Sunday, May 30, 2010

I've Moved!

Come visit me at

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Video Killed the Lazy Mom

I love that my husband is a "computer guy."  He's smart.  Smarter than me or I would be able to put into words exactly what he does for a living.  When people ask me, I often just say he's a "computer guru" but sometimes I say "Programmer."  Because he does program and I mostly know what that means.

When I was younger I thought I wanted to marry a masseuse so I could always get a good back rub.  Turns out, marrying a C.G. is infinitely better because you get the best computers and round-the-clock repair service for free.  As an added bonus, my C.G. also gives back rubs.  What luck!

His technical savvy also translates to video cameras.  Santa Claus gave us a nice one this past year.  Now here's the weird thing:  I have an expensive scientific calculator that I used for some college classes.  I knew it was capable of interfacing with my laptop, playing games, and even connecting with other similar calculators to upload graphs, formulas, etc.  I never would have guessed that you can connect my calculator with our video camera so that it can be programmed to take pictures at 15-second intervals, thereby filming a time-lapse video.  Somehow my C.G. accomplished such an amazing feat.

I'm proud of him but I don't know that I fully support his new hobby as videographer.  His first film, entitled "An Evening with the C*****'s" is now featured on his Facebook page.  Ironically, what I find objectionable is not that this is an invasion of privacy.  (I suppose I could object to this.  An observant viewer will spot a stain on the carpet, for one thing.)  It's what the video reveals that bothers me.  My entire "performance" is done while I lay on the couch cozied up with my pink laptop, Cheez-Its and Coke within arm's reach.  What does this say about me?  One word comes to mind: lazy.

Then I had a semi-profound thought.  If you really think about it, our whole lives are "recorded," so to speak.  We're all going to die someday and we're going to enter the Pearly Gates and give an account of our life.  There will be no Johnny Cochran's to defend our actions.  Who would need an attorney, for that matter?  What's to defend?  God knows what we did.  He saw it all and it's all been "recorded."  The only thing that is going to save us from our damnable deeds is Jesus.  And we'd better know Him, otherwise we'll be taking a trip on the down elevator.

 Wow.  That was heavy.

So let's think about this in the here and now.  If someone were following you around with a camera, what would you do differently?  I'm not talking about using a tissue instead of just your finger.  (But if you do that... Ew.)  I'm talking about how you would spend your time, because when get down to it that really means how you would spend your life.  Would you really want to watch as much TV?  Would it really be important to you what place you held in the Bejeweled Blitz tournament?  (I can't help it.  I'll stay up a little later if I think I can beat my high score.)

"An Evening With the C*****'s" really convicted me.  If nothing else it's served as a reminder to me that life is short.  I need to get off the couch.

The Ants Go Marching One by One

It seems every time I go in my backyard I'm bitten by an ant.  They must be hiding out there, secretly stalking me and then creeping up my shoes undetected.  I don't know what I've done to provoke these attacks.  So I did a little research.  Turns out, you don't have to do anything like disturb their nest to incite the little devils.      

Here's some interesting facts I found: fire ants don't actually bite you, they sting.  The bite is just to grab hold of you with their pinchers and then they sting you from their abdomen, injecting you with venom.  You could end up with a small welt, which may actually be the result of ten tiny stings.  You're not supposed to scratch it because that brings the blood to the surface, which allows the venom to spread.  (You can use ice to try to reduce the itching.)  The right thing to do is use soap and warm water to scrub the whole area.  One recommended home remedy is to soak paper towels with Worcestershire sauce and apply them to the stings.  Weird.

On a side note, we could all learn a lot from ants.  They form colonies that may have millions of ants in them.  Those colonies are called "superorganisms" because they work as a unified entity, working together to support the whole colony.  Within these ant societies, they communicate through pheromones, formulate defense strategies, and teach each other interactively.  In some cultures, ants and their larvae are considered an "insect caviar," which can sell in the U.S. for up to $40 per pound.  I never knew that.  Personally, I wouldn't care how much value they had, I don't want them in my house or taking over my backyard.  There's a whole city of them out there.  Haven't seen any rubber tree plants go by yet.  But I wouldn't be altogether surprised.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Irrigation" Laws

My teen doesn't have a hearing problem.  She has a listening problem.  I'm not surprised.  I often see her with the TV on mute, wearing earphones that are blasting tunes while she's on the computer Facebook'ing.  She's not unusual.  Most teens are exactly like this, giving 1/3 or less of their attention to any one thing at a time. 

So it comes as no surprise that when I tried to have an actual dialogue with her there was a "communication problem."  To bait her into the conversation I got her attention by asking, "If your Dad and I decided to, would you be willing to move to Canada?"

Her:  "What?!  You mean we'd actually move?"

Me:  "Maybe.  Would you want to?"

Her:  "Really?  To California?"

Me:  "Noooo.  C-A-N-A-D-A.  Canada."

Her:  "Yeah, whatever.  Why would we move to Canada?"

Me:  "Not 'whatever.'  They're totally different places.  Canada is a whole other country."

Her:  "Well, why would we move anyway?"

Me:  "Well, it's getting kind of scary, you know, with the immigration law and all."

Her:  "So, you're serious?  We would actually to move to Canada?"

Me:  "Not necessarily.  I don't know.  Your Dad and I were just discussing things."

Her:  "Ok, well, tell me about the irrigation laws then."

