Out of the rain, into addiction

By Mir
April 22, 2006

It rained a little, today. Only for about… 6 hours of our drive.

The kids were fantastic. We only listened to two books’ worth of audio, and the rest of the time they played Gameboys, read, colored, snacked, and asked me how much further. Monkey commented no less than 10 times, “I don’t really like the DRIVING part of the trip, I just like SEEING Grandma and Grandpa.” I would nod and he would add, for emphasis, “At the END.” Right. What are you trying to say, son?

At last we pulled up and as I gathered some of our things together, I told the kids to go ring the bell.

Chickadee beat Monkey to the door and–horror of horrors–RANG THE BELL as I’d asked her to. My poor stepmother opened the door to a beaming Chickadee and a SCREAMING, crying Monkey. Hi! We’re here, and we’ve brought our inflexible expectations and also our tantrums!

Fortunately, a short “break” (once you get past about five, they’re no longer time-outs; they’re breaks!) Monkey was able to pull himself together. We doled out kisses and hugs and roamed the house checking to make sure everything was still where we thought it was, and spent some time telling the world’s nicest dog that he is just as nice as the last time we saw him. He thanked us by licking the children’s tonsils and flopping all seventy pounds of his hairy self down on my feet. (It’s a fine way to be greeted.)

Despite the too-long period of time since we were last here, all three of us settled into familiarity in no time. Chickadee dumped out all seven billion pieces of furniture that go with the world’s biggest dollhouse, Monkey crawled underneath the dining room table with all of the dog’s toys, trying to tempt him to come out and play (the dog was unimpressed, and happily licked Monkey’s face and thumped his tail but refused to move), and I tried to stab my father in the eye with a pair of kitchen shears.

Not really. If you want to get technical, I was trying to snip this one wild eyebrow hair that was snaking its way up to his hairline and considering taking over the world (you think I’m kidding, but you should’ve SEEN this thing). But my dad, GEEZ, you’d think no one had ever come at his face with scissors before. He’s so skittish.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Poor Mir’s dad. She’s telling the entire internet about his unruly eyebrows. Is nothing sacred? He must be so embarrassed.” But let me tell you something. Actually, TWO somethings.

One: My father is practically unembarrassable. I don’t know if that’s a cause and a effect thing because I’m his kid or if I just lucked out, but there you have it. It’s not very hard to make him nauseous, but it’s hard to embarrass him.

Two: In a later discussion of dog breeds my father spontaneously declared that perhaps he had SCHNAUZER BROWS (hence the long hair). He then demanded that I blog his exciting discovery. There you have it. The man has been assimilated. What used to be embarrassing is now just excellent blog fodder.

Then again, it may all just be part of his nefarious plan to lull me into a false sense of security with his easygoing manner. Just when I was starting to feel superior (after all, MY brows are always neatly groomed), he took out yesterday’s paper and turned to the 6-star difficult Sudoku.

Before now I’d managed to avoid Sudoku. I had no idea how to do it and I didn’t want to know. But I am here to tell you that the man with the doggy eyebrows does a mean Sudoku and he taught me how and now I CANNOT STOP. Must. Find. Numbers. People with a touch of OCD (not that I know anyone like that) should not be allowed to do Sudoku.

It’s supposed to rain the entire time we’re here. Just think of all the Sudoku I can do while we’re stuck inside. Kids? What kids? Oh. Go sharpen Mama’s pencil!


  1. Susan

    My mother has started prefacing everthing she tells me with “Don’t write about this on the internet!”

    Yeah, like THAT’S going to stop me . . .

  2. carson

    My husband introduced me to Sudoku before Christmas. I’ve since progressed to Sudoku’s evil cousin, Kakuro. Or as Dell calls them Cross Sums.

    I do remember my husband, but it’s been a long time since we’ve talked. Or anything else, for that matter.

  3. buffi

    SugarPlum LOVES Sodoku. I know my limitations (or pitfalls, I suppose) and have not allowed myself to get into it for fear of cutting into my all-important blogging time.

  4. Jules

    Glad you made it safe and sound and it was not necessary to strap the children to the top of the car for the majority of the ride. Hopefully it won’t rain on the way back so that option won’t seem so cruel should the need arise :)

    I was watching a man working in a book of sudokus..soduki? Anyway..peeking over his shoulder was my entertainment while I waited 8 hours at the oncologists office Wednesday…I don’t think I’m wired for that…or the soduku either ;)

  5. shannon

    Oh man, sudoku is the best. thing. ever. If you like things that are crack like and that make you see numbers everywhere.

