And Now For Something Completely Different!

I don’t know if it actually will be or not – I just like Monty Python, and this is the best method I’ve ever seen for introducing an irrelevant tangent.  See, watch:


See what I mean?  I look at that and I think, “Ooo!  This sounds very exciting!  I wonder what it will be!  Cookies?  A peacock?  A viable moderate political party?  It could be anything!”  With Monty Python, it’s usually a rude song or an even ruder cartoon of Margaret Thatcher, not that I’m complaining, of course.  But today, I am so ridiculously tired that I decided to just sit down and write and see what comes out.

I tend toward a train of thought that not only leaps the tracks but also folds space and time and comes out five sentences farther along than it started out.  It makes sense to me, of course – I was there for the thought process, and it makes perfect sense to me that I jumped from the topic of horses straight to how good blackberries taste when you pick them at the end of a hot summer day.  (Horses -> my childhood neighbors had horses -> we used to start by their horse pasture when we went “around the block” (which was a 2-mile trip) -> there was a great berry patch halfway between Sleater-Kinney and Abernethy Rd.  See, perfectly logical.)  But my poor listener can only think, “Whoa.  Serious ADHD there.”  So for tonight’s post, if I can tell that a mental Holtzman effect is imminent, I will give fair warning.


Gosh.  I had almost forgotten about those peacocks.  They were MEAN little suckers.  My parents and sister and I were on vacation near the Columbia River in Washington State, and we stopped at a historic home on the bluffs with lovely grounds, a fabulous view of the river, and peacocks.  They were so pretty, the males with their marvelous feathers, and we thought we’d just bring one or two home with us.  (The feathers, not the peacocks.  We got a dog once when it jumped into the car with us, but I think my parents would have drawn the line at hissing flightless birds.)  So we went out to collect feathers – and hotfooted it straight back to escape the Nasty Aggressive Birds of Terror.  I think my sister, deep down, still may be afraid of peacocks.

Alligators, though, that’s a weird phobia.  Fer real.  Not kidding.  I am afraid of alligators.  Not just live ones at the zoo (they don’t even have a LID on the cages, somebody could climb RIGHT IN THERE and get EATEN), and not just the digitized monsters in the movies.  All alligators.  Even little ones.  Even pictures of them, if they’re big and I’m not expecting them.  They’re just so TEETHY.  And they can eat you, or drown you and then eat you, or eat bits of you and then drown you and then eat you some more.  Look, I’ve got goosebumps just writing about it!


I’ve been insanely busy with work lately.  I counted it up – in the next fourteen days, I have twenty-six rehearsals and seventeen performances on thirty-four songs (more than that if you count all the mezzo-soprano solos of the Verdi Requiem Mass as separate songs), with one professional vocalist, seven high school students, eight college students, and a choir.  No wonder I don’t make any sense.  You’re lucky I’m even speaking English, instead of just typing a bunch of Italian musical terms and calling it good.

Have you ever noticed that Italian musical terms sound like a courtship ritual?  Ballabile, capriccio, viola d’amore, affretando, rallentando!  Mia bella, mia cara, ti amo!  Calando, affetuoso, bel canto, con amore, grazioso!  See?  Language of love, no question about it.  I wonder why the Language of Love is Italian, but the City of Love is Paris?  That makes no sense at all.


Because even I can’t figure out how writing about Paris suddenly made me think of chickens.  Live ones, with the feathers on.  Why are people are always asking why chickens cross the road?  How did that even become an issue?  Have you ever seen one try it?  Now, asking why the opossum crossed the road, that would make sense.  I grew up on a rural road where the speed limit was viewed as a mild (and somewhat humorous) suggestion, and I was nineteen years old before I ever saw an opossum that still retained all three dimensions, rather than the traditional two.  Why do they keep trying?  Don’t the parent opossums warn the kids about what happened to Great-Aunt Bess?

(I think my new facewash may be making my skin break out.  Rather counterproductive, don’t you think?)

