So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.


World's Most Beautiful Child

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World's Most Handsome Child

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Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend


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Pharma Drama. And a Winner!

I spend a lot of time at the pharmacy. An exceptional amount of time, considering that I am procuring prescriptions for four generally healthy people. But it is a small-ish pharmacy (so they tell me) and I have been going there for three and a half years, and both of the kids have had at least one minor condition requiring regular medication for a period of time, plus Mia had a fairly major illness which had me at the pharmacy nearly every day for two weeks, and then there are the usual childhood illness that are treated with this and that, plus the usual girlie stuff for me and my inhalers (damned asthma, I thought I left you in my adolescence). And as hard as I try to coordinate my refills so that I am only going once or twice a month to pick up several things at a time, I never manage to do it. Or if I do, someone gets sick and I am heading back to the pharmacy three hours after my carefully-planned bi-monthly run. To sum up, the pharmacy manager and most of the staff know me by name, and I know their schedules well enough that unless it is an emergency I only go to pick stuff up when my favorite pharmacy tech, Kevin, is working.

But that leads to a problem. Kevin and I are friendly. I mean, we aren't close, I know nothing about his life, I'm not the kind of girl that knows how to just make friends with strangers, but we chat and he asks about the kids if one or the other (or oh so rarely both) are not with me, and he totally acts like he either has no knowledge of what medication I am picking up or that he has no knowledge of what that medication is used to treat. Which is a fine way for him to act, but it isn't true. Of course he knows those things, so when my doctor called this week to follow up on my annual exam with the news that the lab has discovered a minor girlie problem for which I should take a pill, I told them to call it into my usual pharmacy without even thinking about it. And then I cringed. Oh no, I thought. Now I have to go pick this up from Kevin. And even though it is no big deal and I am an adult and it is his job, I was just a bit embarrassed. Enough to wonder whether I should choose an alternate pharmacy for the potentially-embarrassing prescriptions, just so Kevin doesn't have to know about them.

What to you think? Do you have one pharmacy? Two? Never needed a prescription to treat a condition you didn't want to shout from the rooftops and let everyone know you had? Never thought about it and now wracked with anxiety about what Steve down at Walgreen's knows about you? (Sorry if it is that last one, my bad.)

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And now the moment you have been waiting for forever! Or at least since Monday! Maybe! Except that Mia has been sick since Sunday with one of those ridiculous fevers that drive everybody insane, and then she graciously gave it to me, and why oh why do I suddenly catch every last germ either kid brings home to me, I am an adult and isn't my immune system supposed to be stronger than theirs? Anyway, the winner of the Tassimo T-20! As chosen by Jedi mind trick! Oh sure, the random number generators claim to be totally random, but everybody knows the Jedi's always win. (Sorry, it is all Star Wars all the time here. Just tonight, Owen and Chris were both standing in a teeny tiny basket being Darth Vader (Chris) and Han Solo (Owen, obviously) frozen in carbonite, with Princess Leia (Mia, duh) struggling to force her way in.

What? Oh, right. Here we go:

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Susan! Check your email, Susan, and thanks to everyone else who played along.

First-timer

Today I went out, to Target of course, and bought a pair of yoga pants specifically intended to be worn in public. This was a first for me. Sure, before I had kids and I used to go to the gym after work every day I sometimes ran into the grocery store afterwards in my post-workout yoga pants. And once or twice over the summer I took Mia to swim team practice in yoga pants. But overall, I have been firmly in the "yoga pants are for when you are actually exercising or actually in your own house" camp. (I am also firmly in the "leggings are not pants" camp, but that isn't really relevant here.)

So I wear actual pants. Every day. But everywhere I go I see all the other women sporting yoga pants, and they just look so... comfortable. And considering that many of my days the biggest adventure is a trip to the cleaners or the post office and also considering that I spend a lot of my time in parent/child gymnastics classes or sitting on the floor at the library or sprinting around a playground to keep one child or another from unwittingly killing themselves, I decided to give it a shot.

So I bought some new yoga pants. Four pairs, really, but three were far too tight in the rear to be worn out of the house. One pair was ok, and I am now considering them my "good" yoga pants. My "fancy" yoga pants. My "formal" yoga pants, if you will. I may even consider wearing them in public tomorrow, just to see how it goes. But first, I have some questions.

