Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's not what they say, it's what they do

The Sons love my car. They call it The Powerful Mom Five (cartoon lovers of a certain age will know that is a nod to Speed Racer).

There is only one thing about it that they don't love. The musical selection.

Oh, don't get me wrong. They know ALL the words to ALL the songs on my beloved ACME Blues Company CD. They enjoy the one radio station my car still picks up. They are willing to give at least a passing nod to whatever other CD I happen to have on hand. But, you know, they have a tendency to complain about the, um, limited nature of the playlist.

"Why don't you have any Green Day CDs in the car? You have Red Hot Chili Peppers in the dining room, why don't you ever take them in the car? You have WAR? Why are we not listening to WAR? Why are you listening to this old weird stuff?"

(that would be Best of the Ventures, my friend, and I am not giving up Pipeline for anyone)

Son #1 just walked by, with his iPod. He will not admit it to anyone, but he is listening to Pipeline, by the Ventures, on his walk to school.

Ha! Musical victory, for Mom!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Don't Choke Your Brother, Your Hands Are Too Small

Last night, after taking Hubby out for Birthday Dinner, The Boy lectured Hubby and me on our complete cluelessness, as parents, because we had had the nerve to tell his brother "Don't feel bad. If you didn't promise that girl anything, she's not going to be mad at you for saying you're not sure you want to be more than friends yet."

After explaining that everything we know about relationships between the sexes has been wrong for the past 30 years (yes, apparently I was already working on outdated dating info when I was ten years old and had not yet discovered boys) he moved on to Human Nature. Apparently, we don't know anything about that, either.

Religion: we are clueless and naive.

Parenting: we are coddling the brothers so they will never be able to make it in the chalkdust jungle that is high school.

Drug use and law enforcement: Ha! It's amazing we are allowed to walk the streets, we are so pitiably misinformed.

In the spirit of The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves, The Boy talked and talked until Hubby and I were ready to send him to reform school on Mars, two of his brothers had exiled themselves to distant rooms in a failed search for peace and quiet, and one of his brothers was driven to tears.

"He's complaining about the exact stuff HE does to US, all day long!"

Longtime readers will remember that he did the same thing on MY birthday.

Around 6 this morning, while we were still asleep, he let himself into our bedroom, turned on the light, and did something in the master bathroom, and then let himself out. Did I mention we were both naked? Because, you know, we were in our own bedroom with the door locked, and asleep? Thank God I was under the blankets.

This morning, while I was battling nausea/soreness/chills/exhaustion/general wishes that death would come swiftly, The Boy insisted that I help him straighten his hair.

"Look. I did it for you yesterday. It isn't hard. You can do this. I'll talk you through it," I said. "I guarantee, every girl at school with straightened hair does it HERSELF. None of THEM has their mom do it. And I am DOING STUFF, OK? It's YOUR hair. I'm not even going to straighten my OWN hair, today."

Much whining ensued, but he did manage, with only fleeting assistance from me.

He had a dentist's appointment this afternoon, and spent so much time dicking around while I stood in the doorway, yelling, "WE NEED TO GET IN THE CAR, NOW," that we had to reschedule.

He then spent a good hour on the phone--the landline, even though we bought him a cell phone for Christmas. He worked in a dig at his brother, and told his friend that his entire family is crazy, while I stood inches away.

And he asked me to find him a photo, because he didn't want to bother taking a new one, even though, again, we bought him a digital camera for Christmas.

He then took the last bottle of my special, fantabulous soda which I can only get once a year on a trip down to Florida, drank a few sips and complained about the unpleasant "aftertaste".

His room is a mess, his possessions are strewn throughout the house, he's alienating his brothers and seems hellbent on driving me to find that dusty pack of cigarettes I have stashed around here, somewhere.

See that? That's my last nerve, right there.

I'm just a little bit freaked out

Because I have been outed.

