Saturday, June 28, 2008

About that therapy fund...

I love summers in the South. We are pretty much guaranteed a great big thunderstorm at the end of every sweltering day. In my college years we used to make pitchers of margaritas and watch the storm from a porch. These days I long for liquor as I try and convince the four-year-old that the thunder and lightening aren't trying to get her.

Muffin is not unlike this terrier I used to have growing up. Free-be (terribly creative name for a free dog, no?) was furiously self sufficient and a holy terror to the cats in the neighborhood. However, the slightest hint of a thunder-boomer would send her scurrying under the house to whimper for the duration of the storm. Muffin also views herself as self sufficient, terrorizes the cats in the house and turns into a teary puddle of anxiety at the first rumble of thunder.

Last evening I heard the thunder rumbling and correctly anticipated that my daughter would surface from whatever mischief she was making to run into my arms. In an attempt to desensitize her (lessons from the therapist) I opened the front door and offered to sit with her and watch the storm. She clung to my leg and peered anxiously into the rain, flinching at every thunderclap.

Just as I was telling her "See! It's not so bad, right? Look, the rain is giving the earth a bath!" a bolt of lightening struck the tree across the road from our home. The hair on our arms was standing straight up! About a third of the tree split away and fell to the ground. Muffin let out a shriek of terror and fled from my side to the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.

So, it might take a little longer to desensitize her than I thought. I may as well forget that cute pair of shoes I saw the other day. I'm going to need that cash for the shrink.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happily back to the grind

Upon returning from my glorious week in our nation's capitol I discovered that A) I had gained five pounds. Well, poop. I suppose all those wonderful meals had to have a price. B) I had over 300 emails awaiting my urgent attention and C) that I define "urgent" much differently from everyone else in this building. Seriously! Is the building falling down? Are the fires in the Dismal Swamp headed our way? Did we increase our Threat Condition? No? Then it can wait!!! Geez!

However, despite the weight gain and work issues I'm in a pretty good mood. I think that break away from my normal, everyday routine was just what the doctor ordered. Muffin and I have both been cheerful and patient with one another. We're all alone because my sister is vacationing with her boyfriend for the week, but it's been pleasant so far.

In fact, I'm gearing us both up to go and see Wall-E this weekend. Remember how her last experience in a theater was somewhat disastrous? Well, this time around we're taking her friend from ballet - she's a movie veteran. I hope that a little peer-pressure will encourage Muffin to stick it out.

So, that's all folks. Not much to report. I've been trying to catch up on everyone else's blogs and leave comments - it's amazing how one week can rack up a serious backlog of blog reading!

Oh, I had an epiphany the other night - I decided that instead of buying groceries I would use what was in my freezer and pantry. The first dinner consisted of polenta, noodles and sauce (which I bought during my Trader Joe's excursion back in the early Spring). Now Muffin knows what polenta is and she likes it. Turns out hunger really IS the best sauce!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

DC - Last Night Celebration!

I'm going to preface this post with a disclaimer... I just returned from a FANTASTIC dinner and am slightly inebriated. That being said...

You know how I've been glossing over the actual reason why I'm in DC? The EEOC class? Well, I'm not going to go into any detail - but I just wanted to say that, while it's been a great class, this class has had more than it's fair share of those people. You know who I mean. The ones that like to try and stump the teacher - the ones that insist upon enlightening the class with their own personal experiences - the ones that like to say things like "I just graduated from the advanced EEOC class, I made the DEAN's list!" Yeah, those people. Now, I'm not saying that I haven't been a teacher's pet at one point or another - I've been the teacher's pet alot! But, that was school. This is work. When it's work - people want to get out on time, if not early! So, that being said, Shut The F*** Up. Thanks.

Ok, now that I've vented...

I had a very nice afternoon. We were let out a little earlier than usual so I managed to get my homework done before 5pm. Which means I had a very smooth Metro ride down to the Mall. I visited the WWII Memorial again and made my way up the west/south side to the Korean Memorial. I've never seen this Memorial before. It was a stunning statue garden with bronze figures walking through an imaginary Korean battlefield. While I was there an Asian speaking tour group arrived. They snapped shots quicker than I ever could and quickly bustled off. I ended up following them to the Lincoln Memorial which was completely overrun.

I took a few pictures and climbed the stairs to see the great man himself. He really is huge. I wanted to feel something profound, but it just didn't come to me. Too many people, perhaps. After I picked my way through the tourists and down the stairs, I went over to the right/north side of the reflection pool to the Vietnam Memorial.