  1. Where do you come down on yoga pants?
  2. What do you do about the visible panty lines issue?
  3. If you tell me that you are all running around in thongs under your yoga pants I am going to cry. Do you want to make me cry?
  4. Since I brought it up; Leggings: Pants or Not Pants?
  5. Was that a correct use of the semi-colon up there? I suspect not.
  6. What about the colon though? That one was ok, yes?
  7. Have you entered to win the Tassimo I am giving away? If not, scroll down and enter, the odds are pretty good at this point.

Who Wants a Tassimo?

This post is a sponsored review and giveaway of the Tassimo T20 "Hot Beverage System." (Honestly, my opinion of this product just went down when I discovered it was called a "system.") If you have no interest, don't read it. If you have no interest in the review but would like to try and win a free Tassimo T20, skip to the bolded bit at the bottom for direction. If you are willing to suffer through the second sponsored post I have written in seven years, the first being for KY Warming Sensual Mist, of course, then stay tuned.

So, let's do the business first. In exchange for writing this post, I received a Tassimo T20, a blue color kit, and packs of discs for hot chocolate, Starbucks cappuccino, and some utterly undrinkable coffee that I will not name because some people like coffee that tastes like bad, under-brewed tea and more power to them. I also get to give one Tassimo away free to one of my readers. I am not receiving any other compensation, and the opinions expressed in this review are mine alone.

Ok, here we go. We've had a Senseo single cup brewer for almost six years now and it has been fine. Well, not entirely fine since the original broke about two years ago but for some reason we had an extra lying around so everything continued just as it was. But the coffee was fine, and I am rather picky about coffee as you may have already gathered. At least I thought the coffee was fine. But then my parents came to stay with the kids for two nights when we went to Philadelphia and my mother brought her Keurig with her. Apparently my coffee was so bad that it could not be tolerated for two days. So when I got the offer to try the Tassimo, it sounded like a nice way to get something nice for one of you and also a way to save my mother from packing up her coffee pot every time she comes to visit.

(My poor mother, who is awesome and adored, has now become the butt of quite a few jokes between me and Chris. In fact, my parents recently went on a vacation in South America, and Chris and I spent the entire two weeks they were gone wondering whether my mom checked her Keurig or stored it in the overhead compartment on the plane. We finally decided that she probably held it cradled lovingly in her lap for the entire flight. Sorry, Mom.)

Anyway, the Tassimo arrived, I unpacked it, tossed the instruction manual into the recycling, as is my habit, and got started. Luckily, it is easy to use. It comes with a little cardboard thing attached to the spout with the few steps you actually need to clean the thing and make coffee. The only problem I had was remembering that you have to turn the thing on before you put the coffee (or whatever) disc in or it won't start. We will not discuss how long I stood at the counter pushing the start button before I worked that one out.

The first thing I made was hot chocolate for the kids. This may actually be my favorite part of the Tassimo. My kids are really into hot chocolate these days, especially when we come in from shoveling the few dustings of snow we've gotten this year, but by the time I actually get the hot chocolate made they have lost interest. With the Tasssimo though, I just throw the disc into the machine, push start, and less than a minute later you have hot chocolate, which is almost within the attention spans of my children.

Ok, I lied, the thing I like best is that you can get Starbucks coffee. Chris loves the Starbucks house blend, and I like coffee to be just about as thick and dark as shoe leather, and now we can both have exactly what we want.

So, let's do pros and cons, shall we?

Pros: Makes coffee very fast, also makes tea and hot chocolate and cappuccino and probably other things too, has lots of varieties of coffee and whatnot to choose from, easy to set up, use, and clean, holds a fair amount of water so you aren't refilling it every cup. It also has a large spill catcher, nice for those of us who tend to hit the start button before we remember to get a cup out of the cabinet, and it is removable so you can brew into a large mug or a travel mug.

Cons: The discs are very expensive. They are expensive compared to the Senseo I was using, and hugely expensive compared to brewing a pot of coffee. The coffee is hot enough, but not as hot as I am used to so that by the time I get around to drinking it and still expecting it to be hot based on past experience, it is often cold. The colored inserts are a nice touch, but since the coffee splatters quite a bit when brewing I spend a lot of time wiping it off (I could put the black back in so the coffee wouldn't show, but ot course I forgot where I put it.) It costs $130.00, which I suppose is towards the low-end for a fancy "Hot Beverage System," but is significantly more than my perfectly serviceable Senseo (50 bucks) and insane compared to the perfectly acceptable pot brewers that we all used for years until the "Hot Beverage System" manufacturers convinced us that we needed them. And finally, the little plastic cups the coffee (and whatnot) comes in are not marked for recycling and would have to be peeled apart and dumped out to recycle anyway, which I have tried and it makes a huge mess, and man but doesn't that just seem more environmentally irresponsible than we all need to be for our morning coffee?