Hubby's birthday was yesterday. He spent some time on the phone with his brothers, getting the traditional congratulations that come with being the baby of the family (he is 44, but his youngest brother is 58, so Hubby looks like a mere babe, and shall continue to do so, forever. While I, 4 years older than my sister, am the Older One, and therefore have one foot in the grave).

Hubby mentioned to Jesus Bill, about whom I have blogged, that Hubby has a blog of his own. Jesus Bill will probably check it out. And when he does, he will probably notice that there is a link to MY blog.

"What? Christine has a blog?"

I am counting on my generally dull reputation to discourage any and all familial scrolling of the Total Waste of Time Archives. Because, you know, the very thought of Actual Relatives reading some of this stuff is about enough to give me hives.

So, if you're reading this, Welcome, Jesus Bill. Love ya. And if the subject comes up, all you need to say is, "Christine has a really boring blog."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Well, thank God THAT's over

Hubby is a bass player (sometimes a drummer, too, and occasionally a guitarist, as circumstances merit). He is actually pretty damn good. The man can PLAY, OK? And I love to listen, love to watch him play.

Sometimes, he's in a band. Other times, he just jams with friends, hangs out at open mic nights, stuff like that. A part of me really misses it when he's not in a band, and I know he misses it, too. But then again.


He joined his latest band a few months ago, and I can honestly say I was AGAINST IT FROM THE START. "That one guy is a jackass," I thought, just on the basis of what Hubby reported to me about the audition. "I have a bad feeling about this whole thing."

Yes, I am such a tremendous judge of character that I can suss you out, even sight unseen. Trust this.

Last weekend Hubby's band performed somewhere, and it was...well, let's just say it rhymes with Mustard Duck. So awful that the band disbanded that night.

One of the contributing factors? The BIGGEST factor, if you ask me? Yup. "That one guy is a jackass". For months, we have heard it from all over town, from people who used to be in a band with That One Guy. The music scene in the Happy Boondocks is incestuous, at best, so everyone knows everyone else, at least by reputation.

And I have tried as hard as I could not to Yoko Ono/Janine Pettibone myself into the situation. I constantly reminded myself I am Just A Fan and a Wife and a Chick Who Loves to Dance. I am Not a Musician and I Should Keep My Mouth Shut.

I have failed, miserably, as this blog entry attests. I TOLD him so, and after a while I couldn't STOP telling him so. I am embarrassed to tell it, but this blog is all about tellin' it like it is, so there ya go. Christine went a little overboard, on the nagging front, when it came to Hubby's latest band's Obvious, and Incontrovertible, Faults.

Anyway, the great thing about it is, Hubby is already working on forming a new band. Hubby on bass. Guitarist he knows and likes. Singer who kicks ass in a major way. And...a drummer, tbd.

They will be getting together later this week, to start ironing out the kinks. I am at least as psyched as Hubby is. I cannot WAIT to see what happens with THIS band. It is much more the band I had been hoping for, when he got suckered into The Band Whose Name Shall Not Be Repeated on My Blog Again.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Up is down, black is white, the election is coming

Fiddlin' Writer and I are at a loss. As the wildest Republican and most conservative hippie Democrat in existence, we have managed an uneasy truce on the political thing. Basically, we don't discuss it. No big deal, we have plenty of other stuff to discuss. She and I could talk allllllll day. And have.

During the last election, all we managed to say to each other on the political front was, "I am losing sleep, terrified that your candidate will win."

But this time, it is odd.

Her "rabid Republican" father is planning to vote for Hillary, "because it's about damn time we had a woman in the White House."

And my "crazy-liberal" mother-in-law supports Guiliani, because she is still amazed at the transformation he wreaked on her beloved hometown of NYC. "Everyone was polite. No one cursed. The streets were clean and there was no graffiti. I felt absolutely safe, wherever I went. It...just wasn't like home."

It is official. I have NO FLIPPIN' IDEA who will win. Heck, at this point, I am not even sure who's got MY vote.

