random thoughts

safety and TV
guns are bad, widescreens are good
incongruent thoughts

Because I need to choose paint colors and ceiling fans and a place for my vegetable garden and a place for my sofa, I have instead spent the day shopping for a new television set. Well, I’ve been price-comparing online, but that counts as shopping, sort of.

There are many, many things that need to be done in the new house, but instead of worrying about those things, our world fell apart as we discovered the TiVo was broken. I know I’ve talked about this already, I’m just emphasizing how devastating it truly was.

This weekend, we immediately bought a new TiVo, and now we’re thinking of making the formal living/dining area our family room, and turning the family room into my study. The only hitch is that there’s no cable connection in the formal living/dining area, so we’ll have to get someone to come hack a hole in the wall and put one in. Once the cable actually works. Which it doesn’t. Though I’m still, apparently, paying for it. This is just one reason why I don’t really want cable.

Obviously, this is a stupid thing to be spending all my time on. Though, I learned an important lesson today, and that is: sometimes you want your cable to work regardless of what room it’s in or how much you’re paying for it.

My mom called and the conversation began like this:

"What are you doing today? I was at a shooting."

"You were at a shindig?"

"A shooting! A shooting! At CNN headquarters. Turn on CNN."

"WHAT?! I can’t turn it on. I’m in the car. Plus, my cable doesn’t work. Well, I don’t have cable in my car, I mean my cable at home doesn’t work. Did you say shooting?"

Holy crap. Here I am, grouchy about driving the wee one half way across the world to school and back, grouchy that I can’t seem to find a kick ass 40" LCD flat screen for the amount of money I want to pay (nothing), and come to find out, while I’m wallowing in all sorts of dumb and selfish things (because I’m procrastinating other more important selfish things), my mother is running for her life through downtown Atlanta.

She’s fine and her fight-or-flight instinct kicked in after she heard the second gun shot. I told her at least she knows now that her impulse at the onset of mortal danger is to run the hell out the first door. Some people might drop where they are or hide in a corner. She just booked it out of there. So even though the day was scary, at least she knows something new about herself. That’s kind of cool, right? Right?

And my dad… he works across the street at the newspaper. So while mom was wandering around CNN, trying to avoid deadly domestic disputes, he was in a meeting that got interrupted when the newsroom heard of the chaos across the street. He checked his cell phone – two breathless messages he couldn’t hear over the sirens of police and ambulances. Can you imagine THAT feeling? You’re meeting your wife for lunch. You hear there’s been a shooting at the place you were meeting her. Your voice mail produces a series of unintelligible messages of heavy breathing and sirens, and you’re watching the whole scene unfold before you.

I just got off the phone with them and they’re pretty freaked out, understandably. And as I always do, I’ve turned this around to be about me. Worrying about drive times and TVs is kind of moronic, isn’t it, when your family is in peril? In fact, it’s moronic to worry about at most any time. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop worrying about it, but at least I’ve been reminded to chill the hell out about stupid things. Those kinds of reminders are important. Though it would be nice if they didn’t have to come from these kinds of crazy ass dramatic situations. Damn.


best thing bout new house
carpet, walls, floors – they’re all clean
well, for a minute

We’re in the new house! We’re almost all unpacked! All of my furniture looks woefully crappy! Yay!

Having both closings on the same day went as smoothly as it could. There was only one small hiccup with a non-faxed HUD settlement statement, but my Realtor kicked some butt and literally took some names and all was sorted out.

Our three days of homelessness were enjoyed playing the wii at my sister-in-law’s house. When everything finally arrived at the new place on Wednesday morning, the movers broke a tiny part off of my TV and only bashed in one wall, so I’m calling it a success. With the piles and piles of stuff they were moving and the stoned giggles emanating from their grills, I think the damage report could have been much worse. Those guys were sort of fun in a "holy crap be careful with my stuff" kind of way. It almost made me wish I was a mover. Almost.

Right now our only major crisis (other than me deciding to keep driving the wee one to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays thus necessitating FOUR HOURS in the car for me. Bad idea. I’m totally gonna reneg on my promise, I think) is that the TiVo has decided to crap out. (Disaster!) So now our most important decision of the day is, do we get a new TiVo or go with the Time Warner DVR? I’m wont to go with TiVo because TiVo is incredibly cool, and there are all kinds of extras that the regular DVR doesn’t have (Season Passes, Amazon UnBox, and lots of other stuff). However, the DVR is only $6 a month or something.

