Friday, June 30, 2006

Peanut was absolutely adorable the other morning. As I was getting dressed, I heard him talking in his soft, sweet, sleepy voice. I waited for him to quiet down and snuck back into bed. After a little fussy spell, he settled down and started petting my hair. My heart could’ve melted. He’d reach over and gently pull his fingers through my hair. When it was time for us to get up, Peanut had fallen soundly asleep. He snored through his dipe change and finally woke up while I was dressing him. Once his outfit was on, he asked for “Dada dada?”, so we trotted out to the kitchen for Daddy hugs. After his snuggle quota was filled, he happily sat on the couch for breakfast. We sat, cuddled, ate cereal, and watched tv. He even brushed his teeth and helped me put on his socks and shoes. We had several kisses and bye-bye waves when it was time to go.

I love that kind of morning.

This morning he cried while getting dressed, only wanted Daddy to sit with him at breakfast, and finally settled on sausage after swatting away the cereal bowl and spitting out mouthfulls of toast. I didn’t even bother trying to brush his teeth. When he and Hubby left, he was still mad at me for taking the blankie away (he already has one in the car), and refused my goodbye kiss. At least I got a quick wave.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I put the tv on “just for a few minutes” until I knew for sure Peanut was asleep, before going to bed myself. A true stories in the ER show was on. Trainwreck. I couldn’t turn it off.

A woman was mauled on the face and neck by a mountain lion and somehow managed to survive. The doctors repaired her as best they could, and honestly she looks amazingly good. She has scars and loss of movement on half her face, but she still is very pretty.

A little girl fell onto a cactus and had thousands of spines stuck in her back, arms and legs. The parents wouldn’t permit general anesthesia, and after a couple hours of trying to pick out the hair-like spines without causing the girl intense pain, the doctor was at a loss. He had a brainstorm and decided to use a drug store hair wax kit. It worked and he was able to get the spines out, hundreds at a time.

The clincher was an uppity woman, accompanied by her nephew, with nondescript symptoms. She was complaining of generally not feeling well. The intern did a series of neurological tests, all of which she passed with flying colors. She became angrier and ruder with each non-diagnosis and began demanding CT scans and MRIs, all while name-dropping. The intern had no idea who she was talking about, but decided to go to the head doctor. Head doctor was annoyed, told the intern to cut the lady loose, then asked what name she dropped. Oh, wait a minute, that’s the hospital’s biggest benefactor. Let me go talk to her. Yes, go ahead and run any test she wants.

The intern begins a battery of tests, again nothing diagnostic. He’s at a loss.

Meanwhile, you can just see the woman’s fingers itching to call her benefactor friend. “Hello Reginald darling, it’s Buffy. Oh, not too well. You simply must end all donations to that dreadful downtown general hospital. It’s filled with incompetents. Why, I was “treated” by an infant who could barely tie his own shoes much less diagnose my life-threatening illness. He kept me in that dirty ER filled with drug addicts, pregnant sluts, criminals, and unmentionables for hours, all while forcing me through a series of painful and embarrassing tests. I won’t go into all the details, but I simply had to tell you how they are wasting your hard-earned money.

By the way, do you still hold Microsoft stock? Dump it, darling. That fool Bill Gates is jumping ship to devote time to his silly philanthropy. Yes, I know, Warren Buffett is on the bandwagon, too. Imagine, taking his children’s inheritance and throwing it away on a bunch of third world heathens. What is this world coming to?

I’ve kept you long enough. Yes, Charles and I will be at the ball Saturday. Ta-ta

As a last resort, the intern runs a urine test. By this point, uppity husband has arrived and is digging in to the intern as well. The results come back – positive for pot. The intern asks uppity woman if she smokes. She is offended and disgusted. So he point blank asks her if she smokes pot. She’s ready to tear his head off and crap down the hole. Uppity husband is appalled anyone could think such thoughts about his delicate flower of a wife. Intern asks if she ate anything unusual. “No, I already told you, Maria the cook made roasted mountain goat flown in fresh from the Alps with endive-artichoke-goat cheese garnish, which never gives me trouble. For dessert I had two of nephew’s delicious brownies.” Dingdingdingding. “Ma’am you’re high. The symptoms will wear off soon and you’ll feel fine." Uppity family grabs nephew, hightails it outta there, and uppity husband mentions “discretion” to the intern. Priceless.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I’ve seen several memes that ask for the first 10 songs to randomly come up on your mp3/Ipod. I’m nosy and love to know what other people listen to. Musical taste tells a lot about the person. It’s also a fun way to hear about new artists.

