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I used to get annoyed at parents who did things ostensibly for kids that were really for them. Now that I am a parent and must daily face the brain-melting horror of catchy but insipid singalongs, I understand. There's one Music Together song, "Trot, Old Joe," that's a particularly virulent earworm.

It's repetitive, the meter's off, and the words are boring. But it's also catchy, due to the ultimate lowest-common denominator tune, so I can't get rid of it.

Fortunately, I have Sweety, so now I have a better version.

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1. I'll respond with something random about you.
2. I'll challenge you to try something.
3. I'll pick a color that I associate with you.
4. I'll tell you something I like about you.
5. I'll tell you my first/clearest memory about you.
6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
7. I'll ask you something I've always wanted to ask you (to which you must respond).
8. You must post this on your journal.

It was interesting to learn that I am associated with light green.
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In anticipation of an upcoming plane ride with twins, Sweety and I bought [Poll #1055079]
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Aside from meeting the occasional deadline, my life these days is pretty repetitive. For instance, I spend a lot of time preparing baby food, because babies have to be fed every day (several times a day, even). When I actually finish reading a book or complete a project, it feels like something worth telling everyone.

Yes, this is rife with spoilers. However, I'm way behind everybody else, so who knows if you even care any more.

I enjoyed Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess,
which Sweety played while I crocheted rectangles. It is easily the most attractive of the Zelda games, and what isn't innovative is pleasantly familiar. The Zelda games have an appealingly consistent internal logic that keeps the puzzles from seeming stupid.

However, there were a few problems. The localization seemed a bit off--strangely stiff in places--and one of the side-quests was really irritating. After collecting 60 plot coupons, you get...
Finished the Harry Potter series. It wasn't what I wanted it to be, although I enjoyed it. I'm starting again from the beginning to take my time and see what I think. I may post my thoughts, once they're collected.

Almost finished a baby afghan for a friend's baby, now almost a year old. I have completed the granny rectangles, and now I have to join them somehow. I keep hoping that I can use the yarn ends in some way, but maybe that's just because I'm not excited to work 60 yarn ends back in. It reminds me too much of Princess Zelda and the Plot Coupons of Unsatisfying Resolution. From here on out, it's one-piece crocheting for me.

After following [profile] shaenon's advice about doing some of my own work every day, I completed a personal essay. I haven't edited it much, and it may not be very good, but it goes from a beginning to a conclusion. (Then I stopped doing any personal writing, unless you count this.)
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My home office computer is having trouble, but a Symantec person said he'd call today at 1:00, so I held off doing anything new to it. Of course, he did not call. I messed around with LibraryThing until it was time to leave for my 3:00 physical therapy appointment. Then my car would not start.

I called roadside assistance and--after holding for 20 minutes--was told that my husband had to authorize me on the account before anyone could come jumpstart the car. Of course, my husband's work phone was busy. The exquisite irony here is that Mr. Signature Auto Not-Helping had the same accent as Mr. Tech Support Not-Helping. For all I know, it's the same guy.

Of course, I'm only posting this because I know I need to go do drastic things to my other computer, and I am anxious. Hey, anybody want to come over and help me reinstall XP? I've got cute babies here to play with, and I'd buy you a sandwich. And show you LibraryThing.
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When you have kids, their lives are described in "firsts." (This past week, we've encountered first feet-in-mouth and first arms-out-for-holding.) Your own life is described in "firsts since." Today, Sweety took me out for The First Movie Since the Babies Arrived. It's actually the first time we've been to the movies since last June or so. He let me pick the movie, and of course I picked TRANSFORMERS.

The story was simple and solid, and it was fun to watch. All in all, I was pleased. One cosmic injustice: [profile] lizard_sf wasn't here watching it with us. I look forward to the thorough review he's sure to write.
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As I locked up the house yesterday and looked out to the car, I saw a bird alight on my car's rear-view mirror. There, it emptied its bowels completely as I watched.

The sad thing was, I was in a hurry and couldn't clean it off the car before leaving. Yuck.
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There's an insipid piece of glurge called "Before I was a Mom" wending its way around the net. I've received it three times now, and although I appreciate the sentiment, the rambly nature and non-specific "insights" really bug me. Also, the "before I was" makes me think the author probably says "if I was"; the capitalization is suspect as well. I think almost any mom could come up with a more succinct and interesting set of rambly thoughts, even while adhering to a format that sounds like drinking game. So, here's my attempt.

