Thursday, June 28, 2007

In Her Ears the Phones are Tight and the Music's Playing Loud

Sorry guys, I didn't get a chance to take more photos, so you'll just have to view my daisies from a different angle tonight. I figured out how to load songs into my phone, so I've been spending too much time loading my computer with music and then putting it into my phone. I'm one of those people who has boxes of CDs and it can take some time to obsessively look for music and organize play lists and such.

I know I talk about the fact that I run on here a lot. I'm sure you're all tired of hearing about it, but I'm going to write about it some more anyway. If you know Iowa City at all, you're aware that it is a relatively small town, that can feel smaller and smaller the longer you live here. People who I've never seen before will stop me on the street and try to talk to me about the fact that they see me running, or others just call me runner girl. It doesn't bother me. I've been called WAY worse and I don't really have much to say to those who want to talk to me about my addiction. What's there to say? It's meditative, it's a free high and no thanks, I don't need a running partner, one of the best things about running for me is that it gives me an hour to myself.

Tonight I was at the grocery store buying some crap. I told Stinky she could have a sleepover. Normally, I'm one of those "everything in moderation" kind of people when it comes to food. We try to eat healthy, but I'm not a Nazi about it. I do make an exception when it comes to sleepovers and road trips - moderation goes out the window and we have a license to eat junk. We're still Americans after all, godammit. So, where was I? Uhhh...Yes, the grocery store.

I was looking at donuts, because I'm pretty sure it's a law that you have to eat donuts when you wake-up the next morning at a sleepover and I don't want to go to jail. This guy, who I actually recognized because he used to come into one of the coffee shops I worked at several years ago, came up to me. I figured he was just going to say hi and move on, but I was wrong. Instead, he said, "I can't believe you're looking at that kind of food. Do you really want to erase all the good you do when you run by eating that stuff?"

"What? Oh, I was just...Yeah. Ha ha." I can be really eloquent when I have to think on my feet.

"I was just a little surprised, that's all," he said and waited for a better response from me.

"I can be kind of surprising sometimes," I said and then made-up some lame excuse about why I needed to get going.

I can't imagine giving a shit what anyone eats - unless it was a baby or something and then I'd be appalled and I'd stop you in the store to judge you.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Can You Live This Fantasy Life?

In case you didn't already figure it out, I bought some new batteries. I can finally show you my flowers. Sure, they're kind of like weeds, but I'm proud of them anyway.

Remember how I said I had been fantasizing about what I'd do on my days off? Yeah, well, I thought it might be fun to look at what I thought might happen on my first day of fun, as opposed to what actually took place.


1. I wake-up early and get a run in so I can start my day with a free high and have plenty of time to get things done.

2. The girls and I clean our house. Miraculously, it only takes a half hour to get all of our work done. The girls don't fight and I don't get cranky and we all look amazing and fresh and wear strings of pearls like they used to do in old TV shows from the sixties.

3. I take my change into the bank. Even though it didn't look like that much, there must have been a lot more quarters than I thought. The young, hot college guy bank teller comes back with forty dollars and I go to the comic book store to buy some of the graphic novels my awesome readers suggested.

4. I come home and Stinky and I put 1,000 songs into my phone. The process is quick and painless and I don't have to swear or kick anything.

5. The girls and I go to the pool. I stick my feet in the water and read all the comic books and listen to my new music so I don't have to overhear the frat boys sitting next to me talk about their most recent conquests. Oh yeah, even though it seems really warm out, I don't sweat and my hair doesn't get all huge from the frizz.

6. In the evening, the girls go to their dad's house and I go visit Mr Dateman who looks really good and makes me laugh my ass off.


1. Coadster wakes me up after 10 when she gets home from running with the cross country team. I didn't even hear her leave the house. I putz around on the computer and finally go running around eleven. I don't get home until after noon.

2. After my shower, I think about cleaning, but when I mention it to the girls, Stinky asks me if I wouldn't rather try to put songs into my phone instead. (I hate when she uses my ADD against me) I make a huge play list and try to get it all into my phone. It will only accept four of the songs and we can't figure out why. We try a couple of things that don't work, and I kick and swear at a few different inanimate objects. It takes so long, we don't get around to cleaning.

3. I take my change to the bank downtown. Apparently, there were a lot more pennies than I thought. The surly, disgruntled, recently graduated bank teller comes back with my $7.52 and asks me if I want it back in a five and two ones or all ones. Since I'm not going to a strip club anytime soon, I take the five. I decide not to go to the comic book store, because I don't have enough to buy a graphic novel now.

4. Mr Dateman calls and says that for various reasons, he can't hang-out at our normal time or as long as usual. I stop by his place after I take Stinky to the movie theater to meet her friends. At least I get to see him, and he still looks really good, and he makes me laugh my ass off.

