Friday, July 12th, 2013 09:12 am
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
The Husbandly One surprised me yesterday with a brand new MacBook Air!!!

I was not expecting a new laptop this soon at all. I mean, I was hoping for one, since my Vaio died such an ignominious death (and I'm still hoping I can recover the hard drive), but not expecting one at any time before my birthday... maybe. So... I'm really happy!

Writing while out and about has been difficult since losing the Vaio. In fact, the last two times at the library while the kids were at their summer Animanga Club meetings was... frustrating. Trying to use THO's netbook sucked, because... one, it's Windows, and two, THO spilled liquid in the keyboard and thus, some of the keys are sticky, plus it's only got a partial version of Windows 7 (it came that way, if you want the actual full OS... you have to buy it. Extra. Yeah.) so it runs a little slow and it doesn't like using Word. I mean, it will run it, but it considers Word a bit dodgy and thinks less of you for using it.

I admire the Husbandly One's fortitude in using the damn thing.

The second time we were at the library, I borrowed the Impertinent Daughter's MacBook, and realized only after getting to the library that while I had installed Word for Mac on it (at her request, since her school uses Windows), I had not yet installed Pages... and the files on my USB drive were for Pages. I managed a work-around and did fine after that, but that should be one of my goals today, to install iWork on her Mac.

I finally asked THO about taking the Vaio somewhere to get it fixed, because, dammit, I need something to write on, something portable!! Dammit!!

And it wasn't like yesterday wasn't surreal on its own, you know? The Impertinent Daughter finished up the classroom instruction part of the driving course offered at the high school (by an independent driving school) and came home much earlier than I expected, and hit her own version of the Wall of Fatigue. So I left her at home to take a nap, with a guardian little brother, and went for a blissfully peaceful grocery shopping trip. And I'm glad, too, because that's where the surreal part of my day started.

It started with an unexpectedly deep voice behind me saying, "Can I get that for you, Mrs. J?" when I was on my tiptoes trying to get to a package well out of my reach. And I turned around, fully expecting to see my usual Helpful Tall Shop Assistant... and discovered one of my daughter's friends standing there. And I realized three things.

1. He was VERY tall.

2. His voice has gotten deeper since I last spoke to him five weeks ago.

3. He's old enough to work at the grocery store.


Two weeks ago, he was in first grade, shyly introducing himself to the Impertinent Daughter, with pale blond hair and apple red cheeks. Last week, he was sitting on the sidelines of a soccer game, tears streaming down his cheeks as I cleaned and bandaged his bloody knee while his mom was gone on a snacks run for half-time because the parent who was supposed to have brought snacks forgot. Yesterday, he was in fifth grade and excitedly telling me how he was going to be in marching band when he started junior high.

There is no way he's old enough to be working at the grocery store!!! NO!!!

Later, I was grabbing a bag of sugar, and heard, "Hi, Mrs. J!!" And there was a girl my daughter has known since... third grade. And... no. Just... no.

I found yet another teenager that my daughter played youth soccer with in the paper aisle. And it just went on and on, all these kids that in my head are still... little... and they're not. And then, when I was checking out, again, a girl from my daughter's class at the cash register, and a boy sacking my groceries, and saying, "Hey, Mrs. J, let me get the ice for you so you don't forget it."



It was bad enough when I realized three years ago that I could no longer perv on the high school boy's cross country track team, because... it was now half populated with boys I had known since they were four and five. But now, they're... turning into people!!

Totally skewed my world view, man!!

My daughter pretty much laughed at me when I got home and related all of this to her, and I had to confront the fact that my daughter is a senior and will be graduating next MAY!!!

*more hyperventilating*

Then, I went to get my hair cut, and she went along with me, and as my uber-awesome stylist was cutting my hair, she started saying, "Oh... my God." She'd cut more, huff, then go, "Oh. My. God." Then a grimace, another huff, and, "Omigod." Then, "Oh, my fucking GOD."

After the seventh repetition of this, I finally said, "Uh... what's going on?" Because the last time I heard that, I was 18 and the lady who had been cutting my hair since I was 11 was ready to kill my hair.

