Friday, June 27, 2008


There was a news headline a while back about how the swans at Bishops Palace in Somerset had cygnets and they had set up an internet camera which garnered some ridiculous number of hits within the first day or two.

So naturally I followed the link.

And saw... a simply spiffy pile of sticks. Very, very swanish sticks.

But the article said swans! Real swans.

So I just maybe went back the next day - you know, just to see. And the sticks were still in place although the camera had been shifted to better capture the stickiness of the sticks (and the aesthetic splendor of the construction scaffolding).

I would like to say I gave up at that point, that I didn't go back every day for a while just to see. But let's face it, at this point the swans, they were winning damn their snaky necks and I was beginning to take it personally.

A few days on and I felt it was really rather pathetic to have added a live camera shot of an empty swan nest to my daily routine of Important Web Sites I Check. I rationalized that there were a large number of feathers lying around and that was practically the same thing so really I should just stop. But still I went...

...until today when I triumphantly observed:

Swan bum.

I do believe that swan watch 2008 is officially over.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


We're about to expand our family.

She says coyly.

But no batted eyelashes because that's just too twee for words.

Maybe a sort of sly-ish smile though, something that implies knowingness and... I dunno... a bit of devil-may-care perhaps?

[right now my mother is breathing deeply and clutching the keyboard - WHAT ON EARTH have I done??]

Yes, in fact we're expecting. Twins. Child 1 and I.

Sort of twins that is, I mean they aren't identical or anything... but...

The due date was supposed to be some time this week and Child 1 has been helping with the whole patiently waiting thing by asking me daily, "so? Are they here yet?"

Sadly, no. They are not here.

And so we remain.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Child 1 has a Very Important Job which involves a large amount of caffeine and quite a lot of sugar. That means its siblings are surprisingly willing to visit it during work hours. Since this Very Important Job is also surrounded by Large Quantities of Books we have all pretty much decided that Child 1 must work this job until it dies.

Out of the kindness of our over-sized hearts (and not at all because we were bored) Child 2 and I toddled over to The Work Place yesterday to brighten Child 1's afternoon. We figure just the fact that we're in the same building will somehow make it sing a happy little song as it frapps and twizzles and chants the mysterious incantations that produce a Super Grande Latte-O-Cino with whipped cream and sprinkles. Child 2 was even selfless enough NOT to order the most-difficult-to-make-drink and was content with something caramelly and espressoish. With cream.

We did time it just right so that we could see the Child AND look over a few books and things before the store closed although that meant we were left forlorn outside while Child and its coworkers went through the Closing Up Rituals.

Naturally we stationed ourselves outside the large windows so we could make faces at it. And dance the Chicken Dance (that was Child 2's idea. I loath the Chicken Dance. But I did do a few motions just because of solidarity). And maybe make a few rude gestures because Child? Didn't look up. Not even once. It mopped with concentration, it wiped and shifted and generally did all the things it forgets to do at home and it didn't notice us at all.

Next time we're bringing the tap shoes, the top hats and the sound track. We need appreciation dammit.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fly By

At about 5 in the afternoon there was a fsssssshhhhhWHOOOM noise.

A suitcase crater appeared in the living room with a five yard debris field of socks, t-shirts and unmentionables.

Five bagels, four hot dogs, a bag of cereal, half a gallon of milk, a pint of ice-cream, sundry bits of toast, fruit, vegetables, lunch-meat, cream cheese etc disappeared from their usual haunts.

a large cello case surfaced directly in front of the front door in ideal tripping location.

A steady hum of talk was heard, punctuated by "look at this!" and "but the best bit was" and "guess what my ring tone is?" until late into the evening*.

Come 4:20 in the morning peace descended again.

The Male Child is off to camp number 2.

*At which point I had to say "AUGH! You are. not. packed. I am getting up at 4 to take you to the airport. I am leaving the room now." I'm pretty sure the talk went on, but as my door was closed I was blissfully unaware.

Friday, June 20, 2008



This is like hard work this is.

Okay, I've started going through the archives and putting labels on posts (and damn if I don't witter on a lot - when did over 400 posts happen?) so there's at least a sporting chance that someone could find just the stuff they're looking for.

So, fix your gaze firmly to the side column over there and gasp for a moment at the sheer wonder of it all.

I think I've managed to catch all of the actual Kirk Story posts although I will have to back through and make sure I didn't miss anything. I might add a second, more limiting label for the bare bones of the story in case someone only wants the slightly depressing skeleton and not the bits where we're trading over the back wall of Russian bases in East Germany or falling off mountain bikes and things.

