Thursday, May 31, 2007

Happy Feet

Loyal Readers, at left are my newly fashioned HAPPY FEET courtesy of my husband's wallet and Mira Salon. I do not normally pay for pedicures because I can do my own, but I needed to treat myself today after living through the disaster also known as yesterday. I know the variety of colors are sort of silly looking, especially on a woman my age, but somebody needs to stir it up and why shouldn't that someone be me?

I have to admit that colored toes or not, I had to drag myself through this day, so tired was I from all the self-induced stress I experienced yesterday. Jack had two friends over this AM while their mom took their older brother to the dentist. It was completely stress free to have these kids because they are totally easy and they get along incredibly well with Jack. After that, I hired a sitter so I could run some errands and swim (at the outdoor pool!!!!) and get the aforementioned pedicure.

For dinner, I made a delicious Thai Stir-Fry, proving I could still get it together to be a domestic goddess even though I was wiped out from being a domestic head case only 24 hours before. Dinner was really great and I think that all my Loyal Readers should click on the link and make the dish for themselves. It is yummy and easy.

Tonight, though I would rather crawl into bed and finish my last beloved Lucia book, I have to go to a meeting of the board on which I am a member. Your BloomingtonGirl cannot shirk her duties to improve the world no matter how tired she is.

In other news, our realtor called in the afternoon to request a copy of the blue-line drawings of our house and a plat plan (or whatever the outside plan is called.) It turns out that the couple who saw the house yesterday really (really) likes it and wants to show their architect the drawings so that they can brainstorm on the appropriate location of an indoor lap pool. How great is this? I ran the plans over to the realtor lickety-split and did a little dance for the gods of realty. Let's all keep our fingers crossed, shall we?

Well, I must go and kiss my kid goodnight and powder my nose and choose the appropriate sandals to showcase my carnival toes. Then, I am off to save the world.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Latest Outfit

Loyal Readers, I can honestly say that I cannot recall having a worse day in ages. Today took the cake. If you had stopped by my house at about 3:30, you would have wished you had the garment at left at the ready. Believe me.

Earlier today, I blogged about my poor parenting and while I did so in a manner that might lead someone to believe I had no guilt about making less than stellar choices for Jack and the friend with whom I was entrusted for the day, don't get the wrong idea.

The whole time Jack's little friend (let's call him Fred) played computer games, I was guilt ridden and stressed out knowing that I was doing his emotional and mental development a disservice. And worse, I was worried that he would go home and tell his mother that he had hours of screen time at my house and that would make me look really bad. But, clearly I didn't feel bad enough to try to coax and cajole the kid into doing something more constructive. I just wasn't up to the sulk-fest I knew would ensue.

Just in case you are wondering, I didn't feel too stressed out about Jack playing computer games. After all, he is my kid to ruin and that is my business entirely.

Anyway, we made it through the morning and at 11 I rounded up the screen zombies and hauled them off to the pool. The pool time started off swimmingly (sorry, couldn't resist) and I was planning to stay until 30 minutes before Fred's father was to pick him up at my house. I was starting to feel as if the kids were doing something wholesome and healthy and that I could actually relax a bit.

Scratch that idea. At about 1:00, my cell phone rang. A realtor on the other end wondered if her clients could see our house at 4PM. This particular realtor had previewed the house and discussed it with her clients so I knew that they were serious buyers. Also, they had tried to get into see it last Saturday but between the other showing and my party, it didn't work out for them. So, I decided to say yes to the showing on short notice.

I had to round up the guys an hour earlier than I had intended in order to have time to clean the house and to keep them out of my hair while I did so, I had to allow more of the evil screen time.

I know what you are thinking, Loyal Readers. My house has been clean, clean, clean and fairly show ready for weeks, so what was the big deal? Well, for the last couple days, I sort of let down and today my house was definitely NOT in show ready condition.

As I always do, I underestimated the time necessary to straighten up the place and as the showing time approached, I became more and more frantic, whirling around the house working up a sweat. It is entirely possible that I was foaming at the mouth as well, but I didn't have time to check that out in the mirror.

