Thursday, February 28, 2008

Alf's Dreaded Book Meme

I woke up at 2:30 because my dog was crapping on my bedroom rug. Naturally, I stepped in it. So I had to wash my foot. And then, you know, I was AWAKE.

So, I noticed Alf has a meme going.
The Rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag some people & post a comment here once you post it to your blog, so I can come see.

Feel free to do it, yourself. And yes, this really was the nearest book to hand. You are going to think I'm all high-minded and spiritual. Joke's on you.

"Prayer is the contact I make with God in my thoughts. It is a powerful medicine for the spirit. Prayers for guidance are perhaps the most potent of all, providing I keep myself receptive and am willing to act according to His inspiration."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Where the heck am I supposed to THINK?

My office is in a corner of the living room. It sits above the den, where the Sons play MMP games and Rock Band and watch TV.

I had an idea for a lyric, tonight, and sat to write, but the 3 Sons in the basement were making such noise I couldn't really think.

So I moved down the hall, to our bedroom. It's a little farther from the den, so those noises are somewhat muffled. Although, 3 young guys playing shooting games are just plain loud, even from the end of the hall. Shooting requires shouting, you see.

Our bedroom sits above Son #1's bedroom. So, now I am hearing slightly less shooting, but more chatting on the telephone. Because Son #1 is on the phone with That Girl pretty much all the time. He also is listening to "screamo" music. It's just...great.

There is no other place to go. So, I have my snippet of a lyric and nothing else to go with it, at this point. I think I'll try to do Something Else, for a while, and let the music float back into my head on its own. In the meantime, though, I just wish, sometimes, that I had a place to go that didn't have all this constant chatter. If I could find our recording equipment, I'd make a podcast for y'all. Because you would not believe the continuity of the cacophony, over here.

Great Moments in School Administration

Son #1's business law teacher is out, for the next few weeks. He's serving as a substitute hall monitor, while the hall monitor is on maternity leave.

It occurred to both Son #1 and myself that it would make a lot more sense to hire a substitute hall monitor, and leave his business law teacher in place, than to hire a substitute teacher for business law, and pull one of my son's best teachers out of the classroom so he can watch people walk the halls.

Because, you know, substitute teachers can monitor the halls, even if they know nothing about business law.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Black Magic Woman

I got home and Hubby was playing Black Magic Woman on bass, in the basement. So, basically, the entire house is filled with Black Magic Woman.

Blogging will resume after I am done licking hubby. likey.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dude, My Mom is NOT HOT, OK?

The other night, one of my flirtin' buddies asked me if the Sons' friends had ever said I was a Hot Mom. "Because if I were 15, I would totally think you were."

I of course told him that none of my sons friends think I am hot. Mostly, of course, I was thinking that all my sons' friends have seen me at 4 am at a sleepover, when I am not only not hot, I am also not nice. BECAUSE I WANT THEM TO SLEEP. My flirtin' buddies generally see me with brushed teeth and an enthusiastic attitude.

But then I went home and asked Son #1.

"Well, actually, (one friend of his who's here a lot) has mentioned it several times, BUT JEEZ, MOM, I ASSUMED HE WAS JOKING! THAT IS DISGUSTING!"

So, now Son #1 is mortified, and my flirtin' buddy is also mortified that he is coming across as "a dirty old man."

I, however, am feeling pretty spiffy.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Wear Your Stilettos Now

When I was 9, my parents celebrated their 10th anniversary with a weekend in NYC. They saw a show, and ate well, and enjoyed the hotel room, and did all sorts of touristy things. The highlight for my mother was shoe shopping.

This says a lot about my mother--she is a shoe fanatic like no one else I've ever met. It also says a lot about my dad. He took her shoe shopping, OK? Not every husband is that willing to take one for the team.

I remember her coming home with LOTS of shoes. She LOVED them. She wore them out dancing (see a familial tradition, anywhere?) and then she stopped going out. Dad hated dancing, and she didn't want to dance without him, so the shoes sat in the closet.

We called it The Shrine. She would sit in the closet and look at her shoes.

