Mamma Mia!

Yesterday was a very up and down day.

Up: By 8:15 a.m., I had the house to myself.

Down: The upstairs bathroom really needed to be cleaned.

Up: I plurked most of the morning away.

Down: I had to haul laundry over to my in-laws because DearDR is pretty sure our washer is leaking.

Up: I made a big pot of corn chowder for lunch. It was delicious.

Down — way, way down: I found out someone in my department had been “temporarily” laid off.

Up: I got a car loan.

That’s pretty much how it went.

And then I sat at my in-laws — whose dryer takes much, much too long to dry clothes — and watched Mamma Mia!. I think I was crying by the third (maybe fourth) song.

Maybe it was the ups and downs of the day thus far. Maybe it’s hormones, or stress — or both. But the story really touched me, too. Some of those Abba songs are very poignant.

I cried because I’m a mom, and a daughter, and a mom with daughters.

I cried for the friendships between the three older best friends, which reminds me of the relationship with my two best friends. I cried because I don’t get to see them enough, and if I were Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!, all that the two best friends did for her in that movie, N & M would do for me. In a heartbeat. And I for them.

And, you know, there’s the whole “a year older” thing. And the fact that I cry over just about anything, including Puff the Magic Dragon.

My birthday plans: I got to go have dinner with the Burgh Moms (and two dads!) last night, which was a treat, as usual. Hang with my girls at home; if it’s nice enough, play in the snow. Do a little more laundry next door. Go out to dinner as a family. And then tomorrow, I will get to see the Steelers play in the Super Bowl. And, I hope, see them win.

A sixth Super Bowl for the city would be the best birthday present ever.

Well, that and some really good green beans.

Lost Day: “Jughead”

My theories of the week: Charles Widmore moved the island once. That’s why he’s no longer on it. I think I mentioned that last week.

My Widmore/Charlotte theory may have taken a hit, with Widmore’s impassioned pleading to Desmond to just take Penny away again. But we’ll see. And whose address do you think he gave Desmond, really?

I feel like everyone is lying in the episode, about one thing or another. Maybe the writers are giving us a lot of misdirection? That would be par for the course.

I thought the same thing Doc Jensen thought: Daniel blurted out that he loved Charlotte to try to become her constant. But Charlotte’s not really time traveling in her consciousness, so I’m not sure that’s going to work. I tend to think along the lines of some of my co-Losties, that Charlotte is actually disappearing from the past (as one of them called it, “Marty McFly Syndrome”).

I liked “Jughead” especially for its humor (“How old is Richard anyway?” “Old.”), but I am not pleased about the introduction of the gun-toting new character “Ellie”. Because, let’s face it, Lost does not need new characters. Although, of course, Ellie is possibly someone whom we’ve already met, only 50 years younger. The mysterious Mrs. Hawkins? Or maybe she’s Penny’s mother — whom we haven’t met, have we? Or both.

Finally, I know everyone’s all oogy over Des and Pen naming their boy Charlie, but remember, Pen’s father is Charles, too.

And I’m not sure anyone noticed, but Charlie (Dominic Monahan) died the way Desmond said he would, but Claire didn’t get on any helicopter and get rescued. Where is Claire?

Don’t forget to check the pros and the wiki. They do synopsis and everything!


Side note 1: And now DearDR thinks my washer is leaking. Wait, didn’t I count three things already? Somebody’s changing the rules.


Side note 2: Good things: I have Friday and Monday off. The Steelers are in the Super Bowl, and I have a babysitter. And, finally, it’s the day of the Burgh Mom’s dinner. Thank goodness!

Snow Day

When I was a kid, snow days meant sledding, building snowmen and/or snow forts, and hot cocoa.

Now they mean (possibly) braving the roads to get to work. Or, alternatively, taking a personal day because day care is closed, and I can’t face driving in this crap anyway.

When I was a kid, snow days meant SNOW. Huge drifts of snow — three, four feet of snow.

Not snow, then freezing rain, then ice, then more snow. I don’t mind snow. I thought we would even go outside to play today, but my yard is a sheet of ice under two inches of fluffy snow.

I cannot say we didn’t venture outside at all. We packed everything up and came home from the in-laws’ next door. The furnace is running again, huzzah! It will be nice to sleep in my own bed.

I don’t know what my mom did on ‘snow days’ when I was four years old. After all, she would have had a two-year-old and a newborn at the time.

In lieu of playing outside, Monkey and I baked cookies — more on that later — and played on the computer while Bun napped. It was a pleasant day.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go check the weather for tomorrow. Because I will have go to work tomorrow (that is Thursday) without fail. I am already taking a vacation day on Friday — and Monday — and so it’s imperative for me to go in.

I’m hoping they are salting and plowing like crazy out there.
Countdown to Burgh Moms (and possibly a dad or two) dinner: One day!

