Friday, July 30, 2004

Friday, July 30, 2004 - Customized Blog...Ooooooh....

I've added a tagboard and the Weather From Hell, and maybe I'll add a couple other kewl things too. Enjoy!

Now I'll have to get the kids to bed and then call my folks before they leave tomorrow morning for sunny SC. *sigh* I don't know what I'll do without them around all the time. More later...

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Thursday, July 29, 2004 - A Moment in the Life of Zipper

Zipper runs into the kitchen, where I'm doing dishes. He comes to a halt with a screech, points to the counter, says "Rolls!", and dashes off again.

Thursday, July 29, 2004 - Here Comes The Rain Again

I was blech bored out of my mind yesterday. Thankfully one of my guy friends showed up unexpectedly to mediate the tedium. He wanted to show off his new car, which was pretty cool considering it was a Volkswagen. We were outside with the boys and it started to rain so we retreated to the garage and had a good talk about life, the universe, and everything. The boys decided that it would be a good idea to go out into the pouring rain and once they were thoroughly soaked and miserable I had to take them inside. Shortly thereafter the rain abated, and my guy friend made to leave...and then he came right back inside because his car's battery was dead (nice new car, ha ha ha!) So I gave him a jump and he was on his merry way. A bright spot in a dreary day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - Daffy About Dollies!

I didn't post yesterday (I'm so ashamed) because I was playing with Internet doll makers. They are so much fun! I even let Ironwolf play for  a while, and he really liked it too (always knew he wanted to play with dolls!) So, without further ado, I present dolls loosely based on myself. The first one is from Josie's Dollz, and the rest are from My Cartoon Dolls.
The most realistic likeness of me...

Always wanted to be a movie star...

Girls just wanna have fun...

 Couldn't leave out the ShadowAngel herself...

Every girl wants to be a princess at least once...

 Jammin' on my bass & lovin' it...

Hey, maybe I'll even put a real picture of me up sometime!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Monday, July 26, 2004 - VBS Visit and More Tummy Troubles

Ugh, it's gotten chilly around here again. It didn't even make it to 70 F today. What the heck is going on with the weather this summer? Oh, well, at least it didn't rain last weekend (for the first time since the beginning of June).

For some silly reason I agreed to teach Vacation Bible School again. I don't know why I do it. It's not out of particular religious conviction (I'm Christian, but I'm not just Christian; it's a little hard to explain here). And it's not because I love teaching - I have great respect for teachers in part because I know I couldn't handle the job myself. So it must be either 1) to alleviate the boredom; or 2) because I'm a masochist. Don't get me wrong, it's fun, but after 4 hours of dealing with all those kids, I'm shot for the day.

I"m teaching 1st and 2nd grade again with "Tina". I'm glad she asked me to partner up with her again - we worked well together two years ago. (I'm also glad that I'm not doing the 3-year-old class again! Like herding cats, I tell you!) We'd put off our planning long enough and she came over today, bringing her two kids (aged 8 and 6). Her kids were great, but mine were, uh, not. They fought, they cried, they whined, and made themselves general pains in the neck. What can you do?

Tina was good to take it all in stride, and we got done with everything we needed to do in about 2 hours, and got in a good personal chat in the process.  So now the real mad rush of work begins, since we only have 3 weeks before VBS. It's mostly decorating and activity planning, but it will probably take about 40 hours of my time altogether. I do this because...

Ironwolf came home today miserable because he caught the tummy bug that plagued me and Zipper over the last couple weeks. Of course, he came home, ate a little dinner, and went to bed. Like I ever had that luxury. But in fairness, he did stick it out through his whole workday, and will probably go in tomorrow. I guess I can't hold it against him. I've never met a guy who didn't want to be babied when they were ill.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Monday, July 26, 2004 - "Shadowangels" on Ebay?

I had this really odd experience last night online. I googled myself (it's not a bad thing to do once in a while just to see what you come up with) and on the screen there was a little ad saying "Shadowangels" (actually my real last name) for sale on Ebay. Naturally I was intrigued by this and clicked through. I found 5 items for sale, 4 of them being albums by an acid-techno artist in Europe that I was already aware of, but the other item was very strange. It was a pint glass from the 1940's  being sold by an estate sale company in my town, and the imprinted on the glass was the company's name, address, and phone number, and wouldn't you know, it was for "Shadowangel's" Restaurant Supply! It was obviously calling to me, and I saw there was less than 30 min. left in the auction, so I got it. I asked Ironwolf if he knew anything about it and he doesn't. Our last name isn't common in this area, so it could possibly be a relative, but no one here knows. I'll have to drop a line to my father-in-law and ask him about it. Pretty cool though, huh? Who woulda thunk it?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Sunday, July 25, 2004 - Neglect, negect, neglect...

