Saturday, April 30, 2005

I Need an Interpreter

Or someone who speaks in code and can help me with this one.

The Diva got into a car accident today - she's okay, her car is not. But that's not what this is about.

We had the car towed to the auto hobby shop on base because storage fees there are a fraction of what they charge out in town. The auto hobby shop is managed by Crazy Old Guy, who I later learned has a well-deserved reputation for odd behavior.

So, we managed to fill out the paperwork to leave the car there while listening to random thoughts from Crazy Old Guy. I paid my fees, left a key, and was prepared to leave when Crazy Old Guy shoved a blank piece of paper and a pen across the counter to me. He said before I could leave, I needed to write something down.

Thinking it was important, I took the paper and poised the pen to write.

"C-20. One-Zero-Fiver."

I just looked at him.

He pointed to the paper and told me I would need this information and I should be writing it down. He wasn't going to let me leave until I did.

So he dictated while I wrote. And he made sure I got it all down exactly as it should be. And I was not allowed to ask any questions.

When he finished, he took the pen, made some notations of his own, then told me to hang on to the information he had just given me because it could save me a lot of money down the road. Then he dismissed me.

So......what does this mean? Anyone?

C 20, 105
0700-1600 (I think these are the operating hours for whatever he was giving me.


2644 3289
2121 1604

(He circled all these numbers and wrote "Navy" next to them.)

6620 2791

(These were circled and designated "Marine Corps".)

His initials and today's date were on the bottom.
Lucky You Live Hawaii

Our local news has a weekly segment called "Lucky You Live Hawaii" where they highlight one of the things that make living in Hawaii so amazing. I'm thinking I need to start Blogging some of the reasons I feel lucky to be living in Hawaii.

Tonight was one of those nights.

The Hubster came back from a week on the Mainland tonight and I was so happy to have him home again. It's not that I can't handle things without him - we've done weeks, months, even a year apart in the past - it's just so much easier when he is here.

So we celebrated.

After leaving the airport, we headed downtown to a favorite restaurant. We parked about a mile away, packed Sir Destructo in the stroller and made our way to the restaurant. (The Diva was spending the night with the Bright Idea Girl, and the boys were in the middle of Something Big and opted out of the airport run, thus it was just the three of us.)

It was a beautiful evening and we took our time walking through a shopping center, past the cruise ships, and finally on to the restaurant. Our timing was perfect - it was after happy hour and before the dinner crowd.

We were seated at a table outside, on the water. After we ordered our favorites, we sat and watched the boats drifting past, the tide coming in, and (of course) the tourists. The restaurant always features great local bands playing both Hawaiian music and mainstream music with an Island twist. The band began playing inside the restaurant just as the sun was setting and the Tiki torches were being lit. There's something so calming about a slight breeze coming in off the water while slack-key guitar is playing in the background.

Everything was perfect - the food, the ambiance, the company....even Sir Destructo sat and took it all in.

We are so lucky to be living Hawaii.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dear Perky Bitch,

(Note to Cash Register Girl at Taco Bell.)

I'm so sorry to have bothered you by ordering a Chicken Fiesta Salad (ranch dressing, no salsa), a medium drink, and a soft shell taco (no lettuce) for Sir Destructo and paying for it with the exact change.

I watched as you flirted shamelessly with the group of Marines in line ahead of me. I was truly afraid you were going to pee your pants when you went into that fit of giggles over the Marine ordering ten bean burritos. And the comment, "I'm glad *I* won't be sleeping with you tonight" was tacky, even by fast-food standards.

For some reason, when I approached the counter you became a different person. I realize it is your job to push buttons and take money, and you can do that without being perky. I know I'm nowhere near as cute as that group of Marines, or the ones that followed who also got the perky treatment, but damn - at least pretend to be pleasant!

I'm also sorry someone gave me salsa instead of ranch dressing and I had to bother you to exchange it for me. Thank you for slamming it down on the counter, by the way. It was very well mixed when I opened it. And the spork - who eats salad with a spork? I don't think I was being unreasonable when I requested a REAL plastic fork.

And I know you saw me looking at you when you were sticking your nose in the drinks (literally) trying to figure out which one was the Pepsi. If that had been my drink, I would have asked you to trouble yourself to make me a new one.

A Not-So-Perky Bitch

P.S. I know you didn't ask, but those pants make your ass look huge.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I May Not Have a DVD Player, But....

