Better days

Apparently, someone said something to Mr. Drunkyface, because Roxie hasn't been loose since I wrote that post, nor has she been put outside early in the morning to serve as the neighborhood's barking alarm clock. Which is good, because hitting her snooze button was going to involve a solidly thrown shoe.

And a side note to Anonymous: yep, that's North Carolina for you. It's also Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Nebraska, and every other place in the world, because in case you hadn't noticed, there are trashy people in the country, the ghetto, and even the so-called best neighborhoods in the most Charming Cities. So no dogging (har har har) my state, you big poopy.

Anyway. Today we hit the Cary Spring Daze festival, which was absolutely adorable. It was really just like any spring fair, with a heavy emphasis on sterling silver jewelry and photographs of giant daylilies, but the earthy section was informative (we're going to get a rain barrel from the city so we don't get busted watering during the current drought!) and the street performers were a fun touch. The best part was that we went on a day when the weather was great, and not once did I get chawed upon by a mosquito. This is probably because they're all building their mosquito condos under our deck and sharpening their probosciseseses to insert more efficiently into my flesh.

So! Photos! Here is a photo of Norah ignoring the swarthy pirates swordfighting before her, and instead focusing intensely on a leaf:

And here is a photo of the closest Rob will be in the forseeable future to piloting his own plane:

And here is a photo of Norah's very first black eye, which she earned by not shettin' up and lettin' Mama watch her stories!

(Actually, she wiped out while holding on to my desk chair and jabbed herself with the seat-lifty lever. Oh, man, did I cry - the guilt invoked by your mom is NOTHING compared to the guilt you feel when your kid does something appropriately kidlike and gets a booboo. It wasn't my fault, and yet OH YES IT WAS.)

And because you didn't go awwwww in a good way yet, here is Norah posing in front of our swanky new mulch yard - her swing hangs from the tree behind her:

Wait... wait... NOW. Awwwww.

I love the spring.

Really, now

Okay, this is it. It's freaking five-something in the morning, and I've been awake for an hour because Roxanne the neighborhood Rottweiler said I should be.

Roxie is about six months old, and she's just starting to get gangly and dog-teenagery... and bitey. She's bitten several of the neighborhood kids, not because she's mean but because no one is teaching her not to. She roams the yards (yard, really - since we're all connected, so's our grass) off leash, and I can't tell you how many times I've grabbed her, taken her back to her house, and shoved in the door. No knocking, no "here's your goddamn dog, jerkfaces," just shoved her in.

Roxie belongs to That Guy, the one with the girlfriend with the little girls who are allowed to roam the street with the same reckless abandon. The guy who's drinking or drunk or passed out. The one who is, we're fairly sure, selling drugs out of the house. The one with the GUNS.

* Side note: A bunch of us finally got together, took a deep breath, and called social services about the kids. An officer came out and checked things out, and of course it was on a day when the place looked clean and the kids were happy and smiley because they'd been at my house, coloring with sidewalk chalk. So nothing happened. Meanwhile, That Guy continues to smack Mom around and call her a whore and other choice phrases, and the girls see it all.

I guess I should call animal control about Roxanne... or the cops? Is this a cop-calling offense? Having never complained about a neighbor before, my knowledge of complaint resources is a little slim. I can tell you this, though: if that dog ever gets shut outside again, barking and whining, at such an ungodly hour, I'm going down there and busting some heads. I NEED MY SLEEP, dang it.

-- Crankypants, for a good reason.

Back from Hilton Head, back at work

Today while making lunch:

Kid 1: I don't like to eat that mega noodle soup.
Me: Why not?
Kid 2: The noodles are too noodley. My sister does not like noodley noodles.
Me: Well, no, who does?

And it all made perfect sense, one more indicator that perhaps I went to bed a little too late last night.

Why couldn't it have been John Cusack?

First, I must share with you that someone named Boobyhead Jackson showed up in my dream last night, and when I woke up, I thought, that is just what I deserved for being a smartass about our political candidates. Elections are very serious and I shouldn't mock people who are trying to make a connection with a clever and conversation-stimulating nickname.

But then I thought NIFONG! NIFONG! and made myself laugh, and felt much better.

I really have no news - I just wanted to use my one excuse to say Boobyhead again. Tomorrow's MaturityThon will include several rounds of "nana nana boo boo" and everlasting cootie shots.

Tired and bored - can you tell?

Real quick before I go to bed

Just so you know, "Naughty" Nauseef has been joined by "Ziggy" Zimmerman and "Bunkey" Dean in the Election of Those With Whom I Would Most Like to Get Drunk. What is in the water down here? I want to run for election so I can make myself a sign that says "Annielicious = Ass-kickin' District Attorney."