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Sweety came home from the market on Saturday with Pocky. This is not especially unusual in itself. But this Pocky came in a white box emblazoned with the word NEW. It wasn't a new flavor (just milk chocolate). It didn't have a fun name like Men's Pocky. No, it thinks it's new because Lu, the Petit Ecoler cookie folks, are distributing it. Nothing has ever made Western arrogance so clear to me as claiming that a Japanese treat from 1965 is NEW because it has a European label on it.

I was very disappointed in the packaging of NEW Pocky. The box is a boring white, and it lacks the heart-shaped punchout in the top. I've always assumed that the punchout existed so the cool kids could shake their box of Pocky and draw one out through the hole instead of opening the box. However, I've never been one of the cool kids, so I'm not sure. Sweety pointed out that NEW Pocky has only one packet inside, instead of two. We didn't count the number of Pocky, but it seemed like fewer to me.

The NEW Pocky's milk chocolate is different. Creamier. It tasted a little better to me, but it looked awful because it had cocoa butter bloom. Weird. Cocoa butter bloom usually takes a while to surface. How old could these NEW Pocky be? The cookie part tasted stale, so maybe pretty old. All in all, not an improvement.

Summary: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And don't claim that something older than my sister is NEW. Japanese Pocky wins hands down.


Nov. 11th, 2006 05:01 pm
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After weeks of getting the run-around from various sources, we finally got me a mercury-free flu shot. I told the NP at the OB's office on Thursday that we just couldn't find one. She called us the next day and said that the pharmacy in the Safeway two towns over was giving them. We got into the car immediately, and I secured one of the last five mercury-free shots. A feeling of well-being coursed through my veins. We were able to actually DO something from my list of seemingly-impossible tasks!

Thanks to a referral from the same NP, a labor-coach type of nurse is coming over on Tuesday to teach me some pain management skills and what the hell all these various labor and drug options are. All the books emphasize that you have to attend classes to learn all this secret-handshake stuff, and classes just aren't sounding good to me right now. I have another two-week reprieve from total bedrest, but that doesn't mean that I can sit up for two and a half hours at a time. So, housecalls it is. Makes me feel like a sissy, but oh well.

When we left the grocery store, one of the staffers looked at me and said, "Are we in labor?" I just didn't know what to say, aside from assuring her that I wasn't and thanking her for her concern.

Five minutes more online time, and I take my glucose. Then I go lie down again. I am very tired.
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Yesterday morning, I ignored the radio when it went off, but Sweety didn't. "The Democrats re-took the House!" he said.

One of the babies kicked enthusiastically.
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When Sweety and I lived in San Francisco, we reported to the same voting site every year. It was an old firehouse, spacious and easy to find. We could walk there in fifteen minutes. Things seemed to work just fine.

When we moved to the 'burbs, we suddenly had to start reporting to somebody or other's garage. These were always located on winding lanes in locations that took at least fifteen minutes to reach by car. Often they didn't have sidewalks, and you really couldn't tell how someone could get there by public transit. A few times, we actually had to drive past a polling station three blocks from our house to find one of these hidden gems. And once they put us at different stations, despite the fact that we live in the same house. I still wonder if my ballot got counted that time.

Last election, we opened our packets to find our polling place on election day and discovered that we didn't have one. We had been switched to a sort of involuntary absentee ballot, and we'd missed the deadline for mailing them in. Oh, sure, the ballot said we could drop it off at a polling place--but it didn't mention where any of them were. By the time we found out, it was too late. I had a commute.

So this time, we hunkered down early, filled out our ballots, and mailed them in last week. It's been a little annoying getting an extra week's worth of automated phone messages as we watched the news for developments, wondering if we really made the right choices. At least our ballots are in, though. At least we will be counted.

Or will we? The track record of this town isn't giving me a warm fuzzy feeling. What I'd wouldn't give to walk into a school or a firehouse and put my ballot right into the ballot box.
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We had a very quiet Halloween: No pumpkin-carving, no parties, no costumes, one lone piece of candy corn. I was a bit sad about the no-costumes bit; if only I'd had a white rabbit costume, I could have stenciled the numeral 8 on my ass and been the hit of any Lost-watching nerd party.

We bid farewell to our houseguests (my friend B and her baby, with whom we had a wonderful visit) in the morning. The baby, at least, traveled in costume. The mom wore a witch hat, and I haven't heard yet whether this caused problems in security.

Other things about the day were excellent. Since I let Sweety buy the trick-or-treating candy, he wisely invested in stuff I don't much like. That made it very easy for me to avoid eating it. He also didn't buy nearly as much as I usually do, so there was just enough left over to fill his office candy bowl.
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Dear Practically Everyone Who Sends Me Bills:

I trust this letter finds you in good financial health.

