Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Heartland Bound

Tonight, Sparky, Bee and I are taking the red eye to Indiana to visit Nanny and the gang. I'm dreading flying a little bit with Bee (the memories of our last flight are still haunting me) but since Sparky will be with us it may go smoother. Also, since we're taking such a late flight hopefully Bee will sleep on the plane. I know I will if she gives me a chance. I'm looking forward to this trip; it's always exotic for this West coast girl to visit the middle of the country. They are so different there! The same, but different somehow. Especially in Rushville, where Sparky is from and where his mother, younger brother, and assorted friends still live. It's a tiny town of less then 5000, I'm not sure what the population is anymore. They no longer have a viable Main Street as Wallmart has sadly taken over all the mom and pop business. But they do have a Pizza King - square pizza! And a Mexican restaurant. And it is chock full of Hoosiers! Also, they are very proud of all the different counties they have. There are a lot of them for some reason - I'm used to the West where our counties are few but large. Sparky is from Rush County, and he had to memorize them all when he was in grade school. I'm not sure how knowing the different Counties in Indiana is going to help you in life, it doesn't really seem like that useful to know. Maybe if you are a map maker or a politician or something. Anyway, I guess Bee is half Hoosier so it's important for her to see them in their natural habitat. Plus she loves her Nanny. And it's a good time to be going for a visit as late Spring is a beautiful time of year there.  

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Potty Training And The Two Year Old

We started on Monday of this week. It is now Saturday, and I am pleased to announced that Bee is officially toilet trained! It was really not that difficult as she was ready for it, and so were Sparky and I: teamwork was the key. All week long she wore big girl underpants, and went pee and poop into her potty with hardly an error. We were a bit afraid that we would impede the progress that she had made all week when on Thursday we drove down and  spent the night in San Diego with some friends of ours. But she was totally into it, and kept telling me me she had to pee and poop the whole time with were there. Her favorite part is emptying her potty into the toilet and flushing it saying "Bye bye pee pee, bye bye poop." I'm going to keep putting a diaper on her at night for a little bit, but hope to dispense with that soon. Have I mentioned how smart our Bee is? When I tell her that she is a good big girl, she replies, "No, I'm Bee!" We can have conversations with her now, and she loves doing new things and exploring her every expanding world further. We could not be more proud of her, she constantly brings joy, laughter and light into our lives, and we are utterly honored to be her parents. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our Neighbors, Part 1

The Misers have lived in this old house for many moons - over twenty years, which is a pretty long time. Of course, Bee has only lived here for two years, but Sparky and I have been here for the long haul. As you can well imagine, our neighborhood has changed a lot over the years. Our neighbors have changed as well, for better or for worse - mostly for the better with a couple of notable exceptions. The one thing that has remained a constant in our neighborhood is the on going inane graffiti, scribbled in boldly colored spray paint from the one and only Mayberry Crazys, a gang of young thugs who live a few blocks away. They are muy loco. And muy annoying. They spray paint mostly their names: Spooky,  Lefty, Shadow, Puppet - I swear to god these are some of their nom de plumes. Our house was tagged once, and Sparky painted a smiley face over the initials and left it up for a bit before painting it out. If only  the lot of them were more creative we might be able to tolerate the graffit more, but unfortunately there is absolutely no artistic ability amongst them, it seems to be merely done to claim their territory. Much like a dog peeing on every tree in the park. As you can probably tell, Sparky and I hate graffiti. It is an eyesore to us, plain and simple. 
One of The Crazy's favorite canvases is the old, derelict garage that is situated kitty corner from us in the alley. While we were away in Yosemite, The Crazys got down and graffitied all over the neighborhood, and they hit the garage of course. In bright red letters. "Mayberry Crazys" it said in huge writing, and some other names that I've already forgotten. And the reason why I've forgotten what it said is because of this:  this wonderful guy (a good neighbor) who lives up the street painted it out this afternoon with some extra house paint he had. This is the second time he has done it, he hates graffiti as much as Sparky and I do, maybe even more. He admitted to me that he would like to spend the night hiding in the alley with a bb gun, and shoot at the punks once he caught them in the act. This may seem like a violent fantasy to some, but I could completely understand where he was coming from. Grafitti is an ugly urban reality that needs to go away. Sparky is usually the one who ends up painting out the ugly scrawl, but he is officially out of neutral colored house paint. That poor garage has been painted over so many times in so many different colors of paint, and it will most likely be painted over many more times in the future. Anyway, this good samatarian is fairly new to our neighborhood, and we could definitely use a few more like him around.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Our Thing

