Archive | August, 2013

It wouldn’t be summer without the waterpark.

29 Aug

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It’s become something of a tradition for me to go to the waterpark with Alan and the kids when he has them for the last week of their summer break. So this past weekend… was Splashdown time.

Good news about this year’s trek – the Lazy River did not close once while we were there. (Perhaps because they now sell rubber diapers in the snack shop? Compliments to the chef!)

On a somewhat related note, when we took a lunch break and passed around a bottle of water, Alan’s son suggested we were drinking dinosaur pee. Alan refuted that, saying, urine and water are not the same thing. Helpfully, I chipped in, “But I’m going to guess every one of us has consumed human pee today.”

The kids looked disgusted and responded, predictably with, “No way!”

I raised my eyebrows. “Have you put your head IN the water in the Lazy River?” They nodded. “Fine. Then it’s a lock you’ve had urine in your mouth at some point today.”


The kids recovered quickly and soon moved on to more important things.

Alan’s son informed me that you could bleed to death from any cut. “Maybe,” I said, “But in most cases you’d really have to work at it. I mean, you’d have to milk it like a cow.”

Alan’s daughter observed that it would be weird of you milked cows and blood came out. Then pointed out that Dracula would probably like that.

Which led us to speculate that perhaps he would be renamed, “Cownt Dracula” if that’s how he got his blood.

Image Source: all processed that for a minute, then someone said, “These apple slices are GOOD.”

“I would’ve brought more,” Alan explained, “But these were the last two apples.”

“In the WORLD?” we all asked at once. Points for us.

“Yes,” Alan said, “Ever. These slices mark the end of apples on the planet.” Points to Alan for playing along.

The conversation moved on to other things and, checking his watch, Alan suggested that we wrap up the meal and return to the waterpark. He looked at the kids and realized they were eating very slowly. “Come on! Let’s get moving.”

I’d been watching the situation unfold and said, “Good luck. I think we’ve reached a stalemate.” At some point, the kids had decided they each wanted to be the one who consumed the LAST bite of the LAST apple on Earth.

And so A’s slice remained untouched in the Tupperware container and K hid hers in her hand behind her head. I explained this to Alan and the kids started laughing, busted.

“I have an idea,” Alan said. “Let’s count to three and you can both eat them at the same time so it’s a tie.”

After many attempted psyche-outs, they finally both put the apples in their mouths. We started walking toward the gate. And here’s how the conversation went…

K: Did you swallow yet?

A: Nope. Did you?

K: Yeah.

A: Oh. (GULP)

K: Not really. I win.

A: Me too. I still have some in my mouth.

K: How much?

A: Flecks.

Alan: ENOUGH. I don’t want to hear about or see your apples!

Miraculously, the kids listened.

Now if only everyone at a waterpark could refrain from displaying their fruit. I might not have to barf in the Lazy River.

Random Question Friday

23 Aug

Image Source:

Perhaps I’ll start a new featured called “Random Question Friday” and just pose a single random question. On Friday.

Or maybe I’ll just do it today, which happens to be Friday, but never again. Mainly because I have a question:

What percentage of passengers on an airplane are – at some point during a normal flight – worried it will crash? 

Here’s a hint: If I were a pilot, carrying no passengers and I received this survey, the answer would be 100%. (Although that kind of feels like a trick question along the lines of “What is any number divided by zero?”)

What is your answer?

In related news: I’m glad to be back home.

I failed cat-anatomy.

19 Aug

Image Source:  pithypants 2013

Look at this photo. Doesn’t Miss Moneypenny look like an octopus who lost three legs?


If I had better Photoshop skills (or my sister on speed-dial) you would be looking at before  and after photos from the tragic accident that severed Miss Moneypenny’s other three legs.

Except you’d know that cats don’t really have eight legs.  While I do have a tragic story I could tell about smashing her in a window this week and thinking I’d accidentally maimed her, I’d rather focus on her other anatomical mystery.

Shortly after getting her, I was petting her and felt a weird bump on her stomach. I separated the skin and looked at it. It looked like a skin tag. “Alan,” I shouted. “Does this look like a nipple?”

Alan checked it out and rubbed around on her belly. “I don’t think so. It’s more like a wart or something.”

I agreed.

Fast forward a week to when I’m at the vet, having Miss Moneypenny’s West Virginian meth-addict smile inspected. “Listen, Doctor Storm,” I started, struggling to determine which was more ridiculous – calling a guy in his late 20s “doctor” or the fact that his last name made him sound like he came from a Spiderman movie. “While we’re here, can you look at Miss Moneypenny’s tummy? I think she has a skin tag or something there.”

He obliged, and asked me to show him what I was talking about. I felt around blindly until (finally!) my fingers located the little dot of braille. “Here it is!” I practically yelled, feeling triumphant.

He rolled her over and looked at it. Then looked at me. “That’s a nipple,” he said.

I was flustered. “Well, at first I thought it was a nipple, but then I couldn’t find any others, so I wasn’t sure WHAT it was. I mean – can you find any other nipples?”

He looked at me like I was an idiot, then proceeded to map out all of my cat’s nipples for me. At a certain point, I said, “Got it. I don’t need to see any more nipples, thanks.”

And that was the end of our first vet visit.

I’m going to take a vote: Is it more awkward to have a x-ray tech your own age administer a surprise enema, or have a doctor who is at least a decade your junior educate you on nipples?

Either way, I’m going to stay away from medical professionals for a while.


This post is as random as my cat’s stomach.

