I don't understand companies and their mandates. We had a group meeting the other day. I have a small group... there are seven of us, including my boss in that count.
We have been told by management that we MUST have a group meeting every month. Let me state, that we all sit together, we are a tight bunch, like family, and we unintentionally probably have a group meeting of some kind every dang day.
That's how closely we work together.
So in said mandatory meeting my boss said, "We have to have a group event every quarter."
Me: I don't want a group event.
Boss: Of course you don't.
Asst: Why every quarter?
Boss: Some people complained they don't have group events.
Me: We don't need them...
Boss: We don't have a choice. We WILL have a group event every quarter.
GF engineer: Your birthday is next week. We'll make that our group event.
Boss: No... wait.
Me: I'm bringing quiche!
GF engineer: I'll bring brownies!
Boss: My birthday is not a group event.
Guy engineer: It appears it is now.
Asst: I'm bringing cake...
Boss: I can't believe this.
Me: Check in the box. Can we go now?
The three men in the group sat back and watched the entire thing unfold as our boss got railroaded.
Our group event was today. We went into a conference room, ate cake, brownies, quiche, talked about our families and went back to work.
I'm not thinking that's what management intended, but I don't care. Who mandates stuff like that? Who mandates having fun?!
And yes, my boss thinks I'm difficult. He waffles between wanting to strangle me and happy I'm on the team. The older I get, the more I want a sign in my cube that reads, "You aren't the boss of me."
Except he is. He just wonders sometimes if I forget...
I realized that the colors didn't come out. I grabbed his clothes and took a better picture.
Now keep in mind, he had on a royal blue lanyard and black tennis shoes with BRIGHT ORANGE laces.
I don't know why it downloaded so dark and muted...
I left the kitchen after making the kids' lunches the other day, only for a moment was I gone, and when I walked in, there stood Bones.
In an outfit that was just so... very... wrong... that I picked up my cell phone and snapped a picture of it. He looked up and said, "Why'd you take a picture?"
To which I replied, "Just because..." and I walked back out of the room.
I sent the picture to my sister that said, "We are pattern blind..."
And her reply was, "The Great Flambina dresses like that often, but she is 4."
And I txt'd back, "4... 14... what is 10 years?"
There are battles I will pick and battles I will not. Bones is the type of kid that will argue with you if it's raining outside and you state it. He'll tell you that it's not only not raining, but it's a heat wave.
So I don't argue.
He got in the car that afternoon after school and said, "Mom, I get why you took a picture of me this morning..."
I just shrugged.
He continued, "Why didn't you tell me?"
I looked over, raised my eyebrows and said, "Really? Did you not pass by a mirror? Are you kidding? And then have you get all defensive about why it was fine? Right. You can look like a fashion disaster. I pick my battles..."
"Fine," he went on. "I had tons of kids say things and I convinced them all it was planned. This was the new fashion, stripes and plaid. I told them I did it intentionally..."
Knowing Bones, he completely pulled it off. It's all about looking confident.
I remember being a young engineer at Company X, fresh out of college but for a year. I walked into a meeting and in walked an engineer, kind of scruffy, wearing brown pants, a pink gingham short sleeved shirt, and a brown shiny tie with four big diagonal stripes of different shades of brown. It was the most hideous ensemble I had ever seen.
I just stood there staring. I was introduced to him and I don't even remember what it was about; the outfit was so appalling. That's what I remember, meeting him and what he wore.
This coming from a woman that is not known for her mad fashion sense. I wear solids for a reason.
When the engineer left I said to my boss, "Is he married?"
My boss replied in the affirmative.
I shook my head and said "Good God, she must hate him. No way in hell would I let my man leave the house looking like that... looking like a complete and utter fool."
A month later I heard she'd left him, just packed up the kids and left.
He seemed like a nice enough guy, but dang, I think I nailed that one just on his attire.
I figure, as a parent, some things aren't worth the fights.
As a spouse? It might be a sign that you just don't care anymore.
Then again... then too it might fall into the 'not worth the fight' category.
As we grow we realize... we know what we know. Life experience shapes us. They give us our fears, our expectations of how an event will turn out, and anticipations.
