Today I’ve been cleaning like crazy. My family is coming this weekend.
TN has not been in my home in 13 years… and he has never been in THIS home.
So I’ve been going through closets and straightening bedrooms as there will be people in every room as my boys sleep together on blow up mattresses in Bones' room. TGOO and Hubba will be in the guest room. Mo and her hubby, Flam, will be in Ringo’s room, and TN will be in Mr. T’s room.
I went through the school supply closet, formerly known as the Arts and Crafts closet, and sent six pounds of crayons to be recycled (that’s two gallon zip lock bags full of crayons… that’s essentially 12 years worth of crayons), I threw out two gallon bags of dried up markers and have an assorted gallon bag for VW, and I pulled out all Arts and Crafts that are too young for my boys.
It took a couple hours.
Meanwhile, as I went through the boys’ rooms, I sifted through books, moved them to new bookshelves if the next brother down was ready for them, and during my sorting… I think I found half the public library juvenile section in various rooms.
That so aggravates me. When I go to the library I do a ‘calling of all books’ so I can return them. Paperbacks aren’t coded, so if they’re overdue, you don’t know.
Tomorrow I am returning… too many.
Meanwhile, as I find books I did not even know we HAD, I cannot, for the life of me, find the Elvis book that Bones checked out. The report was a hit, but the book is missing and the library is starting to send me hate mail.
So I’ve cleaned my house and it’s not turned up and I think the next step is… when all my guests are here, I will offer a special prize for he who finds the Elvis book. People will be in every room constantly... someone is bound to stumble upon it.
Good Grief. I’m so frustrated…
Oh and recycling crayons… go to Crazy Crayons. She does cool stuff.
We watched one of my favorite movies tonight. There are very few movies I can watch over and over. I can’t reread books and I can’t rewatch movies.
But I can watch Signs by M. Night Shymalan over and over.
And I frickin’ LOVE Joaquin Phoenix’s character, Merrill. Merrill cracks me up. Even in the darkest parts of that movie, I love Merrill.
I love when he’s sitting in the coat closet watching the TV and he’s now become an absolute zombie and he is explaining to his brother that the kids were obsessing and he says without looking at his brother, explaining why he moved the TV into the closet under the stairs, “For the kids' protection. They were watching the TV from 5am on. I didn't want them getting obsessed, like you said. They should be outside, playing Furry Furry Rabbit or tea party or something.”
I lose it during this scene every time. He’s such a frickin’ nut.
And later on as the obsession continues and now he’s completely hooked, like every American gets when they get tagged into some horrific real TV… watching 24/7… I even slept with the damn TV on turned to CNN when the Gulf War started, and he suddenly starts talking to the TV. A video is shown of the aliens and Merrill starts talking to the kids on TV, “Move, children. Vamanos” because he can’t see what they’re seeing… like you’d say to real kids, and suddenly he jumps away from the TV in horror when he sees an Alien.
I frickin’ lose it every time. That whole scene cracks me up.
But my all time favorite group of lines is when his brother is talking to him about faith and miracles, and Merrill, who is pretty simple, relates his own miracle… this is my all time fave, and maybe you have to have seen the movie…
“One time, I was at this party... and I was sitting on the couch with Amanda McKinney. She was just sitting there, looking beautiful. So, I lean in to kiss her, and I realize I have gum in my mouth. So, I turn to spit it out and put it in a paper cup. I turn back, and Amanda McKinney throws up all over herself. I knew the moment it happened, it was a miracle. I could have been kissing her when she threw up. It would have scarred me for life. I may never have recovered."
I think the expressions of his brother as Merrill says what he has to say is probably part of it.
What I really like about the movie is its continuous theme of ‘there are no coincidences’. I am always looking for signs…
Which is of course, the overall theme of my next post. I am always open to them. I try to stay plugged into the universe.
I love that movie…
And so in the mail on Saturday, I received something from Team in Training. I don’t know why. I have read it over and over and tried to figure out how they got my name.
It’s not from where I get my running shoes. I don’t wear Nike and the sports store I go to isn’t a sponsor.
It’s not from my husband’s affiliations. It was addressed to Ms. Besides, if it was because of his affiliation with a branch of their cause, it would have been inviting HIM to participate, not me.
And so I sat and pondered… and read about people who have done it… and then noticed that the sweet little boy with Leukemia… he has the same name as Bones. Bones has an unusual name. And this little boy shared it. … and it just seemed like I should look into it more.
And a girlfriend of mine is fighting it for... the 3rd time. And I just found out that a woman I respect immensely just lost her son to it.
So I’m going to a meeting. It just feels… right, to do this. I have thought I would walk the ½ marathon as I can’t run it. My knees can’t take it.
I was talking to my brother in law and his secretary started by doing a mini-triathlon for them. That sounds intriguing. I’ve always wanted to do a triathalon.
We’ll see. I just feel like… it is the right thing to do.
It just feels… right.
Besides, I gave up frickin’ sweets, including chocolate, for 40 days and 40 nights. I’m feeling undefeatable!!!
This is more of a work related post… as well as a psychological one. I wonder sometimes what a therapist would think if they read through my blog.
I’m not the best engineer my company has on staff. I can’t design anything as I’m not one with an engineering degree, but with an applied mathematics degree. When working for engineering firms, most end up in engineering type jobs. My forte for the most part has been logistics, forecasting at one point, hot time analysis at another, analysis of various missions (cool job), and right now… back to mostly maintenance and assisting that the guys with the wrenches have everything they need to do their jobs correctly and efficiently.
I take my job VERY seriously. I’m not in a job that saves or changes lives… the aircraft can fly without me. My job needs to be done… but is a support job.
I have worked mainly military aircraft maintenance. I spent my childhood with my Dad in the cockpit and my adult life working with the guys who would have worked to keep his aircraft working. I work in propulsion.
The safety of the men and women who fly the aircraft upon which I work has always been foremost to me. When I worked at Company X and the redline reports would come across my desk, some engineers would look to see what caused the crash. I immediately scanned to see if the pilot got out. Its not that I didn’t care what happened to the aircraft, but what happened to someone’s father/son/mother/daughter was always more important than anything else.
After all… I’d been a daughter of one of those fathers.
And so what I have lacked sometimes in technical knowledge, I’ve had to work harder to gain, and I’ve more than made up for in work ethic and attitude. Sometimes it is the conscientiousness that will take you to the winner’s circle.
My goal is to get there.
Do I wish I was as technically competent as some of the engineers I work with? Every damn day. I have an engineer I work with up north, who I always refer to as my favorite engineer Bob, as he used to sit in a row of about five Bobs. I always wanted to be as technically competent as him. Now that I work in my new job, but still work with him, amazing how life works, I still am amazed at the things he knows… but I also wish I could be half as technically competent as my Tech Lead. I hold him in the same light. They are probably the two engineers I hold in the highest esteem.
I strive to be as good as my Tech Lead, but know I will always fall short. My brain is just different and I don’t have the life and hardware experience he does. And that makes a big difference in my profession… hardware experience… having the parts in your hands, moving around the product, interaction with it. I don’t have it and never will… and it will forever be my cross to bear.
But as I said, what I lack there, I try to make up for in conscientiousness.
Which brings me to yesterdays gut wrenching (for me) story. (See the extended entry…)
I’ve been working on a very big project with my TL. It has a due date of 1 April and we’re scrambling. We worked this weekend and I may end up working evenings. But when I got in yesterday there was a note from my TL on my desk telling me they needed me to research why I had four tasks open for nearly two years.
At first I said, “No way.” There was no way I’d let something like that happen. But the more I dug, the more puzzled I became and the more I realized, “Good Lord… I screwed up BIG.”
It all seemed distant. I remembered meetings and being assigned this stuff and it was all confusing. I remember meeting after meeting with the Wizards in Seattle and the Engineers from the Great White North, and yet… I did not remember the resolution.
I started to panic. I called my TL over and said, “I’m toast. I can’t find this. I can’t think. I don’t get it…”
The older I get, the more I question my memory.
I took out my folder and pulled out what I call ‘my diary’. It is my brain. I write everything down… at the end of the day the project I’m working, who I spoke to, any loose ends… all of it as I notoriously feel like I remember nothing.
My TL was reading through my diary, I was flipping through email, and the sense of dread was creeping as I started to break out in a cold sweat. My TL said with hope, “Bou… I can’t believe you’d make an error like this. I am not recollecting either. Look, maybe the lead engineer up North, maybe she messed this up and she has left the company now. Maybe she was supposed to do something… I see her name all over your diary.”
I kept shaking my head, knowing I did something not right, knowing it would be easy to blame her as she couldn’t defend herself, but knowing it wasn’t her… I’d screwed up and I may have screwed up VERY big.
