Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Maybe, but maybe not either

So I have this friend, and she told me today that if I just found a few craft fairs in the area, and sold my craft things there, then I could take time for myself and not feel guilty for it because it would be for work.  Now, I don't consider myself to be "crafty".  I can't make a wreath out of coffee filters and toilet paper tubes.  I can't decoupage a dresser to look like Dr Who's police box. I'm not Martha Stewart.  But I do sew, and I crochet, and I like doing it and often end up with a ton of crap and nothing to do with it.  Maybe I could sell it.  But I don't want to be the person who buys booth space for $20, brings in a bunch of stuff, and then sells only one or two pieces and makes, after the cost of materials, only half the cost of the booth.  But if I were going to make things, I do have ideas in my head.  I want to make something based vaguely on the ugly fringe bracelet on Project Accessory.  And I think I could turn my back pockets into little ID and phone pouches and maybe rig up some way for them to hook to belt hoops.  I think if I had the materials and the time, I could make decent stuff.  But I'm not sure if people would pay money for any of it.  I do purses pretty well

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This year Ryan is very interested in Legos.  We got her a couple Lego things for Christmas, a Harry Potter kit and then just a big box of like 1500 pieces, but I wanted her tree ornament to be Lego too.  The problem is, if you start to look around, all the Lego ornaments kind of suck.  Either they're kits to make a Santa or a tree out of legos, or you can make a ball ornament out of legos, but those would be too heavy, and probably fall apart in storage.  So I made my own, which she seemed very pleased with.  First I found someone on ebay selling the 1x1 bricks in bags of 500 and ordered them in orange, because it was either that or blue.  Then I bought 2 (in case I screwed up one) clear plastic ball ornaments at Michael's. Then I sat down with my hot glue gun.  I did learn that it's hard to keep the line straight when freehand gluing legos to an orb, and also that the melting point of hot glue is very close to the melting point of clear plastic ornaments, so if you push them or move them too much you're likely to push a corner right through to the inside of the ball.  But in the end, I think I came up with something good, and not too heavy either.  I give you, Ryan's 2011 Xmas ornament!  I don't know why the color came out so yellowy. It's more true in the picture where I'm holding it.

Basically all I wanted was a porcupine ball made out of legos, and quite frankly I was shocked that there wasn't one you could just buy somewhere, but I think it turned out okay.

Xnax vs pot, the grudge match

I have some hippie friends.  I don't know, maybe hippy's the wrong word.  I have some patchoulli granola friends.  Some of them smoke pot, some don't, and one in particular who does smoke pot isn't hippy or granola at all and is in fact a total yuppy.  I, however, am anti-marijuana.  I don't like it, don't want to do it, don't want to be around people while they do it, don't want to smell it, and sure as Hell don't want it around my kids.  And I take Xanax almost daily, for the same reason most people smoke pot.*
It has been pointed out to me, that some people view this as a hypocrisy.  I've had the word "pharmaceutical" spit at me with a hatred I'd never really heard before.  As in, "Oh, so you'd rather take Xanax than smoke pot. Pot is natural and Xanax is a pharmaceutical, yet you trust it more."   Yep.  Arsenic is natural, too, and I don't want that either.   But for what it's worth, I do happen to trust medications that have been subjected to rigorous testing and double blind peer reviewed studies more than some potted plant from Joe Bob's double wide.  And I really trust that if I'm pulled over and the cops find a pill bottle with my name on it in my purse that it will adversely affect my family and me far less than if they found a baggie of dope.  And of course, I can swallow a pill while holding my son without him getting any sort of intoxication from it, Xanax is much less harsh on my lungs, and it won't cost me a job should I be spot-tested.  But also, I know a lot of people who live their lives like characters from Dazed And Confused, and they don't act that way from Xanax.  They have no motivation, no ambition, and are perfectly happy to just sit on the couch playing video games and eating Fritos all day.  These are people in their 30s and 40s, people with jobs and families, just floating through life contributing nothing and getting high.  Not that I'm the most productive member of society, and not that Xanax doesn't have its fair share of addicts, but I've known more potheads than I have Xanax addicts so I'll take my chances with my legally prescribed pharmaceutical.  And before anyone tries to tell me that marijuana isn't addictive, I'm going to step up and say that I think it is.  I think it's like cigarettes in that for a long time people insisted they weren't addictive either, and like alcohol in that some folks, the majority of folks, can indulge recreationally and be fine but some just get hooked and need it every day to get by.  Yes I think pot is addictive, and yes I think it's worse than Xanax, and yes I can consider myself to be a far-left liberal and still be anti-pot.  I'm anti-ketchup too, and it doesn't affect my politics.  I just don't try to legislate around my own personal preferences.

*I'm not counting cancer patients or AIDS patients or whatever, just people who get high to relax or unwind when they're wound too tightly.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I have the most boring case of multiple personality ever

Deep down I want to be  Sikowitz from VicTorious. Or Spencer from iCarly. Or Phoebe from Friends.  Or  that weird guy from Taxi who became Doc Brown in Back To The Future.  I want to be the funny one who sees things differently from everyone else, a creative person, artistic.  But there is a very, very large portion of my reality that is Bev from Roseanne, and maybe on a good day, when I'm particularly funny, Sophia from Golden Girls.  I'm a fuddy duddy who dreams of being a freak.  It's an inner conflict I fight all the time.  I always see cute little floral wallets and think, "I should buy that to replace my old worn out wallet."  But my old wallet is punk, with nautical stars and crowns and handcuffs all over it.  My mid-thirties is like a second puberty, in reverse, and I have to find myself all over again.  It kinda sucks, in a way.

I feel so bubonic

Ryan was sick on Wednesday with some 24 hour thing, and better by Thursday. Danny puked all over his bed last night and will be better tomorrow. Now I'm having issues too.  So if anyone out there ever sees pictures from my Xmas and wonders why I'm wearing a plague mask- that's why.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to write plague mask on one all of Tom's paint-fume masks while he isn't looking.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Even though I aced the interview...

I wasn't promoted. It was a pharmaceutical error. I traded in my pentagons and got my ovals back. No pay-raise is forthcoming.  And, despite having already taken 3 or 4 of the pentagon pills, I still received the full prescription of correct non-XR pills. Because I am that awesome! Yay for free xanax.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mommy number 2

ME: Danny, what are you eating? Oh, just a crayon? Well, bon appetite.
TOMMY: No. Mommy, Danny not eat crayon. It not nummy, Mommy. It not food.

He's a much better mother than I am sometimes.

Happy Hanukkah!

Tonight, for the fist day of Hanukkah, I made latkes.  Ryan told me she looks forward to this all year, which made me all warm & fuzzy.  Since latkes do not a meal make, I made mac and cheese too but I made it from scratch, with roux and grated cheddar, just to try a new recipe.  Still a little grainy but so yummy!  Even Tom ate latkes and he's always told me he didn't care for them.  Tommy of course at nothing and yelled "I want circle crackers!" at the top of his lungs because he's decided to live off of Ritz crackers for the rest of his life.  He got no circle crackers, poor kid.
I love when I actually cook something people like.  It's so rare.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

So it's like a promotion, right?

I refilled my Xanax yesterday and Tom ran up to the pharmacy to pick them up for me. My pills have always been little ovals scored down the middle for easy breaking should I only need half but this time they were pentagons with no such score. In fact, they bubble out in the middle which would make breaking them impossible without a pill splitter.  So I googled and found out that I now have extended release Xanax instead of regular Xanax, but in the same dosage. But I don't know why my prescription got changed.  I am choosing to take it as a good sign, as a progression. I've been bumped up, like a promotion at a job. I expect a raise in pay to come any day now.

Merry Christmas, with Rum!

I have, on my mother's side, eight first cousins. Of those eight, two are genuinely nice to me.  Last year I mentioned on facebook my (then) newfound love of rum balls and one of my genuinely nice cousins posted a quick "Feel free to bring me by a batch. lol"  And so I did. This year I am making him some as well.  The thing is his sister, the second genuinely nice cousin, is a recovering alcoholic so she can't have any. In fact, I don't know if there will be any alcohol at all at my extended family's Christmas festivities this year and I don't want to be responsible for some showing up. (I never attend the festivities because of the 1-4 ratio of genuinely nice to me people there so I have no idea what's there or not.)  So now I have to smuggle rum balls to my cousin.  This has become so much more complicated than I thought it would be. 

Plus she's a coke head, which totally kills the appetite anyway.

Kate Moss once said that nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. But that bitch never tasted my mom's fudge, which I have recreated. I still swear it's a slightly different shade of brown, but it tastes the same. Yay for mommy fudge!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My husband's ass is a WMD!

My husband ate chilli today. He likes it; I hate it, but he did agree to take his Beano before eating it. Apparently his colon saw the Beano as a challenge, a challenge it won. My house not sounds like a frog-squashin and smells like somebody backed over the gas meter. (I know because I've done that before. You get to call 911. Weeeeeee!)  I think Tom is getting more Beano in his Xmas stocking this year, and maybe some Gas-X too.  Does Gas-X stop the farts? Something needs to stop them. We can't live like this! We'll all need respirator masks!

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's my birthright not to screw this up.

