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4 kittens

The one about Frieda Kahlo

Posted on 2015.02.08 at 16:02
For my birthday, Jammies got me a bluetooth headset and a meat thermometer. The former because he gently prods me towards technology use, and the latter due to a recurring battle between his preference for a digital thermometer and my tendency to melt them in the oven. I believe in metal, analog thermometers that can stand the heat. Which is the kind he bought for me.

Later we went out for ice cream. The kids all got Starburst flavor, which turns out to be wildly sweet and a bit tart, and Pokey regretted it, but shared Jammies' chocolate ice cream. (Technically it's Serve Your Own Yogurt. They charge by the ounce and provide disorientingly large bowls. "Has ice cream always come in a bucket?" you wonder.)

I went estate sailing for my birthday and got these marvelous ducks:

February 8, 2015 (1)

which will hide among the plants in the window box:

February 8, 2015 (2)

At work, we have to change our password every six months. So my password has my age - 35, 35.5, 36, 36.5, and so on - tacked on the end. When the IT people wanted me to upgrade from XP to Windows 7, I kept putting it off to coincide with my birthday or half-birthday. But then I'd forget or procrastinate and have to wait six more months. The IT people started to quack a bit louder when Microsoft ended all XP support last spring.

So finally, to celebrate turning 37, I handed my laptop over on Monday. When I popped it out of the docking station, the IT guy said, "Oh, you know how to pop your computer out." I asked, "Is it common that people here don't know how to get their laptop out of the docking station?"
He said, "Yes, very."
I asked, "Why do they have a laptop?"
He said, "I ask them that. They usually say that someone told them how much they'd love having a laptop."

It's not surprising that faculty members don't know how to use their docking station. What amazes me is that they don't think it's worth asking. They think it'll be some long, complicated procedure that they'll forget before they ever use it. No, guys, it's really simple. It's that big eject button right there.

Anyway, IT had my laptop. By the end of Monday it was not done. Something wouldn't mount properly, like maybe a bum steer. They returned it on Tuesday.

Over Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the IT people came back six more time - problems with sleep/hibernation, Firefox, importing my bookmarks, the sound, sleep/hibernation again, Adobe Acrobat, and sleep/hibernation again. They said they'd never seen an upgrade go so badly, but if I were them, I'd say that every time the customer seemed frustrated.


Jammies went to Denver:

February 8, 2015 (13)

It looks like a race car (palindrome!), but it's just a Corvette, or so I'm told. Jammies is driving it with his head, or at least trying out the mouth piece. The idea is that this parapalegic former race car driver can take it out at the races and show off the technology. That guy zooms around at 70-100 mph, driving with his head. The thing in Jammies' mouth  is a blow/suck thing for gas and brake.

While Jammies was in Denver, I had to single-parent, obviously. WOE IS ME.


My prog rock shoes, which I bought off ebay:

February 8, 2015 (14)

I love them.  I have prog rock jeans that I like to wear with them, with a men's v-neck sweater or white v-neck shirt. I only have the foggiest notion of what constitutes actual prog rock music. But the fashion is clear.


I now have eight medical cards in my wallet. Aetna Insurance is overwhelmed by the idea of putting six names on a single card. So they've issued us two cards apiece for medical, dental, vision, and prescription. Now who's overwhelmed? (Thanks, Obamacare.)

We sometimes watch a pair of sisters, whose mother is generally keeping it all together by the thinnest of margins. (The father is out of the picture.) Last weekend, she included some kiddie ibuprofen when she dropped them off, saying that the three year old has a cavity that bothers her sometimes.

Obviously she will not go to the dentist unless it becomes an emergency room situation. They just can't afford dental work. I hate this fucking country. It's a baby tooth; eventually it will fall out.


My grandfatherly colleague left the movie Frieda, the one about Frieda Kahlo, in my mailbox and told me that he was lending it to me so that we could chat about it afterwards.  What a nice guy. I thanked him, thinking how I haven't watched a movie in years, and that it would be a major imposition to block out 90 minutes of any evening to watch Frieda to facilitate a water cooler chat.

On the one hand, he is such a sweet guy and what a nice thought. On the other hand - and yes I sound like the world's most annoying martyr - I am never going to displace two hours in an evening to watch this movie. (I deleted a few sentences complaining about how little free time I have, because really, I'm quite content with this life. But I am never going to watch Frieda.)

This was all while Jammies was out of town, and I was feeling particularly sorry for myself and my lack of free time. But now he's home and really: I generally don't like watching movies, regardless of free time. I don't like sitting still for that long.


Along with the plant-hidden ducks, I got this shirt:

February 8, 2015 (7)

at the estate sales. It made me sneeze like mad when I put it on. And these kitchen implements:

February 8, 2015 (12)

and note that that spatula has a clever flipping mechanism. You squeeze the handle and it flips. This miniature chair:

February 8, 2015 (11)

which I will give to my mother, who collects such things. These office supplies:

February 8, 2015 (10)

for my office at work. This amber glass:

February 8, 2015 (8)

because I allow myself one collection, which is amber glasses:

February 8, 2015 (9)

This trivet, which is kind of meh:

February 8, 2015 (3)

These light switch covers:

February 8, 2015 (4)

which are not meh at all!  I've had this cannister for awhile, but it's so dang cute:

February 8, 2015 (5)

that I thought I'd include a photo of it.