WTF Wednesday

As with green beans, it all started here. I was going to use a couple of these, the octuplets and Blago in particular, but they’re such universal WTFs, that I will stick with my own.

Yesterday, driving from my office to DearDR’s office, a stone in the road kicked up and chipped my windshield.


On top of the other car, and the furnace, that’s three things, right? So I should be done.

Mind you, we haven’t started shelling out money for these things yet. That could be another huge WTF.

In the time it takes me to pick up Monkey from her dayschool, two or three other parents come in, get their kids, and are gone.

WTF? Is it just me? Why does it take me so bloody long to get Monkey out the door?

WTF? Low levels of mercury are found in HFCS. It’s due to the way some of it is processed. Glad I decided to drop that from our diet.

WTF? My husband had a ride home last night from his office in South Hills. And then her husband decided she couldn’t drive him home at 9 p.m. — when he was done with work — because it was too “iffy” on the roads. I had no one to sit with my sleeping kids, so it looked like DearDR was going to have to schlep downtown to catch a bus. He probably wouldn’t have gotten home until 1 a.m., and that would have been after a long walk up a big hill. In the snow. That was a big WTF until the husband decided to drive DearDR home himself.

I’ve had a tension headache for three days. WTF? Well, okay I know WTF — it hasn’t been all that easy around here lately. I’m trying to deal with it.

Okay. Good things: Lost is on tonight. Green beans is a good tension reliever. My children are sleeping through the night at my in-laws.

And countdown to the Burgh Moms dinner: Two days.

I Need a Hero

This morning I got up and realized that the house was much too cold.

The furnace was out for the second time this winter.

DearDR got up, reset the circuit breakers (we’re in an all-electric house), and changed the furnace filter for the second time this winter.

The furnace shut off again in less than an hour.

It’s getting to be a little much. I am sure that the universe does not have it in for me. Honest.

It has it in for DearDR. The rest of us are just collateral damage.

DearDR is the love of my life and my partner and there have been times that he has been my hero. Right now, though, we seem to be up to our necks in this together. We feel like deer in the headlights: frozen, unable to move, unable to get out of the way of what is coming right at us.

See: airplane dream.

Right now I am just wishing for another body, another person to take some of the weight. Help with the back and forth with the kids. Maybe nose around for a car for us. Just… another team mate, another member we could count on.

But it’s just DearDR and me and one car and two kids and three jobs and a furnace on the fritz.

We are camped out at my in-laws. They are in Florida — those lucky so-and-sos. I have to go back and forth a few times tonight so we’re ready for the morning. DearDR is working on the furnace with a buddy of his who knows about such things.

I’m praying my ass off (yeah, I know: too late), mostly that we will just get by, get out of it. I don’t need a lot of good stuff — the girls are fine, we have a roof over our heads, our jobs, one car. I just need it to be a little easier, especially for DearDR. We need fewer plates to spin, to keep up in the air. That doesn’t seem too much to ask.

Countdown to the Burgh Moms dinner: Three days. I think I miscounted on yesterday’s post — wordpress throws me off with its posting time.

You Know, for the Kids II

If you have children under, say, 4 years old, I heartily recommend They Might Be Giants Here Come the 123s and Here Come the ABCs. I think a lot of parents dread ‘kid’ music, but if you do some research, there is some stuff out there that is more than palatable to adults, also.

My children like just about everything. Monkey is being indoctrinated by Daddy, so she’s into the Beatles, the blues, and Bob Dylan. I have been feeding Bun a more punk rock/alternative aural diet, and she has boogied to the White Stripes, No Doubt, and M.I.A. When we heard M.I.A. on the World Cafe, she stood transfixed in front of the stereo. When one song ended, she turned to me and said, “Moe!” Which is Bun for “May I please have some more, now, please?”

Both the girls love TMBGs, and request these DVDs on a daily basis. I find more to my taste on the 123s, but the ABCs does feature my current favorite, “Stalk of Wheat”.

Warning: Your children, especially if they like music, will want to listen to/watch these over and over (and over and over and over) again.

The video below is my favorite from the 123s.

Countdown to Burgh Moms dinner: Five days.

Some Quick Notes

A note from the doctor: Both girls passed their last exam: No ear infections.

A note from N: we were freshmen in 1986, when the Challenger shuttle exploded. Thanks, N. I don’t really need to be adding years at this point.

A note to my dad: I know. Thanks, though. Love you.

A note from Friday night dinner: As DearDR was putting hot sauce on his Primanti’s pastrami sandwich, Monkey asked, “What’s that, Daddy?”

“It’s hot sauce,” he said.

To which she promptly (and queerly aptly, IMO) replied, “What’s butt sauce?”

And Then We Killed the Car

In my dream last night, I tried to run away from a crashing airplane. Right before I woke up, I looked out of the front door of the building into which I had run.

The now-grounded plane was barreling right toward me.

