Mirth and Laughter


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ratty Cats

I'm looking at my pack of four indoor cats gathered around the basement door waiting for daughter to come upstairs -- why she's down there, I'm not sure. She's supposed to be sick in bed.

Anyway, the cats remind me of a pack of rats. It's creeping me out.

The other night, I dreamt that I started a new job, and the woman who was training me said, "We have a bunch of rats who run around on the floor, but just ignore them."

Me: "What? Ignore rats running around, testing my trousers for climbing grip? Are you nuts?"

Training lady: "Really, they're fine. We've even named them."

So I tried to work, but my eyes darted continuously to the floor looking for rats, terror building in me.

Then I awoke abruptly to find the four ratty cats laying on the bed around my feet. Coincidence? I think not.

Do you ever feel like animals take over your home?


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hometown Pride

It may be too late for you to catch much of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but there are still some final competitions today (Saturday) on NBC and the ceremonial stuff tomorrow. Also, ESPN will rebroadcast parts of it over the next couple of months.

The big story for us is that our humble town of Spokane, WA is hosting this event and we broke records for number of ticket sales -- more than the record holder, Los Angeles! All over town, businesses from retail stores to bars are celebrating the skaters coming to our city. Our downtown skywalk windows are painted with scenes of figure skaters. The local news features recaps of the event.

It's pretty exciting stuff around these parts -- not since the World's Fair in the 1970's (the legacy of which left us with a beautiful downtown and riverfront park) has there been such hoopla. In case you're thinking "Oh, the place with all the rain," we're nowhere near Seattle, but on the opposite side of the state -- almost to the Idaho border.

Every skater I've heard interviewed so far has mentioned the incredible Spokane audience and warm welcome they've received. Well-known Olympic ice dancer, Tanith Belbin, said that Spokane's like a little olympic village -- everyone involved. She said that it's been a great place to skate.

Considering it could've gone the other way, we're proud to have satisfied the skating community, and pleased that we're putting on a good face for the rest of the U.S. who might be watching the event.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

Confession: I do too much for my kids.

You might think this is a good thing, but I'm learning that it isn't always the best thing.

I've battled the morning prep-for-school thing with the kids for years. I've prodded them, supplied their clothes, made their breakfast, and practically followed them out the door with a stop watch: You have 30 seconds until the bus comes! And for years, they've dragged and dawdled and sometimes miss the bus. If not, they're often running frantically to catch it. And they get mad at me for "hounding" them.

Eye opener#1: Starting this year, daughter (age 11) has to catch the bus at 7:00 a.m., which means she gets up before the birds do. She asked me to leave her alone and let her get herself going. I have. She does. It's freaking amazing!

Eye opener#2: Boy (age 9) and I went rounds over this topic recently, and he also asked me to basically back off. "Fine," I say, willing to try anything different. Last night he laid out the clothes he'd wear today, put the bowl and spoon and box of cereal at the table in preperation for the morning, put his backpack by the backdoor, and wrote notes in every room he occupies telling himself to stay focused and do whichever duty was for that room. He got up this a.m., took a shower, got dressed, ate breakfast, brushed his teeth, and was ready to go on time. Freaking amazing again!

Lesson: If you allow the kids to own the responsibility, they'll live up to it. It's so hard for me to step back and cut the cord, so to speak. They're my babies, you know? But I see now that it's for the best and probably long overdue.

Have you learned any life lessions lately?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Dark Topic

Literally dark.

My husband recently expressed an interest in seeing The Da Vinci Code, which if you knew him, you'd know what a rare occassion this is. He doesn't care for movies, except for old ones (like Casablanca). He usually watches them looking more pained than he did after he had a root canal. Seriously...it's a drag.

So, I raced out and rented the Da Vinci Code and waited for the perfect moment -- during a weekend day when he could afford to take a few hours off, he's awake enough to last the whole show, and my son, who is a major distraction while trying to watch anything, is at a friend's house.

The movie was too dark. It really was hard to see who was who and what was happening. I've read the book and seen the movie on the big screen, so for me it wasn't as much of a problem. But he gave it five maybe ten minutes, announced "It's too dark -- I'm not going to struggle to watch it." Then he went into the other room to watch football on the little TV. Argh!

Why do they make movies so dark? We tried to watch Superman Returns the other night and had the same problem. It was a strain to see. I realize they're trying to set a certain ominous ambiance, but it's ridiculous. I don't think it's our TV, because other things aren't dark.

I know this isn't world hunger or anything, as far as topics go. (In fact, I've been itching to blog about war and 2008 election politics lately (have a few drafts), but I know it's a bad idea since I don't want my blog to alienate or rile anyone.) So...for now I'll stick with the mundane. Does the dark picture irriate you? Do you have any other movie/TV pet peeves?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Spiders on Drugs

I'm totally stealing this from Lillian Feisty's blog yesterday -- thanks Feisty!

