My baby sister turned 40 yesterday. 40. pfff.

My sisters' birthdays have always had a more profound effect on me than my own. I've never gotten excited or bothered about any of the typical milestones. I didn't get a car on my 16th birthday, didn't even get a key. I didn't go out for drinks on my 21st birthday. In fact, my mother was in one of her silent angry modes and I got a box with an outfit in it shoved in my face without ceremony. My boyfriend was also angry at me and went to a party without me. If not for my little sister, who hadn't seen her 10th birthday yet, and to whom birthdays were still very important, I would have ignored that milestone completely. But that cute little face wanting more than anything else to sing "Happy Birthday" to me and see me blow out a candle remains etched in my mind as the one wonderful thing from that day.

25, a quarter of a century, was spent somewhere, doing something. Who knows. 30 was spent walking the floors all hours of the day/night with a little 2 week old screaming wiggly thing.

40 was a wonderful celebration with family in a beautiful setting near the beach in Santa Cruz, and 50 was spent in another celebration with sisters and niece getting my very first massage, facial and some other treatment with a fancy name. A wrap of some sort, I think. So it's not that they haven't been celebrated or special. It's just that other people get there before me, so it's really no big deal when I get there.

Older sister milestone birthdays are tough because it makes me realize and ponder the passage of time and it always amazes me that she's "so OLD" and looks so GOOD! And wherever she is, I know I'm headed there next! In reality, she hasn't even seen the top of the hill, let alone gone over to the other side. Numbers matter not.

Then there's baby sis. Every milestone is the end of something, and the realization that whatever milestone she hit, I hit it a VERY LONG TIME AGO! Maybe it's all part of the middle child thing, who knows - but I do know that my baby sister is in her 40s now and that's pretty weird. But it's been 40 well-lived years and I'm awfully happy the tumor my mother thought she had turned out to have red hair, dimples and a killer smile.

Happy birthday, "little girl" - Love you!!



some representative email subjects from today:
fw: seersucker cunning
fw: starfish synthesis
fw: ...
fw: carl cinnamon

Now admittedly, I'm an IT geek, so I know not to open these, but who in their right mind would respond to "seersucker cunning"? What could it be? How to wear seersucker surreptitiously? How to look especially smart whilst wearing seersucker? (Give up!) And supposedly, these things grab words from other emails in your box. Seersucker??? When have I last emailed about seersucker? OK, so NO. That's not it. And frankly, the seersucker and starfish subject lines make more sense than most of the ones I get, as far as normal words and grammar is concerned. (carl cinnamon????)
What I don't get is if these spammers want us to open their infected mail, why don't they just use real language and subjects that make sense? Until they wise up, I guess it's nice to have that heads up.

Sandtoy motoring anyone?!


have sticker, will travel

Apparently both dogs needed stickers.Posted by Picasa
Beware of 3 year olds bearing stickers.


Things I want to remember

"Whip-sops" turned into "lip-lops", but really means "lip gloss".

Using a "poof pick" to pick up her hotdog pieces and dip them in ketchup. (toothpick)

"a-b-c-d-e-f-g... h-i-h-i-a-b-c".

"Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. Up up up up like a diamond in the sky...." (this never works cuz it throws the whole rhythm of the song off, but it doesn't stop her from trying.)

"doc dogs" - those things she picks up with her poof pick.

"ah-bah-lah" turns out is really an umbrella. That took days.
"grey groo" was playground. Ditto on the days. But both of those have been corrected by age...

every kind of meat is "chicken". Honest, we don't have it THAT much...

"When you finish your "pooter", we can play." ...spending way too much time reading blogs...

"OOOHHH, that's BEEE-YOU-TI-FUL" when shown her new bedroom quilt and pillows.

When she saw a "Wicked" poster and said - "Hey there's Bri-Bri!" (Wouldn't it be nice if someday that turned out to be true???!!!)

"Cheer-weeder!" omg cute.

sigh. they grow up way too fast...


rantings and ravings

Nothing makes me want to go buy an American Girl doll more than a group of religious zealots saying they're going to boycott them for supporting a cause. Now, the American Girl folks are not supporting the Columbian drug lords (oh my, here come a bunch of google hits), or assault rifle sales in Richmond. They gave some money to Girls Inc., a group serving hundreds of thousands of mostly latino and black young girls.
The protest is directed at an ongoing American Girl campaign in which proceeds from sales of a special "I Can" wristband help support educational and empowerment programs of Girls Inc., a national nonprofit organization that describes its mission as "inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold."
Apparently that's a bad idea. Don't want any low income girls to actually think they're smart, strong and bold... no - better to have them shoot out dem babies and stay on state support. The real problem is that Girls Inc. supports contraception, the Roe vs. Wade ruling, and even offers support to those gals struggling with sexual orientation.
Now, this hits home a little. My little K was the third child born to a drug abusing, physically abused mother on her 20th birthday. What would her life have been if she'd not been placed in foster care immediately and eventually adopted? What about her mother who grew up in that environment encouraging drug use and pregnancies? If Girls Inc had been available to her, could she have perhaps made better decisions? maybe. maybe not. But that's a charity I'd have to think hard about NOT supporting! The good news is perhaps programs like this will actually benefit from these narrow minded boycotting campaigns.
Yep - I've never wanted to buy an American Girl doll before, thought they were a little overdone and kind of silly, but they sure as hell have my support now. Maybe they have a cute little latino gal I can give my little latino chica.
I'm going out to buy my "I CAN" wristband for now. Join me - maybe the huge spike in sales will send a very clear message to those who need that message sent.
...again and again.