Ugh. That stuff should come with a warning label

I saw some friends today, got some hugs. And that is great. But I got home a little while ago, and realized that that nauseated feeling I've been battling all afternoon is directly related to whomever it was who hugged me, while wearing Shalimar.

I know, I know, Shalimar is lovely and I am a clod for not loving it, but it makes me just want to hurl, ok?

In a perfect world, everyone who wears Shalimar would be required to wear a small warning label.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


And, as usual, the Sons were correct.

They forgot, however, a few key mantage moments:
backing into a parking space!
stealing food from the dog's dish!
washing his hair with a bar of Ivory soap!
playing bass AND drums. With a broken leg!
laughing at fart jokes!
setting things on fire!

What's missing, ladies?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Taller You Get, the Less Women Like You

Son #1 is explaining his irresistability to his brother (two years younger and about 4 inches taller) and best friend (also slightly taller than Son #1).

"The taller you get, the less women like you. They LOVE babies. They think toddlers are adorable. Little kids are cute. You get too tall, the women lose interest. Back me up, Mom--would you date an eight foot tall man?"

He has a point. And he does seem to be Catnip to the high school crowd. But, um, Hubby is over six feet tall, and I Ain't Complainin'.

Mr Backrub's Plan to Fix the World

Once I start mentioning you again and again, you earn Nickname Status on the blog. That way I can talk about you without worrying I'll embarrass you. So, here's to YOU, Mr Backrub. I bet you know who you are, even though I only devoted about 2 seconds to choosing your nickname...

Mr Backrub told me, the other night, of his great idea to eliminate the need for viagra, cialis, and all those other drugs.

"What we should work on is a pill that makes semen taste like chocolate. All the women in the world would say, 'Come to me, Willie Wonka!'"

I think that would probably go a long way towards establishing world peace, too.

Friday, January 25, 2008

For Jill: The Country Store

As you know, I love the Country Store. I get my blues fix there at least twice a month, and sometimes even more than that. There is plenty of grab-assing and dancing to be had. The food is awesome. And there is one more thing...

Though the men's room often has a long line, there is almost never a line, for the ladies' room.

Often, I will slide right in to the ladies', confident I can spend all the time I want reapplying my lip gloss because there's no one hopping from foot to foot outside the door.

If, however, you happen to be stuck in line, I have provided Entertainment. I made a couple of collages of my Blues Open Mic photos and hung them on the wall, across from the restrooms. Feel free to peruse, and loudly compliment them.

They also have a wide variety of nice liquid soaps, if you're into that.

Other than that, it's just a bar bathroom, but I know Jill is especially fond of those, so Here You Go, Jill.

Poky Redhead also will benefit from this particular post. SEE, I CAN INDEED wear a hat with a feather in it and not look like a pimp. Or one of those Red Hat people.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sue Reviewed Me!

OK, this was just the thing I needed today. Sue reviewed my blog and actually made me sound OK :)

Her blog is a lot of fun, too. Check it out!

Heath Ledger and Fred Thompson

Yesterday, Heath Ledger died and Fred Thompson dropped out of the presidential primary. I have talked with a mess of people and everyone is upset about one of these events, but no one seems to be upset about both of them.

I guess my Heath-loving friends and my Thompson-loving friends have only myself in common.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Office

Most of the time, my office is in a corner of the living room. Some day, I figure, I'll have A Real Office with Four Walls and a Door. But that has to wait until the Sons move out.

Today, the Sons have off of school. We'll get their haircuts, and two of them will visit the dentist. They also are going to clean their bedrooms, if it kills us all.

Which brings us to my office of the day.

I am sitting on the floor in the hall, between the open bedroom doors of Sons #2 and 3. I can write the article I need to submit today, while watching them clean their bedrooms. I feel like the Cleanliness Nazi, but it's getting done.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Unintended Moral Lesson #105

Last weekend, Sons #1 and 2 went to a movie with some friends. The movie was hosted by the friends' Catholic high school. They went. Had a good time.

