Monday, June 30, 2008

Fun Monday: Quirk me no questions edition

Lisa Marie wants us to delve deeply into the things that make us weird unique for this week's Fun Monday. I wonder what the heck made her think of this?

A quirk is defined as a peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality; mannerism. We are all unique individuals, having quirks that help make us who we are. I would like to know what your quirks are. Confess to one, confess to ten, you decide. Just come back Monday ready to spill the beans, the rest of the world may look at you like you are from Mars, but you‘re among friends here. We won’t laugh, in fact that eccentricity just may endear you to us more.
Ahem, I admit to nothing.

Because I am SURE that most of you suffer from some of my maladies:

1. The toothpaste tube: Please squeeze ONLY from the bottom. If you squeeze in the middle, I might have to divorce you. In fact, a middle-squozen toothpaste tube was ALMOST a deal-breaker for Wonderhubby and me back when we were first sharing bathroom equipment. Fortunately he is very adaptable, and my weirdness about the tube didn't phaze him all that much.

2. My eggs: I like my eggs fried, rather than scrambled. If they must be scrambled, though, they need to be scrambled DRY and not still runny. This also relates to my fried eggs. I order my eggs over hard -- kill them dead and do not let them run away. If the yolk is not completely done (a light yellow -- no orange, no dark yellow, no two-toned), I will send it back to be cooked a little longer.

And do not come near me with sunny-side-up, over easy or even over medium. If that egg yolk runs, I will gag. My children enjoy making me ill by ordering over-easy eggs with toast and sopping the yolk up with the bread. *Retch*

3. Wooden stirrers: I do NOT like wooden coffee stick stirrer thingies. I can taste the difference in my coffee if you so much as breathe the words "wooden stick" in my general direction. I would rather stir the coffee with my finger ... or NOT STIR IT AT ALL. Period.

4. My paycheck and the bank deposit: The tellers at my bank all know me now. When I come in with my paycheck (and no, I do NOT do direct deposit -- I like to feel the check and resulting moneys in my hand!), I make a general deposit into my checking account and take cash back for "house money." My deposit is ALWAYS an even dollar amount. I will take the change as "cash back." At first, they all asked me: "Don't you want to deposit the change?" Answer: No, thank you. Now they all know.

Before you climb all over me for being weird about this, let me assure you there is some method to my madness. First of all, I like working with even dollar amounts. My deposit, for example, would be $10. Easier math than $10.43.

Plus, do not forget that I am the coin queen. Go here to see why collecting change would be important to me.

I think four quirks is enough for today. Wonderhubby had a laundry list of things he wanted to add to my list. I was not amused and told him to write his OWN Fun Monday post.

Or not.

Meanwhile, I'm going to check out everyone else's quirkiness.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekly Winners: June 21-27



The veggies, they are a-growin'

No salmonella here -- this will be a yummy tomato when it grows up!

I'm a little bit bugged by this:



This is what you get when he doesn't want to be photographed:



This is what you get when she WANTS to be photographed:



Leftover graduation photo -- YAY, let's celebrate:



For more weekly winners, go --->here<---

Saturday, June 28, 2008

When the technology-impaired meet the 21st century, you just might lose your mind

Just when I think there is nothing more on my planet to write about this week, my mother calls.

Now, let us review.

My mother, though interesting in her child-rearing techniques, is a pretty with-it broad who is still active with many volunteer organizations and views her physical fitness and health to be a high priority.

Witness the taking of the pole-dancing class.

And, while you're on that post, please let us remember that how ever much of a rockin' granny she is, she is positively prehistoric when it comes to technology and has hired a computer teacher to come to her house to instruct her on all things email and internet.

OK, are we all up to date on Mommy Dearest? Cool.

So she happened to mention to me recently that she wanted to get my dad a Blackberry or something for his birthday at the end of July. Then she saw my iPhone at a recent family gathering and asked me about it.

I told her to wait for the new generation of iPhones and I would talk to her about it ... leading up to Friday's phone call from her.

Mommy Dearest: So now what is the new generation phone thingy we were talking about?

Evil Daughter: An iPhone, Mom. The new one comes out July 11.

M-Dearest: And how much does it cost?

Evil-D: $199 for the 8-gig.

M-Dearest: Eight-gig? What does that mean?

Evil-D: Just the amount of storage space, like for music and stuff. Don't worry about it. The 8-gig is just fine for him.

M-Dearest: OK, but then what?

Evil-D: Well -- uh, oops. Who is your phone carrier? You don't have AT&T, do you?

M-Dearest: How do I figure that out?

Evil-D: It's written on the phone??

M-Dearest: Oh, yeah. I guess it's Verizon.

Evil-D: Do you know how deep you are into your contract? Because the iPhone is only AT&T, and you'd have to switch carriers.

M-Dearest: *exasperated sigh* I don't know. Your father takes care of all this stuff. Doesn't Verizon have phones like that?

Evil-D: *clearly the most patient daughter on earth* Yes, Blackberries ... and others. But not iPhones. Those are only AT&T. What is it that you want him to be able to do?

M-Dearest: To get his emails and write them and text.

Evil-D: Right. A Blackberry. You should just go to a Verizon store so you can TOUCH them and see how they feel. Because the feel of the keys will make a difference.

M-Dearest: What do you mean?

Evil-D: Like some of them have a full QWERTY keyboard but they're small keys, and it depends on how adept he is with his thumbs.

*a brief pause*

Evil-D: And really, Mom? I don't want to know the answer to that one. TMI, ya know?

M-Dearest: Oh. Well. No. OK.

