Sunday, June 12, 2011

Moving On, At Least Temporarily

Find me at

It's no secret that I haven't been posting. I'm pretty sure not even my mom is reading this!

As the kids have gotten bigger I haven't felt right sharing our struggles and foibles anymore. Though to be sure we still have our days when things go wrong.

One parting example: last night as Cary was making pizza the oven ceased to heat. He declared the pizza inedible, so we did the only logical thing, which was to order pizza. Simultaneously he suggested he would throw the pizza on the grill to finish cooking it. His grilled pizza was delicious! That was all the kids ate. We now have a refrigerator full of leftover pizza and we still have a broken over.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Overheard during the Superbowl

Lucy: "All of us are rooting for Green Bay except Inga. She's rooting for kitty team injuries. She's the only one on the team."

Lucy to Henry: "Dude, don't you know Doritos are seriously bad for you, and for fish."

Lucy: "I want to see the Darth Vader commercial."

I guess we now know that the Superbowl may be the only thing that can drive me upstairs to blog again.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baby Cardinal

We've had a plethora of wildlife in our back yard lately, but I managed to get a picture of the baby Cardinal that's been visiting.

We've also had a wild turkey, nicknamed Nika by Lucy, several Northern Flickers, as well as the usual bevy of bunnies, squirrel, red-bellied woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jays, nut hatches, tufted titmice, orioles, and rose-breasted grossbeaks.

Nika has been coming to our yard for a couple of years now and she's absolutely huge! I'll try to get a decent shot of her next time she's in the neighborhood.

I included a picture of Inga taking a break from watching the birds and attempting to climb the screens that are no longer there.

Compared to just last week she seems enormous.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

We did it!

Yesterday we adopted a kitten. I guess that means I'm weak. I made it just over a week without a cat in the house.

I feel so much better already. As I type this the kitten is asleep downstairs. Henry is watching YouTube, Lucy is playing with Moonsand on the deck, and all is temporarily right with the world.

The kitty is 11 weeks old and weighs just over 2 lbs. She has very soft fur, beautiful tabby markings, and is a polydactyl.

Except that we don't just have ONE pet snake outside. We have two! Those were pictures of two different snakes I posted the other day. We're calling them Snakey and Snakina.

We still don't have a name for the kitten, but for once I don't feel like I need to rush into something.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hair of the Cat

Beware. The following is a long, rambling post. Don't say I didn't warn you.

It has been just over a week since we said goodbye to Sufi. Though I know hardly any time has passed I am still having trouble sleeping, eating, or thinking about anything else besides getting another cat. I don't want to garden or read.

Cary and I have also discussed getting a dog. Specifically getting a Boston Terrier. But here's the thing. There are only a few Boston Terrier breeders around, and it's hard to know if they are reputable or not. But I can go on Petfinder and pick out a dozen adorable cats that might not cause Cary any more allergic discomfort than Sufi did. We're also considering adopting a Siberian, but there's no guarantee that a Siberian kitten will not cause an allergic reaction. Nor do we know how he will do in the presence of a Boston Terrier -- he just thinks they are very cute.

While I know full well that there are many, many worse things in life than losing a pet, I've been stunned by how acute the pain is. I want it to end. I want to take the ragged empty spot in my soul where Sufi used to be and stuff it full of kittens.

And when I'm tired and cranky I have less patience with the kids, and I don't want to do all the things I should do for them, like take them to the park, and feed them balanced meals, and read to them.

But wait, there's more! I took Henry to the dentist today to get a spacer put on two of his teeth. The dentist informed me that she would like to pull two teeth while we were there. So boom. Out came the two teeth! Being exhausted was helpful because I just had to trust her, and he did great. I think the teeth were pretty loose, and his discomfort was minimal. Maybe the tooth fair will bring him a kitten?

Henry also taught Lucy how to play Pokemon Diamond on her DS, so now she's a little video game addict. At least we get a little peace around here once in awhile.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sufi's Tree

I planted a Corkscrew Willow in Sufi's memory on Thursday morning. Supposedly the Corkscrew Willow is a fast growing tree that will do well in the swampy nether regions of our back yard. I put an ugly deer fence around it to keep the critters away. I will be damned if this tree doesn't thrive.

