March 2008

2008-03-31 08:50:34

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It's not even 9 AM (don't believe the time stamp), and I'm craving a garbage plate. What is wrong with me?

No, I'm not pregnant; don't be so presumptuous!

First talk about Genny and now garbage plates?


Don't front

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We saw special edition Genny "Bock Beer" at Wegmans this morning, and they were in such cute packaging we had to have some.

The beers are so cute I may drink ten of them. Look, precious!

The bonus? It doesn't taste half bad, and we get to help the local economy a little bit.


Everyone wants to be me

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I can totally understand it: with my high HDL level and low LDL, who wouldn't want to be me? (I just got my cholesterol checked this week for the first time. Can you tell?) I also have good blood pressure, too, and a good job, and I live in the sweet-ass city of Rochester, and I have good credit and a handsome family. Anyway, what I'm saying is that I can totally understand why someone would pick me as the one whose identity they want to steal. I get it. So I wasn't surprised when I experienced identity theft for the second time in my relatively young life. Things like this are simply going to happen.

The first time was this time. Then, the other day, I got a call from the fraud department at my bank, saying they suspected some credit card fraud on my account. They were correct in that I did not rack up over $400 worth of charges at a cruddy grocery store in Rialto, California. The good news is that, like last time, my awesome bank (ESL) figured it out before I did, and after merely making one phone call and stopping in the bank to fill out a little bit of paperwork, it was a painless experience and I didn't personally lose any money. The biggest pain is that I won't get my newly activated card in the mail for a few more days, which really just means I get to mooch off Pat for a while. (We have separate finances 'cause that's how we roll.)

Otherwise, things here at pnfHQ have been business as usual. Last night we babysat for our friends Frank and Joyce. We had a great time having Nathan over, but what surprised me is that Greta especially enjoyed herself. She is known to be standoffish around most humans, particularly children, so we were amazed when she ushered Nathan right over to her tea set and poured him some "air tea" and offered him an organic cookie. The kids played a lot, even taking a doubles ride on Greta's digger.

At the end of the night we let the kids stay up a little late and watch part of the AristoCats (not the Aristocrats, like Pat told Nathan's parents we did - those are two VERY different movies). Greta even shared her dad's lap - which usually results in shoving and a lot of Noooooooos - with no issues. The two kids are seen here watching the movie and eating Kix like it's popcorn.

Can I tell you how nice it is that Greta is finally starting to like more than 5 people? She's also getting a lot more comfortable talking around other people. Only a few months ago we had a play date with a girl who is a little older than Greta, who actually asked if Greta was deaf. Um, awkward! I'm just relieved that other people are getting to see the little girl that we see every day.

Hope you're all having a good weekend!


I feel honored...

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I just got rickrolled for the first time. At first I didn't even know what hit me. It was a successful rickroll indeed.


Fun with analytics

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We use Google Analytics to track things like who is sending traffic to our site, how many hits (unique and total) we get a day, how much time people spend on the site, what browsers people use to view our site, what people type into search engines to find our site, etc. I admit I don't keep a very close eye on this info, but every few weeks I like to check it out. Sometimes I'll see that a new person is linking to us and go check out their site, or I'll see what people are searching for to get to our site, like a friend's name or some totally bizarre combination of words that just happens to bring them here. By far, my favorite thing to look at is what people are typing into search engines to get to our site. It's always good for a laugh. I thought I would share the glory. These search terms are based on data from the last month.

The third most entered keyword, with 79 separate instances, is the term Okay, so this is one way to get to the site; I'll give you that. And I think that this is very endearing. 'Nuf said.

Something that has been bringing people to our site for years has to do with a little craft project that Pat once posted on the site (waaaay back when he used to contribute). Those of you who knew the Pat and Fran of yore know that we went to a lot of parties, particularly a lot of theme parties. What spells theme party better than a fake mustache made of your very own hair? Yep. I have been cutting Pat's hair for about 9 years, and somewhere along the line he collected some of his hair and started making stick-on mustaches with it. I know, I know, it's gross. But after about half a dozen shots you too would start to think it was a good idea, and after about a dozen you will be saying, "I want to try it on next!" Trust me. Anyway, there are a LOT of people on the Internet looking for mustache patterns, and a lot of them are coming here. In the past month, here is the list of mustache-related keyword terms that have brought them to our very own

  • mustache pattern
  • draw a mustache on your face and we love you
  • how do you stick a mustache to your face
  • moustache pattern
  • moustache patterns
  • mustache pattern
  • mustache patterns
  • paper moustache
  • pattern for a mustache

    Another thing that either one person or multiple people are in hot pursuit of is a picture or content of/about Jesus playing a guitar. Again, we have Pat to thank for this original content.

