Bye-Bye, Birdies

  • Posted on April 3, 2008 at 6:08 pm

Ever since Larry and I moved into the townhouse, there has been something living in the vent above the microwave oven in the kitchen.

The first time I heard them, as my mom and I were unpacking the kitchen, I freaked out a bit. I like animals, but not wild ones living in my house. My overactive imagination assumed that it was a family of pterodactyls or giant R.O.U.S.’s (Rodents of Unusual Size, duh.) I positioned a scary looking plastic iguana in the cupboard over the microwave to scare away any critters should they find a way out.

However, I soon heard little tweets and chirps, and realized that birds had taken up residence. Smart birds, obviously, because the vent surely stayed much warmer than any raggedy nest they could have lived in outside in January. To get them to shut up, I’d turn the fan on, but it didn’t do much. I called the property managers, and they sent pest control out to ‘take care’ of the situation. They determined that it would be too hard to remove them from the vent, so we were to let them live there until they were old enough to fly out, at which point they would cover up the vent opening on the outside of the house.

Naturally, I befriended my little freeloaders. Every morning, they chirped when they heard me in the kitchen, and I’d say hello, and ask how they were doing. I gave them names: Mustang Sally was the mom, and the babies were Eleanor Rigby, Lovely Rita and Michelle Ma Belle. The babies hit puberty in February, and they got louder (presumably lots of fights with Sally, door slamming, etc.) They also became mean, and would laugh at me if I dropped or spilled something. Little bird bitches, they don’t know how good they had it, living in the vent.

Being the smart little birds that they were, I’m fairly certain that they were building an amusement park for birds, complete with rides and funnel cakes. Inside our vent.

Larry noticed that they were flying in and out of the vent opening during the day (with the amusement park items), so the time had come to send them on their way. Pest control came back out to the house yesterday and sealed the opening, the door to their home and future amusement park.

Damn it, I miss those little birds.


Millionaire Slacker

  • Posted on March 5, 2008 at 8:06 pm

I am a complete SLACKER. It’s been far too long since I updated the blog. But for a good reason: besides the whole growing a baby thing, I’ve won several online lotteries!!! Lotteries that I didn’t even enter! It must be the internet lottery fairies signing me up for all these great contests. I’ve been spending my days and nights dreaming up how I am going to spend all my winnings!

I’ve received these winning notifications in my inbox. Just look at all these fabulous prizes:

  • Mark Dulle, Online Coordinator for THE BRITISH LOTTERY, informed me that I won 590,983.00 British Pounds from BRITISH ONLINE INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY.
  • I was notified by Mr. Marcus Green, that I won £500,000.00 and a new Model Range Rover car in the Range Rover Automobiles Lottery.
  • Then, I won ANOTHER Range Rover from the ONLINE LOTTERY SWEEPSTAKES PROMOTION just a few days later!
  • I got an email saying that I won a lump sum pay out of Euro (One Million Euros) from the Euro Millions Lottery Winners International E-mail programs.
  • I won a total sum of£516,778.00 (Five Hundred and Sixteen Thousand,Seven Hundred and Seventy Eight Pounds Sterling) from UK NATIONAL LOTTERY, Sweepstakes International program.
  • Most recently, Mr. Mou Xinsheng from China wants me to receive money on his behalf. This one is definitely the most cryptic of all messages, but it could be promising!!

Can you even believe how lucky I am? I am so busy though, I haven’t had the time to contact these lottery programs to claim my prizes. If anyone wants to claim them on my behalf, I would be glad to forward you the email addresses of the esteemed gentleman that originally contacted me. There are some great pointers on collecting the prizes on this website, with examples on how to engage in a long, meaningful dialogue with the scammers lottery managers.

How to Feel Like A Complete Jerk

  • Posted on January 15, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Yesterday I went to the grocery store after work and picked up, oh, a gazillion things. I went to checkout lane number five, and it looked just like every other checkout line. I unloaded all my items onto the cart and waited my turn. The cashier informed me as she began scanning my items that she was an express lane. Fifteen items or less. Uhhh…..I apologized profusely and looked for the sign that I clearly missed. You know how most grocery stores have “express lane” lit up right above the lane number? Well, this place did have a giant sign that said express lane, but it was a plain old sign hanging from the ceiling, and it just sort of blended in with the background.