I'm finding life without our sweet kitten changes how I look at things. Things like snakes. Since we won't be welcoming a new pet home any time soon, I've decided to adopt our snake visitor as an ad hoc pet. I even took pictures. We named him Snakey.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Today we said goodbye to our sweet Sufi. I was lucky to have 15 wonderful years with her. She was affectionate and playful. I will miss the way she used to put her paw in my hand, or stretch out on my outstretched legs each night. I will miss the little golden patch of fur under her chin. I will miss seeing her watch the birds or nap in the sunshine.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

What Went Wrong Index

Like Harper's, only on a smaller scale and with more bodily fluids.

This week:
Number of school days Lucy missed: 3
Number of school days Henry missed: 0
Number of apology letters Henry wrote: 5
Number of times I cried in public: 3
Number of acquaintances offering tissues: 2
Approximate number of times Sufi urinated outside litter box today: 4
Number of cans of salmon Sufi consumed: less than one
Number of cans of cat food Sufi consumed: zero
Tickets ordered for Lucy's Spring Ballet Performance: 7
Cost of tickets: $97.00
Bags of mulch purchased: 20
Bags of mulch used: 0
Cost of mulch: $97.00
Number of globe allium blooming in garden: 12

Monday, April 12, 2010

Crosseyed and Painless

Last Friday night I was supposed to go see Sleigh Bells with my mom. I had the sitter. I had tickets waiting for us at the Will Call. But I'd had a migraine for three of the past four straight days, so I decided to skip the show.

I had a vision of my name on the list. The last name on the list that hadn't been crossed out. This isn't the first time I'd done this and our concert scene is tiny, so I thought, "what if people start recognizing my name as the person who never picks up her tickets."

It was pretty easy to dismiss that thought, but it reminded me of another list that my name is still on. The list for people who don't know what they want to be when they grow up. An Ivy League education is like buying an advance ticket on the rest of your life and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in my graduating class still waiting to pick up my ticket. Just as I really wanted to see Sleigh Bells, but I didn't want to stand for several hours, sit through a lousy opening band (or two), and leave the house around the time I normally go to bed, I am deeply ambivalent about the work world. The longer I stay out the harder it will be to go back, yet unless something wonderful landed in my lap, I don't think I want to go back right now. I realize that's not a very good attitude to have.

I've recently discussed looking for work with a few of the people closest to me. The discussion alone was enough to throw me into a complete tizzy. And it didn't make things any clearer to me about what I should do next.

I think David Byrne said it best on "Crosseyed and Painless":

I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
The feeling returns whenever we close out eyes
Lifting my head, looking around inside
The island of doubt, it's like the taste of medicine
Working by hindsight, got the message from the oxygen
I'm making a list, find the cost of opportunity
Doing it right (Right), right, facts are useless in emergencies
The feeling returns, whenever we close our eyes
Lifting my head, looking around inside
Facts are simple and facts are straight
Facts are lazy and facts are late
Facts all come with points of view
Facts don't do what I want them to
Facts just twist the truth around
Facts are living turned inside out
Facts are getting the best of them
I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting
I'm still waiting, I'm still waiting, (Thank you) I'm still waiting, (We like to thank our crew) I'm still waiting

Monday, March 29, 2010

I always knew my mom was the coolest

but now everyone knows just how great her taste in music is.

I have a piece in PopMatters today about how much my mom loves her iPod. I write about how she and my friend Jeff actually buy a lot more music now because they can download MP3s and use the Internet to learn about new bands more easily than in the past.

The negative comments crack me up. It's worth checking out the piece just to see how riled up people can get. At least someone cared enough to complain.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's not that things have stopped going wrong...

Why just last week I had pink eye. Then Henry threw up at school three times in four days at school, so he and I got to spend some quality time together when he was recuperating.

Why don't I blog any more?

I have been reading more books and trying to stay off of the computer. Jasper Fforde, Alan Bradley, and Greg Mortenson have been keeping me busy.

Sharing my kids issues isn't quite as cute now that they are a little older and Henry can actually read. I feel more like I might be violating their privacy.

Plus I am absolutely no closer to knowing what I want to be when I grow up. But I'm happy with my jobby, and don't have much motivation to look for something more substantial.

I have yet to have one single day where I feel bored while the kids are at school. Usually I am busy down til 2:29 when I gasp, grab my coat, and rush out to meet the bus.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Just this week alone

2010 is shaping up to be a bang up year so far.