My mother makes fudge every Xmas. My whole life she's been trying to show me how so that when she's gone someone can carry on the tradition, but I never paid attention. Tomorrow I am going to try my hand at fudge, because chemo has made her too tired to do it.  I'll need to borrow her heavy pan, and maybe the plastic cake pans she uses for it to cool in.  Wish me luck, because I heard that if you screw it up you get grainy fudge that never sets up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm not rich, so time passes for me

I think if I had enough money, I might try to stop aging. If I could afford botox and face lifts and eyelid surgeires, I might do it. It would be a battle I could fight. But I'm not a Kardashian, or a Real Housewife of some rich people city, so I don't.  I just hope my hair grows out soon. These orange tips are embarrassing!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Phrases/words that drive us nuts.

Everyone has them, so add yours in the comments.  Please.
  1. Anywho.
  2. Anyways
  3. Irregardless
  4. water over the bridge (my mom says this all the time, and the phrase is water under the bridge. Water over the bridge would actually wash out the bridge, making my point that whatever we're talking about was a big deal. Bridge collapse isn't a good metaphor for overreaction, Mom.)
  5. It is what it is. Um, what else would it be?
  6. Ima, to mean I'm going to. As in, "Ima let you talk in a minute."
  7. Innit, to mean isn't it. As in, "It's nice outside, innit."
  8. Shabby chic. It's like trashy classy; it's oxymoronic!
  9. African American, when speaking about people who aren't, in fact, American at all.  For instance, black people who live in Europe aren't generally African American.  Haitians aren't African American. Black people in Africa aren't African American.  Unless they're tourists, from America.
  10. Up Chuck, for obvious reasons.
  11. Grammar nazi.  Have we really forgotten the horrors of the holocaust so much that knowing the difference between saw and seen is up there with furniture made from human skin?
  12. Breastfeeding nazi. Hmmm, one wants babies to get full nutrition, the other skeet-shoots them. Where's the similarity, there?

Monday, December 05, 2011

I just can't keep track anymore!

I try to be a good liberal.  I care about the environment, and human rights, and the little people.  I don't use slurs, I'm politically correct (although I refuse to give the janitor an honorary degree in engineering just because he likes the title "maintenance engineer" better than "janitor"), and I really do want to do my part and help throw my weight behind worthy causes.  But there are so many of them! I get it, I get it; Walmart is evil.  And then so is Amazon for the same reason; they both kill small businesses for sport.  And Target gives large chunks of its profits to horribly anti-gay political campaigns.  And I'm not supposed to drink Coors because they used to fire people for being gay.  And farm fish are bad for fishermen and the fishermen business, and corporate farms are bad for animals and independent farmers, and ADM pushed high fructose corn syrup on us all so we should boycott them, but they make the corn meal for the dog food so what do I feed my dog?  I could pick the exponentially more expensive meat-based food but I think the meat in that is from corporate farms and even if it's not, is it grass fed or corn fed because apparently grass is better for cows (although have you seen a grass-fed cow? They're scrawny!) and if it is corn-fed is it corn from ADM?
And I'm sorry if I shop at Walmart, but they've screwed the economy to the point where frankly, I can only afford to shop at Walmart.  Or at least, "living within my means", which I try to do, means a far different thing if I never shop at Walmart. Especially since Target isn't an option.  At least I can keep buying my horrible diabetes-inducing dog food at Farm & Fleet, right?

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I'm too jaded, I guess

This week's Postsecret has a couple postcards about people feeling horrible about not being able to afford gifts for their kids, and people secretly giving money to people who can't afford gifts for their kids, and I never realized until today just how cynical I am.  I used to have a friend, let's call her Mildred for privacy, who could never afford gifts for her kids.  She worked factory and retail jobs but the sitter took a chunk, and car insurance took a chunk, and rent and bills. But, and here's the thing I always think of when I hear about the poor (and I don't like that this is what my first thought is), she smoked the most expensive brand of cigarettes, and she went to the tanning parlor, and had her hair cut every 5 weeks, and colored, and she always had make up (and make up, in case you're a dude, is NOT cheap) and nice clothes. Or at least, expensive clothes. Leather coat and Harley boots and Victoria's Secret bras.  But her kids got gifts off the charity tree at the bank, assuming people pulled the ornaments with their names on them.  And they couldn't join clubs because the $1 a week meetig dues was too much, and their school clothes came from yard sales.

The economy sucks, and a LOT of people who need help are actually trying to not need help.  But I know more than a few who pay for themselves first and their kids second, who budget out luxuries because they know that food stamps and charity will take care of the rest.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's just an outfit, for one day!

I can't really be the only mom out there who doesn't much care what her kid wears to school, can I?  I mean, I see facebook updates like, "I'm apparently the meanest mom in the word for not letting my 14yo wear snow boots to school," or "Green pants and an orange shirt with a necktie? I made my kid change this morning and now she hates me."  My question, which I never have the balls to actually ask, is "What does it matter?"  The kid isn't naked, weather inappropriate (no tank top in January), provocative, or gang-related.  So why is it worth a fight, or even a nag?  Kids have so very little control over anything; why not let them at least control their own clothes?  Ryan left the house today, in 18` weather, in a cotton halter dress over black skinny jeans (to make the dress warmer), a cardigan, and black tennis shoes. And of course her winter coat for the walk to school.  If she's too cold today, she'll learn not to wear a summer dress in sub-freezing weather.  If the kids laugh at her she'll either stop wearing dresses over jeans or she'll learn not to care what other people think of her style choices.  But either way, I don't believe that she'll look back on this as the day her mother failed her.  But if I tried to control what she wore all the time I think she would remember that, and rebel in other ways to compensate.  And that could be bad.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

If I heard the voices with my ears, there'd be meds for it at least

Sometimes I'm just not ready to get in bed, because I know I'll just lie there talking to myself (hopefully, for Tom, silently) all night.  I can't help it; I get these arguments or conversations in my head, either ones I've had in real life before or just hypothetical ones, or even ones I expect to have in the future. And because it's all in my head it just never stops, and the other person never backs down, and they ask me for answers I don't and can't have. It's like when toddlers go through their "Why?" phases, but endless and with no "Because that's just how it is!" to throw back at them.  It sounds funny but it's not and it goes on for hours and even when I'm frustrated with it and on the verge of crying, this nonexistent debater in my head just never lets up and keeps badgering me and I can't fall asleep.  If I was ever interrogated by the police I would either break immediately just to make it stop or hold out forever because of all this practice.  It's 11:18 pm right now, I've had 3 beers and a xanax, and I just want to go to sleep but I can't.  I'm googling quilt blogs hoping to maybe relax by looking at quilts but it's not working.  I need to find my off switch.

Pointless facebook statuses I posted

An animated moose on Nickelodeon just told me that a cornucopia is a horn shaped basket full of things we're thankful for. I now really want to grab my hot glue gun and make a cornucopia full of Xanax bottles, Spanx, and photos of my children sleeping.
You know that thing where you take a drink of something and then halfway down your throat the liquid changes instantly into a solid and suddenly you're swallowing a golf ball? And so then after you finally swallow it and your throat is sore you start coughing and accidentally a little saliva goes down the wrong pipe so now you can't stop coughing and you're choking and you risk drowning on your own spit and having your cause of death simply listed as "Darwinism"? I HATE when that happens.
How deep is a shallow grave? When I read that the cops found a body in a shallow grave, I always think maybe a foot of dirt over them, but what if they're under 3 feet of dirt? Still not the traditional 6 feet, but is it shallow enogh to really be shallow?
WHAT A CROCK OF S**T..... We can't say Merry Christmas now we have to say Happy Holidays. We can't call it a Christmas tree, it's now called a Holiday tree? Because it might offend someone. If you don't like our "Customs" and it offends you so much then LEAVE I will help you pack. They are called customs and we have our traditions. If you agree with this please post this as your status!! I AM A PROUD AMERICAN CITIZEN... MERRY CHRISTMAS! Do you have what it takes to repost this?
Anyone who wants can say Merry Christmas; that's the first amendment. Workplace rules vary by employer because employers also have first amendment rights and when you're at work, you represent the company, not yourself. Also, there's a rule that says the government can't endorse one religion over another, which makes it UN-AMERICAN for schools and government institutions to push Christmas over, say, Hannukah or Kwanza or Yule. Don't like our CONSTITUTION feel free to move to a country WITHOUT religious freedoms. Some Americans are Jews: deal with it.
And it's called a pine tree. Once you decorate it it can represent you want it to, but it's still a pine. Or spruce or whatever. But Christians don't have the monopoly on pretty trees. The pagans started that one!
Just saw yuppy lady in heels walk by in mall chugging beer from the bottle. Ahhhhh, Black Friday continues.
The carcasses are rolling in!
I have Tom halfway convinced, over the phone, that I poured all his sweet-potato marshmallows into the toaster and turned it on. He believes that A) I would waste his superfluous mini marshmallows (sweet potatoes are already sweet!), B) I would destroy my toaster, and C) I have absolutely no impulse control, because it does sound like a cool way to wreck a toaster.

You explain estrogen to a 3 year old

Today I was crying about something stupid and Tommy came up and asked me why. I said, "PMS."  He looked confused so I told him, "It's a girl thing." Still confused. So I tried to explain girl thing by saying, "Sometimes girls cry because they're girls. Girls are people who don't have wieners." 
He pointed to his crotch. "I hab wiener."
"Yes you do." 
"Daddy hab wiener." 
"Yes he does, and no one is happier with it than Daddy is."
Then he got a really sad look on his face and said, "Mommy don't hab wiener anywhere. Sad Mommy."
So much for explaining PMS, or gender equality.