I felt like a total jerk. I just stood there, eyes downcast, avoiding the stares of the people in line behind me. So glad that the cashier was speedy and had all the produce SKUs memorized. And to get just maybe a little sympathy, I opened my coat a little so people could see my growing pregnant belly, and take pity on me. It may have worked, because no one said anything mean or threw any rotten tomatoes at me.

Winter Sucks

  • Posted on December 5, 2007 at 10:07 pm

I live in Bethesda, Maryland and work in Alexandria, Virginia. For those of you outside the DC Metro area, that means I have a long commute–25 miles one way.

I must have some sort of chromosomal abnormality, because I waited until after 6 p.m. to leave work today, during the great blizzard of December 5, 2007. Retard.

In those 25 miles, guess how many snow plows I saw? Zero. How many salt trucks? One. And it was one block from my house. I was already in the home stretch by then, and could have practically slid into my driveway. Come on, VDOT. I watched Fox 5 this morning, and they said that there were 253 plows and salt trucks ready to go. Virg Jacques was broadcasting live in front of a giant dome of salt. Where were you tonight, plowers and salters? Thanks a lot.

Actually, the roads weren’t that bad, but this is coming from a midwestern girl. A little snow has never stopped a Hoosier. Back in Indiana, I had to drive 30 miles uphill to school in blizzards every day, even in the summer. Seriously, the roads weren’t that slick tonight. The biggest problem I had was visibility, and trying to stay within my lane. I know how to drive in snow. It’s the others I’m worried about. Thank science that most of DC had already left work hours before, so the traffic was light. Maybe I’m not a retard after all, because had I left at 3pm, I probably would have gotten home at 6pm.

Don’t even get me started on what happened on the way to work this morning, when it had barely snowed at all. Someone must have fired all the principles and superintendents around here that usually cancel school at the threat of snow. Last year, all it took was a forecast. I think today that most schools were in session, because all the parents were on their way to work at the same time I was this morning. I saw cars in ditches, smashed up cars, cars split in two—and the roads were practically dry.

Ah, DC. How I loathe you when it snows.

20 Weeks: The Big Ultrasound

  • Posted on November 21, 2007 at 9:22 pm

It’s a girl!

I had the big ultrasound today, and my intuition was right! There’s a little girl in there! I’m so excited, and it seems so much more real now–a daughter. I wonder if she’ll be a blondie, like me.
Butt Shot


Side View

Of course, I would have been just as happy with a boy (and I would have gotten used to the soccer and baseball and basketball games). As I’ve been telling people all along when they ask, I just want the baby to be a boy or a girl, not both, not neither, and not one that wants to be the other.

I’m the oldest in my family, so having a girl first makes sense to me. Having a boy first does have it’s own advantages, though. If he has a younger sister, he can beat up any boyfriends and be that cool protective older brother. He can watch football with his dad. (But wait, can’t boys do that stuff even if they aren’t first born? hmmm…) Well, there’s no use thinking about that now! The first born is a girl. Maybe she can watch football with her dad.

Everything else is just peachy with the pregnancy so far. But I do miss wine. And sushi.

Surprise, Surprise!

  • Posted on November 15, 2007 at 6:42 pm

What’s the best way to start the day? Getting a prize in your cereal!

Wow! A Breakfast Prize!

Totally unexpected and delightful. It just fell out as Larry was pouring the cereal into his bowl. Do you remember HOW COOL it was to get the prize out of the cereal when you were a kid? I remember tipping the cereal boxes, trying to catch a glimpse of the toy inside, and reaching my arm all the way down the box to nab it before my brothers got it.

(And ahem, we do not eat children’s cereals around here. Cinnamon Toast Crunch is made with whole grains, people. It’s definitely an adult cereal.)

Wii Got It, Yeah Baby Wii Got It

  • Posted on November 11, 2007 at 7:17 pm

The day has finally come. After months and months of pining, waiting, dreaming and longing, we finally got it. The Nintendo Wii.

Nintendo Wii

Larry called Target this morning around 9 a.m., after he checked the online advertisement and realized that yes, Target was getting in Wii’s today and dang it, we didn’t check the ad last night and plan on getting up early enough so that we could arrive before the store opened. Still, at 9:12 a.m., Target had four left at that very second. Gah, he said. We’ll never make it in time. They will be gone. (Pessimist.)

We decided to give it a try anyways, and jumped in the car with no make-up, no breakfast in our bellies and sleep still in the corners of our eyes. When we got to the store, we ran to the electronics section (well, not quite running, after I almost tripped on my own feet TWICE.) Larry the pessimist said “see, they’re all out. No more Wii’s.”

