Saturday, December 31, 2005

Cleaning House, Without Actually Cleaning

First, Here are The Lovelies, sent to me by The Lovely (I still have a little crush on Mrs. Harridan and her strong resemblence to Kate Blanchett in Elizabeth). The retro ornaments looked awesome on our tree, which was already decked with a retro set given to us as a wedding gift (isn't that an awesome wedding gift? I think it's some kind of tradition.) Do you like the little photo melange I created? It took a hella long time so please gaze on it for more than a moment so it wasn't just a collossal waste of photoshop time, while instead I could've been watching Eric Estrada host the American Adventurer.

Second, I've been lazy and/or otherwise occupied, which does little to explain my glaring ommission of some wonderful people in my blogroll. Here are some world-class B-listers that I've come to obsessively read and check daily: Plain Jane, Eulallia, Letter B, Nancy, Debbie, Mama Tulip, Shrinking Violet, Tink, Brooke, and Honeystrain. If you are one of these people...
I like you a lot!
Will you go with me?
Check one of these boxes __Yes __No __Maybe

Third, I just fished a chunk of tape and a piece of puzzle out of the baby's mouth. I moved him into our computer room to be able to see him better and now he's framed by a pile of laundry taller than him. Does it sound like my house needs a little attention? As I commented to Arabella, it's all I can do to leave the bathroom with a wiped bum and my pants pulled up. Please tell me I'm not the only one to let hygiene suffer a little during the holidays. But look! The laundry is clean and all the dog hair has been wiped off the baby's face:

Fourth, Best wishes to all of you on this much welcomed three-day weekend slash New Years Eve extravaganza. May you enjoy Dick Clark hosting from his gurney or fun and love with special people. I'm thinking good thoughts for all of you for 2006.

Update: I realized after checking to make sure the blogroll looked allright that some of the new names I added and separated onto the B-list might not like the "B" moniker as much as I do. I am enamored with the "B". Please know, if I've put you on the B-list, it is because I really admire you and your writing and I am not in any way indicating you are less of a blog-person. In fact, as many of your fellow B-listers will attest, we love us. We may not get 50 comments, but we're definitely feeling the love.
Update2: Oops, sorry Ditsy! I like you much too!

Friday, December 23, 2005


Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot.

Planet Alien
Where am I going...and why am I in this handbasket?
Pickled Beef
Trattoria Breve
Thought Concoction


What were you doing 10 years ago?
Traveling back and forth from Montana to Portland, being alternately ecstatic and distraught over greeting/saying goodbye to my future husband.

What were you doing a year ago?
Wearing anti-nausea pressure point bracelets and starting to feel swollen with baby Quinn.

5 snacks you enjoy?
* baguettes dunked in olive oil
* chocolate chip cookies
* toast
* pistachios
* edamame

5 songs you know all the lyrics to:
*"Closer to Fine" Indigo Girls
*"Graceland" Paul Simon
*"Creeque Alley" Mamas and Papas
*"Blue Eyes Cryin'" Willie Nelson
*"Bust a Move" Young MC

5 things you would do if you were a millionaire:
*hire a personal trainer
*set up a scholarship program where I get to pick the winners
*travel a lot
*buy a horse
*spoil my family

5 bad habits:
*fiddling with my hair (until it looks greasy and ridiculous)
*comparing myself to others
*beating myself up for unimportant things
*picking my nose
*drinking straight out of the milk carton

5 things I like doing:
*playing football
*watching movies
*people watching

Tag 5 people:
Rivermomma (probably not really her deal, but she's smart and interesting and maybe...)
Ditsy Chick
Brooke (I don't think she knows me, but I think she's cool)
Nancy (she doesn't know me either, but I like her blog and I like her thoughtful comments on Teeb's site)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Distracted By iTunes, Mignon Discovers Gold

I just wrote a long-ish post about scary kids shows (prompted by Lady Elaine, the alcoholic bee-ahtch museum curator in Mr. Roger's neighborhood and by Queen Mama's post about Lazytown with the freakazoid rubber puppets), but Safari imploded while I was being distracted by iTunes.