Ms. Stylist grimaced and said, "Your hair is frustrating me. It's never frustrated me before! I've been cutting your hair a long time, Auntie, and I've never seen it do this."

"Do what?" I asked, stunned.

"Well... it's... baby fine, and so... thick... and it's just... every time I cut a section and start to move on, something pops out and I realized I missed something, and I have to go back and cut it, and then something else pops out, and... it's kinda making me nuts here," she said grimly.

And that's when it dawned on me. My hair was coming back. The endocrinologist changed me off the Synthroid/Cytomel combo he had me on and put me on Armour Thyroid, because the S/C combo just wasn't helping. My hair was still falling out, I was still very fatigued, and just not getting better.

I knew my hair was coming back, and I was getting it cut because it was like wearing a wool mop on my head. And I knew it was getting thicker, because I was having to use heavier pony tail holders to pull it back. But... I didn't realize it had come back to the original texture of being baby fine and deceptively thick.

Ms. Stylist kept cutting and cutting, and fluffing and fluffing, and cutting more, and finally, she said, "Next hair cut, we're thinning this shit out!"

*dies laughing*

After we got home, the Impertinent One and I settled in for a "Bones" marathon while the Impossible Son went off to do boy things with his friend across the street, and the Husbandly One texted that he was going to have to work late.

Yeah, he was totally off buying my new SHINY!!!

*dance of joy, dance of joy*

Coolest. Husband. EVER.

Catching up...

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 10:00 pm
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
Okay, so... let's see... I went to see an orthopedic specialist two weeks ago about my knee. Verdict, yes, I banged it up good and proper, I also have osteo-arthritis in my right knee (not unexpected, considering the way I've injured it in the past), and... at some point will need intervention. I'm too young and active for knee replacement, he could do surgery to clean out all the crunch stuff in there, but it would come back eventually (also true), or there's an injection he could give me after the inflammation and irritation calms down in my knee called "Synvisc One" that would basically replace the fluid that lubricates and cushions the joints in my knee. He's had good results with that one, and it turns out that the mom of one of Mr. Impossible's team mates has had it and said, "OMG, Auntie... get it. It's wonderful. I can move, I can walk, and it doesn't hurt!!"

You know... I was doing pretty well there for a long time. I mean, I was able to run and play with my kids, and while stairs were tricky at times, mostly, things with Rice Crispy Knee were good. Until now.

So for the time being, Dr. S. gave me a steroid injection in Rice Crispy Knee to calm down the inflammation and help with the pain, and advised me to stay off of it as much as possible, no stairs, no bending it, no kneeling, no lifting, etc., and to use a crutch when I needed to walk around.

Okay, cool, I can do that, and I promise, I've been very, very good. Very good. Except, I haven't told my mom about it because... really, she would freak for no good reason, and right now, I just can't see the point of upsetting her. Really. Besides, I really, really don't want to hear the "Marching Band Ruined Your Health, And So Did Drum Corps, If You'd Only Stayed In Swimming And If You'd Only Gone to Bellaire High School, You'd Be So Much Better Off" lecture again. I got a five year break from that one, but now that she has Alzheimer's, she doesn't remember settling that one so... it's being recycled. Yay.

Last week, the Impertinent Daughter turned... sixteen.

*incipient freak-out*

Have I mentioned how awesome my daughter is? May the 4th is her birthday, it's Star Wars Day, and "The Avengers" came out in the theaters. TRIPLE BONUS!!! So... we took her to San Marcos for dinner at her favorite Chinese restaurant, where the Impossible Son got this in his fortune cookie...

If you can't read it, it says, "About time I got out of that cookie!"

After that, we went to the theater where I'd pre-ordered tickets and got in line. And hey, I just have to say, I really like this "ordering movie tickets online" thing, because the show was sold out!! It was awesome!! Yes, yes, I know, welcome to the 21st century, Auntie.

I learned a valuable lesson that day, too. The Impertinent Daughter is absolutely NEVER allowed to ever, ever, EVER drink Mountain Dew again. As far as she's concerned, it's a controlled substance. OMG... one of her friends gave her a can for her birthday, and she was feeling tired when she got home from school. She wanted to stay awake for the movie, she said, so she decided to drink the Mountain Dew with her snack. This is around 4:30 p.m.

