Thursday, March 26, 2009

Am I glad today is almost over!

1. Forgot to set my alarm. Not a great way to start the day.

2. Cary left for a camping trip with his friends today. There's no school for Henry tomorrow, so I'm dreading this particular long weekend more than usual.

3. Henry got off the bus with a hang dog look. Five kids on the bus had been hassling him. One of whom is a repeat offender by anyone's definition. I don't understand why the school doesn't do more to intervene. I just got off the phone with the vice-principal and was told the repeat offender would likely spend two weeks in the front seat, at which point he will resume hassling my son again.

4. I spent the afternoon driving across town to take Henry to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's, but at least I didn't have to stay for the party, or drag Lucy with me.

5. But here's the kicker: I spent two hours on the phone with my insurance company, pharmacy provider, and doctor's office trying to establish whether my insurance covers a medication. All three places told me something different, and the doctor's office would not believe me when I said I had coverage. This has been going on for about a month. I finally got the insurance company to call the doctor's office while I was on the line, and they agree to believe me, but reminded me that "all charges are still my responsibility" if and when the insurer doesn't pay them. Thank god this wasn't a life or death decision because I would be dead by now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reasons to be cheerful. One, two, three...

I'm feeling a little better than I did yesterday. But I've really only got two reasons to be cheerful:

First: I found my clip on sunglasses! They had fallen into the reusable shopping bags that I keep in the car and flew out today when I was paying for my groceries. Now if only I can find my health insurance card.

Second: I went to see the cranial sacral therapist and for the first time in about three weeks my back pain is non-existent. I'm a little worried what going to PT will do to my new found equilibrium.

Tomorrow I'm volunteering in Lucy's Spanish class, then I'm off to the dentist and to register Lucy for Kindergarten. Pain and paperwork, here I come!

Monday, March 23, 2009

What not to lose. What not to buy.

1. I recently loss my clip sunglasses and now I can't find my health insurance card. The worst part about both is that I suspect the clips are in the car and the card is in the house, and yet I am no closer to finding either.

2. Lucy has spent the last two days playing with her birthday presents. This sounds good, right? But that means I have spent two days freeing miniature my little ponies from the stranglehold of twist ties and littlest pet shop pets from invisible rubber bands.

But the worst, by far was a package of Crayola ReColoritz. They are black glossy pictures of Disney princesses that you color with greasy crayons. It sounds OK , but they are impossible to clean. Lucy smeared greasy crayon all over her new pink dress yesterday. Today she left a trail of yellow on her work table and the kitchen counter. The crayons break off in sticky little chunks that adhere to pretty much anything. I don't blame the gift giver; I thought this sounded fine when she opened it.

She also got some Pixos which are labeled 4+. There was no part of the project she could do herself, so I spent a good chunk of the afternoon fighting with them. She was thrilled to get them, though after the Aquadots scandal I would never buy them for her myself. They are a huge pain. The two things we made were difficult to assemble and did not stick together. Plus we were pretty careful, but they are so easy to spill.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lucy

We celebrated Lucy's 5th birthday today. It isn't her actual birthday, but close enough.

I am so tired that I can barely type. We invited all of the girls in her pre-school class (though a few couldn't make it), the usual family friends, and my parents.

We painted faces and made magnets with each girls photo. Lucy's Honeybee Hop was a huge hit. Did I mention how exhausted I am?

Nothing really went wrong, though it was way more work than Henry's Chuck E. Cheese party.

Now that my youngest is five, I must face the inevitable: soon my children will roll their eyes at me and detest even my smallest idiosyncrasies. Then I will start waiting for grandchildren.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Actually, that joke is still pretty funny

Cary and I went to see Morrissey last night.

Ultimately I think it will go down as one of those shows I remember more for what happened around the performance than for the performance itself.

Jen14221 was complaining she had to attend, then announcing via Twitter that it was fabulous. My pregnant pal Kate was walking briskly up the stairs to pee and call the sitter throughout the night. And I musn't forget the precious superfan couple who sat in front of us -- too young to remember the Smiths, but they still knew all the lyrics to "How Soon is Now." But apparently the night would have been incomplete without the Morrissey gropers. The first guy who tried to hug him on stage seemed sincere, but after that all these people were looking at the crowd with an expression that said, "I too am hugging Morrissey" as security gingerly hauled them off stage.