We went to the common drive and I flipped through meeting minutes, starting in January of ‘06. The meetings said something similar had been approved once… and it showed I’d implemented the extensive changes.
Nothing mentioned this project.
My TL kept reading through my files until… I mindlessly flipped to June’s minutes. It was a big meeting and there… was this pitch I’d put together. A big pitch. It started coming back. I was ecstatic. “I made this! You pitched it for me! Do you remember this?!” and he looked at it and said, “No. I don’t… but its there, and you made it… and it says I pitched it.”
And at the end… the dreaded words… I could feel the bile rising in my throat. It said, “By committee… Approved to Proceed” which meant I was to follow through with the big changes.
And I didn’t.
And I dropped my forehead to my desk and dramatically started to bang it saying in between bangs, “I *bang* cannot *bang* believe *bang* I *bang* screwed up this bad… *bang bang bang*”
To which my TL grabbed my arm and said, “Wait! Bou! You got laid off the next day!”
And suddenly I was perky and alive and looking at the dates and I was hollering, “I GOT LAID OFF! I GOT LAID OFF! YAHOOOOOO!”
Good Lord. Some days my life is too much of a rollercoaster… even for me.
And hey, I’ve been redeemed… and now my TL knows I keep a diary. He found that rather interesting… and I decided that I need to be even more detailed. The whole lay off thing really did catch me by surprise though…
My husband is out of town, the boys' fighting threw me over the edge, Ringo ended up sleeping nearly 18 hours, work is stressing me out, I have a tire on my car trying to go flat, and the ethernet card on my laptop appears to have died... so I'm using a slow dinosaur of a computer.
I'm done with dealing with today. None of it big stuff. All fairly trivial.
But I'm done for the day and am waiting for tomorrow. The boys will still fight, my husband will still be out of pocket, the laptop will still be broken, the tire will still be threatening to go flat, and work will still be a bitch... but it will be tomorrow and not today... and that in itself will make it...
My eldest boy had his first migraine today. I think he couldn’t avoid this genetically. I get them. My husband got them as a teenager, although he doesn’t now. His dissipated in his late teens.
We were waiting for Mr. T to get out of band, when Ringo, who had been skateboarding in the back of the school, threw his skateboard in the back of the asexual Mom-mobile, slid into the front seat and mumbled to me, “My head hurts so bad…”
I didn’t have anything with me to give him, so I told him it would be 45 minutes and just to sit tight. I thought/hoped he was just hungry or thirsty.
The windows were open and there was a nice cross breeze. He promptly fell asleep…
…waking up when we got home.
He lurched into the house as I pushed an Advil at him, and mumbled past me, ‘Shower. I need a hot shower…’
And that’s the moment I knew he was starting a migraine. The light was bothering his eyes and instinctively he wanted a hot shower.
I have this subconscious check list when one is coming on… take down my hair if it’s in a pony tail… and look to take a hot shower... and try to find a dark place to hide.
After 20 minutes, I banged on the door saying, “Ringo! I know you feel like sh**, but you have to get out of the shower.”
I heard nothing except the shower turning off. Ten minutes later, checking on him, he was wrapped in his bed, room black as pitch, sleeping.
He’s still sleeping. I went in an hour ago and gave him more Advil as he whimpered his head was still killing him.
If he is like me, he won’t wake up until tomorrow… unless of course in a couple hours he needs more ibuprofen.
When I get the migraines… I can sleep for 15 hours.
I feel terrible for him. I’d wish this on nobody… especially not offspring. I’d so hoped he’d dodged this bullet.
I had to attend Traffic School on Monday. I guess I just sort of forgot to post about that speeding ticket I got near Lake City (about 5 hours North of me) when I was traveling up that way for my speaking engagement in January.
Mmmm… 85 in a 70. Yup.
I learned a couple things about myself when I got that ticket. It was 9:00 at night, on I-75 going to a place I was unfamiliar with, nervous knowing I had to have someone at my home the next day for when my boys got home from school. It’s the first time I’d not been home for my kids after school.
As odd as it sounds, it really played mind games with me.
So I was kind of a mess… nervous and anxious. Tired. It was late. It was dark. I was alone in I-75 and as I got closer to my exit, a small town I’d never been to before, the adrenaline flow increased.
I wasn’t using my cruise control and over time, as I got closer, I went faster and faster.
Until I got stopped by a Florida Highway Patrolman.
I had no idea I was going that fast. I was completely stuck in my head, which really is a dangerous place to be while traveling… alone… at night.
I was aghast… horrified… that I was being pulled over. I rolled down my window and the first thing that I saw was not a FHP officer… but a father and a son. I looked at him and my first thought was, “He is someone’s father… he is someone’s son.”
And I felt very bad. My second thought was, “This man does not know me. He doesn’t know what I’m doing. It is late on I-75 where there are all sorts of whackos. And I’ve made him stop me and pull me over… and he could be putting his life in danger and not even know it.”
So when I finally spoke, after he told me why he was pulling me over, I blurted out, ‘I am so sorry. I am so sorry I did this to YOU. You don’t know me. You don’t know what I’m doing. I am just another speeding vehicle on this dangerous road driven by an unknown. And for THAT, I am so sorry… that’s not fair to you.”
He looked at me like I was kind of nuts. Maybe nuts isn’t the word. Demeanors changed. He looked down at his ticket pad and said, “Mrs. L, I’m going to write you the ticket for less than the amount you are going or it will be more expensive and more points. I’m going to write it for less… just please slow down. Do you need me to escort you to your destination?”
I thanked him profusely and told him I did not. I took the citation from him and he said, “If you want to fight this…”
And I cut him off saying, “I was speeding. It was my fault. I’m not fighting this…”
I went on my way and finally found my destination.
I’m not speeding anymore. I’m just not. There is no place I need to get to that fast. There just isn’t. Life is too short. And I learned that I will not be accepting anymore speaking engagements on week nights where I will worry about my family and travel dark streets that are unknown. It is too much for me. Too much worry… I am too distracted.
I called the County that Lake City is located in and asked the Clerk of Court how to go about signing up for traffic school. Good Lord, it is not possible for me to have been treated nicer. She said, “Honey, do you have a pen? I’m going to walk you through the online instructions. When you get home, if it doesn’t work, you just call me back and I’ll help you through!”
Now. Let me tell you something. If I had called the Palm Beach County Clerk of Court, I’d have gotten some apathetic county employee who would have mumbled the answer over the phone, the entire time rolling her eyes to her girlfriend while flipping me the bird over the phone.
There is definitely something to be said for small town life.
And so I attended traffic school, here in town, where I actually learned a few things, which I did expect. I wasn’t dreading going. It was one of those comedy traffic schools and far more fun than sitting at the computer doing it online.
I learned things like… white cars get more tickets and dark/black cars get fewer, yet dark/black cars get in more wrecks.
Good thing my car is a sand color!
And I relearned that blondes… I don’t know what it is… but blondes definitely get BIG male attention. Every blonde in that room was repeatedly singled out. We brunettes just kind of blended. We Mom brunettes… did not even exist.
It reiterated to me… why I like being a brunette. Blending is better…
Kris over at Reflections by Kris has this EXCELLENT sounding chocolate chip cookie recipe! I suspect I’ll try it this weekend.
The nutmeg and the cinnamon sound as if they would make a most excellent complement to the chocolate.
Meanwhile, I have been reading all comments towards my uber-flat cookies and taking it all in. This butter vs. shortening deal has me intrigued. I don’t cook with Crisco. I use the real stuff all the time. And I suspect this is the problem. My oatmeal cookies, the ones you make from the oatmeal box, come out flat as well.
I am sure humidity doesn’t help. We are drinking air with 100% humidity all the time.
I’m going to start playing with this cookie issue I have. I may switch to shortening once just to see what happens; my own science experiment.
Meanwhile, I will be trying every recipe sent my way, even if that means I have to log 30 miles a week on my running shoes.
And as Laura of Vitamin Sea said, I am going to check my Baking Soda. That thought ran through my head as well, that perhaps I need new.
I have tried underbaking, but… I’m the only person in the world that hates raw cookie dough. Perhaps it is consistency, but… ICK. I prefer burnt to raw.
I may start playing around with cookie recipes… Kris’s will be first.
My boys haven’t seen VW and her boys since this past summer. That’s nearly a year’s worth of growing. Tater has grown considerably and has thinned out. I noticed as soon as he got out of the car. Tot is just a growing weed.
As we followed VW and her boys into the restaurant, Mr. T leaned over to me and said, “Mom… did VW shrink?”
I laughed and replied, “No, baby, her boys GREW!”
Our four boys are not big kids by any stretch, but it always amazes me how much food they consume…
… and evidently my boys are surprised in watching other little people grow. It was so funny.
(She has some great Easter pictures at her site, with her growing like crazy boys.)
