Archive for the 'mouse' Category

quick iPhone update

Friday, January 25th, 2008

snow and tornados in LA??? Elizilla?

Hmmm, interesting that iPhone posts seem to put themselves into the category “mouse”.

Grunge is the new black. Or is black is the new grunge? Or is it just grunge? Or black? Or what?

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

earrings.jpg“I just stocked a skirt like that and I thought of you. But it was labeled as beach wear?!?” So said a much younger classmate of mine who works retail in one of the small cities that surround Ann Arbor. They aren’t suburbs yet and I hope they never will be. And, yes, my favorite skirt (or skirts, that is, I have two of them) is beach wear. I’m wearing it in the winter. It’s sequiny but not too sequiny and lacy but not too lacy but just enough so that when it catches on whatever it catches on whenever I get out of the green Honda and rips a little bit (more), it doesn’t matter too much.

I’m sorry, I don’t wanna look like a lady banker and I don’t. I prob’ly could’ve been a lady banker. I’m really good at counting money. But I didn’t go there. Even though it can be exciting. A friend of mine, on her first day of a stint as a teller, was robbed at gunpoint. Now she’s a middle school teacher. Go figure. But I’m not into the collections business. Especially when it comes to cows. Once Grandroobly, a banker, told me a loverly little story about going with his father (also a banker) to Sugar Island to collect a cow. They walked it down the hill to the ferry and back over to the mainland. I don’t know what they did with it after that. Maybe sold it to Alec at auction? Who knows. The story ended with, “when you are in the banking business, you can get into all kinds of shit.” Sorry about the language, that was a quote.

It’s winter and I pretty much just drag into whatever combination of clothing fits the weather conditions of the day. It helps that my clothing is mostly black. I’d’ve been a good Goth, I guess. But I’m not. Actually, I do the same thing in the summer and the palette is very similar. I wonder if I’m in mourning? Didn’t people used to wear black for some specified length of time after their relatives died? Naw, I always wear basic black. It’s just easier. You can do things like get dressed in the dark.

But the beautiful green earrings in the pic made me feel a bit more cheerful today. They are shells and Isa sent them to me from Callyforny. Never mind that I look like an ugly old bag in the Photo Booth pic. grok GROK!. They are beautiful and comfortable to wear. Love.

Wow! That was randomness. Bro’, areya readin’ from wherever it is you are?

Empty Nest No More

Friday, June 9th, 2006

With Mouse’s arrival on Wednesday, my life changed overnight from a world that was a little too silent for my taste to a whirlwind of talk and activity. I was ready for Mouse to leave last fall. Unlike some mothers, I am happy to see my kids grow up and move on. I was busy and I looked forward to having fewer people to have to take care of, not that Mouse has ever had any particular need to be taken care of.

Life was not easy this year and by the end of the year, I was sitting on the ground wondering what had hit me and what was next. One minute the future would seem filled with an overwhelming number of choices. The next I’d be looking into a big black void. I am not good at being idle and I was starting to make some progress, albeit in small ways. But it was too silent around here.

Since Wednesday, it has not been silent here. Teenagers are in and out at all hours of the day and night. We have driven all over hell and gone running errands and having lunch, etc. (Note to self: do not buy Mouse coffee again. Tea may be a better choice.) There is a lot of talk. About knitting, school, knitting, religion, knitting, politics, knitting, sewing, knitting, palindromes, knitting, life, death, and the universe. Did I mention knitting?

Mouse will return to kzoo as a sophomore in the fall. Then there’ll be study abroad and senior year and graduation and on into the world. It’ll go fast and I will get used to the empty nest again. Somehow, I will find my way into a future of doing something worthwhile that makes me happy. For now, I am glad I have a teenager at home for the summer. It is not silent here now.

tv rant

Friday, May 26th, 2006

<tv_rant_beware>Once again, we were engaged in a coordinate change, shooting from the Planet Ann Arbor up to the Great White North. We were too lazy to plug in an iPod, so we were rolling along idly listening to NPR. The program was about the FCC and its rather haphazard approach to handling profanity and other so-called non-child-friendly crap on TV, crap being the operative word imnsho. What to do about Janet Jackson’s boob. Why it is okay to air the f-word in a prime-time network TV broadcast of Saving Private Ryan but not in a PBS documentary about the history of blues music. And something about a televised teenage orgy that I didn’t quite catch. After 45 minutes, the GG finally had the presence of mind to hit the OFF button. I don’t know how long the program droned on after that. Sometimes silence is golden.