I've told the story before here, but I remember when the assistant in our group when I worked for Company X, had a dream about her husband being shot in their street near their home and she was kneeling before him yelling for help. In real life, they lived in a very very bad part of town. Very bad.
She told me this story and after we all stood there speechless I finally said, "I can honestly tell you, I will never have a dream like that." Likewise, she's never had the dream where you're 2 weeks from college graduation and forgot to attend a certain class required to graduate.
And as I reflect on an incident last week, I realize, they truly shape our views and reactions.
I know a woman who used to work for an 'Agency' that I will just say has three letters, beginning with C and ending in A. And I think when you work for a group like that, when you've been all over the world, in some of the worst or more trying times, like say... during the Fall of Saigon... you have witnessed things that put most things here in America, into a different perspective. Maybe if you've lived in some seriously crappy scary parts of Africa, some of the things one would witness here, might make anything here not feel so... intimidating?
I was in St. Augustine last weekend and a woman I've gotten to know, invited me to stay in her home. I was with her for just over 24 hours and she ended up being my tour guide. (She's the one that went to the quarry with me.) Her prior life until this weekend was unknown to me.
I thinks she is fascinating, but I don't ask questions. I only listen if something comes up related.
There is an old home in a not good neighborhood in St. Augustine that was owned by Thomas Jefferson's great great granddaughter. The woman that was with me has been wanting to show it to me. (I linked it in Google maps...drop the little man in the street and you'll get a great view of the house.)
So we made our way to the home... a home built in the mid to late 1800s, in an area of St. Augustine that is slowly becoming 'gentrified' or as some call it a 'transitional neighborhood'. This is a home that has seen better years, it's Victorian decor on the front, long ago removed.
It's been a gas station and a grocery store.
The photos on the 'net don't do the neighborhood justice. It looks clean and nice, but it has a very bad element. I didn't feel it at first. I didn't witness it, ever.
But it's there.
She and I were parked out front in the parking lot, got out, started to walk around, when we were approached by a local. He'd been walking the streets and immediately that little warning bell inside me started to go off.
She doesn't have this bell and if she does, it's not because some strange man has approached her.
White, black, green, yellow, pink, I don't talk to strange men in the streets. If I'm alone and I see a man alone, I'm instantly on guard.
I'm not a big woman. I'm actually considered small. I'm fully aware of my physical limitations. I don't walk around armed (although pepper spray is not a bad idea). I'm not strong. But I'm fast. But I'm not faster than someone who is bigger, unless they're heavy enough where it impairs their running.
I try to avoid situations I might deem stupid. This would include, but is not limited to, dark alleys at night.
But the woman with me, she is smaller than I am, by 20 pounds, but she's flat not afraid of anything. This local walked up, my inner voice is saying, "Be ready", and she talks to him big as day when he started a conversation with us.
He volunteered to show us around, as he knew the area, and even though she knew it well enough, she told him to go ahead.
They start talking about the history of the house, how it may have been a grocery store, but there were other things sold in this home... illegal things. And SHE is the one that started this conversation with him.
And as we're walking and they're talking he says, "Yup. And there was a lot more than those drugs in that there home. There wuz wimmin..."
At which point I stopped and said, 'Wait. Drugs AND prostitution? Like a brothel?' and he just nodded his head and replied, "Yup. Them too..."
We were walking to the front of the house when another local rode up on a bicycle.
They did some kind of funky handshake, greeted each other, and the voice deep down inside is now saying, "Calculate how quickly you can get in that car, close the door, lock it and call 911... all at the same time..."
But not my friend. She has no voice like that. She strikes up a conversation and I listen... as the two locals start talking about the guy down the street that was so happy this grocery store was closed because it was infringing on his 'bidness'. It had put a dent in his profits and so he was glad they were gone and he was making money hand over fist and just gave his daughter 1 million dollars.
Tall tales were being told, I suspect.
Except I didn't care, because I'm standing there with the two locals, doing their thing thinking, "Am I seriously in this neighborhood talking about prostitution and the drug trade? Really?"
