Friday, January 30, 2009

Here's What Happened

We were sleeping. It was maybe 5 in the morning; who really knows? We were sleeping the sleep of the just. Not exactly a cogent hour. Suffice to say it was early. And we were, as I said, sleeping. The animals, who are noted for being more sensitive to the rhythms of nature, were also sleeping. They slept. And we slept. And then we woke up. Because our alarms went off and it was time to get up. And the animals slept.

I got to work and MAB's husband called and I heard her tell him that Louie, their dog, woke her up right before the earthquake.


Guess we had an earthquake. Whatev.

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I'm Still Not Tired of Hearing the Phrase "President Obama". Which Has Nothing to Do With this Post.

There are things about this video that I do not like. Well, hell, there are things about this band that I don't like...starting with the fact that most of them aren't very cute and I do like my cute music boys. Then there's the whole "taking ourselves too seriously" thing but I can't be too intense about that because the fact is, just about every musician - or artist for that matter - has to think that because otherwise there's no frakking way you get a record contract or anything else.

The politics of art aside, sometimes attitude is believable and sometimes not so much. My personal jury is still out on these guys. For now, watching them...meh. Listening...possibly a different story.

Look. I think this band is pretty derivative. Going out on a limb, I'd suggest that your kids and/or grand kids won't be listening to these guys years hence. ("Huh?" says you. "Hungry Like the Wolf" is on my child's iPod," says me. That's me. Resting my case).

But this song works for me. We've got our literary allusion. We have an 80ish musicality which, as you know, will always seduce the Rainey. Plus, I'm taking half the day off today and I'm also going to listen to my iPod for the first time since frakking Christmas and I'll be downloading some new songs to same and this could be one of them.

So there.

Franz Ferdinand "Ulysses"


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Too Much

Too much on my mind.

Too much on my plate.

Too much in my heart.

Too much to do.

Too much coming up on the calendar.

Not enough time.

I think I'm going to take Friday afternoon off.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Just a Moment

Yesterday we made an appearance at a party for my namesake, Hilary Lorraine. Twas a celebration of her graduation (in December) from university. Lorene (her mother) and I were talking about the kids and marvelling at how they were so grown but that truly, we didn't look that much older. Certainly we don't feel that much older. We are just as sassy and funny and interesting and hip as we were over 30 years ago when we all first met in college, before any of those children populating the other room were even thought of, let alone conceived.

(30 years. That's a whole entire adult person. That sounds old but I will maintain that it is not. Because to consider the alternative is, well, just not something I am interested in doing, thankyouverymuch).

Anywrinkle, there we were. I will grant you this: we are softened with time, rounder where we used to be more angular. But that's certainly a far cry from touring assisted living facilities. There's youth and vigor in us yet and it was in the spirit of that, of the possibilities still opening up for us even as we watch them unfold for our children, which had us in the kitchen marvelling. It really happened only in a moment, glancing into the living room watching them framed by the kitchen door. They were, the three of them, conducting themselves like, well, like grownups, chatting amiably in clusters of guests. There was Hilary the graduate and Max who has turned into a young man and the baby of them all, The Child. The Child who is now taller than Hilary, who glanced at Max from time-to-time in that way that young women can't help but do when they are in the room with a tall, good-looking boy...the baby who is, today, 15 years old.

Ha! See? Just made you feel old, didn't I?

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Friday, January 23, 2009

An Old Song for a New Anthem

I could write an entire post about the spastic and wonderful stage moves of Pete Townsend or the zany life and sad end of Keith Moon. There is blog fodder alone in the eternal cool of John Entwhistle (on whom I had a big crush) or Roger Daltrey's hair.

Having dispatched each of these subjects one could then turn to the talents of each and the force that was created when the 4 came together and the influence, both musical and pop cultural, this band enjoyed.

I probably should someday tell the story of the ultimate mix tape: a collection of meticulously culled snippets of classic rock screams created by Johnny Rotten our senior year of college. It was a masterwork, all the more impressive in hindsight because it was created before music was digitized. Thus not only are we talking about lots of vinyl, hours of catching just the right moment and hitting the RECORD and PAUSE buttons at just the right time, we're also talking about hours of listening, thinking and planning to get all the screams lined up in the proper order. Once committed to tape there was no "I think that would sound better over here" cutting and pasting nonsense that you kids enjoy today. The 70s, man. (shakes head) We also had to walk to and from school 4 miles, uphill, in the snow. Every day. I digress. A notable entry in that mix tape came from this song. Duh.