Here goes:

Owner of a Lonely Heart – Yes I love to rock out to this song. It brings me back to middle school and spankin’ new MTV. We didn’t have cable, so I think I was at my friend Dawn’s house the first time I saw the video. She and I went our separate ways after I learned she was of the shoplifting persuasion. I never ratted on her, but I was way too uptight and proper for that sort of thing.

These Words – Natasha Bedingfield I discovered this song during my middle of the night milk pumping sessions. The video is adorable and the song so upbeat, it always helped me feel a teeny bit better about being up at 2 am or 4 am or both. OK, not really.

Sound System – Operation Ivy One of Hubby’s downloads. I know nothing about the band, but the song has a great punkish ska sound.

Send the Pain Below – Chevelle I like the song but don’t have anything else to say about it.

Headhunter – Front 242 Takes me back to high school. I can’t remember if it was my loser then-boyfriend or one of my best friends who introduced me to this song. It makes me think of the dive teen club we used to frequent.

Night and Day – Fred Astaire Fred does a fine performance, but it pales in comparison to Ella Fitzgerald’s. Hubby and I disagree on which version is better. Yes, we enjoy Fred, Ella, Nina Simone, and Nat King Cole. Classic stuff. You got a problem with that?

Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day As much as I like Green Day, I own none of their albums. They always remind me of Hubby’s friend Troy, who I met in college when Hubby and I started dating. Troy and I also shared strong dislike for another friend’s girlfriend and loved to talk trash about her. (She and the guy later married and within 6 months she had an affair with her W@l-M@rt coworker and left her husband. Good riddance.) I think Troy’s first tattoo (or his second or third) was the Green Day flower. He still rocks out with a band and I wonder how many tattoos he has now and if his hair color still changes monthly.

Summer – Joe Hisaichi This is the theme song from the Japanese film Kikujiru, Hubby used the song on a dvd of clips from Peanut’s first few months. The song still brings images of tiny little preemie peanut, arms and legs wiggling all over the place. I get teary-eyed whenever I hear it.

Wonderboy- Tenacious D I nearly pooped my pants when I learned this is Jack Black’s band. This song and Tribute crack me up, but the rest of the album is a little too lowbrow even for me. Oh my virgin ears. I know, you’d think with a potty mouth like mine, those sorts of themes and lyrics wouldn’t bug me, but they do. I realize the whole edgy, off-color, non-pc deal is Jack’s schtick, but it’s too sexist for my taste. Actually, this reminds me of why I stopped listening to morning radio talk shows. A couple years ago, one stupid dj was talking about Linkin Park and how they started banned stage diving at their shows because female fans were complaining about being groped. I was so proud of them for actually treating their female fans with respect. The stupid dj’s comment was “Shouldn’t the girls expect it?” That’s when I finally said eff it and permanently switched over to NPR.

Peaches – Presidents of the USA Hubby and I used to sing this to Peanut whenever we’d feed him peach baby food. It primarily makes me think of grad school, though. I originally heard it on the local alternative station during my first year there. They played great stuff that wasn’t too out there, but wasn’t overplayed on the bigger stations (like Atlanta’s 99X – also a rockin’, albeit more commercial, station). On April Fool’s Day, they changed format to country. I was all “Haha motherfuckers you got me” until April 2 rolled around, my alarm went off, and it was still country. Apparently the college town that spawned REM and the B-52s couldn’t support an alternative station. Whatever.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I’m realizing that hectic & crazy is the new normal for chez selzach.

