Saturday, December 31, 2011

Moove over 2011! Mama's got a brand new calendar!!

Happy Moo Year!!!!!!!! Welcome 2012!!!!!!

Green tea vs the strongest force in the universe

From Singles 2010

•Drinking green tea may cause anemia, so drink one hour after meals. Irony is already adsorbed then.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Zupe's Christmas Tree

Perhaps you noticed in the tour of his room that Zupe possesses a 365 day a year silver Christmas tree. He is too cool. And, so, for Christmas his Grandmother sent him a collection of decorations to "do up" said tree.

But, that tree was never designed to hold up a substantial ornament. Something had to be done.

And, that something was to buy him his second Christmas tree. (Five dollars! Bargain!) He had to share this tree with the rest of his family. And, at the end of the season this tree had to go back into its little box to wait until the next holiday season. On the plus side, his tree got to wear our pre-Zupe ornaments including the kookaburra tree topper.

(You may have noticed the beautiful Christmas stocking. It came from Ohio, too. Lacking anything like a real fireplace, we chose to hang the stocking next to the air conditioning unit. It seemed like the perfect spot for a summer Christmas PLUS it IS a reverse cycle unit - our source of heat come winter!)

50 Reasons I Love You #33

From Yin Yang Halloween

You recognize Halloween as the best holiday of the year. And you like to dress up in costumes.

50 Reasons I Love You #?

From Singles 2011

You think I have a lot of "good ideas", though not necssarily a million of them.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

More Christmas music

Haven't heard this in forever! I think I might have had a 45 of this.... Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

An open letter to Ryan Murphy

This is an open letter to Ryan Murphy. It is open for two reasons.

First, I'm not sure I could send a "closed" letter that would reach Ryan Murphy. Maybe. I could probably find a studio address and take a chance. But

Two. Would he read it? He is no more likely to read an open letter - but at least if it is open, SOMEBODY might read it. And, given six degrees of Kevin Bacon, maybe the thought will get into his head.

Also, it doesn't really matter. The deed is done.

So, here goes.

Dear Mr. Murphy,

I am not a "hater". Really. I've tried hard to like Glee. I've actually tried to LOVE "Glee". I can't claim to have succeeded spectacularly, but I did enter the "Boost Juice" contest here in Australia to win a trip to watch a filming. This involved writing a very short essay declaring my affection. So, you see, I'm on the record as a supporter.

But, let's talk about that Christmas show.

Wow! Was that bad! Meager plot, an ugly and excessive exaggeration of Rachel's petty materialism, a mean portrayal of the club's self-absorption, and poor Damien McGinty! I've given up any idea that I'll understand what he's mumbling, but the kid can sing. Give him something. "Blue Christmas" was awful. The entire club just sat there looking like they were bored and pained listening to him. It should have been a song that would pull heart strings for both his peers and the audiance. It should have been this:

I can't listen to this song without a tear, particularly when I am away from home at Christmas, which happens way too often.

Wishing you a year of inspiration! (Oh, and maybe next year a holiday reunion might be planned, in which case you need this.)


Oh, and if you are part of my chain to Ryan Murphy, please pass along the Dan Fogelberg suggestion.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A visit with Saint Nicholas....

From Christmas 2011

Just up from a morning nap, the Zupster charmed Santa and his helper.

From Singles 2012

For contrast, here is my first photo with Santa!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Ear wax and other embarrassments

From Zuperfliegen

Someday, maybe soon, I'll process Kevin's story and write it. In the meantime, I thought I'd share with my revelation that embarrassing moments do not end at 50.

Last weekend Kevin and I embarked on a major photographic project. This resulted in Zupe sitting in his "Baa, Baa, Twinkle, EFG" Chair outside while we toiled. At one point Zupe had had enough and Kevin rescued him from his lateral head toss. Kevin picked him up and said to me...

"What's this behind his ear?"

"What's what?"

"It's yellow. It's a huge glob of ear wax!"

"Really? Kevin?"


Sure enough. A glob of yellow, waxy material almost as wide across as my little finger.

I looked at it again.


Story two.

This morning Zupe and I visited Kevin in the hospital. (That's the story you don't know - unless you are referred here by Kevin's blog - in which case you are most likely wondering why you know something I don't seem to know.) Zupe and I were leaving as the physiotherapist came in to get the Mack Daddy up.

