You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2010.

See? This really shouldn’t be so hard! Just plug in all the computer accessories and go! Plug and play, right? Well, when we brought home our new computer, we were jazzed by the promised six USB, then less jazzed as we realized that four of those were in the back of the CPU, and three of which were basically earmarked for the printer, keyboard, and mouse, respectively. And while it’s nice we don’t have to use the color-coded proprietary connectors anymore, it’s maddening when you realize your favorite optical mouse (with glowing color lights) won’t work with your new computer. Nor will your photo printer. Nor will your ergonomic keyboard.

And so begins the search for converters, adapters, and, later, drivers. Mouse was easy. I can use the boring standard mouse the computer came with. I could order a converter cable for printer and the keyboard, I think. I tried, at least. When the box came in the mail, I pressed Mr. Apron into service on one of the mornings he goes into work late. I returned home to see an opened box, with two converters sitting in it, impotent and inert. Neither worked, he informed me. The keyboard one was the opposite of what we needed (It would have connected a new USB keyboard to an old CPU), and the printer cable had the wrong number of pins. Turns out he just didn’t know to take out the old printer cable; he was trying to connect the new cable to the old cable. So the physical connection was easy, at least.

Then I tried to print. Guess what printer is not supported by Windows 7? The HP Photosmart P1000! They have drivers listed for literally hundreds of printers, but not this one! I went online to try to download a driver, and was informed by the Microsoft site, when I typed in HP Photosmart P1000, that that printer s is not supported “at this time.” Whatever drivers our OS came with are all we should “need”. No downloading necessary. Great for everyone else. Not for me. I went into the dork forums and typed in “HP Photosmart P1000 + Windows7 + driver”. Others were able to synch it up by fooling the computer into thinking it was a 970 or a 930. It took me a couple of tries, installing and uninstalling, but I figured it out! Fuck Microsoft and their “not at this time”. I gots me a bootleg driver, and a P-1000 masquerading as a 970C.

The keyboard was the last piece to be restored to its former glory. I love my ergonomic keyboard. I actually asked for it as a birthday gift in college, and I actually received what I wanted (if you’ve read my prior birthday gift posts, you’ll marvel at how amazing this is). My typing position has been admired by coworkers, roommates, and chat roulette stalkers. I need to have a comfortable chair, my feet touching the ground (no easy feat at 5’0“), and a happy keyboard. The keyboard that came with our new computer was pretty. It’s sleek, black so it matches our speakers, monitor, and mouse, and has a tiny footprint compared with the old ergo. But, as with most things that are complimentary (see: my first digital camera, a 2.0 MP Kodak “EasyShare” which came “free” with our last computer), it sucks. The keys aren’t “sticky” the way they get after years in a male college student’s dorm room, but they seemed reluctant to yield, like a nice Jewish girl away at a youth group retreat. The action was clunky, and I was always hitting the caps lock key. I could not find A. I think they made it smaller than all the rest of the keys just to torment women who happen to like having long nails. Clearly a keyboard meant for boys and nail-biters.

After feeling guilty about not blogging, and reaching my breaking point (it was interfering with my normal routines, after all), I nagged Mr. Apron to please get the right convertor/adapter. Do you believe what he said? He told me to do it myself! What kind of liberated woman who chooses to wield a power drill and a sewing machine wants to go schlepping all over the internet/suburbs for an adapter? However, while he was at rehearsal one night, I did just that. I tried RadioShack. I know they’ve shifted their focus lately to cell phones, but I thought one could still walk in there and tell them, “I need to connect this to this” and they’d magically know what to do. Trying to sound intelligent, I used the name of the old connector and the new connector (I am a liberated woman, after all), and marched up to the eager saleslady.

Me: “Hello, I need an adaptor to connect a PS/2 keyboard to a USB”

Saleslady: “A PS/2 keyboard? You mean for midi?”

 Me: “Umm, no. It’s an old keyboard and a new computer.”

Saleslady, clueless, but faking it: “Okay,” and she leads me to a wall of wires and such, “a music keyboard?”

Me, growing exasperated and conviced she is clueless and faking it: “No. A PS/2 keyboard, for typing. To USB.”

