Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Both of the girls have been told several times that Mama doesn't like getting hassled by the man. So, anytime a teacher or principal or band director or juvenile probation officer contacts me, they understand the punishment will be that much worse. Stinky's teacher wanted me to respond to her e-mail and so I told her that Stinky knew what the repercussions were for her lapse in judgement, she promised to straighten-up and to please write to me again, (notice how I didn't suggest she call me) if there were any further problems.
After her basketball game, Stinky went on and on about how awful her reading teacher was. So, I thought it would be fun to write the teacher a facetious e-mail (that I will never send, of course) based on information provided to me by Stinky. Here it is:
Dear Ms. Reading Teacher,
I know that nobody likes you because you're really mean and cranky and you yell at people for absolutely everything, but since you asked for a reply, I guess I have to write one.
First off, Stinky already told me that you wear old lady pantsuits and that just makes me feel sorry for you. According to the kids in junior high, you might be a little nicer, if you didn't look like such a scary toad encased in primary colored polyester. I'm just saying...
I've also heard that you pick on Stinky for no reason at all. She's just sitting quietly in your classroom, minding her own business, (even though all the other kids are talking to her) and you have the gall to yell at Stinky. I can't believe that you don't see her as an innocent victim amongst an entire classroom full of hooligans. Are you just jealous because she is so much smarter and more stylish than you? That's it, isn't it? Seriously, you should be ashamed of yourself.
Anyway, I suppose I'll have to talk to Stinky and tell her to try harder, (even though she didn't do anything in the first place) and maybe you could work on not taking everything out on her too, because none of this is at all her fault. 'Kay? 'Kay.
p.s. She also said your class is really dumb and boring.
Monday, January 29, 2007
I've decided to make a list of interactions between my sister and I from birth - the present.
1. I was born and for the next several years, my sister worked at getting me to join my brother on the dark side to do her evil work. My brother was better at it and didn't spaz quite as much. Together, they drew all over my oldest sister's doll when she refused to take them with her, threw the Hi Hi Cherry-O game across the room, losing many of it's pieces and sang the "Tararaboomdeeyay" song with to me with changed words, because it has my name in it and for some reason, "Tararaboomdeeyay. There is no school today. Your teacher passed away. I shot her yesterday", made me cry and chase after them.
2. When my sister was in second grade, someone called her a buck-toothed beaver and she cried all the way home from school. Because, in my family, shit rolled down hill, she then turned on me. She called me Dracula or vampire or Barnabas Collins, since I have extremely pointy eye teeth.
3. For many years, when we fought and I actually got a punch or two in, she would fake cry and fall to the floor. Every single time I would feel awful and say I was sorry and then she'd jump up and laugh at me for being such a big dumb sucker.
4. In junior high, Moira went over the make-out bases with me, so I wouldn't seem like such an idiot around my friends. Unfortunately, to this day, I still get confused about the difference between second and third base. Is second frenching and third getting felt-up? Or is second getting felt-up and third something more intense?
5, In high school my sister was my savior. I lived with my evil Aunt and Uncle, and Moira moved out during her senior year - the second she turned eighteen. She let me borrow clothes to wear to school because I only had one pair of gray, brushed cords, Levi's Movin'-On Jeans, and some track team related t-shirts. She was also the only one in my family to attend my cross-country or track meets. Best of all, I would tell my aunt I was going somewhere else, and then I'd sneak over to her rockin' college apartment after track practice and watch WKRP in Cincinnati with her and her friends.
6. When I was eighteen, my sister waited until right after she had her wisdom teeth pulled so her cheeks would be almost as chubby as mine, and got a fake ID made for me.
7. She drove me and my ex-husband from Phoenix to Iowa when we finally fled L.A. in 1988.
8. When Stinky had meningitis and was in the hospital for over a week, Moira came up on the weekend to give Coadster some attention. She took her ice skating, which Coadster really wanted to do, but then quickly realized that it didn't mesh with her overly-cautious sensibilities and she also bought her the movie Mulan.
9. She lent me money to cover the cabins the girls and I rented when we went to South Dakota for my fortieth birthday. I had to wait to pay her back until I got my check the next month, and even then, she wouldn't let me give her all that I had borrowed.
10. Just last week, she and her husband came to take me and the girls out to lunch because I was flat busted broke until February first. She then lent me more money to make sure I'd be okay with groceries and gas. This was even after I harrassed her three and half year old son during the entire meal.
I know nobody's keeping track or anything, but I do believe I'm extremely indebted to a certain buck-toothed beaver.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
I was under the weather for most of the day. I'm not sure if I'm getting that nasty flu that's going around, or if it's some weird psychological thing my brain's creating to help me put off doing my taxes. Whatever it is, I'm all dizzy and sick to my stomach. So, I'm once again only capable of throwing you a handful of loose change.
1. Stinky wasn't feeling well either and we did a lot of lying around watching really cheesy girl movies from the eighties. (Say Anything and Pretty Woman, for example) I don't think I'd seen any of them since they first came out and it put me in this sappy, nostalgic headspace. What I was nostalgic for? I couldn't say. It was this general feeling of missing something from my twenties. I can say what I don't miss from that time, though, and it would be the big hair, and that horrible saxophone that was in half the songs and soundtracks back then, but mostly I really, really don't miss the band Roxette.
