Sunday, December 16, 2012

The pantry clock

My whole life my mom's had this wooden clock over her pantry. Way up on the wall, the same color as the woodwork, a flat wooden clock against the orange wall. I didn't even think to take it when I went through her house because, honestly, it's just always been part of the wall. It blended in and I never even looked at it because the digital clock on the microwave was easier to see, brighter and at eye level like it was. But up at Mom's the other day with my brother, I caught a glimpse of the clock and asked him if he could get it down for me. So now I have this clock and no idea what to do with it or where to put it. And I also realize that I know nothing about it. She kept that clock on her wall, never replaced it or took it down, for almost 40 years, and I don't know why. Did my dad buy it for her? Did she fall in love with it at a store or a flea market? Maybe it was her father's and she inherited it. Maybe my dad inherited it from someone on his side of the family. Or maybe it was just some 70s piece of kitsch my mother thought would look good on an orange wall above a wooden pantry door. But the thing is, I'll never ever know. I'll never know the story about that clock, or even if the clock has a story. Because my mom is dead and I can never ask her. And Dad is dead too so even if he knew why she bought that clock he can't tell me. And I swear, this isn't becoming a death blog. But I just really wish I knew why Mom had this stupid clock, because it doesn't look right in my green kitchen. The light hits it different and it doesn't match the woodwork and it goes way better with orange than with green.
I'll tell you guys, losing a parent is hard, but losing the other one is so much worse. Because you're not just losing someone and dealing with that, you're losing all of the stories you never asked to hear, and the name of that lady who picked you up when you fell out of the tree at the family reunion, and the guy with the spider monkey, and all of the other little details you never committed to memory because you didn't have to; they knew them.  And it feels like your whole childhood is gone, too, because you have to go through and dismantle the house and take down all of the pictures and see bare spots on the wall where they used to be and turn a home into a house again. And it just sucks.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Menus were better to think about.

I wanted to have a party. I had the date picked out (Dec 29) and the theme (ugly holiday sweater) and I was on pinterest collecting recipes and decorations and even a party game (stick famous names on peoples' backs as they came in and make them ask around for clues to who they were). And I was dead set on having this party. I had guest lists, I had my outfit picked out, I had a friend all set to loan me hor d'oeuvre plates. And then my mom died. And now I can't imagine having a party. I can't imagine piping sour cream onto mini latkes, or trying to make the nurse at my doctor's office guess Henry Winkler, or trying to find a non-racist way to make candy corn into a Kwanzaa representation (Hey, the term holiday party implies inclusiveness). And when I think back to my imagined and over-planned party, it seems like such a simpler time. A time when a Christmas tree shaped cheese plate was my biggest concern, when a hot cocoa station seemed like a good way to occupy my mind. A time when my mother was alive.

She's dead now. And when I knew she was going to die, I never thought past that. I thought about her dying, about who would watch the boys when hospice called me to come quick, about how I wanted to be there so she didn't have to die alone, but I never thought of her being dead. And now I live in a world she's not in and I can't get out of it. I can't get back into the world where she's up at her house and I can pop in and say hi. And I can't get the image of her dead out of my mind. I've never seen a dead body before, not without make up and embalming and a coffin. And while I am so glad she didn't die alone, I wish so much that I hadn't seen her dead. She didn't look like she was sleeping, or at peace. She just looked gone, and empty, and dead. And I wish I could push that image to the back of the file and put another one up front to take it's place. I wish I could go back to planning my party.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I hope they have a ping pong table

So I've decided what to bring to Thanksgiving tomorrow. And if they think popcorn and jelly beans and pretzel sticks don't fit the Thanksgiving theme, I'm going to ask them how the hell pilgrims made scalloped corn. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful for what?

We were going to have Thanksgiving dinner here at the house, with my mother and her friend over. Now that Mom's gone and her friend is back in Florida, we're going to the in-laws' for dinner. I like the in-laws well enough, but I'm sad that things had to change at all and, frankly, I like the food here better. Tom makes these lumpy garlic mashed potatoes with little pieces of potato skin in them, and I saute green beans on the stove rather than make that casserole with the canned beans, and I fry my own onions, too, rather than buy the can of hard ones. And my favorite is the Brussel sprouts. I cut them in half and coat them in olive oil and salt and then roast them in the oven. They're so good! And I can maybe bring the green beans up to Thanksgiving but there's no chance I can do that with Brussel sprouts. It's not the kind of dish you can drive half an hour to dinner, and you can't really show up at somebody's house with the most unpopular food in the world and say "I'm going to cook this in your oven and make your whole house smell like Brussel sprouts." And my mom won't be there, and I sort of suspect that all these other little complaints are just covering up that big complaint.
And then after Thanksgiving we always decorate for Xmas, but this year I don't want to. How can I get into Xmas when I'm just so miserable? What's the point? I always love Xmas, the tree and the lights and the Menorah and the gifts, but this year it won't be happy.
And now I'm crying so I have to stop typing. Maybe I'll bring the beans up to the in-laws'. But still, cold soggy beans off the stove doesn't sound too appetizing. Not that much does, these days.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The visitation

Tonight was my mother's visitation, and by tonight I mean all damn day because somebody (and I'm not naming names but it was me) decided to have the thing from 1:00 to 5:00 so it was too early to do things before and too late to do things after so it was effectively all day long. And there were people who RSVPed, who actually said  "I'll see you there" and then they never showed up. Friends of my mom's, people who I would totally expect to show up, just didn't. And you know how you always say it doesn't matter if people come and it's not mandatory? Well it turns out that when it's your mom, and you've spent days burning CDs of her music and printing out photos of her and picking out her jewelry to wear and stuff, it turns out that it's totally mandatory. I mean, these are people who knew her for years and worked with her and spent time with her socially and then they just didn't come by or anything. WTF.
But then some people came by whom I hadn't seen in years. Friends who couldn't afford to sent flowers. People with no link to my mother came by just to comfort me. Family members I'd never met, from my father's side, came just to let me know that the family was thinking of me. It was a really surprising outpouring.
But now it's over. And now all the little detail work that's been distracting me is over. And now there's nothing left to do but go through her stuff and clear out her house and settle her affairs and generally think about her being dead and that prospect scares the holy fuck out of me.
And Tom has been awesome through all of this. He's let me sleep in every day because the only thing that keeps me from thinking about her being gone is an absolute loss of consciousness, and he's been going through her bills and making lists of what I have to do and who I need to call and who needs copies of the death certificate, and he's been looking up things on line to see what we might be able to split between my brother and I and what we'd have to sell and then split the money from, and he's been getting Tommy off to school every day and he bought the food for Tommy to bring to his class Thanksgiving Feast (and then totally forgot to actually send the food, or the kid, to the Thanksgiving Feast) and I couldn't have gotten through this without him, which is why Tom now has to make all his own arrangements before he dies.
Any my parting advice to all of you, my 3 lonely readers, is this: Don't wear heels to a visitation. Four hours on your feet will kill them. My feet hurt so bad now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The last update

When your aunt comes into the hospice room and sets down her soda to sit with your dying mother in the middle of the night, and casually mentions that she didn't take the time to brush her teeth before driving over, do not offer her a Mentos before reading her soda can. I think I about exploded my mom's only sister by not noticing that she was drinking a Diet Coke. Somehow, I think Mom would have found that funny. She passed about 4 hours later.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Ouch!" say the genitals

Some lessons you have to relearn every couple of years. Today I stumbled upon one. I learned, again, the importance of making sure that the adhesive side of the panty liner is against the underwear. It seems like a silly thing to worry about, but those things come folded into thirds and if a third of it is flipped over on itself, you have a surprise bikini wax in the ladies' room to look forward to. It's just not fun.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Things I've recently been told aren't normal

Being petrified to walk in a room where everyone else is sitting, because they'll all notice if I stumble and they may laugh at me for it.

Being scared to walk in heels for the same reason.

Not inviting people over because when I look at it from a guest's perspective, my house suddenly gets much messier and absolutely filthy.

Rambling like a lunatic when confronted with anyone I want to make a good impression on.

Naming bugs we find in the house to make them less frightening. "Don't touch Eduardo; he may be venomous!"

Giving up on teaching your child proper prioritizing skills and instead teaching him to blame his quirks on OCD.

Hiding Nicolas Cage faces around the house just to creep out your husband. (How can this not be normal? I got the idea from pinterest.)