I suspect that lack of sleep may be contributing to my more-random-than-usual thought processes.  It’s only partly my fault – I keep staying up late folding laundry and watching back episodes of Glee.  I mean, watching educational programs on the History Channel.  No, I mean Glee, I’ll admit to it.  (Only because I don’t get the History Channel, though.  If I did, I’d never sleep.)  But then the cat walks on my head at 4:30 and the sun comes up too early and my sheets are irritating me, and it’s all a lost cause.  Tonight, though, I’m actually getting sleepy.



(Yes, I know.  If I dream of Italian opossums wooing snarly alligators with gifts of blackberries and the Gloria from Verdi’s Requiem Mass, I have only myself to blame.)

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Finally, Some Snark.

This blog is called “Snark and Cookies”, but I noticed that we have been woefully short on snark lately.  Actually, we’ve been short on cookies too, come to think of it.  My absolute best recipe (Chocolate Brownie Cookie Thingies, or CBCTs for short) is only available on a need-to-know basis, but I could probably come up with something cookie-related at some point.

Unless I forget.

Which I will.

(Hey, at least I’m honest.)

Anyway, snark.  (I may be a little out of practice, so bear with me here.)  Can someone please explain to me about primroses?  I don’t mean glorious bursts of color like this Eugenie primrose (courtesy of

No, those are perfectly lovely, and practically worth moving to England for.  (I’m sure I could think of other reasons to move to England, but blue primroses would be on the list.)  No, I’m talking about THESE:

Even this picture makes a tiny bit of sense because they’re in a curved line, like the rocks, but … no, I still don’t get it.  What possesses people to buy these tiny compact plants, in a variety of utterly clashing colors, and plant them all a foot apart with gaping expanses of bark dust between them?  They aren’t creeping vines that will fill in all the gaps by May, and have you clipping them back by July, and find you attacking them in desperation with a weed-whacker by September just to keep them from attacking innocent pedestrians.  They aren’t rare and fragile orchids that look their best when seen in splendid isolation.  They’re slow to self-propagate, if they’ll bother to do it at all, so it’s not even a long-term plan like daffodils or tulips, where a few planted a ways apart will some day grow into a sweeping mass of soft pinks or brilliant yellows.

They’re just squat, smug little things, sitting there staring at me as I go by on my walk.  Especially those red ones with the yellow centers – they always look vaguely ominous to me, like little red-rimmed eyes.  I swear they’re looking at me, the ones on the corner of 9th and Taylor, you know the yard I mean, with the perfect little grass and the perfect little shrubs and the yard edged so straight you’re afraid you’ll cut yourself if you step on it.  They cut down their trees, probably because they weren’t perfect little trees, and planted primroses instead.  Perfect little bark dust (the weeds wouldn’t dare grow) and rows of primroses, camped out at intervals, sneering at me as I pass.

“We KNOW you don’t like us, and we don’t CARE.  We don’t CARE if we clash, we LIKE it like that.  We are never going to do anything useful, just sit here looking at you with a nasty expression on our squinched-up little faces, and if we could, we would TRIP YOU.”

Would it be wrong of me to come out in the dead of night, pull them up, pack them all willy-nilly into one planter with some pale blue gilia growing wild around the edges to soften it up, and plant a couple of redwood saplings in their place?

[moment of stunned silence as I re-read what I just wrote]

Something tells me that if I am contemplating guerilla gardening and imagining that my neighbor’s flowers actively dislike me, I may need a little more sleep.  Good night, then, and if there are trees growing at 9th and Taylor in the morning, I know nothing about it.

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I look clueless a lot.  I’m not quite sure why.  The blonde hair probably contributes, and the wide blue eyes.  It’s not really blonde (it’s a rather boring light brown with an increasing amount of shiny silver), and people don’t realize that I’m not a wide-eyed innocent, it’s just that when you put someone with over-sensitive hearing and anxiety issues into an unfamiliar environment, they sometimes get a little boggly-eyed.  Whatever the reason, though, people frequently talk to me as if I have no idea where I am or how I got there.  “Can I help you?” often carries the solicitous overtones of “Oh, you poor thing, you’re completely out of your depth.”

