Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Famousosity

Yes, that is TOO a word.

Cuz now I are a famous wordsmith.

Holly go lightly

Well, really, Holly WENT ... but I'm not sure how lightly.

My favorite British-loving football freak is visiting Mickey's house, and she gave me the keys to the place.

I'm discussing romance. It could be dead. Check it out. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How I met my honey ... Well, actually, more like how we got engaged

I have the quintessential "meet-cute" story about how I met Wonderhubby in November 2000. In fact, it's so adorable that I already had written it and posted it here.

But what I had never talked about is "the proposal."

One reason I haven't written about it is that it was a highly identifiable event, and although you could probably find me and my family from my posts if you really worked at it, I do try to be generic enough here to ensure some semblance of privacy. (Plus Roo-girl would TOTALLY kill me if she were truly recognizable!)

Anyway, I am going to try to describe this one without making it an "Aha!" moment.

So, here we go.

Wonderhubby, when he was still Wonderboyfriend, had every intention of marrying me. He offered up little hints that indicated that (like "when I move to Yourtown ..." and similar comments), but when the "M" word came up in conversation, I had a tendency to gag or get the shakes.

You see, my previous experience was not so hot, and he knew it. He did like to tweak me about it, though, just to see my reaction, but after awhile, I think he felt sorry for me and told me this:

"We are going to put a moratorium on discussing marriage (*shiver*) until after Z-man's bar mitzvah."

This was about a year and a half away at the time. (See? I told you he had every intention of marrying me almost from the start.)

When Z-man's bar mitzvah had passed (September 2003), I knew it was coming -- and I had somehow managed to stop freaking out at the concept.

But that concept continued to go unspoken.

And then we went out of town.

Now you know that Wonderhubby and I both sing. We both sing in choruses that have worldwide chapters and competitions. It was my turn to have a major competition with thousands of women and choruses and ... uh ... stuff!

My entire chorus knew what was coming. In fact, they were TOLD what was coming while I was out of the room. I suspect I was the only one within a radius of about 100 miles who DIDN'T.

Oblivious much?

His original plan was to post it on the Jumbotron, but apparently some whacked-out woman once sued a sports venue for doing this (she felt ... um ... pressured to say yes), so the arena where we were having our competition refused to allow it.

*Insert eyeroll here*

So THAT didn't happen. (And what I didn't know didn't hurt me, right?)

Anyway, we didn't do as well as we had wanted to in this competition, but we were all partying fools and had planned a Saturday night get-together with another chorus.

As part of the festivities, my chorus got up to perform for the crowd -- there were about 500 people in the room, all told.

We sang one song. Then we sang an arrangement of "You Are My Sunshine" that always rocks my world.

"Wait," said my director, as we sang the last notes. "We have a little unfinished business we need to take care of. Janet? Can you come here for a second?"

I looked at her funny and hesitatingly came forward from my fourth-row position.

And up to the front of the crowd walked my Wonderboyfriend. And he began to speak.

"Because you are my sunshine," he said, "... and because I don't want to live without sunshine in my life ..."

And then he dropped to one knee.

A shriek ran through the crowd as it became clear what was happening.

My knees were jelly, and I could barely stand myself. Ultimately, I think, I ended up in his arms, while everyone was screaming around me.

And then they made me go back to my spot to sing.

Uh, riiiiiiiiiiight!

This post is part of Rambling by Reba's How I Met My Honey carnival. Yes, I did cheat by being slightly off-topic. Oh well!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Fun Monday: the let's take a walk edition

AOJ is our hostess this week. She was all about making it easy for us Fun Monday'ers this week. But I'm not 100 percent sure I agree with her definition of easy.

Here is her challenge:

All I want you to do is take me on your favourite walk. In words or pictures. Or both of course! Tell me why it's your favourite and point out things of interest on the way. So go get your walking boots on!
Doncha love how she spells favorite the fancy British way? Yum!

Anyway, she thought this was easy, but I don't think so.

Ya see, I don't walk.

Well, I WALK, but I don't really TAKE walks.

Not that I don't LIKE taking walks, but it's kinda hard to find the time for that.

Most (all?) of my exercise comes from the gym, which tends to be in an aerobic'ish class or in the pool.

Or taking the stairs at my office.

So, in the time-honored tradition of Swampy, I am breaking the rules.

Instead of telling you where my feet meet the street ... I am going to show you my feet's favorite activity.

Prep:


The shape:



Ay, there's the rub:



The polishing:



The design:



The end:



Yeah, yeah, I went all photoshoppy on you for the final product. Trust me, it was better than looking at my feet all close up and all.

Heh.

Anyway, if you want to see what OTHER people use their feet for, go visit the rest of the Fun Monday'ers. Personally, I'm hoping for another foot rub.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekly Winners: April 20-26


I stuck pretty close to home for this week's entries for Lotus' Weekly Winners.

Take tea and Z:



Tree hugger:




The letter that starts it all:

Yes, I did edit out some pertinent information. And no, they are NOT really called Cheer Girls.