Which leads me to my discovery! Neil Diamond! Yes, he's been back for a while, and I knew it, but I resisted sampling his new album, because he embarrasses me. Like someone that should've retired gracefully into the sound booth, producing younger and less icky hairsprayed talent. But it's really good. I mean, really good like I downloaded it immediately after hearing the first song "Oh Mary." Plus it brings back memories; the Jazz Singer was my first album. I bought it with my own money and sang along with all the songs in little-girl lust. I have no idea whether it was a good movie or not. Probably not. What crooner has ever made a really good movie? No really, who? Tell me if you know.

But anyway, I started to think about all of my musical firsts. First album Jazz Singer, first tape Michael Jackson's Thriller, first CD Nirvana Nevermind. First iTunes download? This Woman's Work, Kate Bush. Because I'm a mom. Song playing the first time I ever kissed my husband? The End, The Doors. Yeah really.
What are your firsts?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Birthday Ode

Happy Birthday Madeleine! Four years ago today your dainty moss-covered head was stuck in the birth canal while you presumably waited for me to get the job done. Sorry about that - had to resort to the giant plunger to tug you out. Dr. Polo posted a foot up on the gurney, turned on the suction and yanked you out without so much as a "brace yourself" to your dad and me, who were playing a nice game of cribbage. (The cribbage game has somehow become part of my memory of the day of your birth. Although, after consulting with your dad, there was no cribbage played on that day.) From then on, my heart has stretched and grown and often feels as if it will burst with the enormous and wonderful task of loving you. Now I know why mama bears maul hikers (aside from the fact that they look so yummy in all that down). The thought of something hurting you makes me feel violent. But you are a girl now, and you're learning how to take care of yourself in your own way. Today at school when Andrew was poking you during the name song, I was so proud when I heard you say, "Knock it off buddy." Next thing you know, I won't have to hold your hands and cheer when you poop.

Madeleine, when it comes to describing the wonderfulness of you, I am at a loss for adequate words. Let me just say, in your four years you have run us through the gamut of emotions and I thank you for every minute. Parenting makes me feel manic at times, but in a good way. Like a milkshake spiked with Ritalin. Comfort food with a kick.

Lately I've found I talk to you as if you are my equal, which you have proved to be in debate, reason and insight. Your technique could use a little work, but the mechanics are there. During the day, we may argue and struggle, and I lose my shit on occasion (sorry about that little episode at Safeway the other day), but every morning, when I hear you call me in your husky little morning voice, I rush in to see you again. To fill up my Madeleine gas tank. You force me to be a good parent and a good person, and I thank you for that. I love you Teeners. And wish you the best and happiest birthday yet! Now let's go get some sushi and Coldstone!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Black tie evening, greay sweatshirt morning.

The Christmas Party was a big ole luv fest (fer real, yo!) and I left early with a headache and a head of lettuce in my front tooth that my date neglected to tell me about. Jim's company started as a small family business, but now employs many many people. People that drove from Bozeman and put on their finest backwards baseball hats and Michigan football jerseys. And people that looked stunning in bejeweled off the shoulder blouses and garnet-studded jewelry (me). Here we are. Before and after. Guess which is which!!

And PS to those of you that want to exchange ornaments: check back at the comments from 12/12. I need your addresses!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Picture Parade

Tonight is Jim's company Christmas Party. I tried on all my winter dressy stuff last night and decided I hate white, so I'm off to shop and stress about it. Also, the baby has suddenly shunned anything except boobs and there's not much reserve in the freezer. Baby, why do you torture me? So, not much thought here. Mostly pictures, but I'm promise you a full Christmas Party update tomorrow.

Remember my husband's Martha moment with the squash and weeds and such? This is what I get if I ask him to finish putting up the Christmas lights. I'm guessing the blob on the ground is The Artist's rendition of the nativity and the stuff hanging from the tree are the palm fronds? Also, not included in the picture, is the ladder left out overnight for two nights depicting humanity's work in progress. I think we're going to be fined by the Neighborhood Association. (Also, this reminds me of someone's photo of her husband's attempt to put away the pizza in the fridge... Does anyone know where I saw that? It was hilarious!)

Here's the artist and his twin brother. One obviously hogged all the amniotic fluid.

