Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ever feel like you could just kiss a total stranger?

Last night, I met Hubby at a local bar. But before I could get to his table, a man stopped me. Tall guy, muscular. Nice face.

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

Entitled Teens: Ever So Much Fun

Two of the Sons are old enough to have a social life, but not yet driving. Which means that either I am driving, or I am supervising teen gatherings. Neither of which bug me. I am happy to be involved, happy to have their friends come over, happy to meet these kids, happy to drive them where they want to go--and sometimes I even want to go to those places, myself. All is well, right?


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

etc, etc.)

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

What do you MEAN you didn't go to the store?

"Mom, did you get OJ?"


"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

Brave monks of Burma

Yes, I said Burma. Because years ago, I had a Burmese friend, who noted the change of name to Myanmar with a roll of the eyes and "What are they calling my country, now? Oh, yeah, right," attitude.

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

Sure, I'll clean the house

I read some common-sense parenting advice in the paper this weekend. Long story short, don't nag. Do.

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

A Fair Impression of Neil Diamond

It's County Fair weekend. Hubby, the Sons and I always go to the fair. And usually, the Sons and I feel rushed to get out of there, because Hubby can't stand more than 2 hours of fair. This year, for the first time, I think everyone came home happy.

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

It's almost the worst thing I could say, to Hubby

Hubby mentioned, in the car last night, that some dj actually asked who was better: Hendrix, or Clapton?

"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?

Stealing a Meme from Carol, the Menopausal Housewife

1. Where were you 1 hour ago? in bed

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

Things I said because I'm a Mom, #103

LARP Boffers.

as in,

"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.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Then why do some guys smell so much better than others?

New study says "it's not his sweat, it's your nose". OK, I am game.

But, if it's all in how I PERCEIVE smell, how come men don't all smell the same? There should be a generic Guy Smell, I would think, for me. All men would smell like that.

In reality, though, as on the pages of this blog, some of them smell goooooooood. (Hubby, I am talking to you). And others, well, Ick.

And I am carting the same nose around, everywhere I go. I think this is one of those studies that doesn't mean anything.

The Dog

Yesterday, our dog puked on the bed. He also puked on the living room rug. And so, my day is planned for me. I shall be laundering comforters and scrubbing rugs.

Oh, the joys of dog ownership are boundless.

Plus, I hurt my finger...opening a box of band-aids.

It's gonna be a long week.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I stopped by the high school, yesterday drop off a school fee check that had been mouldering in the basement for the past 3 weeks. God help these children, when they have to pay a mortgage and the electric bill Every Month, and On Time, Too.

Every staff member I saw encouraged me to wait right where I was, rather than brave the halls during change of class. But I had an interview to get to, and besides, I am not afraid of a hallway full of teenagers.

I ran into Son #2, in the hall, but he had that shell-shocked freshman look and didn't notice me. Maybe 10 steps later, I saw Son #1, and he saw me.


He turned around to walk with me. He threw his arm around my shoulder. He shouted to his friends.

"Check me out! I'm with my girlfriend! She's an Older Woman! See, I'm with my girl!"

He walked me all the way across the building, to the front entrance, laughing and joking with me the whole time. It reminded me very much of the way my Uncle the Body Model used to joke and flirt with my grandmother. Very sweet. And perhaps, as Hubby says, evidence of the Italian Gene.

At the door, he whipped his arm off of my shoulder, waved his hands around, and made a face.


I swear, the boy is charm.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six years, today

Yesterday, Son #1 got into a political argument with a girl down the street, while walking home from the bus stop. She is convinced that:

Bush masterminded the 9/11 attacks
Bush did this "because he is an idiot"

Son #1 questioned how someone could be a mastermind and an idiot at the same time. So she moved on to her next point:

We should not fight terrorists, we should TALK to them. We should COMPROMISE.

Son #1 called her attention to the concept that people who have stated publicly that they want you to follow their religion exactly or they want you dead, are not the kinds of people you can talk into a compromise.

"But being Muslim wouldn't be that bad!"

He looked at her in her cute little outfit, blonde hair exposed to the sun, and said, "It might not be that bad for me, but if you wanted to leave the house without your brother, then being Muslim probably wouldn't be so great for you."

He came home shaking his head. He is not going to change any minds, at the bus stop, and he knows it.

And today I woke up and thought, "six years ago, today." Six years ago, this morning, some of us got a major wake-up call. Maybe not the girl down the street, but some of us. So I put our flag up, out front. I can see it from my desk. And I am so proud of my country, and of the military and governmental efforts that have, so far, prevented another 9/11 here. I am kind of a misty-eyed patriot, on my best days, so there you have it.

Son #4 was with me, when I put the flag out.

"Sooooo, does this make it a holiday?"

That's Son #4, always looking for a reason why we don't need to do school.

"No, sugar, it's not a holiday. Just a day worth remembering."

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sometimes, being cheap & lazy pays off

And in the case of microchipping, well, let's say that Otis, Ellie and Jake would thank me, if they could, for not bothering to have them microchipped. Because, holy bejebus, those things cause CANCER.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Ah, the joys of dancing with drunks

"YER BEAUTIFUL! Ya know, I'm 28, and I've been single since I was 23. YER BEAUTIFUL."

