Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Budding Vegetarian

Recently, Sven and Deb Jr. had a conversation which left him quite rattled.

Deb Jr. is 3, and we believe her to be a genius.  She is, I tell you.  However, even as accustomed as we are to her towering intellect, this conversation caught Sven off guard.

We had finished eating dinner, and Deb Jr. got on her daddy's lap.

"Daddy," she asked, "what did we eat for dinner tonight?"

"Turkey," he replied.

"Are turkeys animals?" she continued.

"Yes," he said, not really paying attention.

"Am I an animal?"  Sven's attention was caught now, and he began to think about his answers more carefully.

"Yes," he said.  "You're an animal, sort of."

"Are you going to eat me?" she asked.

"No," he said.

"Are puppies animals?" she queried, her forehead wrinkling.

"Yes," he answered warily.

"Do we eat puppies?"

"No, we don't eat puppies."

"Are elephants animals?"

"Yes."  Sven was patient, curious to see where this was going.  Deb Jr. took a long pause, clearly lost in thought.  Finally, the ultimate question emerged:

"Do elephants eat turkeys?"

"I don't think so," her daddy replied.  Deb Jr. nodded as though this answered all of her questions, then hopped down and went to bed.

She has only eaten chicken nuggets since then, as she is not convinced that they originate from animal sources.

Neither am I.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The World's Most Frustrating Cough

I am currently in week 4 of battling The World's Most Frustrating Cough. This cough has progressed through several stages:

Stage 1 (December 8th-ish): My throat was sore and swollen, with a throat-centered cough that hurt pretty badly. (Twilight reference avoided, point to Deb).

Stage 2 (December 16th): The cough has become a deep, rattling boom in my chest that doesn't produce anything but sounds like a croupy water buffalo. Don't ask how I know that.

Stage 3: The holidays: Feelin' fine. The cough was still there, but less painful, and therefore easy to ignore when I could easily go to the doctor

Stage 4: Back to work: Pneumonia. At least, I'm pretty sure it's pneumonia, I've had it before. I can't take a deep breath without coughing, I can't sleep at night (for that reason), nothing is coming up, I'm having hot flashes, and I think I lost a toe. Not good.

So, I'm off to the doctor. I might be back later today, or next week, depending...

Have a good weekend, everyone, and make sure you give your pink, healthy lungs a hug of appreciation.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What's wrong with the kids today?

Lack of Muppets. At least, that's my theory.

I grew up in an extremely Muppet-centric home, which helped make me the mature, responsible individual I am today; one who almost never eats entire tubs of frosting and almost always throws the dryer sheets away rather than stuffing them between the couch cushions.

Or, perhaps, a surefit of educational television.

When I was a kid, cartoons were just fun. Bugs Bunny didn't try to teach us anything, unless you count the pre-censorship World-War II era ones in which he taught us that Hitler was flammable. Saturday morning cartoons were the focus of my life for many years; all I really remember learning was that Mr. T wanted us to stay in school and Smurf Berry Crunch was Part of This Complete Breakfast. Today's kids are bombarded by such educational fare as Dora The Explorer (I'm Shouting At You In Two Languages!) and HigglyTown Heroes, whose definition of "hero" gets looser and looser as the series progresses. Any day, now, I expect to hear the following song:

I'm the dealer, and I grow
Pot to sell, and pot to own
If you're feeling too uptight,
Call me up, I'll fix you right!

Maybe licensed trademark characters aren't the problem. Maybe it's the fault of technology. Too much technology has our children becoming far too accustomed to convenience. Deb Jr., age 3.13, can operate her portable DVD player All By Herself. Admittedly, this isn't rocket science, but, still- she's 3! No wonder she looks at me as though I am the world's biggest idiot when I can't remember which button on the remote control turns off the captioning.

Perhaps it isn't them. Perhaps it is me, becoming crabbier as I approach my last birthday that could in any conceivable way be called "early" 30's.

No, that can't be it. It has to be them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mary Sue

I have come to the conclusion, sadly, that I am a Mary Sue. I can no longer ignore the evidence.

Requirement 1: Exotic Beauty. Obviously. I am certainly an "exotic" beauty, if "exotic" means "in a way not currently recognized by humans or the more intelligent mammals."

Requirement 2: Exceptionally Talented. Please. I have written over 7 pieces of music that have been rejected by the prestigious Texas University Interscholastic League Sight Reading Contest Committee. "Keep trying" is typical of the praise I receive for my groundbreaking work.

Requirement 3: Flaws are Endearing Character Traits. Seriously? Everyone who knows me considers me to be without meaningful flaws, as they tell me every time I loudly demand they do so. My physical flaws, if you can even call them that, serve as entertainment to my children, as my son slaps my belly and my daughter plays connect-the-dots with my moles. Jealous?

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Requirement 4: Amazing Powers and Abilities. This is getting ridiculous. I routinely find simple solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. The other night, there was a crisis in our household- there were no clean clothes for Sven to wear to work. All was seemingly lost, the future of our family in question, until I stepped in to save the day.

On my own, I discovered a previously unknown alcove in our kitchen containing a miraculous being that cleans clothes.

I know it seems unbelievable, but this wonderful discovery only requires that you insert dirty clothes, add some soap, and then turn it on. Sven was amazed, too dumbfounded to approach the beast himself, so I waded in and wrestled his clothes into the belly of the monster. I had no sooner done this, than, lo and behold: its mate was next to it, waiting to dry the clean clothes with the heat from its powerful lungs.

This saved the day, allowing our family to continue. I don't ask for credit, I just ask for jewelry and a massage.

Then I invented the frozen lasagne, temporary tattoo, and angled toothbrush.

I know, it seems unbelievable, but it's all true. So, to critics of "Mary Sues" in fiction, remember- there are some of us really out there, just waiting to be discovered.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My New Year's Resolutions update

One of the things I was most excited to work on in the New Year was my voice. Clearly, nature did not intend for me to do this, I have had a cough for a month and can't sing a note. So, score is now Anti-Deb Forces In the Universe 1, Deb 0.

I was also going to limit my Twilight reading. I'm fighting the urge to read Twilight like James fought Edward. That is, unsuccessfully, but with real effort.Unfortunately, I have limited my Twilight reading, in a way, by beginning a vampire novel of my own. I'm not sure this is an improvement. I don't get any points for this because it's really part of the same tree; I'm trying so hard not to write a rip-off of Twilight, and I don't think it is, but I doubt anyone else would say the same. We'll call it a wash, I'm still down by one point.

I was doing very well with the ASPCA commercial. I wasn't crying at all. Then, they switched songs on me. ADFITU 2, Deb 0.

Shaving my legs: this one's for me. I no longer feel guilty about letting my majestic tresses ripple oh-so-gently in the breeze. ADFITU 2, Deb 1.

Bonus points: Using my new iPod, I made some workout mixes that kept me on the treadmill for 35 minutes last night, and it (the treadmill) was on for most of that time. ADFITU 2, Deb 2.

You know what? For January 5, I'm not doing too badly.