Ballpoint Wren Banner

I fought the lawn… and the lawn won

No Super Sabado today

Filed under: and More on Saturday, April 21, 2007

I’ve let a few projects pile up this week and I need to take care of them this weekend.

But I wanted to show you this video of little Arlo rocking out to Queen. What a cutie! He certainly has good taste in music.

Arlo dancing to Queen

Via Dooce

Super Sabado: Please, call him something else

Filed under: and More on Saturday, April 14, 2007

We’ll begin our story when Squirt was 3.

When Squirt Was 3

Scene: our kitchen.

SQUIRT: What’s a nick-nack name?

BONNIE: A nickname, Honey Bunch, is when somebody calls you something special that is not your real name.

SQUIRT: Ooh! Call me “Tarzan!”

BONNIE: No, Sweetie, you don’t make it up—somebody has to GIVE it to you.

SQUIRT: Tarzan! TARZAN! TARZAN!!!

From that moment on, Squirt was nickname obsessed. He spent hours dreaming up monikers for himself and for his brother; creative, exotic sobriquets that were kind of disturbing in some respects.

About One Week Later

Scene: Inside the Burger King Moon Ball Pit. Hubby sits with the other parents, reading a newspaper.

KID: Hi!

SQUIRT and TIGER: Hello!

KID: Who are you guys?

SQUIRT: (pushes himself forward) I’m FLOWER. And this is JUICY.

TIGER: (looks a little confused but nods anyway)

(Parents look at Hubby, who rattles his newspaper.)

Looking back, now I think I should’ve obliged the boy by calling him Tarzan, or Flower or one of the many names he came up with, but the truth is that I couldn’t keep track of them all. And there was no way I was going to be caught at Vons shouting, “Squirt! I mean—Tarzan! I mean—JUICY! You put down that box of Noodle-Ohs right now!”

Anyway, it got to be that we never knew what to expect when engaging with the general public.

A Few Months Later

Scene: coffee hour at our church.

LADY: You are awfully cute, little one. What’s your name?

SQUIRT: (loud enough to drown out a jet engine) It’s MANIAC!

(Bonnie chokes on her doughnut)

LADY: (adjusts her hearing aid) Why, it’s nice to meet you, Maniac.

And why do I bring up all this ancient history? Because Hubby thinks that on this blog, Squirt should no longer be called Squirt. He thinks I should refer to our youngest son as “Rock Star” because the boy currently hopes to become an professional rock guitarist.

Of course, “Squirt” is not his REAL name. And I do wish I had picked a name other than “Squirt,” because you should see the odd and somewhat disturbing search terms that bring people to this site.

And yet the name stuck and now I’m not so sure about changing it. My main concern is that it’s going to be confusing to readers who’ve come to know the kid as Squirt, not to mention the writer of this blog, for whom old habits die hard.

I guess I could go with “the Rock Star formerly known as Squirt” but that sure takes up a lot of word count.

Eh, I’m going to have to think this over. In the meantime let us proceed to Super Sabado, where I found (Read the rest of “Super Sabado: Please, call him something else”)

Super Sabado: Confessions of a Geena Wannabe

Filed under: and More on Saturday, April 7, 2007

This cute little blonde salesgal in the coffee bean store was looking awfully upset. I asked her if she was okay, and she almost started crying right then and there.

“Oh, er, uh!” I added quickly, “I’m, um… sorry!”

She waved frantically as she tried to compose herself, as if to say, “No, it’s not you,” but then I realized she wanted me to follow her over to another part of the store where she could fill my order. She did some deep breathing as she measured out my coffee beans and after a few moments she faced me again.

“I have something to tell someone.”

“Oh.”

“And I don’t communicate my thoughts very well.”

I hastened to reassure her. “You’re communicating fine!”

“No, I don’t. And this is important!” She teared up again.

I started telling her how she should take a break and maybe talk things over with a friend, or maybe even go home and light some candles and take a nice, soothing bubble bath, and I was well on my way into the wonders of lavender salts—when she suddenly peered at me.

