Thursday, May 28, 2009

All Because She Felt Pretty...

There is a wicked old witch who works in my office--always scowling, grumpy, and bitching about people to the various bosses.  She drives me crazy.
We rode up the elevator together, alone, this morning.  She was wearing a beautiful dress, so I said, "Cute dress...", and the wildest thing happened:
She smiled and said, "thank you", and, you got the impression that she was smiling not just because she'd just put the screws to somebody, but because she was genuinely pleased that somebody had noticed.
And the wicked old witch was nice all day.
I feel like f*cking Pollyanna.  Except that f*cking Pollyanna would never say something like, "F*cking Pollyanna".

You Know You're Tired When...

The 13 year-old girl in your household, who usually doesn't get out of bed in the morning until you use a bullhorn and a firehose on her, gets up before you do.
Gee...I must be dreadfully old.  I was helping a friend pack boxes for a move last night, and I feel like I've been hit by a truck. 
Not as big a truck as the one that hits me when I go out drinking with Sarah, but still...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Audience of One

Lately, I haven't felt terrifically inspired, and I wonder if this is just a phase I'm going through and if I'll pop back into inspiration again soon.  The best writing I have done for the last month is a personal letter that I wrote to someone over the weekend--an audience of one.  We had a disagreement.  I verbally knocked her about the head a few times, and after I got done kicking the crap out of her, she thanked me. 
And THAT, my friends, is what you call "good writing".
The thing is, it was good because it was personal--sure, I could have blogged it, and believe me, the temptation was definitely there...I do so love the crazy people, and she is freaking bug-nuts.  I actually planned to blog the entire thing, with detail, and back-story, and I'm sure it would have been a lot more entertaining that me talking about what a dumb weekend I had, but for some reason, I thought this person deserved enough of my sympathy not to be ridiculed as a public figure.  I'm not sure when I got so nice.  Instead, after I beat her into submission with words, I found myself doing that move, like Cameron, from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, where he sort of pats himself on the back.  (That might be my favorite scene from that whole movie.)
For the last few years, this blog has, in fact, been written to an audience of one--a muse in the truest sense.  Literally every word was written with some one person in mind.  That a few others happened to check it out from time to time was a happy bonus.  "Audience of One" is actually a very old, and very effective little trick.  Imagine a person--one person--who gets all your jokes, likes the way your mind works, thinks you're cool, and, oh, they also think you're cute, and they want to sleep with you.  That's your audience.  Just one person. 
Sometimes, you are lucky enough to be able to attach those things to a real person.  Sometimes, it is someone you actually know!  If this is you, then, LUCKY YOU!!  For the rest of us, well, we don't actually know anybody who gets all our jokes AND wants to sleep with us--usually they either want to sleep with us and barely notice that we have anything to say, or, they think we're uproariously funny, but they love us like a sister and the not-so-sexy feeling is mutual.  While both of those things can be nice, if they're not combined into one swell package, the inspiration only comes in fits and spurts.  You hesitate, because you know that you can write something that your good friend will enjoy, but you also know that as soon as you throw in the sex joke, they'll get all uncomfortable. 
Meanwhile, the person who just wants to sleep with you reads it like this: "blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah *SEX JOKE* blah-blah-blah-blah-blah..."
I have come to the realization that a lot of people out there have gigantic gaps in their grown-up-ness.  They're either otherwise intelligent people who have the great misfortune of not being able to enjoy sex, or they are dumb as a box of rocks and sex is all they can talk about. The ones that can talk politics AND sweaty body-rubbing with equal enthusiasm, wisdom, and humor are so few and far between...usually, they can do one or the other really well, but not both. I gotta tell ya, though...the golden combo is pretty much the theme around here...thoughtful discussion peppered with wanton lust.  While most of the chatter takes place fully clothed, I do strive for that delicate balance, and try to leave vast expanses for the imagination to run wild.  Make the sex joke, what the hell do I care?  I believe that, as grown-ups, we've earned it.  We have the wisdom now, that we never had before.  We've seen some things.  We also like sex and drinking and stuff, and, we've been around long enough now so that we're really good at it (practice makes perfect), so, why not?
(Here's a weird example of what I am talking about...I was on Facebook last week, bitching about something, and a Fine Christian Woman chimed in to say, "you're just stressed out--you need a vacation".  Almost immediately thereafter, one of my best friends of the last 20-odd years, commented with "You're just stressed out--you need a vibrator."  Clearly, just joking around--and he knows me, so, he can do that.  At that point, my friend and I began joking about the finer points of sex toys, in a completely NON-graphic way, and the Fine Christian Woman excused herself from the conversation, which I thought was too bad.  I mean...she's married, and she's given birth, so she's probably had sex before.  Why so stressed out?)
Of course, "Audience of One" suggests a very special relationship--a love affair in it's newest stages, ripe with potential.  Everything is still perfect, and you don't annoy each other yet. I still have that ideal in my head, but it seems to be fading a bit, in these days where I'm discovering exactly what it is that I am supposed to be doing with my life.  It makes the most sense right now to just focus on my kids, and ignore my friends trying to set me up (really Sarah, I'm sure the older Russian gentleman who paid you $100 for your phone number at the casino is an interesting guy, but...).  At the same time, there is a lot more to me than "mother", and I know that in a few years, when my kids have left the house and moved on to their own thing, I don't want to look back on these days and feel like I cheated myself out of happiness that I could have been experiencing simultaneously while parenting.  In other words, I feel confident that I can handle it, but, don't really have anything to "handle", if you know what I mean...nothing getting me all that excited.
I hate it when my life is a yawner.  I refuse to be one of those people who talks about what time I got home after work, in relation to a discussion about traffic, because "my shows" were on and I didn't want to miss them, and I spent the evening doing what only really boring people do--mainly because I don't do those things!  I don't have any "shows" and don't run my life around a TV schedule!  I don't care about traffic!  I don't even care about what time I got home!  (Seriously, people have asked me what time I usually get home and I actually don't know--I get there when I get there.  Who cares?  Is my couch gonna be mad that I wasn't on time?  I don't even care if my cat gets fed before 10PM, and he bitches a lot more than the couch...)
It's not that I'd be sitting at my keyboard, talking about the specifics of what I did last night or anything, it's that having something in your life that is too intimate to share with everybody makes all the other things that you do seem a lot more interesting.  Colors are brighter when you're inspired.  Happy things are happier.  Every day is a beautiful day.  It would be nice if, at least for a little while, I didn't have to work so hard to convince myself that these things are true, regardless of whether or not I have an actual Audience of One with which to share them.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday's On The Phone (Again)

