December 31, 2012

New Year

I wonder what it sounds like when you go over a fiscal cliff. Is there screaming? Crunching? An explosion?

I've been invited to a New Year's party at a friend of my husband's. This will be an interesting topic, I'm sure will come up. I'll just sit back and listen.

--------------------

I checked out the new little gym my husband got me a month to month membership to. It was a good deal. It's not like those big gyms with scads of machines, row after row of treadmills, and a pool.

It's tiny and has one elliptical, two treadmills, a few bikes, and weights. I have an electronic key card so I can go any time I want.

He feared it was going to be expensive. Silly him. As if I'd want a membership to something that was big bucks. It's the same or less than any LA Fitness type place, but small.

Not crowded.

No skinny muscular women that look like they live on lettuce and diet coke. No 20 year old men all working out together preparing for any competitions.

Small. Quaint. Quiet. I can be the only person in there, should I desire. It's 5 minutes from work. I can cancel at any time since going over the fiscal cliff could mean canceling everything but eating and mandatory transportation.

Hey. You just never... know.

I start tomorrow.

---------------

I do have a job. This year. I received a txt from my boss last week that went like this:

Boss: I have good news and bad news.

Me: Shoot.

Boss: The Purchase Order came in.

Me: And?

Boss: That's the good and the bad...

Me: Oh! So good news, I have a job. Bad news, I have a job.

Boss: Exactly.

It's a joke with us since our jobs can be frustrating. We would have it no other way, but we talk about living the life of no stress and wondering what that's all about.

I don't think they can pull my PO, so I'm good through 2013. I'm hearing 2014 ain't looking so good.

But that's a ways from now. And they put him and me on for a full 12 months... so there is that too.

I'll keep working as much as I can, preparing, until they tell me no more.

--------------------

There has been a lot of bad in this past year and a lot of good. There is rarely one without the other.

I'm concerned about 2013. I have a job and I'm concerned. I'm hoping that when we add up the columns for 2013, the positive will outweigh the negative.

-------------------

Stay safe if you're traveling.

From my home to yours, Happy New Year!

Posted by Boudicca at 06:56 PM | Comments (5)

December 30, 2012

Coming to a Close

So tomorrow is the last day before we go over the fiscal cliff. The sadistic side of me is waiting for the horror that the ignorant people will feel when they realize how this really is going to effect them.

I'm only empathetic to those who have been paying attention. To those who have not, I am not even nicely indifferent. I am grinning with sadistic anticipation for the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The dark and ugly side of me.

If you vote with your eyes and ears closed or you choose not to vote, then when something happens that comes home to roost where you reside, and you're stunned due to ignorance or apathy, then... right. Too bad. So sad.

Seek sympaty from the devil.

And to just dig my trench deeper, I am looking oh so forward to all those people who voted for Obama for Obama care. I know what is coming. I know how ugly it will be.

I await the crying over the mistreatment, lack of treatment, and overall horror of the ghastliness as to what they voted for and has now befallen them.

Don't call me for sympathy if you voted for him. I ain't got it. Nor will I ever.

-----------------

My car will not make it 250K. We had a rear grinding noise in the right front end before we left for my parents' home which I posted on. Just because I can't hear it doesn't mean I don't know an issue is still there.

And then on Thursday night, we took my folks to dinner, it was cold out and we had the heat on in my car as we followed my folks and brother in their car. Suddenly there was a smell like... burning wax.

At first we thought there was something in the local air. We'd had the heat on for a full 10 minutes. Then we realized... NOPE. It was my car. So we turned all the heat off and the smell went away.

That's never good.

I half expected that when we came out from dinner, my car would be a charred disaster. Or we'd be at dinner to have our waitress come up and say, 'Do you own a mini-van? It's engulfed in flames.'

Neither happened. I think in a small way I was sorta wishing it would.

So now we're realizing I could have bigger issues and I'll take it to my mechs this week or next, my saving grace being it is in the frickin' 80s and no heat is required, although we have used it since the 'burning wax' incident and it was fine.

I've got a back up plan in order. If this van gives up the ghost before 250K, I'm buying something used to get me through T's high school years and maybe well into Bones'.

I never intended to get an actual car until Bones' Junior or Senior year.

So, we'll see.

-----------------

Tomorrow is New Years' Eve and we have been invited to a friend's home. It always makes me a bit nervous, being in a car on the Eve. It is when people drink too much and still drive.

But it should be a good time and the boys are looking forward to going.

-----------------

This incoming year should be interesting. For Christmas, I had my husband get me a membership to a small gym near my work. It's time for me to start working out again. It's been 2 years and it's time for me to quit being lazy and get back into it.

I have to have surgery some time this year. I have an umblical hernia, an after effect of my gall bladder surgery 7 years ago. He says it's a piece of cake, do it on a Friday, back at work on Monday, no big deal.

I'm not chomping at the bit to get it done, but it's time. I just have to fit it in my schedule. No ab work outs at the gym. It's been forbidden.

----------------

I didn't put this out there before, and I'm not going into details, but my Mom was really really sick this past December. Really scary sick.

Scary as it scared the hell out of me. She is well now, but... yeah, that sucked.

For Mom and Dad most. Blech. I don't want a repeat in 2013.

---------------

In my looking back at 2012... I guess the first thing that comes to my mind is...

... I miss Lex.

