Archive for June, 2008

Girl you know it’s true..

June 30, 2008

ooo..ooo..ooo..my friend is so rad. Seriously, have a look at my birthday present from K!

She has fashioned a bowl and plate and gift box out of a Milli Vanilli double album–that she had in her attic! I’m just so overwhelmed that not only did she make something so freaking cool for me herself, but she would have remembered whatever random conversation we had in which I would have indicated the influence of this band in my formative years. 😀

Lots of other random things, beginning with:


an instance of cute..


..followed by an instance of WTF McGyvering. Any ideas what this is? The yarn should be a clue. It’s a ghetto DIY yarn swift! How to make: get a camera tripod, a drill, and a gently sloping circular laundry basket. I think you can figure out the rest. Because the tripod is so short, I did also need a small end table. It works stupid well.


I told Joseph to make an ‘unimpressed’ face.

Speaking of unimpressed, I know it’s unhealthy to fan the flames of resentment that ever burn within me, but I need to vent. You’ve all been bowling, you’ve all strategically placed your shopping bags and children to help conceal from the staff the fact that you’ve refused to wear their funky-ass shoes (right? have I become too OCD?), and I know you’ve all latched on to the one special ball they have that is a reasonable weight, doesn’t pop all your fingers when you bowl, and doesn’t smell of mystery grease. Well, you can imagine my ire when the wee boy in the following photo stole my ball! Let’s forget for a moment that the combined children of our party had hoarded 20 or so on our own racks. Why did he have come and take mine?!


Just to rub it in, Turd Boy’s mum handles my ball! Later she had the gumption to come ask for one of our ramps. I plotted ways to save my ball, but alas I’m only inwardly nervy. So instead I creepily took photos of them.


My ball..

So, on to less insane things..

Or not..this cake makes me weep with squee:

Your initial impression of this tool may be as mine, that it looks fairly lame. But pick a couple colors and see what eye candy comes up. It generates a selection of flickr photos that have been labelled as ‘interesting’ that include your choices. Pretty fun. Found a good wallpaper that way anyway.

This article, posted by the Humanist Society Scotland on the positions of various political parties with regard to education, is interesting. I can sum it up fairly quickly. It covers issues such as secularism, religious practice, diversity, ethics, and creationism. Scottish Government’s position: how quickly they’ve learned to speak cop out! Greens, Liberal Democrats, and Socialists: thank you for being mostly reassuring that all in government is not insanity. Conservatives: predictably, ugh. Labour: ha, didn’t bother to comment at all. Telling? *sigh*

It’s almost 3 in the morning and I have a full day of shopping tomorrow. Not the fun kind. The ‘oh shit, this is my last free day before the move’ kind. Where we’re moving everything must be mail order or acquired with the help of public transport. That said, our new ‘shopping town’ is going to be Perth, a definite improvement I’m hoping.

Molly No Mates

June 28, 2008

I’m one of those pathetic bloggers whose activities aren’t sufficient to supply her with no-brainer blogging material by way of meme tagging. So when I come across one I like, I just steal it. So..

What did you do 10 years ago?
I was pregnant with Joseph, Ray and I were trying to get an education, and Ray was working more than anyone should have had to. More specific to the summer of ’98, we did manage to go camping once, though true to form it ended in disaster. I ended up in the ER with dodgy womb-related things, and Ray ended up in the ER because of excruciating pain caused by a colonoscopy he had had a couple days prior. He was doped up on painkiller, and I tried driving back to the campsite. I ended up lost and crying so decided to spend our last money on a hotel room. We drove around for hours looking for a place, with me trying to keep Ray in the car while I spoke with reception for fear that the hotel would reject us based on his drunk-seemingness. He did not. At one hotel he wandered down the street and I had to go find him and at another, where we did finally get a room ($90 for a few hours sleep at a Shiloh Inn..I was pissed. Particularly when I got their cheesy thank you note in the mail) he wandered into the lobby and made a scene. Hmm..good times.

Five items on your to-do list:
-Buy 2 pails of Dulux paint in Regatta 6
-Book the kids’ circus workshop places at the Edinburgh Fringe
-get a less severe prescription for my glasses
-bid on Nyssa’s flower girl dress on ebay, a pretty gold M&S one
-price embroidery hoops for this and this and this. On a related note, buy lots of ribbons.