Saleslady, pulling at straws: “Okay, so do you have a Playstation 2 or a mini?”

Holding up my fingers to provide visual support, I made a circle and translated back to girl tech talk with helpful pauses and rising intonation. “My old keyboard? For my computer. Has a connector like this: You know? The circle one? My new computer only has USB ports.” Then she tried to sell me a $20 mouse that would have the adapter included as part of the kit, but couldn’t find any, and anyway I’m sure it would be the wrong way, designed to fit a new (USB) mouse to an old computer with PS/2 jacks. Yes, PS/2. Never again will I make the mistake of trying to call a computer part by its rightful terminology when it (in hindsight) so obviously sounds like a video game system. I haven’t played a video game since Super Nintendo, and even then I never truly advanced to any proficiency on any games except on the original Nintendo anyway. Fail. They sent me to the computer store down the strip named, appropriately, “Computers”. I arrived at 7:15pm to a store that closed at 6pm. Fail.

Dejected, I went home and ordered the fucking adapter from Amazon for $.99 plus shipping. Amazon used the right terminology and I didn’t even get any offers for PlayStation in my Googling.  It came today. I hooked it up. I am blogging with fervor and outrage. All is right with the world.

The straps on a bike helmet.  If you’re going to ride down the street already looking like a dork for wearing a helmet in the first place, you might as well help the helmet do its job by buckling.  Otherwise, the message you’re sending your brain is, “I get the last laugh! I’ll comply with my state law/parents’ directions, but I’ll find a way to endanger my brain anyway.”  No, pal, the organ donor organization in your state gets the last laugh, and your kidneys, too.

Seat belts in a car.  My car beeps when I unbuckle to parallel park, a move necessitating more flexibility in a person of my stature than a buckled belt allows.  Ever wonder, folks, why they have all those chimes and idiot lights?  Ever wonder about those geniuses who think to buckle the belt behind themselves to try to outsmart the alarms off? I think they’re lining up for the Darwin awards.  Airbags can only save your life if you’re in the proper position to receive their high-speed pillowy dusty goodness.  

Wow.  I only have two examples.  Weak blog, weak.  I’m sure there are more witty things I could think of, but not under such pressure as the blinking cursor and expectant “publish” button demands.  Till next time then.

As in love as I am with my new-ish Samsung Solstice, as great as it is to take photos, text at the speed of light, and show off my touch screen with accelerometer, my unbridled enthusiasm for my new-ish toy has absolutely nothing to do with its baseline function as a phone.  I hate phones.  More specifically, I hate talking on the phone.  My shared phonebill shows a disparate usage of our monthly minutes.  I use perhaps 100, and Mr. Apron perhaps 500.   I do not talk on the phone if I can help it.  I’m not sure when this began.  I can recall as a tween (before such designations existed), exhausting my list of friends by serial-dialing in hopes of a last-minute sleepover.  I can recall hours-long conversations, as expected, in my pubescent years, a la Babysitters Club, with my middle school best friends.

And then, something.  Nothing.  The phone somehow became a source of anxiety, of dread.  I once had a babysitting gig lined up, but I was so squeamish about calling the family, that when my brother said, “Oh, I’ll do it for you,” I actually let him.  “Hi.  I’m calling for my sister, who’s too scared to call you herself.”  Click.

My first days of work, in addition to reviewing files and signing away my life in triplicate on obtuse forms, I had to call all the families of my new kiddos to introduce myself and set up appointments at their schools, daycares, or homes.  I sat in my office and cried.  I called my husband and cried.  When I had finally taken care of all the kiddos, I locked myself in the bathroom and cried out of sheer relief.

My husband I can talk to.  I can call him.  This leads me to believe there’s more to my phobia than just the A.G. Bell device.  It’s more about the vulnerability that a phonecall opens me up to.  As a kid, I didn’t realize this, so I’d happily prattle onto grandmas, friends, telemarketers, whomever.  Now, though, now that I know about the cues body language gives, and the protection e-mail affords with its backspace key, I’m loathe to make any phonecall that might put me up against someone scary.  You know, like a receptionist at a doctor’s office, an administrator at a school, a maitre d’ at a restaurant, or a coworker.  And yes, they are all too scary.  All these people have the power to shut me down, tell me no, tell me I’m ignorant or catch me unprepared.  When do I want an appointment?  I don’t know!  There aren’t any reservations?  Now what?  I don’t have the kid’s name spelled right and you can’t help me because I don’t have the release of information signed?  I’m sorry! 