I still have boxes to unpack, a school to call, floors to vacuum (I already miss my fake wood floors. I’m going to have to have a bake sale or something so I can put in some floors), a baby to feed, a book to finish, a never-ending list of to dos, but right now my only concern is the TiVo. Ha.

As a fun side note, during the move the wee-er one learned to clap. Every time someone would walk in the room or make a loud noise or rip open a box she would look startled for a second and then clap as if we were the London Philharmonic finishing up a spectacular concert. It was hilarious and wonderful.

The wee one taught himself how to land on his feet after jumping to the ground from six stairs up. Not quite so cute and heart-warming, but a talent we all need, I guess.

I am SO GLAD this move is over. I will end this post with unsolicited advice:

Putting your house on the market, cleaning it, staging it, selling it to people who will surprise you by going psycho five days before closing and back out on their leaseback agreement forcing you to move out and live with your relatives for three days, finding a new place, moving out, and moving into the new place ALL IN FOUR WEEKS is way too stressful. If you don’t have to do it that quickly, don’t. I have a new gray streak in my hair from all of this. At least it looks cool. (Well, I’m pretending that it does.)

I have to go call the TiVo people now, well, after I reassemble the wee one from yet another brusing jump off the stairs. Sigh. Have a good Friday

A funny thing happened on the way to the grocery store

not just a packrat of stuff
but memories, too

Well, this was bound to happen. I’m starting to get a little mushy about this moving thing. It’s amazing how keeping your house uncluttered and spotless makes you actually enjoy living in it. And though my house is tiny and I don’t fit in very well in my conservative-nascar neighborhood, I really do love my abode. I love how we’ve painted the walls. I love the funky light fixtures it took us so long to find and buy. I love the ginormous backyard that gives full sun to my sort-of-successful vegetable garden. I love that my back porch has a ceiling fan, so I can sit out there and stare at the trees and almost avoid completely melting in the summer. I love that we live on a cul-de-sac and that the wee one has friends he can play with. I love that we have a new HEB Plus where I can buy hippie food without having to drive 40 minutes into town.


I also love that we are moving. I love that the new house is so close to downtown that my husband’s commute will be cut by a HUGE amount. I love that I’ll be able to buy hippie food at any fancy grocery store I want, because they’ll all be so close to us. I love that we’ll be able to eat out at non-chain restaurants. I love that we’ll be able to go to museums and the Capitol and UT without having to pack the car as if we were driving on a cross country adventure. I love that we’ll be closer to friends and family and that we’ll be less isolated.

I look around this morning and I can feel how the burbs are just jumping with growth. The house that we’re in right now is very close to a new toll road that just opened. There are plans for a huge water park and skate park and commuter train – all to be built within just a few miles of this place. Movie theaters, Targets, more new homes, a hospital – so many things are under construction out here. I almost feel like a fool to be moving away from all of it.

You know what, though? I’ll be more than happy to drive to the water park or skate park or whatever, more so than I would be to have to drive that same distance to get to a decent breakfast taco or visit a university library.

So I’m sentimental, but happy. I’m doubting, and yet as sure as I’m going to be. And even with all of the conflicting feelings I have, I can say with 100% confidence that I love the city of Austin. I love the people, I love the culture, I love the size, I love how the city looks, I love the weather, I love the vibe of this town. I feel so fortunate to live here and to be able to raise my kids here. Sure it’s not perfect, but that’s another reason why I love it so. I feel affectionate towards the imperfections of my town; those moles and warts make it great.

Watch out, mole-y, wart-y, beautiful, funky, taco-y, vibrant, lovely, traffic-y, suburban-lite south Austin. Here I come (as long as all the contracts go through).

I was just thinking

there’d be no blogs without it
unless blog was job

Worst. Haiku. Ever.

So I’m sitting here and there are at least 40,000 things I should be doing, but instead I’m thinking about a question the wee one asked me.

"What are you scared of?"

Here’s a list of things I’m scared of, in no particular order:

1) people flying while standing up straight, like in the Buffy episode "Hush"
2) the idea that a statue might come to life while I’m looking at it
3) pictures of the ginormous part of an iceberg that’s underwater
4) snakes
5) dead birds and most alive ones, too

I want to blog but I only have boring things to talk about

I am a writer
stringing nouns, verbs, adjectives
that’s my compulsion

Well, I have nothing new or interesting to say today but because I can’t stand not writing, I’m just going to bore you with my repetitive blah blah blah-ing.

