Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fun Monday: the shoe edition

This week's Fun Monday is hosted by the lovely Robin. Since this is my virginal Fun Monday effort, I ask you to be kind and leave me lots of commenty lovin'.

This week we were challenged to "photograph your favorite pair -- or pairs -- of shoes and tell us a little about why they're near and dear to your heart." Here are mine:

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe. She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.

Well, ok, I'm not sooooo old, and I don't exactly live in a shoe, but I truly do have so many children I didn't (don't) know what to do.

I have four. My husband has one (and she lives with us). Do the math. That makes five.

There's something that happens when you have your first child. You record it all. Photos abound. Baby books are filled out, overflowing with information. Plus you are under the mistaken impression that you will remember everything. After all, how could you forget all the special moments of his babyhood?

Then Child No. 2 arrives. Hmm. Not so many pictures (although you try, really you do). Baby book? Sure. Occasionally. And yet you still remember those special baby moments and can tell the difference between the statistics of Child No. 1 and No. 2. After all, Child No. 2 was significantly bigger than Child 1, so some memories are firmly set.

Child No. 3. Uh. Are there pictures of him? Why, yes, a few. Baby book... uh, well, I thought I did one. No? Oh. Um. Ok. A few brain cells have died along the way. Wasn't his first word "antidisestablishmentarianism"?

Then there is Child No. 4. What? Who? Wait. Did she have a babyhood? Was she a toddler? Baby book? Huh? Did she even have one? Full-blown dementia has set in. Somebody walked at 11 months and someone else walked at 9. Which one? Please don't ask.

Anyway, I have presented to you the first shoes of my four offspring. Please note, I do have the first shoes from all four of them. Only two sets are bronzed. I actually know whose is whose, but can you guess who belongs to which pair?

(And truly, the only reason that Child No. 2's shoes were bronzed is that I did 'em at the same time I did Child No. 1's. Yeah, I suck.)

And by the way, I am brave enough to post a photo of my feet. Check this out for the explanation of the pedi situation.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Primp my ride

My husband is an amazing guy.

He can fix anything, from elevators to cars to toilets to air conditioning to dryers.

He can also build anything. Bookshelves, desks, dog gates, chain-link fences, vegetable gardens, entire houses.

He's 6 feet tall and has rough, workman's hands that can install a home elevator or drive me wild. Muscular arms that make me swoon. A beard that has a life of its own.

He also has nail polish on his toes.

The other day, he got home from work way earlier than I did (not an unusual situation). "What have you done this afternoon?" I asked him.

"Oh... stuff," he answered.

"Yeah? Like what?" (He is never that retiscent to blabber about everything he has done on any given day, and this seemed a little peculiar.)

"Oh, well, I took the dogs for their rabies shots, I returned the movies to Blockbuster ... and ... I ... uh ... got a pedicure."

I burst out laughing. I had introduced him to pedicures some months ago just for kicks. We had parallel pedis that day, and he didn't seem all that thrilled about it. (Me? I'd give up my first-born to have someone rub my feet like that. Uh, just kidding. Sorta.)

Anyway ... I laughed. He laughed too, especially when he said, "Yeah, I was just too lazy to clip my own toenails."

Turns out he was right there anyway. The nail place is right next door to the vet's, so while our pups were getting updated on their vaccinations, the wonderhubby was getting his feet pampered.

It wasn't until later that he admitted the second part: He also had a manicure (no polish, thank you). I nearly peed my pants. Truly.

He just looked at me and grinned.

"Yes ... I've been primped," he smirked.

Yes, he had. What a guy!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Haiku Friday: the underwear edition

Haiku Friday

Bikinis (not thongs)
My new SECRET obsession
Vicki, I am your bitch.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Remembering HIM

He had never touched her in anger, but his words were like fists. Daily, hourly, minutely, he pummeled her with threats, reminded her that he held the key to her happiness and her very survival.

The words.

They cut. They burn. They destroy.

Crazy. Liar. Cheat.

And the worst: I'll take your children away.

He knew the exact words to say to strike fear in her heart.

He knew the exact words to drive a wedge -- no, more like a brick wall -- between her and her family. Between her and her friends.

He knew the exact words to isolate and alienate.