You know, I do understand that people don’t want their small children to be exposed to the f-word and other explicit language and images. But, honestly, the NPR folks interviewed some parents who write to the FCC every week. And, as one of the “experts” said, if a kid hasn’t heard the f-word by the time they get to be, oh, 10 or 14 or so, they’ve been living in a closet. Which, of course, would bring up a whole ‘nother set of child welfare issues. I’m sorry folks, but gimme a break and get a blasted life!

Back in 1991 we bombed Baghdad for the first time. In those days, I was a young, naive shadow of the jaded old bag I have become and I was quite distraught about the whole thing. Not to mention that it happened on my birthday, of all things. I mean, really, couldn’t they have waited just one more day? But then I started watching the war on TV. I was mesmerized to the point of neglecting some of my other responsibilities. Mouse, who was going on four, got pretty sick of the whole thing and she would say, “Mom, turn off the war!”. I’d say something lame like, “in a few minutes.” A few minutes would pass and the war would still be on. “MOM! Turn OFF the WAR!” One day, she took matters into her own hands. She studied the remote control unit until she figured out that the letters O-F-F spelled “OFF” and proceeded to push the darn button herself.

You guys, if a 3-year-old can turn off a television set when there is something unsavory on it, why can’t a 30-something parent do the same? There are a whole lot of things in this world that children need to be protected from and the average everyday soccer mom doesn’t have a whole lot of control over most of that stuff. The television is one thing that you CAN control. Not only can you control it, you can control it from the privacy and comfort of your own home. So TAKE control. Three letters. O-F-F. OFF!</tv_rant_beware>

old dry crumbly toast

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

As my life continues to have the consistency of an old, dry, crumbly piece of toast, it is fortunate that there are other blahggers out there. Karen locates a missing person (May 23) and discovers that the way to get to Brimley actually does not involve turning left at the Brimily light (May 24). Sam is either talking about mushrooms or my [step-]grandmother. And Mouse, well, it appears that Mouse’s blahg is going to be a lot more interesting than this bunch of drivel. grok grok Whadidya expect, ya oogly old bag! grokGROK! Just a minute. (Shut up Froggy.) Sorry about that. And yes, Mouse *did* start calling herself Mouse at the age of 1-1/2. Mouse could talk as well as any adult at that age and was perfectly capable of clearly (and loudly) expressing her many opinions, including what she thought of the name I gave her at birth. No, I am not at liberty to tell anyone that name. And neither are you, Frooooogggy! grok grok I’m gonna go get some frog juice. grok grok. Hmmm, he’s off to an early start today.

Mouse’s Nest: a new blahg about knitting and life

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

Announcing Mouse’s new blahg, She and I have been working on this top secret project for the last week or so and she tells all about it in her first entry.

I don’t have much else to say today. It is looking to be a terribly exciting day of:

  • Trying to identify a rather unpleasant odor in the kitchen
  • Desperately wracking my brain in the neverending quest for what to cook tonight
  • Deciding which dump to throw the YAG boxes in. Just kidding, well sorta just kidding. If any of you guys are actually reading this thing, I wanna get rid of that stuff like NOW! Not five years from now. I’ll buy coffee for anyone who takes it off my hands 🙂
  • I dunno what else.

You keep yourself out of my business

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Mouse: “moom i am in the library surrounded by three books, four volumes of scholarly articles, and i have an annotated bibliography, the first page of my paper, the library search engine, and two more articles up on my computer screen. i don’t think you need to worry about it today.”

Well, okay, by now I know better than to worry about whether Mouse is doing her homework and that was a much better response than, “You *keep* yourself *out* of my business,” which I got from her once in fourth grade. I think part of the problem that time was that she had been assigned to work with “one of those others who are not girls.” No longer a problem as far as I know unless you get paired up with one of those young men who write like dinosaurs and are incapable of reading and replying to email. No, they are not extinct. I frequently get them as partners. Just what I need, another kid 😉 Anyway, I wasn’t *really* worried, only that I might be distracting her by emailing her about knitting and the like.