After he left and we finished out little tour, my friend and I left and when we got in the car she said to me, "Bou, you looked like you were going to crawl out of your skin when that second guy showed up."
I said, "Really? I was trying to seem so calm. I made sure I had my blank face on..."
To which she replied, "Yeah, blank face with body language saying you were seriously freaked..."
I said, "Not freaked. Just calculating how quickly I could run to your car and call 911 at the same time if things went south..."
I'm still amazed that I started the afternoon at a Catholic Mission, talking about a marker I'm trying to place, and ended up at an old crack house listening to conversations about the local drug trade and prostitution.
You can't make that stuff up...
And for the record, in reflection, I think she wasn't nervous because life experience... kept her armed.
Glad I don't work on a certain a/c... in particular the low turbine.
I've been eating Advil to stave off a migraine all week. It's all work induced. I've got a little voodoo doll at work that I change the name on throughout the week.
It's become a bit of a joke at work.
Feeling very blessed today. Oh yes I am.
Advil wouldn't cut it with that problem.
I had four members of a brass quintet in my home this evening practicing as Dallas Brass is in town practicing with the kids' band tomorrow.
I had them practice on the back porch so the sound would carry, instead of bouncing around inside my home.
They were practicing Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey. I taped it on my cell phone, but Bones put it on the iPad. I'll transfer it to Youtube later so I can post it.
They sounded pretty good considering...
I'm excited for T, taking some real lessons from one of the best brass players in the Nation. He's been branching out lately, playing trombone for one of the local Presbyterian Churches that has a GREAT concert band and Jazz band.
For the first time... he's happy. He is starting to enjoy is instrument. I love that.
Ringo's Eagle Scout project is coming along. He's been crazy busy going every day after school, hauling stones, pulling up old stones, preparing the ground.
Tomorrow he starts to lay the stones for real, the tilling, raking and smoothing complete. He has the sand and is ready.
I've been taking pictures. That's my job while they boys do the heavy lifting. Scouts we don't normally see have been volunteering to help so Sunday afternoon promises to be busy.
They intend to have it finished by Sunday at 5PM.
It's going well. I'm proud of him.
He also made his final choice and he is going to UCF. He has chosen to stay closer to home, 2.5 hours away as opposed to 7. That's fine. He just needs to find a place where he is happy so he will thrive.
Four months and he leaves home...
As my kids get older, in particular Bones, the conversations get... edgier and funnier. Edgier because sometimes they take an unexpected sexual slant.
I've always been very open with my boys. They can ask anything and I'll explain it. Y'all have read some of the crazy conversations that have happened. I was raised this way and I have followed suit.
My husband? He may plead the 5th, modest as he is, but I'm upfront and honest and what I've found is they'll ask me just about anything without a blush.
They'll say anything around each other too. There are times I'll be in the other room and hear a conversation that I have NO desire to hear and I'll yell, "HEY! HEY! HEY! Your MOTHER is in this room and she can HEAR YOU. STOP IT!"
Which is usually met with a laugh, and then quiet.
So yesterday Bones got in the car and something came up about the SI bathing suit issue.
Me: The bathing suit issue came out and I didn't know.
Me: Did anyone see it?
Bones: Yeah. We all saw it.
Me: All four of you?
Me: Soft p0rn. I got you all soft p0rn.
Sidenote: if you recall, I started this SI thing as a Christmas gift to T one year, completely forgetting about the swimsuit edition.
Bones: Mom, really, it's not that bad.
Me: They have painted on bathing suits...
Bones: They don't show anything. Trust me...
Me: Hey, txt T and tell him we're 10 min from getting him from Bob's.
Bones, txting: Hey. Mom and I are talking about p0rn. And we're 10 minutes away...
So tonight he had Confirmation class. As we were driving over he said to me, "You know tonight... is the sex talk."
Me: Sex talk? You know about sex...
Bones, eyebrow raised, talking all cool: I know. I do. But this is the 'don't have sex' talk.
So off he went to Confirmation Class, to hear people he doesn't really know tell him not to have sex before he gets married.