“Hey! Do you know who you look like?” Geena Davis: younger

Now this is a loaded question for me. When I was in my early twenties, people used to tell me I looked a little bit like Geena Davis, which always made me very happy, of course, but which I always pooh-poohed as modestly as I could fake.

I’d say no, really, they were being too kind, bla, bla, bla, all the while thinking Woo Hoo! I look a little bit like Geena Davis!

During the same time period people were stopping Hubby on the street because they mistook him for John Cusack. “Mr. Cusack, may I have your autograph?” “Mr. Cusack! Hi!” or even “Wow! Look! It’s JOHN CUSACK!” Note that they never said, “Wow, John Cusack is dating Geena Davis!”

Which just goes to show you he really looked like John Cusack whereas I only slightly resembled Geena Davis and honestly, who cared? Geena Davis was way hotter than John Cusack.

(And by the way, if you got John Cusack to sign an autograph in Orange County, California in the late 80s, you might want to have it checked to make sure it was really signed by John Cusack. I’m just saying.)

At any rate, I haven’t heard the Geena Davis thing in years. But you can bet my little forty-something heart leapt at the idea I might be hearing it again from the coffee bean salesgirl. And even if she thought I looked like an older, pudgier, middle-aged Geena Davis, well, that would’ve been all right by me, too.

So I got a little ahead of myself and prepped myself for a believably modest protest.

“Why, you look just like… just like…”

Oh, I was going to be SO believably modest, once she actually spit it out.

“…just like MY MOM!”

For a moment I thought I’d need a Heimlich Maneuver to get me breathing again.

“I cough cough hack hack do?”

She couldn’t have been more than 25, could she? Good grief, I hope she wasn’t more than 25. Dear Heaven, please don’t let her be older than 25!

“Yeah!” She said. “And I…” She teared up again, “… and I… I could really use a hug from my… my mom!”

Definitely under 25. And what Geena Davis wannabe wouldn’t melt at that little outburst?

Geena Davis: olderI hugged her and asked her what her name was and we talked a little bit about the problem she was having, and I guess I did okay, too, but only because I’ve spent longer being a mom than I’ve actually spent looking a little bit like Geena Davis.

On the way home I kept thinking, well, maybe she has a really YOUNG-looking mom. Maybe she even has a mom who gets told all the time that she looks like Geena Davis, or possibly how she looks like a pudgy, middle-aged Geena Davis. Somehow that made me feel a little better, but not by much.

So today’s Super Sabado is a little bewildered (Read the rest of “Super Sabado: Confessions of a Geena Wannabe”)

Super Sabado: Ravelled sleeves, husbandly oak trees and getting bounced out of bed

Filed under: and More on Saturday, March 31, 2007

Back when Hubby and I first got together, he was a skinny guy: over six feet tall and 155 pounds soaking wet. He had a 28-inch waist and a 36-inch inseam and could easily hide behind a drinking straw.

Thanks to years of heavy weight-training, thousands of protein shakes and hundreds of dollars spent on supplements, my man is no longer skinny. Now he weighs 225 lbs.

And we’re not talking about a flabby 225, either, no sirree. We’re talking about a hard, muscley 225 that bears little resemblance to the 155 lbs I dated back in the day.

Now don’t get me wrong—I’m proud of what he’s accomplished. I’m a little relieved, too, because our resemblance to Jack and Mrs. Sprat used to be a little too close for comfort, you know? But there were some unforseen problems about living with 225 pounds of husband that I never could’ve foreseen, like how disruptive it has become to my sleep.

I still love the guy, but sharing a bed with him now is like sleeping with an oak tree: it takes up a lot more area than you could ever imagine, and if you accidentally bump into it in the middle of the night you’re probably going to hurt yourself.

But the worst part of it is when he has a bad night. He tosses and turns and bounces me out of bed, because he still sleeps like he’s 155 pounds. And I’m sorry, but there’s only so much unexpected floor-kissing you can take in the middle of the night before you begin to lose your sunny daytime personality.

