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When In Doubt, Leave

May 31st, 2007

We had a combined earthquake/fire drill scheduled at work this afternoon, half an hour before my day was done. So I skipped my lunch break and left early. I’ve been in an earthquake before. Oh, wait! I’ve been in three.

They’re not that big of a deal.

Ha! Ha! I jest. They are scary and there is nowhere to run when the earth is opening up like that. And we live in a 100-year-old house and believe me — it’s shaking when it’s shaking. So this whole “hide under your desk” advice? I call bullshit on that. And if there’s a fire? Don’t use an elevator.

Prepared? Yes, I am, thanks for asking. Although we did break into our emergency preparedness kit in the basement. It now contains: One flashlight, which has no batteries in it. So we’re not so prepared there.

Here is the memo they sent out to prepare us:

During an Earthquake:

Try to be calm. Panic will endanger rather than preserve you.

Call out to remind others: “Earthquake! Drop, Cover and Hold!”

Do we need to limit this advice to office workers only? I think we can all learn a little something here.


Thursday Thirteen #95: Thirteen Things My Kids Will Eat

May 30th, 2007

Dear Thursday Thirteeners and the Usual Suspects,

Is food an issue at your house? It isn’t here since my father-in-law taught me this neat trick: Just give them whatever they want.

13 Things My Kids Will Eat

13. Dinner out. Always. Seven nights a week would be good by them.

12. “Dino Mac!” (Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese) “Not that other kind! Dino Mac!”

11. Cheese pizza

10. Waffles & pancakes

9. Strawberries? No. Raspberries.

8. Raspberry & strawberry breakfast bars

7. Chocolate milk & hot cocoa

6. Cheese sandwiches! And tomato soup!

5. “I like when you turn off the computer and make Dino Mac for me!” (No doing until I’ve posted. Sorry, kid.) “Dino Nuggets!” (Chicken nuggets from Costco.)

4. Bagels with cream cheese & any kind of jam. No, just raspberry.

3. Ice cream, cookies & candy

2. “And cake!”

1. Spaghetti with marinara and tons of fresh grated parmesan.

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Wacky Mommy

May 29th, 2007

How am I supposed to keep up with my blog-reading, if this work thing continues? I don’t know what is going on out there! Amalah wrote a dynamite post about searching for faith. And I have a whole post I need to write about Rosie O’Donnell being the only celebrity in America brave enough to keep on hammering about the need to End the War and Bring Our Soldiers Home. Now. Now! Now!!! Not tomorrow — today.

Say what you will about Rosie — no, don’t, because I’m feeling more than a little protective of her right now. She’s bold, and she stands up for what she believes in. And what kind of screwed-up world do we live in where people commend you for doing the right thing, because it’s so… unusual to help someone, or to put out a fire, or just to point out, “There’s a fire. Let’s put it out.”

“Oh, my God — you, like, noticed that fire! And I didn’t even notice it! And then you put it out! You are a-maz-ing! Wow!”

I get attention and credit all the time just for doing the stuff — and it’s usually small, tiny stuff, not anything amazing, by any means — that I need to be doing. Today, for instance, I sent two dozen pencils to school with my daughter, because they’re out. Her teacher thought this was a-maz-ing. I may send in erasers tomorrow.

So, Rosie O’ — thanks for being a-maz-ing.

From the transcripts of “The View” for May 17th (this is from Rosie’s blog), wherein Rosie completely blew Elisabeth Hasselback’s mind:

O’DONNELL: …… I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?
HASSELBECK: Who are the terrorists?
O’DONNELL: 655,000 Iraqis — I’m saying you have to look, we invaded –
HASSELBECK: Wait, who are you calling terrorists now? Americans?
O’DONNELL: I’m saying if you were in Iraq, and the other country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?
HASSELBECK: Are we killing their citizens or are their people also killing their citizens?
O’DONNELL: We’re invading a sovereign nation, occupying a country against the U.N.

(And I would like to segue this post into some lovin’ and a shout-out for Cindy Sheehan, who is exhausted and giving up. Cindy, don’t give up. Take a rest, but don’t give up.)

