frontpage hit counter

Archive for February, 2005

Mail Call

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-28-2005

Today,The Baby received her air-miles statement from Delta Airlines.

The Baby cannot read, but she has an air-miles card. In fact, she has had one since she was two years old.

One part of me would love to put The Baby up in Business Class one day, by herself- or perhaps with The Boy, to add a little vocal depth- and see how the (insert politically correct name for air plane personnel here) would handle a nine hour flight with them. I could learn some helpful tips, perhaps that five is not too young for champagne. I’m sure that somewhere in France, a french family resorts to that just all of the time.

And another voice in my mind- that one hauling the dredges of the sixties around in it’s wake- is whispering : there are children in Biafra…

Red Letter Day

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-27-2005

Tomorrow is the first day of The New Company, a fact which feels like it should be mentioned, preserved in some form.

The cast has been assembled, hand picked by The Father, the offices rented , the desks and computers are in place.

On Friday- in fact- The Father wheeled The Baby and I over to view everything.

Now, despite the fact that The New Company has already done very well and is truly being lauded by all who view it’s wares, I still find myself to be a bit nervous.

After all, it is new.

But it looks mighty fine and well worth the gamble. Although- truth be told- there doesn’t seem to be much of a gamble involved, simply my inherent penchant for drama rising to the surface.

I’ve been in this business for twenty years, I know how it goes. Even the Henny Penny in me knows, this is a good move, a gamble worth taking. And my threshold of risk taking is very low indeed.

Believe me, when the gentle words Ik Rik tumble from my lips, my partner and I shall win.

( Here I must add that very few people have ever heard those words pass my lips…)

But tomorrow is the first day of The New Company, a fact which feels like it should be mentioned, preserved in some form.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-26-2005

A few weeks ago, both The Father and I were hovering around the conclusion that buying The Girl a horse ( well, a pony) had been a terrible mistake.

And then, a week or two later, I was sitting in the bath, my mind drifting through time , and I found myself sitting in the living room in Acton, watching a Columbo re-run one week-end with my Mother. I was always coming home from college and University to watch Columbo re-reruns with my Mother.

I was sitting on the floor, she on Dad’s red chair and we were sipping some wine and got to talking. And as I sat in the bath, maybe 25 years later, I recalled her saying to me that all that she ever wanted was for me to be happy. And I remember how my late -teen, early- twenty self responded : I said, well, gee, Mom, isn’t being happy just about the hardest thing in the world to be ?

A few days after my stroll down memory lane in the tub, I was picking the kids up from school and -as I always do- I asked How was your morning?. And when The Girl replied, ok, I realized that it had been months since she had thrown a fit about school, foaming at the mouth in anger, raging in undirected frustration. Nowadays, the worst case answer is : boring.

It seems to me that after a long, long time, she is happy.

That is no small accomplishment.

The horse was not a mistake.


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-24-2005

I had to work this evening, something which I haven’t had to do for a long time. You see, during the week, I managed to find and install KOTOR 2 on The Boy’s computer. One happy kid.

He went through the first one no problem last year, but I think that the language is killing him in this version: it’s pretty high caliber english for a nine year old whose second language is english. But look, that makes it educational now, doesn’t it ?

So, we have a kid who is really good at computer games but weak in english and a mother who is really good in English but beyond retarded when it comes to computer games. Read : what I did today.

The Boy is stuck facing a snide droid who all but confesses that -of course- he can mimic the dead guy’s voice and so open the hatch here in Peregus. But I can’t make the droid fess up, nor do I have any clue as to what other options there might be. The Boy runs me through the map at a rate that makes me both dizzy and nauseous, while I search for walk- throughs in either english or dutch in search of how to get the voice code. I find a number, but they are for the X-Box version.

At the end of the day, I have a totally depressed kid, who smiles bravely and admits that it is rather cool to have a mother who can do all of these computer things.

(But I can’t get that f**king hatch to open, can I ?)


Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-23-2005

Monday closed with one fish dead and four in distress. Signs of distress include a fish swimming upside down, vertically or laying on the bottom of the tank, seemingly gasping.

Well, those things certainly look distressing to me, the know- nothing.

Googling about a bit, I decided that the most likely culprit might be the nitrate levels in the tank, and so I took anti- nitrate measures : I cut their food in half, the amount of time that their light was on to a minimum ( which keeps them calmer as well) and started a daily replacement of two liters of water ( it is a fifty liter tank). I even gently warmed the the two liters that I replaced each afternoon.

As of this morning, three of the four are fine, swimming about and looking normal. And the fourth ? Well, all that I can say about the fourth is that it is not dead yet. It actually swam about a little today, in a very unbalanced manner, but I will keep up the regime until he is either better or dead.

Now, the terrible aspect to this story is that when The Father comes down with some dire fever or another – chills even- the very most that I will do for him is get him some aspirin.

And my face thunders how very inconvenienced I feel about even this minor bit of tender nursing.

