Wednesday, May 31, 2006

They're heeeere!

Remember a few posts ago, when I worried about the new deck disturbing an ancient Indian burial ground? WCB has an extremely annoying toy shaped like a firefly. When you move its wings, it goes, "Ha ha HA HA ha!" or "Woo hoo!" or "Doing!" The firefly is lying in a toy pile on our bedroom floor, and last night around 2 a.m. it started going "Ha ha HA HA ha!" all by itself. Coincidence? I think not. It's just like the part in Poltergiest where the kid was attacked by the scary toy clown, except I was able to go back to sleep and I didn't get sucked into the closet. The closet could use a good cleaning, though. Maybe an evil-spirit-sucking would help. It would be a good excuse to go shopping, too. "I'll be at Eddie Bauer. All of my jeans got sucked into the Netherworld."

I'm also losing the championship Super Scrabble game. Again, I blame the evil spirits.

I do have some good news, though. Did you know there is a Dave Barry movie starring DAVE HIMSELF? Right now it has a "Very Long Wait" in Netflix. I don't know how long I can hold out. I might have to buy it. The fact that it went directly to DVD and probably nobody else has ever heard of it does not faze me in the least. I remain loyal to Dave.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Super Scrabble update

Last night I got my butt kicked in Super Scrabble when my mom made "ENCRUST" and got the 50-point bonus for using all of her letters. We're now tied in Super Scrabble games 1 - 1. I know you're all on the edge of your seats, waiting to see who will emerge victorious from the bloodbath. I will let you know.

Monday, May 29, 2006

You could make "jazzy". Or "fuzzy." Or "dizzy."

We're building a deck on the back of our house. Actually, my dad and Jay are building the deck. My mom, WCB, and I are sitting in the air conditioning watching them through the window. Life's tough. The other day, they rented a machine to dig a bunch of giant holes all over the yard. I hope they didn't disturb an ancient Indian burial ground or anything. I've seen Poltergiest. I know how it works. If corpses start popping up and haunting us, I'll let you all know.

My mom and I have been playing Super Scrabble when WCB is sleeping. Scrabble fans, have you heard of this? It's played just like regular Scrabble, only it has twice the letters. That's right, you could make a word with two Z's in it. That's not all. It also has a bigger board with "Quadruple Word Score" spaces. Last night I made "squire" for 81 points. I'm such a Scrabble nerd, even though my mom and I totally cheat with the dictionary when we play.

Speaking of Scrabble, if you go to the official web site, there's an online dictionary and a "Word Builder" tool that can help you cheat -- like, really bad, horrible cheating. It's great.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Surely they can't be serious

They are serious. And don't call them Shirley.

I got my "jug" from the Mayo Clinic in the mail yesterday. It's not really a jug. It's more of a rubbery, bendy, flexible container with a little screw-off top. Um. What? Sure, it's practical for sending through the mail, as it folds in half quite nicely. It's not, however, quite so practical for its intended use. Obviously a man came up with this design, if you know what I mean.

First Clay Aiken's hair, now this.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

American Idol recap

Remember very early on in this blog when I was complaining about other blogs that were supposed to be about cancer but instead were nothing but ramblings about American Idol? I've become one of Them. Sometimes cancer simply must take a back seat to the more important things we have to worry about, such as WHAT IS GOING ON WITH CLAY AIKEN'S HAIR?

For the love of God, man, fire your stylist! It's hideous!

Clay's new hairdo has been bothering me since last night. I really love Clay. I have his CD and his Christmas CD. There, I said it. You can't make fun of me, either. I have cancer.

Anyway, last night's finale seemed even longer and more painful than being in labor with WCB. Just when you think you couldn't be any more bored (How long can a salute to Burt Bacharach possibly go on??), somebody says, "Ladies and gentlemen, Dionne Warwick!" and your soul starts to die a little.

