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So I'm wondering...

a) Do I want to keep a LiveJournal account? Maybe...
b) Why do babies eat poison that smells bad? I get the smell-good incidents, but not the smell-bad. It came up at work today, but my co-workers' explanations of 1) babies will eat anything and 2) babies don't have an associative sense of smell yet don't really work for me. Because 1) no, they won't. It's been awhile, but I distinctly remember being present for several babies' introductions to non-milk food and they had *definite* preferences. They may put things in their mouth once, but that doesn't explain kids who perform a poison eating that requires sustained input. and 2) preliminary internet research seems to indicate that smell may be developed even pre-birth.

So, yeah, I'll be looking into both of those in coming days.

'Bye, Internet.

Eric's computer was doing the unauthorized shutdown thing again, so it's being shipped off to a Best Buy fixie place to possibly have its BIOS updated, etc. So for two to four weeks, we're sans computer again, unless I can get mine fixed in that time.

So we'll only be talking to you via library computers (which is where I am now) and maybe Eric via work (he has breaks :) ).

Hey, hey, Kris, before I forget, is there a place you'd like to go for your birthday? I mean, I know it won't be the day of, but is still for your birthday, so if you've got somewhere, let's go there.

Feel free to call or text us if necessary, y'all, but especially Krissy, since we'll be back in C.B. next weekend.

Kisses, y'all, I got to go.
I took a four hour "nap" this evening, so now I'm up and bored, so here's a re-vamp of some previous meme since I have a new name now.

The Name Game (only the sections that changed)
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)
S-Wir (It's like I was going to say "swirl" but then I got distracted or punched in the mouth or something)

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Amber Kelley Omaha (Dude, part of that is a real name)

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)
Wirsh (which just sounds like I'm saying my last name with a speech impediment)

Also: Hi, again!Collapse )

Ti's Adorable Day

First of all, Tom is almost hideously cute by routine sometimes. I've known him longer than most of my friends and my husband, so we've come to a grudging companionship where he does sweet things in return for my loving him. Most nights, he walks up to the head of the bed, sniffs my hair and face, then curls up next to my head with a paw touching me. And sometimes, he kneads my belly when I'm laying down.

But Ti is newer and is only now displaying Person Specific Cute (PSC) and today she is laying it on thick. She has this thing she does where she buries her head in the blanket and kneads it, purring and vibrating like a little cell phone. She also, I'm fairly sure, licks the blanket a little which makes it ever-so-slightly disturbing -- I know the kneading thing is a holdover from getting milk and comfort from mama cat but I've never seen another cat so decidedly into it as this one. I woke up this morning and slowly came to the realization that she was kneading the side of my left hip just as happily as she kneads the blanket alone. It was adorable... it also went on forever. She was, like, *into* it. It's the only time this cat doesn't seem at least marginally aware of what's going on.

Then I went to the bathroom, and if you're Krissy or Eric you know about Ti's accidental training in that area, but I'll inform the rest of you. Somehow, I taught Ti to come into the bathroom when I go tinkle. She hears me go in there and trots in to rub against my legs and be petted, then either trots right back out again or takes up a position curled on the floor or in the tub. It's cute, it's surprisingly reliable, and I'm not sure how she got taught that but she didn't do it when we got her.

So she trotted in this morning and discovered the strings on my cut-off pajama bottoms. She was rubbing against my leg, curly red sweatpant string plunked on her head, gnawing on one end -- again, adorable.

Either she's really getting more comfortable or she's about to ask me for money. I almost wish I was going to take a shower today, just to see if she upped the ante and sat on the tub edge while I did (sometimes she'll sit on the toilet lid while I shower or bathe, as though guarding me).

Yes, I know this was an entire post about the cats, but they are freaking adorable. Did I tell you that the other day, when I was sleeping with my legs like a 4, I woke up to Ti snuggled into the angle between the two legs on one side and Tom pressed against my straight leg on the other side? If they combine forces, they will be so hella cute I may be forced to take pictures and put them on i can has cheezburger. Yeah. That cute.

Brooke asks hard questions.

1. Leave me a comment saying anything random, like your favorite lyric to your current favorite song.
2. I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. You will update your LJ with the answers to the questions
4. You will include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be asked, you will ask them five questions.