Evil-D: So ... um ... do you want me to go with you to the Verizon store to help you with this?

M-Dearest: I'm thinking maybe he might like a nice sweatsuit instead.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Haiku Friday: the "huh????" edition

Haiku Friday

Roo! Time to get up!
"I'm a vegetable -- I swear!"
Uh, what did you say?

"I'm a vegetable."
Girl, are you out of your mind?
"I mean ... I'm awake!"

There's nothing more amusing than waking up a teenager in the morning.

This was for reals the conversation I had with the Roo-girl at 6 a.m. Thursday. I guess she was dreaming or something. Definitely a little fuzzy.

And she thought she was a vegetable.

Perhaps she was just a little pea-brained.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

To the moon, Alice!

Roo-girl's friend A (of the shopping expedition fame) celebrated her bat mitzvah over the past weekend. We spent a LOT of time with A's family -- services and parties and brunch.

Blah blah woof woof.

Had a blast of course.

But also had a moment of "Oh dear LORD!"

Follow closely.

The adults were seated at the tables, getting their main course. The kids had already eaten.

The girls were on the dance floor. So were the boys.

There was lots of spinning around and dancing and sliding across the floor. Not a lot of actual touching between the genders, which was oh-so-fine with me.

All normal dance-floor behavior for 13-year-olds.

In the midst of all the spinning, one of the girls grabbed another girl around the waist and spun her 'round and 'round and 'round.

Please note, said spun girl was wearing a very short dress -- as today's 13-year-old girls do.

Suddenly, said short dress rose up, up, up, above her waist.

Revealing to a roomful of adults and a few eagle-eyed teens ... her bare buns.

Apparently, she noticed a bit of a draft because she tugged at her hemline rather quickly and made her friend set her down.

But not before the full moon set over the dance floor.

There was a lot of horrified staring but not a lot of comment at that moment. I think people were, frankly, stunned into silence.

The moment passed, and we went back to our chicken dinner.

Later, I couldn't resist asking the Roo-girl about this incident.

Evil Mother: So ... um ... let me ask you a question. Do you think she was wearing NOTHING or butt floss?

The Roo-girl: Was it a kid?

Evil Mother: *actually amazed that she hadn't seen or heard anything about this prior to this moment* It was a kid.

TRG: Then it was definitely butt floss. Kids my age don't go commando.

Learn something new every day ...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

School daze and new schedules and things that go bump in my orderly world

I don't like it.

No, I do not like it at all.

Tuesday was the first day of summer school. High school for the Roo-girl.

New morning schedule for the Evil Mother.

Can I stop the world now? Cuz seriously? I want to get off.

Here was my Tuesday:

6:00 a.m.: Wake up. (Noooooooooooooo!!!!)

6:01: Look longingly at laptop but know in my heart there isn't time.

6:02: Wake up the Roo-girl. (Yes, I am still her personal alarm clock.)

6:03: Give in to the lure of the laptop and check my mail.

6:20: Tear myself away from the laptop and take a shower. (Yes, I shower BEFORE I go to the gym. I don't have time after, and anyway, then it's clean sweat. Shut up.)

6:32: Turn off the shower. (I do enjoy my morning ablutions!)

6:32:30: Realize that although I washed my face and my hair (yes, BEFORE the gym -- I said SHUT UP!), I neglected to soap up with our lovely vanilla-scented body wash.

6:33: Turn water back on and REshower.

6:35: Turn off SECOND alarm and get dressed for the gym.

6:37: Hustle a slow-poking child along.

6:38: Feed medication-laden cheese to the rat dogs, who -- if they crap in the house again -- are going to be turned into some lovely boots for me. Their new names are Ugg 1 and Ugg 2.

6:45: Re-hustle pokey child, reminding her that a high school freshman is always prepared. (Oh, wait. That's the Boy Scouts. Never mind.)

6:46 to 7:00: Feed dogs, feed fish, look for lost keys, find lost keys, look for lost bluetooth, find lost bluetooth, remind Roo-girl to hurry up, ask three times if she has taken her meds.

7:01: Leave the house. Ask one more time if Roo has taken her meds.

7:02: Turn car around so she can take them for real this time.

7:02:30: Growl at child who thinks she is a grownup but can't remember to take morning meds.

7:06: Get out of the house for the final time, hoping there is time for a stop at Starbucks (NOT the one where they know her name and her drink).

7:11: Stopping. Starbucks. Yum. But not for me -- I'm exercising soon.

7:21 to 7:26: Drive new high school freshman to campus and drop off BEFORE the traditional "circle driveway." (Traffic? It is crazy at that hour.)

7:27: Cry a little when she doesn't turn around to say goodbye.

7:27:30: Throw up in my mouth a little when I look at the older girls' slutty manner of dress and the VERY OLD-LOOKING BOYS who are looking at my baby.

7:35: Arrive at the gym -- for the 8 a.m. class, instead of the 7. Lament being WAAAAAAAAAY early.

8:00 to 9:10: Sweat my brains out (CLEAN SWEAT, I tell ya!)

9:11: Get vaguely annoyed because I don't like the 8 a.m. class as much as the 7.

9:12: Get over myself.

9:13: Haul ass into the locker room and throw on some clothes for work. Clean clothes. That don't have clean, vanilla-scented sweat on them. Manage to throw on some makeup at the same time and marvel that it doesn't slide off my sweaty face (you're welcome!).

9:30: Drive to work. Make sure to stop at the Starbucks to treat myself to the honey latte that I was deprived of BEFORE going to the gym.

9:56: Sit down at my desk (late!) and immediately start blogging about how much I hate my new reality.