But wait! What’s that? Two Wii’s sitting right there! On the counter! The friendly electronics guys, my new BFFs 4ever, asked if we wanted one. OMG OMG OMG. Of course we want one! Not wanting to believe that it was true, I said “really? REALLY? We can have one of those?” They handed the box over, and said that yes, we could really have one, and that our dream has really come true. Those electronics guys, I love them. They must feel like heroes, making dreams come true every other Sunday morning. Larry was too overcome with emotion to even speak. He was blubbering, I swear. I thought for a second that he was going to cry.

Our Wii was the second to last one in the store. We shall call him Neil.

Larry thinks the baby will be a Wii genius by the age of five, if we start him/her off young. I told him that the baby would probably eat the controller long before s/he ever understands how to play.

To all our lucky friends…Wii party, very soon…

P.S. This holiday season, think of Wii.

Then Comes Grumpope* in a Baby Carriage

  • Posted on November 4, 2007 at 5:22 pm

I have a secret. I’m going to tell all of you right now.

I’m pregnant!

That’s right, knocked up, preggers, with child, expecting, got a bun in the oven.

It’s becoming fairly obvious now, and even my clients at work know, so I figured it’s time to tell the world. I’m about 18 weeks along, and my due date is April 9, 2008. That’s two days after my own birthday. I’ve even started to feel the baby move around a bit, like a fluttery spastic sensation in my belly. Everything has been going great so far, with absolutely no morning sickness or nausea of any kind. My symptoms have been mild: I have experienced the fatigue (they’re lying when they say you aren’t as tired in the second trimester) and my feet have swollen a couple of times after standing for a long time. And of course, my pants are too tight in the waist.

The BIG ULTRASOUND is scheduled for November 19, when we will receive confirmation on what I am already sure of: it’s a girl.

I’ll try not to turn this blog into a blubbering baby extravaganza. But it might turn into one anyways.

*PS. We’re calling the baby grumpope right now because it started off looking like a tadpole. Grumpope is the family frog name.

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage

  • Posted on November 3, 2007 at 8:05 pm

When did you realize that you were with “the one?” This question has been on my mind lately, having just found out that three of my good friends are engaged. (Congrats to Amy, Saiful and Etaf!) I jokingly told Larry that I’m still not sure if I know he’s the one. But the real story is that one morning, a few months into the relationship, we were together and I just had a sudden feeling that I would be with him forever. It wasn’t the first moment I laid eyes on him like a Hollywood perfect romantic comedy. After a few months of being together, I knew that he was different, and he was the one. And only five years later, we were married! We lived together for three years before getting married, so I was pretty sure what I was getting into when I said “I do.”

Saiful and Etaf, newly engaged to each other, have also had a fairly long relationship (although I don’t know exactly how long they’ve been together). I know that they’ve known each other for a long time, and they are so in love and perfect for each other. Etaf is marrying her boyfriend and her best friend.

Amy’s story is the one that got me thinking. She’s been seeing Mark for seven weeks. Larry and I had dinner with them about a month ago, when we met Mark, and Amy told me that they were just getting to know each other, taking things slowly and carefully. After a few weeks of being out of town and incredibly busy at work, I emailed her to see how things were going and I learned that they got engaged this past weekend! I was speechless. I am still in shock, I think. And incredibly happy for Amy, of course. I told her that I feel like I missed a chapter in her life, it happened so quickly.

And while I never thought that Amy would fall so quickly for someone, she said that she just knew. That it feels right. So maybe it doesn’t take years, or even months, to really know. As long as you can be sure that they aren’t a serial killer and they don’t have another wife or two on the side.

To true love and happiness.

Every Night I Burn

  • Posted on October 30, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Happy Devil’s Night!

Where I grew up outside of Detroit, the night before Halloween was Devil’s Night. In Detroit, the city burns on Devil’s Night. You don’t leave the house after dark. There is a city curfew. If you made the mistake of leaving your jack-o-lanterns outside, you can bet that they will be smashed in the street the next morning. (I remember  being crushed one year when I discovered that my masterpiece was destroyed–I felt so victimized. And I surely blamed my parents for not putting the pumpkins inside for the night.)  You also might have toilet paper in your trees and eggs smashed on the side of your house when you wake up.
It was only when I moved away from Michigan that I discovered that this phenomenon is unique to Detroit. I seriously thought that it was a National Holiday.
It’s been over 13 years since I moved away. Who knows, maybe Detroit finally has Devil’s Night under control.