Wednesday, December 31, 2008

366 Eventful days

Wow.

A year is a long time. And no time at all.

Y'all ready for 2009? I sure am :)

Happy new year, my friends.

Updated:

You know how I play Spades online? And how Bob is so much better than me and all? Yeah. Turns out "online" is his venue.* I'm just sayin'.

*FOR SPADES THAT IS

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Playing cards

Too busy playing cards to blog. Hand & Foot is a fun game :)

Today in a nutshell: Breakfast with Mom (Panera in remembrance of the First Annual Whateveritwas of Misphit Bloggers), go to Target and fail to find a skateboard. Go to Radio Shack and fail to find a Magic Jack. Go to thrift store and get better clothes (apparently I've been wearing "Mom jeans" - who knew?) Call Radio Shack and fail to find a Magic Jack. Call Radio Shack and find a Magic Jack. Go to Wal-Mart and fail to find a skateboard. Go to Radio Shack and actually purchase Magic Jack. Go to K-Mart and find skateboard. Come home and pack.

Now it's game time. I'm about 1 for 5 at Cranium Conga, but won all the Hand & Foot we've played so far. Yeah, that's one game.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Got me a present

I was technically shopping for the girls' Christmas presents, but I'd just gotten some good news about my bank account (not about its contents, but about the account itself - turns out I'm easy to please) and I thought I deserved a little something.



I'm a little afraid of the Full Monty effect - wherein I hear so many glowing reports of a perfectly good product/production that my expectations are too high and the real thing pales a bit in comparison. But the company actually guarantees that it's better than a broom and a mop. So it must be. Right? Right??

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christina, you might just want to avert your eyes till Wednesday.

Today it's this:

We're not timing ourselves competitively today, but I did set the watch just out of curiosity, and it took us about three hours to get all the land masses and a lot of the other clued pieces done. Now it's pretty much all about the longitude lines.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Starting....now

Sandy brought us the only puzzle she's ever given up on. It's this one, just 500 pieces.

We scoff.

And we're starting it....now.


...11 minutes: The edge is done. It's a wee little thing.

...1 hour and 20 minutes: We take a break to say goodbye to Dan and Sandy. We're approaching 25%. Dad got eight pieces so far!

...2 hours: One of the half-inch photos in the mosaic is oriented incorrectly. Lisa is thrown, but recovers quickly.

...2 hours and 40 minutes: A solid 80% there, all previously assembled pairs and groups are now integrated into the main puzzle area.

...3 hours: You can look now, Christina. We're done.

Sandy's over. She brought Dan.

We just spent a solid hour and a half swapping stories that tended to start, "She had a cat, and I had a firecracker..."

Friday, December 26, 2008

And a good impression was made by all

Bob drove up to Redacted for lunch with my family this afternoon, then the two of us went on to visit his parents half an hour away.

Bob and Dad swapped packrat parent stories at lunch (with supporting anecdotes from the rest of us) and then I got to show off my madd pressed-board furniture assembly skillz for his parents, with extra points awarded for Teamwork.

But what really sealed the deal was when I successfully executed the "Is that that lady we saw before" over-the-shoulder fake-out at dinner and swiped the best bite of Bob's chocolate pie. That got me an "I knew you'd fit in with our family" from Bob's dad, and may have contributed to the subsequent earning of one (1) hand-knit dishcloth from his mom.

We're all going to get along just fine.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bonus Christmas post

This is the family I'm from:

Mom, doing a crossword puzzle: "What's the word for that little thing at the end of a shoelace?"

Dad and Lisa, sounding bored and without looking up from their books: "Aglet"

Merry Christmas, y'all

It's been a quiet day in Lake Wobegon Redacted. Lots of presents, lots of lying around, lots of turkey. Not a whole lot to report, but I hope your day was as nice.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve update

My Airline Cold may not be going away, but we have discovered that a finely tuned combination of Aleve Sinus and Cold and Wernesgruner beer are in fact a highly effective means of making me feel better, even though I suspect I'm not actually any healthier than I was two hours ago.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fired

Dear Airline Cold:

Thank you for your assistance. Your services are no longer required.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Tucker
A Few Choice Words

Monday, December 22, 2008

Just checking in

Back down from the mountains, and tired from the drive. I'm almost over the airline cold - my throat's finally stopped hurting anyway :)

Pictures tomorrow!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Post-posting for Sunday

As promised, here are some pictures from the mountains.