Work- Work

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-23-2005

It slowly dawned on me that if I harbored any hopes of getting the work- work that I am being asked to do done, I would have to increase the number of hours that I work- work each week.

Which I started doing this week.

Now, logic would lead us to believe that working one hour more each day should take one hour.

In this case, logic would be leading us down the garden path.

Fish Tales

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-21-2005

About three days ago, I said to The Father, well, my new fish are doing very well after a week. I don’t think that we will lose any.

Can you guess where this will go ?

About five minutes after I had cautiously mentioned this to The Father, I noticed that one of the new fish was behaving rather…oddly. Oddly in the way that I knew that something was seriously wrong with that fish.

Now these were simply cheap fish, nothing fancy, but still, it upset me to no end. And so imagine today, when I woke up this morning and found four of the five new fish in distress. After over a week! I had thought that we had passed some rubicon, some ominous notice of imminent death, that we were safe.

But we had not. I did all sorts of absolutions today, this and that in the tank, but still, by 11, I had a dead fish in the tank.

I had to get it out before the children came home for lunch, such is life. But I couldn’t find my net for the life of me. As the clock ticked away, I resorted to drastic measures : I grabbed a soup spoon and went after the corpse.

Now, this was just a normal soup spoon, not some out-sized version, holds about a tablespoon of liquid.

I had to be very careful, the spoon and my hand seem to set dreadful currents in motion, but finally I had the poor wee beast in spoon. I carefully raised him out of the tank and into the sink. I do believe that I removed my glasses, in order to examine him more closely,to try to get some idea of what had killed him.

As I held the bronze spoon over the white porcelain sink, some motion caught my attention. There, in the white sink, was a pale pink fish thrashing back and forth. Pulling my glasses back on, I could see that it was Silly, our albino algae eater, one of The Boy’s fish . Some how, he must have been in that spoon as well, although it really is a smallish spoon and my eyes are not so very bad. With a move that was so swift and gentle that I still cannot believe that I did it, I scooped Silly out of the sink in a soft, cupped hand and tossed him back into the tank.

He seems fine. I myself took a bit of time to get over my jelly knees and the drama of it all.

Drama. Three of the four remaining new fish seem to be perking up, but cross my wires and damn me to hell, what is going on in that tank ?

I know, they are just fish. We eat fish for dinner at least three times a week and yet, I am fussing about inch long fish.

I hate it when a fish dies.

Even when it is just a common, cheap sort of fish.

Hippie Freak

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-21-2005

A few weeks ago, rather out of the blue, The Boy announced that he wanted to grow his hair long. He no longer wanted his neat little Dorothy Hamil-ish cut, no, he wanted to be able to flip his locks.

I think.

I guess.

Actually, it has been pretty tough trying to figure out just what he wants. Except for the fact that he wants long hair.

I don’t have any problems with this, after all, he is a kid and who knows, perhaps a shiny pate awaits the adult version of The Boy. Enjoy it while he has it is my way of thinking.

However, the first few times that The Boy brought it up at the and- how- was- your- day round at dinner, The Father was not very charmed by the idea. Any man who came of age in the seventies only has to picture the classic father figure discussing long hair with his teenage son during that era to catch the flavor ofThe Father’s response.

Think Bruce Springsteen singing about his Old Man.

Usually, The Father and I present a united front to the children, I will rarely cross him in their presence. But one evening as we were sitting there at dinner, I realized that The Father sounded just like Archie Bunker talking to Meathead. Almost – but not quite- at the same time, the same thought occurred to The Father. After carefully explaining what the word hypocrite meant to The Boy, he now has the parental blessing on his quest to have long hair.

After all, having had hair to his shoulders didn’t harm The Father, now did it ?

Road Trip

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-20-2005

I finally got around to printing out the itinerary that Dad sent me for the road trip from hell. It will be 16 days long. As he glanced over it, The Father asked , but we are still going to go to Florida, aren’t we ?

I was glad that he didn’t notice that Nashville had been dropped. Not that I have any problems with Nashville, but time is of the essence and I’m just burning to go to Mount Pleasant, Ohio. And there, on the print out, are two days in Steubenville- close enough.

But it looks good, interesting. Three days in Boston, one in Springfield, two in Niagara ( probably the Canadian side, since Dad prefers that). A night in Meadsville, PA…uh ? Two at Cousin Richard’s, somewhere in Ohio. And then zip- two days in Pittsburgh ( roots ! roots ! roots !), two in Steubenville , two in Covington ( which I think will be a major disappointment- as I think that the family is not buried there but in Pittsburgh- yes, we are going cemetery hopping, well, as far as Dad can hop, that is..) and then home.

Home indeed. I am lucky, for I have never had a problem with going home once more. At…uh… 47 I can open the magic door to my father’s house and enter the world of my childhood once more. All of the good parts, the comfy parts.

In this I know that I am very lucky indeed.

Minutiae Of Motherhood

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-19-2005

The Baby : Can we go to Lawaai once for our vacation ?

Mummy Dearest : That would be nice. Grandpa goes to Hawaii every year for his birthday.