The only way I tolerate rats -- behind bars



The fave five:


Clockwise from top left: Z-man, Drama King, Drummer Man, the Roo-Girl and J-bear. Aren't they cute?!?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

In which I prove that I am the most annoying mom in the universe

I don't really like to blog and run, but that's kinda what I did two weeks ago with my suckitudinal post.

Roo and I recovered nicely from our momentary battle. I no longer feel like the worst parent on the planet -- not because I called my child out on her transgressions -- because she did deserve the calling-out -- but because I really felt like I had done it incorrectly. I had been in a craptastic mood (see Tuesday), and I took it out on her unfairly and meanly.

We have since kissed and made up, which leaves her wide open for reportage of this little gem the day of the honor roll breakfast at school:

Evil Mother: Miss Anne Derstood was so unhappy with her girls recently.

*Yes, Miss Anne, we talk about YOU in our off-hours!*

The Roo-girl: Why?

EM: Well, Thing 1 posted a photo of her sister on her Facebook account. It was kinda bad -- (I gave a brief description here -- and no, I won't explain more).

TRG: Well, ew. That is totally icky ... and awkward!

EM: Yeah, and when she told them to take it down, I guess the girls weren't too pleasant about it either.

TRG: *highly indignant* Hmmph! Does Thing 1 live in Miss Anne's house?

EM: Well, she goes to college, but yes. Kinda like Z-man still lives in ours.

TRG: WELL! If she lives in Miss Anne's house, then she must follow Miss Anne's rules.

EM: Well, yeah. That's how it's supposed to go.

*a brief silence ensued until she saw the backpack on my shoulder*

TRG: Is that your CAMERA??????

EM: Why, yes it is.

TRG: I TOLD you no photography!!!!

EM: Ahem, if you live in my house ...

TRG: Oh, Mom, seriously, you are so annoying!

EM: Yep, you opened that one wide and walked RIGHT IN, my sweet!

TRG: *sigh*

It's good to be queen!

On the other hand, when she doesn't want her picture taken, this is what I get:


See? The most annoying mother in the universe!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Haiku Friday: the "EEEK -- MY DAUGHTER IS A HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADER" edition

Haiku Friday

Roo-girl rocked the house.
She made it onto the squad --
Broken arm and all.

Whooohooo!

Oh, and somebody please hold me. My little girl is now a high school cheerleader.

Well, she will be as soon as practice starts.

Which will be pretty soon. There's a parent meeting in a week or so, and then: LAUNCH.

I'm very proud -- and not just a little nervous. Those will be BIGGER girls who will be tossing my baby a zillion miles into the air.

Speaking of proud and nervous, as the week of Passover begins to draw to a close, I leave you with this little extra haiku'ishness:

After three days, I
dropped the kids off at the pool.
Fruit compote does work.

Yes, my mother is very proud. Why do you ask?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Five years and counting ...


Five years ago today, we stood in front of a judge in the Superior Court and pledged our love to each other.

For better or worse.

For richer, for poorer.

In sickness and in health.

As long as we both shall live.

And I mean it even more today than I did then.

03 Could I have th...

(And yes, this is me singing ...)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All about him (and me)

I must say ... it's hard to follow up a post about religiously induced constipation, but one must persevere!

So when ~JJ the Laundress tagged me for a meme that times out perfectly for me, I figured I'd jump on it. It is about HIM -- oh, and me.

It's prfectly timed because tomorrow is our fifth wedding anniversary. So what better excuse to talk about him and me and who and what we are with each other. And I promise -- it's just the straight poop. Not real poop.

How long did you date? 2 1/2 years. We dated two years before he proposed.

How old is he? 54. I'm a cradle-robber.

Who eats more? Him. Although he really shouldn't challenge me to an ice cream eating contest.

Who said “I love you” first? He did. Well, he SORTA did. What he actually said was "I think I'm falling in love with you." My answer was "I KNOW I'm in love with you." The actual "I love you" followed immediately after.

Who is taller? He's 6 feet and I'm a mere 5-foot-2 1/2 (and DON'T take away that half-inch!!)

Who sings better? Oh, that's a MEAN question. We both sing. He's very very good. Me too.

Who is smarter? Book smarts? Me. Street smarts? Totally him.

Whose temper is worse? I own that one.

Who does the laundry? We both do. That's the beauty of marrying a man who has lived alone!

Who does the dishes? See above.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Looking at the bed from the foot of it, I'm on the right. Gotta be there. I'm weird about it.

Who pays the bills? We have an odd system. Somehow at the start, we sorta divvied up stuff. Like I pay water, electric, gas and landline. He pays cable, cell bill and HOA dues. I pay one mortgage, he pays the other. We have separate credit cards. So -- the short answer is: it's a candy mint AND a breath mint!

Who cooks dinner? We both do. He makes a mean spaghetti sauce (which reminds me -- we haven't had in awhile!) and an amazing omelette with veggies and stuff. He also gets home sometimes an hour or even two hours before me, so he pretty much figures it out. Meal planning? Uh. Never been able to do that.

Who drives when you are together? Him. I can't stand being back-seat-driven, and I always feel overscrutinized when I drive.

Who is more stubborn? I own this one too.

