Monday, December 31, 2007
Krispy Kreme donuts are absolute crap.
Dunkin Donuts ROCK.
Don't get me started on the "hot donuts" sign. A Dunkin Donut is good days later. Still damn good. Still better than your Krispy Kreme thing, on its best day.
There, I said it.
While cooling my heels in the dining room at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course (Son #3 was in the men's locker room, getting his finger taped), I noticed this logo. I can't believe I've been coming here for at least a decade, and never saw it before.
I can hear his squawky voice, now, raining terror from above.
"IF BEAK NOT SCARE YOU.
IF TALONS NOT SCARE YOU.
ME HAVE TWO GOLF CLUBS.
YOU DIE NOW!"
I'd like to see the islamofascists deal with some of THAT.
Honestly, though, lunch was yummy and, as I have stated before, the place is packed with relaxed orthopedists, so it's a great setting for a little post-prandial football injury.
Friday, December 28, 2007
There are no airsoft battles, lately, because 2 of the Sons are on the injured reserve bench. But they got to talking about a previous get-together. That day, there had been a LOT of kids over, from all over town. Most of them didn't know each other, but they all got along. It was nice.
One of the boys who was over yesterday asked a question about one of the other boys who had been here, that day a few months ago. But he couldn't remember the kid's name.
"You know, the one with the really short, fuzzy hair."
Son #1 was going through his list of friends, most of whom have the long, silky hair that is popular these days. Pony hair. So, you know, he had no idea who his friend was asking about.
"You know, the one who's a ni..."
I think that yesterday I heard a teenager start to call a fellow teenager a nigger, in my own home. He caught himself, I think because of the reaction he was getting from Son #1. But holy shit. What is up with that? I had no idea.
Equally bizarre: he LIKES this other kid. He was not hurling anger, or hate. He was not criticizing Son #1 for befriending a kid whose mother is of African descent. He was just...describing him, so my son would know who he was talking about, while they rehashed the fun parts of a previous get together. Describing a kid whose name he couldn't remember.
As a nigger.
Jesus help us.
Also yesterday: a friend's developmentally disabled son got the tar beaten out of him by some kids in the neighborhood. He has cuts and bruises and a split lip and possibly a broken finger, I guess because he was trying to be "one of the guys" but can't quite master the mysteries of being a teenage boy. Can't quite see it coming, when the shit hits the fan.
The hospital called the police.
How bad do you have to look, before the hospital calls the police?
How bad do you have to BE, to gang up on a sweet kid with developmental problems and brain cancer?
Elvin Bishop had it right.
"People, people, what the hell is going on?"
1-I hate forwarded emails, but I love blog tag. Go figure. I think it is because I am completely self-absorbed, and want people to want to know pointless crap about me.
2-I am the Queen of MySpace, when it comes to Southern Maryland nightlife photography. That is a mighty miniscule kingdom, I know, but every time I see my photos up on someone's MySpace page, I am thrilled. So much more fun than the photos I take for work. So far I have photos up with: ACME Blues Company, Riptide, Don Dirkin, Wave & Wolf's Blues Jams, and Baker's Boys. Kudos to Wave, because he credits me on his pages. Just another reason to love that man.
3-I love cilantro.
4-I have no sense of direction, and a lousy memory. So, I often get lost, even going places I have been a dozen times. I got a GPS for Christmas. This shall give me back thousands of hours of future driving time, enabling me to write the great American novel and cure cancer.
5-I was "Chris" until I met my husband. He decided that "Chris" was a man's name, and started calling me "Christine", like my parents do. We've been married nearly 20 years and "Christine" still seems pretentious. But "Chris" just sounds odd. If you call me Chris, we've known each other since at least 1985.
6-I rode a motorscooter (sidesaddle, no less)to the hospital to give birth to Son #1. I highly recommend it, as you can jump off and walk during contractions.
7-I make really good fried rice. This was harder for me to learn than I expected. I threw out a lot of bad fried rice, at first.
And in honor of ALF, I shall not tag anyone. But feel free to self-tag. Because if you read my blog, I absolutely want to know seven things about you. More than that, even.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Life is too short to sit through bad music. If the band is bad, give 'em three songs to change your mind, and then get the hell out.
Life is probably too short to do a lot of other stuff, but tonight that's all I've got. If you're sitting at the bar thinking, "I should be scrubbing toilets," it's time to call a cab.
"I don't have to get in to work too early, tomorrow."
So, this morning, I slept in. I moseyed down the hall and made his coffee. I checked my email. I poured the coffee. And I brought it to him, about an hour and a half after he normally would have been up and getting ready for work.
"Sweetie, it's almost 8:00. I brought you coffee."
I could practically see the Disney birds swirling around my head. I let him sleep in! I brought him coffee! I woke him sweetly! Aren't I amazing?
Hubby's first word to me, this morning:
I think he's going to be late for work.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
And a couple of new gifts, too, that I don't have receipts for. Merry Christmas, fellow bargain hunters! I wonder if someone else is going to offer things I want. Could be. If not, though, I'll just be happy to get rid of this stuff.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
WOOOO! They are awesome, they deserve it, and I am psyched on their behalf.
So, that just means you have ONE MORE REASON to drop everything and come see them, next time they're in town.
Christmas Eve, after returning from Mom-in-Law's festivities and hanging our stockings by the chimney with care, we opened the traditional One Early Present. Then, Hubby and the Sons watched TV while I sacked out. Because, you know, I like my sleep. It was only 9pm, but something told me I would really need it.
And at 10, I found out what I'd need it for.
Son #4, in a Christmas Eve frenzy (and who could blame him? So far, all he's received is 2 articles of clothing and a jumbo package of Swedish Fish) ran down the hall for a blanket and snagged a nail that had popped out of the paneling.
With his arm.
So, I took him to the ER while Hubby sent the rest of the Sons to bed and went back downstairs to continue Christmas Prep.
You know, when you slash your arm, the wound pulls open and you can see all the globby bits of fat, puffing out. It's not as cool as you'd think, when it's on your own arm. Or on your son's.
We were, again, amazed at the speed and efficiency of the new, improved triage center at St Mary's Hospital. I, personally, was glad just not to recognize any of the staff.
Once the anesthesia kicked in and the repair work commenced, Son #4 asked what any 11-year-old House fan would ask.
"So, Dr. Esterhay, have you ever treated a CIPA patient?"
Unfortunately, being a real ER surgeon, and not a dedicated House fan, Dr. Esterhay had not, in fact, ever treated a CIPA patient. He was not even familiar with the term. He was kind, though, and quick, and I think the scar will be of the "cool, not horrific" variety.
Son #4 now has a 2-inch long, crescent-shaped wound with tons of bitchin' stitches and a story to tell. I swear, lately these boys will do ANYTHING to earn mention on the blog.
After we open presents this morning, I'm going to make the other two Sons flip a coin.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Every time we visit my inlaws, I put my foot in my mouth. I say something so completely wrong it just stops conversation. This time, I lucked out. I get to share the award with my dear son.
Yes, the same one who broke his finger, 2 days ago, while visiting the same side of the family.
Today, we went to my mother-in-law's annual Christmas Eve party. There was some tension in the air, because she had asked me what the boys wanted for Christmas and I told her...the truth.
"They would love new airsoft guns and masks. And they'd each really appreciate a black hoodie, because everyone their age wears them all the time."
Mother-in-law took one look at my email (which did, in all fairness, include many other shopping options) and called Hubby (aka The Son Who Can Do Nothing Right).
"ARE THEY PLANNING ANOTHER COLUMBINE? BLACK, HOODED SWEATSHIRTS AND GUNS? HOW ARE YOU RAISING THESE BOYS?"
It went on for quite a while. I could hear her through the phone and across the room.
Can I just say that they are, for the most part, peace-loving, gentlemanly young people? That they stage airsoft battles in the yard, with their friends, using plastic pellets and low-power, clear plastic guns, and everyone is required to wear masks, and it is all in fun?
And may I further state that hoodies are warm? And that black is just a manly color? And that the Columbine guys wore TRENCHCOATS, anyway?