Annotated bibliography? Glorp. I don’t even know what eez that. Well, at least I didn’t until last fall in one of Jason’s killer classes, Web Coding III. We were assigned to write a research paper complete with an annotated bibliography. I picked the topic “Asynchronous Javascript and XML.” Interesting topic and a lot more controversial than you might guess. And yes, I did figure out how to make an annotated bibliography all by myself without any help from either of my smart-alecky little munchkins 😉

Medea and Horses and Urban Hiking

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

I am still processing the double billing of the play Medea, by Euripides, that I saw today in Kalamamalakazookman. Mouse played Kreon, king of Corinth, and one of Medea’s now-dead sons in the first interpretation of the play. Lizard was, as I heard one person say, “the best stage manager.” And I have to agree, but I am obviously biased, being her female parental unit. I didn’t have roses and pussy-willows for my actress but I did have a jar of The Commander’s strawberry freezer jam. That’s prob’ly better anyway. I can identify with Medea, and even Andrea Yates. I would *never* kill my children (or anyone!) but life is hard and I can be moody at times. Don’t like myself much at those times but…

Last night, we watched the Kain-tucky Derby, proving once again that I am an occasional sports fan in spite of myself. I chose Sinister Minister and he was ahead for a while but ended up as an also-ran. I choose horses solely on the basis their names. I don’t pay attention to the odds and that is okay since I do not bet on horses or anything much else. It is surprising to me how un-inventive the horse’s names often are. Heck, we have bags and bags of stuffed aminals in the basement with more creative names than what those horses have. Bouncy Bow Pink Bow Purple Bow Blanket Mousie Mushroom Ears? Octopolis? Yeah. Anyway, click here for the GG’s Mint Julep Recipe. It’s a little sweet for my taste but I can handle one once a year. As long as I don’t have to wear one of those awful hats that the Kain-tucky Derby gals always seem to have. I wonder if those gals ever get moody….

And urban hiking rocks if there is nothing else around.

Happy You Gave Birth To Me 19 Years Ago Day

Monday, April 24th, 2006

Mouse: “Happy You Gave Birth to Me 19 Years Ago Today Day.” I had been a little slow to call and sing the birthday song, so she called me and we both sang at once.

Yup, it was 19 years ago today. Mouse was a couple weeks or so early. Knowing her as well as I do now, I figure she had just about had enough. “Get me out of here!” And that was fine with me. Given that everybody is healthy, the earlier the better. And I sure was ready.

And so began the Mouse that roared. A small aminal with an imagination the size of the universe. A very early talker and deep thinker. She has always had a habit of coming out into the kitchen when I least expect it to tell me something she’s been thinking about that just about knocks me off my feet. She was always dirty! If it wasn’t food or mud or sand, it was paint or markers or glitter glue or whatever. If she was wearing three skirts, she was pretending to be a water spider, not Britney Spears or whoever. Nuclear powered. Just try to keep up with her skiing or kayaking or walking or whatever. I can’t. And I learned early on that if I really wanted her to do something, it was more effective to recruit Chrissy the Police Mouse or some other aminal to handle it for me. That is, any aminal except Froggy, who inevitably makes things worse. grok grok Whaddya mean? grokGROK!!!

I don’t know. The small aminal Mouse is a highly spirited little rodent and there were times when life could be a wild ride around here. But I can’t think what life would be like without her. I love you, Mouse. Where did the time go? How’d I get so old? Who hit fast forward?


Friday, April 21st, 2006

“What kind of aminal is that?” I asked the 2-year-old in the woods. She was intently watching a squirrel as her young parents looked on. I guess I look like one of those scary people who shouldn’t talk to little kids, even when they’re with their parents, because her dad replied, “It’s a squirrel.” grok grok. Scary person? grok grok. She’s the Ugly Old Witch of Ritsema Woods. grok grok. Don’t let ‘er try to fool you. grok grok. She *roasts* children! grok grok FROGGY!!! I declare! I don’t let my tadpoles get anywhere near her! grok grok Froggy, you do NOT have any tadpoles! …… *Do* you??????

Anyway, I know what a squirrel is and I hate when people answer questions for other people, even though I have been known to do it myself. I know there are those who think I am not particularly crazy about little kids but I do sometimes enjoy them. Especially when they seem excited about something and are NOT throwing a full-tilt boogie tantrum in the aisle of the Pioneer High Auditorium or yelling things like, “you’re strangling me!” loudly enough for everybody in the Westgate Kroger to hear.

But that’s okay. It wasn’t really a big deal whether I talked to the kid or not. I was just wandering around in the woods, mindlessly for the most part. But it got me remembering that in our little batch of G4 Fin cousins, quite a wide variety of pronunciations for the word squirrel emerged as the girls each reached the 2-year-old stage. Lizard Breath came pretty close to mimicking adult speech with “shirrel”. Valdemort’s “sirker” was probably about the most creative and it is my all time favorite word for squirrel. Mouse, of course, enunciated “squirrel” with perfect precision. And Pengo would just let out a bloodcurdling scream upon encountering a squirrel. I can’t remember what the reason for that was but it was definitely not fear! I don’t know what that kid in the woods called the aminal she was watching but if y’all ever hear me say “there’s a sirker”, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Mr. Golden Sun

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Please shine down on me.
Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Hiding behind a tree.
These little children are asking you
To please come out so they can play with you
Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Please shine down on me.