So anyway, flash forward. A couple of years ago, Mom's knee gave out. Really, she needs a replacement. She has been putting it off. But even if she gets a new knee, she can't wear those shoes again. She is stuck in flat, sensible shoes, for the rest of her life.

She cries about the shoes. She doesn't care that her knee hurts, she cares that she can't wear her sexy heels any more.

Every few months, Mom brings me a few pairs of shoes to try out. If they're not too small, they're mine. Otherwise, they go back to the Shrine.


OK, but anyway, tonight I am going out. I pulled out one of Mom's pairs of NYC shoes and slipped them on. A bit loose. So I tried to adjust the heel strap.

The leather was gummy. Remember, these shoes are 31 years old. The strap broke. Dry rot.

My mother kept those shoes in the Shrine for probably 25 years. Bringing them to me was HARD for her. And now they are in the trash.

Don't let your fun dry rot, ok? Wear your stilettos while you can.

UPDATE: ACME was fantastic, as always, and I had a blast, as you knew I would. I wore a second pair of Mom's NYC shoes, and then the band played Rattlesnake Shake and I danced so hard the shoes fell apart. Spent the rest of the night in my stocking feet. I think the band felt pretty good about making music so good a woman would kill her shoes, dancing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I am "The Man": A Parenting Epiphany

Remember when you were a teenager and your parents were all suspicious? They wouldn't let you hang out with your boyfriend in your bedroom, even though that meant you never got to have a private conversation, because your little sister kept butting in?

And no matter how much you explained that you weren't DOING anything, they still gave you that look with the one raised eyebrow, and told you, "Fine, but, you can be not DOING anything out here in the den, with your brothers"?

Remember how your younger siblings kept walking up to you and saying stupid crap, and no matter how much you complained about it your parents never stopped them? Like they had NO IDEA how frustrating and annoying and embarrassing that was?

Remember how your boyfriend's parents were a little more lax, but if they saw you making out they would look at you, their son's adoring girlfriend, like you were a complete idiot who didn't have the least instinct for self-preservation? And like you ought to hold out for a guy who at least had his own car?

As it turns out, it wasn't because they didn't understand you. It was because they understood all too well, and had no. interest. in. becoming. grandparents. yet.

So, it all makes sense. The Sons can have privacy with their girlfriends when they are old enough to sign a lease on their own place.

For Matt: A shirt and a song

Matt had an exceptionally crappy day, yesterday. I can't do a damn thing to fix any of it. But ever since he read about the shirt that Son #1's teacher thinks looks gay, he's wanted to see it. So, here it is:

And also for you, Matt, a little Reverend Horton Heat. Points to whomever can name the song first.

jtj3: The 'how we met' meme

jtj3: The 'how we met' meme

The Challenge is on, and coincidentally Hubby was telling Mr Backrub about how we met, last night, so here are 10 Things About How I Met Hubby:

We were students at UMCP.

We lived in adjacent dormitories, with a shared cafeteria.

I was on the rebound. My kinda-sorta boyfriend had left the state 2 days before. My friend Susan decided I needed to EAT SOMETHING ALREADY, so she hauled me down to the cafeteria.

We were badly dressed: I in the emerald green sweatsuit I'd had since jr high (with the unbrushed hair and depressed pallor to match), he in a red ringer t-shirt, Hawaiian shirt, blue OP corduroy shorts, tube socks with red stripes, and sneakers.

I didn't want to talk to anyone. I just wanted to sit. So when some weird guy asked if he could "invade our personal space", we basically told him he could do whatever he wanted, but we weren't going to talk to him.

Hubby was NOT the weird guy. He was WITH the weird guy.

The moment I saw him, I heard a voice in my head say, "There's your husband. You better hope he's nice."

I couldn't think of a way to keep him talking to me, so I ate off of his plate. (You can't leave a woman while she's eating your grapes.)

Hubby left the table with everyone but Weird Guy. Weird Guy asked me out. And I went, in hopes of getting to know Hubby. It worked.

After our first date, the following week, Hubby told me, "I can't date you anymore, ever."

We've been married nearly 20 years.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

3:10 to WHAT, now?

The critics love 3:10 to Yuma. My parents loved 3:10 to Yuma. Yuma, Yuma, Yuma, it is great and we much watch it.