"Is that your daughter?"

"Oh, she'll love that! No. That's my wife. She's OLDER than I am."

(Yep. I'm loving it!!!!)

"No. I meant the baby."

ARGHHHH! So much for the dalliance in pink today. It was just a bib - but the gender gods do not care for such trifling. They have beaten me down.

Friday, November 25, 2011

This year for Thanksgiving

we're having Indian.

(Whatever you do, do not ask me to explain that. Just grin and nod your head...or fall out of your chair laughing.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Zombies: The Recent Dead

From Singles 2012

"The dead are dull-witted but canny predators like some form of
flesh-eating math teachers."

from "Twisted," by Kevin Veale.
Really, though, my favorite:

The zombies were like Canadians, in that they looked enough like real people at first, to fool you. But when you looked closer, you saw they were from some other place, where things were different: where even the same things, the things that went on everywhere, were just a little bit different.

from "The Hortlak," by Kelly Link. You can read it here!

Friday, November 11, 2011


From Zuperfliegen

Today there is a initiative to document "One Day on Earth"...sponsored by a group called "One Day on Earth". They are enlisting people from Earth to photograph "the human experience" living 11/11/11.

From their website:

Together, we are showcasing the amazing diversity, conflict, tragedy, and triumph that occurs in one day. We invite you to join our international community of thousands of filmmakers, hundreds of schools, and dozens of non-profits, and contribute to this unique global mosaic. One Day on Earth is a community that not only watches, but participates.

I've applied to join - albeit at the last minute - and am waiting to hear if my application is accepted. And, while I'm waiting, and waiting for Zupe to wake from his nap and Kevin to finish the last 10 pages of his book and 5 PM to arrive so as to feed my ever-hungry dog, I'm wondering what criteria they apply to make that decision.

I've spent 11/11/11 in a very quiet way. Bathing with Zupe. Doing laundry and dishes. Nursing the baby (repeat/repeat/repeat). Sweeping and mopping. Playing and reading ("Crazy Charlie" and "Good Night Moon"). Taking a few photographs. Checking my email, my Facebook, my blog hoping to connect with the world outside my house.

I've had a wonderful day...even though I didn't get married or give birth or complete a major project. And, I'm hoping that every one of you has too.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

50 Reasons I Love You #43

You are a wonderful photographer and you share many of your amazing pictures with the world.

50 Reasons I Love You #17

You taught me to appreciate the freezer section of the gorcery store (even though we pretty much never go there any more.)

Monday, November 07, 2011

Crime wave continues

From Rain Forest

Damn. Is this an effect of social media scouting, again??? Though I'm pretty sure I didn't post this photo yesterday. I only TOOK it.

That was yesterday morning. I don't remember that I checked when we got home from the rain forest expedition...but this morning when I was out watering (LOWER THE DAM!), there was ne'er a ripe tomato to be seen.

The most likely culprit swears she was under house arrest ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT.


An outing to the rain forest!

Thanks to Barb and Stephen's visit, we've (I've) had the Mary Cairncross Reserve on my mind. It is such a cool spot on a hot summer day tucked up in the hinterlands near Maleny. We first discovered the park while touring with Flat Stanley. Funny how that little guy got us out and around! (He was a much easier touring partner that the Zupe-man who is much more opinionated on what he wants. And, significantly heavier to carry around.)

Here's a small selection of our hike. In the opening video you can hear some of the bird calls (as well as the distant call of the elusive Zupe). If you close your eyes you can almost feel the cool shadowland.

No snakes. Only 3 or 4 pademelons. We missed having Barb and Stephen to identify the birds - seen and unseen - for us.

From Rain Forest

From Rain Forest

From Rain Forest

From Rain Forest

From Rain Forest

From Rain Forest

Saturday, November 05, 2011


"What's this? Kevin, look at this mark on me."

Reddish. Squarish. On the inside of my ankle. Petechia? Am I having a true blood disorder? Is it time to panic about all those neutropenic tests???


Lick finger. Rub spot.

"Red beet juice."

From Zuperfliegen

Friday, November 04, 2011

International House of Coffee

From Singles 2011

In anticipation of my friends' (Barb and Stephen) visit, I put a request out into Facebook World for the loan of a coffee maker. I was lucky enough to get one delivered almost the next day.