So in the end, would I go out and buy this? For $130? No way, not me. But has it fully replaced my old single-cup brewer, despite the fact that I still have about eight bags of coffee for it that I got on a great sale at Target? You betcha.

Now, the good news is that I have one of these to give away, and you can be the lucky winner. To enter, just leave a comment on this post by 9:00 AM Eastern on Monday, January 24. One entry per person, please, duplicates will be eliminated, and the winner will be chosen by random selection. Comments of "I want it" or "Me! Me! Me!" or whatever are fine. Comments calling me a lousy sell-out will not be appreciated and I will focus really hard on making the random number generator not pick any of those. Hey, we're really into Star Wars around here lately, I may have picked up some Jedi mind tricks, so best not to risk it.

Sorry all you lovely foreigners, winner must be in the continental U.S.

Accidental Discounts

Three times this week I have been checking out at one store or another and noticed that something was rung up incorrectly in my favor. First the cashier entered the code for my spaghetti squash but it did not ring up and he moved on, then, after a careful and through review of the coupon I presented, a cashier rang up my item as costing $2, rather than $2 off, and finally I bought 12 bottles of apple juice (hey, it was on sale) and was only charged for 10 of them. Each time, I noticed during my transaction, and each time I pointed out the problem. Hey, I don't think that spaghetti squash rang up. Hey, that is just supposed to be $2 off, I should owe you $4. Hey, I'm pretty sure I got 12 of those. And each time I was assured by the cashier that they were correct, that I was wrong, that my total was correct.

But it wasn't. I was right and they were wrong. Now, I know a lot of people who feel that this kind of mistake in their favor is just their good luck, but I always feel obliged to point it out. It got me to wondering though, what is my responsibility here? How hard do I have to push to be charged more in order to meet my moral obligations? And also, why do I feel I am responsible for correcting the error while I am standing at the cash register, but that noticing a problem at any point thereafter absolves me of responsibility for doing anything at all about it?

(And hey, it happened a fourth time this morning, but at least the cashier pulled the item out of the bag and scanned it when I mentioned it, so I don't have to add a stolen $1.50 hat to my mental tally.)

Loving, a Tip, Resolutions, and a Survey

Well, it seems I took an extended holiday break. Here's what you get:

Things I Am Loving Right Now:

  • Mia calling Owen "Owen Gregory" when she gets annoyed with him. Chris and I don't do the full name thing, so I have no idea where she got it.

  • Owen's belief that the day is divided into "night-night" and "playtime."

  • Mia's spontaneous "The Flu is No Fun" handwashing campaign, which has led to every sink in our house sporting a hand-drawn poster what that slogan and what I believe is a drawing of a hand with a face on the palm vomiting.

  • Owen carrying the Wall-E he got for Christmas around the house, giving him "sad eyes" and then comforting him until he stops crying.

  • Mia's dead on Southern accent. Again no idea where she got it.


A Tip:

If you are responsible for cutting someone else's toenails (I am thinking specifically of your children, but what you do in your free time is your own business), I have discovered the easiest way to do it. Have your victim lie down on their stomach and bend their knees so their feet are sticking up in the air and ta-da! Clip away.


Resolutions:

This year I resolved to make things better in ways that won't make me miserable. Like recycling the shampoo bottles and soap boxes from upstairs instead of just throwing them away. Sure, upstairs is farther from the recycling bin, but I can just put whatever it is at the top of the stairs and both kids are old enough to be mostly trusted not to drink the last drop of conditioner and then I can take it down next time I go. Makes things a little better, does not make me miserable, therefore far more likely to last the year.


Survey:

My least-favorite household chore is taking the vacuum cleaner apart and pulling all the hair out of the hoses and unwinding it from around the brush. I did it this morning for the first time in a long time and Mia's hair is past her waist, so you can imagine what I found in there. On the plus side, the vacuum works much better when it is not entirely clogged with hairballs.

What's your least-favorite household chore?