Thursday, April 27, 2006

Okay, not totally grown up yet

Here are Girlie and Sara. I commented below that she's all grown up and then I found this picture on my camera from last week. A fairy and her snake.

Snakes on a Plane

"Mommy? Can you bring staplers on a plane?" Good question. As you can tell, my Girlie has traveled quite a bit. She likes to pack and since we are leaving very early tomorrow for NYC, she packed her carryon today. Since I can't imagine for one second how a stapler could be used to hijack a plane, I told her to pack it. We all know how that will end now that I said "yes" but at least I'll have a blog post for Friday. After she left for school, I snooped in her bag to see what is essential for seven-year-olds in the big city. (Note to longtime readers -- I have NOT snooped in her diary. I will readdress that issue when she hits puberty.) Stuffed toys: First we have Sara the five-foot-long stuffed snake. (Yes, she is not just a figment of my cartooning.) Girlie demonstrated to me how tiny Sara could be squished. Fine with me. Squished beside Sara is Mitty the Traveling Kitty who only makes appearances on trips. She's been to England, Poland, Mexico, France, etc. She should have her own frequent flyer miles. Along these same lines is the purple stuffed dragon whose name escapes me. Office supplies: Girlie packed her plastic office supply holder complete with a bottle of glue, the aforementioned stapler, a bunch of pens, and some broken rubber bands. She also has some colorful origami paper. After much consideration, I've decided that Girlie plans to make her own cocktail umbrellas a la Martha Stewart. How handy. Journals: She's bringing her diary and a travel journal. We're only going for three days but she obviously expects to have a lot to write about. She pointed out that she's keeping the diary locked on the plane. Can't have all those strangers reading her secrets. And that's it. No electronics. No random parts from her Winnie the Pooh Candyland game. No half eaten candy. No bark from the back yard. Not one Polly Pocket. Sob. My Girlie is all grown up.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Celebrating its 214th post -- Go Fire on the Poop Deck!

Huzzah. It's my 214th post and I'm in a celebratory mood. Here's a little roundup for you. Acupuncture: If everybody did it, we'd have no drug abuse and the WAR ON DRUGS would be over, over, over. It's that good. I now have a sense of smell (okay, good and bad) and I'm holding little vials during my treatment that are meant to lessen my reaction to the allergens that plague me. Best of all? It just makes you euphoric for the rest of the day. It also makes you grow armpit hair, dreadlocks, and a tail but those are a small price to pay. Art: Girlie invented Bug Art yesterday. She catches a bug, puts in on a piece of paper and traces its footsteps. The result is a picture of how a bug scrams when it thinks a piece of lead is going to get rammed up its ass. Girlie: She wants us to build an addition onto the house for her that would basically be her own apartment. She's quite keen to have her own keys. She wants her own kitchen and television too, however, she told me that I could come over and tell her when I thought that she'd watched enough television for the day. She didn't even laugh a little when I told her I thought that that she could never watch enough television. She's all over the sarcasm when it's her idea. If I'm sarcastic, she chafes. Sheesh. Hubby: He's visiting a personal trainer twice a week. I feel like I'm married to a rock star. I am even willing to sacrifice THE NEW CAR I SO DESPERATELY WANT if the gazillion dollars we're paying the trainer results in his good health and longevity. He's a keeper. Dog: Cutie, cutie, cutie pie. Come on, get your monkey. Get your monkey. Make that monkey squeak you dog. And that had better be a wrap. I should have stopped at monkey. I'll catch you up on my cats another day.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Who keeps raising the goddam blog bar?

I have blog envy and since I don't like that about myself, I'm going to have to ask the rest of you to change your behavior. You see, blogs have become very fancy lately and I want to keep up. But I don't have the time or perhaps the aptitude. So please, I beg of you, knock it off. Have you seen the beautiful, clever, hilarious graphics on the homepages of some of these Mommy blogs? Some of you even have YOUR OWN DOMAIN NAME. I cannot even imagine how one accomplishes that. I thought I was advanced when I figured out how to upload drawings (Thus the endless string of cartoons. Sorry folks, I'm addicted.). Things that I wish I had: cool retro style graphics, a catchy name, categories, advertisers, weather forecasts, fortune telling, babysitting, and Dom Perignon. Instead I have my own boring name that nobody can pronounce, a free blogger skin shared by thousands of others, and a link to Amazon to buy my book which must be broken for lack of use. Time to do a little Spring cleaning. Number One: My clever new blog name is now, "Fire on the Poop Deck." That is the most common Google search that leads to my site, so there you go. You don't have to change your links (all four of you who link here)-it's just a cosmetic change. Number Two: Next time I have the time, I will purchase a new skin for my blog with clever Mommy looking pirates who write novels. Number Three: I'm going to update my blogroll. If you would like to be mentioned on my site, just leave a comment. That is all I can do at this time. I have another novel to finish, a novel to promote and another one making the rounds in New York. And there's this motherhood thing I signed up for a few years back. Since that's about it for me, I beg of you, quit raising the goddam blog bar!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Happy Ending. Thanks, Girlie

