Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's Thanksgiving and Medium Goldie is Dying

The Menagerie is experiencing a sadness this Thanksgiving holiday (well, at least I am- all other members seem unphased) - Medium Goldie is laying on the bottom of the tank and seems to be on her way to the open sea in the sky (if I'm going to make up a fish heaven - it would have to be the sea and not the big fish tank in the sky since that doesn't seem fair. Although Medium Goldie is not a saltwater fish so I guess it would have to be a pond).

Anyway- the whole thing is very sad. She may be just a goldfish but she is laying on the bottom of the tank, little fish mouth slowly opening and closing and I'm on "Medium Goldie Death Watch" walking by every so often to confirm she's still with us and feeling even sadder each time I confirm that she is. I'm unclear what the humane approach in this situation would be. It may be time for Mestman Mercy Killing Corps to spring into action.

The MMKC has had to take death into its own hands twice before - once when Clucky (chicken) lay dying on the coop floor and we had to employ a (regrettfully) dull axe and another time when a rat got its head stuck in the "Have-A-Heart Trap" we purchased (in an effort to NOT kill the rats) and had to be drown when she could not be unstuck.

Medium Goldie had an okay life but I have to think having swim bladder wasn't easy.

11/28 **UPDATE**
Medium Goldie is still alive. I repeat - still alive! However, in a somewhat related story of death and Thanksgiving - I see that an employee at Wal-Mart was KILLED by a stampede of shoppers this morning in the Black Friday rush. I have to wonder if those involved in the stampede were (struck? moved? I'm having a hard time finding an adjective that isn't a bad pun) truly affected by what happened or if they just felt bitter that their Friday sale shopping had been set back by the subsequent Wal-Mart closing. Vaughn and I will be braving IKEA today but I think we'll wait an hour after opening to avoid potential death.

12/5 **UPDATE**
Medium Goldie is dead. (Regular) Goldie appears to have chewed off her fin. I've been told "fin" is finished in French. R.I.P. M.G.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mothers - Ruining your life one haircut at a time

Oh for a haircut that doesn't end in sobbing.

But in 2 days he'll love it and everyone will tell him how cute he is -

which pretty much makes me a genius.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Me and Yang Yang

Anyone who knows Jacob knows that he is a hugger and most people who've been around me know that I am not. I'll hug people I'm close to but Jacob hugs people he JUST MEETS. People he barely knows. I hate this for two reasons: 1. It sets me up to be hugged. He's laid the groundwork - everyone is hugging. 2. Or the other option is that I stand there with my arms folded seeming like the frigid bitch. I go back and forth on which one is worse.

Anyway-Yang Yang- a panda in southern China was recently the victim of an unwanted hug. It seems as though a 20 year old college student broke into his enclosure and tried to hug him which provoked a very nasty bite. Shocking right? This was the SECOND time someone got bit by Yang Yang trying to hug him (the first time the hug-aggressor was drunk and actually bit the bear back). I mean I understand that they are so soft and cuddly looking but as the as the zoo officials said, some of this needs to be "basic knowledge."

Luckily Yang Yang is back to his cute but un-huggy ways and "does not appear to have suffered any psychological damage." Yang Yang if you're listening: try crossing your arms in front of you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Tribute to Hannah

Poor Hannah- For years she's been the steadfast stalwart in the household. If I had to choose an analogy it would be Hannah as the lowly stagehand who has worked the theater she loves while watching a steady stream of flashy new starlets get all the attention (except most stagehands aren't introduced with the warning, "Careful- she's a biter").

But Hannah's about 14 now and we've rediscovered each other. And, for the first time in the 10 years she's been with us, we let her sleep on our pillows.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

If You've Got Something to Say

Our backyard was one of the reasons we were initially so drawn to our house. Our real estate agent described it as "idyllic". Lack of attention and the animals and their pooping-in-the-backyard ways have seen a steady decline of our personal Eden.

The horse chestnut tree in the back, while beautiful and a real asset during those few high heat days Portland sees each summer, is also a real pain in the ass. It drops huge, heavy horse chestnuts that come packaged in one of nature's most brilliant designs- a leathery, very prickly shell. Those all have to be picked up or they're sure to sprout (with as efficient and sturdy as these suckers are I'm sort of surprised we don't live in a forest of them). Then come the huge leaves. We've let the leaves just lay and compost in the past (which is why we don't have a lawn anymore). Today I thought we'd make an attempt to clean up the backyard a bit.

Vaughn announced early on that our goal should be to have our yard "look like Mr. Miyagi's" (another way The Karate Kid has permeated our lives) not only because of the beautiful bonsai and koi but mainly "because Mr. Miyagi's yard is always clean." Right. As we were picking it up our neighbor walked by and said, "Oh yeah- I was wondering if you guys were going to work on that today since it wasn't raining." Suddenly I felt our yard had become the neighborhood equivalent of a car up on blocks.