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Do you know what smoking looks like? It looks like a bald head. It looks like a huge bulbous swollen double chin from the steroids they give you because tumors grow great in brain tissue and the extra pressure in your skull gives you headaches. It looks like paralyzation because of the tumor wrapped around your brain stem. It looks like bad breath because you breathe through your mouth because you don't have the muscle control to hold your jaw closed. And it looks like a doctor telling your kids that you could actually live for two whole weeks in hospice because the water retention from the steroid bloat could compensate for the lack of a feeding tube or IV. And why no feeding tube or IV? Because they'd only keep you alive long enough to get to the really painful part of dying. So next time you light up a cigarette and say you know you really need to quit, think of that. Next time you say you're such an addict and shrug it off, think of that. Next time you talk about the side effects you heard of that keep you from asking about Chantix, think of that.  Think of the people afraid to have a beer because they may get the call any minute to rush to hospice and don't want to be too drunk to drive. Think of your kids, really picture them, wiping wet sponges around your mouth because you've lost the ability to swallow and your mouth is dry and sticky. Think of a room full of loved ones, all looking away and up at the ceiling, because nurses are rolling you over to prevent bed sores and your ass is hanging out because you can't wear underwear with a catheter and you've lost control of your bladder. And the whole time, you're conscious and aware of it all. Think of that and then answer the question, "Why is that a better reality than throwing away that pack of cigarettes?"  Why is that panicky feeling in your chest worse than the panicky feeling in your kid's chest as they scramble to find the SIX THOUSAND dollar deposit on the hospice room because without it, you may literally be discharged onto a bench in the hospital parking lot.

Friday, November 09, 2012

This is messed up, and strangely expensive for the demand there should be

There's a picture of a kangaroo embossed on a coin purse made out of a kangaroo scrotum. Think about that. If some species made coin purses out of human scrotums, would they emboss a stick figure man onto it? It's a completely stupid comparison, though, because the stick man would curl up into a ball like a 1950s bomb drill every time you took your purse out in the cold. But hey, if you kept your coin purse in your front pocket, would it count as bestiality? Or necrophilia? Or probably some hybrid of both, I'd think.

You know what these are? I mean, aside from fashionable earrings? They're slices of oosik. They're walrus penis bone earrings! I can only assume, based on the weird holes in the middle, that the walrus had osteoporosis. Probably why it was too slow to keep from getting dong-snatched by violent jewelers.

This is a basket made out of baleen and ivory. Baleen it the filter on the roof of a whale's mouth that catches fish and lets water through. Kind of like the way nose hairs filter dust and let air through. And like hair, it's made of keratin, not bone.  Ivory is what tusks are made of. Tusks are more like teeth than anything else.  This is a basket made out of whale nose hair and (probably) walrus teeth.

See, I've given you a wonderful way to accessorize with weird animal parts. You're welcome.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

A facebook status, because I'm totally phoning it in today.

The boys like to pull up the floor grate in their room and throw each other's toys "into the basement" but this time it got left open and the cat got in. Just wandering through the ductwork, having an adventure, while we humans crouch over the vent-hole, impotently calling "here kittykitty!" like morons. And people think Saturday nights lose their excitement after you have kids.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

I bet Psy thinks our videos are just as stupid

Me: Oh my god, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwear did the horsey dance at the CMAs.
Tom: What's the horsey dance?
Me: From Gangnam Style.
Tom: What's Gangwhatever Style?
Me: The video all over the internet?
Tom: (blank stare)
Me: It's internationally famous?
Tom: (blank stare)
Me: Well it's where the horsey dance comes from. And Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwear did it at the CMAs.
Tom: Well what's it look like?
Me: What? The horsey dance?
Tom: Yeah.
Me: Um, like this. (and then I tried to do the horsey dance but it didn't work due to equal parts inability and embarrassment, and then I just looked up the video on youtube.
And then two seconds into it...
Tom: Who's that?
Me: That's Psy. (blank stare) The guy who sings Gangnam Style? (blank stare) The song the video is for that has the horsey dance!
Tom : Oh. Whatever. Where's the dance?

And then the dance came on and he was equal parts flabbergasted by its stupidity and enthralled with the fact that Tommy and Danny already knew how to do it and were dancing around the living room Because that's how we live when he's not here. We live Gangnam Style!

Friday, November 02, 2012

Another pet peeve, I guess

Rape is not sex. But it does, in all honesty, mimic the physical act of sex, albeit in a traumatizing and violent way. I just hate to hear people calling it sex. "He drugged her and then had sex with her." "He had sex with her against her will." No one is doing anything with anyone in a rape. They're doing it to someone, or at someone, but not with someone. To do something with someone, they kind of need to be doing it,too. Or at least, the phrase implies it. Rape victims aren't having sex, they're being assaulted.
So I hereby move that we stop saying that rapists are having sex with their victims and instead start saying that they have sex on their victims. CeeLo Green is accused of slipping a girl drugs in a club and then raping her. The articles say he gave her E and then had sex with her. I say he gave her E and then had sex on her. He did it to her, not with her, and the vernacular should reflect that.

pills and pain

This morning I threw my back out putting Danny in his car seat. There, that's your back story for this phone conversation with Tom two and a half hours later. Also, I take lots of pills for my crazy.

Tom: Is your back better?
Me: Not really. I can move without audibly yelping now, though, which is an improvement over how it was.
Tom: Did you take some Tylenol or Aleve?
Me: No.
Tom: Why not?
Me: Because they're too high for me to reach without stretching and I can't stretch and also because my breakfast already consists of four pills and a cup of coffee and I just didn't want to add more pills to it. I mean, I wanted to get better but I didn't know I'd have to take the AIDS cocktail to do it.
(Tom erupts into fits of giggles)
Me: Why are you laughing.
Tom: (still giggling) You said cock.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Brian M Nolan, wherever you are.....

14 years ago I lost my best friend. He didn't die; I just misplaced him somewhere in New York. In the days following 9/11, I googled him and searched for him online, scared to death that he was a victim. Today I do the same thing. Wherever you are, Brian Nolan, I hope you are safe and unharmed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Damn religious platitudes

Praying instead of planning, giving control of your life over to God, and trusting that He has a plan and a reason, it's all like climbing over the console into the passenger seat while the car flies down the freeway at $75 miles per hour. Somebody needs to be in charge and it ought to be you! There is no guarantee that there is a plan, that somebody is in control, or that everything does happen for a reason. The only thing we can be sure of is that you are there, living your life, and if something needs to change or be saved, that you can do it. So do it, already! And stop posting motivational sayings to pinterest and facebook about how great it is that you're sitting back doing nothing because you have faith.

*I would like to add that I have no problem with people praying, or trusting in their particular God, or believing that everything happens for a reason. I just get so tired of seeing good people, friends of mine, sit on their asses with their eyes closed waiting for circumstances to magically change while they take no physical actions to change them. If you need more money, don't just pray for it, job-hunt, too. If your family is sick don't just solicit prayers on facebook, make some chicken soup and take steamy baths, too.  But don't give control of your life over to God. He may be a little busy with that whole hurricane-in-Manhattan thing right now.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

All the better to blaspheme Xmas with, my dear

Remember way back when, before I had sons and my only major psychiatric issue was with turning 30? Remember the flaming gay nativity I made up? I think I shall make up something new this year. Possibly a wreath that I will make in actuality and hang upon my front door. I am taking suggestions. So, any idea?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shit that pisses me off.

A friend once told me that I don't have pet peeves; I have whole kennels of irritations. In that spirit, I am posting a list of things I hate, in no particular order.

  1. People who think they're clever by taking slang literally when I'm always mad. "Oh, shit makes you angry. As in actual pieces of feces that somehow annoy you? hahahaha." To which I respond, "Yes. For instance, you are a piece of feces and you're making me mad."
  2. People who think they're clever by pointing out my typos to use against me since I hate spelling and grammar errors, as if they're the same thing. And they're not. A spelling or grammar error is when somebody doesn't know any better or worse, when they don't care. A typo is when you know how to spell the word but you hit the wrong key, or hit the right keys but in the wrong order. Mocking me for a mistake because I don't like ignorance, because you can't tell the difference between mistake and ignorance, shows your ignorance. Got it?
  3. When articles about a violent death include details of it. The family sees those headlines, even if they don't read the articles. No one needs to see a big old headline about how their daughter was raped and killed and nearly beheaded. Have some damn respect.
  4. When (some) conservatives accuse liberals of being intolerant because they don't like anti-gay speech/actions. "Liberals are always talking about tolerance and acceptance but they sure as hell can't tolerate any opinion other than theirs." Seriously? So it's intolerant not to sit and listen to the KKK without objection, too? We let you say your hate but we don't have to take it lying down. You have a constitutional right to free speech, but not to free speech without consequence. 
  5. When dogs try to lick in my mouth. Kiss my face, fine, but stay out of my orifices.
  6. When I look for tubas on google and get French horns instead. WTF people?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

An email to Ryan's Scholastic Bowl coach

Dear Mr Smith (if that is indeed your real name),

I fear I am an idiot and have misplaced the Scholastic Bowl schedule. Could you please email me a new one? I promise not to lose this one.

Charlie Melton

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dystopia is not supposed to be pretty

I would love to see a dystopian TV series or movie with realistic looking characters. Or, for that matter, a visually accurate primitive one. For instance...