A half hour before ShowTime, Fred's father rang the doorbell to pick up his now ruined zombie of a son. I was upstairs making Jack's bed in a frenzy, muttering unprintable words under my breath.

Zoe, as is her custom, was going absolutely berserk at the arrival of Fred's father and his sister. As I flew down the stairs, I saw Fred's father trying to calm Zoe down, which only made her worse. I jumped into the fray and started chasing Zoe around the foyer and dining room, always missing her by a hair. As I was running around, I was trying to be gracious to Fred's dad and speak with enthusiasm about what a great day it was. I explained that I was a little crazy trying to get the house ready for a showing. Zoe continued to bark like CRAZY and elude my grasp. She turned and went into the kitchen and I followed her.

At that moment, it really did occur to me that I might actually lose it even more than I had already. Right then, I lunged toward Zoe only to fall flat on my face on the floor. Fortunately, I was alone in the kitchen and nobody ran in after the loud BOOM of my fall. My guess is that Fred's father was completely mortified at having left his treasured son with a lunatic.

Finally, I got Zoe under control and Fred and family departed. Fred's dad was incredibly nice about all the chaos, but looking back I can see now that he was talking in measured calm tones the way someone talks a person down from the ledge.

By the time they left, it was ten minutes to show time. I began to gather up Jack and Zoe. Then, the phone rang.

It was the realtor wondering if they could postpone the visit until 5:30.

I graciously said yes and was amazed at my self-restraint.

Long story short, we vacated the house for the showing. I took Jack to over to his "second family's house". The mom took one look at me and said, "Wow! You have had a bad day. I've got beer, wine & tequila." She took pity on me and kept Jack for dinner and dropped him off close to his bedtime.

I myself stayed for about an hour and by then, I figured the buyers had to be gone. Wrong. Their car was in the driveway when I came home, so I drove around some more. When I drove up to our house again, the buyers and realtor were coming down the driveway. We waved to each other as we passed.

At first I thought it was a good sign that they were here so long. But upon observation, I am not sure. They seemed very elderly and I was left to conclude that they were in the house a long time because they couldn't navigate it more quickly. I can't for the life of me imagine being as old as they looked and wanting to buy a house this huge. But, as Oprah says, 5o is the new 30 and that makes 80 the new 60 and 60 is plenty young enough to own this house.

What's next? Will dead by the new 70?

I am off to bed to dream of a better day tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

Worst Mother of the Year gets PMS

Loyal Readers, it is hard for me to admit to being such a crank but today I feel that I must. I have really bad PMS and although I would like to think that I can rise above it, I just can't.

For instance, Jack has a friend here for the entire day. I volunteered to take care of the friend because his mom had to work. She placed him in my care, trusting in my abilities as a thoughtful and smart mother. Sadly, I am failing miserably at deserving that trust. Sure, the kids probably won't get emergency-room hurt on my watch. But I am not taking care of their little brains and fostering their development as people. If I were, wouldn't I be playing some enriching game with the little guys right now rather than blogging on and on about myself? Of course I would.

But, here I sit, blogging in my bedroom on my laptop while I allow the two six year-old boys to ruin their brains doing computer games ALL MORNING. I had planned to limit them but Jack and his friend clearly were going to sulk in a big way if they didn't get to play Dragon Vector - whateverthehellthatis. I just have no patience with it today.

So, I said the hell with it and shirked my mothering responsibilities and let them have at it on the computer. Fine, if they want to rot their brians, so be it.

I post this for two reasons. One, to confess to you my mothering sins. Two, I want to put all mothers reading this on alert that I am NOT a good choice for taking care of your offspring. I will ruin them. I will.

I must go now to round up the brain-dead rascals for our trip to the local pool. My standard of care there is simple. If they don't drown, I am a success.

More later on this PMS station.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Way too busy

A long overdue HELLO! to my loyal readers from your BloomingtonGirl!