12 Aug

Image Source: went to Boston last week for work. I usually travel a lot, but haven’t been on the road since I got Miss Moneypenny. Normally, Alan would stay with her and make sure all was well, but he got called to NYC himself last week, so I scrambled to find a sitter. I even went so far as to contact a professional pet sitting place to see if someone could stop in… but then my friend Alison hopped to the rescue.

We were at dinner a few days before my trip and I mentioned that I needed a sitter. “I’ll do it,” she offered.

“No,” I said, “It’s for multiple days…”

“That’s fine,” she said. I wish I were that laid back. She hadn’t even MET Miss Moneypenny when she volunteered to cat-sit.

Her friend Shawn piped up, “Careful! Ask her what happened when she cat-sat for me!”

I looked at Alison expectantly. “It wasn’t my fault,” she said. “How was I supposed to realize the cat and dog had separate bowls?” Turns out, she’d emptied the cat’s bowl into the dog’s bowl and only fed the dog for the week. In her defense: it’s not like there wasn’t food around. If the cat got hungry enough, she could’ve snacked from the dog’s bowl.

Fast forward three days from hearing this story… There we were with fresh sheets on my bed so Alison could house/cat-sit and play with Miss Moneypenny until Alan returned from New York.

The report cards (which arrived by text) were positive regarding Miss Moneypenny. (“She’s so sweet!”) But not so positive when it came to my upstairs neighbor. (“Dude. Is your neighbor a GIANT? Does he LEAP instead of WALK?”)

Oh crap. Forgot to caution her to bring sleeping pills to cancel out McStomperson.

NOT my cat. But note the tummy.

NOT my cat. But note the saggy tummy.

Alan arrived back from NYC in time to relieve Alison for the last day. He called me with an odd question. “Have you ever noticed, when you’re behind or above Miss Moneypenny, and she runs somewhere in a hurry – like to her food bowl…”

I knew exactly where he was going with this, so I cut him off. “Yes! You’ve seen her fupa!”

Alan started laughing. “EXACTLY. What is going on there? Her stomach swings like a gate from side to side when she runs!”

(If you don’t know what a fupa is, it stands for “fat upper pubic area” and is generally used to describe loose fat that hangs down into a person’s pants somewhere between their stomach and their crotch. As it turns out, cats can have them too, even though they don’t wear pants.)

Time-out: My sister just informed me that “fupa” is not a technical term. Apparently I shouldn’t treat UrbanDictionary as a legitimate reference source. Alicia says the actual term I’m looking for is “pannus.” (See? This blog is educational. Which means classy. You’re welcome.)

Anyway. The moral of the story is: Miss Moneypenny  survived the week without me. And you have to love a cat whose stomach waves in greeting… almost as much as I love this photo:

This has NOTHING to do with this post, but absolutely slayed me.

This has NOTHING to do with this post, but absolutely slayed me.

Row, row your boat.

4 Aug
Don't be too eager to seek out a power position.

Don’t be too eager to seek out a power position.

Last weekend my friend Margaret and I went kayaking on the Potomac. We rented a two-seater, and Margaret took the front seat. Or rather, she let me have the back seat.

You might think this doesn’t matter, but it does.

We had originally planned to canoe – something we’re both familiar with – and had debated who would get to take the rear seat, since we’re both control freaks and that person gets to steer. However, the boathouse was out of canoes, and – when they issued us a double kayak – we didn’t realize that the rules of our control-freakery had changed.

So Margaret (in a move that later would seem reminiscent of Tom Sawyer and the white-washed fence) conceded the rear seat, saying she thought I was probably more controlling than her. I took that as a compliment.

As it turns out? The rear seat doesn’t actually steer in a kayak. I was busy trying to match Margaret’s stroke patterns so our paddles wouldn’t hit. And every time the breeze blew, the water from her paddles landed squarely on my lap.

When we finished our hour-long adventure, we climbed out of the boat – Margaret as dry as a bone, and me? My skirt was drenched and I was sitting in a pool of water. It looked like I’d soiled myself. (Entirely possible, but I actually hadn’t – this time.)

Anyway, about half-way through our jaunt, as we passed under the Key Bridge, I realized that my thumb was burning. And I looked, only to establish that I’d developed – and popped – a pretty wicked blister from holding the paddle incorrectly. To prevent any further damage, I started holding my thumb like I was hitchhiking, which seemed to work.

When we got home, I wrapped a bandaid around my thumb, using it to cover the blister so it didn’t burn every time wind or water hit it. Apparently I applied the bandaid too tightly, however, because when I removed it three days later, I had a white band of wrinkled skin around my thumb.

I stared at it, thinking, “Is it possible that I screwed this up so badly I’ve picked up an infection and my thumb is going to fall off?” Of course not. But that’s where my head goes.

In fact, when Margaret and I had been on the river, I said, “What if we capsize?” She shook her head dismissively.

Then I said, “I think my mind naturally goes to far-fetched, worst-case scenarios. For example, the other day I was biking along the Potomac, and I thought, “Could I outrun a bobcat if one jumped out of the bushes?”

Margaret said, “Does DC even have bobcats?”

Me, “I have no idea. But that’s not the point. I like to be prepared and know what my odds are, in case it DOES happen.”

She shook her head again.

And I decided it was probably not the best time to ask how fast she thought she could paddle in the event that we had to outrun a large boat. Next time I’m going to let her take the back seat so I don’t see her head shaking.

How I pictured our kayaking experience...

How I pictured our kayaking experience…