    Here are the specific search terms in the last month:

    • jesus with guitar
    • jesus guitar
    • jesus in guitar

    Jesus in guitar?

    Another one that I particularly enjoy comes from another thing Pat wrote (apparently there is a theme here): nine adjectives describing holden caufield.

    This brought the person to this post: a very tongue-in-cheek book review of Catcher in the Rye. I sincerely hope whatever ninth grader typed that in and came to our site didn't use the information Pat provided, and if he/she did, well, he/she deserves whatever he/she got after he/she turned in his/her report. Let's assume that even though I used gender-neutral pronouns that I assume it was a ninth-grade boy and not a ninth-grade girl.

    Now, the really good part: the best of the best, the weirdest of the weird. Misspellings have been maintained for awesomeness:

    • Adjective describing a hoedown
    • Delicious mels made the night before that you can pop in the oven the next day
    • Fran’s panties
    • I hate
    • jazzercise + recipes + carrot cake + baby food
    • jelous 13 year old pooped her pants when babysitter was there
    • kitty peeing in waste paper basket
    • manager asking where i went after a month fro my resignation
    • fran’s lil bits
    • patti labelle carrot cake “ingredients”
    • slave sister fran goes to church
    • tori spelling in velour
    • trailer trash monte cristo sandwich
    • wild franimal syracuse

    I hope you enjoyed these lists!


  • Por vous

    File under: Uncategorized

    I made a mix tape specially for you. Check it:

    Okay, now make me one.

    Edit: I think a couple of my songs are busted. Hmm.

    Fran (aka MC Traffic)


    File under: Uncategorized

    I mentioned a few weeks ago that I bought some "mommy jewelry," which is sort of true, but it is much more than that. I found a jeweler on Etsy, named Chris Parry, whose work I love. She (He?) makes some lovely fine art jewelry, but what caught my eye were the very simple stamped rings. When I saw them I thought of getting Greta's name stamped on one (original, eh?) so that I could be like a real mommy who wears mommy jewelry, except that I would still be cool when I wore it. I ended up getting this one stamped with "Greta Olive," although I was really itching to get this one (so much so that I bought it for my mom, stamped with "Greta Bean"). The one with the flat band complements my wedding rings perfectly. I was thrilled when I got my rings, and they far exceeded my expectations. They were perfect and simple and beautiful, and they came in these fantastic little pouches with the nicest note that I think I've ever gotten from a stranger.

    I just wanted to share because I look at my ring every day and think about how much I love my bunny and how much I love my ring and how I didn't have to get something gaudy to display my mommyness.

    PS - If I knew Greta's birthstone off hand and had a bunch of other kids, I totally would have paid five times more and gotten this monstrosity, which would probably turn my finger green and cause it to fall off.


    Hoppy Easter

    File under: easter


    We went out to my parents' house today to celebrate Easter. It was a very tasty day indeed.

    We missed my brother's birthday earlier this month, so we sort of celebrated that today too. I love this picture of Phil and Becky's respective wine faces.

    No, we didn't go with the classy gift of wine. We got Phil these towels. (Not really safe for work.) I just realized how cheap our gift was. Did these go on super discount? I swear I paid more. Hmm, looks like I owe Phil a little something extra.

    Greta really enjoyed her Easter basket. Here she is taking in the bounty.

    Greta got some ants in her pants during dinner, so we shot some potential Facebook pictures for her. Here is one good one.

    But I'm partial to this one. Brooding.

    Here is a nice picture of us with my 'rents.

    And here is my favorite photo from the day. I love my little bunny.


