Random Thoughts on Symmes

… inept, but trying real hard

Maddie, I promise I will pay for ALL of your therapy bills November 29, 2007

For the past 2 months, Maddie has had a loose tooth.  And over those two months it has managed to become very, very loose.   She now looks like Nanny McPhee … nanny.jpg

Only without the cape.

I’ve made numerous attempts to get her to pull this tooth.  Threatened offered to pull it myself.  She is just not having it.  She purses her lips like little vice grips.  Refusing, possibly unable to, open up.  I have no clue why she’s developed this unnatural fear of pulling THIS tooth.  She’s lost others, without incident that I recall.  But THIS tooth.  Good Lord!  The thought of pulling THIS tooth has her paralyzed with fear.  Seriously.  Like she actually tenses up to the point of joints becoming white.  She cries, she gags.  It’s a very healthy situation.

She knows this fear is unfounded.  Yet, she can’t seem to shake the feeling that when THIS tooth comes out, that so much blood will be let that a transfusion will be inevitable.  Clearly it was time for an intervention.

Several nights ago, after she got out of the shower I took one look at her tooth that, by now, I could see the top edge of … like the part that should be up in her gums … yeah, I could see that part y’all.  I made a decision, “Maddie, that tooth has to come out.  Tonight.”

These maybe were the words that flipped the switch that immediately caused wailing & the gnashing of teeth & the tearing of hair.  I hadn’t gotten that memo.

I managed to calm her down with bribery motherly trickery wiles, but was unrelenting in my mission.  The tooth was coming out.

So, 20 minutes later, after some tears & several false puking episodes, I continued to encourage her.  “Ok sweetie.  You’re doing great.  So, that’s it, just take that washcloth and PULL!  What?  Ok, well throw up & let’s get back to it.  PULL!  Blow your nose, dry your eyes and PULL!”  [I’m very empathetic like that].  At this point, I was pretty sure that she was merely hovering around the tooth & not actually touching it, because let’s be honest people, a tooth that loose would have fallen out 20 minutes ago if she’d actually touched it.

I made one final threat attempt, “If you don’t get that tooth out, I will.”  Ah, hell.  She was not about to let that happen.  So she turns her back to me & looks into the bathroom mirror.  She authoritatively took hold of that tooth with the washcloth and made like she was about to pull.  This is when I became BRILLIANT!  I would reach around from behind & pull on the washcloth at the same time she did, thereby ‘assisting’ her with said tooth removal.  So I did.


:::tink tink tink tink tink::: we heard in the sink


:::tink tink tink tink tink::: on the floor

Hmmmm?  It must’ve swirled around & flew out of the sink.  But in any case, YAY!  It’s out!  Sweet victory!

She turns towards me.  Mouth agape.  Grinning. 

Um, yeah, only, the Nanny McPhee tooth was still there[???]   And if it’s still there, then wha …?

This is when she pulled down her lip, to reveal two cavernous, bloody holes ON THE BOTTOM!

Right then, and I’m not even kidding you, my whole brain popped out of my head, landed on the bathroom floor and bounced around like a super ball. 


Self:  “Oh, jeez Maddie!  I am sooooo sorry!”

Maddie:  “MOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  Those weren’t even looooooooose!”

Self:  “Oh, sure they were.  Remember, you showed me the other day at the bus stop.”

Maddie:  “Can I go to bed now?”

Self:  “Well don’t you want to get that other … oh, no, of course you don’t.  Sure, honey.  You can go to bed.”

Maddie:  :::walking away mumbling:::  “I’m calling 555-beat.a.kid tomorrow”


[Update:  Maddie actually wound up thanking me, on account of they have a chart in her class that you get to write your name on every time you lose a tooth and up until then, she had been 2nd to last in terms of how many teeth she’d lost.  Now she’s right up there with the majority.  She couldn’t have been more excited to finally be average!]  You’re welcome, sweetie.  You’re welcome.


