Random Thoughts on Symmes

… inept, but trying real hard

It’s who you know January 30, 2008

Filed under: Creativity,Events,Friends,Fun!,Photos,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 2:15 pm

My dear friend Jodi got a job at IKEA, after making the very brave move of quitting the-job-which-shall-remain-unspoken that treated her like butt [Look, y’all, I’m cleaning up my act in an attempt to get 2008 off of my back].  Wheeeeeeeee!  IKEA people!  She’s a very lucky girl, of this she is well aware.  Plus she got in on the ground floor [literally.  See below.  Ha!] and gets to help construct the floor models – which in turn, we the shopper will wander through the buttloads of square feet drooling over.  I, for one, can’t wait because there are infinity number of trinkets, blankets, shelves, lamps & wineglasses that I’m pretty sure that I need.  So, thanks for making it all possible, Jo.


Look at me!  I can do the work of two men.

If you’ve never shopped at IKEA before, you should be aware that they have these crazy Swedish or Scandanavian names for their products [on account of it’s like a Scandanavian company, or something like that].  For example, a piece might be called Shmorkenforber and it’s the word given to the “table with glass top thingy”.  Mysteriously international, no?

Below, someone actually took the time to come up with appropriate IKEA furniture names that really make quite a bit more sense, in my opinion.  You can do this too, in your spare time!  Good times.

Anyway, some ideas are as follows:






Anyway, congrats Jo!  You’re job is COOL!  And I’m not just saying that for the discount.   There is a discount, isn’t there?


Just add water

Filed under: Uncategorized — Layni @ 12:52 pm

Very much looking forward to spring.


[photo courtesy of alpha+mom]


A bad beginning January 28, 2008

Filed under: Children,Dogs,Events,Family,Uncategorized — Layni @ 11:58 am

Happy Monday!  [or is it?]

Oh my gosh, you guys.  I don’t know what’s going on, but apparently I have caught some sort of funk that causes everything in my vacinity to fall the hell apart right before my eyes.  You should maybe RUN!  Everything is breaking.  Car, kids, my spirit!  Every damn thing.

As for the car, see, for the past couple of days it’s been making sort of a *clunkclunk* noise.  It happened one of those mornings when it was miserable degrees farenheit and when I started to pull out of the driveway I heard the initial *CLUNK*, maybe also accompanied by a *SNAP*.  A little foreshadow-y I’m maybe thinking now.  I mentioned the *clunkclunk* to Harold, who leapt into action to resolve the situation.  Cause that’s how he rolls.  He surmised that it was probably the plastic casing over the battery that had come loose and was clunking around in there.  Whew.  Case closed.  Or so we thought.

So yesterday he thought it would be a very responsible thing to do to take the van in & drop it off for routine maintenance.  Did y’all know that was something you should do?  Take a car in for service when it’s running FINE?  Because my thinking has always been, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Apparently that’s not man’s way.  I followed him to the garage to drive him home.  Upon getting in the car he was all, “So have you heard that noise any more?”  “Yes.”  “What?  Really?”  “Yup, it’s actually worse since you tinkered with it.”  *fume*  He turned down the radio & turned off the heater to have a listen.  Sure enough, it sounded like I might drop my engine with each bump.  The man-person was very concerned.  We stopped at my Mom’s & he checked it out & lo & behold, he pulled from behind the wheel well a piece of bent steel that looked like the top part of a shepherds crook.  This was eventually determined to be a part of a SPRING [maybe something was said about it being something that holds up the suspension?  I can’t be sure.  I’ve amazingly gone my whole life without retaining any knowledge of things like that.]  Needless to say, the terms “needs to go into the shop” and “not safe to drive” were mentioned.  I remember those parts.  Sigh.

Additionally, Maddie went to her first “slubber” party on Saturday and came home with a fever & throwing up.  She went directly to bed and didn’t come out the rest of the day.  She had a fever but this was only confirmed by the “feel the forehead test”, because our digital thermometer was dead & our mercury one [which had been in use since I was a baby … so like, for 29 years.  Shut up.] had broken too.  They don’t sell the mercury ones any more.  Did y’all know this?  And I was bummed about it because I think they’re the most accurate and I feel like a genius every time I use them, because lets be honest, those things are hard to read.  But I could & it’s now been taken from me, rendering it one less cool thing I’m able to do.  Stupid toxic mercury.  I mean, basically, don’t let your kid bite them in half & you should be ok, is my thinking.  Right?  But I digress.