Here is what has already gone wrong:

1. I have learned that spending more than one or two days in the house with my entire immediate family makes me extremely cranky. It's as if the other three family members hog all of the oxygen in the house causing my brain to fuzz over like it has been put in long term storage. I do things like order a 2009 engagement calendar, wait for it to arrive, and wonder why none of the dates match up to all of the reminder cards I've been squirreling away for the last six months.

2. On Monday, the day that everything was supposed to return to normal, I was dressed for the gym, minding my own business, when the car would not start. Long story short, 6 hours, $200 odd dollars and no work out later, the car was working again. But I had to put off enjoying life in the quiet house again until Tuesday, and I was not pleased.

3. On Thursday (actually very, very early in the morning on Friday) Lucy puked all over her carpet, her PJs, her bed, and her hair. I spent about an hour stripping sheets, changing her clothes, inflating the air mattress (in the dark -- didn't want to wake Cary) so she could sleep in our room. Lucy's bedroom is tiny and nearly every walkable bit of floorspace was now off limits. It still is. I've applied three treatments of Nature's Miracle to the carpet, and the stench is finally beginning to wear off. Maybe tonight she can sleep in her own bed again.

4. When Lucy was home on Friday I got a call from the school saying Henry was in the nurse's office. He'd been sledding and was having trouble breathing, so Lucy and I had to go into school with his inhaler and dispense albuterol poste haste. Needless to say I am not in possession of a spare inhaler and doctor's note, so that doesn't happen again.

Here's to hoping that no one else in the house gets sick! I'm going to go lie down now.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

What the oughts hath wrought

My ten favorite albums of the decade:

1. Arcade Fire - Funeral
This record got me to listen to music again, and I'm still grateful.

2. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna Are You the Destroyer?
The best record about mental illness ever made.

3. LCD Soundsystem - Self-titled
James Murphy is more of a singles artist but "Losing My Edge" was my song of the decade. Definitely lost my edge.

4. M.I.A. - Arular

5. White Stripes - Elephant
Before Henry could speak he could hum the beginning of "Seven Nation Army."

6. The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine

7. Metric - Grow Up and Blow Away

8. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
Wasn't really a fan of Jenny Lewis until I saw her live. Even though there are songs I have to skip on this record, it also includes a few of the best songs she ever wrote.

9. Thao With the Get Down Stay Down - We Brave Bee Stings and All

10. St. Vincent - Marry Me

And now for something completely different...
Ten favorites from 2009
1. St. Vincent - Actor
2. Metric - Fantasies
3. Thao with the Get Down Stay Down - Know Better Learn Faster
(These three acts happen to coincide with the three interviews I did in the last 12 months. I am a lucky girl).
4. Florence and the Machine - Lungs
5. Emily Wells - Dirty (EP)
6. Taken By Trees, East of Eden
7. Happy Hollows, Spells
8. Future of the Left, Travels With Myself and Another
9. YACHT, See the Mystery Lights
10. Jay Reatard, Watch Me Fall

2009 was one of the best years for musical releases that I can remember.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I should have seen this coming...

What Went Wrong?

It was Henry who deleted my episodes of Cosmos. So much for having my son on the same cosmic page.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Persistence of Memory

I've been working my way through Cosmos, or I was until I lost five of the episodes 14 episodes I'd saved on the TiVo. If you're wondering how I ended up watching a twenty-nine year old science show while I eat my lunch, it's because of Henry.

Earlier in the fall Henry was on a science kick, and he requested that we record some DragonflyTV, and Daily Planet, and Dinosaur shows for him. Plus he watched all of the Nova Science Now episodes that Cary and I had neglected to sit through (Neil DeGrasse Tyson, you are no Carl Sagan). Anyway, I saw Cosmos was listed and jumped at the chance to get him to watch what had been one of my favorite science shows when I was a kid.

Fast forward a couple of months. His interest in science shows has been replaced by animal shows. He watched America's Cutest Dog yesterday twice when he was home sick, and showed particular affection for the dog that could say "hamburger." I started watching the episodes when I was recovering from that nasty flu back in October.

And, for me, watching Cosmos is like going to church. Sagan is as soothing and slightly nerdy as the best Protestant minister. Listening to him speak reminds me of how interconnected and fragile life is. Other than Sagan's omnipresent concern with nuclear war and how dated the cars look the show holds up remarkably well.