And may I postulate that when she was raising 4 sons of her own, back in the 50s and 60s, before Hubby came along, I will lay you whatever odds you like that those young men were allowed to play cops & robbers & cowboys & Indians & whatnot?
And that none of our boys has ever been hurt playing with airsoft rifles, but one just broke his finger, playing football?
All that was by way of background information, by the way.
So, anyway, we get there, and after much waiting and Sonly gnashing of teeth, and the munching of the Christmas lunch, it turns out that Grandma had indeed given each Son a black, zippered hoodie. They immediately put them on. They loved them, because, after all, ever since the black hoodie trend took hold in our house they can't get enough of them. They thanked their grandmother.
And in the spirit of "find something specific to say, to compliment the gift you received," Son #3 turns to the crowd of relatives and says,
"Yep, once you go Black, you never go back!"
Sunday, December 23, 2007
This has severely cut into my gym attendance, grapefruit consumption, and other enjoyable pasttimes. I am pasty, flabby, and disoriented, and I just peeled a piece of skin off of my thumb because I thought it was tape.
It has, however, greatly increased the incidents of "boys hovering outside Mom's bedroom door, beatboxing, because Mom is 'rapping'". This is hilarious. (Ask anyone. We are, as a family, whiter than bleached sheets.)
I realized, this evening, that several gifts we ordered have not arrived. We'll need to GIVE those gifts to relatives, tomorrow. We'll be on the road by 11am. If the gifts have not arrived by 10 tomorrow, they will be too late. So, I need to repurchase, either late tonight or early tomorrow.
I'm thinking I will curl up with a good book and rise early, instead of walking around Target, etc., like a zombie, tonight.
Speaking of which, we saw I Am Legend, today. We all enjoyed it.
I woke up this morning and decided that after I checked my email I would fold the 5 loads of laundry, and then wrap presents. That was all I could wrap my head around. "Internet. Breakfast. Laundry. Wrapping. Re-cap Later."
Then Hubby came down the hall with the big running list of stuff he's going to do today, and the stuff I need to do, and all the driving he's going to have to do over the holiday, and wanting the update on Son #3's finger, and needing me to help him with some stuff, and to remind him of the last few people we need to shop for, and he gave me the latest round of Christmas receipts to file, and he was checking the light bulbs he just bought (bright FLICKER dim FLICKER "maybe I'll return them I don't know")and he's walking back and forth down the hall to the bedroom, which we're keeping locked because it is heaped with presents for the Sons, so every time he goes in there he asks me to unlock it for him, so I had to follow him down the hall 4 times this morning (5th time, he unlocked it himself).
I've been up for an hour and 15 minutes and haven't had my quiet moment. Instead, I feel completely stressed out. And I realized, just now: Hubby is not trying to pile onto me. He is not trying to boss me around. He is not jerking me around, this morning. Chatting about what he's got to do today wraps his head around it all. That's the way HE plans. So, there is no point in me feeling like he has handed me the running list and I need to tackle everything on it--that was not his intention and I know he has no idea that I am stressed, right now.
So, I am back to square one. I will have some breakfast and wrap presents and fold laundry and that is ALL I will contemplate, for now. I'll admit, though, my shoulders are pretty darn hunchy around the ears, right now.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Back inside the country club, Hubby asked if there was a doctor in the room. Five hands shot up.
They buddy taped the finger, we drove back home, and Son #3 and I hit the emergency room. Xrays confirm it is broken, so it is now in a fiberglass splint until we can get to his orthopedist, the day after Christmas.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
"What look are we going for, Mom? "Loser" or "Suck-up"? Because I'm all out of "Loser", but I have a hell of a lot of "Suck-up""
Friday, December 21, 2007
Let us all hold cyberhands and pray that Hubby has the good sense to know that a man can look damn good, with a few grey hairs. Or even a lot of them. Dying your hair is for women--women prissier than Christine. If he starts covering HIS grey, I just may have to do the same, in order to not look like his aunt, or something.
I just don't know I have the energy for all that maintenance.
I am tempted to point out every sexy grey-haired man I see, but I think maybe that would come across less as encouragement for him to Embrace His Sexy Middle Years and more as "Gee, Christine sure does spend a lot of time checking out other men."
There is no future in that.
So, let me just state for the record that grey is not a dealbreaker. Grey can be The Hotness. There's plenty of play for Mr. Grey. OK? Now come on over here, baby, and give Auntie Christine a kiss...
Thursday, December 20, 2007
For the past few weeks, I have been overwhelmed by a craving for grapefruit. I cannot let them run out. I go to the store as soon as I eat the last grapefruit, and buy a new bag.
As you can see, I eat them at my desk. Every couple of days, I have to Windex my laptop, because it is sticky.
The grapefruit is delicious. I cannot get enough. Son #4 thinks this is hilarious. But, yeah, even I think it is kinda funny. I am going through a 3 lb bag of grapefruit about every 36 hours.
Which basically means that I am, accidentally and with no plan, kinda doing the Grapefruit Diet. Let's see if all this grapefruity goodness pays off on the scale, when I weigh in in a couple of days.
But even if it doesn't, I swear they cannot MAKE enough grapefruit for the Christine.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I had just vacuumed, Saturday morning.
I had to pick it up, anyway.
I never buy them.
I have no other sweets in the house.
THAT is why I ate the M&M off the floor, just now. Stop looking at me like that!
Monday, December 17, 2007
"You know the BEST THING about Great Mills High School? Best. Cheerleader. Uniforms. EVER. They are AWESOME."
Glad to know he's getting a treasured and lasting education.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I got to introduce the Sons to Geno, suitably transformed from "Christine's Fun Friend" to "Mr Mears Who Knows How To Act Around Children"--a transformation not every adult manages with grace.
The rest of the band was happy to talk music with Son #1, which was very cool. And the Sons shot pool. So the combination of pool and live music pretty much had us stoked, as a group. They even got along, mostly, which was a relief.
What Geno didn't mention, though, surprised me. Geno can sing.
He has been coming to Open Mic for months, playing great guitar, and keeping his lips zipped. But the man has a beautiful voice. GENO, NO MORE HOLDING OUT AT OPEN MIC.
And now, on to The Moose.
Years ago, when I was not even a teenager, I think, my father's boss insisted he join the Moose. And so he did. He ended up attending a lot of functions at the Moose lodge, because that's where his boss liked to do business, and Dad knew how the game was played.
The Moose, however, had a policy. "Moosettes", aka Wives of Moose Members, were only allowed in the front of the lodge. So, my mother could go sit around the bar with the other Second Class Moose Citizens, while Dad and his boss did Secret Moose Stuff in back, or she could stay home.
She chose, mostly, a third way, in which she taught me and my sister moose calls and a Secret Moose Handshake which we all used as my father left for his Moose meetings. It is very possible that the Moose has changed their policy on women, in the 25 or so years since Dad joined the Moose, but I don't know. When Dad's boss retired, Dad stopped going to the lodge. It wasn't all that fun, anyway, and Mom of course had us all Moose calling as a reflex.
Flash Forward to 1987...Christine, wearing a Cheap Trick t-shirt, most likely, brings Bash home for Thanksgiving weekend, and he proposes. My mother finally sees a use for the Moose: we can use their lodge for our wedding reception.
Two of my bridesmaids were not, apparently, suitable Moose guests. They were not eligible to enter the lodge, at all. Not the bar, where the wives cooled their heels, and certainly not the holy of holies which was the back room where receptions took place.
My dad officially quit the Moose, the day they told him he couldn't use the facility for my wedding reception because two of my bridesmaids were black. We all stopped Moose calling, and retired the secret handshake, and I for one was proud of Dad for taking a stand. Bigots. This was the late eighties, remember? As the Sons would say, "Cracker, pleeeease."
Again, it is very possible that the Moose have changed that policy, as well. I seem to remember a lawsuit, a few years back, that opened up the Moose for African-American members. But, you know, Two Strikes in my mind, against the Moose. Honestly, I never would have gone to a Moose lodge, if it were not Geno, and live music the Sons could hear.
And then, last night.
As I've said, Geno & band were great. We had a great time. Hubby came late, because he was auditioning a new lead guitarist for his own band. But about 10 minutes after Hubby arrived, they kicked me and the Sons out of the building. Apparently they noticed that they have a "no kids after 9" policy.