10:20: Set blog to post at midnight, knowing that Holly has cleared the way for me to appear on her updating blogroll for at least nine hours.

10:21: Actually begin the work that they pay me the BIG BUCKS for. (Well, after I read my emails, blogs and catch up with my scrabulous and sudoku Facebook games. I mean, SERIOUSLY, people! When did I have time for that in my busy morning?)

And then we can do it all again tomorrow ...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm not sure I should post this stuff ... oh, ok, you talked me into it!

A roundup from the graduation front ...

Remember the Roo-girl's search for the perfect dress?

She looked beautiful in it. But when I picked her up from school that night, I nearly laughed myself sick.

The girls? All dolled up in pretty dresses and heels (mostly off the feet and into their hands by then -- what price beauty?).

The boys? About 90 percent of them were in jeans, sneakers and grubby t-shirts.

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

Drummer Man was late to Roo-girl's graduation ceremony (which, please, was outside on the school field in 120-degree blazing heat, thank you very much).

Drama King and Rocky were even later.

"Where's DK?" asked Drummer when he got there.

"Late," I answered.

"Oh," he said. "They probably stopped off to get married."

Yeah, that was me on the ground twitching.

(And for the record, there is an ongoing debate as to which couple will tie the knot first.)

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

While walking to J-bear's graduation:

Z-man: Did that kid go naked under his robe?

Evil Mother: Wha?????

TRG: Oh, some kid said he was going to be naked under his graduation robe. I guess his brother did it a couple years ago, and he wanted to carry on the family tradition.

Z-man: Such an idiot. So did he do it?

TRG: No. He's a pussy.

Evil Mother: *innocently stepping in it* Oh please, this whole thing is a little hard to swallow.

Z-man: No comment.

*and no comment from me, either*

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

Z-man is still looking for summer work (uh ... lazy much?) and in a last-ditch effort to get him off his duff, we drove past a few restaurants on the way to graduation so he could drop off some resumes.

When he came out of one sushi place, he was purple from supressed laughter.

"I had a little bit of a language barrier in there," he said. "But I managed to find someone who could speak English, and when I asked her if they were hiring, she answered: 'How you know?' "

We all lost it.

"How you know?" is now the correct response to any situation.

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

Dinner after J-bear's graduation. J-bear was with her mom; Z-man had gone off with his friends.

Leaving Roo-girl, Wonderhubby and I for a VERY fancy meal at our local IHOP. (Breakfast for dinner is one of my fave raves!)

Somehow, the conversation came around to Hugh Hefner and a special on his bunny girlfriends.

The Roo-girl: If I became a bunny, would you be disappointed?

Evil Mother: What? Yes, I would be disappointed.

The Roo-girl: What if there was money in it for you?

Evil Mother: *unable to speak while choking on swedish pancakes*

Yep, that's my girl.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fun Monday: the clothes call edition

Hulagirl is our hostess for Fun Monday this week. She is obviously holding onto the past a smidge -- based on what she has asked us to do this week:

We all have at least one or two items of clothing that we can’t part with, even if we can’t or don’t wear them. I want to know about yours. Show us if you have pictures or describe it in detail. Model it for us if you dare.
Well, long ago, in a blogalaxy far far away, Willowtree asked us about clothing art.

And I told the story about this jacket:


It is a jacket I have had for more than 20 years, and it is, indeed, something I will never EVER part with. (Even though the freakin' rat dogs CHEWED ON ONE SLEEVE since that photo was taken last October.)

I also have a dress that I wore as a baby, but as luck would have it, I canNOT find the blasted thing in the disaster that is our garage. Perhaps I will post it someday when I can FIND the blasted thing.

Insert heavy sigh here ... and then go visit the other Fun Monday folk.

Weekly Winners: June 15-21

This week, we're proud, we're tall, we're graduates.

Cute girl walking ...:



The moment of truth:



Cinderella after the ball:



Second verse, not quite same as the first:

Our vantage point for J-bear's graduation was much further away and no amount of zoom-lensing would make that guy get OUT OF THE WAY OF HER FACE!

This really says it all:



For more non-graduation-obsessed weekly winners, go --->here<---

Saturday, June 21, 2008

All about me and mememememememes

First things first.

I'd like to thank the Academy -- and one of my favorite bloggers -- for special recognition earlier this week.

It's from Holly of June Cleaver Nirvana. Do you know Holly? If you don't, you should. She cracks my shit up on a daily basis. Her animated life is one of the funniest things on the 'net -- even if I hardly ever appear on her updating blogroll!!

ANYWAY.

My very dear friend Holly likes to reward her commenters and picks a Peep of the Week. So if you go here, you will find ME receiving this:

because I'm such a funny funny girl!!

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

Miss Anne Derstood tagged me for a meme. And because I'm always at such a loss for words (snort), I thought I'd play along this time!

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

I've kinda done some version of this before, so I think I will switch this out a little. So, for your amusement, six random things about me -- and blogging!

1. I'm addicted to three things: word games on Facebook, honey lattes (they're going to go away soon -- I just KNOW it!) and blogging (duh).

2. Although I did not sign up for Blog 365, I will admit that I actually have posted every. single. day. -- since Jan. 2. (Now, having said that? I will probably bust my streak ...)

3. I sometimes (um, often) write posts DAYS ahead of posting them. At this moment, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are planned.

4. I forget more good blog fodder than I have written. I have mentioned before that I should carry around a paper and pen, but that would tip my hand to my kids (who have no clue about all this). I DID write down some of the graduation nonsense, but there was a great one that is simply GONE from my swiss cheese brain (everything goes out the holes).