As I looked at the Memorial itself, I noticed how it's appearance reflected it's presence in American History. It looks like a crack in the ground and, from what I've gathered, the war itself was a crack in our society that divided the "old school" from the "free thinkers." Of course, that's a very broad generalization, but it's undeniable that the Vietnam War turned out to be a polarizing event in our history. Close by was a Memorial dedicated to the female nurses of Vietnam. The expressions on their faces were so realistic that I had to turn away. I felt awkward but I couldn't tell you why.

It was about that time that the rain (which was NOWHERE on the radar! I checked!!) decided to make an appearance. It was a light shower, nothing to make me run for cover. I walked down the reflecting pool and tried to absorb as much atmosphere as I could soak up. Too soon I arrived at the Smithsonian Metro stop.

Earlier in the week I had spotted a restaurant called Bistro Bis near my hotel. Since I had no other recommendations for dinner this evening, I decided to give it a try. It was wonderful. I was seated quickly and the waiter was very helpful in picking out a wine to go with my dinner. I chose the Salmon and was not disappointed. It was presented with asparagus, a type of onion I'd never seen, small wild mushrooms and caviar. The waiter recommended a lovely Rose wine to complement the dinner and I savored every bite. At this moment I am recalling the savory blend of onion with salmon. I wish I could describe it better - you'll just have to try it next time you're in DC.

While I was finishing up my dinner a party of twelve was seated not far from me. I watched them interact and reflected that their party was a microcosm of Washington DC. They ranged in age from early 20's to mid 60's. Their group was both male and female and every ethnicity you could dream up. Yet, they were comfortable and interacting equally. This type of "blind" interaction is rare where I come from. Here, it's par for the course. I love how this city doesn't care what you look like.

I chose to have dessert, Citrus Crème Brule with a fruit compote. Easily the best tasting thing I've had in my entire life. The couple that was seated next to me just as I began noted the look on my face and asked: Is it that good? Oh yes. Yes, everything about this week has been that good. And by the way, I highly recommend the Salmon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

DC Midweek Reflections

It's funny how the first two-thirds of my day hardly count anymore. This class has been interesting and I've met some great people, but all I think about is what I'm going to do when I get out. I saved the second half of the Mall for today but I wasn't able to get to it all.

For those of you who may have been concerned about my venture into the world of switching lines at the Metro - I was successful! It really wasn't that bad at all. I took the Red line to Metro Center and then took an Orange line to the Smithsonian stop. When I got off the Metro I thought I heard thunder. And I was right - it was spitting rain and rumbling.

Undeterred, I followed a gang of kickball players (apparently there's some kind of kickball tournament - who knew!) down to the Washington Monument. Right about the time I was making my way to the Monument gift shop the sky opened up. I was looking around and up at the sky thinking "Really? I'm caught out without a damn umbrella again?" When I noticed a freaking rainbow arching over the Capitol Building!

I climbed up a little hill and took a few shots before scrambling like the rest of the tourists towards the gift shop. Naturally by the time I made it there the rain let up. Fickle, fickle rain. I bought a few souvenirs (a book for Grandpa and paper doll book for Muffin) and set out for the WWII Memorial.

I'm really interested in this Memorial because my Grandpa was in the second wave at Omaha beach. Out of his platoon, only eight survived. We consider ourselves pretty lucky. If you haven't seen the Memorial it's hard to describe how it frames both the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument so perfectly. I loved the symmetry as well as the various quotes engraved around the perimeter. I thought about my Grandpa and everything he'd seen over there. I hope he gets to come up to DC and see the Memorial for himself.

Feeling a little nostalgic (and sore from all the walking) I decided to turn and go up to the White House instead of heading straight to the Lincoln Memorial. Getting a picture of the White House is tricky. There's tons of tourists and everybody wants to be EXACTLY in front of the damn place! All I wanted to do was stick my little camera between the bars and snap a shot. I muscled my way in between two sets of tourists, took the shot and moved off. Being a tourist is hungry work!

Not to mention it was starting to rain again... I ducked into a M&S Gill. Looking at the menu I realized that I was getting bored with eating out. I'm sure it sounds strange - but nothing looked new or interesting. So I went with the Cobb Salad and halfway through my phone rang. It was Muffin! I told her that I missed her and couldn't wait to see her. She said "Don't worry Mama, you'll see me soon!" Which is about the closest I'll probably ever get to "I miss you too, Mama." But I'll take it.

After the phone call I looked at my boring salad and felt like crying. As much fun as it is to be in a new city and see wonderful sights, it just isn't the same as being at home and watching Cars for the hundred-millionth time. I was going to order desert but the waiter took my half-eaten salad and plopped the check down in front of me at the same time. Well, Fine!