Bones: Well, that was uncomfortable. I mean. You'd think they'd at least pick someone who wasn't so uncomfortable talking about it! Geez. It's sex...
Me: I know. Everyone does it....
Bones: Without sex, there is no populating. You have to have it to continue the human race...
Me: I know. Billions and billions of people....
Bones: And every time she had to say it, she'd pause and then say, "You know... have sex..." I wanted to say, "Get a grip! Just say it!"
Me: What can I say...
It is appearing at this point, that I'm just listening, with little interjections.
Bones: Mom. It was all about pre-marital sex.
Me: Yup. We knew that.
Bones: You know there are thousands and thousands of people having pre-marital sex...
Me, sitting more upright: *blink* yes...
Now I'm wondering where this is going. What in the heck do I say to this? Thousands? Let's try... tens of thousands. Hundreds of thousands.
Bones: Mom, you should check online. You know there have to be p0rn sites all over the place. All those people are having sex and being PAID for it. You know they aren't married. And Mom, there have to be literally thousands and thousands of sites. So that right there should tell you, there are thousands of people having sex that aren't married.
So that is Bones rationale that there are people having pre-marital sex, irrefutable proof, because there is on-line p0rn.
How do you argue with that?
Because evidently people NOT participating in p0rn are NOT having pre-marital sex.
And just so you know, when he went through his schpiel, I started to laugh so hard, I nearly peed in my car. I couldn't help it. The laughing.
I am absolutely exhausted. There are many posts coming; they are written in my head but I have to actually stay awake long enough to be able to put them here.
I've been traveling a lot lately and there... is just a lot going on in my life. Some of it dealing with family, some with work, some with some volunteer work I do. All of it has hit critical mass and although I'm fine, doing what I do, sifting through it, punching off items on my to do list, I am pretty beat.
Odd situation of the year (for me): I was in a meeting with 150 women. I was one of the major players.
I never think about age. It is irrelevant to me. What is more important to me is 1) are you kind? 2) are you interesting? 3) can I learn from you? If the answer is yes to all three, I'm game. I don't care what you look like, where you come from, what your age is, or how you dress... nothing.
Just be you.
The bonus of this is I have a very eclectic group of friends. The odd side is... I sometimes find myself in these weird situations when I realize... I'm the odd man out.
Like being in a meeting with 150 women and realizing, that out of the blue, 10 days early, I'm about to bleed to death. After the realization I am not prepared, and a quick prayer of thanks that I'm wearing black, I scouted out the room to see if I could pull a woman aside and ask for an assist. A quiet muttering of, 'You won't believe what just happened to me..."
Except, of the 150 women, I realized... I was the ONLY pre-menopausal woman in the room. Everyone was well past that stage in their lives. Fortunately, I was able to salvage the situation, but that was the first time I ever really realized... most of my friends are 10+ years older than I am.
Yes. I laughed. Even at the horror of it.
So I am in the process of heading up a big project... placing a historical marker in St. Augustine where the first Christian celebration took place. I have vowed to the Director of the place where the marker will be placed, to keep it rustic. The marker won't be tacky on a pole. It'll blend with it's natural surroundings.
I've been working with a marker company to get the plaque made and my trip to St. Augustine was two fold, one for the meeting and two for checking out the marker situation. We decided to have the marker bolted on a piece of coquina.
Sounds simple, right? I got the name of a quarry and have been emailing him. I just needed to go up and get a good feel for stone.
Not all stone is created equal. Limestone will wear away. Granite was going to look too 'cemeteryish'. I found myself standing on some big rock declaring to him, "I love this one! Let's use this!" for him to respond, "Mmm. That's not coquina. I can't cut it."
Rock. Evidently some of it you can't cut.
So I'm bounding all over the quarry, standing on coquina, tipping it over, angling from side to side to see if it will fit my plaque, which we have now realized is MUCH bigger than we had anticipated. My wording for this marker is making this marker be 20" by 29".
Mark that out on a piece of bronze, add 3" to each side for play, and you are now looking at 26" by 35". That is a big dang piece of bronze.
That I now have to find a piece of stone to bolt it to.
