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Archive for July, 2007

Did you know that the internet is, like, FULL of potentially incriminating information? Stuff you thought you’d never see again can pop up unexpectedly. If you don’t believe me, Google your name. Or better yet, Google your MAIDEN name.

If I Google my name I don’t come up with much, not even this blog actually. The first thing that comes up when I Google my name is my Amazon.com profile and that’s only because I recently posted a review for book #12 in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. The rest of what comes up is a bunch of crap that doesn’t pertain to me at all.

When I Google my maiden name, however, I get a treasure trove of ancient newsgroup posts that made me cringe the first time I read through them because the person who wrote them could not possibly have been me. You see, back in the day before blogs and MySpace and pretty much anything on the internet, the only way to communicate with others who held the same interests as you was through newsgroups. I’m pretty sure they’re still around and that people still use them, but the internet has grown so much that you really don’t have to go far to find what you need.

So as I said, the first time I read though these old, old posts I was both amused and embarrassed because I had only vague recollections of ever having written them. We’re talking about stuff dating back ten years or more when I was unmarried and shacking up with Nathan and two ungrateful cats in a two-bedroom apartment. Just to give you an idea of the kinds of things I was writing about, here’s a selection of the groups to which I posted:

alt.books.ann-rice (way before Tom Cruise ruined Lestat for me)

alt.tv.er

alt.tv.friends

alt.tv.sliders (Remember that show? You know…with that guy who just married that model who used to be married to that guy from “Full House?”)

rec.arts.sf.tv.quantum-leap (Still love this show. Rented the season one DVDs recently)

rec.collecting.dolls (my Barbie collecting phase)

rec.sports.skating.ice.figure

alt.tv.x-files (Some day I’ll have to write about my Mulder dream)

soc.couples.wedding

It is truly amazing the lengths to which I could discuss Barbies and the plot lines of “Friends.” But the best and possibly most damaging piece of drivel is this beauty from “rec.arts.tv.soaps.misc.”

If the writers really wanted to put us through agony and prolong this
Carrie, Austin, Sammi, Mike love square, they should have just done this:
Sammi, desperate not to lose Austin to Carrie, agrees to have another
blood test taken to prove once and for all who Will’s father is. The
whole gang goes to the hospital, formal attire and all. They sit in
suspense while the test is administered by Dr. Mike Horton. As he
prepares to stick a needle into Sammi, his mother Mrs. Bates…I mean
Laura Horton leans over and whispers into his ear “Carpe Diem”. In a
moment of selfishness, Dr. Mike Horton doctors the results of the blood
test to make everyone believe that Austin IS Will’s father. Carrie is
devastated, Austin is dumfounded (as usual) and Sammi is triumphant. Mike
decides not to wait any longer and tells Carrie he loves her. Carrie
finally realizes what a gem Dr. Mike Horton is (he’s cute plus he’s a
doctor in Salem…can’t get better job security than that!) and gives him
a long, loving kiss. Since the minister was at the hospital (hey, he was
curious too!) Sammi talks Austin into finishing the ceremony there.
Finally, a wedding is finished in Salem!
I just have to say that I’m really getting sick of Laura Horton. I may
just be a fledgling “Days” viewer (since last December), but she just
seems too pushy. I think it’s great that Mike Horton is showing some
integrity. I think he and Carrie would make a cute couple, but he
realized that Carrie loves Austin and he doesn’t want to come in between
them. I know Laura has been through a lot. I felt real sympathy for her
when everybody thought she was crazy, but she has got to lighten up.
Somebody on this soap shoud be happy for crying out loud!

Jesus, who is this psycho and why does she care so much about Carrie and Austin?

As much as I’d like to forget I ever wrote this, I actually do remember the days when I worked second shift at the factory and tried to squeeze in just a few more minutes of melodrama before having to leave for the half-hour drive to the plant. Back when I was still in my 20s and having a house, let alone a child, seemed like an impossibility. Back when Nathan and I would clock out at 11:00 pm, hit Arby’s at 11:30 and stay up to watch Conan O’Brien with Jamocha shakes and onion petals weighing heavily in our stomachs.