The house is not de-cluttered yet. This should come as no surprise. However, it seems to be gradually getting cleaner, so even though I’m afraid of jinxing everything I’ll say: We’re Making Progress. Huzzah!

On the Not Making Progress front, the wee-er one still isn’t sleeping. So I’m taking her to the doctor today. It will cost me $30 and we’ll all probably catch the flu, but I need some kind of professional healer to tell me that it isn’t normal for a seven-month-old to nearly completely stop sleeping. I need this same professional to offer me solutions. I’m pretty sure the doctor is going to say that she’s (the wee-er one, not the doctor) teething and going through a developmental burst and that’s that. But because I’m desperate and tired, maybe hearing this from a doctor will make me feel better and thus I’ll be able to make the wee-er one feel better. Or something. She’s just so happy and cheerful in the day time (for the most part.) I don’t know what gives. She’s a superhero, I guess. Super Baby SleepSucks. That works on so many levels.

On the Also Not Making Progress front: my new book. A book I’ve been writing for over a year now… I CANNOT FINISH IT. I know how I want to end it. I know what should happen. I know the characters, I have the voices and tone down. I love how everything sounds so far, and I think that what I have can easily be edited and whittled down and second and third-drafted into an awesome book. I just have to actually finish it. Having some time and some sleep would help, but even when I do have time and sleep I’m pretty much stuck.  I’m very irritated by this, because when I write, I’m happy. When I write, all is well with the world. When I write, I feel great. And when I don’t write I feel tired and dumpy and boring.

Speaking of booooooooring, I’m going to stop writing this now, lest you fall asleep at your computer, spill your coffee on the keyboard, and electrocute yourself. That would be bad and I would want to deny responsibility even though it would be all my fault.

Live-blogging the Golden Globes

I totally don’t have time to do this, but what the hell. We’ll see how far I can get before bath times and bed times and a husband anxious to watch 24 interfere with my sad attempts to be funny.

7:10: I’m late starting this, but one note on the previous ten minutes… Justin Timberlake is funny! Who knew?

7:12: Jeremy Irons looks like hell. Maybe it’s because he’s been stabbed a billion times – that’s what his vest looks like anyway.

7:15: Edie Falco is so bronzed and skinny she has scared me into forgetting about my girl crush on Tina Fey (ignoring Tina Fey’s triangular dress and extra-cleavage, which are both freaking me out). Perhaps Jeremy Irons and Edie Falco were shooting some heroin before the show? Damn.

7:20: I’m pretty sure Kyra Sedgewick ran all the way from her house to the ceremony, or else she and The Bacon were getting it on under the table, cause she is sweat-TAY and way more out of breath than one needs to be when accepting an award. Oh, who am I to talk, though? My armpits are like little faucets when I get nervous. Or hot. Or when I win awards from the Leander Foreign Press.

7:26: You know how it’s fashionable to wear those little shrug sweaters right now? The Hollywood Foreign Press dude is wearing on of those on his head.

7:30: "Thank you so much, I’m going to get off" says Emily Blunt, but I’m pretty sure that was Kyra Sedgewick’s line.

7:33: The background behind Hugh Laurie looks like the readout from a crazy military heat signature device.

7:39: BREAKING NEWS, no school in Austin tomorrow. Or Eanes. Or other places I didn’t hear. This means no pre-school either. Hooray! And by "hooray!" I mean "Oh crap!"

7:46: Of course Meryl Streep wins! She is the epitome of everything that is awesome or funny or cool or talented. Also, I wish I could wear glasses like that.

7:56: How did I not know that Sascha Baron Cohen is hott?

7:59: Annette Bening is totally one of those people who’s all, "Oh stop it, you, I’m not as beautiful/talented/skinny as you say!*giggle*" And then when you stop saying it, she gives you devil eyes until you start complimenting her again.

8:01: The wee one just told me that frogs have suction cups on their hands. Indeed. Also, Eddie murphy won for Dreamgirls. Why didn’t he give his speech as Donkey? Sure that wouldn’t really make sense, but it would be funny.

