Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wii Feelin' Good

OK, first of all, Hubby & the 2 youngest Sons are home. That is good.

Wii Fit has decided I am 32. I'll take that.

And, well, I have realized, after 3 days without the Powerful Mom 5, that driving Hubby's big, manly truck is a blast. That thing has some power and when you change lanes people get out of the way.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Just got back from the workout-of-the-day. Settling down behind my desk with the giant bottle of water I can feel every last muscle twitching. Man, I love that feeling.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Teens Who Ate New York

Son #4 turned 13 today. It is official: I am the mother of four teenagers.

His fondest wish was to visit NYC, and there is no way I could ever argue with that, so today Hubby drove Son #3 and Son #4 to The Big Apple. They have called about once an hour, with updates, most memorably:

Son #4 is asleep
New Jersey smells terrible

Now they have arrived, and in addition to calling, they are sending me photos. So far I have seen the fabulous pizza they are eating (they also called so I could hear them chewing) and the black-and-white cookies for afters.

The pizza guy gave Son #4 his cookie, for free, when he heard it was his birthday. So, you know, this birthday trip is going to be a total bargain.

I have put the remains of Son #4's birthday cake in the freezer, mostly so I will not eat it. Instead, I am having carrots. Because I don't feel like cooking, and Sons #1 and 2 have already had dinner, out.

The house is almost silent, almost clean, and I am working on my 2nd article of the day.

It is disconcertingly peaceful and productive over here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Celtic Festival

The Sons and a friend and I went to the Celtic Festival today, and it was fun. Got my traditional scoop of colcannon, watched a few Highland Games and heard my fill of bagpipes.

Also got a slight sunburn, but I suspect I am a lot less red than the rest of the crowd. I felt downright dark and exotic, amongst all those pink people!

Octo, Mom

Things are chugging along, work, school and housework-wise, and Hubby's amp was ready for pickup yesterday. Good thing, too, since he blew the speaker in his back-up amp, the night before.

At noon, the boys were all doing their thing as they should be, I had made my trip to the gym, the house was relatively clean...I made the trek to retrieve the amp.

After nearly 4 hours in the car ("stop & go traffic" mostly means "stop")I got home, stuffed the family back in the car, and we drove 90 minutes to see Hubby's family for dinner. So, yeah, I spent 9 hours either in traffic or with in-laws, and it was OK.

On the ride home, Hubby & the Sons occupied themselves with an impromptu concert. Disney songs, internet viral songs, classic rock, really bad 80s music...everything.

(I contributed to their rendition of "Money"; I keep change in the car.)

Got home, crashed for a while, and then found myself awake in bed when Son #1 was also having trouble sleeping, so he and I did some housework and birthday prep--Son #4 will be 13 on Sunday.

Then I had 5 minutes to kill, before the washer was done with the laundry, so I watched this:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wii Flabby

Hubby got Wii Fit 2 days ago, so yesterday I tried it. And today I am doing it again. (It just told me I should take a 15 minute break, so you can thank the Wii for this blog post, not just in content but also in timing).

Although the Wii thinks I am ollllld, and have crappy core strength, it does appreciate my posture and general good balance. So, you know, we have a starting place, at least.

So far, Son #4 is the only other person to try it, so he and I are competing. It's fun. And I am actually a bit sweaty and out-of-breath. So, I guess it will be a good addition, especially on days when I can't get to spin class. No excuses!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Random Thoughts

Flax seed oil and Texas Pete make the world's most awesome salad dressing. As in, I am sad when my salad bowl is empty, every day at lunch. Unlike Caesar salad, which makes me sad when I see it on my plate. Totally different experience.

Painting your nails makes you realize your head itches and you need to brush your teeth.

It also makes you think that maybe all that flax seed oil is making your nails grow.

Today, a dear friend and fellow gigwidow called me so I could hear her guy practicing in the basement. It was a private concert, just for me! I love that.

I also love YouTube, because I can get all obsessy about Simon & Garfunkel or Amy Winehouse or whomever else, even if I can't find my CD. Which is a sadly frequent event.

Watching some woman in her 50s get all giggly and stupid over my 17-year-old son was as creepy as it was amusing. For me and the Son.