Ah, the fabulous life of an author. Today, I spent hours in a lovely library in a small town for their book festival. About 45 authors were on site as were clowns, hot dog vendors, a dulcimer player and a kid's drum line. It was a hot day and the event planners kindly put the authors inside the building where it was air conditioned. The problem? They forgot to tell anybody that there were authors in the house. Maybe, MAYBE, six people wandered by my table. Another problem? The library had signs everywhere touting its books for a nickel sale. What are you going to go look at? Books for a nickel. Who gives a rat's bottom about authors when there are books for a nickel? The last straw was discovering that more people stopped to hear the dulcimer player with the voice of Snow White twittering away because at least you could see her. The authors were in the back of the library talking amongst themselves. I guess I know 45 authors that won't be going back to that festival. But when I got home, Girlie said, "I'm sorry your morning wasn't great, Mommy." I said, "Well, this is the best part of my day, seeing you." Girlie: "I love making you happy." Sigh. What book fair?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What's that you're wearing? Are you a feminist?

As often happens, Mom-101 wrote a very interesting post today. Her thesis is that we should reclaim the word "feminism" as a positive term. Thank you, Mom-101 for rallying the web. Over time, feminism is something that has defied universal description. Did it mean that you hated men? Did it mean that you didn't shave your legs or like nice jewelry? Did it mean that you grew your own vegetables and spent a fortune on bras because you were forever burning them? Equal rights? How can we grant equal rights to girls? They might get drafted. Obviously, the ideals embodied in the word "feminism" will look different on different individuals. To believe that women are as equally entitled as men, that they can be anything that they wish, that they are not impaired in any way for having been born female -- these are ideals that the entire movement can share, even if from woman to woman you find those who do and don't wear makeup, those who do and don't worry about their weight, those who do and don't prefer the opposite sex for a partner, those who do and don't stay at home with their kids. It's shouldn't be such devisive term. I am a feminist. My husband is a feminist. My daughter is one too. And I'm going to resist the urge to qualify those statements. I think that is what Mom-101 was all about.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I've been meming to tell you about myself...

Go see Obey the Purebreed art and posters by Kevin McCormick. This sneaky militant pup looks a lot like my little anarchist. So now you know one thing without me even starting my list. I am the personal assistant to a would-be dictator. And now for our main feature (I was tagged by Sweatpantsmom and Izzymom), Six Weird/Interesting Things That You Didn't Know About Me. NUMBER ONE: I don't get altitude sickness. I climbed to the tippy top of Mt. Kilimanjaro (almost 20,000 feet) and although I cried like a baby when I got to the top, along the way I slept like a baby at night and never really got tired. It took six days to climb because my friend on the hike, an all-that male athlete, chose the most difficult route available short of a technical climb. Guess which one of us DID have trouble with the altitude? I am woman, hear me roar. NUMBER TWO: I LOVED law school. Yup. Loved it. I even took more credits than required to graduate. BUT, every nightmare I ever have is about law school. My professor looks right at me and says, "Ms. Boucher, can you please stand and tell the class about Wanker vs. Tosser? And throw in the bit about why you didn't wear pants to class." OR, it's one of those "OHMYGOD the final is tomorrow and I never even bought the book. I thought I dropped that class. AAARGHH." Small wonder that I'm a writer now instead of a lawyer. NUMBER THREE: I think that ESP is a possibility. (And I sense immediately that you do too. Oh, Grandma? Is that you?) NUMBER FOUR: I have OCD. Oh, not that wussy little, "Gosh, did I remember to take out the trash?" type that strikes in the middle of the night. More like that, "I've got to drive ten miles back to where I just drove from to make DOUBLE, TRIPLE sure that what I assumed was a pothole wasn't me running over the Mayor of Tampa." Of course, I am symptom-free thanks to Big Pharma so it's safe to keep visiting. NUMBER FIVE: I cut my own hair. NUMBER SIX: I feel guilty driving a Mom-van. I want a Prius. Or a horse-drawn carriage. Or a city that isn't in the top five of the Pedestrian Unfriendly. So there you have it, hopefully more interesting than weird but when your're talking about yourself, you've done well to if you've avoided boring. So now I tag, Lisa at My 3 Sons, Addison, The Liberal Banana, L at Random Speak, Life in the Pumpkin Shell, and how about the LawNut in honor of my law school entry.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hey Addison, Me too

