what the…?

When I was in Europe with my brother Icecat, my BFF Sheila, and my cousin Liz, we had the usual stupid ways of amusing ourselves while on the road. We had rented an Opel Corsa. This little car I will never forget. It was so tiny that we had to pack our luggage in a certain way every time we got in, and we all had saved seats so we would fit. I got the most space, since I was the designated driver. I can’t get into the damage we did to that car right now, because I have another story to tell that’s not remotely related to anything under the sun.

We made up poetry. I’m referring to the stupid ways of amusing ourselves. We had this one poem that came about after entering a charcuterie (I’m not positive that’s the noun form, but it’s a place where you get different kinds of cured meat and sausages.) We had sampled various hard sausages: saucisse, saucisson, chorisson. As we strolled through downtown with our saucisson, walking when we were permitted by the “pieton” signs (that’s pedestrian, for you pedestrian non-speakers of the Language of Love), we invented this little beauty:

I do not like your saucisson!
I do not like it, Pierre Pieton!
I will not eat it in the Louvre.
I will not eat it on the move.

I do not like it in the park,
I will not eat it after dark.
I do not like your saucisson.
I do not like it, Pierre Pieton!

I think there might have been some other verses, but these are they which survived the ages. There was another, notably less witty, poem that Icecat and I made up after viewing a commercial in London, wherein a block of cheese falls onto a bare surface. “Cheese!” I chimed. Another block fell on top of the first. “More cheese!” called Icecat. A third block fell. “Three cheese!” and after the last, “Four cheese!” This wonderful poem had another incarnation when, as we were driving through the wild and winding roads of the Italian Dolomites, we spotted the carcass of a victim of the road. Then another, and two more.

More roadkill.
Three roadkill.
Four roadkill.

You could really use that form with just about anything. And you have my permission to do so.

I am reminiscing about these marvels of our invention because, a short while ago, I overheard my two boys, 6 and 4, poetically discussing their own love of cheese.

“Mmmm, blue cheese!”
“What kind of cheese is that?”
“I like head-cheese.”

I swear by all that is holy that I have never, ever, ever fed my kids head cheese.

Everyone in my family has crappy teeth. We all get too many cavities (it couldn’t possibly be the horrific amounts of candy we all eat. It must be genetic.), and we all have had to have fillings and root canals, plus a few extractions. I never used to be afraid of the dentist, until I started getting abscesses, and the resulting root canals and crowns. I once had a crown crack in two, and the tooth cracked right along with it. I had to get it pulled. For some reason, the Novocaine never works very well on me, so they end up pumping me with 7 or 8 shots, and I can still feel it. Well, getting a tooth pulled sucks, especially if you can feel it going on. I don’t know if it sucks as bad as what happened to my brother, though.

Isaac is a magnet for negative cosmic energy. People pick on him for no reason. The laws of physics conspire against him, and worlds collide to render him uncomfortable. I am not making this up. He gets way more than his share of bad luck, but I’m not going to tell you all the tragic stories today. Just one.

Isaac had recently gotten a new crown for one of those awful root canals. The dentist affixed the crown with temporary glue, instead of permanent, so that Isaac could wear it for a while and decide first if he liked the crown before it went in there permanently.

About a week after he got it, of course it loosened itself and fell out. Not wanting to waste a $400 crown, Isaac planned to keep it and return to the dentist. Having nowhere better, he decided to leave it in his mouth. After all, who wants to keep a tooth in their pocket, with all that lint, and who knows what else?

Just after finishing the last bite of his burger at lunch, Isaac suddenly realized that his crown was no longer in his mouth. OK, this part might have involved a tiny bit of lack of common sense, but read on.

Angered at himself, but nevertheless determined not to waste $400, Isaac descended upon a plan wherewith to retrieve his crown. You may be able to guess what his plan involved. Initial attempts at vomiting the crown out were unsuccessful, “probably,” he says, “because I ate it and it went right down to the bottom of my stomach, under the burger.” So he waited until the opportune moment and, armed with a quart sized Ziploc bag, he “sh– (rhymes with scat) in the bag.” He described to me the benefits of the bag. Apparently it is much easier to squish around if you first let all the air out of the bag.