I think what they noticed was, I was a band Fan, not a band Wife. So all those kids shooting pool and bobbing their heads to the music were not there to support their dad, but instead were Breathing Moose Air Without Having Moose Cred. I will lay you odds, if Hubby had not shown up, they would have continued assuming I was there With Geno, instead of just To See Geno, if you know what I mean. And we would have seen the whole show.
But, hey, I have no problem with the "no kids around the bar after 9" concept, so we were out of there faster than I could even say goodbye to Geno.
About 5 minutes later, I got a call on my cell phone from Hubby. He'd been kicked out of the lodge, too.
"ARE YOU A MOOSE MEMBER?"
Hubby explained that while he was not a Moose, he was with the band, and was going to join them on stage for a few songs. That cut no ice, with the Moose. Out on the street he went, after perhaps 15 minutes of Breathing Moose Air and Observing the Mighty Allure of the Moosettes.
Hubby and I, we are done with the Moose. But Geno, we love.
Friday, December 14, 2007
*Hubby. Hubby is battin' a thousand, these days.
*Wave, who told me last night that I looked "Wonderful".
*Actually, everyone at the Country Store, last night, except that one guy who got on my nerves. Can that still count as just one finger? May I also stipulate that he wasn't TRYING to get on my nerves? And that I would probably not have minded him, if I were not preparing for The Most Wonderful Weeeeeeeeek of the Monnnnnnnth?
*A couple of girlfriends. Like Cyndie, who is talking me down on AIM, as I type.
OK, that is more than 5 people. I feel slightly better. But only slightly. Because I have PMS. And I KNOW I HAVE PMS. For the uninitiated, that means I am totally ready to rip you a new one, if you deserve it. The self-restraint I exhibit the rest of the month is Not Going to Help You Now, so Pour Some Sugar on THAT.
You have been warned.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The past few evenings, the Sons have been all up in each other's business. Much yelling, pestering, and tears. People stomping around. People Refusing to Get Out of the Car. It's a laugh a minute, over here. And of course they all have to talk to Mom about it, because it is all my fault that He Has It So Easy or He Is Such A Loser or He Is Being A Jerk or He Gets Away With Everything or He Is Trying To Get His Butt Kicked. They are all pointing the finger at each other, and all loaded for bear. I, apparently, am that bear.
By the time Hubby and I extricate ourselves from the turmoil that is 4 sons between the ages of 11 and 16, we are exhausted and bummed. Our evening is shot.
Tonight is Open Mic, and I WANT TO GO. I want Hubby to go. I want to have FUN, dammit! Away from bickering and yammering. And at this point, I don't know if we'll be able to go, because I don't know if we can leave the Sons at home unsupervised for 4 lousy hours. This makes me crazy.
Yesterday, Son #1 got dragged to a meeting wherein he was supposed to talk about his "First Gay Experience". An experience he has not had, because, of course, he was only at the Gay-Straight Alliance meeting because 2 hot girls had him by the hands and pulled him into the room. He and the other straight guy (also in the company of 2 hot girls) felt pressured to be something they are not. They were uncomfortable. And hearing about it last night made me uncomfortable, too.
Because, to me, talking about your sexual experiences is not for a group of random strangers and 2 hot girls you don't know well. Those conversations are for intimates. Like, your spouse. Your sex partner, or potential sex partner, if you need to warn them that you have a past. Maybe your best friend. But, of course, the school thinks that I am anti-sex, anti-gay, bigoted, etc, for wanting my son to keep his most private, personal thoughts and feelings and experiences in a private, personal place. I throw my hands in the air, I go nuts.
Today, Hubby asked me to fight with the dental insurance company. They won't pay for his crown, because they think he has had that tooth crowned already, less than 5 years ago. But they are wrong. The other crown was on an adjacent tooth. So I call, and get disconnected. And I call again, and they won't talk to me without Hubby's express authorization. So I will have to wait and call while Hubby is in the room, so I can hand him the phone. Which kind of makes me feel superfluous to the whole process.
I am feeling frustrated and grumpy and totally on my last nerve.
Yesterday, Hubby had to sign four separate sympathy cards. Including one for an infant. I just found out we're going to that baby's funeral, today. And yes, that totally puts all my problems into something like perspective. I have four healthy sons who are driving each other nuts, and a husband with functional crowns. I have a kid who is willing to try just about anything, for a girl, except lying about having a more Interesting sex life than he really has. I think some people would gladly trade their problems for mine, today. Especially the parents of that poor baby.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The show is from 8-midnight, and YOU CAN BRING KIDS. So, I'm bringing Hubby & the Sons, and Fiddlin' Writer is probably coming, also, with her two.
Those of you who are residents of the Happy Boondocks must, by now, be absolutely vibrating with excitement. Christine! Hubby! FW! Six boys! Geno!
In short, Christine knows where the fun is. So, come with us. Have some fun.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I've been making cookie dough and sticking it in the fridge for the past few days, and today I baked. Chocolate chip/peanut butter cookies. Chocolate chip cookies WITHOUT the dreaded peanut butter (Hubby can handle peanut butter in sandwich form, only). Rolled sugar cookies a la Simpson. Here they are, although the last of the peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies were still in the oven, when I took this shot.
And tomorrow, or soonish, I will break out my pizzelle iron. Woo! I haven't made them in a few years, but this year I am feeling up for it. Also, my parents are coming down, this weekend, and I'd like to be able to serve them pizzelle. The pizzelle iron belonged to my grandmother. My mom uses an electric one, but I Cannot Do That. It Would Be a Culinary Travesty.
Of course, my mother also makes them more frequently than I do, perhaps because it is not an Ordeal, but I don't care. I do them the way I do them.
I may or may not continue baking, after that. I mean, this looks like a heck of a lot of cookie, to me. But I know that the Sons will eat their way through them, so I am not Terrified of the Baked Goods. Not today, anyway.
Monday, December 10, 2007
"That's them? Um...Christine?"
"Ohhhhh, yeaaaaaaah. Look at him, ROCKIN' those shoes."
So, let's just say that "this myth is busted".
Or, at least, very Christine-specific. Which probably explains why every man in the free world isn't buying Magic Shoes.
Some of the Sons have learned to check for a towel, before they start their shower. But Son #4 almost always realizes he's towel-less, as he's standing in the tub.
This can require a mad dash to the linen closet. But this morning he was in the bath early, while the older Sons were still at home. So he called to Son #1 to hand him a towel.
Son #1 tossed him a shoe.
"A TOWEL, PLEASE."
Son #1 tossed him a pair of boxer shorts (clean, I know, because I can see that he fished them out of the depths of his clean clothes stack, in the living room).
"COME ON! Just give me a TOWEL."
"You can use it like a towel."
He then handed him a Christmas-themed dishtowel.
At this point, Son #2 chimed in with his traditional words of wisdom.
"In future, you should get your own towel, before you go into the bathroom."
Fortunately, Son #2 serves up his snark with kindness. He handed him a towel.
"But this is the last time."
Sunday, December 09, 2007
It's a lazy, weekend morning. Hubby wants to make a Hearty Breakfast, which requires a trip to buy bacon. Which means he needs a shower. Walking down the hall, he hears the sound of running water.
"Who's in the shower?"
All are accounted for, except for Son #2. But it turns out he wasn't in the shower, after all. He was going to the bathroom.
For a very long time.
"That's a mighty stream, my son has! Wow! No weak pee, for my boy! I am so proud! Listen to that!"
Son #1, standing in the hall, can't take it.
"SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP! Good GOD, Dad! Do you have to talk about him PEEING?"
As a mom, I hear the trigger phrase that pulls me into any familial conversation.
"HEY! Don't tell your Dad to shut up."
"Oh, come ON, Mom! Look me in the face and tell me you don't wish Dad would shut up, right now. Dad, you sure are lucky Mom loves you."
For the record, Son #2 was still peeing, throughout this entire exchange. Hubby is in awe.
Monday, December 03, 2007
I think I'm going to chug lattes, so I can stay up after the Sons go to bed and write through the wee hours of the night.