2. As I mentioned above, I'm trying to do my taxes on-line. I think next year I might go back to paying the white trash accountants to do them. The tax forms on-line are just that much different than the paper ones, or my W-2's, that I get confused about exactly what they want me to put where. I also can't deal with the language. They can't just come out and say, "How much did you pay on your state taxes last year." They have to ask what you paid but give you four almost identical choices and then add all these exclusions as well. You know, the "this does not include money paid for everything in your state or the confused state you may have been in at the time of payment" kind of wording that makes me crazy. It's the same bullshit that threw me off so much when I was younger and had to take standardized tests.
3. Last week, Rel very kindly encouraged me to switch my browser to Firefox. I had actually been contemplating doing just that for some time now anyway. My biggest problem, as usual, was my utter lack of computer skills. I still have that old people fear that anything I do, will blow-up my computer. Then Dorky wrote about switching to firefox on his blog a few days ago too and helpfully detailed some of the ins and outs of the process. I'm one of those poor suckers who looks for signs from the universe when making decisions, and so I'm taking these recommendations as two hearty thumbs-up for switching to Firefox as soon as I get a chance. Don't worry, I know better than to seek my decision making signs from the internets in general, or else I'd have purchased breast enlargement cream, Viagra, Ephedra and a hot sixteen year old Russian bride a long time ago.
4. Earlier in the evening, I was fantasizing about how wonderful it would be if we had a cookie delivery place in town. Then an hour later, the two girls who recently moved into the upstairs half of the duplex, stopped by and dropped off a plate of brownies with M and M's sprinkled on top. Because they're in college and drive a beat-up Vanagon, I was a little hesitant to try one, in case they baked them with weed to fuck with the old muthah who lives below them. Then, I thought a little further, and since the girls were at their dad's, and I would have a whole day to recover before work, I ate two in a row, just in case.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
I don't know much about my maternal grandmother. I've always had the feeling that my mother's family lived in another dimension. My mother was raised with absolutely no street smarts whatsoever. Sometimes, I think she would have lived longer if she had had a little more of an edge to her.
When my mom described her childhood, it was as if she grew-up in an old movie. All the girls were named Patsy and Betsy and they had sewing clubs and the worst swear they ever said, was "road apple". My mom told us that on Saturday nights she and her family would act out plays or play charades. I can't even imagine that world, but I remember being jealous of the stability and security of her former life.
Once when I was nine, my neighbor told one of my friends that I didn't have a dad. I was so pissed-off that I told him, "Yes, I do too have a dad. What do you think my mom did, fucked a tree?"
My middle sister ran home and ratted me out. I was horrified, of course, because I knew my mom didn't swear (okay, when she was really mad, she said, "Damnit to hell!") and hated vulgarity. I felt a little protective of her, but I think in some ways she was glad I was tougher and overly sassy. According to my oldest sister, my mom had to wait a few minutes to stop laughing before she called me in to punish me.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
The woman who sits in the cubicle next to me at work is really great. She almost makes up for some of the less desirables in my office. She used to be a nun, and left the church for reasons she has never disclosed. She still goes to Abbeys in the area and keeps up with sisters in her old order. At work, when I get bored, I do things, like remind her to make a wish at 11:11 o'clock and ask her all kinds of annoying questions. She is an amazingly patient woman who deserves to be cannonized after sitting next to me for so long. Here's an example of why:
Me: Hey, if you could get off work at noon today, how would you spend the rest of the day?
Her: I'd probably drive to the Abbey and spend the rest of the day there.
Me: So, when you were Christ's bride, did he ever leave his socks all over the house for you to pick up?
Her: (humoring me) I've never seen him wear socks, have you?
Me: No. I guess he's always barefoot or wearing sandals. Did you and the other nuns ever get jealous of each other? You know, like in The Bachelor or Flavor of Love where all those women are always fighting and calling each other names?
Her: I don't know what you're talking about. Are those TV shows or something? And no, we didn't fight. We all knew what we were getting into.
Me: What was the divorce settlement like when you left? I'm assuming you didn't get to keep the house, but did you get some kind of alimony?
Her: No. And I had to buy a whole new wardrobe. I should have shelled-out for a better lawyer.
Me: Could you ever see yourself and Jesus getting back together? Like, if he started coming by and bringing you flowers and taking you out on real dates again?
Her: I would actually love to be a nun again, but they don't accept any after a certain age anymore. You know, I think I'm done with the question and answer portion of the workday. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to ask me more ridiculous questions.
Me: Oh, sorry. I'll just sit here quietly and work on some new ones for tomorrow.
Apparently, even saints have their limits.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Here is the tornado infected house I was sure would be torn down.
Now, here it is again after a little work. It's amazing what new siding, windows and some snow can do for a place.
This is St, Patrick's church when it was just starting to get razed, with all it's tubes and wires exposed.
Now, here it is after it was all torn down except this one last wall...
I'm also throwing in one last photo of the Deadwood for Booda Baby. I almost went inside so I could take a picture of the interior, but I thought that any pasty, drunken, red-eyed soul who would be hanging out in that dark cavern during the day on a Sunday, was probably there when she still lived here and Booda Baby wouldn't want to be reminded of them.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
On Friday I was crabby. I know, I know, I say that every Friday...Or maybe every day. Last Friday, I was even more crabby than usual, because after I went running, I put a pizza in the oven and thought I'd be able to eat, (and you know how much I love to eat) but Stinky called and said her bus was about five minutes away from school and that I should come and get her right away. I gave Coadster instructions about how and when to remove the pizza from the oven, which made her very nervous because she's afraid of burning herself, and then I took off to get the great, Stinky one.