So today he claims I am grouchy and out of sorts, and possibly I am because I spent yet another night with Mr. Hyperactive Oak. He even says I swore at him at one point between midnight and 3 am and maybe I did—but I doubt he actually heard what I said from my position on the floor, anyway.

All day I’ve been having little fantasies about sleeping with the tall, skinny guy I used to know, the one who could toss and turn without so much as registering a 0.3 on the Richter Scale. But then I stepped on the bathroom scale and realized perhaps it’s better Hubby weighs what he does right now after all, because I haven’t lost much of my Mrs. Spratlyness.

And then I started reading blogs for Super Sábado and found (Read the rest of “Super Sabado: Ravelled sleeves, husbandly oak trees and getting bounced out of bed”)

Super Sabado: but seriously, folks…

Filed under: and More on Saturday, March 24, 2007

I know we’re usually a little more humorous on Super Sábado, but I’m going to talk about something serious today.

My friend Sang is fighting stage 3A breast cancer. She is a tough, tough lady: her husband died suddenly, leaving with her two kids to raise by herself. Ten months later she felt a lump, went to the doctor and received a very scary diagnosis. And yet she’s been holding everything together better than I do on a good day. She constantly amazes me.

But don’t tell her I said any this. She has absolutely no idea I’m writing about her; in fact, she hasn’t told very many people and would probably kill me if she knew I spread it all over my blog, but TOO BAD.

Last September we lost my brother-in-law Mark to cancer. Within the week our neighbor Rachel lost her fight with ovarian cancer. My dad died of bladder cancer 16 years ago. But so what? We all know lots of people who were taken from us by this disease. We all know that CANCER SUCKS.

Thank goodness we know people who have survived cancer, too, or who are fighting it successfully—like Sang is. To me these people are walking, talking miracles; the souls who have been through hell and back while all the rest of us had to worry about was whether or not the repairman showed up when he said he would.

This week Sang finally gave in and got a port for her chemo and was a little sore. I won’t go into detail about this procedure, but let’s just say it’s close to Roto-Rooter Meets Your Carotid Artery and damn! I immediately stopped griping about having to do our taxes.

I shall repeat: damn!

And then Buffy sent me this link to a blog by a gal named Carolynn.

In November 2000, three things happened within a two week period—two of which changed my life forever:
I turned 37 years old.
I found out I was six weeks pregnant.
I was told I had breast cancer.

My Story,” PinkRibbonMiracle.com

Carolynn’s story is jaw-dropping. The good news is: she is a cancer survivor.

Now she focuses her efforts on behalf of those still fighting the disease. Her site has several resources that will help the newly diagnosed, as well as news and information about her years of involvement with the Avon Breast Cancer Walk. Her motto: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

You can help her efforts by making out a check to The American Cancer Society, and mailing it to:

Carolynn Johnson
Carolynn’s Crew
PO Box 1551
North Tazewell, VA 24630

Or perhaps you’ve got another way to help the fight against whatever species of cancer has touched you recently. Whether you aim for the target of prevention or cure, I don’t care; whether you believe in donating money or just offering up prayers, I don’t care either.

As long as we all do what we can, because CANCER SUCKS.

Super Sabado: St. Patrick actually drove the PEEPS out of Ireland

Filed under: and More on Saturday, March 17, 2007

It’s Super Sabado AND St. Patrick’s Day! Tonight we’re going to Didi’s house for a St. Paddy’s Day party. On the menu: Italian and Chinese, which apparently are very popular on Irish menus. In Ireland. And…

And, uh…

Um…

Oh! Sorry, but I was distracted by this display of Peeps in my local supermarket. Check it out! The little devils come in purple now.

Peeps at Stater Brothers

Just the first of our annual Peeps Invasion, something the Office of Homeland Security has yet to take seriously, the fools. I know firsthand what these diabolical little buggers are up to and believe me, if you’re smart, you’ll keep your microwave at the ready.

All I’m saying is: stay alert. Watch out for the Peeps!

Moving on.

