Sunday, December 30, 2007

With The Thoughts I'd Be Thinkin'*

1. Garrison Keillor: literary luminary, or Humongous Bighead? It's hard to tell sometimes -- maybe he's both?

2. In the 2008 presidential election, I would like to cast my vote for someone who opts out of the political game. Tell me the truth. Tell me what you really think, and not what you think I want to hear. So far, the only candidates willing to do this are friends of Shirley MacLaine or they believe that "illegal alien" means the same thing as "American dream killer." Please tell me these are not my only choices.**

3. When Raisin chooses names for dolls or imaginary friends, they are always things like "Kaweeza" or "Halla." When I was a child, I had an imaginary friend named "Seeley Galeely." Um, my child and I are normal, right?

4. Orange walks on her knees. Why does she do that? (She will walk on her feet if she's holding someone's hand, so I'm not worried about her development. I'm just wondering...)

5. Why didn't anyone tell me about "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me?"*** I had no idea public radio could be so funny.

6. Making your own hummus is easy. I assumed there'd be some trick to it. I've been missing out, apparently.

7. New Year's Resolution: go back on Weight Watchers. Good thing hummus is low fat.

8. Pre-New Year's Resolution: eat all the junk that will tempt me after New Year's. That way, it won't be here to make things harder later. Logical, right?

*...I could be another Lincoln, if I only had a brain. Phew. That was like leaving "two bits" out of "Shave and a Haircut."

**Except maybe John McCain. So add one more caveat: candidate must be willing to think outside the box on health care, the mortgage crisis, education, and most importantly, Iraq.

***Get it?

Monday, December 24, 2007

I Knew There Was A Reason I Married This Guy

This wasn't my best Christmas Eve. The kids were tired from celebrating yesterday with my mom and dad. I tried all day, with extremely limited success, to unpack their loot from that party so they could play with it and leave me some time to clean up for our company tomorrow. I have to work tonight, and so will miss the family gathering at my Grandma's house. We haven't made it to church at all this week, what with tired and/or sick babies and bad weather. By the time the Jellyman got home from work, the house was a disaster and his entire family was crabby. Merry Christmas.

He just called me from upstairs. "Take a break from checking email, and see the mess I've made in your kitchen," he said. So, I went.

He's making beef stroganoff and popovers, which is what my grandmother always serves Christmas Eve.

He's mine, and you can't have him. *Sniff*

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Raisin starred* in her preschool's Christmas program this week. If it was unclear before, it is now quite obvious to me that I am raising a march-to-your-own-drum kid.

She sang along with the first song, but as an echo. This actually makes sense; that's how the teachers help the kids learn the songs, so it's logical that she thinks that's how the song really goes. But since the rest of the class was singing in unison, and she took seriously my suggestion that she should sing loudly -- well.

During the recitation, she was so enthralled by the Oscar-worthy performance of her peers that she forgot to say it with them.

While the rest of the class sang "Jingle Bells," she was trying to push her way to the front to tell the teacher something, and missed the whole song.

And while the whole school sang some other bell-related song (this is my favorite part), Raisin sang "Jingle Bells," which actually made for a nice sort of medley. (Like that Sting/Bing Crosby carol where Sting sings "Peace On Earth" and Bing sings "The Little Drummer Boy.")

She looked so beautiful and confident up there, waving to us before her part began. She listened politely to the other classes, and she even managed to enjoy the twirliness of her skirt without hiking it up around her waist for a better look.

It sounds like I'm kidding, but I honestly have never been so proud.

*The other families probably thought that their kids were the stars. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

Friday, December 14, 2007


In your family, do people stay no matter what? Do they show up for the big family functions even when they're mad at somebody, just because they believe it's important for family to be together? Or do they stay away, maybe for years, maybe forever, because something has hurt them, and they can't or won't get over it?

My mom's family, with whom my brother and I spent most of our holidays and special occasions growing up, is the first way. We may not have a good time, but darn it, we are THERE. Through divorces and remarriages and awkward moments and bad memories, everyone just keeps showing up. The difficult things sometimes get talked about, sometimes not, but eventually things even out again and we are glad that no bridges got burned in the process.

My dad's youngest brother has been estranged from us for years. Not a complete break, but enough of one that he was not present at my wedding or my brother's (he was invited). There is a lot of stuff there, dirty laundry that I won't air on a blog, even one as anonymous as this. The point is this: I contacted him again, got rebuffed again, and got angry, and maybe a little reckless. I asked him why -- what could I have possibly done to create this distance?

He answered me. I think we can make things better between us. Not perfect, but better.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 07, 2007

'E's Not Dead, 'E's Sleeping!

Um, Hi. The new job is not perfect. It is better than the old job, but I'm not sure it's enough better, and I am trying to figure out how to make it livable, and the posts I keep thinking of are not that joyful, and while that may be cathartic for me it is probably not that fun to read, and that's why I am not here.

Here is something joyful, though: after helping me stuff our Christmas letters into envelopes, Raisin decided to make out her own, and she spent about 1/2 hour "writing" letters and folding them carefully. "And this one is for Uncle D and Auntie K, and this one is for Auntie J, and this one is for E and A..." And she gave me the biggest stack because she wanted me to have something to read at work.