I am happy that Taylor won and beat out that Rainbow-mangling hack, but I still don't think he's bright, Steve. Soul patrol!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ah, that fresh Mall air

What with all of these hilarious song lyrics, so many birthdays, and the American Idol finale (Stop singing "Over the Rainbow." Just stop. And was Elliott wearing a boy scout uniform?), I forgot to tell you all that everything is set up for my next visit to the Mayo Clinic in July. If everything goes as expected, it should be a one-day affair. I'm scheduled to drop off my Big Jug at the Official Urine Station (they're mailing it to me before the trip so I can pre-pee) and have blood drawn in the morning. Jay and I will meet with the doctor in the afternoon to go over the results. Yeah. At Mayo, you get your test results back within hours. None of this two-week stuff.

Jay's parents were nice enough to say they'd come along to Rochester and look after WCB while we're talking to the doctor. She's the World's Cutest Baby, but she's just not who you want with you when you're trying to have a serious medical conversation:

DOCTOR: It appears that your protein levels have ...
ME: WCB! Stop eating the nice lady's stethoscope!

After that, we're planning to go up to the Twin Cities for a few days to see friends and, of course, go to the Mall of America. It's one of my favorite places on earth. I just love the way it smells. It's like a mixture of new shoes, gumballs, freshly baked doughnuts, and chlorine from the Camp Snoopy water rides. If they made a Mall of America air freshener, I'd buy cases of it.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Another song ruined!

I Googled that Indigo Girls song, "Down by the River." You know: The one I thought went, "Down by the river ... I was shot by a baby ..."

Turns out it really goes, "Down by the river ... I shot my baby ... dead ..."

What? And those Indigos always seemed like such peaceful gals.

The "dead" part is the most shocking part to me. They sing it really long and slow: "Deaaaaaaaaaad", so I always thought they were singing "Dowwwwwwwwn", as if to re-emphasize that, yes, they were still down by the river. It was either that or "Dammmmmn", which would be an appropriate response when one is shot by a baby.

But "dead"? Hmm. No. Never expected that. At least being shot by a baby conjures up a halfway comical image, like when Maggie Simpson shot Mr. Burns.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Jay is thirty!

Jay turns the Big 3 - 0 today. Now, before you start thinking he's going to turn into a stodgy old man, keep in mind that just yesterday he started a conversation with the following sentences: "You know, if I were a Transformer, I'd never be the car. I would be the robot ALL THE TIME."

My husband: More than meets the eye!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sue Bopparetta, meet Reverend Bluejeans

I got an excellent response to my request for misunderstood song lyrics. (Missed the original post? Check it out here).

One anonymous poster pointed me toward a book called 'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy by Gavin Edwards. It's a book filled with misunderstood song lyrics from the '60s through the '90s. I haven't seen the actual book, but some of the examples listed on Amazon.com just crack me up. My favorite is, "The ants are my friends; they're blowin' in the wind ..."

The same poster pointed out how tough it is to decipher most Elton John lyrics, which reminded me of an episode of Friends in which Phoebe believes the words to "Tiny Dancer" are actually "Hold me closer, Tony Danza ..."

Lizard Eater was brave enough to confess that she always thought Neil Diamond was singing about "Reverend Bluejeans."

"'Forever in Blue Jeans' came out at the time that *I* was watching Captain Kangaroo," she wrote. "Remember Mr. Green Jeans? And his friend ... the Reverend Blue Jeans, Babe."

Yes, I would think that Captain Kangaroo would have welcomed a religious influence, what with the way he was constantly being assaulted with ping-pong balls. That would eat away at anyone's soul.

Next, we have John W., who reminded us of the ever-popular "There's a bathroom on the right" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The real words are "There's a bad moon on the rise," but nobody will ever, ever hear it in their heads that way. And this next one's my favorite, also from John:

"In the Christmas song, 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas', the lyric is 'Now bring me some figgy pudding,'", he wrote. "My grandson thought it was 'Now bring me some friggin' pudding.'"

HA HA HA!! Merry Friggin' Christmas!