Wait, did I say one? I meant three: a French Press, an Italian espresso pot, and an Indian coffee maker.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Merci! Grazie! Dhanyavaad!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

It had to be done

From Singles 2011

I had no choice. What-so-ever. None. Sushi had to be eaten.

My calendar says: November 3: Culture Day (Japan)

Bargaining with Terrorists

From Singles 2011

Today I read a headline suggesting that the majority of burglars surveyed used social media to plan their crimes.

Therefore, it is probably a totally bad idea for me to admit this here, but I'm committed. I had already typed the title. I must confess: I totally cave into any demand when either my sleep or Zupe's sleep (which is often my sleep, too) is threatened.


2 AM- I wake up. My mind flips on and I watch time pass. Just as I drift into a dream...
3:30 AM - Zupe wakes up. I get up and feed the baby and then try once more to achieve sleep.
5 AM - Zelda scratches at the bedroom door asking for BREAKFAST. I can either get up and feed her and hope to get back to sleep or I can lie awake listening to her intermittent pleas until Zupe wakes up at 6.

Zelda's supper is at 5 PM. Zupe's afternoon nap is at 3:30. Without fail, just as his eyes fall shut (4ish), Zelda starts her bouncing and yelping at the foot of the bed where he's sleeping. I can ignore her and let Zupe wake up -which means another several minutes of sleep cajoling or I can try to slip away and let her out before her piercing screech penetrates the thin veneer of sleep that now surrounds the baby.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Thinking we should become professional gamblers!

From Singles 2010

For the second year in a row, we are victorious on the Melbourne cup!!

Kevin wagered $6 on the office sweep which purchased him 3 horses. One of these horses came in third and paid off $6!!!!

My horse came in second! and the $0 I bet won me $0 more!

Wow! Oh wow!!


My mom told me to write a check. While I still have some checks from Key Bank in Cleveland, there is no one who would cash them here. So, this will have to suffice.

(Be warned - I'm ALSO supposed to write SEVERAL checks and possibly even GET MARRIED on 11/11/11.)


From Halloween 2011
Have you seen this "Jack"?????

He was pumpkin-napped sometime during the morning of November 1st after working hard and burning bright the night of October 31st. (He was there at 9 AM but gone at 1 PM.)

What sort of shameless holiday wrecker steals a jack o'lantern in broad daylight??? And, to the best of my knowledge, this isn't a school holiday. Therefore, it is unlikely to be a kid's prank.


Kevin suggested we might check dumpsters on Thursday evening, locate the mouldering head, carry it to the door, pound on said door then make a citizen's arrest.

Overall, I think there are OK things about this event. I don't have to watch him wither and melt. I don't have to decide at what point of disrepute I toss him in the garbage. And, he wasn't busted into pieces on our driveway. Somebody (maybe) loved him enough to want to experience the thrill of Halloween for themselves. Maybe next year rather than stealing ours, they'll make their own. Maybe there will be two glowing gourds in Brisbane.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween at 51 Hibiscus Cct!

We really should have had a party. It was, after all, our 30th sort-of anniversary. Still, I think we did pretty well decking the halls- both inside and out - especially considering that I gave away about 2/3 of my decorations last year in order to make closet room for Zupe.

Notes for next year...

We could use a really big spider for the front blind/screen thingy. Better yet would put it/them on the garage, but I'm not sure how to attach it/them. Keep in mind, I hate spiders.

Perhaps rebar spikes would let us use our tombstones. The styrofoam might be too thin.

Can always use more bats.

Must make finger cookies!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Visitors!!! Human visitors!!!

From Barb and Stephen

We only had one day to share something cool of Brisbane with Barb and Stephen. They'd already been traveling around Australia for over three weeks. They'd been to Darwin, to Cairns, to Uluru, to Sydney. They'd identified more than 345 different bird species.

But, they hadn't found an emu nor seen a koala in the wild.

From Barb and Stephen

I couldn't really help with the "in the wild" part. But, I could get them someplace where they could cuddle a koala. That has to count for something!

