Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nominated for Best Dad Ever is...

We were sitting at dinner this evening when Hannah raised a concern:

Hannah: Remember when we were at that play in Chicago, and I asked a question?
Me: Baby, there's no way I could remember one question you asked me.  You ask questions all the time.
(completely true statement)
Hannah: No, not to you, after the play.
(the company hosted a children's question-and-answer time after the show was over, and Hannah wanted to ask a question.  She's small and cute and was wearing a frilly dress, so, of course, she was selected.)
Me: Oh, yes. I remember.
Hannah: And do you remember that people laughed?  I want to know why they laughed.
Me: (Inwardly cringing) Well, maybe they were wondering the same thing.  Sometimes when you say something that someone else was thinking, they think it's funny.
Hannah: (looking down at her hands) Or maybe they just thought it was dumb.

My heart breaks for a second, and then, BAM, Dave to the rescue!

Dave: Wait. Who was laughing?  Grown ups or kids?
Hannah: Grown ups.
Dave: Well, that explains it.  Grown ups will laugh at anything. There's no explanation for it.
Me: (speechless)
Dave: Especially if you said something smart.  Grown ups always think it's funny when a kid says something smart. They're not expecting it.

This fits nicely into a previous discussion we've had about how things are funny when they're unexpected, so Hannah just accepts this explanation as perfectly rational.  The truth is, it is perfectly rational.  And simply stated.  And completely beyond my capacity for parsimony.

Man, I love that guy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

In which I discover, again, that I don't know everything.

I spent three days last week in a room full of lawyers at my Alma Mater.  I know, I know.  I thought I'd hate it, too.  But it turns out that what I hate are criminal defense attorneys, not just attorneys in general.  My only real exposure to attorneys so far has been just that.  And I've had dealings with some really slimy ones with regard to drug and alcohol related criminal offenders.  As usual, my sample set is decidedly skewed.

In the spirit of full disclosure (what'd I tell you; 24 hours with attorneys-- I feel a little dirty) the room was only half-full of attorneys; the other half was full of mental health professionals.  We were in a training for Parenting Coordination.  I'll spare you the gory details.  Mostly because I didn't  understand a lot of it.  I have to go to work today and read about 200 pages of Florida statutes and Administrative Rules to try to make sense of it all.

The whole training was exhausting, and mind boggling. I was so drained, that by 5:00 on Saturday, when we were dismissed, I got into the elevator and stood there for about 2 minutes, wondering why it was so slow. Then I noticed I hadn't pushed a button for a floor selection.  To make me even cooler, I was singing the Wonder Pets theme song while I waited for something to happen.  I can only hope the university students in the lounge area outside the elevator could hear me declare that I would Save the Goldfish!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Getting dressed probably shouldn't be this amusing.

So I'm all dressed for work yesterday, except for shoes.  I put on something sensible in which to walk to school with my daughter, but planned on wearing my wedge-heeled boots to work.  I don't get that many chances to wear boots without looking like a geek in Florida.  When I'm finally ready to go to work, mostly because I've finished all the coffee, and it seems silly to make another pot, when I can just go to work and use the Keurig, I go to my room for socks and boots.

I love wearing boots, because when I wear something pretty conservative I secretly have on pink knee-socks with purple and gray polka-dots.  I think it's funny all day, and no one knows what I'm giggling about.  Alright. Maybe what it is is slightly crazy.  But whatevs.

This time, I get the aforementioned pink polka-dot socks on, add the boots and go to brush my teeth.  Walking out of the bathroom, I notice something jiggling around in my shoe.  Pull off boot, shake upside down: nothing.  Pull off sock, turn inside out: Quarter.

How did a quarter get in my sock?  How did I not notice it when I put it on?  And is this some assurance of good luck?  I can only hope this is some portent of good fortune for my week.

Monday, January 9, 2012

not exactly The Longest Winter.

The temperature stayed in the 50s last night.  As we were getting ready for bed, my husband says to me:
       I hope spring is on the way now.  I can't take much more winter.
me: You mean you can't take more than last week?
Dave: Yeah. It was brutal.

It was 80 degrees on Christmas, and then we had about three nights last week where the temperature got down into the 30s.  Granted, our poor little heat pump is not really equipped for battling those numbers, and we've been running space heaters in the bedrooms for the past two weeks.  But part of that decision is our extreme cheapness: Why heat the whole house to 75 degrees for the eight hours when we don't leave our bedrooms?

Dave can't stand the cold.  Which is always amusing to me, since he grew up in Dearborn, Michigan.  For anyone unfamiliar with that area, Dearborn is like Detroit's little brother, who's embarrassed because Detroit keeps getting arrested and borrowing money from his friends, so he pretends they're not related.  It's kinda tough to convince his friends, though, since Detroit is still living in their parents' basement.