And here's another popular one, brought to our attention by my college roommate Rachel:

"Okay, that song, 'Blinded by the light, revved up like a Deuce, another runner in the night' by Manfred Mann's Rare Earth Band?"she wrote. "I've always ALWAYS heard it as 'Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche... ' I took a poll in my living right now, and 2 out of 3 people heard the same thing! So I'm not crazy."

Just try to get it out of your heads for the next three days, people. Just try.

And this one, from an anonymous poster, just cracked me up:

"As a kid, I thought 'Smooth Operator' was 'Sue Bopparetta' - some girl's name," she/he wrote. "And I still hear it - had to sing it a couple of times to remember what the words REALLY were just now. 'Sue bopparetta.. Suuuuuuue Bopparetta....'"

Funny! And when I was a kid, I always thought that song was about a person who answered the phone. You know, someone who worked for Information and did a really good job -- a "smooth" job, if you will.

This next one comes from my husband. I totally forgot about this one. We used to laugh about it all the time in college:

"I remember the Smashing Pumpkins song that came out in the '90s... 'In spite of my rage, I'm still just a rat in a cage,'" he wrote. "I spent one summer in college working with a guy who swore Billy Corgan actually sang, 'In spite of my rage, I'm still just a cat in braids!' I would think a cat with braids would have definitely have some rage to deal with."

Heh! And finally, this one comes from my friend DeAnna:

"To me, the Indigo Girls' song that goes, 'I wish I was a nomad, an Indian or saint ...' always sounded like, 'I wish I was a snowman ...'"

Yes! It does! There's another Indigo Girls song called "Down By the River", and I've never actually known the real lyrics, but it's always sounded like, "Down by the river ... I was shot by a baby ..."

That can't be right? Can it? I'm going to go Google that right now.

Thanks to everyone who left their comments. Have more? Keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Back away from my rainbow, lady!

Katharine sang "Over the Rainbow" last night on American Idol.

NO!! NO!! NO!! NO!!

One of my bizarre-but-true pet peeves is that I cannot stand anyone singing "Over the Rainbow" besides Judy Garland. I don't care what Simon Cowell says, nobody else can sing it the right way. Nobody can top Judy. Even toward the end of her life, when she looked like an 80-pound, drunk jaundiced raisin in a giant feather boa, she could still sing a mean "Rainbow."

Someday I'm going to win the Powerball and buy the rights to "Over the Rainbow" and then ban everyone from singing it. Maybe I'll allow Liza Minnelli to do it if there is some kind of an "Over the Rainbow" emergency, but that's it.

I guess I'm forced to root for Taylor now. Soul patrol.

Anyone else have a bizarre pet peeve, or is it just me? I do have several more, mostly involving grammar, but if I start listing them I'll probably get too riled up.

WCB IS ONE!!!!

Happy birthday, little sweetheart!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Baby Story

A year ago right now I was in labor.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I was in labor. I wasn’t sure for hours and hours and hours. It’s not like it is on TV, where a woman has one contraction and either a) grabs her stomach and screams or b) serenely turns to her husband and says with all of the female wisdom of the ages, “Honey, it’s time.”

I thought maybe I was having some more Braxton-Hicks contractions, which I'd been having off and on for a few weeks. The ones I was having that day didn’t really hurt, and they weren't coming at perfect, regular intervals, but they weren’t going away, either. Eventually, I looked up “early labor” in a couple of my pregnancy books. One book said to eat a lot and stay really active; another book said to only eat “soft” foods and just lie around. I took the lying around option and spent the afternoon on the couch watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. (That’s the one with Colin Firth and the wet shirt. Nice.)

Jay came home at the usual time and brought me Boston Market mashed potatoes. He ran on the treadmill; I watched the season finale of Everybody Loves Raymond. Somewhere toward the end of the show – I don’t even remember how it ended now – I started thinking that maybe we should call the doctor.