My father went totally ballistic.
No daughter of his was going to wear a shirt that called her a Cheap Trick.
Well, um, I tried to explain to Dad that it was a BAND, and that it didn't mean anything, and that no one who read it would think anything other than "Cool shirt! I Want You To Want Me is great!" He would have nothing of it. Future-Hubby got the shirt back.
Ok, fast-forward 21 years. I am now the mother of a 16 year old who calls all good things....
"Pimpin' cheeseburger, Mom! You rock!"
Saturday, while he enjoyed said cheeseburger, he, um, tried to explain to me that it didn't mean anything, and that no one who heard him would think anything other than "Great cheeseburger!"
I would have nothing of it. In MY house, cheeseburgers are "delicious". Not "pimpin'".
But, boy, do I feel old.
So, yesterday I did all the cards.
YES, it is ridiculous to me that I need to drive nearly 2 hours, each way, to write my cards. But I did, and they are done, and they are IN THE MAILBOX NOW, with the flag up and everything.
I'm nowhere near done with the shopping, I am avoiding baking because baking leads to eating, and none of our decorations are up. But I have sent Holiday Cards (we have the occasional Jewish relative) to everyone.
IN YOUR FACE, MARTHA STEWART!
Saturday, December 01, 2007
"You know what would make the perfect gym, for me?"
And I was thinking, "Actually, I love this gym just the way it is. Lots of cardio machines, lots of weights, lots of classes, help if you need it but they leave you alone otherwise, 5 minutes from my house, decent music most days, and I never feel totally schlubby, even when the really buff people are there. Gee, I wonder what this woman would like to add?"
I was all ready to hear her tips. Some new class or piece of equipment that would ramp up my workout.
"If they had really dark, glossy, hardwood floors, and grey pads on the machines, and that really, really pale yellow on the walls. That would be great."
Friday, November 30, 2007
Saw this guy at the Celtic Festival last spring. Have no idea if he fits into Kim's Blacksmith Fantasy.
And let me just say that I think it's hysterical that all I need to do to get people to comment on my blog is ask them what they think looks sexy on a man.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
He also felt a little sheepish that he didn't own anything he considered equally sexy.
What on earth could a man wear, in bed, to look sexier than a naked man?
"That doesn't leave much to the imagination," he said. But, speaking just as ME, I told him I don't think women think that way.
"Women don't have an imagination?" he asked.
But I don't think that's it. We just don't go in for the "little scrap of fabric covering the naughty bits".
So, I was thinking...what looks good on a man?
I have come up with the following list:
Work clothes: either spiffy office duds, or that grimy busted-knuckle thing. I can confirm this by the way my friend VeggieBlonde rhapsodizes about men in white, oxford cloth shirts with the sleeves rolled up. Ooh, she gets that dreamy look in her eyes.
Clubbing clothes. Not too prissy, just dress up a bit, ok, guys? The guy in the suit, who then dirty dances with you while managing not to spill his beer, looks good, most nights. And of course the tuxedo, if the circumstances merit.
Good shoes. But I mentioned this to a friend and she looked at me like I was nuts. Apparently I have a female version of the foot fetish. I have a real thing for a certain style of men's shoe. Gotta go buy some for Hubby.
And let us not forget the Marlboro Man. There is a guy I see from time to time, who is clearly not from the Happy Boondocks. Or, at least, not MY area of Boondockery. He is always in the tight little jeans, boots, leather jacket and cowboy hat. I never would have thought that was going to spin my wheels, but I tell ya, that guy moseys by and I take notice. I think if you can manage that look, you should give it a try. But you've gotta be trim. (As a chunky chick, I apologize for that requirement. I feel your pain, big men. I'm just tellin' it like it is.)
Playful clothing, also fun. A friend of ours wears Fun Stuff. You know, work shirts with weird names on them, tuxedo shirts with jeans, Chucks with his suit...the man looks great. But he is wearing Confidence, more than the clothes. And yes, he is also the only man who comes to mind who can wear an earring and not look ridiculous, to me. Women latch onto him so much, they stop other women just to shake their heads and say, "If he weren't married, I would be ALL OVER THAT." (I know, because a woman pulled me aside to say just that, a few weeks ago).
So as I thought of these various things I thought, "None of that sounds like lingerie."
The closest I could come was the jeans-and-no-shirt look. But, again, that one pretty much requires you can carry off the Marlboro Man, only better.
Any other options out there, that I have neglected?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Two damn pounds, and I feel like I need to breathe into a paper bag.
"Look," I tell myself. "I am a happily married, educated, financially secure woman with healthy, happy children and a budding career. My parents are healthy. My sister is dating someone who may end up part of the family. I love my blog (and people read it!). I get to go out, a couple times a month, to dance to music I enjoy and hang out with Hubby and have my ass grabbed (literally and figuratively) by guys who tell me how hot I am. I have friends I love, who love me back. I am, in short, in an enviable spot in life."
But what do I remember?
Gah. No wonder men think women are crazy.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Get a Cash Advance
On a semi-related note, a book fair came to the Sons' high school today. Son #2 looked, but soon realized he had no money and no interest in the books on offer, which, according to him, were not worth reading.
"Maybe they ARE high-school-appropriate books, but I think by the time you're in high school the only books worth reading are adult novels. Not 'Eleven Ways to Remain Celibate', which was pretty much all they had."
He has a penchant for exaggeration, my boy does.
I think I need a night out. (except I just had one)
Sunday, November 25, 2007
This is the ladies' room at Boatman's Point Lookout, in Ridge, MD. I don't know why it is vertical in Shutterfly Studio AND Canon Image Browser, but comes out horizontal on the blog. So, please to tilt your head.
It doesn't look like much, but apparently it is a romantic hot spot. I know this because I spent quite a bit of time waiting for that couple to come out, so I could enter.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
And I've been thinking, lately: How did I end up a musician's wife? I mean, I think it's great. I LOVE going to see Hubby play. And I love listening to him practice, too. It's fun for me, and it's great to see him having fun. So no complaints. But I never dated a musician, before I met Hubby, and he wasn't playing in a band, when we met. How did I get here?
This is all I can come up with, at this point. Fellow musician's wives, please add to the list:
-I genuinely enjoy listening to the same bass line, all afternoon, until he gets it right.
-I have batteries and rubber bands, at all times.
-I gladly go out any night of the week and see, essentially, the same show.
-When women dance with Hubby's microphone, I smile at them...I may then dance BETWEEN them and said microphone, but I don't act snarky just 'cause Hubby is hot.
-I have a minivan. Which is great for last-minute runs to get the other instrument, another guitar stand, several jugs of iced tea, a throne for the drummer who forgot his, and a better shirt.
-When Hubby's band is playing, and any other band is also playing, I go see Hubby's band (and I usually keep my mouth shut about the other band, although I have been known to kvetch a little).
-I will dance with anything. Drunk, toothless, old, in a wheelchair, shorter than me (which is an achievement), whatever. I am all about getting people on the dance floor.
-I can say "Woooooo!" "Wooooooo!" is like "Aloha", for bars. It means anything and everything.
-I keep frozen pizza in the house at all times, so the Sons won't starve while I'm out partying
-I know what everyone in the band drinks, so I can run to the bar for them
-I hug all the drunken women
There's probably more that should be on the list. I'll be thinking, on my way to Boatman's tonight.
Oh, and one more thing: When Hubby and I had only been dating a few weeks, I took him to a music store and bought him a guitar. I had no idea this was crazy behavior. He, however, INSISTED that he pay me back. Which he did.
Years later, he explained that musicians are known for using their girlfriends to support their musical habit. He didn't want to give me the wrong impression. Which was very sweet of him.
The guitar was destroyed while we lived overseas, but he still has the memory of me stroking that check, in Chuck Levin's. I think maybe that made me a Musician's Wife Candidate.
The Sons were shocked that I would buy myself a diamond ring, because those are EXPENSIVE. So I explained that this was only rhinestones, and cost me less than $12, including shipping.
Son #1 then opined that you can't tell the difference between diamonds and rhinestones, so only a moron would buy diamonds. This proves, in my mind, that he is a guy. Because you CAN tell the difference, and because only a man who doesn't love you would buy you rhinestones.
