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.