A lot. Every single thing that has happened in the last six months I've wondered, 'What would Lex's cerebral take have been on this?'

Every.single.event. Good and bad. I miss him. Terribly.

'nuff said.

----------------

I'm feeling cranky. Can you tell?

Posted by Boudicca at 10:32 PM | Comments (13)

December 29, 2012

Rivers and Woods

We are home. We made the trek back south today.

We left Pensacola, hugging my parents and brother, telling them they could go back into the house for it was so so cold. It was 40 degrees.

We arrived back in West Palm Beach, got out of the car and Bones said, "Oh my God... it's so hot." It was 75 and humid at 6:30PM. Blech.

I love my parents. I was blessed to be born to two genuinely good and loving people. If all the children of the world were so lucky, this world would be a far different place.

---------------
Mr. T received a postcard in the mail while we were away asking him to apply to the USNA STEM program. He's going to apply. I don't think he'll get accepted, but the fact that he wants to apply and that he ended up on their radar... both are good things in my book.

----------------

I downloaded a book from the library on my Kindle... a book of short stories. Whereas I think she's a very good writer, I've realized I'm not sure I like short stories.

What happens to the character next? Where is the closure? Short of the character dying at the end... short stories kind of leave you hanging.

----------------

We took the boys to see the Jack Reacher movie and enjoyed it. Any movie that has Robert Duval, even as a cameo, has to have some funny parts. I love him. He's awesome.

----------------

Two more days for those jerkweeds in DC to come up with a compromise!!!

Two more days with them toying with our lives... what a bunch of jerks.

There should be some sort of punishment in our laws for idiot Congress. I think that it should read something like, "If Congress cannot come up with a balanced budget, they lose 20% of their retirement permanently and must go on Obama care. In the event they try to resign in avoidance, they lose all retirement and healthcare."

Guarantee you they'd have that sh-- figured out by now. Guarantee you.

Posted by Boudicca at 11:07 PM | Comments (5)

December 27, 2012

Happenings

When you leave something at my parents' home and I've taken it upon myself to secure the package for mailing...

... let us just say, I amuse myself. I can't wait until Wednesday when the package arrives at Mo's.

----------------
All over the news is that the Fiscal Cliff appears to not be avoidable, that talks have come to a standstill. Complete with finger pointing and gnashing of teeth... both sides are not giving.

So here is to all those people who are surprised that Sequestration is actually GOING to happen, which I've been saying for MONTHS:

I will not follow you into battle either. You can stay with Bones in his little land of cotton candy clouds and rainbows while those of us with a reality check lead.

Thank you.

--------------------------------

We had pizza last night. Flam ordered two large pizzas. Have you ever seen a pizza this large? It is as large as a stove top. Insane...

Pizza.jpg

And the Great Flambina wanted so badly to go with her Daddy to pick up the pizza. Which was fine. Really. Except she'd been playing hard with my boys all day and fell asleep in the car.

And she was just not going to wake up. I think the thought of chocolate for dessert may have helped to awaken her. It's a familial thing...

Sleepy.jpg

Posted by Boudicca at 03:43 PM | Comments (3)

December 26, 2012

Random holiday stuff

The Hobbit has a sequel or two and I didn't know it. We took the boys last night and the first movie is long by itself.

Every now and then I'd look at my watch, not that I didn't enjoy the movie, but my knees were starting to ache a bit. And 2 hours and 40 minutes into it, the Dwarfs had been rescued by some big birds, were seeing the lonely mountain way off in the distance and I thought, "Holy crap, they have about 15 minutes to make it across Middle Earth to the mountain, slay the dragon, and do whatever has to be done with that ring..." and then *POOF* the movie ended.

Holy crap. We got home and found out there are two other movies. I had no idea...

----------------

This was one of my favorite things I came across on Christmas. This made me choke up, it made me laugh, and it made my heart warm.

God bless this man. Or rather, I think He already has, and I don't mean by football tickets. Listen to him... the happiness in all he says from the beginning through the end.

It seems like this is a man who walks with Joy in his heart. Listen to his grandchildren in the background, vying for his attention. He has a heart filled with love.

---------------------------

The wee lasses leave tomorrow. The little one is all piss and vinegar. She cracks me up, although I truly understand she hates me and only likes me when she knows she's going to get something she wants... like going outside to run around when everyone else is busy or maybe a chip or a cookie.

I'm adult legs. I help her get higher and get around faster. Period.

She tolerates me, but she's so dang impish, you can't help but want to be around her.

She's trying desperately to talk and fortunately, Mo has some idea of what she's saying. The rest of us just stare at each other.

She is yummy.

And I know this is not politically correct, but she got a LOL Elmo for Christmas. I have renamed it 'Grand Mal Elmo'. The dang thing looks like it's seizing...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:44 AM | Comments (8)

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Bou and Boys.jpg

From my family to yours. (I don't put pictures of my husband on the blog. He takes the pictures. He looks like all three of them morphed into one person...)

Happy Little girls with twirly skirts and pink scooters (pronounced pink 'cooter, which... well, it has gotten more than a few eye brows raised) and even a Buzz Lightyear.

And happy big boys with gas cards, a new gear shift to a car, footballs, and jerseys.

How things have changed... when a face lights up at having received a gas card. Love that...

I tried my hand at a new dessert, a Dobos Torte. I found a fantastic website from a woman who was a professional baker, Pastry Pal. I loved that she took the torte and made it rectangular for I have not the patience to make lots of 9" round circle cakes.