They were not five minutes away from school. We live at least a fifteen minute drive from the junior high and I sat for another fifteen after I got there. I wasn't feeling very patient anyway, and then there was that pizza to obsess about too.
When the bus finally did pull in, I saw the coach stand-up and lecture the girls for another few little whiles. I had a sudden urge to just lay on the horn and let up for a second and honk again for as long as it took. Then, because I love to imagine completely inappropriate scenarios in my head, I had a wonderful thought. What if I spent one entire day behaving like the most vile thirteen year old in the world? How satisftying would that be?
In my Freaky Friday Fantasy, when my daughters' tried to wake me up in the morning, I could roll over and say, "@!#$%*&^%$!" and try to go back to sleep until they told me that if I didn't get up and go to work, I wouldn't have enough money to go to the movies and ball games and ice skating with my friends every week. So, after I finally dragged myself out of bed, I'd go to the bathroom where I would make a horrible mess with make-up and hair straighteners and curling irons and barretts and headbands, until I was dangerously late for work and then I'd give up and look exactly the same as I did before I started. I'd try to get away with leaving my house with my butt crack and too much cleavage showing and when my daughters caught me and made me go back and change, I'd stamp my foot and say, "God! You think this is bad? You should see the other girls at my job, they all look like total prostitutes." And I would be so envious of all those other girls.
At work, I would sit at my desk and instant message my friends all day and obsessively check my Facebook, calling out, "Wooohooo! I have 297 friends now!" anytime someone accepted my new friend request. And if anyone dared to call and ask for assistance from me, I would sigh heavily before and after I picked-up and make the fingers-closing-on-and-off-my-thumb, talky-talky sign with my hand the whole time they were blabbing.
"Can you tell me who I would need to talk to about changing my major?" They might ask.
"Uh, how am I supposed to know! Who really friggin' cares?"
"I'm sorry. Am I calling the right number?"
"Duh! Does this sound like the right number? Yeah, I didn't think so. Now, go find someone else to bug. I'm busy." I would hang-up and sigh again. Then I would say loudly to no one in particular, "Oh my god! This is so boring! Seriously, I could lay down and die right now, I am that bored."
Luckily, my Fergalicious Def ringtone would go off and I'd have to use up all my minutes texting and talking to my friends on my cell phone until lunch. The afternoon would go pretty much the same, but I would chew gum very loudly while I was being rude to customers on the phone and anytime my boss gave me a project to work on, I'd say, "Whatever," and roll my eyes before I did it.
When I got home from work, I'd go straight to the television or the interenet radio station and instantly change it from whatever the girls were listening to without asking.
"What's for dinner?" I might ask my girls and then I'd say, "Gross. Ew." To whatever they answered me with. Until the girls got dinner on the table, I'd be on the computer to instant message while talking to the same friend on the phone. I'd ask each person I spoke to who they liked and then they'd tell me and ask who I liked and then we'd tell each other how ugly and weird we thought the other's crush was.
By the time I went to bed, I would be so exhausted and full of self-loathing, I'd finally be able to sleep a full eight hours and I'd never complain about my life, ever again and I would understand so much better the hell my daughters are living, that I'd spend all my waking hours cutting them slack.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Okay, I'm just going to post this fiction-y-er-ish thing. Most of the events happened, but I was too young to remember them, so I made myself and my brother older in this and sometimes used accounts of what other people told me, and sometimes remembered bits and then just made shit up. Hopefully, you won't find it too long to read during lunch and your breaks at work.
Tonight is a big deal. My dad keeps telling us, “Kids, remember this. This is a very big deal.” My brother rolls his eyes and walks into his room. I stay in the living room so I can be where everyone else is. I’m afraid to miss it. It is a very big deal.
My mom has set up the card table so she can put all the food she made on it. My grandma and my Uncle Jack and my Aunt Lynn are coming over. My Aunt Lynn is divorced and everyone says it in a whisper like it’s secret and we can’t say it around her because it might make her feel bad. Her daughter is a year older than my brother. She will never play with me. After they get here, my cousin goes off with my brother and they shoot things with their slingshots. I don’t even try to tag along because I know they will start shooting at me.
My mom touches or winks at me every time she comes out of the kitchen with potato salad, or Jell-o or bread or devilled eggs. My dad likes very dark bread and brown mustard, so we always have to have it, but my mom doesn’t make me eat it or I’ll throw up. He also eats peanuts in the shell and all of our ashtrays are full of empty shells. There’s almost no room for cigarettes or ashes.
Once the whole family arrives, my dad and my Uncle Jack talk about politics and everyone tries to get them to change the subject because they don’t agree. There is so much cigarette smoke everywhere that my eyes burn.
Nobody is walking on the moon yet. They are all just watching the news, which I’m not allowed to watch because when they have the war on the news, I get scared. I once heard a ticking clock and thought it was a bomb and ran out of my parent’s room screaming. So, I’m not allowed to watch the news.
I finally get so bored, that I go into my bedroom and play with my wedding paper dolls. There is a bride and a groom and you can change their outfits for the wedding and later for the honeymoon. I hear a thunk. I know that my brother and my cousin have hit my window with a rock. I think I might tell on them, but the grown-ups are loud and drinking beer and I don’t like the way they act.