But Son #1 spent a good bit of time laughing at the idea that his friend's religion teacher bootlegged The Bucket List to show it to a bunch of high school students.

Yes, for those who missed it the first time, the school had a religion teacher steal something, for the moral benefit of students.

Christine Doesn't Care

Everyone posts these beautiful blog entries about the things that matter to them. I think I will, instead, tell you the things that I couldn't care less about, that I get the impression I'm supposed to, somehow.

Seasons. I don't need 4 of 'em. Winter is for crap, I tell you. If we only had the other 3, I'd be pleased. Work on that, will you?

Square Footage. Poky Redhead asked me yesterday, how big my house is. I can't remember. I could look it up, but who cares? It is cramped in here, now, and will feel palatial when the Sons are grown and gone. That's all I know.

Home Decor. Bah. Aside from an ill-advised foray into colorful walls (screw you very much, Sherwin Williams guy), I don't care. Hubby picked out the new carpet. He decided we needed blinds. If he wants new furniture, we get it. I love the stuff he chooses, and we have very similar tastes, in a furniture store, but I suspect that if I were living alone, I'd be sitting on the floor. Maybe I'm just lazy and cheap, but I don't understand how people can get all excited about choosing cabinetry and furniture and coordinating things, when they have perfectly good, useable stuff right there already.

What's On TV. I put the news on while I'm in the kitchen. But if the TV is otherwise on, Hubby or the Sons turned it on and chose the show. I sit through whatever they're watching, generally attempting to tune it out and listen to my own thoughts. If I can't, I aim to sleep. YES, there are shows I enjoy. But not enough to seek them out.

Hair Grows. The Sons are inching toward long hair. I don't care. I gather them up every once in a while for a trim, just so things look orderly, but if they all end up with rocker hair, I won't care. Just, you know, no product.

Gadgets. I have a ton of them, but I keep going back to: a knife, a saucepan, a skillet, a spoon. Maybe I just am tired of the additional noise of powered things. Maybe I miss the counter space under those gadgets.

Fancy Brands and Glamor Foods. I've had caviar and Brie. Ick. Those purses with the logos all over them look tacky as hell to me, too. I try exotic things, and I appreciate well-manufactured goods, but I am not going to buy anything to make a statement.

Being Fashionably Late. If I want to go, I want to be on time. Sometimes, in my eagerness, I even arrive EARLY.

I feel like a curmudgeon, so I think I'll stop here. If you all decided I was just a cranky bitch, well, I'd care about that.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

We are hooked

On Rock Band.

We got it for Christmas, and it is FUN.

It's like Guitar Hero, but you can also play bass, and drums, and sing vocals. We've been playing a lot. It's a total riot. Here are a few things I've discovered:

I am the world's worst video game player. Although, I knew that.

Hubby is a bigger kid than all the Sons. It's kinda charming. Although, I knew that, too. Hubby is all about the boyish charm.

Son #1 is quick to "save" me, when I fail out. It's sweet.

Son #4 is a natural front man.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

They spell it "s.a.p."

"Christine, can you show me the special way you crack the eggs so the shells come off?"

So I did. It's not brain surgery, folks!

"Mom, it's too cold for me to walk to the bus stop, because my hair is wet. And I can't wear that leather jacket you bought for me, even though it's below freezing."

So I drove them to the bus stop, which is all of .2 mile from the house.

I am a wife and mother. Spell it S.A.P.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

ALF's archive meme

ALF, who swears she dislikes blog tag, has challenged us all to link to five specific blog posts in our archives.

Oh, yeah, THAT isn't going to take long.

So, here I go;

One about Family

One about Friends

One about Me

One about Something I Love

One random one of my choice

Are these my favorites? Well, not really. I'd be reading all day, to find them. But, they are a sampling, anyway.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Where everybody knows your name

And they're always glad you came...