I took the liberty of making one change and following her advice on two others. I did not make the caramel wheels and as she suggested to not, I put a liqueur on the sponge cakes before frosting which she thought of doing next time. I doubled the batch since I had so many for dinner and ended up making two six layer 12" by 6" cakes, instead of two 12 layer 6" by 6" cakes, as it would have been in doubling. I just wanted a longer cake. (Sidenote, she has pictures that are detailed. When you print out the recipe, she accidentally forgot to say when to add the vanilla. Do it when whipping the egg yolks.)

I've been perusing her site and may try some of the things she's put out. The cakes seems so far that they will be outstanding and it wasn't difficult, just time consuming.

I think some would think it crazy that I'd want to spend all day Christmas in the kitchen baking, but I enjoy it.

So from my home to yours, may you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas...

Bou

Posted by Boudicca at 04:50 PM | Comments (13)

December 24, 2012

'Twas The Night Before Christmas...

For years, my Mom and I had to talk before the holidays to make sure we didn't get my boys the same things. We had this thing for awhile that a package would arrive for a holiday and it would be something I had bought as well.

And I'm talking odd stuff. Like one year I happened to be strolling through Hallmark when I found this weird little cardboard puzzle tree that had animals sleeping underneath little tabs, as in, open a tab and there lay a rabbit or chipmunk. It was a spring/Easter puzzle motif. Two days later, one showed up in the mail for my boys from my Mom.

This happened so often, that now we call each other. Just two weeks ago, I got a call from my Mom from her cell. She was at the Mall.

Mom: Bou, I'm in Belks and I just found some small flashlights...

Me: Are they about 2 inches long and there is a soft button to turn them on?

Mom: Yes!

Me: I did that in their stockings last year...

Mom: So I found this Gator tie...

Me: Got two of them... one for each boy.

But this way we don't duplicate.

Now it's morphed beyond Mom and I. I came home yesterday and there was a Gator gnome on my bed. I looked at my husband and said, "Did you buy this for Mo? She's giving one of these to T for Christmas..."

To which he replied, "No... I thought it was a riot and bought it for him for us..." The gnome goes back. Mo got it for him already.

And then there is the case of flat out forgetting what one has gotten.

Last night I was wrapping gifts and I realized I was one gift short for Bones. I try to keep the boys equal. It's my issue. So I said to my husband in a panic, "Tomorrow morning, go out to the Sports store and get Bones a Saints sweatshirt. He LOVES the Saints and I didn't get him one thing. So just pick that up and we're good...", as I patted myself on the back for the brilliant save.

First thing this morning he did just that.

This afternoon a package arrived at my folks' home.

Mom: Did you order anything?

Me: Not me. We got all our stuff. Maybe it was Flam or Mo.

A couple hours later, my Mom said, 'Bou, it's yours...'

I walked into her bedroom, looked at the box, and read, "NFLshop.com" and thought, "Uh oh..."

I opened the box and a flashback came to me, last week, sitting at my computer, thinking, "I'm short a gift for Bones. I know. I'll order a Saints sweatshirt... that will round it out. Brilliant save..." *click* had it sent to my folks' home.

And evidently as I hit *click* the brain was wiped clean as if it had never happened. Fortunately, it all came rushing back. I hate it when... it doesn't.

So now I need to start writing this stuff down or eventually all the gifts will end up in triplicate.

Sucks getting old...

Posted by Boudicca at 06:48 PM | Comments (0)

December 23, 2012

Things You Forget

Ahh... the things that slip from our minds.

Like the fact that 20 month olds hate Santa.

With a purple passion.

We took the girls to see Santa today and the Great Flambina was so excited. I'd warned Mo to pay attention to what she asked for. When you wait until the last minute to see Santa, it is a nightmare when you hear the tiny little voice say, "And Santa... more than ANYTHING in the world, I want... "Insert Item Here"". And you look at your spouse and realize you'd never heard of said item. EVER. And then one of you bolts off down the Mall to try to find someone who still might have it.

Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything...

So The Great Flambina waited patiently in line while her crazy big energy 20 month old sister ran around the mall with me, Bones or her Daddy keeping a very close distance and trying to keep her within a smaller periphery than the whole dang Mall.

So much to see. So many places to run.

And when it came for their time, Mo scooped up the Wee Flambina, her big sister already firmly planted on Santa's lap, ready to tell Santa of her great wishes (Buzz Lightyear) and The Wee Flambina immediately did what Mo calls 'the Starfish' except this was with escape action.

The Starfish is when the wee one loses it and all arms and legs splay out in different directions.

She could not crawl out of Mo's arms fast enough to get away from the fat man with the big white beard.

So Mo did what I did, and sat on Santa's lap instead, with the Wee one sitting on the furthest leg of Mo's. Meanwhile, her big sister sat there patiently waiting.

It's the typical family picture with a 20 month old involved. I think I have one picture with Ringo on one of Santa's knees and me, pregnant with Bones, barely sitting (hovering actually so as not to crush Santa) on the other knee with T sitting on my knee... as far away as he could get from Santa.

Great times.

We suspect that the girls will be up by 5AM. We're praying to get them to 6AM with the understanding to the boys that they can go back to bed after.

I think it will be a Christmas morning my teenage boys may not remember, opening gifts with their eyes mostly shut...

