"Good evening, Ms. . . . uh . . . Hwowrsha?"

Normally, I automagically delete any forwarded emails that have nothing to do with my actual friends and family. I can't stand the threats (forward this to ten of your friends or these baby kittens will die), the rumors (you'll get breast cancer if you use antiperspirant!), the general inanity (look at these weird pictures of the Madonna on a piece of toast!). But today I got one that appeared helpful and potentially satisfying. Or so I thought. I can't stand telemarketing calls (I know I may be alone in this but I stand firm on the matter). Sometimes, I am polite and say, "thanks but I'm not interested and please take my name off of your call list goodbye" and hang up. Sometimes, I hand the phone over to ZP or AP who are delighted to take the call. These tips seemed so clever and made me rub my hands together Mr. Burns' style. Good old www.snopes.com ruined my glee but does provide the real tips. Please forward this to your loved ones or they will get bitten by mosquitoes.



My hair has gotten more than its fair share of attention in its years. While waiting patiently for a haircut, the phrase "your hair is so thick!" inevitably was uttered at each and every single appointment. I call it my mujahideen hair because it can be so wild and unruly as it struggles to defy rubber bands, conditioners, and gravity, especially on humid summer days. Whenever I happen to let the beast out of its confines, I get remarks on how different I look with my hair down.

My locks have gone from jet black to reddish brown. Recently, a new shade has made an appearance. When I was pregnant with ZP, I found a single white hair. When I was pregnant with AP, I found another single white hair. The other day, I found my third white hair. Uh oh.


Robot Roll Call

ISNA's annual conference is being held in DC this year. Who is attending? Report!


Everything Old is New Again

This appears to be the Summer of Before in the entertainment industry. There are only so many sequels you can churn out and although prequels are certainly not a new phenomenon, it seems like there are more than the usual amount this season:

  • The latest incarnation of Battlestar Gallatica (which itself is a sequel of sorts to the original 1970s version) ended recently (*weeps*) and Caprica has just come out to show us what life was like "before the fall." Young Adama is likeable enough, but the young Cylon needs some work.
  • Although we've seen what Picard was like when he was a headstrong youth, we haven't seen a young Kirk or wee Spock before . . . until J.J. Abrams got his hands on the Star Trek franchise and offered his take. Young Scotty is, of course, my favorite.
  • Speaking of J.J., his show Lost is also taking a trip down memory lane. Well, a trip down, up, across, double-backed, and splintered off. Wee Ben, wee Miles, and wee Charlotte running amok on the Island while their older selves are plotting, surviving, and/or dead.
  • After the Last Stand, the X-Men folks decided to reminisce and review the origins of its mutants beginning with one of our favorites, Wolverine.
  • Wedged between The Sarah Conner Chronicals and The Terminator, we pick up the story line of the rise of the 'bots in Terminator Salvation.
  • Ever wonder about the background, history, and origin of G.I. Joe's nemesis, the Cobra Organization? Wait until August and find out in the Rise of the Cobra.
I always enjoyed The Young Sherlock Holmes and was tickled by the antics of a young Indy. We have already been introducted to baby Darth Vader and teenage Hannibal Lecter. I wonder what's next on the plate. I'd love to see Ripper or the pre-Firefly war or anything Joss is willing to dish out to me. Who would you like to see suffering through teenage angst, hormones, and heartbreak?


Happy Birthday, ZP!

Dearest Beast/Zoo Zoo/Zonks,

It's still over a week away, but this will give your fans a chance to get a jump start to say:

Happy Third Birthday! Now that you have put your twos, and the terribleness that goes with it (right? no more tantrums? no more inappropriate shrieking? no more "I wanna do it mySEEELLLFFF!!! rants? RIGHT?), behind you, let's take a look back at your achievements and milestones, shall we?

Your Second Day of Birth was attended by your new and oh-so-permanent baby sister. You were wary of her arrival, which was accompanied by the arrival of Babu and Nani and thus linked, and decided to condense all of your confusion and worry and jealousy and heap it all onto one person - Nani. You shunned her, you avoided her, and you would studiously avert your eyes from her whenever she happened to be cuddling AP. You also decided to intensify your adoration and need for your father. If he so much as dared to lift AP for a quick smooch or even a cursory inspection, you'd rend your clothes apart, beat your chest, and devise your very first self-made sentence ever: "put! baby! ziza! DOWN!" Thankfully, with LB, KG, Babu, Aunty C, and, when you let her, Nani lavishing affection, presents, and love on you, you eventually calmed down and came to accept this interloper into the family. It helped that she never tried to play with your toys, never really made much noise, and actually was kinda cute. She is now old enough to start encroaching on your territory and although there are some skirmishes that do not go as well as planned, you are generally pretty careful around her and try not to lash out when she scratches or bites or swats at you. For that, I thank you.