Xena the Warrior Princess never had split ends. And she wore eyeliner and lipstick, and shaved her legs and armpits. In ancient Greece, while camping.
Hercules never much more than a 5 o'clock shadow. And Autolycus shaved around that little triangle thing, apparently every day.
In Falling Skies, aliens have landed and taken over the world. Only a small band of determined humans fight back, in the form of rudimentary militias. And while some of the men have beards, none are sporting the bushy, long-haired, wildman look, and the women still wear make-up. And the ubiquitous sweaty hot chick in a tank top never has armpit hair. (I hate to dwell on the pit-hair but it does exist and it should be present in a dystopian future. When survival is fought for every day, a Lady Bic just wouldn't be priority one.) And no one has, or is beginning to have, dreadlocks. Who is manning the shampoo factories? And where are these people washing their hair now that all fresh water has to be saved for consumption?
In Revolution, there's been no electricity for 15 years. And they still look like they wash their clothes daily, in gentle detergent which doesn't fade the colors. And the women wear make up (not Hollywood make up, but there's eyeliner and blush on just about everyone.) Who's making this detergent? Who's making the make up and shampoo? 

I want to see a show where the future survivors of the end of civilization look like shit. I want the women to be hairy and haggard and sun-burnt and have matted hair cut with jagged hunting knives. I want the men to look like the Unabomber, wearing the skins of animals they've hunted for food. I want a little more realism in my television. At least in the gritty dystopian television.
And please, when you make the next Merlin movie, give the man nasty hair and a bad beard. No medieval wizard had access to that much conditioner.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Texts between Ryan and I, after I gave her a shitload of grief about her grades, right before school

Me: I'm sorry I made your morning suck  :(

Ryan: It still sucks.

M: Why? What's up?

R: Testing!!!!! No!!!

M: Relax. You always do great on tests. You can do this.

R: But the computer isn't working.

M: Oh no :( Bitch to the teacher.

R: They're trying to figure it out. Another computer has the same problem.

M: It's not a virus, it's a computer PLAGUE!


M: What if all the school computers get the plague and die but in the past they got zombie virus and I.T. never noticed so when they die of computer plague they come back as zombies and kill everyone in the computer lab?

R: You just made me lol. And most all of the computers are messing up in some way.

M: And then the zombie virus & computer plague become airborn & the smart phones catch them & all the popular kids hiding in the bathrooms are attacked by their own front pants pockets (OUCH) & you are the only survivor because we are too cheap to get you 3G. YOU'RE WELCOME!

R: lol

And then she never said anything else so I assume that either the computer glitch got fixed and testing resumed, the computers killed everyone, or she got busted texting her mom during class.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

My kids deserve crappy pictures.

I hide from cameras. I always have. When I look in the mirror I always suck in my stomach, and tilt my head to minimize the double chin, and when I see pictures of me where I didn't do those things I just hate them. So I have it stuck in my head that I look bad in photos. So I hide from the camera. But I'm not going to do it anymore.
I read a blog this week where the woman said that her mother died and there were no pictures of her because she hid from the camera. And the woman said that when she did find pictures of her mother, she didn't notice bad hair or extra pounds or wrinkles. She just saw her mother's smile, and kind eyes, and the lap she used to climb up on.  My mother is dying and I'm struck by how few pictures there are of her, and I realize that I'm not looking for flattering outfits and good lighting and clear skin. I'm looking for Mom, for the cheek I kissed and the face I wanted to see after a bad dream, for her smile. And that's what my kids will want to see someday. So I'm going to stop hiding from cameras. I won't look at the pictures I'm so critical of, but I'll be in them. Someday my kids will want pictures of Mom, and I'll make sure they have them, blotchy skin, extra pounds, double chin and all. Because my kids deserve to be able to remember me.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Don't we all hate her, a little bit?

This is a lovely viral photo. It's been getting a lot of reactions. Mine has been one of the negative ones. For one thing, I think there's a problem with the wording. If it said "No excuses", I'd be fine with it, but it doesn't say that. It says, "What's your excuse?" It specifically asks what my excuse it, what the viewer's excuse is, as opposed to just stating a vague message that there are no excuses. It also completely ignores the difference between excuses and priorities.
Would I like to be as thin as her? Sure. Do I think it's a worthy goal? For some. Do I prioritize it over other things? Nope. I prioritize it under bacon, and coffee with milk and chocolate, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I prioritize hour-long work-outs under spending time with my kids, relaxing with my husband, and just plain relaxing (especially now that I'm on 1200mg of may-cause-drowsiness pills). And in a much more philosophical way, I prioritize my appearance under intelligence, sense of humor, and companionship, all of which can be improved in the time it takes to work out and diet.
I hate that weight can be seen. I hate that we can instantly be judged on it. There are many things we're "supposed" to be perfect as, as women, wives, and mothers. But weight is the one that can be seen. No one can walk up to Miss Bikini Mom up there and judge her for not being a gourmet cook. No one can say "Why aren't you a gourmet cook? Why don't you only eat organic and make your own bread every day? Susan does it, Jodie does it. What's your excuse?"  No one can look her up and down at the gas station and think, "Why isn't your laundry done and folded every day? Why aren't all the beds made before school? Why isn't your house spotless? Joan's is, Barb's is. What's your excuse?"  But weight, weight is something we all get judged on. Angelina Jolie had twins and was in a slinky dress on the red carpet less than a month later.  Women who should, in all honesty, still be passing massive post-baby blood clots into pillow-sized maxi pads are out on photo shoots wearing size 2 jeans  in Hollywood. And now we have Miss Bikini Mom up there to compare ourselves to, too.  It's ridiculous. I suppose there are no excuses, in her life. She obviously has someone to watch those 3 kids, and time to work out, and a budget to buy the healthy low-cal food. She's not suffering from post partum depression, or the after-effects of gestational diabetes, or a c-section incision that prevents immediate crunches and sit-ups. She doesn't have a husband who stays away for days on end, and she isn't a single mom with no husband at all, nor the money for a sitter during work-outs. She isn't on a Top Ramen budget. She has a good thyroid. She's not on birth control or mood stabilizers that cause weight gain. But hey, What's your excuse? 
My excuse is that I don't want to be her. I like stretch marks, and wrinkled cleavage, and baby-chewed boobs. I like my mom-body, and I really, really, really resent the implication that I shouldn't, and that I'm lazy for not having her body. Her passion is working out, and kudos to her for pursuing it. But I'll be damned if I'm going to sacrifice for her passion rather than my own. It's not an excuse. It's a priority.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Unusual phrases that give me comfort

Life is arbitrary and ultimately meaningless.  This gives me comfort because it reminds me not to bang my head against the wall looking for the meaning of life, trying to figure out why we exist and who we are.  We make our own fate, our own destiny. Life is what we make it. On the converse,

It's not up to us to seek forgiveness from God, but to forgive God ourselves. This gives me comfort because it just makes sense to me. If there is a God, he's handing out cancers and plagues and earthquakes and hurricanes. All we are doing is making our way through the world to the best of our ability with human failings, failings that God gave to us. How many people do you know who secretly hold these things against God, yet still beg Him for forgiveness? No, the secret to finding peace is in forgiving God. And once you've forgiven God, it's much easier to accept His authority to forgive you. But as long as you're holding a grudge, no matter how buried and repressed it may be, it's hard to truly want forgiveness from someone you blame for killing your family.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Depression Lies

My ex boyfriend killed himself. In fact, the last 2 guys I dated before Tom have killed themselves, along with a positively wonderful guy I knew in high school but was never lucky enough or cool enough to date. Several times in my life (more than a couple but less than a dozen) I almost killed myself. I remember sitting at my mother's dining room table swallowing pills over some guy named Paul, just because he liked his ex and not me. Somehow, by some twist of fate, the bottle I'd grabbed had old antibiotics in it, not the heart pills the label said it had. I was lucky.

Sometimes I get all philosophical and trippy and think, what if I actually did? What if I killed myself back in high school over some insignificant teenage trauma and all of this, my life and my home and my family, are all some ridiculously detailed afterlife dream? What if my marriage and my children are purgatory? That thought actually makes the whole theory believable some days.

What if I had killed myself back then? Would I have killed myself over Paul, or over some boy whose name I can't remember now? Or over a report card grade I can't remember? Which insignificant drama would have been worth disappearing for? What about my life should have killed me?

Depression lies. Sometimes it lies so convincingly that you need meds to see the truth, but depression always lies. It never tells the truth.  It tells you life is terrible , and that only the weak take meds, and that everything would be better if you just ended it. Or maybe it just tells you to sleep all the time and that there's no point to getting better. But the thing is, if it were true, if there was no point and life is terrible, meds wouldn't change that so what's the harm in trying them? Why not try to get better? Even if "better" is an illusion, the illusion has to be preferable to death. So try the meds. There are tons of generics and your regular MD can prescribe them. And no matter how loudly depression lies or how convincingly depression lies, always remember that depression only lies. It absolutely cannot tell the truth. Ever. It only and always lies.