It's hilarious (or at least my sick and twisted mind finds it so). If you have dial-up, it might take awhile. Dh plans to show it to his students at the college. I only hope he has a job tomorrow. LOL.

Be sure to turn up the volume.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Genius At Work

Last night, I watched The Devil Wears Prada for the second time, and yep...I'd remembered correctly how absolutely brilliant Meryl Streep is in this movie.

I first saw her in The Deer Hunter, which is a good but disturbing movie that I hope to never watch again. She was in Kramer v. Kramer -- pretty good. Then Sophie's Choice, which is another extremely disturbing movie, but her acting is -- again -- so brilliant. That one, I would probably watch again just to see her work. Other movies include: Silkwood, Out of Africa, The Bridges of Madison County, and many more.

I think she'll go down in movie history as the Grand Dame -- the best actress of all time. And I figured she was worth a blog post. :)

I'm not talking "celebrities" here, but whom do you admire for their acting talent?

Friday, January 12, 2007

My Own Poem

Snow blows.

Power goes.

Frozen toes.

Kristen knows.

Well, it isn't Robert Frost, but it aptly describes our little neck of the woods after a ton of snow dropped down on us and temps hover around zero, falling lower at night. Yep. It's a cold spell, but tolerable if there's power to heat the house. Therein lies the annoyance today -- it's up and down like a yo-yo. The power company is working on it though.

The good news is that dh's work laptop has a battery pack, so I'm able to do a bit of internet stuff (when the wireless box isn't knocked out by the outages) and will able to write and clean today. Yay!

What's the weather like where you live? If you're east coast, you're bound to get this white stuff soon. Any good weekend plans?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Lazy Musings

Today has been gray and lazy. It put me in the mood for some poetry, which I've been reading this afternoon. I thought I'd share one of my favorite poems with you.

The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

-- Theodore Roethke

Friday, January 05, 2007


Definitely challenged. I haven't been able to think of a thing to blog lately.

The only thing I can think of this morning is that we're a strange society of beings because we are obsessed with celebrities. Why is that? My friend, Honey, has made a resolution to avoid celebrity gossip. I never used to care about that stuff, and still don't. Yet, when I get my email, there it is on the server screen. Taunting me. News about Lindsey and AA. Did Kate and Owen split? How is Reese after filing for divorce? Is Jen really calling Brad?

Have people always been obsessed with celebs? Or did it used to be royalty, like it still is in England and Monaco? Did the Egyptians delight in seeing papyrus drawings of Cleopatra's scantily-clad body? Were they simultaneously upset and intrigued when she and Marc Antony fought? Were people scandalized when Charles II took up with Nellie?

Is it just entertainment like watching TV? Or do we feel better about ourselves when we're witness to their lives unraveling into complete and utter disaster? Maybe it's life affirming -- like straining our necks to see bodies loaded into an amulance while passing a bad accident. Either way, I need to resolve to "look away."

Do you ever find yourself curious about celebs? Are you ever blog-challenged?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

HEA Cafe

RWAOnline published authors have opened the doors to The HEA Cafe. It's a new group blog that's open 24/7 -- dishing up everything from chatting to writing tips. Everyone's welcome. So come on by and sit a spell. Visit with the authors, read about their new releases, and leave comments -- they want to hear from you.

Coming up in January:

This week, authors with January releases discuss their books. Comments are welcome.
Jan 8-Jan 14 is "Ask a full-time author" questions and answers.
Jan 15-Jan 21 “How did you make your first sale?” and the subsequent journey.
Jan 22-Jan 31 What's in your writing bag? A virtual purse-dumping.

Thanks, Kim, for reminding me to announce this.

See you at the new HEA Cafe, everyone!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

How we spent New Year's Eve

So, anyone who doesn't currently have kids, here's the first thing about them. You will rarely ever go out for New Year's Eve again. At least, that's how it is with us. BUT! We had a lovely time.

I bought a bag of party favors -- hats, blowers, little bells, and leis (don't tell the kids, but I hid the confetti).

At 9:00 pm or time (pacific std), we tuned into Fox in New York and watched the ball drop and celebrated. We blew our horns and clinked our champagne flutes (filled with sparkling cider) and gave each other kisses and a group hug. The kids banged pans and lids and all in all it was very noisy and the pets all hid.

I immediately went and laid down because I've had this "dizzy" problem the last few days.

At 12:00 midnight our time, the kids hauled me up for another round of blow the horns and bang the pans. We kissed again and the town across the river shot off fireworks. And the pets hid.

I had a blast! I'm not sure when I turned into an old fart, but I really enjoyed spending Christmas with dh and the kids. And I didn't have to deal with a hangover in the a.m.

How did you spend your New Year's Eve?