She was alone. And she was the only one standing between him and her children. She knew what she had to do to save them all.

Day by day, brick by brick, she shored up her defenses, building a wall around her heart to keep his words at bay, strengthening herself to protect the little ones.

Until the day she stood up and looked him in the eye. That was the day he put his hands on her and shoved. The day she flew 15 feet through the air, through the kitchen doorway. The day the police came and escorted him from her house. She was cut and bruised, but she was free.

Today, though, she wonders how she could have lived like that. Today, she remembers how cruel he was. Today, she remembers how many nights she dreamed that he had come back from the dead -- nightmares that left her slick with sweat. Today, she remembers he really can't hurt her anymore. Today, she offers a prayer for others to find the release from their tormentors.

Today, she offers words. But only words of healing.

To give and get help

Humble pie (not)

IM conversation between me and best buddy ever about the audition from last week that landed me the understudy to the perky, younger, adorable, blond soloist. Warning: absolutely NO attempt at being humble or modest follows, although names were changed to protect the guilty (I'm almost too embarrassed to post this, but obviously not embarrassed enough):

shesings (01:01:41 pm): have goss for you
JSongBird4 (01:02:30 pm): talk!
shesings (01:02:40 pm): so.......
shesings (01:02:52 pm): i was talking to (chorus bigwig)
shesings (01:03:15 pm): and she said that (chorus director) had asked small music council their opinion about the soloists
shesings (01:03:27 pm): and....
shesings (01:03:37 pm): (chorus bigwig) recommended you to be first
JSongBird4 (01:03:50 pm): ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
shesings (01:03:55 pm): (chorus bigwig) also said that she was captivated by last weeks performance
shesings (01:04:04 pm): that you are really out there selling
shesings (01:04:18 pm): and...well you know what she thinks of your voice
shesings (01:04:36 pm): she made sure she told (chorus director) that you were by far the best
JSongBird4 (01:04:56 pm): :-)
shesings (01:05:11 pm): thought you would like to know
shesings (01:05:25 pm): oh...and that you distracted her from singing by your performance
JSongBird4 (01:05:41 pm): wow. seriously?
JSongBird4 (01:05:44 pm): coooooooooooooooool
shesings (01:05:59 pm): so...are you sitting there with a stupid smile yet?
JSongBird4 (01:06:30 pm): totally
JSongBird4 (01:06:36 pm): :-D
shesings (01:06:39 pm): thot so
shesings (01:06:43 pm): have a good tuesday

Yeah, I'm a dork. It made me feel good, though.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Jeans and the shopping gene

Oh, no, please tell us you weren't shopping with the Roo-girl again?

Yes, I admit it is true. But I had a good reason. Really!

You see, it's like this:

I have a problem with spending more than $30 on a pair of jeans.

Well, really, I have a problem spending more than $15 on a pair of jeans, but when you're talking about the Roo-girl, going to that famous French boutique Tar-Jay isn't always considered a socially acceptable option.

Anyway, as I was saying, I have a problem with expensive jeans. I think it's stupid with a capital STOO.

So the Roo-girl gets into a conversation with my mother. I should point out that my mother does not have the fabulous-grandma gene. She (and my father as well) has her favorites, and the Roo-girl hasn't been able to compete with her almost-6-year-old cousin ... let's call her The Cutest Baby EVER. So TCBE is always the one who makes the grandparental heart beat faster.

Personally, I think this favoritism thing is all total crap and not very nice, but no one apparently has asked me or cares what I think about it. (And how can you resist THAT FACE anyway?)

Back to the conversation between Roo-girl and grandma. "Yeah, most of my pants don't fit in the waist or they're too short," says the girl with the teen-age brain and the little-girl body. "And the jeans at Abercrombie Kids might fit, but they are too expensive anyway."

("Yes," interjects the mother with the beer budget to the child with the champagne taste, "we don't buy $50 jeans.")

Next thing you know, my mother has disappeared, returning a few minutes later to press a $100 bill into my daughter's hand. "Buy a pair of jeans," she says, "and with the rest, buy a top to go with it."


OK, so as much as I totally detest the abject grubbiness of this entire exchange, I also understand that my mother would have a fit to beat all if I interfered in this transaction.