So, on Thursday morning we headed out to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
From Barb and Stephen
From Barb and Stephen

It was a particularly good day for Lone Pine. The dingo pups were running, jumping, wrestling. One of the wombats was awake! There was movement among the ever sleepy koalas including a koala fight! (Of course, you aren't seeing any of this. Here. Have an emu.)
From Barb and Stephen

After, we buzzed up to Mount Coot-tha to enjoy the view of Brisbane and the lovely botanic gardens. MY original plan would have been to go North to the Mary Cairncross Rain Forest walk and the Glass House Mountains - but that was an additional 90 minutes or more of driving. I think they probably had enough driving and it was going to be getting late.
From Barb and Stephen
From Barb and Stephen

Many thanks to Barb and Stephen for including us in the tour of their seventh continent!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Zombie Walk - October

From Zombie Walk

You will not believe this. None of it.

This was our FIRST EVER Zombie walk


we did NOT dress up.

From Zombie Walk

You will note, however, that Kevin ended up "infected". I'm still waiting for him to turn.

From Zombie Walk

There were, as you'd expect from any plague, lots of victims. Interestingly, there were several cross genre zombies. Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of my favorite - the Snow White zombie carrying in a little basket the head of one of the seven dwarves!

From Zombie Walk

My mother suggested that the make-up might irritate Zupe's tender allergy-prone skin. So, even though I explained to her that in a zombie apocolypse you were either zombie or meat, Zupe remained pink and perfect. There were, however, plenty of other young zombies including one who's Dad was eating a(nother) baby's foot.

From Zombie Walk


From Zombie Walk

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Oh my God! Yet one more!!

From Zuperfliegen
This may not come as news to you, but I was gob-smacked to learn that the tune for "Baa Baa Black Sheep..." was the EXACT SAME tune as that of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".
The story goes like this.

Kevin traded some games for this rocking chair. You've seen elements of the chair - mostly the back as it is supporting Zupe's super head. You may not have seen the cute little cat and dog that hang from a bar for easy play time. And, unless you've seen the video or been to our house or have one of these Fisher-Price chairs of your own, you wouldn't know that if you pull the bone that hangs under the dog, a little melody is played. For weeks I'd been singing along.

"Baa baa black sheep have you any wool?" (Though, to be honest I have trouble with the last line. Trust me here. Don't make me sing it.)

Then, one day, I said to myself, if not to Zupe, and then to Kevin - "Hey. The chair is playing a new tune!"

Kevin is the only one to respond. He said something like, "No."

My response, "Yes, I'm sure it used to play "Mary had a little lamb" (note- sheep song confusion... early sign of brain aging.) "Now it is playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"."

A day or two later it was playing "Baa, Baa Black Sheep" again.

It was about this time that I did a YouTube search for the two songs and compared the tunes and found that they ("Twinkle" and "Baa") were the same.

And, so I was happy and smarter and I had the option of singing either song when I heard the tune time after time after time.

Months past. Months.

One day I found myself singing along...."A, B, C, D, E, F, G..." (Go ahead. Check it out for yourself. I'll wait.)

(NOTE- This is not news to Wikipedia. Of course not.)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Hey Google!


This is NOT a silhouette of a dead tree. Really. NOT DEAD. I feel strangely emotional about the searches for "Dead Tree Silhouette" that refer people to this image. (Not that I'm unhappy having them come to my blog or enjoy my photo.) AND, it is not a tree in Australia. This particular shot was taken near Webster, Ohio in the U.S.A.

Now, enjoy the tree and remember that new leaves are sleeping in its branches.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Reality check

From Zuperfliegen

I spoke with my mother yesterday. That's no story. I speak with her almost every day. (We have a very good phone card.)

Anyway, she was saying that she was feeling a bit sad about me coming home to visit. She felt like she looked so old. And, she's gained 4 or 5 pounds.

But, then, she said, she saw my photo with Zupe.

Mothers. They really know how to pick you up.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Saturday morning with the orchid trees

Zupe and I took off after breakfast to make some photos of the blooming orchid trees. They are gorgeous and something I look forward to each year. In fact, when asked last year about what I'd miss if/when we moved from Australia, my answer was immediate. "Orchid trees."

