|QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat|
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
The move out went surprisingly well; it was quite painless - quite the difference from when we moved in the house out of which we just moved - all by ourselves. This time I started way ahead of time, packed all of our own boxes (weeding out unwanteds along the way), and pulled up a lawn chair as the four hardworking guys evacuated my house of all of our earthly belongings. Well, believe that if you will.
The fourth guy did a great job of emptying our refrigerator, coming back often for sustaining snacks. It was very nice of him to purge the fridge for us. By the end of the 12-hour move out I think it was pretty much free and clear of food.
So.... everything we own is in storage, and here we sit in the hotel. With our furry friends. Just thought I'd make sure you knew that.
The first night here we tried putting Sophie in her crate to make it just like home for her. At 1 am she stirred and barked, thereby waking me up from a deep slumber, a much desired deep slumber after 2 nights of having had very little sleep. I ignored her and she stopped barking, but the stirring... the stirring did not stop. Her long claws scraped the bottom of the crate almost exactly every half hour. In addition to the regular stirring/scraping, there was an odd, irregular noise above me somewhere, unidentifiable yet irregularly irritating.
6:40 am rolled around lickety-split, and dutifully I arose to take the scraper out to go potty. I put her leash on and walked out into the hotel's hallway with her. She broke into a run, nose to the floor, dragging me helplessly along with her. Abruptly she stopped and let the diarrhea flow... right onto the carpet in the middle of the hotel hallway.
No!!! my soul protested. It didn't matter. As quickly as I possibly could, I thrust the Target bag (aka poop scooper) under her rear end to catch as much of the runny matter as possible. I didn't have time to open the bag, just caught as much as I could in a pool on the side of it.
Just like that, she was finished.
Ahhhh, you could see her relief.
I was now in the middle of a hotel hallway, poop (well, the liquid version) in hand and under foot, dog leash (attached to dog) in the other hand.
I quickly prayed no one else would venture down the hallway, and I sprinted, with the dog, back to the room. As I cleaned up the mess in the hallway, I realized how intelligent these hotel designers (who foolishly allow pets) were, making the hallway carpets (and the room carpets) the exact color of poop. Go figure.
Past that drama, I thought I'd make it more homey here in our hotel room and make a crock pot lentil soup for tonight. It turned out okay, but I think my hands will be sore tomorrow after trying to chop onions, celery and carrots with the Walmart serrated knife that's in the hotel room drawer- the only knife allotted to us here. I settled for much bigger chunks than usual, and the family would just have to suck it up.
My 11-year-old, home sick from school, observed my challenging task and heard my complaints. He came and stood closer to me, bird-dogging the process (bird-dog, by the way, is a vocabulary word from our new 365-day word-a-day calendar to prepare the kids for SATs someday. It's a verb, oddly enough, and means to watch or observe intently). He remarked, and I quote verbatim, "Mom, that's not a chopping knife."
"Ohhhh. Thanks, buddy. Gosh - I didn't realize. Well... that should solve everything, thanks."
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
How do you make packing up a house in which you've been for 11 years more fun? With music, of course.
As I was downloading some new songs I had been wanting to get onto my iPod, Down Under by Men At Work was playing- a preview just before it downloaded.
The husband, reading the paper nearby, belted out, all in tune: "buying bread from a man named Russell!!"
I turned around.
What did you say? I questioned
"what?" he nervously answered.
Did you say a man named Russell?
"Yeah; that's what he says."
I burst out laughing.
"It's buying bread from a man in Brussells," I explained.
"No way!" He didn't believe me.
I googled the lyrics. voila.
There are SO many songs whose lyrics I flub, too. Some of them I'll just never know (unless I google the lyrics).
Friday, January 15, 2010
me: "hey, bud. How was your day at school? What's new? What's happenin'? What's goin' down? Tell me all about it!"
13-year-old: "Mom, how much horsepower does this car have?"
me: "I have absolutely no idea."
13-year-old: "what? why?"
me: "I'm a girl. Girls just don't retain that kind of information because they don't care."
13-year-old (quite put out): "That's ridiculous! You're not a girl; you're a woman. And just because you're female doesn't mean you don't know how much horsepower our car has!"
me: "oh, I beg to differ. Ask any girl in your class whether she knows how much horsepower her parents' cars have; then, ask the boys."
13-year-old: "Mom. They won't know if it's not their car!"
I gave up at that point.
So... here's a quick poll. Please tell me 1) are you a man or a woman? and 2) do you know how much horsepower your car has?
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The 13-year-old had an away basketball game today.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Presumably Disney starts its popular beginning-of-the-year marathon, likely run by myriad folks honoring New Year's resolutions about which they'll soon forget, at 5:40 am because of the usual heat in Florida this time of year.
Yeah. ... Cue heat? ........... Hello? Okay, okay. Forget heat. How about just warmth? ............... anything?