5. The girls and I all have other things to do, so we don't make it to the pool.

6. The girls go to their dad's and I stop by my friend K's house. She and my friend T. are about to meet a couple of girls at Shakespeare's (a bar/restaurant) and ask me if I want to join them. Since I'm a little tired, my original plan was to go home and read or watch a movie, but I don't have the girls and I don't have to work the next day, so I tag along. It turns out my friend I., who lives in Fairfield is in town. He's kind of like a wind-up toy and he just goes and goes and goes and it's great because I don't have to do anything but be entertained. We talk about the crap we grew-up eating and how to cook perfect tater tots and how we all fondly remember chipped beef on toast (or shit on a shingle) but none of us ever eat it anymore.

My friends K and A. show-up and it is awesome because they never, ever go out. They just live a few blocks away in Alphabet City, so we go to their house after we're done and I meet their newest dog and oooh and aaah over their gigantic TV. It suddenly hits me that I need to go home and I'm back before nine o'clock.

After looking at both lists, I can't decide if my fantasy or my reality was better - it's kind of six one way, a half dozen the other. Most importantly, it was a good day off.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Telephone Line, Give Me Some Time, I'm Living in Twilight

Here's me from a group photo we took at work last week. I cut the rest of my co-workers out since I don't have to see them for FIVE WHOLE DAYS, so fuck 'em. Don't I look really tense? That's because I haven't had three days off in a row since August. Who knows? Maybe I'll do an "after the vacation" shot of me passed-out with an empty bottle of Jack in my hand, looking ever so relaxed on Sunday.

So, the big news today is that I bought a toy. And like every red blooded American woman, I like my toys. While this toy isn't quite as much fun as some I could have purchased, I'm still excited about it. Yup, I got me a cell phone.

When Coadster and I went into the store, the sales woman asked me if I was looking for a phone to do more organizational and business related tasks and I immediately said, "Ew. No, gross." Then she asked if I wanted something that would be more media friendly, so I could use it as an MP3 player and stuff. "Okay, now you're talking." So, I got me a KRZR, and I got it in red. It is really, really pretty. I also bought the music essentials kit and the chip thing so I can download about a thousand songs. I feel so hip and cool and modern now that I finally took that flying leap into the nineties.

I'm super excited about having an Mp3 player so I can listen to music when I run. I used to always carry a Walkman in the eighties, but I had to wean myself from it when I lived in San Francisco and worked two jobs from six am at Bakers of Paris, until around ten pm when my shift as a bartender at Macy's Department store ended. It wasn't all that safe running in the city at night and I had to be able to hear if Mr. Stranger Danger was approaching. Now, though? Now, I usually run after work, when it's light and I live in Iowa, so I can go back to listening to funky, funky fresh grooves on my headphones. Plus, I'll be carrying my phone and I can just dial 911 when Mr. Stranger Danger approaches. Once again, it's pure, unadulterated awesomeness.

Okay, now leave me the hell alone while I go play with my pretty new toy.

p.s. Thanks to all you guys who left me suggestions for comic books and graphic novels in the comments of my last post. I can't tell you how happy I am to have such great geek advice.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I "Cloud Nine" When I Want to

Remember how random yesterday's post was, and I was so aware of it and made fun of my negative patterns and all? Well, apparently my self-diagnosed ADD knows no bounds and seems to be even worse tonight. It's okay. I know how I am, so I just put myself on lock-down tonight and saved the whole world from myself.

Unfortunately, I'm not considerate enough not to blog, so I'm going to be all over the place (as Evil-E said about yesterday's post) once again tonight.

1.) So, hey. You wanna see the notes I took at my last work meeting?:

Yeah. If it had been a meeting about how to draw cheesy cartoons at work, I would have been fine. Alas, I have no idea what the meeting was about. All I got from it, was that I needed to bring some different colored pens so I'd have more options for doodling.

2.) I've been kicking around the idea of getting a cell phone lately. Both the girls have one, but I didn't think I needed one because we still have a land line. I was talking about it with Mr. Dateman this weekend and he suggested that I get rid of my home phone altogether. Duh. I don't know why I didn't think of that myself. It would definitely save me some money. It will just take some work getting my new number out to everyone. I've had my old one since I split with my ex-husband over ten years ago.

3.) Since tomorrow is the last work day for me this week, I've been fantasizing a lot about what I'm going to do with my time off. Of course, I want to run a whole bunch. And now that I have our family season passes and my new swim suit top, I want to devote some time to lounging at the city pool reading comic books. There's nothing like it to bring me right back to Summers when I was a kid. They even play the local classic rock station, so the music is still the same.

4) WARNING: NERD GIRL ALERT - This point kind of goes with the last one, so I better make it my last. It's pretty sad when my ADD gets so bad that my randomness corrects itself. I'm going to the comic book store this week to get some more intellectually stimulating reading material. The last time I was there, the guy behind the counter was telling me about a new Hulk series. Then a week or so ago, some nameless/faceless guy on Myspace messaged me about the same thing. I've never been a big fan of The Hulk, but I do like to follow the advice of complete strangers, so I'm going to see if the graphic novel is out yet. I'm sure you'll all be waiting with bated breath.