Happy organic, free-range turkey day November 20, 2007

Filed under: Events,Family,Food,Fun!,Photos,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 3:58 pm

Well, a plan has been brought forth.  A determination has been made and I will be hosting Thanksgiving this year.  My beautiful sister-in-law [SIL] will be taking one for the team by hosting Christmas.  Because we’re team players, foe-sho.

Thanksgiving is this week, were you aware?  Surprisingly, I am not as woefully unprepared as usual.  A menu has been made, dishes have been delegated, the food has been purchased, [also the wine, hi!], plus a detailed timeline [because that’s just what I do] and we’ve got ourselves a plan, people! 

My SIL offered to buy the turkey, which, in and of itself is sickly amusing and ironic on account of, um, she’s a vegetarian.  She made this sacrifice because they live near a market that sells fresh [hurray for not having a slow-thawing dead bird in my kitchen for days!], free-range, vegetarian fed, private-school educated, no antibiotic or hormone administered turkeys.   Which is all I would agree to serve.  It is maybe a little disconcerting to know that this poor little fella, who is now ‘resting’ comfortably in a corrugated box in my refrigerator, just days ago, was a carefree, free-frolicking fowl.  Learning French and wearing a little Montessori jacket.  Until ::: dum dum dum ::: “the order was placed’.  Very sad and YET, on the bright side, the market only fills placed orders.  Meaning no turkeys will be wasted because they were deemed too big or too small or because they didn’t have large enough breasts.  Which can be very damaging to a turkey’s self-esteem. 

Also, the stipulation was, that if she got the turkey that I had to provide “plenty” of wine [we suspect she’s a lush, but we don’t talk about it Ü].  So I stopped at Jungle Jim’s the other day to pick some up.  Which let me tell y’all, there can be comedic advantages to buying wine.  Like when the checkout kid asks if you would like a box for ‘all that wine’, then you get to say, “Nah, I’ll just drink it in the car”, then watch their reaction.  See?  Wine fun!

So that’s taken care of.  Now I just have to, you know, do everything else.

Also, on a completely unrelated note. 

OUR BABY IS HERE!  OUR BABY IS HERE!     Oh, what?  I didn’t tell you?  We’re getting a new Boston Terrier puppy.  [Well, what did you guys think?]  Because since Kalabou died, Max has been sort of mope-y and not quite himself AND let’s be honest y’all, he’s no spring chicken himself.  So a new puppy to lift his spirits, hang on his ear, bite at his ankles, take bathroom breaks with & share his toys with was just the thing to keep him young & spry, was our thinking. 

So we found out on Friday that our puppy had arrived [She had 2, but sadly, only one made it.  We were going to take two] and went to see her on Sunday.  Anyway, it’s a little girl & we named her Millie and we should be able to bring her home around Christmas

Here she is [I apologize for the crappy camera phone pics … I’ll post more visible ones soon]:


I can has vision?


I can has snuggle?

So anyway.  If I don’t get around to stopping by before then, from our house to yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Give everybody a hug.  You can blame it on me.


Yeah, toast! November 16, 2007

Filed under: Events,Family,Food,Friends,Fun!,Random,Travel,Uncategorized — Layni @ 12:17 pm

Happy Friday!  Made even happier by my manager who just told me to go-the-heck home!  Wheeeeee!  Thanks Michael!

I am leaving.  Of course, I am.  But I first wanted to whip out a quick blog update about my upcoming weekend and a funny story involving toast.  Because toast is funny.