Yeah, you read that right - we don't own a DVD player. It's not that we are afraid of new technology, it's just that our two VCR's are working just fine. (And by the way, we have VHS, not Beta.)

Some recent remarks make it sound like we are the only people who aren't moving forward with the times.

Not true.

The first of the month is large-item trash pick up, and my Across the Street Neighbors have been doing some serious cleaning and purging. And let me tell you, there is nothing more intriguing and fascinating to a 15 m/o than a huge pile of junk. We cannot leave the house without Sir Destructo being drawn to the Heap o' Junk. He circles, looks, circles some more, tries to touch, then circles some more.

In addition to a dozen large garbage bags full of who-knows-what, there is also a very bright teal headboard, a pepto-pink toilet, something with wheels that is covered by a tarp, a large roll of burnt-orange shag carpet, an aquarium, and a growing pile of other miscellaneous items.

Oh, and an 8-track tape player.

That's right. An 8-track tape player.

8-track tape players always bring back memories of riding to school in my older brother's Camaro (spoiler, hood scoop, fur on the ceiling, the works) while the 8-track was cranked up to Foreigner, Ted Nugent, Boston, or Bob Seger. Good times....

Anyway, looking at the Heap o' Junk today got me thinking.

They stopped making 8-track players like twenty or thirty years ago. At what point do you say, "You know, we really should get rid of this 8-track player." Do you wait ten years, thinking that maybe cassette players are just a fad? Or do you ride out the cassette phase, then get totally caught off-guard by the invention of the CD player. What makes you finally toss it to the curb?

I also wonder if my Across the Street Neighbors still used their 8-track player. If they did, they have got to be totally cool people because the music from the 8-track era is the coolest music ever. I picture them in their wood-paneled den with the burnt-orange shag carpet, Wango-Tango turned up to max volume, dancing around the room playing the air guitar....
Question of the Day

Why is there a crowbar in my bathroom?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Soft Friday...

When I saw the Photo Friday topic for this week, "Soft", the first thing that popped into my little mind was one of Sir Destructo's blankets. It's soft and fluffy and snuggly, and until last week had been stored in a basket under his crib. I don't know why, but for some reason he took it from the basket and it has been his "bangk" ever since.

I keep it folded on the rocking chair with a pacifier tucked inside. When he starts to get tired and needs some down time, he gets his "bangk" and will lie on the floor and chill with his pacifier, sometimes for as long as five minutes.

Today he had one of those moments, so I grabbed my camera and got this shot:

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It's not the one I chose for Photo Friday.

As soon as he saw the camera, it took less than a second for things to change from Quiet Time to Perpetual Motion. The whole thing turned into a game, with me chasing him around the house pointing my camera while he tried to hide under his "bangk".

I like
this photo so much better.
At Least They Can Laugh About It

Tonight was prom night for the Diva.

There was so much drama up to this point, I was afraid the night would be a total bust. In a way it was, but at least the Diva and the Bright Idea Girl can laugh about it already.

It all began when the Diva didn't get the offer she was hoping for. It seems her friend
Cowboy was asked to the prom by another girl. The other girl has a 25 y/o boyfriend who said he wouldn't go to a high school prom, but she could go IF she went with Cowboy. The Diva was a little miffed, but then decided she couldn't care less about him.

So, she and the Bright Idea Girl got together with a bunch of friends and planned to go as a group, girls only. Then one by one the girls (including the B.I.G. got dates), and only four (including the Diva) were left dateless. They got together with four guy friends, sort of paired up and decided to go as a group date. I'm okay with this so far.

The next bit of drama was the after-prom plans. It's pretty much assumed that the students will go to various after-parties in hotel rooms in Waikiki after the prom. And they will drink until they vomit or pass out, sleep on the floor, then the proud parents will pick them up in the morning.

I told the Diva it wasn't going to happen. She doesn't drink, and said she just wanted to go because everyone else was going. There was much debate and attempted negotiations, but there was absolutely no way I would let a 16 y/o be a part of something like that. She went to school the next day, talked to her friends, and one friend decided to rent a laser tag/arcade place and hold an alcohol-free party that night. The Diva decided she would ditch her date after the prom and do the laser tag thing...this would allow him to go get plastered with a bunch of other stupid teenagers. She actually ended up losing him when they got to the ballroom, and she was okay with that.

