Here’s the thing…

Everything is fine. Everyone is well. Baby is growing. All manner of everything is good. I’m sorry to be so silent!

Life has been insanely busy lately. Our summer veered off in a completely different direction than we originally had planned (hey, when God says this, not this, then all manner of things get interesting!), and my mental circuitry appears to have blown more than a few fuses.

I have no idea when posting might resume some semblance of regularity. The diet of fibrous thoughtfulness that encouraged such output seems to have been replaced with a backlog of starchy to-do lists. I’m clogged. But I am also hopeful that someday…somehow…a prescriptive enema of creative juices will oil the rusty gears and there will be an explosion of violent cleansing which will lead to healthy, routine musing once again.

Apparently my metaphor gland is still functioning just fine.

Seeing as how I just sat here staring at the computer screen for a full 10 minutes, wondering what to say next, I’m thinking I’ll just step slowly away from the keyboard before all manner of atrocities occur and say have a lovely summer, my friends….

Crazy

Have I ever told you that I read magazines backwards? And the last page of a new book first?

You could say that I’m terrible at surprises. Or impatient. Or maybe just dumb.

In any case, we peeked into the womb yesterday, and discovered that I am carrying our fourth boy in a row. I suffered a momentary pang, simply because it has been 8 years since girly daintiness came to visit, all afresh and pink, and seriously, I had the perfect name picked out!

Short-lived and very silly, these preferences we decide we have. Baby was beautiful and wiggly, smiling and waving, and I’m so happy he’s come to be. Who could begrudge a baby his gender? You’d have to be crazy.

Unfortunately, the world is crazy. Today I read this post, and it shattered my heart.

The other day I read this post, and it was equally as shattering.

Don’t read these posts if you want to continue in apathetic contentment. Don’t read these posts if you don’t want to change. I understand. Change is hard, and painful. Growth blazes new pathways in the brain and tears tissue in order to rebuild it stronger, but we need to be stronger. 

If we are to fight the insanity of this world, we need to be stronger.

Fun and Games. Or at Least Games.

Have you ever played “Would You Rather?” It’s a game featuring a series of choices between two equal-yet-different-and-usually-abyssmal scenarios. I thought it might be fun to play my own version of this game right here on the One Thing blog.

What sparked this idea? I’ll give you a hint with the first question.

1. Would you rather: have a three-day migraine, or 50 chigger bites in your bikini area?

I ask, because I have experienced both scenarios in the past week. Actually, I’m still in the midst of the latter one. Every summer I somehow manage to stand in a patch of the most voracious chiggers known to man. Even though I was surrounded by half a dozen other people, no one else was snacked upon with the same intensity. What can I say? I’m tasty.

I would prefer to have the adjective applied to me in a less literal way, but I’ll take what I can get at my age.

So because my mind is increasingly random, I came up with a few more scenarios to entertain myself and, frankly, to keep the agony of itching from driving me completely insane. Here we go…

2. Would you rather: have you left arm torn off by a shark, or your right foot torn off by a bear?

3. Would you rather: clean up a poop explosion, or a vomit volcano?

4. Would you rather: watch a professional boxing match, or a professional wrestling match?

5. Would you rather: Read the Health Care Reform Package, or watch the Twilight series?

haha!!! Okay, so that was mean. But I’m not entirely sure which one would be worse. Sorry.

6. Would you rather: eat a cow’s eyeball, or a sheep’s brain? Raw.

7. Would you rather: be captured by cannibals, or trapped in an elevator with Robert Downey Jr.?

Just seeing if you’re paying attention.

8. ….

sorry. Can’t concentrate now. Meditating on number 7….

8. Ahem! Sorry! Would you rather: Poke your eye with your mascara wand, or jam your toothrush into your gums?

It occurs to me that number 7 might very well be a legitimate question…for Robert Downey Jr, at least…although the two scenarios might be too similar for him to choose between…

Hawhaw! I’m cracking myself up. Almost forgot about the chigger bites.

Almost.

9. Would you rather: Have to listen to someone talk about themselves for 36 straight hours, or have to talk about yourself for 36 straight hours?

10. Would you rather: Answer all these questions, or come up with 10 of your own?

Well? Well? Wouldya? Couldya? If you come up with 10 of your own, be sure to link it up in the comments! I NEED the distraction!!!