But I haven't time for any of that. Suffice to say, bits of this song have floated through the transom of my brain this week for obvious reasons so we might as well just get it out there.

The Who "Won't Get Fooled Again"


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Well, That Was Just Delightful, Wasn't It?

We watched the entire proceedings in the family room of the house yesterday. There was cheering. There was standing when asked to stand, praying when asked to pray and singing when appropriate.

(Hello. Was Aretha's hat not Mag. Ni. Fi. Cent?)

After the deed was done, the tears dried, the tissues gathered up, I returned to the office to privately watch the moment that was next most significant...watching that helicopter lift off, removing W from the precincts of Washington. Because I admit that I'm still a little paranoid after 8 years. First, I was totally sure that Justice Roberts was bollocking the oath on purpose, so that later he could declare the whole thing invalid. (It wasn't until later that I learned that Barack was President at noon, with or without the oath, bobbled or not. Whew). Second, I didn't put it past Cheney & Co. to stage some last minute somethin'-somethin'. (Cheney being in a wheelchair invoked some serious Dr. Strangelove meets Mr. Potter oogies in me, btw).

But the helicopter lifted off, the Bushies were all gone and after the Native American sage burning ceremony followed by an exorcism and blessing with holy water everyone could breath again.

Btw, I loved both Michelle's outfits yesterday. She looked awesome. And of course, he did as well. Man, I'm sorry but having a good looking young couple in the White House again...that is just hot.

(Omigosh...last night we were watching CNN and there's a GOP pundit on Anderson's panel (I forget his name, the one with the mustache), who was talking about the appeal and energy that come with the youth of the Obamas and he said, "No disrespect to my fellow Republicans but what in the world made us think we could beat that guy with a 70 year old man?" Made me blow champagn-ya right out of my nose.)

I stayed up very late last night and fell asleep on the couch except that I didn't sleep very well at all until just around the time I would normally wake up but then I remembered that it was Wednesday and The Child has late start and I thought, "well, then I can have a late start, too" so I didn't get up until 7. Only now I have to scramble because, you know, I still have to go to work.

It was sooooooooooooooo nice to have MAB back yesterday. So, so nice.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

The Wait, She is Over

Today brings the convergence of two happy events.

First, MAB will be back in the office. This will be beyond superfantastic because just between you and me, I can run the House by myself but I do not want to! Every day just piled on a little more care and weary and there are some monster bags under my eyes now. I will be very, very happy to share the load again. Not to mention, she is hysterical and the mirth factor has decreased by 63% in her absence.

Secondly, of course, within a few short hours both MAB and I (and all our fellow G-men and women) will have a new boss, whose delightful visage will hang in all the lobbies and shine down so handsomely upon us.

And I. Can't. Wait.

There is NOTHING so beautiful to me as this ordered, peaceful transfer of power. And pretty much anywhere in the world that power is transferred peacefully it is because we showed the way. This is one of the great achievements of American democracy, if you ask me, and it is a beautiful thing no matter who is taking the reins.

(The fact that this time it happens to be my guy is just icing on the cake).

The day will conclude when we come together with The Neighbor to enjoy chili and sweet potato pie (two things the new President enjoys...although last night I had a dream that there was a smoked sausage craze sweeping the nation owing to the President's love of same and I woke up in a smidge of a panic because we are fresh out of sausage). We will also have champang-ya. And watch recaps of the day's events.

Meanwhile, I'm going to get into the office early because a) MAB doesn't have her key and 2) I want to start watching coverage on our little office TV until the moment comes to watch the swearing-in on the Jumbotron. This really should be a freaking federal holiday.

Happy joy, my friends, happy joy. May the superfantasticness of your day be exceeded only by the fizziness of your champang-ya.

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Very soon I will be taking Sandy to the bus. I will miss her. Plus, she saved my life last night. I was doing dishes and I managed to, quite appropriately, slice my right thumb on a carving knife. It hurt a lot and bled even more. But Sandy, who wants to be a midwife, was very compassionate and bandaged me up with nary an "eeeewww...that's so gross".