I explained this. "A woman can buy herself rhinestones. But an engagement ring needs to be a real diamond."
"Well, then, just buy rhinestones and tell her it's diamonds, and then use all the money you saved to buy yourself a car or a video game system or something."
Perhaps, when this comes up again, I will explain the charm of giving your future bride something she could hock, in extreme circumstances. Maybe that would appeal to his sense of practicality.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Sure, he likes normal girls, in theory. But in practice, the ones that make his heart go completely nuts are the ones who are nuts themselves. The Son comes by this honestly, on both sides of the family. Mom & Dad are the sanest people out there, but we each dated a little of the crazy before settling down. Trust me on this.
Is it just me, or are crazy teenagers craziER than they were, when I was dating?
Hubby and I approached this from slightly different angles.
"Well, Son, you might want to consider that a girl with a history of (doing that crazy thing that set Hubby & me off) might go REALLY crazy, in times of stress. Like when you break up with her, which you almost certainly will."
(that was me)
"Look. Women are crazy. Relationships bring OUT the crazy. You don't want to start with a girl who already (did the crazy thing that set Hubby & me off). Find a girl who, when she goes crazy, cries to her mother or plays guitar or writes poetry or yells at her friends or something."
(that was Hubby, who has 2 ex-girlfriends who were still crazy, at last check, even though he's been married for nearly 20 years. Hubby drove at least 2 women completely batshit, so he KNOWS from crazy girlfriends.)
The next day, while all the Sons were sleeping and Hubby was in the kitchen with me watching his morning coffee drip, I whispered to him,
"That's the one who's going to give us a crazy daughter in law. We're going to be driving him to sit in the emergency room with Crazy Girlfriend. It's just a matter of time."
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Some people may have a problem with the practical, un-romantic nature of gift registries.
Those people are idiots.
Why do I say this?
Because for the past few days, my mother has been frantically calling and emailing, asking what to get the Sons for Christmas. 3 of the sons are Thinking. This takes a while. Which is making my mother crazy. She has no idea what to get, and doesn't like to wait until December to shop.
Son #1, however, created a Wish List at Hot Topic. And we emailed it to my mom. And she is buying him everything on his (admittedly short) list.
Son will be thrilled, come Christmas Day. My parents are ALREADY thrilled, because they are done shopping for him.
All hail the gift registry.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
And I wasn't even doing it on purpose. I just couldn't help what came out of my mouth. I have never been so inarticulate and dull in my life.
So, if you are a man talking to me, and I start in on Hubby and the Sons, trust me, You Are Hot. Take it for the compliment it is.
Today, Hubby was out and a woman told him he has beautiful hair. Which he DOES. It's a shame he ever cuts it. And what was his response to said woman?
"Yeah, my wife tells me the same thing."
We are soooooo married. I am one lucky woman.
Friday, November 16, 2007
But let me just say that shopping, and purchasing stuff, is a total waste of time.
Feel free to try it, yourself. Clearly, I was meant to be a superhero, or a really hot detective.
10. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother & father's middle name) Maria Henry
9. NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother's dad, fathers dad) Joseph Richard
8. STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, 2 letters of your first) Basch
7. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, fav animal) Black Cat
6. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) Elizabeth Washington
5. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd fav color, fav drink, add "THE" to the beginning) The Green Tea (this makes me sound like some kind of modern, school-approved eco-hero)
4. FLY GIRL/GUY NAME: (1st 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name) Cham
3.. GANGSTA NAME: ( fav ice cream flavor, fav cookie) Coffee Brownie
2. ROCK STAR NAME: (current pets name, current street name) Ellie Camelot (or Otis or Jake Camelot, if I'm willing to be male, which I totally am, for the purposes of this meme)
1. STRIPPER NAME: ( name of your fav perfume/cologne, fav candy) Ginger Essence Butterfinger
Thursday, November 15, 2007
It is not men's acts which disturb us, but our reaction to them. Take these away, and anger goes.
OK, M.A., I see your point. But isn't this, at some level, "Don't let things bother you, and things won't bother you." Kinda circular, if you ask me.
Not that I am a great thinker like Marcus Aurelius...just, you know, it's not all that helpful. Not to mention, sometimes anger is the appropriate response. Sometimes, men's acts are despicable, and we SHOULD react.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
This was in the late 70s, I guess. What was I? 13? Old enough to think I knew shit, too young to realize I was just parroting the shit my teachers thought they knew.
My father is a calm man, by nature, and not one to rely on emotions to win an argument. He laid out the facts for me, as he saw them. He made a lot of sense, and eventually I ended up a lot more hawkish than Dad is.
A few months ago, Dad said something that shocked me. Not because it happened, but because he didn't tell me, all those years ago.
When he was coming home from Korea in the late 60s (they told him he could re-up and be sent to Viet Nam, or he could go home), people saw him in his Air Force uniform and called HIM a baby killer. My calm, loving, future Dad, who had spent his time in Korea fixing military vehicles and chatting up Korean bar girls and trying to learn the trumpet. They spat on Dad, in the airport. For wearing that uniform.
Today, I live in a Navy town. Hubby is a contractor, "supporting the War Fighter". And every single time I see someone in uniform, I want to stop them where they stand and THANK THEM for serving our country.
We are so damn fortunate to have people willing to fight for us. We are so privileged to have strong, dedicated patriots willing to do whatever it takes, to keep us safe and to maybe spread a little freedom, here and there. The world is a better place, because of the American military.
Thank you, Veterans. Thanks for all of it.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Lately, though, it hasn't made the trip back out of Boy Lair. Not that I've cared, all that much. I figure, the less heat styling, the better, for my hair.
Tonight, however, I am going out to watch Hubby sit in with a local band.
This requires a modicum of cuteness, on my part.
I have the cool outfit. I even have the plastic shoes, reminiscent of my childhood. I would be painting my fingernails, too, if I weren't so ticked that I have to blog.
The iron is gone. He swears it is not in his bedroom. He is blaming his brothers (one who is, as I mentioned, sportin' a mighty Jewfro, and two who have naturally straight hair).
I mustn't bite the boy. I must paint my nails and hope he finds the darn thing.
And tomorrow, I buy a new one.
Friday, November 09, 2007
And yes, I realize women play chess. And even box, nowadays. But, um, geez.
If they could incorporate building a functional shed and playing bass, I think the winner would be the most manly guy on the planet. He would be terrifying. His 5 o'clock shadow would kick Chuck Norris's butt. And all the women of the world would love him.
Son #1 was concerned, last year, that when Marco returned to school he'd get creamed. But, somehow, things blew over.
As it happens, this year Son #1 and Marco are in a class together. And Marco clearly hates Son #1's guts, but doesn't do anything about it.
Son #1 explained to me, this morning, that the school rumor mill has given him an inflated reputation as "The skinny, white kid who beat Marco up".
People stop him in the halls, to congratulate him. "YOU are 'Jewfro'?? You beat Marco up? Wow!"
And he tries to correct the record. "Actually," he'll say, "I hit him 3 times, and he was fine, and it hurt my hand."
But The People will have none of it. Son #1, aka 'Jewfro'*, has street cred, thanks to the rumor mill.
It's like he accidentally, against his will, took that advice they give to new prison inmates: find the biggest, scariest, toughest guy in the yard, and punch him, and you'll never have to fight again.
I hope it sticks.
*Son #1 has inherited my curly hair. He lets it grow. He is shaggy and adorable.
The Sons are also, coincidentally, 1/8 Jewish, through their paternal great-grandfather. Which we have explained to them means they are "Jewish enough to be stuffed into a cattle car bound for Auschwitz, but not Jewish enough for a bar mitzvah."
Down here in the Happy Boondocks, that is pretty darn Jewish, somehow. And people really can't believe that he gets his Jewfro from the Italian/British side of the family.
Because, honestly, that is the dumbest reason to vote for someone. She will not be in charge of giving birth to the nation or lapdancing for it or teaching it how to apply lip gloss. She will, if she wins, be the PRESIDENT. She needs to be able to run the country and scare the bejebus out of the bad guys. If you think she's the best person for that, AMEN, vote for her. If the only good thing you can think of is that she's a symbol for all us chicks, ugh.