I seem to recall that around this time last year, I was supposed to be heading to New Orleans. Yeah...that's all pleasant, New Orleans in early summer.

*cough* *cough*, OK, that's bullshit--it's hotter than Hades in New Orleans this time of year (but not as hot as it gets!). You go, you sit, you take in fluids...that's about it. Nighttime, take the vampire tours, whatev.

Two years ago, I spent Memorial weekend at home, but the entire time was spent relaxing outdoors, with bonfires at night, never an occasion in which there was not a decidedly grown-up beverage in my hand, and "grown up" music playing (meaning, NOT Kid's Choice). Going back to work on Tuesday was a total drag.

I believe three years ago, I was at a lake somewhere, and the adult beverage/bonfire thing was in full effect.

So, what did I do this weekend? Drove my kids around to their planned social events (NO drinking, cuz you have to drive someone again before the night is through...), and cleaned my apartment.

F*cking A.....That sucked.

Seriously, the highlight of my weekend was when Barb came over for coffee Sunday morning, and we sat on the stoop and chatted, drank coffee, ate bagels and coffee cake, and visited with the people and doggies walking by.

Oh! That, and the thing on Saturday, when I was shopping for exciting stuff like, I dunno, cleaning supplies or something, and I got stuck in a long line so I flipped my phone open to discover that I had an email from the aforementioned psycho (sleeping dragon of the previous post) and because I was so completely and utterly bored, spent four hours writing a multi-page response to her ranting freak-out. Four hours during which I also remained completely sober.

That passed for excitement.

That's how dumb the weekend was.

Oh, don't get me wrong...I'm glad the socks finally got matched and I finally got my washed clothes put away (ahem...I have a lot of damn clothes, people. You can tell I have a lot, because when you're busy like me, you just keep grabbing whatever is clean cuz you're always in a hurry, and I never seem to run out...that's a lot of damn clothes...)

Perhaps the whole "holiday weekend should be fun" thing is all a bunch of crap, and that you're not really supposed to spend your time off enjoying yourself. Maybe, it's all just drudgery, and I've been living in some kind of psychedelic mist this entire time. Either way, apparently I have the perfect outfit with matching shoes...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Any Hobbies? Yeah...I Enjoy Poking Sleeping Dragons

What a day, what a day!
Dealing with narcissists is always invigorating--just make sure you have lots of witnesses, cuz when they make The Crazy, you don't want to be the only one who saw it, considering it always comes down to their word against yours, and narcissists are WAY better liars than most people.  Certainly, they are better at it than I am.
Today I had a most unfortunate run-in.  It all started off in the usual way--I expressed my opinion on something, and someone who disagreed with me went WAY off the deep end and totally ripped into me, spitting fire all over the place.  It's so bizarre when people do that--I mean, who gives a shit, right?  But you can tell right away that you're dealing with a narcissist because they launch right into implying how stupid you are, compared to them.  I ended up spending practically the entire day deflecting the blows.  Mostly, I just quoted them to themselves, which narcissists HATE, by the way.  Makes them nuts.  Almost as nuts as CCing their boss on your entire conversation.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....Gawd I'm awful.  But I don't care.
Now I'm totally whiped out--can't wait to get home and flop on the couch, maybe order a pizza or something, and start the long weekend of doing nothing in particular.
Hope you ALL have a fantastic weekend!  Be well, be safe, and HAVE FUN!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Funny Quote Of The Day