Okay, okay. I better go. There are so many other things to obsess about before I go to sleep.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Now I've Been Smokin' for So Long, You Know I'm Here to Stay

I took some photos of the out of control black eyed susans in my front yard, but I think I need to buy new rechargeable batteries. Mine just charged for over two hours and they still don't have enough juice. So, I'm back to last year's pics again. Sigh.

My sleep schedule gets all goofy over the weekend, so by the time Sunday rolls around I am in need of many naps. I was just about ready to go down for one this afternoon, when a friend of mine called. I hadn't talked to her in a while, so I was happy to sacrifice my nap for her. She and her husband are trying to quit smoking at the same time. They are on week three now, and from what I've heard from others in the same predicament, the third week will make or break you. Apparently at that point, it feels like really bad PMS, everyone and everything is annoying, you're sure your head will explode at any moment, and you have vivid, messed-up dreams. My friend and her husband have to multiply all that by two. Luckily, they are very in-love...They just have to keep reminding themselves of that. Anyway, I was happy to let her vent, and we agreed that next time I'll stop into 126 where she works and do it all again over wine.

Even though tomorrow is Monday, I'm in a really good place tonight. I'm taking Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off for vacation. Coadster leaves for camp for three weeks next weekend, so I decided to take time off to get ready for that and to spend larger chunks of time together before she takes off. The good thing, is that my weekdays will really only last a weekend and the bad thing, is...Er, um, I guess I can't really think of anything bad in that scenario. I better bookmark this post, because I can't remember ever not being aware of a downside before.

Here's where I start the third paragraph, that has absolutely nothing to do with the last one which had nothing to do with the one before that. My friends who go to therapy tell me, that it's important to recognize your negative patterns. As usual, I'm hyper aware of them, I'm just at a loss as to how not to repeat them... What was I going to tell you again? Oh yeah. I watched The Last King of Scotland this weekend. It was very well done, it just made me tense after I watched it. I should have washed it down with something totally comfortable and goofy, like Trading Places.

Okay, now I'm going to try and catch-up on some sleep. As far as I can tell, we aren't expecting horrible thunderstorms or anything, so wish me luck.

Friday, June 22, 2007

After the Thunder

Here is a photo from last Summer when Coadster and I kicked around in Mount Vermin.

Kids, I had kind of a bad day today. Most of it was sleep deprivation. I was up on and off all Thursday night because of the thunderstorms. Lack of sleep seems to make me a little more fragile than normal and really lowers my tolerance for bullshit. Which can be bad on a Friday, especially when I get calls like this:

Me: How may I direct your call?

Girl: Um, I don't think I ever like, got my password, and now they say I need it to apply for housing. Can someone get that for me or whatever?

Me: Sure. I'll need to ask some identifying questions to make sure you are the student...

Girl: Wait. What? (speaking to someone else) Yeah, I need a number four with curly fries and a diet Pepsi. Huh? Yeah, curly fries... I said, curly fries...What?

Me: Ma'am? This whole process takes a few minutes, so maybe you can call us back when you're not already busy ordering food.

The rest of the day was pretty tedious. By the time I walked home, I was more than a little cranky and sad. I kept thinking how great it would be to have someone I could come home and whine about my day to. Since I'm all about reciprocity, I would be happy to listen to that person whine as well. I prefer not to use my girls for that purpose. I figure they have their whole adult lives to become jaded and bitter.

When I walked into the house, I was completely overwhelmed. My daughters had washed all the dishes, vacuumed, laundered, sorted and folded all of our clothes, and cleaned the hell out of their rooms - including their closets and going through their drawers to get rid of all of their old clothes. It was the nicest thing anyone could have done for me this afternoon. The only downside, was that the remaining messiness was all mine. I hate those "do as I say, not as I do" situations.

Later in the evening, I was eating pizza and watching a movie. The thunder was so loud outside, that I felt like I was in a movie theater and Die Hard was playing in the next room over. I was far away from work and my house was so cozy and clean, that I couldn't remember what I would have whined about to that imaginary someone, if they had been around.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

And My Affection, Well it Comes and Goes

Here are more wildflowers just chillin' and hanging out with some grain.

Hey, it's the first day of Summer, yo. Please don't punch me when I tell you that this will be the only week this month that I've had to work all 40 hours. Last Friday I took a half day off and ran and then went to the pool and stuck my feet in the water and read comic books. (did I tell you that already?) Anyway, it was awesome. The only problem was that I couldn't find the top to my swim suit. I used one of my daughter's, but it didn't really match, so I made a trek to the big scary maul in Coralville tonight. The mall is way less daunting when you go during the week when there's hardly anyone there.

So, yeah, tomorrow most of the people in our office are taking vacation. Much like being at the mall, work seems so much better when no one else is there. John will also be gone and even though he drives me crazy ninety percent of the time, I'll miss his bizarre sense of humor when I'm going out of my head with boredom at three o'clock.

