Saturday, December 31, 2005

I said I wasn't making any resolutions

from SID, who got it from another, and so on, and so on...

Your New Year's Resolutions
1) Get a pet rooster
2) Eat less brussel sprouts
3) Travel to Greece
4) Study animal behavior
5) Get in shape with street fighting

Yeah, I said I wasn't making any, but I didn't say I wouldn't let anyone make them for me. Although, if I eat fewer brussels sprouts, I'd go into the negative numbers. I'll send all of mine to Tina.

One year

I've been at this blogging thing for a year now. Happy Birthday, Suburban Decay!

Looking over the last years' posts, I've found a few that I'm proud of, but most of them are kind of goofy. A bit like me, I guess. It took me a while to find my place in the blogosphere, such as it is.

I mean, I'm a teacher, but this isn't an EduBlog, like Mamacita's. I rarely write about teaching, or my students, for fear of being Dooced. I'm interested in politics, but this isn't a political blog, like Jeremy's or Dave's. Occasionally, I rant, but this doesn't even come close to the rantings of the Sniffy One. I talk a lot about Miss Peanut, but this isn't really a MommyBlog, like Melissa's or Yvonne's, both of which make me giggle on a daily basis. I mean, they talk about "mom ass" and "pachinas." How can you not love that?

Occasionally, I can be clever or witty, but I don't approach Herge, Garfer, or Sarah (or Sarah, but I'm apparently unworthy and she won't talk to me. Guilty conscience, anyone?).

My blogroll is a mish-mash of styles. Eclectic doesn't even begin to cover it. I guess that's because it reflects my personality. Multifaceted. Or Schizophrenic, perhaps.

To-may-to, to-mah-to.

It's been fun, this year of opening my personality to the world. I don't plan on stopping anytime soon, either. Mercury must be in retrograde, though, because I'm frightfully inarticulate tonight.

I guess what I'm trying very clumsily to say is "Thank you for this really neat year." And may you all have a happy and productive 2006.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Blah blah blah

Holiday blahs. I've got 'em.

Don't get me wrong, I had a great Christmas, and a wonderful vacation, but I'm feeling a bit deflated now. And not in a good way - I've definitely inflated this holiday. No doubt about it.

I don't want to make any resolutions this year, as I don't know what this year will bring. I'm facing some major changes - I know this already - and even though they're voluntary, I don't handle change well. It makes me hostile.

Plus, that damned diet is looming large at the start of January. I always start one, but this time, I'm going to have to stick to it for 6 months, at the doctor's request.

I don't know how I feel about anything, either. Except okra. I still hate that shit.

Blah, blah, blah. Whinge, whinge, whinge. Sorry you came now?


Sunday, December 18, 2005

I hear voices...

My cell phone has an echo when I call the WCM so I hear my voice coming back at me on a 2-second delay. My voice sounds nasal, mezzo soprano, and uptempo with clipped consonants. I don't have a discernable Delaware accent, as the speech training my father put me through as a child was brutally effective. Enunciate! Round your vowels! Modulate your tone!

My mother-in-law has a voice that makes dogs cringe - it's so squeakily high it hurts. It was one of the things that most irritated me about her, especially since most of the time it was raised in a whine. Miss Peanut also has a high, squeaky voice, but then, she's four years old. She has a slight speech impediment due to knocking out her two front teeth two years ago. She'll grow out of it when she gets her permanent teeth - in about 4 years... The WCM has a tenor voice, and an odd tendency to say "warsh" instead of "wash." I've never understood this idiosyncracy, but it's not a major fault.

None of the voices I hear in my head when I read books or blogs say "warsh" though. Nor are they squeaky or high. In my head, I hear beguiling baritones and mellow altos. I hear the sophisticated screen voices of 1940s silver screen stars. I hear the husky timbre of the pack-a-day smoker wreathed in fragrant fumes. And I hear accents of all nationalities and locales - Northern England, Southern France, Ancient Rome, Scottish Highlands, South Jersey, Saint Louis, and New Yawk.

It's funny how a voice can influence how you think about a person - how it can draw or repel you. Strange, also, how people will change their voices to suit a situation. When I was working in an office, I reverted back to my childhood training and deepened my voice, enunciating like Martha Stewart. My friends would call and ask to speak to me, because they didn't recognize my voice on the phone.