I was tagged by Nancy as Nancy’s Garden Spot with a Passion Meme. It’s a Meme for educators.
First, let me state, that I’m honored that she would put me in the same league as educators as I feel like I just dabble in it. I don’t have to deal with classrooms, issues with children in their homes or that they may have with learning. I have just two students who I’ve been assisting, or as I like to tell them, ‘I just shine a little light in the dark corners.’
Both my students have no learning disabilities or family troubles, and both want to learn, but something occurred that discouraged them. In both cases, it was a teacher issue. (Both are Alg II students if you are new to reading me, different schools, one public, one private.)
The boy I tutor has a good teacher, but the teacher is exceedingly intimidating. It has caused the boy not to want to ask questions or participate… as it has with the majority of the students in his class. He now has the highest grade, which I think speaks volumes, not for what *I* have done, but for what he has done in studying and for what the teacher is lacking in skills. I wonder how many children in his class no longer believe in themselves.
The girl came to me with attitude and complete loss of confidence. She was pulling straight A’s and an F. The F was her math class. I am going to say that part of the problem has been teenage attitude, but I also think the teacher has some emotional issues and will probably not be returning next year. My student got an A on the last test and was the only kid in the class to get the Extra Credit… something that assisted in pulling her F to a low B. The parent/teacher conference allowing her to redo a failed test, bringing it from a 25 to a 35 helped too. (She was only allowed 10 points max to her grade, which was generous in my book.)
Every little bit helps.
So that’s where I am… great kids, not so great teachers, and I’m just kind of steering the boat. Maybe I just plugged a leak.
But what I say to them always is… and will continually harp on them about… “Believe in yourself… because I believe in you.” Throughout my tutoring them, I constantly tell them, “You can do this. You are smart. You just need guidance… everyone does. Believe in yourself.”
They may get sick of hearing it, but they haven’t started rolling their eyes yet. But key is, I truly DO believe in them. They’ve not given me reason not to. I believe in them. I want them to believe too.
I have even gone so far as to tell the girl, “Don’t hang with people who don’t believe in you. That goes for boys. If you have a boyfriend who doesn’t believe in you, find a new one.”
But I follow that in my general life. I believe in myself. I don’t hang around people who don’t believe in me… people who will tear me down. I’ve had teachers who didn’t believe in me… and I had friends when I grew up who didn’t as well. I’ve proved the teachers that didn’t, that they were wrong… and those friends? Well, they aren’t friends anymore. They aren’t in my life.
So with that… I had TGOO scan in a picture for me, that they have hanging on their refrigerator. It is Mr. T at 18 months old and Ringo at 3 ½ years. This is my folks’ side yard… and Mr. T Believes.
We all love this picture. He believes.
Believe In Yourself
So that is my recurring theme when I meet with my students. Its one of the reasons I want them to read The Alchemist. It’s a short little easy read, but it’s about a young shepherd who is following his dream… he struggles, but he believes in this pursuit and is not going to let obstacles overcome… even when they seem insurmountable.
The rules for the meme are:
Post a picture or make/take/create your own that captures what YOU are most passionate for students to learn about.
Give your picture a short title.
Title your blog post "Meme: Passion Quilt."
Link back to this blog entry.
Include links to 5 (or more) educators.
Mrs. Who… who amazes me with her stories from the classroom, dealing with Florida’s poor education system and making the best of it with the young people who come from all walks of life and all sorts of families. And I found out she did it, so scratch that! Go read her post... HERE.
VW, who like me, is tutoring in Math. (She's now been tagged twice...)
Peggy U, she doesn’t have a blog, but I so admire her and what she does with her students. Her amazing understanding of the subjects, the constant search for more information and how to convey it to her students, and her thirst for more knowledge make me wish I was more like her. So… if blogless Peggy U will do this… I will post it here on my blog.
Denny, who many may not know, was an educator before he retired. He was an instructor for IBM.
Gradual Dazzle, who is an amazing woman, teaching High School and who I have not intentionally left off my blogroll, but I just suck at blogroll maintenance. (I have her bookmarked.)
And I’m going with a 6th here… I met her and I so wish my kids could have her for high school science as I know she’s an amazing teacher…Holder of Holder of Useless Knowledge.
I know so many more educators… and I am hoping they all get tagged. I know some GREAT educators out there… and I want to hear what they have to say.
Thank you to all who came by to wish us a Happy Easter! I did sort of wonder if people were stopping by to see if I’d posted on my chocolate train wreck. Blech. Here it goes… with pictures to follow.
Not to be.
Baking is chemistry so there is something not quite right. I am thinking salt. Too much salt. I used salted butter and I think with the salt in the recipe it is too much. I found a website tonight that said to cut the salt in half and they are thicker.
However… folks… I am in search of the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. Feel free to email me or post it in the comments, or place it on your blog and I will link it. Actually, if you have a blog, that’s best. I’ll do a link fest to chocolate chip cookie recipes! Full credit will always go where due.
By 9:30… I think I’d eaten six of those suckers. I thought for sure I might actually be ill. I didn’t eat any chocolate from my basket and by 9:45 I was back in bed coming off the sugar high.
Around noon… I started to wonder, ‘Just how MANY calories did I consume?” Kind of late to be wondering about calories in cookies, wouldn’t you say?
I did some research and found I consumed 648 cookie calories. Holy crap. In one sitting. And I’d not even feasted on my ham with my cheese hash brown casserole, my frozen chocolate pie or homemade apple praline pie.
So I went to the gym and ran for 30 minutes, did 250 crunches and 15 hyperextensions. I told a buddy of mine, “I’m not looking for a caloric deficit… I’d just like to break even.”
And that was an attempt to break even just from the cookies. Best I can see, before supper, I was still 200 calories in the hole. I’ll be going nuts in the gym this week trying to burn it all off.
Yes, it was worth it… but it would have been more worth it to only eat three! But… once you start on the carbs, there is just something that makes you want more. Or at least that’s the way my body is!
I’ll be saving my chocolate for next weekend. And it won’t be a binge.
We took some pictures. I try to buy little things for their baskets so it’s not ALL sugar. We still have sugar from Christmas and Halloween in the house. We don’t need more chocolate sitting here… potentially tempting me!
Bones is an Ear- Man. We’re an Ear Family. Ears first. (Note the pocket knife on the jeans. Other than school, the knife is part of his wardrobe. Always.)
Mr. T went right for the Peeps. He loves the Peeps. I have always thought Peeps were nasty. (This is a terrible picture of Mr. T. Looks like he has Dunlop disease, but in reality, it is how he is sitting. The kid is really about as lean as Bones.)
And this is a 13 year old on Easter when younger brothers wake them up for an egg hunt…
I hope y’all had a wonderful Easter. Seats were found during Mass which always makes Easter that much better, and a great time was had with family.
You can’t beat that.
You think I might be ready?
I wasn't going to blog tonight as I have too much going on in my head, my brain is fried from work and I have to work tomorrow, and I'm just beat.
But, when I went onto MSN and it had 'Top Prom Dress Trends for 2008", as much as I'm not into Fashion, I had to click.
I mean, I know what was in when I attended in 1982 (I only went my Junior year), but now? What are the young women wearing.
I have one word.
And one phrase.
Thank God I don't have daughters.
Some of these dresses are fun and nice... but some of them? They are slinky and sexy. One model... well... let's go dress by dress, shall we?
Model #1. How old are you? My age? Why are you modeling for prom? And the dress looks too OLD for a young woman.
Model #2. Over my dead damn body would I let my teenage son go out with a girl that looked like that. That is not a girl and that is not a girl dress. That is a... well... one step up from a cocktail waitress in a Dolly Parton wig. NO. That just smacks of "Some boy is oh so getting laid tonight". NO.
Model #3. This is a cute fun dress... but you have to be a very confident girl and seriously into fashion to pull it off. I knew some girls that could... like Mo... but I would not have been one. Fun dress. But she would have to watch boys' hands... it only takes an inch or two and they would be at the 'Great Beyond'.
Model #4. WTF. Did they airbrush out the cigarette she she had in her hand? What is this about? The pose? The dress? We're talking PROM! Good Grief. NO. It too smacks of "Some boy is oh so getting laid tonight" with the additional "We need a celebratory cigarette after." NO.
Model #5. That's a slip right? In purple? I think you're supposed to wear it UNDER the dress. The scary part? You have to be scary thin to pull that off and I see girls who are NOT scary thin wearing it and then scaring their dates. It looks sexy on the model... chances are not so sexy on the Prom girl. In the event it does look good on the Prom girl, it begs the question, "Where the hell is Dad that he'd let his little girl walk out in a dress like that?" Just sayin'...
(Update, my husband said girls wear dresses like this all the time and I pretty much need to get with the program. I still think it looks too old... I really do.)