We rented it.

Not to spoil things for those of you who haven't seen it, but...the ending just made. no. sense.

Son #2 watched it after Hubby and I finished, and he agrees. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING, with that ending?

But, hey, feel free to love it. After all, my parents and every critic on the planet thinks Hubby, Son #2, and I are morons.

The Sky is Crying...or at least it is, in blogland

Today I found out that yet another blogger I check in with daily is calling it quits. The third in a week!

Hey, not that any of them should keep at it for MY benefit, but I'm sad to see them go. Sad, also, to think that they feel that blogging got to be unpleasant for them, or too much work, or too fighty. Ugh.

Well, to all of you, do whatcha gotta do. And please check back with me now and then, OK?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Calling All Locals: Ya Gotta Plan Ahead

Thursday is Blues Jam at the Country Store. Saturday is the ACME Blues Company show, also at the Country Store. I don't have to embed links because it's all over there----------------> in the sidebar.

I will be there (you know this like you know your own name). YOU should be there.

We are nearly a month into the smoking ban, so you nonsmokers have no excuse. On the bright side, that also means that if you don't show up I'll finally realize that the smoke was just an excuse, and I'll stop telling you that you should come out with me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Classic Mother-in-Law Moment

Son #3 turned 13 today. He just called his grandmother to thank her for his birthday check, which arrived yesterday.

"Happy Birthday! I'd love to see you, but I just got this new cable package that gives you free movies."

Makes your heart just SING, doesn't it? Good thing Son #3 has a sense of humor.

She called later today and met us for dinner. So, you know, she apparently realized that she can watch movies Whenever, but only have birthday dinner with her grandson on his birthday...All Is Well.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Request for My Higher Power

God, grant me the eBay traffic to sell the crap that's cluttering my house
The compassion to keep my husband's treasures
And the wisdom to know the difference.

(Curious? You can see my latest eBay auctions if you look for chipsmommyfreelance.)

Girly Crap

Have I mentioned this before? Although I am a pretty low-maintenance person by nature, I do have my girly moments. When I do, you'll find me here.

Are you a member? It is fun for the thrifty/girly types, but you do have to be willing to, you know, mail stuff to people and accept their stuff in return. It's a great chance to try things out without spending a lot of money, or to get rid of things you Were Sure You Needed but now realize you can't stand.

Look for me, ok? I swap as "cebasham"

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Parents Are Coming

Son #3's birthday, and my parents' wedding anniversary, are both this Sunday. Since Son #3 is having a sleepover tomorrow, my parents have decided to come down tonight, for dinner and presents.

It is time to prepare.

I have to clean everything, like everyone does when the parents descend. But I have a list of other things I need to do, too.

Must get the mail before Mom empties my mail box, flipping through each envelope and asking about it (and perhaps opening one or two, if they pique her interest). If the mail lady brings an actual BOX to the door, while my parents are around, I have no chance of opening it in private. None.

Must hide my desk calendar, because she will note all events over the next month or two and invite herself along. "1:00, Copsey's Seafood, what is that? We'd love to come."

Must stash all my medications, because at this point she does not know that I have a few manageable health conditions and I do not want to spend the next 25 years listening to advice about them.

Must finish writing the article that's due today, because if I'm still writing when she gets here she will stand in the narrow path between my desk chair and the wall, to read over my shoulder and make "Hmmmm. Huh!" noises and ask when I'm going to write something about my sister.

Must stash my bag of "stuff to sell on eBay", because I am not allowed to get rid of ANYTHING.

Must get rid of the recycling, because it's got mail and scrap paper in there and she will look through it.

Must encourage Son #2 to finish assembling the complicated furniture she bought for his room (that he does not want).

Must discourage Son #1 from sharing too many Colorful Stories about life in high school.

Must remove blue nail polish.

Is that it? I think so. My day is planned for me, huh?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

We need more restaurants in the Happy Boondocks

Hubby and I went out for Thai food for lunch. Very nice. And we planned to go for MORE Thai food, for dinner. (Thai people eat Thai food all day, every day, so why not?)

