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I hate computers.

I've been having problems with my primary, hard-wired computer for some time and after Gary kept gently reminding me (again) that he'd love to be able to hear his music, I decided late yesterday afternoon that I would just quickly reload the OS.


It's obviously been some time since I've done this because I'd forgotten the basic rule of tech support. There is no quick.

After several abortive attempts to upgrade to Win7, I said screw it and got the XP Pro disk out and reformatted the HD before reinstalling the OS.

Boy, I think, in between cleaning up from making cookies, this is going really smoothly. I should have known that thinking those words were an open invitation to the Demons of Computer Discord.*

Wireless network works fine. My primary wired computer? No IP at all.

I've reset the cable modem and all the routers. I've ensured there is no firewall blocking me. It's no use trying to release an IP in order to renew it because the machine isn't registering any IP at all.

When I get home from work, I'm going to see if I can spoof some sort of IP to jump onto the routers and see if I can get out.

I do not want to have to rebuild my network from scratch.


*This happens when you don't stay current in rules regarding the demons associated with all things computing. Said rules are fluid by nature. Demons are more attracted to and have more power over smug users who feel competent. Especially users with MS certifications.


I totally zoned on this! Miss Attitude posted my guest blog post!

Check it out: http://blackteensread2.blogspot.com/2010/07/guest-post-opening-doors.html


Boodie and I had a bit of a lazy afternoon yesterday. It was really just too hot, even with the air pumping mas maxima, to do anything but sprawl around, eating popsicles. And watch a little bit of bad television AKA Reality TV.

We caught a show about a little person who owns a talent agency and does pit bull rescues - our excuse for that was that we love pitties and hold in high regard those who rescue them*.

We didn't really have any way to justify watching Big Brother or the guy who does repos.

Finally, Bood turns to me. "We need to get a reality show of our own."

"Right." I yawn. "What will they tape us doing? Watching tv? That'd be interesting."

"They could watch me play the lottery."

"But you don't play the lottery."

"I did buy a scratch off ticket the other day ..." she trails off, seeing the look on my face.

"Do NOT throw your money away on lottery tickets!"

She leans forward. "But mommy - look at it like this. I could get an addiction to scratch-offs and you could find out and we could have a life-changing moment."

"Hmm." I get comfortable on the sofa again. "I am really good at giving advice." I ignore the rude noise she makes. "Maybe ... but -"

"Right. It's not enough. We need to throw something else into the mix."

"Well, I can tell you right now, you're not going to get a drinking problem!"

"Nah. I've got too much to do to walk around hung-over all the time. Hey! I could buy a bunch of energy drinks!"

"Who'd want to watch you drink a bunch of energy drinks? That's kind of dangerous, anyway - didn't they do an expose on the news about that?"

"Um ... I think you mean where kids were mixing energy drinks with alcohol. Falls under drinking. Anyway, I didn't say I'd be actually drinking them. Just buying them would make it look like I had a problem."

"I dunno. That's kind of expensive ..."

She waves away my objections. "Then I'll just return them all after we tape."

"That would probably be the most interesting thing of all - watching you stand in the return line at Wal-Mart for forty-five minutes."

Bood ignores me and rubs her hands together. "That's it then. Our show will be about an only slightly-over the hill mother-"


"You be quiet, or I'll make you suffer from dementia too." She pauses. "Actually ..."

"Forget it," I growl.

"But look at Betty White-"


"Fine. A slightly - uh - a caring mom that can't control her gorgeous, brilliant-but-troubled daughter-with-a-lottery-ticket-scratching-energy-drink-buying problem."

We're both quiet for a minute.

"It sounds like an episode of Jerry Springer."

"Yeah." She sighs. "Hey, toss me the remote. Your half-hour's up."

*Shadow is a Pit-Terrier mix that Bood got from a rescue organization


So, Saturday past Jade, Dare and I went to go see Inception.


What a terrific movie! Definitely one to which you have to pay attention, but so worth it. The movie is smart, well-acted and just a real pleasure to sit through.

There was only one fly in the ointment.

There was a woman and her fiancé (trust me, we heard their entire life story so I know it was her fiancé) sitting behind us. During the previews, when he started shaking his large popcorn bag incessantly, we knew it was going to be a trial not to turn around and get ugly.

