Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Bunny Lady

I have that sickness where, if you laugh once, I will die beating that same horse to death in order to squeeze another laugh out of you.

So to that end, The Bunny Lady (as she has been dubbed) has been born. I'll show you the videos that I made for my friends on Facebook.

April 8, 2009 - Bunny Lady is born
This is the first appearance. I was just playing with the effects in PhotoBooth on the Mac. I did a few "Dating Videos That Missed The Mark". This one is the one that got the most responses and the most laughs. My former boss called me and couldn't even talk because she was laughing so hard. Oddly, I have gotten no dates from this video.

April 27, 2009 - Bunny Lady sings Happy Birsday
My brother-in-law Pat has a great sense of humor. He and his twin brother celebrated their birthday on the 27th. I decided they needed an entertaining birthday message. The Bunny Lady stepped up to the plate.

Today - A PSA on Swine Flu from The Bunny Lady
Many of my friends and I are amazed at the panic surrounding Swine Flu (which isn't even swine flu). I mean, I get that the flu can still kill people. And my heart goes out to anyone who has lost someone. But what gets me is how quick Americans are to jump on the fear and panic band wagon. My former boss in Boston just called and has been pulled into her doctor's office because of chest congestion and general yuckiness. Because she recently visited here (Texas), they are freaking out and making her wait in her car until they can come down with a surgical mask and bring her in a back entrance. Precautions are one thing. Pandering to public hysteria another. So after hearing this, The Bunny Lady felt very strongly that she needs to fight the message of fear.

If you have any special occasions that The Bunny Lady can help you with, please let me know and I'll post something on YouTube for you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Grammatical Pet Peeve

I'm a math major. Or, to be correct, I was a math/compSci major and then dropped out of college after my junior year. So it amuses me to no end that a math/sci dropout can get this right and so many other seemingly edumacated people CAN'T! I know it's a really silly and petty pet peeve but it drives me nuts when I see a photo album entitled "Pics of Bob and I". Really? You have some pictures of "I", do yah? As far as pet peeves go, that's right up there with pronouncing "ESC" words as if they were spelled "EXK" - like EXspecially or EXscape. But I digress.

When to use "Me" vs "I". It's really pretty simple once you get down to it. I'm bad at explaining it, however. So I went to the interwebs to get some explanationating assistance.

Here is a very good write up from If you don't want to read the whole thing, skip to the bottom for a very good boiled down rule of thumb.

I vs Me

Mistakes made with these two English pronouns have been increasing exponentially for years. The difference is actually very simple - let me explain it to you.


I is the first person singular subject pronoun, which means that it refers to the person performing the action of a verb.

I want to go.
This is the one I like.
You and I need to get ready.
Tom and I are going to the movies.


Me is an object pronoun, which means that it refers to the person that the action of a verb is being done to, or to which a preposition refers.

David told me to leave.
He gave me ten dollars.
Between you and me, this is a bad idea.
She needs to talk to Joe or me.

The Bottom Line

This confusion usually occurs when you have I/me connected to another pronoun or name with "and" or "or." I believe that the confusion begins when someone says something like "John and me are ready" and that is corrected to "John and I are ready." The speaker then thinks, "Oh, the word 'and' means that I should always use I." This is not the case. "And" has nothing to do with it; the reason you say "John and I" in that sentence is that "John and I" are the subject. If they were the object, you'd use me: "He told John and me to get ready."

If you are not good with grammar concepts like subject and objects, there is still a very easy way to decide whether to use I or me: try out the sentence with just I or me (or if you need a plural, we or us - "we" is equivalent to "I" and "us" is equivalent to "me."):

He told Tom and (I or me?) to get ready.
He told I to get ready? NO
He told me to get ready? YES
Therefore, He told Tom and me to get ready.

If John and (I or me?) get married, we'll have two kids.
If me get married? NO
If I get married? YES
Therefore, If John and I get married, we'll have two kids.

Just between you and (I or me?), this is a bad idea.
Because "between" needs to be followed by a plural, we'll use "we" and "us" to figure this out.
Just between we? NO
Just between us? YES
Just between you and me, this is a bad idea.

And whatever you do, please don't use a subject pronoun and object pronoun together.

He and I - correct: "He and I are going to town."
Him and me - correct: "She told him and me the truth."
Him and I - WRONG
He and me - WRONG

Ok. This college dropout is done being a grammar snob. Man, I really need to get out more.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Hissing of Summer Garages

Well I sure do live in Texas. Those of you on Facebook with me already know about this. So bare with me.

Last night, I was putting the boys to bed. Lil'Bro needed Buddy - his favorite stuffed dog. He was in the car. I asked Pokemon Boy to run into the garage and grab Buddy. He didn't feel like it. I didn't blame him after his big day yesterday. So I went into the garage, opened the back door, grabbed Buddy and slammed the car door. That's when I heard it. This weird hissing. Like I had somehow punctured one of the tires and it was just blowing air out of a small hole. I stood in the doorway back into the house listening. Was it a pipe that just blew a leak? Was it a tire? How could I have popped a tire by closing the door? What in the world? If I had been outside, I would have thought a sprinkler head was freaking out. One tiny part of me thought...could that be a rattlesnake????