Posted by Boudicca at 11:18 PM | Comments (5)

December 22, 2012

The Lasses

So we made it to my folks' home, but not before stopping at a brake place because suddenly my car was making some crazy grinding noise when braking.

1) I take care of my car and would NEVER put my family in a situation where it was not prepared for a long trip.

2) I have had the front brakes replaced 3 months ago and the rear last month.

3) When replacing the rear brakes, the mechanics I use went over my car for me and surely, they would have noticed if my front brakes were bad, right?

But there was no way in hell we could take the car on a trip with brakes making the noise they were making. So we stopped.

And were told my brakes are fine, as a matter of fact, 'M'am, it looks like you JUST had these replaced..."

So they drove it around, we drove it around, the sound went away and after doing some research on the 'net and talking to my Dad, it may be a CV joint.

Nice.

And that's not going to be cheap. Dammit. So, we'll see.

But we are here and there are babies in the house. We have little people that believe in Santa and are so very excited. Tomorrow they go sit on Santa's lap and we're all going, except for Ringo who has opted to sleep in.

I'm so dang excited. My boys are loving being around the girls and the magic of Christmas. Bones is really really into it. It's almost like the girls have three uncles... all into them, as opposed to three cousins.

Four year olds are so funny. The Great Flambina will be four in January. She is into weaving stories with her great imagination. Puppies, Mother dogs, and dragons, and magic spells... all in her little girl voice that sometimes requires me to have an interpreter.

Me, quietly: What did she say?

Ringo, quietly: Smokey Mountains. We're in the Smokey Mountains now and evidently there is a lot of smoke...

Mo had to get tights for the wee Flambina, who is around 20 months. We were in Target and Kohl's as I wandered around the little girl department... with fairy skirts and ballet slippers, and Hello Kitty in every corner, and lacy socks and then tights... in pink and white and white with frills on the bottom and white without.

I was absolutely amazed and lost in all that was girl. I was picking up little fairy purple tutus and saying, 'We... didn't have stuff like this in my home..." to which Mo replied, "Of course you didn't, I'd have worried if you did..."

And shoes. There are shoes for little girls in every color and shape.

Boys own one pair. At this age, my boys had shoes that if you stomped on them, little fire trucks or police cars lit up on the sides.

The land of girl is so very foreign to me...

And we were all in the kitchen when the Great Flambina came by with her wee sister in tow. "Come on! Come with me!" she said as she walked into the bathroom.

Her little sister toddling behind, followed her in and shut the door.

I looked at Mo who said, 'It's fine. She takes her little sister in so that she won't touch her toys when she leaves the room. It's fine..."

Ringo shook his head and said, 'So this is when it starts. It starts at this age, going to the bathroom together so when they get older it's all like, "Oh! I have to go to the bathroom!" and all the girls say, 'OH! We'll come with you!"" as he acted it all out in girly voices.

The life of tiny girls is very very funny.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:55 PM | Comments (6)

December 20, 2012

Math- He Passed

He needed a 70. He got a 71.

He passed.

He may have had help... as in a teacher may have realized how hard he was working and refused to let him fail, knowing that some of the concepts that Bones is struggling with will come with time.

That might have happened.

Then again, he may genuinely have pulled that rabbit right out of that hat...

He's disappointed he didn't get an A, because he KNEW he got an A. I wasn't sure what to say except, "Thank God he passed..."

We leave Saturday for my parents' home. No more finals. All shopping will be done. The baby girls will be there. We're going to go with them to see Santa... and we're very excited.

There will be a house with little people who believe in Santa.

And Bones passed Math.

All is right with our World.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:30 PM | Comments (6)

December 18, 2012

He's Not In Charge of my End of Life Decisions

When Bones was a wee lad of about four, he used to love to go to his father's office with his two older brothers. Up the two flights of stairs we'd climb and upon time for our descent, for three years, always I heard, "Mom, Mom, Mom... can we take the elevator?"

Bones favorite thing to do was to take the elevator and 'race' his brothers down the stairs. The elevator is an old one, rather musty and there are times I swore someone peed in it, and it's not fast by any sense of the imagination.

So I set groundrules in some attempt to make it fair.

The older boys had to wait at the top of the stairs and they had to wait until Bones and I were fully in the elevator, had pushed the buttons and the elevator doors had closed. Bones would peer through the door until it was fully shut, making sure his brothers did not cheat.

And every time, for three years, his little body would stand next to me, reverberating with excitement, hands fisted at his sides, grinning from ear to ear, big blue eyes looking up at me with his blonde floppy hair making him look that much more like the imp that he was and still is, exclaiming, "Mom! We're going to WIN this time!"

And every time, the doors would open and there before us would stand his brothers.

Every time.

And every single time we played this game, as the doors shut he would exclaim, "MOM! We're going to win THIS time!"

I'm unsure still what part of this scenario he expected to change. The speed of the elevator was never going to change. The only thing I ever anticipated changing with the elevator is perhaps the doors not opening or it failing to make it down to the bottom floor. 'Breaking mid way down' was a change I expected.

Short of a cable snapping, speed would not be it.

Did he expect his brothers to beat each other to a pulp all the way down to the bottom thereby slowing their speed? A distinct possibility, however, as driven as they are to win, they'd not fight if it meant losing.

Yet every time... he KNEW we were going to win and every time he was SURPRISED and disappointed when we didn't.

