Friday, September 26, 2014

Happy Birthday to ME!

     It's my birthday today! I'm turning seventeen!

     Gosh, just saying that makes me feel kinda old. After all, Beck-up is only four. I'm thirteen years older than Yeah, that does make me feel old.

     Anyway, I'm going to do a post about myself like I've been doing for everybody else on their birthday's. Mine is going to be about writing, since that's an important part of my life.

     For me, writing is generally something I do because I choose to - creative writing, mostly fiction. I also do a fair amount of writing for school right now: essays, reports, that sort of thing. Ever since I've been able to type and spell words, I have done my writing on the computer. Its faster and easier. But I tend to be a easily distracted person, especially when I'm writing. When I'm on the computer, there's the great yawning pit of the Internet just waiting for me to fall into it. And I've fallen in more times that I'm exceptionally proud of.

     So about six months ago I decided to make a change so I could get something done for once. Now I'm doing all my creative writing on pen and paper. I still write my blog posts and emails and school essays on the computer - although a fair amount of blog posts make their start on paper. But when I'm doing so much writing on paper, I want to have a writing utensil that I like.

     My preference is pens, because they don't smear like pencil will and they don't need sharpening. And like most writers, I've developed a totally unreasonable attachment to a specific kind of pen. I like the pens that banks and other companies order in bulk from Bic and keep around the checkout aisle so you can sign receipts and stuff.
My current three pens. Two bank ones and one from the feed store. 
     Why do I like these pens? Good question. They're about as cheap and dinky as pens come, they're not very stylish, and you can't refill them or anything. But what I like about them is that they write smooth - there's nothing I hate like a skippy, scratchy pen! Plus, they're the retractable kind, not the cap kind. I don't like the cap kind because I'm always losing the cap and then there's no way to clip my pen to my notebook. Plus I'm in the habit of smacking myself on the forehead with the retract button on the bottom of the pen to get the pen to extend and be ready to write with. 

     Bad habit, sorry. I can almost hear Mom telling me that I'm just setting myself for big-time embarrassment three or four years from now. She's probably right, too.

     Now, the interesting thing about these pens is that this style is actually available on Amazon. I could get a 12-pack for $6. But you know what? I can get two for absolutely nothing every time I go to the bank! They're in cups at the front desk, absolutely free. I would only walk away with one in each hand, though, because otherwise you're going to get some really strange looks. 

     Am I going to invest six bucks in some pens? Probably not anytime soon. When I'm down to just one working pen, I think I'll just plan a trip into town and pick up a few more. Maybe someday I'll realize just how silly swiping pens from the bank is, though, and then I'll put a few dollars into actually buying my cheap pens.

     Ya think?
Happy Birthday, Noodle!

     Wishing myself happy birthday is one of the most awkward things I have ever done. Glad that's over for this year. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


     Yes, you read that right. Graffeeti. It's like graffiti, but different. Because that's how we do things. Like, but different. Graffiti is either a form of art or vandalism, involving painting and text in public places. Graffeeti is like that. It's what you call it when your Mom draws things on you.

     Don't be asking: "That's even a thing?" It is. Mom does it all the time.

     There are people walking around in this house with smiley faces on thumbs and fingers and toes. Or with "Mom is awesome!" written on their knee. Happens all the time. It's one of those things you just live with because there's nothing you can do about it. 

Mom was here!
     Yes, she definitely was. 

     I'm not sure if there's a secret purpose or hidden message behind the things my Mom writes on her children, but if there is, I'll be sure to let you know. So far I think it's just self-promotion. It's like billboards on the side of the road, only different. Which is how we generally do things.

     But I should point out that writing on people does actually have it's useful side. For instance, if someone gets a bite or a rash or something that leaves a mark on the skin, Mom sometimes traces around the area with a pen or a marker so we can tell if it's getting bigger or smaller. This is great because sometimes it's hard to tell over a period of several days if your rash is getting bigger or if it's actually getting smaller. Smart, huh?

     For instance, when Eli had his accident in 2007, after the surgery and everything that went on, he had some numb areas on his back. Mom used a pen to draw around the numb areas so she would know if they started spreading.
     I can also remember Mom doing something similar when I pulled off a tick - and left the head embedded. Mom marked the spot where the head was still buried with a pen so that if there was infection we'd know why. (Thankfully, nothing happened.)

     There's also the placebo effect. Some of the little kids get scratches and cuts, and you know how it is. They want to have their injuries noticed. Sometimes Mom will write on them as well, and whatever hurt generally feels better after there's been some scribbling. Weird, but that's the way Mom does things.

