Just wondering . . .


1.  Is is a moral failing to skip breakfast?  Even if the children don’t notice?  Or care?

2. Why do children hate brushing their teeth?  Is it because they enjoy have breath that could knock a buzzard off a compost pile?

3. Speaking of moral failings, does making the bed each and every morning, really, in the grand and ineffable scheme of things, matter?

4. If my picky-eating-six-year old means it when she claims she’s finally tired of peanut butter, should I be experiencing a sense of freedom . . . or dread?Toby

5. Where in the name of all that is holy and fragrant is the cat pooping, and why can’t I find any evidence—other than his visible health and smug disposition—that he is ?

6. Does this tickle in my throat justify taking the day off tomorrow to sleep/write?  Or, if I’m lucky, write/sleep?

7. Why doesn’t the whole US just go ahead and switch to a “minimum speed” system, since that’s what the majority of drivers think “speed limit” means, anyway?

8. Why, on the day when our department is holding our annual Volunteer Appreciation Open House, are all the other drivers in front of me not driving the flippin’ speed limit?

9.  Is #8 ironic, hypocritical, or another moral failing?

10. Why, if I know that I’ll finally be hungry for breakfast around 8:45, do I not pack something to eat at 8:45, instead of grubbing for change in my desk drawers and trying to trick my stomach into silence with sugarless gum?

11.  When the big staff percolator sings like an uninvited hound dog during a student strings recital, does that mean it’s happy, kvetching about the quality of the grounds, or foretelling our doom?

English: Peanut butter cookie with a chocolate...

12. Is death by Christmas cookie overdose possible, and if so, does it happen during or, you know, after?

13. Why do I keep thinking Tuesday was yesterday, even though I know today is Tuesday?

14. Is it a moral failing that I think I might risk a Christmas cookie overdose, depending on the answer to #12?

15. Are there any peanut butter cookies left?


The Sky is a Rutabaga, or Why There is No Post Today

Brain Fail

I’m having a Duck in the Shooting Gallery Day—the kind where I make a lot of trips back and forth for things I’ve forgotten, hoping no one fires.

It started when I arrived in my department and discovered I’d forgotten something in my car.  I grabbed my keys, but remembered at the elevator that I’d need my badge to get back in the building, so I went back to get my badge . . . and realized inside the elevator that I didn’t have my keys anymore.

I’m off tomorrow and well aware of it, but I still tried to schedule training for our new intern tomorrow morning.  Once with our Scheduling Queen, who is a wonderful person with whom I can’t adequately communicate even in my lucid moments,* and again five minutes later with the intern, whom I’m sure is feeling confident about being trained by someone who clearly has trouble grasping the fundamental concept of time.

I ran out of item donation forms, printed twenty copies of the wrong one, and then hacked a stack of the right ones apart with the paper-cutter like I was reenacting the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.**

After trying for ten minutes to get the catalog to cough up the record for a specific parochial school yearbook,*** I saw that I wasn’t misspelling the name of the saint, I was misspelling school.  Five minutes and a few choice words after that, I figured out that I’d somehow set it to search for DVDs.

I’m adequately caffeinated, my sinuses are quiet, I had breakfast, and I’m not rushed or anything.  And it’s not that my brain isn’t engaged, it just doesn’t have much traction.

So clearly, the majority of my brain cells are off doing something else today.  I hope they’re working on the book and not succumbing to meningitis or trypanosomiasis or narcolepsy or pernicious hypochondria or something.

Maybe they’ll come back after lunch.

Or maybe I should go find them before they get me into even more trouble . . .

See you tomorrow.


*We’re both bright people who speak the same language, work in the same department, have the same level of education,  but for some reason, our respective transmitters and receivers don’t sync.  When one of us says anything more complicated than, the sky is blue, the other one just doesn’t get it and feels dumb.  Or we think the other person isn’t getting it, so we try again, except the other person did understand actually, for once, but couldn’t get that across, either and is now feeling patronized.   And that’s on good days, when I’m not likely to walk up to her with my brain spinning in the sand and say that the sky is a rutabaga  without my conscious knowledge.

** Yes,  I did count my fingers afterwards.  Always do.

***Either our catalog hates yearbooks or all of our cataloguers have. I’ve memorized their shelf locations in deference to my blood pressure, and  if I didn’t need the OCLC number to process donations, I’d leave their records alone.

Three things that make me smile

I have a file of stuff—pictures, music, videos, that friends send me. When I have a tough day, I grab one at random for a pick-me-up.

Today, I needed three . . .


Mocha Mini Cupcakes.  In French.