Quirky

Is there anything more fun than a summer cold? I mean, really! I was battling allergies all right, and the sudden, episodic fits of sneezing with subsequent nose-gushage (that’s really hard to say out loud, by the way. try it.) when out of the blue they transmogrified into something quite a bit more sinister. My throat hurt. And my head began to make a strange crackling noise whenever I swallowed. My teeth hurt. My eyes hurt. And the things that began to appear in my tissue were downright terrifying.

Ah, bacteria! You make life so interesting!

Today I think I’m trying to feel better. I can’t really be sure, because I didn’t get much sleep last night so I cannot tell how I would feel if I had. I didn’t get much sleep last night because a certain little boy did this yesterday afternoon…

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…which means he conked out at about 6pm. Which means at about 3am in the morning, I heard “mooooommmmmyyyyy!” and had a very happy 2 year old who wanted to know why it was still so dark and quiet even though it was obviously breakfast-time.

I hope everyone had a lovely Memorial Day. We celebrated Charity, who successfully made the leap to double-digits this year.

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She’s my Y2K baby…born in the year 2000, the year we were all supposed to be plunged into darkness and mayhem. The year we all ran outside at midnight, Jan. 1st, to see if the neighborhood homes would suddenly revert to caves. The year we stockpiled necessities like oatmeal and tylenol and batteries and bugles and cheez-its.

Not really.

So the big caveman-retrograde didn’t happen, but I have to say…maybe because of all the hype seeping through my pores…Charity is a little…quirky. And I’ve talked to other people with Y2K babies, and they say the same things.

“Those Y2K babies,” they say, “they’re….quirky.”

Charity, when she was about 3, commented that “I’m a strange kid.”

I have to wonder what the inside of her brain looks like. I’m betting it’s a psychedelic wonderland, if her drawings tell me anything.

I was a strange kid myself, though, and here’s photographic evidence:

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Truthfully, I think I come from a long line of “quirky.” Charity is simply the latest model.

So we had a party to celebrate her first decade. We had cupcakes.

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And this little guy showed up with his parents

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And my folks came over…

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Quirky. Is that the word I used?

It might not have been quite strong enough.

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Happy Birthday, Charity. I hope you always celebrate your honest and robust lineage of strangeness!

Top Ten Tuesday: The Beach Edition

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Top Ten Properties I Would Buy If Money Was No Object

10. Kauai, Hawaii: This looks like a promising spot…and only $5,450,000!

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9. Cabo San Lucas: This home is available for “fractional ownership”…for about $750,000 you get at least 5 weeks out of the year to use it. Just give me the whole thing for $3,750,000, mmkay? Thanks. 

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8. Oregon Coast: Here we have almost 10 acres with an amazing view of the Pacific. For just $3,499,000, it would be my cute little summer home.

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7. Grand Cayman, BVI: If I had a cool 3 Million bucks burning a hole in my pocket, I’d totally buy this exquisite home on the island of Grand Cayman in the Caribbean.

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6. Belize: Now this is just ridiculous. For a mere $1,625,000 I could live here!

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5. New Zealand: I can’t grab photos of this one, so you’ll have to click here to take a look at it. I also can’t tell you how much it costs because it’s “price upon request,” but hey, I said money was no object, so it don’t really matter none, now, do it?

4. California: By golly, I said money was no object and I meant it! So for 29 (twenty. nine.) million dollars (MILLION. DOLLARS.), I could have this beauty in Carpenteria.

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3. On second thought, if I’m going to spend millions upon millions of dollars, I really think maybe I ought to at least be somewhere slightly more exotic than California. Like the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, where I can have this gem for just 12 million.

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2. Did I say exotic? I’m not sure it gets much more exotic than Bora Bora, so here’s a villa with a main house, a guest house, and a guard house. It also comes with a boat, a lagoon runner, and a jet ski. Who wants to call and request the price? Let me know what you find out as soon as you come to.

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1. Oh, forget it. What I really want is my own private island. Like this one in Fiji.

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But enough mindless dreaming. I’m off to do something constructive with my time.

Like buy a few lottery tickets.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: The Angry Edition

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Top Ten Things That Fill Me With Mindless, Irrational Rage

10. Stubbing my toe: My eyes turn red, the room goes dim, and I cannot be held responsible for what comes out of my mouth.