Yup, Son #4 and I hit the ER again today. He woke up with the sensation of broken glass in his eye. It was red and teary and painful, and flushing it with saline at home didn't help.

Fortunately, the wait at the ER was so long that before he saw a doctor, it had resolved itself.

On the way out, he noticed the doctor who had sewn his arm up, on Christmas Eve.

"There's Dr. Esterhay! Can I go say hi?"

We are just toooo comfortable at the hospital.

2 am and they're as giggly as schoolgirls

The Sons have a couple of friends spending the night. Which means, just like it did when I was 12 and hosting half a dozen girls in the basement of my parents' place, they are Not Sleeping.

My parents were convinced that the "stay up all night and giggle" thing was a girl phenomenon. If they'd had boys, they wouldn't be dealing with that. It is to laugh.

At 1:30 this morning, the boys in the basement were talking so loud the dog (who sleeps in my bed) barked at them. Hubby tossed out a few of his Wallpapering Words and went back to sleep, good ear to the pillow. But me, well, once I'm up, I'm up.

So, in between telling the boys to CUT IT OUT, ALREADY, YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE WITH THAT STAGE WHISPER, I have been:

reading celebrity gossip web sites and National Review
eating ramen (needs cilantro, but I'm not shopping at 2 am)
watching that video of the tiger attacking an elephant on YouTube
considering cleaning (but that's even more pathetic than ramen and dlisted at 2 am)

I have also discovered who is rifling through my envelopes. Ellie, our cat, just tried to nest in there. It didn't work. Cats love a sheet of paper, so an entire stack of paper must have looked like Shangri-La to her, is slidey, so she has returned to her favorite chair. I bet she tries it every night.

And the boys are mostly quiet, now. But they are clearly exhausted, and therefore giggly. I never would have believed that was possible, as a girl. All those middle school boys seemed so different from us. I guess I was just envisioning their future manliness. Because there is not a lot of Gary Cooper in my basement, right now, no matter what the girls think of those 6 young guys.

The moral of the story? It is good to be deaf in one ear.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

De do do do Girl

I was discussing the timeless meaning of The Police with Son #2, the other day. He thought "De do do do, De da da da" was stupid. Until, of course, I asked him if there was anyone who made him feel that way:

Don't think me unkind
Words are hard to find
They're only cheques I've left unsigned
From the banks of chaos in my mind
And when their eloquence escapes me
Their logic ties me up and rapes me

De do do do, de da da da
Is all I want to say to you
De do do do, de da da da
Their innocence will pull me through
De do do do, de da da da
Is all I want to say to you
De do do do, de da da da
They're meaningless and all that's true

And then it hit him. He does, indeed, have what he calls "De do do do Girl". He just found out she'll be on his field trip with him.

Battle of the Bulge Fitness Challenge: A belated carol

Oh, holy crap
My gym's having a connnnntest
And I signed up because I am a nut
Prizes are few
And I shall not win aaaaaany
But I press on, hoping to tone my butt
A class each day
These teachers are all fascists
But then again
They all are in great shape
Falllllllll on your kneeeeees
And giiiiiiive me forty puuuuuuush-ups
My triiiiiiiceps are shocked
But I keep coming back
I waaaaaant that iiiiiiiiiPod
And flatter abs

Monday, January 07, 2008

Not that I'm a fan, or anything, but...

They are sure making a big fuss over Hilary getting a little sniffy. I am starting to feel like the campaign process is a most unhelpful way to elect a president.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Idle Americans

I saw these guys last night. They run the blues open mic I often rave about. This is from a show I missed, but beggars can't be choosers when it comes to scraping content off of YouTube.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Teachers: Classy, Sophisticated Professionals

Son #1 got some great stuff from Hot Topic for Christmas. The other day he wore one of his new shirts to school. He looked great. He thought he looked great. All the girls thought he looked great.