This afternoon the B.I.G.'s date let her know that he decided to go the alcohol route too, so he said he would be ditching her after the prom. When they got to the prom site, he left to go take pictures of "all the hot girls". He never came back. She was okay with that.

They ate, they danced, they had a good time without their loser dates and I picked them up at 11:00 to take them to the laser tag party.

As we were heading toward Waikiki in the MomVan (the Diva is totally embarassed to be seen in a MomVan), the Diva suddenly grabbed my arm and said, "Mom, slow down!!! I know that guy in front of us!!!"

Directly in front of us was a beat-up pickup truck with three passengers in the cab and one tuxedo-clad, big haired surfer dude lounging in the bed of the truck watching the traffic behind him (that would be us).

The B.I.G. glanced up front and said, "OMG!! It's Cowboy!!"

By this time the Diva had her head between her knees and was begging me to slow down and let someone cut between us. The B.I.G was laughing hysterically and pounding on the windows trying to get Cowboy's attention at each red light (we hit almost every red light from that point on).

When we got to the laser tag site, Cowboy and his beat-up truck continued further down the strip where the parties were. Only then did the Diva came up for air. As I dropped them off, they were talking about everything that had gone wrong and how much fun it had been.

I left them there giggling like a couple of schoolgirls, which is exactly what they are.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Function

The Function didn't turn out to be such a drag after all.

Like my wise friend
Jen said, once you get there it is never as bad as you imagine it will be.

I wore the Hawaiian print skirt and t-shirt outfit that I bought yesterday. It was cute and comfy. The Hubster even commented on how nice I looked, but then again he's used to seeing me in gym shorts and a race t-shirt.

As a tactical move on my part, we decided to take Sir Destructo along. I didn't know anyone who would to be there, so having a cute toddler on your hip is always an ice-breaker. And when you're mingling and there is no one left to mingle with, it's okay to wander off to the play equipment for a few minutes - something you couldn't do without a toddler along. And of course he would be our Exit Strategy.

And the best thing about the whole night?

The Function was held in the neighborhood where we will be living when we (hopefully) move on base this summer. It was a great opportunity to see inside the houses up there (they are all the same floor plan) and I got to meet some of my future neighbors.

As we were leaving and thanking the hostess, she said "In the future we're going to have to make sure we invite you to all of The Functions!!"

Crap. How can I get out of that?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Ick, Ick, and More Ick!!!

First Ick: The mammogram. Motrin up before you have one of those bad boys! 'Nuff said.

Second Ick: The shopping. I really impressed myself. I swear I should get some sort of Power Shopper award for the way I handled today!!

I hit the NEX at Pearl Harbor after my radiology fun. They have a huge Aloha Attire section, and it was my first stop. I immediately spotted a really cute yellow print sundress on sale. There was only one - a size 2. I haven't been a size 2 since maybe fourth grade, but it looked larger than a 2, so I grabbed it.

I browsed a rack of skirts and eventually found a muted Hawaiian print skirt that I liked. I found it in my real size, spotted a t-shirt top to match and headed to the dressing room. On the way I grabbed another sundress in a blue Tapa print, just because.

I have to admit that it's much more fun shopping without a toddler along. Yesterday when we were shopping, Sir Destructo was hit with a fit of the giggles as soon as I undressed in the dressing room. I'm not sure if he was laughing at me or if he just found it funny that Mommy was getting naked in a store. I'll never know.

Today the "Your Butt Ain't That Big" gods were smiling on me. The size 2 dress fit. The skirt was too big, and I ended up exchanging it for a smaller size. I know it isn't me, because my bathroom scale and my clothes (not to mention a giggly toddler) tell me otherwise. Someone was out there mis-sizing clothes to make people like me feel better. And it worked.

I got both dresses, the skirt, and t-shirt and was out the door in twenty minutes. And that was important because it was already almost 4 p.m. and I needed to cross town to get home.

Third Ick: As I left the parking lot the traffic report came on the radio, and it wasn't good. There was an accident on the highway, in the direction I was heading, and traffic was at a standstill for miles.

In most cities, you can just hop on an alternate highway and bypass an accident without much delay. However, when you are on an island with mountains to your left and the ocean to your right, there really aren't many options.

So, I hit the surface streets and made my way one stoplight at a time through Honolulu.