9. Geometry: “prove it. Prove It! PROVE IT!!!”  I have a better idea. How ’bout you shove it?

8. Power Outages: maybe more terror than anger most of the time, but it depends on what gets shut off, and in the middle of what.

7. Being cold: When I’m cold, I would happily slice something open and plunge into intestinal goo if it meant getting warm. Keep your Tauntauns away from me.

6. People Who Chew Loudly: How is it possible to make so much noise, even when your mouth is shut?

5. Blurry Photos: How do they even get onto my camera’s memory card? I’m sure *I* don’t take them!

4. My current town: Massive, mostly unwarranted ego. ‘Nuff said.

3. Careless grocery packers: Just let me pack my own. It will keep me out of jail.

2. When the radio station plays ONE SONG until I hate it with the burning, fiery passion of a thousand suns, even though I started out liking it.

1. Anything with Nicholas Sparks’ name on it

This was harder than expected because I kept thinking of things that legitimately deserved my hunka-hunka burnin’ rage. Things like “people who con little old ladies” or “rednecks who run over critters on purpose.” It’s harder to think of things that are truly irrational. What are your senseless-anger triggers? Play along so I can feel less like a psycho!

Losing LOST

Tonight, for better or for worse, it all ends. The last six years of angst and hope and horror and anger and joy and fear and happiness that has embodied LOST, the television epic, will come to a close.

Thank You, Jesus.

I can finally move on with my life and stop wondering why, if the Professor can replace Gilligan’s missing fillings with melted pennies and a drill operated by rapidly pedalling a stationary bicycle made from bamboo, can’t he just repair the wrecked ship and get them all off that damned island.

Wait.

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I got a little confused for a minute.

Frankly, I’m banking on more “worse” than “better” for the much-anticipated wrap-up, given that there still seems to be no sign of Juliet in the sideways reality, which means, given that Sawyer has begun to call Kate “freckles” again, and given that he has been casting mooney glances towards the polar bear cages and sighing in remembrance of Things Past, and given that Jack is The One To Stay, and given that Kate NEVER stays ANYWHERE for more than 5.6 seconds, that the writers are almost certainly moving towards a Sawyer-Kate “happy ending”.

Also, given that the whole theme of this season has been “learning to let go”, and given that the writers are obviously hoping desperately through the time-honored method of smoke and mirrors, to encourage us, the viewers, to “let go” of one or two pesky little questions from, oh, pretty much seasons 1-5, such as “wasn’t it VITAL that Claire be the one to raise Aaron?” and “Where is Walt, who was apparently telekinetically gifted and oh-so-extremely important?” and “Why did the hatch blowing up not blow anything else up except Desmond’s clothes (off)?” and “How can a giant wheel move the entire island and cause people to transcend time and space?” and “Why does the smoke monster have a distinctly mechanical sound when he appears, and why did Rose say it sounded *familiar* when she first heard it?”, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

I know there are people out there who will look down their noses with an air of supreme condescension and tell me that somewhere, in the reams of extra-episodic-writings like message boards and “Lostpedias” and “Lost podcasts” and “Lost experience games”, all these questions have been answered, but I’M talking about them being answered in a way that anyone besides OCD-afflicted, media-addicted, Lindelof-Cuse worshiping, fantasy-world-dwellers can remember.

Honestly, I think the most sensible thing to do at this point would be for the whole island to take off into the sky, thus revealing that it is, in fact, a spaceship, and that aliens are, in fact, to blame for the whole mess. The end. It’s Perfect!

I am committed to seeing the thing through for the simple fact that I am nothing if not dedicated, and I still believe that, even if the ending is  worse than horrible, the first season all by itself will shine forever as some of the Best Telebishon In The History of Telebishon, Ever.

And if it IS worse than horrible, I’m ordering this t-shirt, pronto.

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Witless Wendnesday

It’s pouring down rain outside. I mean, it’s like a monsoon. It was so dark this morning I was braced for the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse to show up at any minute. It’s the kind of weather that inspires one to do precisely nothing except curl up on the couch and watch back-to-back Monk episodes. Which is what I would be doing if I happened to have season 3 of said program, but we only recently finished season 2 and I have not made a trip to Best Buy yet to plunk down $35.99 for 16 hours of rainy-day escapism.

I really should be rallying the troups to get some math and spelling done, but I don’t want to, and you can’t make me. Can’t! Can’t! Nanny nanny boo boo!