Walmart sells several anti-depressants for only $4.00 a month. Money is no reason not to get help. I know because it was my reason not to get help and looking back now I can see that it was bullshit.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I have decided to change my wifi network name (as soon as I can figure ut how). I am taking a vote in the comments section to see what I should change it to. I will also take write-in votes from anyone wittier than me. Don't be afraid; I haven't set the bar too high.

  1. Voldemort's Lair
  2. Room of Requirement
  3. FBI surveillance van #231
  4. DEA surveillance van #231
  5. All the girls say I'm pretty fly for a wi-fi
  6. wi-fi full of viruses
  7. wi-fi full of crazy porn (I really just want to see how many of my neighbors try to hook up to that one)

Sunday, September 09, 2012

See? No resemblance at all.

People writing tutorials or posting photos of homemade Godzilla costumes online have apparently never seen Godzilla. He is black, not green, people! He has bumpy skin like a lizard, not scales like a snake. He has white-edged and round-pointed plates on his back, in three rows, not pointy triangles. This is not just a T-Rex! Godzilla is a character, a monster all his own, and it's kind of insulting to Godzilla fans when you tell people to sew a tail onto a green sweatsuit and call it Godzilla.  Here are some photos to illustrate my new pet peeve.

He's just trying to find himself

Danny comes into the room, crying, obviously distraught about something.
Danny: Where Demmy? Mommy, where Demmy go?
Me: You are Danny.
Danny: (perks up) I am Demmy! (runs toward bedroom) I Demmy! Tommy, I find Demmy! I Demmy.

I think maybe I get their names mixed up too much. Poor kid doesn't even know his own name.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Hearts aren't that important anyway

I have a harmless heart murmur called premature ventricular contraction. It means that every once in a while my pathetic white-girl sense of rhythm fails me and my heart goes from lub-dub lub-dub to lub-dub-lub.....DUB. It feels like when someone scares you and your heart skips a beat, except it happens for no good goddamned reason every couple days or so. It's completely harmless and after a while you just get used to it.

Well it's happening an awful lot the last couple days and I can't help but wonder if it's connected to my new meds. Are heart palpitations a sever enough side effect to report, or is it no big deal since I get it  every once in a while anyway? I think I'll wait and see if it keeps up at this pace or not. I really want these meds to work out and help me, so I want to wait until I know for sure I can't take them.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

You didn't build that

My husband drives truck for a small family-owned, very successful company. They built that company from the ground up. And those trucks are driven on government-built roads and highways. Roads and highways plowed all winter by government employees, keeping the very successful trucking company from being a seasonal business. The trucks themselves are built to government standards. It's a comfort to me, as a driver's wife, that Peterbilt can't just find some cheaper yet more brittle metal to make truck axles out of.

I have a friend whose husband owned a business which did not succeed. They filed bankruptcy (thank you government bankruptcy laws) and got those debts wiped off. They are now purchasing a new home with a no money down VA mortgage.

My children will, god willing, become huge self-made successes in whichever fields they choose. My 14 year old has already surpassed my knowledge of math and science and is taking, her freshman year, sophomore classes. Thank you government-funded, government-mandated, government-standard-meeting public schools.  When she goes to college, she will undoubtedly go with government-backed student loans and grants. And don't even get me started on state universities!

If your business relies on roads, or on deliveries from trucks that drive on roads, if you ever needed and received a government-backed small business loan, if your business resides in a building built to safety standards, if you're grateful that the products you buy are subject to laws regulating how they are made, what can be used in them, and truth in manufacturing laws, you don't build it.  Not all buy yourself, not without opportunities and help from the government. America is a wonderful place that affords many opportunities, and it's ridiculous to base an entire political party's campaign platform on the idea that anyone who says so is insulting you.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

damn vocabulary words!

Is it ironic or not that won't tell me why entomology and etymology are so similar? Or why hemophilia doesn't mean blood fetish? I find it's important to know these things because if you have a blood fetish and you just assume you know the word for it, people might transfuse you against your will for paper cuts. Or maybe that's what you want, what with the blood fetish and all. Either way, why do I always accidentally confuse linguistics majors with bug experts?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tonight I take a pill

Tonight I take a pill. A pill which will hopefully treat the near-crippling sense of being overwhelmed, the anxiety and fear, the urge to curl up into myself like a dog rolling over onto its back hoping for belly rubs but prepared to be kicked instead.  A pill which will hopefully stop my from contemplating suicide once a month, stop me from dreaming of one bedroom apartments and curbside furniture. A pill which may wall in the pendulum of my moods just enough to stop the absolute shit that is a bipolar mood swing.  Tonight I take a pill I've needed for a long time. 
Damn, I hope it works.

Monday, August 27, 2012

On crosses and ribbons

I always question the cross as the chosen symbol of Christianity. In a similar way, the people who've lost someone to breast cancer and cover everything they have in pink ribbons.  My mom has lung cancer and out of all of the pictures or symbols I could pick to choose to memorialize her someday, a cancer ribbon is the absolutely last thing I would pick. That would be like losing someone to murder and keeping a framed photo of their killer by your bed.
Of all of the things Jesus did, why is his horrifically gruesome death the thing we want to use in place of him? A fish, not as much as his murder weapon. A manger? Nope, pick the murder weapon.  Ooh, a wine glass, for the water to wine miracle!  Nahh, go with the murder weapon.  A cancer ribbon seems a little too close to a murder weapon for me.  I know a family who lost a sister, wife, and mother to breast cancer and those people live inside a pink magic marker. I always feel like, didn't she do anything in her life, have any hobbies or interests, that they could have put on their scrapbook pages and charm bracelets better than her manner of death?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Danny to English dictionary

Buh Wah-zeers = Buzz Lightyear (even though it sounds just like Buck Rogers
Eeya = Olivia
Wozzo = Lotso (as in Lotso Huggin Bear, from Toy Story 3)
Ah Got Deemit = I got it, Danny's (as in I have it so it's mine, even though it sounds like he's saying Oh Goddammit)
Deemit = Danny
Toe-me = Tommy
Toobys = Toby (Astro Boy)
moe-kees = monkeys (always followed by too-loud chimp noises {OOH OOH AHH AHH})
pink-wins = penguins (even though it sounds like pink ones)
don-sore = dinosaur (always followed by RARRR)
chetch = technically he's saying catch, but he means duck. Trust me.
Why-yen = Ryan
Coe-en = Corwen
Ann- Toni = Aunt Toni
Un-coben = Uncle Ben

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Quick question

Am I the only one who instinctively tries to peek up his shorts?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Names are preposterously changed to protect just about everyone

You know what helps you quit drinking? A hangover, that's what!
My friend was in town, let's call her Rosalee, and she said "Let's go out for drinks!"  Now, I had no reason to be scared because she'd said this before and we'd gone uptown to an empty bar and had 2 drinks before going back home to our kids. I swear to you, this is what I expected this time.
So I did my hair (and by "did" I mean I didn't pull it back into a soccer mom ponytail and I put leave-in conditioner in it), dressed up (and by "dressed up" I mean I wore real shoes and my best paisley tee shirt) and we went to the bar. And it was empty, and we had 2 drinks, and we talked. It was nice. Then we went to another bar. This one was less empty, and oddly well-lit (since when are bars well-lit?), and we had 2 more drinks and talked.  Then we went to yet another bar. And the more I felt like it was getting late and the bars were getting louder, the more Rosalee seemed to be in her element. And by "element", I mean twenties, even though she is the same age as me. See, I always forget that while I'm a the-mom-from-Home-Improvement mid-thirties, Rosalee is more of a Robin-from-How-I-Met-Your-Mother mid-thirties. And I cannot keep up with her.
At the third bar we ran into so many people. The neighbor kid who just turned 21 was there and of course Rosalee, who'd only been in town a week, knew him and convinced him to stay and hang out.  This lady who used to work with my mom at the courthouse until she threw the entire probation office into a drug fueled sex scandal was there (I use no names but trust me, there haven't been all that many drug fueled probation department sex scandals here so it shouldn't be hard to identify her). And some old guy who kept falling off his bar stool, crying, and whose nose ran down into his beard the whole time we were there, was there. (Seriously, this is why bars need to stay dimly lit!)
So then we left the bar, but we went to Rosalee's friend, let's say Umberto's, place.  Umberto's place had, and I am not making this up, a laboratory in the kitchen.  Not a lab-ruh-tory. A lah-bore-atory. Like mad scientist shit. I don't know what it does but he says it's legal and it involved odd glass jars of colored liquids.  It looked nothing like Breaking Bad and it didn't smell, plus I was drunk, so I wasn't worried.  I think Umberto may be an alchemist.
So we're sitting at Umberto's place, Rosalee and the neighbor kid I, and this girl walks in who I only know because I know her parents socially.  Now this may make sense for Robin-from-How-I-Met-Your-Mother types, but I'm a Jill-from-Home-Improvement type and I feel really out of place here.  As the night wore on I was feeling older and grayer and fatter by the minute.  I may have started out Jill-from-Home-Improvement but by the time we left I felt full-on Kathy Bates.
And then we left.  And the neighbor kid drove us to our homes. And I went to bed at 2:30am for the first time in years. And the next morning I woke up to find a text I never recalled sending to my brother on my phone, and a horrible case of the bed spins.  And after I laid in bed for an hour, a full hour, before I could sit up, I thought to myself "I am too old for this shit, and (say it with me) I am never drinking again."
And guess what Rosalee texted me.  This:  "Last night rocked! Hope you had as much fun as I did."