You finally graduated out of jarred baby food, but you still never really took a liking to kid or adult food other than a few, select choices: oatmeal or cereal for breakfast, pollo con arroz and some fruta for lunch, and whatever we could force down you for dinner (yogurt with honey, pizza, PB&H sandwich). The closest thing to a vegetable we could get you to eat is potatoes in the version of french fries and those are just tubers anyway.

Despite your desire to be a monkey, a train, or a robot, your personality has established itself quite squarely as "policeman." You are adamant about others following the rules, obeying your directives, and pretty much doing what you say when you say it. On our trip to Georgia, you not only reprimanded some kids who were running down the walkway to the plane, you also warned everyone around you that "we're in the plane; you have to be quiet." You nearly put me in time out when I insisted that a picture of a baby on LB's fridge was you and not your sister ("NO, MOMMY! IT NOT ME!") Your vocabulary has jumped by leaps and bounds and you are a quick study for any words that further your goals, nefarious or otherwise. When you abused your power over viewing countless episodes of whatever on youtube and were told that you could no longer do so because "the computer is broken," you stored the slogan away until bathtime when you regretfully announced that you couldn't take a shampoo shampoo because "the tub is broken." Your writing skills and drawing skills have also gotten better, thanks to countless reams of paper and crayons, chalk and the Magna doodle (which you stood on until it cracked and started oozing some clear liquid and we had to toss it away. . . R.I.P. Magny!)

One day, the day after our return from a trip to Florida (where we watched the historical inauguration and you familiarized yourself with the man named Obama who is always on the cover of Daddy's paper and who is the only one allowed to touch THAT switch on the heater), Tia decided that you were old enough to lose the diapers and go straight for the underwear to get some boot camp potty training. On the one hand, I was happy to have the help, happy to know that it would mean one less baby's butt mooning me several times a day, and happy to see you move to this next level of development. On the other hand, I was terrified that you'd balk at it as you have with pretty much everything else until you are darn well good and ready, terrified that our 40 year old Persian carpet and our brand-spanking-new couches would be stained and destroyed beyond all repair, and terrified that you would burn the house down. I decided to take some half days at work so that I could be on call for the meltdowns, mayhem, and mania that was sure to come. To our astonishment and relief, it all went pretty smoothly. You were already familiar with "the frog," you were excited about your new undies, and you were offered treats as rewards for each successful visit. The first day was tense but successful (it helped that Tia ran you up to the toilet every half hour or so whether you said you had to go or not) and by the second day, not only did you avoid any accidents during the day, you even emerged from your room after a good night's sleep completely dry. We were floored.

We had some sad moments this year when your great-grandfather passed away. When you found me in tears, you patted my knee and ran for a tissue. You asked me, "why you crying like me?" I told you that I missed Nani and Babu and you sympathetically nodded and said, "I miss them too. 'Sokay, 'sokay, they're coming!" When that made me smile, you asked, "you happy? I'm happy." And I was - because of you. During those times when you drive me insane with the silence-killing questions ("Mommy, what are you doing? what are you doing? what are you doing? Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?") or the demands (after feeding, bathing, and reading you 27 stories before bedtime, tucking you in, and giving you cuddles, you begin your mantra of "I want Daddy." ) or the boisterousness that comes with a two-year old boy (throwing, hitting, running, falling, yelling, screaming, never sleeping), I remember that. I remember the times that you give me unsolicited hugs and smooches. And the times you help me make bread, sort the laundry, and bring AP a toy when she cries. And the times you make clever observations (such as the time I was reading a book about Peter Rabbit jumping into a watering can. I explained that the watering can was used to water the garden, like you did with Nani last summer. You looked it and said, 'yes, it's for flowers. and for my body' which is what you call your bottom). *dies*

And so, my lovely, loving, lovable boy, we wish you a happy birthday and best wishes and all that jazz. Cue the clip show!