And here are the kids with the almost-finished tree. If you're thinking "Madeleine, please don't push the baby onto the floor", that's what I was thinking too.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Spiked Nog's Making Me Do It

I went to hell yesterday. I mean a cookie/ornament exchange party. I am down on these, in general, because I like my own taste in cookies and ornaments much more than the friends of friends of friends that I meet for the first time at these parties. Who knows if they rub raw pork on their counters before rolling out their mayonnaise and clamato juice holiday shortbread? But. The 5 dozen cookies I came home with were only nauseating because I ate 5 dozen of them. Hence the photo. The ornaments were ugly, as anticipated, so I hid mine in my cookie tin after I saw all the little cheap-o ones hanging from the ornament tree. A plastic car with Scooby-Doo (albeit, in a Santa hat) hanging out the driver's side window? Everyone knows Scooby doesn't drive! Except maybe when he's trippin' on Scooby Snax. I really like classic ornaments, painted or blown glass and the like. The only plastic we have are from previous ornament exchange parties. Before I learned.

However, and here's the going-out-on-a-limb part, with all that said, and feeling confident in those of you I've met in this blogging business, I am proposing an ornament exchange. If you're with me, just comment and I'll think of some way to draw names or some business like that.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Because I've done most of my shopping online this season (see previous post re: temperature), I'm going to post a little concoction of cool/interesting/boring/annoying things (you be the judge) that I've come across:
From LetterB, a B-list star fizzles and dies for being an idiot.
Cat's are terrible dancers video.
Russian ballet rejects.
Like South Park?
These jammies make me smile.
What I want for Christmas: this, this and this. However, I will probably get a gift certificate for here which I will be perfectly happy with.

One last thing: I don't like Jose Feliciano. I wish the 10,000 children he is singing Feliz Navidad with would bum-rush him, steal his microphone and do a little freestylin' to The Backyardigans soundtrack.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

It's Cold

In response to TB's and Wordgirl's comments, it's too goddamn cold to play outside and we've got Rudolph tRNR I and Rudolph tRNR II to entertain us. Rudolph II is the bastard child of Richard Dreyfus and Jamie Lee Curtis. I mean, not really, but their voices play significantly in the second movie which has possibly the crappiest animation ever. It's supposed to look like the first one, which is that weird real-life animation stuff (called what? I don't know) but Part II is a cartoon made to look like low-budget real-life animation. I won't dwell on it, because it has already recieved far too much air time on our DVD player.

On a happier note, I just bought this for Madeleine for Christmas. I had a set when I was little and it was lost in the moves/divorces/younger sibbling fracas. I love wooden toys. Really, who doesn't? In fact it's making me feel nostalgic, thinking about our old collection of Extremely Heavy Wooden Toys. I liked the stilts. Everything was so grand, when I was six inches taller and wobbling. Did they used to entertain me for very long? I guess they must've. With 4 kids my mom wouldn't have kept any toy around that didn't give her at least 5 minutes alone in the shower.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

If You Read This and Feel Confused, Welcome!

I just drove my dad to the airport after he and Jim's whirlwind romance of a weekend. They spent 48 hours in our cold dark basement making love. Har har, no, just wiring the new room. We only had one visit to the emergency room (dad nearly cut the tip of his finger off because he can't see very well and should never be given a razor blade), two crying spells (one by Madeleine when I wouldn't watch Rudolph with her during the scary Abominbabonabmable Snowman parts and one by me last night for no real reason except that we were out of apple juice), eight inches of snow, and much cooped-up inside with the same two holiday CDs on repeat kind-of angst. But yay! The room has Pow-ah! Next is insulation, sheetrock, paint, carpet and much cheap accessorizing by me. I love cheap accessorizing, except my Major Pet Peeve is art purchased at furniture stores or other such generic non-art-ish locales. Like hotel art? It can seriously throw me into a funk just to look at the poorly drawn fruit and seascapes. I'd rather the previous occupant puke all over the walls then draw pictures in it with shaking hung-over fingers than look at the hein stuff mass produced by first-year art students from that school in the back of comic books (where you have to copy the cartoon of the turtle head and send it in with $800,000 to be accepted into their elite program).
My other pet peeve today? Reading Rainbow. LeVar Burton, if he's going to act in anything at all, should always have to wear that harmonica thing on his head like he does in Star Trek. Because otherwise his googly eyes and cloying earnestness while reading childrens books is just a little too "special." I don't really know what I mean by (finger-quotes) special. Just that he is. And it bugs me. And also today I'm not liking Christmas music with no words. I'll stop now, though.
I am now thinking good thoughts. Mostly about cookies and babies that say Ya-Ya repetitively while jutting out their two itty-bitty Chicklet teeth.

