%$@#! Monday….


Monday’s usually don’t bother me much…unlike a lot of people, I have the option of whether to go to work or not.  I regularly teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I’ve been distributing the “part-time” job duties throughout the rest of the week.  Depending on what’s going on, I can easily work from home or not at all (which is a relative term since laundry washes itself for no one!).  Today though – when the traditional students are on Easter break, one of my own kids is on Easter break?  I’m sitting at my desk trying (and failing since I’m blogging 😉  ) to reconcile a dispute where I seem to be the only party involved actually at work today.  GRRR.

Double Grumble Monday – especially since Easter Sunday was pretty good.  It started out a little rocky.  We have a new minister whom I really like a lot, but he is a little…um…freeform (?) when it comes to the order of service.  This often serves to discombobulate people – in this case Showbiz Kid who had volunteered to read liturgy and,grudgingly, to sing.  He’s usually a pretty cool customer when it comes to performance wrinkles, but following the debacle of Sheet Music Saturday (e-music downloads are kind of dicey if one can only see the first page of the music) he was a little edgy.  Then pastor switched up the service which made him even more edgy…then someone else used the wireless mike, after which it switched to standby resulting in it not being on at all when ShowBiz stepped up to sing.  He didn’t notice immediately…his accompanist couldn’t hear him…they were out of sync…he was not happy.   People still approached him with compliments.  God bless my home church congregation 1.  By and large they don’t notice or don’t care about imperfection and 2.  They love my kid.

Here’s a track where he’s not out of sync with his accompanist:

All in all, it was a great service and we had a hilarious chat with our super quirky organist who I love dearly – he’s moving to Austin, TX soon and I’m going to miss him horribly.  Following the service, ShowBiz and I (MiniMe hitched a ride with my mom and sister) ran home to finish the last thing I left undone Saturday – my salad contribution to the Easter Brunch spread.  The tradition in my family is that the host provides the house and the meat…the guests fill out the buffet table.   Good food made by good cooks is something of a tradition in my family – part of our culture even, so there is never a lack of it…to the contrary usually.  Yesterday witnessed a pretty usual spread of ham, potato pancakes, homemade mac & cheese and a great variety of salads.  Even my picky eater (he’s well known for only eating bread at these things) found a plateful of food.  As we were switching over to the dessert course, my cousins and I were laughingly wondering if there isn’t some pathology at work here:

BTW... caramel and dulce de leche are too different and I did not try all six. - I don't like Scotcheroos ;)

BTW… caramel and dulce de leche are too different and I did not try all six. – I don’t like Scotcheroos 😉

ShowBiz and I found our way home for naptime by around 4pm…MiniMe stayed a little longer to play.  I like early holiday parties…there’s the possibility of doing something else in the late afternoon and evening – even if the something else is napping and watching TV (anyone else tune in to The Ten Commandments?).

I should have just left well enough alone, but since I’m running several online classes who’s new course week started at 00:00 hours today, I popped into my campus mail to make sure no one was looking for me.  Bad idea.  I happened across an email that has kept me annoyed for going on 12 hours now – more so because the subject is at an impasse until another party weighs in.  I HATE not being able to resolve issues, and this one has been hanging for the better part of a week now without movement toward resolution as we approach midway through Monday CST.  Grumble.

On the plus side….large lattes are only $1 today at my local coffee shop!!

Here’s to a less grumblesome (if caffeine saturated) Monday for all Armitageworld!

Inter alia: Installment 2 of “S#%t My Family Says”

Apologies for the silence…many things afoot, including a high school run of a post apocolyptic Macbeth for which my son is the chief scene mover and blood applicator.  By default, I am the chief chauffeur, so am currently blogging from my phone while awaiting his return…

The main event though, happened when my daughter came home with the latest school fundraiser this week.  It’s genius really…your child produces an artwork and a company applies that artwork to a variety of surfaces for parents and grandparents to purchase at fundraising inflated prices.  Cookie dough and wrapping paper I can pass up…this? I am currently toting around my lunch in a bag imprinted with a Mini Me original from 2012 and use a mousepad with the 2013 design. 

For 2014 the theme is super heroes…


Behold “Make Up Girl!”  She defeats evil one eyeshadow quad at a time.  But here’s the best bit.  According to Mini Me:

“Her worst enemy is a bad hair day!”

