Saturday, November 29, 2014

Going dark

I am at the airport on my way to China for three weeks. It still seems odd that I am the one always leaving while Husband stays behind. He is in charge og Christmas this year and we're all a little afraid. The amazing Christmas tree place that delivers isn't delivering this year, so he has to get the tree himself. See why we're nervous? Get it and decorate it. So, he is chickening out and waiting until Child 3 gets home from Hawaii because she will pick a good tree.

Then the only thing left is the presents some of which I can get in China. The children helpfully made lists and hung them on the front door. Chil 3's list says things like boots, lots of boots and I can never have too many scarves! Child 2, on the other hand, filled up her list with things that never existed in real life! Seriously! Totally made up in her head!

Now, granted, some of them are good ideas.  A Totoro beanbag chair is a great idea, but I can't buy what doesn't exist. So she won't be getting much from her list. Child 1 doesn't have a list. She keeps sending me messages saying just get me this one thing for Christmas and that's all I want. And then that one thing changes so I can't figure out if she wants the last one thing or the first. I suspect it's really all the thing that she wants,  but she can't fit all the things in her suitcase, so we'll see.

All I want is to get back home to Husband and the children in time for Christmas. That's it, really. And some jewelry. Ok, lots of jewelry which is why I'm happy to be going to China.

I don't think I'll be able to blog from China. If I can, I'll post something. Chinese internet censorship is definitely not better than a brownie. But foot massages are which is why that's the very first thing I'm going to do. Right after I buy some pearls.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

There is no other hand

So since slicing off the top of my right thumb wasn't bad enough, I decided it would be a good idea to spill boiling water on my left hand and give myself a second degree burn on Tuesday. I mean, what do I need hands for, anyway? You know, it's not like my favorite holiday is this week and my friend and her kids are coming over and I have lots to cook. Nah. No big deal.

But in case you are wondering, here is a list of things that it is really, really hard to do without hands.

  1. Wash your hair.
  2. Chop onions.
  3. Put the leash on The Dog.
  4. Open a letter.
  5. Open a door with a round knob.
  6. Open anything.
  7. Trim your bangs.
Yeah, I really shouldn't have tried that last one. Maybe no one in China will notice how crooked they are. They kind of look exactly like this.

Today, for a change, I thought it might be fun to have some frat boy "doctor" stick needles into my neck and dig around for tissue. Yep, thyroid biopsy time. It went well, but they forgot to tell me how much my neck would hurt afterward. I'm not worried that they found anything because the doctors were very chatty. See, there is that moment when you get diagnosed with something bad where everyone who was all friendly and talking to you before suddenly stops talking to you and goes silent when they see the bad thing. And then you know that the thing you were afraid of is what is happening. It happened to me during the ultrasound before I lost the baby, and again when I was misdiagnosed with cancer that I didn't have. But today, the only moment that made my heart stop a little was when the very young and inexperienced "doctor" at the teaching hospital put in the needle and the attending surgeon said it was a good thing he had used anesthetic first because that was a bad angle. Um, maybe that's why my neck hurts so much? They chatted the whole time and talked to me a lot while upside down. See, when you get a thyroid biopsy, your head is hanging down off the end of the bed and everything is upside down. So I'm fairly certain I will never recognize frat boy doctor again, unless I can see the underside of his chin. It was fairly bizarre. But it's over and I'm very happy about that. I wonder if they noticed my crooked bangs.

A real, working Ebola vaccine would be way, way better than a brownie. Apparently, NIH is close to having one. They say they still have a ways to go, but that would be so amazing! Go NIH! Then maybe idiot governors of small states where no one has ever had Ebola will stop panicking and persecuting courageous health care workers who volunteer to go save people they don't know. Yeah, you know who I'm talking about. Totally unimpressed by the fear mongering. Thousands of people dying from preventable diseases, yet tax money gets spent on imprisoning a nurse for fear she might spread a disease she never had. That's a wise use of public funds, that is. Ugh.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Not the kind that's like a guitar.

So the good news is that Husband is home and I made incredibly delicious roast beef for dinner. The bad news is that I can't get the bleeding to stop and I might need stitches. Stupid mandolin! So no more typing because I'm supposed to be holding my throbbing thumb over my head. Slicing off the top of your thumb is NOT better than a brownie, in case you were confused about that.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Confusic of the night

Husband is on the way home. He made his flight, so we can only hope he makes his connection in Chicago. Seriously, I think it was the travel office's goal to put him on as many planes as possible on this trip. 10 different airlines and about 18 flights. Thankfully, the travel gods smiled on my next trip and I have a direct flight non-stop to China. Yippee!

