Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Just file this one under, "But it seemed like such a good idea at the time." Please... It's the story of my life. They might as well go ahead and engrave it on my tombstone now.

So, I thought I'd be all mom-like and fun and take the stupid dog in the car with me to pick up Moody Teen at the bus stop. She was outside anyway, and she always makes Moody so happy (and he needs all the help he can get these days!). She doesn't normally ride in the car, well, because I never take her anywhere. And it's no secret that she has major mental health issues, but how disastrous could a quick trip to the bus stop be?

She happily jumped in the car without any coaxing from me. However, the minute she was in the driver's seat, she started to freak out (red flag #1 that I stupidly ignored). Suddenly, she grew very still and refused to budge. I tried to shove her over to the console, but she started to growl every time I touched her (nice. ignored red flag #2). So, since I was in a hurry, I just sat down with her wedged in between me and the seat. I was basically 2 inches from the steering wheel. Meanwhile, she started maniacally shaking. And shedding. It was like that pathetic little Charlie Brown Christmas tree, where all the pine needles explode off the tree at once (obviously red flag #3, but at this point, I was fully entrenched in the mission).

I pulled up to the bus stop and yanked her into my lap. She was all shaky and weird and started yawning repeatedly. Seriously. So she was yawning and yawning, and shaking and shedding, and I was starting to panic a little bit. Has anyone ever heard of an animal actually being possessed? I mean, I know, intellectually, that the chances of the dog being possessed are fairly slim, but I am really bad about buying into all that Armageddon hype, and what better way to begin the final battle of Good vs Evil, than to have the Devil steal the souls of all the dogs on Earth? 

So I started to look around the street for other dogs, to see if they were acting suspicious, but no such luck. Well, then Pepper started to gag. And what's even better than gagging? That's right! Puking! I managed to push her head over to the console so everything was contained (I had perfected that technique once before when driving in the car with my other dog. Do I just never learn?). 

At this point, the bus had arrived, and Moody comes strolling up to the car, completely confused. The plan had totally backfired and I just wanted to get home to check the news for swarms of locusts or blood in the rivers. 

We all made it home alive and of course the minute she was back on solid ground, Pepper returned to normal. At least I accomplished my original goal of making Moody Teen happy. He thought the whole thing was hilarious... Until I sent him back out to clean the car!

Coming Out of the Closet

Last night I introduced my friends to my natural-hair-color growth plan, affectionately nicknamed RootWatch '09. The overall reception was decidedly lukewarm. There was a fairly even distribution of blank stares and puzzled expressions. A few people asked why on earth would I be growing out all my grey. Aren't I afraid of looking old? Why? How long is it going to take? Why? And finally, the all important question... Why? 

I came away from the evening feeling like I should be embarrassed by my natural hair color (which I am not), and mad at myself for feeling compelled to justify my decision. I leaned heavily on the "experiment" excuse, stating that it has been 27 years since I have seen my natural hair color and I want to take a peek... with the unspoken assumption that I would cover it back up promptly upon full exposure. And yes, that is part of it. But I am also finding the silvery-white strands on each side of my widow's peak kind of cool. And I am loving how healthy my hair is becoming now that I am not dying and bleaching it to death. So why not just say that? 

On one hand, I don't care what people think enough to change my course of action. On the other hand, I care too much to be honest and upfront about it, I guess. Is that what's going on? 

In unrelated news, I have been having really weird, vivid dreams. I used to have them when I was younger, but for the past 10 years, or so, I haven't been dreaming at all (or I've just been too zonked to remember that I have). Last night's involved a drug dealer, a house on the water and sea snakes.

And here I am... worried about my hair! Silly, silly me.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spoiled Rotten

Now, now, don't you worry your pretty little heads... The pendulum has swung the other way, and yours truly has regained both clarity and sanity. Don't you just love it? After posting basically the biggest buzz kill ever (hey, at least I chose mid-week to have my freak out), and dragging all of you sweet, innocent people along for the ride, I woke up this morning feeling quite at peace! And no, hubby did not slip any quaaludes into my coffee. 

Somehow, I am lucky enough to have the most incredible people in my blog life. And I use that qualifier only because the people in my "life" life aren't so great. So, when I began blogging, I thought, in a way, it would be simply an exercise in self-exploration. Why would "blog" people be any different than "real" people?

But we all found each other, one way or another, and thus the journey began. I told you my secrets and you didn't roll your eyes (or maybe you did, but at least you had the good manners not to tell me about it!). I expressed my fears and you offered comfort and sound advice. 

