We rock.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Procrastination is happening right now, this very minute

Mud says:

Hi! Hello!

I'm moving into a new house in, like (pulls out fingers, sticks tongue out of side of mouth, eyes upwards and diagonal in concentration, counting) 11 days? 10? Do you count today, if you're screwing off?

It's HOTT.

The house, I mean, not the weather, which is obviously dunk-your-balls-in-a- cherry- slushie- COLD. The new yard is HUGE and the kitchen is SHINY and there are things like GRANITE and TILE and NEW FLOORS and it's so nice that you can almost forget it's in a totally shady part of town, across the street from a Kroger.

Oh, sorry about the CAPS LOCK. Cold weather and real estate purchases both make me yell. You might want to back away from the screen a tad, so as not to hurt your ears.

Anyway, yes. Nice house, moderately shady part of town, groceries quite convenient. That will be good for beer runs and toilet paper runs and, quite frankly, any other kind of runs we might be in the mood for at some point in the future. Caper runs. Anchovy runs. Need some Crisco? Let's run!

Runs. Heh.

Anyway. Right. As I was saying. We're going to "transition" from one abode to the other this time, as we take possession of said house on the first of February and must vacate the current house at the last of February.

Hey, I have a great idea! I'm going to move in February, the shortest, coldest month of the year, a month which handily coincides with Mike's busiest time of year at work, all in uncertain times for the real estate market. I'm one smart cookie, I am.

I have never gradually moved before. Most of my experience is with 24 to 48 hours of the hectically shoving of computer cords and throw pillows into unlabeled boxes whilst yelling, "Mike, I found an uneaten pizza slice under the bed! Perhaps from last February! We are now fighting!"

(Just kidding, I never found an uneaten pizza slice under my bed, that would be horrific. We did find one under the seat of Mike's car, a few years back, though. Also, I think this is an excellent time to mention that, one 8:30 am many years ago, I showed up to help move Mysterious Third Sister out of her dorm room, which she had to vacate by noon, and she was ENTIRELY UNPACKED. It was a Herculean task, but we did it.)

(Prediction! MTS will comment on this post, saying that she was just "mostly" unpacked, and you should not believe her!)

(Hindsight is 20-20: Perhaps this attitude is why I've never gotten a full security deposit back.)

I should be packing right now, and I should not stop for another 10 days, or perhaps month. Mike and I have moved a ton of times (4? 5? JEEZUS!), but we have accumulated a bunch of crap since our last move, seeing as how we're both gainfully employed and all DINKY and shit.

Today's task is actually a purging one. I either should be or actually am going to go through my clothes and decide which ones Need To Go. Quite frankly, many of them do. Not only does much of my wardrobe suck, but the new house, while gorgeous and bigger in many ways, does not actually have the closet space that our current house has. And I've been making full (pun!) use of my current closets, mostly by shoving crap in them until the doors barely close.

I do not want to deal with that, no, no I don't. I would rather sit on the couch and watch seven consecutive episodes of Law & Order.

And now I will leave you, wondering whether I chose the path of purging righteousness or slothful TNT (which knows drama).

Also, this thing could use a walk:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Oh my word

Robes says:

Since we have last talked, Blog-o-sphere of destiny and delight, i have experienced Christmas and the inevitable PostChristmasWorkHell- which seriously, every year in December i pretend that the first two weeks of January won't suck my ever loving ball sack, and they always always do.

Which is unfortunate, because my birthday is on January 13th. Each year, this really marks the new year for me, because it heralds the honest to god end of the holidays, and begins in a period of time that i look forward to every year- the heart of winter.

Summer is frenetic- the outdoors beckons, the world is enticing, even the air invites me to play as it waifs by- when it's really really hot, lakes and oceans are playgrounds. But starting in mid-January, when the last bottle of champagne is gone from the fridge and all my Christmas candy has been, um, chugged away- long slow snuggly winter weekends loom large in my head.

Suddenly, there is time for books and cooking and watching marathons of old TV shows in a semi-daze for hours, nay, days on end without feeling the pull of the outdoors.

There are weekends that can be spent, entire, in one single solitary sweatsuit while I sip hot cocoa and debate on if my cat is more snuggly when he is sitting on top of me or nestled at my side.

