Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mmmm ... eyeballs

WCK was up at the crack of dawn this morning; technically, I'd say it was before the crack of dawn since it was still pitch black outside. She's beside herself with excitement over Halloween. She's already running around in a witch's hat, and she told me I should make something called "Eyeball Casserole." I Googled it, and it is a real thing (you use balls of cheese as the eyeballs), but WCK announced that she has her own recipe, and she wanted me to type it up:

One spinach
One carrot
One egg
One apple
18 eyeballs
Stir and mix
Put it in the oven for 10 minutes.
When the oven rings, then it is done.
It will look slimy and good to eat.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bad blogger!

I haven't been blogging much lately, and I don't really have a good excuse. I've been a little ticked off at my M-spike, but I shouldn't take it out on my poor blog. To make amends, I went a little crazy and signed my blog up for National Blog Posting Month. This means that through the entire month of November, I have to post every single day. I've registered my blog with http://www.nablopomo.com, so if I meet my goal, I will be eligible to win some fabulous prizes. Really, they aren't that fabulous (the best prize on the list so far is a "Sock Zombie", which I guess is like a sock monkey, only it's ... a zombie), but they're still prizes.

This new goal means I am going to have to make room in my hectic schedule for daily blogging. This means cutting out other important stuff in my day, like my compulsion to check Facebook every five seconds to find out that people I barely remember from high school are playing Mafia Wars. It's going to be tough, but I think I can do it. I really want that sock zombie.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Making mountains out of molehills

Jay spent the entire summer engaged in serious warfare with the moles that kept ripping up our back yard. He tried everything, including a whole bunch of these metal posts that you stick into the ground. Supposedly, these posts emit a sound that drives the moles away. Our theory is that the sound just enraged the moles and made them rip up the yard even more while seeking their revenge. It was either that, or they enjoyed the noise and were dancing to it with wild abandon. In the end, Jay forked over a giant sum of money to a professional mole-trapping company. WCK and I would eagerly watch out the window every time the Mole Guy came by. In the end, the Mole Guy was only able to trap one mole. I'm sure he took it away to a nurturing Mole Resort and Spa, where the mole is living out the rest of his days in peace and harmony.

Fast forward to today. Jay and I went to parent-teacher conferences at WCK's preschool, where we got to take a look at some of WCK's work. During the first week of school, everyone had to draw a picture of their family and then tell the teacher one thing about their family, which the teacher wrote on the back of the paper. WCK's teacher said most kids responded with things like, "My mommy reads books to me," or "We all like to go to Worlds of Fun together."

WCK's summary of our family life? "My daddy is angry because we have moles in our back yard."

It's funny 'cause it's true.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Go, Daddy!!

Jay ran his first full marathon this morning, and he did a great job. WCK and I were at the finish line to cheer him on:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dumbness

M-spike = 2.5.

That's all I can say about it right now. I can't even bring myself to discuss it. It's too dumb.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Miracle Doughnut

We're Catholic, which means our church does not offer daycare. You have to bring your kids to church with you, which -- especially when they're around two years old -- is just as exhausting as it sounds. When you tell this to parents who belong to other denominations, they gasp in horror and quietly say a little prayer for you, because they can't imagine your suffering.

However, our church offers a Sunday School program for kids ages four and up. Jay and I have been dreaming of the Sunday School program for, oh, four years now, picturing the day when we could attend church peacefully by ourselves and secretly laugh at all of the poor, unfortunate souls who had to attend church with children under four.

"Ha, ha, HA!" we would say, watching their children throw Cheerios and climb under the pews and scream, "DO WE GET TO GO HOME NOW???" right after communion. We'd watch all the little old ladies glare at other couples instead of at us, knowing those days were far, far in our past.

Last week was the first day of Sunday School. We walked WCK to the classroom, and she immediately launched into Full Freakout Mode. She was crying, shaking, and clinging to us for dear life. It was like we were casting her into the depths of Hell instead of leaving her in a cheerful-looking classroom with a very sweet teacher and a group of smiling children who were singing, "If You're Happy and You Know It." We gave up and took her to church with us.