    At peace

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    This has been a really good recovery weekend for me. I had yesterday (Good Friday) off for a reason I am not sure of, and I used it well. I did some things that had been nagging at me (banking, writing thank yous for G's birthday, sending the devastating news to the author of that book I edited that I didn't really like it, cleaned the attic). Wait, wait. What was that third thing? That's right. I didn't really like that book I edited. I won't go into too much detail, but it just really wasn't my cup of tea. This was weighing on me heavily, and I had a very hard time deciding what to do about it. The thought of telling someone that their 300-page baby is one of those little alien-looking infants horrified me, yet I'm not known for candy coating anything, and avoidance, which I typically find effective, was not going to fly in this instance. Yesterday I finally crafted my general feedback on the book, which was not very positive (but fairly diplomatic?), and then I cringed and hit Send. After some more slightly awkward back and forth, I feel like the author and I have come to a happy understanding and I, at least, feel at peace. One important tidbit is that I read a lot, but I don't like much of what I read. Sadly, I have a very narrow idea of what is "good." One point I made to the author is that I didn't like The Da Vinci Code, and I am certainly in the overwhelming minority in that opinion. The old grain-of-salt rationale. It's true, though. I don't like anything; it's a sad, sad existence I lead. I may start my own editing company. I'm working on a slogan: Send me your crappy book; I'll put some lipstick on that pig. After I crossed the dirty deed of emailing him off my to-do list, I decided to go shopping. Nothing helps me get over the icky feeling of bearing bad news better than spending money. And after shopping I made corned beef dinner because nothing helps me get over the icky feeling of spending too much money than the smell of boiling meat. This post is all over the place. I need to start a new paragraph.

    Oh, hey there. You're still here. So, we ate corned beef, and then today we made Irish soda bread and painted Easter eggs. Our holidays are all mixed up with this Easter-coming-early thing. Damn cycle of the moon.

    Here is GB painting her Easter eggs. They're no Fabergé eggs, but they're beautiful to us.

    I asked Greta to smile, and this was the expression she responded with. Yup, she's two all right.

    This is totally unrelated, but my friend, um, Shiela wants to know if you can use Lava Soap on children.

    Oh, and going back a bit to earlier in the week, we had Greta's two-year appointment, which went well. I can't really remember all of the stats, but she's 27 lbs (somewhere around 55%ile), and she's still kind of freakishly tall and has a very small head. My one complaint about our pediatrician is that I feel like he and his wife (an RN) don't really give us any concrete instructions on anything. They seem generally wishy-washy and seem to not want to commit to any specific advice. I understand why they handle things like this, but as a first-time parent who tends to prefer specific instructions, it can be a bit frustrating. During this week's visit I mentioned to the wife portion of the duo that Greta is not sleeping through the night with any kind of regularity and that the bedtime routine has stretched into about a 45-minute process. I was pleasantly surprised that she started saying, "Children need to learn to self-soothe! No rocking! No back rubbing!" followed by a sheepish, "Unless you like the 45-minute routine and that works for you guys." We had done the whole Ferber thing before with partial success and frequent setbacks and frustration. Partly, Greta is a lousy sleeper; partly, Greta is in day care and gets a lot of colds (= setbacks); and, partly, we're softies. We decided to give Ferberizing a go immediately, and I am happy to report that this latest round is going swimmingly. The most Greta cried for was 20 minutes! And tonight she only cried for 5 minutes! She also slept through the night last night. The extra sleep for all has made for a couple of really nice days.

    Yes, things are definitely on the up and up.


    2008-03-19 21:34:02

    File under: Uncategorized

    I am really dying to say something interesting here or otherwise give an informative update, but I feel drained. Last week rounded off the busiest month of my life, and then I promptly got a cold this week, which I'm assuming is my body's way of telling me to ****ing sit down or take a nap. I think I may do just that. Crazy!

    I've also been trying to collect my thoughts on the past month, and it hasn't been going well. It was not only busy, but it was also extraordinarily annoying. And the kicker? I can't even talk about the worst crap that I experienced on the Internet. Nuts. So unless I think of some super clever and super sleuthy way to talk about these things, I am stuck saying things like, "I'm so annoyed." "I'm so tired." and "This sucks. I hate it." Not very scintillating.

    So, for now, I think I'll just post a recent family portrait and say that I'll give a better update later, after I get some more sleep and start feeling better, which I predict will be soon.

    "Peace out!" as Greta would say.