My mother comes in my room to wake me up. I fell asleep and now the groom’s tuxedo wedding outfit is stuck to my face. She picks me up and carries me into the living room. I sit on her lap to watch the man walk on the moon. Everyone is quiet and serious, but I watch my dad instead of the guy on the screen because I’ve never seen him like that before. He is staring like he usually does, but this time he seems happy – like he’s far away from our cramped and smoky living room.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Because everyone is sick to death of celebrity feuds, and I'm tired of harboring all this hate in my tiny blackened soul, I thought maybe we could settle our differences. It's not like we have to be best girlfriends and drink wine and make fun of Wife Swap together or anything. I was just thinking along the lines of peacefully coexisting.
Since I've become a bit of an expert on dealing with teenaged girls, I understand that I will have to make the first move and appeal to your vanity. So, I'll start by telling you how pretty you looked today. Seriously, that fresh snow really becomes you and it was the good kind, that you can make snowballs with. You also did a great job of evening out your temperature. It was in the upper twenties all day and you controlled your wind. (I don't want to make you feel bad, but you had a little problem with that the last few weeks)
Mostly, I just wanted to thank you for giving me such a great day. I even stepped out of my lair for a couple hours and took photographs and went running. When I got home, after all that exercise, I was still appreciating you because it felt so right and seasonal to take a hot bubble bath and then get out and drink tea while wearing my gigantic, very warm, hideously ugly, lounge clothes.
I hope you accept my apology and we are able to live happily and without incident for the next couple of months. Oh, and if you had anything to do with The Bears winning today, then my daughter thanks you too.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
It's probably better this way. I'm super tired and I'm all expectant (not that way, thank god) for the snow that is supposed to fall tonight. I think I'll call it a night and read some sweet, relaxing Cormac McCarthy to send me off to sleep in the right frame of mind. Who knows? I may have really interesting dreams to blog about next week too.
p.s. - My hibernation phase is in full swing now, so if you don't see me out and about at all, please feel free to call Meals on Wheels for me.
p.p.s.s. - I just watched one of the saddest movies ever. Those Japanese directors sure do depression right.
p.p.p.s.s.s. - I'm thinking about doing my taxes myself, because I don't want to have to take vacation time to get it to the white trash tax place that does them for almost nothing but it also takes forever for the white trash people to get around to them and they're located out by the airport. Does anyone do their own taxes? Is it more trouble than it's worth?
It's weird to look at these old photos and see everyone looking so hopeful, but already knowing how it all panned out. Don't you wonder if they would have done anything differently had they known the way things would end up? I ask that about myself when I was younger too. If I had any idea, would I still have made the same choices? I've always been kind of a dumb-ass when it came to learning those harsher life lessons, so probably. I'd like to think I would've at least been smart enough to have worn a very sturdy helmet to protect myself from all the times I hit my head against the same brick wall.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
First, I check both doors to make sure they're locked. After we're all safe and secure, I turn down the thermostat. It's not just to save money, we all seem to sleep better at a cooler temperature. Next, I put whatever was in the washer (because there's almost always something) into the dryer and get it going.
Once I've brushed, washed, and changed, (not necessarily in that order) I do my equivalent of counting my chicks. One, two. One, two. I enter each girl's room and rearrange blankets so that my girls are sufficiently covered, turn off any radios and look for hidden flashlights used for covert, late night book reading - just to make sure nobody rolls over onto them in their sleep. At that point, I am free to indulge in my nighttime child gazing which I still do even though they are in their teens. Actually, it's probably more necessary now that I don't get to see them as much in general, let alone when they are quiet and peaceful and not talking to or about their friends.
At last, when the girls are as comfortable and safe as I can make them, I get to go to sleep. I pull out the futon couch and let myself get lulled to sleep by the hum of the dryer. I'm usually so exhausted at that point, that the sporadic clinking and clanking of buttons against metal doesn't even prevent me from drifting off.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
That one guy is relentless. I've often wondered what kind of job he has that he can wander around the building chatting, chatting, forever chatting up it's inhabitants. I heard a rumor that he was assigned a different job where his supervisor could keep a better eye on him in order to curtail some of his daily roamings. It seemed to hem him in for a while, but now he's slipping back into his overly social ways.
He likes to come to my desk and try to commiserate with me about being single, but I'm really no more of a target than anyone else. All the men in the building have complained about his habit of looking for feet underneath the stalls in the bathroom and talking them up while they are taking care of business. He carelessly ignores the laws of dumping in public restrooms that specifically state that if someone is busy ridding themselves of waste, everyone else must enter and leave the bathroom as quickly as possible while ignoring the fact that business is even being attended to.
Lest you think I am a total bitch, let me explain the worst of it. After he hunts someone down at their cubicle or accosts them on the stairs, he not only tries to be funny, but he tells his "jokes" in babytalk. For example, on Tuesday as I was exiting the building on my way home. He came down the stairs wearing one of the those huge Russian-looking rabbit fur hats with the flaps down and flopping on either side of his head.
"Wook at me. I'm a bunny wabbit!" He said while hopping down the stairs. I tried to be polite by giving him one of those completely disingenuous laughs we girls are famous for.
"Hippity hoppity. Wheeee! Wook at my ears fwopping."
"Yes," I said. "Look at that. Well, I gotta run to my daughter's basketball game." And I walked home faster than I ever had before.
That one guy also flips people endless amounts of shit. He is fond of pointing out the obvious. If by some chance he catches you at your cubicle, he might say something like, "Wow. I think it might be time to call the maid. How do you find anything? Ha, ha." or "I guess I've never seen you with your glasses on before. No wonder you don't wear them much. They don't look very good on you." I don't know why the honeys don't want to date a "nice guy" like him.
