Friday, December 31, 2004

Ah! You must be with The Bad Example Party... 

Because I hate going out on New Year's, and because there aren't really too many places you can take a four year old, I've taken over the Marie Antoinette Suite at The Ritz, London, to treat my Blogfamily and readers to a (virtual) meal.

So. Who's having what?

And please don't trash the place too much!

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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

When Google Isn't Enough 

This is a plea for help.

We were watching "I Robot", yesterday, and it was driving me so mad wondering where I'd seen the female lead before, that I had to stop the movie to look it up. Ten seconds later, problem solved. Not so with this one:

I read an article about a year ago, describing a small town in the U.S, which I think may be called "Paradise". I'm not sure, but I believe it to be in the North-East. Anyway, the citizens of this town have to comply with hundreds of regulations in order to keep it perfect. Right down to the length of their lawn. I'm pretty sure that cars are banned also. For some strange reason, I want to read more about it, but I don't remember enough to search for it!

Can anyone out there please enlighten me?

(Gratuitous linkage promised)

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Monday, December 27, 2004

Evil Glenn's New Year - A Filthy Lie 

I decided to take Tara to The Tower of London, as a New Year's treat. After arguing in a somewhat futile manner that I was not a tourist, but an already overtaxed citizen, I paid half a year's salary and was admitted by the cashier. I was on my way to show Tara The Crown Jewels, which, by the way, Harvey, are not what you think they are, when I heard a familiar voice behind me:

Evil Glenn: So. Where are the prisoners then?

Cashier: I'm sorry, sir. The Tower hasn't housed prisoners for quite a few years now...

Evil Glenn: What do you mean? It wasn't that long ago that I came to see those two tender charming boys! I remember that occasion as if it were yesterday. Damn! And I came all this way. Is Newgate prison still around? I had some great times there!

Sally: I knew it was you, Evil Glenn! What in the name of all creation are you up to now, you sick f...

Evil Glenn: Prison Visitor!

Sally: What? Don't tell me this is another of your Charity Worker schemes!

Evil Glenn: Indeed. I've just come from San Quentin actually.

Sally: What were you doing there?

Evil Glenn: Well, for a start, I like to keep tabs on the prisoners who are about to be released. You know, like whether or not they have a place to stay after their release date. But that stuff's just for fun. You'd be amazed at the amount of business I can drum up at these places!

Sally: Business?

Evil Glenn: Oh yes! I do my best work visiting prisoners on Death Row. Sometimes I pretend to be a kindly Human Rights lawyer...

Sally: I thought you wanted to get Human Rights abolished?

Evil Glenn:...offering a full pardon on a "no death, no fee" basis. Then I get them to sign a contract selling their souls to Satan. If I'm in a good mood, I'll throw in an offer to get the injection needle sterilised.

Sally: I think I'm going to faint.

Evil Glenn: Condemned prisoners are also good for money. "You can't take it with you", I tell them. Then I convince them that it's in their best interest to pay Death Tax in advance. Works like a charm...

Sally: Is there no depravity towards which you won't stoop?

Evil Glenn: Funny you should mention that. As you can see from these pictures in my camera, I couldn't quite get under this penguin trapeze...

Sally: Gah! Officer!

Evil Glenn: You mean "Death-Eater"

Sally: Um, actually, I think you mean "Beefeater", Glenn.

Evil Glenn: Don't dare presume tell me what I mean, puny mortal! Your unrelenting quest for truth, honour and justice make the doctrines of Islaw unknowable to such a lowly creature as yourself.

Sally: Well you don't have much of a grasp of history, that's for sure, if you're asking if they still have prisoners here!

Evil Glenn: Rubbish! *Breaks into song*
Ohhhh! Buckingham Castle, The Tower of England!

Sally: Uh, Glenn? This is all pretty horrible stuff an all, but it hasn't got much to do with your New Year celebrations, does it? I mean, apart from the first line...

Evil Glenn: Indeed! I was hoping to distract you from my real diabolical plan with all this. Looks like it worked. Good luck next year! Take care of that dolphin you adopted on Boxing Day too.

And with that cryptic parting shot, Evil Glenn strangled all the ravens, and swooped off towards Traitor's Gate.

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Sunday, December 26, 2004

Boxing Day 

Tara is sick! Not badly. It's not a bleed. She's just stopped scampering and has a temperature. Bless her, she's really good when she gets her sick days. She doesn't complain, she just wants to snuggle up on the sofa with us and watch T.V. There's no whining. She just gets on with it.

We went to my parent's today, for a late lunch of Christmas leftovers, and all she ate was some melon, a slice of turkey, and a few grapes. She refused all offers of chocolate, which isn't something I usually let her have, but I was willing to let her have it if only to keep her awake! She didn't even want the evil diet coke that was offered.