If anything, the speed of the boys increased as they grew. By the end of our third year playing the 'race the elevator game', the boys wouldn't even be waiting for us outside the doors anymore. They were running to see how far they'd get before we emerged. Could they make it out the elevator, down the walkway and to the car?

Bones doesn't think about things like variables. There has never been nor do I fear there ever will be, linear thinking in that crazy brain of his.

His life is to be made with decisions made by emotion and impulse.

I fear it has the potential to be a very long and tough life... with more lessons to be learned the hard way than not.

There is something to be said for his effervescence. It is contagious and it is easy to get sucked into his world of happiness and cotton candy clouds.

And it is also tough when you realize he's been telling you of his life with glasses not only rose colored, but trimmed in gold. When you boil it down to the essence and see what is really happening, not his view, but the reality of it all, it can be a sucker punch.

And so that is math with Bones. All this post to put it back to Math. The black hole of math is he, he sucks it out of other people and it disappears.

The boy has a 69.9, which means he has a C. The lowest of low C's. This is due to his doing his homework and his dear old Mom checking it before he turns it in for it is graded.

He has not passed one Math test yet this year.

Not one.

He gets the homework. He understands it. He can't pass the tests, in particular word problems. (Actually, he never gets the word problems. You've combined reading, comprehension, numbers and analysis. That's just not going to happen... ever.)

He has a GREAT math teacher. And after every test this year I've said, "So, Bones, how did it go?"

And EVERY.SINGLE.TIME, his reply as been, 'GREAT! I made an A!"

Me: An A? Really?

Bones, smugly: Yup. I made an A.

Me: Hunh.

Bones: Yup.

And then he gets the grade and it's an F.

I said to my husband, "How does one not feel when they've failed a test? HOW does that happen?"

I know it can happen. Surely I've come out of a test thinking I'd done fantastic, only to find out I'd completely learned the information incorrectly, and instead of an A, I tanked it at best.

But that is an anomoly. That has happened... once... or twice... in the 17 years of schooling.

This is the norm for Bones.

Which means I'm hestitant to ask anymore.

He had his math final today. And I could feel myself wanting to ask. It's what I do. I'm the Mom. 'How was your day? How are your friends? How is Ms. D and Mr. T? What did you have for lunch? What did you learn?" It's what I do... I take an active interest. "What was the worst thing that happened to you today? Now tell me the absolute best thing. What made you laugh today?"

It is what we do. What I do.

So he got in the car today and I shuddered as I put on my best cheerleading Mom smile and I said sweetly and enthusiastically, "So. How was your Math final?"

Bones: GREAT! I think I made an A. (I swear to you... I swear, this is what happened...)

Me: An A? Really?

Bones: YUP! I knew it all. All my answers were on there.

Me, realizing I've been to this rodeo before: Hunh. And the word problems?

Bones: Oh you are not going to believe this! Remember the review we had? All those word problems were on the test! Exactly! He used the same numbers! And remember that problem I had about the kid with money who spent it on the internet, charity, and a bike helmet? That was on there too! And I remembered ALL the answers! So I just put them down!

Me:

Bones: How great was that?

Me: Umm. Are you sure they were the same exact questions?

Bones: YUP And I got them ALL right.

Great. From memory. He thinks he can do math because he remembered that after Joe Schmoe spent 1/4 of his money on the internet for music, gave $xx money to a friend, and bought a bike helmet for $15 with half of what he had left, he started with $100.

And I'm OK with it. Two years ago, I'd have had a minor stroke.

Now?

I've moved into a different world. My kid needs to be able to create a budget and balance a check book and maybe be able to calculate how many cans of paint he has to buy to paint a room... which means area and maybe perimeter.

That's it.

And he needs to pass math to get his high school diploma and if that means that he starts to remember answers, I'm good. I really am.

Now... I pray he just got a C. Unlike Bones in the elevator, I no longer have that hope. I've been on this train.

He may think he got an A. Dear Lord... just let that kid have a C...

On a sidenote... should Bones ever join the military, don't follow him into battle. Just sayin'...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:56 PM | Comments (3)

December 17, 2012

Italian through Osmosis

Bones is an idiot and waited to the last minute to memorize his last song for his jury... Star Vicino.

If you had told me three years ago I'd have some kid holed up in a room singing operatic Italian (Baroque to be pointed) over and over and over again, I'd have told you that you were smoking crack.

Yet, he was in that room singing it over and over and over... for hours... hoping it would sink in so he could do it without issue today for his Jury. The Vagabond he had down cold.

Star Vicino? Not so much.

And he has a wicked cold with a nasty cough. It's been six weeks.

So for those that have not heard it... This is Star Vicino.

Bones voice is not this low. Not even with a cold... And his voice is definitely not so rich and warm. Some people are truly blessed. We're just trying to keep Bones away from the riffraff.

As good fortune would have it, by 9:30 last night he had the song in his head. Dressed in dress shirt, slacks and a tie, waiting for his Jury to begin this morning, they chose The Vagabond.

He got a 95. His Italian would have brought him a B.

Blows me away. The kid can't dissect a sentence in his home grown language, but he can learn a song in Italian, with perfect pronunciation and be able to sing it pitch perfect in less than a day.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:45 PM | Comments (4)

December 16, 2012

Mom is from Earth, Da Boys Be from... I Dunno Where

So back onto music and the generational gulf that is... just... gulfishly huge...