Normally, my disingenuous laugh is on overdrive around him. After all, he isn't horrible, he's really just annoying. But today I forgot to install my filter and said the first thing that came to mind when we communicated. I was carrying the red plastic basket across the street to another office. It's how we deliver the things that mistakenly get sent to our office and exchange them with the things that mistakenly get sent to the office across the street.
"So Goldiwocks," That one guy said. "Be caweful the big bad wolf doesn't get you."
"That's the first time I've ever heard that," I said it like I was kidding and I even refrained from correcting him on confusing Goldilocks with Little Red Riding Hood.
"I said, that was really original."
"Oh. Well what you said wasn't original either. At least my jokes are funny. Jeez!" He said and huffed away. At first I felt bad for hurting his feelings, but then I figured he's taken about a million jabs at me while I politely laughed them off, so maybe it was his turn. Then, I got kind of excited hoping I'd pissed him off enough that he'd find someone else to try to tear down and annoy with his really funny jokes.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I know that I always seem like I'm broke and harried on here, but it's only because I don't have any time or money. On this post I plan to celebrate my three day weekend where I didn't have to travel, deal with extended family or have a houseful of screaming teens with which to contend. It is amazing what a few days off can do to one's outlook. It was just nice to finally have the time to take care of little things and remember how I enjoyed my life when I didn't work seventy-five jobs. (0nly one of which, I get paid for) Here is a list of things I did on my Winter vacation that enhanced my life a little or a lot.
1.) Went around and changed lightbulbs and watered plants. Most of my green things are succulents, so I have plenty of leeway before I actually kill them - I had used most of it up before this weekend.
2.) Could have really cleaned and organized my house if I had wanted to. I didn't, of course, but I like the idea of having that option.
3.) Had two whole hours of quiet time (in a row) without the girls on Friday night while Stinky was ice skating and Coadster was showing some choir or choiring some shows or whatever show choir looks like as a verb. I have no recollection of how I spent that time, but I can guarantee you it was very quiet in my house then.
4.) Went to El Ranchero to help celebrate my friend K.'s birthday. I ate some sub-par Mexican food and drank Margarita's like they were kool-aid. I kept telling my friends that I didn't think the drinks were very strong, while my cheeks gave me away by turning redder and redder. (stupid ruddy Irish complexion)
5.) Finally went to the library and checked out Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. Dexter's been talking McCarthy up since I met him, and I like Westerns, so I thought I'd check it out. My friend K. thinks I'll like Suttree better, which means I'll probably have to read that as well. I'm a sucker for peer pressure.
6.) Backslid right into my gigantic mug of herbal tea before bed habit. I don't drink coffee, ( I realize that admission could lose me some loyal readers, but I gotsta be honest on here) but I make up for it by having close to thirty different kinds of tea in my cupboard - you never know what kind I'll be into at any given time.
7.) Watched Wife Swap on Monday night. That show makes me feel so balanced - Hey, I take what I can get. My favorite line from Monday's show went something like, "My daughter is looking forward to being able to dress-up like a Leprechaun..." Maybe I should make my girls watch it with me, so they can compare me to all the crazy mom's and appreciate me that much more.
8) Finally, I got at least eight hours of sleep all three nights. I've been functioning on so little sleep lately, that I forgot what it was like not to see phantom movements out of the corners of my eyes or continually swat away at the air in front of my face anytime anyone asked me something that was too difficult to process, like, "What time is dinner?" or "How many fingers am I holding up?"
I know I'll get over my beautifully restful holiday weekend and be right back in sleep-deprivation central, but it was so much easier to go back to work today after catching-up.
...And here is a picture of my alley on Monday when the snow was finally measureable.
Monday, January 15, 2007
I did go out and take a bunch of pictures, though. I wanted to make up for the hideous photo I posted yesterday, and I think winter looks so much better with a layer of frosting on it.
Then I also took a really pretentious one where I focused all my attention on these little snow-clad purple berries and put the blur on the quaint stone cottage with the red door. Annoying, I admit, but I've become just this deeply complex by being both pretentious and annoying.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
A few weeks ago, Trevor at Creekside Review wrote a post asking which songs could take you straight to a certain time and place in your past. I could have answered by saying, almost every song I hear. Although, some songs are definitely stronger than others in that respect. Last week, Stinky was listening to the local classic rock radio station in the car when they played Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll". I hadn't heard it in a long time, and was amazed at how it delivered me right back to New Year's Eve my junior year in high school.
My brother had kindly offered to lie for me to my legal guardians and say I was going out with him, so I could attend my friend Kathy A.'s party. Kathy A.'s dad was either a Methodist or Lutheran minister in town. Being raised Catholic, I get many of the Protestant religions mixed-up. I can tell you the difference between the obvious ones like Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Amish and Baptists, but the subtler sects escape me. Both of Kathy A.'s siblings went to Iowa State and so the party consisted mostly of their friends.
When I first got there, Kathy took me to her bedroom to show me what she got for Christmas. She was super excited about her new Joan Jett album and whatever Journey album came out that year. (Escape?) After we worked up some courage, we went downstairs to mingle with the college kids. I didn't talk at all, at first. I'm usually happier watching the proceedings than participating in them anyway, and college kids were even more intimidating to me than my high school peers.
Kathy jumped behind the bar and asked me what I wanted to drink.