I couldn’t decide between the little plastic strip that you put on your forehead or the digital kind, so after consulting the pharmacist & her recommending the digital kind, I bought the forehead one.  Because you can’t tell ME what to do, lady!  So, 20 minutes later, after I had driven back to exchange the forehead one for the digital one [whatever], I was back home & taking her ‘real’ temperature, which turned out to be like 100.8 [not 96.0, like the plastic piece of crap said].  Which is actually substantial for her, because we tend to be like 97.0 normally.  She stayed in bed the rest of the evening.  Can I just tell you that this kid is the easiest sick kid I’ve ever seen.  Never whiney or demand-y.  Let me give you an example.  Ashton came down at 9:00 to tell me good night and I said, “You should tell your sister good night … but don’t expect her to answer, she doesn’t feel good.”  And Ashton was all, “Oh, she’s awake.  She just threw up.”  “Huh-what?”  “Yeah, but it’s ok, I rubbed her back & put her hair up.  She’s fine.”  I immediately headed up stairs to check on her & she was resting comfortably in her bed.  Like nothing had happened!  Which is astounding to me because when I was a kid & sick, holy hell, look out.  I’M SICK PEOPLE.  RECOGNIZE!  I REQUIRE DRY TOAST, HOT TEA AND A NEW REMOTE CONTROL CAR [true story, I really did finagle a remote control car when I was sick once, hee hee].  But not Maddie.  I asked her if she was ok & she said she was.  I put my hand on her belly to ask her if she still felt woozy & realized that the front of her shirt was all wet.  “Maddie, did you throw up on yourself?”  “No.”  “Then why is the front of your shirt all wet?”  “Daddy put a wet washcloth on my belly to make it feel better.”  Of course he did.  Because that’s what you do.  You didn’t know?  You put a sopping wet washcloth on your stomach when you’re nauseous.  Because that makes so much sense.  IF YOU’D LIKE ALSO TO CONTRACT PNEUMONIA!  [I really must not die before my children are grown.]  “That was very sweet of Daddy.  He’s a good man.”

Anyway, she’s home today but seems to be on the mend.  No more fever & hasn’t gotten sick since about 9:00 this morning.  She’s even managed to keep a popcicle & some chicken broth down, so that’s a good sign.

My car however, is still broke the hell down & I’m stranded at the house, unable to go to work until Harold gets home with the spare car [which, thank God we have given the fact that one’s in the shop & one’s heading that way]. 

2008 is scaring me.

But on a better note.  The puppies are doing GREAT!  I owe my sanity to Kongs and cheap wooden gates.  We’ve had relatively few accidents since the installation of ‘newly implemented potty rules’ and nothing has been chewed or destroyed since the insallation of the Kong’s *heavenly music plays*. 

Anyway, I hope y’all are doing better than this and that you don’t lose an eye or break a mirror or fall down a set of stairs as a result of reading this.  I am not safe to be around right now people.  I cannot insure your safety.  I can say that my week has to get better than this — but that’s really all I can say.


Terrier takedown January 25, 2008

Filed under: Dogs,Events,Family,Fun!,Photos,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 12:33 am

 Hey you guys.  I don’t have time to formally update you on the newly implemented systems we’ve put into practice for the puppies.  But.  Hello!  I can say are nothing short of MIRACULOUS!  Anyway, more on that tomorrow.  I have to hit the hay, but in the meantime here’s maybe a little glimpse of what life with puppies is like:


Buster Brown want to know if you want a piece of Buster Brown? 

[can you tell that he’s actually sitting on Millie?]

It’s Friday y’all!  Wheeeeeeee!  [suddenly regretting the 11:30 p.m. cup of coffee]  Have a great day!


Driving Miss CrAzY! January 23, 2008

Filed under: Events,Family,Fun!,Photos,Quotes,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 4:52 pm

Despite the number of emails and inquiries I have received asking whether I do, in fact, need bail money, the answer is no, thank you.  I am not in jail.  I am not in jail, nor have I been abducted by aliens or kidnapped by a cult nor am I lost on a hunting trip or shipwrecked or anything else remotely interesting. 