I started out in a not-so-good part of town, where the street was two lanes - apparently one was for the city buses and the other was for anyone wanting to make a left turn. Eventually the street widened to four lanes...just as we hit Chinatown where they have a stoplight every single block. I made it through there and passed the municipal and state offices at exactly 5 o'clock. There was no traffic, which makes me wonder what time the public servants leave work.

Anyway, I made it home in just under two hours.

Now I can look forward to The Function tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005


The Hubster called Monday to let me know we have A Function to attend on Friday. Some dinner thing for a visiting Brigadier General/JAG-type and his posse.

My first thought was "How can I get out of this one?"

It's not that I'm anti-social (well, maybe it is). It's more that I'm lazy. This week has been crazy and we have a logistical nightmare weekend ahead of us - I would really love to just stay home and do nothing.

I tried "You're working outside your MOS*, so you shouldn't have to attend JAG functions", but he quickly reminded me that technically he was still a part of the JAG community and would be returning to it soon. Crap.

Then I moved on to the "We have a lot of things going on Friday, it would probably be best if I stayed home with the kids" argument. He said he was told that we can bring Sir Destructo (bwaaaahhaha!!!!!) if we want. The others are old enough to stay home by themselves.

Okay. Then I discovered the Outback Steakhouse dinners we had purchased for the Wildcard's school fundraiser needed to be picked up Friday night. (At this point I am really digging deep....) He looked at the schedule and noticed that I can pick the dinners up and still make it to The Function on time. Oh joy.

My final attempt was "But I don't have anything to wear." He said the dress code was Aloha Casual and I should go shopping if I didn't have anything suitable. Double crap. Now I have to go to The Function and I have to go shopping.

So, I spent today shopping for an Aloha Casual outfit to wear to The Function. I did find a cute little flippy skirt and tank top on sale, so I bought them. Totally inappropriate for The Function though.

Tomorrow is round two of shopping. Have I mentioned that I hate shopping? (
I certainly did!!) The Hubster is taking tomorrow off work to stay with Sir Destructo while I go have a mammogram and then search for a new outfit. I don't know which I'll enjoy more.

I should be in a real pleasant mood tomorrow night.

*Military Occupational Specialty, a.k.a. career field

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

For All My Okie Friends

"...Remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever."

(Quote from the OKC National Memorial)

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This statue, known as "weeping Jesus" is not actually a part of the Memorial, but is on the corner directly across the street from where the Murrah Building stood. This memorial has the statue of Jesus with his face buried in his hand, facing away from the bombing site toward a granite wall with 168 missing blocks. He is surrounded by pillars of various shapes and sizes to represent the bombing victims.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Restful Friday?

This is the picture I chose for this week's Photo Friday. The topic is "Rest" and what could be more restful and peaceful than a five year-old sitting on a bench enjoying the wonders of nature?

Look at the picture, then scroll down for the rest of the story (no pun intended).

The picture was taken last time we lived here. The Hubster had been gone somewhere, I don't remember where, for a few weeks. The kids were in a funk and were constantly arguing, picking at each, other and just being irritable.

I gave them plenty of chances to stop, and just be nice to each other for a while.


So, I told them to put on some sneakers, grab a water bottle, and get in the MomVan.

We headed for
Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens. My plan was to hike the trails until they could be nice to each other and have a pleasant attitude. Then I brought my camera to document the trip.

Here are a couple of the not-so-restful pictures I took after our first hour of hiking. As you can tell, I was still waiting on an attitude adjustment. It was a huge accomplishment to get them to all sit on the same bench, so score one for me. (The picture isn't crooked, the bench is on a hill. Really.)

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This one at least shows a little effort on the part of the Blonde One. The Diva is still totally pissed though.

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We were there for almost four hours and probably hiked every single trail. The last trail was the one that goes down by the lake - where the Photo Friday picture was taken. By then they were totally exhausted, muddy, and covered in mosquito bites.

And they at least faked pleasantness long enough to get out of there....

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Rabbit Island

Okay, this has been making me crazy.

I drive past Rabbit Island probably ten times per week, but I was never able to figure it out.

The island got its name from its shape - it resembles a rabbit. No matter how many times I passed the island, I just didn't see the rabbit. A few weeks ago I saw a picture of Rabbit Island with the image of the rabbit drawn over the photo to show how it got its name.