"We haven't died yet, that's why we didn't call!"
My best friend works at a funeral home--she gets that kind of thing all the time.
I also enjoyed the time she called me and said, "Hey, you might THINK your life sucks, but at least nobody harvested your brain today..."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Emerge Triumphant, Yet Again...

Today, I'm wearing a dress to work.
Not just any dress, but, the famous FROG HUNTING DRESS!!! 
YES!  The same dress worn on my last "official" date with my husband, our 8th wedding anniversary, in which I started the night going out to dinner, and ended it hunting frogs in my back yard.  Not nearly as romantic as it sounds!  It's the first time I've worn it since that crazy, crazy night.  You can follow the link and read all about it, but if you don't want to, here is a quick re-cap...
Wedding Anniversary, Date Night, wine, Half-drunk horny hot chick.....

Aaaaaaand DENIED!
Anyway...wearing the the dress.  It's black, but summery and la-dee-dah, I look freaking great it in, so there, nanner-nanner.  And all day long, in my office building, everybody's been telling me how fabulous I look.  Men, women, married people, singles, random janitor dude.  Everybody.
See?  It's not so difficult!  Tell the girl she looks cute, instead of making her hunt frogs!
It's not rocket science...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ground Covered

I went to a greenhouse on Saturday.  I love greenhouses.  My mother and I are both like that--can't stand to drive by a greenhouse.  She actually works in one in the Spring, and ends up bringing a fair amount of inventory home, thereby erasing most or all of her paychecks.
Paid in plants.  
My mother is perfectly OK with being paid in plants, by the way.  It's what she would have spent the money on, anyway, right?  Mom now has her own greenhouse in the back yard of her house--she bought it from a friend of hers, and devotes a lot of attention to it.  If you call my mother, she'll only talk about the weather in relation to how it is affecting her plants.  Other than that, she likes to talk about....plants. 
And I was just like her.  Gardens, flowers, plants inside and outside the house.  It just made me so happy to have things growing and changing and needing a bit of my attention to be their best, but ultimately doing their own thing.  It's such a mommy thing, to garden.
When I was at the greenhouse, I felt like a fraud.  I live in an apartment, and have no balcony or other outdoor space.  I simply do not have all of the precious real estate that I would usually devote to plants (read: stuff to the rafters with all of the cool new varieties of plants I could get my hands on).  I do have a lot of window, and I'm anxious to start populating the house with green stuff, but every time I go to look at plants, something awful clicks in my brain.  I start to feel sad for the lack of outdoor space, or worse, think, "well, I shouldn't have that, I'll probably just kill it--I don't want to spend the money on something that I'm just going to kill" and I end up not buying anything. 
Because of this temporary paralysis, my house is completely devoid of plants at the moment.  It is a very strange situation.  I don't think I have lived in a house without a plant in over 20 years, and that wasn't a house, that was a dorm room.  In the past, I've had plants growing, even in the apartment that I figured was too dark for anything to survive, and I've had plants with so much sunny love that I couldn't stop them from taking over a room.  I've rooted shoots in jelly jars on my kitchen windowsill; started banana trees from seed (for those of you in need of an exercise in patience, I highly recommend it); grew entire gardens from ZERO, babying little seedlings along with grow lights and food and all sorts of ridiculous attention; and spent countless hours in what I joyfully refer to as "yard editing", AKA weeding, pruning, rearranging, planting, digging, watering, raking, mowing, etc.  All of this is fun for me.
But Saturday, while walking through the greenhouse, I happened upon a plant that I knew very well, called Lamium "White Nancy" and I had a bit of a flashback to my house in Duluth, where I used to live with my husband.  When we moved in, there were no flower beds on the property.  Clearly, the house had been previously occupied by space aliens.  I mean, I actually called my mother and the first words out of my mouth were, "Can you believe this place has NO gardens?  That's so weird!"  By the time we moved out, there were 8 flower/vegetable beds, and a threatened 9th.  There was also a composter, and a garage full of Yard Edit stuff. 
The gigantic pine tree in our front yard also had NOTHING growing under it (I know!  Unbelievable!), so my mom sent me that exact species, Lamium "White Nancy" in the mail, to plug in under the pine.  It took off growing and tah-da!  The ugly ground was covered, just like that.  Through the course of a couple of years, that one plant that I got in the mail ended up filling in every inch of ugly under that stupid tree, where no other plants could even get a foothold.  Beautiful thing, Lamium.
I became sad and angry, just looking at it.  My gardens in Duluth brought me so much joy, and now they were gone.  Just gone...another casualty of my marriage.  Fuck... 
You make choices in life, and, I made plenty of stupid choices.  I chose, again and again, to give up things that made me happy, all in my misguided effort to keep my husband happy.  I was so dumb.  In the end, I wasn't happy, and neither was he.  I'm not sure "happy" is something that he was or is even capable of, so, all of that effort was ultimate wasted. 
Mental note regarding next boyfriend:  Does he seem generally "happy"?  Or is it always somethin'?  Cuz I've done "It's always something..."  "It's always somethin'" sucks the life right out of you--makes you stop wanting to, and unsure of your ability to, give anything, including care to a stupid plant...
As much as these little moments suck (verge of tears in a greenhouse...the happiest place on earth!), at least I come out on the other side of them, fully aware of what they are, and for that I am grateful.  I just wonder how many more of these little moments there are left before I start to feel like myself again?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dear Crazy People:

Gee....just when I got done writing about how you should be careful what you say to people in a letter...I just spent my entire morning, spewing in disgust**
Dear Middle School Choir Director,
Really?  REALLY?  You REALLY think that "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man After Midnight)" is an appropriate song for 9th grade girls to sing in front of people?
And it's not that I find the song offensive....its just that....REALLY???
I don't know about your kids, but my 9th grader goes to bed around 10.  And I won't reveal any info about her love life, but I am fairly certain that it doesn't involve inviting someone over for a booty call after her mommy has gone to sleep.  Of course, I could be wrong about that, since mothers are the last to know, but, Oh Fuck, I am NOT wrong about that--she's a KID! 
She's a kid, and you, my dear choir director, are insane.  If the effect you were looking for was to have an entire auditorium full of moms, dads, grandma's and grandpa's CRINGING, then this is definitely the one for the children to perform.  Go ahead and have them sing it, just for kicks--let's see if I'm right.  Of course, if you're going for the full effect, you could dress them up in Catholic School Girl uniforms and have them do a Britney Spears number.  Don't worry, there's always next year.
I'm Not Old-Fashioned, But DAMN!
Dear Insurance Company,
Oh Dear Gawd I cannot BELIEVE that I am writing to you!'re killing me!
Do you know that there is nothing in this world that is more crazy-making than looking at an explanation of benefits and seeing nothing but ZERO's in the column where it tells how much YOU, the insurance company, paid on a medical claim? 
Nothing?  You paid NOTHING?  I pay you $400 a month, you pay NOTHING?  Are you serious?  You're so fired.
Out of a three THOUSAND dollar medical bill, my responsibility is....THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS? 
It's a damn good thing I'm incredibly well-versed in both insurance AND the perfectly crafted "fuck you".  Yours is coming.  Don't worry, I made several copies, just to make sure that everybody gets one.  The actual "fuck you" part is only 5 pages long, but the accompanying documentation has forced me to buy additional postage.  Thanks for playin', assholes...
Never Get Sick
(No Really, Don't Do It...)
**Letters shown here have been modified for your enjoyment and were not actually sent to anyone.  Though actual letters have been sent to people, those letters were much less incredulous, contained no profanity, all-caps, or exclamation points, and have a 99.9% chance of producing the desired results.  Trust me, I have an amazing track record in these things.  Stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Notebook Therapy