I sulked up to Metro Center and found the Red Line to Union Station. Waiting for the train, I watched people both interact and ignore each other. Humans are crazy animals, have you ever noticed that? When I got off at Union Station, I noticed that my fare card was running low. After about three tries I managed to get a new fare card with enough money on it get me through the week. And the simple act of doing that all by myself perked me up. Wherever I am, I'm adaptable. I can get along alright by myself.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

DC Part Deux

My second day in DC began not unlike the first. Groggy from restless sleep, rushing to get into dratted panty-hose and gulping down lukewarm tea. Class was uneventful and lunch was rather unmemorable. I daydreamed about sight-seeing as we covered grievances and case scenarios. Finally it was time to leave. However, I had to make a bargain with myself. Check-in with the office, do at least three homework problems - and only then could I run amok in the city.

Once those chores were complete I put on my walking shoes and grabbed my bag, determined to enjoy the afternoon. Matter Of Fact Mommy wasn't lying - the weather here was absolutely perfect this afternoon. I had to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the sights. The city energy is so intoxicating! I'm sure the natives were laughing at my goofy grin.

Since I'm staying in a hotel close to Union Station I decided to make my way down to the Mall on foot. It wasn't too far of a walk, mostly downhill. Once I reached Grant's Memorial I'd passed no less than 10 joggers. Upon my subsequent journey from the Capitol to the Washington Monument I became convinced that this city is teeming with wild herds of health nuts. I saw people jogging, playing kick-ball, performing martial arts, playing frisbee, tossing footballs, catching baseballs and several walkers wearing shirts that read "Walk From Obesity."

In addition there were tourists, musicians and picnics. It was like watching a scene from a movie - except that there were no directors and the actors were perfectly real. I detoured into the Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden and pondered sculpture while listening to birds and buses. It was very relaxing.

After an hour and a half of wandering one side of the Mall I discovered a Navy Memorial on my map and decided to check it out. There was a musical event going on so I decided not to linger, but I did take pictures of the images that pertained to my career. Then, I went in search of dinner.

Wandering the streets on the way to my hotel I checked out several restaurants with menus posted outdoors. Nothing looked good to me until I heard some jazz music coming from the District Chop House. When I was seated I noticed that there was a "Velvet Tap" on their beer list. Apparently, it's mixed with Nitrogen instead of CO2 - which creates a very smooth finish. Well, I had to give it a try! (Along with the Gorgonzola Filet Medallions)

I think I was attracted to the Chop House because of the energy (seem to be using that word a lot lately). It seemed busy and cozy at the same time. I was alone, but I was able to have company without conversation. Almost the best of both worlds. Almost.

I took the Metro from China Town back to Union Station. It's different at night, but not threatening. I think I'm getting used to it now. Tomorrow will be the real test - I'm going to switch lines! Whooooo - breaking out of the box! For now, I'm going to snuggle in my bed and think about Muffin. I hope she's having a good time. I hope she's wearing sun screen! (Sun Scream!) Miss you baby!

Monday, June 16, 2008

DC Trip - Day One

I'm in our nation's capitol for a whole week! Sure, I have to go to some EEO training - but I get to stay in a nice hotel and eat out all week! Of course, I don't sleep well in strange beds and eating out all week will likely cause me to blow up like a puffer fish. I don't care! I'm living la dolce vida!

The three hour trip last night was uneventful. I'm driving a Mazda 5, a zippy little four-door hatch back, for the week. Rentals are fun! I checked in around 8:30pm last night and made my way over to Union Station to check on Metro tickets and times. The metro lady was super nice and helped me get a ticket with enough money on it to cover my round trip fare all week. Thanks Super-Nice-Metro-Lady! I will be sure to pass the word along that not all Metro employees are as nasty as we have been led to believe.

I didn't sleep well last night, but I knew I'd be fretful the first evening. Hopefully tonight will be easier. Getting ready in a hotel room is always a little painful the first morning. It's an adventure to discover which very important grooming item you've left at home! Being an especially paranoid (read: obsessive) person I was at Union Station at 7am to ride a 6 minute train to a class that didn't start until 8am. Thankfully, I had the foresight to bring a book to read for the next 50 minutes.

The class is pretty full, and I'd say about a quarter of the class is military. Boy am I glad that I decided to ditch the uniform this week! I'd have been the only person wearing one! As it was, you can always spot the military folk. We're the ones that look uncomfortable and awkward in our civies. It's like having part of your identity taken away. The girls don't know how to fix their hair properly (since we usually keep it in a bun) and the guys have generally made an unfortunate choice in shoes. Ah well, c'est la vie.