The first attempt resulted in nothing, but never losing hope, Isaac persevered through a second. And Eureka! He found the crown. He fished it out of the bag of his own poo, and was rinsing it off in the bathroom sink, when Mom came downstairs and inquired about his activities. He tried to tell her several times that this was a clear case of “You don’t want to know,” but she pressed him until he explained.

Thoroughly grossed out, Mom left, only to hear a solid stream of profanity emanating from the bathroom shortly thereafter. Isaac had, of course, dropped the crown, and it had, of course, gone right down the drain. My compassionate mom went in to help him retrieve it again. They dismantled the sink and drain, and were able to rescue the treasure.

Isaac thoroughly cleaned the crown, and then took it to the dentist, who glued it right back into Isaac’s mouth. I can honestly and quite literally say that I am glad my teeth are not as crappy as Isaac’s.

“Mom, if I eat my fingers, I am candy.”


How did November happen? It was like 75 degrees yesterday. The frolicking squirrels nibbled on bits of Jack-o’-lantern and made my boys cry. I never knew squirrels liked pumpkin.

I’ve had the worst cold of my life for the past couple of days. Which means I haven’t been running in nearly a week, what with the move, the other sick individuals in my household, and the inability to find all or part of my running ensemble. Which is maybe a little more elaborate than the average runner’s choice of outerwear, but what can I say? I have no choice. I cannot run if I’m not comfortable.

We do not have a single window covering in our entire house. No, not the bedrooms, nor the 1 1/2 bathrooms. It gets tricky. I have to sneak into the shower, and change surreptitiously in the closet. But I CAN change in the closet. I can walk right in there, turn the light on, and have almost enough room to fully dress without bumping into any walls or knocking any frilly pink dresses off their hangers.

My two boys keep begging me to wear frilly pink dresses. Pictures? You want pictures? OK, but not today. I still don’t have the real computer in use.

How do you find a good Pediatrician? Our pediatrician in Provo was awesome. He was pretty new, he was nice, he always spoke directly to the kids, even if they weren’t the one being seen, he didn’t make me feel like crap for bringing all 3, he had books and toys in his rooms, his office wasn’t ghetto, the nurses were nice, like they’d actually dealt with real-live children before. And they had one of those gargantuan aquariums with all the fish from “Finding Nemo.”

I’m afraid to turn the thermostat above 68, and I even think that might be too high. I have no idea how much the electricity and gas bills will be. I’m thinking about putting tapestries on the windows to keep the heat in. Anyone know how to make a tapestry?

If Derek rides the bus to work, like if I need the car to go to the ghetto pediatrician’s, he has to be at the bus stop 4 blocks away at 6:30am. There’s only one bus per day that goes onto the base. And apparently the only people who ride it are very much morning people.

I’ve lost my phone. I don’t know what to do. It’s dead somewhere, so I can’t even call it. How ridiculous is it that losing my phone makes me feel so utterly helpless? I can’t even call my mom to complain. And since she doesn’t read my blog, how will she ever know?

Today at lunch, I asked the boys if they would prefer peanut butter sandwiches or macaroni and cheese. We had some leftovers of mac and cheese from yesterday, and I’m talking about the psychedelic orange stuff. Calvin chose mac and cheese, Zeeb wanted a peanut butter sandwich. It was all fine with me.

The only problem with them ordering different things for lunch is that there is inevitably some extra. One sandwich is enough for them both, and half a box of mac and cheese is still too much for just Calvin. So I decided to have the extra for my own lunch. Half a sandwich, and about 1/2 cup of mac and cheese. But what adult can abide that stuff? Plus, since we have no microwave in our mini-kitchen, I had to heat it one the stove. I added a little milk, and put it in a pan. If you’ve ever seen leftover mac and cheese, you know that it turns into yellow noodles with no sauce to speak of.

I decided to try an experiment with the tiny remnant of Maytag Blue cheese that I got last week. I plated up Calvin’s noodles, and then put the rest on a plate for myself. I crumbled up a bit of blue cheese on top, and stirred it around until it was melty and a little creamy. I sat at the table, and caused a curious stir among the little people. I guess it looked appetizing to them.

Each boy asked for a taste. I warned them that it would be strong, and after Zeeb tried it, he asked for some more, so he could be strong like Superman. Calvin didn’t think it was overpowering, nor did he start gagging, like he usually does when he tries something new.