Pointing out that we’re terrorizing a nation — which we are, which we have been — is not the same as calling a soldier a terrorist. Killing two-thirds of a million people is called “terr-or-izing them.” It is domestic violence, to go into people’s homes and cities and back yards and kill them. It’s like I tell my kids fifty times a day — don’t hurt each other. It’s wrong to hurt someone. It’s wrong to kill.

The job ends Friday. I will be able to read more and write more after that. I won’t hear back about the interview until end of this week, beginning of next. I’ll let you know as soon as I know, savvy?

In the meantime, don’t stop fighting. And keep on, I command you on this one, keep on putting out fires.

In Which I Take on the School District and Later Am Nearly Crushed by Building Supplies

May 28th, 2007

(from April 18th, 2006… I can’t find this in the archives, so here it is again, with comments attached.)

Really, need I say more? I don’t think so. I think the hedder suffices. But if your need to know is pressing, like the concrete backer board that was pressing against my legs this morning, here you…

There was a school district/neighborhood summit over at Humboldt Elementary last night. First the mucky-mucks from the district bored the shit out of us with yet another PowerPoint demo. (What is it with the People in Charge and their love for PowerPoint?) Really, this was their first mistake. Because people are affected by PowerPoint in one of three ways 1) They assume it will give them Power! And more Power! And they ride the fucking six pack, to quote, who? Green River? Yes! (Or “Something!” as Wacky Girl would say 2) They are bored to sleep 3) They get pissed off and the tension in the room grows. 3) Is what happened last night.

So the district is all it’ll be great! Humboldt has high test scores! Ockley Green (the school where Humboldt students would transfer) has low scores! You can help! No, it’s soooooooo not because this is a poor neighborhood. No, nothing to do with race. It’ll be fantastic, just wait!

And the House said: No. Not amen. No. No, no, no. We don’t like the adult porn store right across the street from OG. We don’t like our kids having to walk a long, long ways to get to school. We don’t like having to drive them to OG when they can walk to Humboldt. We don’t like being told what to do. No, no, no. Everyone went nuts. It is an interesting night when Wacky Mommy is the calmest person in the room. And we were on the 11 o’clock news, so that was cool. Take that, school district.

My favorite speaker of the evening was the Humboldt student, a young man, who said, All I can say now is that you guys are doing something really stupid. Period. Which of course made everyone cheer and stamp their feet.

Now today, the contractor arrives. Not the one who needs to finish repairing the floor. Mister “I needed an eight-foot board and they only cut me seven-and-a-half. I’ll be back. Or someone will. I’ll call the supervisor and he can call your husband.” No, it wasn’t the floor guy. It was the tile guy, with a delivery.

He stacked boxes of tiles, bags of Versabond, plastic sheeting, caulk, all this shit in my office. But they can’t do the tile, see, until the floor guy is done. But I’m being open-minded and all. I’m thinking, The tile, she is here! But what to do with the backer board? The guy stacks it on the front porch, tells us, If it rains it’ll need to be covered with a tarp, or it’ll get ruined, then leaves.

It rains a lot here.

He left the tarp on the table on the front porch. Can you see where this is going? I’m thinking, It’s sunny — it’s not going to rain — followed by, This is Portland, Oregon. The only time it doesn’t rain here is July 15 through Sept. 22. Roughly. So I throw the tarp over the shit (nine fucking heavy ugly concrete backer boards) and am tucking it in around the edges when it topples. On my legs. Pinning me. Turns out he had them propped Way Too Vertical. Fucking asshole idiot contractor.

Yet here I am, writing. Do you believe in miracles? Yes! No, I don’t, not so much. But I do believe in Roadmaster Trikes, cuz that’s what the boards landed on, thus saving me from the life of a parapalegic. It torqued the seat but didn’t crush it. This is the power of Roadmaster. Jesus God, your life really does flash before your eyes, it’s true. I yelled for the neighbor (not the Naked One, she wasn’t home. The Nasty One on the other side, whose house is closer) and she came over and helped me extricate myself. This makes her the Not-So-Nasty-Neighbor, no?).