Today, Son #2's U.S. Government teacher showed the kids a political cartoon unlike any other she has displayed this year: It illustrated a conservative viewpoint. According to Son #2, two students gasped when they saw it.

I don't care if April showers bring May flowers, I am tired of rain.

The house is mostly clean, the Sons are fed, I submitted two articles today; I feel good.

If you put ground flax seed on your chocolate ice cream, it instantly becomes a healthy food. Especially with some banana slices.

I like the sound of the dishwasher, the washer and dryer, the snorty, sleeping dog. Sounds like home.

Hubby and I loved Slumdog Millionaire, no matter what Salman Rushdie says.

I've been productive enough, today. Some days, it is OK to decide you've done enough and want to take the evening off. I'm going to go read Hard Times.

Our New Rep: Blowhards, Less Ballsy than the French

I think President Sarkozy pinned it. Or maybe he's just feeling stupid for kissing up, back in '06.

Pounding Sand at Cryer's Back Road Inn

Here they are, Hubby & crew with their new guitarist---in his first public performance in 19 years.

Well, his first public performance as a guitarist. He has, in the interim, appeared on Oprah so Dr Phil could berate him for being a shiftless, basement-dwelling layabout.

Congratulations, Catholics of New York

It's kinda weird to go to your email and see someone you know is one of Yahoo's "top stories". Father Dolan served at my church when I was a kid---yeah, when I was a little Catholic kid, not all jaded and snarky and looking for trouble.

My mother is a very devout Catholic, and up until recently worked and volunteered very much in the church. So we knew Father Dolan well. He's a great guy. A wonderful priest. And a loving, hilarious person. I haven't seen him in almost 30 years but just from the few quotes in the article I can tell he hasn't changed a bit.

Tea, anyone?

I'm not going to the Tea Party Protest today. I considered it, but decided not to drag Sons #3 and 4 up to DC to stand in the rain all afternoon.

I have mixed feelings about not going--if I did not have kids at home, I probably would just put on my raincoat & go. And I am not sure that these protests, as uplifting as they are, are able to make any real change.

DHS, though, they're sure. Just last week they released a report about "right-wing extremists." I think it's very likely the report is trying to demonize the law-abiding, peaceful gatherings of tea party protesters.

Yeah, I think we are required to send too much of our money to the federal government to support programs with which I disagree. I think the federal tax-and-spend system has gotten away from the Founding Fathers' original vision for our country. I think lax enforcement of our borders is foolish and dangerous. Every time some far-off official suggests we should have tighter gun control, I get a little nervous (especially since Hurricane Katrina). And I have grave concerns regarding health care issues, especially where they impact the most vulnerable among us.

In short, I am one of those right-wing extremists. But for God's sake, that does not make me, or anyone I know, a white supremacist or a radical or a violent person. I think this report is a smokescreen, or at best a fantasy on the part of those who would think that people like me are a danger to the U.S.

And now, I shall get back to work. I have at least two articles to write today, and kids to raise, and it's almost time to unload the dishwasher.

Maybe I should read Saul Alinsky.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter, Everybody!

Mom is hosting Easter, so all I am bringing are these rolls and some asparagus.

The Bunny brought the Sons way too much sugar. Waaaaay too much.

Hubby remarked yesterday that we need a new nonstick pan. He is also one of those people with no discernible sweet tooth. So, this is as close to an Easter basket as he was going to get this year.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

My AIM Expression is not nearly snarky enough

How can THIS

Turn into THIS?

The Nuclear Shadow Over the Happy Boondocks

Last night the county called--time for all of us within a 10-mile radius of the power plant to come pick up our potassium iodide pills. Should we have a meltdown--or, more realistically, should the plant be attacked by terrorists--everyone gets a 2-day supply, to protect our thyroids.

Of course, as the nurse put it this morning, "that's the only protection we provide. The rest of you is still getting irradiated. So really what you want to do is get the hell outta Dodge."

We had a brief discussion about just how to do that---the Happy Boondocks are kind of isolated, there are only so many ways in and out, and in the case of nuclear disaster everyone would be on the same main road. It would be a bottleneck beyond belief.

We also discussed the school thing---last time we received these pills, all four Sons were still at home. These days, two are in school and next fall I suppose they all will be---but apparently the schools within the 10-mile zone keep the pills on hand, too.