I remember taking the day off work once, and spending it watching Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" with her when she was 11 months old and didn't want to go to her Childminder. I loved the fact that she wanted me when she was unwell. My Boss wasn't too thrilled though...

She's had maybe five days like this since she was born. She seems to have my ability to withstand illness. I've smoked my way through pleurisy, and danced in a thunderstorm with scarlet fever. She's pretty stoic. Maybe it's due to her condition. Yesterday she asked me to count the bruises on her legs. (There were over thirty).

When I was sick as a child, my treat would be to spend the day in my parent's bed, reading and eating ice-cream. What was yours?

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Thursday, December 23, 2004

Boudicca's Voice 

Treasured blog-sister, Boudicca, surprised me last night by telling me she would like to call me today. How lovely was that?! Christmas has been a nightmare this year, but today I actually had something to look forward to! I must have told Tara ten times that my friend "all the way from America" would be calling.

Then I got nervous. I'm not good on the phone at all. Alex gets frustrated with me sometimes because I take ages to write a post, or e-mail. It has to be just right before I post, comment or send something. What would I say? I thought about the things I wanted to say to her, but when the phone rang, my mind was a complete blank!

Bou is as warm, interesting and funny as her writing is. Alex got to talk to her as well, and that was good. I'm so grateful that I spoke to a member of my wonderful blogfamily. Thank you so much!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Filling the Stockings 

In retrospect, it was probably a bad idea to try on my new Christmas lingerie in the bathroom whilst Tara was in the tub. She came storming out and announced to her Daddy that:

"You will have to drive Mummy to take it all back. The panties are going to be much too small, and you can see her boobies through the top bit. And the socks are too long!"

Now I have to deal with TWO people who want their Christmas presents early!

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Monday, December 20, 2004

"Sinister Blogging Alliance! " 

Or silly blogkids intent on linking funny people. Whatever. My blogbrother T1G and I have gotten ourselves into a bit of trouble. I'm not sure whether his post, or mine was to blame, but I'm sure Harvey will sort it all out for us...

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Friday, December 17, 2004

Don't Leave Home Without It 

If you're planning on having a few drinks in the U.K this Christmas, Tim, of "An Englishman's Castle", has the season's must-have item for your wallet.

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There Is a God, and He is Just! 

So far, I have not "found" the pony. But this is no longer my problem! We're off to the Midlands to see Alex's family, and she'll be in the somewhat dubious "care" of my parents. Call me wicked, but I had the most fun cooking her dinner today. Wholewheat spaghetti, tomatoes, corn. Lots of it. Carrots, peppers...Oh, my mother is going to have such an interesting time!

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Evil Glenn's Christmas: A Festive Lie 

This Christmas Eve I decided to see if the local soup-kitchen needed any help. As I peered inside, I was slightly disturbed to see a huge banner, written in letters fifteen feet high. It proclaimed this edict:


There were already several beggars slumped unconscious beneath it. Hmmm...a little too much of the Christmas Spirit, I suspected...

I descended the stairs to the office I'd been assigned to, and encountered an imposing figure dressed in a top hat and opera cloak. It was tapping away at a keyboard, and it's voice was a sibilant whisper:

Evil Glenn: [Not turning to look at me] Ah, Pitiful Underling. You can start by shredding this abominable literature...you can use my new cordless blender.

Sally: [reading the leaflets] "How to Secure Permanent Accomodation - A Guide for the Homeless"

Evil Glenn: Or burn the filth...Whatever. Then you'll be working on the publicity for my new product.

Sally: Blenders? Abuse of defenceless small creatures? That's just plain...EVIL! And you're wearing sandals in England, in DECEMBER!

Evil Glenn: With woolly socks!

Sally: I know you! You're...

Evil Glenn: No. I'm afraid you're mistaken. My name is Sir Peter Maxwell.

Sally: Glenn! Would it really hurt you to tell the truth for once?

Evil Glenn: Indeed. I might as well not have gone to Law School!

Sally: So you are Glenn Reynolds!

Evil Glenn: I reserve the right to remain silen..

Sally: Go on! Plead the Fifth. Your dreadful deeds will come back to haunt you in this life or the next! Or the previous! Or the simultaneous, depending on what you believe about parallel universes...Oh, I forgot, you're immortal.

Evil Glenn: And I thought I had you fooled with my stealth-blogging as an English gentleman. But you had to link him, didn't you? Pesky, meddling Alliance member...

Sally: That was T1G! And what's that honking sound? It's coming from that filing cabinet over there...the drawer with the little yellow webbed thing trapped in...Oh, dear Lord!

