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this is not a real offer for free kids August 2, 2008

Posted by Madeline in daily dilly-dally.

This pic reflects (heh), somewhat, the mirror situation in the living room. Since I originally posted about the mirrors, my mom has visited and remarked that they aren’t as bad as I made them out to be.

Well, this is my blog, and I’m prone to a little hyperbole for effect. Anyhow, even if they’re a little darkish and smokey, they’re STILL MIRRORS.

In other news, my kids are driving me nuts. They fight and demand and yell and I’m ready to ship them off to the first taker. Any takers? They’re cute when they’re clean. The older two are perfectly capable of menial labor (it’s just the coaxing/bribing them to do it that’s a bit tricky). The small one will tell you spontaneously that he loves you and that you are a “pretty mama” (even if you’re not) which makes his being around halfway tolerable. But don’t let his charming smile fool you: he has the potential for nuclear meltdown in the middle of [choose your favorite public place; today it was the Dress Barn].


pony July 29, 2008

Posted by Madeline in Uncategorized.

Things are looking up. My hair, butchered into sad submission last fall, is regaining its endearing unruliness.

Since I made the cut, I’ve had many people — many of whom I adore — remark how much better it looked short. But it was simply strange looking in the mirror and seeing the coif of someone else, literally. I could never really own the short cut. I’ve never been a short-haired person. The maintenance itself is something I can’t be expected to keep up on (obviously).

The pony is a benchmark. A good one. Did I say things are looking up?

wed nes days July 23, 2008

Posted by Madeline in Uncategorized.

In York there aren’t “speed bumps.” Instead, we have speed HUMPS, which exist, apparently, in many other places besides south central PA — just so far I’ve not encountered one until here.

And hump day in York offers other new and exciting events: here, we get to watch TWO EPISODES of Corner Gas, a great Canadian sitcom our Moose neighbors turned us onto about a year ago. The Chicago superstation, WGN, broadcasts a show at 8 and 8:30.

Wednesdays are also different because B has signed himself up for banjo lessons. He’s been threatening to steal my banjo from me for a few years now (ever since I started the PhD, really) since I’ve neglected to learn. On his way home from work one day last week, he happened upon a guitar and banjo shop, stopped in to inquired about new strings, and found himself a teacher. I think what really pushed him over the edge into lessons, though, is Iron Horse, a bluegrass group that covers Metallica tunes. He’s got a dude crush on those guys, and every road trip we’ve taken this year has involved listening to “Fade to Bluegrass.”

I’ll admit that it’s a little different than what I’d imagined we’d be playing together, me on guitar and he on banjo (I was hoping for something more toward Union Station), but I’ll take it.

puff daddy July 18, 2008

Posted by Madeline in Uncategorized.

So, today I get my kitties back. Some of you know, some of you don’t, that when we put the house in Parish on the market my swell and wonderful Ma graciously boarded our three cats so that we wouldn’t have to hassle with prospective buyers about allergies or whatever.

Today, my mom is bringing my kitties back, minus one. Apparently two of them did extremely well at the Kitty Chateau De Betty, high up in the mountains of West Virginia among the sheep and other cats. George and Muff vacationed happily, but Ginger decided to run off and get herself eaten by a black bear or something. This is especially sad, since Ginger was our calico torti with 7 toes on each of her front paws. I knew going into the process that any number of them might not appreciate my farming them off, literally, but it is sad that Ginger won’t be coming home to us.

So I’m preparing for the homecoming. And as I unload the catfood and prepare the catboxes, Little J rides his bike in the driveway. And then he comes in the front door, letting a cat in.

“Mom!” he cries. “This cat likes me!!” And in comes the furriest, tail-less-est cat I’ve ever seen. I let him wander in. He wound himself around my legs and sniffed the bowl of food I’d placed in the front hallway.

Puff Daddy, as we called him, hung out in the house until I gently put him on the front step a few minutes before mom arrived. He looked at me annoyed, but I told him that I had other cats I needed to make at home before I took in anymore.

He huffed a little sigh and moseyed over to the van to, apparently, wait me out.

dissipateth…a perfectly cromulent word July 18, 2008

Posted by Madeline in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

Yesterday an amazing thing happened.

It was AMAZING, I say. You’ll never believe it.

I put little J and H into the car (Big J is still with Grandma), and after a quick spin to Target for some on-clearance shorts for H, we drove to Baltimore. AND IT ONLY TOOK 45 MINUTES!

Now, I knew we were close to Baltimore; our exit off I-83 is #15, which means only 15 miles to the MD line. But the plain act of getting into the car and getting to my friend A’s house in less than an hour made it oh-so-real. I was exiting 695 at Perring Parkway after about 40 minutes, and my fanny was not ass-leep! My eyes not burning from hours of squinting through a bug-bloodied windshield! My guts not roiling with carsickness and road burgers! I stepped out of my car in her neighborhood in Parkville and marveled. I no longer need a three-day weekend (and two full days of driving) to get anywhere.

So, the moving pangs lessened just a bit. In addition, I googled PA state parks this morning, and found that there are two parks within an hour drive, one with two lakes and one with an enormous pool.