Then I called, in order, the contractors, You frickin’ need to finish the bathroom right now. My legs were almost crushed. And bring my kid a new trike, ya idiot; my best friend Zip, who said, Jesus, what if it had been one of the kids? which made me cry harder, because of course that thought was already going through my head over and over and over and over; and Hockey God, who said, Did they get broken? (referring to the backer boards, not my legs, thus prompting me to hang up on him).

He realized the severity of the incident when the contractors actually called him before he had a call in to them, saying something like, Guy is on his way out, sorry we almost killed your wife, or something.

Prompting him to call me, without being asked, and asking me, Are your legs OK?

They’re OK. Thanks for asking. And thank God it wasn’t one of the kids.

1. edj says: I wanted to say something witty, but really, I’m just so glad you’re ok! But I have to say, will you stop at nothing to get your floor finished?

2. Heather says: Dang! I am so glad you are ok! And thank God and the Baby Jesus that it was not one of the kids although I certainly would have preferred not you either! Oh, and the whole Jefferson cluster thing just makes me throw up my hands in the air *what-are-they-thinking*! — Hugs, Heather

More Remodeling? Not Remodeling, Just Painting!

May 28th, 2007

It’s been awhile since the Honey Bucket Brigade was here, it’s been even longer since I’ve had a run-in with Nasty Neighbor. But most noticeably, I’ve almost forgotten about this incident. (Almost, but not completely.)

Which is why tomorrow a.m. Nice Painter Guy starts to work here. We’re ready for some more remodelin’ action around here, and hopefully no damages to bodies or properties or occur. He will paint the living room, dining room, hallway, and two of the bedrooms (ours and Wacky Boy’s). (No, he is not Stupid Bastard Painter — we never saw him again after he stomped off.)

Colors? I couldn’t decide on colors, so we’re doing everything off-white. Off-white is just fine. We might sell the house sometime, remember? Or we might not. Mallory’s right. I’m ambivalent as hell.

(PS — What does it say about me that there are way more posts about remodeling than sex?)

I’m a Contender

May 25th, 2007

Working, not working, interviewing, not interviewing — trying to figure it all out is always a puzzle over here. So I said to myself, Self, this is not going to work. I know you had your heart set on this Getting the Career Going Again thing and all, but give up.

The time, sister, is not right.

So I called the nice man who sent me the nice letter, requesting that I apply for this job, and I gave my regrets. He said he understood, and he was awfully sorry. Then the next day I called back and said, Any chance I can change my mind on that? And he said he understood, and fit me right in.

The interview was this morning. I got there 15 minutes early, dressed all spiffy, checked in with the receptionist, who gave me a list of Five Extremely Tricky Questions. I spent the next 15 minutes writing and revising my answers. Then I waited. And waited some more.

The problem was… while the receptionist had my name on her list, the supervisors who were supposed to interview me did not have my name on their list. So they interviewed the person right before me and left me sitting. And sitting. And sitting. Until finally the receptionist, who was just a sweetie, said, “Oh! You’re still here!” and was nice enough to call up the supervisors.

Who had left for lunch.

So she fit me into a later slot, and told me to come back at 1. (My original appointment was for 11:30.)

Have you guessed it yet? It’s a government job. So I went and grabbed lunch, came back, nailed the interview, called the temp job (also a government job) to tell them sorry, I would not be in for the afternoon, picked up the kids and came home.

We filled up the wading pool. I hung out the laundry and felt content. I may have had a glass of pinot grigio. Knowing that week after next (fast, by government standards) I will know whether or not I have a brand new job. Wish me luck, would you?

“Rhodsie said, ‘Well, you’ve got the world by the tail now. You’re all healthy and Betty’s got a job with the Government. Government jobs are awful good for women. You get sick leave and annual leave and you can cash your checks anywhere.'”

— from “Anybody Can Do Anything”
Betty MacDonald

Thursday Thirteen Ed.# 94: Thirteen Prayers

May 23rd, 2007

Dear 13ers,

Look at me!!! Look at me now, please. (Jumping up and down.) Thank you for stopping by.

Dear Regulars,

Howdy. You’re pretty. Did you bring me a cappucino?