Friday, September 09, 2011

Busy, busy, busy week - with a surprise ending

From Zuperfliegen
Zupe had his 3 month sleep study on Monday. We managed to arrive on-time and much to my surprise were free to wander about (= get supper) until 6:30. They were very surprised when I responded to their "bedtime" question with 8 PM. (What would they have said to last night's almost 10 PM turn-in? In our defense, he did have a long and late nap (3+ hours waking after 5 PM) AND we were partying. Partying - that's always an acceptable excuse for a late night, right? There isn't a minimum age for that, is there? I can't see anything that contradicts that in my little yellow baby's first year in Qld book.)

Monday was the sleep study. I tried to get him to bed earlier - but I think it was likely closer to 8:30 before he both drifted off and I could thump him into bed without him waking and staying awake. (It took 2 tries.) He slept well - until the nurse woke him (and me) at 3 AM because he had wet himself and his bed and he was cold and restless. By the time we had him and his bed changed, he was WIDE AWAKE. It took 45 minutes or so of hand watching then nursing then hand watching then... until he was once again sleeping. I spent the rest of the night jumping from dream to dream to dream - mostly about getting results of the sleep study - sometimes good, sometimes bad. Each dream I'd think this is just a dream and then I'd "wake up" to the real result appointment and ...

Tuesday we saw a physical therapist who believes he is delayed a few weeks (4 to 6 is my estimation) that is consistent with the time he spent in the hospital - not eating well, not waking well, and having a limited stimulus environment. She doesn't think he needs therapy only MORE TUMMY TIME. (This will not please the boy.)

Wednesday - after a little "fender-bender" (oh joy) - we saw the chiropractor who noted tightness in the left neck and right hip as well as subluxation in the left occipital bone and left sphenoid. He thought these could affect breathing and made adjustments with his handy, spring-loaded adjuster instrument. Zupe was asleep until the thumping started. He woke, seemed momentarily disturbed, then relaxed and enjoyed the massage. I'm assigned to massage his neck and hips, practice moving his arms and legs - particularly opposing limbs together, and hanging him upside down to allow his spine to stretch out. (We haven't done the latter. That has to be supremely well timed. Too soon after eating and you create a "waterfall". Too far after a feeding and he is likely to become SAD. It was a good experience. I felt positive about having something I could do that might be helpful.

Thursday was the real appointment to get the results of the sleep test. We met with a doctor we had never encountered before who told us the sleep study was PERFECT. The number of apneic episodes was within the normal range for a baby of his age. He was normally saturated both on and off oxygen. Our secret hope was that Zupe would be reduced to only night-time oxygen - but we were discharged. NO MORE OXYGEN!!! Not in the morning, not in the evening, not at night!! I was told to wait for 1 month before returning our oxygen canisters in case we encountered a problem. (That is a bit nerve wracking - waiting to be sure he doesn't crash and burn.)

After, Zupe and I met with a new pediatrician who was fabulous. He spent over an hour discussing my concerns and his: why the oxygen? eczema, developmental delay, plagiocephaly (or my baby has a flat spot on his head), feeding solids... What a difference from ped-one. Wow. Why did I delay?

Then, we headed to the Mater Mother's hospital to visit the special care unit nurses, the midwives on the eleventh floor, and the lactation consultants. By the end Zupe, having not napped all morning and early afternoon, was a sobbing heap and we had to limp away. (Sorry Gail - he is usually a happy boy.)

YES! We are FREE!!
From Zuperfliegen

(First official "I've got no tapes 'cause I don't need 'em" photo!)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Happy Australian Father's Day!

From Zuperfliegen

from your number-one Australian son!

And, his mom!!

I love you, Kevin....I mean, Dad.

This house is under a python watch...

which I think is better than a zombie watch or a plaque watch. Yes. Definitely better.

To tell our story backward, something that is becoming a tradition for this blog, Friday we RETURNED from our "get away" trip to the Gold Coast. (Kevin was actually there working. It was only Zupe and I who were getting away from the rat race of Hibiscus Circuit.) I had this excellent idea that while Kevin was busy Friday morning, I'd bop over to IKEA and pick up two items. I knew exactly what I wanted and where to find them. This was a very good thing.

I arrived about 11:30 giving me just over an hour to shop before I had to drive back south to retrieve Kevin. (I hadn't realized it would take an hour - which is longer than it takes to get to IKEA from our house! - for the trip. I'm pretty terrible at those "its on the way" estimations of just how close things are. Case in point - the Springfield Mall is not "just outside Troy". This estimation skill is also the reason that I once had only one square of a soda cracker to eat between Ashville and Durham NC. But, that's another story.) So, I unloaded the sleeping - now awake - Zupe-man and hurried inside.