And like a petulant child, I keep testing you over and over again. Pushing the limits to see if you'll finally just throw up your hands in exasperation and hit "delete".  But look! You are still here taking care of me. Like the smart girl I can sometimes pretend to be, I am not going to question it... I am simply going to embrace it. 

But I have to tell you, if your still hanging around because you think you are going to get some really cool prize, don't hold your breath. All I can offer is a shoulder or an ear... oh, and I am really good about not saying "I told you so"... I save that for my husband.

I guess what all this means is... thank you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Absolute Pits

Is that what this is all about? Are we all on here to hold each other's hands while things just fall apart? The old die, the healthy die, the little ones get sick, the sick ones hurt, and we all sit at our computers and watch? We watch and pray and, then what? Do our words of comfort really help, or do they just help us? What do we take away from it all? Realization that we are lucky? But what does that mean? And what if we aren't lucky? My God, someone reading about a sick baby one day, and kissing their kids goodnight could be facing the same damn thing not 24 hours later. A car wreck, a blood test, a fall on the green slope, for crying out loud.

The whole reason I started blogging was to face my fears head on. Say (well, type) the words that have been spinning around in my head for 15 years now. Almost exactly 15 years. The words that the "real" people in my life don't want to hear, or shouldn't have to hear. Barring a miracle, I will have to watch my son die. I will have to hold his hand, stroke his blonde hair and tell him goodbye. And then somehow, pick up the pieces and continue to live. But it's not my time right now, and God willing, it won't be for a long, long, long time. It seems to be just about everyone else's time, though. Loss everywhere I look, making me, somehow, one of the lucky ones. Now how silly am I for even thinking about myself or my distant sadness when everybody, everybody, is hurting so very badly?

I'm confused and sad... not really sad for me, but for all of us. But I am not going to walk away. I am not sure what I can do or what it all means. I don't know...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: The Next Best Thing to Hell

Okay, most of you, it seems, have younger children, so this may be totally lost on you. If, after I explain, you still don't know what I am talking about, could you please just pretend to be appalled, annoyed and sympathetic to my plight? 

Today's tribute goes out to the "group project", assigned by only the most clueless and/or satanic of teachers. This particular type of assignment involves a) other students and b) work outside of school. "Oh, that sounds fun!" you say? Uh, not so much. And here's why:

Somehow, my son, without fail, whether assigned or chosen, is grouped with the total dregs of the school. We're talking about the kids that are just one pot-smoking, vandalism incident away from military school. Where are the smart, organized girls when you need them? 

Once the group is assigned, I am always amazed at the total lack of a plan. It always comes down to the wire. Always.

Me: "When is your group getting together and where are you going to meet?"
Moody Teen: "Uhhhh, I don't know."
Me: "Okay, well do you guys want to meet over here this weekend?"
Moody Teen: "None of them have rides. Can we go get them?"
Me: "Sure. When?"
Moody Teen: "Well, Tom has to meet with his probation officer and Kevin's parents are taking his sister to rehab, so it'll probably have to be next weekend."
Me: "Isn't the whole project due the very next day?"
Moody Teen: "Yeah, but it's okay. We'll get it done."
Me: ....

So the group usually ends up getting one shot to complete the project. And by that time, I am just so over it, I breathe a sigh of relief that they will have something to hand in, even if it is a wadded up piece of notebook paper, with chicken scratch on it. 

And then, typically, I load the geniuses back up into my car to drive them home and am completely stunned (although at this point, I shouldn't be) when one of the boys can't give me directions to his own house! Guess his fried brain can only handle so much information in a day. Good grief...

Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Blogversations: Knitwit

Has it really already been a week since my last mindless drivel? I may eventually cave under the pressure of having a weekly topic (which, to me, is the close cousin of homework), but so far, so good... sort of. I'm kind of thinking I may have hit a new low. 

So let's get on with it, shall we? And remember, you have Summer to thank. 

Now head on over to Le Musings of Moi to check out the real talent.