Holy Mackinoly, y'all, that child was wired for sound!! I mean, seriously, she talked nonstop (except when she was eating, and even then it was a close thing) from 4:35 until 1 a.m.!!!! EVEN DURING THE MOVIE.

I would shush her so I could hear the dialogue, and I'll say this for her, unless her enthusiasm got away from her, she mostly kept her voice really soft and quiet, which had irritations of it's own, because I couldn't hear her well enough to understand her!! And she tried valiently to be quiet in the car on the way home after, but... chatter chatter chatter!!! At least it mostly made sense!!

"The Avengers" was ... awesome by the way!!! Just... oh, yeah, gonna go see that again just so we can catch what we missed the first time!!!

The Impossible Son had a soccer game Saturday, and didn't play like himself at all. By Saturday evening, he had a fever of 103 F (39.4 C). That was fun. Turned out to be a virus that's blasting its way through town. The Impertinent Daughter fell victim to it Sunday night, but her temperature didn't get as high as the Impossible One's did, thank goodness. Mr. Impossible missed Monday, and Miss Priss should be back at school tomorrow.

After her doctor's appointment tomorrow, I shall retire to the couch with pillows to prop up Rice Crispy Knee with an ice pack and not do one damn thing until the kids get home from school!!!
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
So... the Impertinent Daughter and I went and saw "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 1" last night at our tiny local cinema.

It was hard to talk the Husbandly One into letting us go without him, but I pointed out that the Impossible Son now gets very freaked out at scary things, whether it's on TV, in the movies, or in a book, so it made sense to scout out the movie first and get a feel for whether we thought he could handle it or not.

I missed most of the ending of "Half Blood Prince," because the Impossible Son and I hadn't gotten to Dumbledore's death yet (we were still reading the book), so he was completely unprepared for it when it happened in the movie. I can't believe I was so stupid about it, but I didn't want to spoil the book for him, and had one of those, "Duh, Stupid," moments of thinking waaaay too hard and not clicking that, duh, he'll see the movie and know how the book ends!! *head-desk* I spent most of the time after Dumbledore's death holding him while he cried quietly with his face buried in my shirt and his hands cutting off the circulation in my arms. Not one of my more brilliant mom moments, no.

He very much wants to see this movie, so... I wanted to be sure and see how many "Impossible Freak-Outs" there would be, and... there's a lot. So... I'll have to balance how much he wants to see it against how many nights I want to spend several hours guiding him through pushing the bad dreams that will inevitably result away.

Anyhow, the Impertinent One and I were determined to go, so after receiving THO's blessings (and possible forgiveness for seeing it before he does), I went early to buy tickets... just in case. Small town, small movie cinema... it just pays be be prepared. I asked if they had sold a lot of tickets yet (it was almost 7 p.m.) and the cashier smiled and said, "So far, we've sold about 60, but we're anticipating selling out. There's been a lot of phone calls over the last week, and there's probably going to be a lot of people buying tickets just before we start the movie."

That sounded about right, so I paid for the tickets and hurried home, because it was getting COLD!! A front moved in last night, so the temperature was dropping, which... sort of added to the mood, you know?

Anyhow, Miss Priss and I had to repress our excitement and do our usual evening things. Eating dinner. Doing homework. Pretending to read the paper or watch TV while really watching the clock. Heh.

When it was finally time and we got to the cinema, we found that so many people had come to watch the movie that they had to open a second theater! And that one was filling up!! It was awesome!!

I had no idea there were so many Harry Potter geeks in our town!!

They had a trivia game for free movie passes, and I was polite and only answered one of the questions, and we got two free movie passes!! SQUEE!! So when (and if) the four of us go to see it a second time, two of us will go free! SWEET!!

And we had a lot of fun, too! At 14, the Impertinent One is old enough to whisper back and forth with me as we make jokes, or complain about things they changed from the book, or notice Things (Or People) That Should Not Be There, like the hapless member of the film crew who got caught in a shot during one of the forest scenes, and had to creep away through the trees in the background. That was worth a bit muffled laughter on our parts!

I do want to make one querulous complaint.