I suspect this recent wound will not enhance my Xbox game play, which was not particularly compelling to begin with.

I wish I had something profound to say about it being MLK Day. There is a calendar over my desk at work, with the faces of Dr. King and Mr. (soon-to-be-president) Obama and the script between their two visages reads "A Dream Fulfilled". There is a postcard above my desk at home with Mr. (soon-to-be-president) Obama's face and the words "Yes We Did".

That's a sort of summation but really, I can't come up with better. I am like a corked bottle of champang-ya all shook up. I am eager and hopeful. I am, like most Americans, well aware that all the problems we face will still be with us on the 21st of January and that it's going to take more than inspiration and desire to address those problems. But I also know what America looks like when she has leadership. It is that, and a host of other things that I cannot put into words right now, that make me feel all bubbly and fizzy.

One more day and our long national nightmare will be over. We will have a president who has actually read the Constitution and who, I believe, will not be committing perjury when he swears tomorrow to uphold it. Uphold it? Sheesh, he gets to restore it. That is only part of the massive work ahead. But if we can elect a black man to be President, maybe we have what it takes after all to get ourselves up out of the ditch, bang the dents out of the fender, flush the engine and get ourselves on the road again.

Also, yesterday was quite brilliantly beautiful, sunshine-wise, but I realized that it is much easier to believe your house is clean when the sun isn't shining. Oy, the schmutz that was revealed under the unrelenting light of the sun! I don't think I would enjoy keeping house in, say, Arizona.

Right. Time to get Sandy to her bus. Then I think I'll read some poetry. And see if my injured thumb is up to slaying zombies.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

But I'm Still Not Going to Try Vegemite

This is our last weekend with Sandy. She's quite precious and we have told her that she is welcome to come back any time. Last night she invited us to come for an "Aussie Christmas" sometime. I need to email her parents and tell them how very delightful and helpful and not-at-all-entitled she has been during her visit. She probably gives them holy hell at home but assuming that it is true that how children behave when they are away from you is the genuine test of their character/behavior/etc., then Sandy's Mum and Dad can be very proud.

We'll wrap up our 3 week musical tribute to Australians with this little surprise. Well, it was to moi. Did you know that she could sing? The Abba stuff in "Muriel's Wedding" aside? Well, she does and she has a band with her husband (the drummer) and she has a very, very pretty voice, imho. There's something a little Swing Out Sisterish about this tune and I think it is perfectly acceptable.

Toni Collette and The Finish "Look Up"

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sometimes Things Are So Delightful You Go "Squee!!!!!!"

In just over 24 hours "Battlestar Galactica" will return to the airwaves.

In just 5 days Barack Obama will be sworn in as President of the United States.

Tingling toes - check.

Dancy heart - check.

Chilling champagn-ya - I knew I forgot something.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rise & Shine

I've got to run Sandy into school early because Wednesday is late start for The Child but Sandy's group has a tour that starts at the regular school time and aside from being her mom for a week, I've already put the kybosh on her and The Child going to a basketball game tonight because I have to work late and don't want to have to stay out late fetching children from an athletic competition although I'm making it up to them by getting a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream (Phish Food, my favorite) with the free coupon I got from Credo Mobile because they're so nice there.

It's ok about the early start anyway because I have to be trained on some software today and get ready for a tour by mucky mucks later in the day so it's all good, although I kinda wish I'd waited to wear my killer dress today.

I had a creamy chicken enchilada for breakfast this morning. I love my job.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Are You Talkin' to Me?

The Spouse bought me one of those Bluetooth thingies that sits in your ear and makes you look like a douche. He says it's so I can talk on the cell phone in the car now that it is illegal to do so when driving unless your device is hands-free.

I hardly ever talk on the phone in the car, even when it was legal.

But it was a nice gesture and it was amusing when yesterday, as we took a little trip out to Costco Home he said, "OK, let's pretend we're talking on the phone to each other the whole time, even though we are right next to each other".

I bought a new sofa. If will be delivered Saturday. Before Sing For Your Supper.

