"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Saturday, October 26, 2002


Josh and I took Mo trick-or-treating tonight. It was actually not half bad. There were a ton of kids and parents out and about in the subdivision. Almost everyone had their porch lights on. The air was chilly and smelled like woodsmoke. It was dusk when we headed out and dark when we got back. At the top of the hill, there was a house whose garage had been turned into a rendezvous point, complete with a nice warm fire, a cotton candy machine, beer and popcorn for the grown-ups, and respectable decorations.

Mo got a considerable haul for the brief time we were out. Lots of Reeses and 3 Musketeers and such like. Dibs on the sour stuff!

So I take back what I said. I only wish it had been Thursday night.

Oh...and I have a costume too, but it's not meant for public viewing. Teeheehee.

posted by Julie Neff  # 10/26/2002 08:31:00 PM

Thursday, October 24, 2002


The story: I just did a report on a man, a 46-year-old habitual heavy drinker by history, who was admitted emergently to the hospital for whom I do QA. He was on an alcohol binge, and in his drunken stupor, grabbed a timber rattlesnake and was, of course, bitten.

Of course, the ED staff start to administer pressors and fluids for blood pressure support, Wyeth antivenin and CroFab. Okay. So. Nothing so odd about that. The odd part is that it took 51, count 'em, 51 vials of antivenin and multiple doses of CroFab to even bring this guy around to stable. So now that he's admitted and detoxed from venom and alcohol, they do labs and it turns out this guy is in end-stage renal failure, has liver chemistries that are toxic off the charts, has all sorts of pathologies secondary to alcohol use and has all of a sudden developed anaphylaxis to some medication or other. The guy died anyway.

So why am I a heartless bitch?

Each vial of antivenin costs $400. Antivenin is hard to come by. The antivenin used on this idiot jackass alone cost $20,400. The hospital may not get another stock of antivenin in for months.

My considered opinion is that anyone stupid enough to grab rattlesnakes while they're drunk deserves to die.

posted by Julie Neff  # 10/24/2002 01:43:00 PM

Wednesday, October 23, 2002


Mo and I just carved our jack-o-lantern. He's a little lopsided. He has slanted diamond-shaped eyes set far apart, a little upside-down triangle for a nose, and a ragged-jagged mouthful of teeth that come together in the middle. Eeek!

There weren't enough seeds inside this bugger to bother with, so I'm taking the whole gooshy mess to the back corner of my parent's yard where the catnip and nightshade have choked out the plot of wildflowers over our dogs' graves. Oooh!

Morgan's costume for her Halloween do-wah at kindergarten might not have been the flashiest or most expensive (come to think of it, it was totally free), but it's something that strikes terror in the hearts of many many people in this country: AN UNDERCOVER COP!!! AAAAH!!! I printed out the legitimate officer's badge that Mo picked out, glued it inside a little black paper folder, laminated the lot and there you go. Instant costume. No bad jokes about Kindergarten Cop, please.

Trick-or-treat this year in our neck of the woods has been scheduled for two hours the evening of October 26. Um...can we have Christmas on a weekend so I won't have to work? Can we make Easter be at the end of April, or maybe push it into May? Can we move Valentine's day to June? Can we have a Halloween festivity on a totally unrelated day? No, No, No, Yes. I don't get it. Oh, and here's the real kicker: This trick-or-treat time is ONLY for this subdivision. The remainder of Mukwonago has ToT on Sunday.

Fuck it. Morgan has been apathetic about trick or treating because she always gets the leftovers from my parent's house, and she usually wants to take her costume/makeup off about 10 minutes into it. It's sad, I know. It's another give kids candy day, barely a holiday at all.

Back when Samhain meant something to me, I'd do an overnight Wild Hunt (I looked for a link to the thing I was taught, but found none). It's hard to explain how magickal letting your own fear chase you through the autumn woods in the cold and dark can be, but believe me, it is.

Now, it's just another day. Fooey.

posted by Julie Neff  # 10/23/2002 05:46:00 PM

Tuesday, October 22, 2002


Josh and I attended parent-teacher conferences last night while Mo stayed home with Grandma and watched cartoons. I don't know if I mentioned that Morgan is going to kindergarten at the same school that I did. She is. I get major deja-vu whenever I go there. It even smells the same.

