Yeah, That Looks About Right: Illinois Solutions for the State Budget Crisis

Looks like Illinois is finally coming up with creative solutions for the state budget crisis, but I’m not sure they’ll be successful.

I was driving my husband home from an appointment yesterday, and we passed one of those big old billboards announcing the lottery jackpot amount.

It looked a bit like this (*Note– this photo is just a women’s fiction author’s rendition. The AMA and Mr. Kiddoc both highly recommend against taking photos while driving at highway speeds.):

No kidding. The first placeholder (for the occasions where the jackpot amount reaches triple digits) was sporting what appeared to be a negative sign.

Now… if they can just get 20 or so “winners” to cough up 44 million dollars each over the next 10 months, we’ll just about break even for 2010.

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A Zoological Discovery: Animal Kingdom Celebrations!

So today seemed to be a fairly ordinary day until I left my house.

Then things got a little weird. I couldn’t explain them at first, but I think I’ve finally hit upon the reason.

Today is a day of celebration in the animal kingdom. Today the fauna are honoring… The Chicken.

And how DO you honor the chicken? Well, by PLAYING chicken, naturally.

During my commute to work this morning, I slammed on brakes, swerved violently into other lanes of traffic to avoid:

  • One bunny
  • One black squirrel
  • One regular squirrel
  • One groundhog
  • Three individual small black birds
  • One group small black birds
  • One seagull
  • One large butterfly
  • One larger butterfly that, okay, turned out to be a cellophane wrapper.

Every one of these animals ran and/or flew directly into the path of my car. Many of them then froze and stared at me as I approached.  Every single one of these animals played Chicken.  And it wasn’t just me, either, lest you think I’m some sort of unwitting Disney princess.  I also was forced to swerve on several occasions in reaction to other drivers avoiding collision with partying animals.

You may notice that, although various woodland creatures celebrate this holiday, it is far more important to birds, which seems natural, given the background of the celebrant.

So, if you’re headed onto the roads, keep an eye out for animal celebrators who might just try to play Chicken with YOU!

Another Mystery Solved!

My husband, affectionately known around these parts as “Mr. Kiddoc,” has baffled me for years.

He can make things disappear without a trace. Give him a set of keys or a remote control or a scrap of paper with a phone number on it and– in under a minute– it will be gone. He won’t even need to leave his chair.

Many times I’ve marveled at his ability to lose things. He can be holding his wallet one minute and asking for help finding it the next. And he has a bad leg… it’s not like he can speed in and out of my line of sight.

I’ve often told him the CIA should hire him to make things disappear.

Well, recently it happened again. He was sitting in the family room. I handed him the phone and a refrigerator magnet with the phone number of our local pizza joint so he could order our dinner. I then returned to the kitchen. Mr. Kiddoc never moved from the sofa. I could see the top of his head through our pass through.

And yet, by the time he hung up the phone, the magnet was missing.

We dug deep into the sofa cushions, but no dice. The magnet was gone.

A few hours later, I stumbled across it. About 15 feet away from where he was sitting, on the hearth of our fireplace.

I should add that the magnet is shaped like a slice of pizza and therefore disinclined to roll.

My BFF and I finally put it together. There is only one possible explanation.

My husband can create wormholes.

They are, evidently, quite weak, allowing only the transfer of small objects a few feet in any direction. But perhaps now that he knows, he’ll be able to hone his skills.

We can only hope he will use his powers for good. *snort*

Welcome to My Boudoir… Care for an Informative Brochure?

Well, another mystery solved here on Trying To Do the Write Thing.

A couple of days ago, we received a UPS tag on our front door that they had attempted a delivery.

Neither my husband nor I had ordered anything. It isn’t our birthdays/anniversary. No friends or relations admitted to sending us surprises. We were stumped. And the tracking info on the slip wasn’t working.

But yesterday, UPS made it’s second attempt and my husband was able to accept the delivery.

Apparently, some poor misguided organization sent me a display of brochures under the impression that:

a). I would be willing to display them in my office.

b). I have an office to display them in.

c). The appropriate way to encourage me to display brochures is to send them anonymously to my home without my knowledge.

So, that’s funny enough. But it gets better.

I came home to discover that my husband had set up the display on my nightstand.

I love him.

A Cold Case File: The Case of the Unsolvable Puzzle– Solved!

Yesterday I took my husband to his physical therapy appointment. Normally, while he is doing his session, I sit in the lobby and read. But yesterday, having been chastised that morning for reading too much and ignoring my husband, I had no book with me.

So naturally, my attention turned to my surroundings instead.

It’s a large waiting area, but it was pretty crowded yesterday, so I ended up sitting in what was clearly the kids section. As a pediatrician, this doesn’t bother me. I spent a few minutes speculating on why there was a shelf full of videos when there was no VCR or even a television in sight. Then, my eyes fell on a wooden alphabet puzzle on the pint-sized table in front of me.

A quick glance over the rubble of pieces left me suspecting that not all of the letters were present and accounted for. As the minutes stretched past, boredom and curiosity triumphed over self-restraint and I picked it up. Using my keen alphabet expertise, I managed to sort the letters into their respective spots.

A-ha! My hypothesis proved correct. The letters A, M, and X were nowhere to be found. How diabolical. No wonder our kids can’t read.

Using my powers of deduction, I embraced the only possible conclusion.

Police now consider a preschool-age boy named Max a “person of interest” in this gripping mystery.

I don’t care what sort of guilt trip my husband lays on me. Next time, I’m smuggling a book in my purse. Look what sort of nuttiness goes through my head when I’m left to amuse myself.