It was like being struck by lightning. The rabbit is there and very obvious. I don't know why I never saw it.

So, since then I have not been able to pass the island without seeing the rabbit. I try not to look, but I always end up looking and seeing a huge, obvious rabbit.

Today when we passed Rabbit Island, I tried to point out its features to the Hubster and the kids, but they just didn't see it. I think they thought I was crazy, like George spotting those raccoons on that episode of Seinfeld....

Do YOU see it? I'll post the 'answer' in a few days.

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Friday, April 15, 2005

The Difference Between Males and Females

Yesterday morning the Diva called on her way to school:

Her: Mom, there's a lot of traffic. How to I cut through Enchanted Lakes?

Turn at the light into Enchanted Lakes, go left at the first light, left at the second light, go through the next light, and the light after that will be the main drag.

Got it.

Fifteen minutes later she called to let me know she was at school.

Today the Hubster called:

Him: There's a car fire at Castle Junction. Is there a different way I can take?

Me: You can cut through Enchanted Lakes and miss it all.

How do I do that?

At the light where you normally turn towards Castle Junction, go straight...

Can't I turn by the boat place?

Me: The boat place? Ummm...okay if you want to go that way.

So I turn at the boat place, then what?

After you go through your first light you'll come to a light in the middle of a huge construction zone. Turn right.

There's a construction zone? And I turn right?

Yes. That road will curve around and you'll make a right at the first light. After that, make a left at the next light and you'll be on the main drag.

Okay, got it.

Thirty minutes later, a phone call.

GDMF... Which way am I supposed to turn?

Where are you?

I don't know. There was a construction zone and it just threw me... I'm coming up on a dead end in a residential area.

Turn around, go back down the hill and turn left at the first light....

Left? I thought I was supposed to turn right.

Me: (Thinking, "Then why didn't you just turn right like you were supposed to?")
If you were coming from the other direction, you would turn right. You already went through the light, right?

I'm on Keaoulua...(he totally butchered the name) and I'm coming up on Haumumukaka (again, totally wrong).

Me: Do a U-Turn, go back through the construction zone, right at the first light, then left onto the main drag.

I thought this was supposed to be simpler...

Yeah, me too.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Today when I picked the Wildcard up after school people were driving like idiots in The Neighborhood. It's okay though, because they must be Very Important People or else they wouldn't live in The Neighborhood. It's not their fault that a school is located in The Neighborhood. If they are in a hurry, they shouldn't be bothered by things like, say, kids crossing the street.

There are no "School Zone" signs, no blinky signs pointing out a lower speed limit, heck they don't even have a lower speed limit in front of the school in The Neighborhood.

So, I'm waiting at the light to make a left-hand turn onto the main road. The light turns green and the crossing guard, an elderly gentleman with a reflector vest and a hand-held stop sign, stops the left-turning traffic so that a boy on a bicycle can cross the main road. The two cars in front of me both totally ignored the crossing guard and made their left turn, which leads me to believe they must be Very, Very Important people who needed to get to a Very Important Place (Hell, perhaps?) really fast.

Why else would you speed through that intersection? Did you just assume that the elderly crossing guard would grab the boy on the bicycle to keep him from being run over? And as long as you made it to your Very Important Place on time, it's probably okay that both the boy and the crossing guard hit the pavement and are nursing some unnecessary bumps, bruises and scrapes right now.

But you wouldn't know any of this because you whipped through the intersection and never looked back, Assholes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Adventures in Insomnia

Last night Sir Destructo decided to pull an all-nighter.

He hasn't been sleeping well lately. Most nights he wakes some time after midnight and doesn't go back to sleep for 2-3 hours. He's not fussy or demanding, just awake in bed babbling and singing. Sometimes he'll want a bottle or a diaper change, but other than that he's content to lie there and entertain himself.

The problem is, I don't sleep well when I know he is awake.

Anyway, last night he woke just after midnight. He sang, he chatted with himself, he played with the three toys in his crib. At 2 a.m. I did the diaper change/bottle routine and put him back to bed thinking he would soon fall asleep.

At 2:30 the Wildcard came in and said he couldn't sleep because of all the noise (they share a room). He has achievement testing all week, so I told him he could sleep in my bed. I took my pillow and wandered off in search of a place to sleep.