Model #6. Ick. I can't stand that whole baby doll look. Whereas half these dresses look slutty or too old, this one wants me to scream, "GROW UP! YOU AREN'T FIVE ANYMORE!!!" Blech.
Model #7. Nice dress. I like it. Very classy. Now if the model could drop the 'come hither' look... the 'I want to lay your son' look, it would be great. The look does not make the dress... the looks says, "Trashy".
Model #8. Now this is Prom. It is pretty and innocent and to me... it is Prom. This would be my fave.
What is wrong with a girl dressing... 16? Why do we have to have them grow up so fast? And dress so sexy?
What... is... up... with... that?
Dear God, only two more days and Lent is over. Please don't let me die before Sunday when I get to eat Chocolate Chip cookies for breakfast.
Ahhh… well… sometimes I reveal more of myself that I thought I ever would.
Sent to me by my TGOO and Pcola Titan, my high school marching band, performing in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day. This past St. Patrick’s Day.
The difference between now and then, besides we were a bigger band and we were riding high on being the Grand National Champions, is we had black hats and white shoes. We took pride in the white shoes because white shoes magnify the mistakes. Therefore… since we would make no mistakes, white shoes were fitting.
Band wasn’t considered geeky in our school. I never knew ‘band geek’ until after I graduated. In our school, sports reigned, but band was cool. You don’t march a band the size we were with it not being readily accepted and admired. We marched strong and hard and were a force to contend with, better than many college marching bands.
TGOO brought something up, which is so cracking me up. What was the band director thinking? They are marching down the street in Dublin… playing… I’m sure what the director was thinking, ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’, but in reality, on that side of the Pond is, “God Save the Queen.” Heh.
What a great frickin' band trip though, yes?
I was on the phone with my sister today. My entire family is coming down to visit, for the first time, in two weeks. That’s my bro, my sister and her husband, and my folks. All at once.
I’m really excited.
Unfortunately, on that Saturday I have a meeting I can’t miss and I’m running a bake sale. The meeting is for this women’s group that I’m extraordinarily active with, and have been for nearly 16 years. Morrigan was asking how long this meeting is going to be as she and my Mom may come with me. I told her it’ll be about 2.5 hours, includes an hour lunch and a ½ hour of speaker. Our speaker is a woman who works the Iditarod every year. I can’t wait to hear her.
Finally I said, “Mo, you don’t have to go. *I* have to go, but you don’t.”
She said, “Oh no, I’m not missing this. I love going to these meetings and meeting these women and hearing how they speak to you like you’re… all saintly and pure and sweet. I love leaning over to Mom and saying, “Do I know this person they’re talking about? Really?””
I know she gets a kick out of it because whenever she gets in the car when we leave she carries on, “Did you hear those women? Talking about how sweet you are? How diplomatic you are? How they just love you to pieces? They act like you don’t cuss or get pissed off or anything. Interesting.”
It cracks me up, but really, there is a time and a place for everything. So I’m who I need to be with these women? It cracks my sister up.
The two faces of Bou.
Anyway, on to not so safe for work conversations, so if you read this for good G rated family humor, move along, because this is X rated family humor.
Morrigan was on a business trip and it was the first night at her hotel. She said she always sleeps with the TV on low, so it’s not so quiet. (Another big difference between her and me… I have chaos and noise in my house CONSTANTLY! I love the quiet…) She said she’ll watch the 11:00 O’Reilly Factor and then crash.
About 12:45 she woke up to “Huh, Huh, Huh, Huh, OH MY GOD! Huh, Huh, Huh, OH GOD!”
She sat up and thought, ‘What?’ and in seeing the TV, as she so eloquently put it, as only Mo can do, which made me laugh hard, “There was this girl taking it up the hoo hoo and giving a guy a BJ.”
On a sidenote, I was laughing and telling TGOO this story and parts that are just too funny, but that I can’t put on here, and I said to him, “’Taking it up the hoo hoo?’ Who says that?” and we laughed and both said, “Mo.”
So she said she immediately turned it off and called down to the front desk to tell them that she awoke to porn on her television. She said something like, “I find it kind of ironic that I went to bed watching O’Reilly and woke up to… porn.”
Evidently the front desk clerk did not laugh.
She asked how this could have happened and he inquired if she’d rolled over on the channel changer. She explained the channel changer was on the bedside. Keep in mind, you have to ORDER it via the menu. You don’t have to call and request this stuff in your room.
Funnier still was when she got the bill and found $37 taken off her bill. She said to me, “THIRTY SEVEN DOLLARS! Can you believe? For.the.LOVE.of.God, a guy can go down to Broadway and get a BJ for $25!”
I said, “Yeah, but you can’t get arrested for ordering it on your TV…”
So here is my question to you, dear readers, has this happened to any of y’all? Your TV gets porn in a hotel and you’ve not ordered it? I don’t know how hotel TV systems work, but short of a horny poltergeist, we’re not sure how this happened.
So as Lent winds down, with just four days to go, the obsession with potential things to eat on Easter has completely taken over.
Chocolate chip cookies for breakfast… a given.
But I am also having Easter dinner here at my home, so I’m thinking of desserts. Two pies. TGOO’s Praline Apple… and a frozen chocolate pie.
I have decided however, that the no sugar thing has not been completely awful. Seven pounds later, it’s not all bad. It’s essentially been a pound a week, which is about 500 calories a day, which is not a cut in my caloric intake, but with the exercise I added back in, probably a 200 cut a day.
That’s 8 Hershey’s kisses. Interesting. I’ve decided that chocolate and refined sugar is a weekend treat and not something to eat every day. For those who have not met me, I was not that far off my ideal weight, which is why this seven pound thing has really kind of blown me away.
I’m in the process of organizing Easter… I bought the chocolate for the boys’ basket from my favorite chocolate store which means that on Wednesday, I should be receiving a call from VW saying, “Bou! Their chocolate bunnies are 75% off!” Gah!
I’m putting a Webkinz in the younger boys’ baskets… hopefully one that is a bunny. For my eldest, I pocket knife. He’s been wanting a better one than what he has and I’ve been forgetting.
Nothing says “Happy Easter, The Lord has Risen!” quite like a pocket knife in the ol’ Easter Basket.
Silly string will be in their baskets as well.
Oh and I bought stuff for my basket. It’s in my closet.
Calling my name…
The girl I’ve been tutoring in Algebra II… well lets just say I may have tutored myself into obsolescence. I walked in today and she said, “I told my Mom I didn’t need you… but she won’t believe me.”
I replied, “Well, I believe you. Show me what you know and we’ll talk about what math you need to prepare for college. We’ll talk about the future.”
And so we did for 30 minutes and I didn’t charge them. It’s nice to talk to young people and hear their dreams. She knows she is going to make an A on this test and I know she is too. Afterall… she made an A on the last one and ended up pulling a low B in the class… having a low D when I first came to her.
I told her I want her to read a book I’m currently reading called, “The Alchemist”. I may gift it to her at the end of the semester. I told her, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Work hard and don’t let people tell you that you can’t. Believe in yourself.”
She said to me, “Bou, a month before my Mom hired you, I saw a list of what math was required for me to be a pediatric nurse. And I realized that I couldn’t be one. Now… I realize… that I can be one and that Math is not going to be a reason I don’t.”
That made me feel good.
I think though over the last couple months, what I taught her besides believing in herself was how to read her math book and teach herself. Hell, I don’t remember this stuff. It’s been nearly 30 years since I had Alg II. She’d show me what they were learning, I’d pick up her book, read it, and go through the examples and explain them. Then I’d show her how to apply it to a problem.
I think seeing me do that over and over… has kind of showed her how to read her math book, as odd as that sounds.
So we’ll see. I left her house very proud of her, with much hope for her… and craving Moose Tracks ice cream.
A big bowl.
Ultimately… life really is all about the snacks.
For you Spongebob fans, I give you, via TN who truly finds some of the weirdest stuff out there... The Classics Dubbed, Casablanca, Singing in the Rain, and The Godfather.
I walked into work today to find out that my boss has colon cancer. Stage has yet to be determined. He has diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and now the big C.
I’m being the cheerleader. Not syrupy sweet, mind you, but the person talking of hope and the positives I’m seeing, like the surgeon he has and how they caught it. He’ll be full of his own doubts… he doesn’t need it from me.
I walked into work today to find one of the bookend’s carotids may be all blocked up and he’s waiting now for an appointment for a head CT to see if he has to have it cleaned out… again. He has cardiovascular disease, is a member of the zipper club, had both carotids routered out 22 years ago.
He’s kind of depressed. No kidding.
It was a tough day at work. I love the men I work with. I have really grown to love them.
But this is the stage of their lives I have come to know them in… the stage where living the life not so kind on one’s body takes its toll.
