Monthly Archives: December 2005


Tony‘s been up to the Pacific Northwest lately, taking pictures and writing about the quirky little stores and ocean views and the rain and all the nothing for miles – no people, just trees and sky and road. I shoulda told him to go up and check out those little buildings that guy made out of rocks, the world (not to scale) in miniature. Eaglemount Rockeries, that’s it. Maybe a bit out of his way, though.

I was there on my birthday, the day before Mom died. Baby Evan and Heather and her mom Shanghaied me and we went to a pumpkin patch and had ice cream at the little ice cream shop in a defunct train – the only time I’ve ever seen that place open. And then we stopped at Eaglemount and took some pictures, and then they dropped me at Mom’s house. A few hours later, she was delirious, and ten hours after that, she was dead.

This wasn’t supposed to be another post about my Mom. It was supposed to be about how, reading the busblog, looking at Tony’s pictures, I can smell the rain in the evergreens and feel the damp air on my skin and the hum of the car wheels on the wet road. Tony’ll be back home in southern California soon, and I’ll be glad, because it’s wonderful to read his words and see the pictures and know he’s as enchanted by it as I am, but it also makes me homesick.

It’s been beautiful here, too. The snow is pretty and it hasn’t been too cold and the sky was even blue yesterday. But the weatherdudes say some bad stuff is coming tonight. Also coming tonight is Nigel – his flight gets in at 7:30 and I hope the storm doesn’t delay his flight or muck up the roads so it takes forever to get him back to the house.

This is the last day of 2005, isn’t it? I sure had some hopes for this year. I sure hope next year is better.

whatever that means…

Well, looks like I’ve made it through my first Christmas since Mom died. I’m not sure what Making It Through something actually entails, now that you mention it, but. Here I am on the other side of it, more or less intact. As alive, as sane, as whatever-I-am, as I was before.

I haven’t wanted to write about her, about what happened, about how I feel now, because I can’t seem to articulate it. I haven’t talked about it either. But even though I haven’t put it into words, I’m still thinking about her.

Every day.

Every minute.


Haven’t written in seems-like-forever, and it’s not because blogging is like work and I’m on vacation, oh, no. It’s because blogging is like fun and I’m at work. The kids can: entertain himself with his new swag (Firstborn) or hang out at the Oompas’ for three days because he has to be home this weekend when Nigel comes (Secondborn) and Da Husband has to write Da Book so I have a quiet house to work in and my whole brain has been poured into works like this:
CREATE TRIGGER DelAuthor ON authors
(SELECT ‘true’
FROM Deleted d
JOIN titleauthor ta
ON d.au_id = ta.au_id
RAISERROR(‘Author still has titles in the database. Delete failed.’,16,1)

So much talent. Tragically wasted. After all this struggle, someone dang well better give me a job.

And now, more homework. Gah.


I don’t know, I keep feeling there should be an easier way to hack this template. Meh. I’m probably just lazy.

Oh, and Merry Christmas all.

I just don’t know how she does it!

How does the busy housework-addled, supportive wife-type WAHM, StAHM, (slahm, bahm, thankya mahm) get everything done? Let’s listen in:

Adorable Moppet: Mama, will you read me a story?
Highly Efficient Mother: Certainly, dearest. Shall we read Managing and Using MySQL, or JavaScript for the World Wide Web?
AM: No, I want I Was So Mad.
HEM: Perhaps I should book your therapist now.

But seriously, I’ve been reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to Firstborn, one chapter a day, and today we reached the delightful chapter 8, which is almost a whole page long! I was pleased, but he felt a bit cheated. I told him he had to go to bed now anyway because I still have presents to wrap, and he made a grouchy face, grasped the door handle, said “Slam!” and then closed it carefully and quietly.

This is a new thing. I like this new thing.

Yuletide crabbitude

My lungs hurt when I breathe in. That’s a good sign, right?

I got all the Christmas shopping done today. The boys are giving their grandmother one hell-ass ugly candle, but hey, that’s what she gets for already owning everything in the universe, isn’t it? They got their grandpa a ham, for pretty much the same reason. In fact, I bought both items by myself and wrapped them, so the kids will see them for the very first time on Saturday when they’re opened. They have been instructed to try not to look too surprised. Shortcuts at Christmas? Yes, I am overworked and overwhelmed, and not getting enough sympathy for the fact that my mother died, so I am Queen Badass.

Incidentally, one of the many tragic side-effects of that is that I no longer have my favorite emotional blackmail line – for the past year I’ve been telling my husband, “My mother has cancer, so you have to be nice to me!” No, I am not sorry I said it, it was funny. There are a lot of things I regret about the last year of her life, but being able to find a joke somewhere in all that mess is certainly not one of them. Cass‘ll back me up on that, though he’d probably say as jokes go, that one is pretty pathetic.

However. I am still only 2/3 through my database administration certificate thing, and I went and signed up for another course (yes I know what you’re thinking, but there is an explanation. Perhaps one day I will supply it.) and my book (yet another JavaScript book – can’t you people just pick one text for all your classes? The CSS people do.) came today but I haven’t enrolled yet and I have one or two more things to do for the webmaster job and of course the other job isn’t going anywhere so there goes my Friday. Oh poop, and I haven’t even made the lemon cookies yet! Clearly, I already have enough going on, so this year Christmas can pretty much bite me.

Oh, and Firstborn? Had an English test today and forgot to turn it in. Automatic F. A native English-speaker in a German high school, in a class full of kids taking only their third year of English instruction. The Husband and I were assuming that here was at least one class where he couldn’t tank.

Apparently we underestimated him.

I’ve been tagged! This is so cool!

My existence as a blogger, validated by the Goober Queen!

