Mrs. Flinger: A work in progress

UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015

Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.

So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.

Have I mentioned I’m going to Holland tomorrow? Sep 27, 2010


Maybe this is old news to you because you talk to me daily, in real life, and I don’t go three point eight seconds without saying, “OHHMYGOD I AM GOING TO EUROPE IN $variableTime(‘9/28-currendDay()’);”

P.S. I actually speak in code.

But in case you don’t happen to talk to me daily in which I call or text you begging you to go boot shopping with me because A GIRL NEEDS BOOTS, then maybe this is actually news for you:

I am going to Holland tomorrow.

Remember Holland?

I’m a more experienced traveler this year. For example, I know that when I land in Holland, I’ll have to take a train to Leiden and that I can not expect everyone to speak English to confirm that YES THIS IS LEIDEN. GET OFF HERE. I have made plans to avoid the same train fiasco of last year and while he doesn’t know it yet, Kenney Meyers is going to be my flamboyant gay black man fill-in this year.

I know he’s good for it.

I’m a more experienced traveller in that I’m already loading up on Emergen-C and stocking vitamins and pain relievers. I’m already skipping sleep to help myself acclimate and I already know I’m going to speak with incoherent sentences for about 3 days completely sober. I already know I’m going to have an amazing time, that I’m going to re-kindle the love for my my job in a way only achievable through the energy of the communty’s enthusiasm.

I also already know there will be amazingly brilliant, fantastically addictive beer there that rivals the juice of gods.

And I already know I’ll tweet about it.

A lot.

I’m then going to Munich following the conference. I have a gracious host (HI BETTY!) who so willingly offered her home to me. She has no idea, or maybe a little, of the magnitude this simple act impacts my life. I have longed to go to Germany since I was my daughter’s age. If you do the math, that’s more years than Lindsey Lohan was assigned days in jail for being a douche.

That’s a long time.

So here I am, on the even of my new adventure, slightly nervous (which train do I take to munich and how do you say I HAVE TO PEE in German because all I can ever think of is spanish “BANJO!”) But mostly I am excited, giddy, nearly able to puddle the floor like a hyper-active dog in sheer glee. With any luck, I’ll master the most useful phrase I could think of in German, “I am married and I am drunk.”

See? I learn.

Obama beats both Jesus and the Dalai Lama One ‘Nothin’ Sep 27, 2010


Upon no recommendation what-so-ever, in fact, upon recommendation against, I went to You know, it’s a twitter thing? You can see who is following you and who is not following you and you can subsequently drink heavily because your coolness factor just went down by a factor of four.

So imagine my horror when I find out Jesus doesn’t actually love me like the bible says. In fact, Jesus is sort of an arrogant asshole on twitter. I mean, I GET IT. If I have seventy billion people pining for my attention, I’d probably cut back on my following list, too. But to not even follow Mary The VIrgin Mother? Dude, that’s harsh.

Jesus On Twitter

At least he’s dead.

The Dalai Lama, though, what’s up with that? I’m sure running around spreading peace and harmony is a tough gig and all. But dude ain’t following anyone EITHER.

Dalai Lama

You know who is following me?

Barack Obama, baby.


That’s right! And he’s not even a follower whore. This is all legit and stuff. He’s following me as one of his tweeties. I just hope he doesn’t go to himself and find out I’m not following back. Who’s the asshole now? That’s right. :: two thumbs this way ::

*The new site is up and running on EE2.1. Slightly new redesign as well. Click over from your reader to see. Updates coming. Of course.

I hope you wore all your white shoes yesterday: AKA Goodbye to Summer Sep 07, 2010

Yesterday closed out the last of the official White Shoe Wearing Season. I always hate to see that time of year go. Symbolically, I wore black sandals and froze my feet while wading in three inch puddles to various “summer” events. TAKE THAT SHOE GODS.

I’m not ready for fall, for football, for colourful trees. I’m not ready to for long nights and dreary days. But when I think about what I have to look forward to, I’m thankful the people in my life are still here going through each season with me. Each season makes our space more like home.

So with that tone, I say good-bye to a summer full of people we love, even if it was entirely too short, in a 4:58 video.

**Special thanks to Nintendo for the Flip and the fabulous Netflix party this summer. More about this coming soon. Who DOESN’T want to see the girls shake their booties. (Don’t answer that)

Dissecting a PHP error: ExpressionEngine Twitter Timeline Aug 31, 2010


I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a bit about PHP errors. I often have clients tell me, “My site exploded!” My brain construes an image akin to Ghost Busters where we learn crossing the beams of your proton pack is a bad idea.



A php error, often obscure (think: parse error) can have a fair bit of helpful information in it.

For example:

This morning my site had an fugly php error at the header.