Where he began crying.

Retire to parents' room. Change baby. Nurse baby. Load baby into stroller.

I now have 30 minutes.

Hit the sales floor.

Baby starts screaming.

Find another parents' room, prepare a bottle, and encourage speed slurping. Burp baby, load him up, and while he's not happy, he's a bit quieter.

Ten minutes left.

I really tried to buzz through the living room and child's room sections, but every person and his grandmother were there. And, grandmothers do not walk quickly. Nor do they make easily passable objects what with the way they are linked arm and arm across the walkway with random child/grandchild. Even the siren of Zupe in distress could not part those seas.

Still, I found the sofa cushions - but the style I had seen before - granted, it was years ago - was no longer sold. Nor could I find any teething rails in the child's section. (Maybe they never existed.)

****Now, if you are Kevin, and you probably are, you're asking me "When are you getting to the pythons? How much longer?" I give you a quiet, puzzled and slightly hurt look, become a bit jangled and confused and my story telling slows WAY down.*****

Zupe did settle down once back in the car. Me, I have a headache. We arrive back in Broadbeach with enough time to buy a hamburger in McDonald's drivethru and pick up Kevin.


Home around 3:30. Take pain medication. Supper at 5. Maybe eating will help my head. I call for Chinese but can't find my car keys and must borrow Kevin's. (He doesn't understand how I can misplace my keys and be rather unconcerned. I know they'll turn up. They're in the house amongst all the bags we've unpacked. Somewhere.)

I take Zupe into Kevin's room to watch "thirtysomething" and nurse him. Six-ish. Maybe six-thirty-ish. I now am feeling a bit nauseated and lights make me feel worse.

Kevin comes in and tells me that Zelda has eaten a diaper. Or, at least torn it to bits. I have no two brain cells to rub together so I tell him to call the Pet ER. (I try to call Rob to ask him to think...but his phone isn't talking to my phone. I don't know where my keys are anyway.)

Kevin replaces Zupe's oxygen tapes. (Well done!) and carries him out to the car. I take Zelda and the diaper bag. Oh, and the bucket in case I vomit in the car.

To the ER. They take Zelda to the back. Kevin and Zupe sit on the bench. I check out where the bathroom is then go outside to sit where it is cool and dark. And, where I could discretely vomit in a bush in a hurry.

I don't vomit. Zelda does. (She had a little chemical persuasion.)

They find only a little of the paper/plastic and not the fluffy absorbent (= obstructive) inside material. They offer to admit her with IV fluids but we decline.

Everybody and bucket back into the car. I keep my eyes closed and the window open.

We arrive back home to find the front doors standing open. Both doors. Wide open. From the backseat I can see my computer and my camera on my desk - so I'm pretty, pretty, pretty sure there's been no theft. Kevin goes in first. "Hello". Checks every room. Checks behind every door. No one in the house. Nothing missing.

It is pretty obvious that I simply "forgot" to close the doors on my way out of the house. It has been open for close to 90 minutes. Plenty of time for a big-ass PYTHON (there it is!) to slither into the house!!

Hence - a python watch.

Now, practically, I think it is highly unlikely that a python would have come inside. I don't think they'd be out traveling in the cool evening. I think they'd all be holed up and watching TV. Dingoes, on the other hand....

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another one bites the dust...

From Singles 2011

This photo appears in my photoblog. I shot it the day I unpacked my new kettle in mid June. I'm in that photo as is Zupe.

Today, I tossed that kettle into the "bin". Yep. It died. Without ever boiling it dry or dropping it from the roof or running over it with the car. It's a curse. Please tell Kevin it's not my fault.

I'm considering going back to the whistling kettle on the stove variety. They aren't as fast or as energy efficient, but they have a much longer shelf-life.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Living Dead

From Singles 2011

Loving my new book of short (zombie) stories. I'm very tempted to post the entire story "When the Zombies Win". It is more a poem. Truly a beautiful piece.

"Living with the Dead" by Molly Brown

The first thing that happens when the dead start waking is not that they go on a rampage like you wee in the movies, it's that you find out all your insurance policies are worthless. Sam Jenkins had a life insurance policy with his wife as the beneficiary, but the insurance company refused to pay out because they said Sam didn't meet their definition of dead.
Then Alic's mother got a huge bill from the hospital because her daughter -- being officially deceased -- was no longer covered by her health insurance.