5. I am a comment whore. I love love LOVE when you talk to me. I love it even more when I can locate your email address and can therefore respond directly to you. (LceeL? Karen of Sillymonkeez? There are others, but see No. 4 for the swiss-cheese-brain thing.)

6. Sometimes I fret that I will have nothing to write about. But this is my 288th post. I don't seem to have run out yet.

As for tagging others? If you haven't done this one, consider yourself tagged. If you HAVE done this one and want to do it again, consider yourself tagged.

And to steal from my friend Janet, if your name is Janet, consider yourself tagged!

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

And speaking of Janet and being tagged, she tagged me -- as a fellow Janet.

The rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. Open to page 123

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

OK, this is kinda weird. But it IS the nearest book:

206 Shoulder 19-27 Roast, grill, broil, pan-fry.

207 Shoulder, square-cut 13-19 Roast, grill, broil, braise, pan-fry, roast, braise

208 Shoulder, squre-cut, boneless, tied 6-8 Roast, braise

Bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

The book? "The Professional Chef," seventh edition. Page 123 includes cuts of lamb and mutton:

Item number, product name, weight range (in pounds) and suggested cooking methods.

Why is the nearest? Because I am blogging this from work (for shame, Janet! For shame! I guess that should qualify as the seventh random fact -- I do blog at work ... shhhhhhhhhhhh!) and someone just gave me this gorgeous illustrated book to take home to Z-man.

Well? It DID say the nearest book!

I'm again tagging anyone who hasn't done this one or who wants to do it again.

It's always a good choice for when you have nothing else to say.

Which is clearly not me.

Shutting up now ...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Haiku Friday: the post-Father's Day edition

Haiku Friday

Father's Day always
means dinner in the nuthouse
with the Weird Fam'ly.

You cannot deny that
this is what you've waited for:
the Planet crazies!

I wish oh wish that I had the patience to do justice to Father's Day in haiku. Instead you must be satisfied with a haiku intro and snippets. There's just no other way.

So with no further ado and a-don't, I give you ... the nuthouse.

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

Drama King: *singing* "I kissed a girl and I liked it ..."

Evil Mother: Bwahahahahahaa!

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

The Roo-girl: Mom, there's a book I want to get ... It's called "Suck It Up."

Z-man: Wha???

TRG and Evil Mother: *in unison* It's a vampire book.

Z-man: Oh. Heh. I thought maybe it was a self-help book.

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

Drama King: *surveying the dinner buffet and barbecue* Oooooooooooh! CORN!!

Evil Mother: You are not allowed to have corn.

Drama King: Bwahahahahaha!!

Drummer Man: *oblivious as usual* Why not?

Evil Mother: Dude. Were you NOT THERE????

Drummer Man: Oh. Yeah.

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

My sister's child -- she of the restrictive sleep habits and assorted other fine qualities -- was in RARE form on Sunday night.

Let me set the scene a little. She really deserves her own post, based on the whacked-out upbringing she has had from my sister and the bigotted asshole she married (yes, I know -- don't hold back, Janet. Tell us how you REALLY feel!)

My sister was anorexic in college. She still is a whack job.

My brother-in-law is a morbidly obese Italian who converted to Judaism so the rabbi could marry them 8 years ago. We hate him. He's older than I am. She's 10 years younger than me.

The child? Is a divine creation.

The child? Has never actually eaten a meal away from her home. My sister brings cheese puffs and Doritos in a bag. Even to Passover dinner (where the cheesy poofs and Doritos constitute a breach of the dietary restrictions) and to the country club where we had Father's Day buffet that offered everything from steak to sushi, pasta, fruit, salads, veggies to die for and a dessert table that made me drool at 50 paces.

The child? Is 6 1/2.

The mother and father? Need to get a grip.

In addition to her lovely eating habits, she is hyperactive and has a discipline problem.

As in: She gets none. Which means that her whirling dervish behavior goes unchecked.

So when she repeated bonked my father on the nose from across the table with a balloon flower (you know, the balloon animal kind) while he was talking and NO ONE DID ANYTHING, including my father, this conversation ensued:

Evil Mother: *speaking softly to her three boys* If that were my child, she would have lost a limb.

Drama King: Uh. Yeah.

Z-man: No. If that were your child, it never would have happened. We were raised better than that.

*That strange sound you hear is me screaming and doing the happy dance as my children agreed that their upbringing resulted in reasonably well-behaved adults. Well, except for that corn thing.*

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We shall now commence commencing

I survived the end of middle school yesterday.

It was close. But I survived. And I have a happy high school freshman today.

I also have something else.

At 5 p.m. TODAY, I will have a high school graduate.

J-bear will walk the commencement walk today at the school where Roo-girl will commence to walk next week.

A passing of the baton of sorts, I suppose. In the meantime, though, let us pause to reflect on J-bear's accomplishments.

I waxed eloquent about her here and here.

But I don't really know if I can explain the amazing thing she is doing when she switches that tassel from one side to the other and picks up a diploma proclaiming her accomplishment.

It's huge, people. HUGE.

Where my freaky-brilliant boys underachieved, and my hard-working Roo achieved, J-bear worked crazy hard and failed. Or almost failed.

Failure was something her father and I refused to allow to happen.

Countless were the hours I spent going over her written work or quizzing her or fighting the system to get her some additional help.

Joyous were moments when the letter arrived two years ago, saying she had passed the high school exit exam on the first try and would indeed graduate with a diploma.

Amazing was the realization that she was finishing her senior year and, therefore, her high school career with A's and B's, instead of C's and D's.