I guess I'll have the beef.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Every winter, they leave for Mexico, or so the agricultural extension people say. They also say that bat guano is the best fertilizer on the planet. Which is fabulous, but I have zero interest in gardening.
There are 2 kinds of people, so far:
People who wax rhapsodic about the happy plants I'd have, if I let my bats live in peace in my attic.
People who completely freak out, and are certain we're all going to get rabies, if we don't kill all the bats.
According to the agricultural extension people, killing the bats is not only unnecessary, it is just bad mojo. They suggested, last year, that we find where they go in and out, and block it. We did that. Hubby and I found the chewed piece of screen, and removed it, and replaced it with heavy-duty, pest-proof screen.
The bats did not care. They returned, this summer. They are more powerful than the staples that we used to attach the screen. They LOVE our attic.
So, it's getting cold, again. The bats should be moving soon.
Poky Redhead suggested I get an electronic pest annoying machine, to confuse the bats upon their return. Plug it in, it makes crazy soundwaves, the bats hate it, they leave. I bought one, today.
Son #1 says it would be better to just let him shoot them all, with his airsoft gun.
Holy crap! Kim put up a blog post just for me!
If you haven't already become hooked on Kim's blog, this is the perfect excuse to go visit. She is the queen of awesome. Even the deer love her.
But she keeps her bananas around waaaay too long.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Today, I ate a banana.
The bananas are all gone.
Son #1 ate about 10 bananas, in less than 24 hours. Now I understand all those people who said that, with 4 sons, I would never be able to keep food in the house. Hubby has taken to hiding food he likes in a secret area of the house, because otherwise it is gone before he has a chance to eat any of it.
And yes, thank God, again, for SuperWalMart, home of abundant, cheap, beautiful produce.
"You need to tell them to stop leaving their cups out. Because I drank one of their drinks, and now I'm sick."
Now, PLEASE. As the person who gets stuck doing the dishes almost every single time, I have definitely told EVERYONE in the house, repeatedly ad nauseum, to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Last thing I need is some teenager telling me that I need to nag his brothers for something I am already nagging everyone about, BECAUSE I HATE TO NAG.
But, um, what made the Arbiter of Effective Parenting decide that drinking someone else's abandoned beverage was a good idea? Especially when he knew that 2 members of his household had communicable diseases?
Yup. Son #2 has a sore throat that happened to him because I didn't nag his brothers. NOT because he drank some unidentified substance.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
"Dylan is hilarious! I mean, he can be a jerk, but he is so funny! Today, at lunch, he ate a candy bar, and then he put the empty wrapper on it, and had it hanging out of his zipper. And he got someone to touch it, hanging out there in the candy wrapper, but he didn't know it was in the wrapper. And then the lunch monitor started coming our way, so Dylan just figured, what the hell, and jumped on a table and started dancing, and it was still hanging out of his zipper, in the candy wrapper."
There are myriad reasons why this is the perfect example of boy vs girl behavior.
First of all, only a teenage boy would wrap his genitalia in a candy wrapper. Girls, even if our genitalia were easily wrappable, just wouldn't do it.
And encourage someone to touch it, through the wrapper.
And only another teen boy would actually DO that. Wrapper, or no.
And faced with an angry lunch monitor, only a boy would have the nerve to leave said "candy" dangling, while they danced on a lunch table.
And only a teen boy would come home and take about 10 minutes to tell this story, because he was laughing so hard he could barely speak.
See, girls would just be mortified. I'm amazed Dylan hasn't been hit with a sexual harassment suit.
Monday, November 05, 2007
"Why are girls so complicated? One day they love me, and the next day they find me completely repulsive. But you love me all the time."
As Norman Bates said, "A boy's best friend is his mother."
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Now, thinking, nail-painting, and blues definitely have their place. But Poky Redhead is right. It's time.
So, I am working on a new website. SiteBuilder makes the web site part pretty easy. But the deciding---that is a killer. What do I really want? Where do I want to go with this?
So, you know, when it's ready, I'll let you know. And your job is to look at it and tell me I am fabulous, and then tell all your friends that they need me. Are we all on board?
Saturday, November 03, 2007
As the couple danced across the floor, shooting each other significant looks (he: "Hey, baby, my parts work!" she: "Am I crazy, or am I actually going to GET SOME tonight?") I was thinking the same two things I always think, when confronted with a Viagra commercial.
Firstly, "Boy, I must be watching a show that older men watch."
And secondly, and most importantly, "Thank God I am married to a young man."
Yeah, I said it. Scoot on over to Hubby's blog, and see if he's blushing.
So, here's one of each, for all y'all.
The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell. Oooh, I loved that book. Science fiction, theology, faith and betrayal and naivete and heartbreaking loss. Have you read it? Probably not, or you'd still be talking about it, with me. Now that I think of it, I think I'll read it again.
I've been listening to The Beatles' "One" CD, in the kitchen, and ACME Blues Company's "I Think I Made It", in the car. And lots of Green Day, of course, because Son #1 has eased back into Green Day, thank God. Soooo much better than some of the stuff he's been listening to, of late.
Last night, I watched Pootie Tang. It came out years ago, but apparently I missed it, at the time. RENT THIS MOVIE, it is hysterical. Son #1 thought it was pretty funny, too.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
In recent years, though, I've kind of thought that maybe, in my circle, at least, I am one of the cooler people. Ha. Just ask a 16 year old.
As last night's party approached, I overheard Son #1 talking excitedly with his first party guest.
"I can't WAIT to meet ----'s Mom. She listens to System of a Down! She really cranks it up! They mosh pit TOGETHER! And sometimes, she doesn't even cook dinner, she's been head banging all day. She sounds soooooo coooooool."
I, in the next room, of course, thought, "She sounds soooooo depressed."
But what do I know? Me and my classic rock, funk, blues, folk, jazz, and hot dinner.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
a couple of teens starting to TP a house ( I recognized one of the teens, and knew the residents of the house, who were home at the time)
one crying toddler
a couple giving out quart-sized bags of candy to each kid, and taking their pictures. We got to see the Sons' photo from last year.
And two houses with CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. First the Branson commercial, and now this!
The Halloween Bash should be over in about half an hour, which means we have reached the portion of the evening which is candy-fueled and loud.
Or, actually, I think it's been candy-fueled and loud since about 6, but I lucked out and missed about 90 minutes of the Bash, to hike the neighborhood with my youngest two.
Happy Halloween, guys!
Oh, and I carved a puking pumpkin, this year. Takes no time at all, and boys think it's the cooliest. I highly recommend it.
These days, in addition to the regular spam I've always gotten, I have also been getting a lot of the following:
Dating Over 40!
Who's Your Secret Crush?
type stuff. No big surprise there, right? But there is one other category that kinda has me scared. Why am I all of a sudden flooded with emails offering me help with HERNIAS?
I guess I better lift with my legs, not my back, right? I don't want to start clicking on that stuff.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I have 2 kids in high school. Their definition of an adequate breakfast is not necessarily what my husband would call an adequate breakfast. But it is food, and it gets them through the morning. Actually, sometimes it gets them through the entire school day, aside from a bottle of OJ in the hall, because my 2nd son thinks there is only one thing on the entire cafeteria menu he can choke down.
The weather has turned cold. That means Hubby and I are bundled for the weather. It also means we frequently start the day with a reminder for the Sons to wear a jacket. Do they? Sometimes. Because they don't want to carry a coat all day, or wear one in class all day, but they don't use a locker, at school, because they feel they don't have enough time between classes to stop at a locker. They just carry all their gear with them, all day.
I ask them about their homework. Do they have a lot? Have they organized their time so they can complete it all? Do they understand the assignment? Do they need a trip to the library, or for me to print out something for them? Do they have any questions Hubby or I could help with? Do they need a proofreader? Are they turning things in on time?
And sometimes, you know what? THEY LIE.
And the way I see it, they might learn more from lying to me, skipping an assignment, and getting a lousy grade, than from me going through their backpack, forcing them to do the work, and handing it in for them.