8:04: See? Prince is totally there. He’s just so tiny no one could see him coming to the stage to get his award. That’s OK, though, because it gave J. Tim a chance to show me that he’s funny. And that the sexy he brought back must not include his hair.

8:10: Speaking of girl crushes… Agent Scully is still so cute, even though she isn’t Agent Scully anymore and she’s a Real Actress now. And this is neither here nor there, but don’t you think Gillian Anderson has the tiniest little teeth you’ve ever seen? I bet she uses kid-sized toothbrushes and saves lots of money on toothpaste.

8:17: You know how 7-year-old girls like to try to do their own make-up for dance recitals? Well, someone let one of those girls loose on Cameron Diaz’s face.

8:21: Please have Alec Baldwin win!

8:22: YES. He makes me chortle every week. Here’s to chortling and to funny Alec. I lift my Ozarka to you.

8:26: Donald Trump is such a skeez.

8:30: When is the second season of Weeds going to be downloadable or Netflixable? I LOVED the first season. "Little boxes on the hillside…"

8:33: I really enjoy Ugly Betty, so yay for them! And I love that that dude just said he loves his mama.

8:36: Do you think filmmakers from other countries get pissed when American films are nominated for Best Foreign Language film? I mean, bully for Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg and everyone for making a movie about Iwo Jima, but it seems like there’s a director in another country feeling gypped.

8:41: just so you know, I’m going to stop live blogging at 9, in order to watch 24 and preserve my marriage. But I’ll tivo the rest of the awards and blog about them later tonight.

8:45: Those weird set pieces look like giant lobster claws.

8:49: Yay America Ferrerra! I’m sorry I just spelled your name wrong. Aw, she’s weepeing before even getting to the stage. Her dress is a lovely shade of blue, by the way. Annette Bening just looked at her like, "Bitch, why haven’t you told me how talented and beautiful I am? Why didn’t I win this award?" Then someone whispers to her she wasn’t nominated in the category.


8:59: I don’t want to think of Warren Beatty’s balls, Tom Hanks. No. No. No. No. No.

9:05: Well, during the Warren Beatty tribute I have grown a beard and aged 30 years and not thought about what balls he has. 

And now I must take a break to watch Keifer kick some ass. But I’ll be back later with some "live" blogging of the rest of the festivities. Unless the ice storm kills my internet connection. Then I will be sad. And also probably cold.

10:45AM, Tuesday: I just TiVo’d my way through the last of the awards while the wee-er one hollered and the wee one kept saying over and over again, "why was it Chewie’s tummy that got everyone caught in the net? Why? Why was it Chewie’s tummy that got everyone caught in the net?" So forgive me for being brief. I just want to say that I haven’t seen Borat yet, and I’ve already commented on how surprising hot Sascha Baron Cohen is, but seriously? He’s smokin’ and I’m a little afriad to see the movie now that he’s so explicitly described the face-in-taint scene, but I think I’ll see it anyway.

Also, I was hoping Heroes would sneak in and swipe the GG away from Grey’s. Not because I don’t like Grey’s, because I do, but because Heroes is so fun and new and quasi-geeky.  Alas. I’m happy for Shonda Rhimes, though. She’s fabulous.

There’s more to talk about, but of course the wee one is now chasing the dog and trying to beat on him with Matchbox tracks so I have to go save a life and threaten another. I’m like Jack Bauer, only with cramps and a teething baby!

There’s a chance of maybe possibly ice or possibly sleet or maybe just rain or hell no one really knows

Here’s my prediction of what the news is going to be like for the next three days as the possibility of an ice storm looms:

"It’s The Possible Ice Storm of 2007" [ominous music plays] We’re bringing you live coverage from across the city, with four reporters on location all across town. Let’s go to Bill for more…"

"Bill here and WOW is it raining."

"We’ve heard there’s ice and snow and road closures, Bill. Is this true?"

"Well, no, not really. Mostly it’s raining. And really wet. And there is this low water crossing that closed earlier. It’s reopened now, though. *cough* Back to you in the studio."

"Thanks Bill. Now let’s talk to Melissa."

"Hi. This is Melisa McFancyPants and I’m standing here staring at a creek. It’s got a lot of water in it. Also, it’s raining."

"Thanks Melissa. Can you tell me if the reports of tornadoes and thunder snow and downed power lines are true?"