Thrilling will be the moment when they hand her that hard-won diploma.

And LOUD will be the cheering from the Chez Planet area of the bleachers.

Atta girl, J-bear. Go get 'em.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The end is nigh ... and the beginning is right around the corner

I am a creature of habit. Every morning at Chez Planet has a certain rhythm to it, and I like it that way.

My alarm goes off at 6:35 a.m. -- unless it's a gym day. Then it's 6. (And you can shoot me now.)

Why 6:35 and not 6:30? *sigh* I don't know. It just IS, ok?

First things first, you know. I grab the laptop and check my mail, seeing how many love notes I have been sent from my many several readers. (Love you guys ...)

And then it really begins.

I poke my head out of my bedroom door, and within seconds of the first creak of the hinges, I am greeted by two rat dogs.

This is a relatively new thing. Usually they can't be bothered with me (and I with them, frankly).

But ever since rat dog no. 1's close encounter with snail bait, she has been on medication (to be given on an empty stomach ... wtf?? This is a DOG!) and I have been cleverly hiding it in a piece of CHEESE.

And because we're all about sibling rivalry here, rat dog no. 2 ALSO must get a piece of cheese (sans pill).

Guess why they greet me at the door?

In fact, the other day, when Wonderhubby was the first out, they came running -- and when they saw it was HIM and not ME, they turned tail and skittered back to their warm bed with the Roo-girl.

He laughs. I moan.

But anyway ...

When the cheese has been administered, I head back up the stairs to act as Roo's human alarm clock.

Yes, she is going to be 14. Yes, I am an enabler. Whatevs. I enjoy the brief moment of physical contact as I gently shake her awake.

THEN is the best part. I go BACK to bed and snuggle up with my laptop, where I read blogs, instant message with friends, catch up on my Scrabulous games, check out the umpty-thirty OTHER word games that Blue Momma or AFF have started with me, and generally be a slug until I realize OMIGOD, I'm going to be late and I rush to take a shower and get ready to take the child to school by 9 a.m.

One of the traditions of this morning ritual is the appearance of a sleepy Roo-girl, asking what the weather is going to be. I dutifully type *our city weather* into Dr. Google, meteorologist, and read off the answer.

This tradition has undergone a brief change in the last couple weeks. Now she comes in, finds my iPhone, punches the icon for weather and does it herself.

Ah, self-sufficiency. Ah, technology. Ah, shucks!

Then there is the "will you iron the cuffs of my Abercrombie shorts that I got at the children's consigment shop and have issues with not folding right?"

Or "will you braid my hair?"

Now, if you have made it this far through this post, you are surely asking: Who cares?

Maybe no one. Maybe just me.

But some slight variation of this routine has been going on for three years.

Today, I will wake Roo-girl up for middle school for the final time. When summer school starts next week, she will have to be at school at 7:30 a.m.

For high school.

I'm mood-swinging back and forth from an incredible high to an incredible funk.

She has been absolutely a shining star academically for the last three years. Her higher-than-3.5 GPA got her a Presidential Academic Award, as well as recognition for her achievements in pre-algebra at the awards breakfast on Monday.


Awards breakfast????

I have never had a child like this in my home. My boys are freaky-scary brilliant, but each of them had their mind-boggling reasons for why they underachieved. The Roo-girl? Probably not freaky-scary brilliant, but bright and a HARD worker.

I have never had a child on the honor roll until Roo. I have never been to an awards breakfast until Roo. I have never been so proud of anyone in my life.

And so scared.

After today, I am going to have to change my description on my sidebar. I'm no longer "all about middle school (yuck)" ... I think I'm "all about high school (oh noooo!)"

And my morning routine, so carefully crafted over the past three years, will be shot to shit.

You can think of me at 5 p.m. this afternoon. I will be sitting on the middle school field, with my husband, my other children and my parents, watching as my youngest babychild receives a diploma stating she has fulfilled the requirements of her K-through-8 years.

I'll be the one who is crying -- and grinning like a Cheshire cat.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The state of the state of their union

So here is the story I failed to tell last month when the Drama King decided to be a jerk. I saved it for today in honor of the first day that California counties will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples:

Drama King: I can get married now. *nod nod*

Evil Mother: lololol... something i should know about? is there something you'd like to announce?

Drama King: Lolol, noooooo. Just thought I'd share

Evil Mother: lol i know. i heard ... i thought of you

Drama King: Hehehe

Drama King: Now all I hafta do is propose...

Evil Mother: ROFLMAO.... can i watch?

Evil Mother: will you do it with roses?

Evil Mother: put a ring in his pie?

Evil Mother: really! i wanna know!!!!

Drama King: Lolol I haven't even thought about it yet...sheeeeesh

Evil Mother: heh. prolly you should live together for reals first

Drama King: Yeah, prolly. I'm just glad to know its an option

Evil Mother: yup. he's marryin' material?

Drama King: Geeeeeeeeeeeeez. Give a guy some room to breathe here...

Drama King: :-P

Drama King: I'm extraordinarily fond of him, yes

Evil Mother: :-)

Evil Mother: and he is of you?

Evil Mother: and can we figure out what your freakin' name is now?

*We interrupt this post to explain that Mr. DK has opted not to use his father's last name -- or any other last name that makes sense -- nor is he actually using the name he was given when he was born, choosing instead some letter combo that has NOTHING to do with his actual given name. OK, back to the post at hand.*

Drama King: Lolol

Drama King: My name is whatever I feel at any given moment

Drama King: Hehe

Evil Mother: *eyeroll*

Drama King: Careful. They might fall out

Evil Mother: hey. you could take HIS last name. that would solve some of your issues with last names.