Sparky claims that some people do the same thing every year for a vacation, for instance, every year some people go to Yosemite. They make reservations a year in advanced for the same week. It's Their Thing, or so Sparky says. It makes sense, because some of the campers we saw at Yosemite had their camps decorated with lights and signs and knick knacks - and they looked like they had done it before, and that they'll do it again.  The people next to us had a sign that said "Go Ducks" and another about the "Lemon Drop Gang" (whatever that is) and they acted like they owned the place. Yosemite was definitely Their Thing. So far, Sparky, Bee and I don't have a Thing. I'm not sure if I want us to really have one. But we sort of came up with a Thing accidently, and it's not a bad Thing. We had so much fun at Yosemite that we thought it would be really cool to go to other National Parks that we never been to. In fact, we thought it would be a great idea to go to every major National Park in the country. What a great way to show Bee America! Plus I myself haven't been to a lot of them, like Yellowstone, The Everglades, or The Great Smokey Mountains. And I wouldn't mind seeing them.  So road trips and camping in National Parks has officially become our Thing. Now we just need a travel grant from the NEA.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The Miser Family are back in town and have hit the ground running after our fabulous Yosemite trip. Wow, it was really something else: smack dab in the middle of springtime, gushing waterfalls, lushly green meadows, sparkling blue skies with fluffly white cotton clouds - truly god's country. The only problem was that the trip was too short! We were only there for two nights. The first day we unpacked and organized our gear, and then just chilled after our long car trip, cooked dinner and went to bed fairly early. We had one of the best campsites around with a stunning view of Upper Yosemite Falls, so it was fairly easy to just sit there and just take in nature. The next day we rented bikes and rode over to Lower Yosemite Falls, which were beyond dramatical. Bee fell asleep on the way back in her little bike trailer, worn out from all the excitement of seeing so much water. Back at the campsite, we sat beside the Merced River, and Sparky made a little painting of our view while Bee hunted for rocks.                              
Here's his painting. We left the next day, but had a picnic on our way out. We were sad to have to leave that place of such natural beauty - it really is one of the most amazing places I've ever visited. We will be back, Yosemite! 

Friday, May 8, 2009


That annoying catch phrase "Thank God It's Friday" sounds funny coming from a non-office drone such as myself, but really, TGIF! This has been a hellacious week and this Miser is glad to see it finally coming to an end. I almost feel like going to one of those cheesy places like T.G.I. Fridays and having a silly drink with an umbrella in it. Almost. Everything that could go wrong this week seemingly did. Even Sparky's beloved Dodgers went to hell when they lost their big hitter Manny Ramirez. Sparky is bummed out to say the least. Like I said, thank god this week is finally over. In celebration, I decided to spend the day doing NOTHING. First off, all three Misers slept in. It was great to get some much needed rest, and we all feel better because of it. After breakfast, I gave myself a mud mask from this great stuff my mom gave me from Lush. It's called "Ayesha" and it's for "mature" skin, and it is absolutely amazing. It makes my skin look all glowy and fresh. I highly recommend it. Then I gave myself a pedicure. Blue toes, which Bee loves. Later on, I gave Sparky a haircut, and Bee had a long, luxurious bath. She was in for so long her hands and feet turned into prunes. Now Bee's in bed, and Sparky and I are planning to watch Mike Leigh's film "Happy-Go-Lucky" - a perfect ending to a not so perfect week. To reiterate: TGIF! Cocktails, anyone?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Swine Flu

Bee's been sick. Sparky and I spent the weekend tending to her, babying her, worrying about her, and trying to keep her temperature down. It spiked at 103.9. Of course I knew that she didn't really have the Swine Flu, I mean there is no way that she has been around anybody from whom she could have caught it. But still. She had a high fever, she was listless, her eyes were glassy, and she just wanted to cuddle with me. She has never been sick like this. At first, we just thought it was because she is teething (her back molars are coming in, and they are supposed to be painful - the worst ones of all). On Saturday, she was just plain cranky and fussy, and I assumed it was from her teeth. Then on Sunday, she just wanted to stay in bed - which is so not like her! That's when we really started to worry. When I called her doctor, I was on hold for a very long time. Apparently, people everywhere are jumping to the Swine Flu conclusion with every little ache and sniffle. When I finally spoke with a health care professional, after carefully describing every little thing going on with Bee, she came to the conclusion that it was something viral, and that Sparky and I were to keep an eye on her, give her plenty of liquids, monitor her temperature, and give her Tylenol every four hours. That is what we did. And now Bee is practically as good as new. Her temperature is normal, she is back to her old teething self, and the Swine Flu has been avoided. Thank god. Swine, get thee behind me.