Now, at Home Depot, this is entirely accurate.  It is a wilderness of light bulbs and bathtubs and screwdrivers (not the drinkable kind) and orange aprons and wood floors that are disconcertingly vertical instead of horizontal.  I only need paint, but if you leave me to my own devices there’s a good chance I’ll get distracted and end up trying to decide which would be the cutest replacement handles for the little chest of drawers in my sewing room, and forget entirely about the paint until I’m at checkout and suddenly remember why I came. When I walk into Home Depot, I DO need help, and I’m not ashamed to ask for it.

Costco, same problem but for different reasons.  There’s just so much.  Towering shelves of canned beans.  Stacks and stacks of books.  Countless trays of croissants.  Wave upon wave of folded shirts and pants and socks.  Bicycles and tricycles hanging on chains like some sporting-goods-themed torture chamber.  Daffodils, looking a little confused at being indoors, sitting next to bins of cashews and giant bottles of shampoo.  More orange soda than I thought was even possible.  There is a BOUNCE HOUSE suspended from the ceiling next to the wine racks.  Is it any wonder I look confused?

I don’t have this problem everywhere, mind you.  I can navigate any fabric store with enough confidence that the employees just stay out of my way until it’s time to ask (with understandable curiosity) what on EARTH I am making out of three yards of luridly colored tie-dyed flannel.  I’m pretty good in a hospital, too.  My mother worked in one for over twenty years, and to this day I retain an uncanny ability to walk into a hospital, stroll past the front desk, and unerringly find the right elevator.  So if you need some good sturdy tweed or the cardiac care unit, I’m your girl.

Today, though, I must have had the look on my face that apparently telegraphs “Help, help, oh please help” to salespeople everywhere, enough that they actually slow down their sales patter to an intelligible speed.  I was trying to buy a twin bed, and I actually had a pretty good idea of what I wanted, but the dear lady at Bed World thought otherwise.  (I will admit that this may have been aided by my comment that “I have no idea what the difference is between this bed and that one, I just know I like it.”  Bounce, bounce, bounce.)  She explained the difference between the beds in small words, and I said I would like to take the information home and think about it.  This is where it suddenly got fun.

This was the third place I’d been, asking similar questions, and at the previous two stores, they had written down the information and reminded me to come back and ask for them, ask for them, ask for them.  (Yes, I do understand how commission works, sir, you may shut up now.)  By this point in the process, I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information washing over me, and even if I’d wanted to say something, they generally didn’t give me a chance.  This lady, though, misinterpreted my quietness as a bargaining ploy, and started tossing out incentives.

What if she knocked a hundred dollars off the sale price?  Would that make a difference?  What if she could give me the frame for half off?  Did I want the mattress protector?  Would it make a difference if that was half-off?  She couldn’t do anything about the delivery cost, but she could call and make sure it was here by Saturday, would that help my decision?  By the time she landed on a total price (including box spring, mattress, bed frame, mattress protector, and two-day delivery) that was twenty dollars under the original sales price for JUST the box spring and mattress, I finally stopped gaping at her and said yes, yes, that would be lovely.  I’m kind of sorry I did – if I hadn’t said anything, I half wonder if she might have given me the thing for whatever I happened to have in my change purse at the time.

Now I’m a little curious to see if this will work with anybody else.  I’m considering sending in my tax form with only half the information filled in, and a Post-It note on the front with a note written in purple pen (little hearts over the i’s, of course):  “Dear Internal Revenue Service, I have NO idea what to write in all these little boxes, I just know how much I want for my refund…”

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It Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time.

It started out so innocently.  I was chatting on the phone with my sister, and I needed to do some more work painting the basement walls.  I thought, “Of course!  I will just get my hands-free set out of the car, put my cell phone in my pocket, and talk to my sister while I paint!  That will make it go so much faster.  Clever me!”

So far so good.  Good use of time, efficient multi-tasking, a solution that will make a boring activity more interesting.  I did not, however, factor my brain into the equation.

I said to Laura (my sister) in a chipper, optimistic tone, “Give me three minutes, I’ll call you right back!”  Now, Laura has known me for all of her 34 years, and she is smart enough by now to know that “three minutes” is a euphemism for “at least five minutes, maybe seven.”  Even I have to admit, though, that “three” should not go into the double digits.  I may have overestimated the number of things I could fit into three minutes:  Change into painting clothes, retrieve hands-free set and bag of recently purchased brushes from the car, plug hands-free set into phone, call sister.  Five minutes, tops.