But anyway, he'll be home soon and then I will leave. And then Child 1 will come home and then I will come home and then it will be Christmas. This month will go by very fast. Faster even because I won't have to go to the longest Christmas concert ever. Seriously, why are the high school band concerts so dang long! Although if Child 2's performance tonight is any indication, it will be an amazing concert. Tonight was the final performance of Phantom of the Opera and Child 2 was the lead clarinet and had a solo. She was fab. She is a very talented musician and I am happy to take all the credit. OK, Husband played the tuba, but I'm the one who steered her toward the clarinet and I was so right! She is terrific. And so was the play. But I still don't understand it.

I saw Phantom 25 years ago in London and I still don't get it. Is the Phantom really that old? Why did he murder those two guys? And the chandelier falls and no one gets hurt. So why is the chandelier such a big deal? It's confusing. Also why is there a lake in the bottom of the Paris Opera? And fog. Where did the fog come from? There isn't fog in the bottom of the Department, and we are located in Foggy Bottom.

Child 2 is rubbing off on me because now I'm writing puns. Knowing that Child 1 misses me is better than a brownie. And finally, happy birthday to Artemis. I hope it is wonderful and I wish I could help you celebrate.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rarer than a loon

There have been a couple of Husband sightings. I'm not hearing from him very often because of the no internet thing and the fact that his BlackBerry doesn't work now. But I have two sightings to report. The first was self-reported by Husband when he got to a post and they were going on a CLO trip and he tagged along. Someone actually came up to him and said, hey, didn't your wife write 365 Bad Days? Why yes, she did! And then MY fan asked to take a photo with Husband which I find hilarious. He better have a copy of that picture because I would really like to know what my fan looks like. I've been pretty sure all along that the reason I have so many hits is because my mother keeps clicking on the blog to see if there is anything new every five minutes. So a fan that is not my mother and not the children trying to see if they are mentioned in the blog is a rare thing, indeed. OK, there are also Caroline and Aretmis, but they are my friends so that doesn't really count. This was a real person who read my blog whom I've never met!

The next Husband sighting was by Husband's Nephew 1's wife. Got that? We'll call her "Lorde." Anyway, Lorde was on campus at our alma mater and saw a banner that has a 10 foot tall picture of Husband's face on it with a quote about how great the school is. Seriously, as if his head isn't big enough already from being adored by my fan! (My fan, Husband. My blog. My fan. And no, you can't go to Yemen to give me more inspiration. If anyone is getting a year away from The Dog, it is going to be me!) So now Husband is doubly famous from stealing all my fans and having his picture up at the university. My picture could be there, too! Except that my major doesn't have as much money as his on account of it not being in the business school and being the kind of major that prepares you for either more school or to say do you want fries with that? Or would you like a venti? So they don't have the kind of money necessary to put 10 feet tall photos of my face advertising their department. When I am rich and famous with more than around 5 people, maybe I will just make my own banner, except that I hate photos, so maybe it will just be of my shoes. Maybe by then I'll have enough money to buy these boots and I can put them on the banner:

Womens Old Gringo Widow Maker Boots Chocolate And Turquoise #L1414-4
And then I'll write a book which will be a best seller titled It Wouldn't Have Been 365 Bad Days if Husband Had Bought Me These Boots.

So I know you are all dying to know what happened with the Trunk or Treat since it happened while I was on TDY? It's been almost a month, so I will put you out of your misery--what happened is it didn't happen. Nope. Husband didn't come up with a theme, didn't decorate the car, and didn't even get the children there on time. They missed it. Completely. Yes, it was on a Friday night and started at 5:30 which is a horrible thing to do to working parents, and yes, Husband had an excuse that was something blah, blah, hugely important meeting blah blah sanctions blah boring blah. But the thing is, it was our last Trunk or Treat. Our last opportunity to win! And we didn't even show or place because we didn't show up. I'm still rather sad about it. I'm also terrified because Husband is now also in charge of the Christmas season and I am not all that confident that he will even get a tree, let alone decorate it to my standards. I'm going to have to try to arrange this all before I leave and I am running out of time. Child 1, when you see him tomorrow, make him promise to get a tree!

So in the interest of time, Solange Knowles' wedding dress is better than a brownie and might be the best wedding dress ever. Of all time! If you disagree, I will fight you and I will win. Her dress has a cape and Wonder Woman bracelets! It is awesome and I so very much wish that I could pull it off. And now I also wish that my wedding dress had a cape instead of a huge bow across my behind. Sigh. 90s fashion. Here you go. Bask in Queen Solange's powerful loveliness.