There is building music libraries when I've the same cds in my car since last march.

There is going stir crazy and bursting out into the world to play in the snow or to look at puppies or to simply freeze my ass off for a minute.

There is returning home and gradually unthawing while i watch tv in snuggly socks my little brother just gave me.

There is looking at unromantic greying slush eat away at my water proof leather boots and thinking UGG- then pulling my scarf closer to my neck while the fingers of my mittened hands curl into an involuntary snuggly fist, hopelessly preserving their own warmth.

and there are electric blankets for when I crawl into bed so that my sheets aren't going to turn my tush to ice.

There is a feeling in the dead, silent air that if I screamed in the middle of the street, the sound would freeze and thud to earth like a million small icicles, unheard and unremarked. Hidden from human ears, entire.

My inner-introvert sighs and breathes deeply.

Now is her time.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Conversation at the video store

“So you’re saying that alien movies are scarier than zombie movies because an alien attack is more likely than an uprising of the undead?”

“Exactly. And if aliens can GET here, they can certainly win any war our civilizations happen to enter into, because we’d be at a technological disadvantage, merely by virtue of their ability to travel across the light years to our tiny little solar system.”

“I suppose that's true.”

“And aliens could show up...tomorrow, for all we know. Later today.”

"So what’s the plan in case of alien invasion, then?”


"Welcome our new overlords.”

Monday, December 17, 2007

fa la la la meme, fa meme meme meme....

Mud says:

'Tis the season not to ignore memes. That, and also, I've been...uninspired lately. By that, I guess I mean this: I can't think of crap to write about. So I might as well meme, because it's nice to have a topic. Here goes, and thanks for the tag, Maybelline.

1.) “When people say ‘Christmas’ you immediately think…”

Shit. AGAIN? The days, they last so long; but the years, they fly by!

2.) “Favorite Christmas memory…”

My mom, crusty old agnostic though she is, has always loved Christmas carols. She knows a million, every verse. She always remembers, for example, which of the “we three kings” brought myrrh and what whether it was “a bitter perfume” or if it would “crown you”…again? on high? Do you see what I’m saying? I don't have her brain, is what I'm saying. It's a steel trap for lyrics.

(Though, for the record, she can't ever get our names straight. She routinely calls me "Yogi," which is the name of her crazy corgi.)

Anyway, when we were kids, anywhere we drove in December, we’d always sing Christmas carols the car. We’d alternate who got to choose the song. The five of us kids, mostly tone-deaf, made a wonderful chorus.

I have tons of memories of this tradition. When I was very little, I’d always request “Silent Night,” every time. When the youngest two were babies, we’d always throw in “Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer” with the more traditional carols, at the request of the little ‘uns. In ninth grade, when I was getting a little old for it, just the my mom and I sang as she drove me to a friend’s house. The night was black and cold, and we harmonized.

The first year that my parents were divorced (or maybe it was just the first year that my mom skipped Christmas Eve at my dad’s family’s house; their divorce wasn’t a very succinct one) I drove us all there, and we sang, without my mom. You could actually hear the absence of her voice.

(Confession I: We still sing in the car).

(Confession II: I am cheesy, eh? Would you like some whine with my cheese?)

3.) “Favorite Christmas song/carol…”

As you may have missed this in the answer to the question above, I shall reiterate: I loves the carols. Loves! I think my favorite is “Good King Wenceslas”, because I dig the story.

But hey! It turns out that in real life The Good King was wacked by his evil brother, Boleslaus! That's not so jolly! (I love wikipedia).

Runner-up in the carol category:
Bring a TO-ORCH Jeannette-IsaBELLLLLL-A, BRING a tor-orch and ca-aandal, RUN!” That one’s good for bellowing.

4.) “Favorite Christmas movie…”

Don’t really like Christmas movies. Don’t know why. I suppose, if pushed, I’d have to go for “A Christmas Story.” Oh – do the SNL Best of Christmas skits count? Because those are hiLARious.

5.) “Favorite Christmas character…”

Santa, baby.