These report cards forget that the biggest thing parents are trying to teach their kids is personal responsibility. Teachers and administrators seem to think that parents should do everything for the kids, instead of encouraging kids to do things for themselves.
This reminds me of something that happened years ago, when the Sons were in private school.
Son #1 is the kind of kid to pick things up, walk around, and then put them down somewhere unexpected. If I can't find my nail clippers, it's because he was clipping and walking, and then finished his nails and dropped the clippers on the rug somewhere. And of course there was that time he took my car keys and left them in a pile of toys...took me 2 weeks to find the damn keys.
Anyway, this is a habit of his.
When he was in 3rd grade, he used to cart his backpack and lunch bag around the house in the morning. Often, he would drop his lunch in some mysterious corner of the house, and after dropping him off at school I would find the lunch, while cleaning. I'd then drive back to the school (a 45 minute round trip) to bring his lunch.
After a while, I decided he was gaining nothing from this experience. And, you know, I had a preschooler at home, who didn't need to spend his mornings in the car, when he could be coloring or building with blocks or being read to. So I told Son #1.
"The next time this happens, I'm not going to drop everything to bring you lunch. You're going to be hungry at school, if you forget your lunch. So you better remember it."
And of course he didn't. For several days in a row, I found his lunch in the downstairs bathroom, in the toy room, wherever, and I put it in the fridge. And each morning, I'd remind him of his freshly made lunch, sitting next to the backpacks by the front door. And again, he'd wander around with it and drop it.
On the 4th day, we were scheduled for a teacher conference. Mrs. Rizas tore me a new one.
"I KNOW you have four children. I am sure you are very overwhelmed. But No Child of Mine would EVER come to school without lunch."
I explained that I was trying to encourage Son#1 to be responsible for his own stuff--that he was too old to be expecting Mom to rescue him from his own cluelessness, and a little hunger might remind him.
She again commented that I must be "overwhelmed" by the daunting task of raising 4 boys. She had, in compassion for my neglected child, provided him with cheese crackers and juice each day, at lunch, so he would not be hungry.
And I again corrected her. I was not neglecting my oldest son because I couldn't manage to make him a lunch. I was allowing natural consequences to teach my son that if you want lunch, you don't leave it in the bathroom. And, actually, since she was feeding him lunch every day, he wasn't worried about misplacing the lunch I'd made him. The way it played out for Son #1, if he didn't bother to bring his lunch, his teacher would make him one. One he didn't even have to carry!
Needless to say, she never understood my side of things.
I understood her plenty, though. And from then on, I gave up on trying to encourage my son to remember his lunch. I nagged. I inspected. And I often ended up turning the car around, to bring the lunch he'd left in the car. But I didn't get yelled at by his teacher again, that year. I knew it wasn't in my son's best interest, but I also knew that his teacher's decision that I was a poor parent was more dangerous to him, that year, than his own irresponsibility.
These report cards sound like a crap idea.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Then I spent the afternoon at a tae kwon do tournament in which Son #2 was competing. Sons #3 and 4 were supposed to be there, too, but they have strep throat (and, in #4's case, scarlet fever, as well).
On the way home, I stopped to pick up dinner. I bought subs and pizza. I ate a couple of french fries and about 3 bites of sub, and then set my sub on my bedside table, where Hubby and 3 of the Sons were watching TV, so I could take Son #1 to a Halloween party.
I was gone approximately 25 minutes.
When I returned home, my sub was gone. Tomato, bread, and french fry was ground into the bedroom rug. The dog had a very satisfied air about him.
And he had dragged fried peppers onto the freshly shampooed dining room rug, which now has red stains on it.
I am staying up 'til midnight, to provide Son #1 with a return ride home.
All this, on the night when I had ORIGINALLY planned to go with my friend Fiddlin' Writer to see That Band I Love.
Points to the first person who can correctly identify That Band.
Extra points to the first person to convince me my dog is not intentionally driving me insane.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Today, I stopped in for a few things, and ran into Son #1's first grade teacher---who still rocks, even though Son #1 is 16 now.
As we entered the store, she turned to me and smiled.
"I HATE this store. But ain't it great?!"
I totally agree.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
You're sweet, but not naive -- though you like to be babied like a child at times. You prefer to have a bad boy by your side, but sometimes have problems understanding why he has to run off to take care of business. You want to settle down, yet deep down inside, you are excited by the surprises life throws your way.
Take the What Pulp Fiction Character Are You? quiz.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I am calmly, quietly, going about my business (cleaning the kitchen, collecting laundry and trash, wiping urine off the toilet) while calmly, quietly repeating:
"If you want to do well, study. If you need a break from studying, do something else for a while. But yelling at me will not help you. Do something productive with your time, instead of freaking out and yelling."
"I CAN'T DO THAT! I am ALREADY a loser, compared to Dad, OR EVEN YOU."
And here I stand, with a vinegar-soaked washcloth, wiping boys' piss off of the toilet I scrubbed 2 days ago, while being yelled at by a teenager.
He is right. I want the fuck out.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I listen to them when I can. Lots of great Louisiana music.
However, there is a substantial downside: it also broadcasts all sorts of local events. Like, for instance, the blues festival, the pepper festival, and everything else I wish I could jump in the car and go see.
Oh, well. Southern Maryland has its charms, too.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
All in all, it was less painful than some people have made it out to be, although I am still sore. I have kept my "nipple markers" as a memento.
So, if you are 40 or so, go get a mammogram. Gotta check the girls, ok?
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Caught myself, this morning, all but insisting they Change Things to Make Them Better, Because I Know More Than The Guy Who Is Actually In the Band and Making Decisions.
Dear God, I am turning into Jeanine Pettibone.
But, hey, I always thought David St Hubbins was the hottest member of 'Tap.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I am practicing my "No, I am busy" look.
But YOU, you need to come to Boatman's tonight and see Riptide, and see Rick, and have fun with me.
Absolutely, you do.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
One of my favorite people took me out for lunch, and ice cream, and cigarettes. And a present! Fiddlin' Writer knows what I need, on those Big Milestone Birthdays.
My favorite person took me out for dinner. He also cleaned the den, and our bedroom, and gave me earrings. Can you guess who this is? Or that there are about a million more reasons why he is one of the most spectacular people, ever?
The Sons each gave me a hug. Which was perfect.
And then, just as I was thinking I had gotten away with 40 unscathed, a Son had one of his patented meltdowns, including yelling at me that nothing I had taught him or his brothers was worthwhile at all.
I went directly to bed. When birthdays go south, best to just duck out.
(he apologized, by the way, both for the content and the timing of his comments. So I guess it actually was a pretty damn good day)
I'm glad I got that over with! Now I can get back to daily stuff.
Monday, October 08, 2007
This Friday, Hubby and I went to see The Idle Americans.
They are awesome. They are the half-band-brothers of ACME Blues Company, and my readers already KNOW how much I love ACME.
So, anyway, the music was great, because it had to be, because these guys are talented and charming as all hell.
WHY AREN'T YOU COMING TO THESE SHOWS WITH US? HAVE YOU NO MUSICAL TASTE? DON'T YOU EVEN WANT TO HAVE A LITTLE FUN? TIME'S A WASTIN'!
(readers outside the Southern Maryland area can just, um, excuse that last one, ok? I know it's not YOUR fault)
One downside, though.
Friday night, the only person who asked me to dance was an actual, bona fide, Jerry's Kid.
I have confirmed, without room for doubt, that although I love to dance, and will dance with just about anyone, I am really pretty selective regarding on whose laps I will gladly sit. I think Hubby has full and exclusive lap privileges, from now on, no matter how insistent the guy is that "I'm not asking for a Lap Dance, it's just that this is how I dance!"
Well, if some amazing fantasy man invites me on his lap, I'll reconsider. But no more charitable lap sitting, for me!
On the plus side, Hubby and I have now devised a code for "this guy is giving me the creeps, help me out!"
Because "You need to get me out of here" was, apparently, too subtle for Hubby, when I said it, Friday night.
I guess the problem is, my "smiling politely while trying not to slide off a moving wheelchair without clinging to the stranger beneath me" face is not all that different from my "having fun" face.