Then my mind did what happens to lots of people who are now dead. It started talking me out of the most terrifying possibility. I started telling myself "Man, get a grip! You're totally overreacting. There's no WAY you'd have a rattlesnake in the garage!" Pokemon Boy came up behind me and said, "What is that noise?!" I may be trying to talk myself out of the rattlesnake scenario but I wasn't risking his life. I shooed him back into the house and followed him quickly. I stood there thinking, "Now what?"

I grabbed the phone and went out the front door. I opened the garage door from the outside. Maybe I could see from that angle better. As the garage door opened, the weird loud hissing started. As soon as it stopped, the hissing stopped. Oooookaaaay...could the garage door opener be freaking out and making some weird hissing sound? Kind of doubt it. So I took a step forward and the hissing (now, unmistakably having a rattle quality to it) started again.

At this point, the ex had called so I had him on the phone and was filling him in. I looked in to the left, in the corner just beyond the garage door opening and I think I saw a rattler (or snake of some kind) coiled up under my ladder. I'm still not sure. It could have been some old rags back there. But at the time, I was pretty sure I saw a snake with its head up off the ground. I told the ex I had to go call someone and ran inside.

I don't know who you're supposed to call at 9pm to come get a rattlesnake out of your garage. But I called 911. They'd know. My heart was pounding and my kids were freaking out. Well, Pokemon Boy was scared. Lil'Bro was scared but asked if he could go look at it. NO YOU CAN'T GO LOOK AT IT!!

The 911 operator was nice. And he said sure, I was correct to call them. He told me the sheriff was on another job but he put me next in line. I guess a deadly snake in the garage trumps some other things. He told me to leave the garage door open so the snake might leave. If we shut it, he might go deeper into the garage.

Twenty minutes later, a very nice sheriff showed up. This sheriff was smart. He hates rattlers. I don't blame him. But I figured he had a night stick and a gun. I had bare feet and...a broom? He gingerly checked the perimeter of my garage with his flashlight. My car was still in there so he was a bit too close to the sides and junk there. After he check the perimeter, I got in the car and pulled it out of the garage. We both stood in the middle of the garage and checked more. We made a lot of noise. Nothing. No rattle. No hiss. No movement.

That's all he could really do. He told me to call back if I heard it again. GAH!

I know, I know. Welcome to Texas. And people that live in the country get these things in their houses all the time. But the people I know have brains and still don't like the snakes. Familiarity or not - they're dangerous and should be feared.

So last night, I did a lot of praying. The boys prayed, too. I told God, I am SCARED here. I don't want to live in fear. So we asked for a God snake barrier around the house. Then we extended it to our neighborhood. Then we extended it to everyone we love. So you guys are all protected from poisonous snakes!

After getting the boys into bed VERY late, I picked up my iPod and opened my online bible. I searched every verse for snake, viper, or serpent. And the verse I chose to claim in prayer was Psalm 91. It is one that I've sent to sick friends. It's one that sustained me through my divorce. I love it.

Psalm 91 (New Living Translation)

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes,
and see how the wicked are punished.

9 If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands
so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

So today, I was still scared. I just kept God in my head all day. I know he understand fear. So he took care of us. I went into the garage a few times. Got the car out, back in, back out again. No events. My fear got less and less. But I'm on guard.

This evening, I was talking to my friend on the phone. He's the dad of one of Lil'Bro's little classmates. I told him about the snake. He insisted on coming over to check the garage. I didn't like that idea. I don't want to be responsible if something did happen to him. He came anyway. He took this big 10 foot pole I have that extends to clean windows and the like. He poked around behind everything in the garage. We made all sorts of noise. Nothing. No hissing, no rattling, no movement of any kind.

I think the snake is gone. I think God got him out of there. I'm still asking God for that barrier around the house. It's snake season. They're coming out now. So I will be vigilant. I'm still on guard. I'm still really wanting to buy snake boots or the full regalia. But I know God's got my back. And I gotta "cowboy up" as one of my friends put it. Gotta get used to this.

Welcome to suburbia in Texas.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oral Surgery: Good Times...Goooood Times

Well today, Pokemon Boy had his oral surgery. Yes, because I assumed my child had low maintenance teeth like me, I never rode him about brushing or flossing. I didn't take him to the dentist until he had an issue. So his first time was this year - at the age of eight. Granted, I went for the first time at 13 and only had like 2 small cavities. But apparently, I was lucky.

So my unlucky son had to go under general anesthesia today to get one baby molar extracted, two of them crowned and two of them filled. All the molars were sealed.

We were covered in a ton of prayer. And it showed. Pokemon Boy was incredibly calm all day. His appointment time was 11:30am. We got there at 10:45am. They took us back into pre-op around 1:30pm because they were running late. Around 2:15pm, they gave him the "happy juice". It's ibuprofen and something that basically makes kids act drunk. At about 3pm, they came to take him into the OR.