As the night started.

As the night wore on. Minus Shooter McGavin with the gun there.

Just past uncomfortable

When your kids decide that your hemmorhoid doughnut is their swim toy and they yank it out from under your butt because "Mo-om, you'll pop it!" Yeah, that's a painful moment I'll laugh at someday. But not today.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Birthday Cakes, Made By Daddy

To-may-to, to-mah-to

I saw this online and my first thought was "Wow, republicans are gonna be mad at this," because to me, it's such a classic democrat kind of statement.  But then I realized that my republican friends probably see it the other way around.  To them, entitlement and believing that the world owes you something is classic democrat, whereas to me, believing that you owe the world something and that you should contribute something to society is classic democrat.  I'm interested to know how others see it. Is it an article taking aim at lazy people who expect welfare to take care of them, or one taking aim at selfish people who don't want to pay into programs to help society?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

cheap date

Tonight Tom drank exactly one beer after supper, became completely drunk from it, told me in front of my mother that I might get lucky, and is now passed out in front of the TV. Next time you think of a truck driver and stereotype them as big manly men, remember my husband snoring in front of Superman IV because he drank one Coors Light.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

In all honesty, it probably was biss-gussing

I walk by the bathroom and can hear Tom and Tommy in the shower. The conversation goes something like this:
Tommy: Ewww, thas biss-gussing!
Tom: What?
Tommy: You peeing on me! Stop it.
Tom: I'm not peeing on you! I'm not peeing at all!
Tommy: I can see you weiner peeing on me. Make it stop!
Tom: That's water running off of me!
Me: Facebook!
Tom: Don't you dare!

Monday, August 06, 2012

It's a seasonal thing

I like winter.  I start jonesing for it in the summer. I used to live in a tiny apartment with no heat from any vents except one that was just a hole in the floor to the apartment a floor below (I could look through the floor grate in my bathroom and see people walking under me. I felt bad when I pooped stinky but not too bad because they had sex loudly.) and one that ran through the wall behind my kitchen counter.  I always had warm silverware in the winter.  But even in the apartment where winter sucked, I would lay on my couch and look out the window and all I could see was sky.  I f I didn't look downward at all there were no trees in my line of sight and  I just saw the sky and I could convince myself, just for a moment, that the brightness was reflected off of snow and it was winter.  I love winter.
I love Xmas, even thought I'm not too terribly Christian and I throw general Hanukkah things in there too since I think it would be disrespectful to bastardize one religion over another.  But I love the tree and the smell of pine, and the bright wrapping paper and candles. 
It's 80+` here and I'm dreaming about winter. Snow and long underwear and footie pajamas and hot cocoa (if you click the title it links to a hot cocoa recipe) and hot cider with a cinnamon stick in it.  Back when I was dirt poor and lived in the cold apartment (My aunt loaned me several space heaters so I was okay; I learned years later that the landlord had shut all the ducts to the upstairs at a point when the apartment was unrented and once they were opened it was warm and toasty. That sucked.) I used to spend about $5 a week on Christmas shopping so I started the first week in August.  I still feel like I'm behind on my shopping if the county fair comes and I don't have any gifts bought.
I love winter.  I hope it hits with a vengeance this year. I want snow days and blizzards and white-outs and all of it.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Mmmmmmm, self-medicationnnnn

I drink. I drink and I like to drink.  I like a cold beer or two after a stressful day, I like the occasional drink at the bar, talking over the jukebox and laughing with friends.  I like a quiet drink after the kids are in bed or an absent-minded drink while cooking dinner.  And a big part of it is self-medicating, I know. The Manic part of my manic depression isn't the euphoric high most people get; mine is a horrible anxiety where I feel overwhelmed and stressed about any little thing.  Not anxiety like that I can't leave the house or I panic in crowds. More like the feeling that I'm forgetting something really important and I can't keep a solid train of thought.  And if I have a drink or two, the anxiety goes away.  I could take a Xanax but those make me so sleepy and they last for hours and hours and a beer just takes the edge off and only lasts for about an hour.  The problem is that I don't like having to drink.  I don't like drinking nightly and I don't like glancing at the clock to see if it's too early to drink and I don't like running out of milk and not being able to run to the store for more because I've had a drink.  So I stopped drinking.  Not a 12 step program sort of thing; I wasn't that bad.  My issue has never been that I can't stop drinking. My issue is just that if there's beer here, I'll drink it.  If there's a six pack, I will drink every night until it's gone. Same with a case.  So I just stopped buying it and stopped drinking it and all was fine.  And then Tom bought a 12 pack and now it is in the fridge.  It was there yesterday and I didn't drink any. And it is there tonight and I'm not drinking any.  And it's not like it's hard not to drink it; more like it's a habit to go grab one and I'm having to remind myself not to. 
I don't know why I'm blogging this. Reading it makes it sound like I have an alcohol problem, and I don't. I just have a tendency to drink more than most people and I recognize that it could become a problem.  I just really can't wait until I get some maintenance meds at the end of the month and don't have to resist the urge to self-medicate anymore.  Because as nice as it tastes, 12 cups of Sleepytime tea a day aren't cutting it as well as some honest to God pharmaceuticals would.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Danny runs up to Tom: Jessamit!
Tom: What?
Danny: Jessamit!
Tom: Listen, you're cute but I just can't understand you. (Nemo reference)
Danny: Jess.  A. Min. It.  Daddy.
Tom: Oh. 'Just a minute.' Got it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

An actual conversation with Tom

Tom: You know what I learned watching Craft Wars the other day?

Me: That you're a girl?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Because my head needs to be shrunk again

I don't like being a victim; I'd much rather suffer in silence and be a martyr, I guess. The idea of being pitied is a hard one for me, which I guess is why I don't go to shrinks right away when I notice myself going downhill. I like to pretend I'm just having a bad day or a stressful time and that if I muscle through it it will all go away on its own.
I loved being pregnant. The diabetes sucked, but I loved being pregnant.  I had confidence and every day felt like the day before Christmas waiting to see what the baby was, a boy or a girl. It was great.  Looking back, I think that may have been the last time I felt happy but I could be wrong. Looking back through a fog tends to make everything look foggy. All I know is that I haven't felt happy for a long time, not truly happy and content with my life. I know it's chemical; I've been here before. But I also know it's a long and tedious and expensive struggle to get better so I just never made an appointment. There was always something better to spend the $60 copay on than me going to chat about my feelings to some shrink. And then what, I talk to the therapist 4 or 5 times before I even see the actual doctor and then they write me a script it takes 2 months to ramp up to full dosage on, so that's 4 months right there. And if that script doesn't work they start tweaking the dosage to get it right so there's a month or two more and if it doesn't work you have to taper off of that med and onto a new one and start the whole process all over again with side effects and everything, and most of the time I felt either well enough to think I didn't really need meds or so depressed that just the thought of the whole process made me want to climb in bed from exhaustion.
But now, now I've hit bottom.  There's an opportunity that I know, rationally and objectively, would be good for me and that I would be perfect for. A chance to be published, even if only online, on a comedy website, but I can't muster the motivation or courage to even try.  Most days I can't muster the motivation to even get the kids in the bath. Hell, they love the bath, it's the splashing and fighting over bath toys and struggles when it's time to get out of the tub that I'm not up for, not to mention the fight when I try to wash their hair.  And I don't take them outside because they just get messy in the sand box and throw dirt on each other and it's hot and muggy out and why even bother when I can just throw Ghostbusters in the DVD player instead?
So I called the shrink. Because I don't want to be the mom who just throws Ghostbusters in the DVD player instead of letting her kids play in the backyard, and because my kids deserve better than that.  Last week I went to see the therapist and she agreed to fast track me to the actual psychiatrist but even that means a month and a half wait. But knowing that there's an end in sight, knowing that eventually I will get on meds and they will build up in my system and things will get better, is kind of helping already. Not that I'm happy or have any motivation yet, but I can think of things I'm going to do when I get my motivation back, and I'm excited about it which is a lot for someone who hasn't been excited about anything in almost 2 years.
So I know most of you (all 5 of you?) read this for humor and one-liners and cute things my kids say spelled out phonetically, but today I wrote a little honest truth and I hope you'll forgive me for it.  I promise, I'll write something out phonetically later.