Okay, so... we see Bellatrix Lestrange in "Order of the Phoenix" in prison. She's dirty, has matted hair, torn clothes, but... her teeth are clean and quite nice. And they look even better when she shows up in the Ministry. Then we see her again in "Half-Blood Prince," and again, nice, clean teeth.

So... where the hell did the mossy, snaggly, possibly-borrowed-from-a-dental-hygiene-challenged-troll teeth come from??? I'm just sayin'...

Anyhow, we sat there for a moment after it was over, going, "WHOA!!" and just ... trying to process it all. OMG... it was... like riding a roller coaster on a cold day with a sharp wind, and you forgot your hat and your eyes are constantly watering, but you don't want to stop or close your eyes, and... WHOA!!!

And Steve Kloves? Thanks for giving Hedwig a total BAMF moment. I think I fell in love with you a little bit for that!

WHOA!!! Just... WHOA!!!
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
Something sort of... deja-vu-ish about today.

Yesterday, Mr. Impossible got stung by a bee during a make-up soccer game. He got fouled, knocked over, and landed on... a bee.


Popped a Benadryl in his mouth, put baking soda on it, and crossed my fingers. The swelling went down, and he seemed fine.

Then, this morning... hello delayed reaction!


Oh, and the Impertinent One? Yeah, running a fever this morning, so... she's home, too.

Did I mention the doctor's office was completely double-booked by ten minutes after 8 this morning?


Hello? Can someone stop this roller coaster, please? I'd like to get off now, kthnxbai!
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
The Impertinent Daughter went back to school for half-days yesterday.

I know she was happy, even though she was also very nervous. But she handled it just fine, despite several bone-headed moves from the staff. Like the attendance clerk who expected Miss Priss to stand by her window and wait for the guidance counselor to walk down with her new schedule.

Hello? What part of "recovering from mono" didn't you understand?

Miss Priss lasted for about three minutes before she went white and started swaying.

I had already asked if we could just walk to the guidance counselor's office ("No, no, she'll be here in just a minute or so, just stand there and wait!"), so I caught my daughter under the arm, and turned to Mrs. Moron and said, "I'm taking my daughter to the front office to sit down," and started walking.

Of course, Miss Impertinent didn't make it that far, but it was okay, because there's a bench just outside the office, and once she was sitting on it, she was fine. Of course, I think somewhere in the attendance clerk's mind, she was convinced I had kept my daughter home out indulgence or something, or maybe I'm just a super overprotective mother in her mind, but seeing Miss Priss' white face and shakiness went a long way toward convincing her that Miss Priss had been genuinely ill.

Otherwise, everything else went fine.

Picked her up at what would have been lunch for her grade, made a quick stop at the store, and she pretty much went straight to bed and crashed when we got home. Once she was awake again, she was happy, and told me that not only had her friends missed her, but people she didn't really know that well but were in her classes missed her, too, and she got lots of hugs and enthusiastic greetings.

I know she's worried about recovery, though. She's so tired and feeling so weak, that she told me yesterday that she didn't know if she could do soccer camp this summer, because she's lost so much stamina, etc. I said, "Well, that's up to you, but I think if you start slow, you can build yourself back up again. You're not going to be able to play soccer this season, that's true, but I think by summer, you'll be back to running everywhere, and getting into as much mischief as usual."

We'll just have to see what we can do to help her.

The Impossible Son was happy to have her back in the car in the morning. "Now it feels like I'm going to school!" he said happily. He told me last week that he enjoys talking to me and having me all to himself in the mornings, but... he missed having his sister in the car. Even if she was sometimes grumpy in the morning, he still liked having her there. Which made me go "Awwww," but I know what he means. It took him a while to adjust to not having her at the same school when she went into sixth grade, and he said once, "When I start high school, will we be at the same school again?" and I had to tell him no. Why? Well, while she'll be a senior when he's a freshman, the schools in our town are set up so that freshman have a campus all their own, separate from the high school. So, while he might see her when practicing after school sports (because all practices are held at the high school) he won't see her during the school day. And that made him sad all over again!

So, I have the house to myself in the mornings again, and I'm starting to write again, which is good, and hopefully, I'll get back into a groove and start posting fic again. What a long dry spell this has been! You guys have no idea, I have been suffering writing withdrawals something awful!!