Wendy's creature-nemesis:
The Dreaded LORAX
'What" creature will become your nemesis?' at

The Veterinarian

Girlie wants to be a veterinarian. Not a wussy veterinarian that treats doggies and kitties but a wild animal veterinarian (most likely so that EVERY day she can be at Busch Gardens). So she set up a veterinarian clinic on our back porch. (See picture one.) The tape is used for dismembered worms. The box and the plastic container are for capturing lizards and bugs. I'm not at all sure why she needs scissors. Her plan, and it's a fine one, is to catch bugs, take them to her clinic for an examination, draw their picture, and compare her drawing with a real photograph of the bug in some bug encyclopedia that she imagines we possess. If the bug as drawn by her doesn't match the photo, the bug needs her veterinary services. Very cute and nicely thought out.

Here's the problem. Take a look at picture number two. Girlie drew that last week. It's a picture of a baby owl. I've seen her bug drawings and with the exception of rather easy to draw oval shaped beetles, her representations of bugs aren't much more realistic than this owl. She's seven for cripes sake. But I guess now I know why she has scissors. Poor buggers. They must always have to go under the knife.

More Beautifuller

Girlie got into my makeup drawer today and told me that she wanted to make herself "beautifuller." Apparently, she thinks she would be more beautiful with glasses. This pair was drawn with blue eye crayon. You know, I frequently wear a pair of bluish rimmed glasses. Perhaps she wanted to look like me. How cute.

Friday, April 14, 2006

"The Jealousy Method" - For potty training parents only

Lucinda over at Suburban Turmoil has reminded me about those halcyon days of potty training. I commented on her site about my proven method but it's such an important topic to so many parents, I feel a responsibility to share my knowledge with a wider audience. I know for a fact that at least one of my regular readers has an infant. If I can help even one person..... So, Lucinda, like I did for awhile, is going the naked baby route. Her very funny post illustrates the dangers associated with such a method. When Girlie was two, we tried the naked approach with similar results. Girlie would run around the house shouting, "Nudie! Nudie!" She'd play with her toys, engage me in a game of chase, and occasionally even take a little peek at her plastic safety potty. But the usual result was something like this: she would sit on the potty; do nothing; go play with her plastic toy food; poop while standing up over the plastic lettuce leaf; and say, "uh oh." That really happened. A plastic lettuce leaf spared our carpet. So what's a mom to do? Heh, heh. Find your child's most desired treat. For Girlie it was chocolate chips. Oh sure, you promise her that she'll get one if she does her thing in the potty but that's not the part that works. What you MUST THEN DO, is reward your mommy self with a chocolate chip every time YOU go to the bathroom. Make sure your child sees you eating those chocolate chips and exclaim quite loudly about their deliciousness. Then say something encouraging like, "I sure hope you get to have a chocolate chip today. Mmmmmm." Girlie was potty trained in about a day after I employed that method. You're welcome.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Holy Holidays, Batman. It's almost Peaster.

Tonight is the start of Passover and Easter is on Sunday. Thank you Mom-101 for introducing me to the word, Peaster. Her description of Passover with her family is a hoot. My family tradition is to celebrate Easter. When I was growing up, we awoke on Easter Sunday to baskets of goodies and an Easter egg hunt. Good thing, too, or we wouldn't have the classic family story of the Easter egg hunt at the Oregon coast one year. We spent hours decorating two dozen hard-boiled eggs. Then the Easter Bunny hid them outside while we slept. If ANY of you are from Oregon, you'll guess where this is going. In Oregon there are giant slugs the size of hot dogs with Martian antennae. They love eggs. Who knew? They didn't eat them but they sure as hell slimed them. Then of course my gross brothers started putting salt on the slugs and well, Mom threw up, my little sister cried and Dad and I had a terrific laugh. Good times. These days, being your basic godless heathen, I still enjoy Easter for the jelly beans and stuffed bunnies. I feel a little guilty celebrating a holiday that I don't feel religiously attached to but I love the lack of religious tradition in my family. The result is that I had a grandmother who was a Christian Scientist, I have a cousin who is a Buddhist monk, there's the odd Christian or two in the mix, and as I have such a large extended family, there are most likely Jews and Muslims and Scientologists hanging around the family clan too. Girlie attended a Jewish preschool for a couple of years. Hubby was the President of his church youth group as a kid. It's a splendid mix. It wasn't all peace and harmony growing up in my household but the end result is that we're a very tolerant lot full of strong individual personalities. And for those of you who still think that I need saving, here's a short list of why I'm a good person even though I'm an atheist. 1. I never blog about my inlaws even though they are highly bloggable. 2. I give a lot of money to charity, when I have it. 3. I love my husband and daughter and never beat them. Or my pets. (Okay, inlaws, that's a joke. It doesn't mean that I am suppressing a desire to beat them. Sheesh, now I have to erase number 1.) 4. I like most everybody. I'm a bleeding-heart liberal whose best friend in town is a staunch conservative. Ah, tolerance. 5. I eat my fruits and vegetables. 6. I love my life. See? I don't need fixing. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Peaster!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Oh my God, I won! Well, probably. Maybe.