The Persistence of Memory isn't just a Dali painting, it's also the title of one of the episodes. In it Sagan explores whales as if they were alien creatures, reminding us that the largest are bigger than the dinosaurs. While I have no memory of ever watching the episode before as a kid, watching it floods me with so many other memories that I too feel like a passenger in Sagan's ship.

More than remembering much of the content of the show from watching it three decades ago, I remember how awed I felt watching the show. He discussed how life emerged from the oceans, and how the universe was expanding *right this very minute* and it was all a little much to hold in my eight year old head. It still is. But now I can also add layers of the science that I did go on to learn in school. When he covers evolution in about 12 minutes, it's pleasurable for my brain to retrace those steps. Instead of feeling unspeakably sad that Carl Sagan is gone, I feel only gratitude that I live in a world where the gadgets that I own actually deliver something this wonderful to my doorstep, even if it's only once every couple of decades.

And then I can't help wondering if Henry will ever discover Cosmos on his own, when he's ready, and of course I can't stop myself from hoping he too will have the same wonderful experience.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Werewolves of London would be more welcome

Well, folks, it looks like we have a coyote problem in my backyard.

To quote Henry, "it's the talk of the neighborhood."

One of my neighbors called last week to say that neighbor A had seen 3 coyotes in the woods behind all of our houses at 3:30 in the afternoon and neighbor B had often heard them howling and making other "terrible noises" associated with celebrating a kill at 3 a.m.

On Friday I spoke to my next door neighbor who said, he heard them every night last week except for one. And yet another neighbor, let's call her C, had seen them in her yard at 9:30 at night. Mr. Next Door was certain that the pack had been attracted by the sheep that were being raised a few streets over. (We live in a garden variety suburb, but yes, someone thought it was a good idea to raise some sheep). According to Mr. Next Door, another guy, who knows a girl, who knows this guy said that he'd seen the sheep being loaded into a truck. So maybe, just maybe, the coyotes would move onto new areas once their major food sources had dried up.

Then I spoke to the original neighbor again. She has now heard them howling at night so loudly that she was too freaked out to watch TV, had to chase one out of her (fenced) yard, and spotted a pack of four skulking about at dusk.

As for me, I have neither seen nor heard anything out of the ordinary. I don't know whether to be disappointed or relieved. But I do know that I'm being even more careful than usual about keeping Sufi from escaping to the great outdoors.

P.S. Thanks to everyone for welcoming me back.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Where ya been?

I can't really say why I've been absent for more than two months.

I was really sick for most of October with what I can only assume was H1N1. I still haven't gone back to the gym.

I've got a newish gig writing a concert calendar for Donnybrook that gets picked up by the Huffington Post. You can see the archive here.

But mostly since the kids are in school I don't run up to the computer to escape from my children as often. When they are home Lucy really seems to need me in the afternoon, and in the evening I'm truly exhausted and don't feel like reliving any part of my day.

And then there's the sad truth, that once Lumpyhead's mom joined facebook, I really had no one left to blog for.

I am not any closer to making a decision about what to be when I grow up. If anything, it feels like a pipe dream as I have about one extra hour free during the day while the kids are in school, and the after school hours are filled with home work and the occasional trip to the library.

This entire fall has passed and I've felt disconnected and disoriented, not unlike David Byrne in the Talking Heads' classic "Once in a Lifetime." Same as it ever was. Here comes the twister.

Monday, September 14, 2009

First phone call of the year

It's good to know my kids still need me. Or at least one of them does. On the seventh day of school my cell phone rang. It was the school nurse telling me that Henry had been in her office because "he didn't think he could make it through the day without his nose spray." I went home, stuffed some kleenex in my pocket and headed over to his school.

When I arrived I noticed Lucy's class was standing in the front hallway, and I got a very warm greeting of "Mama!" from her. Then the fire drill went off. I waited with Lucy's class during the fire drill, listening to one girl mumble "I want to go home. Don't you see that I want to go home." When Lucy stumbled into her by mistake she snapped, "What are you doing?" I asked Lucy about the girl later that day, she said, "Oh, that's A. We said, 'hi, what's your name? Now we're friends."

I gave Lucy a quick good bye and headed off to find Henry, who seemed only mildly congested. We stood in the hall while I shot salty water up his nose. The school nurse and I decided that we can leave a bottle in her office should such an emergency arise again.