Friday, March 20, 2009

1st Annual Swap Meet

I am organizing an activity that will hopefully be such a huge and overwhelming success, that it becomes a yearly event. Let's call it The Dirty Socks & Pizza Annual Swap Meet and Picnic. Since I can't stand having people in my home, I will have to scout out a proper venue for the big day. Maybe the National Mall? Everyone knows where that is, and you can all go be patriotic and/or complain to your ego-driven, corrupt, tele-evangelist, fiscally irresponsible lawmakers while you're here (I'll handle Dodd)! Maybe if I can get my act together quickly enough, it'll be held next month when all the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Be sure to bring your cameras, Zyrtec and Patanol (I only have enough for me, and refuse to share). Admittance will be free (aren't I nice?) and a picnic lunch will be provided (you can bet if I am hosting, food will be a large part of the event).

Let's see, what else? Oh, I guess you'll need to know what items to bring for the swap. Unfortunately, this is not your typical flea market or junk swap. The focus of the swap is rather narrow... specifically, children. Yep, that's right. Kids. Any and all. Teens, babies, toddlers... Even the dreaded tweens are welcome for swapping. There will be no pre-screening required nor will there be any sort of dress code or behavioral guidelines. Anything goes. However, in an effort to successfully swap your child, you may want to bring proof of citizenship and dental records.

I will have both of my boys available to swap. My 15 y.o. has excellent teeth that won't require braces. The 12 y.o. can play music by ear and writes poetry. If you bathe them regularly, the smell should subside. Oh, and unfortunately, I seemed to have misplaced their report cards. Sorry. They do, however, have current passports and are ready for international travel. Feel free to take them far, far away. In turn, I will be looking for a 24 y.o. accountant that likes bagel bites and pop tarts and is making enough money to live on his own (and possibly support his new parents).

Further information on date and time of the swap: TBA.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: Spaceman

I'll tell you straight up... I'm cheating. I am sitting here on Sunday night writing my Tuesday's Tribute. But as I watch the crazy combination of magic, science and miracle that is the shuttle launch, I realize that none of it would be possible without the hard work and dedication of my father-in-law. 

Yep, it's true. My almost 88 year old father-in-law helped design the very first space shuttle way back before we'd even landed on the moon. If you do the math, you realize they didn't have too many computers sitting around the lab back then. Their secret weapon? The slide-rule! 

I could also tell you many stories about his service to our country. He is a decorated veteran of both WWII and the Korean War. He was a B-24 navigator who once had to eject from his plane, ended up landing in a brussels sprouts field and breaking his back. He was the lone survivor of that crash.

But I am sure he would want me to tell you that his greatest accomplishment has been raising his three kids... the youngest being the man I married almost 18 years ago.

Happy Birthday, Granddaddy! 

Who's on your mind today? Link up and let us know!
Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

Musical Monday: My New Leaf

I don't know... This is big. I'm not sure how I am going to accomplish it, but I so want to try. I have got to figure out a way to start showing more tolerance and compassion toward others. I don't know what my deal is. I am most excellent at extending an open heart and mind to those who are different, those in need, those who can't help themselves. But I run into major problems with those who have no excuse. Those who are intolerant or close-minded themselves. Those who appear superior or judgmental. How do I show compassion to those people? How do I keep from getting irritated and rendering them not worthy? How do I stop myself from being hypocritical and just see them as human. Like me. Imperfect, but lovable. 

I don't know... But this song sure puts me in the mood to try! 

Now go see Jori and the rest of the gang (hint, hint). She'll have you dancin'!

Musical Monday

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blogversations: Show & Tell

Ms. Summer over at Le Musings of Moi has lured me in with her welcoming blog, sweet smile and hair expertise (tell me, could you resist?). She hosts Blogversations on Saturdays, and I am joining in the fun today. 

And in other news, I am still accepting comments about my overwhelming beauty and stylishness here. I'll announce the grand total that I'll be sending over to Jay on Monday.

Without further ado, I present to you my Saturday show and tell. Come join the fun over at Summer's!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tales From the Pig Sty

Can I just tell you that my house can go from fairly straight to a complete disaster in a blink of an eye? I think the scientific term is spontaneous combustion. Sure, I can make some real messes, and yes, I do usually abandon them, but I at least make sure someone (hi honey!) is there to clean it up. But the rest of my family simply does not have a clue. I am constantly picking up random stuff that everyone leaves all over. And just yesterday it was as if Hansel and Gretel had used Lucky Charms, instead of breadcrumbs to find their way out of  Moody Teen's bedroom. Fine, whatever... I really don't mind the small stuff, if it can be kept under control. HOWEVER...