After a quick look, I can find the following information.

Reason for Fail, File, Directory, and Line.


This tells me something happened with the contruct in line 290. Specifically, if I open the file found in the directory there /pi.twitter_timeline.php I can see it’s the function bringing in the timeline from twitter.


What does this mean to a non-programmer? It means you know what to google to find out how to fix your error.

A quick “Twitter Timeline Plugin ExpressionEngine Error” results in the following blogpost:

Twitter Timeline Plugin and (n)Oath.

You’ll find the resource you need to update your twitter plugin and be on your way.

Replace the existing file with the latest version and rest assured, Stay Puft is taken care of. For now.

I’m not ready for this Aug 30, 2010

#Life#Those Little People

This year the leaves are not the only things changing this season. My oldest starts first grade, my youngest moves in to Montessori, I turn thiry-five. I am not ready in the same way my Mother used to tell me how Christmas came too early. As a child, that sentence, “Christmas can’t be here already?!” was as unfounded as it gets. Christmas too early? Mom’s gone crazy again.

I am not ready.

I drove away this morning, literally crying, as I left my son for his last day at his daycare. He waved, blew a kiss and signed “I love you” as our usual drop-off routine necessitates. But this time, I was crying, thinking of how much he’s grown and learned, remembering back to the first few times I left him there, scared, worried, watching him cry as I walked away. He’s become a boy there, a real boy, growing from an insecure toddler into the healthy, funny, loving little man I enjoy today.


I have to thank the the people who loved him while I was gone for that.


I remember so vividly my summers at my baby-sitter’s house. I think of her sometimes as I parent my own children, flashing back to 1982 playing outside with her daughters as she cleaned the house or made our lunches. I remember her like a second mother to me, as much of an influence in my life as any adult I’ve known.

People who raise children, don’t only raise their own.

It truly takes a village.

So to my son’s village, to the ladies who have kissed owies, and changed diapers, and read stories to my son when I wasn’t able to: Thank you. Thank you for being such an amazing influence in his life and for teaching him in ways he will subconsciously always take with him. He’s a lucky little man to have had this time with you all. You will be missed.


Seattle and our proverbial blue-balls Aug 27, 2010


Mother Nature has been bit of a tease to Seattle this summer, leaning in at the bar just enough to show some cleavage before pulling back and slapping our hand. She buys us a drink, a day of sun, maybe three, and then pushes us away when we reach in to make-out with full on tongue. We purchase sunscreen and sunglasses. We plan camping trips. And then she pulls away, douses our hopes of getting to third base with a week of mist and drizzle at 56 degrees.

In fucking August.


So we walk around, with our proverbial blue-balls, just waiting for the cold shower of month after month of drizzly gray skies. We find ourselves conspicuously purchasing lotion: plane tickets to sunnier states in an attempt to tell Mother Nature, “it’s not you, really, it’s me..” lying the entire ride to the airport.

We wave a middle finger at her as the plane takes off for Arizona or Hawaii, places where the sun kisses our skin, and oceans and pools lick our toes. All the while we know we’ll return to the proverbial ball-and-chain at home.

We know, for a fact, while our grass is greener, our balls are blue.

*This post brought to you by the first cool day of the season following fourteen pretty chilly weeks of what the rest of the states call “summer.”

**I realize I happen to live in the woods on an acre and my house never gets above 60 degrees so this may be a somewhat skewed view of the summer.

***I’m sure someone here got sweaty this year.

****I probably need therapy for equating Mother Nature to a hussy.

*****I’ll get right on that.

What Twelve Thousand Dollars Of Chemistry Classes Will Buy You Aug 21, 2010

#Life#Getting to know me#The Flinger Family

We are making homemade ice cream today. It’s part of my clean eating movement. I involve the children so they feel empowered to create their own food.

I feel proud and motherly.

We mix the ingredients and begin to poor the solution in to the ice cream maker but I notice the sugar isn’t dissolving. “What’‘s dissolve mean, Mom?” my oldest asks. Something from 1996 and my chemistry minor comes bubbling to the surface.


I’m suddenly a chemist!

“Well, see, that’s a good question, honey. There are bonds in the sugar molecules so they remain solid in this liquid here, see?” I show them the grainy bits in the bottom of the bowl. They look disinterested at best.

“What happens is,” I ignore their faces of disgust, “the bonds need heat to release them so the sugar will…” I pause to find the right word, my son plays with his penis in his pull-up, my daughter tries to eat the ends of her hair. I’m trying not to use the word dissolve while explaining what dissolve is… “So the sugar will melt, sort of, in the liquid.”

“That’s why I’m putting the solution, the mixture of liquid we just created, over heat in this pot even though we’re going to freeze it in the ice cream maker,” I conclude.