Monday, November 28, 2011

On Xanax and toddler shit

It's 4:45 and no Xanax so far today. No real reason, just didn't feel the need and now it's gotten to be an "I wonder if I can go all day" kind of thing.  I doubt I'll be able to sleep without it, though.  But we'll see.
Also, my son has shit in his potty 7 separate times today, plus he woke up dry and took off his own diaper to pee in the potty, and has peed all of his pee into the potty since.  So it would seem that he is completely potty trained as long as he is naked at home with a potty in front of the TV.  Sounds completely practical to me.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday

It is Black Friday today, and I had an awesome time shopping with my daughter.  I did have a sad wake-up call when I thought I saw her (short blond with a bun and a brown jacket) and then Ryan walked past the lady and was about 3 inches taller.  My baby is supposed to be little!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Tommy knows which bookmark gets him to his Cars game, and he knows what to click to get to the log-in page.  His member ID pops up by itself and then he needs to type in a password.  Now, he can see the screen when I type in his password, but he can't figure out why hitting the 8 on the keyboard multiple times doesn't get him into his account.  All he knows, in his simple and innocent mind, is that he needs a long string of asterisks, and that is the key with the asterisk on it. 
Sometimes the screaming, mess-making, red-faced, pants-pooping terror that is my son is just too adorable for words.  And someday I am going to change his password to all 8s, so that he can be right after all.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

a life without chocolate requires medical attention

My mom is on a strict chemo schedule.  Three days of chemo every 3 weeks, for twelve weeks.  As long as she sticks to that schedule, she has a decent chance of remission.  If she doesn't, she's got about 6 months.  The main thing that can interfere with her chemo schedule is infection.  If she gets any kind of infection, even a simple cold, they postpone the chemo.  So naturally I now view my children as walking petri dishes full of plague.

My mom wants to have Thanksgiving dinner.  Since she flat-out refused my suggestion that she live in a bubble instead, I have invited her to my house, but only IF my germ-basket children are 100% healthy.  Thanksgiving is one week from today, and I am paranoid like you wouldn't believe.  Is Danny fussy because he's teething or sick? Did he sleep in because of a growth spurt or a cold?  Today he woke up and wouldn't drink his milk.  He'd suck the straw but then cry.  Suck suck scream, suck suck scream.  So naturally, I thought "ear infection" and called the doctor.  I bundled both boys up, drove them out to the clinic, held Danny down so the doctor could look into his head through every direct orifice, and got a verdict of healthy.  "But Dr, he won't drink the milk! He sucks a couple times then cries, like an ear infection. He could kill his grandmother!"  Still, I was sent home with hollow assurances and about a foot of Spiderman stickers.
We got in the house, I took off their coats and shoes, I gave them back their milk cups, and again, suck suck scream.  I was at a loss. The kid drinks his milk out of that cup every morning; what could be different?  So out of desperation, I added a spoonful of Nestle Quick powder to it.  Suck suck smile. 

I just rushed to the clinic, as a matter of life and death, because my spoiled kid decided this morning that he no longer likes plain milk.  Fucking yay.

My daddy said I'm blind with jizz.

You know those little floaters you see in your eyes, the little squiggle things that you can see through/around but they still wiggle in your field of vision?  When I was little my dad told me that when the sperm went into the egg it spilled open and all the genetic material from the father came out of it, and then if you were really unlucky the eyeball would develop around the "skin" of the sperm and you'd spend the rest of your life seeing that little tail bobbing around inside the juice of your eyeball.

Either my mom got knocked up by a LOT of those 2 tailed sperms or I need to see an eye doctor because sometimes lately it's hard to see through all these little floating squiggling shadows in my eyes.  I also wish my first gut reaction wasn't to still think of them as sperm husks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Apparently not all poop qualifies as poop. Who knew?

ME: Tommy, you stink. Did you poop?
TOMMY: No. No poop.
ME: So if I find poop, then what?
TOMMY: No poop.
ME: (open his diaper) Tommy, there are half a dozen poops here! Where did they come from?
TOMMY: Down near my butt.
ME: Down near your butt? Then why did you say you didn't poop?
TOMMY: No big poop.
ME: Oh, so when the big poop comes, then it will count?
ME: Okay, then. You let me know when that one shows up. (fasten new diaper and let him go)
TOMMY: Okay, Mommy.  I will.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gimme another caycake, bitch!

When I get lazy around here, I make waffles as a meal for the boys.  They walk around, going about their business, and eat them dry, as do I.  Then, after eating all the crunchy edges, they bring me the soft (and therefor inedible) waffle and trade it in for a new one.  Also, because their friend was over one day and he was unfamiliar with waffles but very much liked pancakes, we call the waffles pancakes.  Danny's at that age where he's learning about a dozen new words a week and today it was "pancake".  I'd hear his little voice say, "Caycake" and then he'd throw a floppy nibbled-upon waffle at my chest.  I hope I never forget how the word "Caycake" sounds.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A cancer update, for those who were sick of phonetically written Tommy updates

So my mom has finished her first round of chemo and tomorrow we get to make the drive back to Iowa City (hopefully for the last time) to get her head scanned and meet with the brain surgeon to make sure the 2 weeks of radiation she had actually did shrink her remaining almost-too-small-to-worry-about-but-hey-they're-brain-tumors-so-we-worry-anyway-now-that-the-big-one-is-out tumors. Because no matter how well the chemo goes, chemo won't affect the brain and brain tumors are serious business.

Danny is either A) sick, or B) teething and having a growth spurt. Because he is cranky as all Hell and sleeps a lot.  The problem with this is that they won't administer chemo to anyone with an active infection so if my mom gets sick even a little, the chemo gets postponed and the tumors all grow and spread and I really don't want my petri dish of a kid to be the reason my mom got lung cancer in her spleen.  Also, so we can make the trip tomorrow and sit in the waiting rooms and do all the stuff required to talk to and understand a neurosurgeon (Is it bad taste to say the guy is hot, too? Because dude is smoking!) I am dumping my kids with my "I think I'm getting sinusy" friend for the day.  A week before Thanksgiving.  So tomorrow I am going to wake up early, get dressed, wake up the boys, dress them, boot Ryan off to school, go pick up my mom, go ditch the boys at my friend's house when she gets home from driving her kids to school, and then call my doctor's office and make appointments to hopefully get them enough antibiotics to make them uncontagious by Thanksgiving so my mom can eat turkey at my house.  Then I will drive for an hour and a half to Iowa City to the hospital to talk to Dr McNeuroSteamy and figure out if my mom's problems are just lymphnodey or if they're brainy too.
And I will try to do it all on half a Xanax because a whole one makes me too drowsy to drive.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just call me Rosetta Stone

Tommy: Deeny need pay t'abus for Keemis.

Me: You're not even trying to speak English anymore, are you?

Tommy: Deeny like pay t'abus. Sanna Quaz bring pay tabus for Deeny.

Me: It's Portugese or something, right. And you do it on purpose.

Tommy: Mommy! Wizzen (listen). Booka me, wizzen. (Look at me, listen.)

Me: Okay. Now explain slowly because Mommy's not bright.

Tommy: Pay T'abus fight Doopin murtz. (now he starts pantomiming karate chops and kicks.)

Me: Ohhh, I get it. Perry the Platypus fights Doofenshmirtz.

Tommy: Deeny like Pay T'abus. Sanna Quaz need bring Deeny Pay T'abus pezzen Keemas.

Me: You think Santa Claus should bring Danny a Perry the Platypus present for Christmas?

Tommy: yes! Okay.

Me: How about if you give him one instead?

Tommy: Okay. Tommy do it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

He gets all his information from the Disney Channel

This is a real conversation Tom and I just had.

Tom: Okay, this is gonna sound stupid...
Me: Possibly.  Go on.
Tom: A platypus is a mythical creature, right? I mean, they aren't real; they're extinct or made up or something.
Me: (google image search platypus) No, they're real.
Tom: (squinting at the computer screen.) They aren't green?

Monday, November 07, 2011

It's a long process of acclimation until I actually become furniture

The human spine has a curve at the bottom of it. It is this indentation that most people refer to as "the small of the back" but which Tommy refers to as "the step stool". As I sit in my desk chair and peruse the internet, he stands on my ass and points at the youtube bookmarks over my shoulder until I relent and let him watch model train crashes without me.  It's very painful, but I've learned the hard way that throwing him off of me just hurts my back more and that shrieking, "Mommies aren't for climbing!" is apparently hilarious.

So there we are, me at the computer, Tommy standing on my ass behind me, when I hear, "Ahhh! Yucky! Mommy, help me!"

Without turning around, I ask what he needs help with. His answer? "My sucker stuck to you head!"  I didn't even know he HAD a sucker back there but yep, it was stuck to my head. Wound around in my hair. And to think, I had thought that having my giant ghetto booty shelf butt used as a step stool was bad enough, but I was apparently wrong.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

And "squish" is not a good place to go!