The voice is a powerful instrument. How you sound can make as big an impact on how others perceive you as what you say. If Sylvester Stallone sounded like Stephen Fry, or if Stephen Fry sounded like Ali G, would they have made the same impact on the public?

I don't know really what I'm trying to say here, so I'll just rest my voice and shut the hell up.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Grande, no, er, Venti, Frappa-Mocha-Cappa Crappa

Just give me a fucking cup of coffee without making me learn a new goddamn language to get it. I've just now succumbed to the lure of Starbuck's, having formerly sneered derisively at all the fools who paid upwards of $3 for a simple cup of coffee. Little did I know the glories of the Venti Iced Caffe Mocha.

First, you have to appreciate that I'm a chocolaholic of the highest order. If there were an Order of the Chocolate Empire, I'd be addressed as Lady Bronwen Bittersweet, Keeper of the Cocoa, Duchess of the Dutch Process. Second, I love me some iced coffee. I get a large iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts every morning - what can I say? I'm a creature of habit. Third, any beverage that routinely comes served with Whipped Cream is high on my preferred beverage list. So, I've become enamoured, nay, enchanted by the Venti Iced Caffe Mocha.

It takes me a few minutes to compose my Starbuck's order though, as the grammar and word-order rules to their lexicon are so damned confusing. I mean, do you say Venti before iced when ordering? Is it an Iced Venti Caffe Mocha or a Venti Iced Caffe Mocha? Could you even say Caffe Mocha, Venti, Iced, as though you were Bond, James Bond? And this is an easy one, not including the placement of half-caf, double-shot, macchiato, or any of the other adjectives one can add. You'd think being able to speak three languages would enable me to easily order a cup of coffee in my own damn country.

Don't you think you should be able to pay less for your coffee if you master the language of Starbuckland and manage to successfully order your drink without stuttering? I think a linguistically-gifted discount should be made available. Who's with me?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hey - guess what?

Guess how many people showed up to my house yesterday for my party?


But hey - I got a clean house out of the deal, and a bamboo cutting board for 60% off!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Props to the WCM

For weeks now, the WCM has stood firmly in opposition of the aforementioned Pampered Chef Party. He has, however, lent his full and unstinting support to the housecleaning effort currently underway. Not so much that he'd actually clean anything, but he's in favor of a clean house. So much so, in fact, that he went out and spent his hard-earned dosh on a cordless power stapler so I can more easily re-cover the dining room chair cushions.

Um, this was not my idea. But, not wanting to appear unappreciative, I strapped on my toolbelt (well, his toolbelt, really), loaded that sucker up with staples, and re-covered me a seat cushion. Oh, the power! The driving force! The propulsive blasts recoiling into my palm! MMmmm, baby!

The chair looks nice, too.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Why do I do this to myself?

I vacuumed today.

Before you get all "Duh" on me, let me elaborate: I vacuumed the kitchen ceiling today. Go ahead. Goggle at my skills, people, 'cause I've got 'em.

I have what an obnoxious vacuum salesperson once called "a dirt problem." I have a dog hair problem. I have a dust problem. I have an aversion-to-housecleaning problem. My kind of housecleaning is where you sweep the room with a glance.

I've been in a cleaning frenzy now since Thanksgiving. This is because I'm hosting a Pampered Chef party on Wednesday, where I've invited colleagues from work, family members, and friends. Naturally, I ran a critical eye over my kitchen and was appalled at the dust streamers hanging from the ceiling and dripping from the blades on the ceiling fan. I've invited over 50 women to my house, and there's dust dripping from the one place that I didn't think to clean. I mean, who looks at the kitchen ceiling, anyway?

So I vacuumed the ceiling, the ceiling fan, and the walls of my kitchen. I've taken vacuuming to the next level chez moi. Let's hope these bitches appreciate my clean house.

Busy Bee, revisited

So I've been Christmas shopping recently. What a madhouse! Where, you ask? Every-fucking-where!

Due to snow and me being a piss-poor driver in the white stuff, I stayed in on Friday. Saturday night, though, I braved the crowds and waded through bargains to bring home the loot. I went to Target (and I LOOOOOOoooooooOOOOOOOOVVEE Target!) for toys and games for Miss Peanut. Then, I hit the mall for the rest of my crazy clan. I got almost everything done, but I had to deal with people claustrophobia to do it.