"No. A real drink. What do you really want to drink?"
"Yeah. Haven't you ever been drunk before?"
"Um, no. I wouldn't even know what to order..."
"I'm having an Amaretto Sour. They're really good. They don't even taste like alcohol. Do you want one?"
The first cocktail got me drunk, but Kathy made me several more Amaretto Sours throughout the night. Fortunately, I don't remember much about that evening. I vaguely recall ringing in 1982 with champagne, because for whatever reason, my socks were soaked with it. I also remember very awkardly trying to flirt with older boys, and that image makes me shudder with every muscle of my body. If my older sister had seen me, she would've yanked me out of the party by my hair.
My brother picked me up and coached me on how to be drunk and act cool in front of my Aunt and Uncle. (he was somewhat of an expert on the subject) Too bad I wasn't in any state to learn new lessons. As soon as I entered the house, my Aunt asked me how the party went. "Fine," (I did remember the "one word answers to adult questions" rule my brother told me in the car) I said and promptly walked right into the wall. Because I had always been a good girl, even though my socks reeked of stale champagne, my Aunt didn't seem to notice anything strange about me slamming myself into a wall.
I didn't puke from them, but I've still never had an Amaretto Sour since. Come to think of it, it might be fun to try one again. Does anyone know, are they as sickeningly sweet as I remember? I also didn't get drunk again until college when I more than made up for my high school abstinence.
I didn't relate that quaint little story to my daughter upon being transported back to high school by Joan Jett. My girls already think I'm nutty enough as it is, they don't need to be exposed to the crazy while I'm at the wheel of the car with their lives in my hands.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Okay, kids. This will be short and sweet. (I know what you're thinking - thank god, right?) I have to get up an hour early in order to help Coadster with her show choir hair for her very first competition. I will not be able to attend this spectacle, as it is in another town and I still have Stinky to drive to her various activities. My boss told me it was imperative that I make it to at least one competition, so that I might appreciate the sheer drama/ridiculousness/pageantry/make-up and hair of it all. I think the last one takes place in the Quad Cities in February, on a Saturday night when Stinky should be at her dad's house. I promise I will try to attend, photograph and maybe film a bit of it, so you can appreciate it all with me. I'm afraid to experience it alone.
Here is a picture of Stinky making more of a smirky face than a kissy one. She is not flaring her nostrils, but she's using both hands to make a double barrelled finger gun. Once again, I don't get it.
Stinky had her first basketball game on Tuesday. She did pretty well, especially after I got there and kept reminding her to pay attention. She is definitely my daughter, which means we're better at doing things like running, swimming or bicycling where we can live in our own little worlds, and still compete.
She had her second game today and did much better - they even won. On Tuesday I got really excited, because Stinky's team came really close to almost scoring half the points the other team had.
I am thrilled that I get another three day weekend for the Martin Luther King holiday, but sad because it is the last holiday I'll see until Memorial Day at the end of May. My goal is not to put any pressure on myself to get tons of stuff done and to go sledding at Hickory Hill Park if it snows as much as they say it's supposed to.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The Holiday - Was a total girl movie. Which is to say, that it was absolute escapism and everyone was rich and beautiful (or they were Jack Black and therefore, didn't have to be beautiful) and it all ended happily ever after. I even almost found Jude Law attractive in this film, and normally I think he's creepy and smarmy looking. My friend S. saw this with me and the girls and as she was driving home, she called me to talk about all of the plot holes. Yeah, absolutely everything fell through the big gaping holes in the plot, but it all happened in charming British cottages or sleek L.A. condos, so it was okay, right?
Ice Princess - I don't remember much about this movie, except that it had the biggest reversal of the Sandy from Grease transformation I've seen in a long time. Both Kim Cattrall (the sluttiest girl from Sex and the City) and Michelle Trachtenburg, (the pop star minx who seduces Keith in Six Feet Under) clean all the way up for Disney in this heartwarming teen flick or whatever it was, since I didn't pay much attention. It could have been ice skating porn for all I know.
John Tucker Must Die - Apparently, all the cool kids from high school dig this flick. It's about a philandering, popular boy who lies to all the hotties to get as many of them as he can. All the girls find out, and hatch a plot to foil him, all the while, learning valuable lessons about the power of female friendships, and being true to themselves and wearing the most revealing clothes I've seen anyone get away with at school.
It's great when, by the end of the movie, all the main characters learn valuable life lessons and make heartfelt speeches to an auditorium full of their peers - so much like my high school experience.
Step Up - Is one of those lovely formulaic masterpieces where the kid off the streets, played by the same guy who plays the White-wannabe-African American guy in all the other teen flicks, blends his street dancing skills with a classically trained dancer who looks slightly Latina and much like about five other actresses her age. They each learn valuable lessons about trying to "make it" in the highly competitive world of the performance arts, while falling in lust with each other. Basically, I liked it better when the street guy was a hockey player trying to blend his talents with a figure skater and they called it, The Cutting Edge.
Dreamgirls - The girls wanted to see this on New Year's Day and so I agreed. I'm normally not much of a musical theater enthusiast. I was married to an actor and saw my share (and yours too) of experimental, musical theater. Plus, in general, the musical numbers take me right out of the story. This movie did a good job of flowing in and out of the excited singing/dancing, without being too jolting.