The past couple of weeks have been far too busy for me. Now that it has quieted down a bit, I don't even know what to do with myself. Other than clean, that is. I have gotten into the habit of keeping this house in Show Ready Condition. As a result, I can't seem to shake the feeling that no matter what I am doing, I should be cleaning instead. Some people might call this a mental illness. Others, such as my mother, would call it right thinking. I am not sure where I weigh in on the issue, but I know that I am not strong enough to fight the urge completely. I will certainly be cleaning something later today. I can't help it.

Our house remains on the market with no offers but a decent flow of lookers. My husband suggested recently that we just take it off the market and settle in for the long term. The timing of this suggestion was a bit irritating because it came precisely when I had really gotten my mind around selling this place. The idea to sell was his in the first place and none of the reasons -- all very sound --for selling has changed. His change of heart appeared to have taken place after playing Bocce Ball in the back yard with his parents during their visit. The weather was perfect, the yard sublime for Bocce. Why not just stay?

I, of course, took my husband to task on changing his wishy-washy mind based on a half-hour game in the yard on a nice day. My husband's response was that his change of heart wasn't just a Bocce Ball Epiphany but the result of several days of enjoying the lovely spring on our little estate.

Several days. Well then.

In all fairness, I am ambivalent about selling as well, as all my long suffering friends can confirm. I speak of almost nothing else and ask everyone what they think we should do. The votes are decidedly mixed, so it no help at all.

But, the real bottom line here is that nobody has made an offer and so all this mental you-know-what is probably just that. We cannot decide to sell if there is no buyer, correct? But, it is in my nature to continue to mull it over. And to clean and clean and clean and clean...

Friday, May 18, 2007

NOW I Remember !

Loyal Readers, I hope that you are sitting down because this story might create a bit of a shock to your system. Especially if you are a Loyal Fan of the LuckyGuy Bakery.

Earlier this week, I had a spill on the bottom of my top oven. It got baked on and created quite a mess in the oven, not to mention in the air in my house. A couple of days later, I attempted to scrub out the mess only to find it was nearly impossible to remove the baked-on stuff. My (wonderful) mother-in-law advised that I use my self-cleaning feature. She asked why I didn't use it regularly and I really couldn't come up with an answer. Why didn't I, I wondered. Why not just do it?

So, today at about 9 AM, I turned the oven on to clean. The top oven locked and began the four hour cycle. The bottom oven did nothing and I still don't know whether this was normal or some kind of malfunction.

I should have waited to clean the ovens until Chris was at work because soon after I started the cleaning cycle, he commented that the fumes were probably carcinogenic and just plain smelled bad. He did have a point. The air was becoming rather baked and acrid smelling. To ease my anxious husband's fears of toxin inhalation, I opened some windows. But the problem with opening the windows was that it was about fifty degrees outside. As a result, it got really cold in the kitchen and in my adjacent office. Besides, it didn't help all that much. The air inside, though cold, continued to be pretty nasty to breathe.

But a much more inconvenient thing awaited your BloomingtonGirl.

After about two hours of breathing the allegedly carcinogenic baked air, and freezing my you-know-what off, I wandered over to the oven to see how much time was left in the cleaning cycle. I was surprised to see that the control panel was completely dark. The oven was locked and appeared to be completely dead.

It was at that moment when I remembered why I didn't use my cleaning function on the oven. The last time I did it, the control panel got fried and the ovens locked shut and couldn't be used. A repair man came out to fix it and told me that the previous owner had recently had the same repair done after he had run the cleaning cycle. I didn't have to pay for the new part since it was under warranty because it had just been replaced. However, I do remember paying for the labor.

I wonder whether this time I will have to pay for both. I am going to call KitchenAid on Monday and demand that they give me a new oven. So there.

I'll let you know how it goes with KitchenAid.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bowling Mania

Loyal Readers, this is a picture of what Wii bowling looks like. The player is the one in the middle and with the Wii remote you move like you are actually bowling. My in-laws, DD & Chuck, have been playing a few games a day during their visit. In fact, right at this very moment, Chris and his parents are bowling away, cheering and laughing. I am so happy that DD & Chuck like the Wii, especially since we (and Chris's siblings) gave them one for Mothers/Fathers Day.