Sandy is very sweet. We're having a nice time with her. She's very appreciative and helpful and she laughs at our jokes. I took her and The Child downtown on Saturday to lunch and shop (I did some damage at H&M thankyouverymuch) and see "Twilight" (my 3rd time...I deserve a medal).

One more full week of work sans MAB. I miss her very, very much. I can do the job by myself. It's just way less fun without her. The hardest part has been not having someone with whom I can diffuse the stress. And there has been stress. It has been of the "I want to help as many people as I can and I don't think I have room to help this person" variety but it's still stress.

I have to remember to go to a meeting this morning that MAB usually attends. I was a little late for it last week because I totally spaced that she wanted me to go. It was, possible, the dullest meeting in all the land. But it's short. And I have a new dress to wear to it so there's always that.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

That Voice...That Face....

We fetched Sandy last night. We were supposed to have a sign with her name on it. I didn't know that, since I changed my email address and haven't figured out who at High School needs the update. There was one other family sans sign. Said the mom, "Well, kid, maybe your next host family will be nice". My sentiments exactly.
But despite the piddly ass sign I cobbled together at the last minute on the back of a flyer with a borrowed pen, Sandy found us right away and we gave her big hugs which she returned easily and off we set for home. She is quite adorable. The Child is enchanted with her accent and I was just pleased that she seemed quite comfortable, friendly and polite. The Child was also delighted that Sandy too has read all the Twilight books. The two of them chatted for quite a bit last night, even though the hour was late and they were reminded once that 7am would come very early. But hey...not every day The Child gets an Australian big sister right?

(And huzzah...Sandy hasn't seen the "Twilight" movie yet. Host family now has something to do with her on the weekend. Oh, I know what you're thinking...especially if you've visited us before from outta town. I intended to show her all that and more. Then I read her itinerary. See, this isn't an exchange student in the coming-to-live-with-us-for-a-year-and-go-to-school-in-the-US deal. This is a go-to-America-during-summer-break-and-see-a-mess-of-stuff-every-day-on-a-tour-bus-then-go-home-and-eat-dinner-with-your-American-family sorta thing. Consequently that "free time with your host family" notation was a bit daunting as she'll have already done or be about to do all the fun stuff in town. So we're going to feed her pizza, show her movies and make her sing for her supper next weekend with all our friends. And that, my friends, is how you bring peace between nations).

Anywhirlwind, we have Sandy now and she is, as I mentioned, adorable and I'm sure it will be a lovely experience for all of us.

But all the boys at Rydell High are dying to meet her. There'd better not be any scenes.

Olivia Newton John "Hopelessly Devoted to You"

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Where Was I?

I'm the sort of gal who lives by the seasons. Certainly things happen in a certain order, at certain times. Like clafouti...the French version of fruit cobbler. I never make it in the winter because it is the sort of thing that asks to be made with fresh fruit. Eggnog cake, on the other hand, only appears at Christmas time. Never mind that I could make clafouti with frozen berries in the winter or whip up my own eggnog in the summer. That's just not how it is done so I don't.

This ordered sensibility extends beyond the kitchen. We don't decorate for Christmas until Christmas Eve and everything comes down on Epiphany, January 6. There is rhyme and reason, liturgy and purpose...a dedicated time to celebrate the season and then, when it has been fully celebrated, it ceremoniously ends (12th Night party) and we move toward the next season.

This has been our practise for 17, nay, 18 years and will continue to be. Except this year. Our tree is still up, the mantel is still heaped with angels and boughs, lights continue to drape from the garlands outside. The one concession to Christmas being over? Nothing has been lit up since the 6th.

It's not that I'm loathe to box up Christmas. Nor is there any danger that we will be one of those houses with Christmas lights still up in May. The project just has to wait until the weekend.

Any combination of reasons from the follow list will suffice as explanation:

Orthodontist appointments.
Various crises at work (where, you'll remember, I am sans MAB for the next while).
Working full-time.
Mandatory study hall twice a week, requiring transportation home from parental unit.
Australians needing a place to sleep.
Australians needing a place to sleep in a bedroom that sometimes seems too small for one person let alone the addition of an ambassador from another country.
Not sleeping. (I'm not stressed out particularly but am having a hard time shutting off the old brain lately).