She tried giving them vegetables, but the dead won't touch them. If you ask her, she'll tell you that no matter how hard she tries, she cannot get the dead to eat broccoli.

"When the Zombies Win" by Karina Sumner-Smith

When the zombies win, they will not fear. They will not laugh or rejoice, they will not regret, they will not mourn. And the world will turn and turn, seasons burning and freezing across the landscape, the sun flashing through the sky, and they will continue.
When the zombies win, they will not stop. They will still moan and cry and whisper, on and on until the lips rot from their faces, their vocal cords slide away...
One by one they will stop moving, flesh and bone and brain too broken to do anything more. And in that silence and stillness they will struggle--trapped and ruined, they will still yearn, still hunger, always reaching for that which was taken from them. That which they granted to so many of us, in such great numbers.
To stop. To sleep. To rest, just rest, and let the darkness come.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Thanks Mom!

From Singles 2011

My mother does not have cable TV. She has never had cable TV. She lives in a tiny little town in the middle of a corn field, alone, and watches programs from the 3 major networks and PBS. Well, actually, since the arrival of digital television, those few channels have expanded in number and so she gets some odd "Ohio" channel where she can watch, apparently any time of year, the highlights from the Ohio State Fair. (I myself on a recent visit got to watch both some dog agility trials AND a sheep shearing competition featuring both local Ohio and INTERNATIONAL shearers!)

This is not because she COULD NOT have cable TV. She just chooses not to. Too expensive. She's investing in Smucker's Seedless Black Raspberry Jelly. A person needs to know her priorities.

So, as a consequence, she watches a lot of public television. And, since she is home alone now, she is known to watch some TV during the DAY. (Don't let her know that I told you this!) One of the "new" programs that she's particularly fond of is "America's Test Kitchen". (I think she's like me. She enjoys eating and watching other people cook. Probably in that order.) Because she had some question about a recipe at one point, I went to their website. I tried to access the information, but you have to be a member. I signed up for the newsletter - but that wasn't enough. So, she never got that particular recipe.

I, however, just learned a VERY IMPORTANT LIFE LESSON.

If you store tomatoes upside down (with their stem and shoulders on the counter top), they will ripen without dehydrating so much. OBVIOUSLY, I learned this JUST A LITTLE TOO LATE. But, such is the way with IMPORTANT LIFE LESSONS!

This is how much I hate doing taxes!

From Singles 2011

Kevin is off watching "Conan the Barbarian". I am supposed to be doing our US taxes. This has been my number one priority since the first of August. That's why there have been NO blog entries. Must focus.

And, I will get them done! I will!

Right after lunch.

Living alone I created my "dish to plate" ratio for meals. Maximum 2:1. Maximum. Otherwise, you're doing too many dishes.

Dishwashing, however, beats taxes. Rock smashes scissors. Paper crushes rock.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

50 Reasons I Love You #37

From Singles 2012
"Go Team Venture!"

Hasn't too much time passed

From Singles 2011

without featuring Zelda??

That's what she says!

She also wants everyone to know that she is a model dog who doesn't mind being kicked by little feet and is patiently waiting for the "food dropping" phase of this project to begin. (That's how we sold the idea to her.)

She isn't getting enough walks.

She is, however, getting plenty of naps
From Singles 2011

Docs and crocs

From Singles 2011

Friday morning I spent in a doctor's waiting room - not that unusual place for Zupe and me. Silly me, I forgot to bring my (new zombie) book. Fortunately, among the notorious Australian women's magazines I found a National Geographic and there, on an early page, was a feature on unusual signs.

My first thought - everyone should see this! It is from South Africa and is found in some sort of park. Some sort of hilly park with crocodiles.

My second thought - OK. I didn't have a second thought.

Well, maybe this: It did remind me of a longstanding joke between Kevin and me about him and my young, hot nurse pushing my hospital bed down a steep incline at a seaside cliff when they took me out touring. Oops.

It's even better with a crocodile.

But, then again, what isn't?

Don't smile.


Thank you to : from whom I pinched the sign.