"I haven’t heard anything about any of that, but I can tell it’s raining, because my hair is wet. It’s raining kind of hard, too. Plus, the creek is really wet and stuff is floating in it."

"As you can see folks, the threat of dangerous inclement weather is increasing exponentially as the afternoon approaches. Let’s talk to Sally downtown."

"Hi there. It’s really raining out here. People are wet and cold. Brrr."

"What about the reports of looting and traffic signals flashing red?"

"I haven’t seen any of that. But I’ll keep you posted on any cold or rain-related rioting that might occur."

"Let’s take a quick look at the radar here… HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! The rain! The cold! The slight possibility of ice! This is a very serious situation, folks. Very serious. Let’s check in with Donald who has heard a rumor of some sleet occurring in Dallas, which is a mere 250 miles away!"

Aaaaand scene.

Ah, I love the weather hysteria we get around here. It’s so fun to watch. The meteorologists have busted into Saturday morning cartoons about 14 times this morning. Right now they’re at a fairly controlled level of near panic over the rain and cold. I’m getting some popcorn ready for when it really starts to get icy. It’s gonna be fun times watching the TV news media dissolve into screaming hysterics as the temperatures drop. Heh. Ice is fun in Texas.

Is life better with a boat?

time for the boat show
should be "friend with a boat" show
cause who needs a boat?

There’s a commercial running right now that ends with the tag line, "Because life in Austin is better with a boat." Here’s what I think it should really say:

"Because life in Austin is better when you have a friend with a boat."

"Or wait, life in Austin is better when you have a friend with a boat and a bowl of guacamole and some beers and a way to get you a day off."

"Hang on, life in Austin is better when you have a boat that will take your kids out on the lake and use its artificially intelligent brain to feed them, entertain them, and change some diapers while you sleep in the sun."

"No really, life in Austin is better with a boat – a boat that can do your taxes."

"On second thought, life in Austin is better with a boat-load of money so you can buy one of those cute little houses downtown that make it look like you don’t really have a lot of money and are a "salt of the earth" type person."

"I know! Life in Austin is better when you have a boat that can figure out how to get you to the breakfast taco place without having to sit in traffic."

"Life in Austin is better with a boat, especially if that boat can breastfeed your baby at 3 am and then clean your kitchen."

Where’s my damn rocket pack?

soundproof children’s tank
and more computers than books
a new library

The tinys and I took a trip to our brand spankin’ new community library yesterday and y’all… it is swank. There are only about four books in the whole thing, but it’s swank anyway. Of course, I could do with a little less fancy and a lot more books, but it was still fun to walk around.

You have to understand, though, that when I’m talking about fancy I mean it’s upgraded from the 20×15 trailer that used to be the library. So, pretty much, having four walls that can withstand a stiff breeze is high falutin’. That and we have four books now instead of two.

Anyway, the kids’ area is completely surrounded in glass and has its own family bathroom. It also has a glass room inside the glass room for story time. This is a library all about silence, I think. Or else they’re planning for some kind of Bruce Willis movie to be filmed there where multiple people get thrown through multiple plate glass windows. Hollywood movie scouts, take note!

Also fancy? The self-checkout. Yes, yes, I realize I haven’t been a proponent of self-checkouts in the past, and I still don’t much like them, but this one? Almost idiot-proof. Really! You scan your card, then you eye the weird pad on the checkout counter. You put your books on the pad. Then the computer somehow magically and creepily knows which books you have even if they are stacked on top of each other. You punch in your pin #, the computer spits out a receipt with all of your books listed and the dates they’re due and voila. I still don’t know if I like it or not (sue me for being old-school. I like to banter with the librarians about the books I’m checking out and the weather and how big the kids are getting) but it’s efficient. Or it was yesterday when we were the only people there.

In conclusion, new pre-destroyed-by-Bruce-Willis library? Cool. Self-checkout? Cool (but not wholly approved of).

We truly live in the age of the Jetsons, don’t we?

I’ve got yer shat-tastic right here

many adjectives
most do not contain word "shat"
does that make them lame?

I would like to preface this post by saying I have not seen William Shatner’s new show on the TV. But I’ve seen the promos and they claim it’s "shat-tastic!"

You wanna know what’s really shat-tastic? Having your kiddo shout "I just had water poop!" from the bathroom.

Sigh. You can’t spell awesome without "me."