This is pretty much what Sunday looked like as the day wore on. I opened the door to take these and then shut it again quick - it was freezing.







Saturday, December 20, 2008

Yes, I know it says it has Internet, but I don't have a laptop for with which to access it

See you in a couple days, y'all. I'll be here if anybody needs me.

I'll post-blog Sunday forya - maybe even some photos. Have a good weekend!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just a quickie

Have the airline cold
Got errands run, tree put up
It's good to be home

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's a good thing it's winter

There are no crayons in my backpack. No peanuts or (in the olden days) drink boxes or little surprise find-a-word gifts, or size 8 sweaters or practically anything.

Is this what travel used to be like? If I wasn't taking my warm fleecy jacket, there'd be nothing to hold the sides of my backpack out. And since Harry Potter 5 doesn't fit in my purse, what would I use as a carry on then?

Seriously. One book. One sewing project. Some money for snacks. This particular aspect of the whole "just when you thought" massacree, doesn't suck.

See y'all in North Carolina!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hey, it's a theory

It's bad luck to start packing more than 12 hours before flight time.

Right?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Neenaw neenaw??

Well, it's obviously a nonstandard version (and possibly an early influence on the Barenaked Ladies), but here's the song in my head today:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Have passport, WILL travel

Not that it was really in any doubt anymore, but it does feel good to have the renewed passport in hand.

The US Embassy keeps some very specific hours. They only even answer the phone (for mundane things like passport renewals) from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays. And you can only go in to actually do it from 8:00 to 11:30 a.m. weekdays.

The renewed passports were supposed to be ready today, and I forgot to call and confirm on Friday, so I didn't go in to pick them up this morning. I did manage to call before leaving work and was told they were there. On the way home, I suddenly remembered that they very generously open the American Citizen Services windows from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Mondays, in addition to their extensive morning schedule. I changed course and got there at 2:55.

I gotta say, you need something done at the Embassy, five minutes before closing time on the only day they have afternoon hours is a pretty good time for it. There were two people waiting and two people being waited on, and my number came up as soon as anyone was free.

Anyway. I guess there's really not a lot of "there" there in this story for the casual reader, but it's a pretty big thing for me, under the circumstances.

Bonus fun fact:
The girls have lined all the current and expired passports up on my desk. Between the three of us, we have nine passports (Julia 2, Robin 3, and me 4) and, if you put the photos in age order, you could almost pass us off as one person.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Phrase of the day

I'm playing with fabric today and the phrase we are working around is: Accidental Accuracy. Bonus extra phrase from an email from DCup: Weird Symmetry.

Yup, that's today.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A partial list

Dear Person who found this blog by Googling the phrase, what kind of things they have in Costa Rica,

In Costa Rica they have things like:

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Bunny rabbits
  • Planes
  • Trains
  • Automobiles
  • Kids
  • Grownups
  • Nice people
  • Mean people
  • Death
  • Taxes
Glad to be of help.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Feeling miscellaneous

  • Happy biggest full moon of the year, everyone.

  • Relatedly, this is a very cool animation, but takes a while to load.

  • I am so very very ready for a weekend.

  • Relatedly, I only have three more days of work until Christmas vacation! (Christmas? Really? When did that happen?)

  • Our renewed passports are supposed to be ready to pick up on Monday, but I forgot to call and confirm before closing time today. Crossed fingers, everyone!

  • Relatedly, I have not played Spades for [checks watch] ever. Ever since a particular hitch in my travel plans came up and needed to be addressed, at any rate. It is high time to remedy that lack, so if you'll pardon my scanty post, I'm off to start my weekend.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Summer vacation starts this week

So, graduation was last night and report cards were handed out then too:



Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Any of y'all from Newark?