Here is what actually happened.

I hang up with my sister and put my phone in my pocket.  I promptly forget that it is there.  I head to my bedroom and change into my paint clothes, conveniently piled on the floor from the previous day’s painting.  (I don’t normally throw all my clothes on the floor, but honestly, a pair of grey yoga pants and a hot pink T-shirt, both covered with multiple paint splatters, are not really going to be made WORSE by a night on the floor.)  I conscientiously close the door behind me so I don’t fill the room with paint fumes.

I go to the car and get the bag of brushes.  I realize that my phone is still in the office (and of course YOU know it’s not, because YOU didn’t forget that I put it in my pocket), so I start up the stairs.  I realize that I don’t really need to carry the bag of brushes upstairs, so I set them on the stairs on my way up.  I promptly forget that they are there, because really, who puts paintbrushes on the stairs?!  I look and look on the desk for the phone, but it’s not there.  I check the bathroom counter, which doesn’t really make sense, but I’m not sure where else to look.  I decide to stop looking for the phone for now and go get the hands-free set out of the car.  How on earth did I remember the brushes but forget the hands-free set?  Usually it’s right there in the passenger seat – I don’t bring it into the house since I always lose it, and it works better to keep it in the car.  The long black cables make it easily visible, and it should have been right by the brushes. Huh … weird.

So I go back out to the garage.  I climb into the car, head down and rump up, looking under the seats, peeking into the back, rummaging around in the cracks between the seats, and finally checking under the overdue library book in the front seat, just in case the hands-free set spontaneously coiled itself up neatly and went into hiding.  No luck.  It is GONE.  Baffled, I wander back into the house.  I spot the brushes on the stairs and think, “Wow, it would have taken me a while to find THOSE.”  I don’t know where else to look for the phone, so I drift, confused and forlorn, into the kitchen.  There on the kitchen table is the hands-free set.  I still have no idea how it got there.

OK, I’m almost set!  Paint clothes – CHECK!  Nice new brushes – CHECK!  Hands-free set – CHECK!  Phone … ohhhhh.  (long sigh)  I really need to call Laura back, too.  She’ll be wondering if I got distracted and decided to bake bread or something.  Where IS that phone?  It shouldn’t be that hard to find, I had it three minutes ago.

I look and look, and finally resort to calling my cell phone from the land line, wandering around pushing the redial button and listening for the distinctive ringtone of my cell phone (the sound of Doctor Who’s Tardis taking off, if you’re curious).  (And yes, I do see the irony of making my phone sound like a semi-sentient object capable of independently transporting itself through time and space.)  Upstairs, downstairs, in my lady’s chamber … oh, well, sure enough, there it is.  In my jeans pocket, right where I left it.  On the other side of the door I so wisely closed.

I will spare you the description of the discovery that I cannot maintain a phone connection from the dead spot in my stairwell, nor will I tell you exactly what I did with the phone when I realized that my painting pants had no pockets.  (I folded my arms and accidentally hung up on her, so that should give you a clue.)  I will spare you the description of exactly what happens when you try to pour paint from a 5-gallon bucket into a small Tupperware container.

But if you ever see the following news article in the “human interest” section of your newspaper, you will know who it is:

“Woman, 37, is found in own home after being lost for four days.  ‘I was just trying to find my keys,’ says Bee Jones, speaking from her hospital bed in Portland, Oregon.  Emergency workers responded to a call from Ms. Jones’ son, 8, who was out of clean underpants and decided to call the police.  Jones was dehydrated and hungry, but responded well to treatment and is expected to be released from the hospital later today.  Jones’ daughter, 11, said only, ‘I wondered why we were out of orange juice.'”

Posted in Me Being Very Slightly Airheaded | 6 Comments

Sick, Sick, Sick.

Remember the Dr. Seuss alphabet book with the occasional tongue-twister thrown in for good measure?  “Big S, Little S.  Silly Sammy Slick sipped six sodas and got sick, sick, sick.”

