Friday, September 24, 2010

Cups and Saucers

Morgan’s Version of a Classic Joke
One night I was in Africa and I stuffed an elephant wearing my pajamas. How did he get in my pajamas? Ha Cha Cha Cha.

Zoe’s Version
Elfant in my jamas. Ha Tsa Tsa. (Really she just likes the Ha Tsa Tsa part and doesn’t feel a lead in is necessary.)

4 Things that Bug Me About Wlakers/Joggers
People that walk while reading a book…that’s what audio books were made for. How do you even do that without getting a headache?

People that walk in the road when there is a perfectly good sidewalk. (Being married to a runner, I understand running in the road, but walking doesn’t make sense.)

People that jog slower than I can walk. Don’t kid yourself; you aren’t better than the walkers.

People that look like they are in physical pain while running. I’m not talking sweaty, elevated heart-rate at the end of a long run. I’m talking about the people whose faces immediately contort into victims of torture the moment they leave their driveway. Find a new form of exercise.

Potter’s Rebellion
I think Potter is sensing that we have him one foot in the grave. He’s been randomly dragging his ass upstairs to sleep in our room again. So perhaps he had stopped because of the blindness, and is now getting comfortable with it.

Also, he’s using his blindness as an excuse to try to eat off people’s plates. He just sticks his nose right up there now. “What? I thought she was handing me the piece of bologna.”

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Renewed Love Affair with my DVR - Part 1

To recap the summer:

Entourage went to a dark place that kept me from regularly tuning in, but I heard it was good from a reliable source, namely the person I married and force to watch SyFy programming.

True Blood redeemed itself in the last two episodes as far as Eric goes, but listen up, Alan Ball...if you don't lighten up on the Lafayette weirdness and making Sam a psycho, I will be fast forwarding through two thirds of your vampire show that is actually only one forth vampire these days.

Dear SyFy network...why does your best show (Eureka) have the shortest season? Or is that the point? Kind of hard to jump the shark when you don't get on the water skis. P.S. I will allow loopholes in the time-space continuum if you keep bringing Stark back to antagonize Carter. P.P.S. Brilliant move to let Eureka lead in to Haven because I am already hooked. Although, your promos about it being based on King's The Colorado Kid were grossly misleading...or were they?

You know it is fall (and you have kids up past primetime) when you turn on the TV and get a message that the cable boxes are all occupied and you need to cancel a recording or stop trying to watch something that isn't being recorded. Come on, U-Verse, show some compassion. How do I know if I need to record a series if I can't record a single episode?

I'll start off light (because there's only been three shows watched so far )...

Life Interrupted will indeed most likely be interrupted, because I see us walking down a very familiar hallway that leads to the same thing that happened last season.

Boardwalk Empire...HBO is starting strong again, which I didn't think could happen because Steve Buscemi is no Alexander Skarsgard, but I was mistaken. (Plus, I don't want Buscemi sending me to the wood chipper if I don't like his show.) However...they may run into the problem of not enough likeable characters...or at least characters you love to hate.

Glee...first off, Morgan has been sucked in, so I can now watch it real time and not feel guilty. It's bonding! And can I just say "What I Did For Love" was shear brilliance. Brought back fond memories of the excruciatingly horrible Firelands High School choir and our "A Chorus Line" medley. Kiss today goodbye and point me toward tomorrow...season premiers of Modern Family and Cougartown.

Sidebar: Prior to watching Glee, Morgan and I had a competitive game of Wii bowling. I have finally found someone less coordinated than I am! Yes, she is five. "Press, step, swing, let go. What don't you understand?!"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Value of Money

Ever since I banned the phrase “I want that,” from our household, Morgan has been very interested in "how many dollars" things cost. Loophole: Instead she uses the phrase “I would maybe like that for my birthday/Christmas.” Semantics? Yes.

For the last year, we have let her take the change from our pockets to put in her bank and I recently cashed it in at a Coinstar for her, but she’s starting to get depressed in the knowledge that it takes a lot of money to buy things from The Disney Store.

On having five dollars left to spend…
Morgan: How many dollars is this?
Mommy: Nine.
Morgan: (dramatic sigh) Put it on my Christmas list, I guess.

This went on throughout the store and it was heartbreaking, but hopefully a lesson learned.

We are even letting her do “chores” to earn money, but we’re trying to keep it reasonable, because I will admit I was a bit concerned she’d bankrupt us with her initiative. So it’s fifty cents here, a quarter there type of pay.