The Thai place was packed.
The Mexican place was packed.
The Vietnamese place wasn't packed, but it has Health Department Issues and featured a loudly screaming baby.
The seafood place was packed.
We drove past several other places and they were all packed.

We picked up Mr Brooks at Blockbuster, and takeout from Taco Bell. We let the Sons completely trash the kitchen, while we ate junky fast food and watched a movie.

Eh, it is not, perhaps, the most glamorous Valentine's Day celebration, but it was very much ours. And I now have a giant, heart-shaped box of candy and a teddy bear holding a heart to keep me company at my desk. So, can't beat that.

Mr Brooks, though predictable and full of holes, was an enjoyable movie. Someone recommended it to me...I have no idea whom.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Warden has officially changed careers

Let me tell you a story.

When I was a teen, I was especially quiet and bookish. I did not smoke or drink. I didn't even drive, until I went to college. I was completely under the parental thumb--to the extent that I could barely even tell that it was so.

My parents insisted I attend church every Sunday, and religious education during the week. I went to Catholic high school.

I was not allowed to wear a bikini. Anything the least bit revealing or clingy was met with "No Child of Mine Is Going To Leave the House in That."

If I got in trouble, I was grounded BY THE SEMESTER. So, yes, that time I went to a party, in 9th grade, and there was alcohol served (because some of the guests were 18) but I didn't drink any? And the guy next to me tripped over a cat and spilled his wine on my pants? Yup. Christine did not leave the house for anything other than school or church for THE NEXT FOUR MONTHS.

My friends all called my father The Warden (but never to his face, because dear GOD, they probably never would have seen me again).

Cue the Bob Dylan:

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Today my parents' Valentine's Day box for the Sons arrived. Son #1 (16) and Son #2 (14) each received a pair of silk PLAYBOY BOXER SHORTS.

I am floored.

I feel surprisingly feminine

Went to the gym, where I spent an hour making GRRR faces while lifting weights. Came home and of course I had to check my email before I got in the shower. Son #4 came up behind me and gave me a big hug and kiss on the cheek.

So I asked him.

"Don't I STINK?"

"Not really, but you don't smell like peaches, like you usually do."

Peaches! Wow! That kid is gonna be a terrifyingly effective lady killer.

SEVEN! Seven of us!

The primary results are in. Seven people in my county voted for my presidential candidate.

I am the ONLY person at my polling place to have done so. I feel so...special! Like, I wish I could identify the other 6 and invite them all out for nachos.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Republican Death March, and a Meme

I voted. For the first time in my life, I voted a total, don't-care-that-it-won't-matter, PROTEST vote. Made the whole thing a little more palatable.

And so, back to dumb stuff. Here's a meme, lifted from Avitable

1. If your doctor told you TODAY that you were pregnant, what would you say?
IT'S A MIRACLE! No, really, ya gotta run that test again.

2. Do you trust all of your friends?
Let's just say I'm friends with the people I actually trust.

3. Would you move to another state or country to be with the one you love?
Been there, done that. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

4. Do you believe that everything happens for a reason?

5. Can you make a dollar in change right now?
Well, I'd have to walk down the hall...

6. Which one of your friends do you think would make the best doctor?
Kate. Scientific mind, very observant.

7. Are you afraid of falling in love?
Nah. Rejection, THAT scares me.

9. Is there someone who pops into your mind at random times?

10. What’s your favorite scar?
On my left thumb. Caught a piece of broken glass, on purpose. Because, you know, shearing off my thumb was somehow preferable to having the glass hit the floor.

11. When was the last time you flew in a plane?
Summer of 06--coming home from Grand Junction, Colorado

12. What did the last text message you sent say?
Gravel? You voted for the nutjob?

13. What features do you find most attractive in the preferred sex?
Tall, strong jaw, and slightly scruffy.

14. Fill in the blank. I love ________.
sorry...still thinking about tall, strong jaw, and slightly scruffy.

15. What is a goal you would like to accomplish in the near future?
publication in Maryland Life Magazine (I queried today)

16. If you were to wake up from being in a coma for an extended time who would you call?

17. How many kids do you want to have?

18. Would you make a good parent?
Well, I think I was good when they were small. Jury's still out, on the teen years

19. Where was your favorite picture taken?
lying on a bench outside of Jurassic Park at Universal Studios, Florida

20. What’s your middle name?

21. Honestly, what’s on your mind right now?
Why does he need my business card?

22. If you could go back in time and change something, what would it be?
I take the 5th.

23. Who was or will be the maid of honor/ best man in your wedding?
My sister.

24. What are you wearing right now?
The sweat-soaked clothes I had on for my spinning class. Had to check my email before I hit the showers.