When I leave here [here being the office], I am heading to Costco.  People.  Costco.  Have I ever mentioned that I love this place so, so much?  Do.  I mean, what isn’t to love about like 500, 000 square feet of stuff I never even knew I needed!  Oh, ok.  I might be a little off on the footage.  I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH A SQUARE FOOT IS, but Costco has a SHITLOAD OF THEM.  And all of their square feet are stocked with things like wine and salmon and cutlery and pillow-sized bags of asparagus and organic milk and throws and movies.  And MUFFINS!  All of which I am pretty sure I need.  I have come to look forward to my weekly Friday stroll through aisles that smell of delicious baked goods.  Plus you have to be a member.  Which makes it seem very restricted & elite & exclusive-y.  YOU can’t shop at Costco if you aren’t a MEMBER.  Just keep that in mind if you’re thinking of stopping by.  Which I would definitely recommend to EVERYONE, by the way.  Except on Friday afternoons please, because I don’t like crowds.  But if you do.  Say hi.  I’ll be the one with a 4′ pointsetta, set of hard-sided luggage & drum of salsa in my cart.  Because I maybe need all of that.

Tomorrow morning I’ll rise too early in the morning to go torture myself at body sculpting class [so help me, I better look like Gisele Bündchen by Christmas.  I hope body sculpting can make me taller.]  

Then I’ll hook up with my scrapbooking peeps [Holla!] to make my Christmas cards and laugh alot and maybe eat some chocolate [oh, damn it … Gisele by Christmas.  Right.]

Then Saturday evening we’ll head to my brother & sister-in-laws house for the 5th annual Beaujolais Nouveau party.  Harold so looks forward to it each year.  On account of he likes to discuss cheese.  And the properties of cheese.  And the biting flavor of this cheese as compared to that cheese.  Then of course, the wine.  I, on the other hand, will totally enjoy myself.  Weeeee!

Sunday I have a coffee date with my lovely friend Holly.  Because she wants to ‘connect’.  She mistook my oncoming cold [and subsequent & current loss of my voice.  Hi.] as a sign we needed to bond.   She’s on to something there, nothing draws me near like coffee.  Maybe wine. 

So anyway, I’m heading out.  But I wanted to tell you this funny thing that Harold said [imagine!]  Have I ever mentioned that Harold loves, loves, loves toast?  Does.  More specifically, just bread.  Any type of bread.  Especially english muffins.  Seriously.  We go through more bread in our house than any other item.  Loaves a week.  LOAVES, people!  So last week Costco had a two-pack of Thomas’ English Muffins for like, $3.50.  I haven’t bought these in a long time on account of they don’t come in ‘organic’.  But I relented & bought him this package of happiness wrapped in plastic. 

He did a skippety dance.  I think he cried.  And by Tuesday we were already down one package.  He has NO CONTROL.  He’s addicted.  Really.  And this is evidenced by the following voicemail I received at work:

Harold:  “Hey, it’s me.  I’m not sure what’s going on.  I think I’m stuck in some kind of time warp or something.  Seriously!  I got Maddie off of the bus & walked across the street to talk to Chester for a minute.  I came in the house and made an english muffin :::raises voice::: CURSE YOU ENGLISH MUFFINS FOR BEING SO DAMN GOOD and I looked at the clock.  It was 4:09.  I went into the living room to eat it and when I came back to the kitchen to throw away the napkin, I looked at the clock and it was now 4:04!!!  So.  Not only are english muffins freaking AWESOME, but they also save you time!  Seriously, when you eat them, time not only stands still, it actually goes BACKWARDS!  They’re AMAZING!  This conversation is off the record.  Thank you.  Goodbye.”

I promptly forwarded the voicemail to a friend.  Because technically that’s off the record.  I mean, I didn’t type a transcript of it or anything.  Oh, wait.  I just typed it to y’all.  Hi internet!  Oh, well.

Everyone have a good weekend!  Maybe tomorrow I’ll have something interesting to say.  In the meanwhile, I’d better go do some Costco shopping, because my family is counting on me to pick up 2 gallons of pineapple salsa, a Jack La Lanne Power Juicer and a really FANTASTIC sharp cheddar.

Also, if you have a minute, check out this hilarious homage to Harold’s favorite food by Haywood Banks.  


