Dec 31, 2007


When I was a kid I just knew that when I was grown I would wear a fabulous sparkly evening gown and drink Champaign at a party in the penthouse of a very tall building in Chicago on New Years Eve.

In October of 1999 it became painfully apparent that I didn't know anyone that lived in a penthouse in Chicago or that was throwing a party that required evening gowns. Since my heart was already there, we threw a party and told people to dress us in their most expensive and sparkly frocks, the bridesmaid dresses only ever worn once, the suits bought for funerals and the feather boas only worn on Halloween. We bought cases of Champaign and rearranged furniture, strung soft white Christmas lights everywhere and lit candles in every corner of the house. We collected bebop and dance music from the far reaches of our world and moved our stereo into the center of the house to turn our home into one resonating box of happy. We put giant popcorn bowls of plain white confetti on every table. We turned the heat up and I donned a long silk gown the color of Champaign paired with black heels comfortable enough to dance in and curled my hair, Dan wore his best suit, wing tips and skinny tie. We moved all our TVs into a group on top of an old desk and tuned them each to a different channel in case there was something to see outside of our party.

Friends and family and neighbors and guests arrived in gowns and suits tuxes with dishes to pass and music to share. It was the fanciest potluck in the history of potlucks. We danced and ate and drank until the big countdown when the lights all stayed on, the computers made it past the last second of the nineteen hundreds, everyone kissed and threw giant handfuls of confetti at each other and hugged and danced some more. At three-thirty AM the party's straglers and I sat at the bottom of the big stairs listening to "Ode to Joy" so loud I'm sure that's why the neighbors to the right wouldn't say hi to me for a full three years after. Soaking it all in, the operatic voices climbing high into our consciousness lifting our hopes for the new millennium, I was happy where I was sitting.

Sometimes you can’t wait to get invited to a grand party; sometimes you just have to throw it yourself.

Dec 30, 2007

Something Had to Give

Dear Friends and Family,

No, you didn’t drop off my Holiday card list, I didn’t send any (gasp!) Not a single one. Dan and Ella made them and stamped them; I just didn’t sign them or send them. They would’ve said we had a fabulous year and Ella is loving preschool and Dan loves his new job and I love my new roller derby league. I also would’ve included a picture of our family that makes us all look adorably cute. Instead I sat home and drank hot coco with a little Irish in it while we watched Disney DVDs and ate popcorn. I feel kinda bad, but something had to give this year and the good news is next year I’ll have a jump start!

Full of excuses but less stressed,

Dec 28, 2007

Before the War

It's snowing like crazy and we have company coming tonight. Good friends from out of town are here for the holidays and so we're getting the old crowd together with kids at our place. I'm cleaning like mad and soon we'll put away any toys that Ella doesn't wish to share and vacuum. Dan's picking up Papa Murphy's Pizza (yay!) and I'm putting the booze on ice (yay!) It'll be nice to catch up with everyone.

It's weird to think we used to spend every day talking to each other on the phone and hanging out together every weekend and now we only see each other twice a year. Alas, that was pre-munchkins and we barely had lives of our own then. Back in the day when people knew each other’s phone numbers by heart, because you actually had to dial them, Dawn was the queen of political statistics, reading precinct print outs like Bill Gates reads code, Mike knew everyone and played golf with them but alas didn't even have a refrigerator in his apartment as he found it easier to eat out every meal and Dan and I wrote speeches and ad campaigns for fun but still lived in a basement. We used to obsess over the local scene together scathing about who was jockeying for what position in the county board and state legislature, sharing donuts at 7 in the morning before canvassing a subdivision and spending hours organizing dinners and county fair booths. At 1:00 in the morning election night 2000, when they finally announced Gore had NOT won FL, we cried over a pitcher of beer together in a smoky old neighborhood bar on the Southside.

That's marked in my memory as the beginning of the end of the good old days.

Dec 27, 2007

My Own Lists

So everwhere on TV there's somebody's best and worst of 2007. Here's some I'd like to see:

The best strategic plans used in Iraq
Top 20 free songs on the internet
The 10 days Britany wasn't in the news
The best toys made in the USA
The worst dressed bitchy fashion correspondent
25 very fun things to do for free
5 most overrated blockbuster movies in 2008 you should just wait for on video
Funniest you tube videos that I can watch with my kid still in the room

Some I swear to you I saw but wish I hadn't:
Top 10 Hollywood babies
Best Britany Meltdown
Best Vacuum of 2007
Best Games that Remind Me of Your Mother
The Best 12 Days of Golf
Best Celebrity Mugshot

and finally some I liked:
Dickheads of the year
AOL's Best Nature Photographers
Best Surfing the Net with the Kids
America's Best Restroom
Best Visual Illusion of the Year
Best & Worst of 2007: Shameless attempts at cashing in on '15 minutes'
Best & Worst Buzzwords of 2007

Dec 26, 2007

Celia Rivenbark, I Think I Love You

Yesterday, I received a hilarious book by author Celia Rivenbark, "Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank." The first chapter details a trip to Disneyland fulfilling her family's utter craving for "total escape and plastic happiness." I was laughing so hard in the first three pages I had to read it aloud to Dan. She also wrote "Bless Your Heart, Tamp" and "We're Just Like You, Only Prettier" which I will probably order this week as I'll be finished with the first book this afternoon and together they'll have enough snark in them to balance out all the gooey sweetness of the holidays.

Excerpt here or if you prefer your funny in smaller daily chunks, Celia's column is here.

Dec 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve Internets!

Last week I bravely accepted an internet dance challenge agreeing to post a home made video of Biz Markie's "Just a Friend". Little did know at the time, it's a four minute song and so I asked to amend the challenge to include friends and family (thank God.) A handfull of my friends helped saved my ass from jerking around wildly trying to dance for four minutes by giving me the best gift I could get this season - their own dancing on video, and so now without further ado I present to you...

The best thing you'll see in the internet today...

Dec 21, 2007

Wine Women & Song

After a rowdy SRDD Christmas Party my inner guitar sting has been tuned down a few octaves and isn’t so close to snapping in the middle of the song. Thanks ladies, you are truly good for my soul.