makes a pretty good pirate.  Posted by Picasa

some scurvy bilge-rats if e're I saw some Posted by Picasa


Late, not necessarily better

Took a break - I do that. Lots has happened - just busy stuff, nothing terribly earth shattering.
TLAP day was rousing success. I have some cool pics of people getting into the swing of things. I put lots of pirate decorations up, flags, skeleton pirate people, etc. Also provided on the walls, pirate vocabulary, so everyone could find a word or two to use (they did), and pirate jokes, some funny, some stupid, Pirate pick-up lines, which I had to turn facing the wall with a disclaimer on the other side so as not to offend any harassment-prone people. (sheesh) We had the requisite treasure chest full of candy and some borrow-if-you-want bandanas to really get involved. Everyone got a little pirate flag and an eyepatch at their desks in the morning. I recommend celebrating stuff like this - just for the fun factor - nothing else.

The following week we had "IT Week". There is no such thing, so we just picked a week and did it. (As opposed to TLAP day, which I did NOT make up.) We made project boards with interesting facts and stuff about what we do on them along with one whole board just for jokes.

We had the "new" equipment there for people to look at and play with, people to answer questions, and some raffle prizes. We visited the 3 main campuses of the hospital on different days for a few hours around lunch. An amazing number of people showed up to visit at our two larger facilities. Lots more than we expected filled out our "quiz" (all answers were on the boards) and entered the drawing. Again - a great success.

This was all great, but incredibly time consuming for yours truly, the ambassador of fun. I probably have some decent stories from the events, too, but who can remember?

In the meantime, my niece went and had her baby, a nice, healthy 8 pounder. He's beautiful - as expected from those two! First grandbaby on both sides, so I imagine this little guy won't be lacking for attention.

Also, Miss Theatre Major opened and closed a show in the time since I last wrote. She was in Seussical at CU. She was disappointed in her casting (bird girl), but it was still a fun show and she enjoyed it. Here's one of her renditions of some opening night fiascos...

"For the first number the entire cast is supposed to run up onto the stage which is covered in purple fun fur. I got up to the edge of the stage where the fun fur starts and my shoes slid out from under me. Did I fall? Sort of...
I tumbled to the ground, rolled back up, and kept running. I couldn't stop laughing for the rest of the first number.
My voice cracked on my solo line in Horton hears a Who. I do the "sold" stuff at the auction, but I was so mad at myself for messing up my first solo.
Then my shoe fell off of my foot (not very noticeably- phew!) in Amazing Mazie and I tried to discreetly put it back on.
I started laughing at J. C. (Vlad Vladikoff) and K. R. (as Yertle the judge turtle) onstage. I tried so hard not to, but you should have seen them. Last night was the first time they were in complete costume and I almost died trying to hold my laughter in.
The birds didn't have our complete costumes until last night. We had an addition of "wings" (pieces of fringe that connect to the back of our costume and our wrists) on the Final dress, and last night we had new tall headpieces added to our hats- mine is like a sprout of purple fuzzys about a foot off of my head. This may not seem like a big deal, but I cannot tell you how much of a difference these two things make. We kept getting stuck on scenery, mics, and each other with the wings. The most noticeable catch for me was on the bows when I went up to bow and my arm just stayed up by my head until I could figure out how to untangle my wing from my purple fuzzies (the director noticed this one... embarrassing!) There was more, but I think these were the funniest and most ridiculous things that happened last night."

I SO wish I could have seen that, but then I suppose I'd have had to make for the nearest water closet to avoid an uncomfortable scene - I tend to laugh a little too hysterically at other people's misfortunes. A nasty habit of mine... I am wondering, though - what's up with dress rehearsals these days? Having costumed a show or three myself, I know nothing's supposed to change after the last dress rehearsal, unless it's something like a shoe decoration or a minor piece of jewelry. Adding a headdress? yikes! I am jealous, though - hubby and youngest son went out there this weekend to see the show and visit. I keep talking about how nice it would be to win the lottery, but then I guess I'd really need to buy a ticket or two in order for that to happen.

Anything more will just have to wait. My brain is tired.