If I sound a little nostalgic, I guess I am. Like any parent, I miss the flexibility of a child-free life, not to mention Jamocha shakes and Conan. I wouldn’t trade my girl for anything, but if I could go back 10 years I’d certainly make better use of my time because the post above is just one of many like it.

And no, I’m not going to tell you what my maiden name was.

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Last night we were eating dinner with my parents. My dad was sitting across the table from Autumn and commented that her eyelashes almost looked fake because they were so perfect looking.

“Yeah,” my mom said, “she’s a perfect little girl.”

And just to show us that she was listening, Autumn erupted in the most disgusting belch I’d ever heard from her.

Yep. Perfect.

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Finis

I finished the book at 1:00 this morning. I should have taken pictures of the state of my house since I first started reading this weekend. Dishes in the sink, laundry on the floor, rats scurrying into the dark corners of my kitchen as I turned on the lights. Ok, there were no rats, but as predicted every obligation and responsibility was forgotten as soon as the book entered the house. Autumn’s almost two years old and hardly too young to fend for herself. I sometimes wonder why she hasn’t gone out to earn her keep and help pay for the food she so happily flings on the floor.

I don’t want to give away any of the secrets of the book, though I know the two or so people who read this aren’t into Harry Potter. Anyway, I loved the book. I didn’t weep buckets as I did when I finished the last one, but I did get misty eyed and sighed deeply as I read the last pages. It was a fitting end to the fantastical world JK Rowling had created.

I came late to the party, only having read the series two years ago. I started book one in January 2005 on a flight out to Las Vegas and finished it on the flight back. To this day I consider that the highlight of my trip; reading Harry Potter and The Socerer’s Stone on the plane. A few weeks later I found out I was pregnant (no, she wasn’t conceived in Vegas but shortly after) and continued to read the rest of the series through the spring and into the summer. I finished the Half Blood Prince when I was six months pregnant. For that reason alone I think the books will always be very special to me.

I was thinking that in a few years I would start reading these books to Autumn, a chapter a night before bed, but now that the story is complete I think it’s one that she would enjoy more if she read it herself. As confident as I am that I can produce a decent English accent, I think she would be better served by the voices conjured by her own imagination as he reads on her own. Unless, of course, she’s like George Costanza and can’t stand to read a book because every voice she hears is her own. Heaven forbid!

So anyway, the story’s done and Rowling can take a much deserved break. She gave us a great gift and I have to say, at the end, it was so freaking sweet to finally see Molly Weasly kick some magical ass.

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Ex Libris

The last Harry Potter book comes out tomorrow and I’m more excited than I probably should be seeing as the book that’s being sent to my house is not actually my book. It’s Nathan’s. He pre-ordered it months ago with a Barnes & Noble gift card he received for Christmas. So, if we ever get divorced I get books one through six and he gets book seven. Let’s just hope we stick together because that could be one bitter custody battle.

We received an email from B&N a few days ago that said our order was ready to be shipped. I squealed and promptly clicked on the link to track the shipment, knowing full well Harry would be going nowhere for a couple of days. Lo and behold, he was in Illinois yesterday and this morning he arrived in a UPS warehouse just 10 miles from my house.

Nathan has graciously agreed to let me read the book first since I’ve been reading the series longer, but now we’re talking about heading out to the bookstore tomorrow for an additional copy. I tend to get a little engrossed when I get into a good book, so maybe Nathan wouldn’t feel as neglected if he was reading the same thing I was at the same time I was reading it.

The downside to that idea is that Nathan feels compelled to share little bits of what he’s reading with whomever is in the vicinity (that would be me). Normally I wouldn’t care, but it does get annoying if I’m trying to read my own book and he keeps reading aloud funny lines from his book. After 12 years of living with me he has not learned that I can turn into a mean bitch if he interrupts me in the middle of a good book. It would be okay if he only interrupted me once, but sometimes the interruptions are numerous and constant and annoy me to the point that I just want to cover his head with a pillow to get some peace and quiet. That may sound harsh, but that’s me with a book. Make that book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and you can crank that bitch dial up as high as it goes.

You know that scene in Back to the Future where Marty McFly gets blown across the room by the huge amp? That amp would be me if you try to come between me and Harry this weekend.