What I originally wanted to tell you about was how I just finished a long assignment of swim team commuting where I would leave the house at 2:30 and not return until 8 pm or so. That was weekdays. On Saturdays, I’d leave at 6:20 and not come home until 11 am.

I couldn’t mention this before because that would be, like BROADCASTING TO THE WHOLE WORLD that our house was totally empty during those hours, except for two snooty cats and a friendly little bulldog who’d let you load anything onto your moving truck as long as you offered him a butt scratch first.

But now that Tiger and Squirt are attending the same swim team practices with Coach Scary, I don’t have to drive anymore, which means both of my eggs travel daily all by themselves at high speeds down the I-5 in a little tin basket.

At first, I still insisted on coming along, because, really, if they are going to go out in a blaze of freeway glory, I’d rather go with them, you know? The better for them that they should enter Eternity with my last words ringing in their ears: “STEP ON THE BRAKES AIEEEEEE!”

But I’ve finally become confident enough in Tiger’s driving skills that I can now wave goodbye to my boys without freaking out too much. I wave goodbye, and then I close the front door and face two snooty cats and a friendly little bulldog who wants his butt scratched.

Hey! It’s safer than facing one of the Peeps Pod People in the supermarket, let me tell you.

Today’s Super Sabado has a lot of (Read the rest of “Super Sabado: St. Patrick actually drove the PEEPS out of Ireland”)

Super Sabado, she said weakly…

Filed under: and More on Saturday, March 10, 2007

I try not to be a complainer, really I don’t. Mainly because everybody I know is lots tougher than I am.

All my women friends went through childbirth without so much as an aspirin, whereas I accepted every drug known to medicine and still begged the nurse to hit me on the head with a hammer.

And Hubby? He went through some tough surgery several years ago where they took a mallet and a chisel and chopped off a piece of his hip just so they could screw it into his wrist, and he only took ONE pain pill afterward, whereas I—well, I’d rather not admit to all the pharmaceuticals I sucked down after I had my appendix out.

I admit it: I have no tolerance for pain, a character flaw that makes me look like a real weanie next to friends like Sang:

SANG: It may be this phone connection, but you still sound like you’re under the weather.

BONNIE: No, I’m fine, I’m fine!

SANG: Are you sure?

BONNIE: Please, enough about me! Tell me how that Widow’s Support Group meeting went.

SANG: Oh, it was really helpful. Can you believe it’s been 14 months already? The kids are hanging in there, I think.

BONNIE: That’s good, Sang, that’s good. But now, tell me how your chemo is going.

SANG: Oh, great! The doc says I’m responding really well. Frankly, I refuse to let it slow me down. Only 8 more months of treatment to go!

BONNIE: (gulps) You are WAY tougher than I am. Are you sure you don’t need any help unpacking?

SANG: No, no, no. I’ve only got one more room to unpack!

Mind you, where it takes Sang to unpack an entire house in two months while undergoing chemo and dealing with the loss of her man, when we moved it took me three years to unpack and the biggest excuse I had was chronic hangnails.

So as much as I like to complain, with friends and family like I’ve got, it’s best not to.

That said…

On Wednesday Mojo was diagnosed with Kennel Cough, which he got from Clara, who is vaccinated but still brought a case home from Doggy Daycare. All he does is sneeze and cough and shoot bulldog snot every which way and trust me: you definitely do NOT want to be walking barefoot on my floors any time soon.

And then on Thursday I came down with the flu that Squirt gave me—the generous little booger that he is—but whereas I take care of my men when they are sick, they don’t seem to want to return the favor, not even with yardsticks and haz mat suits. Not that I cared at the time, as I was busy hoping one of them would at least hit me over the head with a hammer and put me out of my misery.

Now that I’m a little better, I probably could forgive them for overlooking piddly little details about their mom—like whether or not she’s eaten anything in the last 48 hours—sure, but LORD. I cannot forgive them for THE KITCHEN. While Mojo and I wasted away in Viral Hell, this pack of feral Wren dogs took over our kitchen and DESTROYED IT.