This morning, again, we walked her to the Sunday School class. Jay was ready to waver, but I was NOT going to give up on my four-year dream of Sunday School. We told WCK that if she decided to attend Sunday School, we'd all go get a doughnut in the church basement afterwards. When we got to the classroom, however, WCK again launched into Full Freakout Mode. We gave up, apologized to the teacher, and began walking toward the church with WCK in tow.

"Do I still get a doughnut?" she asked.

"No," I said. "The doughnut was only if you went to Sunday School."

WCK instantly whirled around, marched back to the classroom, threw on her cross-shaped name tag, sat down at a little desk and began coloring pictures of Jesus. That was the last we saw of her for one very peaceful hour. When we came to pick her up, WCK reported that she LOVED Sunday School and can't wait to go back.

With doughnuts, all things are possible.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

EOF!!

Back in my old college-newspaper days, EOF stood for "Error of Fact". Turns out that I EOFed big time (yes, you can use EOF as a verb) with my Munchkin photos. A nice visitor to my blog pointed out that the Munchkin I labeled as Margaret Pellegrini was actually Myrna Swenson, wife of Munchkin Clarence Swenson.

In my defense, I did think that Margaret Pellegrini looked quite different from the last time that I saw her, and she wasn't wearing her Munchkin costume, like she usually does, but I went down the Munchkin list and couldn't figure out who else it could be. I'd also heard a rumor in the autograph line that Margaret had had a stroke, but I wasn't sure if it was true. Turns out that it was, unfortunately. I am so embarrassed for getting my Munchkins wrong. Thank you, anonymous reader!

The same reader also wrote, "The munchkin that had to leave was Ruth Duccini. She is blind in one eye so they asked people to not use flash photography, but some did anyway and it got to her."

Seriously?? Who would do that? Only a truly evil person would flash their camera at a camera-sensitive Munchkin. Now I'm all worked up.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Return of the church van

It's official: I've been declared immortal by a medical professional.

This morning, Dr. GPO told me very enthusiastically -- and these were his exact words -- "YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO DIE!!!!"

Dr. GPO talks with a lot of capital letters and exclamation points. You gotta love Dr. GPO.

"Um," I said, "never?"

We both thought this was pretty funny. "I meant you'll never die of myeloma," he said. "You'll probably get run over by a church van first."

Again with the church van! I am now very, very paranoid about church vans. If your church is planning any kind of a trip, can you please contact me and let me know so that I can stay locked inside my home for the following 24 hours?

Anyway, all of my blood counts were good, and I'll get the M-spike results in a few days, probably next week. The cancer center was all out of flu shots, so I drove over to Target and got one at the pharmacy. I also found out that the myeloma qualifies me for the swine flu vaccine once it becomes available. I think what I really need is a church-van vaccine.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Toto-ly Ozsome

Warning: Evidence of my complete Wizard of Oz nerdiness ahead.

On Saturday, Jay, WCK, and I traveled to Wamego, Kansas for the town's annual "Oztoberfest". Wamego is a tiny little town about 90 minutes from Kansas City with an incredible Wizard of Oz museum. Every October, the town also throws a huge Oz-themed festival. Guests of honor included four of the surviving Munchkins, the great-grandson of L. Frank Baum, and a couple of world-renowned Judy Garland experts.

I'd never been to Wamego before, so I was very excited. The museum was amazing. I could have spent an entire day there, reading all of the nerdy descriptions on all of the artifacts and spending WCK's entire college fund in the gift shop. I got a couple of t-shirts, a new sign for my Oz-themed bathroom, and a Christmas ornament. The museum displays included life-sized re-creations of all of the characters and scenery. You actually get to walk through the Haunted Forest on the way to the witch's castle, and it truly feels like you're in the Haunted Forest. I do believe in spooks! I do believe in spooks!