It's not exactly the way I'd hoped to meet Henry's teacher for the first time, but she seemed to take everything in stride, and mostly seemed concerned that he got what he needed. Maybe we'll have another good year. My fingers are crossed.

Today's career direction: Maybe I'll become a pilates or yoga instructor since I seem to have found time for exercise and not much else.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Miles to go

Today was the first day that I walked back into the house and it didn't immediately feel terribly empty and far too quiet.

Both kids like school. Lucy is full of "other kids'" stories of feeling sad and getting in trouble. I expect that their enthusiasm will wane as the novelty wears off and the homework begins to pile on, but it has been very gratifying to be tackled by two smiling children each day as they exit the bus.

My plan to clear my head and think big thoughts has hit an initial snag: I still don't have much free time! After I exercise, run errands, and feed myself I'm left with no more than a total of an hour and a half until the bus arrives. While that is more than enough time to write record reviews or read a book, it's hardly enough time to pursue meaningful part time work. Obviously if I did that, some other things would have to change as well.

I'm introducing a regular feature to WWW (tiny drumroll...)

Today's career direction: working seems like a pipe dream, but feeling a slight pull to return to get an Ph.D. in English to explore relationship between poetic structure and depression.

It's part horoscope, part weather forecast and 100% useless.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Time out of mind

So tomorrow Lucy starts Kindergarten and while I'm hoping it will be a fresh start for me I know it's unrealistic to think that six free hours a day will turn me back into the bright-eyed, fast-thinking person I once was. Is it too much to hope that I'll stop getting stupider with each passing year?

Some things will definitely change, like having to type with the TV on. As I type this Lucy is watching some atrocious Nick Jr. show with young adults doing hip-hop in animal costumes; it's a little distracting. I do hope that having a break from direct childcare will free my mind to think about other things, such as what kind of work I might enjoy, or whether six hours a day, 10 months a year is even a realistic framework to pursue meaningful work.

I feel poised for change in a few other ways too. Venus is going on an indefinite hiatus (sigh), so I'll be spending less time writing and interviewing in the near future. Plus I've recently connected/re-connected with some friends (thanks, Facebook) which makes my social and musical life in Buffalo feel more complete. I suspect the next six years here will look quite different than the first six, and I'm happy about that.

I doubt Lucy will have the difficulties with school that Henry has had. She makes friends easily and already knows more kids than he did at the end of first grade. I also know that we won't be on auto-pilot. While Henry took easily to academics, I will be surprised if this is true for Lucy as well. I think she will be stunned by the amount of work her teacher expects her to do.

She still needs me now, so completely. She still cheers when I tell her that I'm going to get her dressed (which means I'll stand there and supervise for the sake of expediency). At the moment she's whining for me to join her saying, "I just want you." She just wants me to sit on the couch and watch crappy kids TV and hold her hand. And I'd be lying if I said I won't miss it that. But I'd be lying if I didn't also admit that it needs to end.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Kent Island vacation photo collage

not pictured: the jellyfish that kept us out of the water for several days, the ne'er do well kids that cops chased into our bushes at 1 am, the edge of Hurricane Bill that flooded the laundry room soaking several guests including Aunt Bob, and the dozen bunches of pine needles that Randy pulled out of the gutter to stop said flood.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Worry is money paid on a debt that never comes due

A bunch of annoying stuff has happened lately:

1. We just paid over $1000 for maintenance to our van, and a basic repair to the a/c. Now, with only a few days until we drive to MD for vacation, the fan on the a/c only works at a super high, noisy setting. At least it still works.

2. Our shower is leaking again. I called the guy who repaired it in January, but my confidence in him is shaky, since, well, the shower is leaking again. We're all grateful that it's not our only shower.

These two things would bother me less if we weren't about to leave town because I know we can't get either fixed before we go.

3. I spent two days last week cleaning the house and preparing for some friends to visit us for the night. Their plan was to arrive "well before dinner" so I planned that as well. But their lousy time management skills meant that they arrived about 4 and a half hours late -- and they still wanted to be fed! Cary had taken the day off, and the four of us spent the entire day just waiting for them to arrive. They really are lovely people, and I did my best to enjoy the time with them once they got here, but it was definitely colored by my frustration.