Try as I might, I can't begin to forget Morrissey's slightly disturbing heart-shaped back sweat, or the way he threw not one, but two shirts into the audience. His voice has lost nothing, yet at nearly 50 he is more Tom Jones than Mick Jones.

But I digress, because it's really all about Morrissey and me. I first heard the Smiths as a high school freshman -- "Please, please let me get what I want" from the Pretty in Pink soundtrack, to be exact. I had yet to learn that compilations often host a band's throwaway tracks, but whatever, I was enthralled. The following Christmas I got The Queen is Dead on LP. At that moment, no piece of music meant more to me. Then the Smiths broke up my junior year of high school and I was bereft.

So there was a lot riding on last night's performance. And while I wasn't at all disappointed, alot has changed since 1987.

Morrissey would be nothing without his backing band. Even if he sculpts their artistic decisions, he feeds on their vitality -- you could practically see a pulse beating through the veins beneath their matching Tour of Refusal t-shirts. Morrissey may have once defined youthful malaise, but now it is his band that keeps him from sounding stale.

I tried to imagine what it would be like if I'd seen Morrissey, Marr, and Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce. I don't think it would have been as good.

For me the best part of last night was not that I finally saw one of my icons perform live, but that I realize that Morrissey is better off post-Smiths, and so am I.

Update: a picture of the heart-shaped back sweat! Thanks, Jen14221 and WhippetGood

Friday, March 13, 2009


We've been busy around here for once. (I wrote about some of this stuff on facebook, but until LHM sees fit to join I must repeat myself here too.)

1. Cary wrote a book! It's called Don't Swear with Your Mouth Full! I'm really biased but I think it's great and could really help parents with difficult children. His approach has helped our family a lot.

2. I interviewed Emily Haines from Metric for VenusZine. The issue will be on sale until June, but it isn't on the web. I made her promise to play a show in Buffalo. I hope she doesn't let me down.

3. In more regularly scheduled news, I reviewed Mirah, Mazes, the Drones, Matt & Kim, and AC Newman at Donnybrook, and Faunts for Venus. I actually liked almost all of these records, except for Faunts, but Mazes was a particular favorite.

Monday, March 09, 2009

More dumb things: the lost hour edition

Each year daylight savings is a bit tougher for me. Yesterday was bad, but today was worse.

1. I fed the cat and put the remaining cat food away in the cupboard instead of the refrigerator.
2. I dropped half the stack of plastic cups on my head when I was getting one for Henry's juice.
3. I put Henry's bagel into the toaster oven, when it dinged I discovered instead of toasting I was cooking it at 400 degrees.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Eight years!

Henry turned eight today. Sniff. He has grown up so much during the last year which makes me very happy, but it's hard to see him get so big.

His (very kind and skilled) teacher had his entire class make him birthday cards which he brought home in a big manila envelope. Very sweet. We're taking him to Grover's for dinner so he can get a giant cheeseburger.

At the moment he's getting whupped by Lucy at Mario Cart. But she can't stop asking: "Why I'm not the oldest, Mama?" "Why I can't be big already? I hate being little."

Monday, March 02, 2009

Brand New Dumb Things!

1. I was looking for a hooded sweatshirt in Lucy's closet this morning when I discovered a brand new pair of girl's Lands End snow boots in her current size that I had forgotten about. Lucy has been in need of a new pair of boots since mid-January and I didn't buy new ones because I thought we'd just make due. At least I didn't cave in and buy a second new pair this season.

2. When Lucy and I came home from pre-school today I helped her inside, and then got distracted sorting laundry and checking e-mail. Half an hour later the mailman rang the doorbell (bringing me my new Atlas of Bird Migration!) and said, "you know your car door is open, right?" I had forgotten to bring in the rest of our stuff from the car, including my purse! At least I didn't leave the car running -- hope the battery is not dead.

On an unrelated note, it dawned on me that Henry is now old enough that I no longer feel the need to enforce things like our "no cheesy t-shirt policy" and our absolute refusal to allow toy guns in the house. He got a combo gun/light saber thing for his birthday as well as a Pokemon t-shirt. He loves both so much. I hope we're not making a mistake by giving in. The next thing I know my kids will repeal the "no eating ice cream sold from trucks" rule and summer will be a series of ruined dinners and frantic searches for pocket change.