Seven things to do before I die:
1. Live in a city again.
2. Exercise regularly.
3. Work for a nonprofit outfit.
4. Make the pilgrimage to Santiago.
5. Work for a publisher or bookstore.
6. Get organized.
7. Get (and stay) on top of the housework.

Seven things I can (or will) not do:
1. Take up jogging.
2. Learn to play a musical instrument.
3. Skydive.
4. Give up coffee.
5. Stop fidgeting.
6. Get over myself.
7. Be consistent.

Seven things that attract me to my spouse:
1. His smell.
2. His shoulders.
3. His muscles.
4. His faith in me.
5. His sense of humor.
6. His hands.
7. His…um, no, sorry, that would be TMI.

Seven things I say most often:
1. You should be nicer to me.
2. Bummer.
3. This is my skeptical face.
4. You’re so cute.
5. I dunno, you decide.
6. *SIGH*, Boys! (or Germans!)
7. Because I’m a bad mother, that’s why.

Seven books (or series) I love:
1. The Narnia books
2. Pride and Prejudice
3. The Amelia Peabody series
4. Lost Horizon
5. Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series
6. Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal
7. The Miles Vorkosigan series

Seven movies I watch over and over again:
1. The Princess Bride
2. Muppet Treasure Island
3. The Fifth Element
4. Casablanca
5. Beauty and the Beast
6. Galaxy Quest
7. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Seven people I want to make suffer would love to see play along (yike, do I even know seven people who haven’t already done this meme? Probably not…):
1. Kel, who is way overdue for a blog entry anyway.
2. Camellia, who is too.
3. Linda
4. Kimberly Di
5. Ignatz, see #7 on the Things I Say Most Often list.
6. Vicki
7. Jeneane

a cringe to the inevitable

We all go through the same milestones, right? First tooth, first steps, first self-inflicted haircut. Today it was Secondborn’s turn. Firstborn, now, he just cut a chunk out of his bangs and scotch-taped it to his upper lip to make a mustache. Nothing too…er, comprehensive, and fairly easy to repair. But Secondborn dreams bigger, I guess.

God, it looks like he used a lawnmower.

He’s making that face, by the way, because we were cackling like hyenas and he couldn’t decide whether to laugh with us or be offended.

UPDATE: I got out the clippers to “even it out” (i.e., cut it all down to 1/8″) after dinner. Unfortunately, the Husband gave him a mirror at the mullet stage and 2b was distraught. He slid off the chair, buried his face in my lap, and howled, “I’ll never be cool again.” Oh dear.

i know, i know…

I haven’t blogged in what, four days, which is like a decade in internet-time. I can’t remember what I did during those days, but I was probably busy, since I’m rarely not. And today I have That Headache. You know, the one that feels like my right eye is digging a tunnel through to my left ear? Yeah, that one.

I think it was spawned by my job. Again. This outfit, um, publishes books, sort of, sometimes (this is me being circumspect because I blogged something about half the texts being “crap anyway” some time ago and got in trouble for it, though I did not get dooced, for which I cannot decide whether to be grateful or not. But I digress). Where was I? Oh right, books get published and subsequently reviewed, and if the reviewers are proud residents of the 21st century, the reviews are online somewhere and all I have to do is post a link to them. But come on, this is the Humanities we are talking about, so most of them haven’t even caught up with the previous century – boy are they gonna be ticked if they ever find out it’s been and gone. Don’t worry, they won’t find out.

So sometimes I get a ditto-copy of a review, three pages in two columns this last time, and I have to scan it and put it up as a readable image, which is not exactly difficult, but it’s tedious, time-consuming, and so bizarrely, counter-intuitively wrong-on-so-many-levels that it gives me That Headache. I mean, I expect a certain amount of tedium from webmastering, there are some things you just have to slog through. But the cognitive dissonance created by scanning and posting three pages of text as an image makes my brain hurt.

And then I write only to complain, so see, you should probably be glad you haven’t heard from me in four days!

Oh, but here’s a very small story about my neighbor: I bumped into her Saturday, both of us having recently had spats with our husbands and still seething, and I made a joking reference to Strangers on a Train. She didn’t get it, so I sketched out the basic plot for her, and she said “Oh, okay. Well then, please don’t actually kill my husband, all right? Because I really do want to do it myself.”

hahahahaha(um, you’re scaring me?)hahahahaha…

And a good time was had by all

Today was the day of dread, Ignatz’s birthday party. Wherein we invite seven of his closest little hoodlum friends to hang out with us for an entire day (we would have invited more, but we only had two cars and two drivers, so there was only room for 8 kids altogether), with great trepidation. The weather turned grim last night, so it was all slushy roads and bad visibility and of course I hate driving in the best of circumstances, so I concentrated fiercely, and now I’m so tired I feel like I kept the car on the road through sheer psychic force. Gah.

We took them all to the Burger King at the airport, and they behaved themselves, mostly, and then we hustled them all to the movie theater to see The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the German title of which translates to “The King of Narnia,” further proof, as if we needed it, that Germans Just Don’t Get It (you know what the German title of Little Women is? Do you? It translates to “Betty and her Sisters.” Seriously. Somebody needs slapping for that.). And there were no crises, no fights, no disappearances, and no car accidents, and everyone seems to have had a good time, miracle of miracles. So that’s that survived.

I actually did enjoy the movie, even though I saw it not in its original English, but dubbed into German by actors who talk like typewriters. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was THE book that really hooked me on reading at the age of 9 – it was the first chapter-book I ever read all in one sitting, and my dad let me stay up til 4:30 a.m. on a school night to finish it. So it’s very important that I get to enjoy the movie, and that means seeing it in its original language.

The rhinoceros was a nice touch.