In a face to face conversation, they can see my flustered face, watch me buy time by looking in my calendar or shuffling papers.  In a real conversation, you can make a silly face, or hold up a hand to say “wait”.  On an e-mail you can wait until you gather everything you need.  You can link to webpages and look up phone numbers and take your sweet time.  And in the blessed new medium of a text message, you don’t even have to have a conversation.  Just “I’m here” requires no response, not even a “K thx bye.”

And then, my voice.  I HATE my voice.  I don’t know how my husband can tolerate my yammering day in and day out.  On the phone I feel insecure about my voice, my tone, my rate of speech (my #1 critique in SLP grad school from multiple supervisors was to slow down).  And the bitch of it is, I talk faster when I’m feeling confident, secure, comfortable with you.  You’ll catch me stammering, “um”ing, pausing, taking my time, when I have no idea what to say.  You can see this in person.  You can  catch cues from me and we can have a conversation as partners.  On the phone, I might be faking it because I can’t hear you over your screaming children or the traffic outside your car window. 

Answering the phone is another annoyance.  Why can’t I let them all go to voicemail?  Unfamiliar number –> voicemail.  My mother, if I’m not in the mood –> voicemail.  My awkward uncle who talks in a child-molester voice and has three topics of conversation — Miley Cyrus, Brazilian bikinis, and the weather –> voicemail.  At work I avoid the phone like the plague.  If it rings, and the secretary is out, I strategically walk away from the phone and call out for someone else to get it.  My theory at work is, I have no more information to give than the voicemail.  I would just end up taking a message anyway, in my illegible handwriting, and then be charged with relaying the message, and potentially asked more detail than I recall and be blamed if something went wrong.  I cannot transfer a call without hanging up on somebody.  I cannot put a person on hold without forgetting which line they’re on.  I can barely buzz people in the door, and then I often get blamed for not checking who it is.  You expect me to work the intercom and the doorbell?  Please. 

I’d be thrilled if all these cell-phone driving bans get passed, because I’d have another excuse for not talking on the phone, and all the other idiots hanging up and driving wouldn’t be able to call me.

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that the Girls weren’t happy in certain bra selections.  I thought I owed you an explanation, an explication, an elucidation, an education, in the world of me and my breast support issues. 

I am a small-ish woman.  With bigg-ish breasts.  I am 5’0″ tall, with a 34D.  This has resulted in much hilarity in dressing rooms, where the shirt sleeves only fit if the buttons gape, and the unwanted crop top effect results from my boobs taking up too much fabric.  And it also resulted in an amusing anecdote.  Mr. Apron was in Chelsea, Manhattan with some time to kill, so he popped into the trendy American Apparel and spied a laurel heathered hoodie I needed for my birthday.  He unfortunately didn’t have my body to try the hoodies on, so he asked the obviously flaming salesman what size to buy.  “Well,” he asked, “What size is she?”  My husband explained, “She’s small, but she’s big.” hopefully emphasizing my need for more room in the chesterly location.  As this was Chelsea, he was met with a confused stare.  He clarified, gesturing as he went.  “She’s small,” holding his hand palm-down as if petting my irrepressibly cute keppe, “but she’s big,” cupping his hands as if to be the underwire on his 34D-holding brassiere.

Thus starts my bra-saga.  I’m not sure if it’s because of my small frame, or my short stature, or my sensitivity to metal impressing against my ribcage, but I cannot wear underwire bras.  I try an underwire, from time to time, when I see my boobs drooping in their “light support” cups.  I dig out one bra or another my well-meaning mother has sent along from the bottom of my drawer or the back of the closet, or from the box helpfully labelled, “bad bras.” I put it on, I admire my perky silhouette, I sit around, I try to do my daily activities.  And then, able to stand it no longer, I yank it off and free the Girls from their bondage.  There are always C-shaped grooves beneath my breasts, once again confirming that only those who engage in bondage were meant to wear metal next to the skin.