Drama King: Lol

Evil Mother: except for his? kinda sucks. lolololol

Drama King: Heheh. Yeah, yeah it does.

Evil Mother: well, just for the record, i approve. although i believe in long engagements.

Drama King: Lol

And that, my friends, is where it stands today. I'll let you know if anything changes after today.


I personally would laugh myself sick if DK and Rocky got married before Drummer Man and the fabulous girlfriend.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fun Monday: Ting tang WALLa WALLa bing bang edition

Business before pleasure -- although this is pleasurable indeed.

gmbmbadge.jpg

Thanks, Jenny. Love ya mean it.

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

Jan of the Prytz Family is our hostessina for Fun Monday this week. She does not want to fence us in, but this week her challenge has to do with WALLS:

We all have walls of some sort. What I want to hear about and see, if you're going to show off your amazing photo skills, is what is on your walls, what color are your walls, what is special about them, what is your favorite or least favorite, is it inside or outside. You get the idea, let's show and tell about walls.
I like my walls. They desperately need a coat of paint, but the color? I love it.

Most of the house is a pale yellow. Our bedroom is a sage green. The kids painted their rooms before we moved in four years ago, but the yellow and green came with the house -- and it makes me happy.

Since I couldn't seem to get the color right in the photos, I decided to focus on my artwork -- some of my favorites.

This is a special painting. About 12 years ago, my BFF took me shopping. Her purpose? To find something to hang on the walls that was MINE, and not my husband at the time, he-who-shall-not-be-named. It was HIS taste that filled our house -- and made it NOT a home for me.

So she took me to the mall for my birthday and I picked this out. She came home with me and hung it on the wall, right by the bed, so I could see it when I woke up in the morning and when I went to sleep at night. It has moved with me twice since and again is on a wall near my side of the bed.

See? Special. Very.

Next up? The Western Wall:

This painting was purchased in January 1983, when my first husband and I took a trip to Israel. We found it in a little artists colony in Sfat and carted it home. It was something I took with me from the end of my first marriage.

This one hangs over the piano in our living room/family room/dining area. I love this piece. It's HUGE and colorful and brightens up the room. It was purchased during marriage no. 2 at what we refer to as "art in the park." You know, the craft and art fairs that are held in area parks. They come up every couple of months, hosted by Kiwanis or Rotary clubs or whatever.



The art in the park concept is critical to this next piece as well.

This is metalwork. I literally was driving down the street past an art in the park thing on my way to work, and I saw this from my car. The following day, I went back to the park and bought it.

Just like that. It caught my eye and I was hooked.

And isn't that what artwork is really all about?

And just to shows ya that we're really not all that high-fallutin', this is how the Roo-girl's room walls are adorned:



Heh. Yeah, I had to sneak the cheer trophy collection in there somehow!!

Now go check out all the other Fun Monday wall-eyes!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekly Winners: June 8-14


Last week, I showed J-bear in search of her pre-black belt. This week -- she wears it.

There's a little bit of a story with the belt that she received. She did get one of her own, but the one that was tied around her this week belonged to one of her teachers and has been passed down four more times.

Grand Master starts the process:



The belt's original owner completes it:



The tradition continues:



Next up? FISH!

Remember my dead fish? Well, this is the OTHER fish. The one that's NOT dead ... yet:



An attempt to show how big Jack really is:

This still doesn't do Jack justice. S/he is slighty turned in the photo so you don't get the TRUE length or perspective. I might try again another time, another way.

When bored, draw smiley faces on your leg:





Silly, silly girl:






For more weekly winners, go --->here<---

Saturday, June 14, 2008

This will surprise NO ONE who knows me ....

Greed:Medium
 
Gluttony:Medium
 
Wrath:Low
 
Sloth:High
 
Envy:Low
 
Lust:Very Low
 
Pride:Medium
 


Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

Friday, June 13, 2008

Haiku Friday: the EEEEEEEEEK edition

Haiku Friday

Today is creepy ...
Triskaidekaphobia
makes me a coward.

Oh, not really. Heh heh heh.

And besides, if I REALLY were afraid of Friday the 13th, I'd actually have this:

Paraskavedekatriaphobia

But honestly? That was too many syllables.

So go pet a black cat today. They get a bad rap, ya know.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The only thing you can do is just the best you know how ...

I harbor a few resentments about my childhood.

Not about the material things. God knows, I had a fairly privileged life with opportunities that many people would kill for.

But I don't like the way I was parented. I don't like the way I am parented TO THIS VERY DAY.

Let us back up.

I was the quintessential "not-good-enough kid."

And yet I was the epitome of goody-two-shoes and nerdy bookworm.

A paradox? Only if you're not my parents. If I got an A-, why wasn't it an A? If I got an A, why wasn't it an A+? My achievements were awesome, in my opinion, but they never seemed to quite measure up to them.

And every time I disobeyed or did something they disapproved of, the consequence (among other things) was a lecture that dredged up a laundry list of every previous egregious act. I HATE that.

As an adult, I heard from other sources that my parents were ALWAYS bragging about me. But you couldn't prove it by what I heard at home.

Anyway, they operated as parents from a perspective of fear of disappointment and financial strings. As I grew into adulthood, everything was somehow tied to money. If I didn't toe the line, there were financial ramifications. If I strayed somehow, they would THREATEN to withhold dollars to keep in me in line. And at certain points in my life, the financial assistance was what kept me afloat. But the emotional strings attached ... oh my.