This year the first wave of the marathon again began at 5:40, though at the time of the early start it was 29 degrees with winds of 12 to 15 miles per hour. All week long Florida has been experiencing record lows, with lizards falling out of trees as their bodies simply shut down from the cold (I swear I am not making that up. It was on the local Orlando news) and turtles being rescued from the lagoons, whose water has become too cold to sustain their lives. I didn't hear anything about snake rescues, thank goodness. Let 'em die, I say. Useless maniacal creatures...
Months ago when my company picked Orlando as the sight of our sales meeting I thought hey! While I'm down there there's a marathon. I should run the marathon, I brilliantly deduced, since I'm already down there!
Little did I know it would be colder in FLORIDA than it was in Massachusetts for my last marathon in October.
I considered throwing in the towel, being a wuss, and skipping this one, but then I pulled myself together and reminded myself that I’m a marathoner. We deal. We suck it up and run. We're the idiots who actually listen when Nike says Just Do It.
The alarm went off at 3:30 am so that I could get up and out to check my bag by the required time of 4:30 am. (Really, Disney? 4:30?) When I arrived late in the bag check tent there were plenty of other late runners checking gear, so I breathed a little sigh of relief that I could still check my warm sweatshirt to replace my wet running tops at the finish. Like an experienced marathoner, I had already expertly safety pinned my bag check tag to my bag to identify it readily; however, the bag check volunteer took a look at it and frowned. “Um, can you take that off?” she politely asked. “We need to secure it with these white ties.” I thought that was a bit anal retentive, but hey... any way that I can get a warm sweatshirt while I'm soaking wet in 30-degree temperatures works for me. The rules said any checked gear/baggage must be in the drawstring bag that Disney provided at the Expo; there was nothing about attaching your ID number to it in the most proper way possible. Heck, when the 13-year-old and I volunteered at the half marathon bag check at the Baltimore marathon, people threw cell phones at us with a tag wrapped around it as they huffed to the start in a panic. One person gave us his keys, no ID. I'm like, hey buddy. You're gonna want at least a tag around them, huh? I can just imagine the scorn those folks would feel from the Disney marathon volunteers/employees in the land of the organized, anal retention (actually I would probably fit right in).
It was then time to schlep the 20-minute walk in the dark to the starting corrals. Unfortunately, though, the race wasn't due to start for another hour and ten minutes, so I took my time, figuring as long as I kept moving maybe I wouldn't notice the 15-mph 29-degree wind in my face. The conversation buzz among runners making their way to the start line, very pied piper-esque, was, without exception, about how freaking cold it was. Every few feet there were energetic Disney volunteers or employees directing runners toward the starting area. “We’re trying out a new concept,” one sprightly Disney employee said to us as we passed, “the Disney Freeze – what do you think?” It was universally agreed among those of us who passed that the Disney Freeze idea sucked.
The journey to the start area was well lit using generators, and, as I passed said generators, I noticed groups of runners congregated around them. At first I thought it was to enjoy or utilize the light; I soon discovered that the generators were throwing off some delightfully hot air as an added bonus to their lighting capabilities. I sauntered over to a generator surrounded by about 5 runners and asked whether I could join the group. “Sure!” exclaimed my fellow marathoner, “share our warm dirty air!” During the time I stayed around the generator sucking in the delightfully dirty hot air, about 25 minutes, we all compared notes on how many marathons we had run and where we hailed from. “I came from Canada, and it’s the same temperature here that it was there,” he lamented. Another told me that yesterday’s temperature in Denver was warmer than the Orlando’s. heh heh. funny.
One of the things that a marathoner treasures about running the distance is the camaraderie of your fellow nuts who are out here running 26.2 miles with you. There are always characters certain to entertain, whether by chatting or by clothing. Notwithstanding the 29-degree dark morning, there were folks in short-sleeved shirts and shirts; there were Elvises, there were men in kilts. There was also a runner I’ll call Happy Charlie, who cracked jokes for quite a few miles, telling us “I’ll be here all day, folks.” I actually wanted to take him out.
I think the thing that most amused me was the kid-like exuberance with which the runners ran up to have their pictures taken with the Disney characters along the marathon route. “Oh, HOOK!” one 45-year-old cried excitedly; he ran over, put an arm around his idol and had his picture taken, a silly grin from ear to ear.
All in all, the Disney marathon didn’t disappoint. Experts at crowd control, their management of the marathon proved no exception. Water, Powerade, and other snacks were animatedly offered, announcers and DJs who had clearly had too much caffeine energized runners, the finish line activities were well organized, and the employees and volunteers were extremely helpful and friendly, regardless of their frozen fingers.
I finished in the time I thought I would (just a slow training marathon for fun for me), found my warm sweatshirt, and got out alive.
Later that day I flew home. When I arrived at the Philly airport and made my way onto the frozen jetway I said: "ah. Feels like Florida."