My husband was out with some of the guys the other night and so I said to the boys, "Where do you want to go for dinner? I'm not cooking" and there was a resounding "MOE'S!"

So Moe's it was.

On our way home, something came up about iPods, iPads, Macs, iPhones and all that is 'i' related. And T was commenting on the fact I love my iPod, but he thought it was really old.

And Bones said something like, "Mom! Pop in the tape and play Home! Guys, Mom loves this song. Go ahead Mom..."

OK, the reference to pop in the tape is that I have this cassette tape that goes into my cassette player and a cord runs from it to my iPod and the iPod will play through my speakers.

Yes. I have a tape player. My car has 215K on it. I also have cassette tapes, but I don't keep them in my car.

They might get stolen.

Anyway, so Bones is all over my playing Home. It is a song I really do like. It has a folksy sound to it. When I got it off of iTunes, it said this kid was on American Idol. I had no clue. I was just wondering why someone named their kid Phillip Phillips.

It reminded me of THIS story that I posted on all those many years ago... about the boy who ensured I ended up educated and not working with the general public.

I turned it on and Bones started to sing with Phillip Phillips and the older boys looked at each other and T said, "Ringo, you gotta put on our favorite song now..."

So they popped the cord out of my iPod and put on a song called... Thrift Shop Feat.

I had no idea what they were saying at first. Finally I said, 'Are you saying Thrift shop? We are going to listen to a song about thrift... shopping?'

T responded, "yeah, Mom, it's rap. It's great."

And the song came on and I was astonished that the musical gulf between my two older boys and I was so freakishly gulfishly huge. I was speechless.

Finally Ringo said, 'You gotta watch the video. It's hysterical..."

So there you have it. First is my vid. Just listen to the first minute. You'll get the picture. Guitar picking folksy. His voice is very calming. "Just know you're not alone. Cuz I'm gunna make this place your home."

Then listen to theirs... and if you watch it all the way through, you will laugh. I have to admit, the video is absolutely hysterical. I actually laughed out loud at one part of it. And now I know why I occassionally hear teenagers say in a low monotone voice, "This.is.f*cking.awesome". (I think that part is funny too.)

So my vid.

His vid.

Oceans apart. Maybe galaxy sized oceans...

Posted by Boudicca at 12:54 PM | Comments (10)

December 15, 2012

Stuck on Him

It's been interesting having a son with a paying job with a real boss and real life experiences with the general public. The stories have been amusing and thought provoking. He is starting to see what makes a good boss and what makes one annoying. Fortunately, he's not experienced the Bad Boss. Blech.

I remember working in the Mall at Christmas. It wasn't bad experience at all, however, I remember most how the same music played over and over. By the end of the holidays, I was so done with it. Sure, you tune it out, but still, there are times you just want to scream, 'I cannot be inundated with the same 10 songs any longer!"

And so it happened today... I had my iPod on in the master bedroom as I was cleaning. I've just downloaded a song by Ellie Goulding called Anything Could Happen. I walked out to jump on my laptop for a second and my son came up behind me as Ellie Goulding's voice came wafting out of my bedroom.

Ringo: DEAR.GOD. Where is that song coming from?

Me: *sweetly* My room. Why? I just downloaded it...

Ringo: I cannot escape it! You downloaded it?! Willingly?

Me: Yeah! They dont' play it that much on the radio...

Ringo: No.... it is one of the songs on the CD at work. It plays constantly. And then it's on the radio. And for the Love of God, it's in our house!

And he went into a falsetto voice and started to sing with my iPod.

In general, I think it is a fun song, but I took could not take it if I heard it every half hour for six hours straight.

Really. For the Love of God...

Posted by Boudicca at 03:38 PM | Comments (5)

December 14, 2012

Sad

I don't watch TV for a reason. I stopped after 9.11. The constant barage...

The sadness you cannot stop.

I cannot watch people grieve so deeply. Grieving is very private to me... and the intrusion of the media when they least expect it, snapping pictures and then posting them all over for the world to see... over and over... is more than I can stomach.

There is not much to say. All of us are quiet in this home. I've asked my husband to not have the news on in the house and to please not listen to talk radio when I'm in the car. Bones has asked a couple questions, and the profound silence that follows, accompanied by a stillness in his soul is enough to make it apparent how lost he is by all this.

I think I come across as some strong kick ass woman at times. And mostly, I'm fine with that.

But in reality, I'm not and there are some things I cannot cope with.

Things such as today... push me to the brink of my coping mechanism. It is my personal weakness, one not visited to this extent probably since 9.11.

Some know this about me, I think. One of the men I work with quietly came to my desk this afternoon to tell me. He directed at me... no one else. Quietly saying, "Bou... I have something to tell you..." It wasn't gossipy, but horrified.

And I had a phone call from a dear friend too... knowing I don't watch the news, afraid of how I'd hear it. Once again, not gossipy, but trying to brace me.

So some know. It could be because so many know my story about why I quit watching mainstream media. I am open about how the constant pushing of the horrific information is more than I can cope with.

There is nothing to say.

There is no sense to be made. I cannot comprehend... any of it... at all. I poke at it mentally and I feel like I will be ill.

There is a joke that the Eskimos a vast quantity of words for snow. Why do we have so few words for Sad?