As TGOO was apt to say every time he got off of the phone with my grandfather (his father) who had severe cardiovascular disease that ultimately killed him, “It makes me want to go out and run 5 miles.”
That’s what I thought this morning.
Today has been one of those crazy kid days. I don’t know why, but there are some days, it is as if my kids are hopped up on some sort of kiddy crack. I have no idea what it is, but they’re spooled up out of control and I can’t peel them off the ceiling to save my life.
An hour of that frays me.
An afternoon and dinner? I’m a basket case.
No rhyme or reason… some days it just is.
Meanwhile, I’m relearning American and World Geography, at a 5th grade level. Every adult should have to relearn what we have forgotten from our childhood education. It think we’d be better citizens. I don’t know how of course, but I suspect we would be better.
I’m tracing the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, learning about Atlantic Coastal Plains, revisiting every mountain range from the Cascades to the Appalachians, and explaining every continent and where every ocean is located.
I’m having a great time of it. I really am. I’m not sure Mr. T is, as he’s stressed about the test, but I know *I* would ace it!
And then… there is Bones. He had two pages of homework tonight… one page of religion and one of math. I had a tough time getting him to sit still after school, so I had him go out and play and told him right after dinner we’d get to it.
Dinner came and he was still spooled up. Dinner went and he was still putzing. I was trying to get him to settle when my husband said he’d help him. I went to the gym.
As I was getting my shoes on, I heard my husband say to him, “Bones. Read the book. You are asking me for help before you even bothered to read the page or the questions.”
A bit of a fuss was being put up by that of Bones. As I slipped out the door I heard him declare to his Dad,
“But Dad! I’m just a KID! How am I supposed to know about all this God stuff?!”
I had my yearly mammogram today. More breast talk, so you men who are not interested, feel free to move along. However, if you’ve had women in your life that have had a breast biopsy before, you may be interested.
And of course there is the obligatory poking fun at my breasts that comes with this post, so hey, it could be worth it for that.
Last we remember when it came to breast talk, I’d had a biopsy last September that determined I did NOT have breast cancer and they inserted a titanium clip so that area could always be identified. Mmmm… that would be when I got my Titanium Tits or Bionic Boobs, as we so kindly refer to the right one now.
A friend of mine asked me if I could feel this clip. I told her no. But that’s not completely true.
Sometimes I get a twinge. It is an ache… uncomfortable but not painful… aggravating, but nothing more, until lately.
I walked in today and said to my doctor, “If I have to have another biopsy, I’m not getting that titanium clip. It’s really been bothering me lately and I’d just as soon not deal with that.”
He asked where I’m bothered, and not being bashful at all, after all half the medical world in Palm Beach County has seen my breasts and I’ve had three kids, the last one with so many people in the room there should have been bleachers, so modesty is not a big part of my personality in a clinical setting, I opened the gown and pressed my breast where my scar is and said, “WAAAAY deep down… here. Where they cut the cyst.”
He washed his hands and said, “No, it’s not the clip. It’s the scar tissue. It’s very common with breast tissue… when the weather changes, the scar tissue aches. You’re like a barometer now… I hear this from women who have had breast surgery as well, not just the biopsies. It’s very common.”
Wow. I had no idea. But he was right. We’ve been having an enormous amount of weather change and this has been the biggest irritant. I’ve had it happen before, but I told him I keep trying to trace it to hormones and that just wasn’t it… it wasn’t ovulation, not PMS, nothing.
And he said, “Nope… you’re a barometer now… it’s the scar tissue.”
I asked him, “So people who have titanium hips implanted, do they get this?”
He replied, “Not that I know of. It’s something with breast tissue.”
He went back to writing in his charts when I said, “So… I have a set of homemade barometers now?”
He looked up from his chart, sat there for a minute, and the normally stoic face, started to smile, he laughed, shook his head and said, ‘Yup, you have a set of barometers.”
Of course only one of the set works right now as it’s the only one with scar tissue. I prefer to keep it that way.
So… hmmm… so much to do here with words.
Boudicca’s Boudacious Barometric Tata.
Bou’s Barometric Breast.
Titanium Tit turns Barometric Boob.
The possibilities are endless. Really.
Oh… and the mammogram was clear. I go back in 6 months for another ultrasound. It is what I do…
I wrote this before I left. Too bad… it may be old, but you get it anyway…
(Side note: Picture of Bones as Elvis is the next post down…)
I know, everyone is blogging on the “Dork in New York”.
Different perspective from me.
First thought, ‘Holy crap, thank God he’s not from Florida’.
Second thought, ‘Who is this guy?”
Third thought, “Sucks to be his wife.”
The whole vast humiliation played out in a public, WORLDWIDE, forum is just horrible for her. I’d want to slit my jugular. After I cut his heart out with a frickin’ spoon in his sleep.
Anyway, I don’t care what people do on their time, with who, or how they conduct their marriage.
What I *DO* care about, is that when they are of the status that this crap is going to get played out in our media 24/7. And why do I care about this?
BECAUSE I HAVE CHILDREN!
This is the sound in the asexual mom-mobile on the way to school, ‘New York Senator *punch*… Prostitute *punch*… High Priced Call Girls*punch**punch**punch*, inflected with the following words from one of my boys, “MOM! Why do you keep changing the radio station?”
Good Lord, we cannot escape it, unless I have to listen to Radio Disney and at that point, I need a frickin’ insulin shot. Can’t.Do.Radio.Disney.
We ended up listening to my iPod.
I have children. My eight year old does not need to know what a prostitute is. My 13 year old knows what a hooker is… but I’ve not added prostitute to the list of words and I don’t think he knows about ‘high priced call girls’. I just don’t want to get into the whole ‘sex menu’ deal.
Adultery. They spoke about it in school during their First Holy Communion. I nearly stroked as Bones started telling me his rendition. I wish I’d written it down, because it was funny. I could start a series called, “The Ten Commandments According to Bones”.
We could call him Boneses. You know… instead of Moses? Get it? Heh.
I’m not ready to bring up that whole topic either. I take my day a step at a time and the news adding this prostitution/adultery thing to my list of potential topics with my kids is a bit more than I want to and can deal with.
At work I said to the guys, “What in the heck do you get for that kind of cash?”
My Tech Lead said, “A 21 year old…”
I stared at them all and said, “This is something men want?” and I got this blank look, some blinking, and they walked back to their cubes.
Men are so different from women. Or at least this woman. You couldn’t pay ME to take on a 21 year old male. They’re still boys. Too much teaching involved. Blech.
Anyway, my last couple thoughts on this… I feel for his wife. Her decision on what to do next is now public. Whereas most get to deal with infidelity on their own… whether she stays, goes, or kills him in his sleep will be played out in public.
And people will judge her. And that’s not right. Nobody is living in her shoes. There will be no judgment from Bou. I’m sure what she does next will be unavoidable to me as it will be everywhere, 24/7, but I don’t personally care what she does… it’s not MY relationship. It’s hers… and I don't care what her husband did either.
I just care that my kids have to hear about it.
And last… I am thanking God that I did not have ‘thinking’ children during the whole Clinton/Lewinsky scandal. Moving into the entire sex play with cigars would have been more than I could have handled.
That would have damaged me. Definitely.
Good Lord, y'all are relentless. I walked in from my conference, checked my email and I'm already getting email and comments saying, "*snap* *snap* Well? Where's the picture of Bones?"
So, without further waiting, here is Bones, as Wax Elvis. Evidently if you tapped him on the shoulder he said, "Hi, I'm Elvis Presley. I'm the King of Rock and Roll and I'm famous all around the world."
He flat refused to wear the red 'scarf' that came with the costume. I'm not sure what is up with the 'do. It wasn't quite so crazy when I packed it.
This is his 'freeze' position. He's so cool...
I found out today that a woman who was very good to me in my past has died. A woman who stood up for me when nobody else would... when I was in the right... and nobody seemed to care... a woman who rallied others around me and actually helped steer as I rode the battle to victory... died.
I'm not sure how I feel about it. I know that is odd... I should be devastated.
The event was 10 years ago and seems so far in my past, but there are times I relive it.
She was one of those women I hung out with twice a year... at these conventions. She sought ME out. I had no idea I was in the middle of a storm and she sought ME out to throw me a rope.
It is a battle still spoken of by those who were there... inconsequential in the big scheme of anyone's life, but still potentially damaging to one's emotional well being when living it.
I'd love to tell you she was an old lady when she passed, one who had lived a good long life... but she was not. She was just shy of her 68th birthday.
She died in January and nobody told me. No obit. No Memorial Service. It was a fluke I found out today. I didn't expect to see her until maybe tomorrow...
Her husband died last year. I saw her in September and she was grieving as if it had happened that day. She loved him so. I could tell, however, that she had started drinking more. That was how she was dealing with her loss... through the booze.