Probably taking it too seriously November 13, 2007

Filed under: Food,Fun!,Quotes,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 3:27 pm

As seen today on the Food Network recipe site.  

User Terri from Port Ludlow, WA writes: 

04/10/2007 at 01:06pm

I made this salad to go with a prime rib dinner for a special event. I had never made it before and I have to say that it was delicious, none of it was left on a plates  [here’s the best part!]  Thank you for making me look like a genious

No, Terri.  Thank YOU for proving you’re not.


Reunited & it feels so good November 9, 2007

Filed under: Events,Friends,Fun!,Photos,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 11:05 am

 Uh, hi.  I just had to do something to rid the site of the previous post [though, let me tell ya, noone enjoyed the 70’s gear more than me!  Ha.] but it was taunting me with nothing-new-ness & since I’m the only one who can do anything about that I figured I’d step up & take action.  So here I go.  Hi.  I HAVE NOTHING OF INTEREST TO SAY!

Well, there is the update from the Jr. High to-do last weekend.  We had a great time after the initial 20-seconds of awkwardness wherein everyone was all, “Do I know you?”  “… and you went to GW, huh?”  “Now, did you used to have hair?” ” At first it felt like everyone had changed soooo, so much – but after just hearing their voice or a memory of something stupid they recall that I’d done … it all came rushing back [humiliation is funny like that].  We have all sorts of plans to get together in the near future, so I hope that happens.

A few things I found particularly amusing that night [names withheld to protect ME from getting my ass kicked!]:

K: I found one of my yearbook that you signed.

D: What did I say?

K: To a girl I didn’t really talk to that much, but I always knew was there.

D: Did you come here to slap me?


Self: So what have you been up to?

M: Well, I have a wooden leg now.

Self & S:  Really!?  What happened?

M: I lost it in the war.

Self & S:  Oh, my God!  Seriously?

M: No


Self:  Um, I think K’s going down.

[K, wobbling]

B: Oh, man.  I think you’re right. 


M [to AC]: You were the first person I ever kissed.

AC:  You were my first kiss too.

M: RR’s was the first penis I ever touched.

AC:  Me too!  [FYI – AC IS a boy!]

I don’t want to know, but thanks for the memories.


So, anyway, here we are; some of the George Washington Jr. High class of ’85.  No longer with big hair, acid-washed, pinch-rolled jeans that came up to your chest, jazz shoes, leg warmers, shoulder pads, TAILS or MULLETS[!], hyper-color shirts, rubber bracelets, headbands, slouch socks or black rock t-shirts.  Thank God!


We may be older now …


But I bet we are not mature yet.


The touch, the feel of polyester, the fabric of the 70’s November 2, 2007

Filed under: Creativity,Events,Food,Friends,Fun!,Photos,Random,Travel,Uncategorized — Layni @ 11:41 pm

 Hi y’all!  I just wanted to drop by before I head to bed to mention, that if you’re out & about in Fairfield tomorrow night and in the vacinity of Rick’s Tavern & you think you’ve spotted my dear friend Kathryn & I, maybe being a little louder than one should generally behave in public or perhaps may appear to be endearingly tipsy – well, you’re mistaken.  It’s not us.  [Unless you’re buying us a drink, in which case it’s totally US!]

We are going to a get-together of folks we went to … JR. HIGH SCHOOL with!  That’s right.  Representin’ for George Washington, Jr. High!  Weird, right?  Well, that remains to be seen [I’ll post those pictures along with the overdue Halloween ones.  Hi.]  But in honor of our generation [ie 70’s babies], I saw this today & knew I would be remiss to not share it!  Absolutely enjoy AND I’ll update you on our girls night out on Sunday.  Possibly Monday. 

Without further ado – I give you 1977 JC Penney’s catalog!