John is one of those guys who used to be thin when he was younger, but has really blossomed in his forties. Today when we did that thing where you bump fists to give each other props, our rings hit. So, of course I had to say, "Wonder Twin powers activate. Form of..."

And John answered, "...Form of a big, fat guy."

"Okay. What would your superhero powers be as a big, fat guy?"

"Well, I would be able to eat three whole pizzas at one sitting..." John said.

"How would that help fight crime?"

"It wouldn't. I'd just have an excuse to eat three pizzas at one sitting without getting in trouble with my wife."

So, maybe instead of talking about superhero powers with John, I'll actually do something productive at work tomorrow afternoon, - like adding to my link list on my blog.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Must Be the Season of the Witch

Oh, look. Another photo of Stinky making goofy faces.

And now for something completely different...

Me: I thought you were going to the softball game.

Stinky: I was, but C. can't go now because she got grounded.

Me: Why is she grounded?

Stinky: Because she didn't clean her room and her mom is totally PMS'ing.

Me: Does her mom have to be PMS'ing for C. to get grounded for not doing her chores?

Stinky: Yeah, I guess.

Me: So, when you get grounded do you tell everyone it's because I'm PMS'ing?

Stinky: What? Um, no?

Me: Yeah. That's what I thought.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Childhood Living is Easy to Do

I guess what I forgot to say yesterday, was that this thing I'm posting today and yesterday was just the first part of a larger piece of crap. So, what I post today probably won't feel like an ending. I don't know if you've realized this about me, but I'm not very good at viewing things in a linear fashion. I've posted stuff months ago that detailed what happened when my dad finally disappeared. This is more like the prequel. Um, so, yeah.

Continued from yesterday:

We start doing this thing we do when we get bored at the track. Me and my brother wrap the bottom of our t-shirts around our arms to make a bag. We walk around the seats and pick up the stubs to the racing tickets and put them in the bags we made. When our bags get too full we take our arms out of our t-shirts and stretch the bottoms really tight. The stubs go flying into the air and we start again. Sometimes this is fun and sometimes it isn't, but we do it anyway. It's like the way I touch the cup of skin between my nose and lip. When I start, it helps me helps me feel better, then after a while my finger gets tired but it's hard to stop. That's what picking up the stubs is like and we keep at it until my Uncle Jack sees us.

"You guys are still here?" He asks and we don't say anything back. Instead we look down because we know we're not supposed to be here. "Maybe you should tell your dad to meet me in my office in ten minutes and we'll go to Riata Pass to eat." He's trying to sound cheerful, but I can tell by the way his jaw is stiff that he's mad.

My brother is going to tell our father we should go. I would, but I don't want him to be mad at me and my brother doesn't care.

"Hey, Dad," my brother says, but he's too quiet. He clears his throat and tries again. "Dad. Hey, Dad!" He almost yells and my father doesn't move. He just stares out at the racetrack even though there aren't any horses running.

My brother tries once more and my dad doesn't move and I get scared and I'm crying. I yell, "Daddy!" My father doesn't stop staring, but he raises his hand and shoos us away. Now we have to go back to our uncle's office and he will go get our father. We walk slowly, because we're embarrassed. Once I heard my aunt telling my grandma about how she saw my dad staring for hours and the way she said it let me know that he shouldn't do that. On the way to Uncle Jack's office, I ask my brother, "Why does he do that? What's wrong with him?"

"Who cares. He's dumb. Why do you even care?" My brother is flicking his middle finger against thumb the way he does when he hates my dad, so I don't say anything else.

Monday, June 18, 2007

What a Trip Just Watchin' As the World Goes Past

I think this was taken right before my dad disappeared.

You know how much I'm into recycling, right? So, for the next two posts, I'm going to use part of this fiction-y-er-ish story that I wrote a long time ago. Some of my friends have read it already, and you lucky folks, can just take yourself a break. This thing takes place right around when my dad left. In reality, I was four, but I made myself eight, or else it would have read a little too "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, moocow, baby tuckoo..." If you know what I mean. Okay, it's kind of fiction but most of it is based on shit I experienced or heard from the family. Got it?

Part 1:

I am eight years old today. My mom had to work so we will have my party tomorrow. My dad was supposed to get my cake and decorations, but he wanted to stop at the track for a minute and now I think he forgot. My brother says not to worry about it. Our mom will take care of it later. She will be mad, but she will get everything I need for my party. Now, my brother says we should go watch the races for a while and I can have my birthday tomorrow.

We go to tell my dad that we're going up front to try to see better. He is watching the horses. The old men at the track call them ponies. When there is a race going, he won't look anywhere else until the last horse crosses in front of him. Sometimes he won't even look up then. He will just stare and stare. He won't look up even if I stand in front of him and scream right in his face. I know because I did it once and he didn't blink. He doesn't do anything when we say where we're going, so we know we can do whatever we want now.