25. Righty or Lefty?
righty. Both physically and by political inclination

26. Best place to eat?
The Country Store--because the food is good and I'm watching some of my favorite musicians, every time I'm there.

27. Favorite jeans?
Low-rise, boot-cut, dark wash things from Old Navy.

28. Favorite Animal?

29. Favorite juice?
anything in smoothie form

30. Have you had the chicken pox?

31. Have you had a sore throat?
Who hasn't? Is this a trick question?

32. Ever had a bar fight?
No, but only because my friends pulled me out of there in time.

33. Who knows you the best?
Hubby and Kate

34. Shoe size?

35. Do you wear contact lenses or glasses?

36. Ever been in a fight with your pet?
Yes. I almost killed that damn dog.

37. Been to Mexico?
Tijuana! Twice!

38. Did you buy something today?
Not yet. The night is young.

39. Did you get sick today?

40. Do you miss someone today?
I usually do.

41. Did you get in a fight with someone today?
I have four children. Two are teenagers. One will be a teenager next week. Yes, I fight every day.

42. When is the last time you had a massage?
16 years ago, in Thailand.

43. Last person to lie in your bed?
Son #3

44. Last person to see you cry?
Some stranger in the next lane on the highway.

45. Who made you cry?
Me. Nobody else can make me cry, I think.

46. What was the last TV show you watched?
Beach Patrol: Panama City Beach (I am married, ok? I have no control over the remote)

47. What are your plans for the weekend?
My parents are visiting. Then my son is having a sleepover. I will be cleaning and telling people to be quiet.

48. Who do you think will repost this?
No clue

49. Who was the last person you hung out with?
Hubby (remember? Beach Patrol?)

50. If your significant other asked you to marry them TODAY, what would you say?
We're goin' ta Vegas, Baby!

Monday, February 11, 2008

It will make you feel like you're participating

Tomorrow I get to vote in my primary.

Hee. The REPUBLICAN primary.

In a decidedly BLUE state.

In a year in which John McCain would basically have to murder a puppy on live television to not get the nomination.

The Sons keep asking who I'll vote for. And I keep hemming and hawing. I will have to hold my nose and pick one, I guess. Not that it will matter. Because my primary is late (so my candidate dropped out ages ago), and my state will go Democrat no matter what I do.

I am just all hopped up on patriotism and civic duty, this morning. Whee, doggie!

Ya want quirky? I'll GIVE ya quirky!

I have joined Shamelessly Sassy's quirkiness meme, but am too cheap to pay the $5/year to have the meme widget on my blog. So, you know, go enjoy the beauty of the widget over there.

1 Ever since Hubby lost the hearing in one ear, I can only stand on the right side of people. I stand on your right and turn my head toward you, and we can speak. If I am on your left, I just...can't...stand it.

2 I find cold, condensed soup out of the can to be a very satisfying meal. I am prepared to be a homeless person, so long as I have a can opener.

3 I can't sleep in an unmade bed. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and can only get back to sleep if I smooth the blankets and square everything off.

4 I can remember all the lyrics, but almost none of the names of songs or the artists who made them famous. This drives my children nuts and makes me look like an idiot among my musician friends. Just, you know, start the song and I'll sing along.

5 I hate talking on the phone. This would shock and amaze my parents, who had to put in a second line, while I was in high school.

7 About every 10 years, I am so absolutely furious that I need a cigarette. I smoke one, and feel better. Aside from that, I do not smoke. Apparently, if I am not choking back the urge to kill, tobacco holds no charm for me.