So the tree is still up but at least we figured out how to fit Sandy the Australian exchange student into The Child's room. (We totally have to call her Sandy, don't we?)

And in other good news, I bought myself a really superfantastic new handbag yesterday.

Have I mentioned how terrific it is that I actually have my own money? That when I went Christmas shopping for The Spouse this year I was spending my own ducats and not his? Or that I make enough (thank you, gentle taxpayers) to meet the obligations I have to the family (tuition and orthodontia) AND still have money to buy pressies? Including pressies once in a while for myself like aforementioned superfantastic handbag I found at BCBGMaxazria?

Also, what the hell kind of name is that for a retailer? Seriously?

"Wow, Rainey! Superfantastic handbag! Where'd you get it?"

"Oh, isn't it swell? I got it at BeeCeeBuh, uh, MaxAss...uh, sounds like Hank Azaria only without the Hank and there are all these Bees and Cees and uh...Costco. That's it...I bought it at Costco".

We begin with liturgy and tradition and end up with handbags. Odd. But seriously...isn't that bag just hot?

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

An Epiphany on Epiphany

High school Christmas concerts are never cancelled, only rescheduled.

If you've been a particularly bad mommy (who is sooooo over going to student productions and celebrated mightily when the concert was originally "cancelled" because of the snow) then the rescheduling could well be the second night after the kids return to school from Christmas break and you'll find out only because you happened to check the school website to see if there was a weather-related late start. Which there wasn't because the snow is all gone but good thing you checked, right? Even though this now means that you will not be doing with you 12th Night evening anything like what you hoped you'd be doing, which included but was not limited to eating the Hoppin' John you still haven't made for new year good luck, baking a 12th Night cake and getting ready for the exchange student who will be in your house in just a few days because some major effort will be required to make The Child's room accommodate a 2nd person, not to mention that tonight was the night you were going to take down the Christmas decorations but you obviously can't now because you won't be home until way late due to the concert that you really, really, really don't want attend tonight any more than you wanted to go last month but obviously even the worst mother in the world isn't exempt from karma. Or high school choir teachers.

When reading a website announcement, always be careful to read each word and absorb the correct meaning before running off half-cocked and writing a run-on post about having to go to a concert because there is a really good chance that you WON'T have to go because it's just for BAND AND ORCHESTRA.

The Child made me so happy when she told me this.

Hoppin' John, 12th Night cake, Christmas un-decorating and room readjusting are all back on.

Whoo hoo.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Oh, Frakkety Frak!

It was very cold today. The Child and I were marvelling at all the piles of (dirty) snow that still linger on the highways and byways, but commented that we are glad that the roads are clear and life has returned to normal.

That was this morning.

It started to snow about 2 hours ago.

It's still snowing.

There's like an inch on the ground already.

Frakkety frak.

Update, 10:04pm

"They" say the air is warming and that the snow will turn to rain any minute now.

There are 3 frakking inches of snow on the ground. That rain better hurry the FRAK up!

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Oy! The Drumming!

The great thing about getting a new email is that for a while the spammers leave you alone. And then the only stuff that is in my in box is stuff I want.

The lousy thing about getting a new email is going to every bloody on-line account I have to change the information.

This is not really how I wanted to spend my Sunday afternoon.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

A Dingo Ate My Baby!

I'm late. Java issues. But now my computer is truly all better. And I can't tell you how nice it is to not have Avast! going off every 10 minutes alerting me to another detected Trojan. It's even nicer to not all a sudden notice random icons for things like "Belgian Bondage" and "Guys Who Love Condiments", which was seriously starting to creep me out.

Anyporn, this week's belated jukebox tune is from my favorite decade of music because it just still is my favorite decade of music ever and also it is very appropriate because in a few days we're going to have an exchange student in our house for 2 weeks. The Child is very excited. I was until I spent last night dreaming that all she did was sleep, except when she and The Child were fighting. Which I'm sure they won't in real life because I'm sure she's a lovely girl and will be grateful and sweet. And maybe The Child will be, too. And it will all be lovely, provided The Spouse and I refrain from trying to impress her by quoting various films in really poor accents. Because really, the kid isn't coming here from halfway around the world to suffer that sort of humiliation.

Men at Work "Land Down Under"

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