See, I don't fear small spaces - although I have to say after having had an MRI, I recommend the optional Valium beforehand - but being boxed in by people makes me freak out in the ugliest way. I get sweaty, clammy, and lightheaded. Then I get rude and start shoving. Huge bodybuilder, frail grandmother, small child, I really don't care - just keep it moving and get the hell out of my way!

But I digress. This year, I communed with my inner geek by entering all my purchases in a spreadsheet when I got home, with itemized subtotals for each gift recipient. So far, Miss Peanut is in the lead, followed closely by the WCM. There's even a total column so I can see exactly how far in the hole I am this year.

More shopping later this week. Can you stand the excitement?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Stealing Christmas?

Over the past week, I've gotten, like, 3 emails from dipshits people who were concerned that the mythical "they" were "stealing Christmas." What the fuck?

These asswipes concerned souls were upset because people weren't walking around willy-nilly wishing perfect strangers a "Merry Christmas." Another thing that made them whine like selfish little babies peevish was that businesses weren't displaying Christmas-themed decorations, and were instead opting for the neutral Winter or Holiday-themed decor. What really cheesed them off, though, is when innocent souls would wish them "Happy Holidays." Their belligerent response was that they would respond to these offensive wishes by loudly wishing the offender a "Merry Christmas," instead.

Um, I reiterate: what the fuck? Since when is anyone required to cater to any one religious holiday? Didn't the founders of this country guarantee us the right not to have to cater to one religion? Didn't people die for this right?

One part of their argument is that for centuries the people of this country went around wishing each other Merry Christmas with no argument, and this faceless, nameless "they" that are stealing their Christmas is tampering with a long-standing tradition. Well, dumbassconcerned Christian, when you can count the history of your country in centuries on ONE HAND, then I really don't think you can bitch. Mkay? Also, the women in some African countries have been practicing female circumcision for centuries. Does that make it ok to you? Do you want people to wish you "Merry Clit-ectomy Day?" Me neither!

The part that really toasted my chestnuts was the argument that by not wishing perfect strangers a Merry Christmas, you run the risk of offending 85% of Americans, as that is the percentage of Christians in America. Well excuse the fuck out of me! If someone, let alone the average self-centered American, goes out of their fucking way to wish me a Happy fucking Holiday, I'm going to smile graciously and accept their good wishes, as anyone raised with manners would do!

And, hey - news bulletin: I'm not among the 85%. I still have a tree, wreaths, and little statues of Santa. I've decked my fucking halls. I troll the ancient yuletide carol, too. Why? Because Christmas has become a wonderfully consumerist holiday. Yes, I believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and the Great Pumpkin. I'm also a greedy bitch who wants presents at any and all opportunities. So cough up, cunts Christians, and bring on the bling.

to Maxwell Franklin Kyer, with love

Dear Max,

Welcome to the world, little man!

I know that it seems like a cold, bright place right now, but you're so safe and loved within your mama's arms. She's one of my dearest friends, and has waited a long time for you. You're a lucky wee one, too, as she's smart, funny, and generous, with a hefty dose of Yankee know-how. She's got grit, gumption, and a great heart. Your daddy, though I don't know him as well, is a smart man, too, and will be your hero and role-model throughout your life. Looking at the picture of your parents holding you and smiling, practically bursting with love for you just melts my heart.

You're a special fellow, young Max, and will undoubtedly keep your doting parents on their toes for your first few years. Not that you'll get away with much - your parents are much too clever for that. I think you'll know the meaning of a well-arched eyebrow by the time you're two. But all the things that they can teach you, baby, I hope you learn them. I know they'll instill a love of fiction and the importance of imagination. You'll never lack for a game to play during your childhood, either. They'll also show you the glories of music, both listening to it and creating it yourself. Your mom's no slouch on the piano. Your dad will help you discover the world of science and history, and will no doubt make it seem like the most fun ever with his talent for storytelling. Your mom may try to teach you German - I bet she's already tried out ein, zwei, drei on your tiny niblet toes. I'd be disappointed if she hadn't. You've got some wonderful parents, little Max. I hope that one day, after you're past the trying teenage years, you get to know them for the unique and fascinating people that they truly are.

With lots of love and kisses,

Auntie Bronwen