I left work early on Tuesday with a horrendous sore throat, fever, chills and aches. I’m not sure if it was viral or strep. My inner hypochondriac is debating calling the nurse to see if I should get checked out. Strep can occasionally lead to serious complications if untreated….a fact I had hammered into me as a child with strep frequent-flyer miles. I didn’t return to work at all last week.

Mom was admitted to the mental health unit last Tuesday. She called from the ER to ask for clothes. I sometimes get a kick out of her quirky way of thinking….”Please bring clothes cuz I’m being admitted to the unit and I didn’t bring any with me.”

Best Friend’s dad has been in and out of the hospital with a slow heart rhythm. His doctor thinks he needs a pacemaker, but the hospital wants to do more tests first. Why they aren’t keeping him in the hospital is beyond all of us. BF’s mom is handling things well, but she’s still recovering from her heart surgery last year, so she’s not in any condition to deal with stress. BF is a ball of nerves.

Hubby had 2 workdays lasting until 2-3 am, then a callout the next night sometime around midnight or 2 am, which he was thankfully able to handle via phone. Dragging my sorry sick ass around in an attempt to keep up with Peanut those nights was difficult to say the leas, especially the one night he threw a huge Daddy-withdrawal tantrum.

Peanut came home Friday with an imprint of another child’s teeth in his arm. Of course, daycare knew nothing about it. I’m beginning not to feel so bad about Peanut’s stealth smack-and-grab tactic to get desired toys at daycare. We don’t encourage him to hit or bite, and punish such behavior at home, but I’m secretly glad he’s no longer a sitting duck.

Saturday I went to Mar$hall$ while Hubby waited in the car with napping Peanut. While I was waiting in line to pay, I was glaring at a lady in the other line yakking on her cellie. Can’t you put the damned thing down for 5 seconds? Then realized she was talking about a funnel cloud. THE ONE THAT WAS VISIBLE OUT THE STORE’S FRONT EFFING WINDOW. I called Hubby, who had fallen asleep waiting in the parking lot and had no clue, left my stuff by the register, and we got the hell outta there. Luckily the funnel never touched down, but it was a close one. Ironically, we saw one just starting to form in almost the same area a couple years ago.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The other night, Hubby was called out to a big metro hospital. A homicide detective being called out to a hospital is never a good sign. It indicates a high probability the victim will die and the death will be investigated as a homicide. Once Hubby left the neighborhood, I heard the sirens go on. A really bad sign.

The woman was in critical but stable condition. Hubby stayed until his supervisor approved him to leave. The woman is awake now and doing amazingly well considering she was nearly killed and underwent a leg amputation.

She had stopped at a convenience store and a shitbag noticed her keys in her car. She saw him and ran after him. So he gunned the gas and dragged her against another car, then a barrier, nearly severing her leg.

The cops found the guy last night and arrested him. He has a long record, was out on bond for another violent case, and apparently doesn’t give two shits about what he’s done. How does someone become so callous they would kill another person just for a free car?

Today was the funeral for the newborn baby found about a month ago. I have noticed Safe Haven signs in front of several local fire stations. Maybe the county realized how poorly advertised the Safe Haven law was.

All in all, I’m feeling low today. PMS is kicking my ass and several little things are nagging at me.

Hubby has to work late again tonight. He has only come home at regular time one night this week. He also got word that his agency is concerned about all the overtime the homicide detectives have been working. This year has been their busiest yet and the detectives are working anywhere from 10-80 hours overtime in each 2-week pay period. I hope the agency doesn’t start cutting their overtime pay. We don’t budget for that money in our regular expenses, but most of it ends up going to bills anyway.

Coworker who supervises our student workers was out sick yesterday. I mistakenly thought the kids work Fridays, so I told a professor to expect one student to be here today with supplies from her dad’s business. I found out at 5pm yesterday that she doesn’t work Fridays and called the prof back. He wasn’t happy.