So I finally found one, scurried to the top of it and said, "THIS! This is it!" to which he said, 'Oh yeah, that'll work....'
He walked around and around and then said, "Yeah. It's about 3000 pounds. We can chip away at it, get your marker to fit, epoxy it on, and then have a crane haul it over and place it..."
At which point my girlfriend and I nearly fell out, because in all the logistics we've been sorting through my head, 'hauling it by crane' hadn't come into play.
Also, 3000 pounds of coquina wasn't in the thought process either.
So I'm in the process of getting the marker made smaller, more manageable, and seeing if we can take this big rock down a 1000 pounds.
I had to go to where the marker was to be placed to make sure a crane can fit, as in, 'no power lines or low hanging trees'.
When I wasn't at work today, I spent the day doing a lot of manual labor with my sons, lifting stones out of my car and getting a Rosary Garden started at the Church where my mother in law died.
It has been 13 years since she died, while leading the Rosary on the altar of her church.
My eldest is building a Rosary Garden at her church and it consists of a 16" x 16" paver for every Hail Mary and a different 16" x 16" for every Our Father. There are pavers in between for the 'string' of the rosary. All in all... we've been placing over 100 stones today. (There are five 'decades' in a rosary. Ten Hail Marys are said, separated by an Our Father.)
So with the lifting, placing, turning... I'm pretty beat.
When it's finished, I'll post a picture. A Rosary Garden is a Prayer Garden.
It should be nice.
Bones came out this morning, dressed for school: dress pants, dress shoes, black long sleeved dress shirt, and belt. He brushed his hair and said to me, "Do I look smexy?"
To which I replied, "What in the heck is smexy?"
Bones: Smart and Sexy.
Me: First, you are my SON. You will NEVER be smexy to me. EVER. Second, you are THIRTEEN. You are a boy. Thirteen year olds are not smexy.
Bones: Ma. Really.
And so that is how our day started with a 13 year old, Mr. Smexy, going off to school to conquer Valentine's Day.
He didn't see the girl who isn't his girlfriend today, other than to slip her the heart confetti filled envelope.
He received two candy lollipops, both from secret admirers, neither of whom spelled his name correctly.
First or Last.
Now what is funnier, to me, is the fact he goes to an art school, with a very diverse student body, when I said, "So, do you have any suspicions as to who the little girls are?", he replied, "Well, the first one... it... 'cuz I don't know, it could be a boy..."
I nearly fell out laughing.
It turns out, he thinks the first one was a joke, from the 6th grade boy that calls him 'Mr. Clown'.
I have often wondered if it was bad that my boys didn't have a sister. How do you learn how much hurt can go into being the other sex if you don't witness it? Watching my brother, I was very conscious of making sure a guy didn't spend too much on me, I tried to think of cheap ways to date, and always tried to reciprocate. If he didn't let me pay for a meal, I'd cook.
So I have wondered. What has happened instead is my boys have a lot of friends that are girls. I mean real friends, that they aren't dating, but literally hang with and bounce things off of.
For Ringo, there are four girls in particular. They've all been in my house at one time or another. One of them is of the Murdering Campbells. Those of you who have been reading me, know of all the stories of this little girl he's known since he was five.
All four girls currently do not have boyfriends and therefore did not have dates. As a senior in high school, when everything feels still so personal, they were sad and thought the whole situation stunk.
So on the way home from the gym tonight, he stopped by Publix and picked up each girl some flowers and a small bar of chocolate and drove to each of their homes to drop them off.
I didn't know what to say. I sure has hell never prompted this action... this empathetic action towards a girl.
I said, "What did they say?"
He said, "They thanked me and said I made their Valentine's Day happy..."
I spent time then explaining to him, something I suspect he already knew: It truly is the thought. It doesn't have to be diamonds and balloon rides and big fancy dinners. It can be the simplicity of 'you took the time out of your day to think of me...".
I also told him that these young women would remember it for the rest of their lives.
Like I remember the time I was 20 and moved back to town and an old friend of mine from high school, a boy, painted a 10 foot sign on wood, and had it placed in my parents' front yard... welcoming me home.