1. What was your favorite part of your wedding day? ---> Huh. That's a toughie. There was the getting married part, that was pretty rockin'. But also a really obvious answer. There were a few moments after where I got to stand near the lake and kind of take it all in. The breeze was blowing gently and the waves were lapping at the shore. The lake is very familiar to me, since I grew up about two minutes (walking) from it. It felt very full-circle and grounding. Um... there was also dancing with Bob's mom in the dollar dance. I was very happy that she was there and she said some really lovely things and I almost cried. And getting spun by Scott was kind of fun. :P

2. What part of moving are you most looking forward to? ---> Not living in Des Moines? J/K. I feel like CR is more of a community atmosphere and that it might be more possible to actually connect with the area. As much as I don't like a lot of things about CB, it was possible for me to plug into the area and really feel like I belonged. I think CR might have that, too.

3. What's the strangest thing you've found in the recent packing and purging craze? ---> The super old grocery receipts were weird. I really don't remember why I kept them. Might not have been on purpose. I also have a story Kevin Larson wrote up about a band trip for English Comp. I've got a couple of English Comp. stories, but that one's possibly the strangest for me to keep.

4. What is your favorite Britcom and why? ---> At one point, I'd have said either Fawlty Towers or Monty Python. And Monty Python is really funny. Also, surprisingly smart for a bunch of cross-dressing guys who make penis and potty jokes. Until you remember that they're well-educated weirdos. One of them was a doctor and I think Cleese studied to be a barrister or an accountant... it's slipping my mind what exactly. But I think now I'd say Keeping Up Appearances. It has it's dull moments, sure. Recently, though, I've been watching the whole shebang in order from the beginning, via Netflix. Some of the episodes I'm seeing for the third or fourth time now and they're still pretty funny, so that's a point. Another would be that, even though some of the characters (particularly Hyacinth) are almost unbelievably broad, I still find myself caring about them. I'm also realizing, from trying to watch the show and do other things, that Keeping Up Appearances has a lot, lot of subtle physical comedy and sight gags, which I really admire. Telling a good joke is hard enough -- telling it with only your face and body is thus impressive.

5. Of the stories you've written, which is your favorite? Well, I've only fully completed one story of any substantial length and that's The Clique (unrelated to, and possibly pre-dating, the teen series of the same name), so technically I'd have to say that one. :) The others are in various states of completion, unless we want to stretch the definition of "story" to include poems, which seems like pushing it. Of the actual short stories that are not technically finished-finished... I wrote one called "Unsaid" that I chose to revise as my final the second time I took Creative Writing. I have a real fondness for the characters and the story, probably because it's largely modelled on my own childhood and people I knew at the time. I got a lot of commentary at the time that it wasn't exciting enough and/or that it was unbelievable, but it was never meant to be some kind of thriller and I personally doubt the creditable of any middle-class white boy's take on... well, a great many situations involving being other than middle-class and other than male, really. :) Which is a not-so-subtle way of saying I think it worked okay and could be made to run on steam, so I'd like very much to go back and fully complete it someday.
Why is there so much crap mixed in with my stuff? Honestly, in an intellectual sense, I do know where this stuff came from. I can identify almost all of it to a rough time period and possibly a little anecdotal story, but from an emotional standpoint, I'm packing and repeatedly going, "buh-what?" I had three plus boxes of papers. Not files. Just papers. Why? What is this stuff? I've been through two and change and guess what? First glance-- only one box's worth of papers was even worth looking at a second time.

So my goal, in addition to packing the entire house and getting rid of all the stuff listed on Craigslist right now, by sale or by donation, is to go through that last box of papers and distill any unsorted papers into one box. I mean, I'm not going to kid myself. Packing itself is mind-numbing and boring for the most part, in addition to which I *cannot* find my dang baggie of file labels -- so chances of actually filing everything in a week and a half is slim to nil. But if I move with boxes of crap I *know* I don't want one more time I will be very upset with myself.

On a related note: totally moving to Cedar Rapids in about a week and a half... well, mostly moving in about a week and a half. I have a feeling some stuff will come later and we still have to completely clean the old apartment, too, so it'll be awhile after that before we are finished.

And that's what's up.