Saturday, July 11th, 2009 01:06 pm
auntbijou: (Default)
They won their second game!! They're going to the semi-finals!!

*is jumping up and down with glee*

And the Impossible Son got a goal!!!

auntbijou: (icon by <lj user="odyssey">)
You know you're a music geek when you're watching a movie with your family, and then a passage like this comes up...

Zoe: "So, how did it go today?"

Poppy: "What, with our flying flock of little feathered friends?"

Zoe: "Yeah."

Poppy: "It was good, they loved it, flap-flap-flappin' away they were!"

Zoe: "Were they?"

Poppy: "Yeah, bless 'em!"

Zoe: "Had to nip it in the bud with my lot before they went nuts and flew out the window."

Poppy: "It's okay, then, was it?"

Zoe: "Oh, yeah, played 'em Stravinsky after lunch just to calm 'em down."

Poppy: "What'd you play?"

Zoe: "Rites of Spring."

I laughed hysterically at that. The Husbandly One blinked and looked at me as if I had suddenly lost my mind, and the Impertinent Daughter frowned and said, "Okay, Mum gets it, but evidently, the rest of us are just totally lost on this." And the Impossible Son said, "I don't get it."

And in case you're wondering, the characters weren't talking about birds, they were talking about their primary school students, who had just finished a project to turn paper bags into bird masks/helmets, whatever. It's from the movie "Happy-Go-Lucky," which wasn't quite as good as the movie trailer makes you think it will be. That was pretty much the only moment where I laughed hard enough to get breathless. Never thought I would say this, but... some exposition would have been nice. It was kind of... plotless, like a movie in search of a story, or something. Or a theme. Or a plot. A plot would have been good, yeah.

I'm glad "Knowing" and "Happy-Go-Lucky" were free rentals. Sure would have hated to blow six bucks on 'em!!

And as for yesterday... well... you know, it's been what... five weeks? And I'm still sick? I was having a momentary pity party for myself, but I'm better now. Basically what had made me so unhappy was realizing that I'm not going to be able to go watch the Impossible Son play in the 3v3 Live tournament tomorrow, or go to the Austin Aztex/Portland Timbers game afterwards, which I was really looking forward to. I don't miss my kids' games willingly, let's put it that way, and I was really looking forward to watching Mr. Manzie's team play. But it's going to be 104 tomorrow, and Auntie would melt, apparently, so... Auntie will stay home. *pout*

I've got other worries on my mind, but... not ready to share them yet.

Can't wait for the new Harry Potter. And Ponyo in August!

Oh, [personal profile] shocolate, the Impertinent Daughter said the only thing that makes the fact that you've seen the new HP movie already bearable is that you SHARE all the goodies with the rest of us!! *merry laughter*
auntbijou: (Default)
I always know when I haven't done something enough.

The Husbandly One bought the Impossible Son a little el cheapo acoustic guitar. I mean, it's a real guitar as far as that goes, but it's still a $25 guitar from WalMart, sized down for a seven year old.

So, the first that happened was Mr. Manzie asked Papa to make it sound better. "Well," said THO, "it needs to be tuned, and for that, you need Mama."

Himself frowned. "Mama? What for?"

"Because Mama is the musician in the family."

"Mama can play the guitar?"

I begin to empathize with Ron Weasley. "Always the tone of surprise," indeed.

So, I sat down at the computer and went to my favorite online tuning site, then sat and tweaked and twiddled until I got it all tuned up (omg, do I have to tell you how awful it was?). I have to admit, there were moments I was kind of worried, because it creaked alarmingly after I tightened the strings, and I went slowly, slowly, to give it time to adjust. "Okay," I said when I was done. "I may as well warn you that it's not going to hold this tuning for very long."

He didn't care, of course, because one, he can't play, and two, he was just plain excited about his guitar. I showed him a couple of chords, which he promptly forgot in favor of making his own songs, and I laughed because, really, the best way to start learning is to just noodle around with it and start figuring out the cool sounds it can make.

So, later this evening, he came in and said, "I want you to tune this guitar so it will play rock music!"