A JC Penney catalog from 1977. It’s not often blog fodder just falls in my lap, but holy hell this was two solid inches of it, right there for the taking. I thumbed through it quickly and found my next dining room set, which is apparently made by adding upholstery to old barrels:

Also, I am totally getting this for my bathroom:


There’s plenty more home furnishings where those came from, however I’m not going to bore you with that. Instead, I’m going to bore you with something else. The clothes.

The clothes are fantastic.
Here’s how to get your ass kicked in elementary school:

Just look at that belt. It’s like a boob-job for your pants. He probably needed help just to lift it into place. The belt loops have to be three inches long. And way to pull them up to your armpits, grandpa.

Here’s how to get your ass kicked in high school:


This kid looks like he’s pretending to be David Soul, who is pretending to be a cop who is pretending to be a pimp that everyone knows is really an undercover cop. Who is pretending to be 15.

Here’s how to get your ass kicked on the golf course:


This “all purpose jumpsuit” is, according to the description, equally appropriate for playing golf or simply relaxing around the house. Personally, I can’t see wearing this unless you happen to be relaxing around your cell in D-block. Even then, the only reason you should put this thing on is because the warden made you, and as a one-piece, it’s slightly more effective as a deterrent against butt-rapery. [hee hee sorry]

Here’s how to get your ass kicked pretty much anywhere:


If you look at that picture quickly, it looks like Mr. Bob “No-pants” Saget has his hand in the other guy’s pocket. In this case, he doesn’t, although you can tell just by looking at them that it’s happened – or if it hasn’t happened it will.  Oh yes.  It will.  As soon as he puts down his matching coffee cup.

Here’s how to get your ass kicked at the beach:


He looks like he’s reaching for a gun, but you know it’s probably just a bottle of suntan lotion in a holster.

How to get your ass kicked in a meeting:


If you wear this suit and don’t sell used cars for a living, I believe you can be fined and face serious repercussions, up to and including termination. Or imprisonment, in which case you’d be forced to wear that orange jumpsuit.

How to get your ass kicked on every day up to and including St. Patrick’s Day

Dear God in heaven, I don’t believe that color exists in nature. There is NO excuse for wearing either of these ensembles unless you’re working as a body guard for the Lucky Charms leprechaun.
In this next one, your search for VALUE ends at Penneys.

 As does your search for chest hair.And this one … seriously, no words:

Oh wait, it turns out that there are words after all. Those words are what the …?   I’m guessing the snap front gives you quick access to the chest hair. The little tie must be the pull tab.
Also, judging by the sheer amount of matching his & her outfits, I’m guessing that in 1977 it was considered pretty stylish for couples to dress alike.  These couples look happy, don’t they?

 I am especially fond of this one, which I have entitled “Cowboy Chachi Loves You Best.”


And nothing showcases your everlasting love more than the commitment of matching bathing suits.  That, and a blonde girl with a look on her face that says, “I love the way your junk fights against that fabric.”  junk-in-his-trunks.jpg

Then, after the lovin’, you can relax in your one-piece matching terry cloth jumpsuits:terry-couple.jpg

I could go on, but I’m tired, and my eyes hurt from this trip back in time. I think it’s the colors. That said, I will leave you with these tasteful little numbers:


Man, that’s sexy.

I think it’s safe to assume that these people likely dined on tasty treats like those that can be found hereEspecially this one:

melonmousse2.jpg“Hey, Phil! Hey, Rhonda! We’re so glad you could come over! Rhonda, you sit by Ted–and Phil, why don’t you sit by me.

You know how we play doubles in tennis? And sometimes we, you know, switch? Well, it’s 1974 and all, and … oh, yes, it’s a little forward of us, but… well, why don’t you two try my Melon Mousse and think about it? Okay?

Is it only me who’s thankful that the 70’s are over?  Goodnight!


No child left behind indeed November 1, 2007

Filed under: Fun!,Photos,Quotes,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 3:29 pm


I haz a diploma.  Let me show you it.