I called the other student yesterday morning (he works afternoons) and told him not to come in, but that coworker was expecting to be back today and I’d call him if things changed. The student assumed I was telling him to come in to work today, so he showed up this morning. If he had only told me he doesn’t work Fridays, I would have told him not to worry about it and see ya Monday. Coworker was confused (and annoyed to have to find work for the kid), the kid was annoyed, and I felt like an idiot.

Communication in our lab often sucks and I hate getting caught in the middle with my ass hanging out.

Someone hit the brick sign at our neighborhood’s entrance. Hubby called the sheriff’s office last night to see if a report was filed and if they knew who did it. It was a freakin’ hit and run which means the repairs will come out of our HOA money. Since they already spend out all the dues each year, I have a feeling the dues will go up, unless they decide to just tear the whole sign down.

Hubby and I think it was someone in the neighborhood who hit the sign…you’d have to be turning onto the entry road to even hit it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

So, we're Day 13 into the hurricane season and already experiencing our first tropical storm. Sigh. It's going to be a long 6 months.

The university decided to shut down today, but my work didn't. As a satellite location, I guess we're not important enough to worry about. So typical.

Peanut and I got to sleep in this morning since his daycare was on a 2-hour delay. (When I was a kid we had snow days and delays. Now Peanut gets hurricane days.) He didn't want me to leave daycare and the Cheeto bribe which worked for Daddy yesterday wasn't cutting it today. He finally settled for some pudding, but only when the teacher let him use the spoon by himself. A little mess is better than a screaming toddler any day.

Monday, June 12, 2006

One of’s stories today listed the best and worst-paid professions. Of the worst-paid, food service positions were unsurprisingly at the bottom. Each job’s mean salary was listed along with the areas of the U.S. where workers made the most and least in that position. Massachusetts, Connecticut, NY, NJ, and, Hawaii were commonly the locations with highest earnings.

Incomes for wait staff, fast-food cooks, and other food handlers ranged from roughly $15K - $25K per year. That breaks down to $1250 - $2083 per month gross income (nevermind what a worker actually brings home after taxes).

I grew up in the Northeast in a notoriously expensive state. Just for kicks I did a real estate search in my hometown, a town that is far from the most expensive in that area.

For $150K you can get an acre of land. One acre.

For $175K you can get a 1960s era mobile home. I can’t imagine the heating expenses. New England gets cold in the winter.

For around $190-$200K you can get an 900 or so square foot condo, or maybe a tiny 1 bedroom house.

The cheapest rent I found was $800 for a 1 bedroom apartment. A 2 bedroom starts at around $1100 per month.

I'm sure cheaper places exist, but I'm not sure I'd want to live there. I'm thinking drugs and bug infestations go along with anything cheaper.

Why all these numbers? Because I’m wondering how someone who’s “lucky” enough to be on the high end of a low-paying job can afford rent. I’m thinking a mortgage is out of the question unless that person has a well-paid spouse or some serious financial help from parents or other family. How does a single parent even survive?

I’m just looking at rent. I’m not even considering gas, insurance, or utilities. Trust me, having enough money to heat your home during the winter is a big consideration.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I estimate that Hubby and I make a neighborhood enemy a year. We've lived here nearly 3 years and have at least 3 households that aren't exactly our friends.

The first ones came about last year during the 4th of July weekend. We arrived home on the 5th with a sick and unhappy Peanut. Everything was A-OK until 2 am on the 6th when a family decided to have their own fireworks show. I guess they didn't want to compete with the city and our other neighbors, so they waited until well after all the other displays and until everyone who had to work the next day was asleep. Hubby walked down to their house and asked them to please stop, that we had a sick baby and needed to work that day, yadda yadda. The man of the house copped a nasty attitude and made sure to set off a few more really loud ones after Hubby left, just to let him know who had the last word in.*

I annoyed The Fast and the Furious neighbors when I asked them to quit laying on the train horn while Peanut was napping. Whatever. I figure that one was a freebie. A lawyer who couldn't contact them got our phone number and talked Hubby into leaving a note on their door. Hubby has also given the owner of the jacked-up train horn-sportin' truck advice about tickets.