Me, a homeowner?

We're buying our house. I don't like to rush into things, and I have general commitment issues, but after living here for 15 years, I only had a small 2 week panic attack about buying the place. And now my mind is filling with things to do to my former rented home. Sadly, Tom has a say, too, so I can't just start doing things to it all willy nilly and shit.  And I can't install the built in cabinets and floor to ceiling bookshelves because right now our furniture won't allow for it.  But I really do want to refinish the living room and part of the hallway floor, and I want ceiling fans in all the bedrooms and the living room, and new flooring in the kitchen! Maybe refinish the wood floor in there. It has glue all over it so it's be a project, but I think Tom could do it in one weekend. And I'd like a playroom in the basement and a wall down the stairway instead of the open way it is now where the kids can fall off the staircase, and a baker's rack where the dishwasher is now.
Maybe if I told Tom he could rearrange the furniture any way he liked, he'd build me those shelves.

And yet I really want to know

I'm bipolar so sometimes I can't sleep and my mind races for an hour or so while I lay in bed. And while I was trying to fall asleep last night my mind was racing through all of the things I need to buy before school starts this year and one of them was tennis shoes for Ryan. She had 2 pairs but one got thrown away after a particularly muddy cave-exploration field trip and she's detasseling in the other so it's coated with mud, too. But then I remembered buying her another pair last fall, and therein lies my dilemma. I want to ask her, "Hey, whatever happened to the purple shoes we bought before school last year?" And I really really want the answer to be, "Oh my god, I forgot all about those! They're in the bottom of my closet; I'll just wear them again this year!"  But the answer would more likely be something I don't want to know like, "I loaned them to my irresponsible friend and she went swimming in them," or, "I stepped in gum so I threw them in the dumpster behind the school."  So the dilemma is, do I even ask her where they are? Is there any good reason for asking?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Braaaaaiiiiiiins..... Part Two

See where the mouse arrow is on that screenshot? That's a tumor that is outside of the spinal cord but inside the dura. It is very close to where the whole brain radiation (WBR) from last fall stopped, and the radiologist's fear is that the spinal cord it is pressing against may have received some radiation before and that hitting it with more radiation now could cause some sort of damage. Like paralysis from the neck down damage. So they're going to dose her with another round of chemo again, which they couldn't do for her brain tumors because chemo can't go through the dura. Am I the only one who hears that and thinks that the chemo won't affect this spinal tumor because it's inside the dura? Well apparently none of the medical people nor my mom think it means that so I suppose I'll defer to the oncologist if I must. But either way, remission is over.

Pelican hickeys

Awesome band name, Pelican Hickeys. That is all.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I really hope that tonight, when I wander half-asleep into the tiny hotel bathroom to pee in the dark, that I don't trip over the side of the bathtub and fall into it, cracking my head against the soap dish on my way down. I don't know how long I was out, but I woke up in the tub and plan to use my head injury as a defense should it ever be necessary.
Also, say what you may about "flyover country", but the zoo in Omaha is AWESOME. Just the look on my kids' faces when they saw a bat attacking Mom was worth the 5+ hour drive.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Just call me Anastasia Beaverhausen

Her death was a tragedy, but ever since they found cocaine in Whitney Houston's system I feel a little safer mixing Xanax with alcohol.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Sometimes Tom doesn't get home until after dark. I wonder how bad it would fuck with him if I painted a handful of rocks from the gravel driveway with glow in the dark paint and then tossed them out there some day for no reason.


This is my mother's brain, or at least it was last fall. See that weird little truffle-shaped glob in the lower right corner-ish part of her brain? That is a giant brain tumor. But they took it out.
See this? This is my mother's current brain, truffle-free, but with a white blur. See the blur up there slightly left of center? That's bad, and it's too deep to operate on. But the good news is that it was there last fall, just tinier, and they irradiated it last fall. So they're thinking that the chemo that fixed the rest of her body is still effective and she's probably clear from the neck down, and they base this on the fact that this little blur was there before and there are no new blurs that weren't there before, so obviously the cancer isn't spreading. 
So anyway, on Monday my brother will drive her to Iowa City so they can do a new MRI and a CT scan, and then Tuesday I will drive her out for the one day radiation where they will zap her deep in her frontal lobe with what I secretly envision is a cross between a giant laser pointer and the laser Val Kilmer spent the entire Real Genius movie building.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Iowa City

I am awake and showered before 7:00 am so that I can accompany my mother and brother to Iowa City to see what the doctors want to do about Mom's latest MRI, which shows a new/returning tumor in her brain. Remission is over and this horrid dance is starting all over again. There was a time when I thought I might attend the University of Iowa and Iowa City represented hope and independence and adulthood to me, but now it's just surgery and radiation and dumbed down medical jargon and the gag-inducing scent of iodine. When all of this is over, however it is over, I hope to never set foot in that town again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wherefor art thou, Jooey-et?

You know those green plastic things that sit under the downspout to direct the water away from the foundation of the house?  Well we have one in our driveway under the gutter off the back of the house, which is kind of dumb because the downspout goes about ten feet away from the house as it is and an 18" plastic tray isn't going to save anything.  But I have no better place to put the tray so I leave it in the driveway.
And under that tray is a hole in the gravel. It's about big enough that I could set a golf ball in it and the tray would still sit flat.
And in that hole lives a toad. A toad Tommy has named Juliet, except it's pronounced Jooey-et. A toad Danny has named Frog. Except it's pronounced Fwock. It's a very important toad, to have so many exotic aliases.

So tonight, when I took the boys to bed, they wanted to sleep in frog-holes rather than beds. So I piled the quilts up in a circle in Tommy's bed to make the walls for a frog-hole, and I turned to do the same in the crib, but Tommy was in the crib. And Danny climbed up into the bed. And it might have worked all night except that I took a shower and the boys yelled because the cat was in their room and when Ryan went to get the cat she switched the boys back to their own beds because 14 year old girls value nothing more than strict adherence to tradition.
Tomorrow I will see if Juliet/Frog has returned to its bed in the driveway and try to take pictures of it. But I have to face the sad possibility that being discovered and renamed by my sons has chased it away for good. It's like white flight but slimier. Fwock flight.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

I love my family

I love that Danny is perfectly willing to go outside in nothing but a diaper, but he always grabs shoes and a hat on his way to the door. It might me my bunny slippers and a toy hard hat, but he feels he needs shoes and a hat more than he needs pants. He's like a 1950s sitcom dad, but with bare legs.

I love that Tommy thinks he has more money if he counts the same bills twice. Like currency depends entirely on the numbers you say as you count. I'm confident he will grow up to be a very successful economist some day. He'll probably run Wall Street.

I love that Ryan, with her teenage girl body and her Malibu Barbie looks, is still a 9 year old tomboy sometimes. The other day she came home from a walk and said she found a dead thing by the creek. When I asked her what it was she said it's lower jaw was just bone but the rest of it was "kinda there" but she couldn't get close enough to see what it was because the smell was too bad.  Just when I worry that she's growing up too fast she reminds me that she's not quite at the date nights and curfew extensions age yet.

I love that Tom lets Tommy help him in the kitchen even though it involves spilled flour and an eggy floor.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

My son the capitalist

Tommy wants a toy. It's a really cool toy, by 3 1/2 year old standards. A Dinosaur Train motorized train set, complete with time tunnel!  It costs $45 at Paul's Discount Store, and I'm not going to pay $45 on a toy just because. So I told him he could earn the money himself. We wrote his name on an empty coffee can and every time he finds a coin on the floor he puts it in his can. So far he has one dollar, two dimes, and a penny in there. This Saturday is the city wide yard sale and our street is notoriously busy on city-wide day. Ryan has had some stellar Kool-Aid stands on city-wide day, and this year Tommy will, to the best of his 3 1/2 year old ability and attention span, attempt to replicate her success. Right now Tom is mixing up banana bread, cookie dough, and brownies for Tommy to sell, and Ashley the babysitter helped bake cookies the other day to sell as well. I will make muffins tomorrow evening. I really hope Tommy earns a fair amount of money, maybe even enough to buy his toy. I hope he learns that work = reward. I hope I'm not left with 6 gallons of Kool-Aid and 8 loaves of banana bread.

**EDIT.  He earned the money, I was still left with 6 gallons of Kool-Aid, he bought the toy that very night, and when I asked him how he got the money (to try and reinforce the memory that he had worked for it) he said, "People gave it to me." He totally doesn't get that they gave it to him in exchange for something, just that they gave him money and he got a toy.  Remember this, parents, there is a fine line between selling sugar-water and panhandling, and kids don't grasp nuance.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Danny hijacked this blog post. A film review.