SRDD Pictured December 2007 - Front Row: The Governor, DD Hunter, The Warrior, Emma Hurtin'U, Middle: Redneck B. Yotch, Velvet Vendetta, Tally Tumoil, Bombadee, Annsanity, Sinwagon, Subpoena Envy Back Row: Constance Chaos, Lil' Loca, Jacki O'No, Stiletto Steel, Vamp Helsing, Liberty Bella, Sgt. Chesty, Racy Tracy, SLOCO.

Dec 20, 2007


I have an infinite list of tasks to accomplish in the next five days and my eye has begun to twitch in that way that if I were in a combat situation my peers might start avoiding me and whispering behind my back. Instead I find myself standing in line next to seven other housewives with the thousand-yard stare, and no one knows for sure if they are spotting something down isle 15 on sale, or ready to disembowel the next person that asks them if they’re all ready for Christmas. Even the children sense something very dangerous brewing deep within their mothers, not daring to whimper or whine for checkout isle candy. Ella seems in her own world all together humming quietly to herself and playing with the thread slowly unraveling from my sleeve. She sleeps in the car and while I carry her into the house, thankfully allowing me to get cargo in the backdoor unencumbered. Now, I sip an instant coffee in front of my blog, a few spare minutes alone, planning to put homemade chicken pie in the oven, while the curser blinks back at me… blink… blink… blink…

Dec 19, 2007


"Santa will be so proud of my snow man faces."

-Ella Dec. 2007

Dec 18, 2007

Just A Friend Christmas Dance

Because of this post.

Cameo and I thought it would be fun to have the occasional "dance off" with each other. After a few e-mails, the deal is done!

Here is your official invitation to join the first ever Tromping/Bombadee Dance Off.

Our first song will be Biz Markie's "Just A Friend."

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to dance - dance your freakin' heart out. Dance with your kids, dance with your dog, dance with the vacuum and video it all!

Dance I say!

Then proudly post your dancing ass for all the world to see on Christmas Eve - a sort of blogosphere gift (um, okay) to each other. Then sit back and enjoy the spectacle of life!

There are no rules.
You can sing and dance.
You can dance with your fingers.
You can dance on the roof or at the McDonald's drive-thru.
And costumes are optional (encouraged, but optional).

So, get to it folks!

You only have 6 days!


(Come on KTJ - you know you want to!)


Dec 17, 2007

The Adventures of Bat Girl

So we had a full holiday weekend. It kicked off with a Christmas program of eighteen 3 and 4 year olds fidgeting their way through Five Little Snow Men and a grand finally of We Wish you a Merry Christmas complete with giant arm swishes. I of course, took lots of pictures and videoed 30 seconds of the 5 minute program and then I secretly videoed all the parents’ videoing. We were parodies of ourselves, the mama-razzi lined up in front of the children yelling Paris! Paris! Over here! What are you wearing today? I felt really silly after that and couldn’t bring myself to record any more and lowered the glass eye and just watched her through my own squishy organic eyes.

I often wonder if Ella is going to be utterly embarrassed by my documentation of her life. It’s why you see a glaring absence in the potty training posts, though it would’ve made great blog-fodder. It’s bad enough when your Grandma shows your butt pics to your fiancĂ© can you imagine having the procedure in which you were toilet trained outlined for the populace of the world, or at least the 40 or so people who read your Mom’s blog? Besides, I’m sure I’ll give Ella plenty of reason to be utterly embarrassed with all that driving her to school in my PJs with my hair in pigtails and my striped derby socks and glasses on.

I digress.

So, after the school program, we hopped through the snow and across the street to the local drinkery and had hot cocoas, beer and fried things for lunch. Ella’s uncles were unexpectedly sitting at the next table over playing Euchre and so when she tired of eating fried cheese and poking things with those little plastic swords she popped over to the next table to ask the fellas about their cards while we finished off the last of the beer and paid the bill. The rest of the afternoon was spent at Granny’s visiting with cousins and taking pictures of snowflakes and the evening spent with friends playing cards and romping in front of the warm glow of holiday TV.

Ella doesn’t get to wrestle around with boys very often and so when they would get particularly wound up, the boys wrestling around wildly, Ella would shriek with laughter and jump in the middle scaring Mrs. Hostess into putting her cards down and yelling into the other room “You boys better tone it down a notch and be gentle!” and I would shake my head and say “It’s ok, she’s having a blast.” It was nice to sit in a warm dinning room with a table full of chips and chocolate and cookies and wine and share stories with old friends and their families while the kids tried hard to bust their heads on the coffee table. It reminded me of all the wonderful people my parents played cards with and their children.

Pictured left to right:
Wolverine, Super Ninja & Bat Girl just before they put their jammies on.

Dec 14, 2007

Dec 11, 2007

Brain Vacation Derailed

So it started I was watching film trailers at Apple and I clicked on “Step Up 2” one of those break dancing movies like the ones I loved so much in the 80s and I heard a song had to have. I spent the next 30 minutes tracking it down, it’s Cupid’s “369” and it samples “the Clapping Song” by Shirley Ellis (1965) which I hadn’t really heard either, but I used to hear the girls in the neighborhood singing this while playing double-dutch or clapping hands and so I paid a dollar for Cupid's version and Ella and I listened to it at least 5 times in a row last night and twice this morning.

While buying the song I decided to look for another song that was in an 80s dance movie called “Breakdance 2 Electric Boogaloo.” I used to skate to it in the 80s and recently at practice the new rink we were at dusted it off and played it. I’ve been thinking of it since then and it took me a considerable amount of time to figure out what it was called... it’s Din Da Da by George Kranz. I didn’t pay a dollar for surfing around trying to find it I did find Artemisbell on You Tube dancing to it. She dancing with such abandon, it’s so raw and true I almost feel like I’m intruding by watching. I went on to watch her do Zoot Suit Riot, Groove is in the Heart, Little Pretty One, White Wedding, Proud Mary, Rico Suave and the Safety Dance. She writes

“Have Fun...Do what you want to do...even if you're criticized.

This is a Dance Mania debute! If nothing else, perhaps you'll like the music. It's a new hobby for me anyway. It's my workout too! I'd like to thank and pay tribute to all the great song writers and musicians and celebrate this great music with my dance.