Who kissed who first? I don't really remember, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say it was him. Although I was the one who asked him to dance first and started this whole shootin' match!

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? I usually make the first overture after a fight. Otherwise, we would silent-treatment each other until the end of time.

Whose parents do you see the most? Mine are local. But his family likes me better than my own does.

Who proposed? He did. That story is coming up on April 29 if I get my act together.

Who is more sensitive? Totally me. I overanalyze, too, which is a bad combination.

Who has more friends? Probably me, locally. But he still has tons of people he is in reasonably close contact with from high school. They just don't live within 1,500 miles of us.

Who has more siblings? We both have two brothers and a sister. But I'm the oldest, and he's the baby.

Who wears the pants in the family? Hmm. Can I say this really? I make the trains run. He is not a decision-maker as a rule, and nature abhors a vaccuum -- so in the absence of a decision, I decide. Does that put me in the pants? Probably.

So ... I am going to tag ... um ... Miss Anne, Holly, Kaytabug and Burgh Baby.

Let's hear it, ladies ...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Intestinal fortitude

This is a difficult week for those of us of the Jewish persuasion -- of which I count myself a member.

It's Passover -- truly a lovely holiday that is all about the celebration of freedom from slavery.

I love this holiday. I love the traditions. I love the two nights of seder dinners with their traditional foods. I love the way the foods are meant to represent parts of the story -- the charoset (the mortar of the bricks the Jews made for the pharaohs of ancient Egypt), the bitter herb (representing the bitterness of slavery), the matzah (the unleavened bread that the Jews took on their flight from Egypt because they couldn't wait for the bread to rise).

Yes, I love it all.

Well, almost all.

I hope it's OK if I tell you a little secret:

Shhhhhh.

Matzah really IS the bread of our affliction.

Or, to put it another way: Holy Moses! I am so freakin' constipated!!!!!

Ah, matzah, I love you, but you do not love me.

There is nothing that binds us Jews together like the traditional solidifying of our intestinal tract into a concrete block.

And please, let's not talk about the after-effects of my favorite take-to-work-during-Passover lunch: melted cheese on a matzah.

That sound you heard was my colon grinding to a halt.

Now, when I was a small child and going to seders at the home of the family matriarch (my paternal grandmother -- and you BETTER not cross this woman ... and I'm serious, young lady!), there was always something that puzzled me about the meal.

She always served this nauseating fruit compote thing for dessert.

All us kids would stare at it in horror and try to pass it off to the person to our right. Uh, no thanks, Grandma. Really! I couldn't eat another bite!

Right nasty it was, all pale and slimy-looking in a bowl.

But it wasn't until years later that I had an epiphanous moment.

It was stewed fruit, people. Apricots, peaches and PRUNES!

My grandma knew even way back then the importance of this traditional phrase:

"Let my people GO!!!!!!!!!!"

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fun Monday: the best thing I've ever done edition

Ah, it's Fun Monday again. Time for some fun and frivolity, as Southern Doll hosts us today.

Here is what she has challenged us to do:

What have you done in your life that was worth doing? I want to know the moments in your life that you hope will be the ones to pass through your mind when your time comes. ... I want to know all the moments, big and small, that make life sweet!
I could be obvious and tell you all that my list consists of the births of my four children. Because what else could be more worth doing than to welcome a new life into the world. A new life that changes everything about you forever.

And so for a moment, let's BE obvious, and let's enjoy the current result of that labor (heh heh heh). Here they are (plus me, of course), from the Roo-girl's bat mitzvah last August:



Other than the obvious? Well, that required me to think a little harder.

In fact, I spent most of the week trying to figure it out.

There is stuff like this, for sure.

But that also seemed too easy.

So I picked a more difficult direction.

I picked J-bear.

J-bear, for those of you who are new to my planet, is Wonderhubby's daughter. She is 17 -- almost 18, in fact.

She also has lived exclusively with us since she was 13, when she was halfway through the eighth grade. Her choice. A decision made after an earthquake in the city where she lived with her mother fuh-reaked her out beyond all reason.

Now you have to understand about J-bear. She was -- in my unprofessional opinion -- clinically shy and monstrously introverted. The first time I saw her -- not MET her, mind you, but SAW her -- she was about 10 and hiding behind her father at a chorus function.

That position turned out to be commonplace. She couldn't look anyone in the eye -- not grownups, not kids. She reminded me of a frightened bunny, never really able to step too far away from the comforting aura of her dad.

Much of her story I am saving for May 14, her 18th birthday, for a proper post. But the things that I can tell you now are these:

When she first came to live with us, she was a frightened loner. Roo-girl, four years her junior, was really her only friend. In fact, she would follow Roo-girl to play with HER friends.

She would wear hoodie sweatshirts -- with the hood up around her head and her face pulled back into its recesses as far as it would go. It became a trademark look that made her highly recognizable on campus. Her father and I refused to buy sweatshirts with hoods at one point.

She was behind in her social skills. She was behind in her emotional growth. She was behind in her academics.

Before she came to live with us, I exacted a promise from her father AND from her mother -- that I would have their permission to do what I saw fit to help this child recover from the trauma of the earthquake AND get her on track socially, emotionally and academically.