Edit: Oh, and my plans for the Saturday evening after Christmas were shot to ***k and back, because I spent that evening trying not to vomit on myself from a 24-hour stomach flu. Then the Monday after, my face swelled up from an allergic reaction to a face wash -- partially because of the flu! For anyone who's ever thought, "I'd rather puke myself than go to a class reunion," let me tell you, I DO NOT recommend it. I mean, nice exaggeration, I guess, but it really sucked. Now every time I see my Christmas post I'm like, ***n you all to ***l, stomach flu, you twisted b****** of a ****ing piece of crap. *shakes fist violently*
Busy bee. Still have to wrap and pack before the holidays. Shopping's all done for everybody, though, and has been. Yay!

Thursday we're planning on heading back to C.B. in the morning. Drop things off, say hi, then head to Christmas Eve dinner at Mom's new apartment... without a table (long story there), but still. Probably Christmas-Evey stuff, like opening a present and watching a holiday movie. Then back to Eric's parents for the night. Early Friday, up and do Christmas morning with Zoe and Kai, then a little later head over to Mom's again to spend a little time with her before she goes to sleep. Dinner at Eric's that night. Then, I'm not really sure. Maybe just bedtime, we'll see.

Saturday's more fluid. A little more time with families, maybe a meet-up for Christmas with friends. Then about 8/8:30, planning on heading over to the LC 2004 class reunion w/Scott and Kris (I know, she's '05, but it's not a closed thing and we might not be there long, anyway). I'd say Brooke might be there, but I thought Eric said she didn't seem up on it, so probably not. At any rate, stop by there, mingle a little, maybe high-tail it out and go somewhere else (bowling?). Sunday morning/early afternoon, head back to DSM. Maybe see Bob and Kat late afternoon/early evening, if they're still in the area.

It'll be more than a little unusual, as holidays go. Our first married Christmas, first Christmas out of college, my Mom still in the process of moving and his parents' house stuffed full with his brother and the kids. But interesting. Should be interesting.
It seems to be having capacity problems. I'm assuming because of massive snow.

Eric's car will NOT come out of its spot. Way drifty.

In addition to being way drifty, I can tell you the approximate standing snow -- over 12". I can't say exactly how many inches because a) my flexible ruler became decidedly less flexible in the cold and b)the snow ate my ruler. As in, tiny maw of snow with my ruler swallowed inside.

I can tell you, however, that there is a fin of snow on the southern side of my car that extends out seven inches by several inches wide, peaking with a nice gentle crest that goes up to almost 8"... sideways. It's a tiny mountain range of snow coming out SIDEWAYS from car 7-8".

I think I'm approaching my ideal Italian dressing recipe. It still seems a little drippy, but Italian always has to me. I think it comes from growing up on mostly cream dressings -- I expect them to lay there, not run about on the plate. At any rate, I started with the regular Italian recipe from my grandmother's old cookbook and made some modifications. This is about the fourth re-vamp:

3/4 cup oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 tsps each of celery salt, garlic, powdered mustard, paprika, onion powder, cayenne, and pepper
1/8 tsp of Italian seasoning
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1 to 2 tsps flour, stirred in a bit at a time to appropriate consistency.

I made it this time with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. I've tried a variety of oils -- peanut, canola and regular vegetable -- but the extra virgin seems to do the best. I haven't tried the current incarnation with white vinegar, but I've used it in the past and the only difference between red wine and white seems to be flavor, not consistency.

And the best part is that it's waaay better for us than the store bought kinds, which are all full of massive amounts of salt and sugar. We're also not wasting as much plastic, since I use one cruet exclusively for dressing and just hot rinse it between batches and scrub off the top (tends to be a bit of residue there from dressing that got trapped outside the stopper). We haven't bought any dressings but the occasional ranch (which I refuse to give up but now eat the mildly diet version of) in about a year.

This was probably the most boring post ever, but I really have enjoyed tweaking this recipe and thought I'd share it.

On an almost unrelated note, I think I like the act of tearing cheese and bread. I know it's more presentable -- and certainly better for sandwiches -- to cut them, but I find something satisfying about tearing off a piece of a loaf or block to eat with a meal.
I have not talked to my sister, other than the barest of polite exchanges, since she did not come to my wedding at the beginning of August. Now I have two text messages from her that are just pictures of her new 17th birthday tattoo. Wtf? How am I supposed to respond to that?!