I think my warranty is up. I have sore joints, back pain, migraines, anxiety attacks at the same time every day (12:30 pm and 10:30 pm), I have floaters in both eyes, and the other day when I looked down at the back of my hand, I swear it was my grandmother's.  And then I realize that I am only 35, and if I'm lucky I'm not even halfway through my life yet.  If I'm already starting to crap out now, I'll be a Halloween decoration by the time my grandkids meet me.

You know what's really sad? When you're wearing one of your best-fitting bras and your husband tries to cop a feel and says, "Ooh, no bra?"  Apparently, everything's just gone to squish that badly.   :(

Monday, October 31, 2011

A rant you'll most likely want to skip.

"I don't need this right now."
"I didn't sign up for this."
"God doesn't give you more than you can handle."

Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit!  Nobody signed up for anything. You were, without exception, either yanked out of an abdominal incision or squeezed out through a vagina without signing any sort of contract at all.  You get whatever the universe gives you, usually as a direct result of your own previous actions and choices but often times just due to random circumstance.  No universal force cares what you need, or ever promised to only provide what you need, or even to provide anything you need at all. You have a right to a happy life, but that doesn't mean you'll get it.  And aside from the whole "is there or isn't there a God" debate, where did it say He only gave people what they could handle? Or that He was the only one handing out fates anyway?  He fucked with Job for years and killed off his entire family just to make a point about loyalty.  And aside from even that, people get things they can't handle all the time. Terminal illness, sudden massive heart attacks, the gruesome sights of war. People die or have mental breaks every day in the world; they are given things they cannot handle.  Because the world is a random place and the universe has no intent. No one is concerned with what you get, no one decides what happens to you or not, or what you want or need or think you signed up for.

Go local city/state sports team!

I hate this goddamned town.  About 4 years ago our local baseball team made it to state, or regionals, or just learned to lace their own shoes, I don't know, and when they got back into town from it the bus and the parents' cars and two freaking fire engines drove all around town, meandering up and down streets at parade speeds, with sirens blaring and horns honking.  They do this multiple times a year, whenever any team comes home from regionals, or play-offs, or state, any team in any sport, no matter what time of day or night they return.  And I dared to complain about it on the city website one night after 2 11:00 pm fire truck wake-ups inside of one week.  And I just found out that the convoy now intentionally slows down in front of my house because of this.  Because I have no school spirit; I'm 35; I have no school.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

fun does not equal happiness

plat-i-tude  n,  
A flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound.

I hate  platitudes. Don't get me wrong; I love words of wisdom.  It just seems that inevitably, when you over-simplify something down into a bumper sticker motto, you lose important details in the translation.  For instance, I keep seeing this little moronic sample on facebook:
We do not stop playing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop playing.

This pretty much sums up, in my eyes, what's wrong with the world today.  Or at least my little corner of it.  For one thing, this idiotic idea that age can be avoided, that somehow one can stop growing old,  needs to go away. I understand fearing death. But death can come at any age, although it is admittedly guaranteed closer as we age.  I just don't understand fearing wrinkles and gray hair and loss of dermal elasticity.  Sitting on my Great Grandma's lap, with a scrotal-wrinkly cleavage to snuggle against and blue-veined tissue-like hands to hold, those are some of my fondest childhood memories.  Why would I resist becoming her? Plus, why would I want to look like the people who resist aging?  Have you looked at Joan Rivers lately?  Or Wayne Newton? Oh My God!   

What the stupid facebook quote should say is, "We don't stop playing because we grow up; we grow up because we mature enough to stop confusing momentary pleasures with lasting happiness, and thus we choose one over the other."  But the populace prefers its platitudes.  Mottoes spewed forth in the form of motivational chants in arenas around the country, etched into key chains, screen printed onto tee shirts, and plastered onto bumpers all across this nation.  People want to think that the key to happiness is eternal youth (because they confuse the happiness with the young age rather than with the ignorance of responsibility that came with it), and that such happiness can be theirs again if only they could return to their youth.  No, adult happiness is a whole different animal.  It comes from recognizing reality and responsibility, not shying away from it, and from meeting it head on.  Adult happiness is not playing, or toys, or momentary pleasures and temptations but from being able to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and know that you are a person you respect, from knowing that you made the world a better place somehow, even if your contributions are small.  You helped raise a child who will impact the world, you donated to a cause, you volunteered to better someones life, or you just resisted the urge to kill a hooker (some people have bigger problems than I do, okay?).  It's about recognizing that there is something bigger than yourself, that you have an impact upon it, and trying your damnedest to make it a positive one.  And no, I don't mean religion.  Religion is an easy answer, but not the only possible one.  Family is a good one. Community is, too.  But whatever keeps you grounded and purposeful, that's what makes you happy.  And forgetting or hiding from your responsibility to it will make you unhappy.  And if the thing you're working with now isn't working, try another one. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Because I've warped him this much already

See this happy little snowman family, making a snowman themselves?  Oh how bucolic and wintery this scene is, how happy and tranquil and fun.  Unless you're my three year old, that is.  If you're him you throw down the Xmas catalog and start crying and screaming about the snowmen who have ripped their friend to pieces
And Oh My God the baby snowman is holding a decapitated head! 
Seriously, it took me half an hour to calm him down about this.  It was like he'd stumbled into a screening of the latest SAW movie.  I'm starting to think we should rename his college fund. Maybe therapy fund would be more accurate.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spoiler alert for new Pirates Of The Carribean movie

Me: (grabbing the Little Mermaid box) You boys want to watch a mermaid movie? Your sister used to love this movie so much. It was her favorite.

Danny: Yaaaaaa

Tommy: NO! I scared of mermaids!

Me: (looking at the happy cartoon fish on the box) How can you be scared of mermaids?

Tommy: Monster mermaids.  Deeny scared of monster mermaids.

Me: No, mermaids aren't monsters. They're happy singing girls.

Tommy: (and this took a while for me to translate and decipher) Monster mermaids with boobies pull the pirates in the water and cry in the bottle and she needs a shirt and I scared of monster mermaids!

Me: Well this one is different and your father doesn't get to rent movies for you boys anymore.

Friday, October 21, 2011

more on the afterlife. (a small concession to the religious)

Humans create electric current.  It is a scientific and medical fact. And when we die, that current does away.  It is also a scientific fact that energy cannot simply disappear. Nothing can disappear. When you burn things you get soot and smoke; when you vaporize things you get vapor, etc etc etc.  So when we die, some bit of electricity is released.  I don't know where it goes.  Maybe it sticks around as static and zaps people who walk on shag carpet in their socks. ("Grandma, are you fucking with my hair again?")  Maybe we kill off millions of human souls every time we put a Bounce sheet in the dryer.  Maybe the strongest tool at the Ghostbusters' disposal was a can of Static Guard.  Or maybe we just hang around forever, occasionally having big old soul orgies and zapping lightning rods.  Either way, something goes on after we die.  I want to clarify that I do believe that.  I just don't think it has a face and consciousness.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

He can only piss into the back of Cookie Monster's head.

Our diapers (the kids' not mine and Tom's, because we don't wear diapers not because we have different ones) have Sesame Street characters on them.  The kids don't even really watch Sesame Street unless I forget to change the channel after Cat in The Hat, but they pee on them.  Anyway, last week (I suspect just to fuck with me) Tommy decided to only ever wear Cookie Monster diapers.  Which is like 1/4 of the diapers because he's completely taking Elmo, Big Bird, and Ernie out of the rotation!  Well, he says he'd be willing to wear Grover diapers, but since Pampers doesn't make Grover diapers I think this is a false promise.  So now Danny gets all of the "off" diapers, and Tommy gets all the Cookie Monster diapers, and then when we run out of Cookie Monster diapers I have to force him into an Elmo one against his will and explain that if he'd use the potty he'd never have to wear Elmo again.
If anyone ever comes up with a sleep-away camp that potty trains your kid for you, they'd make millions.  Seriously. I'd be willing to ship my kid all the way to, say, Philadelphia for that. Business class, too.  Not coach.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The religious folks might not like this one

It'd be so nice to believe in an afterlife. To believe that I will see my mother some day even if/after this cancer kills her, that I will see my dad someday at all.  But I don't.  I don't believe that there's a Heaven, or a Hell, or anything like that. I think that when an animal dies, any animal be it insect or human, it's just out like a burnt out light bulb.  I have family who walk around funerals saying annoying things like "I'm going to miss him from now until I see him again in the Kingdom" and "it's not goodbye, it's just 'See you later'".  I'm sorry, but we are no more complex or miraculous than any other species. We are, as a species, relatively weak and vulnerable. Our mastery of tools is really the only thing we have that they don't, and until you can give IQ tests to fish there's no way to know we're all that much smarter than animals either.  SO the idea that a God made us, and gave us souls, and that those souls are so super-special that they can never die, is just arrogance. If biology is enough to explain cockroaches, it's enough to explain us.  We're organic life-forms capable of dying, not never-ending invisible spirits who will live on forever with our friends and family depending arbitrarily on our behavior for a mere 80 or so years in the beginning. 
I will miss my mother when she dies.  I miss my dad now. And when I die, my kids will miss me. But it's not "See you later".  It's "goodbye".  And even though I truly believe that, I hope I'm wrong.  I also hope wishing on shooting stars will work, too. But I don't think either of those are likely or all that plausible.  But it would be really nice if they were.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A conversation with Tommy

Tommy:  Ah-bus wace.