Here’s another thing that’s not like TV: You don’t call Dr. Huxtable at home, where he is ready to instantly drop whatever hilarious thing he’s doing with his family – like lip synching to a Ray Charles song – and run off to the hospital immediately. I had to leave a message with the answering service and wait for the doctor to call back. When she did, she said she didn’t think I was really in labor, but I could come in and get checked if I wanted to.

After that, a few more contractions hit. Bad ones. We were in the car and driving off into the night. Every time I had a contraction, I’d try to picture something happy, like Disneyland or the Yellow Brick Road, or the Yellow Brick Road leading into Disneyland.

Even after all that, I was only dilated to one centimeter when we got to the hospital. They made us walk the hallways. Around and around and around and around.

And after all that, I was still only dilated to one centimeter. There was talk of sending me home. I said I wasn’t going home. They said they had some pills that would stop false labor, if it really was false. The pills did nothing. They let me stay.

Everything else is a long blur, and probably pretty boring to recount here. That’s another thing that’s not like TV: Labor in the real world is long and boring. It’s not filled with wacky misadventures or me yelling hilarious insults at my husband.

I remember finally getting to three centimeters, and a nurse making me fill out a big pile of paperwork while I was having contraction after contraction. I still have no idea what I signed. It's entirely possible that WCB officially belongs to the hospital.

Fast forward to 7 a.m. the next morning, when the epidural man finally showed up. I bet being an epidural man is the best job in the world, because you spend your day visiting women who are happier to see you than they’ve ever been to see anyone else in their lives. Oh, how I loved that man.

Then came the pushing. Ah, the pushing. Again, it’s not as dramatic as it is on TV, but I won’t go into graphic detail.

Fast forward again to 11:26 a.m. on May 17, when I saw my little WCB for the first time. It was the greatest surprise ever. Jay and I had decided to go the old-fashioned route and not find out the sex of the baby until he/she was born. Then we spent nine months calling the fetus “he” and, more specifically, “Clark”. That’s another story.

But I was so, so, so happy to see my little, red, wrinkled, loud, six-pound-thirteen-ounce girl. All of the pregnancy books prepare you for how ugly and frog-like your newborn is going to be, but not mine. Mine was extremely un-froggy and all-around beautiful. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I can’t believe tomorrow she turns one.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day TOTALLY ROCKS!

First I have to say that I'm just loving hearing from all of you Brady Bunch nuts out there. Keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on leaving comments about your favorite episodes here ... or just read through the comments. They're guaranteed to bring back warm Brady memories -- or perhaps slightly painful flashbacks. Long live Johnny Bravo!

Same goes for the misunderstood lyrics. We're still getting some good ones. Check in with those here.

Now for my main point: Mother's Day. If there are any women out there wondering if they should have children, I say, go for it ladies! Why? Well, sure, there's all that stuff about your heart overflowing with unconditional love, witnessing the miracle of life, blah, blah, blah, but the best part is you get your own holiday! That's 24 hours when everyone is required -- perhaps by law -- to be nice to you and give you stuff. It's like having a second birthday, only it's better because you get reinforcement from the greeting card industry, restaurants, and jewelry stores. Finally, that 27 hours of labor pays off!

Jay and WCB took me out to Mimi's Cafe (Official Motto: "If the muffin's not the size of your head, it's free!"). We had a great time. This was the first time we let WCB eat real people food from our plates in a restaurant, but we forgot to bring her big bib. By the end, she was completely covered in bread crumbs and watermelon juice and was laughing like a mad scientist.

Then Jay and WCB gave me the Best. Present. Ever: A gift certificate for a massage. If any of you men out there presented your wives with, say, a pair of gardening gloves or any form of power tool and received a less-than-warm response, I have five words for you to carry in your hearts until next year: Gift Certificate For A Massage. I can't wait to use it. Woo hoo!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Par-TAY!