My two criticisms about it, would be that sometimes I felt the music was too theater-y for the time period it was supposed to represent and I wished Beyonce's character had more depth. The real Diana Ross was supposedly a total heinous diva and I would have found that much more interesting. Does anyone know, was there some kind of deal the producers had to make with Diana Ross in order to make the film - one that said she had to be played by the hottest young singer/actress they could find and her character had to be void of almost any personality?
I actually saw a few movies without my girls, but those will have to wait for another blog post when it's not 12:30 a.m. on a work night.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
It would be great to have just one day like that - where no one needed anything from me and I didn't sit in a cubicle for eight hours and I wasn't the grown-up. Of course, it would mean trading in my daughters, which I couldn't imagine doing even for one day - and worst of all, I would still have to sport those frizzy bangs that make me cringe to look at twenty years later.
Monday, January 08, 2007
I'm sure you're all sick of listening to me whine about how much driving around I do for my girls, but I'm going to whine just a little more. I drove over two hours on both Friday and Saturday. It's not just picking up and dropping off my own children, it's picking Stinky up from Rock and Skate at the mall on Friday night to find she had three other kids with her who all needed lifts home. I try to give all the kids rides who need them, because when I was in high school, if I was ever allowed to go out at all, I had to depend on everyone else for transportation. And, of course, all the kids live out in the country in totally opposite directions. Johnny lives just on the Missouri border and Sally lives closer to Illinois. (or something like that, but way less exaggerated)
It's not the driving that's so hard to take, but the conversations going on in the back seat. Usually, it's a big group of junior high kids letting their ADD flags fly. Sometimes it's amusing hearing which kids in school pick their nose and eat it in study hall, but mostly it's so disturbing, that if I weren't driving, I'd just put my hands over my ears, shake my head and say, "HowmanyhowmanyhowmanytimesdoIhavetosayhowmany" until the voices stopped.
This last Friday I was picking up one of Coadster's friends who just recently moved out to the country. On the way back into town toward the bowling alley, we were discussing how they dealt with living so far out of town.
Coadster's Friend: Sometimes I have to drive for my mom because she gets tired.
Me: Do you have your permit?
C's Friend: Almost.
Me: Well, at least it's only about a twenty minute drive. So, your mom gets too tired to drive in that time?
C's Friend: Well, actually...My parents are big partiers and usually it's just safer for me to drive us all home.
Me: Oh. Um, sure.
I'm not sure which scenario I should have found more alarming: if her mom had such bad narcolepsy, she couldn't drive for twenty minutes without falling asleep at the wheel or that her parents take their fourteen year old daughter out partying with them in order to have a designated driver.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
With all the holidays and my chauffeur services in full swing, I've been really bad about photographing every little thing I see lately. I tried to remedy that a little today, by finally getting around to photographing St Pat's church like I promised Matt I'd do several weeks ago. For those of you not from these parts, St Patrick's church was destroyed by that stupid-ass tornado that came through town in April. Matt and his wife were married there and he asked me if I'd photograph it before it was completely gone.
The toughest part about taking pictures of what was left of the church, was getting a shot that didn't include this chainlink fence surrounding it.
Lord knows I like a challenge, so I jumped on the hood of my car, that had already sustained its own tornado related damage, and got this shot. I also got paid for my troubles. Once I hopped back down, I found a dollar lying in the gutter right at my feet. No, it didn't make up for all the money I lost last year, but I took it as a good sign of things to come from 2007.
Friday, January 05, 2007
I was tagged by Margaret for another meme. I know I've been doing a lot of these lately, but this one's quick and judging by yesterday's post, maybe it's better if I'm not left to my own devices. I guess I am just to finish these two statements:
1.) The dumbest argument ever:
Was the one I used to have over and over again with myself when I was younger, when I found out a guy I liked wasn't interested in me or treated me like crap. I used to take both pro and con sides. the pro would propose that the guy was just saying he didn't want to date me because he was afraid to be in a relationship right then, or because he didn't know me well enough, or maybe there were just a few things I could alter about myself that would make him change his mind. Then, the rational con self would jump in to remind me that if he thought I needed to change, then I shouldn't want to date him. My stupid, insecure, pro side would squelch that with a resounding, "Whatever", and I'd continue making excuses. Ugh, it makes me sad just to remember that silly, messed-up girl.
2.) If you were the opposite sex:
I would try to make more sense and appreciate the people who were in my life while I had them, so I didn't have to obsess over them forever after they were gone...And unlike Margaret, I would probably have a huge penis that would give me an exaggerated sense of self.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
For those of you who can't read teen scribblings, it says:
I went to the mall.* My room's clean. (I'll call you)
Coadster I borrowed a pair of your pants $2.00 is for you.
* Please don't ask me why she underlined "Hey", "went" and "mall". Was she originally going to underline every other word and then got bored? Or was emphasizing the fact that she went to the mall part of some kind of junior high code like LOL or WTF, that I can't understand because I don't text message my friends all the live long day? It's another pubescent mystery.
The weird thing about this note was not that she rented her sister's pants, but that Coadster was really pissed off about it. She thought she should have been asked. "You got two dollars," I told her. "That's way better than being asked permission." If somebody wanted to pay me money to borrow my jeans, I would be thrilled... Hey, does anyone feel like going in on a pants rental business with me?
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I had just about an hour in between the time I got home from work and when I had to pick up Stinky from basketball practice. I decided to sneak a run in there because I needed the endorphins to help wash the stank of work off me and I make it a policy never to pass up a free high.