I don't really know where I'm going with this analogy.

But, since I lost my favorite hat on the Northwest line while we were in Chicago last month, I'm also in favor of no more freezing-type temperatures.  Incidentally, if anyone sees a purple felt cloche hat with felt rosettes while you're on the Metra train, give me a call, will ya?  That thing fit my little pin-head perfectly, so normal people probably couldn't get it on, anyway.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Project Acquisition-Neutral Status: So far, so-- Oh, man.

Today is my day off.  On Wednesdays I do my grocery shopping and clean my house while there's no one underfoot to bug me and get stuff out again for a couple hours.  Today I had a couple extra things I needed: a new shower curtain and a new date book.  Both are replacement items, so I felt good about the outing.

For the shower curtain I went to K-Mart. I don't really like that store, so there's no desire to browse around for stuff I don't need.  Easy in and out there.  Shower curtain liner, 8-pack of hangers (we broke about 4 last month, so it's a semi-legit purchase) and I'm out of there.

My next stop, however, was the office supply store for the date book. We had a gift card from several months back, so it was a seemingly logical choice.  Except for the fact that I love office supplies.  I like the little stacking trays and sorting bins.  I love stationery and post-it notes and self-stick tabs that you use for marking your notes in books you borrow.  But what I really love is pens.  My dream pen is a retractable, super-fine point, gel-ink, rollerball pen.  That's right. I have a dream pen, what of it?  It's like I go into a trance when I walk into that place.  I like to leisurely stroll around and try as many of them as I can without actually tearing open any bubble-packs. By the time I realized what I was doing this morning, I was holding not only my required item, but several pens of various colors in both ball-point and porous-tip styles.  I did manage to put most of them down, but ultimately walked out with a four-pack of porous point black pens, using the justification that the only pens we have at work are the crappy give-aways that my boss gets for free when he orders our business cards. Weak, I know, but it's all I've got.

Better luck next Wednesday.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Stuff it.

I spent this weekend trying to fit all my daughter's new Christmas clothes and books into our existing shoe-box's worth of space.  I pulled out several things from her dresser and closet for the Red Cross pick up, and then turned to my own.  I was able to part with notably less of my stuff than hers, but I'm sure if I had set someone else to the task they'd be a little less conservative about what could go and what needed to stay.

Then I spent some time thinking about my stuff.  I have a lot of it. None of it is particularly valuable; not in actual dollars, anyway.  But every year there is more of it.  Who am I kidding? Every week there is more of it.  If I have 2 hours to kill, I'm likely to spend them at Target or Marshall's, culling for some unpredictable but wonderful bargain.

In truth, my house is beyond full. I can barely find places for all the stuff we have.  Last week I visited my brother and sister-in-law in their first house, and marvelled at the empty closets and drawers.  Did I say marvelled?  I meant seethed with envy.  "Imagine what I could store in here!" was more the sound of it inside my head.  They had a huge Harry-Potter-esque under-stairs closet.  Actually, Harry would have been envious; this one went around a corner.  But the reality of things is this: we have the house we can afford, in the neighborhood we want.  It's not getting any bigger, and I don't even have stairs under which to wish there were a closet of any size.

So I started thinking about the plausibility of having a negative growth year, in terms of stuff. Would it be possible to get rid of more stuff than I buy this year?  Probably not. But maybe I could conduct an acquisition-neutral experiment.  Buy nothing that is not meant to replace something worn out.  That would mean no shoes, unless I could toss pair that is too worn to be seen in public anymore.  No socks, unless I've had to discard a pair already.  No kitchenware that isn't a replacement for a broken item.  That's right: no new glasses or cookware.  Well, no additional glasses or cookware, anyway.  

I'm not sure I can commit to a whole year of that, so I'm shooting for three months.  There will be some exceptions to the acquisition-neutral rules, I think.  Books, for instance.  Hannah is now reading her own short chapter books, and, although we regularly visit the library, I expect that we will, from time to time, buy her a book.  Also, we have planned a camping trip for our summer vacation, and have important holes in our camping gear collection, most notably, cookware.  That's where I may be able to cheat on the no-new-kitchenware rule a bit.  But in terms of clothing, shoes, and general home furnishings, I'm going to put a three-month moratorium on new stuff.  

There: I said it. No new stuff for three months, unless an old piece of stuff breaks.  Let's see how this goes.  If you hear a whimpering sound from somewhere in the vicinity of the Gulf of Mexico, it's probably me, wishing I could buy that pair of Gianni Bini pumps that Dillard's just put on sale for $26.  Sigh.  It's happened before, I have no reason to think it won't happen again this year.  But I won't be the lucky girl wearing those shoes this time.  Unless they go on sale in April...