There was a public service thing starring Jaime Curtis and kids with physical developmental difficulties. All I can recall of the bit was that it was about helping these kids become more mobile and the reason that’s all that I can recall is this: the woman said loudly, when the cute kid rolled up on his bike, “Wow. I hope our kids are normal.”

Really? I was kind of stunned. I glanced at Jade, who was staring at me with her mouth open. I glared over my shoulder but the woman was completely oblivious.

Then the talking. Not a low-voiced murmur, the kind I find borderline acceptable in the movies, but hey, you gotta deal, right? This was way beyond quiet talking, however; the kind of chatter they were indulging in was as loud as if they were sitting in a restaurant vice a dark theatre. I was grinding my teeth when Jade finally said, every bit as loudly, “If they can’t be quiet, I’m moving.”*

The woman heard her and said, “Oh. We better be quiet.”

So, the talking stopped, sort of, but then she began burping. OH. MY. GAWD.

Seriously?? How old are you??** With the open mouth belches – where’s Miss Manners when you need her?

Then the movie starts. I was swept in, just really, really loving this. Jeremy was on one side of me, as enthralled as I was and Jade was on the other side of me, twitching irritably. I frowned and looked at her, trying to figure out what was wrong – oh. I see. The guy can’t really fit properly in his seat and was sort of wedged sideways into the seat, which neatly aligned his mouth about five inches from baby girl’s ear.

He was chewing popcorn like there was no tomorrow – right in her ear. UGH! But what can you say? Stop eating please, your mouth is right next to my ear and you sound pretty gross? That’d make us just as uncool as they were - By this time, the theatre was pretty full so we were unable by this point to move. Suck it up time.

About halfway through the movie, the woman began to heave gigantic sighs. “This movie is so boring.” And I am not exaggerating in anyway when I tell you she said this every ten minutes. I was actually gripping the armrests, trying really really hard not to turn around and scream – Then take your dumb tail out of here! Just GO!

It got so bad the couple in front of us were turning around to glare at her. I would have been mortally embarrassed. She was impervious to every stare. With a skin that thick, she should consider writing as a career.

By the end of the movie, I seriously felt sorry for the guy she was with. Yeah, he was a loud chewer, but didn’t seem to be the kind of human who should be saddled with someone so oblivious to the feelings of anyone around her … I see a divorce looming for these two should they make it to the alter. So not joking.

I’m going to watch Inception again when it comes out on DVD – it was a flippin’ awesome movie

*Jade is like a guy in that way – she has no problem speaking her mind and could care less if you like her.

**She was mid-thirties, BTW.


My second book, Keeper of Memories, is AT the printer and will be out any minute now -OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!

I got a proof and it's FRIKKING gorgeous!



The Incident

So I'm really bummed because Bood is leaving in about a month – my baby girl just wants to become an independent, well-adjusted adult with a decent opportunity in another city. DARN HER!!!

I've thrown a few subtle hints her way (Stay! I'll miss you too much!) but she keeps blowing me off, for some reason preferring her free ride to a PhD. Where did I go wrong?

But then …there was The Incident. The one involving the oven and what I can only assume is a plot to Take. Me. Out. So now, maybe I'm thinking she should go ahead and go. After all – I've still got two young ones in the house I need to finish raising.

I've been thinking over The Incident and have come to the conclusion that I should tell as wide an audience as possible, mostly because when I tried to discuss The Incident with Gary, he merely grunted and asked if I'd seen the remote (I had, but being annoyed by his grunts, I denied it). And if I tell my side of The Incident here, when things do go south, I've got witnesses – as opposed to husbands who would prefer watching MSNBC to listening to death plots involving me and his third-born.

Plus, you guys can't grunt at me. At least not so I can hear.

Okay, since you're dying to know what The Incident is all about, let me dive right in.

I was lounging on the sofa when Terri came in from work. "Mommy."

I frowned, hearing her wheedling voice. She wants something, I thought. And want something she did.

"Can you please make me one of those vegetarian meatball subs that we had last Friday? They were bangin'" (Banging is good. I think.)

"I guess." Then I warn her, "I'm not toasting the roll in the oven though?"

"Why?? That makes the sub really, really good!"

I considered telling her that it was really hot in the house and that we didn't have money to burn (ha! Burn – get it? Never mind.) and people in India worship cows.* But then I settled for the truth. "I don't feel like taking everything out of the oven."**

Heavy sigh. Pause. After a few seconds, she decided the non-verbal communication she is so adept at wasn't swaying me, so she jumped up. "Okay. I'll take the stuff out of the oven."