Between some of the stuff going on at my job right now and the fact that we need to buy a car *rightnow*, this is how I feel. Like something is inexorably speeding toward me, and no matter what I do, what I try, it’s all going to end in death and destruction. And a mention on the 11 o’clock news.

Lost Day: Season 5 Premiere, “Because You Left” and “True Lies”

[Spoiler Alert: For anyone reading this who does watch Lost, if you haven’t watched the Season 5 premiere yet — first, WTF?? — don’t read this until you do.]

I am not a big TV watcher, never have been. I have even gone years without a television in my life. The only thing I made a point of watching were Steelers games.

Over the years, I have become dedicated to a show or two. I watched ER for years — I think I started in Season 2 or 3 and watched until they killed off Mark Green. I’ve always liked the original CSI, but I haven’t watched regularly since they broke Grissom’s heart. I did watch William Petersen’s final episode, though. Heroes Season 1 was AWESOME, but I petered out on Season 2. I have it on DVD, but I haven’t gotten into it yet.

I discovered Lost on DVD, and that’s how we watched Seasons 1 and 2. Season 3 we (DearDR and I) watched in real time, which after watching it on DVD was frustrating — all those danged commercials! The Season 3 finale was the most mind-blowing thing I have ever experienced on television. (Then again, we have never had cable.) We started watching Season 4 in real time, too, but then DearDR missed a couple of episodes, and vowed not to watch it until it came out on DVD.

As a result, I decided not to watch the finale until we had it on DVD.

I made it right under the wire, too, finally seeing “There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2” on Tuesday night.

If you are not a fan of Lost at this point, I’m not going to try to convert you. Yes, it is confusing. Yes, there are a lot of characters. Yes, it’s a sci-fi television show.

And it is the best thing on television ever. Except for Steelers Super Bowls.

Lost has its own Wiki. It has its own obsessive columnists at Time Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. Hell, Stephen King loves this show. And we all know how I feel about Stephen King.

After reading a lot of the theories, I have a few of my own. So Thursday is going to be Lost Posting Day (I needed to start coming up with themes anyway if I’m going to do this Blog365 thing. Other days are still pending…)

I get chills thinking about Doc Jensen’s theory about the dead man. Who is it? Could be Christian Shepherd; could be Locke. I think it may end up being Ben. He’s not dead yet, but Sun seemingly has it out for him (Sun is a bad guy this season; losing your husband will do that do you), and she is — seemingly, again — teaming up with Widmore. And Ben’s off the island. Last season he said he couldn’t go back. But doesn’t it look like he’s going to try? Maybe the Island will kill him if he comes back. Hence all the talk about not raising ‘him’, and not bringing ‘him’ back.

My other current pet theory: Charlotte is Widmore’s daughter, Penny’s half-sister. Here’s why I think that: We know that Widmore is obsessed with the Island. Because he was there? Maybe he moved it once, and that’s why he can’t get back. Hints were dropped in Season 4 that Charlotte was born on the Island — that’s she’s been there and had been trying to get back for years.

I think when Ben threatens to kill Widmore’s daughter in return for Alex’s murder, he’s talking about Charlotte, not Penny. And Widmore says, “You’ll never find her” because he knows that Ben is off the Island because he moved it, and he cannot go back. Widmore knows Ben won’t find the Island because he, Widmore, hasn’t been able to get back there since he moved it.

But also, because Ben moved the island, Charlotte is dying. So he gets to kill her after all.

Okay, that’s all for now. Go read Doc Jenson or the guy from Time. They are pros, with very detailed thought-out theories.

But these are mine, for now.

Meme Meme Meme

I got tagged back by I am a Tornado (i.e. Melissa), which is handy, because I didn’t have any ideas for today!

Five names you go by:
1. Red Pen Mama or rpm
2. dp or dpm
3. General (at work; my former last — and current middle — name is the same as a famous general from WWI and WWII)
4. Mom, Mama
5. Donnie Osmond (for N — and for N only to use)

Three things you are wearing right now:
1. my iPod shuffle
2. wedding ring
3. my in-serious-need-of-replacement maroon high-heeled boots

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1. A new car
2. An entire day to myself

Two things you did last night:
1. Watched the Season 4 finale of Lost, so I’m all set for Wednesday’s Season 5 premiere
2. Drank a glass of homemade red wine

Two things you are going to do today (or already have done):
1. Got to work at 7:30 a.m. (done)
2. Watching the Lost season premiere (not done yet)

Two of the longest road trips you’ve been on:
1. Pittsburgh to Seattle and back — lots of camping and sight seeing along the way
2. Erie to Montreal, Canada (family vacation when I was a kid)

Three of your favorite beverages
1. Coffee
2. Lemonade
3. Good beer

What did you eat today?
organic raisin bran cereal, trail mix (two kinds), a big salad and sesame seed roll, and two faux chicken burritos

Two people you last talked to on the phone:
My SIL Earthmother
My husband, only to find out the station wagon died today, and he is not sure why. Awesome.