Soon, the boys were asking for bites of plain cheese. Plain blue cheese. A 5 year old and a 3 year old. I have no explanation for this phenomenon, especially since my boys are generally quite picky. I gave them a bunch of cheese, and then tried to put it away. They cried, and begged for more. This from the boys who rejected the fresh mozzarella I brought home two weeks ago. Inexplicable. Although they do like the Boursin garlic and herb sheep’s cheese with crackers.

Also, yesterday at work, Derek met Thomas P. Stafford. You don’t know who he is because you don’t know enough astronauts. Derek sums up his career nicely:

He’s one of 24 people who have been to the moon (i.e. in orbit or on the
surface) <<http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=534>>.
He never flew on a shuttle, he took pictures from inside the Apollo 10
module. Apollo 10 was the second mission to orbit the moon and surveyed
the location for Neil Armstrong’s crew to land during the Apollo 11
mission. Apollo 10 was the first to broadcast color TV signals, so the
color footage of the earth during the mission is mostly likely his
(note: the claim that he took the footage only comes from his talk
yesterday, when he said things like “this is a picture I took when …”).


Derek used to want to be an astronaut. He used to be a 10 year old boy, you see. But ironically, he was rejected from even joining to Air Force (during that two seconds he thought it would be a good idea) because of his color-blindness. I say ironically, because he now works for the Air Force and makes way more money than he ever would have by enlisting, works fewer hours, and doesn’t have to get transferred all over the world. Oh, wait. Is that a pro or a con?

Who wants to help me pick out a house?

Today, as I lay down for a nap with Zeeb, he looked over at me, and with a concerned look on his face, said, “Mommie! You’re turning into Dad! Because of zose sings!” He pointed at my exposed armpit, with it’s 3 days worth of stubble.

I’m not afraid of spiders, as long as they keep their distance. I don’t want them on me. If I find them in my house, I will gently escort them outside, but I cannot kill them. However, I am easily susceptible to the creepy-crawlies. Once, my mom and I were at Utah Lake when we noticed the ground moving. Millions of spiders were zooming all around, and even after I beat a hasty retreat to the confines of my car, I could still feel them crawling all over my skin for hours. So I don’t think I’ll go visit Lake Tawakoni State Park.

For all of you who are not related to me by blood, I’m sorry, but this will make no sense to you. For those of you who are, cheers.

I’m goin on a trip to Heber and I’m taking my accordion, my Nabisco crackers, my sleeping bag, my goobers, my stand-up comedy kit, my Tahitian Treat 24-pack, my killer tree tape, my effervescent tablets, my sister’s swimming suit, my tasty Fig Newton, my nimbus, my solar-powered automobile, my egg costume, my epilepsy medicine, my eccentric family, my Yanni CD, my disco shoes, my slippery sandals, my Spock mannequin, my nappy rotten banana, my anabolic steroids, my Stradivari, my irritating blister, my right-on-feelings-of-brotherly-love, and everything else.

1. Patty
2. Paul
3. Liz
4. Mike
5. Barbara
6. Greg
7. Isaac
8. Camille
9. Sarah
10. Dave

Mom, you’re making nonsense.

Oma, I love you, I’m just not interested in you.

I want some Saag Paneer!!!

Mom, I can’t put my underwear on. I have a smiley face on my butt that’s wet.

Thank you Kathryn and readers, for these wonderful new additions to my lexicon. You’ve all heard that quote that says “profanity is a sign of a vacant mind,” and now, here are some alternatives that will surely prove your mind is anything but vacant. I like these, because they aren’t dumbed down versions of other curses, except for Derek’s #9, and which of you know the word that one resembles, let alone it’s meaning?

Please feel free to add to my list at will.

1. Marshmallow Peeps!

2. Precious Moments!

3. Fluffy puppies in a child’s luvin’ arms!

4. Creme-filled Twinkies!

5. Sugar Beets!

6. Son of a motherless Goat!

7. Corn dogs and Tater-tots!

8. from my own Calvin, “Mom, she drives me nuts, bananas, and ICE CREAM!”

9. Derek’s favorite Russian word, that sounds much like a real Russian swear, is “Blin!” It sounds like, “bleen!” and means, “pancake.”

10. And my personal favorite, to be used only in moments of extreme frustration, “Brigafriga!”

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