Dowie, way aw you?
Jess keep simming. Jess keep simming.
Da oh-sen! Dey simming da oh-sen!
Mommy, I watching Meemo!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

When they do, I do differently

When some feel blessed, I feel lucky.
When some thank God for good friends, I thank the friends for being good.
When some lean on God to get them through, I find strength within myself to get through.
When some leave it up to God to decide, I make a difficult decision myself.
When some ask a pastor what God says is right, I follow my heart to what I know is right.
And when some wait for an eternity of reward, I try to live my own rewards now.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Conversation between me and Tom

Me: I'm having memory problems.  I forget things all the time, even when I'm not drinking.

Tom: It's a brain cloud!

Me: It's not a brain cloud!

Tom: You have to jump into a volcano!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Baby names I didn't get to use

Insomnia post part II

Twin girls:
Ivy and Evie (short for Evelyn)

Twin boys:
Joseph (Joey) and Henry (Joey Ramone and Henry Rollins)

Intersex baby:
Casey Lee

Donny Lee


Shane Ellen

I have no names for twins with mismatched junk.  :(

Party Planning

I was just told that Tommy wants a Godzilla party for his birthday and Danny wants a dinosaur party. Now, their birthdays are 2 days apart so it's going to be the first party. And you'd think I could just make one party and tell the other kid that Godzilla is a T Rex or that the T Rex is Godzilla, but I can't.  Tommy knows the difference and he is very insistent that everyone else know it, too. Godzilla has pokey spikes! And he stands up straight like me
So I will probably end up throwing a very generic dinosaur party with google image pictures of Godzilla printed out on the invitations and hung on the wall, too. I sense lots of clashing birthday parties in my future.  Much like last year's Spongebob/Gummibar party.  And now, to help with that imagery, here's the Gummibar singing about his pacifier.

Friday, May 18, 2012

maggie jean!

Hee hee. These posts make Maggie's phone beep. I'm drunk with power. Or with xanax and alcohol.  You have no idea what a relif it was when Whitney Houston popped positive for cocaine. I was getting scared there for a couple days.

insomnia. again

Why does porn always get the new tech first.  Video chat, skype, chatroullette, dvds, home video, drive in movies, all of it.  Porn is the true visionary industry of the US. Yay naked capitalism!

A xanax and a half, plus 2 beers, will make you forget not to drink or take xanax. I type slow tonight.

My entire calendar is full of other people's medical appointments. My friend's mammogram I'm watching her kid for. My mom's oncology appointments. My kid's check ups and vaccinations. Yet Tom doesn't even text me when he'll be an hour late because he made a doctor appointment. WTF.

I mowed the lawn to feel all manly and competent, and all I feel is out of shape and sore. Goals always tend to look better from the front than from behind. It's a universal sucky truth.

How come my kids can't say anything coherently expect "More chocolate milk" and "macaroni and cheese"? It's creepy and nutritionally void.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Random thoughts from a sleep-deprived mind

I stopped drinking, and taking Xanax, so I'm having trouble sleeping. So here are some disjointed thoughts from my insomniac brain.

Essential oils aren't essential to anyone. Even a hippy could live without patchouli.  The only thing an essential oil is essential to is the thing they wring it out of to sell it to hippies. So ha ha on all the patchouli loving hippies out there funding an entire industry of patchouli killers. You suck out their essence to rub on the unwashed and then the patchoulies all die! Really, wouldn't a Lady Speed Stick be better for everyone?

WTF is a patchouli, anyway? I know what it smells like, but not what it is.  And for the record, it smells like a Big Lebowski fan, that's what it smells like.

Why is it that you can drink as much as you want if you never want to drink again but you have to stop drinking in order to retain your capacity to drink?  And also, why is it perfectly okay to have a couple glasses of wine after a hard day, but not to drink an equal number of beers, for women anyway? 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Don't hate the player; hate the game.

Okay we're going to play "Who can stay quiet the longest?" Whoever wins gets a strawberry!!

5 seconds later......



"I WIN!!!"

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Autopsy relief

I was kinda glad when they found cocaine in Whitney Houston's system. It makes me feel slightly better when I wash my Xanax down with liquor.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

tipsy anti-school ramblings

You know what school does? It squashes the values you teach kids when they're too young for school. Children's television programs encourage them to be independent, free-thinking, creative people.  Schools teach them to stand in line and act as a herd. If you teach your kid to read before or above his "class level", he'll be ignored wile they work on the slower learning kids. Part of it is because there's no incentive for teachers to work with advanced kids, only punishments for "failing" the kids who are behind.  But part of it is that schools are set up for third graders to work at third grade level. There's no room for third grade kids who work at 6th grade level. I had one of those and when I tried to skip her a grade they gave me the most laughable and outright stupid reasons to deny it. She was smaller than the kids she'd be in class with. So, what?, all kids with dwarfism should be forever trapped in kindergarten, and tall kids should skip middle school altogether?  She was emotionally behind them; they'd eat her alive! Translation: all autistic kids should stay in first grade till they age out of public school at 21.
But I remain opposed to home-schooling. Home schooling teaches kids that when the going gets tough, the tough retreat and make their own rules.  We don't need to remove our kids from reality; we need to fix reality!  I only wish I knew how.  I'm sending Tommy to preschool next year, where he'll be turned into a drop in the amorphous "class" blob.  I hate it, but it's the lesser of 2 very bad evils. I want him to know the rules and learn the skills, but I wish there was a way to do it without stripping him of his individuality.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

When will he speak English?

Tommy: Mommy, I need a base bore
Me: What? A baseboard?
Tommy (angry):No! A base bore!
Me: A space boar?
Tommy (irate): A base boy!
Me: What the frak is a base boy and why do you need one?
Me: A space bar?
Tommy: *heavy sigh* Yes! I need a base bar for to play my game!

That's when I hear the tiny DJ Lance voice in the background. "Press the space bar to jump."  If there were an app to translate from little kid to English, I'd buy an iPhone tomorrow.

Damn pandas on thehistory channel

I walk into the living room and see that all of the couch pillows (there are about a dozen of them, in lieu of back cushions) are in a pile on one of the sofas, surrounding Tommy.

Me: Tommy, stop building castles out of the pillows.

Tommy: It's not a castle; it's a wall.

Me: Well stop building walls with the pillows. They're for the back of the couches, not to build with.

Tommy: But, Mommy! I'm playing Mongols! I need a wall.

I need to watch less History Channel with Tommy in the room. Either that or he needs to stop watching Kung Fu Panda cartoons.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Oh if only I could be fatter now

It took more than a month, but I finally got my finger sized and had my ring fixed. (  Now I am firmly (yet removably) married with my ring as proof. And I'm paranoid as Hell about it! When the ring was stuck I never had to worry about losing it. When it was in the jeweler's safe I never had to worry about losing it. Now that it's on my finger but large enough to come off (but not so large as to slide off on its own) I'm constantly freaked that I'll lose it.
I can't wait until I get fatter and it gets stuck again.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

A Pinterest Kind Of Day

Today I baked the eggs for Easter instead of boiling them, like I saw on pinterest. Then I made Chinese tea eggs out of the cracked ones, like I saw on pinterest. Then I made dandelion jelly, like I saw on pinterest. And I learned that while dandelion jelly may turn out to taste awesome (I don't know yet; haven't tried it) it smells horrible.

Also, completely unrelated but Toy Story 2 is on: What is that speech impediment Joan Cusack has? It's like a lisp and marble mouth all together but not as garbled. Either way, it sounds like she needs to swallow some spit.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A long time from now, when I die....