We were in some old neighborhoods in central San Antonio which were absolutely fascinating - little kit houses that almost felt like New Orleans, with the bright colors and wrought iron, but also still a lot of Mexican influences in the neighborhoods, because it is San Antonio. Super charming.

It's not that I don't have time to watch Frieda, but it sure isn't a priority.


(Anonymous) at 2015-02-08 23:26 (UTC) (Link)
Ooooh, happy birthday! That is a cute canister.

I would never watch a movie about Frieda Kahlo, both for your stated reasons and because I specifically dislike her art.
panisdead at 2015-02-08 23:27 (UTC) (Link)
That was me.
heebie_geebie at 2015-02-14 22:15 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! It was a nice birthday.

Frieda is still sitting on my desk at work, and I have no intention of taking her home. I figure I'll return her at the end of the semester.
rebeccastob at 2015-02-09 00:28 (UTC) (Link)
Happy birthday! I have really a lot of time and watch lots of things but I still wouldn't watch that movie. Amber glasses is a great collection - it seems so useful to have a collection of things like that. For my birthday this year I did a bunch of really boring adult things like running, going to work, going to a doctors apt., eating a healthy salad for lunch, eating sushi from whole foods for dinner, talking to my parents on the phone. Then the next day I had raging PMS and got super emotional about my birthday and how I didn't see my kids on it or have cake or anything. But so far 35 is great - I love being in my 30s and the fact that my kids are almost both in school!
heebie_geebie at 2015-02-14 22:16 (UTC) (Link)
I thought of another collection - vintage, floral napkins. Same premise - we actually use them, they gradually get destroyed, and I get to buy new ones. It's great!

Kids in school really is great. We've got a long ways to go before they're all there...
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2015-02-09 13:43 (UTC) (Link)

Frieda, etc.

I watched the Frieda movie, some time ago. Meh, is what I remember. (I watch a lot of movies, late at night with my insomnia, on my Amazon Prime and Netflix Streaming.)

Frankly, I'm always sort of annoyed at people who press movies and books on me. *Recommendations* are okay. But forcing the book on you and saying you must read this / watch this? Unless you're in a deep personal relationship, yeah, no. (Dr. Skull and I have this deal where, now and then, we can strike a bargain: I'll read any book he asks, and he'll read any book I ask. And we trade off watching movies together: like, I'll go see one of his Superhero movies and he'll come see one of my thinky SF movies. But, you know, that's DIFFERENT. Because married.)

I totes love the Prog Rock shoes.

heebie_geebie at 2015-02-14 22:18 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Frieda, etc.

It is an imposition! I hadn't quite put my finger on it. If you're gifting someone a movie, fine. But lending them a movie, unasked for, puts an obligation on them.

Plus I just am not cut out for movies, full stop. And I'm picky about what I read.
parodie at 2015-02-10 08:43 (UTC) (Link)
Looks like you've got your ducks in a row.
(It had to be said)

I was recently given a movie to watch by someone who introduced it as "this was a terribly depressing movie which I found very hard to watch." Surprisingly enough, I still have not yet found time for it.

Incidentally, I would be rather curious to know how you survived single-parenting 4 children who are quite so young. Sounds brutal!
heebie_geebie at 2015-02-14 22:26 (UTC) (Link)
I am excitedly waiting for your duckling!

Single-parenting all four of them: the weekend is much, much harder for me than the week, because it's relentless. Fortunately, even though Jammies is traveling a lot for this racecar job, it should be mostly during the work-week.

During the week, it goes like this: wake up at 5:30. Get myself dressed, get the cat fed, get a bottle of milk ready for Ace, nurse Rascal if he's hungry. At 6, wake up Hawaii, Pokey, and Ace if they aren't already up. Get their teeth brushed, clothed, etc. At 6:30, cartoons start airing, and I go get breakfast ready for them, make sure their backpacks are packed, etc. At 6:50, I get Rascal up and changed. A little after 7, we turn off the TV, take dishes to the kitchen, get jackets and backpacks, get loaded up in the car, and start the drop-off routine. The last of them are dropped off by 8:20, and I usually get to work by 8:45.

All of a sudden I am going into way more detail than you ever wanted to know. I just got lost in the details...

The evening is harder, because I'm tired. The worst is the pick-up - they're squabbling and tired. When we get home, they watch cartoons while I get dinner going. Once we're all eating, the rest seems easy. Brush teeth, pick out clothes for tomorrow, storytime, bedtime.

After they go to bed, it sucks again, because it feels like there are endless tasks - dishes, kitchen, check kids' backpacks, scoop the kitty litter, prep for the next day - before I can go to bed. That's the other hardest part - I want to go to bed right after they do.
parodie at 2015-02-15 12:12 (UTC) (Link)
It turns out that the last few days of pregnancy make old friends come out of the woodwork. Suddenly everyone is emailing "just to say hi". :) Rather charming, but of course there's not much to say...

From your description, it sounds like the answer is similar to the how one parents 4 children answer - lots and lots of routine and predictable schedules. And I dislike the evening cleaning/next-day prep even when it's just for me, so I can only imagine how much more exhausting it would be after a long day like that. One of my fears around having small children is actually the early evening exhaustion - coping with my own while dealing with cranky children. I am trusting that I will find good strategies as I grow into it (at some point there is no choice but to find a way to cope, right?).
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