Evil Glenn: Get the hell out of my office! And take that crippled penguin with you! It's no use to me, as the specialist market are all spending Christmas with their wives. Bah, humbug!

Later that night:

Glenn sits in his study sipping a warm glass of mulled O negative from his cellars dungeons. He savours the rich bouquet of the haemoglobin content, and gives thanks for the volunteer-work that ensures a steady stream of prey. His eyelids droop and...

[Enter the ghosts of hobos past]

Hobos: Ooohooooo! DING DING DING! Ooowoooooh! CLASH CLASH CLASH!

Evil Glenn: Hark! Is that the rattling of tin plates and cups I hear? Oh sweet music...

Hobos: Rey...nolds...! Rey...nol...ds! Our souls can not rest until our bodies lie in hallowed ground..

Evil Glenn: A cardboard box behind a dumpster was good enough for your rotten carcasses in Life. DEAL, for Chrissakes! I'm going back to sleep.


Frank J: Glenn? Hey, wake up!

Evil Glenn: Yes?

Frank J: I am the ghost of bloggers present. I want to make my peace with you. I feel terrible, Glenn! I told the blogosphere you blend puppies, worship Satan, sell government secrets to Commies...

Evil Glenn: Don't worry, Frank. I think I'm starting to realise what this is. Believe me, I'm learning.

Frank J: I'm so glad you said that. It's the season to be charitable and you're being given a unique opportunity to..

Evil Glenn: I know! Punch you again!

Frank J: Aaargh! B..y nos..d!

Evil Glenn: Muwhahahaha! This is the best Christmas Eve ever! I'll hold that image in my mind while I go back to sleep , if I may. Heh. Must remember to crash his server tomorrow.

[Later Still]

Evil Glenn: Wha..? I could have sworn I turned the T.V off.

C.N.N Broadcast: This is C.N.N, the Channel of the Future. Presidential Decree cites Trial by Lawyer as unconstitutional..

Evil Glenn: Objection!

C.N.N Broadcast: ...Pressure groups in alliance against the senseless killing of aquatic and marine creatures...

Evil Glenn: My lucrative dolphin snuff films!

C.N.N Broadcast: Finally on C.N.N, infamous blogger, and lawyer, Glenn Rey..

Evil Glenn: Charity Worker!!!

C.N.N Broadcast: ...is taking up retirement in Alaska...

Evil Glenn: Six months of daylight?! No way! And who the hell could I "help" with their "housing issues" up there? My freezer is already full. That reminds me. I need to buy more meat-hooks...

At this point, the ghosts of murdered hobos past, bloggers of the present, and channels of the future, gave up. Evil Glenn was clearly irredeemable.

But we knew that, anyway, didn't we, boys and girls?

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Thursday, December 16, 2004

She's fine. Just feeling a little horse. 

Oh the joys of the emergency room at Christmastime!

Tara swallowed a plastic pony, whilst in the care of my parents. Apparently, she came downstairs, coughing and gasping, and told them what she had done. We all met up at the hospital, and she seemed to be fine except she complained of a sore throat. As we expected, there was no X-Ray, and we were told to just "watch" for it.


What's the best way to do this? Clingfilm over the toilet seat or what?

I'll just have to console myself by muttering that old joke punchline as I attempt it:

"With all this crap, I figure there must be a pony!"

UPDATE: "Clingfilm". I think it's also called "Saran Wrap". Wonderful multi-purpose invention...

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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I'll have a pink, pink, pink, pink Christmas... 

Maybe it's just Holiday stress, but I'm seriously considering sending this to Mattel:

Obviously, you don't have kids of your own. You spend your days sitting in offices designing and marketing clothes and dolls to children who don't have the damn manual dexterity to get the clothes on and off the doll!

Honestly, the number of times I've dressed and redressed the stupid things! And they are really fiddly to dress. Half the sleeves are made of sheer, thin material, so the hands get stuck, or tear through the fabric. The other clothes are, naturally, skintight. I can barely do it, let alone a four year old. What makes it worse is that I know there'll be three more of the Items of Utter Evil in the house come Christmas.

What do you think I should suggest to Mattel? Amish Barbie?

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Saturday, December 11, 2004

...I'll be your illegal driver today! 

Tara goes to school with a little girl for whom English is a second language. English is a second language for this girl's parents also, and we often talk to them outside the school gates. The father is quite young, and a lovely guy. He usually drives to school and has, on several occasions, driven us part of the way home when it's raining.

On Friday, he greeted me with a huge grin because, apparently, he had just passed his driving test that day.

I was still shaking an hour later.

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Horror of Horrors 

It had to happen sooner or later.

A Christmas card from The Munchkins was lying on the floor when we got home today.

I could'nt not send them a card in return. I really couldn't. So...