They would probably still not give them out. The school would only dose our kids if they knew they would be barricaded in the school building for a day or two. Anything less than that, and our kids would be released to us so we could, as he so cheerfully put it, "run like hell."

It's a small scrap of protection we may never need. And to be honest with myself, if we need those pills we will be in the middle of a crapstorm much worse than a little potential thyroid damage. But, I took my envelope, just the same.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Spring (break) Cleaning

The Sons are home for Easter break and that means that at some point (right about the time the car dealership plucks my last nerve and I become convinced my latest publication is not actually going to pay me and I realize someone has recommended me for a job I'd love but not yet, not yet, maybe in 15 months, but of course it will not wait for me) I come close to losing it on The State of the House.

You know how it is--I am the Mom, which to those of us giving birth sounds like "nurturer" but to the rest of the family sounds more like "char woman".

I think the Sons saw That Look in my eye. The one Jack Nicholson had as he wielded a baseball bat on the stairs of the Overlook Hotel. So they kinda cleaned the den, kinda cleaned their bedrooms, and Son #1 even washed an entire load of dishes so that I could scrub the kitchen w/bleach. It is now sparkly-clean and fresh.

The car dealership must have heard it in my voice, on the phone, when I woke up this morning to discover a completely flat tire...a tire I had just paid nearly $200 for, yesterday. So I got my loaner back, which still looks like a clown car, but it will get me to my meeting tomorrow, unlike the Spare Car, which has a battery completely devoid of life.

The universe itself must have sensed it, as I contemplated calling a certain magazine AGAIN to ask where my check was...because said check arrived in the mail today, and minutes later I got a phone call offering me another gig, one I take on each year but still don't feel is guaranteed to me.

So, now, the house is pretty close to clean, I have at least the impression of money coming in and future work, my car is in the shop where THEY WILL FIX THE GAUGE THEY BROKE, OH YES THEY WILL, and it's 7:15 and the sun is only starting to set, and it is lovely. Stripey, blue and white and orange.

Tomorrow is a busy one, but tonight I can grab a few last things at Wal-Mart and maybe paint my toenails before Hubby gets home.


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I'm driving a clown car

The Powerful Mom 5 (the Sons' nickname for my trusty and fabulous minivan) needs new tires and front brakes. I sat at the shop for 2.5 hours yesterday while they worked on the brakes, and came home without my car...because they neglected to tell me that the tires I need were not available.

Fortunately I had plenty of work I could do in the customer lounge. I also flipped through a People magazine (do people actually subscribe to that crap?)

They sent me home with a loaner: a Dodge Caliber.

It is miniscule. It comes up to my shoulder, I think, and I have to be careful not to bang my knees when I get in. Good thing I am short. Hubby could not fit in that car, I am sure.

It seats 4, however, so let's just say it's a good thing I didn't have plans to take the family anywhere last night.

The other weird thing? I am low to the road, which I kind of like, but it makes big trucks loom pretty darn large. Some guy cut a corner in front of me last night and I felt like a mouse waiting to see if the elephant's foot was going to miss me.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Meme Sets Over Slawit

I read this on Rol's blog and I had to give it a try. Thankfully, my beloved John Prine has written or performed a long list of songs, many of which have some pretty quirky titles.

Pick an artist, and using ONLY SONG TITLES from only that artist, cleverly (preferably) answer these questions. This is harder than it seems! (Well, that kinda depends who you pick.)

1. Are you male or female?

Pistol Packin' Mama (although I am, sadly, unarmed)

2. Describe yourself.

Ain't Hurtin' Nobody

3. How do you feel about yourself?

Pretty Good

4. Describe your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.

Bad Boy

5. Describe your current boy/girl situation.

(We're Not) The Jet Set

6. Describe your current location.

Just the Other Side of Nowhere

7. Describe where you want to be.


8. Your best friend(s) is:

You Mean So Much To Me

9. Your favorite color is:

Flashback Blues (poor John Prine, his songs are pretty exclusively blue)

10. You know that:

You Never Can Tell

11. If your life was a television show, what would it be called?

We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds

12. What is life to you?

Diamonds in the Rough

13. What is the best advice you have to give?

Blow Up Your TV