I heard a loud crash in Moody Teen's bathroom this morning, while he was showering. I rushed in to discover the ENTIRE shower curtain/rod lying on the bathroom floor, while MT continued to shower. Uh, hello? You want to, maybe, pick that up? He started to yell at me, and it did finally occur to me that he was naked, so I closed the door to let him handle things with some dignity and privacy. 

Well, well, well, I went upstairs to start my regularly scheduled waking of the lizard, making of the beds, etc and I happened to glance into his bathroom. Silly me, thinking perhaps MT would have, at the very least, picked up the curtain/rod combo and tossed it into the tub. And I just love the added touches of the UNcapped toothpaste tube on the rug, the toilet paper off its roll, and the random bit of foil in the sink. Oh, and let's not forget the ever-present wet towel wadded up on the floor. And even though decorum dictated that I did not photograph it, yes, there is pee (I hate that word, but urine sounds so nerdy) in the unflushed toilet. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's Only Hair, Right? RIGHT??!!

Well, let me tell you, Jay's not the only one that can do something drastic in the name of a good cause. In a rash and un-well-thought-out show of solidarity, I decided to chop off all of my hair, too. However, there was no way I would go completely bald. Except now that it is done, I might as well have. Root Watch '09 was starting to cause major problems, I realized, when I accidentally caught a glimpse of myself in mirrors outside of my home yesterday (the ones in my home are carefully vetted magic mirrors).  So, stupid, impetuous me got my hair cut this morning. The good news is I am a giant step closer to getting "back to my roots". The bad news is I look like Napoleon Dynamite. 

So in an effort to boost my rapidly waning self-confidence, I am seeking external validation from the one place I know I can get it (and not actually have to hear the laughs). And I am willing to pay for it! But before you get all giddy, here's what I am going to do...

For every comment (one per person, por favor) telling me what a babe I am (and you don't even have to mean it!), I will donate $0.50 to Jay's head-shaving-cancer-curing fiesta. I may have to cap it, or I may force everyone to actually be honest, if comments surpass available funds (I have kids to put through college, people). We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. 

I guess all that's left is the big reveal...

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I arose from my slumber this fine morning, opened my laptop while waiting for Moody Teen to finish his 25 minute shower, and saw the following article on my iGoogle homepage. I think I am just going to take a page from VodkaMom's play book and encourage drinking. Lots and lots (and lots) of drinking. Don't worry, I am more than happy to take the lead on this.

Oh, and I am glad everyone enjoyed my interview with Le Bean. I've asked, on your behalf, if he would return on a regular basis. He told me to make him some chocolate milk and contact his agent. 

Anyway, to the business at hand:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Family Secrets Exposed!

So, Summer over at Le Musings of Moi and Jenni Jiggety interviewed their kids last week, and it was just so dang cute, I had to give it a try. Uh, let's just say Moody Teen could not have been more sullen and morose, and in the end I deleted the video because I was afraid it would scare people (I am simply used to the awful behavior, and really kind of over it). Well, that left me with my sweet Mr. Beans. Other than the fact that he is only marginally more cooperative than MT, and calls me out on my guilty pleasure, the video is pretty benign. Unfortunately, it cuts out right before his impression of my (apparently) obnoxious and sea-creature-like laugh. Oh darn.

But I guess the real issue that has come to light is I need to start paying more attention to the back of my hair. Disturbing!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: The Miracle of True Friendship

Today I would like to pay tribute to a special friendship that has somehow survived the tests of time, distance, fights, boys, heartbreak, even more time, and greater distance. I have not had many of these relationships, but it's not the number that counts. If you are blessed with even one, be smart enough not to test it, and just enjoy. It's one of the greatest gifts your heart will ever receive.

Who's on your mind today? Link up and let us know!

Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Friday's Hi Five: Top 5 Reasons to Follow Halftimelessons.blogspot.com

The train has not yet left the station, so it's not too late. I am sure most of you already do, but if you don't yet follow Mr. Sunshine over at Halftime Lessons... the time is now.  

So, for those of you who are a) stubborn or b) repulsed by his twisted humor, let me give you five great reasons to follow his blog (at least for the next 3 weeks... then feel free to cut him loose!):

1) He is using his super powers for good, instead of his usual evil. That's right, he is taking your spare change, tax refund, disposable income or cash you found while raiding your son's closet (who, me?), and is turning it into a cure for pediatric cancer. I know... Pretty impressive.

2) You will get to point and laugh at him when he shaves his head. Personally? I think the bald head will suit him. But maybe it won't, and we can laugh and laugh and laugh at him. Really... He told me we can.