I ate lunch alone at a little restaurant called Mezza Luna. I had a fantastic salmon and wild green salad at an outdoor table, my anonymity protected by the low fence so that I could people watch behind my sunglasses. I felt very European and soaked up the ambiance.

Speaking of soaking... The sky opened up just as they released us from class this afternoon. I bolted for the Metro station and emerged at Union Station searching for an umbrella. I joined a line of unfortunates in the nearby travel shop and paid $15 for a black umbrella. I suppose I shouldn't complain. It was certainly better than nothing!

Due to the rain, I elected to eat dinner at the pub downstairs. It did not disappoint. A lovely London Broil followed by Apple Crumb Cake. Now I'm in my jammies, covered with a complementary fluffy white robe, and missing my little girl. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tiny Dancer

This was taken at Dress Rehersal. As you can see, she is serious about dance.

We enjoyed our very first recital last night at Chrysler Hall. It was a HUGE production and very entertaining. Muffin got to sit with us for the most part and she loved every minute. We watched some girls doing jazz and hip-hop before the "real" ballerinas came on stage. When Muffin saw the ballerinas she squeezed my hand, leaned over and whispered "Mama, they're beautiful!" She was so enchanted with the show that she didn't want to leave when it was time to get her costume on!

I had to run her down to the dressing room eight acts before she was supposed to go on stage. It was absolute pandemonium in the dressing room with anxious mothers and excited children stripping down, dressing up and, most importantly, applying make-up. Oh, the little ones were so excited about the make-up. It was very cute.

The woman who had volunteered to be "Stage Mom" took off and I was "volun-told" that I could take her place. Ok... It wasn't too bad really. I got the little dancers lined up in order and made them hold hands while we waited for the runner to come and take us back stage. (Because if they're holding hands then they can't be doing anything else with them!) Then, the runner came and had the little girls sing their ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle on the way up to the stage so that they would get all of their loud voices out. Very smart, Runner-chick. Very Smart.

The runner sat them down in a little line and we watched two acts before it was time to dance. The girls were excited and squirmy. Also they had a hard time keeping their hands to themselves, picking at their costumes and each other's body parts. They whispered about the pretty dresses of the other dancers and lamented their own "Blue Hawaii" costume. While I wasn't too pleased with the costume myself (How can you call a bikini a ballet costume? Really!), I reassured them that they all looked like Hawaiian Princesses. If you mention the word "princess" to four-year-olds you're bound to get a favorable reaction.

Suddenly, it was time to dance! I watched the little ones make their way out on the giant stage and do their thing. I was impressed that they weren't phased at all by the huge stage or the bright lights! Too soon it was over and they came back, happy little faces looking for some reassurance that they did well. Of course there was tons of praise to be passed around and then it was off to the dressing room to change and get back to our seats!

When we got back to our seats I took out the little bouquet of flowers that I had stashed under my seat and gave them to Muffin for a performance well done. She took them in her tiny hands with wide eyes, whispered "Thank you!!" and clutched them to her chest for the rest of the performance. It was a magical night for us both.

Congratulations Muffin! You were perfect. I know this is the first of many recitals and I hope that you remain as enchanted and enthusiastic for each and every one.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Baby, it's HOT outside!

As you may have heard, we've been breaking some records here in the SouthEast. Granted, it's not quite as newsworthy or devastating as the floods in other parts of the country. Or the fires. Or the tornadoes... Ok, so maybe you haven't heard - but it's pretty damn hot over here none-the-less!

Today we had a heat index of 112 degrees with 100% humidity. True, I've been in hotter places - but that kind of misery is not unlike childbirth: You remember that it was pretty damn awful, but the specifics don't readily come to mind. (FOR A REASON! Otherwise, we'd never reproduce again!)

Ok, so here are a few random thoughts I had about the weather today:

This morning the local weatherfeller refered to the oppressive humidity as "air you can wear" and the Incredibly Southern Newscaster Lady actually warned the ladies that they can expect a Very. Bad. Hair. Day. great...

Upon my 1/2 mile walk to work (parking is a bitch!) I discovered that despite the fact that the humidity is at 100%, the grass is still brown and crunchy. Too bad the grass can't just absorb some of that water in the air! *sigh...*

At any given time during the work day I could look out my window and see no less than THREE little squirrels laid out like a hot lunch on the covered entrance to my building. Tummies to concrete, panting away. Poor little rodents...