I felt uniquely qualified to take J-bear on as a project since I had fought the school system successfully for a variety services for my two older boys and had some valuable experience and knowledge to offer.

I required therapy, which had not been offered to her to this point. I offered tutoring. In fact, that first summer before she started high school, I worked with her a minimum of three hours a night on her daily summer school homework. I took her shopping for her first bra. I, along with Wonderhubby, provided a noisy, family-filled environment where she had to learn to share her father and cope with four insta-siblings and the tumult that comes with.

Four years later, J-bear has turned into a lovely young lady, with friends, an upcoming high school diploma, reasonable grades, an almost-black belt in karate, a responsible job and the ability to walk into a room and -- while not completely comfortable -- fake it so that you might not see her fear.

She stands tall, my J-bear does. And I truly do believe that her father and I have done an amazing job of guiding the little scared bunny through some tough times and out the other side.

I stepped in as "the best thing that ever happened to that kid," according to friends who know and have seen. It was a mitzvah.


And I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Now go see what others have done that make them proud.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekly Winner: April 13-19

There is only one image that I am offering today. For me, this is the winner not just of the week, but possibly of the year.




See Lotus for more Weekly Winners.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The ABCs and XYZs of me

I totally stole this from Dixie Chick, who stole it from somewheres else. We're all about the sharing here ...

Accent: What accent? I don't have one. It's all y'all who do.

Bra size: 36 A or B. Yeah, I have a broad back and little boobies. Ya wanna make something out of it??

Chore I hate: Cleaning the bathroom -- or cleaning anything, for that matter.

Dad’s name: Chester. Seriously. NO ONE is really named Chester.

Essential make-up: Concealer for the massive dark circles under my eyes. Nothing I do can fix them.

Favorite perfume: Don't have favorite, though my favorite scent would totally be vanilla.

Gold or Silver: Actually I really prefer gold, but for some reason, everything is turning out to be silver or white gold. Platinum would be nice, too. (Hi, honey!)

Hometown: Second-generation West Coastish.

Interesting fact: None of my four children were conceived using the same method. (One adopted, one artificial insemination, one GIFT, one the old-fashioned way.) And none of the three children I gave birth to have the same genetic father. Oh, and I gained one child by marriage (easiest birth ever!).

Job title: Features design chief. Sounds more glamorous than it is. Trust me.

Kids: three sons, one daughter, one stepdaughter who might as well have been my own.

Living arrangements: Four-bedroom townhome with a LOT of stairs, shared with the Wonderhubby, the two girls, the college boy, two dogs, two turtles, a rat (new addition following the death of the bearded dragon -- yuck) and countless freakin' FISH (I hate fish).

Mom’s Birthplace: West Coastish (Gawd, I'm so cagey).

Number of apples eaten in last week: 1

Overnight hospital stays: four -- for the birth of three children and the miscarriage of one more.

Phobia: Rodentia. Any kind of rodent, especially the rat kind. I loved the movie "Ratatouille," but the scene of the rats overrunning the kitchen totally did me in!

Question you ask yourself a lot: Why do I work here again? (Or, sometimes, on an exceptionally bad day: Why did I have children again?)

Religious affiliation: Jewish ... and quite possibly the most observant and religious one in my entire family.

Siblings: two brothers (a doctor and a lawyer) and one sister (an Indian chief). Oh, I kid about that last part. She is not really an Indian chief, but she IS the most delusional creature ever to parent a child. She is worthy of an entire post of her very own. Remind me sometime! Oh, and I'm the oldest.

Time I wake up: The alarm goes off at 6:35 a.m., but I usually use the time between then and about 8 to read blogs, talk to computer friends, answer emails and play scrabble! Then I get up in a hellacious hurry so I can get showered, dressed and have Roo-girl at school by 9. Except on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when I actually do get up and am exercising my brains out (and apparently gaining weight for my trouble) at the gym by 7 a.m.

Unnatural hair color: I am a reddish-head. I like it that way. My natural color is darker (and I USED to have natural red highlights in my hair until they went gray -- bitches!), and what led me directly to Miss Clairol was the skunk streak I had right smack dab in the front!

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Brussel sprouts. *shudder*

Worst habit: I'm inherently lazy. Oh, and I have a potty mouth.

X-rays: Had my share. Nothing unusual: Hairline fracture at 14. Chest x-rays. Mammograms. I DID, however, have a CAT scan when I miscarried in 1992 and promptly had some weird seizure in my doctor's office. Now THAT was a treat!

Yummy food I make: My brownies. You can't beat 'em.

Zodiac sign: Sagittarius.

Like this one? Take it for yourself. I'm not tagging today.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Haiku Friday: the all is reasonably well edition

Haiku Friday

Calm has been restored
As my boy comes home to me.
I have touched his face.

I feel like this is a recurring theme for my Haiku Fridays. Oh well. It's an accurate reflection of my world, which spins in a wild, sometimes out-of-control way, and then ... Z-man returns, and I am at peace.

Well, at peace is probably not strictly accurate this time as I agonize over what is making him so miserable.

He and I had a heart-to-heart talk Thursday night, after he got home, trying to get at the root of it and work our way to a solution.