Anyway, Josh and I got there about 10 minutes early. We found the room and stood idly whispering in the hallway. We noticed that the little lockers have the kids' names on them. Is it the school atmosphere that brings out the desire to make fun of other people's names? We decided who was going to be a porn star, who was going to be a doctor, and who needed to be given a better nickname. We got all of our sillies and giggles out in the hallway, thank goodness. What sort of impression would we have made on the "teacher" if we would not have been able to control our "giggle fits?" No wonder Morgan has such an odd attitude, with adult influences like these.

Anyway, so, Morgan is doing very well. Of course she is. She gets to go do extra reading and discussion, and is being screened for the G/T program. Of course. She also has a hard time not shouting out answers in class, and tends to dilly-dally over her projects. Eh. Big deal. Could be worse. She's one of those likeable kids from whom almost anything can be forgiven according to Mrs. Murphy. Of course.

My mother and I both have noted that Morgan's reading has really taken off since this summer. Hm. Coincidence? I think not. I want to give Josh major credit for that. Of course, the people at day care and my parents and I gave her fundamentals, but I think Josh's story times and just his being around have been a good academic influence. I think she likes it when he reads to her better than when I do.

With the two of us as parents, Mo will be able to quote great literature from every time period and every part of the world, identify every weed in the field and tree in the forest, tell you what your spleen is for, hum along with not only Mozart and Beethoven, but also Echo and the Bunnymen and the Cure, and point out winter constellations before she is done with one semester of formal education. Well-rounded is what it's all about, man.

We promise to keep her age-appropriate. No Getrude Stein or Dorothy Parker until she's oh, maybe 8 or so. And definitely no D.H. Lawrence or Walt Whitman until maybe 12. Maybe some Carroll and Lewis and definitely Tolkien. Any other suggestions? Let us know.

posted by Julie Neff  # 10/22/2002 11:45:00 AM

Monday, October 21, 2002


Is it just me, or does Fisking sound too much like fisting? I KNOW I'm not the only one to notice this, but I may be the only one to mention it. The phrase "massive group fisking" takes on a whole new potential. I have been fisked. See? I have proof. I was fisked by a yeti. Ouch, oh my pride!

I would have put a link to fisting, but there were so many, and I'm always leery of sites that look like they might be hiding a porn bomb, especially since this is my work computer. They'll find all sorts of fun things on here when they sanitize the hard drive, and fisting sites will be among them. Snickersnee.

SOOOO...Conservative punditeers, fisk away! You know it won't hurt...take your heads out to make room and have yourself a high ol' Caligula-esque time. Don't forget the AstroGlide!

posted by Julie Neff  # 10/21/2002 04:08:00 PM


Next on my reading list is S. J. Perelman, someone I would have never known existed had it not been for reading the credits of couple of Marx Brothers movies. Oh, and Josh too. It's his book.

His is a brand of humor that, sadly, would go right over the heads of most people born after, say, 1955. It's subtle. It's not bodily-function-oriented (unless you count clove-scented frothing at the mouth or sweating through your deodarant shields right into your tweed college-man jacket). It's not vicious, though it is biting. It's witty. He's not one of those lowest-common-denominator guys. Steve Martin likes Perelman enough to write a preface to this collection of his little leaves, BUT he also likes Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain and Nora Ephron too, so you may not want to hold his judgement in esteem unwarranted.

I have tried the writing exercise that involves mimicking the style of an author, and have had a lot of fun with it. I believe Mr. Perelman may be my next exemplar. He made major fun of advertising and dentists, two entities of which I am not over-fond. He has a penchant for goofy names; the above-mentioned phrase, 'promotes pharyngeal fun,' refers to Respighi's chewing gum.

You know who Respighi is, right? You've seen Fantasia 2000? You've heard Respighi. The flying whale bit, that was Respighi. What, you thought that was Beethoven? No, the paper butterflies, THAT was Beethoven. Yes, Beethoven did the centaurs in the original Fantasia, too. Hey, do you think they overdid the Russian angle with Tchaikovsy and Stravinsky AND Mussgorsky in the original one? Well, it WAS before the cold war...notice how the centaur girls in Beethoven did not have anatomically correct breasts, yet the harpies and witches in Mussgorsky DID. Hmm. Nipples = evil. My, how times change.

That wasn't my stylewrite by the way. That was just me.

posted by Julie Neff  # 10/21/2002 03:22:00 PM


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