Besides, I also know my daughter. She shops deals and clearance tables like a champ. The $50 jeans became $39.50; the sweater was $25 at Forever 21 (a story for another day); she now has money left over.

And that's how we ended up at the mall on Sunday.

See? Told you I had a good reason.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stuff and nonsense

I have only unrelated bits and pieces today, and none of 'em could be called particularly funny:

* It rained today. Big rain. Which was cool. As the Roo-girl and I were driving to synagogue this morning (yes, it's Yom Kippur and no, I shouldn't technically be on the computer), she looked up at the sky, where there was a break in the clouds and the sun was peeking through. "Look," she exclaimed. "God is coming down!"

* I'm having a bittersweet, can't-figure-out- how-to-respond moment. I auditioned for a JUICY solo with my chorus. I don't even have words for just how juicy it is. Tons of people tried out for it, but it shook out to about six of us. Last time I sang it, people practically attacked me after chorus to tell me how totally awesome I was and how I totally deserved to do the solo.

Now, really, I don't believe my own press. I have a failure to comprehend how good I may or may not be. So ... I am the understudy. I lost out to someone almost half my age and WAAAY better looking and cute and perky, etc. There's no way for me to compete with her on that level. Anyway, should I be sad because I don't get to do the solo at our huge-ola show in October? Or should I be happy because I got the understudy role and no one else did? I'm so confuuuuuuuuuuuuused!

* My dog is weird. I mean really W-E-I-R-D. She has this stuffed animal. Well, it's not. It's a green multi-limbed THING. Anyway, she sucks on it. Endlessly. She shoves an ear or a nose of this green thing into her mouth and sucks on it. Meanwhile, her front paws march in place. I think she was weaned too soon or something. Any other ideas? It's weird. Right up there with nosing the dog door four times before she'll go through it. We call her OCD dog. Her sister, by the way, is perfectly normal.

* I agreed to participate in Melodyann's truth-or-dare game. You had to pick the truth or the dare without knowing what they are. I picked the dare. Tell me, Mel. Does this count for leading people to Shoofly?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Haiku Friday: the exercise edition

Haiku Friday

Brownies, ice cream, cake
Have taken up residence
on my fat backside.

Get into the pool
Bubble bubble bubble breathe
Work that lazy butt.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What's the capital of the state of confusion? edited*

The Roo-girl has a test tomorrow on state capitals. I have become the queen of figuring out creative ways to help her study by linking things together. This time, though, I am embarrassing even myself.

MARYland has a friend named ANNApolis.


But the worst one was Montana.

Yes, in order for her to reach into her file-drawer brain and pull out Helena, I seriously told her to think of ...

Hannah Montana.

I am so ashamed.

*edited to add: I may be ashamed but I also rock the house. The Roo-girl missed two on the test (out of 50) and ... ahem ... the ones she missed were NOT Maryland, Vermont OR Montana. Yeah, I am good that way!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Compliment Day

I just found out about this idea at Jenn's today. What a great idea! So I'm out complimenting now!

Love you all (whoever you are)!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The interplanetary look

I have been very very busy this week. Very. Seriously. I have been sucked into the vortex that is WeeWorld.

At work, everyone is now BIG into WeeWorld. I am linking to it here, but I have to warn you: it's a time -- and brain -- sucker. Even the big bosses now have Weemees. All over the office there were bursts of occasion hysteria as the mania gripped a new victim. So do not linger. RUN!!! (But if you must, my Wee name is Jsongbird4. Invite me to play, k?)

Here's the Wee little Mee:

But I am an equal opportunity cartoon character. Here is how I would look if I landed in a "South Park" episode:

And oh, please, no new look would be complete without being Simpsonized:
So while we're at it, here I am as an avatar.

Oh yeah, a couple months ago, I was in Japan. It was the coolest thing EVER, but I guess I must have gone a little too native. Cuz here's how I showed up one day (and yes, this really IS me):

Yeah, and I'm scaring me, too ... just a little.

So, let's review:

1) I have reddish hair and green eyes.

2) I have freckles, even under the geisha makeup.

3) My hair is shortish. At least it's shorter than when I made the South Park character.

4) I seriously need something to do!

So what do you look like in unreal life?