This came on the heels of my not being able to have my niece visit us for a week because my sister-in-law decided at the last minute to take a family vacation. It was the second time that she canceled my niece's visit this summer. I won't be making that offer again.

I recognize that it's not in my nature to be terribly flexible. I try. But even though I know these kind of events are neither important in the long term, nor a reflection on me, they still upset me.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

You cannot sell what you do not own

Buffalo Craigslist is the worst. I regularly peruse the furniture section looking for Mid-century modern or Danish modern pieces. And here is what I find:

1. Every sofa doubles as a recliner.
2. Natuzzi is common, as is pleather.
3. Dinning room furniture.
4. 75 gallon fish tanks and fire places with "light up" logs

Where are the vintage fiberglass Herman Miller chairs? Where are the Heywood Wakefield dressers?

And then I remembered, the population of wny can't unload its cool furniture for astonishingly cheap prices because no one ever bought it in the first place.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Camping photos

Here are a few pics from the expedition to Seneca Lake. Henry and Lucy in jammies with glow sticks, and then our delicious post-camp recovery meal.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Ah, Wilderness

Cary and I agreed (perhaps even suggested) that we spend Saturday night camping on Seneca Lake with our friends who are very outdoorsy. Since we were not planning to cook anything at the campsite, our friends went up a day early so they could make spider dogs and hike. They have a 3 y.o., and a 3 month old. So, yeah, they're pretty intrepid.

Cary and I thought we'd take our kids camping before they developed the same distaste we have for sleeping in the out of doors.

Things started to go wrong not long after we hit the road. We forgot pillows! So we stopped at the Batavia Target to pick up some extras. Our friend called just as we were exiting the highway. I thought he was checking in, but later we found out that he was hoping we hadn't left yet, so we could go look for the rest of the parts of the tent we were borrowing from his mom! (I'm really glad I didn't know that until later.) So his family went to the Watkins Glen Wal-Mart and bought us a tent, which was very sweet. After all, he could have just asked me to pick one up at Target while I was there.

Our first planned stop was at the Fox Run Vinyards Garlic Festival. It was a fun event, full of wine, maple syrup cotton candy, and garlic farmers selling both fresh garlic and products made from the bulb or the scape. I even got some to plant in my yard this fall. So far, so good.

Next we were headed to Earle Estates Meadery since everyone was curious what meade tastes like. When we arrived our friends were nowhere to be found. Their cell phone was off. (Why? Not sure.) So we spent about half an hour waiting and wondering, dodging invitations from a Karaoke-type performer to join him so he could, "play something from The Little Mermaid for the kids." Once our friends arrived (after driving 20 minutes out of the way on a hunch), it was time to try some meade. Overall it was kind of like dessert wine, but less syrupy, and pretty delicious.

Then we drove to the southern tip of Seneca Lake and took a ride on a 75 year old wooden boat. When the Capt. asked if there were any children who wanted to volunteer to drive the boat, Lucy's hand was the first in the air. Henry eventually volunteered as well. Fun all around.

We had dinner at a lackluster restaurant in Watkins Glen, then headed to the campsite. I was a little concerned that the tent we were sleeping in hadn't been opened or assembled and it was already the children's bedtime, but I was determined to have fun.

Once we arrived at the campsite, Cary looked out and said, "Well, we're just an hour and a half from home. We could just turn around." I did want to leave right then. Not only could we see a guardrail at the far side of the campsite, but not even 20 yards away the neighboring campers were playing Thumper, screaming , "What's the name of the game? Thumper? And why do we play the game? To get fucked up!" To their credit they changed the words once they heard the voices of our little children.

For me the low point was when I took Lucy to the bathroom (which was @ least 150 yards from the tent) to change into pajamas and realized I was putting on clean clothes while I dripped with sweat. Surely we would all just keep sweating and then freeze that night.

Cary played his guitar around the campfire, and the kids had glow sticks and s'mores, but the kids really had trouble settling down, and I couldn't relax either. We'd planned to have wine, but no one really wanted it, nor did we need another reason to pee in the middle of the night.

We went to bed around 9:30, but I've got no idea when we actually fell asleep.

These are some of the thoughts we had while not sleeping:

Cary said he felt more empathy for Hurricaine Katrina victims.
I thought about what it must be like to be homeless
Cary thought about the Stephen King story where a time traveler fails to fall asleep and experiences eternity.
I thought about our friend who was waking up every few hours to nurse her baby.