Apparently much of the problem is the city of faraway collegeland itself -- and the people who populate his campus. He is happy in the kitchen, but the rest he deems "unpleasant."

I was at a TOTAL loss on how to help him. He doesn't want to quit, yet he doesn't want to stay. Argh.

Eventually, I boiled it down to some basic truths.

1) He has one more month to go this school year.

2) He will be busy because he has to do a "double lab" for the last two weeks of school. (This means he will have one class from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and another from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. for nine days. Uusally they do one at a time.) B.U.S.Y.

3) Then he comes home.

4) In the fall, because of he had to drop some of the labs this year due to various illnesses, he has to do THREE doubles in the first trimester. That will keep him even B.U.S.I.E.R. in a big way.

5) Middle trimester he intends to do an externship -- part of the regular program -- at home (!).

6) Third tri will be his academic section -- and then he's done.

and 7) He will then have an A.A. in culinary arts.

8) IF he decides he wants to do the second two years and get the B.S. in food service management, he can transfer to a different campus. OR NOT.

Bottom line is, after I broke it down into its brass tacks, he perked up dramatically.

Because after another VERY BUSY class-time-intensive school year, one-third of which would be spent at home, he will have an A.A. and will be fabulously hirable in his chosen profession. The four-year degree is gravy. Either he'll do it or he won't. His choice.

I have no illusions that I have fixed it in an hour's worth of conversation, but he actually sat up and the sparkle returned to his eyes as the reality of what I was saying sank in.

So we have a plan. That plan also includes some regular therapy with a side of medication.

And a heaping helping of love.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The mouth that roared

I sat in the dentist's chair Wednesday morning, expecting that I would be writing today about how my world sucked for the third day running.

But no! There is good news in my universe! Yes!

There is rarely good news when I sit in my dentist's chair. I lost the genetic lottery when it comes to teeth, and to further complicate things, I had probably one of the world's worst pediatric dentists as a child, resulting in dental anxiety that just don't quit.

I am not alone in my traumatization at the evil hands of Dr. BiteMe. My bff also went to him (10 years later) and suffers from the same anxiety to this day.

I have written about this demonic dental den of doom before -- in November -- and the frightening kitty-cat clock with the moving eyes that continue to haunt my nightmares.

*Shudder*

Ok, moving on. So yeah, I was expecting horrors today -- and SURPRISE! I got good'ish news!

The last time my hygenist had her hands in my mouth, she got all bent about possible bone loss and some weirdness that disturbed her, and she wanted to refer me to a periodontist. Plus I had had this little dental emergency (detailed vaguely in that November post referenced above) that had led to the removal of a molar.

I freaked. Plus I felt like I was 95 years old and headed for dentures.

So Wednesday morning, feeling all chipper and perky after being able to walk a straight line for the first time in 24 hours, I went for a consultation with my wonderful adult dentist, Dr. Sweetie-Pie.

Oh how I love him.

Because he told me GOOD thing! Like it's not bone loss -- it's a result of how my teeth have shifted following orthodontic-induced tooth pullage at the age of 10. It might LOOK like bone loss, but indeed it is just my mouth (genetics again -- lucky me)!

Plus, the "other weirdnesses" are ALSO not anything to be concerned about and a possible referral to a periodontist was NOT warranted. WHOOOHOOO!

AND -- I am a candidate for a freakin' implant for my missing molar. No partials, no bridges. An implant!

Yes, it is big bucks, but it means I am not an old fart.

A partial? I almost had a stroke at the thought.

Anyway, after the craptasticalness that has been me this week, I took this as a sign.

Yes, I meant a GOOD sign.

Sheesh.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More cranky -- with a little sick thrown in for good measure

Craptitude begets craptitude.

Now THAT'S profound, people. Someone should write that down.

Monday was a craptastic day. Tuesday morning, when I vented my spleen (ooh, I'm on a vocabularistic roll here!), about how cranky I was, I had no idea what was in my immediate future.

The dizzies.

The spinny, icky, stomach-lurching, can't-walk-a-straight-line dizzies.

So I got up, went to the gym, exercised so I can plan for more weight gain (gah!) and then walked toward the locker room ... only I wasn't exactly walking toward the locker room.

It wasn't MY fault the floor was moving violently from side to side!

And just for the record, it is NOT fun to drive home when you feel like the road is jiggling. I really was concerned I could have been pulled over for drunk driving. Yes, I was a danger to myself and others. Not proud of it, but there it is.

And I still had to take the Roo-girl and that nasty Carpool Girl to school. I started dialing, looking for likely victims volunteers and found ...

No one.

So I got back in the car (Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!) and c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.l.y. drive my precious cargo to school.

Then, because the free world depended on it, I had to go to the post office to make sure that my request for extension IN WHICH I HAD TO INCLUDE BIG BUCKS made its way to the state capital with the appropriately timely postmark on it.

I've driven there a zillion times -- and guess how many wrong turns I took?

Answer: one major, plus three minors in my attempt to correct the major.

Sigh.

With that task taken care of, I took appropriate drugs (which clearly state that I should not operate heavy machinery under its influence -- as if I should have been doing so before!) and crawled back into bed.