I’m sick, but not for any reason as interesting as chugging Mountain Dew until my body cried foul.  At first I thought it was an overdose of the lovely new variety of bleu cheese I tried this week – I’m not lactose intolerant by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have to be a little careful with bleu cheese since my tummy apparently has limited patience with it.  (Oh, but it tastes so GOOD!)  At 2 a.m. on Wednesday, I woke up with a nasty taste in my mouth and laid there in the dark, half-awake and pondering with the tiny useful corner of my brain, “Do I want more desperately to sleep or to barf?  Will I get a choice?”  As it happened, I did not, and I hauled my sleepy self into the bathroom and that was that.

I assumed I’d be better in the morning, but instead I wandered into the kitchen looking like I was coming off a three-day bender.  I thought (very slowly and carefully, so as not to joggle my brain) about whether or not I was up for an hour’s rehearsal playing Celtic music with a harpist.  I determined that I was not, and managed to track her down between classes and cancel.  I figured I’d get better by the afternoon, but when I realized that “getting better” was going to mean accompanying a saxophone player at close range, I had to reluctantly admit that I wasn’t THAT much better.

I got an unprecedented 10 hours of sleep last night, but then the effort of fixing breakfast and getting my son onto the bus wore me out and I had no choice but to play computer games all morning.  I made the mistake of thinking I had enough energy to do a few drive-through errands (bank, library book drop) and pick up some nice mild food at the health food store.  I got home and scraped together enough energy to actually eat the nice mild food, and that totally knocked me out.  I was so tired I fell asleep on the couch the kids hang out on, which is so disgustingly well-used that I am quite sure I’d have trashed it years ago, if it wasn’t navy blue and therefore able to hide any and all stains.

It’s not very dramatic, though, you know?  I’m not projectile vomiting a la the girl in the Exorcist.  I don’t have a scary triple-digit fever.  I haven’t fainted, lost seven pounds in 48 hours, fallen into a fit of shaking and chills, or done anything interesting and visible. I’m just bone-crushingly tired and I ache from the back of my neck down to my ankles.  Things ache that I didn’t know could ache.  My eyeballs ache.  If it wasn’t scientifically impossible I would accuse my hair of hurting.

I’m so far beyond tired now that I’m just … you know.  Mellow.  Relaxed.  If I don’t move, things don’t hurt quite as much.  The sun is out (for once), and it’s making me feel all warm and fuzzy.  (I think it’s the sun doing that, I’m not sure – it might just be the germs.)  My brain is slow.  My speech is slow.  I think my blood is moving slower than usual.  I’m even blinking slowly – I’m starting to feel vaguely like an iguana.



If I had the energy, I’d order pizza for dinner.  But I don’t, and I don’t really have the energy to cook either.  I wonder if age 11 is too young to teach a kid to make spaghetti using the time-honored method of hollering instructions from the next room …


(gentle snore)

Posted in Me Being Very Slightly Cranky | 7 Comments

Cooking and – Oh look, a bird!

I love to cook, I really do.

I also have ADHD-PI (Attention Deficit Disorder, Predominantly Inattentive), which means that I’m easily distracted, I lose things, I forget things, I’m always a day late and a dollar short, and apparently I can’t even do ADHD right – instead of being hyperactive, I’m just tired.  All.  The.  Time.  On the whole I think I’d rather have the hyperactivity, since that would mean I could at least get something done.  Six somethings!  All at once!  But no.  I just meander along, doing one thing, and then doing something else, and leaving the first thing on the table, and then remembering something else and leaving the second thing on the bathroom counter.  Two hours later, I still haven’t finished the first thing, but I’ve left a trail of misplaced items around the house that puts Hansel and Gretel’s trail of breadcrumbs to shame.

Needless to say, this is not an ideal mentality for someone who enjoys doing things with heating elements, sharp objects, and perishable food.  On the one hand, I can handle the multi-tasking that’s required to get a sauce finished at the same time as the noodles and the bread without the salad going all wilty in the meantime, or at least I theoretically can handle it.  The problem is that my poor overenthusiastic brain believes that I can simultaneously do all of that AND balance the checkbook.