My father used to work at the racetrack taking pictures of the winning horses. I don't know why he doesn't anymore, but my uncle still does and that's why we get to sit in the VIP section. VIP doesn't mean vice president. When I tell my brother that's what I think it means, he calls me stupid and now I don't think that anymore.

"It means 'very important people'" He says and laughs the way he does when he hates my father.

The racetrack is made for adults. The fence that separates us from where the horses run is too high for me and my brother to see over. When the grownups get excited during a race, we stand up on the chairs to try to see, but the old men in the back seats get mad. "Sit down you goddamn hippie kids!" One of them yells and then they throw their racing forms and plastic cups that used to hold beer at us and we have to step down.

To be continued....

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Your Everlasting Summer, You Can See it Fading Fast

Here are some ditch lilies for you.

Well, kids... Uh, yeah. I'm a little worse for wear today and it's all my own fault. It seems I am forty-one years old, but my brain still functions like it did when I was fifteen. Which means, that everything I did on Saturday night seemed like a great idea while it was going on, but I completely forgot that it might not feel quite so awesome the next day. Apparently, I am a genius.

I try to be careful about telling people how great I think my girls are. Part of it is that, yeah, yeah, we all know that everyone loves their own kids and thinks they're amazing and blah and blah and blah. The other part is that I know the minute I get all gushy about them, is right about the time I come home to find them both pregnant, clutching their forties wrapped in paper bags and partying with bikers in my living room. So, at the risk of bringing on behavior worthy of an After School Special, all I can say is that my daughters were totally kick-ass today. While I was "resting", they either quietly listened to music and read or watched movies. They didn't even fight all day. The best part, is that they didn't ask me why I was being all lame and zoned-out, they must have just assumed I had a migraine. A lie of omission isn't a real lie, is it?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Don't You Never Try to Look Behind My Eyes

Here is the front of the pig caravan.

I know it hasn't even been a full two days yet, but I think I'm over my philosophical reflections about how to spend my lifetime. It was getting kind of annoying and stressful. I'm just going to go back to thinking about sex all the time instead - it's less productive, but way more fun.

When I went to pick up Coadster from her babysitting gig last night, my friend who's daughter she was watching told me that the gyro cart caught on fire downtown. She said they had to clear everyone out from the part of the Ped Mall where the Mayflies were playing because they were worried a tank would blow. I guess it was fine after a half hour or so, but at least people got to experience some drama with their music.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I Look through My Window So Bright

Just in case you were wondering, Stinky is still obsessively taking pictures of herself making goofy faces. Because in this house, we are nothing if not obsessive.

After work, I went to the memorial service for my friend's brother. It was very well done, but heartbreakingly sad. It was also extremely crowded. Again, I saw a lot of people who I either only talk to when they message me on Myspace or not at all. It sucks that it takes something tragic to get us all out of our lairs, but I'm just as guilty as everyone else.

At the end of the service, they invited people to come up and speak. Because he was only thirty when he died, his brother got up and talked about just what a lifetime meant and he was right on. My lifetime could be eighty years or it could be forty-one. My dad disappeared when he was 36 and my mom died at 43. I've been aware from a very early age that my odds are not that good.

When I was younger, I prepared myself and lived my life like I was going to die young. It was great until I was almost thirty and still alive. Then it hit me that the universe's terrible joke on me, would be to let me live until I was very old and all my earlier non-planning would really fuck me up good. So, I got more responsible and landed a job that would give me retirement benefits and as an extra bonus, gave me much to be resentful about as well. I left my controlling/abusive husband and lived my life like I might actually be around long enough to feel the effects of all the stupid shit I did in my twenties.

Now, however, when I attend funerals for people who died too young, it makes me ask myself that one ominous question: If I died tomorrow, what would make me happy about how I lived my life and what would piss me off? I can honestly think of a lot of things that I'm okay with. I think what I really need to work on is not spazzing as my initial reaction to any stressful situation and to quit obsessing about the things/people/situations I can't have, instead of being happy with what's here. And if this time of reflection is like all my others, I should be really aware of all this for the next day or two, until I slowly forget and start spazzing about all the shit I wish were different in my life.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Flippin' Like a Pancake, Poppin' Like a Cork

Sometimes there are things you miss. When you are sitting at your desk in an overly beige cubicle, under florescent lights listening to some internet radio station or other, you long for those things that you don't have any more.

You remember a pair of brown hip hugger bell bottoms that you wore - always with the same gold button up the front shirt with the HUGE collar. You donned that same outfit every day when you could get away with it. When your mom left too early for work to catch you putting it on for a second or third day in a row. You did a lot of things in those clothes. You fought wars with the boys down the street. Riding your red, white and blue Liberty Bell bike with the kick-ass banana seat, loaded with rotten lemons you got under your neighbor's tree. You and your girlfriend would both ride on your bike - one to steer and peddle and the other to throw the lemons masquerading as hand grenades.