(I'd totally win, too, because our current DA is just wallowing in shit these days, what with the whole Duke rape-or-not-rape thing... Whether you believe the girl or not, you've got to be sick of hearing "district attorney NIFONG." That's not a name, that's a gardening tool, or perhaps a Chinese eating utensil.)

On another, only slightly different note, how fun would it be to print these signs? You could put any damn thing you wanted to on there, and the candidate would be stoked. "Boobyhead Jackson! That's brilliant! I am sure to win the auditor race now!"

At the moment, I'm blogging in the dark while Rob watches Good Night and Good Luck. Right now we could be a seriously modern and sexy smartypants couple, except that the only thing that excites me about this movie is George Clooney. Who is sexy, but not on that uber-trendy level. Damn. Might as well go to sleep now.

Flip flop weather

Hot! Sweaty! Wonderful!

No really, it's lovely here. It's about 85 degrees, and sunny, and my fabulously fabulous new garden is - dare I say - thriving. Now that the nights are longer and it's light until about midnight, we can sit outside and watch the mosquitoes eat the baby. We've been using kid-friendly Off!* wipes on her, and while I appreciate the lower level of DEET, I'm just not sure it's effective against bugs who can arm-wrestle with you while you put it on.

* Why is it that items targeted at younger people have exclamation points in their names? Off! Yahoo! It's like we're not listening, so someone has to yell it at us. Because of pressure from parents like me, Ikea will be changing their name to Stop Eating the Coffee Table, Because It's the Only One We've Got, It's Too Far to Go Get Another One, and We're Too Cheap to Get a Nice One!

My coughing has gotten better, except at night, when I'm still pretty messy. This means I haven't been sleeping well, which means I haven't really been inspired, funny, or entertaining (and now you say, "But when are you that otherwise?" and we laauugh.) What amazes me is how well ROB sleeps, even when I'm bent double, taking huge gasping breaths and barking like a seal. It must be something residents pick up when they're trying to sleep in the hospital - when people are whooping their way toward death right next to you, you just mumble something about "antibiotics in the morning" and roll over.

We're not exactly good churchy folk, so to celebrate Easter we're going to the NC Zoo, a mere 85 miles away, to give Mademoiselle her first look at wild things other than Astrid. ("Mere" is totally relative. Compared to our recent escapades to Indiana and Hilton Head, Asheboro is just a hop.) It should be pretty cool; the maps seem to include all the necessary animals - although if you have monkeys, what else do you need? - and all the parking and shuttles and such are free. And after filling the gas tank yesterday ($44!) that freeness is enough to make me sing hallelujah, so we might have a little religion after all.

We're also going to see the Big Bunny at the mall so that Norah can actually wear the precious Easter dress Rob's mom sent from Philadelphia and be photographed doing something conventionally Easterish. This is, of course, pending her acceptance of being held by a giant rabbit; she's just started to experience stranger anxiety, so something with plastic eyes bigger than her face might not be entirely okay. But we will try, and we will send the photo to the grandparents, and we will be GOOD PEOPLE.

Happy Easter to you, whatever you do about it. Mmmwa.

Because you can't make this shit up

It's election season in Durham, and a local lawyer has added his name to the rolls for judge. Check out what his name is. It actually says this on his campaign signs, and every time I pass one, I think, "Sir, you are completely out of your gourd... and yet somehow I could see myself voting for you eight or ten times."

We went to Hilton Head this weekend, where for once we didn't have a project to complete (such as my grandmother's birthday party, repainting the entire house, or perhaps building a full-size replica of Mount Rushmore in their yard) and what happens? I spend the entire weekend hacking and hocking and coughing my eyes out of my head with what has turned out to be pneumonia. WHO GETS PNEUMONIA IN APRIL? I mean, seriously. WTF already.

Norah can now "cruise," a pediatrician's term for "stagger around like a tiny wino holding onto the furniture and singing Irish drinking songs." I saw her do this and my heart stopped, because this means that everything in our house from my waist down will have to be elevated and/or nailed down, including my pants, because she definitely pantsed me this afternoon. I have been pantsed. By someone to whom I gave life! The injustice here is striking.

I'm going to bed, where my z-pack will most definitely start working and I'll pass out breathing steadily, with no rales and no racket in my lungs. And I love you all, but from way over here, so you don't get my cooties.

The weekend, plus a day, by the numbers

Days since I've updated this blog.

Times I thought to myself, "Hey, you should update your blog, asshole."

New shrubs, bushes, and other foliages planted in our side yard, which refuses to grow grass (we'll defeat you, you dastardly yard! We'll just mulch your dead, non-growing expanse! Ha!)

Pieces of mail I received with glitter and/or a funny photo (ride the chicken indeed, you-know-who-you-are!) on them yesterday.

Years I've had to hear about the

Day I was born, which was

Happy birthday to me!