3) You might be able to score something for yourself. Yep, I've got the inside scoop (because I threatened to show more photos of Prom '85), and he has some pretty cool stuff up his sleeve for the next couple of weeks. Let's just say, you may not walk away empty handed! And, be honest... Except for on Tuesdays, it really is all about you.

4) He has low self-esteem. Now I know that true self-acceptance has to come from within, and I plan to talk to him about that, but for now, let's throw some external gratification his way.

5) One day, when he is on Oprah, discussing his latest book or movie (because, believe me, he will be famous for something), you will want to be able to say, "I knew him when..." and then take note of what a self-obsessed freak Oprah is. 

So help a girl out and go visit his blog. Oh, and make sure you follow him in the next coming weeks. I really don't want to be left alone with him.

This PSA was made possible by the fabulous Angela over at Angela's Adventures and Minor Mishaps. Go check her out for more Friday's Hi Five Fun!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Flaming Potato Bags!

WW: Proud to Be an American

Even though I am allowed to be wordy on Wordful Wednesday, the details are just too weird and complicated to get into. Suffice it to say, I am now legally allowed to reside and drive in the United States of America. Yay!

I will say, since I can't just leave well enough alone, that how this all went down only encourages my bad behavior. The passport came in record time, without a word about my expired license being used as documentation. I waltzed right into the DMV with my new passport and scored a new driver's license without having to take the written or driving tests (I did almost fail the vision test, however. Oh, but no fights!). I don't know if I learned any lesson at all. I guess we'll find out in seven years, when it comes time to do this all over again.

So, all things considered, I suppose it serves me right that I look like I am hoarding nuts for the long winter inside my cheeks.

For more fun and photos, go visit my girl Angie!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute: Puppy Love

I figured I should pay tribute to my husband today, as this may be the last time I can come up with anything nice to say for a while. In fact, I may not make it through this post. 

Let me just tell you that there is no one on this earth that is better suited for me. He makes me laugh, he loves to gossip, and he capitulates on a regular basis... We really are soul mates. Wait, can you want to murder your soul mate? See? The anger and frustration have already taken over and I can't control my words any longer.

Here's the deal: My wonderful husband is a dog freak. But not just any kind of dog, which, to me, is kind of elitist and dogist. He looks down upon cute, eternally puppy-like, small dogs, and loves big, sloppy, messy, drooly dogs. Gross. Right now, we have one of each, which sort of works out fine. Let's just say, I've come to terms. 

Well, now, he has big plans to bring another dog into our home. We are already borderline weird, dirty, dog people. The fur tumbleweeds are everywhere, and you all know how I feel about having to feed the animals on a daily basis. It just doesn't seem right. What would they do in the wild? Don't tell me they wouldn't skip a meal every now and again.

Anyway, there are many reasons this is not a good idea. We like to travel, and boarding two dogs is expensive... so just imagine three! And please, you know who will be the one training it!

This is all just too overwhelming to even type. I'm going back to bed. But please, play along so I will have something else to think about when I awake.

Tuesday's Tribute
Yet Another Jay and Deb Production.

Monday, March 2, 2009

KMBFBAG: Because Oprah Says So

I remember watching Oprah back when she wasn't an egomaniacal, judgmental, crazy, know-it-all cult leader (or at least when she wasn't as much of one), and her words have stuck with me. She was discussing exercise and how much she hated it. She explained that once you start exercising, your metabolism will adjust to it, and you hit a plateau. In turn, you will have to amp up your workout, or it essentially becomes ineffective. So the calories you once burned running one mile begins to take two miles to burn. Then three, and then four. And then eventually, 900. Completely unacceptable.

So I write all of this to say, I've decided to work out only once a week. I don't have time to be chained to my treadmill 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, just to burn off a slice of pizza. Well, I guess I do have the time, but who wants to live like that? Besides, who am I kidding? It's never just one slice of pizza... It's one pizza. That could end up taking years!

Well, I hit the gym on Saturday, so I am right on target for the week. I did a little better with my eating, sort of sticking to my basic "diet standards". I definitely could have done better. I recall eating a couple of cookies here and there, but no major stress-relieving pig outs. 

The bad news is the weight's not falling off. The good news, however, is I think the weight gain has come to a halt. Hey, I might be onto something with this once a week thing!

It's not too late to jump on the KMBFBAG train! Go see Tena... She's shrinking before our very eyes.

My Therapy