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4 kittens

I love my mowth

Posted on 2018.02.04 at 22:26
This week is such a jumble. I went to a gerrymandering conference! It felt very long at four days. I had a 40th birthday! I had a consultation with a tattoo artist! I recorded oddball conversations with the kids! I'm a bit unsure of how to dive in.

When Hawaii cleaned off her dresser last week, she gave Ace her old Pizza Phone. The front:

I'm rotten. It's a gross pizza.

The back:

Now I'm fresh. It's a yummy pizza.

The inside:

After all, it's a phone.  Ace cherishes it.

Ace took it to school, and now - we're told - the entire class has made Pizza Phones for themselves. Everyone loves a Pizza Phone. What's better than pizza and phones? Nothing.  Pizza Phones.

It's time to Document my Birthday! The game that documents itself!

Better drink this orange juice before my birthday.

If you're hungry, this looks like a good time at the VFW, on my birthday.

I set myself an alarm so that I wouldn't miss their phone call, on my birthday.

It's just a nice screen saver on my phone, on my birthday, okay?

There was also a road closure that I drove by too fast to photograph, and the program at the gerrymandering conference has my birthday, but it has too many people's names in it. 

It's a true thing that Saturday birthdays have much lower rates of return than Friday birthdays - all sorts of deadlines are on Fridays, and not much on Saturdays. I'm still pleased by my modest haul, though.

Jammies made my birthday feel very special. These were all in the bathroom when I woke up. Also a Happy Birthday banner and a big gold 40 balloon.

Bizarrely, the word HAPPY was mis-threaded backwards on the garland.


Pokey: Valentine's is the first holiday of the year, right?
Me: No, my birthday is!
Pokey: Mom.
Me: Well, MLk is a real holiday and it's before Valentine's day.
Pokey: I meant the first day that has a COLOR.  Valentine's day is red and pink.
Me: Oh, then yes. [Although it's funny to suppose that MLK day is not about color.]

After that he went through the months according to color of the major holidays - St. Patrick's day is green, Easter is pastels, etc. I remember, in college, I used to go through the upper case and lower case alphabet, and the upper and lower case Greek alphabet, and identify what the most canonical use for each letter. Matrices are Ms and Ns, functions are fs and gs, polynomials are ps, and so on.

Hawaii made me this pop-up card and had all the kids sign it. She also took this photo with her polaroid:

which I completely adore.

Other things Hawaii has made lately: the salad that I documented a few weeks ago. Then nachos, then tuna salad, and tonight she made homemade ice cream with each of the other kids, in ziploc bags. Churning it by shaking the bag for five minutes.


I don't even know man.


I wish the gerrymandering conference had had more math, the way the other regional ones were. Instead it focused on map-making software and the politics of Austin and Texas. There was quite a big emphasis on local politics, which I found very interesting, and I anticipate Heebieville will consider breaking up our at-large city council into districts. I also wish I could be friends with the organizer, but instead I'm probably doomed to be a long-distance syncophant.

I still enjoyed it quite a lot. Four days is a lot of conference. By the end I was very done (but I still want to figure out how to be friends with the organizer).


For my birthday, I headed up to the conference. Jammies brought the kids up at lunchtime, and we all got ice cream. That nights, Jammies threw a semi-surprise party for me with our friends.

By the end of the night, Jammies and I were both pretty blitzed, laugh-crying about how can everything be so good and beautiful in the human scale, in the midst of everything being so awful and people being so terrible on the grand scale. We couldn't get over the profundity of this being the best of times/worst of times. It's all so beautiful.

I drank one of these before going to bed:

and for the first time in years and years, I slept soundly after having a few drinks. And in the morning, I felt wonderful. Jammies also drank one but was still hungover AF.


"It's a pterodactyl!" Rascal has told me. It really looks like some sort of eagle in flight. I love it.

The provenance of the pterodactyl. Daycare sends us a lot of photos now that they've got this new online system.

Rascal is now on OTC allergy meds, which seems to be helping. His eyeballs no longer make grotesque squishing sounds, as he no longer massages them violently all day and night.

However, when he calls out, "I NEED A TISSUE," he really needs a tissue. It usually means there is streaky snot all down his chin, and big chunks on his shirt.

Frankly, that's the story of my life. I developed extensive strategies in school growing up to avoid sneezing, because if I sneezed into my hands and they were full of snot, then I couldn't raise my hand to get the teacher's attention, and I couldn't place my hand on the doorknob to leave the room, or do anything except panic and improvise.

It turns out you can prevent your sneezes:
1. you can't sneeze with your eyes open. If you forcibly hold your eyelids open, it will sabotage your urge to sneeze, and the urge will pass, snot politely contained inside you. It's very hard to grip your eyelids with close to zero slack, but it can be done.
2. you can't sneeze if you don't draw in that breath immediately before. Method one is to pinch your nose. Then, when your diaphragm contracts or whatever, your lungs are wrenched and stretched and it feels just awful, but you won't sneeze.  Method two is to internally block your nose, I suppose with the back of your tongue. This works much better - it stifles things earlier and your lungs don't spasm quite as terribly.

The standard method - sneezing while pinching your nose - doesn't work very well if there's a mountain of snot forcing itself out. You've got to prevent. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of snot.

I mastered these techniques and could stave off a monster sneeze until I was in the bathroom or had a tissue in hand.


Jammies texted me:
While I was inside getting Pokey, NWA Fuck the Police came on, so the other three listened to a good portion of the song. I'm just going to pretend that Rascal's gibberish on the way home that definitely contained fuck did not contain the n-word.
(The kids told me all about this. They're super stoked.)

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