Naturally, I thanked him, the first few times. And when he noticed the ring on my finger, and asked about it, I whipped out my photo of Hubby & the make things absolutely clear. But inside, my initial urge was to say,

"Shut up and dance, OK? You're drunk as a skunk, and I have been married since you were 9 years old."

I really need to collect more "fun, intelligent, soberish men who like to dance and know I'm crazy about my husband" for these nights out. Because dancing with the crowd is less fun than it oughta be, for a person who loves to dance.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A little-known reason not to have a dog

Growing up, I had few pets. Fish, mostly, because my dad liked them. A hamster, until he caught pneumonia and died. I always wanted a cat, but that was Not an Option, until I moved out and married a fellow cat person. We have had cats almost our entire married lives.

About eight years ago, in a moment of blind insanity, we got a dog. Otis is the bane of my existence. (the short version: he craps everywhere, and there is nothing I can do about it.) But my children LOVE him. We take good care of him. He'll be the happiest carpet-befouling canine on the planet, until such time as Dog calls him home.

But let me tell you something I didn't know about dogs, until this year: dogs can have nightmares.

Sure, sure, we've all watched dogs twitching in their sleep, like they're chasing squirrels or something. It's adorable. But my dog doesn't do that. Most of the time, he just lays there and snores. Barely moves a muscle.

Once in a while, though (like at 2am today) he screams, in his sleep.

It is not a doggy sound. It is almost human.

It is more like a crazed, machete-wielding maniac has leaped into my bedroom, intent upon killing our entire family and stealing our souls. It gets the adrenaline PUMPIN', in old Christine.

After a couple rounds of "OTIS! IT'S OK! WAKE UP! OTIS! OTIS! WAKE UP!" he goes back to sleep, and snoring. He's happy as can be.

I, however, am up for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

My whole face hurts

Hubby got a motorcycle, yesterday. We went for a ride, last night, for about an hour. My whole face still hurts, from smiling so hard.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Even unsolicited gifts come with strings attached

As some of you know, a couple of years ago my car fell apart. Windows broke off, the battery constantly needed to be recharged, things got quirkier and quirkier by the day. We needed a new car, but it was not our highest priority--we figured we'd save up for it, and get one when we could. Then my mother in law offered to help us buy a car. We did not ask her to, we did not beg for a loan, she just got tired of seeing me drive around with saran wrap instead of a window, I guess. And she can make these bold, expensive gestures.

She offered us a chunk of money towards a car. She also all but insisted we buy a certain model, but the one she liked wasn't big enough for our tall sons, and it was also a lot more expensive than the one we ended up getting--so, yes, we would have had to pay a lot of our own money we didn't have for a car not as good as the cheap one. In fact, the car the Sons now call "The Powerful Mom 5" actually cost less than my mother in law had originally offered to give us "toward" the car. So we ended up needing less money than she'd offered, which kinda pleased us.

She stroked the check. We were grateful. I LOVE my car. And we have made it clear that we are thankful. It has been amazing, feeling like she just DID this for us, out of kindness, and never asked for anything in return.

Then yesterday we went out to lunch with her, in my car. And she asked the Sons all to be quiet and listen to her, because she had something to say.

"You know I bought this car for YOU. This is YOUR car. You're just letting Mom drive it, until you're old enough. And that's really nice of you, to let Mom drive your car. So, you should wash and vacuum it every day, because in a little while it won't be Mom's car anymore, and you want it to be in good condition when you get it from her."

I'm just gonna love that, the day the Sons decide I need to start hoofin' it everywhere. Thanks, Mom-in-Law, for the undermining. I really needed that shit, yesterday.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Christine's doing something....right?

Last night, after jumping up to sing backup on Mustang Sally, a woman with whom I'd shared a microphone pulled me aside.

"Do you have a sister named Tonya? You look EXACTLY like my friend Tonya."

She then pulled me around to her group of friends.

"Doesn't she look JUST like Tonya? If she had blond hair, they'd be twins."

Everyone in her group agreed. I am a dead ringer for Tonya. So, naturally, I asked:

"So, who is this Tonya? Is she nice?"

"Tonya's a hooker!"

Please Mind the Hunch


Your mother has worked as a freelance writer since 2001. That means you have had more than 6 years to observe her and her work habits. And more than 6 years' worth of repeated requests to Leave Mom Alone When She's Working.

A tutorial:

If Mom RUNS down the hall, half dressed, clearly crazed, and throws herself down in front of the computer

If she hunches over the keyboard, wild-eyed, typing as fast as she can

If she is clearly ignoring you

Really trying hard to ignore you

Looks like she is mumbling to herself

and starts making odd head movements, like she hears music in her head


I swear, my children refuse to acknowledge that I have anything better to do than answer their every question, the second they think to ask it.

I love them, honestly I do. But I wish, sometimes, I had an office with a door.

Holy crap, Crystal, you ARE my role model

You've got to read this. Talk about pulling out your maternal A-game. Scroll down to the entry entitled "role model". And be ready to crack up.

You can guarantee her son won't pull the "I know it's 6pm on a Sunday the first week after school started and my grandparents are here but I need a graphing calculator by tomorrow morning" thing I got last week.