Monday, March 30, 2009

Other People's Potty

In the Middle of the Day the Drains Stopped Draining we had a Hijink Within a Hijink. It was gross. You've been warned.

Are you sure you can handle this? There is also a lot of swearing.


Jason had gone into Lowe's to buy a larger drain snake and I was waiting in the car with the children, feeding them fast food. Charlie suddenly pipes up that he needs to potty and Augs promptly replies he is not done eating yet. Stupid, stupid, stupid me. I put Charlie off for less than 4 minutes, but it was too long. The bathroom was at the back of Lowes (behind plumbing!). Naturally, Charlie refused to go into the ladies' with me. I sent both boys into the men's and lurked outside. After a few minutes, Augs came out.

"Where's Charlie?"

"He's not done yet."

"Well, you need to wait in there with him."

"Mom, Charlie has a little mess."

O RLY? "Is anyone in the men's room besides Charlie?"

"Well. . .no."

So I go in, and what do I see? Under the edge of the stall I see two Thomas the Tank Engine shoes, a pair of jeans, underpants (Spiderman), red jacket, and a teeny disgusting heiny. I also saw that he was standing in poo. It didn't seem that bad. But that was only because I couldn't see the other side of the toilet, or the toilet itself. I'm not going to lie, I gagged a little. I handed Augs my cell phone and said "Push 2, then push SEND. When your dad answers, tell him to come back here and that it is an emergency."

In walks a Lowe's Employee "Ma'am? You can't be in here, ma'am." For the love of Pete. I asked for paper towels and the goofball brought me the giant roll that goes in the dispenser. Ugh. OMG, so awful. How does a 30 lb kid make 10 lbs of poop? Poor dude hadn't quite made it onto the toilet and he'd gotten the seat, the side of the toilet, the floor, himself. Then he'd walked in something that I can only assume fell off his behind. I picked up what I could and had Jason come in and help clean up the floor. Charlie had it down his leg, on his behind, on his hands, on his feet, gotten it on his jeans, his jacket and his socks. His underpants were mystifyingly clean. I cleaned him up by standing him in the sink. I put his clothes in a bag, zipped my sweater on him (MOM! DIS IS A GIRL SWEATER! I AM A BOY!)

So then we start for home, to use the drain snake and I remark "Well, at least this happened here, where there is running water!" I am such a glass half full girl.

My husband, my partner for life, the father of my children says "At least it wasn't the women's room. That would be way grosser."

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

"Well, there's bloody tampons and stuff in the women's room."

"Not laying around on the floor! In trash cans! Jesus! Are you saying menstrual blood is grosser than poop?"

"Yes! It's got diseases!"

"Are you kidding me?! Everyone has a load of bacteria in their colon! Poop has e coli! Menstrual blood only has diseases if a woman has an STD. Poop is always gross."

"Well, there are a lot of slutty women out there."

"Dude! Menstrual blood comes from the uterus. Where babies grow. YOU CAN'T GROW A BABY IN POOP!"

"Wow.. . . .. K. O. You win. There is no response to 'You can't grow a baby in poop."


And then the drain snake we had bought that night didn't even work.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Book 10: Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles

This was a darling little book that I stayed up too late reading and then finished this morning over coffee. It was refreshing little palate cleanser of a book-- like a scoop of champagne and berry sorbet. The story is nothing special, but the theme of kids vanquishing a nasty grown up and finding a warm, loving place in the world has been one of my favorites since I was a little girl. The names of people, places and foods are funny, crisp, classic. The drawings are reminiscent of those in the Eloise books. If you need to read something with a little girl in the age range of 5 to 8, I highly recommend this book. You should definitely cook something special and delicious after you read it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Book 9: DEWEY: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

I have just one excuse for being so far behind in the book challenge: my bathroom is worse than Trainspotting right now. The pictures below are in some ways better-- we've made progress, but I have lost my ever lovin' mind. The new tub is in, the plumbing is done for the tub and shower. We still need to hang the walls, tile, paint, install the sink and get and install a new toilet. The highlight of this was The Day The Drains Stopped Draining. It started when the kitchen sink backed up. My husband tried to plunge past it and all the fittings gave up the ghost. This after we'd just refitted all the pipes under the kitchen sink. Then we heard ominous gurglings when we flushed the weird toilet in the basement. Next, the drain by the washing machine backed up. See, when you take a toilet off the floor, there is a big stack drain and sewer gasses can come up it. Plumbers normally stick something over or in it to keep that nasty shit out. Normally, though, if they use a rag, they nail it to the floor so it doesn't get sucked into the stack when another toilet flushes. There was crying, swearing, screaming, slamming shit, breaking of our existing drain snake, purchasing of a bigger drain snake, and ultimately, rental of a professional drain auger. I wearily report that once again, all drains lead to the ocean.

This book, Dewey, was endearing, but you know how animal books nearly always end, right? In grade school, I was sent from the library when, at the end of Sounder, I began crying uncontrollably. I've gotten a grip since then. Aside from the story of a cat, this is also a story about a small, midwestern town. In the 2nd half of the 20th century, those towns had to change or die. Having driven through and to some in Nebraska that died, it is good to read of one that changed. There were times though, when I just didn't want to pick it up, when it was slow, when it was schmaltzy, when even I didn't want to hear another cat story.

On the scale of 'OMG A++ WOULD READ AGAIN!!!1!' to 'Made me long for the sweet embrace of Jesus or the cold, empty grave' I give Dewey a 'meh'.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

After the Groomer: Hobo No More

Yarn Snobs

What. The. Eff. STEP OFF. Hand to God, the fiber snob debate is like some nerdy, snotty, condescending version of Groundhog Day. Without jokes.