I'll have to work on that.
Monday, October 01, 2007
For the record, let me just say that:
First cigarette, at 15, was awesome.
Second and third, at 18, were fabulous.
Fourth, at about 38, terrific.
Every time I NEED a cigarette, I feel fabulous afterwards. The couple of times I smoked because someone handed me a cigarette (not because I found myself clawing for a pack of Marlboros) it didn't feel good OR bad.
So, what does that make me? Am I an addict with an extremely long time between addictive behaviors? Or am I just....I dunno?
Come on, sciency folks. 'Splain.
Hubby and I commented that the sons sure would be bored, with me, because Hubby is a notorious risk-taker, with many a near-death experience behind him, while I am, well, a mom with a literature degree who keeps her risks safely in her head or on paper. As the Sons were trying, lamely, to convince me that nooooo, I am not boring, they wouldn't mind living with me, they love me, la la la, Hubby piped up with:
"Yeah, but WHICH one of us nearly got her ass handed to her, in bar fights, TWICE this year?"
The boys all looked at me in awe. I am their biker bar brawl mama. Wooooo!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
I had something he wanted to see, up close. He wouldn't let me go, until I showed him.
He made it clear, he wasn't going to take "no" for an answer. He was totally focused on me, and his eyes were locked on my face like I was the only woman in the room.
Hubby could wait. This guy mattered. Because, for that moment at least, I mattered to him. And he was curious about me, in a way few men are, these days. Honestly, even though my husband was just across the room, I never even considered holding back. I gave him exactly what he wanted. And we both were satisfied.
Yeah, God bless the bouncer who cards a woman the week before she turns 40.
Friday, September 28, 2007
They also feel old enough to Not Have to Explain Things to Mom. So we have a lot of conversations like this:
"Are we free on Saturday?"
"Why? What time? What kind of free?"
"I want to do something. Are we free?"
"I don't know. What are you asking, specifically?"
(because, as you moms know, I need to know
-if I need to be there, or just provide transport
-if the Son's potential plans conflict with something already on the calendar
-if the entire family needs to be free, or if he wants to go somewhere just by himself
That gets me plenty of eyerolling, but precious little detail.
This week, Son #2 wants to go to a concert. It actually sounds like one most of us would enjoy. But Hubby is performing, as well, that evening. I asked Son #2 when his concert started, and when it would be ending. It took 4 days to get a straight answer. Because he thought, "I'll just call you when I'm ready to come home" was going to be enough.
As it turns out, his concert ends an hour before Hubby goes on stage. That gives me just enough time to pick up the Son, drop him at home, and dash off to dance with Hubby's mic stand.
Somehow, Son #2 doesn't understand that I WANT to be available to him, as much as possible, and I WILL fudge my schedule, most of the time, but my days of sitting by the phone, waiting for a 14-year-old boy to call, have been over for, oh, let's say 26 years.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
"Did you get Ovaltine?"
"Do you need help getting stuff out of the car?"
"Well, what DID you get at the grocery store?"
"Why didn't you get anything?"
because I didn't go to the store. I went to the gym. God forbid I should leave the house for anything other than bringing in more provisions for the Sons.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
If you haven't noticed, the Burmese monks are protesting. And civilians, too. The photographs are stirring. They are risking their lives, for democracy.
May they succeed.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
In other words, if you ask your kids to clean their room, and they don't do it, don't pester them. It is ineffectual and annoys the hell out of you. Instead, clean their room. Thoroughly. Stuff that they think belongs on the floor, but you think belongs in the trash, goes in the trash. You end up with a clean house, without nagging, and they end up (maybe) realizing that if they cleaned their room, you wouldn't steal their stuff.
So today I spent a little time in one of the Sons' bedrooms. The thrift store will be richer today, and quite a lot of scrap paper will be recycled.
I still can't find the source of the stench in there, though. Guess this is a long-term project.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Fiddlin' Writer and I took The Sons (hers + mine = 6 boys between 15 and 11) on School Day. FW and I parked ourselves at the food court for eight hours of Deep Conversation and Fried Food, and let the Sons run wild. Friday Highlights:
-aforementioned Deep Conversation and Fried Food
-Most of the Sons hugged a county health department employee dressed in a weasel costume, earning them goodie bags
-I got to speak all of maybe 2 minutes' worth of Thai, with the guys who sell grilled chicken
-"Bible Fights" with the New Testaments handed out by the Gideons (God bless 'em)
-The Sons seem to be getting over their collective terror at rides worth riding. So maybe there is hope we will actually be able to enjoy a theme park, sometime before they all move out
Saturday, I pretty much slept all day.
Today, we went to brunch at Bear Creek Barbeque. It is AWESOME. And then we headed back to the fair.
In the spirit of "the Sons were big enough on Friday, so why not?" Hubby and I bought them all ride-all-day wristbands, gave them each snack money, and roamed the fair in peace. And that is where we found Neil.
He strolled the aisle and sang September Morn while smiling down at me. I tried, really tried, not to laugh. But I could not help myself. Often, Hubby drowned out The Neil, with his own passionate contributions to the show. I think we were the youngest people in the building, aside from Neil himself, and we had the best time, even though Hubby kept begging me to keep a straight face.
By the time Neil was done singing, Hubby had had enough of the Fair. So I dropped him home. He dared me to go back, and flirt with Neil, "So long as you don't go home with a Neil Diamond impersonator. Get him to sign your boob. Have somebody take your picture with him."
I tried. But when he started "Love on the Rocks", I had to leave the room before I hurled. I can't listen to that twice in one day.
That second voice you hear? Hubby.
Friday, September 21, 2007
"Can you believe it? There's no question!"
Except, of course, he did not realize that he was sitting next to someone who is on the other side of the fence, and has been quietly keeping her opinion to herself for more than 2 decades.
Dear God, how do a Clapton fan and a Hendrix fan end up married? To each other? The tragedy of it all...
Oh, and can any of you guess which one of us is which?
2. Who will your next kiss be with? Son #3, most likely
3. Do you kiss a lot of people? Hubby & the Sons
4. Are you wearing socks right now? no
5. When was the last time you went out of state? Last night
6. Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days? No
7. What was the last thing you had to drink? Iced green tea, topped off with Diet Peach White Tea
8. What are you wearing right now? Frumptastic "Indian Rocks Beach, Florida" nightshirt
9. What was your last purchase? $55 in junk food, at the Verizon Center
10. Last food you ate? Popcorn
11. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My mother in law
12. Have you bought any clothing items in the last week? New sneakers
13. Do you have a pet? Good God, yes
14. What’s the last sporting event you watched? I caught a few minutes of the Skins game
15. Are you a pirate? No. More of a saucy wench
16. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be? I plead the 5th
17. What is the last thing you purchased online? bra & thong (ooh, baby)
18. One thing you hate about yourself? not enough discipline
19. What’s your favorite soup? avgolemono, from the Silver Palate Cookbook
20. Do you miss anyone? Yes. Granma Bolz, mostly
21. Last play you saw? Sarah, Plain & Tall, I think.
22. What are your plans for the day? Write, answer email, clean house, hit the gym, and then spend the rest of the day at the county fair
24. Ever go to camp? I camped with the girl scouts, but not a "leave your parents and make out with boys from the camp on the other side of the lake" kind of camp, no
25. Were you an honor roll student in school? On rare occasion
26. What do you know about the future? It's coming, ready or not
27. Are you wearing any perfume or cologne? no
28. How is one to classify? First, you must observe. Then, decide what characteristics are most important...
29. Do you have a tan? No. Tans are for people without stuff to do.
30. How old do you want to be when you have kids? I was not quite 24...
31. Last person who made you cry? Me
I got this meme from Carol, who is making me a replacement charm bracelet for the one that got lost in the mail. Feel free to adopt the meme as your own. They are pointless and stupid, but I enjoy them.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
"Put away your LARP boffers."
Hubby, of course, refuses to say it. "LARP Boffer" is one of those things that the boys have started saying, that Hubby is ignoring to the best of his ability. Like when Son #2 says "Indeed", or "Verily".
I, however, come from geekier stock. I can take it.