There is some good advice floating around out there about how when you are mad and want to say something to someone, just to get it off your chest, that you should write them a letter, on paper, then put it away, at least until you've had one night to sleep on it.  The next day, read your letter.  If you still feel the same, put it away for one more day, and if, on the third day, you still want to say all of those things, and have a good grasp on the consequences that would follow your saying them, then go ahead and send it.
It is incredibly helpful advice.  In today's world, where you can shoot off an angry email in the time it takes you to type it, we don't give nearly as much thought to how our brain dump will end up playing out as we did in the days where letters on paper were the norm.  (I like to joke that the reason William Shakespeare was such a great writer was because the act of writing on paper was so labor-intensive at the time--he thought long and hard before committing anything to the page.) 
As a society, we're quite used to spouting off and letting the chips fall where they may.  I know I am, and I have used this blog as a place to vent on many occasions.  It is not longer required that you be particularly amusing or talented before we give you the keys to the publishing world and let you have at it, although some of us do try.  Speaking as one of those, I must say that I feel positively old-fashioned.  But that's a different post...
Yesterday, I was in a particularly pissy mood, and there was a particular organization directly responsible for that pissy mood.  In my head, I thought it would be a very good idea to give them a piece of my mind.  You know how that goes, right?  So I started writing a letter, in a notebook.  It was one of those letters that you write to somebody's boss's boss's boss--one of those, "let me tell you what your people have been up to" type of letters.  The enormity of their ridiculousness was just too overwhelming not to say something.  I was incredibly motivated.
And it was a damned good letter.  I laughed, I cried, I called friends to read it over the phone.  I was proud of it.  I remained calm, did't use any profanity, and explained things in a perfectly delightful, positive way.  My intended result was that my words would cause the unfortunate recipient to become overwhelmed with guilt, as if they had just pushed Pollyanna in front of a bus, and I completely pulled it off.  If I was a boss and got a letter like that, I would have fired my entire department.
This morning I read my letter and decided that the recipient is not worthy of such a perfectly crafted "fuck you".  It's not that, after sleeping on it, I don't think they are completely inept and stupid anymore--they most definitely still suck.  In fact, I am of the mind that they suck so bad that it may actually be beneath me to engage them in further conversation.  That's how bad they suck.  But remember...even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.  Since it is not a matter of life or death, well....I'm just going to let them suck, while I watch from a safe distance.
I threw my little work of art in the shredder.  I'm glad I wrote it in a notebook.  If I had actually sent it, via email or something, some supervisor somewhere would have scrambled to solve my "problem" for me, and I would have ended up doing MORE business with people who don't deserve my time.  And because they suck, they would have eventually screwed something up again, and this would have caused me to spout off some more and get another apology, but they would still suck, and blah, blah, blah, round and round we go.  Then I'd be rightfully pissed at myself for having wasted so much time dealing with assholes.  I feel a million times better having written it, however.  Notebook therapy.  It's a beautiful thing.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Barrera de idioma (Sprachhindernis!)

So, I have these two them both to pieces.  One is German, and the other is Mexican. (Scuse me!  Texican.  But anyway...)  
The German has decided that she must learn Spanish, and who better to teach her than her sister-in-law, Lisa.  At the same time, Lisa has decided that she should learn some German, and why not, since she has a handy German sister-in-law, Judith?  
...the only language they have in common is English, and, neither of them like speaking it all that much--just more comfortable with something else, mostly.  One of them is a bit high strung (the German, try to act surprised) and the other is all, "Eh, whatever..."
Is this not a situation ripe with comedy?  Can you picture the merriment that ensues?  The comedy of errors?
I love my family...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother, Mother

Did I ever tell you about the time that I was standing in line at the grocery store and my daughter, who was around 5 years old at the time, broke into song, belting out Tracy Bonham's 'Mother Mother'?  The lyrical bit she chose for her performance was the part where Tracy starts screaming, "I'm hungry, I'm dirty, I'm losing my mind, everything's fine!"
Yeah, that's one of those stories that is funny later...
How about the time that my daughters were in the front of my house building a snow fort, and I told them to "stay where I can see you" (cuz that is what mothers do), and five minutes later, when I went to check on them, I couldn't see Punky anywhere?  I asked the Diva where her sister was, and she announced, "Oh, some guy came by in a car and asked if she wanted a ride, so she left..."
And then I heard the giggling from inside the snow fort.
Or how about the time I was sitting around with The Diva, and that commercial came on the teevee, with the impossibly young-looking children urging parents to talk to their kids about sex?  Knowing full well what was coming, I played the straight man anyway, and said, " you want to talk about sex?" to which my daughter, aged 13, replied, "Oh, Gawd, mother, we don't need to discuss this--I've been selling it on the streets for years..."
Funny, funny children.
In the last 15 and a half years, I've heard that word "Mom" uttered at least a billion times.  "Mom, come look at this picture I painted", "Mom, come hear this song I've been working on", "Mom, look at the cat!  Isn't he cute?", or "Oops, Mom, the cat threw up", "Mom, I don't have any clean jeans to wear to school", "Mom, what are you doing on my Facebook/Myspace page?", "Mom, come in my room", "Mom, get out of my room!", "Mom, when are we going shopping?", "Mom, why do you have to torture me by making me get up at 6AM?", "Mom, I forgot my _______", "Mom, can I have money?"
A lot of little girls grow up thinking about the day that they will be married and have children.  Some start planning their weddings starting in junior high, and start picking out names for their future children at about the same time.  I was never one of those girls.  Getting married, and having children, never really occurred to me until it was actually happening.  This failure to plan on my part has made for some very interesting moments, but has also allowed for a complete lack of frustration where these matters are concerned.  I had no pre-set notion of what a wedding was "supposed" to be, and therefore got married on a beach at sunrise, because beaches at sunrise are cool.  I never once concerned myself with who would show up, where they would be seated, which members of the family get along and which ones would have to be seated on opposite sides of the room from each other at the reception.  Come along for the party or don't--it's all the same to me. 
With children, it has been much the same--winging it, every day, based on simple criteria:  Are they healthy?  Are they happy? and Are they good people?  And if the answer to any of those is "no", then who's ass do I need to kick (theirs and mine included) in order to turn that into a "yes"? 
I have read all of the "supposed to's" regarding children, and I've met children who's parents have done everything "right".  What incredibly boring children they are (those that didn't "act out", I mean...).  Little robots.  Well, I suppose the world needs people with no imagination, too...though, for the life of me, I can't figure out why. 
In my opinion, we need more people bursting into song in random places.  We need more people reminding us not to take ourselves so seriously.  Life is short, after all.  I, for example, am 42 years old--around half-done, if things work out the way I hope.  When you look at it that way, think to yourself, "Do I want to spend the next 40 years worrying that things aren't going to go the way they are 'supposed' to?"  Or even the next 40 minutes?  What if 40 minutes is all I have?  What a waste that would be, to have spent them frustrated and worried about things that don't matter, or that haven't even happened.  This is where children come in quite handy--humbled, as you are, from the moment they are born, you immediately realize that everything you thought was a big deal before, isn't.  How cool is that?  Way better than breakfast in bed, or flowers, or chocolates...

