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?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Little Orley and the Haunted House

Lumpy Brannum - Little Orley and the Haunted House .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

I've been singing a lot of songs I haven't sung for a long, long time lately. Current favorites - "I Love Trash", "Puff the Magic Dragon", and "What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor?" I also tried to recite this poem - but get lost when Orley finds the Haunted House.

In case YOU don't know the story, have a listen. It will give you a new appreciation for discarded instruments and Mr. GreenJeans.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Define: Xenogenic

From Zuperfliegen

Xenogenic \zen-uh-JEN-ik\, adjective:

1. To be completely different from either parent, or from the source of an object's creation.
2. In biology, originating outside the organism or from a foreign substance introduced into the organism.
3. Zuperfliegen Baadasssss

Meanwhile, on Channel Zupe....

July 13 - Anniversary of the Big Defrosting!
This is the day, just one year ago, that we picked up Zuperfliegen from the Baby Freezer Section. He was actually...

The wait
We were assigned two wait dates as we were leaving...

Remembering the belly
An inventory of what I miss and what I don't miss about...

Just in case you are interested. All you need to do is to click on the colored type (aka the link!). Should be painless.

50 Reasons I Love You #11

From Art in the 21st Century

You are good at analyzing art and stories.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ships Ahoy!! Fabulous Birthday Gift from Christine!!

From Singles 2011

My friend Christine sent me a fabulous new wind chime for my birthday. (It was on time, unlike this post which is woefully late.) Rather than tell you the story of the chimes, I thought I'd just post the email conversation about it.

Christine: Oh, and the chimes. I got the little ship from World Market (I think). I got it a while ago and always meant to send it to you with a pirate on it but never got around to making it. And when you had Zup I figured "Hey! Why not a family of pirates?" So that's how that came to be. I hope it made it around the world ok. I was worried, it would get broken. Did you see Zelda? I thought she definitely had to go on board with you - since she is so good with the baby. What a trooper - and that at her age!

From Singles 2011

Ann: Oh, I am laughing!!!!!

When I opened the package there was a pirate caught in the chimes line and I THOUGHT it was supposed to be that way - that he had been made to walk the plank! Then, I found a second pirate loose in the peanuts ...and last night when I was showing Kevin I saw that the first pirate was only tangled and there was glue for BOTH their feet in the boat.

From Singles 2011

Now, I get your message and I know to look for more pirates. I love the baby! He looks a bit like a pulled canine tooth!! but, I spilled out all the peanuts - found a third pirate - but no Zelda.

I went through it all very carefully... no. THEN, I looked over at the boat - she was the only one who stayed on board. I guess she made them ALL walk the plank! I'll pull out my glue and reinstate order on board later. I really love it. It is especially cool since you pirated it up for us!
From Singles 2011

Christine: O boy. So that means that they didn't make it, did they? I am just glad that you are a doctor and can help them. Poor guys. Zup should be almost as big as you are but he doesn't have a head covering. (I was looking into the future.) You should have a big pirate with hat, a somewhat shorter pirate with a red bandanna and a little blond guy. And Zelda of course. O there should also be a flag on the uppermost sail.
From Singles 2011

Ann: That isn't a baby. It is an ARM that came off Kevin!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From Singles 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

50 Reasons I Love You #2

From Singles 2012
You smile a lot (and your smile is beautiful and friendly).

Zupe is spinning off

From Zuperfliegen
It had to happen. He was the most exciting member of the cast here. Of course the network would give him his own show. He promises to come around for guest appearances. Still, insiders suspect those appearances will only be pale imitations of what he does with his own site.

Oh well. It is just a wonder it didn't happen years ago with Zelda.

See Zuperfliegen Baadassss on his own blog site: Or click HERE.

More thoughts about Rabies

Perhaps the authors of the poster have been over-influenced by American media. Australians typically believe we all have guns and there is rampant violence EVERYWHERE. These folks may have been unduly influenced by "Old Yeller" and "Cujo".

Or, it could have been produced by a company that manufactures vaccines.

I am willing to share my rabies safety tips to anyone traveling to the US who wishes to avoid the 3 vaccine series. Do not approach wildlife - especially any that seem "friendly" or very, very "unfriendly".

And, you best not share needles or have sex with them either.

There. That should do it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I read on the back door of the bathroom today

From Zuperfliegen

First of all, I should let you know I did not read this at home. We don't have anything posted on our bathroom door - front or back side. Not very creative people, I guess.

Rather, I read this at the doctor's office. It was a poster listing what I assumed was every conceivable country to which one might wish to travel along with a list of vaccines that would be recommended prior to visiting. Because I was there with Zupe and I couldn't fit him (and his stroller) IN the bathroom, I left the door cracked open so I could see who would steal a baby on oxygen. After all, I'm legally responsible for that oxygen canister. Therefore, I didn't read EVERY country's recommendations - only the USA.

