GOP have put their foots in their mouths

A transcript of the infamous (and profoundly infuriating) interview with Aaron Broussard, President of Jefferson Parish

Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls. It Tolls for "Occupant."

Making Light has been an invaluable resource. This post on Why the Red Cross wasn't in New Orleans explains a lot about the way FEMA approached this disaster and why things went so tragically wrong.

Disjointed thoughts on the socio-economics of disaster and a couple of follow-ups: The first day of the rest of your life, and Stereotypes, Generalizations, and the Great Divide: More Disjointed Thoughts

A neat article about Park Service employees rescuing historical artifacts in New Orlean's museums

Like Lazarus. . .

I had my throat slit last week, and I'm only just beginning to recover. No worries - it was a planned procedure. I've been having problems with my thyroid for years (it tended towards high, but would occasionally swing low, so it was difficult to treat), and after some kind of dicey test results, my endocrinologist reccomended that I have it out. The procedure itself isn't particularly complicated, and I seem to be making a good recovery, but I have a rather garish scar on my neck (the surgeon assures me it will fade in time) and something about coming up from general anesthesia always feels like coming back from the dead.

I spent one night in the hospital and then five days recuperating at my Mom and Dad's (away from my sweet, but clinging children), eating cherry popsicles, chicken noodle soup, and saltine crackers. Luckily Adam's parents were able to be here for most of that time, to help him with the kids. I came home last night, and I'm beginning to gradually slip back into my normal routine, although I'm trying to take it easy and not overdo it. Right now it feels like my skin doesn't quite fit me, although I'm sure everything will settle down in a few days. Adam's home for the rest of the week, so I can take it slowly.

In other news, my September column is up at Austinmama.com about (what else) hurricane Katrina. I also recommend the other columnists and the feature article by Marion Winik, one of my favorite essayists.