I am actually going to write this post and not draw a cartoon. After all, it's about writing. At the end of last year, I entered a short short story contest at Writer's Digest. I don't typically write short stories. This was probably the first one I'd written outside of some college fiction writing class a long time ago. Just imagine how good it was. All those years of pent-up short storytelling finally flowing from my pen. Oh the drama, oh the characterizations, oh the descriptive wizardry. All in 1,500 words or less. I was sure the moment I sent it off that I would win. Well, I checked on the Writer's Digest site and they say that the winners have been notified. HOLY SHIT! I'm an AUTHOR. I get TONS of crap mail from places like, well, Writer's Digest. I MUST HAVE THROWN AWAY THE NOTIFICATION!!! I just don't know where to begin turning my house upside down. Oh, and I'll need the name of some good computer forensic scientist to retrieve the email notification that I surely deleted without reading. Imagine my embarrassment. Of course, I won't be half so embarrassed as those Writer's Digest folks will be when they have the awards ceremony and the grand prize winner isn't even there. Shoot, it's almost worth passing up just for the great posting fodder. So if any of you know somebody over at Writer's Digest, just tell 'em I haven't received my notification yet and I wouldn't want them to feel bad. THANKS!

The Temptation of Mom

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Every little thing she said

Some days, Girlie sounds positively scripted. Today was such a day. a.m. Me: "Mornin' Girlie. Are you hungry?" Girlie: "Sure, I could use a well-balanced breakfast." noonish Girlie: "Me and Daddy are working together to do Mother Nature a favor." [by putting the worms Hubby dug out of the gutter onto plants] Girlie: "No time, no time -- this worm needs surgery NOW!" [proceeding to put tape around the body of a worm that had been cut in half] Girlie: "When training to be a veterinarian, you must start with the classics." [worms, apparently] p.m. Me: "I love you so much I could just eat you up." Girlie: "But I'm not on the menu." [just as well, I only have the one kid]

Running and Screaming

We ran across one of Girlie's spelling assignments from earlier in the year. The best part of her spelling work is where she has to use the words in sentences. Without further ado, I present you with Girlie's Words (unedited). I once wrote a story about sponge Bob square pants. I love mommy her kisses are great. I don't have many house erasers at all. If I had a choice of ice cream with lactose, I would choose the other choise. I love the out doors. I'd love to get out of school so I can go to Bush Gardens. I'd love some food right now. Mommy and daddy are great! I love them so much. I'd love to get out of school rigt now then I could play with my toys. I love these parts of Florida. I love to jump up and down on a trampoleen. If it rains will the rain stop? [she wrote the answer upside down] yes. If I was stolen by a stranger would I run or screem or both? [upside down answer] both. So she can't spell but she's got the stranger danger thing down pat. I'm good with that. And there's something decidedly existential about her rain question. Good job, Girlie. I give you a smiley face.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Keep working on it, George.

Bush involved in leak?

Smelling is bad -- acupuncture treatment #2

My second acupuncture treatment was yesterday. Mmmm. Just as good as the first time. We still haven't even started with specific NAET treatments. I think that they were concerned about the fact that I can barely breathe and haven't been able to smell anything since 1992. I don't know how many pins were stuck in my back and shoulders (and arms and legs) but this time one of them was ouchy. They had to take it out. Otherwise, it was all good. I stayed there on my stomach under a heat lamp for twenty minutes and the sensation was simply exquisite. Then I felt great the whole rest of the day. The euphoria is like how you feel when you get a bit of really great news that you were waiting for. So there's the upside. Feels good both during and after. Here's the downside. My dog needs a bath, the fridge needs cleaning, and the cat box could use a little attention. I knew all that but now I can smell all that. Yay, I can smell. Dang, I can smell. Don't ask me how it works. I have no idea. But my sense of smell is returning and all day yesterday I could breathe through both nostrils. You know what gets better when you have a good sense of smell? Shut up, I was talking about taste. That's a good thing, in general, but Hubby won't get away with buying that cheap wine anymore now that I can taste it. Got any recommendations on a good Pinot?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Is "innocent manipulation" an oxymoron?