Dancing is not my discipline, but it sure feels good. I'm having the time of my life!
Thanks for watching and sharing my fun…”

On the third song I realized there’s a different painting in the background of each video and then I realized she’s a painter. So I backtracked and read:

“I'm an artist and if you like art, feel free to visit:

I visited her website to have a closer look. She’s in Scottsdale AZ and it turns out she put out a magazine from Aug.1994-Dec. 1995 called "Art & Politics", focusing on challenging vending laws and testing the 1st and 14th Amendment Rights, and how the Supreme Court finally ruled that Art, as it is speech, and is protected. I wanted to follow this train of thought more but about that time Ella fell down the stairs and bonked her head pretty good and I had to read Thumbelina while holding ice to her forehead. She's perfectly fine, just scarred and fully comprehending why we tell her not to walk down the stairs with a blanket wrapped around her whole body.

Anyway - go watch Diane dance and hear Cupid's 369 it'll be fun.

Dec 8, 2007

Quad Cities vs Stateline Divas

It's scrimmage day, we leave for the Quad Cities around 2:00 and that'll give us time for check in, dinner and warm up. I'm so excited, send some protective juju my way today so that nobody breaks anything more serious than a skate.

Dec 7, 2007


Do we really need to specify products we use shouldn’t have poison in them? Seriously?

Go Listen to NPR's Story "...toxic chemicals exist in many of the products we handle every day — agents that can cause cancer, genetic damage and birth defects, lacing everything from our gadgets to our toys to our beauty products. And unlike the European Union, the U.S. doesn't require businesses to minimize them — or even to list them, so consumers can evaluate the risks...."

it's 39 minutes that will change the way you think about everything.

Dec 5, 2007

Looking at my Palm Trying to Predict the Future

So I've been getting the blue screen of death unexpectedly over the last few days, making me edgy and also making it unwise to start any major projects. I spent the entire day yesterday backing up all of my docs onto the network. Corrupted files all sorted and disposed of and everything safely held in PC purgatory, I finally figured out that the blue screen of death only appears when my screen saver attempts to start. So I turned the screen saver off and no ominous shutting down... anyone heard of this? Is it a virus? a Glitch? Spy wear? A setting? Do I really need to re-install windows and every other program I hold dear to my everyday workings? Is it just a matter of time before I have to pick out a new machine? Should I upload all my address books and calendars to my Palm?

Dec 4, 2007

Run Run as Fast As You Can

During our first snow storm, as we pulled up to the house, we discovered we had just missed the illusive Gingerbread Man.

Dec 2, 2007

It's all about the toes

Dear Santa Claus,

Hello, hope you and the Mrs. are keeping warm and doing well. We are doing great, looking forward to your visit, in fact I'm sure I'll be calling you several times in the next few weeks to give you regular updates on the kid. However it feels more appropriate for me to tell you what I'd like for Christmas in writting, so here goes: for Christmas this year I would like to have a new floor space heater to keep my toes warm and a couple new pairs of socks to keep my toes warm and it would be nice to have a pair of stylish boots that have a fluffy wool on the inside to warm my toes, a new rug for the bathroom as the old one wore out and that floor is COLD in the winter and last but certainly not least a new kingsize feather filled beadspread so at night my toes stay warm.


Dec 1, 2007

December 1st

It is finally December and I can give in and let Christmas descend upon us. Little town’s Christmas walk is today and we are in the thick of it having volunteered to read books and make ornaments with the kids today to hang on the tree they’ll put up at village hall. We are looking forward to a few inches of snow this afternoon as Ella’s new snow boots have yet to tromp through anything more glorious than cold wet leaves and to his relief Dan can put the tree up. I have coupons to spend and need a place to put my wrapped presents. This year the magic that flows from Ella’s head has swirled around our whole house and we find ourselves in the first Christmas where Santa Clause plays a central role. Where elves whole heartedly peep in on us from the snow globe at the north pole to make sure we’ve all eaten our veggies and washed up for bed and where wishes are easily granted if only you refrain from pouting. Hark the Harold Angels sing – the month of magic and miracles is here.

Nov 30, 2007

The Scraps of Life

It could be the very height of self absorption. This week in the mail I finally received my book! Ages ago I got nervous about the entire internet imploding and what has functioned as a scrapbook of Ella’s childhood, this blog, going with it. I searched and researched and found Blurb to “slurp” up my blog. I edited it down and ended with a 354 page book called “Bombadee’s Garden – The Blog from 08.11.05 to 02.28.07” I intend on printing them a little more often in the future. Perhaps next Feb. I’ll order the next volume. If you ever found yourself wanting to publish a book I highly recommend Blurb. The process was pretty user freindly and the software good. The binding, the paper quality and the print quality are beautiful. As for the content - well… it’s mine.

Nov 29, 2007

Hey AZ! It was like winning a very tiny lottery!

I found the most perfect present in the whole world today. Ella just loves dress up clothes, I think I posted that already and so the only thing she wants from Santa is this

“Sleeping Beauty Dress, with Sleeping Beauty Shoes and a Sleeping Beauty Crown and a Sleeping Beauty Wand and that’s just want I want to have and Santa can go to the store and buy it for me and I will open it and put it on and pretend to be Sleeping Beauty!”

So at three she wants clothes and at thirty-four I want her to have a place to put them and so we set out to find a tiny fancy wardrobe to put the above mentioned foof. Today while strolling through a local outlet store, way in the very back I found a grown up wardrobe that had no chest of drawers to match – it had been lost or destroyed or blown up, who knows. Anyway this wardrobe was just the top part, just the part where you could hang things and since the bottom was gone, it’s only four feet high and an adult would have to bend over to hang anything in it and who in their right mind wants a fancy carved mahogany wardrobe for someone that has a 32 inch reach and only wears very tiny dresses…. Hmmm. Since the bottom half is missing I paid $40.00 for it. I almost kissed the sales clerk.

Nov 28, 2007


Early Christmas for Bombadee

Nov 27, 2007

Three Fortunes

After a wonderful meal courtesy of the gift certificate my Grandparents sent to us on our anniversary, Dan, Ella and I opened our fortunes and found the following:

Would you laugh if I told you I took that picture three times to get the right one for this post?