WCB's first birthday party was yesterday. It was such a great day with our family and friends. Usually when WCB is faced with a large crowd of well-wishers, she becomes Mayor of Fussy Town (which is the less fun suburb of Funky Town), but yesterday she did very well. She didn't dig into her little cake as we had hoped; instead she took a few tiny, dainty bites and ended up with just a dab of frosting on her nose. I suppose when you hold the official title of WCB, you feel that you should be careful not to muss your face. You don't want the WCB Runner Up swooping in and stealing your tiara.

She also received so many wonderful gifts ... but now it looks like a Toys R Us exploded in our living room.

Other good news: Right before the party, we found out that WCB's godparents, Dan and Vickie, welcomed their first baby -- a little boy. Congratulations! Now WCB has another boyfriend to choose from if that thing with two-year-old Tom doesn't work out.

And today is my first real Mother's Day. I sort of got to celebrate last year, because I was on-the-verge-of-exploding pregnant, but this year I get to celebrate for real. Jay and WCB are taking me out. Woo hoo!

A very happy Mother's Day to all of the other mothers out there. I hope everyone is nice to you, because you deserve it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Rambling, rambling, rambling ...

I have a wide variety of topics to cover today. I'll try to number my rambles so you can keep track of them ...

RAMBLE ONE: It looks like I'm the only one around here who appreciates The Brady Bunch. Nobody else has a favorite episode? What about the time Marcia fell in love with her dentist? What about when Vincent Price tied up the kids in the cave in Hawaii? What about the time they made the Pilgrim movie? Those were classics.

RAMBLE TWO: Chris got voted off of American Idol??? He was the best one. Who am I supposed to root for now? I have never understood Elliot's appeal, and Katharine has always seemed snotty. Taylor seems like a very nice fellow, and he is highly entertaining, but in a Forrest-Gump-is-having-a-seizure sort of way. Let me tell you a story: Sometime in the mid-'80s, my sister and I were spending the night at our grandparents' house. They let us stay up late. Paul Simon was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and he had a couple dozen backup singers/dancers who were supposed to be dancing the same steps, but they kept messing up. My grandma turned to my grandpa and said very seriously, "Oh, I don't think they're bright, Steve."

My sister and I thought this was HILARIOUS. We still say it to each other all the time. And that is the best way to sum up my feelings about Taylor: I don't think he's bright, Steve.

RAMBLE THREE: (Skip this one if you're eating and/or you just don't want to read about cat/child throwup) Around 1:30 this morning, I once again woke up to my oldest child (that would be Garland the cat) trying to produce a hairball on our bedspread. Within a tenth of a second, I had woken from a deep sleep and grabbed Garland, and we both became airborne while I flung her towards the bathroom where she could safely throw up on the tile. Mission accomplished. Everyone is fine, including the bedspread. Jay either slept through it or faked sleeping through it so he wouldn't have to deal with cat throwup, and who can blame him, really? The thing is, I have a genetic ability to sense when the cat -- and I know, someday, a child -- is going to be sick in the middle of the night, and here is why:

In the late '70s and early '80s, my parents had this truly hideous red shag carpet in their bedroom. I don't know why. I always try to picture my parents -- who are typically "I think this shade of beige is a little too wild" type of people -- at the carpet store. "Hmmm ... shag carpet just isn't obnoxious enough for us. Does it come in red?"

Anyway, my sister or I would regularly wander in there in the middle of the night and say, "I think I'm gonna ..." and then -- BLEEEEEH -- toss our cookies on the red shag carpet. Have you ever tried to get throwup out of shag carpeting? I haven't either, but my parents sure have.

Finally, it reached a point where we'd wander in there and say, "I think I'm gonna ..." and my parents would instantly sit up in bed and scream, "RUN!" That was our cue to hightail it to the bathroom and try to throw up in the correct spot, which would be anywhere not covered in shag carpeting.

My point, and I do have one, is that I seem to have inherited this ability to awake and snap into action the instant throwing up is about to occur at 1:30 a.m. At least it is a fairly useful skill.