When leaving work I noticed that the cranes at the shipyard, which are painted "Carolina Blue" and normally blend in with the sky, have become a kind of wavering blue mirage against a milky white sky... Oooo, psychedelic!

I discovered that my black car, with leather seats, has the ability to "sizzle" any flesh upon contact. Ok, that's my own damn fault - but it still sucks!

My sister, who frequently takes a picnic lunch to a local State Park (First Landing - great park! Right on the Chesapeake Bay - campsites are very reasonable!), told me this evening that she saw several poor little campers retreating to the comfort of their air conditioned cars in the heat of the day. Poor little campers...

At times, when I hear about snow storms and such, I absolutely relish living in the South. Then, there are the days of "record highs" that make me want to move somewhere like... Canada. Still, on the whole, when you take all of the potential weather phenoms into account - there could be worse places to live than Virginia Beach. At least, that's what I tell myself before bed every night.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Pants are tight - but I feel good!

This morning I discovered that my pants were getting a little snug. I'm not breaking any fashion rules, yet, but they just aren't as loose as they should be. Clearly I've been enjoying myself far too much in the food/wine area. I pretty much fell off the WW wagon when I passed my "physical readiness test" a couple of weeks ago. It's such a relief to get it over with that I usually treat myself for a couple of days, weeks, months... *ahem* Hey, I like to celebrate!

I generally comfort myself with food, but since food was the cause of the problem this time I decided to resort to a little lunch time retail therapy. I justified my spree by going to specifically look for an iPod Shuffle to take with me on my workouts. That way I'm buying something to facilitate getting into shape! See how I can justify things? It's a gift.

(I KNOW! I'm the last person on the planet to have one, I just haven't been sufficiently depressed enough to make that kind of commitment.)

Also, I had the vague idea of buying some kind of Detox Kit to help my organs get back in shape while fully realizing that there was every chance the kit would simply sit on the shelf in my bath and make me feel guilty. However, since I thrive on retail remorse, I did not dwell on that aspect.

I found the shuffle (in a cute shade of green) and discussed the Detox Kit with the chick in GNC. Actually, it seemed quite doable. For seven days I take some vitamins and stay away from caffeine and dairy. I think I can tough it out for seven days. We'll see!

Then, while wasting time searching for something I did not yet know that I needed, I found a sale for children's clothes! Knowing that half of the clothes I send with Muffin to her dad's house never make it back, I figured I was doing us all a favor by stocking up on play clothes. I'm generous that way.

After that I determined that I would rather wear cute summery dresses rather than my ugly uniform when I go to the conference in DC next week. Nobody knows me in DC, so I think I can get away with it! Plus, I'll get a chance to show off my cute shoes. I tried on three dresses and they all fit! I bought them all. I am a bold and sassy chick.

At that point I decided that I should really reign in the debit-card and head back to work. I can't even describe how much better my mood is! If only I was spending somebody else's money... :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Procrastination Sunday

I'm sitting at the computer with my back to the rest of the house. It's Sunday, the day I normally clean up and do laundry but I also have a crap ton of homework that needs to be turned in as well. Basically, though there is much to be done, I stubbornly refuse to acknowledge it.

It's easy to put things off in the morning, but I'm sure that around 3pm I'll start to get that vague panicky feeling. That feeling usually kick starts the adrenaline and motivates me to accomplish everything in a couple of hours.

The only hitch in the plan is the sheer volume of homework. Did I mention that it's statistics? Which, as far as I'm concerned, is a completely different language all together? I wish I was kidding. I have about 30 problems to work but as soon as I crack the book open the words all run together, I get freaked out and I go find something else to do. That's been going on all week. The homework is due by midnight.

Also, my parents are coming for a visit on Thursday so when I clean up - it's got to be done at the "my parents are coming" level and not "I can live with this" level. You know the difference!

Meanwhile, my coffee is getting cold. And did you know that there is a whole new cable television station called "Planet Green?" Three guess on the type of programing it shows. Yeah, looks like that HGTV show "Living with Ed" finally found it's niche.

Ok, ok... Time to get motivated and get going. And find out why my daughter is so quiet... That can't be good.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Muffin in my bed

We have a little routine in the mornings where Muffin will climb up into my bed and snuggle with me for about 15 minutes before we both have to get up and get going. While this started out as a tactic on my part to squeeze every last drop of sleepy time, it's now become an integral part of the routine.

Sometimes it's GREAT! She'll snuggle next to me and we'll both listen to the birds outside with our eyes closed. Sometimes it's frustrating. She frequently has a cough and will hack right in my ear! Today it was infuriating! That little girl could not settle down to save her life!