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Last Of The Not So Little Blue Pills

What you see here is all that remains of almost two weeks of anti-biotics--the lovely blue ones are the ones that kick your ass and make you not feel quite like yourself...
Sadly, I am not overly confident that these three pills will be the last of them. Things still don't seem "right". Of course, it could just be the pills making me think things are not quite right--no way to tell until you get it over with, I guess. I will have taken all of these by the time I go to sleep tonight.

If I have to spend any part of my weekend dealing with doctors, I'm going to be grouchy about it. Really, I'm way too busy for anything serious, and at this point, if these bad boys haven't killed EVERYTHING, then I guess we can consider it serious.
Mobile blogging: is it less inane if you can only use 160 characters? I am not so sure...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Crazy-Ass Crazy

As one of those "observer" types, I gotta tell ya, nothing is more entertaining to me than some crazy-ass crazy stuff going down.

And it's hard to say which I like better, when the crazy-ass crazy is happening to somebody else (and I get to hear the stories about it), or when it is happening in my sphere and I get to be the story teller.

Actually, I've thought about it, and I do prefer to be a direct witness to the crazy-ass crazy.

What can I say? I love telling stories about the crazy. They are delightfully amusing to me. Here's an example: Do you know why I always have bendy straws in my house now? Always? Because one evening, a couple of years ago, when my crazy-ass stepdaughter was doing the dishes, she pitched a fit because one of my children had left a bendy straw in a drink cup, and put that cup in the sink to be washed. Instead of walking the two steps to the garbage can and throwing the offending straw away, she went to "Daddy", complained about the bendy straw incident and convinced him that leaving a bendy straw in a cup on her dish night amounted to some kind of high crime--a personal slap in the face. In his on-going effort to pamper her and give her anything she wanted at the expense of everybody else in the household, crazy-ass husband took the dramatic step of BANNING bendy straws from the household. In fact, in his fervor to make a Very Big And Loud Deal out of it, he went to the drawer where we kept them, took out and THREW AWAY an entire package of bendy straws, right there on the spot.

Which I thought was just nuts.

But her word was law, after all. She got anything she wanted. And most of what she wanted was to punish my children and me for imagined crimes. You know...the kind of crime that only takes place in the head of a crazy person?

Now that I no longer live with those crazy people, I make a point to say YES every time one of my daughters asks for bendy straws. YES! You CAN have bendy straws! I'll buy a CASE of bendy straws! A gross of bendy straws! I have no idea where I am supposed to store them, but damn-it, there WILL be bendy straws! I don't even care if I have to fish them out of the sink! Because I am not crazy and have faith in the universe, I happen to know that when it is their turn to do the dishes, they'll have to fish them out of the sink, too, and maybe eventually, they'll stop doing that, but, even if they don't, WHO CARES? The garbage can is two steps away!

Unfortunately, I can't tell ALL the crazy-ass crazy stories, cuz some of them are still in "pending" status (that is to say, I'll likely make it worse by talking about it) but trust me, there are many. Here's another one for ya:

My best friend's dog is diabetic. She and her girlfriend give the dog 2 insulin shots a day. Everyone who knows them is aware of this--they have no human children, but they have two very, very well-taken-care-of dogs, one of whom needs insulin to survive. They have a prescription for insulin needles at the local pharmacy, and buy human insulin. They are quite normal, fine, upstanding, gainfully employed citizens, both of whom know how to have a good time, and neither of whom party all that much.

But yesterday, an acquaintance of theirs, out of the blue, called them up and asked for a needle.

Ahem. Yes. A needle. As in, she wanted a needle to inject drugs.