6.) “Favorite Christmas ornament/object…”

I don’t…have…any…*SOB! Quit making fun of my family for being so disorganized that we can’t maintain physical objects well enough to hold them sacred!

No, seriously. A few weeks back, my mother-in-law was waxing poetic about how each of her children would hang the same hand-embroidered stocking by the fireplace every Christmas since their births, and I had to respond with: “Uh, we always, pretty much, lost ours from year to year, and uh, then we’d spill something on them…”

7.) “Plans for this Christmas…”

Friday – Sunday morn: Mike’s mom in KY.
Sunday afternoon – Monday morn: Mike’s dad in small-town Ohio.
Christmas Eve – Christmas Day: My mom, dad, all hodpodged in there. That’s normally when things get dysfunctional and we start fighting. Traditionally, we follow this with waffles.
The Saturday After: My maternal Grandmother’s.

We like to party until we drop, over here.

8.) “Is Christmas your favorite holiday?”

Halls, no. Until we, as a society, decide to celebrate Christmas by decking ourselves out as ho ho ho’s and binge drinking wassle, it’ll never hold an advent candle to Halloween.

(You like what I did there? huh?)

Monday, Monday. Can't trust that day.

item 1: my coffee tastes of soap
item 2: it is weak
item 3: my id badge necklace was just in my coffee cup. i quickly pulled it out, and in doing so covered myself in coffee

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Holidays

Mud says:

Mike hates the mall, loathes shopping, despises holiday crowds.

Well, that's not entirely true.

There is a silver lining, one thing that almost makes 1.) shopping at 2.) the mall during 3.) the holidays almost bearable for him. That thing, that blessed thing? It's watching yittle kids have emotional breakdowns because they are petrified of Santa. We stand up on the balcony and snicker. If they sold popcorn, we'd buy it.

And in that vein? Have the greatest thing I've seen on the Internet in a while.

Happy Holidays.

UPDATE: Mysterious Third Sister says: The kid in #46 has a point. Run, kid, RUN!
UPDATE UPDATE: They have removed freaky Santa, or switched the order, so that #46 is normal-ish. #53 is still a little off, though.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Since Friday

Robes Says:

since friday----

i have hosted a party for many people who got really drunk
i have lost my phone.
i have found my phone stashed in a pile of jeans.
i have moved my new roommate in.
i have bought a snow shovel for my walk.
i have purchased jeans that look good on my ass.
i have been to the gynocologist for an unnerving procedure.
i have been pushed into a bush covered in snow and screamed.
i have cleaned twenty shot glasses.
i have been to a kroger that has my bank and a state liquor agency in it.
i have noticed the dirty banana peels in my car.
i have vacuumed my basement.
i have washed my shower curtain.
i have scheduled a plumber for saturday for a leak in the basement.
i have come to terms with the fact that my father is coming to visit my sister on saturday and that i'm obligated.
i have been coughy.
i have gotten my eyebrows waxed.
i have chewed my fingernails.
i have brushed my teeth.
i have drunk gay danced until the bar shut down.
i have woken up with a sore throat that won't allow me to swallow.
i have come into work in jeans on a monday.
i have thought about cutting my hair.
i have been glad that my hair is long.
i have organized my new room.
i have discovered that the wireless network in my house is named mr. cat.
i have called and put my roommate on my housing insurance.
i have gotten two new employees at work.
i have paid my bills.
i have taken tylenol pm to go to sleep.
i have read 133 pages of the Giver.
i have made several pots of coffee.
i have talked to my mother about my crotch.
i have stood in the rain.
i have stood in the snow.
i have cried at a movie about loving a dog (from www.dooce.com).

completely uncontrollably.
i have taken the recycling.
i have been, i suppose, alive.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Our Mother is A Herder

Robes Says:

I am currently an urban liver, but my upbringing, while unconventional in its ways, was classically suburban in its surroundings. If I've become slightly more urban in the last ten years, my mother has taken the opposite route. As her children (5, 2 still living at home) move out into the world, she has filled her emptying nest with chickens, bees, dogs, and most recently Angus cows. Unlike her relationships with her children, when these things piss her off she gets to kill them (except dogs, obviously). For her, this position of extreme and ultimate power is fundamentally fulfilling. She is truly now a farmer, and lives on a farm, in the midst of Nowhere.