You might wonder why I am not bowling right now. The fact is that I am a little tired and sort of pensive tonight so I chose to cozy up in our delicious Tempur-Pedic bed and write a bit about the day.

But, now that I am here, I can't think of anything interesting to write about.

Hmm.

Well, I cleaned the house from top to bottom today for a showing. The people stayed for 35 minutes and ate two cookies. Both might be good signs, though the last people ate five cookies and didn't make an offer. We have two more showings over the next week. I am hopeful (and hoping) that we will sell our house. I do have some reservations of course, but I know that it will be a good thing to get rid of all this property and have something less demanding for Chris to maintain. I would like to say that I would/could do the outside work but who would I be kidding ? I am not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination. Remember, I am girl who can kill ivy. I am not proud of it, but there it is.

So, keep in mind that you should never EVER give me a plant that requires maintenance of any kind, okay?

On that note, I am off to read a bit of Lucia in Trouble and also Dry by Augusten Burroughs. Dry is much better and far more believable than Running with Scissors. I am enjoying it. Lucia is, what can I say...it is fabulous. I shall miss her when I finish this one, the last of the Lucia books. But it is one of those books that you can read over and over from time to time and always enjoy them immensely.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This Man is Ruining Me

This is a photograph of Joseph Pilates, the man responsible for the despair I am feeling today. I don't know exactly what the guy lying on the table is doing but it looks similar to something I do on the reformer called the "stomach massage". Why it is called this, I have no idea because I am here to tell you that it is nothing like a massage. On the contrary, it is stomach work.

As you know, I resumed Pilates mat classes and started reformer classes in the hope that I might get rid of my growing paunch and strengthen my core muscles. So far, my paunch has staunchly remained put. The only think that I have gotten rid of is any hope that I might ever be able to do Pilates correctly.

Yes, Loyal Readers, I am incredibly discouraged about Pilates. It is so HARD. Not in the the way that doing 100 crunches might be hard. It isn't something you can power through. You have to really think about your muscles and your joints and how they are moving and resting. You have to learn how NOT to use the muscles you are used to using and it all feels very unnatural. Every once in awhile, I get the sense that I am doing it just right and then POOF!, the sense of it passes and I am back to struggling.

I WILL NOT give up, though. I know that this kind of body work will serve me well as I get older, but it is difficult having the patience to really learn and practice the basics of it. It appears that it will take me a long time to get even remotely comfortable. It's a whole new experience for me of hanging in there with an exercise program that I am not at all good at.

In other news, Chris's parents have been visiting this week and as always, it is a delight to have them here. They are easy guests and as a bonus, they brought me two beautiful gifts from their recent trip to Egypt. How can you beat that?

Well, I am off to bed to read. More tomorrow when I am not so tired from trying to engage my core muscles correctly.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mii & The Wii

I finally figured out how to play Wii sports. The problem I was having was the remote! We have three remotes and one is not functional. Once I figured that out, I was able to play easily. My favorite game is boxing. I am a bit concerned, however, about how giddy I get when I knock out my opponent. I just love to pummel away at the poor little screen figure. What does this say about me?

I am too tired from all my boxing to write much so I am going to leave it until tomorrow.

Plus, my hands are incredibly dry and I need to slather them with greasy lotion...not a good thing for my keyboard.

But, one last thing. I didn't finish Running with Scissors. I found it mostly unbelievable and I also found that I just didn't care at all what happened to the author/main character. A Loyal Reader gave me Dry to read, also by Augusten Burroughs and that looks more promising, though I am starting to think that Burroughs is greatly overrated as a writer. Still, I am hopeful that I will enjoy it. I shall start it after I finish my current delightful book, Make Way for Lucia by E.F. Benson. I am reading last of five or six novels in the formidable and funny Lucia series. A MUST READ for any Anglophile. More on those books some other time.