I think I'm done rambling. For now.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hey, hey, I'm a goldfish

First of all, I'm getting some GREAT responses to my request for misunderstood song lyrics (check out my previous post and the growing list of comments if you missed it). Keep them coming! I will compile them all into another post later.

My sister just reminded me of the origins of my Officially Lame CD collection. I'd completely forgotten this:

I remember when you built your CD collection in college, which might explain the Monkees CD... remember how you would sign up for the record clubs and get something like 10 free CDs? One membership perk was that if one of your friends signed up, you AND your friend also got ten MORE free CDs. I think at one point you signed me up and kept my CDs, seeing that I didn't own a CD player and was happy to let you keep them. However, if I remember right, your goldfish enthusiastically signed up and also got free CDs. Then, luckily, when the goldfish passed on, they left their entire collections to you. I'm betting it was the goldfish who selected the Monkees, out of respect to the animal kingdom.

OK, it's true. I lied to the record club. I claimed that my goldfish Jan was my "roommate", and she got 10 free CDs, which she kindly let me keep. The real kicker was that after Jan passed away and we both quit the record club, the club kept sending postcards to Jan begging her to come back. They never sent me a thing. I always felt slighted by that.

Jan shared her tank with another goldfish, Peter. Peter and Jan were always my favorite members of The Brady Bunch. Remember when Jan tried to remove her freckles with lemon juice? Or when Peter went around saying, "Pork chops ... and applesauce" in a Humphrey Bogart voice? Maybe this is how I ended up with The Monkees CD. The Bradys always loved Davy Jones. Remember when he sang at the prom?

If you can't think of any misunderstood lyrics, then tell me your favorite episode of The Brady Bunch. You know you have one. I call dibs on the one where Greg hides a goat in his bedroom.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sexy camel leg hair

I've been thinking about popular music lately for a couple of reasons.

Last night, WCB opened the drawer that holds all of our CDs and flung them out onto the floor one by one. Jay and I were horrified, not because of the mess she was making, but because we noticed that we apparently haven't purchased a new CD since 1995. As the pile mounted, it soon became clear that we are Officially Lame. Hootie and the Blowfish? Jewel? Alanis Morissette? Are these people even still alive? And don't get me started on Jay's Boyz II Men collection.

Then there are a few that defy explanation. The Monkees' Greatest Hits? I know that one is mine, but I don't know why. We're going to have to get a baby-proof lock on that drawer, not just to keep WCB out, but to keep the Lameness Vibes from oozing all over the rest of the house.

Now for the second reason I've been thinking about music: A few posts ago, I wrote about how much I like stupid song parodies. Someone named Spechtster left the following comment:

Along the lines of stupid song parodies... I read an article about a guy who thought the Rolling Stones' "Beast of Burden" lyrics were actually "Never... Leave... Your Pizza Burnin'"!

Ah! Misunderstood lyrics! The equally funny cousin of stupid song parodies! I once had a professor who admitted he always thought "Do the Hustle!" was really "Tuna hotdog!" I used to work with a girl who thought the chorus of "Rock Me Amadeus" went, "Hot potatoes, hot potatoes ... hot potatoes ..."

Then there's me. About eight years ago, there was a song called "Sex and Candy" that played on the radio every five seconds. (I just looked it up online. It was by a one-hit wonder group called Marcy Playground and spent 15 weeks at number one). The chorus went, "I smell sex and ... can-day here ..." but for months I was convinced they were actually singing, "I smell sexy ... camel leg hair ..."

Seriously.

I'm admitting this, because I know I can't be the only one. I'm inviting you all to send me your own tales of misunderstood lyrics -- the other "sexy camel leg hairs" that have occurred in your own music-listening lives. C'mon. You know you want to.

In the meantime ... Tuna hotdog! Doo doo doo doo dooodooodooodooodooo ....