Instead, I have spent the better part of the last two weeks chasing after dogs.  Yes, dog[s].  Plural.  I maybe told you we adopted my sister-in-laws Yorkshire Terrier, right?  Did.  His name is Buster Brown [we added the “Brown” part.  I hope you don’t mind, Kathy.]  I’ve also been doing a lot of hollering, “no”.  A lot.  No, don’t steal each others rawhides!  No, don’t gnaw on each others jugular! 

[I interrupt this blog to point out the irony that happened just right this minute now.  I’m listening to some tune-age at Deezer.com  — which, might I add,  I’d highly recommend for your listening pleasure at work — and guess what song just came on?  “Too Many Puppies”, by Primus!  Which has exactly nothing to do with actual puppies, but weird timing, right?  Anyway, back to my rant.  Thank you.]

No, DO NOT stick your head through the spindles!  No, get out of the window sill!  No, don’t lick that!  No, DO NOT eat the furniture!  And most frequently heard in my house over the past two weeks:  NO, WE DO NOT POOP/PEE IN THE HOUSE!  Generally followed by, “GET IN YOUR CAGES” or “OUTSIDE!!!” 

Sigh. It’s been kind of a long two weeks y’all.

But I’m feeling more optimistic this afternoon than I was this morning.  This morning, when I was upstairs brushing my teeth and over the sound of my electric toothbrush I heard;


Which, when performed by two small dogs on ceramic tile floors, sounds like:



Curious I run down the stairs & peep into the kitchen, where the two of them are gated.


because we’re not doing anything.  Hi.

I head back upstairs & resume brushing. 

crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch *CRACK* [repeat approx. 4x]

Hmmmmmm?  *gasp*


Don’t ask me how, but I suddenly instinctually knew, “YOU ARE EATING MY KITCHEN CABINETS! STOP EATING MY KITCHEN CABINETS!.”

For the next ten seconds, I hear:

[silence.]  THEN


I ran down the stairs,  screaming like a mad woman into the kitchen, where they are, indeed, chewing bits of wood off of my ANTIQUE cabinet!  Long sharp shards of wood resembling shanks. 


and they were looking at me, wholly delighted.   

So I stabbed them.  Well what would YOU DO?!  [oh, no I didn’t]


I quickly called Harold, “What does a psychotic break feel like?” and that is when he told me to call the salon & schedule an appointment [Hi Kelly!] to get my hair cut this weekend.  [Well, it helps me cope.]  

So I chucked gingerly placed the puppies into their respective cages and darted out the door before Millie started to whine.  Because, did I mention that they would much prefer to be running amok in the house chewing things up & pooping on the floor?  Would.  So when you put them [particularly Millie] into their cages, they whiiiiiiiine. 

Like this:

Whiiiiiine. Whimper. Whine whine.

That is what she does, with increasing volume, and with those big, puppy dog eyes filled with sadness.  And, if you don’t notice this heartbreaking display, like if you are, I don’t know, asleep, or busy or trying not to notice, she will continue with the whiiiiiine. whimper, whine whine until you are DEFINITELY PAYING ATTENTION, and you will begin trying to channel Cesar Milan for wisdom and Job for patience. 

And this is what I go through, every day. 

Oh, oh, but the plan:  Okay, see, so for the issue of using the house as their own giant toilet — we’ve consulted our vet and they assure us that keeping them in their cages until housebreaking has happened is indeed not cruel and is IN FACT necessary!  Good news.  And that under no circumstances should we resort to wee-wee pads, which encourage pooping in houses NOR should we allow them any opportunity to go potty IN OUR HOME!  I have clinical back-up now my little 1′ tall, furry friends!  Haha! 

Additionally, a friend told me about a seemingly miraculous invention, KONG toys.


Apparently you stuff these things with treats like peanut butter and cheese singles and it mentally and orally stimulates your pet to QUIT EATING YOUR EXPENSIVE BELONGINGS.  Supposedly it keeps ’em busy for hours.  HOURS y’all!  Because, lets be honest, they’ll have a lot of those in lock-down.  I’ll let you know how that works out for us.

So, I’ll hop on tonight & post their precious little pictures [um, not at home at the moment.  <wink>].  In the meantime, please send suggestions and prayers for both my patience and my haircut.  Thanks!