Me: Tara, here are the cards for the neighbours. Would you like to draw some holly on the corner of the envelopes?

Tara: Yes please.

Me: Good girl. When you've finished, you can post them with Daddy.

(Ten minutes later)

Tara: We posted all the cards, but Daddy said we need to do this one again!

Me: Why? That's lovely holly! Let me see.

Tara: I know that word. That's "The", and that's a "M", for "Mummy".

Me: Oh dear Lord...

Alex: You addressed the envelope to "The Munchkins"!


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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

New Blogger Seeks Silly People for Blatant Wind-Up 

Now if you didn't realise that this wasn't serious from the blog heading, I really have no sympathy for you.

Not that the comments didn't give me a good laugh, of course.

Just scan it. You'll get the gist. Then enjoy the heated debate!

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Monday, December 06, 2004

More Spam-Mocking 

Why? Why would anyone with a U.K e-mail address be remotely interested in buying a vacation home in Australia?

So they could hop down there on weekends... in their warp-speed airplane, presumably.

What's the most ridiculously stupid thing your inbox has spewed up?

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Sunday, December 05, 2004

Just Because it's Nice 

I got this via e-mail:

Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.

Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.

Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.

Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one if he comes by.

Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.

Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.

Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.

Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.

Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.

Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.

Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows.

Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.

I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore.

And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer. It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask him for nothing, except one more day.............

Hmm...I wonder how this could be adapted for husbands and wives.

Just for this evening, I will leave my underwear at home...

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When Mommy Fell Down The Christmas Tree... 

Blogsister and winner of the best of the top 1000 to 1750 blogs- if -I -have- anything- to- do- with- it, Boudicca, of Boudicca's voice, has a great post up about her Christmas tree.

Are you still here? I'm not telling you the story until you've voted. And go vote for Harvey while you're at it.

Thanks. O.K, I'll begin.

Actually, it's not that good a story, but if it got you voting, I don't care.

Tara must have been about two years old. I'd returned from a kid's Christmas Party at the social club my Dad used to run. This event was the single, solitary holiday evening out for me that Christmas. Needless to say, I had a couple of glasses of wine. As I was crossing the living room to get some coffee before putting Tara to bed, a ceiling decoration fell down. Thinking that this would not be a problem, I promptly dragged a chair over to the area and...

Total loss of balance.

You know how, when you're in danger, time slows right down? In that split second, I found myself facing the choice of falling:

a) On Tara
b) Through the French Windows
c) On the Christmas tree.

I chose the latter. And escaped miraculously unscathed.

My friend, V, called me the next day, and Tara answered. The first words out of her mouth were, "Mommy fell down the Christmas tree!". I was so mortified. V has known me since my childless and reckless days. She said she had a vision of me trying to climb up the tree, and, when I was living with my Irish room-mate, that's exactly the sort of stunt we'd pull after "just the one" in the pub after work. She couldn't stop laughing.

Kids...They'll grass you up every time...

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Thursday, December 02, 2004

An interesting question... 

A father and his son were driving to a ball game when their car stalled on the railroad tracks. In the distance a train whistle blew a warning. Frantically, the father tried to start the engine, but in his panic, he couldn't turn the key, and the car was hit by the onrushing train. An ambulance sped to the scene and picked them up. On the way to the hospital, the father died. The son was still alive but his condition was very serious, and he needed immediate surgery. The moment they arrived at the hospital, he was wheeled into an emergency operating room, and the surgeon came in, expecting a routine case. However, on seeing the boy, the surgeon blanched and muttered, "I can't operate on this boy - he's my son."

What relation was the surgeon to the boy?

If you know the answer, any thoughts about it? Did you get it right away? I didn't when I first heard it ten years ago.

UPDATE: So the surgeon is his mother. I think the riddle works in two ways. Firstly, as Contagion pointed out, the older generation would never think of the possibility that a woman could be a surgeon. Secondly, the younger generation are so used to non-traditional family units, with adopted, and step children, that we automatically assume something other than the "norm", as a way of accounting for it.

I told this to The Munchkins the first time they gatecrashed my home. They didn't get the question. Hell, they didn't get the answer! I think I lost them on the word, "surgeon".

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"These men are celibate, like their fathers and forefathers before them" 

We were doing the tri-hourly wiping of the surfaces Tara has access to:

Me: Wouldn't it be great if someone would invent some magic formula to prevent child-damage to furniture?

Alex: They'd make an absolute fortune!

Me: Everyone would buy it. Everyone in the world!

Alex: Well, people with kids would. That's not everyone.

Me: But the people that chose not to have children would buy it to protect their homes from their grandchildren!

Alex: You know, when you get your highlights done, I suggest you go darker.

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