Nov 26, 2007

The Saints Smiled Down Upon Us

Recently Saint Apollonia parted the clouds and looked down from her heavenly abode and smiled her beautiful pearly whites at our family. This December for Christmas we found in our stocking dental insurance and a young vibrant dentist with bright eyes a thick Ukrainian accent and a chair-side manor that Mother Theresa would admire. The good news… two small cavities, and the bad… the root canal I paid handsomely out of pocket for three years ago has proved sub par and needs supplemental drilling. Today, I am on the phone learning far more than I ever wanted to know about this fine insurance blanket lovingly knotted and weaved by the gnarly old hands of bureaucracy and finely finished in red tape. Though our blanket is less of a blanket and more of a lace doily I am still happy to have it. I will keep it lovingly under my Christmas tree this year under the presents it will leave money to buy.

Nov 25, 2007

tagged with 7 things

Catching up on my regular reading and realized Jennie tagged me. (BTW Totally looking forward to Thursday - big grin)

1- Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2- Share 7 random and-or weird things about yourself.
3- Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4- Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 Weird and/or Random Things About Me:
1. I've never been to Disney World so I'm as excited as a 4 year old about the possible trip.
2. I had the chance to move to a warmer climate and more money but gave it up to remain close to our families and friends... twice.
3. Growing up I couldn't even stand the smell of tomatoes but after La was born I began to crave tomatoes with green olives and cheddar cheese hors devours and often make a plate of a dozen or so just for myself.
4. I have a rather big statue of Buddha on my desk.
5. I'm a bad speller and most of the time I don't care. (this drives Dan mad)
6. I have an affinity for taking photographs of street people and I always give pan-handlers money, if I have any.
7. I notice people's shoes and judge them a little based on them.

I don't think I can tag 7 people, I just don't know 7 very well and I bet Dooce just aint stoppin' by the ol' Garden to see what's shakin', so I am tagging...
Utah Jo
Chrissy the Libraran on Skates
a Very Lucky Lady
The Fabulous Paula


I saw Enchanted last night and thought it was superb. It was nice to see the damsel in distress pick up the sword and chase the beast, even if she was wide eyed and bushy headed. It was just the right amount of scary without inducing nightmares and the signing was syrupy sweet while still being self deprecatingly funny. I give it three majic beans.

Nov 24, 2007


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at my Mom’s house even though I had a tooth ache. I was able to down enough wine to numb me up enough to chew. It’s better today and I’m seeing our dentist first thing Monday. Yesterday me and Lala ventured out to the big mall and shopped until we almost dropped. We saw Santa, got portraits done at the department store and bought presents and an outfit for all the upcoming festivities. I think we may go see Enchanted tonight and I’m going to try to get some sushi with friends worked in somewhere too. So it’s indeed been a wonderful kick off to the holiday season.


I finished “
The Virgin Blue” and it took a really odd turn at the end. It seemed very disconnected to the rest of the book. I kept having to re-read things wile thinking to myself “What?! Where did that come from?! How odd.” So, I’m moving from 16th century France to 16th century Tuscany in “Mirror Mirror” next. I’ve had it for some time, but haven’t found the right mood to read it. After this perhaps I’d like to try some of the historical novels Dan’s been reading over the past few years about the 30 Years' War. It seems this winter’s reading will have a theme, the Early Modern Era/Europe 1500-1800. Perhaps I’ll do a little genealogy too, who knows maybe I’ll locate the lost Dauphine.


Speaking of fancier times, my daughter has made the decision to stop wearing modern clothes altogether and is now only wearing “princess dresses”. I'm pretty sure if we owned a little powdered wig, she'd have it on her head every morning just after her servants rouse her. She’ll be taking tea on the fainting couch later.

I procured a dress from one of the finest designers in Disneyland for Christmas yesterday. The box we'll wrap it in will be as big as she is. "Satiny bodice topped by a golden lace and brocade collar, smocked inset plus golden ribbon and lace ruffles, bell sleeves finished with sequined organza and lace cuffs, red organza overskirt with sequins and lace over gold organza skirt, tulle and taffeta underskirts make it extra-captivating for swirling."

Nov 21, 2007

The Virgin Blue

I started a wonderful new book the other night and plowed through the first third of it before I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. The Virgin Blue was written by the same author who penned (typed? Do people still pen anything?) The Girl with Pearl Earrings. The problem is every other chapter is great. Those are the chapters that take place during the 30 years war and the chapters I can’t wait to get past altogether are the ones that take place in the modern day French countryside. I’ll probably be done by the end of the weekend; I’ll let you know if the weaker chapters get any better.

Nov 17, 2007

See it Before the Full Moon

Three weeks ago, Comet 17P/Holmes, a periodic planet in our solar system, suddenly became one million times brighter than normal. It began shooting out gas and dust in such volume that it can be seen with the naked eye. According to astronomers at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, the comet has become the biggest object in the solar system, bigger than the Sun. Hal Weaver, a planetary astronomer at Johns Hopkins University, advises looking for the comet in the northeastern part of the sky in the constellation Perseus early in the night.

· NASA: Astronomy picture of the day
NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope
Astrodon - Don Goldman photos
Astrophotography by David Kodama
Sky and

Nov 16, 2007

9 things & 1 picture

9 things I am thankful for today (besides the obvious)

Instant coffee
Settlers of Catan
The space heater under my desk
Our crock pot
The cozy pink knit sweater AW gave me

The litttle birds outside my window

Nov 15, 2007


Ella's preschool class made crafts for Thanksgiving next week. Today, when I came to get her she told me her "Indian name" is Alice the Princess and she could wear her headband on Tuesday at the feast. I feel like this maybe the opportunity to talk about some history here but she's three and I'm not sure what to say. Perhaps we'll talk about how Native Amrican's saved the Europeans from starving and freezing to death when they came to North America and now we celebrate that by collecting food for the needy and having a feast. Maybe we'll talk about celebrating the harvest season. Maybe we'll get some books about Native Amercan culture. Maybe we'll say what we're thankful for. Maybe we'll just go to school and eat sliced deli turkey and cheese squares while wearing headbands with feathers in them... sigh.

Nov 14, 2007


I took Ella to see Annie last night and she was dumbfounded for the first sixty seconds at the action on stage and the song. She's watched Annie the movie perhaps a thousand times, maybe a million but when she saw actual kids on stage singing "Maybe" it was soo much for her process she couldn't move and then after that she couldn't stop grinning. She was glued to it, unmoving and when intermission came she almost cried "Is it over?! Is that it? What happens to Annie?" as if she hadn't seen the movie. "No honey they're just taking a break so we can go potty and get a drink, it's called intermission" I told her and she responded with "OOoooh, they paused it for us?"