Drop me off in Narnia, I know my way from there.

epic win photos - Pop Culture Fantasy Map WIN


Three guesses why this tickles me.  First two don’t count.

Sarah’s terrible horrible not so bad pretty good past two days

Janie had a pretty good birthday yesterday and loved all her gifts.  The MP3 player was the major hit, though the Monster High Frankie doll was a close second.

She balked, however, at having her ears pierced as a surprise.  I’m using balk as a euphemism for burst into tears. She wanted time to prepare and she wanted her own stuffed animal to hold.  So we re-scheduled for the next day.  My only stipulation was that if she was doubtful, she should tell me before we went all the way to the Mall.

That night Sunny wanted to sleep in our bed.  So she crawled in and fell asleep without our knowledge.  Neither her father nor I realized where she was, or that she hadn’t gone potty at all after dinner . . . until she started hollering that she was wet.  Our bed doesn’t have a vinyl mattress cover.  It has a pillow top.

When I woke up this morning—wishing we’d opted for the sleeper sofa—my husband told me that my college alma mater’s football team, which didn’t win a single home game until I was a junior,* won an actual bowl.  Then he told me it was the GoDaddy! dot com Bowl.   My apologies to the players and the company, but I believe that this is the dumbest name for a major sporting event ever.  I thought the Tostitos Bowl was iffy, but this . . . I’m relinquishing what few bragging rights I had to this victory.

On my way to work, I stopped for gas and nearly died of hypothermia at the pumps.  It was negative 10F with windchill.  And oh, Lord, was there windchill.  I don’t care that I sound like a wimp to the people from Minnesota or upper New York.  It was cold, the pump nozzle thingie was metal and my gloves cost a dollar.

A scheduling problem had me working for a departmentI haven’t set foot in for six months, when I covered someone’s lunch hour.  After eleven years, I can put my hands on almost any book in my department but I was prepared to try everyone’s patience today.

Plus, I had to take a one o’clock lunch.  Wah.

I had a blast.  I found everything but one children’s book, which I later discovered to be under the arm of one of our younger patrons—a clear case of finders-keepers.  I was able to hand recommended a few of my favorites, too, and tracked down the third season of Shonen Jump’s Yu-Go-OH! for an older man who was so grateful I was taking him seriously that he didn’t care if I had to Interlibrary Loan ten separate episodes from four different libraries.

And the deli made me a fresh chicken club salad because the last prepared one was sold thirty minutes before I came in.  The chicken was warm and the entire place smelled like frying bacon.  Mmmm.    And I managed to get the replacement for my beloved chapter three outlined.

I also discovered I’d deleted the revised chapter sixteen . . . but found the copy first Reader had sent me with her comments!  Whew!

I missed Janie’s birthday party.  Not sure if that was in the plus or minus column.  The kids had a blast, my husband took lots of pictures, and I didn’t have my usual party anxiety—so I’m going with plus.

The commute home was lovely.  The night was clear, the ice on the Mississippi was smooth and lovely, and the lady on Prairie Home Companion was singing about the Carribean in one of the loveliest voices I’ve ever heard.

When I got home, Janie had decided that she needed to get her ears pierced now.  So we sallied forth, leaving my husband to cook dinner.  We returned an hour and a half later.  Jane will have to wait until she’s eighteen to get pierced ears or she convinces my husband to take her.  I have proved that the definition of insanity is not just a saying.   The forty dollar** January birthstone studs that Janie picked out are in my ears, cartilage piercings have a five-dollar surcharge, and we shall not discuss it further.

Except to say that I like how they look.

It’s now nine o’clock and everyone has gone to bed but me.  I’m going to finish this blog post and work on the murder of a lovely, unselfish person who doesn’t deserve what’s about to happen to her.  And my Sunday School plans.***

All in all, I think we’ll call it a draw.


*I was in the Marching Band.  That’s nearly three seasons of constant defeat—in fact the total losing streak was twenty games, which at the time made us number one in the country for something.  When they finally won, the entire university carried one set of goalposts from the stadium about three miles and three blocks uptown into the bar district.  My husband tells me that the chant started out “We want Notre Dame!”  and degenerated into “We want free beer!”  That sounds about right.

**That includes the piercing, a huge bottle of disinfectant, and, I assume, combat pay for the store personnel.

***Yes, I am.  Yes, the priest is aware of it.  We do cool stuff—like make bird feeders out of toilet paper tubes and peanut butter and way too much birdseed, and build the Temple of Jerusalem out of sugar cubes and frosting.  When it fell down—everyone was sampling the cement—we declared that we’d recreated Jericho and learned a new song.