13 Little Prayers

1) “Better than a hundred years lived in ignorance,
without contemplation, is one single day of life
lived in wisdom and in deep contemplation.
Better than a hundred years lived in idleness and in
weakness is a single day of life lived with courage
and powerful striving.
Better than a hundred years not considering how all
things arise and pass away is one single day of life
if one considers how all things arise and pass
Better than a hundred years not seeing one’s own
immortality is one single day of life if one sees
one’s own immortality.”

— the Dhammapada

2) “Night is drawing nigh.
For all that has been –
For all that shall be –

— Dag Hammarskjold

3) “It is prayer that restores to
us the ability to feel, to see,
and to appreciate.”

— Reuven Hammer

4) “i thank you God for most this
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of
and for a blue tree dream of sky;and
for everything
which is natural which is infinite
which is yes”

— ee cummings

5) “Like a gold beacon signaling
on a moonless night,
Tao guides our passage through this
transitory realm.
In moments of darkness and pain
remember all is cyclical.
Sit quietly behind; your wooden
Spring will come again.”

— Loy Ching Yuen

6) “Earth our mother, breathe forth life
all night sleeping
now awaking
in the east
now see the dawn

Earth our mother, breathe and waken
leaves are stirring
all things moving
new day coming
life renewing.”

— Pawnee prayer

7) “Bless
something small
but infinite
and quiet.

There are senses
make an object
in their simple
feeling for one.”

— “A Prayer”
Robert Creeley

8) “This ritual is one.
The food is one.
We who offer the food are one.
The fire of hunger is also one.
All action is one.
We who understand this are one.”

— Ancient Hindu blessing

9) “ Prayer is for the soul, what
food is for the body. The
blessing of one prayer lasts
until the next, just as the
strength gained from one
meal lasts till the one after.”

— Jewish prayer

10) “But give me the strength that
waits upon You in silence and
peace. Give me humility in which
alone is rest, and deliver me from
pride which is the heaviest of

— Thomas Merton

12) “The most powerful prayer, one
well nigh omnipotent, and the
worthiest work of all is the
outcome of a quiet mind.”

— Meister Eckhart

13) “It’s fun to have fun/
but you have to know how.”

— “The Cat in the Hat”
Dr. Seuss

No More Lists! Ever! And No More Career for You, Bitch!

May 21st, 2007

I found this list (from six weeks ago, now) in my purse. Please, Jeebus, let our house never get infested again. (Treating lice and planning a birthday party for my sister. What a woman.) (more…)

A Post: By Wacky Boy and Wacky Girl

May 21st, 2007

WB: “Mommy, get off the computer and get all the stuffed animals down! Guess what, Mommy? You’ve been on the computer for three hours. Or maybe even two. Oh, owwwwwwwwww… Also, that is very bad. Because mommies are not a-supposed to do that.”

WG: “Yeah.”

WB: “Yeah, really. Oooooooooooh, noooooooooooooo. Yay, good she’s getting the stuffed animals down.” (They live in a net, suspended in his room.)

WG ;) Ha ha!!

WB: (leaves the room to build a stuffed animal trap in his room)

(WM says: We’re home today. Little virus, both kids have had low-grade fevers. Why did I ever go back to work? This is so much more fun. I’m only sorta kidding.)

WG (shaking her maracas): “I wrote that! The wink and the ha ha! I like staying home. Ha hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaiiii.”

WM: “Anything else?”

WB (re-enters the room wearing a stuffed blue dinosaur hat on his head): “Nope.”

WG: “No way, Jose.”

Wacky Family, out.

Saturday Book Review: Lydia Davis, The Dangerous Book for Boys, Betty MacDonald and much, much more

May 19th, 2007

Reviewed today:

“Varieties of Disturbance: Stories” by Lydia Davis

“The Dangerous Book for Boys” by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden

“For the Love of Letters: A 21st-Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing” by Samara O’Shea

Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons (Ologies) by Ernest Drake and Dugald Steer

“Anybody Can Do Anything” by Betty MacDonald

“Behind the Scenes at the Museum” by Kate Atkinson


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