The babysitter was late so I had to hop in the shower before she got there. Thank God the baby let me just plop him in the car seat where he obligingly went to sleep. Dan had used all the clean towels hanging in the bathroom so I was running around in a towel looking for something to dry my hair with in the 62-degree upstairs. It was 62 degrees because the noise from the boilers bothers my husband - the second-floor boiler is especially loud - so he turns the heat way down so he doesn’t have to listen to it and then he goes to work. And while I don’t really mind running around in a towel in front of my husband, the babysitter really does not need to be subjected to that sight. We don’t pay her nearly enough for her to have to put up with THAT.
By some miracle of God, my gloves and hat and scarf and boots were where I’d left them – Segundo likes to put on my shoes and walk around the house in them and then leave them in unexpected locations where I would never in a gazillion years think to look for them. Like in the baby’s crib or behind his dad’s guitars.
I knew the roads would be a mess – and they were – not helped by the old lady driving the BMW in front of me, at 15 miles below the speed limit, switching lanes without signaling, and wearing a hideous hat to boot.
By the time I got to work and found a parking spot (the university bought the two parking lots across the street and, instead of letting people park there while waiting for the weather to break so they can build, have just cordoned them off and made the parking situation here just so much hell), I was already running late. I had a meeting with my boss at 10:30 to discuss upcoming projects. And I didn’t get out of the meeting in time to go pump before my coworker took off for lunch.
But things aren’t all bad – like hearing the Royal Guardsmen singing “Snoopy’s Christmas” on the radio this morning. And the fact that Segundo woke up this morning and came downstairs saying, “Me wuv oo, Mama, me wuv ooooo…” My next-door neighbor picked up a container of rock salt at Home Depot for me yesterday because she knew we needed some. I get to have lunch with Gina today. I have time to stop at the library and the liquor store on the way home tonight. I got to see Leslie who I did not even know was in today. A prof at the pharmacy school was so incredibly appreciative of a relatively minimal effort on my part that he made me feel like a million bucks. I had a great dream last night about one of my best friends from college. I slept long enough to HAVE a dream. And Terzo smiled at me this morning.
It’s not that I am turning into Pollyanna, fat chance in hell of that, but I am just trying to focus. And de-stress. And not be miserable. Because the holidays stress me out and I am trying to enjoy something about them instead. Even if it’s grown men singing about dogs in fighter planes.
And my coworker just brought me a piece of banana cream pie from the faculty dining room.
You Are Lemon Meringue Pie
You're the perfect combo of sassy and sweet
Those who like you have well refined tastes
I really liked the How Machiavellian are You? quiz too but to my distress am hardly Machiavellian AT ALL. Which disappointed me. I remember writing a paper on Niccolo Machiavelli in the seventh grade, I thought he was so cool. Still think the whole concept is cool. I wanted to be a little bit Machiavellian at least. But no, I am trustworthy and honest! Dammit!
Primo’s running monologue:
What’s scarier, Vacation Under the Volcano or Dinosaurs Before Dawn? I mean, being at the beach and having to go under the volcano would be scary…but dinosaurs are big and they can eat people. I don’t know. I wonder, which do you think is scarier? …Where’s Africa? Is Africa left? I mean, east? Is it east-er than us? Is it east-er than where Uncle Drew lives? Is east left? Or right? If I shake the compass, will it still point to north? And you know what’s really cool? If you don’t want to go anywhere you just close up the compass! …Hey Mom, I got Toby for my birthday and I put Toby on my Christmas list. How will Santa know not to bring me Toby? And when we return my extra Toby and Percy, should I get Diesel and Skarloey, or Donald and Douglas? Which do you think Segundo would like? Should I let him pick one, even though it’s my birthday present? I bet he’d like Donald and Douglas, but I really want Skarloey…Hey, do you know where the extra film for my toy camera is? I thought it was in the refrigerator but I looked and I can’t find it and it’s not in there. Mom, will you get up and find it for me?
Finally I open one eye and say, “Primo, will you PUH-LEASE shut up for two seconds?”
“Ok, Mom. I’ll shut up. One, two…that’s two seconds. Will you get up and get my film for me now?”
I have only myself to blame as I am sure Primo did not inherit this diarrhea of the mouth from his father, Mr. Taciturn. (I would have changed my name when I got married but I figured that would be false advertising, as Mrs Taciturn I am not!)
I just bought five books at the campus bookstore, from the dollar table, in less than ten minutes. See, it IS a sickness.
Best Food Writing 2000. Because the next best thing to eating food is reading about food.
A Welcoming Life: The M.F.K. Fisher Scrapbook. I enjoy Fisher’s food books and am intensely curious about Chexbres, the mysterious stranger she left her husband for, and who apparently died an agonizing and drawn-out death. Figured this photo collection might shed some light on the subject. Because I am morbidly curious.
Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education. Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire has been extolled to me as one of the best books ever, so why not spend a buck on this, his other book? From the back cover: “Chosen by the American Horticultural Society as one of the seventy-five greatest books ever written about gardening…”
Mrs. Whaley and her Charleston Garden A gardening memoir by an old Southern lady that looked charming.
The Flamboyant Garden A book about growing vibrantly-colored flowers in your garden and how to incorporate them into your already-existing plant plan. Not that I am a particularly wonderful gardener, but it was only a buck and the pictures are pretty.
What about the HobNobs Literary Prize? Or Scrumpy Jack’s Literary Prize?
This is sooooo cool. I am such a nerd.
And what the hell is up with this craft project? This reindeer looks like Rudolph meets "Mask." Honestly…it’s just screwy.
I received an email from Gina with a list of “Fifty Things I Am Not Allowed to Do at Hogwarts.” My favorite was number 14, “I will not start every Potions class by asking Professor Snape if today's project is suitable for use as a sexual lubricant.” Gina’s vote: number 20, “I will not call the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Kenny, even if he is wearing an orange anorak.”
Also received this from Gina (clearly a slow morning at work for Gina yesterday) and I like it enough to share: Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!
Primo wanted to know who Jesus’ father was – God or Joseph. He decided that Joseph was Jesus’ grandfather, and God was Jesus’ father. And then yesterday he wanted to know if pets went to heaven or hell. And if we were skeletons in the afterlife, is everyone dead running around heaven as a skeleton? I don’t know how much more theology I can handle.
Segundo tells Thomas the Tank Engine jokes: “I told Primo that Toby is number TEN!” Hahahahahahahaaaa!!
I hate turtlenecks. So why do I wear them? Yes, they look sleek and trendy and make my hair look good, but I want to rip them off within an hour of putting one on. And I still have two hours of work to go! Argh! Of course, I feel the same way about socks and bras. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I need help.
In church on Sunday (at which the music was particularly lovely – Jacob Arcadelt’s version of the Ave Maria, “Oh thou that tellest” from Handel’s “Messiah,” and the Toccata in E Minor by Pachelbel) there was a guest preacher, from a public charter school, who spoke about John the Baptist. I was half-listening and half-admiring my baby when I heard him say…something. I thought, “There is NO WAY I just heard what I heard, I must have MISheard.” But then he repeated himself. I have never before heard and probably never will again hear the word “genitalia” issue not once, but twice, from a preacher’s mouth, from the pulpit.
More fuel for the fire… Thanks for the link, Andrea.
Stan Berenstain, creator of the interminably smug and annoying Berenstain Bears, died November 26. Peter Leo of the Post Gazette crafted an amusing column out of this sober fodder. I especially loved the quote by Charles Krauthammer calling Papa Bear the “Alan Alda of grizzlies.” And just for the record, I HATE Love You Forever. It creeps me out.