There were precursors of my mother's love of nature and desire to live more closely to it throughout my childhood. I remember a vivid, icy day when school was closed and the trees were all weighed down by ice. My mother shepherded her flock of tiny tots out into the woods and made us grasp all the wonder. She also volunteered to watch nests in an outdoor park- every so often she would walk to ensure that starlings hadn't pushed blue birds out of their nests. We lived less than a mile from a small suburban creek that had been preserved as wetlands. Around 15 years ago, mom discovered a family of beavers were living in the creek. She made us all trek upstream to observe their funny little quirks and see how the dam was effecting the water flow.

As a child, my ability to see my mother's connection to nature came in spurts- now that she lives on a farm, the connection is omnipresent- it has deepened and strengthened, and with the deepening and strengthening my mother has also deepened and strengthened.

Three female cows are the beneficiaries of this; Numbers 13, 14, and 22 have lived with my mother for 6 months. In the natural way of things, my mom wants to make sure all of her cattle are in the family way; they were purchased already inseminated but with no guarantees. Three months ago, the three cows broke out of their pasture on my mother's farm and found their slutty little way into the neighbor's pasture, which is home to a studly Angus bull.

Initially, my mother felt as though her cows were stealing bull semen from an unwitting neighbor's herd, and that this action was genuinely unneighborly in a very unexpected way. Surely, that bull was there to impregnate other cows besides hers. However, upon discussion the neighbor quickly communicated that there was more than enough of this substance to include the needs of three additional cows, and so the cows remained next door.

13 and 14 were easy to reclaim from the neighbor's herd. 22, however, had apparently become something of a favorite of ze bull. Therefore, mom enlisted the entire family to aid her in reclaiming the cow over Thanksgiving.

This was an experience of epic proportions.

Because it was bow-hunting season, we all got decked out in bright orange. In order to scare the cattle in case of a stampede, we each were given a broom handle. Since the cows weigh like a ton, this is counter intuitive. All the additional tools at our disposal included: 1/3 of a bucket of grain. With this armoring, and after ensuring the bull was locked up, 6 family members ventured into the neighbors pasture.

We had a great deal of initial success separating 22 from the rest of the herd and driving her toward our gate. By initial success, I mean that for 30 second we had 22 50 feet away from the rest of the herd. Then someone, perhaps me, shouted "booyah" and caused all 15 cows to stampede at Noah, MTS's fiancee. Noah proudly and heroically stood firm during the stampede and waved his broom handle to scare the cows. Indeed, the stampede of cows did stop between 3 and 6 feet away from his frail and vulnerable body, so if nothing else the effectiveness of the broom handle was confirmed.

What followed was 45 trying minutes of "herding". A herd of cows operates like a flock of birds or a school of fish- the cows like to be around each other and have group identity and movements. Herding cows is a combination of strategery and calm- if you run or excite a cow, you can't predict where it will go. However, if you slowly walk beside it, you can be assured it will inch away from you ever so slightly. Therefore, even when we got all the cows to the gate, it seemed impossible to get 22 to come through, all by herself, by force of our subtly moving 6 person formation.

My stepfather went into alien abduction/tractor beam/magician mode at this point- calling "here 22" while the blasted cow honest to god separated herself from the herd and walked right through the gate and back onto her native soil, my mother's farm.

I have never witnessed my mother as happy as she was during those 45 minutes. Her husband kept yelling at her to slow down, to not excite the cows, but she kept running and prancing and generally rilin' those cows like nobody's business from sheer and transparent joy.

It is stunning to see a person grow into her space, fill it out, and become more herself than she has ever been before there. To me, it is deeply personal to see my mother so happy- there is an amazing synchronicity to being a daughter- a connection that can't be simplified or made clique even though we try so hard to as a society. Because of her, I know that little pieces of who i am now- glimmers of strengths, secret forays into places that will show me who i am- those pieces will deepen and strengthen, and change. As always, she gives me hope about who i will be, and who the world will make me. She gives me hope that I can be happy.

~It's a magical world. . . Let's go exploring!" ~

I'm so glad that neither of us live in suburbia anymore.