And she smoked heavily.
She died of lung cancer. She did not suffer greatly with the cancer... it took less than two months to take her. She suffered more with his death.
She died 3 days from what would have been the one year anniversary of her husband's death.
So I'm torn. I think I'm in shock. But I think for her... I am relieved. She told me in September she didn't know how she was going to live without him.
Now she won't have to... I guess that is my thought. She couldn't take it... and now she won't have to. No more broken heart... that cannot be fixed. No more suffering.
I hope the pictures turned out.
Bones had to give his book report on Elvis. I bought him a white Elvis costume, complete with wig and glasses. Today they had a 'wax museum'. All the kids dressed as their biographical character and then parents and kids from other grades came in while the 3rd graders froze in place like a wax statue. When touched, they were to come to life and recite two facts on their character.
Picture bunches of 3rd graders dressed as famous people. Acting like wax statues.
And I had to frickin' miss it as I had this conference. I was so bummed. So frickin' bummed.
My husband attended and took pictures. If they turned out I'll post some when I get home.
Bones as a wax Elvis.
What a damn riot.
I'm at a conference out of town. I checked into the hotel last night and the desk clerk said to me, "King size?" I replied, "Yes. I requested that... please."
Even though I don't move around in bed, I love a big bed.
She looked through what they had and said, "We have a wonderful room. Its on the 8th floor and near the elevators. It has a great flat screen TV. Its one of our nicer rooms; the other rooms don't have flat screens, but the big hutch with the big TVs. I think you'll like it... however, you need to know its an 'accessible' room."
I sat there a minute and said, "Accessible?"
She replied with, 'Well, yes, the closets are shorter" and she made a motion that the closet was to her shoulders.
I didn't quite get it, but said in turn, "Will my gowns drag the ground? I'm not a big person, so I know my gowns are not that long, but will they drag they ground?"
She said, "I don't think so..."
I took the room, with the stipulation to her that if someone needed this 'accessible room' they move me out. Taking a handicap accessible room to me, is the equivalent of parking in a handicap parking spot. Its just wrong. I kept asking if she was sure it wasn't needed and she kept assuring me it was not.
So I took the room.
And the closet rail to hang one's clothes is... four feet from the ground, perfectly accessible if you are in a wheel chair.
Completely ridiculous if you are hanging evening gowns in it... as mine drag a foot on the ground. Lovely.
I didn't bother to switch. Its not that big of a deal. However, I kept laughing to myself as she went on and on about how it had a great TV. I don't watch TV...
On a very cool note, in my book, this organization I'm in is a very old women's organization... pre 1900. I held a state chairmanship last year that had some horrific process problems. A woman I know in Miami was having a luncheon with a National Officer and asked me to join them. Little did I know it was because she wanted me to seriously bend this woman's ear on the issues I found.
And so for an hour at this luncheon last year, I laid it out... I sugar coat nothing, and told her of the thousands of pieces of paper, the procedural issues, and what an absolute nightmare this had become for so many women in our organization.
And then I forgot about it because sometimes you just get that sympathetic nod and people just try to appease.
Little did I know that she went to the National President with it and it was announced at our meeting tonight that they changed the entire process and are going electronic.
Because of our talk.
I was beside myself. Sometimes that one little person can make a difference.
I am so excited for our organization!!! I have so much hope!
As I’ve said before, the Tooth Fairy in this house sucks. She’s very forgetful.
Case in point, Mr. T lost a tooth on Sunday night. The Tooth Fairy forgot to come on Sunday AND Monday night. Monday… he lost ANOTHER tooth. And she forgot to come again Monday night.
That’s two teeth, no fairy.
Today, he lost another after school and another right before supper.
Four teeth. The kid has a frickin’ tooth cairn under his pillow.
Meanwhile, he’s wondering how he’s supposed to eat with so few back teeth. Two more are loose… he’s hoping to not lose them until the others come in. Phht, he can hold that thought….
The kid needs a partial.
What is it with boys and skateboards? I remember a time in my life when we were kids, that my brother lived on his skateboard.
I am reliving that now. My eldest got a ripstick for his birthday. It may as well be a part of his body. Its always in the back of my car so when school ends, if we have to stay after, he can use it in the parking lot.
On my back porch, everywhere he can... he is riding that thing.
Nothing has kept him so occupied as... well... nothing.
Finally today I freaked when he started to ride it through the house. I yelled only one word, "NO!"
Give me a break...
Some days, I think my bro has too much time on his hands. He finds the craziest stuff. And of course... I feel obliged to share.
After coming off of yesterday's killer migraine (potential post unfinished), laughs were a good thing.
First we have Frozen in Central Station. Holy crap. This is great. An act. Over 200 people. Frozen in place, in Central Station.
Next we have a hysterical Improv, called Food Court Musical. The expressions of the people and their end reactions are priceless. "That's the most singingest janitor I've ever seen!"
And last, but certainly not least, I think this is PROOF that there were serious quantities of recreational drugs in use during the making of children's Saturday morning television shows in the 70s. I so remember this show... and I really enjoyed it.
We were coming home from school today in the asexual Mom-mobile when my eldest said, ‘Mom, you should get a Lincoln Navigator. Those are cool.”
Me: Hell no. They get like 15 mpg at best and gas is expensive. Besides, when y’all leave home, I’ll probably get a Prius.
In unison: REALLY? A Prius?
Ringo: Oh no. Not a Prius. Yuck! Tell me not powder blue…
Me: No, I was thinking… pink.
(He knows how I’m not a big fan of pink.)
Ringo: Ok, Ok, Ok, you need a black Prius and you can totally trick it out with green underglow. You’d look so cool!
(I'd be driving a Prius Pimp-mobile. From asexual Mom-mobile to Pimp-mobile. No.)
Bones: Or when we leave, you could get a Ferrari!
Me: A Ferrari? Do you have any clue how much money those cars are?
Bones: You need a Ferrari with green lights underneath. You could go 250 mph.
Mr. T: That’s not Mom. Mom is not a Ferrari. That’s Dad.
Ringo: Yeah, that’s Dad.
Phhht, yeah, that’s none of the above. Even we won the lottery, what a freakin’ waste of money.
I don’t really reside on the same planet as my sons. I think I’m a hologram.
My father in law and his buddy came over to babysit the two younger boys the other night as my husband and I had a function to attend and their brother was spending the night with a buddy. We’d ordered take out for everyone for supper.
I was in the bedroom slipping into my gown when Mr. T walked in and said, “Mom, is not finishing the food on your plate a sin against God?”
I replied, “No, of course not. Where in the world did you hear something like that?”
I don’t make my children finish everything on their plate. They are pretty good eaters and as long as they eat what I think is enough, then I’m cool. And eating their salad is mandatory.
He looked at me and said, “Pop just told me that. I had some French fries left on my plate. I hadn’t finished my food and he said it was a sin for me not to eat it all.”
I was a bit pissed and said, “Ignore him. That’s Pop’s issue.” (Pop is 260 lb on a 5’6” frame.) Give a guilt trip over frickin’ FRENCH FRIES? Give me a break…
Mr. T said, “Well, I told Pop, if it was a sin against God, then he could just finish my food for me.”
Good for him.
And Pop finished it. Of course.
The girl I'm tutoring in Algebra II, the girl who copped attitude the first time I showed up because her Mom hired me and she didn't want help as it was embarrassing, the girl who made a 25% on her last test...
... made a 93 on this past test and now asks her Mom regularly when I am coming over.
As I left the other night before helping her study for her exam, she said to her Mom, "I know I can pull a B on this test."
I looked at her and said, "What in the heck? You know this crap. You can get a 100 if you do everything I told you to do and pay attention to the signs. *Sheesh*"
Her Mom and she looked at me. I shook my head and told them I was dead on serious and didn't want to hear otherwise.
As I walked out I quickly quizzed her on some tips I'd given her.
She got a 93. And me? I want to know what in the hell she missed that she got 7 points off. She knew that stuff cold.
It's all about phrasing. I may never know what she missed as they don't get tests returned, but I will definitely hint with, "So, do you understand what you did wrong because we don't want it to snowball..."
I don't want her to think a 93 isn't good enough, because it is! I just want to know where those other frickin' 7 points went... Dammit.
It was a very low energy day for me today. I felt kind of cruddy and ended up taking a nap. Then I realized I had a Cub Scout meeting and popped it into 5th gear, running around trying to get myself together.
I looked in the mirror at the horror show that was my face. I looked tired and pale. I wasn’t in the mood for make up. I threw on eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, brushed my hair into a low pony tail, looked back in the mirror and… didn’t feel like shrieking in horror. I actually didn’t look tired and that I felt as poorly as I did!
I ran into the kitchen laughing to myself, grabbing my keys and said to my husband, “Sometimes I amaze myself!”