And... I think that Ringo's actions probably raised him up in the eyes of the parents, not that he needed it. But whenever someone does something that is kind for my boys, something that lifts their spirits, I always remember that action and what it meant.... and who did it.
Tonight, I genuinely think that Ringo felt deeply, 'it was better to give than to receive'. He looked happy.
Remember how I said that none of Bones' pictures turned out on his Science trip to Busch Gardens... that would be if he actually remembered to take them?
Well I flipped through the pictures and there were pictures of... a girl.
We will call her Veronique. She is Polish, as in just got here two years ago. (Two Polish immigrants in one month I've heard about. Not related. What is that about? Kind of cool...)
This was our conversation yesterday:
Bones: Mom, I used my lunch money to buy Veronique a lollipop for Valentine's day.
Me: Who is Veronique?
Bones: A girl. She wanted one and asked me if I'd buy her one. It'll be delivered to her during one of her classes. It's a school fundraiser.
Me: Is she your girlfriend?
Bones: NO! She's just a friend. It's Valentine's Day. It'll make her feel good.
So today he said to me, 'Mom, we have to get a card for Veronique..."
Me: You mean the girl who is not your girlfriend?
Bones: Yes. That's her. I took all these pictures of her at Busch Gardens, and I want to give them to her in a card tomorrow.
Me: Veronique is the girl from the pictures?! The pictures that were supposed to be of friction and acceleration? The pictures that were supposed to be on PHYSICS?!
Bones, non-plussed: Yup, that's her. I'm going to give them to her in a card.
Nix the card. He found an envelope, put them in, found tons of heart confetti in my house (no clue where that came from... I'm thinking my Mom) and filled the envelope so when she opens it, she'll get heart confetti all over her and find pictures of herself.
But she's not his girlfriend.
And it may be, but this is a new girl in our Country who wants to be part of our customs and she felt comfortable enough around Bones to ask him to make her a part of it.
And he said yes and took it that next step.
And I think... it can't get much better than that.
Bones is going to be in another Flash Mob! How fun is that?!!
This one is for singing. There is a big performance of a musical at the Kravis Center and the group he sings with at night is going to be milling around in the lobby on opening night and they're going to break out in song!
I told my husband, "Well... looks like we're attending that musical that night!"
Forget the musical, I want to be in the crowd when 300 of these kids start to sing. I know nobody is expecting it.
I'm so excited!!!
I'll try to take video and download it onto Youtube when the time comes.
Today is my sister's birthday. She is the big 42.
That feels kind of nutty. My younger sister is in her 40s. Ugh.
Do you know what occurred to me tonight? I don't have any pictures of the two of us together. I don't have one crazy picture where we stuck our faces together, grabbed a cell phone and snapped a picture.
We will have to remedy that next I see her, and I'll post it.
Mo is six years younger than I. She's the funny extroverted one whose crazy antics keep us all laughing, from her expressions to the nutty situations she finds herself in, and then of course how she extricates herself from them.
The only people that can rival nutty situations with her... are my Mom and I. It seems to be an XX chromosomal thing in our family.
It's so funny, but the guys at work thing I'm a riot. People say things to me like, "You always come up with the craziest things that make us laugh..."
And I tell people, "You think *I'm* funny? You should meet my sister. I am the straight man to Mo. She's funny just walking in the room."
Since she was a kid, she was one of those people that sunlight followed.
If someone were to play Mo in a movie, it would be Sandra Bullock.
She sees the humor and the absurdity.
And what makes her laugh? My boys. I called her tonight, she spoke to all of them, and when she got back on the phone with me, she was laughing so hard at the each of them.
So sometime in March, I'll snap a photo of Mo and I and post it. People think we look alike. Now that she's got her hair straightened, we probably do more so. We don't see it... but siblings never do.
Happy Birthday, Mo! And just remember... those stories my boys tell of your little house in the Ghetto... will only get taller with each year passing. By the time they have kids of their own, they'll be saying, "You remember when there was gunshot in the street and we had to run for cover?"
I was over at Primordial Slack and she had this little few second vid in the corner.
I was enthralled. I had to find it on Youtube.
