May 30, 2012

One Thousand Days of Texas

Almost three years ago we moved to Houston.  We're moving again, back to Illinois.  I added up the days, minus the ones we spent vacationing, we've been here about 1,000 days.  Tomorrow we pack up the truck and on Friday we start driving.  I am both terrified (it's a 19 hour drive with everything I own in tow, to a house I have never seen) and excited (I'm going to make it awesome.)  I have so many last minute things to do and every time I pack a box the kids unpack one. The dog is underfoot at every step, making sure I remember to pack her and I'm fighting off a cold with vitamin Cs, ibuprofen, large amounts of coffee and sheer will.

May 17, 2012

The Toughskin Rhinoceros Wrangler Company

Dear Family and Friends, I have great news! My very first children's book is going to print! It's called "The Toughskin Rhinoceros Wrangler Company" and it was written by poet Thomas L. Vaultonburg and illustrated by ME!! Also Ella has a small contribution in it "Ella's Amazing Rhinoceros Facts" so she actually did the real hard work for us.

The first run is limited and we're using Kickstarter for pre-orders where I got on camera and did some talking for the video followed by the embarrassed declaration "I don't really sound like that, do I ?" Anyway... Go buy it! (Or promise to buy it) and repost this link and/or post it on your blog and/or tweet it or all of those things. You can also count on me bugging you again about this. :)


May 10, 2012

Disobedience by A.A. Milne

James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he;
"You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."

James James
Morrison's Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison's Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
James James Morrison's Mother
Said to herself, said she:
"I can get right down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."

King John
Put up a notice,

James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me."

James James
Morrison's mother
Hasn't been heard of since.
King John said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and Prince.
King John
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?"

(Now then, very softly)
W.G.Du P.
Took great
C/0 his M*****
Though he was only 3.
J.J. said to his M*****
"M*****," he said, said he:

May 9, 2012

A Slew of Nerds in Tights!?

You all know, I love roller derby so of course I'm interested in other people's dangerous and strange hobbies.  Especially ones where people get to wear an outfit that is tough, have a name they gave themselves and be their own super hero... literally.  Yes, people out there have so much time and resources on their hands they are becoming super heros.  Like the roller derby name registry, there is also a super hero registry.  It's like Stan Lee's Show Make Me a Super Hero took on a life of it's own .  I think it's great.  I'm all for encouraging good deeds and protecting each other and the fierce costumes just add enough attention grabbing to make the good deeds newsworthy, something we could all use more of in our day.  So with great interest I watched the following video's this morning:

Let us start with this one: "Masked Super Hero, Phoenix Jones, stops Occupy Terror Attack"

According to Facebook, Phoenix Jones is the Leader of the Rain City Superhero Movement fighting crime in the streets of Seattle. He says “I symbolize that the average person doesn’t have to walk around and see bad things and do nothing.”

Then (insert rising ominous music here) THIS HAPPENED:

Which was followed up with THIS yesterday:

Of course not much is known about Rex Velvet, just what I could find on his his Facebook page.  You bet your bippy I will stay tuned into this saga waiting for the next episode or tweet

May 2, 2012

Four Days' Battle

Being the only grown up in the house has always presented challenges.  I don't mean like I'm worried about slipping in the shower and hitting my head and then a cat eats my face off sort of thing.  I mean I've been hunting a cockroach for four days.  I first saw it in my pantry.  One of those huge flying, three inch long monsters. I saw it duck into a hole in the back wall.  One it had made with a tiny sawzall just before he set up his Jerry-Mouse-like apartment with thimble chairs and a spool of thread for a table, a matchbox bed and a tiny elevator that goes down to the cookie shelf in the pantry.  The first day I saw him I thought maybe I was imagining things, I haven't been getting much sleep and it was a very big thing I saw duck into the hole.  Later my fear and sanity was confirmed when I caught him running across the Frito bag with such haste it was noisy.  I immediately threw away anything that was open in the pantry imagining the roach rubbing his butt on everything in a hedonistic mambo of grocery shopping.  Then I slid a box of cereal in front of his hole and barricaded him in.  A day went by and I was hoping he'd move out. He did.  To my dismay he didn't move to Bermuda like I'd hoped, he moved out of the wall and into the laundry room, behind the pantry, where he chased me out yelling "And stay off my lawn!"

Later in the evening I saw him in the living room watching CNN.  I can't stand to squish these huge things as they make a terrible pop when stepped on so I grabbed a glass and chased him around the living room hoping to trap him and flush him... live... ew.  I couldn't get close so I found the most toxic spray I could to spray on him, which ended up being all organic orange shower spray.  But in my defense it does say you should absolutely try very hard not to get it in your eye as it will sting really really bad. I sprayed the roach with it and he laughed and ran into the fireplace.  I hoped again he was on his way to Bermuda but just in case I went out to the garage and located the really toxic kill-everything-spray, before realizing I probably didn't want to  lay a fine mist of it in my fireplace to be vaporized later and breathed in the next time I was trying to cozy up in front of the fire.  So I did nothing, well, actually I yelled obscenities in the direction of the fireplace and implored the dog to evict him should he venture out in the evening past her nose.

Today I saw him laying on his back sunning under the window next to the fireplace.  The all organic orange shower cleaner apparently gave him a mean hangover.  I knew it was my chance.  Get him while he was out of alka seltzer and pepto.  But how.  Now I realize this is just a bug, not a rat (Kiki), or a crazy stray dog whose mouth could fit over my kid's head (Jaime), or a dive bombing cardinal (Christine), just a bug.  But he'd been mocking me for days, eating out of my pantry, chasing me off his lawn, bribing my dog, drinking my orange spray supply, enjoying my cable and in general terrorizing my sleep.  He had to go.  I took a dozen paper towels and wrapped them with a plastic bag and got ready to grab him.  As I approached he started kicking and yelling "Dude! Dude... time out! wait a sec! time out! Dude! I'm really hung over, just a sec!" Then I got scared thinking as I put the paper towels down over him he would grab on and be able to right himself and start running up my arm, so I screamed and shivered and backed off to make a better plan.  One that didn't involve close hand to hand combat

All my noise alerted the children something exciting was going on and now I was working with an added layer of difficulty.  A curious group of small, uncoordinated, onlookers who wanted to touch things and help. I gave them the job of holding all the pillows on the couch while I went into battle.  Thankfully they accepted the mission and I went to the kitchen to give myself a pep talk.  I came back and sprayed him again this time with lemony Windex and then got the glass out.  I placed it over my free loading, now drunk tenant and slid a piece of paper under both the glass and his back and yes, sure enough, he flipped over in a drunken lemony frenzy and tried to bust out.  This is when I shrieked and considered calling someone to come help me.  I was sure it would take two of us to stand on the toilet seat holding it shut with all our weight while flushing.

I didn't call anyone, I just did it, I picked it all up and ran it to the bathroom without dropping anything or flicking him onto my leg.  Three flushes later and he was on his way to Bermuda via the sewer.  I want you to know, I'm not being overly dramatic, the second flush was because he swam back up with a bowie knife in his teeth and the third was to make sure he was gone.  I may or may not have gone back in for a few more flushes five minutes later... and possibly ten minutes later. But what's 50 gallons of water wasted in the middle of Texas when you need a little peace of mind.