Good Night Wonderful Loyal Readers.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I Can't Believe Wii Did This!

Spent the entire evening at BestBuy waiting to buy the Wii, that is. The Wii is pictured at left and to my uneducated, un-gaming eyes, it doesn't look like much. But I hear that it is the best thing since BloomingtonGirl's Blog, so I am hopeful that the McGary family will enjoy it.

You are - and with good reason - asking yourself why wii bought a Wii, when wii are a household that has never had a gaming system and has not, until late, ever thought of getting one.

Jack had no exposure to video games until the past year when he began playing them at his "second home", his best friends Frannie & Gus's house. They have a Game Cube which is completely adequate for any kid Jack's age. Indeed, Jack would have been thrilled to have a (relatively) simple Game Cube. The Game Cube is being phased out however, so it didn't make sense (to me) to buy one when wii wouldn't be able to get games for it in the near future. The Wii seemed like the thing to get since it plays all the Game Cube games (Gotta have Mario Brothers) and because it seemed as if it would be really fun for our whole extended family to play, some of whom are visiting this weekend.

For those of you who don't know, the Wii is hard to get. When they first came out last November, people slept out in line to get one. Since then, they come in drips and drabs and they sell out as soon as they are unloaded from a truck. To get one, you have to line up and wait and wait and wait or you have to hit the store that has it with impossibly great timing.

At BestBuy, if you are interested in buying a Wii, you first try to find a salesperson who will tell you what day a shipment is coming in and how many Wiis will be on the truck. Some will tell you specifically and others are tight lipped. I don't know why they are tight lipped...maybe they just love lording their Wii power over the public. The two female clerks who gave me specific information were rewarded with LuckyGuy Bakery Oatmeal Jacksons. So there, tight lipped people. And, as extra insurance, I brought a bag of cookies with me tonight in case I needed them.

Anyway, Chris and I both went because we bought two systems - one for us and one for a friend. It is a strict one per person policy. Wii waited for about 3 hours, which went by fairly quickly because wii made some friends with the other people in the line up. I took a few pictures of other Wii hopefuls who also got there pretty early. The real late comers didn't deserve to be in my blog and more importantly, they were not offered cookies. (I do know that the pictures are flipped backwards. I tried to fix this and couldn't easily, so I am counting on my Loyal Readers to overlook this technical difficulty.)

This picture is of the finest man I know, good naturedly waiting for his Wii. He went extra early and got a tutorial on the latest television technology. I say (outwardly) that we don't need a new TV but I am secretly hoping that the finest man I know will buy one of the new BIG really high resolution LCDs for us. If he read my blog, he would read of my hope and it wouldn't be a secret anymore. But alas, he is not a Loyal Reader.



This picture is of Mitch and Thalia. Thalia is actually a teacher in the half-day preschool at Jack's Montessori School. I did a staff profile piece on her for the "Montessori Messenger" earlier this year and her answers to my little questions for the interview were really impressive. She is a very cool and very smart person. Mitch is her husband, who just got his masters degree in Music Theory. And, here they are, waiting for their Wii, a graduation present for Mitch. He was SO excited to get it. They loved my cookies and are the cutest couple!



And here is a recent IU graduate whose name I am sorry to say I don't know. I do know that he was in The Crucible this past year at IU and that I saw him in that production. I also know that he is about to have a second interview at NBC in New York. But what I thought was most fun about this young man was that after he got his Wii, he was going to go back to his apartment for a pizza-eating contest among friends. In this contest, which apparently happens with some regularity, each guy orders a "Big Ten Special" from a pizza place that delivers. The Big Ten consists of a large pizza, an order of bread sticks and a large soda. The one who finishes it first, or at all, wins. He refused a cookie because he didn't want to spoil his appetite.
And last of the first in line, but not least, is Dr. David Lee, a radiation oncologist. He refused a cookie, saying that he had just eaten. I don't see what "just having eaten" has to do with anything. Isn't a cookie perfect for right after you have just eaten? I think it is called dessert. But, cookie or not, David was a pleasant and informative line-mate. He knew lots about different gaming systems and seemed like an expert to us.