I would’ve thought at least ONE of them would’ve said, “Hey! I don’t wanna wash dishes, so let’s use paper plates!” But I guess it stands to reason if they weren’t saying things like “Hey! Has anyone fed Mom?” they sure as heck wouldn’t be worried about paper plates.

And the WORST THING OF ALL about this flu?

Well. Normally a flu is like, the best diet, ever. But this flu? I only lost TWO pounds.

What the hell kind of flu is it if it knocks you flat for three days, your kids forget to feed you, and you only lose two pounds? It’s the Screw You Flu, that’s what it is.

So. Now that I’ve done a super job of complaining, I want to get Super Sabado (Read the rest of “Super Sabado, she said weakly…”)

Super Sabado: do Klingons get the flu?

Filed under: and More on Saturday, March 3, 2007

Thanks to the excellent pharmaceuticals available over the counter I barely remember writing anything in February.

In fact, in looking back at all the entries made in February I can only wonder who is the woman who figured out my password and why the heck she thinks she can tell tourists where to go in La Jolla.

Well, that usurper can just move on out because I’m BACK. I can breathe. I still sound like a Klingon but hey! That just adds a little mystery to my marital relationship.

BONNIE: (on phone) Hello, Honey.

HUBBY: I don’t know who this is but please, go ahead and tell me what you’re wearing.

Yes, well, I may be back in the blogging saddle but I warn you: there’s a big old target painted right on my forehead. This is because in addition to my chronic respiratory problems, Tiger and Squirt keep tag-teaming me with their own viral variations. Why, I just spent the last 72 hours in close proximity to Squirt, who had the mother of all flus and tried his hardest to share it with me.

SQUIRT: (moaning) I’m hot! My legs hurt! And, um, what is that?

BONNIE: It’s a twelve-foot pole. Your Advil is balanced on the end of it, see? Careful you don’t knock them off.

Okay, so I exaggerated. It wasn’t a twelve-foot pole, it was a yardstick. And I only used a yardstick because it’s nearly impossible to balance ibuprofen caplets on a pole.

And if any of you think I’m heartless, I’ll have you know I cleaned up the vomit, I changed the sweat-soaked sheets, I kept reloading the washing machine, I ran up and down the stairs with Advil and water and applesauce, and I did it at midnight, 2 am, 4 am, 6 am, ad nauseum throughout the 48 hours of viral intensity WITHOUT COMPLAINT because that’s what we women do when our loved ones are setting records in Projectile Vomiting. WE SERVE. Without complaint.

And yesterday morning, when Squirt’s fever finally broke and I breathed a sigh of relief, something strange happened:

HUBBY: I’m off to work. (puckers up)

BONNIE: You want a kiss? You haven’t wanted a kiss from me in a whole month!

HUBBY: Yeah, well…

BONNIE: (backs away) You’re coming down with something, aren’t you?!?

My instincts were spot on, too. After infecting everyone at work Hubby came home early yesterday afternoon feeling pretty rummy. So far it looks like he’s got the Extreme Sore Throat, Aches and Mild Fever bug Tiger brought home, instead of the High Fever, Severe Aches and Puke Your Guts Out bug that Squirt had. Good for him.

With my luck, I’ll get both at the same time—unless I take super duper precautionary measures. So if you’re thinking of visiting us in the old Wren Casa any time soon, I’ll be the Klingon in the Ladies size XL Haz Mat suit, passing out yardsticks.

Today’s Super Sábado is brought to you by the (Read the rest of “Super Sabado: do Klingons get the flu?”)

Super Sabado: Grasping for straws

Filed under: and More on Saturday, February 24, 2007

Comic page 1

(Read the rest of “Super Sabado: Grasping for straws”)

No Super Sabado this week

Filed under: and More on Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mojo in the back yard
Sorry, guys, but I’m looking at a three-day swim meet this weekend.

Normally that’s no biggie, but I’m still trying to catch up on some stuff.

Keep an eye out for it next week, okay?

 
My Ecosystem Details Blogrankings