I'm not proud of this, I assure you, and I am trying not to sound like whiny brat here because, really, I wanted for nothing as a child -- except my parents' approval.

And yet ...

I did not go through my "rebellious" years until I was in my 20s and picked a mate who they disapproved of. I dug in my heels. Nasty words were spoken.

They were ultimately right, as I divorced him 14 years and three sons later. And they took me back into the fold.

Lather, rinse and repeat a couple years after that, when I again went admittedly wrong with my choices.

Five years and financial ruin proved them right once more. And again they took me back, though this time, I never have felt 100 percent about it -- and they don't miss many opportunities to remind me of my faults and transgressions.

They have told me point-blank that they believe me to be a lousy mother -- yes, I mean recently. They misinterpret my motives at every turn, assigning reasons to my actions that are nowhere near reality but fit a twisted view of the not-good-enough kid.

And yet, I really do know they love me. Otherwise, they would never have "taken me back" after the bad-marriage years when I was not always a nice daughter.

Today, I stand as the mother of grown and growing children.

Some of them are easy (sorta) and some, not so much.

And I take from my parents an important lesson.

When the Drama King spoke to me in a despicable manner 2 1/2 years ago and I threw him out of my house -- at 9 p.m. on Christmas night -- I burned with anger.

Raged.

Cried.

Stormed.

And as time passed, I forgave, eventually bringing my prodigal son back into the family.

As I had been taught.

Why do I bring this up today? Honestly, I don't know.

I do know that Father's Day is Sunday, and this will bring the requisite dinner with the parental units. And I will cringe and hope that cruel or uncomfortable words will not be sent my way this time.

But at the same time, I know from my many years of being a mom that most of the time, you're just winging it and doing the best you can.

So I remind myself that my own parents were -- and are -- doing the best they can.

I can wish they had known better, but I cannot expect any more from them than my children can expect from me.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's the tw!l!ght of our ecl!pse for a new m00n at breaking d@wn. I'll be the h0st

The time has come, the Walrus said, to speak of Stephenie Meyer again.

Specifically, the booksigning from hell.

Oh, you remember author Stephenie Meyer. Please don't make me link to her stuff again. Here -- go here instead and you'll see why she aggravates me.

So. The Stephmeister came to town. It was quite a to-do, I should tell you.

Roo-girl and her two BFFs, Susie and Laurie (usually referred to as the single-named SusieandLaurie), were psyched. They got together the night before to make special t-shirts commemorating the event! With puffy paints! And Sharpies! And glitter!

*insert eyeroll here*

So anyway, it was like a well-oiled machine. The girls got out of school, one mom drove them to my office, complete with snacks and water bottles, and I set sail with a car-full of 13-year-old giggling girls and a BOATLOAD of books to be signed.

It was a 50-mile trek through rush-hour traffic to the scene of the crime, but we made good time and the girls entertained themselves with a rousing game of sweet-and-sour.

In fact, in MY opinion, this was the best part of the evening. At one time, they were attempting to get the guy behind us to wave. He kinda bobbed his head a little, but no waves. They persisted. He smiled. They used sign language. He smirked.

Finally, they made a sign and flashed it out the back window: PLEASE WAVE BACK!

The guy burst out laughing and waved. Cheers and whoops of joy echoed in our little vehicle.

Really, it went downhill from there.

The rules of engagement for this gagfest were strict -- and became stricter when they refused to allow cameras into the auditorium.

WHAT??? I trekked 50 miles (not to mention the trip to buy the tickets and the books) and I cannot take a photo of my girlie getting her book signed by her idol? Grrrrrrrrr.

We entered and were swept up in the vortex of enthusiasm. First, you had to be checked to make sure you brought your copy of "The Host" (NOT part of the treasured vampire series). No book? No entry.

Then they gave you a sticky paper with your name on it -- or at least the name of the person you wanted the book autographed to. That ensured no misspellings. A good plan.

Then -- the auditorium of doom.

I was surrounded by bouncing teenybopper girls, wearing t-shirts that expressed their undying devotion to Edward Cullen or Jacob Black (boo). Some were pre-fab but clever ("vegetarian vampire"); some were carefully handcrafted (like the young lady who had covered every square inch of her jeans with declarations of love to Edward and all things "Twilight").

When the Meyermeister was introduced, the screaming was high-pitched, eardrum-shattering and LOUD!!!!!!!!!! These kids were s.e.r.i.o.u.s. in their worship.

And basically, all she did was answer questions that had been submitted on card in advance.

First, "The Host" questions. The girls tolerated it with little squeaks of excitement.

But when Her Twilightness said it was time to talk about ...

The room ERUPTED. I guess I should be grateful that they were screaming for an author -- a rather ordinary-looking woman -- instead of some heavily tattooed, pierced, drug-snorting and black-lipsticked rocker boy. (Um, no offense to those of you with tats, piercings and black lipstick.)

Anyway, she answered her questions -- to much accompanying enthusiasm -- and then the lineup began.

Booksignings. The be-all and end-all of my $10 entrance fee.

Just to tell ya, we were numbers 667, 668, 669 and 670. It went up to 1,000. They called us in numerical order.

It was THREE HOURS before I herded my charges, signed books in hand and ear-to-ear grins on faces, back to the car.

The drive back was less eventful. No one wanted to play sweet-and-sour. They were content to eat their Subway sandwiches (at 10 p.m.) and gush over their hero.

I brought an exhausted Roo back home (there was no school the next day, people -- call off the dogs!) and tucked her into bed.

She threw her arms around my neck and squeezed me tight.

"Thank you sooooo much, Mommy," she whispered in my ear. "That was awesome."