John asked me to share this with you January 14, 2008

Filed under: Events,Fun!,John,Photos,Quotes,Random,Uncategorized — Layni @ 4:10 pm

Under the (impression he can) influence (people around him).  


I’m influenced.  Hi.


John writes:

Went out to dinner Thursday night.  My car.  One glass of wine.  Carpooled from dinner to go out to one more place.  Everyone in my car.  At the next spot, I do the Diet Coke with Lime thing.  My favorite scotch (Lagavulin 16 year) arrives under my nose.  “Can’t do it,” I say.  Then I find out my friend has switched to Designated Driver and has a plan that involves everyone getting home safe.  Cool.  I love Lagavulin when the time is right. Now it’s the end of the night and I’m feeling wonderfully buzzy and ready to get dropped off to my house in my car, except the person that was going to follow my car in the DD’s car to drive him back isn’t in shape to drive either.

It’s 2 o’clock in the morning.  I call my housemate Chad.  Chad’s sleeping.  He was in the studio all day.  I explain to him that I need him to jump in the back seat of my car, ride to the DD’s car and drive me back home.  Of course Chad says, “yes” and comes through like a champ.  A champ, I say.

Here’s what I want to tell you:

If I, incredibly hot/fugly John Mayer can make that call, so can you.

The distance from the parking lot to my house was about 5 miles, mostly straight shot up the coast of Santa Monica, zero traffic.  And I didn’t drive it.  Me.  The guy who gets the VIP velvet rope treatment in life.

Oh, and the call?  It’s not the coolest you’ll ever sound.  And the logistics?  It’s kind of inelegant.  You trace the same route twice when all you want to do is fall into bed.  But you gotta do it.

This is all coming from a guy who you can be sure would have found a sexier way to get home if there was one available.  And there just isn’t, especially in LA.  (You can be sexy again the next day when you wake up with the rest of your big, beautiful life in front of you.)

I’m not writing this to earn golf claps, it’s just that if I’m going to stand in any way as an ambassador of something cool or influential, this is more important than any pair of sneakers or a guitar.

And to give a big high five to the Chads of the world.

See you around



<sigh> Because I needed ONE MORE REASON to adore him. 

Golf clap, John.  Golf clap indeed. 


Hey You People Who Read My Wife’s Blog January 12, 2008

Filed under: Children,Creativity,Events,Fun!,Photos,Travel,Uncategorized — Layni @ 6:22 pm



Here is a picture of Layni last week at the Nation’s Snowmen March in Washington D.C.   I thought that it was ridiculous that she went to it since she isn’t a snowman and her costume totally gives away the fact that she is a human, but her and Jesse Jackson are tight so he wanted her at his right hand.  That reminds me that I need to buy a boulder to put in our side lawn.  I’m going to build a snowman on it.  Some punk drove a car into our big snowman last year and knocked it down.  This year he will hit something a little harder than snow.  I reeeaaaally don’t like snowman vandalizers.  Layni loves snowmen too..obviously.  See the picture above?

  BY THE WAY, This is Layni’s  husband Harold.  Layni has been too busy to talk to do the blog-writing thing.    I think that blogging, facebook, myspace and all that internet community bologna is just that—bologna.   However, with that said, layni asked me to get on here and write a random post about whatever, as an icebreaker….so here I am.   

  We have been up to the same old thing here..except for getting a new Boston Terrier who we named Millie and maybe getting my sister Kathy’s Yorkshire Terrier puppy because my niece is apparently allergic to dog saliva.   Isn’t that great? Three dogs.  Great.  Nothing else has changed. Really.  We are all doing fine.  Layni’s been spending her time working and playing with the girls, who are both fine by the way.   If anybody cares, I have been working and trying to do things around the house..currently I am slowly putting in baseboards in the living room.  It’s a learning experience…in fact today I learned how to make coping joints.  Yeah that’s right, coping joints.  Settle down, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds but it is very impressive though.  Ty Pennington has nothing on me.  

  Layni wants me to write on here that she is the “internet’s bi^@ch”  I’m not sure why she wants that on here.

 I don’t want to write anymore, so stay tuned for Layni’s next Blog.  I am going to go and pour myself another cup of wine and go do woodwork.