Look, bitches, we are all pulling the same end of the rope here. Let's not drop it and start fighting among ourselves. THEN THE SCRAPBOOKERS WILL WIN!

We're all knitters. So what do you care if I want to knit with acrylic blends? Or big box wool? Or the lamentably named "I LOVE THIS COTTON!" As a beginning knitter, I prefer to work in inexpensive, serviceable yarns. I am pretty sure what I would do to Noro would be criminal at this point. I know that if you handed me a skein of cashmere, I would be so afraid of screwing it up I would be paralyzed with self-doubt.

I am uninterested in buying yarns from farms where the sheep live better than I do. I am uninterested in subsidizing someone else living their dream in Vermont while I work in a cube farm. I MEAN REALLY.

I did clean out the 90th and Maple Hobby Lobby's clearance supply of Lion Wool in Cream, Cadet Blue, and a pinkish print colorway.

I was also pleased to see some new lines of Yarn Bee which are wool blends. I bought some "snowflake" which is 56% wool, 22% polyester, and 22% PTT. What is that fiber? I don't know. I am cautiously optimistic it will give me mutant superhero powers. Good ones, not lame ones like the ability to smell fear. That would be gross.

I swatched up a few rows and it feels nice-- soft and slightly sprongy. I swatched it up on a 4 instead of a 5 because I like a snug gauge. I think I will work on socks when I have a BATHROOM and all.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Before the Groomer

This picture is about a month old. He went to the groomer today, and I am sorry it is too late for pictures. Barkimedes looks GREAT. Scruffy still, but adorable.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rustic Plumbing

This is my bathroom. Guess how I feel about it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Another Finished Object

This is the Calorimetry I knitted last weekend! It is made of Patons Chunky Shetland on some Addi Turbos in size 8. Very slick needles, nice join. It has two buttons that I found in the scrapbooking section of Slobby Lobby. Yes, the best buttons are not anywhere near the sewing stuff.

Even though I used a chunkier yarn than the pattern called for, I used the same size needle and got just a fraction of a stitch more in my 4 inch swatch. Many, many of the ravelry posters stated this comes out huge if you cast on 120 stitches as recommended. I did 100 since I generally find all women's hats too small for me. I should have gone for 92. The 2 buttons are how I snugged it up a bit.

This was as close to instant gratification as knitting gets. It is also much cuter than my hideous earflap hat.

Book 8: Would you like some blood with that whine?

In which I read Twilight and am annoyed.

So I gave in and read all of That Book. Give me a break, I have been sick and I wanted to take a really long bath. I have yet to figure a good way to knit in the bathroom.

I have long suspected that this Twilight thing is just what people were reading now that there are no new Harry Potters coming along. That is way, way too generous a statement. Harry Potter is far less of a whiner than Isabella Swan. (Except for maybe in Order of the Phoenix and during all the stupid camping in the last book.)

Isabella Swan is a Big Whiner. Here we have a girl who goes to live in a small town where she has practically no parental supervision, a truck of her own, and (and!) gets to go to school with boys. These, by the way, are all privileges which, at the age of 17, in order to obtain them, I would have eaten my Grandmother. And I was very fond of my Grandmother. Isabella Swan's big complaint is that too many ordinary boys like her and the weather is too gray and wet. So she decides, as many teenagers do, to liven things up with a wildly inappropriate, slightly life-threatening relationship.

If Edward Cullen had converted at the age of 30 instead of 17, this would be one creepy-ass book, right? However, what people are glossing over is that a guy who is 106 years old is not appropriate for a 17 yr old girl just because he's rilly, rilly hawt. He is older than my grandfather would be if he were still alive. He is older than Martin Landau (fantastic actor, first one that came to mind, no offense, blah blah y blah). Old enough, in fact, to be Martin's father. Now. Picture Martin Landau necking with Miranda Cosgrove (of iCarly, a favorite of my sons).

Pretty Effing Inappropriate. And Creepy! Even if it weren't for the whole supernatural good looks and ability to stun people and all, this dude would still have about 87 years too much experience with getting into girls' pants for a 17 yr old girl to be any sort of equal match for him.

Supposedly, the big attraction here is that Isabella reads a lot of books, smells good, is endearingly clumsy, and prone to saying surprising, inappropriate things. She is also really pale and has long dark hair. Hey! I am just like her, only hot, supernatural old dudes do not want me.

Isabella nags Edwin to turn her. This makes me want to shake her. That's like asking your high school boyfriend to marry you. Only this marriage could last for 400 years.

Here's the final thing: Vampires are not scary. Zombies are scary. Want proof? Ever read a book where someone fucks a zombie? No. That would be disgusting and terrifying. Also brief and fatal. Vampires get mad action. People can't stop having it off with the semi-dead. Ergo: Not. Scary. So Edwin should knock off the constant this-will-end-in-your-tragic-demise schtick.

I am puzzled by my having put the second book on hold at the library. I kind of want to see what happens with the tribal elder who is clearly part werewolf.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Books 6 and 7: Billy Boyle and Zombie Haiku

I finished Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery by James Benn on Sunday. A nice, complicated plot with a couple unexpected twists. I already got the 2nd one in the series from OPL. Billy is a Irish Cop from Boston, when the draft hits right after Pearl Harbor, his family pulls strings to get him a non-combat post. Just as they pulled strings to get him through the detective's exam back in Boston. Billy is reporting to his shirt-tail relative-- Ike, and performing 'discrete investigations'. His story is one of coming of age later than he should have.

Last night I read Zombie Haiku. Twice as much book as humor. Meh.