Yes, it is, my baby. Yes, it is.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm thinking perhaps I had taken leave of my senses

What was I thinking?

For all you who are t.i.r.e.d. of me going on and on about my baby growing up ... well, sorry. It's coming up again.

Long ago, in a universe far, far away, there was an 11-year-old girl starting middle school. She was old beyond her years.

No, that's not right. She BELIEVED she was older than she really was and wanted to grow up NOW. In fact, she thought that she should be entitled to rights and privileges beyond her years and was mighty might peeved that I seemed to not want her to grow up. (Me? Nah.)

Among the things she was haranguing me mercilessly about was dating.

"If someone were to ask me out on a date, could I go? And if not, WHEN will I be allowed to?"

Eeek, I thought. Here is an issue that, in all my years of parenting, had never really come up.

My boys weren't so much into dating (uh, Drama King? Hello??), and I had long ago proven myself to be a sexist pig anyway.

< digression >

Z-man was quite the ladies man in preschool and kindergarten. Girls liked him, and he liked 'em right back. In fact, he chased a little girl around the school on the night of his preschool graduation, seeking kisses. Soooooooooo cute.

So the day he came home from kindergarten and told me that he had kissed Katie, I was equally charmed. What a cutie that boy was!!

Fast forward five years to the Roo-girl's kindergarten class and the day that Corey kissed her in the sandbox.

WHAT???????????????????

The horror. The OUTRAGE. The conversations with the teacher ...

See? Sexist pig.

< /digression >

OK, where were we? Oh yeah. Dating. Sixth-graders. Uh, NO.

"But then WHEN??????" she demanded.

In a moment of panic, I threw out the same number that my girlfriend was using for her son.

"14."

I felt that was safe. She would be through with middle school and starting high school by that time. It satisfied her, and it was far far far away at the same time.

Silly me.

Now, I would have just continued in my blissfull ignorance but for the THING that happened Friday night while I was at karate belt-testing for J-bear.

I was sitting there minding my own bee's wax when I received a text message from Roo, who was at home, moping over her failed plans with her girlfriend.

"(Boy's name here) just invited me to go to the movies at the (mall she is never allowed to go to on Friday nights)."

Right then and there, at the karate studio, I gagged on my Chex Mix.

"That's a date," I texted back frantically.

Verbatim answer (spelling, punctuation and capitalization intact): "Dont worry mom i told him that i culdn't go cuz i dont hav a ride alrite?"

Whew. Bullet dodged.

However.

It's June now. Next month is July. Do you know what comes in July?

The Roo-girl's 14th birthday.

Uh-oh.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fun Monday: the I remember when edition

Molly of Return of the White Robin is our hostess this week for a trip down memory lane. She wants to know this:

For your assignment tell us about a happy memory from your childhood. If you have pictures, please show us your pictures.
Oh, thank you, Molly. You have given me the chance to tell the story of the other Janet.

I know I previously haiku'd about all the blogging Janets out there. But the first time I ever met anyone with the same name as me was sleep-away camp when I was 10.

She was in my cabin. And she made a big -- ahem -- splash the first day by throwing up in the library on the camp tour. (Sorry, but it made quite an impression at the time!)

Anyway, she was part of the contingent from a different part of my state, and the cliques in the cabins kinda held for the four weeks. But by the end, we had all exchanged addresses and promises to write.

I sent out four letters to four girls, and, in a moment of serendipity that would change our lives, Janet was the only one who wrote back.

And then I wrote her.

And then she wrote me.

And so a penpalship was born.

It took about eight months for one of us to come up with the bright idea to use the telephone.

Please remember, this was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth -- before unlimited long distance, before email and instant messaging and when a long distance phone call was quite an occasion.

We planned it for weeks. Picked a time. She called. I answered. We had three minutes of heaven!

By the time the following summer rolled around, we had progressed to regular (but still short) phone calls and non-stop letter-writing. There was nothing more exciting than coming home from school and finding an envelope in the mail with my name on it.

And it was only logical that we had the equally bright idea to visit each other. To this day, it amazes me that my parents put me on an airplane and sent me to this familiar-only-to-me family and that her parents put us both on a return flight for a visit to my home.

Check out that hot and happ'nin' look of me at 11 (on the left, duh), and harken back, please, to that inner geek I referred to recently.

We actually continued this fly-by behavior all the way through high school. Summer wasn't summer without a visit to and from my penpal Janet. We kept vaguely in touch through college and kinda spiraled in and out of each other's lives during marriage and child-rearing, until we pretty much disappeared from view.

Then, one Passover about five years ago, I knocked on my parents' door for seder dinner.

My mother answered, looking like the cat who swallowed the canary.

"You'll never guess who is here," she grinned.

I had no idea -- and so she opened the door wider.

And there was Janet.

She had come to my town to take her daughter on a tour of the local colleges and had navigated to my parents' house by pure instinct alone.

It was like summer all over again.

This time, though, there is email and instant messaging.

We won't lose touch again.

Now check out Molly's list of other Fun Monday'ers and see what they remember of their happy childhood.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weekly Winners: June 1-7


This week we're all about karate belt-testing, as J-bear qualified for her pre-black belt. Big stuff!

First, however, here is me and my identical conjoined twin, as shot by Wonderhubby in the mirror from across the karate studio. Weird. Crappy quality, too, but I still thought it was funny:

OK, now we've gotten that out of our system, here's the real deal.

Just for kicks:



Ow, that HURTS:



The gloved one:



All in all, a pretty good performance by our girl. Next stop: black belt in three months!

For more weekly winners, go --->here<---
 
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