I am getting so annoyed with Ironwolf. He has gone out with friends and coworkers every day for nearly a week, and I am feeling very neglected. It's not like I get more than one evening a month out to myself. And sheesh, the two of us only have a date night maybe once every 3-4 weeks. Plus he is going to be doing all this traveling for work in the next couple months. I am just getting sick of being left alone so much. I've told him as much, and I guess he understands. We'll see if he actually does anything about it.

Sunday, July 25, 2004 - A Happy and Sad Party

Yesterday was my cousin's high school graduation party. This was one big shindig. It looked like about 100 guests, catered, rented tent, live band (ok, some of her school friends, but they were pretty good - it made me realize just how badly I play my instruments). She looked so happy and I'm very proud of her. It's kind of hard to believe it - she is my youngest cousin, and she's all grown up now! Boo hoo hoo!

Almost all of the extended family on my father's side was there. And I was very happy to see most of them (it is  a typical family, after all). I was not happy with Ironwolf though, because he spent half the time there playing poker, abandoning me (again!) to keep an eye on the kids by myself. But in all fairness to him, he was playing with my grandparents, and if he can offer them a little brightness in their existance, who am I to complain?

I learned that I really do like to play badminton after all, so maybe I'll put the net back up here. Heaven knows I could use the exercise.

Rascal fell in the pool during one of the few 30-second lapses in direct supervision by his parents. He was fetched out by another party guest and he was fine, but he was rather upset. He felt bad about it, but I guess that it's best that he learned the "hard way" the "easy way", with plenty of people around to help him out. Thank goodness I'd packed a spare set of clothes for him.  The funny part is that his 4-year-old cousin had fallen in that same pool only a few days earlier, so Rascal's cousin provided a great deal of empathy and support.

So the party was great, except that this was the last time we would all be together before my father leaves for South Carolina. I hear my parents talking to others, and it's so obvious that they don't  want to go. I really hope it works out for them. It was really very sad as each of us took our leave. My sister couldn't hold back her tears, and I barely could. I'll deal with it on my own. We are all going to miss him terribly. But I'm sure that we will get to see him again soon.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Friday, July 23, 2004 - So There's This Guy...

I have been involved in a lengthy email discussions with a male friend of mine (and Ironwolf's [ok, primarily Ironwolf's]). It all started with my sending him a critical review of his original musical compositions, a hobby which I share with him (but he's quite experienced and I'm rather the beginner). My original letter was about 2 pages, and he sent back this extremely detailed 8-pager in reply.

It's turned into a very strange correspondance, where we discuss the mundane, the technical (music, primarily), the psychological, the philosophical, and the theological. We are sending these 10-page collages of thought with about a week turnaround time. I both really look forward to his emails and really dread them -they are really funny, insightful, and thought-provoking, but it also seems as though with every message I send out I am leaving myself seriously psychologically vulnerable.

It's probably too much like having an affair. No, dear readers, I have not and never intend to have one, so you will not find titillation of that sort here. I suspect that my husband isn't exactly happy about these email exchanges (as he is not happy about this blog, but that's part of the reason why I use psuedonymns), but he understands that they serve as a useful outlet for me.  I don't know if I can tell this friend everything yet, but it's nice to have someone else with whom I can discuss the deeper stuff.

Friday, July 23, 2004 - One Seriously Bummed Out Shadowangel

I've spoken with my mother several times in recent days. She seems so unhappy to be leaving. She told me that my father was expected to start work in South Carolina on Aug. 9; the next day she tells me that they have now requested an Aug. 2 start date. Which gives them 10 days. So they are super-busy now trying to clean up and fix up their home for sale.

I'll get to see them tomorrow when we go to my cousin's high school graduation party (my baby cousin! I feel so old...). Just have to remember - " I'm happy that they have this opportunity", not "I'm miserable and don't want them to go."

God, I've felt like crying all day. Well, at least I have an outlet here.

