Athletes Foot Saves the Day!

Betcha never would've thought a yucky fungus lingering silently on the damp floors of a stinky gym locker room, waiting patiently to creep onto a stray flip flop thrown haphazardly amongst the multitude of items that may come into contact with your sweet, inviting flesh would be the source of my unending appreciation and gratitude. And yet, yesterday was just that day.

I flopped my overstuffed gym bag on the floor as CCC and I wrapped up our toilette when CCC urgently hissed "pick up your bag!". I snatched it up and hastily set it on the bench. I looked at her. She looked at me. The understanding was that something horribly bad had happened on that patch of floor in my absence. My imagination quickly ran through a full range of possibilities, including a potty accident or someone sitting their naked derriere on the floor and scootching around like my high school boyfriend's terrier who had something terribly wrong with its bum. Turned out it was neither but rather a conversation had by previous lockermates in regards to a raging athletes foot infestation and the persistent nature of said athletes foot.

Which is why I promptly emptied my gym bag when I got home in order to put it in the laundry. Which is why I noticed immediately that my gym clothes were not in my bag. Which gave me the opportunity to race back to the gym and get my most favorite gym pants in the whole wide world where they had JUST been scooped up by the locker room cleaning lady. And I mean JUST. There was a brief moment when I thought she might give me a hard time when I told her they were mine, and I really didn't want to have to fight this lady for them, but I would have without hesitation. THAT'S how much I love those pants.

Thank you Athletes Foot lady!!!


Where Girls Grow Strong...

.....lugging damn cookies all over here and there and everywhere.

I am probably the most anti-Girl Scout Girl Scout leader of all time. Sort of like if Billy Graham ended up being a screaming atheist. When Big E expressed interest in joining Girl Scouts in kindergarten, she had no idea what that meant, other than lots of "girls", of which she approved greatly. Being the perfect combination of "sucker" and "control freak" that I am, it wasn't long before I was walking away from the rally with my arms filled with paperwork and instructions on how to form a troop. That was five years ago and I suppose I will continue to be a leader as long as Big E continues to be a Girl Scout. Remember? Sucker + Control Freak = Me.

The concept of Girl Scouts is great and I do believe the organization does good things for some girls, especially those girls whose families are struggling to provide the necessities let alone opportunities and / or positive role models.

But after walking the streets of our neighborhood peddling cookies in the frigid cold (OK, it was only about 40 degrees, but that is brrrr-y COLD in Austin, especially for me who has strongly considered configuring a harness that straps to my body to carry my hot water bottle with me everywhere I go), the acrid taste won't leave me alone.

Here's the problem. I feel like our girls are being pimped out to raise money for an organization that doesn't give back as much as it gets to MOST of the girls. We keep a ridiculously low amount from the sale of each box of cookies (about 12%) and yet still have to pay full price to participate in Girl Scout events and activities. The uniforms are exorbitantly priced. Then we are asked to donate even more money from our troop to support other Girl Scout programs. Oy vey! It's turning me into a bitter lady and I don't like that. I want it to be a positive experience for the girls and it still is for now. But what about when they get old enough to realize they're being taken advantage of?

Soooo, want to buy some Girl Scout cookies?


It's still about Hope.

Much like the short-timers who have been clogging MY treadmill at the gym for the last two weeks, I started off '09 on such a roll! Five posts in the first seven days or some nuttiness? Then nothing. Zip. A desolate blogging void. Is it possible I'm becoming a Bi-polar Blogger? There's certainly some evidence to indicate so. Even the resolution-crazed treadmill hogs at the gym have lasted longer than I did. I give 'em another six days until I get my trustworthy treadmill back all to myself. Mine!

Of course, this day couldn't pass without a brief comment on the big events of this day so I am being yanked out of the Blogging Abyss. So, let's see...what happened today?...I got all the laundry done (an undisputably magnificent feat that happens with the frequency of an eclipse), I got a ticket (darn out-of-date inspection sticker and suck-the-fun-out-of-my-day, John McCain-loving policeman!), and Little A got a pencil from the substitute teacher for being such a good boy today. Speaking of which....he had a substitute teacher because his teacher was in Washington. Seriously! AND Big E's teacher was in Washington! Super Seriously! I have been eaten alive with piercing jealousy because they got to go to.....

.....this little gathering of politicos in Washington. That's right. TODAY was the inauguration.

Somehow the PTA watch party ended up at our house (one of only seven houses in all of Austin without cable. Sorry, no CNN or MSNBC...and you wouldn't get FOX even if we DID have cable because it just would not be allowed. If you want to see what "the other side" is saying, you'll have to watch elsewhere). So we flipped between the networks and were careful not to stand in the way of the rabbit ears as we watched, commented, laughed, cried, exclaimed, and admired. And THAT was all over Michelle's dress. Badum bum! But seriously folks....

As the Obamas escorted the Bush's to the helicopter I began to feel a slight trace of pity and sorrow for GW, who (I feel) was never really up for the enormous job that was thrust into his lap.

But I digress... It was a sensational day. The sun shined. The Obamas shined. The American people shined. Tomorrow, back to the real world and the real problems. But today - was a good one. Now we hope.


Bring on the cold

I will never fear camping in November again!

Unless it's really, REALLY cold. Because I'd have to get out of THIS sooner or later and THAT would not be good.

