Friday, January 30, 2009


Pin It If you've pictured me lying around on the couch this week, sick and feverish and pale, you would be wrong.

I'm actually lying on the floor, sick and feverish and pale. Come on. Nobody's gonna believe you're sick if you're sitting up on the couch like a pansy. Get with the overly dramatic program.

I think I'm starting to be mostly over whatever this is/was. I can tell because instead of moaning and covering my face when my husband turns the TV on, I actually feel the urge to watch it now. Granted, it's through the cracks between my fingers on the hand that is lying across my eyes, so that he will understand I'm not really better yet, not by a long-shot, and as a matter of fact, watching television is taxing enough that it is actually a trial and a sacrifice, but I do it for him, because I'm a giver.

Actually, this is just what I wish happened. In reality, we have jobs and children. Sucking it up is kind of required. Lying around like a drama queen is not exactly on the itinerary.

Except at night when my husband is home and I can harumph about how I can barely move because I had to take the kids to school and to piano and get my work done and make dinner (pouring cereal is exhausting), all whilst practically dying of Dengue fever. So it's sort of on the itinerary. It's actually blocked out right there from 7:30 to 8:15 actually. It's my husband's favorite part of the day.

I did trick the kids into waiting on me the other day, telling them we were going to play "a game" called "the rich sick lady and the orphan servants" and they were to bring me pillows and drinks and snacks and generally see to my every need. I'd ring the bell and they'd come running over to the couch to do my bidding, then creep around quietly afterward, lest the "mean rich lady" punish them for making too much noise. I would periodically yell at them "NOT ENOUGH ICE IN THIS DRINK" and send them to the dungeon (basement), and they would run screaming and giggling for the stairs.

They LOVED this game.

Yeah. We plan to play it again. Obviously.

Lighthearted indentured servitude = good family times.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Noble Cow Sentinel, Bravely Watching Over Us All

Pin It The big news around here apparently has nothing to do with the NieNie book. It's the cow header. I've gotten at least fifteen emails about it, all, "SUE. WE MUST TALK ABOUT THE COW."

Poor cow. She's just doing her job, guarding the top of the blog for a couple of days while I fix up the old blogstead. (I'm working with a blog designer now, you know. I'm FANCY.)

But I do not want to talk about the cow. I want to talk about myself. (SURPRISING)

Tonight I was watching my DVRd Top Chef. I really shouldn't be allowed to watch that show, because it makes me think I can cook. I get all inspired to step away from the pasta - to shake things up a little and try something new.

Yeah. This is never a good idea.

(I occasionally get out my Betty Crocker red plaid cookbook and try to find an interesting new recipe, but half of them use words I don't understand like "seed" and "cumin" and "poach." Which all sound vaguely pornographic, if you ask me. Bow- chika-bow-wow.)

Anyway, I pulled out the cookbook and found something it said would take only 35 minutes to bake. Unfortunately, I interpreted this as - it would only take 35 minutes to MAKE. Basically it was a casserole with chicken and noodles and sauce and bread crumbs and assorted things. (Yes, it WAS as gross as it sounds, thank you for asking.)

It took more than 35 minutes. Much more. It probably would've taken less time if I would've just stopped and read the recipe and thought about it for three consecutive seconds.

Instead I ran around like a frightened monkey, "Boil a chicken! Boil a chicken!" I had no idea how long I should boil a chicken for, so I fried it instead. Then I made the sauce. Then I realized I was supposed to cook the noodles first so I put the sauce away and made the noodles. Then I took the sauce back out and finished making it. Then I realized I had the wrong kind of bread crumbs. Then, then, then, then.

By the time it was finished, my children were committing acts of violence against the refrigerator. (They don't really like it when I cook.)

I have a blogging friend who says it frustrates her when people say they can't cook, because really, how hard is it to just FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS?!

I'm here to say it's VERY VERY HARD.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Something Cleverish

Pin It When I heard about Stephanie Nielson's plane crash, I wanted to help raise funds, but couldn't quite figure out how to go about it. (Just reading CJane's blog and repeatedly freaking out over the horror of the accident turned out to be a surprisingly ineffective fundraising strategy.)

