Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things that make me happy

I've been in a funk.

Mostly a blogging funk, but when we had to cancel the family road-trip to the west coast (breaking my mom's heart) due to automobile kerfluckedness, THEN suffered a self-imposed home-exile due to abhorrence to dealing with lice or lice-related issues any more than we had to. We did some fun stuff on our holidays, but still, it was no road-trip, and couldn't even be considered a bait-and-switch.

Then there was BlogHer. I didn't go last year, it didn't even occur to me to go (it did occur to me to make fun of it). This year was the same, except it DID occur to me to go. I'd befriended some pretty cool people in February (I mean IRL, they were already befriended) and there were mutterings of several of them going. Plus it was in New York. NEW FREAKING YORK! I don't have a bucket list, but if I did, going to New York would be on it (Chicago? check). I would have loved to see them all again & party in New Yawk. Seeing the photos, and even the videos, made me so sad I was shocked at myself. There isn't necessarily "always next year", as the people I want to see won't necessarily be there.

I decided to battle the crappy feelings by taking Nenette's lead (sure it was a month ago. I told you: blogging funk. I PASSED UP A MEME for crying out loud!) & coming up with some of the simple things that make me happy. I used her criteria: none of the obvious – family, friends, socio-economic status...

The happy list (in progress):

  1. Pasta, specifically spaghetti, with butter & salt
  2. My Ecco shoes – I've always heard tell of the magic shoe that feels like pillows on your feet. These are them, for me.
  3. My bed. I was nearly 40 before I threw a hissy fit and got – no, invested in a real bed. Not going into what we had before, because this is about what makes me happy!
  4. Sushi. With my GFs; with Max; with the kids; when Max makes it; with my sister. All are completely different experiences and all make me happy.
  5. My sister's expecting. In February. I'm so freaking excited, but it's just not What We Do to be all weepy & squealy (besides, she'd slap me). I'm glad Norah did that when she found out. It was like I was jumping and squealing vicariously through her. She is going to kick my ASS for putting it here. HA! If she ever read it!
  6. Taking photographs (with film). Haven't done it (really done it) in a long, long time, but it did make me happy.
  7. Minesweeper. Shut up.
  8. Washing my face. After some 35 years of fighting with skin products, I was looking up some Major Home Exfoliation Ritual that I think I found through Bionic Beauty and at the end of it they said, "or just use a rough face cloth & hot water" (???) so that is all I do now and it feels sooooo good. Add a touch of light moisturizer, and it sure doesn't hurt the happiness scale that Max says "mmm you smell so good"
  9. Elizabeth I
  10. Lasagne
  11. My parents' cottage lot. It has coexisting promises of a future of family gathering & relaxing solitude at the same time.
  12. xkcd
  13. Getting @ replies
  14. When the clock reads 12:34
  15. Seeing hot-air balloon in the sky (haven't seen any this year, wtf?)
  16. Painting my toes. Well, ok, my toe-nails. Although with my skill-level, I should just stick to calling it "painting my toes". But whatever, it makes me happy.
  17. Getting a pedicure. Thanks to Rougie, I'm going to go by myself on my birthday (unless I get a better offer???)
  18. Working in the garden

Wow. Lots of simple stuff makes me happy. What makes YOU happy?

(OMG! I really want some buttery/salty pasta RFN!)

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Monday, August 2, 2010


Non-stereotypically of girls, I don't mind bugs. Bugs who bother me – eat my food or my person or that of my family & friends, or hang out in our immediate space – must die. It's simple. But they generally don't creep me out[1].

That was before lice. The other day I found a creepy crawly in The Boy's hair. And I lost my shit. It's been four days now and it hasn't found its way back.


It seems like I'm now in this exclusive club that includes, oh I don't know, EVERYONE! My casual discussions this week:

"Oh yeah, we were sitting eating breakfast and I saw this bug dart out of her hairline on her forehead"


"He said 'Mom, my head itches' and he hadn't had a shower for a few days so I scrubbed his scalp extra and when he got out he said 'MOOOOM it still itches!' so I checked him closer and yeah, he was crawling with them"


"She must have got it from a new hat I let her wear without washing it. She was crawling with them"


Rational thought eventually kind of took over with the realization that washing every single washable item in the house seventeen-thousand times is STILL EASIER TO MANAGE than rebuilding with null-and-void insurance and a jail-term for arson (full disclosure: Max hid all the flammable implements).


I understand that it has nothing to do with your cleanliness, or tidiness or how good or not good your parenting is. Believe me I understand this. With the nearly monthly letters sent home saying "someone in your child's class has lice, blah blah blah" they really try to hammer that home (rightly so). Besides, if it DID have anything to do with my ability as a housekeeper, I would have had lice since – oh, I don't know, my early 20s. But that doesn't keep me feeling like a filthy hobo (and not the sexy kind, that the gentlemen seem to find so endearing); OR my family from treating each other like lepers.

All told, I think it was caught extremely early. The cases above are more likely what would have happened if there hadn't been a miraculous fluke of me inspecting Stewie's scalp, as he'd been having some seborrhoea (what's called "cradle cap" in babies – also gross, but y'know, not a MOTHERFUCKINGPARASITE). [Aside: I now have a rock-steady handle on the scalp-health of everyone in this family.]

I bought the treatment (cornered and grilled the pharmacist for about half an hour) and applied it, then decided to go a little more CSI on everyone else. Norah turned up positive. Max & Pepper are negative (so far). Myself? It took the awesome nerd-slinging power of the microscope[2] to overwhelm my denial with scientific proof, so I've been treated too. (He climbed into bed in the morning before I found them. The little bastard is so snugly! And he still says "I wuff you, Mummy")

We'll treat again, as directed: 7 days after first treatment. And, by all accounts, about six to eight weeks from the "all clear", I might slow the meticulous checks down to every other day. Until then, I toy with the idea of shaving my head, but I can't seem to find any sharp implements, either…

[1] Don't test that, I said "generally"

[2] What, you don't have a microscope in your home? Get off the internet & don't try and call yourself a nerd until you've rectified the situation. Electron not necessary.

Live Tweeting the spectacle:

Found head lice on The Boy. From what I've read, for the amount of bugs I now feel crawling all over me, I'd expect to be way higher.

Lice: I mean, it's not like the bed didn't need vacuuming anyway, right? RIGHT?

Bad: Kid-with-brush-cut having lice. Worse: Kid-with-long-hair-who-hates-brushing-it-like-ever confirmed. Better: 3 of us remain pure.

Also: motherfucking headache.

Also: hot water tank (which was never really resolved) acting up. KIND OF NEED HOT WATER TO KILL IT ALL.

Did I mention motherfucking headache?

New challenge: keep lice-free kid from picking through the head of infested one.

I really should have read through fine-print of the EULA for Parenting. Instead, we were all "oooo babies are soooooo cute!" [ACCEPT]

Are lice treatments tax-deductible? How about the booze treatments? You know. For me.

OH: "don't threaten your sister with your head". OK, it was me. I've just gone to my happy-place & am laughing at everything I'm watching.

OMG!!! This changes everything: "Stop [current offensive behavior] or you'll catch lice from your brother". How long can I pull this off?

If 10 yrs ago you had told me I'd be vacuuming pillows at midnight, I'd have said "who the hell are you?"

Also: "maybe you could foretell something a little more useful? Like what kind of car I'll be driving?"

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