Where I watched pictures on my bedroom wall do a little jig -- all by themselves.

Creeeeeeeeeeepy!

I have nowhere clever to go with this, except to say this day sucked rocks.

That makes two in a row.

Can we go for three?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pet peeves and those who love them

I am in a cranky-ass mood.

Everything is pissing me off. So I thought I'd share some of the items that draw my ire today:

People in parking lots who are STUPID.

Hey, dude! Yeah, YOU, the one blocking traffic because you're waiting for the other guy to pull out of the parking spot that's closer to the entrance! You're going to the GYM. To be healthy! And to exercise! Was it necessary to make me late for my class because you were too lazy to walk the extra 40 steps from the slightly further (and OPEN) parking spot?

My scale.

It's messed up. It HAS to be messed up. Why else would it show me a higher number than was there a week ago?

Seriously, I go to a kick-me-in-the-ass exercise class (one hour) twice a week, a water aerobics class (one hour) at least once and most times twice a week and the free pilates open house (an hour and 15 minutes) every time it comes up (once or twice a month).

I think I like Roo's explanation for these things -- that muscle weighs more than fat. (Yes, I know that a pound of muscle and a pound of fat both weigh a pound ... shut up!)

Wrong numbers.

Now to be fair, I don't really hate people who dial a wrong number. But if I answer the phone, and you say "Buenos tardes," and I say, "You have the wrong number," DO NOT TELL ME "NO."

Because I don't know anyone who would call me who thinks that I speak Spanish.

So trust me when I tell you that yes, you HAVE reached a wrong number.

Sheesh.

Taxes.

Yeah, today is tax day, and I don't owe the feds, but I do owe the state. That makes me very, very, very crabby.

It also makes me crabby when I am missing one teensy, stupid 1099 and it throws me into extension. Grrrrr. Stupid 1099. Stupid taxes.

This will, of course, delay my eagerly awaited economic stimulus bonus check.

This makes me very, very, very, very, very crabby.

And delays my eagerly awaited shopping expedition.

After all, I still don't have that damned iPhone.

My boss.

'Nuff said.

Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow.

Or maybe I should get my hormones adjusted.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fun Monday: the double-nickels edition

Ah, it's Monday again. Which means it's FUN.

And THAT means it's FUN MONDAY!

This week we are being hosted by the Nekked Lizards -- both the Man and the Lady -- and they are inviting us to the THE DOUBLE NICKEL 5&5 FUN MONDAY Challenge.

Apparently, that means this:

FIVE PICTURES - FIVE WORDS PER PICTURE: Any 5 (FIVE) pictures, any subject, and any 5 (FIVE) words to describe and/or explain each picture. CAN YOU DO IT???

Pish-tosh, Nekkie people. I can do that.

Well, yeah, I can -- but my haiku training actually made counting words a little tougher. I kept wanting to count syllables. Heh.

When I figured out that five words were not necessarily five syllables, I went a little crazy.

ONE:
Give me the finger -- please!


TWO:
Jack, we hardly knew ye ...


THREE:
Oh, willow, weep for me ...


FOUR:
Six months of toothpaste left!


FIVE:
First rose of the season

Yeah, yeah, I thought I would end on a more beautiful note, rather than my previous snark.

Enjoy your Monday, people. And go visit the rest of the crowd.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekly Winners: April 6-12

I am recovering from suckitude, both at work and at home. So for Lotus' Weekly Winners, I tried to look around my world for the beauty.

Peekaboo!



I'm forever blowing bubbles ...



Can it be spring without flower photos?



And squirrels. You GOTTA have squirrels!



Meanwhile, back at the rat dog ranch ...

I actually went way light on this one on purpose. It's tough to shoot black dogs. You can never actually see their faces. And they ARE cute, even if they do crap in the house.

Moonlight becomes you -- even in the daylight



No week is complete without the requisite Roo photo

Can you see the irritation in her face? That's what happpens when your mom has a groovy camera and secretly blogs!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yeah, I totally suck

To all those who make me laugh every time you tell me you want me to be your mom or you hope you can parent like me:

No you don't.

Because I suck.

Totally. Completely. Utterly.

I made my Roo-girl cry on Friday. Because I was mad.

See Mommy be mad. Mad mommy mad.

She is gone for the weekend with her cheer team. She can't compete because of the broken arm and all, but she can help and support her team, and I let her go with Coach K. (You know, Coach K, the one who sucks -- though possibly not as much as I do.)

I asked only one thing of Roo for her driving journey.

I asked her to call me when she left home and to call me when they got to their destination.

She did neither.

I texted her at about 1 p.m., just to check. (Coach K is notorious for being late and flaky, so it wasn't totally out of the realm of possibility that she hadn't left yet.)

Oops, she texted back. "We left. Sorry I kinda forgot to call you."

I had a particularly lousy day at work and was busy fighting over territory. (What? Move my desk again? Um, no thanks.)

So it wasn't until I was on my way home that I realized it was almost 6:30 p.m. -- and I had not heard from Roo.

They were having a team dinner at 7, so I was pretty sure they had arrived.