"Fine." I paused my movie to fix my darling child*** something to eat.

I split the roll with a sharp knife, turned the oven on high and placed the cut roll face down on the oven rack, then started heating up the other components of the dish in the microwave. After a few minutes, I reached into the oven and grabbed the thinner bottom half of the roll but decided the thicker top portion could use a few more seconds of toasting to make it especially delectable****.

I'd just turned, closing the oven door at the same time when The Incident occurred. From behind me (remember, there's an oven back there) comes a huge explosion. I freeze, not really wanting to look to see if I'm missing any body parts. I really don't want to look behind me (okay, mind out of the gutter – I'm talking about the oven). Thoughts flash through my mind about people who have suffered a catastrophic injury not feeling any pain – at least not for about fifteen seconds or so, then the pain is like – friggin' unbelievably unbearable.

Thirty seconds in, my husband sticks his head in the kitchen. "What was that noise?" he frowns. "And why are you standing there all weird and awkward?"

"Is there anything weird about me?"

"Besides the fact that you're weird?"

"Am I missing anything?"

"Besides your mind?" He peers over my shoulder at the oven and his expression changes. "Oh my …"

I forget to brace against any impending pain and whirled around. "What?" Maybe the explosion had been a giant mutant cricket that burst through the floor in order to take revenge for all its smaller kin that I'd squished over the years.

But no. It was the glass cake pan that I had stored in the oven that Terri "forgot"***** to remove. And it just "happened"****** to be resting directly on the heating element. Which when heated, puts off a lot of heat. More heat, obviously, than a glass cake pan can take, since said glass cake pan shattered, coming THIS CLOSE to impaling me with its deadly shards of doom.

I'm sure you can see my point now.

It's probably for the best that Terri go to grad school. I'll just make sure to warn her future roommates that if they ever don't feel like taking the stuff out of the oven when Terri asks them to make her a bangin' vegetarian meatball sub like the one they had last Friday, and SHE offers to do it for them so they can toast her sub roll to make it extra-delectable, ******* that they check the bottom of the oven for glass cake pans. The life they save may be their own.

I'm just sayin'.

* - Just checking to see if you're really paying attention.

** - I am short on cabinet space, so keep cookie sheets, roasting pans and cake pans in there. Pay special attention to the last item on the list.

*** - She's about to lose the Darling Child status. Read on to find out why.

**** - Cause that's how I roll: making things especially delectable. Oh look! Roll – get it??

*****- Do you notice the quotes around that word?

******- Again with the quotes!

*******- If that's how they roll.


Terri just makes me laugh.

Yesterday, I had taken a break from revisions to talk to her about something that I'd found puzzling. She's a great sounding board and always gives me good feedback.

"I want to tell you something."

"Hmm." Terri looked up from her book. "Okay."

"I was talking to Daddy, when Omni and Nicole stopped in for a few minutes and when the kids were leaving, I asked Nicole if the jeans she was wearing were the ones I'd given her. You know," I explained. "The ones I got from the yard sale a few weeks ago."

"Yeah." She nods for me to go on.

"Well, she said yes, they were. Then I said, 'Do you know how much I paid for them?' Cause I was all happy about it, you know?"

Terri groans, which I ignore.

"So, Daddy and the kids just look at me and then I say, 'TWENTY-FIVE CENTS!!!' Then they all just laugh."

I pause and look at Terri, waiting for her to be as astounded as I still am. But she doesn't appear to be astounded, she's just shaking her head, which I also ignore and finish my story. "What I don't get is … why did they laugh?"

"Oh Mommy." Terri hides her face in her hands for a minute and then looks back up at me. "I don't know why they laughed because it's not funny."

I frown. "Well, what is it?"

"Just …" She looks around the room, evidently searching for words. "Just …not interesting."

My mouth fell open as I stared at her. Not interesting??? Is she crazy? Five pair of jeans for a buck and a quarter NOT INTERESTING??

Then I started to laugh. One of those big, your stomach hurts, fall over in your chair laughs. "Really?" I gasp finally.

"No," she murmured. "I'm surprised no one's told you before." She goes back to her book and I go back to revising, still laughing, wondering how I've spawned such an odd group of children.

I'd rather not consider the fact that perhaps it's me that's odd.




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