The funk, it riseth. Or leaveth. Or dissipateth.

no more mr, no more pool, no more buddies. wah. July 16, 2008

Posted by Madeline in daily dilly-dally.

I got my official email address to from York, and alas, I am no longer Mr. Yonker (at whatever whatever) like I’ve been for lo these many years. Instead, I just get the M: myonker.

It’s the small, expected and insignificant changes like these that jar me.

Bigger unexpected changes simply foster a bit of resignation (and make me wonder why I didn’t expect them?). The struggle of the week has been finding a pool. The past several years we’ve been horribly spoiled by having friends with a great inground pool. Hot day? A trip to the Turo’s would fix that right up–whether they were home or not. We had our own public private pool. Here in town, a pool is much harder to come by, and is far more necessary (ack! the humidity is killing me!). Our friendly neighbors have invited us to visit “the club” where they swim (a local country club), but I am not a country club kind of gal. I mean, I am–because it’s the kind of place I would WORK (as a lifeguard)–but I would feel very out of place as a patron. Plus, I would be certain that one trip would immediately have H and the Js begging for us to join, which is not really in our financial future. Ever.

Other pools in the area are “club-style,” which means a family buys a membership and swims all season. Visitors are only allowed if accompanied by members. The local Y has an outdoor pool that you can buy day passes for, but they are $8 a person. It would be $32 for me to take the kids, and with my luck it would thunder after an hour and they’d kick everyone out (and probably not give us that literal rain check).

There is no city pool here, and to make matters worse, no public beach because — alas — there is no lake! Having lived 10 minutes away from two gorgeous lakes (Oneida and Ontario), each with both free and low-fee access, was something I clearly took for granted. I asked a neighbor where the nearest beach was and she answered, I think honestly (but probably not accurately), “Rehoboth?”

We do have a small brook that runs the edge of our back yard, which the boys spend hours in catching frogs and building dams and such. Another amenity is the Rail Trail, which Moose mentioned in an earlier comment, which runs from here south to the MD border (a little over 20 miles). I’ve used the trail twice for my runs, and it’s pleasant, shady, and well-used so I don’t ever feel like it’s creepy or lonely (although it would be least lonely with a buddy!)

house of mirrors July 14, 2008

Posted by Madeline in Uncategorized.

We moved on the fourth of July into a house of mirrors. One full wall in the living room is floor-to-ceiling mirrors. In the master bedroom, a full mirrored wall. Multiple mirrors in both bathrooms, covering entire walls. Backs of doors: completely mirrored.

This new house is a rental, and after 6 straight months of remodeling the old house to sell, we are not particularly interested in taking on any home improvement projects. We’re not sure what would be involved in major mirror removal; what’s behind them? With our luck, we’d end up with a sheet rock job on our hands, and we’ve sworn off the rocking, taping, mudding-sanding-mudding-sanding-mudding-sanding for as long as we can.

So, the mirrors will remain. H, the resident dancing queen, is thrilled. We gave her the master bedroom* because we knew she would appreciate and use the mirrors for her barre workouts.

For a week I’ve had to contend with seeing myself repeatedly from feet to forehead. It’s painful, mostly because I imagine myself as looking so different than I actually do. I like the imagined me much better. And while other empirical evidence often conflicts with my imagined shape–having to buy a whole size bigger in shorts last month, for instance–I still have been able to sustain a pretty healthy confidence in what I imagine I look like.

However, this new clear understanding of just how wide my backside has grown in the last year is the one thing that has saved my training schedule. Not having a moose waiting for me, the south-central PA humidity, and an incredibly hilly neighborhood have all made it difficult for me to get my runs in. I persist, though, in walking down to the track on campus (mere blocks away) and circling it in mind-numbing quarter miles. Mind. Numbing.

*For those of you groaning here, know that the “master” bedroom is only the master because of the mirrors (and maybe 6 or 8 additional square feet). There is no private bath or other extravagance we’re giving up by putting her there. Plus, I don’t have to see myself immediately upon waking, which would ruin my every day.

the ugly in me June 26, 2008

Posted by Madeline in daily dilly-dally.

I’m horribly thrilled that Heather was unable to fulfill the 21-day cleanse.

Something is terribly wrong with me.

she’s back June 22, 2008

Posted by Madeline in Uncategorized.

I just returned from a weekend retreat for the Writing Program faculty of the college where I’ll teach in the fall. It was two days of me meeting and people and trying to remember names, talking about teaching writing, and learning about the curriculum I’ll be expected to teach next semester.

If the dynamic of our retreat offers any indication, I’m going to absolutely love my new job. The faculty are brilliant and exciting, and our WPA is a fearless advocate and leader.

The downside of the weekend is that I stoopidly left my power cord in my room at the resort, and the front desk is not answering my frantic calls. I’ll have to call in the morning again, and plead with them to send it to me in the mail or something. Another downside is that I ate too much food and drank too much coffee, and now I feel all sluggish and gross.

I’ll have to do some kind of detox for a few days. *sigh*

shit! I missed it June 11, 2008

Posted by Madeline in bloggin.

I totally missed my blogiversary.

Two days ago, this here blog turned FOUR. Four whole years I’ve been writing in this here space.

Holy crap, guys. Four years.