Girlie arrived at our bedside at 7:15 this morning -- a normal time for her. She was in her jammies, also normal except when aliens are running experiments. Aliens popped by twice in the last -- well, forever -- and didn't realize that getting dressed before being nagged was normal human behavior for Girlie (thusly they were recognized as aliens). Anyway, last night I'd put a stack of clean clothes in her room so this morning I suggested that she go find an outfit for today before heading downstairs. Girlie: "Why do I have to get dressed so early?" Me: "It's not that early. You need to get dressed before school so why not now before we're all in a rush not to be late?" Girlie: "I only got dressed by myself those two times to keep you away from making me do it every day." Me: laughing on the outside but on the inside being VERY afraid of her teenagerhood. She's only in first grade. Okay, it's plain old manipulation on her part, I just called it "innocent manipulation" because she hasn't figured out that she doesn't need to tell us about it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Will the next election ever get here?

Sitting on the floor eating stale jelly beans, the president speaks to his speech writers about a rallying cry to members of the United Nations about the Middle East.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Desperate Measures

Pokedly Yours...

Today I had my exam and first actual treatment using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), more specifically, acupuncture. The first thing I was asked to do was to stick out my tongue. Huh? She looked at it and wrote something down. Maybe it was, "uses Crest toothpaste." Maybe she could read the lines on my tongue and tell how long I was going to live and therefore whether or not to bother treating me. I really can't say. Then she took my pulse, had me stick out my arm and resist pressure, and breathe a little funny at the same time. She murmured something and made a few more notes. Bring out the needles, already, I'm thinking. So she did. (She reads minds too.) Whatever skepticism I had brought with me finally took a lunch break. It doesn't hurt one bit to get the needles positioned and after lying there for twenty minutes under a warm lamp, I didn't want her to take them out. Seriously, it was wonderful. The needles today were mostly in my back and shoulders. We finished up with a shoulder/back Chinese massage and I was high as a kite all afternoon. Now here's the spooky part. My allergies have damaged my sense of smell so much that I can't smell vinegar. Except today I could have. My dog jumped in my lap and I commented to Girlie that stinky doggie needs a bath. Stinky? Doggie? I could smell the dog? I could smell the dog! My next treatment is on Thursday. I can not wait!

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I made Girlie release the lizard. Sob! Sob!! SOBBBBBB!!! "Deep in my heart, it was like that lizard was my own son!" The son she kept in a dark box with no water and little food. We told her that if she saved her money for a month, we would help her buy the extra-large terrarium required for a lizard. Check back with me in May to see if we haven't moved on to other interests.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

How do you define "pet"?

For me it's easy. Cat or dog? Pet. Anything else? Big mistake. But I checked Merriam-Webster's and it says: "a domesticated animal kept for pleasure rather than utility." So, going with the broader definition and her original intentions, I think we have to call the beetle, the giant mosquito thing, and the spider (named, in order, The-bug-Mommy-helped-me-catch, Gabriel, and Charlie) pets. She caught them today after releasing Ron the spider who had survived his day of captivity. Okay, they are pets. She got them what she believed passed for food; she named them, she toted them around in a container; and she even put a label on the container just like a dog would wear a tag: If lost, please return to... kind of stuff. If you read yesterday's post, you know that she had burial plots reserved for them already. Enter the lizard. After buying new shoes for the big father/daughter dance tonight, Girlie found herself with a shoe box. Next thing you know, she'd caught her first lizard. The war on nature is escalating around here. Girlie and Hubby read about keeping lizards on the computer and by now you know where this is going. What do lizards eat? Bugs. What did Girlie have a surplus of? Bugs. Only, as I have explained, these were pets. Were. Pets. I hope they didn't know what was going to happen to them. I wont let her bring the lizard into the house so one at a time, she gazed into her little tub-'o-death and said, "Hmm, what are we going to do about you?" Stomp, stomp, stomp out to the kitchen. Door slam! Plop! Into the lizard box they went. The-bug-Mommy-helped-me-get went first but Gabriel and Charlie didn't last much longer. Actually, Gabriel managed to escape but the intent to feed him to the lizard was there. Before long, Girlie's going to need a coliseum. Let's just hope she never gets a permit to keep wild animals. I'll rest easier knowing that my cats outweigh my dog and aren't in any immediate danger should Girlie get any wild ideas.

Look, Nana Banana, My First Pair of Heels

It's all about the shoes, isn't it?