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Benadryl to the rescue

Monday morning I went into Autumn’s room and found a totally different child in her crib. Her face was red, her eyes puffy and swollen and she looked nothing like the little girl I put to bed the night before. I freaked, of course, and called Nathan in to look at her. We decided a trip to the doctor was in order, even though we knew he’d pretty much call it an allergic reaction to something and tell us to dose her with Benadryl, which he did and we did.

Now we’re left wondering what she had that caused her to swell up like a puffer fish. I ran a mental list of everything I gave her Sunday, none of it anything she hadn’t had before. French toast, milk, Dino nuggets, grapes. The only thing I could think of that may have caused the allergic reaction was the popsicle in a tube I had given her before we went to the park Sunday afternoon. She’d had that brand of popsicle before, but not that color; a yellow pineapple-flavored one.

My friend Sarah has an allergy to Yellow Dye #5 and I thought of her as I looked at the ingredient list on those popsicles and found Yellow #5 listed there along with Yellow #6 and a host of other food colorings. I checked some of the other snacks around the house and saw that colored Goldfish Crackers had Yellow #6 but not #5 and the Shrek fruit snacks had Yellow #5 but not #6. I guess it’s going to have to be trial and error until we figure out the cause, if we’re even able to. The doctor said it could be environmental and we are coming up on hay fever season. My gut tells me it was the popsicle so I’m sticking with that.

Autumn’s face has since cleared up, though she has some serious bags under her eyes that are still a bit red. She’s been restless at night this whole week and actually woke up crying at 3:00 am last night. I tried to give her a sippy cup full of ice water and she threw it back at me.

It’s scary how very like me she is when she just wakes up.

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In the midst of all this family drama I realized I have yet to show off my new fridge. It was delivered Saturday and I finally got around to taking pictures of it tonight because you know every family photo album must include pictures of the new refrigerator. First though, I need to show you our old fridge:

This was one of the blurry pictures I took during the inspection before we moved in. This picture is pretty much the only evidence that this kitchen was ever this clean. My brother reads this, and though he’s only been to our house about a half dozen times in the three years we’ve been here, he knows what kind of housekeeper I am. Nathan, on the other hand, would take great offense to my suggestion that the kitchen has never been cleaner than it is here. Whatever. If I had panned over to the left a bit I could have captured the very spot of carpet a certain toddler would stain with pasta sauce three years later.

Anyway, there’s the fridge, all 18.6 cubic almond-colored feet of it, looking very much like it did the day we had the new one delivered. Even though we were getting rid of if, we decided to not be totally disgusting and cleaned it up a bit. I think a packet of Old El Paso taco sauce may have been left inside when the Lowe’s delivery guys hauled it off to their truck. Oops.

Before cleaning the inside of the fridge we pulled it out and took a gander at what was hiding underneath:

I’ve seen similar disgusting displays in episodes of “Law and Order”, only in that show there’s usually a corpse and a crack pipe nearby instead of Chex Mix and ant traps.

Now let me ask you this…If you were moving out of your house, would you not clean this up? I’m only asking because this is very much what this patch of floor looked like when we moved in three years ago (except I believe the Chex Mix is ours). For some reason we pulled the fridge out and saw this. We also found family photos of the previous owners under there. Those were returned with a mention that they were found UNDER THE FRIDGE. We didn’t clean it up then because we had just cleaned under the fridge in the duplex we rented from one of the most disgusting slumlord assholes ever. And he had the nerve to keep half our security deposit. But I digress…

Here’s our lovely new 21.8 cubic foot Whirlpool in all its ebony splendor:


Notice it has already become cluttered with what Nathan calls “crap.” It’s still lovely though. In case you can’t tell how lovely it is, let me show it from a different angle:


Let’s take a look inside, shall we? The roomy shelves in the door can hold two whole gallons of milk.

The doors don’t hit the counter like the old fridge did. Does a family of three really need this many condiments? Notice the convenient toddler-height shelves. Time to start putting her to work, I think.

Would madame desire some marinade?

Look at the head room. We can set a 2 liter bottle of soda up there without having to tip it on its side.

Our very narrow freezer. But look! We have an ice maker! (and burritos!)

And last but not least, my oft coveted fount of ice and water. After this was set up it took Autumn all of five minutes to figure out those paddles do “something.”

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