“Oh, you just haven’t found the right cup size/band size/brand yet,” says Mom as she helpfully ships off another box of TJMaxx or Bloomie’s treasures.

“Oh, you’re just not used to their being so well supported,” said the lady at the high-end lingerie store who decided I was a 34DD, when I went looking for wedding day foundation garments.  My breasts were swimming, not even touching the cups, and the metal dug into my ribs.  Am I supposed to get accustomed to that?

In conclusion, Rule #1: No underwire.

Rule #2: Must support the girls.  I cannot buy a bra with “light support” for “lounging” or anything that comes in sizes S, M, and L.  We can’t let gravity win that easily.  Most of the wirefree bras out there are for smaller breasts.  They just do not come in a D cup.  I’ll see something cute, something in a color besides black and white, something that doesn’t look matronly or resemble a quonset hut, and I’ll scan the racks or the pull-down menu only to find: 32A, 32B, 32C, 34A, 34B, 34C, 36A, 36B.  Where’s the 34D!!!  Oh, yeah, big girls don’t want pretty bras.

Big, you ask?? No, not hardly.  Not into realm of F and G and 40 and 42!  For “full support” bras you end up starting with 36DD.  So I’m not big, just relatively so, compared with the norm, but not big enough to move into the full-figured demographic.  They have a powerful lobby, let me tell you.  But what about me?  What about the “kinda-large-figured”?  What about those falling right outside the standard deviation?  Where do we fit in?

Rule #3: I’m still 5’0″ tall.  For a while, I tolerated the standard Victoria’s secret underwires, because they were cotton and they came in pretty colors, and I was only a 34C then so I had more options to rotate through on a weekly basis.  And then, I stopped being able to wear them entirely, because the straps, which only had a small range of adjustment to begin with, stretched out something awful and were nowhere near my shoulders, thus failing  Rules #2 and #3.  VS cotton bras, you are dead to me.  Or, until you fix your strap issues, your straps are dead to me.

Which brings me to Compromise#4: the cotton bra.  I’ve never understood the bra designer’s penchant for taking non-breathable, man-made fabrics and covering our sweaty titties with them.  Maybe we wouldn’t need quite as much “wicking” if the fabric we started out with let out girls breathe.  If I can get #1, 2, and 3, I dare not hope for #4.  My current stand-by is “microfiber”, which means it’s a soft verson of polyester.  It sucks.  It holds in sweat.  But it’s all I have right now. 

I could get cotton — sure.  It looks like this and this: And if you click the second link, be sure to scroll over the superimposed shirts, so you can preview the wet t-shirt contest looks.  Because, really?  Pool party + industrial boob sling = irresistible sex appeal.

What is it going to be next year?  I can’t even begin to imagine where you’re going to decide to be dry and/or itchy.  Every winter you magically decide to give me more grief, and it’s always something new.  You’re so crafty!  Just when I thought I had my legs under control, you start making my back itch.  Just when I’d developed my never-shaving-in-winter, baby oil-after-shower-protocol and I was consistent enough that I was no longer clawing my skin off in my sleep, the back started.  At first, I though it was my bra strap chafing against some teeny tiny pimple whose misfortune it had been to be out of my reach. Then I got home and had Mr. Apron check it out, and lo and behold; the eczema that I don’t have was on my back.

The eczema I was not supposed to have – do you hear me, skin?  My brother was the one who was supposed to be all pink and blotchy and covered in ointment, not me.  I am supposed to be the healthy one.  The first year the eczema showed up on my knuckle and thumb, I thought I must be delusional.  Contact dermatitis! I cried, because it couldn’t have come from within.  Eczema doesn’t suddenly develop in one’s twenties after a lifetime of skin no worse than cracked heels!  But there it was.  The next year found me breaking through the skin on my legs unconsciously as I slept.  After that, it was more eczema on my shoulders, and this year you have visited me on my back, which, I should mention, is pretty hard not only to scratch satisfactorily, but also to apply lotion to.  