    How do you people suppose we Pacific Northwesters make it through all the rain we get here in the winter?! And pencil? Nobody does sudoku in pencil…*shudder* ;)

  6. meghann

    Yes, Sudoku + OCD = never. sleeping. again.

  7. Zee

    OMG, I heart sudoku almost as much as I heart crossword puzzles. I think someone with a cruel sense of humor invented sudoku for the people with OCD – just so he/she could sit and laugh at all of us feverishly trying to finish yet another puzzle before we fall asleep from exhaustion!

    Also, your dad’s schnauzer brows tale cracked me up – my family breeds and shows schnauzers so I can totally picture what he’s referring to. TOO FUNNY.

  8. Nic

    Okay I don’t get this Sudoku thing. Isn’t it just math? And worse yet math without money attatched? (Which is why I totally get poker.) What am I missing?

  9. Amma D

    I know you think you are safe from the eyebrows, but just when you least expect it, you will wake up some morning to an eyebrow hair, tickling your nostril. Genes will rule in the end. Glad I could encourage you.

    I am afraid to start Sudoku because then my family will find out how senile I am. They already know about the OCD.

  10. Karen

    I knew we’d get you eventually, mwah-ha-ha! Go to websudoku.com and you’re set for life. You can even print them out. I do an “evil” every night before bed, and — no joking aside — I find that I fall asleep more easily after turning off the portion of my brain I use all day (language, words, thoughts, ideas, emotions, etc.) and using the other side (logic) for a change.

  11. Ms Sisyphus

    So, who’s been assimliated now?

  12. Ms Sisyphus

    So, who’s been assimliated now?

  13. Amy-GO

    I love Sudoku! Except when I can’t solve one. Then I am furious with Sudoku and convinced it is a tool of Satan. Which it probably is.
    Your dad sounds an awful lot like my dad…any chance he has two families? Because he even has the eyebrows! And the impossible to embarrass quality! Except yours has a dog. My dad can’t stand dogs in any form. Oh, well, I kind of thought it would be fun to be long-lost sisters there for a minute! LOL. ;)

  14. Heather

    My grampy has eyebrows like that. They’re rather amazing. And with the shooting off towards…well, I don’t know what, lend him the look of being perpetually surprised.

  15. Cele

    I’ve contemplated soduku after I’ve finished my two crossword puzzles every day. That is just about the time I think…. ooh, lucky numbers are involved and I walk away.

  16. Kristen

    My husband has those eyebrows. At 40. Occasionally I tell him that I can’t talk to him until I pull one of the hairs out that most offends me. I mean, he has blond, red and black eyebrow hair that can puncture the skin if you get grazed by it.

    There is something very satisfying about pulling out your husband’s eyebrow hair when you are annoyed at him.

  17. Monica

    I hesitate to provide this but since you’ve already been addicted I can claim it’s not my fault.


    I may or may not admit to compulsively keeping my average time in the upper 20%.

    Oops, apparently I will.

  18. Aimee

    I’m with Amy-GO. I love Soduku, except when I hate it. Unruly eyebrows cracked me up — we had a minor character in our first screenplay who was, sadly, not important enough to have a real name. But you have to give them a character tag so people can tell who’s talking, and he was Unruly Mustache.

  19. Stephanie Chance

    Now we know how to drive you insane(r?). Send you an unsolvable soduku with no answer key. bwha ha ha ha!
    My grandfather has one stiff hair that grows out of the tip of his nose. No kidding. He says he has given up plucking it because it just grows back. I hope he at least decides to keep it trimmed.

  20. Velma

    You need to say “Sudoku” like Homer Simpson says, “Doooooooooooonuts.” Suuuuuudokuuuuuu. It’s just that good.

    Seriously, I agree with Karen. I do puzzles every night before bed and find it waaaaay easier to fall asleep these days. It uses just enough brain power to shut down all those other trains of thought.

  21. parodie

    So I guess I shouldn’t mention websudoku.com, and it’s addictive properties?

  22. Angel

    I had to LOL (and HARD) at the OCD/Sudoku comment–SO very true! It takes me forever to do a puzzle, but MAN once I figured how you do it….oh look at the pretty numbers! ;)

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