Me:  What?

Tommy:  I watch mooey. Ah-bus wace.

Me:  What movie?  Apples race?

Tommy:  No. Ah-bus wace.

Me:  I don't know what that means. Apples race? Applesauce lace? Can you say it a different way?

Tommy: A boat with pirates, and ah-bus wace.

And finally, I figured it out.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present Octopus Face:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I mean, it's not the recipe, but it's a decent math analogy

Tom let the boys eat donuts, ice cream, and candy bars for supper tonight, and Danny puked in the basket of Hot Wheels five minutes after Tom went to bed. Then my mother's chihuahua ate a whole bowl of cat food and shit some sort of biological warfare all over my kitchen. And Tom, who won't be home tomorrow at all because he has to deliver in Missouri on Tuesday morning, told me on his way to bed that he not only ordered 2000 crickets by mail, but also 150 live meal worms. As a treat! 
Every day I swear, no beer tonight. And then every night I have just one more beer. Dog shit + toddler barf + live meal worms = beer.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It is nothing if not effective.

Tommy:  I want strawberry shake.

Me: Ask your father.

Tommy: He in potty.

Me: He could put chocolate chips in it, too. We have some. You should ask him to make you one when he gets back.

(Tom walks into room. I leave.)
Tommy: I want strawberry shake with chocolate chips.

Tom: What? No.

Tommy: Mo-om! He said no.

Tom: You don't tell Mommy on me. You tell me on Mommy!

(I walk back in.)
Tom: Did you hear what he said? He wanted some sort of shake, and then when I said no he told on me.

Me: Yeah I know. (to Tommy:) Did you say please?

Tommy: Pweez

Me: Did you say, "Daddy, I love you,"?

Tommy: Daddy, I yuv you.

Tom: (laughing) I'm not making a shake.

Me: (to Tommy) Tell Daddy he's young.

Tommy: Daddy, you yum!

Me: Now tell him he's skinny.

Tommy: Now you kinny.

Me: (looking down at Tom's knee brace) And not at all crippled.

Tommy: And you not kipple.

Tom: I can't believe you're teaching him this! Turning our son into a suck up!

Me: And it's working, isn't it?

Ten minutes later, Tommy is drinking a strawberry chocolate chip milkshake, served to him by his yum and kinny father.  And I am getting a raspberry one, too. lol

Thursday, October 13, 2011

fun with teens, part two

Ryan is 13, which is that magical age where she no longer calls me her best friend, and is simulaneously humiliated to know me. I try to temper the heartache of the first part by totally taking advantage of the second, which is why Ioften embarrass her in public on purpose. Or at least, I don't try to avoid it like I probably should.  Case in point: we were walking through Walmart and she was walking much faster than I, about ten feet ahead, desperately hoping no one would know I was with her. I assume the alternative was that some fat gray-haired lady just randomly decided to stalk this uber-cool and independant 13 year old who happened to be at Walmart by herself with no cart.  Anyway, there she was, power-walking while I practically ran to catch up, so I just had to talk to her. Loudly. About stupid stuff.

Me: Hey, let's get you a Lady Gaga poster!
Ryan: No! I don't like Lady Gaga!
Me: But honey, she was born that way! As a motorcycle handlebar. And she's overcome it! She's a role model!
Ryan: Mo-om!

"I hate when people who aren't me do that!"

Newsflash! Being thought about isn't the same as being abused.  If a pedophile looks at your kid in the park, if a gay person lusts after you in the gym showers, if a fat chick licks her lips while staring you up and down in the check out line at the grocery store, no abuse has taken place.
"I just found out a sex offender lives on my street! What if he looks at my kid?" "I don't want gays in the military. Would you want them in the showers with you?"  "Your friend better quit looking at my boyfriend before I kick her ass." 
Until you are willing to admit that you have personally assaulted and raped whatever celebrity you currently crush on, you have no leg to stand on in your quest to avoid being masturbated about. You left your house, people saw you, and maybe some of them committed that vision to memory for later use. Don't think about it and if you do think about it, realize that no damage as been done and move on with your life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I wish I could write like her

Wanna know what cheers me up most days?  This shit.

well, crap

Are you FUCKING serious?

A woman with a tumor in her brain the size of a chicken egg walks, with the help of both of her children, into a hospital for seven hours of neurosurgery. A nurse asks, "So what are we doing today?" and the patient answers, "They're just going to pop a little thing out of the back right here," and points at her head.

It is so hard to sift through the layers of denial and euphemism and sugar-coating to get a straight answer from my mother.  She drove herself to the hospital for a week of treatments- and we let her- because the radiation guy told her they would make her tired but she could continue to drive as long as she took a nap first.  Now she needs a ride home because she is unsteady and can't drive, but the radiation guy warned her that that would probably happen so she's not worried.

And you can't scream, "OH MY GOD WHAT THE FUCK!?" at someone with cancer because they are sick and do not need the added stress.

And on a completely unrelated note, Congrats to my brother and his wife on the birth of their daughter.

Well none of them smell nice.

Tommy: (during a diaper change, pointing at his junk) What's dat?

Me: Your ball

Tommy: (pointing slightly lower) No, dat.

Me: The bag your balls are in?

Tommy: (pointing much lower) Dat.

Me: That's your butt hole.

Tommy: Yeah, my butt hole. My butt hole dinks.

Me: (laughing) You get that from your father.

I see your Stephen Hawking, and raise you a Pamela Anderson!

I hate pink ribbons. Everything has a pink version, or sends proceeds to breast cancer research, but nothing has gray ribbons, or brain research. So I kinda resent all the pink bullshit. Brain cancer is the ugly younger sister of breast cancer. Tits outvalue brains, but we all knew that, didn't we.

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's a vagina, not an identity

Finally, barrettes for baby girls with no hair. Because it would just be the mark of a HORRIBLE MOTHER to let your child be androgynous, or just to put girl clothes on her, I guess.  And no, jabbing spikes through her ears isn't an obvious enough sign of gender conformity so don't try pulling that "But I turned them and cleaned them 6 times a day and they got infected 3 times just so people would know she was a girl!" crap with me!
But I have the answer.  In case you want to know.  Do you want to know? It beats out gluing bows to your baby's head (yes, people actually do that), strapping satellite-dish sized polyester dahlias to her head, putting wigs on her, and even buying overpriced no-hair-needed barrettes. So if you want the super secret answer to all of your androgynous baby problems, here it is.

Yep, I'm still on the apostrophe thing. you know how much it costs to buy one of these things? A big boulder, engraved or just painted, especially with a design like those flowers, can set you back hundreds of dollars. And somebody paid hundreds of dollars in this case, for an incredibly heavy typo!
Either a family named Gardner bought it with no idea how to pluralize, which is admittedly the most likely scenario, or a gardener with a lot of pride in his job title bought it (see how the flowers fit in, now?) and then misspelled the job title.  Either way, it's proof that the personalized yard boulder industry needs an editor.

Ahhhh, Monday

It's a loud day.  I'm not sure what that means; I don't see lights so I don't think a migraine is necessarily coming.  But the TV volume is set to 10 (out of 99) and it sounds way louder than it normally does, the boys seem to be screaming even when they're just talking, and I can't find a volume for the bluetooth that is loud enough to hear yet still quiet enough to be comfortable.

Mom starts her radiation today, and will find out if the chemo starts today too, and may or may not be admitted to the hospital for it, depending on the chemo schedule, method, and of course her insurance company's Death Panel.

My mother's two (seemingly) cocaine-addled chihuahuas (Sgt Puppers and Day Tripper) are bouncing off my walls, eating every crumb my kids drop, and barking maniacally at my cat. This is stressful to me.

I need to remember to call my doctor today and ask for a prescription for supplemental anxiety medication. If I keep taking Xanax at this rate I'll become a junkie.

I accidentally touched the iron with my arm yesterday and now it hurts like a motherfucker.  I keep bumping things with it and I honestly never knew how many things in a day came into contact with that 3 inch stripe of skin.

Tom is going to be out overnight tonight, so there is no cavalry coming, no shift taking over tonight, no help in sight.

It is 10:30 am and I am already ready for a nap. The xanax probably didn't help in that regard.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

"More special last cocoa please"

While my mother was staying here after her brain surgery, she would often sit quietly at the table and drink coffee. This was very boring for the kids to watch, so they of course decided that it must be amazingly fun to do, since nothing could ever actually be that boring.  So Tommy would ask to drink "copy" with Doan (it's what we call her. long story) and I would make him some hot cocoa and he would sit there quietly with her and hold his head up with his hand like she did, and pretend that he had a big owie under his hair too, and then he'd get bored and go play. But they bonded so it was okay.
Now that she is gone, and the sweet "bonding with Grandma" thing is done for the moment, he still wants to drink hot cocoa all the time. (How did I not see that coming?) So at least a couple times a day I give in to his incessant begging and give him a cup of Swiss Miss.  Today Tom left to play golf and 3 hours later I caved and went to make the damn cocoa and guess what! Tom had made the last of the cocoa, not told me, and now I was the one who said yes but wasn't going to be able to follow through. I think Tom set me up.
I briefly contemplated making actual cocoa on the stove, but then I remembered that I had bought a pouch of overpriced peppermint flavored cocoa mix 5 years ago and it was smashed into a ball in the back of a cupboard.  SO I told Tommy I could make him only one cup of cocoa, that this was special cocoa, the only one of its kind in the entire world, and he would have to savor it and drink it slowly because after that there was no more cocoa in the house anywhere at all. Got it? He agreed.
Ninety seconds later he handed me an empty and oddly clean cup and asked for more special cocoa. 