So, as promised yesterday, today I am excited about my trip.

When I bought the tickets months ago, I picked the least expensive itinerary which, as often happens, takes me way the heck out of my way. In this case, I'll be traveling from Central America to North Carolina by way of Newark. Yeah.

But, whatever. It cost less, and that's what counts with me.

It also has very long layovers. Like, almost five hours on the way up and nearly ten on the way home.

Now that I'll be traveling without the girls, I checked to see if maybe there are earlier flights scheduled that same day, that maybe they'd let me on if I get in early enough. But in both cases, the only other flight leaves just half an hour after I'm scheduled to arrive, so the chances of making it (and of there being space even if I did) are pretty slim.

So, I don't suppose any of you are going to be in the Newark area on December 18 or January 3, are you? And fancy hanging out at the airport?

Anyone? ... Anyone? ... Bueller?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Home for the holidays

I am happy to report that I will be going home for Christmas this year - as planned since, pretty much, last year's trip home.

Not quite as happy to report that I felt the need to consult an attorney to be sure going home for Christmas can't later be held against me.

Bitter? Maybe a little. I'll be excited about the trip starting tomorrow, I promise.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Grandma says hi

Not the one who's still living. (I mean, I'm sure she says "hi" on a regular basis too, but she's not the one I'm presently talking about.)

Grandma Tuck died in 1999, when Robin was just a few weeks old. She (Grandma, not Robin) would have been 99 on her next birthday. When it became clear that she was declining rapidly, I asked Dad to ask her to wait for us so I could take Robin to meet her.

And he did, and she did, and we did, and then she died - I think it was the next day.

Anyway. This isn't actually about her death.

I think she wants to say hi, because the whole time I was cooking dinner this evening, I couldn't get this out of my mind:

I sat next to the Duchess at tea
T'was just as I knew it would be
Her rumblings abdominal
Were simply abominable
And everyone thought it was me

Hi, Grandma!

(And, just to clarify. She's not the Duchess. She's just the one who taught me the limerick.)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Here's a song I like

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Settled, once and for all

I imagine life still holds a lot of mysteries when one is ten years old. Other things are discussed, resolved and dispensed with in mere moments.

We had eggs and toast for dinner just now.

True to the pattern of the past week, one of my children is elsewhere this evening, and I have a spare in for the night. Robin and her friend are discussing eggs; specifically, the chicken/egg dilemma.

Robin barely bats an eye. "The egg came first," she says.

I know my role. I ask the standard counter question: "Who laid the egg?"

"Another animal that was almost a chicken, but not quite a chicken, and it laid the egg, and when it hatched, there was the chicken. Evolution."

And there you have it.

Friday, December 05, 2008

There is exactly one clean surface in my house

And it would require more math than I am prepared to implement to track the flow of children in and out of the place over the past few days, or even figure out the average number for any given 24-hour period.

Suffice to say that there was something of a three-way swap last night, and everyone's overtired today.

I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood like this.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Home movies!

Robin wanted a skateboard for her birthday. This is Julia's first encounter with it, and Robin's second:

[Video #1 removed pending further negotiations with the cast]

video

(My camera doesn't have audio, so just whistle your favorite tune while you watch.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Everything is Art: Froot Loops Edition

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Food!

Courtesy of Lisa, this 10-second video was the source of much hilarity this evening. It actually does get better the more times you watch it. For the first six or eight times. Then it sort of levels out, and you're probably best stopping at about twelve. Unless it's someone's birthday and she happens to really really like it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Can't a girl walk around with a cast iron gecko in her purse anymore??

The passport renewals went okay, and should be ready before the trip. Whether anybody's actually going to make the trip is another question, but one issue at a time.

These are the items I had to leave in a padlocked security bag, for retrieval upon leaving Embassy property:

A click a day for good causes

The Hunger Site The Breast Cancer Site The Child Health Site The Literacy Site The Rainforest Site The Animal Rescue Site

Added 6/12/06

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