It was like having a wild squirrel in my bed! She was all over the place, flipping and flopping, heaving great sighs, the occasional cough, the elbow to the ribcage, poking the cat. Not a fun experience at all. Clearly I was not expected to get any rest.

So, I got up. And I think that was her insidious plan all along. My four-year-old is passive aggressively plotting against me. Or maybe I just need some coffee.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lost lols... The Finale

Ok, I threw that last part in because... Well, because I WISH Sawyer would think about my bountiful bootie as much as I think about his.

*Sigh* Am I the only one who will find the next eight or so months entirely bereft of TV hotness? If you have an outlet - please send it my way. I'm already considering putting "Bones" in my Netflix queue because it has David Boreanaz and I totally "heart" him from the Buffy days.

So, seriously! Send me your suggestions for an alternate "hottie" viewing!

Kai thnx, bai!

My thoughts on Lost. Finally

Last week at this time I was fairly quivering in Lost anticipation. We only had one more piece of the puzzle left before knowing how the Oceanic Six became the Oceanic Six. We had seen Ben get his noggin knocked, watched Kate and Sayid become captives of the Others and witnessed Jin, Desmond and Michael stumble upon a crap-ton of C-4! Talk about a set-up.

Well, I don't know about you - but I was not disappointed. Not at all. I thought it was a great episode. From the ascension of Locke as leader of the Others to the view of Locke in a casket - I thought there were plot twists and turns aplenty. And let me start with the very first, and possibly my favorite: Kate bitch-slapping Jack.

I loved how we watched the last scene from the Season 3 finale and were immediately treated with a follow-up. Kate's tires SCREECHED to a halt. She put it in reverse and zoomed back to jump out and berate Jack for saying "we have to go back to the island." She was all "Oh. No. You. Didn't." and then smacked him for good measure.

(Am I alone in loving any scene where a head strong female smacks the sense into somebody via a slap across the face? Perhaps the origins stem from my constant watching of Gone With The Wind as a youngster... I'll mention it to Doc Therapist.)

Anyhoo, we moved on to "island time" and witnessed team Sawyer/Jack stumble upon Hurley and Locke. Then we see how the Others used Kate and Sayid to further their cause by rescuing Ben from the evil clutches (love that term) of Keamy. Who, apparently, does a really great "I'm dead" impression. He shows up a little later to taunt Ben and reveal that the pile of C-4 on the freighter will go off if his heartbeat stops. Not that it stopped Ben from STABBING HIM IN THE NECK!!!

(And here is where I tell the interwebs about how creeped out I get when people die via neck slitting/stabbing/etc... It's in the top five ways in which I hope I never perish. Right up there with Lava, Acid immersion, torture (to include dismemberment) and being eaten alive by an alien/dinosaur/monster/etc... Oh yes, I have a list.)

Even as Keamy gurgles his way into the underworld we learn that Michael has come up with a brilliant scheme to buy some time on the freighter. The only problem is that there is only one tank of the liquid nitrogen stuff so after it's gone the bomb will go off. Still! It bought enough time to get Desmond on the chopper - however not enough time to get Jin on board as well. Poor Jin. Actually, I think "Poor Sun" is more appropriate because I have a sneaking feeling that we haven't seen the last of Jin. He could have been blown clear and picked up by Daniel and the Red Shirts - you never know!

I hope Daniel makes it - I liked that guy. He's the kind of guy I should've dated in college because he'll actually make some money and take care of me. Oh well, I like the bad guys... Segue to Sawyer...

Hot freaking damn. That guy rocks. His devotion to Hugo, his smooch on Kate and subsequent leaping into the ocean to save the rest (did anyone else's heart go pitterpat?), the gratuitous long shots of his emergence from the ocean. Holy moly - that shit is going to be dream fodder for WEEKS to come. (ha ha - pun.)

Juliet was drinking herself silly (not that I blame her) when he rose, like a male version of Venus, from the ocean. Aww, but she wasn't celebrating - she was watching the smoke rise from the remains of the freighter. :( Not long afterwards she and Sawyer got front row seats in the whole "moving the island" thing!

Now that was the final nail in the coffin of Lost. Seriously. There is no way that the show can recover their anti-sci fi fans after they just watched Ben turn a magical wheel and make the island disappear - can they? As for me, I'm ALL for that kind of thing. Bring it on! Just don't be scary. Much. I don't do the scary thing - the polar bears freaked me out for God's sake!