You are in the gracious habit of sending me bills with reply envelopes, and I must commend your foresight. I have noticed that nearly all of these envelopes include small transparent windows that I must line up with the printed address on the remittance slip you supply. I can understand why you do this; it is efficient to have great quantities of these generic envelopes so that your various branch offices may all draw from the same stock, printing up only the reply slip. Your efficiency is admirable.

However, I am troubled by your insistence that it is my job to line up the printed address with the window. Since I have a great number of creditor-correspondents, it is very easy to accidentally turn the wrong side out and end up having to replace the envelope--sometimes after it's been stamped--to ensure that it reaches you. In a worst-case scenario, sometimes my remittance is returned to me so that I must replace the envelope after the Post Office finds my error. You know me to be a very prompt correspondent, and it saddens me that in these cases you may consider me lax or slow.

I do not ask that you forgive me my mistakes; I know that is not the place of your business. I must point out to you, however, that if receiving my correspondence in a timely fashion is your goal, it would behoove you to print your address on both sides of the remittance slip. If you were to do so, I would have the reassurance of knowing that you truly treasure my missives and wish to receive them as soon as possible. Since you do not, I am haunted by the possibility that perhaps you merely wish to trick me into paying late so that you might collect late fees from me. This throws a pall of doubt and suspicion over what I once considered a relationship built on mutual trust.

In short: If you all you want from me is my money, please make it a simpler matter for me to send it to you on time. If you want to bilk me, say so and I'll find someone else to take my money.

Yours sincerely,

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I seem to have a learning disability related to doing LJ-cuts correctly, so bear with me if this isn't done properly. Well, I mean, tell me. Just don't fang out, please.

Heroes (2 episodes)

Lost (1 episode)

The Nine (1 episode)

Doctor Who (2 episodes, but we've seen only one)

Battlestar Galactica (1 double-length episode)
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I figured this out today. I asked someone to show me a location in Michigan, and of course they held up one hand and made an imaginary dot on it.

Michigan is a great place to wear mittens.

Likewise, Italian women wearing tall, high-heeled boots can just point to a location on either leg.

Thus, Italy is good at making sexy footwear.

This means I need to ignore what I've heard about Spanish shoes being better, but whatever. Like I wear heels.
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Check out the LiveJournal Dungeon meme.

The first time, I got a pretty low score, but after finding out [profile] amberspyglass was a goblin and having to kill her, I got pretty discouraged and left. On the plus side, now I know she has a very low saving throw vs. wands of ghost stories.

Next time, [profile] shaenon the mindflayer dulled my mind until I died. Nice friends I have. (In real life, she dulls my mind only by having one that is sharper in comparison.)

The last one was great! It gave me the choice between fighting [personal profile] platypus the leprechaun or jumping down a trapdoor. I took the path of cowardice and not hack-and-slashing nice LJers. (If this were Heroes of Might and Magic IV, I might have had to fight her after all. I hate the little swaggering twerps they call leprechauns in that game.)

Then, the computer told me, "You are in a dusty pit. You hear the sound of dwarf hamsters in the distance. Discarded in a corner is the Armour of Japanese Stationery. "

Of course, I donned the Armour of Japanese Stationery. Who wouldn't? It's probably got bunnies and baked goods on it. Later I got the Sword of Words and Sceptre of Journalism, which I plan to use every day of my life.

Oh, except that's not really my life. Damn. But at least all my friends are alive.
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Spent a week in central Louisiana eating crawfish and drinking lots and lots of water. Why does one get thirsty when it's so humid?

Everyone was charming, and we ate lots of great food. When we went to a Chinese restaurant, all the waitresses kept peeking over our booth to check Sweety out. In fact, when we went out for wraps, a tiny blonde two-year-old asked repeatedly, "Mommy, who's that boy? Who's that boy?" Halfway into his fourth decade, and he still passes for a hunky teenager.

I continue to go gray, but at least the humidity made my hair curl.
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We've been needing a new TV for a while now. Games and DVD menus are too small to read on our old CRT. Unfortunately, I know just enough about the TV industry to know that there's always something around the corner that might be worth waiting for. So, to get this TV soon instead of in five years, we needed a deadline.

Inspiration struck. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess comes out this November. I told Sweety in no uncertain terms that we must have a new TV by then. And since I'm pickier than he is, he gets to pick it out. I'll won't squeak unless I can't live with it.

Apparently, not many wives say things like this. He loves me so very, very, extra-much right now.


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March 2009



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