The Diva has a double bed, but she was sprawled from corner to corner. The Blonde One was sleeping on his bottom bunk and I really didn't feel like climbing up to the top bunk. The Wildcard's bed was empty, but neither Destructo nor I would sleep if I went in there.

So I grabbed a blankie and headed to the couch.

From the baby monitor across the room, I could hear Destructo still babbling at 3:30.

At 4:00 I got up to close the windows. He was still awake.

Sometime around 4:45ish, StupidDog began to bark at something (more likely nothing) which led to a series of "barks" from Destructo's crib. Still wide awake in there.

I dozed off for a while, then woke to banging, rattling, and....could it be....harmonicas?

Mr. Insomnia had managed to reach through his crib to the plastic storage bin and open the drawer full of musical instruments. It was 5-freakin-20 in the morning and he was playing the harmonica, shaking a tambourine, and rattling a maraca.

It's going to be a long day.
Stir Crazy

One of the joys (!) of military life is the frequent moves.

I am totally okay with moving almost anywhere - I love discovering regional differences or immersing myself in different cultures. It's an adventure to be dropped in the middle of Who-Knows-Where and be forced to make it "Home". Sort of like bad reality television.

The part I don't like - and this has only happened two times in eleven moves - is being stuck in a house that makes me absolutely crazy. Like now.

We rented our house sight-unseen because in Hawaii four-bedroom rentals that allow StupidDogs are nearly impossible to find. When we finally saw the house six weeks later, I knew it was going to be a long year.

It's not that it is a bad house, it is just an ugly house. And the landlord doesn't allow paint, wallpaper, or nails in the walls. So, not only do I have to look at bare walls, but every time I go into the garage I see three boxes of stuff that should be hanging on my walls right now. I miss my stuff.

Instead, this is what I am surrounded by. And tell me honestly, wouldn't it make you crazy?

Our walls are all Insane Asylum White. If that isn't bad enough, random walls are covered in a stucco/popcorn finish. You know, to give it that igloo feel. One thing I've learned is that when you beat your head against stucco/popcorn walls, it hurts!

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Our ceilings are high - real high. And wood - dark wood. It's like they were going for a cozy, rustic feel, but somehow got off track. Instead it's Igloo Meets Log Cabin.

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And the floors are part carpeted, part tile. This tile. It sort of ties the whole look together, yeah?

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I keep telling myself "Three more months. Three more months. Three more months...."


Sunday, April 10, 2005

Elliptical Mind Games

I'm not sure if I've always had a short attention span, but I get bored silly if I'm not doing three things at once or am stuck with a repetitive activity for more than, say, three minutes.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on the cardio machines at the gym. I tend to 'play' the machine, like a video game, to combat boredom. I can't simply set the elliptical machine and go, I have to use the manual settings, then adjust/readjust/adjust again every minute or two.

Tonight I decided to use a bit of restraint. I would do a five minute warmup, then set the resistance to the highest level (25) and do two minutes at each level until I got back to Level 1. I would follow this with a five minute cooldown, for a total workout of one hour.

This is how I spent my hour:

Five Minute Warmup: The Diva was at the gym and just finishing her workout, so she stopped and chatted while I did my warmup and my two minutes at Level 25.

Level 24: Scan the four TV's on the wall in front of me. #1 is on the Man Channel and showing The Ultimate Fighter (Ultimate Finals!!). #2 is replaying (?) the Michigan State Kentucky basketball game (wasn't that last week?). #3 has a Ben Affleck movie on FX (I'm not a fan of either Affleck or FX). #4 is showing some Alicia Silverstone movie that really isn't worth craning my neck to watch and read subtitles.

Level 22: Think about how to decorate our house when we move this summer. Decide on paint colors. Wonder about the best way to frame and matt two new photo enlargements.

Level 21: Try to focus on the TV's on the opposite wall by watching their reflections in the mirror. One looks like the Food Channel, but I can't be sure.

Level 20: Notice in the mirror that my bangs have fallen out of the clip I had pulled them back into before leaving home. This, combined with the humidity and wind outside, makes me look like Gilda Radner as Roseanne Rosannadanna from the early SNL episodes.

Level 19: Spot the Target Heartrate chart on the wall and compare my current heartrate with the optimal heartrate for my age on the chart. I am well above the 80% (target rate), so I calculate what my actual percentage is. It is 91%. Which, based on further calculations, is the 80% target rate for an 8 y/o.