Thursday, July 22, 2004 - Wrong Again

Go figure. I was able to edit my old posts. It wasn't working before today, I swear!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Thursday, July 22, 2004 - Mom, mom, mom...

Blast it all! I can't seem to keep from making typos in my blog, even with spell check, and it looks like Blogspot doesn't let you go back and edit old entries. Well, I'll double-check that last part.

Today was very blah. I've had no energy. At least the kids were pretty much satisfied with bumming around the house too. Maybe I should go to bed early.

Rascal is in this very endearing and annoying phase. He is constantly asking for my attention, and if I don't respond to him within a microsecond, he tries again. Thus the title of this entry.  It's kind of funny because when he was right about 2 years old, the first 40 or 50 words I would hear every morning were also Mom, Mom, Mom! He would call to me nonstop from his gated bedroom until I got up and let him loose. Ah, the more things change...

Rascal also gets so excited when he is talking that he has to take five or six tries before he can get the sentence out. If he'd just stop and take a breath he might be able to get it on the first try!

Zipper's diaper rash is getting better - not needing 15 diaper changes a day has helped. Thanks for your healing vibes, dear readers.

Ha ha ha ha! I spell checked this message just before sending it out, and Blogspot's spell-checker didn't know the word blog!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - XMas in July

My hubby Ironwolf works for a company that does consumer product testing. When the  testing is done, there are lots and lots and lots of these sample products left. Many of them are destroyed in the testing process, but some of them are not. The test samples are stored for a period of some months and are then destroyed or given away to the employees. This latter practice is highly uncommon in the industry, and I suspect that there are some ethical ramifications, but otherwise all of these perfectly good items would be thrown away, so I must support the program. (A fair percentage is also donated to charity or raffled off internally and the proceeds given to charity).
Today was one of those days where the warehouse is cleared out and the employees get their pick of items. More importantly, Ironwolf was on the list of those who get first dibs this time around. So he comes home with a carload of assorted items. It's like Christmas. There's toys, books, some really funky expensive cookware, tons and tons of office supplies, some decent glassware... the list goes on and on. Of course, he also brings home total crap and even things that we can't identify. But it's pretty neat. We keep some of it, give some away as gifts, and donate anything left over. My kitchen's full of boxes now, and I'm pretty overwhelmed.
I will admit to being a little disappointed by one thing though - there were two large jewelry boxes from Tiffany's in the pile. I opened them up to find, well, nothing but two very nice jewelry boxes. Ah, well, I can keep some of my own jewelry in there and pretend...

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - Separation Anxiety

It's official. My parents are going to be leaving the area. My mother just lost her job and my father's factory is closing. My father was offered a position in South Carolina, and with the job prospects being in such a sad state here, it's a pretty obvious choice.

Please allow me this juvenile moment:

"Wah! My mommy and daddy are leaving me!!!"

Thank you.

Pretty much my whole family is still here (except for the Alaska branch of my mom's family), so this is a big deal. I know that my folks have to do what's best for them - I've told them as much. One of my sisters intends to move her family down there with them. I'm pretty well tied to my current location by my husband's family at the very least, and my other two sibs are pretty much in the same boat.

I'm excited for my parents, I really am. But I know that they don't want to go, especially they don't want to leave the grandkids. If one of us kids put up any fuss, my folks would stay. We don't want to do that to them.

There's some other unfortunate issues that come up because of this move: my father's parents are still alive, but not in good health, and they need a lot of care. This will pretty much put the burden on my aunt and uncle, and they aren't terribly happy about it. But they understand. Then there's another aunt, my mother's sister, who is disabled and in a group home where she receives very good care. That aunt will NOT understand. She doesn't know yet. There's going to be major fireworks when my folks tell her about the move. She won't have any family left here except, yup, her nieces and nephew. Which then puts responsibilty for her square on my back. I love my aunt, but the prospect of having to deal with her for many, many years is frightening me.