Skin, you’re just pissing me off.  How can I have worse acne now than I did in my teens?  How can you give me wrinkles and ‘fine lines’ while I’m still fighting black heads?  Where is the justice?

This morning as I wriggled my back and adjusted my bra to no end, and cajoled Mr. Apron into putting obscene amounts of lotion on my back, I gave up.  I had to go change my bra. 

Now, skin, I know what you’re going to say: it was just a bad bra, always has been a bad bra, never has there been cause for alarm.  It’s all been in my head or strapped over my shoulders.  But no!  You are wrong, for I wear the same bra every day!  So picky is my skin and my shoulders and my ribcage and my Girls that I have 15 of the same bra!  So there!  The only variety my Girls see is in shades of tan, pink, white or black.  It is the evil skin. 

So when you decide to stop cracking my fingertips in the winter, breaking out my forehead, and cursing me with gifts of new eczema, we shall come to a peace.  Until then, whatever you throw at me, just please keep your elasticity.  I don’t think the Girls can bear having to find a new style of bra, and gravity is a cruel mistress.

I’ll be the first to admit it. Mr. Apron and I don’t keep the cleanest home.  We tidy up so we don’t constantly feel like we’re living in squalor.  We do laundry often enough so we’re not turning underwear inside out.  And we try not to smear dog poop all over the floors.  But still we don’t keep it clean, and I know it.  I don’t change the hand-towels in the bathroom or the dishtowels in the kitchen as often as I should.  I don’t disinfect the toilets and sinks as thoroughly as I ought to, and I’m not maniacal about washing my hands.

At work, everyone is maniacal about hand-washing, and not just for themselves.  I’m pretty conscientious about my own hands at work.  I’ve learned the school protocol is that we’re supposed to wash our hands each time we enter a classroom, and before meals, and after toileting.  I’m also thorough about washing my hands after I get sneezed, drooled, or boogered on.  What I’m not as fanatic about is the method.  The specific protocol varies from room to room, from daycare to daycare, from teacher to teacher, but involves some aspects of not touching anything, rubbing one’s soapy hands together for six hours under scalding water, and doing this sixteen million times a day. 

One teacher asks for kids to count to 30 or sing the ABCs while working up lather.  She also asks them to use a tissue to turn on the tap, or to wait for a teacher to do it for them.  This results in nasty soggy tissues disintegrating on the ever-running tap.  Another teacher has a song the kids sing which helps them remember to wash the tops and bottoms of their hands, and between their fingers.  Most teachers just let the tap run on full pressure while the endless line of children parades up before meals, after meals, before and after using the sandbox or the water table, and each time they enter the room. 

I’m not against teaching good hand-washing, or trying to reduce cross-contamination in a germ-filled classroom.  I am against making children rewash their hands because they touched the tap, or opened the trashcan using a hand instead of the foot pedal.  I am against letting water run to make things easier rather than using a moment to teach water conservation.  I am against changing trashcans 3 times in a year. And I am suspect of the fervent belief that if we can just perfect hand-washing, that’ll be the end of the cesspool that is the preschool center.  Because we’ll never get it just right.  Kids are still touching the soap pump; they’re still shaking dripping hands all over; they’re still touching light switches; and they’re still messing with their zippers and buttons before and after they wash their hands.  They’re still sneezing on my arm and goobering on my shirt and drooling on the table.  They’re still licking their fingers when the class makes cookies. 

Do you use a towel to turn on and off the tap in your own home?

We all make efforts, but we can only do so much, even with regimented hand-washing drills.  At some point we all just have to calm down and do out best without making ourselves, or the children we’re supporting, absolutely crazy. 

Unfortunately, mass hysteria over H1N1 and airborne Pacific Monkey Virus has resulted in products such as no-touch soap for the home, no-touch faucets, no-touch toothpaste dispensers, and disposable Kleenex hand-towels that fit neatly into your now-defunct towel bar.  We have my mother-in-law, a confessed germophobe, who quarantined my sister-in-law in the 2nd floor of her home, away from my nephew, who is at the house 2 days a week, because she had a sore throat, opening the door to a restaurant by applying her handbag over the handle. 