His teacher, however, did not. While insulting one of his regular targets, he managed to zing Son #1, as well.

"You're an idiot, but at least you don't look as gay as _____ does, in that shirt."

That's some enlightened public education, right there. Makes me proud to send my kids to school.

Friday, January 04, 2008

For the "Man Resume"

I have been teasing Hubby, for a while, that I am such a fabu wife that he needs to write me up a recommendation letter for Hubby #2. You know, should he decide he's tired of me, or whatever, I figure, with a good CV, I could just walk up to Mr Fabulous of My Choice and apply.

"I'm the woman you're looking for, and here's a notarized letter to that effect." Save all the bullshit.

So every once in a while, I'll mention it. Whenever I do something he truly appreciates, I say, "Don't thank me, just put it on the Man Resume while you still have it on your mind." I think he takes it in the right spirit. We chuckle.

This Christmas, Hubby had an extensive Wish List at Musician's Friend. It was fun buying stuff I knew he'd like. So much fun, that Musician's Friend has sent me a coupon toward my next purchase. They like me. I am spendy.

So I told him that could go on the Man Resume, too. "Just put a wish list on Musician's Friend, and she'll buy you whatever you like!"

Hubby nixed that one.

"Ohhhhh, no. I'm not writing THAT down. You'd attract alllll the wrong kind of people."

Takes a deadbeat musician to know one, I guess.

Calling all tattoo artists

Son #4 got his stitches out yesterday. He is taking antibiotics for an infection which has the whole thing kind of pink & puffy, but otherwise I guess we have a pretty good idea of what the scar will look like.

It is a crescent, with the ends pointing towards his wrist. I am thinking it would make a great shark mouth, should he ever decide he needs a tattoo.

Any great "incorporate the scar" tattoo ideas for my 11-year-old?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hey! The Government Found Me!

A friend of mine writes the Thursday blog posts for Gov Gab, one of the Federal government's blogs. Nancy is great. She even has a pseudonym, on this blog. And today, she wrote about me!

Wooo, me! I am famous!

So run on over and check us out.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Late last night, my cell phone started beeping. I'd missed a text message. But I was in bed, with Hubby, who is about the only person who ever texts my cell phone, so I knew it was not a real person. This morning, I checked the phone.

The message, from the above number, read:

"Pat McCarthy is someone you need to fuck up."

Sugar, I'm flattered, but I have got to tell you I am five feet, three inches tall. You are requesting thuggishness from someone who just...can' you.

Update on the Events of Christmas Week

I've been getting questions, so here are your answers.

Son #3's finger doesn't hurt. He is feelin' fine. He is also faithfully doing his exercises, because Dr Herring made it clear that the alternative was not cool in the least.

Son #4's arm doesn't hurt. The stitches look cool. He's working on a story to tell the ladies, in future. Something involving the Cong, I think.

My friend's son did not have a broken finger. He had a broken HAND. I am encouraging her to press charges, because thugs like that need to be labeled so the rest of us see them coming. HEAR ME, BLONDIE? POKE THE POLICE.

Son #1 had the same reaction to his friend's "the one who's a ni..." statement. "DID I JUST HEAR WHAT I THINK I HEARD?" I mentioned it to him after I blogged about it (because I AM interested in being factual, but...not necessarily enough to check things before I blog). And he scooted around with me for a while. "Mom, do you think he is...a RACIST? HIM? His whole FAMILY? Racist? REALLY?" And I left him with..."Well, all I can say is, I heard what I heard, and I can't imagine a situation where that word would cross your MIND, let alone your lips, so there it is."

NO, I am not sick of ACME Blues Company. They are awesome, and their CD will be in my car forever. No, I do not need more than one or two Non-ACME CDs in my car at any one time. If you don't like the rotation, bring your own CD. Better yet, tell the ACME guys to hurry up and release a second CD. What a ridiculous question. Geez. "sick of ACME yet." Where did that come from?