Saturday, October 08, 2011

More things I've learned about myself from my Spam folder

  1. I need to get BIGGER through supplements. (I think this spambots thinks I'm a guy.)
  2. I need to be smaller through supplements. (This one just thinks I'm fat. How does it know?!)
  3. I need a $10,000 scholarship.
  4. I need to find senior housing.
  5. I may qualify for disability benefits.
  6. I need an iPad, but I only have $25 to spend on it.
  7. I need Canadian drugs.
  8. I have an Asian fetish. I assume that's a fetish for Asian people, not a fetish I ordered from Asia.

Friday, October 07, 2011

And this is why people unfriend me

Heather: I found a small dead mouse next to my couch this morning. Gross!

Me: Whatever you do, don't try to imagine what might have killed it.

Lynn: A bigger mouse!

Me: genetically modified lab rats!

Heather: I wasn't thinking about that until now. Double Gross!!

Me: Maybe it was a mousey gangland turf war.

Kim: It doesn't take much to cause the little buggars to have a heart attack... Maybe one of you stumbled into the bathroom last night and scared the crap outta it.

Me:  If they drink beer, they die. They can't burp and their stomachs explode.  You probably spilled a drop of killer beer in the recycling bin.

Heather: I don't drink at home.

Me: If I were you, and I lived in the middle of a rodent gangland turf war, I'd start.

Will we never learn?

"Mommy, my canny!"  He is trying to extract a Sucrets from the blister pack. Again. Because he has the memory of Dory, the blue fish in Finding Nemo.

"This is not a candy. It has never been, nor will it ever be, a candy. You don't like this. You've done this before, quite often in fact, and you have never liked it and have always spit it out."

"Mommy, my canny!  Pwees!"

"Fine. But just please try to remember to bring it back to me when you learn again what the phrase medicinal lozenge means." And with that, I hand him the shiny red throat drop.

"Okay, Mommy." And off he goes, with a Sucrets in his mouth.  I expect to see him again in about a minute and a half.

*UPDATE* His mouth in empty.  Somewhere in the house, plasticised to the carpet, is a Sucrets with my son's teeth imprint in it. Because I have the memory of Dory, the blue fish in Finding Nemo.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

But then, guys in bars used to say I looked like Tori Amos, and she's not my grandma

My mother is adopted. She always has been, I've always known it, it was a closed adoption so she has no idea who may or may not have contributed to her genetically, and for over 60 years she's been okay with that.  But now she has people telling her how she should know something of her family medical history or whatever, and Grandma wrote down the name of her biological parents and sealed it in an envelope before she died, so Mom let me read the thing.  And.... it was kinda anticlimactic.
For one thing, I guess I always expected it to be an immediately recognizable local name, and then I could just go to the phone book and find them and ask "So, you got any brain tumors over there, 'cause we're lousy with 'em over here."  But nope, it was a name I'd never ever heard of before, aside from one cartoon villain but that hardly counts because that person looked nothing like my mom.  So I did the googling and wiki-ing, and all that shit and OH. MY. CHRIST.

The dude was everything I never expected and yet everything I should really have expected.  For one thing, he was kinda batty.  Not in a Manson way, but in a "they called him eccentric because he had money" kind of way.  Also, he left the area before my mom was even born, and made just enough money to ensure that no descendants of his will ever be willing to talk to anyone claiming to be a possible descendant of his.  And he died, too, so that kinda sucks.  But he was insane, and he was on billboards in his underwear (Well why the fuck not?!), and he coined a term every American uses several times a day, and I think he banged Phyllis Diller.  And from this comes my genetic code.  Maybe.  Here's you check and see what you think.
My brother

 My possible grandfather
Maybe I'm crazy.  I really wish I had old pictures of my mom on my computer.

Or it could all just be random and without meaning at all.

If God really did never give us any more than we could handle, wouldn't we all be immortal?  I mean, He gives us cancer, and sometimes it kills us so obviously we can't all handle that.  And He gives us depression, which some of us can't handle. In fact, if I really did believe that some dude was deliberately handing out every random occurrence in my life, I think I'd be pretty pissed off that He handpicked the "brain cancer in her 60s" card for my mom.  Because really, what a prick!

Monday, October 03, 2011

It's like having far too much coffee, but without the coffee

I wish there were some sort of definitive test for fucked up minds.  I'd happily go into an MRI machine or give blood or even spinal fluid. But all they can do is ask me questions and tell me that if I get 5 out of 6 answers right, I have this disorder.  Except that the 5 I got right are also on the list for this other thing, and t4 of them match this problem over here.  So do I have bipolar disorder, or anxiety, or just some sort of panic problem?  I don't know. All I know is that right now I have restless everything syndrome, I'm wringing my hands (yes, while typing! Because I'm that awesome!), and my mind is racing a mile a minute about everything and noting. So, hypomania or what?  Because I'm on my second beer in an hour and it's not fixing it and I don't wanna become a xanax junkie.;  I think maybe I need time and space to jog.

Women's Health Centers Rarely Offer Neurology Services. Because We Don't Have Brains.

I am not my uterus.  Even were I to lose my uterus (where did I put that damn thing again?) I would still be me, and I would still be a woman.  It is for this reason that I detest Planned Parenthood budget cuts being referred to as "an attack on women's health."  An attack on birth control, abortion, and pap smears, yes. And all of those do affect women's health. But they are not the entirety of women's health and the implication that women's health as a whole would be jeopardized if Planned Parenthood disappeared bothers me.  Would more women die of heart disease? Stroke? Colon cancer?  Probably not.
Women are intricate pieces of biology, not just walking uteruses, no matter what politicians, or tampon commercials, would have you believe.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

but she's my Mommy, and some part of me thinks she may ground me

I guess most people grow up knowing that some day their parents will, gods willing, be old and they'll have to take care of them.  We expect to outlive our folks and we expect that at some point the balance of power will shift and they'll be the kids and we'll become the parents.  But try pulling rank on a woman who isn't shitting herself, who does remember you, and every stupid thing you've ever done to call your judgment into question.  Try putting on your stern face and saying "No!" to someone who will always, because experience dictates it, hear your voice say that word in a whiny teenage tone.  Mom's being pretty good about listening to me enforce the doctor's orders, but I am well aware that I possess no more rank than she permits me to have. If she really wanted to take a shower, stitches and all, I'm not sure anything short of body slamming her in the hallway could convince her otherwise.  And this is all (so far) temporary, so if we're all lucky things will go back to normal soon and I'll be her kid and she'll be a parent of an adult with no real authority but still the ability to make me feel guilty with a stern look, and I won't have to worry about it.  But it also means I can't burn any bridges right now.  I can't just say "You're a sick old lady and I'm the one without a big gash up the back of my head so listen to me or be put in a home!" or whatever else you say to parents when they get all sassy.  At least she's lucid.  I can't even imagine how hard this would be if she didn't understand why I was pulling rank, or if she tried to fight me physically.  If she gets Alzheimer's, I'm shipping her up to my brother in Chicago.  We don't get along well anyway, so I won't worry about burning that bridge.  :D

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the xanax really does help

I get it, Dr Oz did a show on how there's arsenic in the apple juice and now you're scared to give your kids apple juice. But then someone (me) gave you like 4 quick links to various sites explaining how there's inorganic arsenic (the bad kind) and organic arsenic (a not-so-much bad kind) and how Dr Oz's show only tested for total arsenic so they deliberately skewed the results (and then verbally explained it to you as well) because panic = ratings. And then you said you didn't care and didn't want to know what he did; you were just going to panic anyway. Because willful ignorance is a goal we should all strive to achieve.

I understand that a school is a machine. I get it that your job is to assign redundant homework, collect it, flog the kids who don't do it, and then bitch about "uncooperative" parents who encourage independent thought and all. But my kid is sleeping on the floor while her cancer-ridden unable-to-bath grandmother snores the sleep of the Oxycontin in the bed next to her, spending more than her fair share of homeowrk time babysitting her brothers so I can shuttle her grandmother to appointments and back and forth from her house to collect mail and pay bills.  So maybe you just cut her some fucking slack this one time on some of the bullshit.

I appreciate that you don't consider work to be "a break from the house". I love that.  But as someone who has been a working mom and a stay at home mom, I can tell you that it is a break from the house, whether you see it that way or not.  There have been days where I would have gladly held a soldering iron in a poorly ventilated factory for ten hours for free just to get away from kids who only eat one color of the multi-colored goldfish crackers, or who scream when you put their milk in the fridge after they throw the sippy cup over the baby gate 3 times.  Some days I would like to get to take a break from the house. If only got to do it enough to have the luxury of not even thinking of them as breaks from the house. Ahhhhh, to dream.....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Limitless information, at my unwilling fingertips

It just occurred to me that I could probably google the survival rates for metastatic brain cancer. But I can't. And yet now that I know that it's out there it makes it kinda worse. I really really hate my uncle for making me say all that out loud yesterday. It was easier before I said it out loud.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

hahaha I think I broke my uncle.