And what, pray tell, do those in the know recommend??

Hepatitis B - a viral disease that causes... wait for it.... hepatitis.

From Wikipedia:
Originally known as "serum hepatitis",[1] the disease has caused epidemics in parts of Asia and Africa, and it is endemic in China.[2] About a quarter of the world's population, more than 2 billion people, have been infected with the hepatitis B virus.[3] This includes 350 million chronic carriers of the virus.[4] Transmission of hepatitis B virus results from exposure to infectious blood or body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids, while viral DNA has been detected in the saliva, tears, and urine of chronic carriers with high titer DNA in serum. Perinatal infection is a major route of infection in endemic (mainly developing) countries.[5] Other risk factors for developing HBV infection include working in a health care setting, transfusions, and dialysis, acupuncture, tattooing, extended overseas travel and residence in an institution. [6] [3][7] However, Hepatitis B viruses cannot be spread by casual contact, such as holding hands, sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, breast-feeding, kissing, hugging, coughing, or sneezing.[8]

So, lets consider what this is saying. Visitors to the United States need to protect themselves from Hep B because they are likely to be into forced contact with bodily fluids from US carriers - either due to sexual contact, wiping tears, attending a special tourist transfusion or dialysis park, or possibly from all the dirty used needles we have lying about. (Thank God hugging is ruled out as a means of transmission! Whew!)

Oh, and there's a second vaccine that's recommended.


Or, rather, RABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It all makes the US sound absurdly dangerous! Now, truth be told, I HAVE BEEN vaccinated for rabies - but how many people in the US are actually exposed to rabies each year? And, what proportion of them are just visiting the country?? And, what sort of tour do you have to book to risk that exposure? Does it cost extra? or is it more of the "no frills" sort of expedition?

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Happy Mary Poppins Week

Yes, you're right - I'm late by a week. Still, it needed to be recognized.

We discussed making the trek up to Maryborough for the festivities. (Maryborough Qld is the home of the author of the Mary Poppins books. They have a festival each year to honor her.) But, a 2.5 hour drive with an infant (on oxygen) didn't sound like it would be quite the fun time we were looking for. Maybe next year. Or, the next. Sometime, however. It is on my "list"!

For those of you who are intrigued and are wondering "Maybe I need to put this on my list of things to do before I.... move from Queensland" click here for the website. click here for the website

Thursday, July 07, 2011

50 Reasons I Love You #12

From Singles 2011

You enjoy going to the GoMA.

50 Reasons I Love You #32

From photo a day

You are willing to play games.

50 Reasons I Love You #40

From collage

You are creative and like artistic expression.

50 Reasons I Love You #15

From Singles 2011
You brought Zelda into my life.

More on names

From Zuperfliegen
James- from the Hebrew: "the supplanter"
Steven- Greek: "crowned one"
Victor- Latin: "conqueror"
"Zuperfliegen Baadasssss"

I hope we are up to this! (Kevin = composed of the Old Irish elements cóem "kind, gentle, handsome" and gein "birth"; Ann = "He (God) has favored me". Not exactly high on the badass scale.)

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Happy July 4th

From Singles 2011
My most excellent friend, Nan, is having a big July 4th bash in Cleveland...featuring hot dogs and poems about Yarrow. How I wish I could attend! My order from USA foods did not come yesterday, alas, so there will be no Bush's baked beans or sloppy joes for Monday...unless the order comes early Monday morning. (Please!) I may just try making an apple pie. Yes. Just maybe.

In the's my contribution to the Yarrow Poetry Slam.
From July travel - mostly OHIO

Yarrow is a Flower

Yarrow is a flower.
It looks like Queen Anne’s Lace.
It has no eyes.
It has no lips.
In fact it has no face.

Yarrow is a flower.
It looks like Queen Anne’s Lace.
It has no feet.
It buys no shoes.
It will not win the race.

Yarrow is a flower.
It grows in fields and yards.
It has no hands.
It wears no gloves.
It does not win at cards.

(OK – here is where we get patriotic.)
Yarrow is a flower.
With shovel and with rake.
Revere he rode
To tell the Brits
Our guns you cannot take.

Yarrow is a flower.
I’ve a baby at my breast.
I can’t be there.
I send regards.
I wish you all the best!

With apologies to Yarrow - I only have a photo of Queen Anne's Lace!

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Ten Thousand Names of Zupe

From Zuperfliegen
Those of you who are here following a link from Kevin's blog will know something about our well-named son. We haven't added any more names. Promise.

For the uninformed... Zupe had multiple names prior to even knowing he was a boy - even prior to his conception...and that occurred years ago. We chose his name way back in Cleveland while driving across town one day.