So I called.

"Oops," she said. "I forgot again."

And I lost my shit.

Told her about trust.

Reminded her that I had not objected to the trip, but had only asked ONE THING.

And she had failed.

I told her that I would be reining in her freedom to go gallavanting off with Coach K, since she couldn't follow a simple request.

She burst into tears and said she was sorry.

And yet I didn't stop.

"I'm sorry" are just words, and trust is a difficult commodity to regain once lost, I told her.

She sobbed that my trust was the one thing she wanted above all.

And still I did not relent.

It was a simple thing I had asked. And she "forgot." Unacceptable, I said.

She cried harder, saying she was sorry.

And I hung up the phone.

You don't want to be like me.

I suck.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Haiku Friday: the ooh-she's-a-smart(mouthed)-kid edition

Haiku Friday

Congratulations!
Smart students had cake, bagels
And an honor roll.















Bwahahahahaha!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Some of my many three readers might be wondering whatever happened to the carpool situation.

Well.

Little Miss Carpool Girl had actually been pretty well-behaved, answering her phone properly and all. But she and Roo-girl kinda got into it over an unkept confidence (CPG was the blabber, Roo was the wounded party) and it's been a little testy.

Leading up to Thursday morning's earlier run to the middle school for the honor roll breakfast.

Were we taking CPG to school (since we had to be there an hour early for the brekkie)? Or were we not?

We let her know about this on Tuesday -- and Roo called her on Wednesday. Evidently CPG told Roo she would call her back.

Or not.

So we tear-ass out of our driveway today and Roo makes her customary call to CPG's phone.

Uh-oh. Voicemail.

And here is the message that my take-no-prisoners daughter with the GIANT cojones left:

Ya know, CPG, it's REALLY annoying -- and rude -- when you don't answer your phone. And also when you say you're going to call back and you DON'T.

So you can find your OWN way to school this morning.

Harsh.

On the other hand, she says what she means and she means what she says.

And holy crap!! Don't cross that girl!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The morning after the week before

Before we begin, I must offer a heartfelt thank you to all those who gave words of encouragement and advice after my emotionally incontinent wail yesterday.

I am feeling a smidge better -- only because I know that in a week, Z-man will be here for a few days and he will get the hug that I feel we both richly deserve.

This has been a difficult week for me, what with Roo's broken arm, more weird staff-upheaval crap at work, a weekend from hell that was chorus-related, a very hurtful fight with my BFF and now Z-man on top of that.

But.

We endeavor to persevere, as Lone Watie once said in "The Outlaw Josie Wales." Then we declared war ...

In the interest of being a little more lightweight today -- and lift the mantle of doom -- I am going to share a text-message exchange between Wonderhubby and me from late Wednesday afternoon, as we decided what we were going to do for dinner.

Now, let me explain that WH is one of the worst spellers known to man. Part of it is that he is dyslexic. The other part? He's a lousy speller.

What's funny is that he often takes the harder spelling of sound-alike words. For example, he will use "weigh" for "way." Spelled properly, just the wrong word.

To further set up this story: One of our favorite restaurants has the word for a heavenly winged creature in the name. Got the picture? Ok, here we go.

WH: eggs or angle?

Evil Wife: angle?? you mean angel? for dinner?

WH: Yes.

EW: Doesn't matter. Angel is fine. What is your eta?

WH: Freeway no. 1 @ freeway no. 2

EW: ok

WH: Your eta my angle?

EM: Are you talking dirty to me?????????

No, apparently, he wasn't. He thought I was still at work and was talking sweet (misspelled) nothings in my ear phone.

Gotta love him ...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

In which I suffer from emotional incontinence

Z-man -- off in faraway collegeland -- pretty much vanished off the face of the earth for about three weeks.

He didn't answer his cell phone. He didn't answer text messages. He wasn't online. He didn't answer emails.

At first, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He was busy. He was in college feeling his independence. Surely this was a good thing.

Eithe that, or his grades were really bad and he was avoiding me.

But as the days wore on, I began to get a little panicky. I was thinking about whether it was too helicopter parent'ish to call the school when he finally surfaced online Sunday and actually answered my instant message.

At that point, he very sheepishly admitted that he just hadn't felt like talking.

And that he had been keeping a secret.

A secret that he now felt he should have shared with me. But hadn't.

The secret was this:

He has been in an emotional pit and has been taking anti-depressants (properly prescribed) since the end of February.

My baby boy is broken.

Of course, my first thought was to get on a plane and run to him. IMMEDIATELY.

I already had started looking at flights. I had cleared it with my boss. I would have left tomorrow.

But he was unsure.

In a way, he said, it was like a tease. He wanted to see me, but the idea of a short visit was actually making him more anxious -- though he couldn't explain why.

I offered him a weekend at home instead -- Passover, perhaps.

He answered immediately: "Yes, yes, yes."

And so on the evening of April 17, my baby boy will come home for four days.

I need to see his face.

I need to touch him.

I need to reassure myself that he is still whole and ok.

So far, I think I have seemed pretty level-headed and calm.

In my head, though, I am wailing.

In my head, I am wracked with guilt.