So "Emmanuel" called me last night wondering if I wanted to ride with him when he went to visit Mom today and I had to tell him that she didn't want visitors.  At all. No exceptions. So he got all sad and pouty on the phone. Then he asked how she was doing, so I told him what I thought was good news. I said that she's recovering wonderfully and could come home now except that they want to keep her to run some more tests because they can't figure out where the cancer came from so they're just gonna do another scan.

"She has cancer?"
*shake my head.*  *smack my forehead*
"Emmanuel, she just had a brain tumor removed. She has cancer.  Didn't she tell you that?"
"She said they didn't know what it was or where it came from."
"They don't know where it came from. It's not brain cancer; it didn't start there. It spread to the brain and they don't know where it started or where else it is."
"But they took it all out, right?"
"They took out the big tumor. They couldn't get to the little ones so they're going to get them with chemo and radiation and hope that gets them wherever they came from."
"I don't know what that means. What do you mean, where it came from? And what other tumors?"
"Em, this isn't something they caught early. She has Stage 3 or 4 cancer. It is spreading throughout her body and is in her brain  now. She has cancer and they say she's had it for a while, and they can't find all of it."

Sometimes it's funny to mess with idiot family members.  Sometimes it's just sad.  I think I'll just text "Sheila" if I ever have anything really bad to tell him. On the bright side, though, Mom called me today while I was at the grocery store and told me I needed to come pick her up because they were sending her home today anyway.  But just in case you've never tried to get into the University of Iowa Hospital as a University of Iowa football game let out directly across the street, let me just advise you never to try. The fucking cops won't let you in the parking garages, there are tailgaters in there if you do manage to sneak in, and the football fans all act irritated that the hospital doesn't just shut down for them.  We live in a really fucked up society when football trumps hospitals as a priority.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A letter to unnamed members of my family

I shall call her Sheila, and he Emmanuel, because those are in no way their names so if they ever read this they can't really sue me.

Dear Sheila,
I realize that you still blame me for reporting you to the state for medical neglect, even though I didn't report you and you were totally guilty of medical neglect, for the time you joked on facebook about how your diabetic 4 year old's blood sugar was in the 400s and it was so cute that he didn't understand why he felt sick while you didn't take him to the hospital, and then followed up with the fact that you were told by his doctor to take him to the hospital at 300 but just wouldn't.  Yeah, that happened but I forgive you.  For the accusation, not for being an awful mother, but we'll let the state handle that.  Anyway, about your dad.
He's a vagina. Sorry to be blunt but he's a big weepy ball of mess.  I understand that you hero-worship him in a way bordering on creepy and West Virginia, and that he's totally the most wonderful man ever to gut animals for fun, but he needs to stop blubbering on my mother about my mother. Seriously, you cannot call someone who is scared for her life and bawl incoherently into the phone about how scared you are for her life. This isn't about him, and she had about a million more important things to focus on than making him feel better. Give him a xanax, tuck him into bed (because I totally believe you do that already) and take away the cell phone.

Also, I text. When I get news about mom, I go through my phone and send out one update to about half a dozen people.  If Emmanuel doesn't know how to text, or can't afford to text, then he doesn't get updated. Not just because he makes me want to punch him in his weepy face, but because I simply do not have the time to call everyone who wants updates. I am not going to tell a brain surgeon to hold on while I call your father. Not gonna happen. Because I'm a bitch that way.

So, good luck with the whole reverse Oedipal thing, and the son you'll make blind before he becomes a teenager, and I'll text you updates if I feel like it. Or not. Whatever.

the black sheep

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

a quick update

I have no patience these last few days. I have this big huge thing in my life to think about and it just seems like the bullshit minutiae of life should step back for it but it doesn't.  I still ave to unload the dishwasher and come up with something for lunch and dinner every day, and why doesn't all this crap just take care of itself? I have brain tumors to google!

My mother uses a walker now, which is great because now she doesn't have to walk along walls to keep from falling down, but it also makes her look old and frail. As we walked into the Iowa City hospital I suddenly realized how we looked to people. The frail and unsteady woman being held up by her paunchy and balding son, accompanied by her overweight, gray-haired daughter. I had an almost overwhelming urge to tell the doctor that this wasn't real. That's not who we are.  My mother is strong and independent. My brother and I are young. His thinning hair is a joke because it doesn't fit him, and my grays are quirky and premature. We aren't old and we aren't sad or pitiful and the doctor has to make everything right again. Mom doesn't stand between us for support. She stands between us as support, and we need to get back to that again.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm lucky that they match that way.

My house smells like pot roast. I am infinitely fortunate that I happen to be cooking pot roast, because otherwise I'd spend all day wondering where that smell is coming from.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I swear, I plan to update you

Big whole blog posts swirling in my head. The involve hospitals and neurologists and one psychotic car salesman from LA who may or may not have coined the term "tv" but who definitely did name his daughter Tee Vee. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I don't want to know

Tomorrow we go to Iowa City to talk to the neurosurgeon. I am so scared.

It's like a fashion.

Oh my god! Cancer is a big industry. I mean, you see the ribbons on cars and everything (around here it's all pink and teal, because my town is full of breasts and ovaries) so you know there are shops selling car magnets and silicone bracelets, but I never knew it was so huge. There are multi-colored ribbons, and animal print ribbons because they've run out of colors.  And it must be difficult to A) come to a generally agreed upon consensus as to which color means which cancer, and B) keep it all in good taste.  I mean, breast cancer is pink because boobies = girls, but you can't make colon cancer brown because ewwww. And what if I decide I want mesothelioma to be yellow with pink polka dots but then some group in Colorado wants it to be green and red stripes? What governing board hears our appeals? Who makes the car magnets and silicone bracelets? It would be anarchy!

So I actually clocked something that said "Shop by cancer type" and scrolled through all of the ridiculously colored ribbons (bladder cancer is marigold, blue, and purple, because pale yellow was in poor taste.)  And oh my god there is a brain cancer gift basket!  For only $50 I can buy my mom a whole basket full of crap to constantly remind her of the dangerous chicken egg sitting inside her skull!  Of course, I'm not buying that because we don't know what kind of cancer she even has. It could be from anywhere!  Can you imagine the faux pas of showing up at the chemo office with the wrong car magnet, silicone bracelet, t shirt, necklace, keychain, Swarovski crystal bracelet? It would be mortifying!

It's Nawt A Too-mah!

I don't consider myself to be a hypochondriac, but I can be a tad panicky about some things. My father died from colon cancer and now every time I get a slight intestinal cramp I think to myself, "I need a colonoscopy!"  My mother has MS and I'm always afraid I have it whenever my leg falls asleep for a little longer than normal. 
I get headaches.  I've been popping 800mg Motrins a couple times a day for months now.  And I forget words, and call people by the wrong name, and I tell Ryan to hurry up and do her homework when I mean get ready for bed.  I think I need a peace of mind MRI.  I think for the rest of my life  I will worry that I have brain cancer every time I get dizzy or forget something.  In fact, I'm kinda worried about it already.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

more disjointed brain thoughts

I met this guy one time who liked to chat. I worked at a convenience store and he was a customer and one day I tried to sell him some new candy bar or something and he kind of chuckled at me. He told me he hadn't eaten chocolate in ten years. His wife had had brain cancer and either the cancer or the treatment had robbed her of her sense of taste, except for chocolate. The guy asked me, "Do you know what happens when you can't taste your food? You gag and choke on it." So he said they had to just dump Hershey's syrup on everything. Steak, salad, chicken noodle soup, all of it coated with Hershey's syrup. For over a year every meal he had with his wife smelled like chocolate, until she died. He said the worst part was, she didn't like chocolate; it was just the only thing she could taste. I don't remember the segue but he said in the end she died because the tumor outgrew her brain. He said they cut away her skull bit by bit to relieve pressure until her head was huge and then when she ran out of scalp to cover it the doctors said they could make more room by removing the brain around the tumor.  He said no and the tumor grew and she died.

This story has been in my mind since 4:00 pm today. That man chuckling at the candy bar, telling me about his wife eating meal after meal doused in chocolate she didn't like, and eventually doctor's offering to cut away her mind just to keep her body alive. It's the only brain cancer story I know, except that Dom Mucci had a brain tumor removed in his teens and woke up left handed. So I guess there's hope there.

The ribbon for brain cancer is gray. As in gray matter. As in the most depressing color in existence.


My grandmother lived into her 80s. She'd been "praying for Jesus to take" her since her mid 70s. She was a hateful old woman who insulted her grand children and sat in judgment of everyone.

My mother is a good woman. She is 63. Today they found a tumor the size of an egg in her head. Hateful woman- 80s. Good woman- early 60s?  This is how I know there is no god.  Well, that and logic.  And cramps.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Go Local City/State Team!