Because today... the word Sad... or any variations of...just do not cover it.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:20 PM | Comments (9)

December 13, 2012

'Noles

Big things in the House of Boudicca.

Ringo has now been accepted to all the schools he applied to, waiting only on UF, which we know he will not get into. He is reflective and happy with where he's going.

Ringo is going to FSU in the summer, starting summer term. He also was accepted to UCF, FAU and UWF.

We're going through a tough 'senioritis the world is against me' time. I call it 'the year of assholery'. (Not to his face... but his brothers have heard me say it and think it is funny. I hope they keep it in mind when they're seniors...)

But even with the bad attitude that is causing me to bite my tongue more than I have ever, I can feel the excitement within him building. He's finding out who got in, who didn't, who got deferred. He found his roommate for this summer an hour ago.

Suddenly the anger at his Micro Economics teacher is dissipating, and the excitement that he's going away to college is over taking it.

All appears to be good...

It appears we will be a house divided.

And that's not a bad thing.

Not at all.

Posted by Boudicca at 07:00 PM | Comments (10)

December 11, 2012

Not So Smooth

I'm going to be very descriptive in one of the characters in this story and it could come across as bigoted, but I think it's required. You can't picture it in your head if you don't know the physical attributes of the character playing off Bones.

We all know Bones. He's 5'2", floppy blonde hair, crystal blue eyes with a smile as wide as they come and a personality that can be infectious. Since working on The Vagabond for his audition and being told to emote, he has taken that to every song he sings now in all his choruses. He's become that kid you like to watch as his eyes become expressive and his head tilts in such a way as he sings.

He has become so expressive, that he's not yet learned when to turn it off. For instance, I gather they are learning a song about 'lost love' and when singing it, the choral director said, "Bones. This is a SAD song. You're making it seem too lively. Don't move so much..."

Flash forward, he has been traveling all over with a smaller subsection of his chorale group, singing Christmas carols and winter songs from hospitals with pediatric cancer wards to musuems with tree lighting ceremonies, to... the wealthy on Palm Beach. They don't do the Palm Beach crowds for free. The pediatric cancer patients... they do.

But in this more condensed group, he is singing with girls he doesn't normally sing with and in much closer quarters. Other than this one chorale class, he sings with all boys and the girls sing with all girls. The girls are used to every little girl just standing and singing and the boys are used to half of them having some form of ADHD or 'ants in my pants' and they move. A lot.

So on Saturday afternoon, Bones had a performance at the Fairgrounds and a subsection of his normally huge boys and girls chorale class... this little group he sang with was comprised of about 30 boys and girls, all squished together shoulder to shoulder on the bleachers.

It was all a cappella and a real joy to listen to.

I noticed that on Bones' right was a little girl on the end... Bones was two in from the end of the bleacher.

She was a cute girl, about four inches shorter than Bones. She was soft in a more little girl way, as opposed to some of the curvy 13 year olds we see. And she was a black girl, with short hair, moon pie face, and the biggest eyes and full smile you'd ever see... except she didn't smile much. She seemed shy, but although she didn't smile or appear to verbally emote, she was one of those people that showed all her emotion through facial expressions and through her eyes.

So there I sat watching Bones. The piece was over and she leaned over and said something to him. There was a bit of a funny expression on her face. He looked at her, doing the eye brow raise, staring down at her when he does when he's amused by someone and he replied.

And with that, her eyes got HUGE. I mean, they were soccer ball HUGE, her lips pursed and she moved a full inch away from him , all she could spare on those bleachers.

I think I was the only one in the audience that watched this strange interaction. I nearly busted out laughing at the face she made, but I was wondering, "What in the heck did Bones say to her?"

So this is what transpired... I think her name was something like Talitha.

Talitha got stuck shoulder to shoulder with Bones. Bones is a good 4 inches taller than she is. Bones moves a lot when he sings.

Evidently Talitha moved close and whispered to him, "Quit moving so much..." with an odd expression because I think she was genuinely puzzled by all this extra energy my long lean blonde floppy haired boy has.

Bones at that point, amused by her request, grinned his impish grin, looked down at her with raised eyebrows, bent down and said, "I love you Talitha..."

To which her eyes bugged out, her lips pursed and she moved the one inch away she could spare, for moving further would have spilled her onto the ground.

I said to him, "Why in the world did you say that?"

And he laughed loud, the way he does, and said, 'Ahhh... cuz she thinks I'm really weird. It cracks me up...'

Poor kid. I noticed that Talitha doesn't normally have to stand next to him. I wager she tries to get out of it any time she... can.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:51 PM | Comments (4)

December 09, 2012

Christmas Pageantry

When you choose music as the path for your children over sports, the Month of December is a very busy month.

We had four performances in three days, multiple practices, including one 4 hour practice and Bones was at the Kravis Center getting ready for tonight's performance at 10:30AM this morning. He got home at 10, just after the performance.

So things are a bit whacky here as we try to get things back on some sort of even keel.

I have stories about Bones and girls, bringing out some old stories and melding them with a new one. The kid isn't very slick...

-----------

I meant to post this. This is my new favorite commercial. You see, Google must have a Mom on their artistic board, because they took my life, the average life of a Mom, and amped it up just a notch and came up with this commercial.