He was completely patient during the whole wait. Even though he hadn't eaten since the night before. He had his last sips of water at 6:30am. I wasn't eating or drinking for solidarity. And by noon, I was parched and cranky. He just kept waiting. Oh yah - did I mention that he brought his Nintendo DS with him? I think that had a tiny bit to do with his amazing patience. At one point I said, "Thanks for being so patient, bud." Without skipping a beat he says, "Of course I'm patient. I AM a patient. Ha ha!" Too funny.

The only nerves showed up when they came to take him away. He kept joking, "Well, I'm one hour closer to the end of my life," which I privately didn't find funny. So when they came for him, the nurse asked, "Do you have any questions?" He said, "Just one. Where will you bury me?" The nurse was horrified but he thought it was funny. Anyway, as he left, he looked back and said, "Are you sure they won't hurt me?" The nurse and I assured he would be fine and not feel a thing.

About 45 minutes later, the doctor came in to tell me she had finished and Pokemon Boy was in recovery. Wow! About 30 minutes later, I could hear a fog-horn of a wail from down the hall. Oh boy. Pokemon Boy fog-horned all the way back to the post-op room. He had a real rough time coming out of the anesthesia. He was very confused & frightened. He kept crying, "Don't let them hurt me!!!" and "Is it all done? Completely??"

If you've ever had general anesthesia, one of the weirdest things is how you have no concept that time has passed. I remember for one of my surgeries, they were putting me under. And suddenly I was being woken up. It was like they were going, "Oh wait, we have to tell you one more thing before you go to sleep." Just no concept of time at all. So I think what was happening was that Pokemon Boy thought he had woken up during or before the surgery. Yesterday, he was very nervous about that happening. That would explain why he kept saying, "Don't let them hurt me!" When I assured him it was all done and he was in post-op, he kept asking me "Are you sure? Really?"

The nurses also explained that some people have this reaction when coming out of anesthesia. One nurse told me, "I'm just telling you this for his college years: he will be an UGLY drunk. What's going on here is just like the 'tears in your beers' you see with some drunks. You need to warn him not to drink because it won't be pretty." I thought that was very funny. But also completely agree with her!

So his recovery was very loud. He was crying in that yelling way. And not screaming. If you've ever met someone that can really PROJECT (like me and Pokemon Boy), you know what I mean. He was crying LOUD. He would answer me LOUD. Even saying, "OK" or "I'm sorry" was at like 952 decibels. So once he was awake enough, I had to make him focus on me and say things like, "Honey, you need to wake up enough to control your voice. You're talking very loud and there are other people recovering here." Then he'd try to "whisper" which brought it down to kind of loud talk. But it was quieter than the LOUD.

As he finally started snapping out of it, he'd be laying there watching the TV in his room and suddenly his heart rate would race and his face would screw up like he was about to start crying again. And just as suddenly, he'd calm right down.

By the time they were ready to kick us out, he was calm but still VERY groggy. When they brought the wheelchair for him, he got upset and asked, "How long will I have to use THAT?!" They explained it's normal procedure for leaving after surgery.

He slept most of the way home. Right now, he's sitting on the couch playing his DS and watching Sponge Bob. He's pretty mellow. He's hungry. Already polished off some applesauce. Now he wants pizza. Can't have that yet. So I must run to find something for him to eat.

Just thought I'd let you all know it went really well. I think the peace he had going in was definitely from God. The procedures went well. We're home and in a pretty normal routine, all things considered.

Oh, my mom picked up Lil'Bro from day care. And she brought us all dinner. Seriously, I'm pretty sure I have the coolest mom in the world. For me, that is.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Fortis Vox Pro Deus

Here's a little something for y'all. It's about the only recording of my voice since probably the late 90's? I'm learning how to use some recording software on this lovely new iMac. It's very basic but very fun. I loooooooove harmonies. So I did a little experiment this afternoon and put a partially written praise song together. I had to make it into a movie because Facebook doesn't let you post pure MP3 files to personal pages. So forgive the quick toss-together. And enjoy.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A Dentist Visit WithOUT Anxiety

In contrast to Pokemon Boy's visit to the dentist a while ago, Lil'Bro had his first dentist visit today. Granted he's five so they don't have a lot of expectations and you can slip a lot past them the first time. But he also doesn't have any of the anxiety disorder Pokemon Boy has either. It was a whole different visit. X-rays? Done. Cleaning? Done. Cavities? None.

I really was so proud of him. He did everything he was told. He didn't like the little plastic things you bite down on while you get x-rays because they cut into the roof of your mouth. I don't know anyone that loves those things. But he bit, held it and released exactly as told. The cleaning, he told the lady he didn't want her to squirt water into his mouth. She said, "How 'bout we try it just once and see how it goes." He agreed and everything went fine.

Since his visit was completely stress free and no drama, I was able to think about taking a picture with my cell phone. Something I hadn't been able to do for Pokemon Boy's first visit. Which bums me out. But oh well.

Here is a picture of Lil'Bro getting his cleaning. They give the kids sunglasses to wear under the bright lights. It's a bit washed out because of the lights but it's cute anyway.