He choked on his water, laughed and said, “Hon, you ALWAYS amaze me. What in the HELL did you do now?”
Heh. I said, “Hey. Easy now. I’m just amazed that in a few short seconds I don’t look like death warmed over anymore…”
He just shook his head. Sometimes I feel like Lucy… but mostly I feel like Calvin's Mom, if truth be known.
My brother in law said to me the other day, "We're going to have dinner at our home on Sunday night. I asked Ringo what he wanted, as we're cooking it for him, and he said 'hamburgers and hotdogs'. So, he could have anything he wanted, but that's it. Sunday... hamburgers and hotdogs."
The next day I said to him, "Dude, we're having hamburgers and hotdogs on Sunday. That was the meal you picked, huh? Made me laugh. What a great kids meal."
He got quiet and said, 'Mom, Uncle's steaks are really dry. So when he asked me, I told him hamburgers and hotdogs because his steak doesn't taste like yours. I think its hard to mess up hamburgers and its nice they want to cook for me."
Heh. I'm glad he is becoming so diplomatic and appreciative. It really made me grin.
There are tragedies that can befall a family, which will affect them for generations to come.
I have come to call them, “100 year tragedies”.
You have to weep for them, as their lives unfold and you see the links in history.
We traveled to Miami for the Bar Mitzvah today. It was all I expected it to be… fantastic. I’d not been to this Shul before. When our friends married 15 years ago, they were attending a different one.
Our friends are Orthodox. (They attend a Chabad Center.) From what I understand, as I spoke at great length to our friend, within the Orthodox are different ways of observing. So as I looked to the men, most were like our friend, but some wore the clothes similar to the Hasidic. It was a good mix of the very faithful. I always find it interesting.
There is something mesmerizing… Holy feeling… something that touches the soul, to watch the men pray, and chant. Listening to the Cantor. The intermittent upraised voices in prayer, the rocking and nodding.
The last Shul I attended, the women sat on the 2nd floor looking down at the men on the 1st. This newer Shul has a divider. Men sit on one side and women on the other. The divider was 2/3rds wood with the top 1/3 being glass. Since I was separated from my family, when I had the chance, I would look through the glass to find them. Being the first day of the Hebrew month, plus with the Bar Mitzvah, this Shabbat was a long one… nearly three hours, and three Torahs. I would look for my family wondering how they were handling it. Plus, I always get a kick out of seeing my three little Catholic boys wearing a Yarmulke. They wear them whenever we have gone over to our friends’ home for Shabbat dinner.
I could see the men, but I could never find my family.
I found out later that the glass was one way… the women could see the men, but the men could not see the women. It was funnier as one of the couples we knew is Reform. They came and sat separately from one another as they should, but ended up, by chance, sitting exactly across from each other separated only by the partition. She would look at him and wave and would get… Nothing. For two hours she would watch him and although he might look into the glass, when she waved to him, he gave her a blank look. It was not until she pressed her hand to the glass, that he saw it, that he realized she was there. We laughed later, saying how he almost ended up in the dog house without realizing what was going on.
But it was interesting what he said… he was so lost in prayer. No distraction. And he said, “I needed it.”
I could see the purpose of the divider.
But not realizing the men could not see me, I thought it was two way, I kept looking and looking and finally I said to a friend’s mother, “Is it OK that I look through the glass? Is it offensive?”
And she replied, “No, no, it is fine. It is there to keep distraction from the men while they pray. We don’t wear Burqas.”
I was kind of horrified, as if I’d offended. I quickly said, “NO! I didn’t mean it that way at all! I just did not want to offend by constantly looking towards the men. I’m just looking for my family.”
And she laughed and said, “No offense taken. I was serious in what I said. We are close to that here… it is very patriarchal.” I laughed it off and said, “Kind of like hanging with the Italians…” (I’m married into an Italian family.)
Perhaps. I find it fascinating. I have always enjoyed attending this friend’s religious events. Going to Shul with this family is an absolute immersion in someone else’s faith and I have a greater appreciation for my family’s faith through theirs.
We were sitting at the luncheon and there was the big table of desserts. I put my arm around our friend whose son had made his Bar Mitzvah, and did VERY well, EXCEEDINGLY well while reading from the Torah, and I said, “You know I gave up all sweets for Lent. I am thinking I may break Lent.”
He laughed and said, “I think there is something written somewhere where you are allowed to break Lent when you are with the Jews”. It was pretty funny. I replied, “I have decided that if I wait to go last, and if there is any more of that particular chocolate cake left, then it is God’s Will that I have that cake.”
We laughed. I ended up eating cake. It was good.
It was a wonderful day. But I told my husband, you could tell what women attended Shul there regularly as they all had wraps… and not some flimsy little wrap, but HEAVY wraps. The woman’s half of the room was absolutely freezing. Perhaps the entire room was freezing, but the men did not notice as they were wearing suits and a tallit. It may be kept that way as the men have so much covering.
They have another son who will make his Bar Mitzvah next year. I will be taking with me a wool wrap. Nearly three hours of shivering does nothing for me spiritually. Good Grief.
So the next primary is in… Wyoming. Or one of the next.
I asked the guys at work today, “So… do any of you actually KNOW anyone from Wyoming?”
I got the collective *blink*. Twice actually. The first was more of a ‘where in the hell is she coming from this time?’ and the second was the response which equated with, “Um. No.”
So I started polling random people today. “Know anyone from Wyoming?” Blank stare and a ‘Uhhh. No.’ was the normal answer.
And when they pressed me for why I replied to the effect, “I just want to know what kind of people live there. There are stereotypes of every other region of the US… your Washington Staters and Oregonians… stereotypically liberal and Earthy Crunchy. (Sorry Peggy… it’s the stereotype!) Northeasterners… fast paced folks. Californians… well, they speak for themselves. Texans… everything’s bigger and better in TX. MidWesterners, rock solid values. And I can go on… but what of Wyomingites? What are they known for? And do they sound like Canadians?”
And of course there was discussion in the office after that. “They sound like Cowboys” came an answer. What does a Cowboy talk like… from Wyoming? A cross between Southern and Canadian?
I don’t know.
I picture independent people. Self reliant. Hells bells, I looked that place up and it’s colder than cold cold cold. Holy crap. I think you’d have to be hearty to live there.
One of my buddies, upon asking the question said, “Don’t five people live there?”
Oh I was curious. As of 2006, there were estimated to be 515,004. I like the exactness of that statistic, ending in 4. Reminds me of Grimy Gulch.
Anyway, so that’s not a lot of folks.
Tell me dear readers, do you KNOW anyone from Wyoming? How do they sound? What are they like? You can’t judge a state by one person, but… what are the Americans like there?
I want to meet some. I want to have coffee with women from Wyoming. I’m putting that on my list of 100 things to do before I die. No joke. I want to meet different and interesting people from our country. We are so vast. And they may not think they are so interesting, but I suspect I’d find them exceedingly so.
On a sidenote, I did meet a couple from North Dakota once. They were standing in line in front of us at Disney. I don’t usually strike up conversations with strangers, but they gave off good vibes and I couldn’t help it. They just seemed so… nice. And they were from North Dakota, heavy accent, and were the nicest folks and she was enlisted in the USAF and had another year or two to serve, which just solidified in my mind they were good people as they were serving our country. (He was too; I just can’t remember the details.)
So. Wyoming? Know any locals?
I’ve started tutoring a girl in Algebra II. I think she’s got an F. I really do. Maybe a D, but that’s the same.
She kind of has bad attitude. She hates her teacher and I finally told her last time we met that she’d have crappy teachers her whole life, she needed to learn to deal with it.
I was dreading today. I really was. I have been wondering, “Does she care? What is up?” I don’t need to waste my time on someone who doesn’t give a crap. Trust me, I have PLENTY on my plate.
I walked in this evening and there she was… ready to learn. She has a test tomorrow and she had her worksheet from class. She knew how to do ¾ of it off the top of her head, based on our previous lesson and the homework she's done. I showed her how to do the last quarter, showing her tricks and giving her some tips on test taking.
Her confidence is high. My only concern is that last ¼… I consider it cramming. I don’t know how much took and will be remembered tomorrow. Nothing sucks worse than thinking you know information and then looking at a question on a test and questioning yourself because you REALLY DIDN’T know it that well… and that is my concern.
She’s a smart girl. It’s unfortunate it got this bad. We’ll see how it goes.
And on a very positive note, Bones won something called ‘Writer’s Roundtable” at school which means that he gets to read the story he wrote to the ENTIRE school tomorrow during the school news.
He said to me, very adult like in his 8 year old voice, “I must admit, Mom, I am a bit nervous.” I told him to just look at the camera and read to me… because I’ll be on the other side watching. I’m going to go into one of the classrooms.