And yet, as much as dead bodies kind of freak me out - I was morbidly curious to know who was in the coffin. I was all "yeah, yeah, cut to the chase! Show me the body!" Ben was quite adamant that all of the Oceanic peoples must return. Together. Does that mean Walt too (and by the way Walt, damn! You're a big boy now!) Should be an interesting Season Five. Though, I'm sure they're gonna have to drug Kate to get her on board. She appears to have Claire on her side regarding Aaron's non-return to the island. Interesting...

Ok, I've rambled about the slap, the kill, the jump, the explosion, the movement of the island, the corpse... Oh yeah - the KISS!

I don't know about the rest of the viewers but I was literally jumping up and down and shouting enthusiastically during the reunion of Desmond and Penny. I'm getting goosebumps just writing about it! I loved how he held her face in his hands and earnestly proclaimed his love.

(NOTE TO GUYS: That Shit Works! You are guaranteed an automatic lay with that line. Just so you know...)

I thought it was a great way to wrap up the loose ends regarding Des and Chopper Pilot Lapedus. I'm glad that Desmond got his Penny. Though, I'm a little worried that Pen might be in some serious danger - what with Ben stalking her for death and all that. I hope she makes it!

So, that's it for my review. I know I barely scratched the surface. I didn't mention the Sun/Widmore connection. I didn't mention the Sayid/Hurley rescue. I didn't even mention Mr. Eko! Who I still love and hope to see again. These are my thoughts on the finale. I'll have another post with my thoughts on the series and it's future. But not tonight... :)

lols to follow...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A page from another blog...

I'm No Belle just posted a blog which included an email from her mother.

I'm going to follow suit with an email that I recieved tonight following a conversation we had about an hour ago wherein Mama cut me off told me that she had to go. Because it was Steak Night and somebody needed to rub the meat. *ahem* That's what she said. Honest.

(please observe that the name in red has been altered to protect the innocent...)

I forgot to tell you, when we talked. I got Muffin a swimsuit cover up. It is yellow and is sleeveless and has a hood. It zips up the front. Got it today. Got to go. Steak time. Love, Mama

Steak time. Yes. Yes, my mama is the best. She is forever shopping for my darling Muffin, cooking for my Daddy and making sure that all of her four wayward children are happy. Did I mention the quilts? Oh yes, she quilts as well. And takes Tai Chi. All at the same time. Best. Mom. Ever.

Luv you Mama!

Wordless Wednesday. Sissy - the Backyard Diva... (she's gonna kill me)

Whiney Wednesday - you tell me...

But wait! There's more!

Muffin apparently soaked up the crazy juice at Doc Therapist the other day and lost her freaking mind! She had a tantrum at school today, clung to me like a starfish (not in the cute way) and proceeded to completely demolish my bathroom when it was bath time! My swiffer was torn apart. My nightcreme was destroyed. Various hair doodles were strewn about and on top of it all - she was nekkid and sucking her thumb.

Here's the kicker - her bath is in her own bathroom - not mine! WTF Muffin? We had a little "come to Jesus" meeting wherein I popped her bottom I asked for an explanation. None was forthcoming. She apologized (rather insincerely) and sobbed through the entire bath experience.

All this after I had just received a six-inch needle in my ass to alleviate the pain in my "piriformus" area. Because I have back/hip/leg issues. Well, back/hip/leg issues on top of the fact that my orthopedist is a sadistic, evil man.

No kidding - this is the image that came up when I googled "piriformus." (can I just pretend that this is an actual representation of my belly/thighs/ass area? please!?!) This is EXACTLY what I received today, along with several tiny lidocaine shots in the nearby muscles in order for the sadist orthopedist to knead out the muscle cramps. Thanks Doc Pain!

So, I got to limp around after my ornery daughter tonight.

I'm thinking that this Wednesday might call for some wine. Winey Wednesday? Or maybe Whiney Wednesday? Either/Or - works for me. Think it will stick?

Revelations- but not in the Bible sense...

I have to thank Stacie and Madame Queen for confirming what two moms I accost with fervent chatter chat with at Muffin's dance class told me last night: I am not a crazy woman.

Well, not crazy in the "I'm so crazy I wear my toaster on my head" sense of the word. Just a little "mom" crazy. Like most people.

To be completely honest - I've actually gotten better in the crazy department! Oh yes, it was pretty bad during the days of no sleep and constant breast-feeding. I had auditory hallucinations. No. Kidding. I heard shit - not people or God telling me to do things - no, I heard random noises that convinced me that my house in Bremerton WA was haunted. Not fun.