Whaaa? Something in your crazy-ass crazy head made you think that two non-drug users would hop right over to your house and supply you with paraphernalia?

That is some crazy-ass crazy sh*t...

(I gotta tell you, though...the drug addict in this case is easier to understand than the stepdaughter. I mean, we already KNOW the addict is nuts because they're injecting random, dangerous shit into their body. Step-daughter was full-on evil-crazy, while SOBER...)

Crazy-ass crazy people are like an endless supply of really amazing true stories for a storyteller like me. While it is true that not all of them are funny, the ones where no one is physically injured or killed are ALL fantastic! Sure, they don't feel fantastic while they are happening, but the moment we emerge unscathed, it's all good--let 'er rip! And, what the hell--if you're legally able, name names. Somebody has to warn the others not to move in with these people!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


After a long, looooooong wait (just ask them and they'll tell you, it was, like, FOREVER), my children are now equipped with their very own phones.
When I say long wait, I mean that this is something we've been talking about for YEARS.  Actually, I've been avoiding the subject as much as possible, and THEY have been talking about it.  I remember when my kids were 3rd and 4th graders, and all of their friends had cell phones--the peer pressure was killing them, and, by extension, me.  To add to the misery, evil stepdaughter got her own cell phone (I think she was 16 at the time) and the envy in the household was palpable.
I'm not a huge fan of little kids having phones, or teens, necessarily.  Yes, I can barely leave the house without my phone, for fear of horrible incident, but for some reason, I don't extend that same logic to my children.  I mean...they haven't had one all this time, and nobody has died or anything, so...what's the big deal?  I have always been able to reach them when I needed to.  (Why?  Because ALL of their friends have cell phones and I have their numbers--in MY cell phone!  HA!)  At the same time, I'm not one of those "good old days" people.  I don't very often remind my children (or myself) of when I was their age and if I wanted to talk on the phone, I had to hang out in either the kitchen or the dining room of my parent's house, because the cord only reached so far.  I'm not nostalgic, even a little.  I love me some technology.
I grew up in a good technological time.  I was born in 1966.  We used phones for fun, not just as a means to communicate bad news or other such items of urgency.  What has happened, over the years, of course, is that "bad news" has gone from "Aunt Sally died" or "The bridge is down" to "Aaaaugh!  I have the acoustic version of 'Layla' stuck in my head!" or "The barrister fucked up my latte!"  Our drama has become decidedly more self-involved.  We blog about all of our daily crap, we update our Facebook status, we Twitter.  Hardly any of the things we feel the urgent need to share matter much in the grand scheme of things.
I believe that the secret lies simply in balance.  Yeah, you can update your Facebook status from your phone, but is this something you would interrupt a face-to-face conversation to do?  Or is it a nice thing to distract you while you are waiting in a long line?  (On that note, it would have been really, really fantastic to be able to use my phone during the 8 hours I spent in the emergency room last week.  Go figure--the one place you're stuck with no phone is also the one that requires the longest period of time in which you will have nothing to do.)
I think that as long as you maintain your perspective, you're fine, and hopefully, the long, loooooong wait for cell phones has instilled a wee bit of this perspective in my children.  They have been texting (on my phone) for a long time, but, they have been limited in how much they can do that (ahem, MY phone), and I believe it has kept them from the drama overload that so often comes with people having way, way too much access to each other.  Hopefully, they will recognize stupidity when it is staring them in the face and not feel compelled to answer every dumb thing.  We'll see.
Of course I realize that I am very, very old, or I certainly wouldn't be saying any of these things.  I still have rules about when phones are OK, and when they're just annoying.  You can't use a phone during a meal at my house, for example.  We used to make the stepson hand over the phone at 10:30PM because he had a nasty habit of staying on it all night.  (It is worth noting that since I no longer live with him, he has returned to his night-owl ways.  Hmmm...)
On Sunday, I was sitting on the couch, reading the paper, when I got a phone call.  It was Punky.  She wanted to show me something, and she was calling me from her room down the hall.  Yes, she wanted me to get up off the couch and come to her room.  Guess what?  New rule:  You can't call people when you are both within the confines of the apartment.  I say this as someone who has sat on a patio and used my phone to get a kid to bring me a soda...While this would appear to be bordering on hypocritical, the truth is that I just have a thing against yelling.  My parents, if they needed us to bring them something, would yell at us to come outside, then tell us what they wanted, and we would have to go back inside and get it.  Never mind the fact that I really don't want my whole neighborhood involved in my conversations with my children or passing judgement on me because I'm too damn lazy to get my own soda, it's just more efficient to call...Besides, I'm a parent.  I believe that bringing stuff to your parents for no other reason than because they asked you to is an important rite of passage.  Ask me how many times my father got his own beer.  Go ahead, ask.
The only huge bummer about my kids having phones (besides the bill, of course) is that because they have been using MY phone for so long, now my phone is completely junked out and crappy compared to their shiny new phones.  Time to upgrade, for sure.  More bells and whistles, please!  Don't worry, I won't get a phone that can bring me a soda or do the dishes or anything--that's what the kids are for.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I Could Have Sworn We Were Supposed To Have A Weekend In There Somewhere...