Once when the boys chased you down on their bikes, your friend peddled and you rode in back. You were barefoot, of course. It didn't seem like a bad idea until your heel got caught in the spokes of the back wheel of your bike. The Liberty Bell couldn't take the strain of your foot and you and your friend crashed in front of what you called the Harley house down the street. The bikers thought the boys were to blame and threatened them as they rode quickly back home. You limped home with your war injury anticipating the attention you would receive from your mom and waiting to cry until right when you saw her. Your brown hip huggers were torn and had oil from your bike smeared all over the bell part. You would miss wearing them. Your gold shirt would never really go with anything else.

Sometimes, even now you think about those things you used to have. In the afternoons when it is slow at work, you imagine how great it would be to go home at three, like you did when you were in grade school. You would ride the Liberty Bell as fast as you were able, so you could lie on your couch and watch The Banana Splits, and Spiderman and Submariner, one right after the other, until your mom came home and made you get up and put your back pack away and get ready for dinner. Sometimes those are the things you miss.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

And I'm Burnin', I'm Burnin', I'm Burnin' for You

Remember how I said I went out and took photos on Sunday? Well, obviously I didn't get too far away from home, because most of them are of my garden.

I've been on the sleep deprived side lately. It's all my fault, because I spend a lot of time dicking around and then it gets late and I have to do my real chores and then I don't get to sleep until very much later and wonder why I'm all cranky and my eyes feel so dry and I look ninety years old the next day. It's just plain D-U-M, but it looks like I'm doing it again tonight.

Soooo, it's all leading to another weak excuse for doing a short, random post. It's a good thing I'm here to make up all these excuses, or else I'd really seem lame. This is the part of the post where I throw out the loose change and you all can bend over and pick it up.

First, I'm going to share with you the very best Google search that ever landed someone on my blog. I'm not putting it on here for you all to feel jealous, I just think you'll want to see it too. Ready? Okay:

"dubuque white girls who want you to call then come over and give them sex right now"

How awesome is that? I know, It's totally tits. And because I also know you're as curious as I was, I checked the search myself to see if the poor schlub was able to find what he wanted on the internets. Unfortunately, the closest I could find to a site that offered up Dubuque white girls who wanted you to come over and give them sex right now, was a page that promised to show me pierced girl parts. Not really the same thing, is it?

The last randomness I will expose you to tonight are some overheards. The first one I caught when I was at the Dublin Underground during Arts Fest:

"If you were real lesbians, you'd be out listening to The Roches right now..."

The second one I heard quite by accident while walking down the hall at work:

"The cream stopped the itching, but didn't really help the burning so much..." At that point, I had to put my hands over my ears, shake my head back and forth and say, "Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon" as many times as it took before they stopped speaking. I did feel a little better later, after I found out they were talking about treating someone's poison ivy.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Confusion Has Its Cost

Oh, well look. Another photo of my snaps set against the beautiful background of my pine green mom car. Lovely.

Today was kind of weird. First, we had a meeting where my boss showed us some new computer applications. Mostly, we sat for over an hour, while he kept trying different things to see if they'd work. On the way out of the meeting, one of my co-workers said, "Maybe if I splashed some coffee in my eyes, it would help me wake-up." Amen and hallelujah.

I also got pulled to work an orientation day. I was supposed to lead a big group of parents from one building, to a room in another one. These things are usually pretty well organized, but today they didn't give me my room assignment until the last minute, so I didn't have time to find out where I was going. I led these poor suburban Chicago parents to the copy center and a few more rooms before it was all over. At one point a mom asked, "Oh my gawd. Are we lAAAst?" (that means "lost" in Chicago speak) I felt like a big, gigantic asshole.

Finally, tonight I stopped at the Picador to offer my condolences to a friend who's brother just died. I only stayed a minute, because it was late and I needed to get home. Even though it was a sad occasion, it brought tons of friends together. I haven't seen that many people in the downstairs or the beer garden of the Picador, since it was still called Gabes. The great part, was that most of the people there were folks I used to hang out with about ten years ago. It was like stepping back in time to 1997, except everyone had a few more tattoos, some had bigger bellies and they didn't seem to be drinking quite as irresponsibly.

Okay, so now I'm very tired and I need to get my beauty sleep. Actually, I need all of your beauty sleep too.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Big Man, Pig Man, Ha Ha, Charade You Are

Hey, check me out. I finally got out and took me some pictures today.

This is the pink, pig, train thing I keep seeing when I run down by Summit and Washington Streets.

This big, pink, pig van pulls the other two pigs around on trailers.

So, I'm finally getting into the swing of Summer. All the neighbor kids are out in full force, or rather, many times they're in my house when I get home from work in full force. I'm finding that I'm spending a lot more money on groceries lately. And even though most of the "kids" are teenagers, I catch myself doing that cranky parent thing where I get home and tell them all to go out and play. Jaysus, Mary and Joseph, why can't they all go drive the neighbors crazy for a while...You know, that whole, "it takes a village..." shit? I can't wait until I'm old enough to yell at them for running across my lawn. Wait. Am I old enough now?