Me:    "Not irrigation!  Immigration!  Irrigation is when you water land to grow crops and stuff. [I wouldn't attempt a more in-depth explanation than this.]  The immigration law is going to force cops to ask about a person's immigration status.  It's going to be illegal not to "carry your papers."  [Clearly, I was losing her interest.]  "Lawsuits have been filed!  People are threatening boycotts!  Aren't you hearing about this in school?"

Apparently, they're not. That's an outrage, as far as I'm concerned.  Here's one reason why:  my husband completed the census a long time ago.  Sunday afternoon there was a knock at the door.  It was a census taker who informed us they had no record of us completing it.  So, my hubby took the time to answer all of the questions... for a second time.  Other than the inconvenience of a stranger showing up at our door, getting the dogs to bark and disturbing the baby, all just to give info we'd already given, what really set me off was hearing him ask, "Is there anyone of Hispanic descent living in your household?"

EXCUSE ME?!?  Did he just ask us specifically if we had any Mexicans in our house?!?  He went on to ask about the ethnicity of each resident.  That was a separate question.  The fact is, he went out of his way to ask if anyone in our house was Hispanic.  (There isn't, but I want to know what would have happened if we'd said yes.)  That's alarming to me.  It smacks of Nazism.   

But I don't care what your stance on the law is.  I personally have a lot of problems with it.  First of all, it's the job of the federal government to secure the border, not the state of Arizona.  Secondly, the state is already having financial troubles.  We've even recently begun paying 2% tax on food to curb budget deficits.  I'm happy if the tax will actually ensure some policemen and firefighters get to keep their jobs, but it could drive away snowbirds who will just spend their winters someplace that doesn't put a tax on food.  But I digress... 

Enforcing the new immigration law is going to hit Arizona in the pocketbook, as well as the boycotts which threaten a revenue loss estimated between $7 million up to a whopping $52 million.  Nobody can say yet how much it's going to cost to train police officers and incarcerate the arrestees.  Not to mention that according to the IPC (Immigration Policy Center) Arizona could lose more than $25 billion (that's with a B, not an M) in economic activity.

Ay ay ay!  It makes me scared just thinking about it.  Like, scarder than I was when I first saw "Nightmare on Elm Street" as a kid.  That was pretty scared.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Somnolence Part Deux

I've reconsidered my list from yesterday's post.  It isn't fair to give the impression that my husband is responsible 40% of the time for the disturbances to my sleep.  There are actually many more things that wake/keep me up that he has nothing to do with.  Such as:

1.  Dogs barking at neighbors/strangers/other dogs/cats/each other, etc...
2.  The landscapers and their deafening equipment
3.  The garbage truck
4.  Any loud traffic, like the crazy motorcyclist zooming down our street at suicidal speeds
5.  The voice of a stop-by friend who doesn't know when to go home.  He's great and all, but after 10 pm his voice is like nails on a chalkboard.
6.  The pool pump when there's not enough water in the pool
7.  Teenagers talking and laughing loudly in the hallway
8.  When it's too hot or too cold and I just can't get comfortable
9.  The annoying buzz from the baby monitor
10.  And of course, Baby H himself.  He's actually the most responsible party for my fatigue.  But he's cute so he's forgiven.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I am a light sleeper.  It is a blessing when you know you will wake up easily to your little one's whimpers in the dead of the night.  You don't have to fear being surprised by a would-be burglar.  But most of the time it is a curse.  No matter how tired I am, I'm just so easily disturbed.

Things that frequently wake/keep me up:

1.  A fly dive-bombing me that got let in from the many times our back door opens and closes to let dogs in and out
2.  My two dogs howling when the phone rings more than twice
3.  My husband snoring
4.  The sound of the TV too loud
5.  The front door opening and closing
6.  My husband's alarm
7.  My husband's snooze alarm
8.  Repeat.  He often snoozes five or six times.  Then I force him to get up or give up.
9.  The annoying hum of my ceiling fan and the way the pull chain taps against the light cover
10.  Bright light.  I once got out of bed to tell my husband to turn off the porch light because it was too bright in the bedroom.  He said, "It's the full moon, dear.  I have no control over that."

See what I mean?  It's brutal.  I can't even imagine what it must have been like for the guy whose water heater exploded last year.  He was asleep when it happened.  The water heater shot through his roof and landed two blocks away, ripping apart his garage in the process.  It literally shook walls, shattered windows, and knocked pictures off the walls of neighbors' houses up to two blocks away. 

Now that is a wake-up call.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Uh. May. Zing.

Rarely do I experience a moment when I'm completely blown away by someone's talent, when I'm left with my jaw hanging open in amazement. The kind of moment when I wonder why some people don't believe in God, since clearly there is a kind of talent that is sparingly doled out to a fortunate few that just can't be human.  Nobody is that talented themselves.  It's superior God-given talent that I'm talking about here.

With a build-up like that you're probably going to be disappointed to hear that's it's "just" a song.  Off the Gladiator soundtrack, no less.  (Never seen the movie and don't plan to but the soundtrack must be amazing.) 

What blew me away is the song called "Now We Are Free" by Lisa Gerrard.  She's not even singing in a real language.  It's a language she made up as a child and it's how she "talks to God."

She is so talented that she's truly above the rest of us.  We're all illiterate, belching, nose-picking apes in comparison.  I'm not even going to bother to further try putting it into words.