Level 17: The Ultimate Fighter is still fighting, Michigan State is winning, Ben and Alicia still don't interest me.

Level 15: There is a row of nine elliptical machines. The one on far left is being used. I am using the fourth from the left, and the rest are empty. Some lady walks in and hops on the machine directly to the right of me. Why? I feel like she is invading my space. So I watch her enter her weight - 120 pounds. I check her in the mirror and decide she lied.

Level 13: Realize that I am progressing at a rate of 1/100 mile every 10 seconds. Do the math. Decide to step it up to see if I can reach 1/100 mile every 6 seconds, which would be 1/10 mile per minute which would be a ten-minute mile. Easy at Level 1, but not-so-easy at Level 13.

Level 11: Reach target of 10-minute mile. Notice that Ultimate fighters all have cheap/exotic looking girlfriends. Spandex, collagen, and bleach seem to be a common denominator.

Level 10: Arizona and Illinois are now playing basketball (wasn't that last week also?). Ignore Ben and Alicia.

Level 9: Notice that Ms. 120 Pounds is on Level 1 and moving pretty slowly. Decide I can take her, even on level 9. Step it up and leave her in the dust.

Level 7: Ms. 120 Pounds admits defeat and gets off her machine. She doesn't wipe it down!! Recall a Seinfeld episode where George didn't wipe down a machine at the gym.

Level 6: My toes are numb, so I try to put all the pressure on my heels without locking my knees. Nearly fall off the machine. Notice that I'm hungry. Realize that it's 7 p.m. and all I've eaten today is a bowl of cereal and a piece of cheese. Dang, I'm hungry!!

Level 5: More math. Count how many steps I take per ten seconds, multiply it by 6 to see how many steps per minute. From this, calculate how many more steps will I take in the final fifteen minutes of my workout.

Level 4: Now I'm thirsty. And hungry. And my toes are numb. The Ultimate Fighters/Basketball/Ben/Alicia thing is really starting to annoy me.

Level 2: Calculation time. I am almost to three miles. If I pick up the pace I might be able to hit four miles before I finish. Figure out that I need to do .13 mile per minute in order to complete four miles. Kick ass for the remaining nine minutes.


Friday, April 08, 2005

Plastic Friday

So, we're looking at plastic this week.

As I was straightening the house tonight, I was thinking about this week's Photo Friday topic - "Plastic".

Whenever I hear the word 'plastic' I always think of a quote I read several years ago by some (obviously) know-nothing beauty expert. She said, "Every woman wants to look like Pamela Anderson....all cheap, plastic and trashy, if only for a day."

Yeah, right.

Back to the plastic issue.

I'm thinking credit cards? Legos? Plastic alphabet magnets? I even considered smushing objects under Saran Wrap.

And then it hit me, literally.

As I was reaching up to organize the kids' game shelf, the Mastermind for Kids game fell off the shelf, hit me in the head, and scattered little plastic animal pieces all over the floor.

Mastermind it is.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

It's All About the Shoes

I've decided to put Whiny Wednesday on hold and talk about shoes.

Specifically, these shoes:

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Destructo has never worn shoes, and has never shown an interest in shoes. There was one time I did try to squeeze one fat foot into a shoe, but his screams attracted so much attention I was afraid the Shoe Store Lady would be calling 911.

So, last week we were out at Old Navy and he spotted "The Shooos". I didn't really think he'd be interested, but I found a pair that fit and put them on his chunky little feet. In the process, the straps wriggled between his toes and tickled his feet.

He decided he liked shoes.

So we got The Shooos and he held them happily while I finished my shopping. All the way home he held The Shooos, he talked about The Shooos, and he tried to put The Shooos on by pressing them against the tops of his feet.

As soon as we got home, Destructo placed The Shooos on the floor under the front desk, alongside everyone else's shoes.

And then it was naptime.

As soon as he woke up, he ran to get The Shooos, pressed them against his feet, and started in with, "Shooos? Side? Shooos? Side?"

Apparently he has realized that you put shoes on, then you go outside. Or, in his mind, if you are wearing The Shooos, you must go outside.