8 Love the beach, hate the water.

9 Love to dance, am completely uncoordinated. (Oh, you really SHOULD come out with me.)

10 I almost never can identify voices. Perhaps this is a factor in my hating the phone...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

You can tell a lot about a person, from what they buy at the grocery store

Today Hubby went to the store. He came home with roses (lovely, and smelly, too). Java Chip ice cream (one of my favorites). A frozen Indian entree (I love Indian food. He hates it).

Yup, he's been reading one of those true-crime books about a woman who murdered her husband, again.

Overheard From My Basement on a Saturday Morning

"Hey, I'm SLEEPING. Get OUT of here!"

"Hey, we're playing a game. Why don't you SLEEP IN YOUR OWN BEDROOM?"

Yup, Son #1 may act like he rules the world, but Son #4 will put him right back in his place.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Even Better than a Bar Bathroom

The Lobster Claw Machine!
The Country Store used to have one of these--put in $2 in quarters and take your chance on bringing home a live lobster. But, they wouldn't COOK it for you, so you had to carry Pinchy home, yourself. It was not a big moneymaker, so they got rid of it before I had a chance to take a picture. Much sorrow and regret ensued.

Last night I was there for Blues Open Mic and the lobsters are back! This has got to be the most hilarious thing, ever.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What A Woman Needs

Bling so blingy, it's a little embarrassing

A Chance to Cut Loose (that's me, on the left)

An Interest Other People Don't Care About (this would be my beloved ACME, although if you heard them you would love them, too)

A Healthy Habit

Someone Intimidating (In this case, brother-in-law's fiancee)

An Animal (this, by the way, is Jake)

A Vice

Serious, take-no-prisoners, FM shoes (yes, that IS a pair of 8-inch platforms, in the back)

The Big Closet

And, of course, girlfriends to keep her from totally losing it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hubby's Headline of the Day

Hubby sent me this. It is the kind of thing that makes me wish I were a headline writer, so I could take credit.

Monday, February 04, 2008

"They think of you as a MOM"

I straighten my hair. I wear foundation and mascara and lipstick. I have started wearing eyeliner. This is a big deal, for the Fresh Faced. But I like it.

At first, I only wore it to go out. Now, though, I often craft a fairly subdued smokey eye for everyday.

The Sons saw me putting on my eyeliner yesterday and the three youngest each asked, "Where are you going? What's the occasion? Why are you so fancy?"

I am just a hair's breadth away from the no-makeup look. Really, without the eyeliner it probably DOES look like I have nothing on my face. So I asked Son #1, aka Arbiter of Female Fashion (because he spends so much time checking out the ladies ;) if it looked bad.

"No, no. It looks GOOD. Keep it up! It's just...they think of you as a Mom, not as the kind of person who...does stuff."

So do I say anything? Who do I call?

I know the 14-year-old who was found unconscious on his bathroom floor: cocaine.
I know the 14-year-old who sold it to him.
He's still buying drugs, though not cocaine, today.

These kids used to be friends with one of the Sons, but then we pulled the Sons out of the local public school for a while and they lost touch. So I have a soft spot for both families, and an accompanying "thank God the boys lost touch--what if it were MY boy getting involved in this crap?". Used to be friends with one of the parents. Still run into the other set, from time to time.

Do I call the drug dealer's mom, in case she doesn't know? She probably wouldn't believe me.
Should I call the drug user's mom, in case she doesn't know he's still buying drugs?
Should I call the school, since these transactions are going on on the school bus?
Should I call the sheriff's anonymous tip line?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A low point in parenting and basic judgement

Our little crappy theater doesn't show movies unless they are Guaranteed to Make Money, so we often have to wait for the DVD. This time, though, 4 girls they know from school invited the two oldest Sons to a theater in Annapolis.

I didn't want a seventeen-year-old girl, distracted by the mighty mojo of the Sons, driving them an hour and 45 minutes each way. (Yes, the theater is actually that far.)

So, the Sons checked. The girls weren't driving--a mom was. Fully reassured, I gave the go-ahead.

OK, so I'm new to this High School thing. I don't know most of their new friends. They meet people at school, do much of their socializing at the school, and so it all remains mysterious to me. But when a woman pulls up to take my kids for the next seven hours, I figure I should go out and introduce myself. Let her know I'm a reasonable person she can call if, for instance, the Sons act the fool, or her car breaks down. My parents live minutes from the theater to which they're heading.