I could not quit laughing when I watched this. Turn on the English subtitles. It's in Norwegian.
Holy crap. It must not take much to amuse me.
Or I was in a serious need for amusing today...
I know I posted about how Bones went to Busch Gardens with his science class. They were studying physics. I'm not sure if I put that each were to take with them a camera and take pictures of certain things during the trip... speed, velocity, projectile, buoyancy.
I'll be honest. I knew from the get go, it was screaming in my head, "No good can come of this".
So we're going to hand an 8th grade boy with ADHD, a camera, in an amusement park, with lights, motion, sound, more possible stimulation than you can possibly imagine, give him a list and say, 'remember to take pictures of all this stuff'.
I wasn't asked to chaperone. His entire class wasn't offered the ability, so it wasn't anything personal. But I knew if I'd gone, I would have walked with Bones and his buddy, made sure they took their 15 pictures and then left them alone to enjoy the rest of their day by themselves.
Instead, I was left praying, "Dear Lord, please let Bones' partner be focused, driven and organized. Amen."
Let us not forget that little saying about magnets attracting, like to like, etc. I know that the kids that Bones chooses to hang with are flighty kids who live in a world of cotton candy clouds just as he does.
Please. One of his best buddies dances jigs through the hallways playing the harmonica in between classes.
This is not 'normal'.
This is an art school.
As he got out of my car I said, 'Bones, please, remember... pictures' to which I got the standard reply, "I got it Ma"... a response that now sends shivers down my spine. It's the less dangerous equivalent of "Hey y'all, Watch This!"
When he got back in the car upon returning, when I asked, "So how did the pictures go?" I received the reply, 'GREAT!' which I suspected was the equivalent of "How did the Math test go?" when he replies, "Great! I got an A' only to find he made a 35.
But I said nothing. Sometimes I play Scarlet and do the "I'll worry about it tomorrow'. Sometimes I play the ostrich and choose to remain in denial for just a little bit. Sometimes, I'm just hopeful.
All of them are coping mechanisms. Pick a day and there is no rhyme or reason as to which I will pick when my patience/coping meters have been pegged.
I don't know which it was that night. I'm leaning towards hopeful, but that famous river was probably involved.
His Dad does the Science. I do the Math. I can't do it all with him or I'll freak. I can only handle so much Bones.
So I left it alone, hoping someone had this under control.
A week later I finally starting badgering Bones as to when the pictures were due.
A side note, very few places develop real film anymore on the premises. Thank you CVS. They do.
I went to take the camera to get the film developed and realized... that there were TEN pictures left blank on the camera. 10. Ten. TEN!
That didn't bode well. Furious, I told him I didn't pay to have empty film developed and had him take pictures of his brothers.
I picked up the pictures, dropped them on the table and said to my husband, "Do with them as you must..."
Last night was the moment of truth, evidently. They were putting the project together. I was in the dining room when I started to hear the panic in the voice of my husband.
"Bones! Where are all your pictures! I have TEN pictures of your BROTHERS, a bunch of blank pictures, and the rest of them I have NO CLUE what I'm looking at..."
It went downhill from there.
Only one turned out... centrifugal force.
Of the entire camera.
Bones swears it was the worst camera ever and totally not his fault, except that doesn't explain why he didn't take pictures of 2/3 of the items he needed.
Fortunately, the teacher understood that although the intent was there, roads to hell and all that stuff, there was a Plan B. You could take pictures in your home of any that didn't take on the trip.
Which for Bones, was all but one.
Last night we spent the night taking pictures of projection, shooting nerf out of a gun took 10 takes, Bones scooting around on his scooter on the back porch (at night, I might add) for speed, a ball rolling down a foam board for acceleration... and on and on...
On the side, I was helping T with his homework. We were doing those damn train and bus problems... if Tina traveled 540 miles, 140 by bus and 300 by train, and the train traveled 10 km/hour faster than the bus, what was the speed of each?
I looked at T and said, 'Son, you cannot comprehend how much more stress free my life is going to be when a certain person goes away to college in 5 years..."
He thinks it's a riot.
I'm just trying to cope.