Since I’m taunting you and feeling cozy and safe behind my computer screen and shield of drenching water, I thought I’d just go ahead and make this true confessions Wednesday, or something like that. What would be a good alliteration for something like that?

I’m not usually controversial here at ye olde blogge; at least, I don’t try to be. But some things really get on my nerves sometimes, and I’m tired to acting like they don’t. So brace yourselves for a rare dose of Jenni, being belligerent.

Mom, you can stop laughing anytime.

1. Sometimes Pioneer Woman really makes me gag. Her posts about Charlie make me borderline homocidal, and her photo contests…*breathing deeply to remain calm*…well, let me just say that most of the time I think they are an absolute travesty. She’s a funny lady and 98% of the time I enjoy her blog, but the other 2% of the time, I want to kick her in the shins.

2. My over-the-fence neighbor has two mastiffs, a male and a female. The male stays in the (small) yard all day long. The female? In a (very small) kennel in the small yard. Always. Always. All day long. They breed them. Yes. They do. The latest litter was just a while ago, and the whole family of canines cried continually. I don’t know what they wound up selling all the pups for, but a hot tub just showed up in the back yard shortly after the puppies all disappeared, so I know their motives were pure and sensible. I’m sure there was all kinds of health testing going on to ensure the puppies were strong and genetically sound. I’m sure these dogs, who live out their lives with very little human interaction, are well-socialized and well-loved family pets. I’m sure they screened the prospective owners of the puppies carefully and thoroughly to make sure the puppies don’t wind up at the local pound six months from now. And I’m sure that, any minute now, Planned Parenthood will knock on my door and ask me to be their spokeswoman of the year.

3. Junk Shot. Seriously, BP? You’re planning to shoot golf balls, shredded tires, and knotted ropes into the hole currently gushing oil in the bottom of the Gulf? And this after spraying untold gallons of deodorized kerosene into the water to break up the oil, because, as we all know, kerosene is perfectly! safe! for everyone! I’d breathe it all day long if I could! It makes me so tingly!

Junk Shot. Kerosene. How about if we just fill in the entire Gulf with cement and call it a day?

4. STOP, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THE FLUFFY PUPPIES ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH, MISSPELLING DEFINITELY! It’s not definately. It’s not definently. And it is never, ever, EVER definintly. Do you want me to hurl a dictionary at your head? I think you do.

5. What is the purpose of geometry for the average human being?  Are these triangles congruent? Is angle A complementary to angle B? You think so? Oh yeah? Prove it! PROVE it! PROVE IT!!

Geometry: invented by channelling the spirits of all the obnoxious younger siblings that ever existed.

Sometimes, during the course of their schooling, your children will ask “when will I ever need this information again?” and sometimes, you can truthfully answer: NEVER. Never, ever. But I had to do it, and so do you. So there. Prove it!

6. The rain has stopped, and so has my diatribe. I have been as controversial and belligerent as I dare to be. I’m sort of a coward that way. Got anything you feel the need to vent? Let this be your engraved invitation to let fly. Ready, set, go!

Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Things That Hold Some Sort of Strange, Mystical Obsession For Me

(in completely random order)

1. Baby Hands: Most people cite the teeny tootsies as the most noshable area on a baby. I find the hands so irresistible it borders on neurotic.

2. Office Supplies: This probably isn’t too uncommon, but it doesn’t make it any less strange. What is up with us Staples-stalkers?

3. Glossy Magazines: Like a moth to a flame, folks. Like a moth to a flame.

4. Old Houses: The way they smell. The way they look. The stories they tell. The skeletons they hide. The bloodstains that just won’t scrub away. Okay, maybe not so much on that last one.

5.  Patterned Paper: Scrapbook paper. Wallpaper. Paper paper. Doesn’t matter. It all makes me swoony.

6. Greeting Cards: If I’m going to Hallmark, don’t expect me back for at least 3 hours. I will read every single card in the store. It’s a sickness.

7. Stuffed Animals: None of my kids care much for them, and yet we are overrun. My secret is out. I buy them for myself.

8. Organizational Tools: Maybe I buy office supplies just so I can buy boxes and baskets to put them all in.

9. Adrian Monk: He’s adorable. Tell me I’m not alone. Go on, I dare you.

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10. The Cheezburger Network: Why is it impossible for me to look at just ONE page on almost ANY of their sites? Please, someone explain this phenomenon.