50 Reasons I Love You #45

You are a giving, sharing person.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"The unnecessoiree"

Since I find myself needing to sit for an hour, sometimes more, at a time feeding the baby, I've been watching way too much bad TV. (Here you might say something like, "But, Ann, there is plenty of good TV, even great TV, that you've not seen yet. And, movies, Ann. Good movies."

Ann responds, "Dear friend. You forget that I live with a man I love very much who has designs to watch that good TV with me.")

So, "True Blood" sits on the shelf and I'm watching "Shit My Dad Says", "Life on Mars", and "Running Wilde".

All this brings me to the title of this entry.

"Running Wilde" is NO ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. But, there are comic gems strewn about, in numbers FAR EXCEEDING "Shit...." (which had 2.... Count them. One - William Shatner leaving a message on an answering machine and sounding like Captain Kirk and Two - William Shatner doing karaoke "I'm too sexy for my shirt".) My favorite - from the episode "The Party" - though Fa-ad being bombed by his falcons was amusing - better start again.... My favorite was the word and concept of "the unnecessoiree"....a party for no reason.

This blog entry is really just a record for myself so that I remember this word so that someday I, too, may throw my own unnecessoiree. Don't're invited.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Living Dead

From Singles 2011

I have finally finished a book! The first since Zuperfliegen was born!! !! !! I think I only succeeded because it is a book of short stories and I can find a few minutes on random days - enough to read a shortish story. Yay!! Yay!!

The mothers at my mother's group were talking about all the books they're reading. Books about getting your baby to sleep. Or, understanding their cries. About schedules and milestones and...

I'm reading about zombies.

Everyone has her own priorities.

Kevin read this first and made notes about which stories he found to be "good" (14/31). In general, I agreed that the stories he liked were likable. But, as he'll be the first to tell you, I'm easy. I found several more to be worthy (20/31). Kevin didn't like the "alternate zombie" stories - like the Haitian zombies. I, on the other hand, enjoyed the broad array of undead - Ann can not live by shambling, flesh-eating zombies alone! And, I really appreciate a zombie story with a sense of humor. (OH MY GOD! I almost put a (2nd) "u" in humor!!!! Speaking of zombies...)

"Some Zombie Contingency Plans" by Kelly Link. (Kelly, I don't understand this story but it has some fabulous lines.)

When Soap got tired of thinking about art, he thought about zombies. He worked on his zombie contingency plan. Thinking about zombies was less tiring than thinking about art. Here's what Soap knew about zombies:

Zombies were not about sex.

Zombies were not interested in art.

Zombies weren't complicated... Vampires, for example, were middle/upper-middle management of the supernatural world. Some people thought of vampires as rock stars, but really they were more like Martha Stewart...

Zombies didn't discriminate...

There was something about clowns that was worse than zombies.

"Death and Suffrage" by Dale Bailey

You could just see that they were dead. It was every zombie movie you ever saw, and then some...

"My God," I said again, when I finally manged to unlock my brain. "What do they want?"

"They want to vote," said Lewis.

"Almost The Last Story By Almost the Last Man" by Scott Edelman

Zombies are a force of nature, and forces of nature do not come equipped with morals. Forces of nature do not come packaged with a purpose, a message, or a reason. They just are.

"She's Taking Her Tits To The Grave" by Catherine Cheek (Very funny. I love this zombie! Four quotes...almost the entire story!

"What are you doing here?" Larry finally said. "I thought you were dead."

"I am." She pushed her way into the condo, irritated. For that, she didn't slip her pumps off and line them up next to his five pairs of shoes on the tile, but tracked grave dirt across his white carpet.

It was easier to go without a soul than a car in this town. She felt her skirt for keys which weren't there, since they don't bury you with car keys, and muttered some unladylike words. They don't bury you with a purse, either, no matter if it was Prada and went very well with the shoes.

By the time she staggered up the pavement in front of their house, the lacquered layer of hairspray on her professionally dyed hair was starting to flake off, she was getting a little squishy around the eyes, and the flies kept landing on her, especially her eyes and mouth. She tired to wave them off, but her coordination wasn't what it should have been, so she kept smacking her boobs.

She took the crow's path, cutting across lawns and parking lots and once over a chain-link fence despite a "No Trespassing" sign. What was the point of following city ordinances when you weren't even obeying the laws of nature?