So, now I am home in bed. Wii didn't feel like setting up the Wii tonight so I will do it tomorrow before Jack gets home from school. I hope wii like it.

Stay tuned...

Friday, May 04, 2007

BloomingtonGirl Fights the Frump Feeling

One morning last week, I was skipping through life, feeling quite enlightened, good from the inside out...you know the feeling. I dropped Jack off at school, hopped in the pool for a quick half-mile, came home to clean up the house a bit (we had a showing that day) and threw on the outfit I am wearing in this less than stunning photo.

I couldn't do a body shot with this camera but if I could have, you would see that I have on old sweat pants (navy blue) that I got out of my daughter's discard pile in her bedroom closet. I cropped them to just below the knee length. The T-shirt has the Birdy-Bird Logo drawn by my six year-old on it, though it is hard to see in the picture. I put on this ensemble to wear to my private lesson reformer workout, which I mistakenly thought was scheduled at 10 AM. I wasn't worried about my outfit or how I looked. After all, why would an enlightened, self-possessed woman such as myself trouble herself with such trivial things? Your BloomingtonGirl knows that it is what it inside that counts, right? (Except for pore size, which matters VERY much). Plus, who was going to see me besides my wonderfully accepting instructor?

Well! My appointment was not at ten, but at eleven AM. So, when I arrived, another woman was there ready for her 10 AM appointment to begin. When I saw the other woman, an immediate change came over your BloomingtonGirl. Loyal Readers, your BloomingtonGirl is nothing if she isn't honest, so I must admit what happened, though it doesn't reflect well on my evolution as an enlightened being.

In a split second, all of my inner peace and esteem evaporated upon seeing the woman who did indeed have the ten AM appointment. She is probably my age or even older and was wearing a form-fitting black cami/yoga-pant combo on her perfect little body. Her hair was perfectly in place around her perfectly made up face. AND, to make things worse, I couldn't just slink out because I have been to a dinner party with this woman and I had to re-introduce myself to be polite. I felt so FRUMPY!!!!!

The drive home would have been easier and much more pleasant if I could have comforted myself with memories from that dinner party of how unintelligent and dull the perfect looking woman was. But, alas, she was anything but those things. She was smart and vivacious and really likable.

The experience of feeling "less than" in this particular way brings to mind how I used to think about looks when I was growing up. I was convinced that a girl could be either pretty or smart but she could never be both. I was a smart girl rather than a pretty girl. (This is not a plea for compliments...let's face it, loyal readers, I had not one invitation to my prom. After years of intensive therapy, I am now able to speak about the heart ache of that night without choking up... but I digress.) In my little world, the really pretty girls weren't all that smart. (Or so it seemed to my sour-grape-y eyes, anyway.)

You can imagine my shock at finding out that one could be both a knockout and a brain. I discovered this in spades at college and was never quite the same after that. Perhaps that is the underlying anxiety supporting my obsession with skin care and pore size.

But, for me, the serious take-home thought in this experience was how fleeting my feelings about myself (and anything else, really) can be. No matter how grounded I feel, it can take something as small as what I am wearing when I encounter a better dressed/groomed/looking person, to completely throw me.

I can work all the live-long day on my looks, but it seems to me that overcoming the fragility of self-image, no matter what I look like, am dressed like or feel like at a given moment is the thing worth really working on.

As I have heard many times, beauty is an inside job. I believe it...inside, anyway.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Too Much Java = Too Much Joni Jabbering

Loyal Readers, I just wanted to post this cry for help. I have two cups of coffee in the morning before I take Jack to school and then I can't stop talking to anyone who is within ear shot. The safest thing for me is to rush home without saying a word or to get immediately into the pool at the Y, where I would have serious trouble conversing while doing laps.

Why oh why do I talk so much, Loyal Readers??