I swear to you... this could have been me and may have been... but I've blocked it out.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:37 PM | Comments (4)

December 06, 2012

Conversations with Bones

Bones is busy with the Christmas Season, singing all over the county with a subset of one of the bigger groups he's in. Tonight we were in the car as I took him to another gig. We'd come from the orthodontist and he had his uniform in the car. It made me remember that during our trip to San Antonio last year, one of the boys forgot their white shirt.

Me: I double checked to make sure you have everything.

Bones: I do. I'm good.

Me: I remember when we had that 6th grader last year, when we got to San Antonio and he'd forgotten his shirt. I kept wondering why his Mama didn't go through his stuff before he left.

Bones: You went through MY stuff and you were WITH us. His Mom didn't check?

Me: Nope. We ended up finding him a shirt from a band student who'd already performed. Who doesn't check a 6th grader's stuff? Middle schoolers are nothing but fluff for three years. They have no brain...

Bones: Funny you should say that. Ms. D says that too. And Wow. I didn't know any of this was going on...

Me: Yeah. I don't know his name. He has really red hair... Do you know his name?

Bones: Red hair?

(*side note* Red hair is not common. How do you question when someone says that someone in your group has red hair? How do you not recognize something like that?)

Me: Umm. Yeah.

Bones: Are you sure?

Me: *blink* Yes. He had almost like orange hair. Carrot red. He's got very fair white skin and red hair.

Bones: And you don't know his name?

Me: No! I'm asking YOU!

Bones: Hmmm. Would you recognize it if you heard it?

Me: Yes.

Bones: Hmm. *completely serious* Was it Jose?

I nearly fell out. I just stared at him like he had two heads.

Jose.

The white boy red head.

Right.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:16 PM | Comments (4)

December 02, 2012

All Over the Road in December

Bones is watching Forest Gump tonight for the first time ever. He is laughing hysterically.

It's so funny how little phrases from movies start to permeate our language. Bones said at one point, "OH! Is that where they get 'Run! Forest! Run!'?" We all laughed.

I think it will be his favorite movie... which means he's going to watch 100 times if he can. He'll have the whole thing memorized and quoting it within the week.

I wish he put that much time into his Math homework...

---------------------------

So the flapper thing went well. Picture to follow. I was so OK with the haircut.

But now it's today and I keep pulling on my bangs, as if they'll grow faster if I pull.

A friend of mine, who is in her 80s said, "Oh I remember when we'd go get our haircuts and we'd say to the beautician, "Don't you give me Mamie Eisenhower bangs!" We just hated them..."

My bangs aren't as bad as all that, but two weeks cannot come fast enough...

flapper head.jpg

And yes, I have on fake eyelashes. That was a very weird experience.

I don't have a picture of full body flapper with dress. Hopefully I'll get one soon.

Grow. Hair. Grow...

--------------------------

I was relating this story about Eric to my family at dinner. When Bones talks about the story, he keeps calling Eric's old car Bleach.

We can't quit laughing. We've decided he needs to name his first daughter Bleach.

On a sidenote... does that stuff happen to anyone but Eric?

------------------------

We have decided that T is some sort of Sports statistic savant. I was talking to Ringo last night and he was telling me that it is just crazy. T's love of football is so absolutely insane, that when people ask Ringo, "What is T's favorite team?" he will reply, "Football. Football is his favorite team..." He follows... players and strategy.

Ringo said that of all the sports shows he watches, the things he reads, that nobody is as spot on as T.

He said what's so crazy is that most people know a team's 1st and 2nd string of the major positions, but T will know the 4th string lineman of all the teams.

Ringo will be setting up his team and he'll ask T something and T will say, "Well, the 4th string for the Bucs defensive line is Joe Schmo and he played at such and such college..." and then he'll go on some dissertation as to why this is relevant to that week's game. But he does this with ALL the teams and every position.

He can remember numbers and stats like people remember what they ate for lunch.

Ringo says it's absolutely insane and next year he's going to have T sign up to write for the Bleacher Report. Ringo said that when he and T are watching some sports channel, he'll listen to the talking heads and yell at them for their stupidity like some people yell at politicians. He'll storm off and then... Ringo said T's predictions will be correct. He said that it has never failed that when he doesn't listen to T for Fantasy Football... he loses. Meanwhile, T will come up with some crazy off the wall predictions and be right.

And here's the deal. Where as Ringo is seeing this as some amazing football tendancy (and for the record, this is starting to morph into basketball), what I am seeing is T's incredible knack for numbers and statistical analysis.

More than anything, T wants to be a biomedical engineer. He has wanted to go to Med School for awhile, but he knows it's nearly impossible to get in and that all the doctors we know are saying, "Obama care is coming... don't do it...". He has engineering tendancies, so he thinks biomedical is the perfect solution.

And it may be.

But quite frankly, I strongly suspect that what T needs to do is get his bachelor's and masters in statistics... maybe even his doctorates. He sees trends. He has a love of numbers.

He sees things in numbers that others don't see. I get that... I totally get it.

But I need him to see that statistics is where it's at. It's time for me to maybe... make some phone calls.

------------------

It has been marathon time for the last three months. On my sitemeter, I get googled for black toenails in huge amounts, during marathon season. It all stems from that picture I posted after my first half marathon when that big toenail went completely black and then fell off. (I lost so many toenails those months...)

If you googled 'black toenail' and ended up at that post and ended up right here... it takes 9 months for that big toenail to grow back.

Just sayin'...

Posted by Boudicca at 09:57 PM | Comments (10)