I actually got a few things done this weekend...A very few. I won't detail the boring stuff, because I'm sure it will be hard enough for us all to stay awake on a Monday as it is. Instead, I'll tell you some things I viewed. With Mr Dateman, I watched a few Family Guy episodes and the documentary, The Clash: Westway to the World. Tonight, by myself, I saw the last Sopranos episode ever? Once again, I won't go into any details because many of you have informed me that you won't be able to watch it until it comes out on DVD. It just ended much differently than I thought it would, that's all.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Earl's Playing by Himself, Man

Kids, I've had kind of a weird headache all day and it's made me a bit cranky. I finally took some drugs for it around 6:30 this evening and now I can stand myself again.

I don't have much to say, which is about par for the course. The girls went to the Quad Cities with their dad. Mr Dateman has some stuff to do before I go bug him, and so I'm doing my total ADD thing. I'm eating some Chinese take-out, half-assed watching a movie and geeking out on the computer. See? I really don't have much to say. The good news is that my headache is almost all gone and my crankiness is subsiding. Whew!

Now, I must go and bore you no more...At least not today, anyway.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Caught By the Rain and Blinded By the Lightnin'

Here is a wild flower.

After reading some of the last weeks posts, I've been thinking I'd start this new thing where I keep all my neuroses to myself. Wouldn't that be nice? As great a thing as it would be for all my blog readers, I know the people who deal with me in the real world would probably appreciate it the most. I'll let you know how it goes.

Speaking of neuroses...Let's talk about the weather. Storm threats have been jerking me around all day. At about 2:50 pm, my boss got all spazzy and ordered us to turn off our phones and computers and go downstairs to the basement. I snuck in a quick call to the girls to make sure they were somewhere safe. Coadster answered her cell phone and said they were just going down to the neighbor's basement.

We all sat on the floor by the cashier's office for about ten minutes until the big boss told us that a tornado had been spotted north of us and we should all go back to our desks. Since my boss said the tornado was headed right for where Mr. Dateman might be, I called and left a semi-frantic voice mail message to warn him. You know, just in case he was thinking about taking a bath or something.

Everything looked like it was going to clear up, until five minutes before I was supposed to walk home from work. Of course. I stepped outside and there was strong lightning and thunder, but no rain...Until I reached the college of business, then it started to pour. I stood inside a doorway to wait for it to pass. Luckily some women who work in financial aid were walking to the parking ramp and asked me if I wanted a ride. Why, yes I did.

Once at home, the sirens went off again and Coadster called to urge us to go across the street and meet her in our neighbor's basement. After we ran there, we found out that the tornado was nowhere near us, but I did get to catch up on the neighborhood gossip. So, the trip wasn't a total loss.

It all makes me long for the days before last April, when I happily ignored all the tornado sirens. Ahhh, sweet, blissful ignorance. I miss you so.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sometimes I Wish That I Could Stop You From Talking When I Hear the Silly Things That You Say

This is at my aunt's house outside of Ottumwa.

Tomorrow I go back to work. The good thing about it, is that it will be Thursday already. The scary thing about it, is that the last time I was there, one of my co-workers sent some of us this e-mail:

How long can this day go on? It feels like it's already been twelve hours. And if L. says, "We was" instead of "We were" one more time, I can't be held accountable for my actions.

The L. she mentioned is originally from Ottumwa. Even though she hasn't lived there for several years, she talks like she never left. She says "poosh" instead of "push", she puts that hidden R in wash and she also does the deeshes on Sundee as opposed to doing the dishes on Sunday.

When we first moved to Ottumwa from Chicago, we felt like we had moved to the deep South and went back in time twenty years. Of course, we lived out in the country so the first kids we met had some serious Southern Iowa accents. Eventually, we met some other kids who were from Ottumwa, and could still make fun of the accent. Our new friends even came up with the best white trash Ottumwa name ever - Rhonda Scudders. We were sure that someone named Rhonda Scudders would have to date a guy named Kenny (pronounced, Kinney in Ottumwa) or Wayne.

So, tomorrow when I go back to work and L. starts talking about "Going over to the Wal-Marts" after work, it won't annoy me so much, as make me a little nostalgic...And glad that I'm not riding a stinky school bus anywhere anymore.

Mother Needs Something Today to Calm Her Down

Another old photo from last year. Yeah, I suck.

So, here's kind of a weird thing. I think I experienced some anxiety today. I was all weird, and I had a burning feeling in the pit of my stomach and I was breathing shallowly and my shoulders were way up by my ears and worst of all, I was annoyingly needy. That's anxiety, right? It didn't seem to be related to anything specific. I even had it before I went to the mall this afternoon, which is normally a good cause for stress. Can I just feel anxious for no reason, or do I have to do some kind of past life regression thing to find out I'm actually remembering being burned at the stake in the 1600's?