Lots of other bloggers were auctioning off things they'd cooked/sewn/drawn in order to help raise money, but I'm what you might call domestically challenged, so that was out. I thought about selling off one of my kids to aid the cause, but the Husband put a stop to it. (What, we couldn't part with ONE of them? Selfish.)

But laughing at funny stuff other bloggers wrote? THAT was something I could do, and thus the idea of putting together a book of amusing blog posts was born. We held a little contest asking bloggers to submit their funniest posts, and the response was overwhelming. (Seriously. I'd look at that contest email every day and then have to go lie down for a while, visions of editing for nine thousand years running through my brain. There are a LOT of funny people out there.)

The Something Cleverish book features posts from forty-three funny bloggers - all for one great cause. We even managed to rope in a few celebrity submissions from Finslippy, Eric D. Snider, Rocks in My Dryer, Big Mama, Sweetney, Daring Young Mom, TAMN and more. (You can find a list of all of the bloggers included in the book here.)

All proceeds go directly to the NieNie Recovery fund. I know some people may be starting to get a little weary of hearing about this, but the medical bills they have and will continue to have are absolutely overwhelming. This is still a family very much in need. If you've been wondering what to buy people for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, or Groundhog Day, or Valentines Day - WONDER NO MORE. You can purchase a paperback or buy a downloadable copy here.

Please buy a copy (or two) (or three) (or heck - seven) and please spread the word, by posting about it or putting the Something Cleverish Blog Book button on your blog. (Cover art and book button created and generously donated by Melissa Bastow of MissyB Designs. Thanks Melissa!)


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

They Should Make a Fisher Price Version

Pin It My husband got me an iPhone for Christmas.

It was all a little Gift of the Magi, because I was actually trying to figure out how I could get him an iPhone for Christmas, but I didn't see how it would be possible, since we had this little thing I like to call a "budget" for our presents, due to a stupid thing I like to call a "mortgage." (I also call our house a "house" and our car a "car"- in case you were wondering.) (Ahem.)

So I cut off my hair and sold it and used the money to buy him an iPhone.

O.k., FINE, I didn't do that. I got him a gift certificate to Target instead. (That just doesn't quite have the same ring to it, somehow.)

The iPhone cost significantly more than what we'd agreed we could spend, but he secretly got me one anyway. We'd both gone without Christmas and birthday presents for a few years in a row, and he wanted me to be really surprised.

Now let me tell you something. When I opened the package, I was so excited. It was shiny. It was cool. I mean, I could check my email at the grocery store. At the bank. At CHURCH.

Best toy ever.




I've somehow managed to divest myself of SIX cell phones in the last two years - all within the first three months I had them. I ran over one with the car, washed one in the laundry, dropped one in the bathtub and misplaced three. I've never been able to keep a cell phone for longer than three months. I could totally see the iPhone in about a month, cracked under the wheels of the car, or beeping forlornly from inside a Big Gulp cup where I'd set it down whilst thinking about cupcakes (YUM).

So I gave it back to him.

He refused it. I insisted. He refused it some more. I insisted some more.

I finally said, "You know what's going to happen to it if I keep it."

He looked at me, he looked at the shiny new iPhone and he said, "I've actually been having nightmares about it."

I said, "It's for the best."

And I turned it over to him, weeping.

OK, not weeping. More like snickering and punching him a few times, all, "Way to buy yourself a Christmas present honey," and then we had to go the rounds of "You keep it," "No, YOU keep it," a few more times before he would really believe that I wanted him to take it.

Alright, so maybe it's not exactly like the Gift of the Magi. But there were presents. And it was Christmas. So, almost exactly the same. And it was very touching in an "aw, look, he went against the laws of logic and his better judgment and bought me something expensive he already knows I will destroy" kind of way. At least at Target I can buy stuff that I will lose over time. Kind of spread out the gift destruction and collateral damage.

Goodbye little iPhone. It was a nice idea, but we all know I would've murdered/scratched/lost/broken/disapparated you within the first three weeks.