How could it possibly be Monday?  How did this happen?
Somebody asked me what I did over the weekend, and I realized that there were no (Zero) relaxing moments in my life from 5:30 Friday, all the way until I went to bed on Sunday night.
That's just not right.
I hereby promise that next weekend, I will do nothing but sit on my ass.  I may have a friend over, or may even go to someone else's house, but the activity has to center around me sitting on my ass.  For the whole two days.  I should put the children on alert right now, to avoid any of that "drive me around" confusion.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Yay! Random Question Day!

I have questions.  You have questions.  Questions, Questions, everybody questions, and none of them worthy of a 'solo' post, so....we'll do a little Friday Dump
Question One (via email): Did you have fun at Brandi Carlile?  I'm sure I had fun.  I must have.  Don't you think?  I mean, I was out with The Bodyguard and his girl, who are both wonderful, delightful people.  I didn't have to drive, didn't even pay for tickets, and spent the evening in a comfortable, well stocked suite at the venue in Mankato.  Must have been fun.  I'm sure it was....of course, due to Greg's very thoughtful and generous drink pouring (the man can't stand an empty glass) there was some fairly serious drinking going on.  I tried to slow the process by completely filling my glass with ice, thinking, "well, this is actually like a half a glass of wine, not an actual glass of wine", and I was eating and eating and eating all night, but, the man is relentless in his hospitality, and, well...
I remember quite well the last time he was our host for a concert in Mankato.  Two years ago, April 20, and we were fairly schnocked that night as well.  OK, I actually had to be manually hauled back to the hotel that night.  Well, both nights.  You wouldn't think I would remember that, but I do!  And because Greg is the common denominator in both stories of drunken stupidity, I am hereby blaming him for all of my "I got so drunk in Mankato" stories.  I mean, I've been there and hung out before, when he didn't come along, and I even went to a concert, and didn't have one drop of alcohol!  I'm just sayin'...Luckily, because he is The Bodyguard, after he gets you completely sh*t-faced, he makes sure you're safely tucked in somewhere to sleep it off.  Unfortunately, when you wake up, there you are, hung over in Mankato.
Oh, and Brandi sounded great, by the way, as always....
Question Two (via internal dialogue):  Are you quite certain it is Friday?  Cuz this feels a little 'Monday' to me.  Usually Friday mornings are so awesome!  Everyone is up early and in a good mood, its casual days, so we leave the house early, and nobody is rushed or crunched for time.  Fantastic!  And today was no exception!  But after I dropped off the happy children, and about the time I was 2/3 of the way to the office, I remembered that I'm currently on a bunch of prescriptions, and, OOPS!  I left them all on the dining room table.  And I didn't take any of them this morning.  Apparently, I was too relaxed.  So I had to turn around and go back, except, there just isn't any "fast" way back to my house, mainly due to various construction projects, and there was an accident on the crosstown on the way back...all in all, the little oops took AN HOUR to fix.  Jeez.......
Question Three (via email):  If you run into someone out partying on Cinco de Mayo and you ask them why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated and they don't know the answer, can you take their margarita?  It is most decidedly your right AND your duty to take their drink!  In fact, before you go out, you should be sure to study, just to make sure that nobody pulls this little stunt on YOU.
Question Four (via email):  Can we assume that we'll be seeing you at the BoDeans when they play the Zoo this June?  *sigh* You can NOT make that assumption...sorry!  Indigo Girls are playing that same night, in Bayfield, and I am trying to get to THAT show.  However, it looks as if my usual travel cronies will not be available to indulge me with a Sure To Be Memorable trip to Wisconsin that weekend......(Come on....have you ever known me to cross that border and not return with a story?).  So I might not be able to go to Bayfield.  Sh*t.  I will likely end up spending that evening at home, pouting into a glass of torrontes or something...
Question Five (via internal dialogue):  Wait a minute...*blink...blink*...aren't you supposed to be eating?  Owing to the fact that I am in the process of killing off pretty much ALL of the bacteria and various other micro-organisms in my body at the moment (remember, exaggeration is our funny, funny friend...), my body is behaving rather strangely.  For example, I'm not hungry and never feel like eating, but every once in a while, out of the blue, my entire body starts screaming "OH MY GOD, WHY HAVEN'T YOU EATEN YET?  WE'RE DYING, I TELL YOU, DYING!  STARVING!  I DON'T THINK WE'RE GOING TO MAKE IT!"
I'm sure that's normal, right?