How do ya follow that?!   😀

inter alia: The crafty family of a Richard Armitage fan

Today was the start of the spring semester.  Thank the gods!  As much as I enjoyed having an extended break, I was definitely ready to get back to work.   Don’t get me wrong, I love my family dearly, but there is only so much intensive family time I can take – especially if it is too cold for anyone to go outside.

A perennial debate in my household came up again while I was off:  “Can we get a dog?”  My answer has remained the same for five years…“Not another living thing that relies on me to continue living is coming into this house.”  The typical response…“Pleeeeeeeze…we’ll take care of it!  We promise!”   And yet, I am strangely unmoved by this.  Last week, I was watching The Middle, a sitcom chronicling the life of a “regular” family in the Midwestern US.

Not quite, but close!

Not quite, but close!

Squabbling kids, parenting challenges, stretching a paycheck…a lot of it feels really familiar.  I die laughing when they get out the duct tape to run the dishwasher or pile up towels around the washing machine – for years, I piled up towels around the dishwasher rather than call a repairman to fix the leak.  (It seems to have stopped leaking of late – it’s either a miracle, or an epic dishwasher geyser is just around the corner!)

This season, Frankie (Patricia Heaton), the mother character on The Middle, found and then adopted a stray dog who growled at everyone in the house but her, dubbing him Colin Firth.  This absolutely cracks my husband up, and during last week’s episode he says, “Can we get a dog if we name it Richard Armitage?”  Well played Obscurus, well played!


It was a valiant effort, but we’re still not getting a dog 😀

OT: Inappropriate dinner conversation round 2…

Sometimes I sit at the dinner table with my kids and wonder, “Who’s responsible for these kids?!”  Oh right, that would be me!  Allow me to set the scene.  Sunday afternoons in the summer often find me at my parents’ house.  My kids love to hang out with their grandparents, and especially love Grandma and Grandpa’s pool in the summer.   Our house was the neighborhood hangout when my sister and I were kids.  We lived outside of town, and why trek over hill and dale to the community human stew – er, I mean pool, when we could swim in the back yard.  No brainer for us and all of the neighborhood kids.  There has been a pool at my parents” house for 35 years now – every so often my dad rumbles about getting rid of it, but I think that he secretly likes having people take him up on the open invitation to “come out and swim.”

If I play my cards right, an afternoon of swimming often turns into dinner…my dad also loves to cook, and doesn’t know how to cook for less than a battalion.  There’s always enough for everyone, especially if my daughter has been dropping “subtle” hints since church about what she wants for supper.  So, like many other Sunday’s, we sit down to eat.  Here’s the typical arrangement:

The relative size of Mini Me's space reflects the fact that even though she's the smallest, she demands the most space!

The relative size of Mini Me’s space reflects the fact that even though she’s the smallest, she demands the most space!

So far so good, the meal proceeds without incident apart from the resident space invader constantly bleeding across into my area to alert me that she needs something cut or passed to her.  We are finishing up, Dad and Mini Me have left the table and #1 Son has begun taking dishes to the sink when I hear my sister start wheezing and look over to see her shoulders shaking as she gasps for breath saying, ” ‘Nice phallic meal‘  he says.”  Evidently #1 Son made an in sotte voce editorial comment about the menu of corn on the cob and bratwurst as he passed by her on his way to the sink.

So he's not wrong, but c'mon!!

So he’s not wrong, but c’mon!!

Do other peoples’ kids talk like this?  Is it normal that a soon to be 15 year old high school freshman even knows the word phallic, much less uses it in the proper, albeit questionably appropriate, context?  It’s probably my fault for talking about ancient culture too much!  I will own that we have pretty open dialogue policy in our house…not much is out of bounds topically, although I do try to keep conversations to an age appropriate level around Mini Me….however, since she seems to be a 26 year old woman living in an 8 year old girl, I’m constantly challenged.

Part of the problem, I think, is that my kids seem to have inherited some irresistible impulse to instigate mayhem.  They know what acceptable boundaries are, but they are constantly inspired to cross them and see what happens…ask me about the time Mini Me dropped the F-bomb on Christmas Eve…they know better, they just go ahead and do it anyway.  One thing is certain, even when dinner conversation is more tame – this past Sunday included monkeys and their disposable thumbs and the average weight of adult giraffes (1600-1800 lbs) – life is rarely boring chez moi!