Friday, September 14, 2007

'ku 'ku kachu

Haiku Friday

two dogs, one small girl,
i am at the very edge.
are there bigger beds?

(That's the best I got for today. Maybe later)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

See mommy cry. Cry, mommy, cry.

Out-of-the-blue IM from faraway collegeland:

Z-man (03:52:24 pm): Hey, mom... I don't think I've ever said this to you before... but thank you for being my mom, and for always being there for me. I never realized just how much you did for me until the move, and I underappreciated you by a longshot. I really thought I'd be fine away from home, and that the last thing I would miss would be my family- but holy crap did I have that wrong. October fourth can't come soon enough. I love you.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Thongs for the memories

Wild thong ... you make my heart long (for when my daughter was too naive to know about this stuff).

Oh yeah, we're back to the thong thing.

I posted about this at Karly's last month. About how my daughter's new obsession with wearing butt floss threw me into a dither.

And yesterday ... yesterday ... oh I can barely even type this. Yesterday, we bonded over Victoria's Secret underwear.

Yes, we did.

We went to the mall, ostensibly to buy jeans for the child with the teenage brain and the little girl body. But of course, we ended up at Vicki's (yeah, Victoria and I are thatclose).

"M-m-m-m-m-o-o-o-o-o-m-m-m-m ..." (funny how many syllables that three-letter word can be stretched to.)

"Seriously, Mom, I neeeeeeeeeeeeeed underwear."

She needs underwear for one reason and one reason only: She refuses to put her clothes away or put her dirty clothes in a hamper. And we have dogs. Two little rat puppies who like to steal underwear. And chew it. Making Roo-girl truly ahead of her time with her own line of crotchless panties.

So off to Vicki's we go. Why? Cuz I'm a sucker. And she fits so NICELY into Vick's extra-small undies.

And so there we were ... plowing through the XS drawers, pulling out little stringy undies (saints preserve us) and little lacy things. (Make it stop!!!!!)

She found the perfect panties (God, I hate that word!). Five of 'em, otherwise you don't get that groovy five-for-$25 deal (Jesus help me, did I really buy $5 underwear for a 13-year-old?)

And then we went to the old-lady table ... I mean the bikini and low-rise hipster table. Where I picked out some delicates of my own. Yeah, five for me too. But I'm worth it, right?

*crickets chirp*


Fast forward, please, to this morning, when the Roo'ish one and I are heading for school.

"Are you wearing your new underwear?" she asks.

Why, yes, thank you, I am. Is she?

"Yes," she says sweetly. "But not a thong today. I have cheer practice, and there's nothing worse than tumbling in a thong. It's like a constant giant wedgie."

We both looked at each other and spoke the same words at the same time:

"I can't believe I'm having this conversation with YOU."

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Ex marks the spot

I don't think I'm your usual mommy blogger. I'm not sure I qualify as a mommy blogger at all, anyway. My oldest child could have make me a grandma already (thank GOD he hasn't, but that's another story) and my youngest is no longer a "little" kid.

I've also been married three times now. That gives me one living ex-husband, one dead one (totally a story for another day) and a current wonderhubby. Gotta love a guy who takes on my emotional baggage AND my children's and still loves me and tells me so every day in actions and words. (All together now: "Awwwwww...")

So what am I? A woman with a hell of a lot of life experience, clearly. A woman with children old enough to fend for themselves. A woman whose "mommy" days are more behind her than ahead.

But last night, the MOMMY in me was out with a vengeance.

My profile says it: 3 sons, 1 daughter and a stepdaughter. So far, I've really only talked about my youngest son and the Roo-girl, 13 going on 20. But last night, it was the stepdaughter's turn to be my total focus. J-bear is 17, sometimes going on 12, but a lovelier, sweeter girl you never will meet.

Her mother ... well, not so much. I would describe her as cold, unfeeling and definitely NOT a candidate for mother of the year. The number of times she has promised and disappointed J-bear are legion. The number of times she has pulled her head out of the sand and actually SEEN her daughter and her needs: zero.

There are countless stories of how the mom has put herself ahead of J-bear, but I can see how this post is going to get out-of-hand-long if I repeat too many. Let's just say that J-bear lives full-time with us, after mama-san essentially said, "I can't handle this anymore," after a mildly traumatic experience when J was 12. (Her husband is military, and she has lived in the same state as us but still a plane-ride away. Now, for the first time since J-bear came to live with us, mom is a mere 45-minute drive from our house.)