Dear readers, you've just seen the selfish side of me here. But I really needed to get it off my chest. Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - Just Beachy

Finally! We've had such a cool summer this year; it's about time we had some temperatures over 80 F here. To celebrate I took the little ones to the beach. We had a blast. It was Zipper's first time, and he just loved running along the edge of the water. Too bad I forgot to bring the sand toys. The boys kept trying to play with other kids' toys.
There was a couple of goofy things though. We arrived at the beach at 10 AM to find that the beach doesn't open until 11 AM. Boooo!!! And the really goofy thing is there was a couple guys out on a little barge in the water whose primary job seemed to be to tell people this to keep them out of the water. So why didn't they just hire a lifeguard instead? [Shadowangel shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head]
Of course there's all the usual odd beach regulations. But the strangest one is that you aren't allowed to swim with a T-shirt on. The lifeguards are hollering through their bullhorns that it's ok to wade in the water with a shirt on, but if the shirt is getting wet, it has to come off. And the purpose of this rule is...? I put shirts on my boys because they are very fair-skinned and I don't want them sunburned. This is a problem?
I wish I had the guts to do this, because I can legally do it in NY state: I'd go to the beach wearing just a T-shirt (and some bottoms of some sort). Then when the lifeguards yelled at me, and I took the shirt off... Ha ha ha, I bet they'd reconsider that rule pretty quick!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - A Moment of Silence and Angst

*serious topic alert*
I have just read about the death of another child, a 9-year-old girl, in Buffalo. Her mother forgot to take her medication for her mental illness and claims that the voices in her head compelled her to stab and strangle her little girl to death.

This comes on the heels of the death of an infant girl in my own town. Her mother, who stopped taking her medications about two weeks earlier, bashed her baby's head repeatedly on the sidewalk in front of her apartment building, in full view of horrified motorists who leaped from their cars to halt the attack.

Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, listen to me. If you are seriously mentally ill, please reconsider before you decide to have children. If you hear those voices in your head telling you to hurt your child, don't act on those voices. I've been there (post-partum psychosis, dear readers, nothing to worry about now).  Please don't stop taking your medications without your doctor's approval. And please get help if you need it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - Burger King and Monster Children

The little ones and I were at Burger King for lunch today. As usual, we made our way to the indoor playset after gorging on burgers and fries. There were a bunch of unsupervised kids on the playset already and as I watched I realized that most of the kids far exceeded the height limit of 4 feet tall. In fact, the loudest and most boisterous of the bunch was a young man of perhaps 11 years who exceeded my 5'4" height and certainly weighed a bit more than me too. My boys were rather intimidated by all the activity and it was several minutes before they would go play.

None of these kids were bad. But why do these parents let them run off unsupervised, and let them play on equipment that's not meant for them? Look, if I bring my kids to the school playground, I keep a hawk-eye watch on them, especially if there are older kids around, because the playground is meant for _them_, not for my little guys. You think these parents would call off their little monsters when there are very small children trying to have fun on a playset that's meant for the little kids.

Sorry, I'll hop off the soapbox now. My kids are just as capable of being monsters as anyone else's. When you've got small children, any larger children are potential troublemakers.

Show me a parent who thinks that their child is always an angel, and I'll show you a parent who is delusional or just plain stupid.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004- Diaper Rash Blues

(cue standard 12-bar blues)

Oh, I've got a baby, his bottom's so red and sore
It's hurtin' him so bad, he pounds his fists on the floor
And his poor mommy, she don't know what to do no more

(end 12-bar blues)

Poor Zipper. Last week a little intestinal thing ran through the family - nothing big, but in its wake has been left this terrible case of diaper rash. Oh, if you heard him cry every time he needed a change! And then I, Mommy, bringer of comfort, have to go and make it worse by wiping the little red bottom clean! I don't know what to do anymore... I suppose I could let Zipper run around pantless for a while, but I fear the inevitable consequences to my carpets and furniture. It's going to seem really dumb if I have to take him to the doctor's office for a _diaper rash_.

Thank you for listening to my whimpering. Now back to your regularly scheduled program...

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - Practice, Practice, Practice

One of my musical interests is playing electric bass. I picked up the hefty acoustic orchestral version in high school and returned to it some 14 years later (that is, last year) when my husband purchased an electric for me for XMas. Strangely enough, I still stink at it. Sure, I can plunk out a standard blues line, but believe me, there's nothing to cheer about.

So dear hubby "Ironwolf" suggested something absolutely preposterous...practicing! Of all things! So Ironwolf set a task for me - an evening of playing _Mary Had A Little Lamb_, over and over, in different keys, for a couple hours. Those dear readers that actually play the instrument are probably falling over themselves laughing now. But now I am the _Mary_ *master*! Ironwolf was right though - I do need more drills and exercises and less dorking around.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night, my left hand contorted and locked into the left-hand bass position. I had to pry my fingers open. Is this what I have to look forward to?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - Comments About Comments and Unintended Porn

Oh, wow, I have two acknowledged readers already! *sniff* I'm so touched.