Before the show we actually got to pet Sandy and meet Daddy Warbucks in the lobby and before that Ella and I went to this little shop up the street Chocolat by Daniel to eat up a little time, two ginger truffles and some orange soda. The whole time Ella was talking as if we were on our way to a movie. "Are we going to get popcorn?" she'd ask, "will they turn it up loud?" We'd been to plays and musicals before but lately something in my child has switched on, an awareness that she didn't have before. Lately she seems to be cataloguing memories and understanding humor and logic in a new sort of way, so it didn't surprise me that she really hadn't remembered being at the Coronado before. When we walked into the auditorium she looked up and gasped "Look mom STARS!" at the faux dark velvety sky and the twinkling lights embedded in it.

At the end, after happy tears and Annie's adoption, Ella and I lolly gagged around the theatre making a stop at the powder room and then going up to the lobby to sit in the fancy chairs and take pictures of each other. We were just waiting for the crowds to thin before we went for the door. Finally, we made our way to the lobby and while we donned coats she treated the remaining ushers and stragglers to an impromptu performance of "Tomorrow" and when she threw her arms out wide and crooned "A daaaaay a waaaaaaaaaayah!" we all clapped.

Thank you Dan.

Nov 9, 2007

Hey! What the?!!

We scrimmaged last night and I forgot what it’s like to try to get your teammates together into a certain pattern but have a mouth guard in and refs are yelling fouls from two different directions all the while the jammers are making her way through the pack and skaters are knocking into you so hard that instead of being able to reason “go left while Subpoena Envy goes right and we’ll block her with a vee formation” the only thought you can put together in your head is “Hey! What the *&%$! – quit knocking into me!” “HEY! Get the Hey! HEY! Get the $%^4@ outta my WAY!” Tempers flare, that’s what good blocking does, it confuses you and makes you want to scream things but with a mouth guard in it mostly comes out “Guh! Shah fah fuh guh!” while you drool on yourself. So it’s frustrating at the least and fun as heck at its best. It’ll be so much easier when we’re playing someone else and I can focus the frustration at someone who’s real name I don’t know. I can hardly wait, I am glad to say we have some hard hitters skating interference and I’m glad their on my team that’s for sure.

Nov 8, 2007

More Golden Bonus Days

Wednesday is her old self this morning. She goes in for some blood test tomorrow just to make sure she's out of the woods but if I'd paid the vet more, he could tell me why she got sick in the first place. The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if some punk kid got grounded for stealing all my Halloween candy came down and fed my dog antifreeze for lunch but really she's probably just old. What matters is we have some golden bonus days with Wednesday and she's wagging and rolling around on the couch again.


So my beautiful 26" monitor lost it's power supply the day before yesterday and it now sits on the buffet black and dusty waiting for me to find someone that can repair it for less than the cost of replacing it. In the mean time I have a little 17" to fill in and it feels kinda like a little sports car on my desk, small, sleek and fast. Don't ask me to explain - I can't.


Last night Dan and Ella and I were playing Candyland and Hungry Hungry Hippo and we were all hoping for Ella to win and when it became clear she wasn't going to she exclaimed "Son of a butt!" and Dan and I laughed really hard on the inside.

Ah yes, life is good.

Nov 7, 2007

Wednesday's at home

Well, they called this morning and said it's her kidneys. So, we took her in to the vet and got some IV fluids. They wanted to keep her for 3 days for more tests and a constant IV. Instead I
brought her home and have to bring her back tomorrow for more IV fluids. I'd rather she felt crappy in my living room then she felt crappy in the kennel. I've got antibiotics, pepcid AC and chicken stock into her and now we just wait
until tomorrow when I take her in for more IV fluids and reassesments.

It's so hard to know what the right thing to do is, she's 10 years old and he said according to her labs her kidneys are in dire shape. I don't know if hundreds of dollars worth of tests will tell us anything more than she needs more treatment and then she's still in the same shape but she's been poked prodded and spent nights on a cold cement floor alone at the vet.
So, for now
she'll stay in her fluffy bed at home and get chicken soup and frequent visits to the vet, I'll carry her down the stairs to pee and pet her lots until she either gets better or not.

Nov 6, 2007


3:00pm update

She's pukey, dehydrated and hasn't moved in three days accept when I carry her down the back stairs to the yard and when I took her to the vet. We're waiting on blood work. So far the possibilities are: She ate something dead in the back yard and got a little 'food poisoning' or she is old and has cancer or something. I should know more tomorrow. Right now I am cooking up some chicken and rice for her while she sleeps. sigh.


The dog is sick. I’m off to the vet today – update later.

Nov 4, 2007

Praise Artemis for a Victorious Hunt

Our excursion lead us through 3 stores, one restaurant and one mall play area. We found the first store utterly futile and spent many minutes in the dressing room sighting no quarry. We decided to hunt elsewhere; the grounds were too picked over leaving only odd sizes and irregulars. Upon arriving at the second locale I thought I spotted my illusive prey however when I went in for the kill I was nearly mauled by frenzied shoppers circling the sale racks scavenging what they could. I was unable to find suitable game and resorted to stalking the perfect catch elsewhere. After searching through endless fields of denim, I did manage to bag a fine pair but when my hunting partner took a shopping bag to the head while reclining in her stroller I knew it was time to find refuge, luckily it was only a scrape.

We arrived at the play area ready to run but found it infested with the frantic offspring of many irritable parents. Among shouts of “Kaliegh! Why don’t you play over here?!” and “Conrad! You say your sorry right this instant!” my dear companion attempted to move down the slide. She was thwarted and knocked to the ground landing square on her head. The gasps of surprise from the natives scarred her further and we hurried out into the distance grasping each other closely for safety. We sent for backup and arranged for a rendezvous with our support party at IHOP just a few miles away. Making our way through a veritable stampede we arrived intact and dined on the finest crepes and smiley face pancakes available in such wilds. Upon filling our bellies we took our leave for base camp happy aft a sparse but no less successful hunt.

Nov 3, 2007

Oh yeah, the kids were cute too.