She also has no patience, so “saving” isn’t her strong suit. On leaving the store that day, she was okay with saving for the Alice doll, but by the time she got home the futility sank in that the doll was twenty dollars and it was going to take her “forever” so “just add it to the Christmas list.”

Because money in her hand burns the proverbial hole in her pocket. She just has to spend it on something. Even if it isn’t what she really wants. Thus making it take longer to save. Yet another lesson.

So last Tuesday, a Talent Group check came in the mail. These usually come around a couple months after the photo shoots occur, so they are always a little bit of a surprise. And this one was substantial, because it was a longer shoot and included a travel stipend. (Read about that joy here.)

Normally, I put this money into her savings account without even saying anything. I figure if she keeps at it for a while, she’ll have some spending money in college. Maybe she’ll be the one offering to buy the kegs when she moves into her first off-campus apartment.

But Scott pointed out that she did earn the money, so maybe she should be allowed to decide what to do with a small part of it. He’s the good cop. I’m the bad cop.

So that Tuesday night I show her the check and explain where it came from. And that the next day we could take it to the bank and that they would give us dollar bills for it and put it in her account. But that she could have twenty-five dollars out of it to spend.

Pure joy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Who Wants Coffee, Who Wants Tea?

Celebrity Death Match

135 pound St. Bernard, recently gone blind vs. 2 1/2 year old, hopped up on marshmallows and pushing an umbrella stroller like she's driving Talladega.

And the St. Bernard wins. Zoe sustains road rash from the cement driveway over her left eyebrow.

He was not given a good night hug.

Babes in Toyland

What law is it that the minute Morgan has a friend over to play, she is consumed by an all-powerful force that demands her to drag them to the basement to rummage through garbage bags of toys not played with for a year, instead of up to her room with all of the most recent items she's suckered people into buying for her?

The Lost Art of Dining

During my massive cleaning spree, I came across “the tray” and cursed it for the millionth time.

It is a tray I bought for Morgan a few years ago and I don’t remember if it was originally intended so she could eat in front of the TV (that would be bad, right?) but that’s its soul purpose for Zoe.

The problem with this tray is that it has this little trough around the edge that crumbs and juice splatters end up in, and is a pain in the ass to clean. Plus Morgan put stickers all over it, so even when I wipe it clean it still looks dirty.

So I thought…I should buy a couple new trays that don’t have those annoying features.

It got me thinking about the good ol’ days of TV trays. I suppose they fell out of favor when people started putting televisions in their kitchens. But I remember when everyone had them. In our house, the TV tray was used for two main purposes.

The first was a place for my mom to put her supplies while making clothespin doll ornaments around Christmas time, so she could sew while watching Scarecrow and Mrs. King or MacGuyver.

The second was when we stayed home sick from school and got to rest on the couch while Family Feud, Password, and $100,000 Pyramid were on. The TV tray was provided to eat our soup and drink our ginger ale from the comfort of the green tweed davenport, without causing too much distress on our weakened bodies.

In my maternal grandparents’ house - which was actually a double-wide trailer - there wasn’t room for a big dining room table, so family gathering necessitated their use for birthday dinners.

If I recall, Aunt Charlie had metal ones and Aunt Cheryl had wooden ones, but maybe I have that backward.

I did a quick poll of my co-workers to find out when these went on the endangered species listing and even the twenty-somethings remembered them, so it must be fairly recent, which makes me feel a little better.

They usually look at me like I have one foot in the grave I’m so old.

And that's all the clean cups for the day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

MoZo's Road to Iron Man - Rev3 Cedar Point

I'm still working on the Road to Iron Man blog for Scott and we're getting some formatting things worked out, so I'll place this here for now.

Scott completed his first half-Iron Man distance this last Sunday, which is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run (half marathon). It was on the Sandusky coast of Lake Erie and ended inside Cedar Point - "America's roller coast" and home to the steepest and fastest steel roller coaster on earth, among other things awesome.

Scott had to be there at 6:30 am, even though his wave didn't go off until 8:30, and my plan was to get me and the girls there to snap a picture of him coming out of the water somewhere around 9:30 (yeah, swimming in a great lake for an

This is the scene that awaited me.

You don't see any bikes in there, do you? Because I got there about 10:30 and every single person had gotten out of the water. Those are all the "halfers" wet suits laying there.