Cary said the next we camped it would be in a tent that had a foundation and brick walls.

Around 3 am it started to rain, not just a sprinkle, but a full-blown storm with thunder and lightning. I'm very happy to report that the new tent didn't leak, and until Henry had to go to the bathroom at 5:30 the tent was dry inside.

As we made our way home we still couldn't understand why people like camping. What a hassle! And we didn't even cook, or put up our own tent. But we did enjoy spending time with our friends, but next time we're going to Toronto, in a hotel with a pool!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Just wondering

Am I falling asleep at my desk because I ate five Cappuccino Meringue cookies or because I've reduced my coffee consumption to 4 cups a day (1/4 decaf)? These cookies are so delicious, like a Tim Horton's Iced Cappuccino in cookie form.

Would it be a bad idea to double up on the cookies and the coffee? Probably.

Latest Donnybrook review = The Fiery Furnaces I'm Going Away.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stalking the Red Ruby Throat

I've been trying to get a good hummingbird photo for a few days. The hummingbirds come right up to the dining room window and land on the crocosmia. Lucy was standing next to me, dressed in full princess garb, waving her wand, and somehow the bird didn't fly away.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

If We've Got to Burn Out Let's Do It Together

The kids and I are recovering from a busy weekend that included Cary's and my high school reunion (in three acts with a relatively predictable cast of characters), and a birthday party at Lasertron for Henry.

I was slightly horrified that I'd be sending him off to a party where he'd pretend to shoot other eight year olds, but I gave in because I hate for him to miss a social opportunity. I think that means that I was a victim of peer pressure.

The reunion was pretty fun and very tiring. It unlocked the dusty spaces of my brain and dated memories came flooding out. Everything from the origin of inside jokes to all of the things we did, that now as parents, seem like they were a bad idea. (See previous paragraph for an explanation as to how we got to do them in the first place). I was "in charge of the music" which just meant creating a play list for the evening, heavy on 80s one-hit wonders and 70s classic rock meant to please my classmates more than myself.

Looking at old pictures revealed that wow, all the girls had BIG hair. If there had been a prize for the puffiest bangs, we were all in the running. I think Kirsta wins, not because her hair was the biggest, but because she told us how they had to prop her head against the wall when she got a spiral perm because the rods were too heavy!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Catch a tiger by the toe

Henry and Lucy started camp today, which means I might have a precious few hours to myself this summer! I don't think I've seen Lucy in such a happy mood since school ended.

She's also very excited about our new composter (It's not pretty, but if it cuts down on my garbage I'll be pleased). If she keeps her enthusiasm up it will certainly help me stay excited.

Plus she surprised me by reciting an adorably mangled version of "Eenee Meenee Miney Mo" tonight.

New review at Donnybrook: White Rabbits It's Frightening

Friday, July 03, 2009

So much wrong, so little time

So Lucy has been done with school since mid-May. I realize that these last few weeks represent the last time that she and I will have alone before her schedule is exactly like Henry's. Which only makes it more poignant that she is driving me crazy!!! Thank God camp starts next week. I need a break. Also it's 8:45 am and she's still asleep. Sweet, sweet relief!

The unexpected down side of getting the Dyson was that Lucy is now obsessed with vacuuming. She wants to spend hours with her toy shop vac, a noisy contraption that doesn't actually pick up anything. When she's not doing that she likes to report to me that "the house is really dirty" or "the garage really needs to be cleaned." When I try to take the vacuum away from her,so I can hear myself think, horizontal tears ensue.

Now it's time for a little game called What's Causing my Migraine:

1. I've not been exercising because hauling both kids to the gym playroom at their current age is too unwieldy. As a result I'm really cranky, all the time.

2. Or it could be that Lucy caused such a scene in the hair dressers on Tuesday that one of the stylists (not mine) gave her a lollipop to shut her up. Nice, right? Then she added to me, "I'm trying to concentrate here (+eyeroll)." Not so nice. My lovely hairdresser actually called the next day to apologize for her coworker, which was not necessary, but made me me feel a little better.

3. Or could it be that we're preparing to host a small section of Cary's family for dinner tonight and I need to shop, clean, and cook with two bored kids at my feet.

Almost forgot:

Future of the Left review up at Donnybrook
Gossip review up at Venus