Solange Knowles

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's like 13,000 out of office messages

You may have heard that the Department was hacked and all our systems were down. This is only partly true. OK, mostly true. OK, it was totally true except that some things worked a little bit. Just enough for me to partly do a lot of things until I got to the part where I needed something that wasn't working. So I sort of mostly finished a bunch of stuff almost. It was not as productive as one might have hoped.

The other thing about the outage is that I haven't heard from Husband in 5 days except for one short e-mail from his hotel when he had WiFi once. When he was in Afghanistan, I would have been panicked by now and would have tried calling his office and maybe have stopped breathing a time or two. But this trip? Nah. Because he's going to places like this.

I know! He and I work for two different Departments. The one I work for sends me here.

And this will be my next TDY in two weeks.

Yep. Next TDY to a place where the food won't kill me but the air just might. However, shopping galore! And oh, the food! If only I could eat it because you might not know that soy sauce is made with wheat. Such a bummer! So Husband, sorry. I'm not too worried. Enjoy your tropical work vacation where you wear Hawaiian shirts to meetings and people bring you drinks with umbrellas and cover you in flowers. I need to stop blogging now and look online for some face masks to bring with me. And maybe a nebulizer. And some oxygen tanks.

The world running out of chocolate is not better than a brownie, but that is apparently what is happening. I think it might be in large part Child 1's fault. It is certainly not mine, although I do occasionally supply her chocolate habit. Can you imagine a world without chocolate? Oh, the humanity! Science must fix this, quick! And while you're at it, could you find a way to make fake chocolate that tastes like the real thing but that I could eat that wouldn't give me hives? Please? I might be begging a little. OK, I'M TOTALLY BEGGING! Just think about it--you'd make a billion dollars, or however much I have in my bank account anyway.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Bluebird of Paradise

So my computer is dying. Really dying. It's so bad that it won't stay connected to the internet for more than five minutes and after that, I have to restart it to get connected again. So I have been computerless and therefore not blogging. Husband said that I could use the iMac which is the children's computer, but it is all the way upstairs. On the third floor! That's like 15 steps! I'm way, way too tired in the evenings to walk up all those stairs, so instead of blogging, I've been binge watching Scandal instead. But now I've convinced Child 2 that she needs to let me use the laptop that she is not using because her school issued her a MacBook which is Child 1's old laptop because we have never taken it to China and it works just fine.

So here is what happened. We were all set to go to the brown bird post. I was resigned to a very difficult move to a place that would sort of work, but we would be together, so it would be alright. And then, miraculously, for the first time ever since I joined the Department, something amazing happened. The blue bird of paradise flew in and landed on my shoulder. And stayed there! We got handshakes on India! New Delhi, and I am thrilled. So thrilled! I have always wanted to live in India. Who wouldn't want to live in a place that looks like this?

Or where this happens.

Or this!

And this!

I might be a little obsessed with elephants. But I have always wanted to live in a country with elephants, especially if that country is India. So here we go! Child 1 is thrilled, Child 2 is resigned, and Child 3 is convinced that we have ruined her life! And nothing will ever be the same again! And the school in New Delhi doesn't even give grades! WE ARE RUINING HER LIFE! FOREVER! Except she still wants to go on a tiger safari while riding an elephant. But other than that, her life is ruined. So if anyone wants a ruined 12 year old to come stay for a while, please let me know because I'm not sure how many pairs of pants I will need to buy her before she is unruined. I'm guessing the 4 I got her today might not do it, so I threw in a couple of sweaters for good measure, too.

Chocolate chip cookie dough is almost better than a brownie. Sometimes, I used to make the batter, bake up half, and then just eat the rest. Cookie dough ice cream was a brilliant invention, and if I could eat wheat, or chocolate, or dairy, I would have some right now. Finding a thief in your house eating your cookie dough is not better than a brownie. The nice woman whose house he was in called the cops but didn't press charges. But I totally would have! I don't mind if my friends eat cookies in front of me, but I am telling all the thieves right now that if you come into my house and eat cookies, or dough, or candy, then the best thing that could happen would be that you go to jail. I won't be held responsible for what Child 1 will do to you if you eat her chocolate before she gets home from Hawaii. You have been warned. Child 3, kindly, says that you may have her chili pepper flavored lollipop that she bought today thinking it was cherry. We don't care about that.