Snacks I enjoy:
-Oberto Jamaican sweet and hot jerky (note to US family–excellent item to throw in parcels. Just sayin’)
-mini cornetto ice cream cones
-low fat ridged potato chips
-dried fruit bars
-a spoonful of american peanut butter
-those puffy cornish crackers, particularly with emmental or jarlsberg
-tiny sweet pickles

What would you do if you were a billionaire?
Fill my life with as much tactile, visual, aural, etc. happiness as possible. Hugest, most well-designed craft area. A staff for the things I don’t want to do and for, well, company. I’d have more children, because we could afford a surrogate mother (for health-related issues-my figure is long gone). I’d set the kids up work that makes them happy. I’d anonymously build home education resource centres.

Places I would live:
Moscow, Idaho; Key West, Florida; Oaxaca, Mexico; Somewhere Lovely, Scotland; a Big Ocean-Going boat.

Jobs I have had:
-dishwasher/food prep at a very nice restaurant (with my dad!)
-sales in a consignment shop
-office assistant in university international program
-sales at the Bon Marche (now Macys), mostly hiding in the back room of the china dept.
-the usual 1-7 days in fast food/call centres/etc. before running away
-waitress at a white trash restaurant
-doughnut shop (only job the kids remember :P)
-management at a Hastings

Wow, is that it? That’s fairly depressing. Of course that’s only paid labor..

If you want to be tagged, consider yourself tagged..

Good news!

June 23, 2008

No, I’m not going to blather on about my house. This is even better! Tiger is back!

Tiger is our wonderful neighborhood cat. He sits inside Tesco to get out of the rain, he suns himself where passersby can admire him, he goes into the boutique downstairs and trods on the cash register buttons, and generally makes loveable naughtiness. Last fall we stopped seeing him and worriedly asked around. The best (and most hopeful) guess was that due to ill health his owners had switched him to a special food and he didn’t like this at all so moved on. The worst was that he had fallen victim during the time that Fife was experiencing a spate of catnapping. Several months went by and we sort of accepted that our little friend was gone–until the other day when James went into Tesco and happily found Tiger sitting inside by the carts! Today when I walked to pick the kids up from drama I saw him too, sunning himself on the pavement. I bent down to chat him up and he performed a series of adorable cuteness tummy rolls. Aw.

Last week I finally managed to get the kids to the dentist. Here I admit how awful a parent I am–aside from the little checks they had while still in primary school, they have never been. Ever. I know this ranks up there with outright neglect, but, well, yeah. Nyssa was verrrry nervous, poor bean. She let Joseph go first (how nice) and saw that it wasn’t that terrible. When it was her turn she got in the chair, and to everyone’s surprise, this is what happened:

The reason the dentist is smiling is that he had just finished stating that Nyssa is the giggliest patient he has *ever* had. If you’ve seen her get going with the giggles, you can probably imagine. The difference here is that her mouth had to stay open and she had to try to stay still. I wish I had gotten a video instead of just a picture.

So, the kids both need a wee bit of work done, nothing serious. That is, I know it’s nothing serious, but they’ll be surely freaking out the morning of. Joseph is also being referred to an orthodontist because of those little bunny teeth of his, bless.

It is still on my mind to post vacation photos and commentary. I’m just a bit tired and lazy busy. I hate to think that it wil take me until we’ve moved to do it, but it just might.

That said, I don’t use all of my spare time to pack. I spent way too much time this afternoon in my pajamas (what) sketching out a quilt design for all those sunny fat quarters I bought for Nyssa back in the States

Have to say, I bought it for the kids (*cough*), but this thing is just darned useful:

Should probably go make dinner. We’re having taco pizza, something we’ve had a berjillion times. Still, when I told Nyssa she managed to act as though it was a novelty she had never heard of, much less eaten. I hate when the kids do that! I have enough reasons to feel like a left-field wierdo already, thank you. 😛