Someday when I die, somebody will have to print up one of those little programs for my funeral. But I am not religious, and it is customary to put a religious verse in the program.  So, in case they read my blog before sending the order out to the printers, this is what I would ideally like my funeral brochure to read:

Words are flowing out like
Endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe.
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
Are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me.
 Images of broken light, which
Dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe.
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe.
 Sounds of laughter, shades of life
Are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me.
Limitless undying love, which
Shines around me like a million suns,
It calls me on and on across the universe.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I don't care what they say, straight marriage will never be equal to gay

I used to be gay. Not as an orientation but as a lifestyle (orientation stays, statically and fluidly as bi/pan).  I went to gay bars and saw drag shows. My gaydar was always on and I got the joke when Karen threw the keys and neither Jack nor Will moved to catch them (Grace: The gays don't catch.).  But then the woman I fell in love with had a penis and I married him and we settled down into blissful suburbia forever. But sometimes, sometimes I miss my gay card.
I watch Project Runway (Yay, Mondo! Sorry, Austin. Stop crying, Michael Costello), but I've never seen RuPaul's Drag Race.  I've never seen Glee. I barely even know who Lady Gaga is!  I just, I miss the glitter and the disco lights and the men dressed as women with lipstick outside the natural lines of their lips.  I love my husband very very much, but sometimes I wish he were gayer.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I has a dent

If you ever get your wedding set stuck, take it off before it gets really stuck. And if it's really irremovably stuck, get it cut off before it's 3 sizes too small. I had to get my wedding set cut off last week and it sucked. They don't use a pliers cutter thing. No tin snips. No they use a Dremel tool with a guard that slips under the ring. But since the ring is already too tight to come off, the guard pulls it tighter. And every once in a while the spinning blade acts more like a wheel than a blade and pulls the guard further under the ring and the backside of the ring crushes into your finger.  Now I have to wait 2 more weeks for my finger to plump back up to see what size it is so they can fix it for me. If I'd known how inconvenient this was I'd have had the damn ring sized years ago.  I just always assumed that at some point, wedding rings got stuck.  Like little old ladies who've been married for 50 years; I figured their rings were stuck.  When I mentioned that to the ladies at the jewelry store with the Dremel they said that those rings usually are stuck, and the skin's grown over them too.  Eww.  So now I am single to all the men who look for a wedding ring. Right?

Capitalist pig manure makes great fertilizer, I hear.

When Ryan was younger, like 5, she had a vegetable garden. The deal was that she'd grow the vegetables and help with the weeding and harvesting, and then we'd go around to family and friends and sell them and she'd ear her money for the county fair. When I married Tom he got all capitalist about it and was all "Why does she get to keep the money when we buy the seeds?" Men are jerks, right?  So anyway, then she got older and more bored with the garden, and I got to choose to plant things I wanted to eat anyway so I just paid her for them in the end, and she lost interest completely and decided to just beg for fair money instead like all the other kids.

But a couple years ago I was really really pregnant in the summer. Tommy was born in early August so you can imagine how much work that garden was in the summer heat. And  then the yard got flipped upside down* and nothing grew right anyway, and we haven't had a garden in almost 4 years.  But now Tom says he's going to grow a garden.  And what's worse, he says it's his garden so I don't get to plant anything I like in it. But I want tomatoes and broccoli and he's so anal about his lawn that he won't let me tear up a patch for my own garden! (Not very capitalist if you ask me. I demand competition and free market!) So I am going to spend big bucks on an overpriced upside down tomato planter and since broccoli has very shallow roots I will plant it in planters on the back deck. And if he doesn't like it then fuck him. I only had to pay for planters and potting soil and gravity defying upside down tomato plants because he is an anti-capitalist hippy!

*When we had the new section of the house built, they dug the basement and piled all the dirt up in the back yard, then when they were all done they took the dirt and filled in/evened out the hills in the yard. Except that they dug an 8 foot hole and dumped it top down so now the clay layer is on top and the good black topsoil is on the bottom, so nothing will grow right in my yard. We have spotty grass and when we tried to grow vegetables be got white carrots because there was no nutrients in the soil. So sad. Tom plans to put his garden west of the upside down part, though. We'll see.

Boys are dumb

Tom buzzed his hair last night and he tells me today, "I never noticed it before but either my hands are really big or my head is small." Now, he has giant Shrek hands and I've told him that before (his pinky is the size of my thumb) but this time I just said "Your head's getting smaller. I didn't want to say anything but I've noticed." Now he's all paranoid that he's losing skull bone density or something. You'd think, since I didn't marry for looks, that he'd at least be smarter than this.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It's a battle of the billboards.

You know how every few years there'll be a story about some atheist group putting up a billboard or renting space on bus stop benches saying things like "You're right to doubt God" and "There is no Heaven or Hell; Live for today" and all the local churches are on the news talking about how offensive it is and then eventually the signs get taken down for being anti-Christian?
Well that's exactly how it feels to an atheist, or an agnostic, when they see church signs with witty little messages on them like "He died for your sins; what have you done for Him lately?" and "Well it's a good thing He believes in you" and "Jesus is the reason for the season."  They're the same thing: obnoxious attempts to push a particular faith onto people who don't share it.
So I really think that the atheist billboards need to be pointed at the churches with clever signage. And I think the free birth control Planned Parenthoods need to be located across the street from all of the Catholic hospitals that refuse to offer insurance which covers birth control. I think that if the debate is going to descend into tit for tat, we need to keep our tits with our tats. Why offend innocent bus stop bench sitters when you can instead offend the people you're trying to retaliate against?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Did the Chinese just not have wandering missionaries? Were they not good at lion fighting?

People have had religion since the beginning of recorded history. Roman and Greeks had many similar gods.  I'm sure they heard tales from the East and the South of strange and new religions all the time. I wonder what made Christianity the prevailing European religion and not, say, Buddhism.  What made them all convert to a Middle Easter one and not a Far Eastern one.  How different would the world be if Norse polytheism had taken hold instead? Would scores of emo kids on facebook be saying Ohmyloki about everything? Would the Thor movie be more like The Passion Of The Christ and less like Ironman? Seriously, this is the shit I wonder about at almost midnight.
Crap. I gotta go to bed.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Also today I ate

Today I also made supper from the internet and it was SO YUMMY! It was kind of like Noodle Company's thai noodles but no store I went to had sprouts so I left them out. This recipe calls for green onions and cilantro but I replaced cilantro with parsley and would have replaced onions with sprouts but there were none so I just left them out and added more carrots. Being all clever and frugal I bought baby carrots because those get eaten faster in our house but once home I realized that I am an idiot and that shredding baby carrots with a potato peeler is really hard.  But anyway, here's the recipe, which I found on pinterest but will post the original link here:

Also, I used 1T of pepper flake and it was so hot, so next time I'll probably halve that. In fact, it made a lot of sauce so I'll probably halve the whole sauce recipe and then take out still more pepper. This was a meal that required a lot of milk.

A goal has been reached

I got 4 inches cut off my hair today, mostly by way of new layers added. It's shorter than I usually wear it but I can still pull it up so all is well. The big thing is that now it's finished. I am fairly certain that it's all my own natural dye-free hair now. No more embarrassing ponytails that don't match my head. No more trying to figure out what colors look good on me because I'm a "cool" tone with my hair up and a "warm" tone with it down. No more hearing "About time to touch up those roots, don't you think?"  It's finally finished, a goal has been met, and it's a very satisfying feeling. My hair is, without the red ends to lighten the look up, darker than I thought it would be. But the gray strands are a silvery white and they sparkle.  Also, as short as it is now, it has waves in it so it almost resembles a deliberate look when I wear it down rather than just middle-parted mom hair. I really like it. I hope I never get used to it and always feel this happy with it as it changes and gets lighter.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

My feminist rant against uncomfortable clothes and femal athletes

There's the is insane sexist philosophy out there that says you have to be sexy to compete with me, and conversely if you compete with men you must be sexy. Have you ever watched Xena? Eyeliner and a miniskirt, on a badass babe who did nothing but beat up men the whole series. And then you also have female athletes in male sports. Danika Patrick, that golfer girl, they aren't all that hot, and yet they're TOTAL BABES because there's nothing else with a vagina anywhere near them!
And look at politics. Sarah Palin (against all women's issues) and Hillary Clinton (for all women's issues). One was hot and one wasn't. And Hillary isn't ugly, she just doesn't look like Tina Fey in a hot for teacher video. But somehow hotness counts.  It shouldn't but it does. But to whom? Who gets to decide what counts? And why do we let them decide? If Xena were real she wouldn't waste time on make up, and she wouldn't wear a strapless corset to fight in and sleep on the hard ground in. We need to stop falling for this shit. We need to point out that Wonder Woman would wear sleeves!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

There is no danger of this becoming a fashion blog.

I'm a jeans and tee shirt girl, and not in the fitted tee and skinny jeans way. I buy boot cut jeans and boxy tee shirts and that's what I wear every day. If it's cold I'll either throw a flannel shirt over the tee or trade it all in for a sweatshirt.  It's very difficult to go out because I never have anything to wear. I always try to have one brown button up shirt on hand, and I wear it with jeans, chunky heeled boots, and make up. That's my date look.  If it's a funeral I trade the jeans for a long black and brown skirt. I know squat about fashion. But I've been trying. I bought a pair of brown cords, and a couple new shirts (although I can't wear them unless I suck my belly in and remember not to breathe), and I really think I need some black pants, but I'm stuck in between sizes where some brands fit me in a 12 and others fit me in a 14.  I sewed elastic into the waist of my (only) pair of jeans because of this. Now my pants are adjustable like toddler pants. lol
Maybe once my hair grows out the rest of the way I'll know better what colors suit me. Also, I need to learn how to accessorize. I think I like necklaces, and I even like cocktail rings, but I don't think anything looks good on me. I need a personal assistant to tell me. :(