Which made me laugh. And I had to explain to him that it's the same tuning for everyone, and I had to explain the notes for the strings, and what they meant, and I explained the chords I had taught him, and finally, I decided to show him. So, I found chords and tabs for the song, "Kiss Me," and started playing it, singing along softly.

Okay, now, I have sung for my kids since they were born. I have sung to them to soothe them to sleep, to ease their fears, to relax them when they're in pain, or to cheer them up. I've made up songs to help them learn how to spell their names, to learn our phone number, and our address. In other words, the Impossible Son has heard me singing on a constant basis. This is nothing new to him.

So, why did his mouth drop open with astonishment when I played the chords for "Kiss Me" and believe me, I was playing them badly (hey, it's a really small guitar)and started singing along?

"You... you can sing???" He said it like he had just discovered I had six toes or something. Then he made up for it by clapping and getting all happy. It was like having my very own groupie!

Anyhow, after mangling a few verses, I said, "Okay, now I want you to listen to the song on my iTunes, and you'll see what I've been trying to tell you."

It was rather stunning. He turned and said, "Is that you?"

"Um, no," I said, struggling not to laugh. "That's a band called Sixpence None the Richer, and the singer is named Leigh Nash."

He sat in my lap and I had him strum along with the song while I made the chords. It was fun (and progressively more and more out of tune, which was dreadful and funny at the same time) and he had a good time. What was funnier was when the Husbandly One came in to say it was bedtime.

"Papa... did you know Mama can sing??" Like this was some deep dark secret I had been hiding in shame from the world. Along with my extra toes, my third nipple, and the chocolate addiction.

"Yes, I did," Papa said gravely. "And if you're lucky, she'll do it again sometime."

Guess I need to get off my ass and restring my guitar. And teach that boy some chords or something.


Monday, December 3rd, 2007 07:05 pm
auntbijou: (Default)

My son has the ultimate faith in my ability to cook.

Ever seen the movie "Spirited Away?"  There's a scene where the main character, Chehiro, is sitting on a balcony with her friend, Ren, and they're eating these hand pastries stuffed with meat or something.  I have no idea what they are called, but you know, just about every society has some sort of meat-roll or pastry that can be held in the hand.

Anyway, the Impossible Son came in here and asked me if I remembered those things.  Took me a minute (between coughs), and I said, "Okay, yes, I remember them."

"They look really good, huh?"

I have learned to be cautious.  "Ye-e-es," I said slowly.  

"Could you make those for me?"

*blink blink*

"Right now?"

"Yeah!" he said with great enthusiasm, his head bobbing as he smiled at me, full of confidence that Mama Can Do It.  After all, I brought kittens back from frozen death, what's a few Japanese meat rolls, right?

"Er... well, hunnybunny, um... for one thing, I'd need a recipe..."

"Great!  I'll get your cook book!" And he was off to the kitchen.

I do not have a Japanese cook book.  Yet.  And I knew the book he was heading for, which admittedly (and surprisingly) has a few Japanese recipes in it, but... um... not what he's looking for.  It's a Fanny Merritt Farmer Boston Cooking School cookbook that I lucked into at a Half-Price Books in Houston, published somewhere in the 50's with all these references to the original publication in the 18 70's or such.  Great book.  One of the luckiest finds I could ever make, because it fell open at certain pages and had foodstains on it... meaning, it was used a LOT.  In other words, a family treasure that some thoughtless person had tossed into a box to be sold without realizing what it was.  Oh, well, their loss is my gain!  

Anyhow, Mr. Manzie comes trundling back with that book in his hands, beaming with confidence, and I'm just... stumped.  "Here, Mama!  You can make it now, right?"

How on earth did I ever produce this person??

Flailing mentally, I said, "Well, there's still the problem of ingredients, and you know me, Little Man, I like to sort of study over a recipe for a few days before I decide to give it a whirl."

"Oh," he said, nodding wisely.  "You want to fiddle with it."

He knows me so well!

"We'll see.  Let me do some research on the Internet and see what I can come up with."

So... I've bought myself some time, but... if anybody out there knows what the hell those things are, and how to make them, please, please, PLEASE give me a clue!!  Knowing Mr. Manzie, he'll pop up in three days... "So, Mama, you ready to make those things yet?"



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