NFL starts tonight. Tom and I have negotiated the terms of football season down to 3 games a week.  I am going to try to hate televised football less openly this year because while I do hate televised football enough to want to kill it, I love my husband and want him to be happy and he enjoys it. And knowing that it's only 3 games a week should help.  And I do love all the other football things. I love bratwurst, and beer, and hooded sweatshirts. I just hate watching people actually playing football.*

*but mostly I hate playing single parent so that Tom can devote his full attention to not missing any of the game.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A Very Good Day

Today seemed to go slow. I made lunch for the boys at 10:00 because they were hungry and it just felt like lunch time. It was another open-windows day (third in a row after a heat wave summer all cooped up in the AC) and the boys were relatively well-behaved. I put them down for naps at 1:00 and took my hoop quilt and needle out to sit on the porch and only had to get up twice to tell Tommy to stop standing in his bedroom window banging on the glass with a toy garbage truck.  I almost pulled off being stern, but he was adorable standing there in the window smiling down at me and I burst out laughing.  So Tommy never got a nap but I got an hour or so on the porch in the fresh air. Then Tom got home at a decent hour, I made supper, the kids actually ate, and then Tom let Tommy help him work on building the shed in the back yard.  Ryan went out to help/watch and I brought Danny out and he played in the yard. In fact, he and Tommy played quite nicely in the sand box side by side with no crying or fighting or pushing at all!  Then both boys got baths and play time before bed, and everyone, including Tom, was in bed by 9:45.  And once I get done with my nightly wind-down web surfing, I will go to bed as well.  All in all, a very good day.

Monday, September 05, 2011

An Interview with The Child

Tommy, what's your favorite color?

"Bwoo." blue

What's your favorite animal?

"A dock." a dog.

What's your favorite movie?

"Won. Won. Won Weezy!" Ron. Ron. Ron Weasley!

What's your favorite toy?

"A my weiner. I has one!"

Xmas, not Christmas

So far the well-meaning denizens of the internet have corrected me twice in the past 2 weeks when I've written "Xmas". The first just pointed out that when you write Xmas, you leave Christ out. The second actually told me it offended her.  Well, the sad truth is that I do it deliberately to leave the Christ out, although not to offend anyone.
See, Christmas has been commercialized and secularized in our society. It has become, in many respects, a holiday celebrating peace, goodwill, family, generosity, and not the birth of any lord and savior. It has become Frosty The Snowman, and Santa Claus, not Jesus and a Nativity. And it is that secular goodwill that my family celebrates. So I spell it Xmas.  Because I don't celebrate a birthday. I celebrate a rather more obtuse mixture of vague wishes and emotions. And I do it with a tree and stockings, not church services and hymns. SO while I'm very sorry if having your religion's personal holiday celebrated on even the federal level isn't enough, and if my misspelling it and bastardizing it offends you and makes you feel like maybe the world is so cruel as to only mention you in 90% of all media for 4 months a year, I'm not going to put the Christ back in Christmas.  Because in my household, the Earth's Revolution Is The Reason For The Season. Since, after all, seasons are brought about by the passage of time, not the birth of future carpenters.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


Lately I've been having trouble sleeping.  I always have trouble falling asleep, but once I'm asleep I'm usually fine. I can wake up to roll over, check the clock, pee, whatever, and fall right back to sleep.  But the last week or so, after I wake up at all I'm just up. 
I have friends who have insomnia and they get things done.  They clean their houses or read books or whatever. I just  lie in bed with my thoughts racing, occasionally dozing just enough to have racing-thoughts dreams that leave me more tired than before.  I wish I could be a productive insomniac.   I wish I could get things done.  But most of all, I wish I could just sleep!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Harsh Reality: Mr Right wants you to take your Prozac

I have a lot of friends who suffer from depression. It's the law of averages that I will, since I have friends and depression is common. And I see a LOT of moping on facebook, which is fine since facebook is full of pointless comments and vents and is therefor kind of designed for moping when one is feeling mopey. But then I see this kind of stuff and it jumps out at me: "All I want is to find Mr./Ms. Right."

Here's the hard, cold, reality. Mr./Ms. Right does not want you. Nobody wants someone mopey and depressed who sits around on facebook posting status updates about how they need someone to make them happy. Mr./Ms. Right wants an already happy person to share time or life with, not someone who will put the responsibility for their happiness on their shoulders.  Do you want the guy at the end of the bar staring forlornly into his beer?  No one else does either. 

Again, depression is common. But YOU need to fix your own depression.  Take pills, get a hobby, do all the things you need to do. People, especially the Rights, want to share happiness, not provide it.  As long as you are dependent on another person for your happiness in life, you aren't what they want. Mr./Ms. Right wants to be a partner, not a crutch.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


Got a call the other day inviting the whole family to a giant cookout at my in-laws' house. To celebrate (in part) my ex girlfriend's birthday.  And her children's birthdays, one of whom is the daughter of my deceased ex boyfriend.  How could this possibly be awkward?  I shall keep y'all up to date.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Turns out I'm a bitch

It's strange, my new quilting habit. For one thing, it keeps pulling me away from my more pressing and urgent habits.  I have a niece coming in October and I'm still a skein away from finishing her baby afghan, and I haven't even started her Xmas stocking yet!  But also, while it is the one thing I really just don't care if I get right, I totally judge other people's quilts!  I google pictures of quilts and it turns out I have really specific taste in quilts.
I don't like borders. People piece together a crib quilt, add a ton of borders to it, and then say they made a double bed quilt.  No you didn't!  It's all filler!
Same with sashing.  In the right quilt it can look good.  If you make it too wide you just look like you stuck postage stamps to a sheet of printer paper.  More filler. It's practically cheating.
I also don't really care for it when a quilt top is all pieced and then the person quilts it with really dark thread that overpowers the fabrics, but that's more of a preference than an actual dislike.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Labor day is coming up, you know.

If I believes in an immortal soul, I would sell mine for a 3 day weekend alone in a hotel with good lighting and room service.  I would stitch my quilt, crochet the baby blanket I'm making for my brother and his pregnant wife, and let other people cook for and serve me whatever I feel like eating.  I would sleep in, poop with the door open, and never have to utter the words, "Why is the baby crying?" or, "Thomas, stop it!"  It is my dream.

8th grade

It's the first day of school.  She's in 8th grade.  I remember 8th grade.  I remember what I was doing in 8th grade.  It makes me want to home school her, remove her from society completely.  But then I remember that she is not me, she is smarter than me, and she has far less of that desperate need for approval no matter the cost that I had, and I feel better.  But still, I remember 8th grade and it scares me as a parent.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Same old Same old

This week is the local county agricultural fair.  Cow judging, carnival games and rides, fried and/or sugar coated foods, you know the drill.  Ryan has a season (5 day) pass for admission courtesy of my mother and new this year is a carnival Megapass which allows you, for the low price of $45, to ride all of the rides as much as you want. She got that by babysitting her brothers.  She's been at the fair pretty much every day, drinking lemonades, eating cheese fries, and meeting the President of The United States.  Standard small-town kid things.

The Secret Service wouldn't let me in, because there were already too many people in line to be scanned before Obama was leaving anyway.  Probably a good thing, too, since I had forgotten that my seam ripper was in my bra (that's where I keep it, okay?) and having the Secret Service bust me trying to get in to see the president with a tiny jabby pokey thin crammed in my bra probably would get me put on a list somewhere.  So I lived vicariously through Ryan, who got an autograph and photos, but no photo of her with POTUS himself.  But still, awfully cool day around here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Right back where I started.

Today I learned that if I keep the presser foot up, I can quilt all sorts of loopy swirly patterns with my sewing machine.
Today I also learned that if you keep the presser foot up it completely fucks your tension and you end up with cluster fuck knots of plastic invisible quilting thread all over the bottom of your quilt.
Today I learned that the ratio of putting stitches in to taking them out is about half an hour with the machine vs 3 hours with the seam ripper.
Tomorrow I learn to start all over. Perhaps I was meant to hand quilt.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The difference between you and a good mother

The difference between you and a good mother is not the search but the motivation.  A good mother searches for a diagnosis for her child because she wants to know what the problem is and what can be done to cure, treat, or work around it.  You want to be assigned a diagnosis so that you can tell people what's wrong with your kid and get the sympathetic look and "A ......... child?  You're a better mom than I; I could never handle that."  And despite all of the evidence against it, you're really hoping someone will tell you it's autism, because that's the most fashionable disorder for parents, er, I mean kids, to have. Autistic kids are the new adopted black kids after all.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Winter yet?

The heat index today was 100`, and I am thinking of cardigans and quilts and Xmas stockings.  I'm so sick of this heat and swamp-like humidity.  I'm ready for 3 foot snowdrifts and ice in the windows.  Who's with me?

Monday, August 01, 2011


Once, a thousand years ago, when I had neither children nor commitments, I had an admirer.  And she was a freaking psycho!  Not in a "call the cops cuz I'm scared" sort of way, but in a "Jesus shitting Christ she's put $1 of gas in her car 6 times today waiting for me to come on shift" sort of way.  And I affectionately named her Psychodyke.  Which was cool back then because they didn't completely revoke my gay card until I married Tom, and gay people can say dyke. 
I found her again.  On facebook.  And to prove that I am never too old to make completely predictable mistakes I will always regret, I clicked the "send a friend request" button.  Because before she became a psychopath with a lot of time to waste at a gas station, she actually was my friend.  And for a new kid in the 12th grade at a school 4 times the size of her old one, a friend was pretty cool.  Until the KD Lang music and visible underwear part turned friendly into creepy.  Then I just ran!  Update undoubtedly to come!