Oooops. I am not supposed to sing that song. I’m sure I’m in trouble now. I promise I won’t do it again. But, you know, it is April and this is Michigan and Mr. Golden Sun has definitely NOT been hiding behind a tree. For more days than I can count, he has been out there shining all over the state, even in the Great White North. This is not how it usually is. I remember one April when we went to the Octohouse and spent Easter afternoon driving up to Whitefish Point and back. It snowed the entire time. And last year, it snowed on Mouse’s birthday, which is coming up again next week. We even had a fire in the fireplace that night. You know, I like the sun. But this is almost getting to be a little too much. It was beautiful hiking around the Eastern UP in the bright sunshine. There were no leaves out and you could see all over the place. But after a few days, it almost started feeling a little arid. And I am just not really used to that, I guess. It isn’t 104 degrees here but other than that it kind of reminds me of the summer of 1988 when Mr. Golden Sun shone relentlessly every day and we had no air conditioning anywhere and the baby Mouse screamed bloody murder every time I put her into her car seat. I felt like screaming too. I am going to do a little rain dance, I think. I have not seen a cloud since sometime last week. We need some humidity here. Moss and mold and mushrooms and a few mosquitos. Rain and snow and black clouds and thunder. C’mon, give us a little gloom and doom here. This is Michigan. What the heck is the deal?


Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

<moominbrag>Lizard Breath: “Moom, thank you for paying for me to go to this college. There are so many kids whose parents can’t or won’t help them.” That was the general gist. I don’t remember the exact words.

I do not make a habit of bragging about my daughters. My parents didn’t brag about me, even on the rare occasions that I managed to put my head on straight and do something worth bragging about. They believed it was in bad taste and I agree. But as bad a year as it has been for the Fin family, some people have been pretty successful. I was reminded of that today when we made a quick little vee-hickle swapping trip to kzoo and had lunch with our kids.

So I am going to brag about them a bit. Not that they have made any major accomplishments in recent days. I’m talking about how they conduct their lives in general. There are so many kids who go off to college and wash out in one way or another. Party until they flunk all their classes and drop out. Or whatever. Not my kids. They are responsible people who study hard to achieve academic success. They participate in life, trying new things and taking leadership roles where they have expertise. They are independent thinkers who form their own opinions, largely uncolored by anything we may have tried to beat into their brains. They maintain a positive attitude even on the days when life decides to throw one of those inevitable pieces of crap at them. And they care about their family and friends more than they care about fame and fortune.

Yes, little lizard, it is an expensive college. Even though we aren’t paying anywhere near the full tuition price, we are far from wealthy and it is hard to write those checks. Somehow we are managing and I am glad we can. My heart goes out to those parents who are struggling a bit more than we are and I say BAH HUMBUG to those who can pay but won’t. It is a good college and you girls have proven that you are worth every last bloomin’ penny. You go, girls. I love you.</moominbrag>

Me, Popular? Say What?

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

Confusion? Say what? For about five minutes around noon today, I was actually popular for once in my life 😉 First Lizard Breath called me. As I was talking to her, there were some little beepity noises in the connection and I thought it was because my troll phone often does strange things up here in The Great White North. But it turned out that Mouse was trying to call, so I called her back and while I was talking to her, The Commander’s land line rang and *that* was the GG. For me. All the while, Radical Betty was banging on the door trying to get in. Besides that, I did manage to successfully put out the garbage last night with minimal supervision and no blue language. But blue language was definitely in order during a Waste Management/National City confuddlement, proving for the umpteen millionth time that garbage processing is never boring. And we won’t talk about why my debit card was declined at The Mole Hole but it had nothing to do with Waste Management. That is about all, I guess. It could be worse. The Commander has just read me an obituary about a 44-year-old woman who died in Hessel. Her husband died in 1994. They had some children and as sad as it is, my first thought is that at least those kids will not have to deal with wheeling their old decrepit parents around Tendercare. But, really, Tendercare is a pretty good place and there were definitely a few moments today when I was beginning to wonder if maybe they had a couple more beds over there, either for The Commander or me! Grok Grok. No, you can’t go to Tendercare! grok grok. You need to help me grok grok catch flies and spiders grok grok and keep my flying machine going grokGROK!!! Kee-reist!