     And then there's this phenomenon, which has nothing to do with Mom.
     Nope, that's not blood. That's red marker. But what I want to know is why he scribbled on the top of his head. Seriously? How about hands and arms first? I don't get why he went to all the effort of getting a marker up there where he can't see what he's doing and scribbled around with it. I really don't think Tubby was that uncoordinated when he was small - it wasn't an accident. This either reveals a lot about what Tubby thought about when he was this size, or it reveals a lot about what he didn't think about when he was this size. I'm thinking he didn't think about a lot. But regardless, he looks like a pretty happy kid - with marker on his head.
"Somebody talking about me?"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

     Clan boys know to be wary of their sisters. We will do crazy, crazy things when we get ticked off.
This is the face of a boy who has not learned to fear his sister.
     Last week I came home from a trip and found out my brother Skinny had decided to play a joke on me while I was gone. I guess he thought it would be hilarious if he made my bed for me so that when I got in things would be all mixed up. He tucked the sheet in at one end, and the blankets at another. The pillows went in the middle, and there was even some laundry in the mix somewhere. (He says that wasn't him, but I'm not so sure.)

     When I went to bed, I figured out his little game right away because my bed was all neat and tidy. I don't make my bed except just before I go to sleep in it because I like it that way. Bad habit, I know, but whatever.

     So what's the best thing to do when you come to bed late at night, tired from a long trip, and find out you're going to have to completely remake your bed before you can go to sleep? The logical thing to do is just make the bed and then figure out who's responsible in the morning. So obviously I just went upstairs right away - I mean, why wait until I'm less tired and crabby? Skinny should have guessed what I was going to be asking about when I came upstairs with a face like this.
I am not amused. Not even close.
     The conversation that followed went something like this:
     Me: "Who made my bed while I was gone?!"
     Mom: "Um...that was Skinny."
     Skinny, totally clueless as always. And it was his own prank, too. "What? Oh, yeah, that was me."
     Me: "Ok. Well, now I know who's bed I need to fix up tonight."

     And I did.

     It turns out he and Tubby actually fixed M and Jo's beds, too, since they were gone with me. The girls were not impressed.

     See those grins? Someday those boys are going to get it so hot...we're just waiting for the right moment.

     Skinny blames the idea on Mom. I'll believe that – it sounds like something Mom would think of. But brother, pranking me was not so smart. I will not hesitate to retaliate. You have been warned. In fact, you should have known better in the first place!

     In hindsight, I really think I didn't punish him severely enough. I should have stuck a wet washcloth under his sheets or stolen his pillow, or hidden all of his shirts or something terribly inconvenient like that. I get that idea because the next day I threatened to remake his bed every day for a month if he tried that again, and he didn't take me seriously at all. He said (and I quote): "It won't be important enough to you after the first few days."

     Oh really?

     I've got news for you, Skinny.

     I will do it even if it is terribly inconvenient. I will do it even if it holds up my personal projects. I will do it even after it stops being funny and starts being annoying – to both of us. Really annoying. I will do it even if I forget why I'm doing it. I will persevere until I get the satisfaction of getting you good because I know I'm not going to be able to smash you into the carpet to make my point. You are taller than me, you eat twice as much as I do, you're stronger, heavier, and your feet are phenomenally larger than mine. (Not sure how shoe size is a factor, but it could be important.) I'm going to make the most of every time I get one up on you.

     Like the time I took a bunch of Skinny's laundry and hid it until he came around asking where all his pants had gone. That was fun. And well worth it.
     Be afraid, Skinny. Be very, very afraid.

     And Tubby, don't think you're going to get off that easy.
"Who, me?"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Chess Master

     Every family should have a least one chess wiz. Ours isn't very old, but she's a mean chess player already. All those books that teach you chess strategy in 7 days are useless to her - she's never read them, either. Becca makes her own rules.

     Her bishops can jump straight across the board. Her knights walk forward. Her pawns can go in any direction. And sometimes, for a bit of variety, she'll move your pieces.
     Playing with Becca is challenging, and also a losing game. She wins every time. And if you don't believe me, just ask her. She'll tell you.
Victory. Such a satisfying feeling.
     It actually doesn't matter if she didn't have all her pieces when the game started, either. If she needs to, some of her men will capture your pieces two at a time. 
I'd like to point out that Tubby volunteered to get whupped in this game.
     To make things more difficult for you, the rules she plays by are extensive and always changing. So I really doubt you're going to be able to figure out how she's doing what she's doing. You're better off just giving up. Because if you end up breaking the rules, she'll tell you. Many times. Loudly. That's how she is. 

     Today is our little chess master's 4th birthday. To date she has decimated every comer and creamed every opponent. In fact, I think she'd better let somebody win a few times, or before she's six she's going to find out that nobody wants to play chess with her anymore. That's a scary thought - all that talent wasted!

Happy Birthday, Becca!!