I couldn't wait to try out my new sleeping bag today and sure enough, it was toasty warm. The whole time I was in it I couldn't escape the vision of this As Seen On TV apparel / blanket contraption that assaulted my eyeballs at the gym this morning:My tolerance for temperature variance in the winter is below low. Our thermostat stays at 68 degrees during the day and I bundle up like I'm preparing for an dogsled race. If I'm sitting, I'm under a blanket. And yet. I don't think I could put myself in one of these. All I can think is Sith Lord or Helen Roper (remember Three's Company?) and her famous caftans, which pretty much defined mature ladies of the 70s, in my mind.

I definitely prefer the Sith Lord.


My Sally Field moment

Facebook: The best thing to happen for birthdays since the cake.

I've been fairly effective at spreading the word about my birthday over the years, incrementally adding the amount of "airtime" I give to that particular topic each year so as to not overwhelm everyone years ago when I first moved to Austin. It's all about baby steps! It seemed I needed to ease into my birthday being front and center in January rather than hitting everyone hard.

This tactic has been a smashing success and now, with Facebook, the word is definitely out. The full breadth and scale of my birthday was felt yesterday when every time I checked my email the Inbox was overflowing with birthday wishes from friends from coast-to-coast, and even a few from across one or two oceans. Or the phone was ringing. Or my phone was buzzing with texts. I feel so loved.

You like me. You REALLY like me!



The Christmas pilgrimage to Oklahoma took place before the holiday this year, completely throwing off my MoJo. Although it was a great trip with Much Fun and Family Togetherness, I was unable to get my Christmas cards out. I had decided to switch to a postcard format to Save the Earth but then days slipped through my fingers and it just didn't happen. My disgraceful procrastination resulted in an email greeting, which, on a good note, has literally added years to the Earth's life expectancy. Or so Bubble Boy has reassured me.

The Togetherness Activities in OKC always include a trip to the Science Museum of Oklahoma, aka The Omniplex. After about 20 years of not changing anything, they've finally made some great updates and there was fun for all. Explosion shows, rides on a Segway, pirates, legos, marble runs, and multiple studies on motion, electricity, and all that other science-y stuff.

We couldn't get The Boy away from the marble run.

Somehow we managed to get eleven people to The Nutcracker on time. My crowd-a-phobia was threatening to rear its ugly head but I stamped it down and think I was successful in not seeming too bitchy and short-tempered. If you didn't see it that way, please hush up and let me enjoy my fantasy. Little A watched with rapt attention as the music played and the dancers danced. He was equally mesmerized by the orchestra as the dancers. We had the opportunity to meet some of the dancers after the performance. Little A was so excited to have his photo taken with the Prince / Nutcracker. His comment afterwards (with a VERY concerned look and in hushed tones), "he looks REALLY different up close". Um. Yeah.

Clara did not look so different and was very sweet.

This is what I was off doing when I should have been addressing and stamping Christmas cards. I hope that my public confession here will beg a smidge of forgiveness. Think of the earth.


First time ever

It's January 3rd and all remnants of Christmas are packed up and stowed away, waiting patiently to be pulled out again and hastily put up next November. Bubble Boy just about blew an artery when he came in and saw what I was doing.

See, upon moving in together in mid-April many years ago, we had to take my Christmas tree down to make the move. Mid-April. That's like, a whole season-and-a-half away! We were very close to having a very Merry Valentine's Day a few years ago before Bubble Boy took some initiative and packed everything up himself. It used to be that I really liked looking at it, and there still is a little bit of that, but mostly it was because I HATE the tedium of wrapping everything up, packing it safely away, hauling it up to the attic. It's just so much more fun to UNpack it and make the house festive.

So, I'm hoping this is a sign for the year to come. Maybe I won't procrastinate as much. Maybe I'll stay on top of all that requires being stayed up on top of. Maybe. There's always a First Time!


A look ahead...way ahead.

The new year is upon me and in a lot of ways, it doesn't feel any different. Big E confirmed this fact when we got up this morning and the wave of that mysterious something that a ten year old expects is going to roll in and change their view of the world with birthdays and new years wasn't there. The day seemed much like every other day except we all slept until after 8:30, which would usually indicate something dreadful had happened. But after some contemplation on how science fiction-y 2009 seemed to me when I was a wee tot of ten years old we began to look at the day a little differently.

Many things have changed since 1982. Hair, for example. We confirmed this with a brief viewing of my senior prom video. Oy vey. Wow. I can't say that the hair was particularly beautiful, but no one can say there wasn't a lot of it. Big E wondered more than once how we got our bangs THAT puffy.

Then we contemplated how different the world would be in 2035. What would we say about hairstyles now? What would we say about our clothes, computers, cell phones, appliances, Barack Obama? Would we have reached Mars? Will space travel be open for tourists? What would cars look like? Would they fly like I assumed they would by now way back then? What would music sound like? Would Hannah Montana make explicit albums, a few bad movies, take up yoga and the Kabbalah, move to London and adopt a British lilt?

Or maybe the world will get simpler, more local. Devolve a little. You never know. It sounds nice, actually.

For now, the Christmas decorations are almost down, the kids' rooms have been purged and the beer that exploded in my freezer last night has been cleaned up. The house smells like a brewery, but that's OK. The inauguration is less than three weeks away. Things are looking up.