We do all these things and we still get sick.  We still use bar soap, cloth towels, and pull up our pants before washing our hands.  At least my mother-in-law hasn’t discovered anti-viral tissues or disposable hand towels yet.  But wherever I draw my personal line between hygiene and hysteria, I am still loathe to eat a child-prepared confection unless it’s been baked for a long time at a very high temperature.   Cuz man, kid germs in my cookies — that’s just nasty:

I have this “hang-up”, as my ex-boyfriend might call it, with wasting time.  He also mentioned I had a hang-up with time, as in, being enslaved by my watch and held to such artificial constructs as hours and minutes and appointments, so we don’t need to buy into his philosophies whole-heartedly, but that’s a post for another time, and another therapy session. 

I had a day off on Friday.  Good Friday, so the Christians could celebrate consecration, or prepare for what I understand was Jesus’ Passover seder.  Or something.  While I’m dubious of the necessity for a day off for this purpose, I gladly welcome it as one of my 11 work-sanctioned holidays.  My company was, after all, founded by Lutherans, so who am I to question a day off, right? 

After a monumentally productive Thursday afternoon, where I walked the dogs down to pick Mr. Apron up from work and we at once set out for the walking trail/path/woodsy part of a local college.  We spent the next hour traipsing through the wooded scenery being frequently passed by coeds skimpily garbed in black athletic gear as they jogged their respective ways to hotness, while trying to keep the lunging dogs from attacking.  It was glorious.   We were, as usual, inappropriately dressed, me in sandals, a  skirt, and missing sunglasses, and Mr. Apron in a dress shirt and tie.  When we vacationed in Maine last summer, people stopped us on the hiking trail to tell us we were the best-dressed hikers.  Mr. Apron was then sporting a vintage straw boater.  It was a lovely afternoon.

Friday I woke up at 10:30, after fighting off the face-seeking missile named Molly who is unfortunately morning person.  She eventually gave up after 16 tries to coat my mouth with dog kisses, and I burrowed deeply under the covers, choosing a dry, unadulterated  face over being able to breathe.  I ate breakfast at 11:30, probably checked my Facebook 42 times, and just as I was about to actually do something — hook up the old printer to the new computer using the cable we ordered but thought was incompatible —  Mr. Apron came home for lunch. 

Distracted as I was, I mean, as intently focused as I was on the printer issue, I was unable to fully appreciate Husband-Home-In-The-Middle-Of-The-Day.  Feeling rejected, he soon left, spurring my subsequent text (after I’d successfully printed out the address of the nearest Christmas Tree Shops):

“installed the printer.  Sorry for my single minded focus.  I am awesome.”

Ah, Christmas Tree Shops.  One recently opened in this part of the world, and I decided to go.  I also decided that I would leave Molly out of her crate for a test-run of the house for a few hours. 

The stupid store ended up being an hour away.  An hour’s drive of stop-lights and traffic and grannies shopping for palm thingies and frustration.  After another hour, I exited CMS with seed packets, kid scissors, a bag of chocolate chips, rice noodles, and a new pair of purple gardening gloves. 

As I pulled out of the parking lot, Mr. Apron called.  Molly had, in 2 short hours, destroyed the house.  She had emptied the recycling bin, piece by piece, and strewn the bottles and cans about the living room.  With the gate up keeping Finley in the kitchen (where recyclables usually live), she had leapt over the gate, retrieved each can or bottle singly, leapt back over the gate, and taken each treasure to the living room.  She gnawed through aluminum cans, shred our carpet-sample coasters, and torn up anything with a #1 or #2  on it. 

Not to be trusted.  Oh, no.

Learned that lesson the hard way.

I felt as though I’d completely wasted my day.  One of only 11 on my calendar to do with as I please.  Indeed, I chose to sleep in (against Molly’s wishes).  I chose to have a leisurely shower and to focus on the printer hook-up, something I could have done any evening.  And I chose to drive an hour each way to a stupid chain store filled with cheap crap.  Lots and lots of cheap crap.  Admittedly, they were my choices, but it felt lousy.