I recall having it last Fall for a day or two, but since then, I've been okay. (about that particular issue, anyway) Because it appears to be gone now, and I'm a half-full kind of girl, I'm going to go ahead and assume it was the tail end of that funk I had last week and when I wake up tomorrow, I'll be perky and happy and bursting with life.

Just in case it does come back, what do people normally do to treat it? And please don't suggest I listen to CD's of crickets chirping, because insects make me tense. As far as I'm concerned, alcohol, drugs and sex usually make everything better, but will they work for anxiety? I'm thinking that maybe tomorrow, while all my neighbors are at work, I could break into a few houses and see what they have in their medicine cabinets. Surely, somebody somewhere on my block has some Valium, Vicodin or Xanax they're not using. Hell, even if it doesn't ever come back, it might be fun to see what I could make use of from my neighbor's medicine cabinets.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Hour's Getting Late

Here is Stinky in kindergarten, when I could still help her with her homework.

As Poptart mentioned in my comments, today was like a Monday and a Friday for me. I was conflicted all day. At first I wanted to be all grouchy and fatalistic and kept telling everyone who would listen that there wasn't enough caffeine in the world. Then I'd remember I was going to be off for two days, and so I was suddenly hopeful and giddy, but I was still telling everyone who would listen that there wasn't enough caffeine in the world.

I saw each of the girls for exactly a half an hour after work. Coadster was geeking out on the computer, grumbling that she couldn't find the song she wanted for her Myspace profile. I got to hear a little about her day, as I drove her to the end of school party she went to. Stinky came home after hanging out at Hickory Hill Park, just as I was getting ready to go running. Her dad was going to drive her downtown to The United Action for Youth end of the year party.

When left to my own devices, I checked out what was on demand. Amazingly, I saw that they put the whole Band of Brothers series on, so I could finally finish it. Last time, they only had the first five episodes. I watched the sixth one with Mr Dateman. Although it wasn't as much fun watching it by myself as it was with M.D., the show was still pretty damn good. And now? Now I must go and finish the very last episode and start my pretend weekend. Yea me!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

All the Girls and Boys, Makin' All That Noise

Here's one of the cloud photos Coadster took today.

Well, kids. I'm a little sleep deprived tonight. Sometimes there are way more important things to do than sleep. The only reason I'm even mentioning it, is because I'm using it as an excuse for writing a short and uninspired post. I know, I know, it's always something with me.

I didn't run today, since I was feeling a little low energy and every time I would get ready, the sky would cloud up and I didn't want to get stuck out on Scott Boulevard in the middle of a storm. Instead, I tried to take a nap but was awakened by Stinky and her friend watching movies and talking about scary, thirteen year old girl stuff. I also went to check on the garden and hung out with my friends J. and K. We looked at stuff on J.'s computer. We saw the new Loch Ness Monster footage (lame - it looks like a floating log to me) and some pics of a gigantic boar (that wasn't me this time) an eleven year old boy shot at one of those confined hunting places.

Tomorrow (which will be today for most of you) is the girls' last day of school. Coadster has her Alice Cooper CD out and ready for action. I always take the following two days off. When the girls were younger, we used to do fun stuff to swing into Summer vacation. Now that they're older, I'll probably drive them and some of their friends to the pool, but mostly, I'll try to get some errands run. I'm normally at work when everything is open, so it will seem like such a luxury to take care of things during normal business hours. I'm also fantasizing about sitting in a lawn chair, drinking some iced tea and reading my new comic books, but I'm not counting on it.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I Feel Summer Creepin' In and I'm Tired of This Town Again

Hey, my snaps are back.

I have a tendency to be a bit of a shut-in. I'm much worse in the Winter, but in general, I much prefer my own little world, to the big ugly one outside. Of course, the problem with that, as I've mentioned before, is that I spend way more time talking to people I don't like at work, and not enough time hanging out with my kick-ass friends. I'm trying to be a little more open to actually leaving my house to spend time with people I actually like. I still need my alone time, and if I go out late and drink, I don't get that. Then I feel kind of off-kilter for the next day or two.

My trial solution to this harrowing issue, is to do drive-bys. I go out and meet my friends for an hour or so and go home and either hang by myself, or spend time with my girls. It's working well so far. If I don't drink, I can see my friends, go home early and geek out all I need to.

Tonight, I met my friend T. at the Dublin Underground. Someone else I knew was celebrating her birthday there. I even braved the sea of people who were downtown to see The Roches and Nanci Griffith performing for free. I made the mistake of stopping to talk to someone and got hit by at least five different people's portable chair holsters, so I stopped my conversation short, and kept moving.

The hour I spent at the Dublin was perfect. I introduced my friend T. to my neighbors who were there and we sat at a booth and played with our bendy straws and laughed until I left for home. I made it back by nine, picked Stinky up from her movie and took her to a friend's house for a sleepover and still had time to watch a movie with Coadster after she made it back from a neighborhood party. I wish everything in my life was so easy to balance.