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Save the date: June 2030

In my past post, I mentioned WCB's wedding day. Now, before any of you boy babies or even older-man toddlers start lining up at our front door, you should know that WCB has been engaged to a two-year-old named Tom since the day she was born. Tom lives in Minneapolis, and he's a good man. He can tell you what Homer Simpson, Mr. Burns, and Darth Vader say. (Answers: "D'oh!" "Exxxxxxcellent!" and (Deep-Breathing Noise))

Tom's Mama (the aforementioned DeAnna of the Happy Chick Show) and I have it all worked out. The ceremony will be at The Chapel O' Love at The Mall of America. The rehearsal dinner will be at the food court. That's the slightly upscale food court that overlooks Lego Land, not the depressing food court across from the old Cereal Adventure. We're not trashy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Everybody's doing it!

Louis Rukeyser, the host of Wall Street Week, just died of multiple myeloma at age 73. I didn't really know much about him, except my Great-Grandma Nina just loved him.

Great-Grandma Nina had some money. Not just money: mo-NAY. For Christmas, we'd get things like socks with fake fur on them. After she died, I received a strand of her pearls, a bear from her teddy bear collection, and, for some reason, an unopened bottle of Kahlua from her liquor cabinet. For seven years, Jay has been after me: "When are we going to drink the Nina Kahlua? When are we going to drink the Nina Kahlua?" What? Never! It belonged to my beloved grandmother! It's a family heirloom now! I'm giving it to WCB on her wedding day!

Seriously, we have moved to two different apartments and a house with that bottle of Kahlua.

Where was I going with all of this? Oh, yeah, Louis Rukeyser. Now it seems that whenever anyone dies of multiple myeloma, it just leaps off of the page at me. It seems like EVERYONE is dying of multiple myeloma. It's like there's nothing else to die of. It's what all of the cool people die of now.

Aren't you all jealous that I have such a fashionable disease?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Johnny Cash is not for eating!

WCB is crawling, ladies and gentlemen.

Crawling.

Remember a couple of months ago when I was so worried that she would never crawl? When the doctor told me to get her evaluated for a developmental delay? When I pictured her lifelong lack of crawling skills preventing her from getting into Harvard? When I worked with her day in and day out trying to get her to move forward -- just a tiny bit?

Was I insane?

She's been crawling for less than 24 hours, and already all of the rules of our lives have changed. I can no longer expect her to sit in one spot while I make myself a sandwich or brush my teeth. She will now ignore hundreds of dollars worth of toys and books and go straight for the one thing in the room that's not good for her. Electrical cords. Outlets. The cat's water dish. In the time it took me to put some pajamas away in her drawer, she made her way to the CD player, pushed the button to open it, pulled out the CD, and began to eat it. Her new hobby is getting into the basket of clean laundry and flinging it out onto the floor. I have to confess that I encourage her to do this, because it keeps her occupied for several minutes at a time.

What's it going to be like when she's (shudder) walking? I won't think about it now. I won't.

A new chapter begins ...

Monday, May 01, 2006

They don't hand out esplanades to just anyone

And now for an entry from the Cool Things My Friends Have Done File: My friend Gordon just had an esplanade -- that's a fancy name for a walkway -- named after him at Centralia College in Washington state. Gordon wrote humor columns for the University of South Dakota student newspaper about 50 years before I did, and he still writes humor columns for his hometown paper. He e-mails them to me every week, and I then forward them to others, usually with a little comment at the top -- usually something like, "I JUST LOVE GORDON!" or "DON'T YOU JUST LOVE GORDON?"

One of Gordon's USD classmates was Al Neuharth, who founded USA Today, and who gave a go-zillion dollars for the Al Neuharth Center on campus as well as the journalism scholarships that paid for Jay and me to go to school. Al showed up unexpectedly for Gordon's esplanade ceremony in a giant limo. You have to love Al. He would swoop into USD once a year with Larry King or Tom Brokaw or someone and buy everyone steak. I'm guessing he still does.

On a side note, if any of you out in the blogosphere know any high school students who are interested in journalism, USD still awards the Neuharth Scholarship. Click here and then scroll down for more info.