Last week I had the pleasure of joining Ella’s Halloween Dance Party during ballet class. The kids were dressed in white and colors that would glow and they had the black lights on while the Monster Mash inspired them all to march and wiggle around. I was terrified. There’s nothing quite like coming to terms with how terrible your pants look on you like seeing yourself wearing them in a ballet studio. My bad jeans went on for eternity bouncing back and forth between the full wall mirrors, sagging off me in all the wrong places. After a summer of strength training and roller skating I find myself yet another size and shape, so today with child in tow I jean shop. Later I may be drinking.

Nov 1, 2007

I am old.

Instead of yelling "Freeze you little sh*t!" I snapped a picture and posted it on tiny town's web board. Yes, I am that crotchety old lady, I posted this last night.

"Happy Halloween dear neighbors, I hope everyone stayed safe and warm. My husband and I took our daughter up and down the block this year. While we were gone, we left a bowl of candy on the front porch with the sign “take one please” just like we do every year. While we were just next door 4 young men on razor scooters wearing clown wigs of various rainbow colors relieved our bowl of the rest of the candy in it, about two bags worth. I hope their mothers or someone that knows them read (tiny town's web board)

PS I snapped a picture of one of them.

Oct 31, 2007

Still Sparkly

I spent whole summers stubbornly wearing my favorite blue jeans so I don’t know why I am fighting it when Ella gets up every morning and peels her PJs off to adorn herself with one of her many princess dresses. This child would rather shiver in tulle than revel in denim and somehow that feels like a personal affront to me. I’m sure these aren’t the last fights we’ll have about her dress but I didn’t think I would have to argue about it so soon. When we started discussing Halloween I braced myself for the expensive foofy princess dress with tiny plastic high heels (ug) and sparkly tights and a crown. Behold the chosen Halloween costume:

“Princesses aren’t scary” - Ella


Halloween 2007

Oct 30, 2007

literary work based on the imagination and not necessarily on fact

I got an e-mail from an acquaintance about how awful the new movie The Golden Compass is going to be for our children to watch. She writes (or probably actually just forwards)

“…it is based on a trilogy of children's books about killing God. (It is the anti-Narnia). The series is called HIS DARK MATERIALS and it is written by Phillip Pullman of England , a man who has been described as the writer “atheists would have been praying for, if atheists prayed.” It “follows the adventures of a streetwise girl who travels through multiple worlds populated by witches, armor- plated bears and sinister ecclesiastical assassins to defeat the oppressive forces of a senile God.””

My response? So what, its fiction. Also monsters don’t really go to work under children’s beds, jumping out a window and flying away to live next to mermaids doesn’t work even while thinking happy thoughts and singing orphans rarely get adopted by millionaires who employ mystical superheroes from India. Come on people, its entertainment not church and if you are teaching your kids to find spiritual guidance in every movie they see, then you have bigger problems than The Golden Compass.

While I may not bring Ella to see the movie, it’ll have more to do with its actual content not its storyline. She hasn’t seen The Chronicles of Narnia yet ether. It’s rated PG and there’s a particularly freaky scene filled with creepy greasy animals who ritualistically kill someone on screen. It’s a little graphic for my kid who thinks that crossing your eyes and sticking your tongue out at her is a little scary.

Dan and I will probably go see The Golden Compass, and sans graphic violence Ella will get to see it. If we disagree with the message she gets from it, get this… we’ll talk to her about it. (gasp!)

Oct 29, 2007


I watched Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette last night and investigated some French history shortly after it was over. I had to know what happened between the end of the movie and the end of her life and what happened to her children. It’s not very often a movie inspires me to actually read history so kudos. I also had no idea that Marie Antoinette never said “Let them eat cake,” commenced French couture fashion industry as we know it and supported the American’s effort in our shared revolt of the English, further dwindling the French economy and contributing to the starvation of her country people and giving rise to Napoleon.

Attention History teachers! Wanna get teenage girl’s minds on the French and American revolution? Start with this movie.

Oct 27, 2007


A few weeks ago in Oregon, IL Ella and I attended the fall festival parade and then waked down to the court house and looked at all the country crafts, ducks and lambs and cut outs of ladies bending over in the garden, things I normally wouldn't buy. However in the same vein that propels me to always spend at least .25 cents at any garage sale I stop at, I decided to buy a box of honey with the wax comb still in it.

Oh heaven, in a plastic box! At least twice a week now I feel the urge to run a butter knife under hot water until it’s warm enough to slice a row of octagonal honey comb to shovel whole into my mouth, experiencing the instant sugar rush of joy. It’s the organic equivalent of standing in front of the pantry whilst squeezing large sums of syrup into your mouth straight from the top of Mrs. Butterworth’s head (which I may or may not have done before.) But it’s organic so it must be good for me right? It’s like the hippie version of those little wax bottles filled with colored sugar water we used to get at the Park-it Mark-it for a nickel. Only I paid $7.00 for my chunk of sweet sticky liquid filled wax, so maybe that makes it the yuppie version, or maybe the organic suburban mom version, although my child thinks it’s “not very yummy” and she’s rather have a piece of cheese so I suppose it’s just makes it my own weird addiction. Soon I’ll be standing in Farmer Newcomb’s back forty wearing my wedding veil, a snowmobile suit and dishwashing gloves exhaling Newport 100s into his bee boxes trying to score more H.

Oct 26, 2007

Loud House

It’s taken ten years to get used to all the strange sounds our house makes and sometimes it still gives a start. It’s very tall wooden building and when the wind blows real hard it creaks like the inside of a boat from one end of the house to the other traveling at a rate that sounds like footsteps from the south end to the north end of the floor. When the heat kicks on the ductwork expands it sound exactly like someone walking front the front door eastward to the kitchen. The click click click of heels on wood is especially disconcerting across a carpeted floor. My husband lived here for some time before we bought the house so he knew every noise before I moved in. I on the other hand in addition to sometimes sleeping with the lights on made him ‘go investigate’ a lot. I’ve settled into it quite well now having investigated plenty of noises myself but it’s always made it extremely hard when someone comes to house-sit or when the furnace guy keeps hearing a mysterious moans from the hallway in the basement. After ten years I am utterly convinced this house is absolutely not haunted, it’s just old and creaky and loud and sometimes that's funny.