To Desired At Dawn: Thanks, and I'll read yours as soon as I get a chance - I think I like you already!

To Wendy and the rest of the world: I just have to tell this story...

Once upon a time I was working in IT at an environmental laboratory. Our department was small - my boss, me, and "Art". Art is a terrific guy, a couple years older than me, who happens to be obviously homosexual. Never anything we discussed, and it never really mattered - it was just *obvious*. Now back in the day (about 1997), digital cameras were still a pretty neat new thing. Art brought one he borrowed from a friend into work and took lots of pictures of coworkers and of the building.

A couple weeks later, I was bouncing through the network and while in Art's personal directory (I had root access on the network and it was part of my job to be mucking around in other's people's files) I saw there was a bunch of JPEGs. "Oh, great!" I thought. "These must be the pictures he took of everyone at work. I'll look and see if any of them will be good for the company website."

I open the first file, and guess what opens up full screen on my 20" monitor facing out into a major thoroughfare through the building? A lovely photo of a nude gentleman in a rather compromising position! Aaaaagh!!! Close it! Close it!! Close it!!!

Art was sitting at his desk, perhaps 4 feet from my position. He gave no indication that I had seen it, and I don't think anyone else did either. So what to do? It's pornography on the network, but he is my friend, and no one could possibly see it except me and my boss. I didn't say anything. If my boss ever saw it, he never said anything to me.

Unintended pornography at work is bad. Unintended pornography at work directly involving coworkers is *much* worse.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Monday, July 19, 2004 - Porno Bloggin'

Heaven help me, I'm blogging about blogs already.

Being new to the blogger's lifestyle, I decided to look at some other blogs and was rather unhappy to find that such a large percentage of them are pornography. Look, I'm no prude, and I certainly can appreciate the occasional good piece of adult entertainment, but this is just ridiculous! I know there's lots of money to be made in the industry, but honestly, haven't we reached saturation by now? And don't some of these people have any higher aspriations in life than to be purveyors of smut?

I know, pornography is nothing new, but it is just so blasted universal now! I turn on my pc and can't escape it. Why do people insist on pushing it on you? If I want sexually explicit material, I will be able to find it quite easily on my own, thank you very much.

Monday, July 19, 2004 - Guilt Trip

I'm such a goof. I can't believe I screwed up the title of my first blog entry. Oh well. My idiocy as well as my intellect is here for the world to see.

I'm digging out some new flower beds, and it's taking forever. Blasted clay! Anyway, as always, the little ones were with me, and Rascal drives up in his little fire engine with my mug of tea precariously perched on the rear. How very thoughtful of him to bring his mommy a drink! Then he decides to set up a guard post so that his little brother can't get at the precious libation. Dispute ensues with said little brother, and after much fretting and fussing, Mommy hurls the cup and its remaining contents out into the middle of the yard. Very immature of me, I know, but you just get sick of all the fighting! Rascal runs into the house crying. Apparently I have betrayed this young man, who was so kind and helpful to his mommy by bringing her a drink and making sure that Zipper didn't take it (or break it, or spill it). So guilt has sunk in. It's a minor incident, I know, but that doesn't mean I don't feel bad about it.

Monday, July 19, 2004 - Let The (Slight) Madness Begins

Ok, here's the scoop. I'm 31, married to an always wonderful and occasionally irritating guy "Ironwolf", and have two adorable little boys, "Rascal" (age 4), and "Zipper" (age 1). I studied biology in college and never used it for squat, having been lured into computer networks. For the last five years though, I have been your stereotypical bored housewife living in a suburb of Buffalo, NY.

This is my first official blog, but the funny thing is that I was writing things similar to this in college on Usenet (that's almost 15 years ago now, kiddies). Why am I doing this? I don't know, to get things off my chest for which I don't really have any other forum; to alleviate the everyday tedium; because maybe I'll have a little more success with this than with a diary (which I always seem to start and give up on in weeks).

My intention is to provide daily updates, but we shall see if realtiy coincides with this little fantasy. I expect it to contain the mundane doings of daily life plus some more detailed random philosophical ramblings. If I get some regular readers, that would be great, but honestly, if no one reads it or gives a hoot, I don't much care. It's cheaper than therapy.

In any case, welcome to my life!