And PS: Does anyone know where baby Emma was in the final episode of Friends, because I just saw the re-run and it seemed like everyone forgot about her! Did Rachel forget her? I haven't forgotten her!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Weekend, Nothing to Say, Work in Progress

We got our tree today. Or I should say, Jim went out, found the cheapest thing with real pine needles and squished it between the bookshelf and the old phonograph. The picture shows as far as Madeleine and I got before she got bored and dumped a bowl of water on her bird collection and I freaked out about the water and exposed wires from where the dog chewed up the lights last year. We left the rest of the decorating to the baby but he doesn't seem to be making much headway, unless headway means staring in fascination at the ladder. I thought he'd be trippin like a Deadhead on the lights, but no. The giant green ladder rocks his world. It's almost as fascinating as boiling macaroni. So I hear a spiced rum and cider calling my name. "Mignon. MIGNON!! Mignoooooon? Min!Yone!" Damn spiced rum and cider! I will drink you until you are gone. Get! In! My! Tummy!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Like a Bee Sting, and It Still Itches

I just read TB's post about losing a friend. But not just losing a friend; it was much sadder than that. The friend shut her out, disappeared, then shunned any effort to reconcile or start over. And I wanted to grab TB and sit down in a overstuffed chair with a big Spanish coffee and go over the whole thing with a nit-comb. Because the same thing happened to me!!! I've told the story too many times, so I'll just say this: Maria and I were friends. Our children played together, we spent mucho time at each other's homes, and we had clicked from the very beginning. Then suddenly she was cold, never called me back, and turned away if she saw me in public (this actually happened twice). My first thought was "what the hell did I do/say?" Then my second thought was "Bitch!" but that didn't last very long, because it didn't really seem appropriate. So my current thought is just plain "huh???"
Now I'm trying not to fall into a rut of picking her apart and finding reasons why we could never have worked out, because that's just trashy and seventh-gradey. I've been dumped a couple times, but it didn't feel like this, because she probably knew me better as a person. With the guys, I was young and insecure and idiotic. Hell, I would've dumped me too. But Maria knew me as a grown-up with a sort-of defined personality and coherent thoughts. I mean, she dumped Me. Not Mignon at 19 with her fucked-up homeless wardrobe and binge-drinking tendencies. But Me with two children, a mortgage, a novel in the works, healthy self-image. Huh. It stung. It stings.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What I Have to Say About Racism

I've been thinking a lot about racism, how it affects me, my community, my children and thankfully, I have little experience with it. Of course, I could relate anecdotes that prove it exists, but duh. Racism exists. Good one, Mignon. A better question on this day, remembering what Rosa Park did 50 years ago, is why is it significant that I have seen little evidence of racism in my 33 years. It means that Ms. Park and millions others worked damn hard so that my daughter may never hear the word 'spic' unless in a movie. And my son may never see a burned cross, unless in a history book. And all those people didn't just work at it, but took enormous risks, made unimaginable sacrifices and suffered debilitating losses. What I realize, when I think about lynchings and burned crosses and white hoods, is that I will never have to take those risks, make those sacrifices, or suffer those losses. What risk is it to tell my cousin that his joke isn't funny? Am I making any sacrifice if I argue with my in-laws that the injustices suffered during Hurricane Katrina were proof of modern of racism? And what do I lose if I take my daughter to the more racially diverse parks in town even if the play equipment is broken? So so minor. It's almost laughable that I don't do these things when I think about what it meant to someone in 1960 to tell her boss a racist joke isn't funny.
So with this in mind, I will take my small risks today. And tomorrow. And then I will teach my children to do the same. My children will not see racism at its ugliest, but when it appears we will be armed and we will be prepared to fight our battles. Thank you Rosa Park, for making our battles so small.