The best one came a couple weeks ago. We already had a little history there. They have an aggressive and downright nasty dog. She came after Lily and me once a couple years ago but we managed to high-tail it down the street before she got too close. About 6 months ago, Hubby and I were out with Peanut in his stroller and Lily on the leash. Nasty dog's owner was standing in her open doorway having a conversation with another person. Nasty dog snuck out the door and came right for us, snarling and circling around us before going after Lily. The owner was useless, yelling at the dog, but doing nothing to get her away. Finally the dog broke loose, she grabbed its collar and gave a half-hearted "Sorry" over her shoulder. We debated reporting them, but let it go. Lily has snuck out the door several times, so we understand it happens. A couple weeks ago Hubby was on a call-out and Lily, Peanut and I were getting antsy, so we went for a short walk. As we turned the corner in front of nasty dog's house, I saw the owner sitting on a chair in her yard talking on the phone. A step later, I realized Nasty dog was lying in the grass next to her. The dog shot out after Lily, snarling and baring her teeth. I froze. I didn't want to walk away and risk the dog going after Peanut or me. I considered letting Lily's leash go, but was afraid she'd get in traffic. So I tried to nudge Lily away while nasty dog growled and put her mouth on Lily's back and side. As before, the owner yelled until the dog finally backed off. No apologies this time. I was shaking, Peanut was wailing in fear, and Lily was cowering. We hurried home and after a quick phone call to Hubby, I made a report with Animal Control.

* A couple months later, Hubby discovered from a friend that someone in our neighborhood had been arrested in a hit and run incident. The neighbor had been stopped by a flagger at a utility worksite. Neighbor was in a hurry and told the flagger to get out of his way. When the flagger refused, our neighbor hit not only the gas, but the flagger as well. Luckily the person up in the bucket truck witnessed the incident, got the tag number and called the cops. Yep, it was Mr. Neighbor himself. I'm glad his only retaliation at Hubby was firing off a couple of loud mortars.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Holy cow, I just realized I went to college with the husband of another blogger. She has some family pictures posted and he looked very familiar. He's the second person I've come across in the blogging world that went to my alma mater. Flea is the other, although she graduated the year before I transferred in.

I recently had another blast from the past. A coworker has been trying to talk me into attending a scientific meeting with her this summer. I've been to the meetings before and they are excellent. The only problem is the $450 registration plus airfare, hotel, and food, not to mention I haven't been away from Peanut for more than 2 nights and I'm not ready for anything longer. My boss will only pay for meetings when we're presenting papers or posters and he generally saves the expensive meetings for students or post-docs. So it's a no go.

Coworker found a pamphlet for the meetings and showed it to me, as a final attempt to lure me in. There will be some great topics and a couple of short courses which would be relevent to my work...but I'm not going. While perusing the pamphlet I came across a picture of none other than Crazy Roommate. Coworker wanted to see it, of course and decided Crazy Roommate looked mean. So another coworker took a look and deemed her "agressive looking". Heh.


We've been heroically fighting yet another intestinal bug at Chez Selzach. It's a sneaky repeating one. You think you're good, then it hits again. So far Hubby and I have each had two rounds and hope that's it. Peanut had round 1 yesterday...just as we pulled up to daycare, he puked all over himself and the carseat. I mopped up as best I could with his blankie, opened the windows, and turned around for home. Round 2 - TBA.

Friday, June 02, 2006

OK, I FINALLY figured out why there have been no comments showing up. Because when you have "moderate comments" activated, they have to be approved first. Duuuuuuuhhhhhhh. So to my plethora (hahaha) of readers, if you had given up because your comments never showed up, please, please make me feel loved and drop me a comment every now and then.
This has to be the best spam title ever:

don’t throw toothpicks in the toilet crabs can pole vault

As I was driving home from work one evening, I came across a dude on a bike with this hanging from the back: To hell with high gas prices. This vehicle powered by beer.

Funny, dude. But I'm wondering if that's what got you riding a bike in the first place.