Sumfink sumfink…

June 14, 2008

I finally caught that post-flight funk. ’twas gross, as usual. I wasn’t quite over it today, but tomorrow is Father’s Day so I had to get the kids out to get James some stuff. Apologies to the various grandfathers, I just wasn’t up to organizing sending things this week. We managed to get some items chosen, the Saturday shoppers and my having to queue to get sick in the bathroom notwithstanding. After a dash through sudden rain, I got back home and realized how bad the downstairs smells. Apparently no one had picked up the kitty litter duty during my period of infirmity. I took care of that, then made the mistake of going into the kitchen, where there are just always evidences of behaviors that are going to piss me off. I was feeling sort of feverish by this point, saw the dish brush touching the sink drain, and just lost it. I yelled for the kids to come in and rehashed the usual ‘people leave the sink too gross to leave sponges in it and now I have to sanitize the lot, arghhh!’ rant, albeit in a much higher register and with much grander gestures this go around, then went into the living room and started bawling into a pillow. Then James started whistling in the next room, just generally a cardinal sin, and I stumbled into the room he was occupying and started verbally flailing at him through hiccupy sobs. I so impress myself sometimes. Anyway, he was smart enough to diffuse the situation with cuddles rather than take offense; God only knows how today would have turned out if he decided to start flailing back. Somehow, within 10 minutes or so, I was fine and even started making dinner rather than retreating to the couch. Freak.

So, for added zen to a day that needs it, some lolcats:

cat
(for non-yankees, see here for the raison de lol)

cat

cat

That last one makes me seriously happy.

Joseph’s appointment

June 9, 2008

So. The long-awaited appointment at the pediatric unit of the hospital was today. After the usual runaround of an NHS building (“oh no, you have to check in with so and so first..that’s in the basement at the other side of the complex”), we arrived more or less on time. Joseph’s height and weight were checked, and then we were told to go to the waiting room. It was surprisingly undepressing. There was even a happy-looking Nintendo unit for Joseph to play, which was good because we waited for the better part of an hour. Our Doctor called us and we quickly got up to follow. We had sort of a strange moment when we got out in the hall and he was nowhere to be seen. We wandered into the right hallway and he ushered us into his office. Some odd, irritating, and surreal points:

1. He had an obviously Arabic name. I say that to get the shame of being biased out of the way. I have to admit I was a bit nervous that there would be a serious language/culture barrier. I have a hard enough time asserting myself with people in my own culture/language/demographic group. Fortunately, he was really, really friendly. But in that subtly patronizing way that made you not quite sure he had any regard for you.

2. He had some very strange notions about gender. He asked Joseph if he wanted to be small and weak or big and strong and I mentally groaned. Joseph rather brightly replied that he didn’t mind which. The doctor then went into this lighthearted but completely nebulous tangent about how he must grow up to be big and strong because, “sorry mum, but women rule the world today. Someday it will be time for men to fight for our rights and we must be strong…” I had no idea how to pad that; I just quirked an eyebrow at Joseph who employed his smile-and-nod coping mechanism. Good lad.

3. He seemed bent on not allowing any of his questions to be properly answered. I had to bite my tongue to not mutter, “knock knock, who’s th-INTERRUPTING DOCTOR”.

4. Apparently, against the suggestion of the referring doctor, there’s nothing wrong enough with Joseph at this point to warrant serious testing. This was something of a relief to Joseph, as that would have required a lot of blood letting. The official plan is to stuff him full of calories until he gains weight. He said, “you have this word in America, junk food? Well, it is only junk for fat people.” Hmm. Tactful. Also, he would prefer that I fry Joseph’s food rather than boil or bake it. I’m sorry that this is apparently AMA, but for me the idea is not to alleviate Joseph’s weight problem only to set him up for congestive heart disease. He did make the valid point that Joseph should stop hoarding his treats in his room and actually eat them, though that was relayed via a strange hypothetical story about a robber coming into the flat to steal our treasure and being deterred if Joseph eats all his candy such that there is nothing worth taking. …

5. Joseph mentioned Star Wars to him (as you would) and he didn’t know what he was talking about (!). At length, Joseph managed to convey that it’s a sci fi series of movies. The doctor said he was much too busy calculating how many calories small boys need to be able to watch films. Our parting agreement was that Joseph would gain enough weight that the doctor wouldn’t need to worry about him anymore and he in return would watch Star Wars. Joseph didn’t specify which episode/s, and being content with such a lack of clarification is rare for him. Just goes to show how shellshocked he was by the experience ;).

So, if after four months Joseph hasn’t gained his weight, he’ll go in for more testing. In the meantime, the challenge will be to convince Nyssa that the universe isn’t entirely unfair in letting Joseph have so many more milkshakes than her.