As I reached the top of the hill on Rochester Street, I saw the full moon looming just above me. It was Crayola, dandelion yellow and about as big as your head and both of mine, all put together.
"Aha," I thought. It was suddenly clear to me why I had been so restless all day and why every, single, phone call I received at work was from a scary screecher who happened to be, straight-up, cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs - when that pockmarked ball of cheese in the sky becomes full, it truly is the boss of all of us.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
I wanted to see a picture of green grass. It hasn't snowed all winter and everything is so brown and boring right now.
Everyone is writing about resolutions, and lord knows, I want to do what all the cool kids are doing. So, I figured I'd at least address the idea of New Year's resolutions tonight.
I finally got around to taking the tree down today. I was going to do it yesterday when I had a whole day off, but I got so busy doing whatever the hell it was I did, and I never got around to it. I procrastinate - it's one of the things I do really well. It's also something about me that can drive certain people crazy. The thing is, for the most part, I'm okay with where I'm at with procrastination. I get the important things done, like paying bills and scheduling appointments (in general) now. So, if it takes me an extra day to get my Christmas tree down, I figure I probably needed some down time
1.) I resolve not to work on my time management issues, because I finally have them where I can function and still dick around as much as I need to. (and yes, I need time to putz around at some point every day) I also resolve not to beat myself up for being messy. I'm not a tidy girl, and lucky for me, I'm not afraid of chaos. In fact, I could kick chaos' ass any day of the week.
2.) I will try to read more books this year. I sucked at that last year, because I was too busy obsessively reading blogs. Balance. Yes, balance, is what I'm working on this year.
3.) I want to get in shape and eat better this winter. I'm usually fine in the summer, but I'm notorious for growing an ample winter pelt and I'm getting tired of only being able to wear that one pair of fat girl jeans by February.
4.) I also want to at least get started on the painting I was supposed to have completed over a year and a half ago. Jaysus, but it's embarrassing to admit, that except for a few preliminary sketches, I haven't really done anything on it.
5.) Finally, I want to spaz less. When I think of all the energy I spend stressing out about stupid shit, it makes me dizzy, which in turn stresses me out even more. If I could have expended that energy for good instead of evil, I would probably have finished a few paintings and read fifty books in the last year alone.
Monday, January 01, 2007
I should probably warn you that I started this post with no idea what I'd write, so you can expect it to be even less cohesive than normal. Maybe if you did some drugs or didn't sleep for a couple of days before you read this, it would actually make sense.
Tonight is the first waking time I've had to myself since Thursday. Needless to say, this has been an extremely social weekend. Which doesn't mean it was a bad weekend, it's just that I'm a girl who needs hours and hours to process my experiences and when I don't get that, my synapses can't always be trusted to perform properly.
I went out on Friday and Saturday this weekend. I can't really remember the last time I went out both nights of a weekend. I met Ondine and company out at The Foxhead on Friday night. That was where I heard Saddam Hussein was hanged. It was strange to watch the coverage on the bar television set, it was almost like we were watching replays of sports highlights.
The nice thing about going out in Iowa City over the holidays, is seeing all the the expatriates who are back in town. Since I had to drive to Dubuque the next morning to pick up the girls, I was going to go home after all my friends left see a show at the Picador, but right around the same time, a bunch of other people I hadn't seen for a while showed up and I stayed for another hour. The not so nice thing about Iowa City is that whenever I go out, I'm reminded just how tiny this town is, by running into unwanted ghosts. If I weren't quite so socially retarded, these encounters (or hauntings, as I like to call them) wouldn't have to be so awkward. But, I guess getting spooked is a good way to know when it's time to go home.
I went to the early show at the Picador on Saturday night. It was a benefit, so there were tons of bands from all different genres playing. It was packed, especially since it was winter break and most of the students were out of town. In between bands, they had a guy dressed in a loin cloth diaper thing and a turban who ate light bulbs and lifted bar stools with hooks hanging from his earlobes. Lord knows, I'm a girl who appreciates good spectacle, but I get squeamish about watching that kind of thing and had to go downstairs for most of his performance. I can't even watch Cirque du Soleil because the contortionists can raise the bile from within me.
The odd thing about going out this weekend was the lack of alcohol I consumed. I had a migraine on Friday that I kept at bay by taking my meds, and I didn't want to induce it's ire again by imbibing any spirits. Usually, I don't think there's any reason to be sober at the Picador, (or what was once Gabes) but for some reason, I had a great time on Saturday and I even stayed until one a.m.
Last night, I stayed home with the girls and a few of their friends. All of Stinky's friends cancelled out at the last minute, so I drove her to some other girl's house to watch movies until 11:15. (so she could watch the ball drop on the East Coast)
Coadster had two friends spend the night and one who went home at 1 a.m. I found out later, that the girl who left early, had some champagne with her sister before she showed up. It's weird, because I haven't had to worry about the girls' friends drinking before this. Even if she had been sober, Champagne Girl would have annoyed me. She kept whining about some "bitch" who stole her man. I told her that if her man was worth having, no one could steal him from her. She didn't really know how to respond to that, so she just said, "You don't understand. She was my best friend before that..." Coadster stood behind her and gave me the sign to let it go and after she left, Coadster told me that Champagne Girl cheated on the boy first, and the "bitch" supposedly stole Champagne Girl's boyfriend after they were broken-up. I wisely went into Coadster's room and watched a movie after that. I've resolved not to discuss empowerment issues in relationships with half-drunk fourteen year old girls ever again in 2007.