Maybe I need to stop drinking coffee, but I suspect that the problem is much more deeply rooted than that. Maybe I am a genetically hard-wired Chatty Cathy with little hope of overcoming my innate nature. Oh, to be quiet and reserved with a Mona Lisa Smile. Let others wonder what is on my mind rather than telling them in verbal essays of 1000 words or more.

Well, I have to go but you can be sure that I will chat you up some more later. Especially if I have more coffee...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Wee Willies and Some Other Things

This is the picture that Jack will have on his "baseball cards" that come with the photo package that every loving mother must order when their little guy becomes a baseball star. While the "professional" picture was being taken, Chris took this picture. I don't know if the former included Jack's entire body, but Chris was careful to crop his shot. The reason for the careful crop is that your not very sports minded BloomingtonGirl had gotten the wrong size T-shirt for Jack (I must have ordered the small in a fog!) and the wrong size baseball pants (XL...hey, it was the only pair left and how was I supposed to know I had to get to the store before the hundreds of other baseball moms?)

The result of my inferior sport-related mothering was that Jack's uniform consisted of a much too short top that was not long enough to tuck into his giant pants. I was trying to help him do the tuck-in before the picture (the coach told the kids to tuck in their shirts) and in my nervous attempts, I pulled his pants up way too high. The poor kid looked like a misfit. And, I felt like a misfit.

But, all ended well. Jack got two hits and actually got someone out when he was playing short stop. This might sound incredibly impressive but the only thing impressive about the players at that age is how unbelievably cute they are. The thing I love best about Jack is that if he makes it to home plate, he stands there on the base as if it is first, second or third. He has to be told to go to the dugout. He isn't too different from the other players.

The players on his team and the first team they played, anyway.

But the second team they played? The Wee Willies? (That is really their name.) The Wee Willies are actually pretty good and most of the kids know what they are supposed to be doing. Not all of them do it with skill, but they get the game. What is interesting is that The Wee Willies are coached entirely by women. These women have clearly played ball all of their lives and as a bonus, can multi-task like only mothers can. So, they are able to observe what many players are doing at once and almost immediately give each player some guidance. And do you want to know one thing I noticed about this team that seems to be markedly different from their male coached counterparts? They are much more verbal. The kids have little cheers they do for one another and they chatter in the field, "Hey Battah, Battah!" A woman's touch, to be sure. You go girls!

They creamed our little team, but nobody was the wiser because I don't think that they even keep score at this level. But the parents sure could figure it out and I think that it actually pissed a few of them off. I have no right to get pissed off when my kid might miss a ball thrown to him while playing first base because he is too busy wiggling his loose tooth...

In other news, I did NOT win the auction for the wall installation. ("Leap Year") For two reasons. The first and foremost was that someone outbid me immediately before the sheets were collected. And thank goodness, too, because the second reason was that the auction, though it was described as a "set of tiles", was only for the single displayed tile. The single tile was the number 2. And who wants to put number 2 on one's wall? Not me. If I had to have just one tile, I would at least want the Lucky Seven.

In other news, I was very sick with a stomach flu on Monday afternoon and was so wiped out by it that I actually slept for most of the day on Tuesday. It was a drag but I kept telling myself that a great thing about being sick (besides detoxing and losing a couple of pounds) is that when you feel better, you feel almost joyous. And, today, when I started feeling really right again, that is exactly how I felt. Joyous.

Well, off to bed to read Running With Scissors by August Burroughs. I don't know yet if I like it. I like his writing style so far, but the book is controversial because the family he lived with when he was growing up say that he is a big fat liar and they are suing him. Hard to know what is true about anything unless you see it with your very own eyes. On the other hand, I might still enjoy the book even if it is memoir based on a pretty selective or self serving memory. I am sure that when I write my memoir (don't hold your breath, by the way), there might be those who will think that I am a big fat liar. No, make that a wonderfully slender liar, because if I ever wrote a book successful enough to be read by those I might lie about, I would certainly make sure I was svelte for the book tour and my interview on Oprah.

Bye for now, Loyal Ones.