The first time he actually walked in The Shooos was tricky. He did that sort of "Woooaaahhhhh!" thing where he tried to catch his balance with each step in The Shooos. He eventually perfected the art of walking while wearing shoes. (When you have a 14 month-old, you have to brag about the little things...."My child can walk and wear shoes at the same time....")

So now it's all about The Shooos.

When he wakes up every morning, he immediately begins looking for The Shooos. When he finds The Shooos, he commands himself to "Sit!", and then waits for someone to come along and put The Shooos on his feet.

After his evening bath, he must wear The Shooos with his pajamas while we push him around the neighborhood for his pre-bedtime wind-down walk.

Now if I could only get the Wildcard to feel the same way about The Pants.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Have you ever had one of those nights at home where everything is perfect, sort of a 2005 Leave it to Beaver episode, then all of a sudden one little incident sets off a chain of events which cause everything to degenerate into total chaos and everyone stomps off to bed angry? And then before you know it, it's 1:30 a.m. and the baby is STILL awake, one child is sleeping on the couch and doing that sniffling thing they do when they've cried so hard they totally lose control of most bodily functions, you've just gotten your post-run shower, and you still have two loads of laundry to do before going to bed?


Sunday, April 03, 2005

HOT Friday!

The Photo Friday topic of the week is "Hot".

It seemed appropriate because I was 'hot' most of the day, and not in a good way.

Through a series of coincidences we learned that we may not be moving into base housing in May/June as promised. Instead, we are looking at September/October "if everything works out".

What the Hell?

So I spent most of the rest of the day pissed at the world (and apparently, based on my potty mouth, I haven't gotten over it yet). I know four months really isn't unbearably long to wait, but this is what it means:

-Our lease runs through June 15 - we will have to get our landlord to agree to go month-to-month after that.

-We had hoped to sign the Wildcard up for summer soccer on base so he could meet some boys his age before we move.

-The Blonde One was planning to referee soccer this summer, since we would be living on base and all.

-The Diva was going to get a full-time summer job on base.

-I would be able to spend the summer getting settled in our new house, so that when school started we would be settled enough that *I* could get a part-time job.

-If we stay here through the summer, it will totally mess up the school year for the Wildcard because the school here starts mid-July and the school he will attend after we move starts at the end of August.

-And finally, back to my point, our house here doesn't have air-conditioning and I can't stand the thought of spending another summer here! If we don't get base housing before it gets hot, we'll all have to spend the summer
sitting on the tile floors in nothing but our Winnie the Pooh diapers, fighting over fan space.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Man School

The Blonde One has officially enrolled at Man know, the place where teenaged boys learn to do manly things like eat a lot, forget everything that is important, remember random useless bits of information, and leave "clean" clothes scattered all over the floor.

I'm not sure how Man U works, but I'm guessing the lessons are subliminally transmitted.

We began seeing the change recently with the moodiness.

And then the eating - a lot. Last night before going to bed he had a snack of three pieces of barbecued chicken. His dinner had been a huge plate of pasta and garlic bread, followed by a snack of half a dozen freshly baked oatmeal/coconut/chocolate chip cookies.

The thing that makes me the most crazy is the on-again/off-again memory.

Last week while on Spring Break, the Blonde One got a phone call from Giggly Girl. This is the conversation that followed:

Me: Who was that?

Him: Someone.

Me: What's up with Someone?

Him: She needed help with some homework.

(Knowing the only homework the Blonde One had over Spring Break was a project for Biology class involving genetics and evolution in the animal kingdom...) Which animal did she choose?

Him: Huh?

Me: For the Biology report.

Him: Oh, she needed help with something else. An English project.

Me: Huh?

Him: We have to do a ten-page paper translating Romeo and Juliet.

Me: Why is a girl calling you for help with Romeo and Juliet? You hate that stuff. And by the way, why haven't I heard about this English paper before now?

Him: Because I totally forgot about it. Good thing she called, yeah?

It's 40% of his grade in that class. How do you just 'forget' something like that?

On Monday he came home in a teenaged frenzy because his Math teacher had "just told them" that their second draft of a research paper was due the next day. He swears the teacher never mentioned it before.

And the Biology project (his favorite subject) that he remembered to do and spent days working on? He turned it in on Monday only to discover it wasn't due until Wednesday.

Last night he spent over an hour on another English paper - part of a group project. When I turned the computer on this morning, there was his paper, sitting in the printer tray.

Ahhh, the wonders of a Man Brain in training...