I’m so proud of him!
Today is my eldest son’s 13th birthday. Holy crap, I officially have a teenager.
I have yet to figure out who he is… he puzzles me… and if I feel that way about him, surely he must feel this way about himself.
I picked him up from school today asking him how it went. I got a roll of the eyes and a piece of paper thrust in my direction. He received a detention for talking too much in his classes. Actually, it is a five tally system. Five tallies equates to one detention. That means he received five tallies for talking.
My son who grunts at home. My monosyllabic son. Received a detention. For talking too much. Five times.
Those are the things that puzzle me. We have moved past the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde of last year. He would get in my vehicle and I’d have great trepidation as I wondered… exactly WHO was getting in my car that time, Mr. Sullen and Moody or the son I knew.
But as sullen as he would be... he is still affectionate. He still walks up to me for me to run my fingers through his hair. He leans against me so I can nuzzle him. Even if his friends are around.
He laughs at my jokes and he laughs at the same absurdities I do... sometimes before I even notice them.
He still likes to hang with me. I suspect that will change.
He wears cologne now. My sister in law bought him one that is not so offensive like the AXE I’ve been battling all year. He has a light moustache forming on his upper lip and I suspect he’ll be shaving in the next two years. If he’s like his father, he’ll be like a chia pet and sport a full beard by 15.
He’s still not into girls, but I know he notices. His voice has started to change.
My worries for him now are different than they were six years ago… even three years ago. When he was young I looked at every choice he made as a learning experience that had no long term effect. Every action I took in reaction to something he did, was viewed the same way.
But that has changed. I view it all very seriously now, concerned he’s not learning the lessons he needs to learn. Mistakes that repeat themselves are no longer the antics of a 6 or 7 year old, but something much more serious as its now a child in middle school who will be going to high school soon.
As the children get bigger, so do the problems. As the children get older, the consequences of their actions and lessons learned or not learned, become more serious.
I wonder if the course we have charted for ourselves was the right course, if I’ve managed the household and the family properly. None of this was a worry when he was so much younger. We weren’t thinking about high school and colleges and futures.
And although I feel certain he still isn’t thinking of those things, *I* am.
In the last six years… he just... grew. There have been big changes, but nothing in comparison to what will happen in the next six.
In the next six years, he’ll start to shave, get a girlfriend or two or three, probably have sex, learn to drive, decide what college he is going to and what he wants to major in… and leave home.
And that blows me away. The last six years went so quickly. The next six will go just as, if not quicker.
I blinked and he was a teenager. I will blink again… and he will be gone.
I joked today to my husband’s business partner, that my son is so uncommunicative, that after he leaves home, we’ll never hear from him again. Of course it won’t be quite THAT bad, but I’m sure I’m not far off. Whereas now I know who he’s hanging out with, what he’s eating, what he’s up to… in a few short years, I’ll be lucky to even hear his voice.
That’s the goal though, is it not? From the get go I’ve said the goal was to make him a socially responsible person, capable of taking care of himself, a responsible citizen, and I had the hopes he’d be a good partner for someone… and have someone love him for life.
And we’re getting closer and closer to the end goal… but these next few years are so very important, in so many ways. We’re at crunch time… or nearing it.
He is my oldest. He is the one that I think is the most like me. That terrifies me as I don’t want him making the same mistakes I made. It hurts me as I know what dwells in his heart and head, the uncertainty and anger that will always be lurking. His heart is the same as mine, I suspect. And there are women out there that will break it. It is what happens in life… but the thought of that nauseates me. The hurt that requires one to grow. That will be the hardest for me.
And it is imminent.
My oldest. My brown bear. My child whose eyes are like pools of dark chocolate, his eyes so dark, then when I’d go to get him in the middle of the night when he was an infant, it was nearly unsettling to see them peering at me in the dark from the bottom of his crib. In the night, large charcoal eyes on a tiny baby. He always looked as if he could peer into your soul.
Happy Birthday, Ringo.
Should all the children be so blessed to be as loved as you are… for if they were, I suspect the problems of this world would be so very different…
I took the kids to see The Spiderwick Chronicles this weekend. Very fun movie. I would not recommend it for small children as there are some dark parts and the little girl behind me shrieked many many times. Bones NEARLY crawled in lap once, but seemed content with my arm around his shoulder.
But all the kids loved it, from my nearly 13 year old (tomorrow) to my 8 year old. I’d say it’s the equivalent of Jumanji except goblins and ogres instead of mammals, which ratchets it a notch since monkeys are cute and goblins… are not.
Meanwhile, Bones’ teacher is reading them the book, two chapters at a time. The kids are so enthralled they keep asking her to read an extra chapter. Every day. They plead.
There is something about that… that I love.
I’m frickin’ sick… again. I was thinking about it last night as I realized I was catching yet another cold, I am not a good sick person.
I guess nobody is really. But I’m not all whiney and act like I can’t take care of myself. Please. I have a family to run. I haven’t the time to be wimpish.
Instead I get really really grouchy. The cause of that? I get seriously pissed that my immune system has failed me. It irritates the ever living stew out of me.
So I’m catching a cold, I’m crabby for it, slightly drained, and not eating sweets, including chocolate.
Yes, it has the potential to be a bad week for my co-workers and family. I should just just hibernate for the week.
Oh on a side funny note and how my giving up chocolate is effecting my co-workers...
I had no idea I was their dealer. Chocolate dealer. The supplier. Until Thursday.
I needed to work Thursday as I had a meeting, but Mr. T was sick at home with a cold. I called in to say I'd miss the telecon and they said, 'Hey, bring him in, its cool."
I did a big *blink* as at my old job, you could NEVER take a child to work unless it was that 'Take your Child to work day" holiday.
So I did.
Flash back to Valentine's Day. My boss bought a box of chocolates for me and my girl engineer co-worker. She ate hers. I put mine on my desk, on top of my CPU. (My CPU sits next to my monitor.) It has sat there ever since... the box has not been opened.
Flash forward to Thursday, Mr. T is sitting there quietly playing on his DS, when I said, "Would you like some chocolate?
Of course that answer was yes, so I opened the box, gave him some, and then walked into Mr. Magoo's cube and offered him some.
His response? "God Bless Mr. T. I've been eyeing that candy for over three weeks. It has been making me NUTS!"
They are ready for me to start eating chocolate again. Apparently our little work universe is currently off balance...
My oldest boy has been having some stomach trouble. I decided it was finally time to take him to see the pediatrician.
He does not emote, my oldest boy. Whereas Bones is the Drama King, Ringo is the Anti-Drama King. The Ying and the Yang, there is balance in this house. Mr. T, appropriately… falls in the middle.
So where as Bones is high strung energy all the time, and Mr. T is probably one of the most intense 11 year olds I’ve ever met, Ringo is melllllow. Or at least he appears to be so. I don’t think he’s as mellow as he wants all to think… I think he bottles it all up inside, but on the outside? He is Mr. Cool, Mr. ‘Does not Emote’, Mr. ‘Easy Peasy’.
As we were at Dr. B’s at one point Dr. B shook his head and said, ‘Well… you certainly don’t APPEAR to be stressed… at all.’ Ringo laughed, I laughed and then I added, “Don’t let him fool you.”
He’s the only kid in my family who bites his nails. He may think he’s super cool kid ‘nothing phases him’ to the outside world, but I’m his Mom and I know for a fact the kid is internalizing.
He’s the Great Internalizer. But overall… he’s not so stressed. He is actually pretty mellow.
And so the family was a dinner and my husband asked me how it went and the following conversation ensued to the best of my recollection. (My husband knows a lot about pharmaceuticals.)
Me: It went well. Dr. B wants him to take a Xanax every day.
Husband: *Blink and pause* A Xanax?
Me, eating and not looking up: Yup.
Husband: Xanax. Every day?
Me: mmm hmmm. Twice a day.
Husband, looking stunned and speaking a bit more clearly: TWICE? He wants him to take one TWICE a day?
The entire time Ringo is shlumped in the corner of the booth (we were out for dinner), eating and saying nothing, looking the epitome of mellow and non-interest, which is a complete lie as I know him. He takes it allllll in.
Me, looking up: Wait.
Me: Mmmm. Zantac. He wants him to take Zantac twice a day. It’s for his stomach.
Husband: Oh thank God. I couldn’t figure out why he was putting him on anti-anxiety meds. I know he internalizes, but I could not figure out what in the world was going on that he’d give him XANAX.
Me: Hunh. Yeah, he’s not outwardly anxious… for sure. It’s Zantac. They sound the same…
Husband: This is blog fodder:
Me: Most definitely.
Good grief. Thank God it wasn’t me who chose to go into medicine or to become a Pharmacist. I’d have killed thousands of people by now… or all the people with stomach problems would be oh so verrrrrry… melllllow.