So I go out to their car, and the mom rolls her window down, and she has only shards, where her front teeth should be. She has an odd look on her face--a little glassy-eyed, and confrontational and distracted, at the same time. I am...distinctly uncomfortable.

"That looks like meth mouth," I think.

And then, I think again.

"I have a false tooth. If Hubby were not a good provider, I would have a gap in my mouth. Maybe she's just broke. And maybe having people judge her by her lack of teeth puts her in a crappy mood, so she hates meeting people who look like they just decided she's not capable of driving their precious darlings to the movies. And the flu is going around."

In a moment of Kumbaya Spirit, I smiled and went back in the house, where, I'll admit, I worried. The boys had a great time at the movies, and I decided I was a bigot for having thought anything about that poor woman's teeth.

Yesterday those Sons were invited to 2 different events, at people's homes. And then Son #1 mentioned the mom who had driven them, last week.

"Her mom is CRAZY. She was driving all over the road. I thought she was going to crash, seven times. And the first thing she said, when she pulled out of the driveway, was 'You motherfuckers better not spill anything in my car!' She was screaming curse words at us the whole time. I was glad you let us go, but I was REALLY glad we made it home."

So, yesterday, I went in. I chatted. I got to know Trevor's mom, and Hilary's mom and dad. I felt better.

I think they felt better, too. As it turns out, "I'm new to this whole high school thing, and still getting used to the idea that I don't know their friends," is a great ice-breaker.

Honesty, I guess, is still a good policy.

Friday, February 01, 2008

And now for something Completely Different: Cat in Dryer

This morning one of the Sons needed something from the dryer. Naturally, that did not lead them to EMPTY the dryer and move the stuff from the washer into it. They just took what they wanted and left the dryer open.

Ellie moved in.

And yes, in the foreground you can see my beloved Cabbages & Condoms shorts, with the happy penis in the condom.

I like happy penises.

First against the wall, when the Revolution comes

The other day I read this, and I thought, "Yeah, there is a lot of intolerance and hair-trigger hate, going around these days. Where is the 'kumbayah' I was expecting to have shown up, by the time I was 40?"

I commented on Nexy's blog. I like Nexy.

It's frustrating, especially, to hear the Sons' stories from school. These are the people who are going to be running things, when I am dependent on THEM. I'm a bit nervous. I know they're not adults, yet, they're still figuring out who they are, but at this point so much of high school cultchah seems nasty, brutish, intolerant, devoted to the most self-destructive of momentary pleasures, and unwilling to listen to opinions other than those they've already chosen.

Heck, I know, that was the case when I was in school, and things are better, among adults, I think. But still--it bugs me more than I let on, to the Sons.

And then yesterday Son #1 (aka "Jewfro", at school, because he has hair even curlier than mine) brought a photo of the family to school. People had been asking to see his family, and for myriad teen reasons he'd rather bring in a picture, than take them home to meet his actual family in the flesh.

"YOUR MOM IS SO JEWISH! And you look JUST LIKE HER! You are a JEW! JEW! JEW! JEWFRO is a JEW! WOW! And your Dad looks almost as Jewish as your Mom does! Wow! JEW!"

Son #1 tried to explain that his mother's, um, Mediterranean appearance is due to her half-Italian heritage, and that actually his FATHER (of the straight, glossy hair and straight, moderate nose) is 1/4 Jewish, but the crowd would have nothing of it. He is JEWFRO. He and his mother are JEWS. It is obvious, from the dark, curly hair and Mom's big nose.


This just seemed a little...well, a little scary to me.

I remember in college being good friends with a blonde, blue-eyed woman. Blanche and I went everywhere together, and people knew that one of us was Jewish. And, yes, almost always, people assumed that I was the Jewish one. We found it amusing. But the thing was, people were not POINTING and LAUGHING and SHOUTING at us.

(If you're out there, Blanche Brotman, I still think of you.)

"God's Chosen People" must get damn sick of having a target painted on their heads, all these thousands of years later.