Oct 24, 2007

Eight Hour Holiday

I dreamt I was at the ocean side and everyone was speaking Spanish. Dan and I were showing Ella a small water tank in the middle of a park containing a single red lobster and a single red shrimp. When she pushed the button on the side of the tank lobster food fell from the top of the tank. Small water worn pebbles placed end to end formed a beautiful walkway in a circle around the tank and flanking that were bushes of green moss and more meandering walkways, one leading to our airy cottage and another leading down to a spiral jetty with water clear and blue splashing rhythmically against the white rocks. We were suddenly in a hurry to get to the wedding reception far up on the cliff among the casinos on the promenade.

We walked up the rocks and found our seats at the reception just before they wheeled in the racks of clothes. Each table of guests carefully walked to the endless racks of gowns and suits and tuxedos and carefully picked a new garment. The mood was jubilant as everything fit everyone perfectly. Dan and Ella found a tuxedo and a most perfect gold dress both very flattering. My Grandma found a maroon silk and beaded gown that seamed to cinch in just the right places. I looked down to find myself wearing a black thick wool pencil skirt and a pink knit double breasted sweater with a yellow stain on the front. I buttoned it up the other direction so the stain was on the inside and someone walking by commented about how perfectly the outfit suited me.

Next we were dancing and playing cards, and deciding which grotto to visit to order more clams and scallops. We sat at tall tables on tall chairs flipping cards up and pushing chips towards the middle, occasionally pulling some back in, laughing with recognizable strangers while snapping photos. Wine glasses clinking in the background and the warm golden hue of the setting sun against the maroon tones of the room seemed to make the different languages sink deep within the velvet we were sitting on.

In the twilight of the evening we walked back to the seaside. Meandering up pathways elusive and familiar I knew the way home but couldn’t articulate it when trying to hard to think about which way to turn. Down limestone stairs, through a short tunnel under the roadway, back up limestone stairs, out into a memorial field of beautiful green moss with sun bleached headstones jutting up in spiral patterns seeming to point again to the ocean. I had to resort to watching the ocean rise and fall with the waves and letting me feet have their own way to navigate back to the rented cottage.

Then the dream was breaking up into chunks and Ella was saying something about breakfast.

Oct 23, 2007

Golden Bonus Day

This morning after waking up to pancakes and coffee, (thanks honey) we stepped outside onto Main St. to walk the two blocks to school, my daughter told me today was a “golden bonus day.” From the looks of things I think she is right, today is indeed above and beyond my usual blessings. I think I will look at this point in my life and say "Now THAT! was a great time!" but I say that as often as I say "This is my favorite age!" about my daughter. So I'm not sure if I just find the good or if the good has found me, perhaps one follows the other.

Though I have lots of work to do today I will slip on Pandora Radio (Thanks KTJ Love this!) and like a modern Disney princess I will boogie while I work and the birds will land in the windowsills and jam out with me and the dog will help me put the toys in the toy box and I will be drawn with flawless skin and an unaturaly almost deformed tiny waist and huge bossom.

…Ok, seriously birds are landing on the windowsill this morning.

Oct 22, 2007

Own SprintNextel Corp (S) - Sell it!

Phone update: we got it all figured out (in the store) but I suggest if you own stock in SprintNextel Corp. (S) sell it. Their customer service is the worst. No wonder in 2005 their stock was down 4.8 and in 2006 a whopping 10.4 and this year to date they are down 5.8. Yikes! I see why. Sprint execs feel free to e-mail me if you want some valuable feed back at Bombadee(at)verizon(dot)net.

Also read:
- Sprint PCS The Clear Alternative to Customer Service
- The Pain! The Agony! Sprint Sucks
- Sprint sucks
- Quotes from real SPRINT PCS customers
- Identity leak with Sprint wireless
- Why Sprint-Nextel is losing customers

Oct 21, 2007

Sleepy Hollow

"...Farther on he beheld greatfields of Indian corn, with its golden ears peeping from theirleafy coverts, and holding out the promise of cakes and hasty-pudding; and the yellow pumpkins lying beneath them, turning uptheir fair round bellies to the sun, and giving ample prospectsof the most luxurious of pies; and anon he passed the fragrantbuckwheat fields breathing the odor of the beehive, and as hebeheld them, soft anticipations stole over his mind of daintyslap-jacks, well buttered, and garnished with honey..." -Washington Irving

Oct 19, 2007

Chop Suey

I’ve recently become obsessed with Edward Hopper paintings. His “Rooms by the Sea” spent an entire summer as wallpaper on my computer screen last year and I keep coming back to his paintings. This morning I pasted up “Early Sunday Morning” I don’t know if it’s the simplistic modern feel to his subjects or the color palate or the substantial shape of his strokes I love so much. His paintings present a certain amount of solitude and dignity that reminds me of a whole generation of people that didn't have Jerry Springer or Blogger, a whole era that put it's ego in the back seat for two wars that demanded the front. So maybe I like Hopper so much because of the romanticized feelings I have about the people I know that grew up during that time period. The stoic face my grandparents held during times of upheaval in my life sometimes helped me find a solid place to be.

Oct 18, 2007

let's see what happens

October 18, 2007

Sprint Nextel Corporation
c/o Jeff

Re: New Sprint service

To whom it may concern,

My husband and I ordered a two year contract last week and are experiencing problems with exchanging one of the phones we ordered. I’ve spent countless hours navigating your customer service phone lines, we still have no resolution. The Customer Service Department transfers me over to the Tele Sales Department who transfers me over to the Web Support Department who says I need to speak with someone in Customer Service. Among this circular journey I traveled no less than five time (just this morning) I’ve occasionally taken a detour to Web Sales, Corporate Headquarters, Oder Support and we even took a drive to Sprint Store in the next city over (45 minutes away) on the advice of a representative at National Sales Support. I spent just today from 8am to 1:30pm this afternoon navigating this quagmire and instead opted to contact corporate sales for resolution ultimately putting me in touch with Jeff.

I simply would like to return my KRZR for a Fusic like the one my husband received. The KRZR doesn’t deliver what is promised on the website however my husband and I both really like the Fusic. We would like to keep the contract we signed up for however we expect to be able to successfully exchange equipment for the equipment we choose, especially within the first week of service. Please aid us with this simple exchange or we will regrettably cancel our service and take whatever future business elsewhere as well as encourage all of our friend’s family and coworkers to avoid Sprint/Nextel.