Last week, when I was traveling from my folks' home, I got to the parking garage to pay and the auto card reader wouldn't take my Visa. Immediately I thought either I didn't 'put my mag strip down and to the right' the way the automatic robot voice told me or something was wrong with the parking garage reader. I used my AMEX and was on my way.
But it niggled in my brain. I know after the crazy travel of that day that I felt like my brain was fried and I was tired, but I am not directionally challenged and felt certain I'd put my mag strip down and to the right, as I've done it so many times before.
I forgot about it when I got home and didn't check my messages.
The next day I was with Bones. He has one of his long performance days where he leaves school to go to a venue, I pick him up and take him to another vocal practice, with no time to stop home and eat. I promised him BK. (Blech.)
I thought to myself, "Perfect time to check my Visa..." and it rejected.
I called my CU immediately and they said, "We stopped your card on fraud alert. Have you been in Michigan buying computer equipment?" to which I replied, "No, I'm warm and in Florida..."
So they reissued me a new one.
This evening at dinner, my husband said, "Remember how your VISA was compromised last week? My MasterCard was compromised TODAY. In Utah... for $9.00. I got a call asking if I was in Utah..."
Interesting that someone was evidently just testing the waters with his card. If the $9 passed, onto bigger and better from there! With mine, it was a 'full court press, if I succeed... let's succeed BIG'.
This is what is crazy. My husband and I both have our own credit cards. The only card we have the same account on is our AMEX, and only because I didn't have one when we married so he got me one on his account.
After 21 years of marriage, we still have our own VISA and MC... not putting one on the other. He prefers MC, I prefer VISA, it worked. They both get paid off through the joint bank account and neither of us being real spendy people, it's not a problem. (Other than Christmas, our cards are used for things in our budget such as gas, groceries, haircuts and clothes we know have to be purchased. So having different cards is a non-issue. It's all about the budget.)
But what is interesting is that both these cards were compromised within a week of each other and both were compromised in the same way. Someone had the information required to CREATE a fake card.
Both were tagged as 'hard swiped'. It wasn't internet fraud.
My husband and I don't frequent the same places with those cards... at all. He rarely actually uses his MC. Yet, both were compromised within a week, sharing no information except the same last name.
Which leads us to believe that this was part of that MC/VISA breach last year; it's just taken this long to trickle down to us.
I could be wrong. But I personally think... it's a little crazy.
To date, T has an incredible knack for predictions when it comes to football, from predicting someone's yardage within 10 yards to the BCS score, off by three points.
He has no idea why he knows sometimes. The BCS bowl he predicted based on 'intangibles'.
This was our conversation today:
Me: Who is going to win?
T: Ravens. Unfortunately. It will be the Ravens.
(Sidenote, he wanted the Pats to be there, so he's disappointed it's anyone but the Pats.)
Me: Really? So what are we basing this on? Intangibles?
T: The God factor.
Me: The God factor? What the heck? God is on their side?
T: I have absolutely no other way to explain why they ended up where they did, other than the God factor.
Me: God loves the Ravens?
T: Ray Lewis. He and Ray Lewis are tight.
Me: The murderer?
T: Mom. 'ALLEGED' murderer...
Me: And was he allegedly married four times?
T: I have no explanation for that. He just talks to God a lot.
Me: Asking for forgiveness for being an A-hole previously?
T: Could be. I can't explain it. I just know he talks to God and God appears to listen...
Ringo walked in, having left to watch the game at a friend's house, but having forgotten something.
He was running through the house. I teasingly yelled after him, as kick-off hadn't even happened.
Me: Yo. Great game! Who won?
Ringo: The 49ers!
Me: Really? Cuz T thinks it's going to be the Ravens.
Ringo, stopped and stared: Really? He said that? Why?
Me: The God Factor. Ray Lewis.
Ringo rolled his eyes, ran back to his bedroom and yelled over his shoulder: The murderer who's been married four times? The God factor? Right. It'll be the 49ers.
So T says 21-17 Ravens.
Ringo says it'll be the 49ers and T just picked the score because it's an easy score.
Maybe they'll tie...