So now, apparently J-bear's mom has breast cancer. Oh, Janet, you might think, how can you speak callously about a woman with a cancer diagnosis? Well, here's why:

Yesterday, the mom called the wonderhubby to tell him her story -- that she had already had a lumpectomy and was scheduled for a second biopsy this week. And that she planned to tell J-bear about her diagnosis that night.


Yes, she called her teenage daughter and told her she had cancer courtesy of AT&T. (And J-bear had just spent last weekend with her.)

It was a very brief phone conversation, after which she came into our room and sobbed her brains out. She is scared. Rightfully so.

So, I pulled her in between her father and me, with my arms around her. Her father patted her head, and I held her tight.

She needed her mommy. And I was the one who was there.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I haiku, can u?

Haiku Friday

Thanks to Christina for giving me the haiku bug. I'm nothing if not a joiner:

Mommy, I need you
Come quick, it's so important:
Which jeans should I wear?

Seriously, Mom.
I can't do this without you.
A fashion crisis.

And then there's this:

Cooking school begins.
Veal cordon bleu, sole francais ...
He burned his schnitzel.

(Sorry, I just can't seem to give up that schnitzel joke.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

You know things are bad when ...

... the temperature outside is the same as the temperature inside, even though your air conditioning is going full blast.

... the ants go marching one by one. (Not hardly. Try 100 by 100. Gag, I hate ants.)

... your daughter knocks on your door (when you're freshly showered and naked!) with a "critical" question, and it's this: "Which necklace will look better with this outfit for school pictures?"

... your oldest son sends you a joke email, and within 90 seconds, your father sends you the exact same one.

... you have continuing "comment wars" on two other blogs. (You just KNOW we're messing up everyone's stats with all this refreshing...)

... Apple lowers the price dramatically on the iPhone and you obsess endlessly about how soon you can get away with replacing your relatively new super-duper pda'ish phone. (Or maybe you should get the iPod Touch instead ... but wait, don't you already have a 30-gig iPod?)

... you seriously set your alarm for 5:30 a.m. so you can call the college boy to make sure he is up so he makes it to class on time. (He was criminally late on his first day of culinary school. Oh, man. When will he grow up? When will you let him? When will you stop using italics?)

... you realize you promised him that you wouldn't tell anyone he was late, and all you did was tell the internet.

... your son burns his schnitzel. (Hey, get your mind out of the gutter. He burned the veal cordon bleu, too!)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Yay me! part deux

I've become quite the guest poster these days. Go see me at Melodyann's place! (Caution: she told me I could swear!)

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

I'm actually in the faraway collegeland airport, waiting endlessly for my flight, the first of two, to go home.

I have no illusions of actually MAKING the connection since I have about 28 minutes between flights (wasn't my idea, I swear!) and it's on a different airlines. Anyone remember those Hertz Rent-a-car commercials with OJ Simpson running through the concourse? (Yes, I know. I'm old. Deal.)

Meantime, I had a lovely last day with the Z-man, who is having a major bout of homesickness. Breaks my heart, but it's time for him to fly and I'm JUST about ready to allow the wings to sprout.

When I went to college (uh-oh, here she goes again), I called home once a week. Sometimes it was collect. Sometimes I coughed up for the bill. But I did it every week like clockwork. (This was actually because a high school mate had been found dead in his dorm room of a burst brain aneurysm and wasn't found for three days. So I made sure I let my parents know each Sunday night that I was still alive.)

Anyway, today, there are cell phones with free long distance and free mobile-to-mobile, and text-messaging, and instant messaging and email.

Cripes, it'll practically be like he never left home. He spent most of the time he was home squirreled away in his fourth-floor hovel, in his world of music, tv, computers and friends.

Most of the time, if I needed him, I'd call, text or IM ... sometimes from just down the hall. And yes, it's because it was easier than yelling up the stairs and I'm also quintessentially lazy.

So it'll be just like he's down a very long hall.

Yes, that's it. A verrrrrrrrrrrrry long hall.
All Rights Reserved. Planet of Janet, 2010.