My children look as if they’ve aged seventeen years while listening to me lecture. They stare at me. I smile back.

“Can we have a Popsicle while we wait, mom?” they ask. Yes, Fine Fine, Fine. They scream in enthusiasm and run out the door. I yell after them, “Do you want to know how a Popsicle is made?!”

They don’t.

In fact, Hallmark DOES NOT have a card for everything Aug 19, 2010

#Life#Rants and Raves

Summers of my youth were filled with sunny, sticky hot days, swimming parties, bike rides, and friends. Houston weather, relentlessly suppressing, choked your lungs with moisture. Us kids would ride around, ignoring the heat, to each other’s houses like mormons on mission. We would bike everywhere, arriving sweaty, sticky, and breathless ready to play and repeat the entire process.

This summer, as an adult, I’m able to re-live that experience. Or, at least in my own way, reminisce about it.

One of my best friends lives 3.6 miles away. I’ve always been fortunate to have friends near, but this is especially helpful when shit goes down for a dear friend. It’s nice to be able to be close, to have the option of hopping on my bike on my lunch break and literally riding to my friend’s house in 15 minutes or so, just like I did as a child.

Even if those are a hard, hilly, hot, sweaty, sticky fifteen minutes. (This is where I say, “That’s what she said.”) (And you all laugh.)

*Wobly 55 second clip of the process. minus the part where I stopped to fix my pedal or where I walked my bike up a huge-ass hill. Dudes. It’s a fucking big hill, don’t judge.

I wanted to get my friend something that says, “I’m sorry your body is an asshole and didn’t grow your baby correctly. Fucking babies. Always making their own decisions, anywho. Well, FUCK THE BABIES. Stupid fucking uterus,” but do you know how hard that is to find at Target?


There are cards for dead pets and not for dead embryos. What. The. Hell.


I happen to know, from experience, the only thing that really helps during a miscarriage is some kleenex, chocolate, and alcohol. And maybe a lovely smutty magazine or two.

So that’s what I got. The miscarriage basket.

I made my own card, though, because Hallmark is well behind the times of “Kick Mother Nature in the crotch and spit on the ground” cards. Seriously, there’s a market for this.

Perhaps I’ll start one.


Like Miss Spider’s New Car. Or, Why I Am Always Right Aug 16, 2010


We moved in to this house five months ago. Six? Five. No, Four and a half, wait…

Like I said, we moved in to this house a few months ago. The oven? Does not work. I think it turned on once, sputtered, threw out some smoke and never turned on again. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when this happened. No, actually, I was a little tiny bit glad. We, thankfully, have a home warranty purchased by a fabulous real-estate gal here in town, so I knew at least we’d have some sort of compensation, chance at recovery.

Did I mention that was six months ago? Or a year? Ten? I forget. Feels like a long time now.

This weekend we went to finalize some Oven Shopping. There is nothing more “home-owner” than going OVEN SHOPPING. I don’t even care that much, people. I don’t care, except that once I started looking in to ovens do you know that I DO CARE? There are BTUs! And number-of-burners! And convection! And Stainless vs Shiny Black! And and and…

I found one at Home Depot that wasn’t too fancy, not too plain, and looked exactly practical enough that I loved it. It had a SIMMER spot in addition to the four burners. SIMMER. Dudes? I can simmer. That, I can do.

So I decided that was it. IT! Just like that I made a choice and VIOLA.

Except we had to go shopping because nevereverever settle on your first choice, so I’ve been told.

Five stores, six hundred and twenty ovens later, we went back to home depot to get the oven I picked out originally. The one I just knew was it.

I’m telling you, there’s an analogy in here somewhere.

Or a children’s book

Here she is: The newest member of the family. Ain’t she a bute.

God, really, now is the time to tell me: “THIS IS AN OVEN OHEMGEE. Get a puppy, we’ll care.”

It’s good to do uncomfortable things. It’s weight training for life. Aug 12, 2010



“The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”.  ~Isak Dinesen

The first time I went in a boat, a canoe, I cried. The little boat would rock too much. I was too young. The water was too wet. I didn’t want to fall in.

The second time I went in a boat, a sweep, I wept with pain. My teammates and I pulled and pushed and pulled and pushed as our coxswain yelled the tempo. It was an ugly love, but I found it there on Lake Samish in Bellingham.

The third time I went in a boat, a kayak, I found joy. Pure solitude, soft gentle rocking, swaying of heart and soul. I may have been on something, but I swear dolphins swam with us and sea otters bobbed their heads to greet us. Birds sang specifically to us and little animated hearts floated out of my head like a cartoon.

A girl and her boat: Oh, to be one with the water.


Where I was meant to be.

*The title of this post is a quote from Anne Lamott’s “Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

**Photos by me.