James - is the name of both of our fathers - though
1. I assure you they were different men and
2. Neither was ever called James but went by his middle name (Dennis or Dan)
In addition, there is a tradition in Kevin's family of naming the first son of the first son James. Kevin's not the first son, but Zupe is the first grandson.

Steven - at the time virtually every close friend of Kevin was named Steve. (If the discussion had occurred later in our Cleveland era, he might have been Michael. Everyone we knew in Cleveland was named Michael such that we gave them all nicknames - "Officer Mike", "Nederlander Mike", etc. No, not really. Steve is too important to Kevin. No Mike could take his place.)

And, that was the entirety of his name. But, that was years ago- when given time enough, we get creative.

So, to "Zuperfliegen Baadasssss". (Haven't I dissected this for you?) Zuperfliegen is Kevin's creation - faux-German for "Superfly". Baadasssss is a direct steal from the 1971 film "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song". In all, an homage to blaxsploitation films. It is also a salute to a longstanding joke of ours - "the silent Q".

Despite his great love of Steve, Kevin would have put Zuperfliegen on the birth certificate. I'm afraid I am the killjoy here. But, really, it is such a mouthful and any kid of ours is likely to be a bit off step with his "contemporaries". They really don't need the additional ammunition of the Zuperfliegen, let alone Baadassss, name(s). One of Kevin's Pittsburgh friends suggested "Zupe" as a nickname. I love Zupe. Zupe is too cool. Zupe is pretty much certificate worthy - but don't tell Kevin.

And, the nicknames proliferate. (Much fun for me - a person who never had a nickname, but always wanted one.) Zupester, Zupemeister, Zupenstein, Zupertastic, Z-BOB, Zed-man. Let me know if I've forgotten one of your favorites.

In the end as the big April Fools Day of Expectation approached I felt there was only one thing left to do.

I added another name.

This one did get on the birth certicate.


Yes. I named him for my favorite dog. No one was more affectionate or honorable or loved.

Until now.

First night at home

From Singles 2011

For the record, this is the second time I've written this post. For the first time in the several years I've been using Blogger, something inadvertent and unfortunate happened and despite the auto-save feature, when my post failed to publish, it also had failed to save.

And, it was, of course, really great.

Well, we brought Zupe home on his 3 week birthday - on a Friday - on a Friday before a holiday (3 day) weekend. We were, at 4 PM suddenly home, alone, and solely responsible for this baby. Everything felt new and scary despite having done the basic care behaviors before...especially feeding the baby.

In the hospital we were given bottles of premixed formula to feed him. We couldn't find this formula in any of the stores. We were "stuck" with dry formula mix...fortunately the same brand he'd been eating. (No one in the hospital suggested that sticking with the same formula was important or even useful...but I know how upset dog stomachs get from abrupt diet changes - and what is a baby, but a hairless dog?)

So, this is what I knew. It is very important to get the proportion of dry mix to water exactly right. Very bad things can happen with a solution that is too rich or too thin. And, I knew what was written on the can. (See below.)
From Singles 2011

Pretty straight forward, right. You just pour cooled boiled water into the bottle, then pour a little out, then a little more out, then add in just a smidgen of water. Then using the nifty attached "leveler" you add mix at the rate of 1 per 50 ml of water.

But, the leveler. It was obviously attached to the little scoop. How was that to work??? And, if you can see on the photo, there seems to be a "fill line" on the scoop about 1/2 an inch below the top. So, how does one level off at that point with a leveler that is firmly attached to the scoop????? I could cut off the leveler - but then it would be pretty messy scooping into the mix gripping the little "bucket" with my fingers.

All of these anxiety driven thoughts cascaded, of course, at the 2 AM feeding.

Fortunately, there is a toll-free number on the container.

Unfortunately, it is not manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They did, however, provide an emergency contact number - a cell phone. (In Australia all cell phones (aka mo-bile (as in gall bladder bile) phones) have the same "area code" - 04.) So, do I call the 04 number and wake the poor schmuck who had to take the phone home for the weekend??

Of course I didn't do that. Instead, I found a 24 hour call-a-nurse health line and asked them.

Seems you fill the cup all the way to the top.

I didn't mess around with the built in leveler. I just pulled a butter knife out of the drawer like I would if I were measuring ingredients to make cookies. No need for fancy-schmancy levelers.

And, we all lived.

Now Kevin and I are old pros. I still don't understand why the scoop has holes in the bottom, but I don't freak out about absolute measuring perfection. So far, Zuperfliegen survives.

And, funny thing. A few days into our new role as living-at-home-family I considered the funny shaped lip on the top of the formula canister. One can scrape the scoop across that lip... and level off the powder. Built-in. Leveler.

Really. Those folks in the formula packaging division need to be informed before any more poor souls cut the scoop off the handle.