Wait a minute... What was the point of this post? Oh yeah - I'm not crazy! Thanks ya'll! I'll sleep better tonight with one less thing to obsess over. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Here and Now

During my commute I got to thinking about our visit to Dr. Therapist yesterday. It's possible that I was "obsessing" but I believe that I was actually "reflecting." (Yes, I'm going to be paranoid about obsessing now.) As I was replaying the conversations in my head, trying to put my finger on at least ONE instance where Dr. Therapist pointed out how incredibly awesome my kid is, I remembered something that I had said in response to a question asking why I stick to my routines: Because when I put my body on auto-pilot, my mind is free to think about other things.

At first, I was kind of impressed with myself for having this little revelation. It's true - I put my body in motion and it knows what to do! In the morning I get up, go downstairs, turn on coffee, feed cats, take shower, etc... Same thing at work: Put on uniform, log on computer, check voice mail, put out fires, etc... When we come home: Put away gym clothes, scoop cat poop, turn on computer, tidy up, etc... And while all of that is going on, my mind is focusing on other tasks that I'm going to need to do at some other point in the future. Yes, at first glance it seems as though I am the most efficient person on the planet!

And yet, I was reminded of a conversation I had with my father recently concerning my mom. My parents are gearing up for another fabulous European vacation (do not get me started, the green monster will rear it's ugly head.) and Dad said that he felt Mom got most of her pleasure from planning the trip, and not actually going on it. He said that she constantly lives in the future and has a hard time enjoying the present. He wished that she could turn off the part of her brain that thinks ahead and just enjoy the now.

Hmmm... That sounds familiar. Perhaps I need to shut off that part of my brain occasionally as well. Not forever of course - my house would never get cleaned! But, maybe it's ok to switch up the routine and actually live in the moment.

Muffin and I need to learn how to loosen up. Any suggestions? I think I might go way out on a limb and take a shower FIRST tomorrow instead of turning on the coffee pot! Whoo Hoo! Living on the edge! Tell me, how do you turn your brain off?

Yes, we're officially obsessive

Yesterday I took Muffin to the therapist. We've been trying to see someone since MARCH about a few behavioral problems she had in school one week in spring. Yeah, child psychologists are few and heavily booked. Anyway, Muffin is pretty much over whatever bug crawled up her ass but I decided to go anyway since psychology has always intrigued me (it was my minor in college and I've always enjoyed scrutinizing people) and I thought maybe the psychologist would tell me how brilliant and wonderful Muffin is. Mom's like to hear that kind of thing. Go figure.

The session started off with a brief history of Muffin and her "issues" and by the end of it we had come to the conclusion that Muffin has an obsessive personality. An obsessive personality that I gave to her. Yes. The child psychologist diagnosed ME with an obsessive personality via the old "popcorn test." Never heard of it? Me neither, but apparently if you follow the same routine every day, happen to see three pieces of popcorn on your floor and couldn't go to bed without cleaning them up - you're obsessive. Well, fine. Color me obsessive. I like lists, I like organizing, I like doing things "just so." Fine. (Note to self: Do not get defensive! Do not!)

Surprise! There's no cure. Muffin and I aren't pathologically OCD, we just get anxious when things are not predictable or part of our routine. So that accounts for her belly aches and stuff. Ok, great. Good to know. Probably explains some of my nervous tummy aches too.

I also asked about her meltdowns after any perceived mistake and the doc said that it's part of growing up. She said that it's Muffin's job to learn coping skills and that I shouldn't try to distract her from her meltdown because it's not helpful for her. The doc said that if I continue to try and distract Muffin out of her blue funks then Muffin could wind up 30 years old and unable to cope with sadness, disappointment or fear. Hmmm. Food for thought.

Now, you know I had to ask about her irrational fear of public toilets. Doc said that was definitely "obsessive" behavior and gave me a few options on how to recondition or modify her behavior for the future. Because, we don't want a 30 year old who can't go to a public restroom! Right. Onward with the behavior modification.

Basically, it's the old "de-sensitization" technique. I'm supposed to take Muffin to a public restroom with auto-flushing potties (when she doesn't have to go to the bathroom) and make allow her to listen to the flushes from the safety of the sink area. Gradually we'll move up to her actually going into the stall and making the potty flush, but for now we're just going to stick with listening to other people flush. Alrighty! Off to the mall bathrooms we go!

If all of this sounds a little off-the-wall, just imagine being the parent of a paranoid four-year-old lurking in a public restroom listening to people go to the bathroom and flush. Yes, just imagine that. I'm getting a giggle just imagining it myself. I can't wait to post about the actual experiment.

Oh, and you know what? That woman never ONCE mentioned how fabulously gifted, talented, smart and wonderful my Muffin is. So in the end, I'm not sure if it was a productive visit or not! Hmph!