So....we did a little recon at the park entrance. The park rides don't open until noon this time of year, but Scott's entry fee included two passes (which I think are really up to $35 or $40 dollars now) and I wanted to confirm Zoe was going to be free.

Then we went back to stake out a place to see the bikers coming in. Even though the pros and full distance runners went off on the swim first, they halfers end up coming into the bike transition first.

While we waited, I could hear the park open at 11:30 when they asked for people to stand for the National Anthem. Don't get me started. I stood up and made the girls stop playing, so I was able to notice all the other people that didn't do the same. DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!!

Okay...then we got to see Scott bike in...

And run out...

...looking strong, and even managed a wave for the girls.
Off to the park for lunch and some kiddie rides. A little bit after that, we met up with the "Seniors" (Nana and Papa Turtle) and stalked the finish line.
Rev3 was great, they had a huge jumbo tron and were announcing all the runners by name as they came in. So I was almost prepared (even though he was in a half hour earlier than expected) at the finish line to take the winning photo.
Unfortunately, my camera was still set to video because I had to record Morgan laughing on the Kiddie Demon Drop. So instead of taking a picture, I started recording a video which is mostly me fumbling the camera around and yelling "son of a bitch", before getting a shot of him walking away with his participant stash (another Kudos to Rev3 for all the cool swag).
I would upload it, but I'm an idiot and can't figure out how to make it work.
Finished in 5 hours and 15 minutes. 95 out of 800 or so. 21 out of approximately 100 in his age group.
The pro that won the full iron man, finished just over 8 hours! Just thinking about that makes me want to go to bed for a week.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Days of Labor

Would you believe it was a holiday weekend and I don't have anything to rant about? What a refreshing change of pace.

I had decided that I was going to start "fall cleaning" the house, since it's been an eternity since I've mopped the floors and we suddenly have a LOT of cobwebs, even though I haven't seen any spiders. I can only assume I'm eating them in my sleep.

I told Scott that I intended to get everything done on the main floor, but his response was somewhere between a guffaw and "Whatchyou talkin bout, Willis?"

I decided to be content if I could finish the living room, which I did by Sunday afternoon.

That included moving both couches (which is always a test of my gag reflexes), rolling up the rug to mop the entire floor (how do Oreo crumbs wind up way under there?), and...drum roll...shaking out all the curtains (actually very sheer roman shades, so not that difficult, but it made me feel like I was doing something important and Martha Stewart-ish).

It still smells like Murphy's Oil Soap, which was nice for the first ten minutes, but now is kind of making me nauseous.

On Monday, I gave myself the new goal of finishing the foyer, stairway and powder room, because none of those places have actual furniture to move.

I lost ambition after I vacuumed and went on sabbatical, sitting down with my Book Club required reading.

I somehow managed to re-motivate myself to wipe down the baseboards (particularly nasty in this area, because Potter likes to rub his face on them while he's chasing rabbits in his sleep), clean the sink (where the girls prefer to brush there teeth, but I had not bothered to rinse the toothpaste down), and get my mop back out (since the Murphy's scent had started to fade).

My kitchen continues to taunt me. But despite the suspicious sticky floor spot by the sink, and the inability to keep the pantry doors from bursting open...I still feel a sense of accomplishment. And I don't feel so guilty about my children eating off the living room floor.

Doesn't this make you feel better about how clean your house is?

Disclaimer: I do actually clean the sink on a regular basis.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Potty Mouth

I work in a professional building downtown Cleveland. It houses the bank's support areas, a big four accounting firm, and a major law firm...among other things.

There is a cafeteria in this building that we all share. Occasionally, I'll stop in the restroom on that floor.

There, on the back of each stall door, is a taped piece of paper that states, "Please make sure your seat is clean and the toilet is completely flushed before leaving."

1. Noting the clientele above that use these facilities, does it bother anyone else that this had to be put in writing?

2. If a person was to make a mess on the seat, do you think they are the type of person that could be swayed by a plea scotch taped to the door?

3. Does the cleaning crew not know they are signing on for this type of risk when the choose to enter the toilet cleaning industry?

It's like the signs that everyone puts up asking us women-folk not to flush our "tampons and sanitary napkins" (seriously, who flushes pads?) because they clog the plumbing. There are the people that do and the people that don't. Your sign is not going to change that.

I would prefer more helpful signage, like:

"Did you remember to make sure your skirt is not tucked into your underwear?"

"Beware of loose toilet paper stuck to your shoe."

"Reminder: The lights in here are fluorescent. You don't actually look like this."