My brain is wrong.  I could probably Master the Art of French Cooking without batting an eyelash if I wasn’t trying to read the story of Joan of Arc at the same time, but I’ll never convince myself of that when it comes down to the moment.  I’ll be stirring and seasoning and whisking and stirring and more stirring, and while I’m stirring I’ll think, “This is BORING, I need something else to do.”  This is where I should take a moment to look at the recipe, which would remind me that I need to grate half a pound of cheese.  But no.  I stir and read, read and stir, and it was such an interesting battle although too bad about the monastery, and oh CRAP, is the sauce supposed to look like this?

So I set down the book, and I will just tell you RIGHT NOW that if you use a burner to boil water and turn it off when you’re finished (which is not a given when I’m the one cooking), that burner does not instantaneously revert to room temperature.  Don’t worry, the book didn’t actually catch fire.  It was close, though.  (On the other hand, if you’re trying to boil water, the process is much more effective if you turn the heat on.  A watched pot will in fact eventually boil.  But a pot sitting on a cold burner?  Not so much.)

I’ll probably manage to redeem the sauce, but then – please do not ask me why because I do not know – it will seem like a good idea to put in the next load of laundry while the water boils for the noodles.  Yes, I know that the laundry basket is upstairs and the washing machine is in the basement.  Yes, I know that I’ll have to take the dry clothes out of the dryer and put the wet clothes in before I can put this basket of clothes into the washer.  Yes, I did sort of notice that there was a new bucket of laundry detergent sitting on the stairs as I went by, and I guess I might have remembered that I had just used up the last bucket, and starting the next load was going to require me to get the plastic lid off of the new bucket of detergent.

CRANKY TANGENT:  They shouldn’t even bother with locks on the front doors of houses.  They should just make the door handles open the same way a plastic detergent bucket opens, with the tab that supposedly pulls off the plastic strip that holds the lid on, but in fact requires the strength of seven men to remove, and even then will probably slice your hand open since those suckers are SHARP once you pull them off.  Burglaries would drop by 90%.  /END CRANKY TANGENT

By the time I finish all of this, which of course I knew intellectually could not be done in two minutes’ time, the water is now enthusiastically boiling in the pot, out of the pot, and dribbling down into the spaces under the burners.  There is probably not enough left for the noodles now, so I pour in more water and read about the retreat of the English from Saint-Jean-le-Blanc.  What, you were thinking I was going to do something useful like chop the onions and garlic?  Well, I suppose that would be a good idea, come to think of it.

As of this writing, I have never chopped off a finger while reading a book.

Oh!  I forgot about the bread!  It always is so much nicer if it’s sliced when it comes out of the oven, so I go rummaging around in the drawer for that one really good serrated knife.  I manage to restrain myself from lining all the forks up with their tines neatly stacked, since some teeny-tiny part of my brain is screaming in its teeny-tiny voice, “You must not forget the noodles this time!”  I slice the bread and think, “Noodles, noodles, don’t forget the noodles.”  I wrap it in tin foil:  “Noodles, noodles, noodles.”  I put it in the oven and set the timer.  What was I going to do?  Oh, yeah, the cheese.

Somehow, it always works out, one way or another.  The noodles finish cooking, the bread bakes, the sauce thickens, the salad is edible, and usually nothing catches on fire.

Some day, though, I think it would be lovely if I could get dinner on the table before 8 p.m.  I’ll give that some serious thought right now, while I wash the dishes and paint the kitchen yellow.  That should only take a few minutes, right?

Posted in Me Being Very Slightly Airheaded | 7 Comments

Why I Would Completely Fail as a Serial Killer

Many thanks to my sister for introducing me to the TV show Dexter, the title character of which is an exceptionally organized serial killer who only kills bad guys.  Just so nobody decides they need to report me to the police, I’m letting you know right up front that the items referenced in this VERY FICTIONAL post are borrowed directly from the VERY FICTIONAL character, all of whose VERY FICTIONAL victims were in fact actors who went home after doing their scenes and had lovely dinners with their families.  Although they may have become vegetarians … I probably would, in their shoes.

Serial killer.  It’s not a career path I’ve thought about before, but in a recent conversation about degrees of separation from Ted Bundy (three, in my case), I realized that I would be phenomenally bad at it.  In fact, I would be so bad at it that I wouldn’t even get to my first day on the job.  Even if I had the means, the motive and the opportunity (none of which I do), I have become convinced that my attention deficit disorder would completely rule this out as a lifestyle choice.