Thank You,

Oct 16, 2007


It’s getting cooler outside and that persuades me to read. So I have a couple I am working on and the book I find I'm reading very slowly so I may relish every word is

Winkie “...begins with the capture and wounding by a SWAT team of the eponymous, sentient teddy bear in a backwoods cabin; the team thinks it has captured a mad bomber. In jail, Winkie, who no one denies is a teddy bear, must contend with cruel jailers; his stuttering, court-appointed lawyer named Unwin; the 9,678 counts of everything from treason to witchcraft he's charged with; and the intersection of his life with that of the previous possessor of the cabin, an old humanities professor whose bombs never worked. While marking time, Winkie contemplates his past: his ownership by the Chase family, his loneliness when on a shelf, his magical awakening to life one morning—marked by a bowel movement so lovingly described that it recalls Bloom's in Ulysses. The sections devoted to Winkie's trial is a minor masterpiece of ridiculousness, in which the prosecution's move to end the trial after it has presented its side sounds uncomfortably close to what we read in the newspapers…”

I find this book excruciatingly tragic and lovely. Please, understand that I was a child who named every stuffed animal in my room and made sure each one was kept comfortable and well hugged for the good of the very universe. And as an adult I secretly think that if a sock gets lost in the laundry the unmatched sock is actually sad about the loss of its mate. I know this is borderline OCD or something, but here’s the thing… there are whole religions based on the idea that everything in the world has a soul, so it’s not that weird right? Don’t answer that.

So anyway, today Ella and I went with friends to the Build a Bear Workshop at the mall where Ella and the Bear Lady lovingly placed a tiny electronic “beating heart” inside her bear and filled her with wads of fluffy soft stuffing while making a promise to keep “Brookklyn the Wonder Bear" safe and give her lots of hugs. The fluffy haired grandma that worked at build a bear was so excellent at her story weaving both Ella and I were buying it hook line and sinker (Yes, I can hardly wait for Christmas!) Wide eyed and believing Ella placed her wish for ice cream inside Brookklyn’s back and sealed it up with a quick kiss and more sparkles of belief shining through her eyes. When the Bear Lady looked at me from the corner of her eyes and I nodded, she told Ella she was sure her wish would come true right after dinner, I got choked up. I wondered if she would hug Brookklyn enough. I wondered how long Ella would believe her easy wishes for ice cream would always come true. I wondered if Brooklyn would remember the day she was born like Winkie does.

I want to give the book to the Bear Lady after I finish with it. What would she make of a random mom walking in and handing her a book about a teddy bear arrested for terrorist activity? Would she read it? Would it taint her love for her job? Would she relish it and know she will cry at the end like I know I will? Would my bear “Yogi” recognize me if I found him?

Oct 14, 2007

We Are Family

I woke up yesterday morning and walked four miles. Now before you get all impressed with my motivation, don’t. I participated in one of the breast cancer walks where we all wear pink and raise money. Our team did great and my family and friends really contributed a wonderful amount. I heard the whole event raised over $130,000.00. To those that gave - Thank you for contributing and if anyone gives you crap about not doing the dishes or taking the garbage out (or whatever it is you totally slacked off about) yesterday, you just tell them you were busy trying to cure cancer.


I’m ordering tickets to the Broadway show Annie tomorrow. Dan said he’d buy if he didn’t have to take us and I took that deal. Ella and I will dress up in something fabulous and go eat someplace equally sparkly and magnificent and then we’ll walk into the “crown jewel of Rockford,” the golden rococo filled palace that is the Coronado and find our way to our red velvet seats hopefully in the first row of the upper balcony and then proceed to argue about sitting still and keeping hands to ourselves and not talking loud and not throwing candy over the railing and not taking your shoes off and not missing the song and not making eight trips to the bathroom and not kicking my seat and not singing “Tomorrow” until after the show is done. It’ll be an amazing girl’s night out and hopefully I’m wrong about half of my predictions.


Our dog threw her back out last night and I had to carry her up the stairs, poor thing. She couldn’t turn left all last night. Ella considers the dog the “last of the family.” When I asked her to explain she exasperatedly informed me that she herself is “The Beginning,” I am “Second,” Dad is “South,” and the dog is “The Last.” That explains the sleeping arrangements we endure, with Ella across the middle of the bed and me next to her, Dan hanging off the side almost falling next to the dog cuddled deep into the dirty clothes pile on the floor. Although the dirty clothes pile is usually pretty cushy, as the dogs rearranges it as needed and as the pile changes. Last night because she threw her back out, I actually fluffed the dirty clothes pile for her and laid a blanket over it creating a nice little stinky bed for the dog. She wagged gratefully before she groaned and walked awkwardly to the right in a circle and plopped down. I think she’s feeling a little better today, I know because she's turning left again.

Oct 11, 2007

Non Toxic Living

I heard a story on NPR about the toxicity of sunscreen. Apparently I’ve been rubbing carcinogens into Ella’s skin for three years. Yikes!

Healthy Child says: “Common sunscreen ingredients are suspected or known carcinogens and/or hormone disrupters, including diethanolamine, triethanolamine (DEA, TEA), padimate-o, octyl dimethyl PABA, benzophenone, oxybenzone, homosalate, octyl-methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), salicylates, and parabens.

So I’ve gotten to thinking about all the things I rub onto my face, makeup has been described by Dr. Sam Epstein, a cancer scientist at the University of Illinois in Chicago as “a witch’s brew of carcinogenic ingredients,
Epstein told Marketplace.” See partial list here

Wash it off you say? I’d like to but

Wiki Cancer says: “Dove Beauty Bar: It's 99% water, but watch out for that other 1%. It includes quaternium 15 and formaldehyde, known carcinogens, as well as irritants to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.

Johnson's Baby Shampoo: Contains carcinogens quaterium 15, FD&C RED 40, which can cause dermatitis.

Crest Tarter Control Toothpaste: This best selling toothpaste contains saccharin and phenol fluoride.

It's odd that I've never thought about my pores beyond zits. Of course my skin absorbes what I rub into it! Why wouldn't I care if those things have cancer causing agents and poisons?!

What’s the answer? Well, my mom once told me olive oil was great on your skin and baking soda on your teeth. As far as soap and Ella, I think I’ll just opt for a good long soak in a hot bath and maybe next summer we’ll do a little more research before investing in sunscreen or we’ll just stay in the shade and roll in the mud.