I might have been happier at the end of the day if I’d woken up at 8, taken the dogs for a loooooong walk to tire them out, showered, made a Passover-friendly smoothie for breakfast, and organized my sock drawers.  Maybe I could have gone to the local hardware store for seeds and single-handed planted a starter garden in the kitchen window’s plentiful sunshine, all by the time Mr. Apron came home for lunch.  And I might have enjoyed our little tryst more. 

In an ideal world, yes, any of these things might have happened, had I been motivated.  Had I not stayed up watching Project Runway.  Had it not been so much more delicious — in the moment — to sleep in. 

People say you become more efficient with time when you have children, that you’re forced to squeeze more into each day and do laundry between bites of oatmeal and you jazzercise to the coffeepot’s percolations. 

I don’t necessarily want to do more; I’d like to first be able to forgive myself for what I am able and motivated to do.  And what I accomplish each day, whether it’s a holiday, a weekend, or another day at work.

“When are you going to blog again?” asks the husband who helped me create my own blog after guest-blogging on his. 

“When my nails are shorter or we get the good keyboard hooked up,” I reply.  “I can’t even hit the “a” key without also striking the caps lock.” 

Or, today.  I have the day off.  Mr. Apron does not.  But instead of enjoying the sunshine, I’m sitting at home blogging because I have a load of laundry in the machine.  I’m planning on going out when I put the load in the dryer.  While I dread the moldy promise of a wet load left in the washing machine, I have no qualms about leaving a dry load to wrinkle in the dryer overnight, if need be.  Clean is clean. 

Mom’s birthday is today.  She called while I was in the shower to let me know she’d opened my gift to her, a purse with a handle made out of a plastic carrot.  The purse that was on page 68 of “Sewing Basket Fun,” a piss-poor excuse of a crafting/sewing book edited by Barbara Weiland.  Edited by?  I guess that means the lame-ass projects were only compiled by her, and I can’t even blame her for Lucy B. Gray’s “design” of the “Veggie Lover’s Handbag” which Mom marked with a Post-it note stating, “Hint –> for mommie’s birthday” when she presented the book to me for my birthday.  The book which sent me on a 6 month quest for a plastic carrot which wasn’t one of a set of six for $9.95 + shippinh, or part of a $19.95 play food basket.  Finally, as Easter merchandise started trickling into stores, I found a jumprope at the Dollar Tree with carrot handles.  For $1, I figured I’d be a sport.  I cut off the rope, and Mr. Apron drilled the holes.  I held the carrot and cringed as he aimed the drill bit at the carrot and drilled 2 perfect holes for the straps.  Then I had to thread fabric straps through the holes.  Using a skewer to jam them through didn’t work.  Neither did threading the fabric on a yarn needle and shoving that through the holes.  Finally, in my brilliance, I grabbed Elmer’s glue and shellacked the fabric strips, twisting them until they were somewhat pointed and narrower.  I pushed them through the holes and declared myself, in honor of Easter, the risen lord Carrotess.  Of course, when they dried, they became impossible to sew through, and I couldn’t find my thimble, nor could I convince Mr. Apron to destroy his fingers shoving a needle and thread through the hardened straps.  My trusty new sewing machine came to the rescue, sewing sturdy, if not aesthetically pleasing stitches into the strap handles.

I finally put the fool thing in the mail on Monday.  She received it on Wednesday, opened it today, and left me a voicemail saying she was carrying her brand-new carrot purse around with her today.  I wonder what her clients thought of it. 

Mom is an attorney.  She reperesents children through the state — kids whose parents can’t care for them, or shouldn’t.  She visits them in foster homes, state “homes”, and adoptive homes.  She brings them stuffed animals, takes them out for ice cream, and gathers back-to-school supplies to replace whatever was left behind in the last placement.  She makes sure they carry their worldly effects in more than a trashbag, enlisting me to sew large drawstring bags for this purpose.  And provided she doesn’t have to be in court that day, she’ll do all this wearing a solar system jumper, pink leggings, patent-leather mary janes, and, of course carrying a carrot-handled purse.

Happy Birthday Mom.