I’d explain why, but I think my internal voice (which is NOT the same as hearing voices in my head) will probably do the job just fine:

Oh hey!  I was thinking about going out this afternoon and, you know, helping a super-duper bad guy hit his expiration date.  Haha, I love euphemisms!  That’s a weird word, “euphemism” – the “eu” part is obviously Greek, meaning “beautiful”, and the “ph” would indicate that the next part probably is too, but for the life of me I can’t figure out the Greek root that would transliterate to “phem” …

[a few minutes pass as I go to the computer and do a little research]

Oh, of course – “pheme”, as in “blaspheme” and “grapheme”.  Silly me.  What was I doing?  Oh yeah, getting ready to off a bad guy.  Let’s see, what will I need – I don’t actually know how to do this, come to think of it.  I’ve been watching Dexter though, so how hard can it be?  I’ll need garbage bags – I have some of those!  Yay!  Out on the front porch, for the leaves.

[I trot out to the front porch, unearth the box of garbage bags, and pull one out.]

Hmmmmm.  You know, there are just a few leaves left, and if I just raked them now, I wouldn’t be bugged by them every time I walked up to the house.  Let me just get my shoes on … where did I put my old sneakers?  Oh, here they are – ick, they’re all spidery.  OK, better now, got the rake, here we go …

[I rake the leaves and put them in the yard bin, which is not very full so I don’t even end up needing a garbage bag.]

Done!  That feels better.  OK, I’ll go in and get warmed up – why did I come out here?  Oh yeah, the garbage bags.  So next I’ll need a good sharp knife – yay, I have one!  I got this nice one with my birthday money, and I like it SO much.  Oooo – I was going to make mushroom stroganoff tonight, and if I just cut up the onions and mushrooms now, it would save me so much time later!  I’ll just do that really quick.   I need some music!  Where’s my Pink Martini CD … why is there a Josh Groban CD in the “Hang On Little Tomato” case?  That’s irritating.  Well, phooey.  I guess I’ll listen to the radio instead.  Classical … no.  Country … definitely no.  There we go, some good classic swing.  I took a swing dance class but I was really bad at it.  I wonder if I’d be any better at it now.  Probably not … oh, the mushrooms!

[I happily hum along to the music and dice onions and slice mushrooms, bagging them up neatly in advance of dinner.]

All right, I’ll just wash this off really well – ick, I didn’t even think about that I should maybe use a different knife for this.  I wonder what Dexter uses to clean his knives off with.  Well, but then I guess he probably doesn’t make his kids’ dinner with them, since he’s not a stay-at-home mom.  Anyway – garbage bags, CHECK!  Sharp knife, CHECK!  Look, I just bought plastic wrap, and here’s some nice packing tape – oh, I was going to mail those baby clothes to my sister … no, I’d better stay focused, it’s almost time for the kids to come home from school.  Stay on target … stay on target … wow, I haven’t watched “Return of the Jedi” in years.  I should watch all three Star Wars movies in a row again, that’s so fun.

Let’s see – towels?  Probably better bring some towels, just in case there’s a mess to clean up.  Ooo, I’ve got some in the dryer, nice!  I love warm towels.  Although if I’m going to take them out I should probably put the next load in, it’ll just take a minute …

[I put the next load of wash in the washing machine.]

[Further distraction ensues.]

[Several days pass.]

[The towels are folded and put away, the sharp knife is used the next day to make dinner, and the garbage bags inexplicably migrate to the family room and fall into a toy box, where they will be discovered three months later.]

It is high time I cleaned off this kitchen counter – I can’t believe how fast it gets cluttered up!  Let’s see, this can all go in the recycle bin, this is Ellie’s, this is Jamie’s … why is the packing tape out?  Oh, I know, I was going to mail those baby clothes!  I swear, I’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on.

[I pack up the baby clothes, write my sister a nice note, and watch the next four years’ worth of Dexter without ever once remembering this internal discussion.]

I think the bad guys of the world can consider themselves safe from me.

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