Posts that mention Kirk are marked... wait for it... Kirk. Which is irritating actually because often times the mentions are minor asides and have nothing to do with the meat of the post (and dammit ALL my posts are meaty) so the labels are so far utterly arbitrary. I might go back through and make it more systematic...

The Lazy hit about that point so other topics aren't fleshed out at all particularly as I was about halfway through when I realized I'd probably do well to break out things like CID, army, air force, Iraq, hostages and frankly I was too darn lazy to go back again. It'll probably be fixed though because the Lazy is even now having a furious argument with the Obsessive-Compulsive and I have a feeling the OCD will give the Lazy a smack-down.

I think I'll take the rest of my personalities out for a drink while they sort that out.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The male child is away - left yesterday morning.

It has ended up with five weeks of camps this summer using the simple technique of signing every piece of paper that passed under its nose. It spent the first few weeks after school got out lolling on the couch in the mornings and then spinning things all afternoon (and playing hide and seek. And wrestling. and doing other "team building" activities). But no more. It's leadership camps and ground school for the rest of the summer.

The refrigerator has remained stocked for an entire day. There was no percussive clapping or random thumping on surfaces. No one took the broom/hammer/shower rod out to the back yard and left it there to be watered by the sprinklers. Socks have not sprouted like mushrooms under the ottoman or the curtain.* We have not been serenaded at odd hours with choice bits of Sweeney Todd and no one has pulled out a cello to see if they can pick out the Band of Brothers theme song. The Highly Reactive Sibling has gone un-harassed, its buttons remaining un-pushed, its personal space pristine.

It's not like home at all.

*That's not entirely true. The sprouting has slowed considerably, and is no longer a dingy grey and crunchy. Now it's all red with polka dots or blue with little stripes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Mind the whiplash, we're about to switch voices and topics again (sorry, still haven't had time to organize this mess...)

There's an article on BBC news here alleging that $23 billion dollars has been misused, stolen or "just not properly accounted for" in Iraq.

$23 billion.

I'm trying to understand that number in a reasonable way but it's simply too large.

$23 billion.

Apparently there's what the BBC is calling a "gagging order" (which I think is a lovely phrase and far more interesting than gag order. I quite like the idea but mostly if it's applied to the people perpetrating the fraud - "Oi! You! GAG!!") which means 70 court cases cannot even be discussed.

70 court cases of fraud.


There are some frightening numbers being flung around here aren't there?

Keep in mind that the government that has apparently happily tossed around $23 billion that it's (also apparently) not terribly concerned about finding again is the same government that did not follow its own laws to ensure that contractors working in the area were properly protected.

I wonder how much that would have cost?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Saved by Target

Oh thank goodness.

First of all I can't in good conscience do an I-hate-the-heat post when actually the wind kicked up last night and this morning it was RAINING and COOL and FABULOUS. By the way, I'm totally taking credit for that. The headlines will read, "Global Warming Reversed By Courageous Blogger! Threat of Weather Related Whining Produces Record Cooling! Nobel Committee Seriously Considering Blogger's Request to Add Propeller Beanie to Prize Package!"

But second something wonderful happened yesterday. I went to Target (that wasn't it) with Child 3 (which was nice, but that wasn't it either) and as we passed the charming, chortling baby (also delightful, still not it) I saw it. IT. The thing. THE THING. It's here. Really, click the link, go check it out and then decide if this is not a miraculous gift to blogging?

But. I've read at least three of the lines of text on that home page and I think this company has missed a serious marketing opportunity here. What does the owner of a Mangroomer need?


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Got Nuthin

Seriously. No interesting people with varying religious messages, no combative panhandlers or bizarrely dressed professors (although I can't WAIT to see the frumpy transvestite again because that's something that totally needs recording), no soulful singers even or entertaining chalk messages. Honestly I thought hard about posting about a dog I pass all the time of which can be said, "there's a dog. I pass the dog. It is cute."

Even the Children haven't spouted fantastic one-liners lately which, frankly, I think is terribly ungrateful of them. I do pay the rent, after all, is it too much to ask them to provide me with blog fodder? Kids these days.

Which leaves me sitting here and wondering if I can write yet one more post about how horribly hot it is 'round here and how I haaaaate the heat and suddenly I find that I can hear my own whiny voice echoing in my ears and honestly I'm not willing to inflict that on the internet because it even makes me want to smack the back of my head.

I'm not making any promises about tomorrow though.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Child 2 and I had an involved and intelligent discussion yesterday about romantic archetypes in literature and popular culture - you know, as you do.

Because it was Child 2 and me this discussion was naturally extremely erudite and thoughtful. We brought up examples, made comparisons and supported our arguments with brilliance. Finally we reached a firm and undeniable conclusion.

Ms. Piggy totally didn't deserve Kermit the Frog.