It took a while but we all worked together and got it pretty clean. Later I went outside to admire our work and an unseen neighbor off in the distance said, "MAAA." I guess Eden is in the eye of the beholder.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not a Funion

It's public service announcement time. Through the miracle of modern medicine my left foot has been returned to glass slipper worthy dimensions. That's right people - I traded in the hideous bunion (see example right) I developed for a pretty bitchin' scar. This picture looks like it could be at the Museum of the Weird in Austin (Jacob says it's a special woman that can blog about her bunion- that's right fella) but I love it. Two days before Christmas my big toe on my right foot will be tenderly sawed off and reattached via absorbable screw (any excess shaved off). Now like all health problems, genetics plays a healthy role but you won't see me in narrow high heels any time soon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You - Only Creepier

Our latest family obsession is You can morph celebrities together (out of the hundreds of available choices- Vaughn picked George Bush to morph with Hitler- it's a little over the top sure, but he's six!) or morph yourself with your friends. Jacob and Annalee morphed together with slightly disturbing results (as seen here) and Vaughn got to check out what he would have looked like if his parents had been Jedi (specifically Yoda).

Swim Bladder

Every time someone new comes over they alert me that my fish is dead. She's not really. She just suffers from "Swim Bladder" (near as my internet veterinary training can tell me). It's a rough thing really. When she is hungry, she swims normally and the after she eats (presumably until digestion occurs) she floats belly up. I don't overfeed so I'm not sure exactly how this could be happening and, being a goldfish, she only warrants a certain amount of internet research time. It's a rough life.

In other animal related news- the bunnies got a last minute reprieve from Vaughn. It was very "Charlotte's Web" where Fern saves Wilbur from an untimely demise except Vaughn just saved the bunnies from going to a home where someone might actually play with them.

So Facebook

Facebook is easy to mock. Sometimes I think it is a giant pop culture joke and we'll find out that a Center for Urban Studies has been running an experiment on millions of unwitting people who found themselves inexplicably giddy over receiving a virtual shamrock. Half the time I can't tell what is legit and what is spam. Jacob said it's like being inundated with virtual junk mail. But-like the much maligned Christmas form letter- you find yourself drawn to the ease with which you can communicate with several people without the tedium of having to write the same thing over and over again. And like the Christmas form letter I get to check in with people I haven't heard from in a super long time, take comfort in the fact that they are doing well and return to my non-virtual relationships.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Back to the Drawing Board

Vaughn is back to doing art on a regular basis again and it's just fantastic. His specialty seems to be these superheroes that he creates. We go through trends at breakneck speed these days: superheroes beget Star Wars beget pirates beget Ninja Turtles beget karate beget Pokemon. Cursed Pokemon. The one thing I'd hoped to avoid. A whole empire built on the premise that you must...collect...them...all. At least if we hold out for a few days we'll probably move on to something else.

A Reduction in the Menagerie

I think we're going to find a new home for the bunnies. They just aren't getting any love (save for a few moments from me in the morning) and Vaughn keeps forgetting to close his bedroom door (allowing Suki to come in and terrorize them).

The menagerie seems to always expand and shrink.

Jacob wants to take a survey of the neighbors to find out if the goats "MAAAing" is annoying (Please respond: a. The sound is delightful and I am immediately whisked away to Heidi and the Alps; b. I'm tolerating the situation because I looked into it and they appear to be legal; c. I've tried sneaking into your backyard to poison them but I'm afraid of that insane little dog). I really think we should relax in the fact that, for the most part- neighbors have said they enjoy them and no one has complained yet (although I did get one, "So YOU'RE the culprit"). Anyway, I just love those little fat composters.

In addition to the goats being under attack - Annalee said last night at dinner that if the economy should collapse and we all had to live togther Suki would have to go. Really now, is that any type of conversation for a lovely Saturday night? We need to perk it up a notch.

It's cold - we have colds

Ah fall- not so bad until you start looking at these pictures from summer and wondering when you will be dry again.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Growin' up fast

So first it was that Sten had a "girlfriend". Exactly what that means in first grade terms is a little unclear but Vaughn is curious if not a little jealous. He asked me today if by chance he had a girlfriend (as if it were one of those things, "Yes Vaughn- remember- we got you a girlfriend last month when we picked up that Ninja Turtle and a new belt.").

Then he informed me he knew two new racy songs: The whole "Trick or treat/smell my feet" one and "(Whatever) and (Whatever) sittin' in a tree/K.I.S.S.I.N.G." Jacob and I had to laugh that the same goofy songs have been around forever and are still going strong. Either this is as good as it gets or evolution stalled in that category.


This was by far the easiest Halloween for both myself and Team Moyers. Vaughn selected a store bought "Anakin Skywalker" costume (I felt like maybe we should have brought a Star Wars family tree diagram with for those folks such as myself who grew up with only three Star Wars movies). Sten wanted to be a ghost and added some plastic vampire teeth for a bonus scary effect.

Even Jacob and I dressed up at the last minute (I as a gypsy fortune teller and Jacob as a skeleton in suit).

Saturday, November 1, 2008


My boys from Texas stayed with us Halloween night. By 5 pm we'd managed to go through a whole 12 pack of PBR. I found a couple of cans in the garbage and naturally yelled, "Who didn't recycle?!" They came back at me with, "Well you don't have CFLs!" For the record- I do. In some of the fixtures.


It's rare that Jacob will sit down and play guitar for me these days. Apparently, like lawn mowing, that was all used up in the younger years. Tonight was a rare treat. We skipped movie watching to play cards and he brought out the guitar AND let me film him.

Oh Suki...You Know You Make Me Cry...

Annalee told Suki she was "the most annoying dog in the world" yesterday. Sigh. She did have a bad run- peeing and pooping in the house, stealing a bagel off the table, barking at passerbys - the usual. But how can something that looks so cute be wrong?