Why guilt? Why not?

He wants to be home.

We have always called Z-man "the boy who never left." I explained it last year in his birthday post here. Read that. It hurts too much to explain it again.

And that's why I have guilt. Because perhaps I didn't prepare him the way I should have. Perhaps in holding him close, I failed to give him what he needed to spread his wings and fly from the nest successfully.

Does this mean that he will not go back next year? I don't know. I would like to think that he can give it the old college try. That we will just be better prepared for how he thinks and feels.

Or maybe we should just find a culinary institute in our area and let him train for the career he adores in the safety of his hometown.

It's a conversation we will have when he comes home next week.

I hope I say the right things.

I hope I do what's best.

My baby boy is broken.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Is this the party to whom I am speaking?

The Roo-girl spent the weekend with her BFF Susie (name changed, of course).

It was makeup playdate because Susie and other BFF Laurie (also name changed) went to Mexico over spring break and -- oops -- forgot to ask Roo to come along until they were halfway through the vacation.

Um, yeah.

What.ev.er.

Anyway, she was there all weekend (I was out of town too, so it was perfect for everyone). And apparently Susie was tired of the voicemail message on Roo's cellphone.

I will admit it WAS annoying. It had been recorded three years ago at a cheer practice by someone other than Roo. The noise was incredible and the message in monotone: "Hi, this is Roo-girl's cellphone. Leave a message."

On Monday morning, little miss Roo bounded into my room to ask for a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich (lefthanded knifework is still iffy here) and also demanded (oh yes, demanded!) that I listen to her new voicemail message.

It goes like this:

The Roo-girl: Hi. Um. I can't come to the phone right now, so leave a message and I'll call you back.

Susie (muffled in the background but still audible): That's horrible.

TRG: I know. Which one is the pound key again?

Bwahahahahaha!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

TRG: You are allowed to come to the honor roll breakfast.

Evil Mother: Oh, thank you, your majesty.

TRG: One condition ...

EM: Only one?

TRG: Yes, no flash photography. In fact, no photography at all.

EM: I can't take pictures??

TRG: NO. Especially with that BIG CLUNKY CAMERA that I got for you.*

EM: Oh for heaven's sake. Everyone takes pictures at the honor roll breakfast.

TRG: Except YOU. Besides you have so many blackmail pictures of me that I'll NEVER be able to leave the house!

EM: Ah, my eeeeevil plan is working!!!!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

TRG: *waving her casted arm in my face* Mom, can you put my pants on for me?

EM: *struggling to pull her pants leg over her foot* Roo, your pants are too tight.

TRG: Yes, but these are my Abercrombie pants, and unless you are willing to buy me another pair, I am going to wear them ... until ... until I can't wear them anymore.

EM: I guess that'll have to be the way.

TRG: Yeah, can you button my pants?

EM: Yes, and we hope you don't have to pee at school today, because you won't be able to get your pants back up.

TRG: *insert cheesy grin here* I peed already.

EM: Good planning.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

* Yes, indeed she did have a big part in getting my camera by dropping a very unsubtle hint to Wonderhubby at the dinner table. I could have SWORN that I wrote about it, but could. not. find. it. Ah, some day.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Fun Monday: the celebrity crush edition

Jo Beaufoix is our hostessa this week for Fun Monday, and she is just brimming with curiousity about things way back in the rusty dusty past.

I want to know about your first ‘celebrity’ crush. Did you have pictures on your wall or in your locker? Did you dress like them, style or colour your hair like them, follow them, meet them, marry them? (It could happen.)

Photos of them would be good, photos of YOU at the time you liked them would be even better.

Also, I also want to know whether they had any influence over your life, the person you became, or if they were just an embarrassing blip you would kind of rather forget about.

Hmm. Let us remember that I am OLD OLD OLD.

Well, not so old that my celebrity crush would be Frank Sinatra, or Elvis even.

But.

I liked "The Cute One."

Yes, Paul McCartney -- in his Beatles days -- rocked my world to its core.

I had a Beatles poster on my wall. The "Meet the Beatles" album was on my record player nonstop.

I planned to marry him.

I was typical.

And so pathetic.

I loved him, yeah, yeah, yeah ...

Now go check out the other Fun Monday crushin'!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Weekly Winners: March 30-April 5

Are you tired of the Roo-girl's broken arm yet?

Me, too. And frankly, she is as well.

But that's about the only thing that I shot photos of this week. Which leaves me with a photo essay of my broken baby for Lotus' Weekly Winners meme today.

And which also makes me (and I quote) "the most annoying mother EVER."

Ah, I have succeeded at my job.

The way I look at it, if you haven't annoyed the crap out of your kid at least once a day, you're shirking.

First, we bring you the original break:



Not a happy girl:



OWWWWWW... And why are you taking pictures instead of making them stop hurting me??



First, we turn your arm into a sock monkey ...



I always knew she was tightly wrapped:



The cast has underwear:



The death stare: I TOLD you I was annoying!



Ah, such a nice blue:



Mama, this hurt me, but I'm trying to be brave:



Unhappy, but done at last (and Mom? PUT DOWN THAT CAMERA!):

 
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