We also visited the Oz Winery and bought a bottle of "O.E.O" wine (Get it? It has a picture of the witch's guards on the label) and some Oz Winery wine glasses, and we had dinner at "Toto's Tacoz". In between, we stood in line to get autographs from the Munchkins.

And we stood in line, and stood in line, and stood in line. We spent the entire afternoon standing in line, and the line never moved.

I missed out on all of the Judy Garland lectures because I was standing in line. At one point, I actually saw John Fricke pass by on the street. John Fricke, people!

Yeah, I know nobody knows who John Fricke is. Nobody but me would be impressed by being passed on the street by John Fricke, but he's probably the world's leading expert on Judy Garland, so he's kind of one of my personal heroes. I want to be John Fricke when I grow up, or, at the very least, John Fricke's assistant. Just let me open your mail, John Fricke! Let me get you some coffee! I really regret that I didn't snap a paparazzi-like photo of him.

Anyway. After about three hours of standing in line, when we were three people from the front of the line, the guy in charge came out and announced that the Munchkins were exhausted and had to stop signing autographs promptly at 5 p.m., and that we were not going to get in. This man was obviously hired to protect the Munchkins, and he was not messing around.

"I've already had one Munchkin go down today," he said. "I'm not going to let it happen again."

It's true. Four Muchkins walked into that autograph session, but only three walked out. I don't know what happened to the fourth. I hope she's OK.

He told the crowd that we were all welcome to come back the next day, and that he'd mark our bracelets so we'd get priority admission. Our little family was not able to come back the next day, so we didn't get our autographs. Disappointing, yes, but

a) I already have autographs from all of the Munchkins that were there, plus two others.

b) I really didn't want to be responsible for another Munchkin "going down." I understand the need to protect the Munchkins. They're the last surviving link to the greatest movie of all time, and they've got to be pushing 90 years old. If the Official Munchkin Wrangler says that signing one more autograph could potentially kill them, I take that warning very seriously.

c) How cool is it that we were told to "Go away, and come back tomorrow!" just like the guard at the Emerald City told Dorothy in the movie? How cool is that???

The Official Munchkin Wrangler told us that, as a consolation prize, the Munchkins would step out onto the balcony of the theater where they'd been signing autographs and wave at the crowd. They'd also walk past us on the red carpet on the way to their cars.

"I'll be sure to tell them to walk very slowly," said Munchkin Wrangler, and then he stopped to think about it. "Yeah, they all walk very slowly anyway. It'll be fine."

So we waited and waited some more, and finally the Munchkins -- along with L. Frank Baum's grandson -- appeared on the balcony. The crowd -- all of us who had been sticking it out the entire afternoon -- went wild. Even though we'd been through a lot over the course of the afternoon, I was amazed by how many people stuck around and by how sweet and respectful the crowd was toward the Munchkins, except for the one guy who yelled at Jerry Maren, "THROW THE LOLLIPOP!"

He didn't throw the lollipop, although that would have been pretty cool.

Then the Munchkins were down on the red carpet (walking slowly) and they got into their cars and were whisked away. Oztoberfest was over. I told Jay that I have a whole strategy for getting our autographs next year. Jay's loving response: "WE HAVE TO GO BACK NEXT YEAR??!?!?"

Yes, a good time was had by all.

Now, some photos:

The Munchkins rode to and from autograph sessions in these little cars:








Ruby slipper cookies:



If I owned a dog, I would totally do this:




Where was the lion? It was never explained:




The Witch entertained the crowd waiting for Munchkin autographs. She tormented this little boy for a good five minutes, and he remained completely oblivious:




Myrna Swenson, and L. Frank Baum's great-grandson and his wife:



Lollipop Guild representative Jerry Maren and his wife. Jerry is the one who handed Judy Garland the lollipop in the movie:


Myrna Swenson on the red carpet:



The crowd snapping photos of Jerry Maren:






Munchkin Karl Slover stopped for a minute to talk to the crowd: