Wednesday, October 26, 2005

5 a.m. thoughts

I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning. For anyone that knows me, this is highly unusual. I am not a morning person. In fact, most days I’m scrambling out of bed at 7:15 after having hit both snooze alarms (they are set for 6:30 and 6:45) several times. It’s a mad dash to get the hubby up, get the Boy and Girl up and ready for school. We need to be out the door by at least 8:00 so they aren’t late for school, which starts at 8:20 a.m. Forget trying to catch the bus, we’d never make it, plus I don’t like where the bus stop is (on a busy road) and the school won’t change it.

So yes, I was wide-awake at 5 a.m. I’ve been sick, some sort of respiratory viral thing, whatever it is they couldn’t give me drugs, so I’m taking some over the counter crap that half assed works. I’ve been sleeping a lot. Apparently my body decided at 5 a.m. I didn’t really need any more sleep.

I lay there awhile, looked at the clock thinking I could sleep another hour and a half and wouldn’t that be great? I love stealing sleep; it’s one of my secret pleasures. Like I’m getting away with something. I listed to the hubby snore awhile, he’s a bad snorer, doesn’t normally bother me, unless of course I’m awake at 5 a.m. He hasn’t been sleeping much lately, can’t get to sleep. I think he needs medication.

5 a.m. I get up, get a drink of water and go to the bathroom. Princess Meow Meow (haven’t met her yet? she’s the Girl’s kitten, she picked the name) comes prancing in the bathroom. Of course she’s prancing. The Girl decided she needed a collar, a red one with a bell and rhinestones, because she is a Princess. Now we can here her wherever she is; she seems to be everywhere. She’s looking at me like, “Uh, what the hell are you doing vertical at 5 a.m.? You’re supposed to be in the bed where I can walk on you, knead you (if you don’t have cats this is the thing they do, they paw you like a massage, only with their claws out it’s more like getting a TB test repeatedly) and then lay on you.”

5:15 a.m. I’m looking in the mirror, deciding if I think I can get back to sleep. I realize that I know 3-4 people I could call at 5:15 a.m. and they would be awake, well, more than likely they’d be awake. My mom, brother, aunt and friend Bethie; all of whom would have a heart attack if I called that early simply because they know I do not wake that early.

5:30 a.m., back in bed, hubby still snoring, Princess Meow Meow is now kneading me, I’m staring at the clock thinking wouldn’t I be so productive if I got up, got ready and did a load of laundry or emptied the dishwasher. Maybe this is my body telling me I really could get up and exercise before going to work.

That was the last thought I remember before the snooze blared and I looked at the clock 7:15 am. Damn, running late again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sleeping beauties

When my kids finally go to sleep, I can't resist watching them. The Girl often can be found amid piles of stuffed animals.

Here's The Boy. Notice the action figures lined up at the top of the bed and him in the Spiderman suit (yes he wore it every day from last October until a few months ago). Now it only comes out once in awhile.

And once in a blue moon they'll end up in bed together, sleeping snuggled up together like they really do like each other. It's amazing.

The good, bad and ugly parent

Sometimes when I take a minute to breath during what I think is a hectic life, I wonder how some parents manage. They are involved with school, I'm talking know all the teachers and school staff on first name basis, volunteer to help with every field day, jump rope-a-thon, etc. They shuttle their little grade schoolers to scouts and gymnastics, cheerleading, soccer and dance (and can afford it!) plus have time to take them to the park and do arts and crafts at home. They feed their kids a nice home cooked meal, complete with all the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber etc. as outlined by the NEW food pyramid. If you're older than 8 toss out the pyramid you know because it's wrong. They clothe their kids in name brand togs from The Gap, Abercrombie (yes, even grade schoolers) and other names I don't even know.

Now here's my world. I drop my kids off at school every morning, some mornings I run in and show my face to the teacher, ask if They Boy is chewing on his collar in class and licking everything in sight like he does at home (yes, he does and he's a leader, apparently his whole class has joined his crusade) and find out how spectacular The Girl is because her teacher has nothing but good things to say about her. (You can just imagine how proud I am!) I email both teachers periodically, see if they need anything for class (usually candy) and if I can help with anything. I sold stuff for the fundraiser, not much, but that crap is so overpriced I'm embarrassed to peddle it. At least once, sometimes twice a year I'll help with a class party. We attend most PTA meetings, though we missed the first one this year. I felt like a toad, but damn I was tired that night.

Activities--The Girl is in Brownies (her 3rd year) and The Boy is too young still for Cub Scouts, though Dad is looking forward to this more so than The Boy. Brownies meet every other week. That's plenty. I volunteer with this once in awhile also, but not every time. I am open to letting both kids do one more activity, provided it's the same activity and at the same time. This is difficult to find, hence, we've not added a second activity. We do go to the park about every other weekend or so, the library about the same, and from time to time we'll do a craft project or play games at home. I do not feel that I have to entertain my kids 24/7, however I don't know if I'm doing this because I really feel this way or because I'm lazy. I don't remember doing all that stuff when I was a kid and I'm perfectly fine. Ok, a little off kilter at times, but considering everything, I'm sane.

Feeding--I try to get fruits and veggies in, it's a chore. I push a lot of applesauce, broccolli, corn (yes I know this is the worst veggie but it's one of the few they'll eat) apples and bananas. I've gotten sneaky also, when I make salad I throw in a ton of spinach, when they ask, as they always do I lie and tell them it's a different lettuce, carrots and celery. Don't bother adding anything else they won't eat it. I might start crushing up some Flintstones vitamins and dusting it over their meals, wonder if they'd notice? I've tried making it fun, milkshakes with yogurt, fruit and low fat ice cream; soups and casseroles with hidden veggie surprises (they all, including the hubby, balk). I can't win.

Clothing--I shop the Evil Empire (yes the one that starts with a W) for clothes because they're cheap. The Girl does not want jeans (doesn't want to take the time to button them and can't find a pair that snap to fit), she likes stretch pants. I understand this, they're comfy. The Evil Empire sells them for $4. The Boy is picky, he might like a plain bold colored t-shirt one month and the next month he needs stuff with words or pictures on it. The Evil Empire sells these for $3. Need I continue?

I don't know my point, other than I've just been feeling like an inadequate parent lately.

Monday, October 10, 2005

NYTimes top 1000, edited my way

This is from the NYTimes top 1000 movies of all times. I’ve made my own comments and deleted some I’ve not seen or don’t care about.

Adam’s Rib (1949) Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy---I’ve watched, I have it but can’t remember the plot.

The African Queen (1952) another Kate movie, I have a collector’s edition. Awesome movie.

Amadeus (1984) I love this movie, the costumes, the story, it’s wonderful.

Back to the Future (1985) Michael J. Fox rocked in his Calvin Kleins, definitely an 80s classic.

The Big Chill (1983) awesome movie and even more awesome sound track

The Birds (1963) my kind of horror movie, no blood, no chainsaws

The Breakfast Club (1985) I always felt like Alley Sheedy’s character in this one, love her purse filled with everything. This is when I first developed a crush on Judd Nelson.

Bull Durham (1988) uh, can we say hot and baseball? I don’t like sports, but this movie rocked.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Newman and Redford in their finest; funny, sexy, bad boys.

Chocolat (1988) Johnny Depp, chocolate, romance, what’s not to love?

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) I really liked this movie, the aliens, the encounter, just good.

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) Sissy Spacek plays a good hillbilly. I like this movie probably because of my roots.

Dangerous Liaisons (1988) incredible movie, great costumes, great story, lots of backstabbing and revenge, love it.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) this is one of the funniest movies of all times. I can’t imagine how it must have been on the set with Michael Caine and Steve Martin, I often wonder how many of the scenes were ad libbed. Hilarious.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) cult classic for me. Love the relationship between Elliot and ET, yes I cried when they thought he was dead.

The Exorcist (1973) I have never been able to watch this movie, it scares the shit out of me.

Fantasia (1940) perhaps one of the best animated movies ever, the music, the imagination, great.

Fargo (1996) very brutal but damn I love Marge. Love the accents, love the story, even with the wood chipper.

The Godfather (1972) The Godfather Part II (1974) see things you don’t know about me—I had a mafia fetish back in the day. Good movies, I always loved James Caans character though.

Gone With the Wind (1939) ohmygod—awesome movie and awesome book. I think I read this for the first time in middle school and wept for days. The movie was great and Carol Burnett’s Scarlett, with the green velvet drapes, is a classic comic moment.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) best holiday movie, though it never was intended to be a holiday movie. I’ve always wanted to be able to this, find out what the world would have been like if I hadn’t been born.

Jaws (1975) Still keeps me out of the deep waters; first time I saw it was in middle school at the drive in, with Grease as the first movie.

Mary Poppins (1964) Does Julie Andrews rock or what? Supercalifragilisticexpeallidocious indeed!.

My Fair Lady (1964) Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison were awesome, loved the story, Pygmalian the play was great too, loved the music.

National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) hello, drunken college story—what’s not to love?

The Philadelphia Story (1940) Kate, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant, great story about a Philly blueblood getting married.

Pulp Fiction (1994) another brutally violent movie but I loved it, except when John Travolta got whacked. Soundtrack is awesome too. I had to watch it twice before I really got into it.

The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) I saw this in London, the same time I saw Out of Africa, along with Broadway Danny Rose. I’m not a Woody Allen fan at all, and didn’t really like either of his movies.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) this movie scared the shit out of me. I thought about it the whole time I was pregnant the first time and watched it once I had the baby, still freaked me out.

Say Anything (1989) perhaps my favorite non-brat-pack 80s movie. My favorite scene is when John Cusack is having dinner with the girl and her Dad asks him what he wants to do with his life, and John’s all like I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.

Sense and Sensibility (1995) love the story, costumes, Emma Thompson rules, love it all.

The Shining (1980) ok, probably one of the few good Stephen King movies, though still not as good as the book. I like Scatman Cruthers, what a cool name. Redrum, redrum.

Shrek (2001) Yep, I liked it, liked the second one too. Love Shrek and Donkey.

The Sound of Music (1965) Julie Andrews again, awesome movie, based on true story, just a good, good story.

Star Wars (1977) ok, no I’m not a nerd who loves these movies like my brother, but they were good in the day. Han Solo rocked!

The Ten Commandments (1956) back in the day this used to come on TV once a year, around Easter. It’s how I learned about God.

Toy Story (1995) probably one of the best animation movies to come out in a long long time, the sequel was good too, wish they’d make a third one. We watched this incessantly at my house about a year ago when the boy was going through the Buzz stage.

The Usual Suspects (1995) Kevin Spacey is a genius. I am Kaiser Sose.

The Way We Were (1973) Still cry every time I see this one. Babs was good, Redford was good; it’s a bittersweet movie. I just wish in the end he had cared more about his kid.

What’s Up, Doc? (1972) I like this movie because for some reason it used to be on TV a lot and I remember watching it with my Grandma like every other year.

When Harry Met Sally (1989) Love the friendship, love the story, love them singing karaoke in the Sharper Image shop.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) ok, so I’ve got this one on the brain because the boy has watched it nonstop for quite a few weeks now. Still a good movie.

Woman of the Year (1942) Kate again, can’t remember the plot, but it’s Kate and I love her.

I just realized I said rocked way too much in this post. I sound like a stoner or something. Suck it up.

Monday, October 3, 2005

Things you might not know about me

1. Broke my left arm in middle school running those stupid basketball drills in gym class.
2. Have ridden on a motorcycle.
3. Been known to eat peanut butter and ham sandwich.
4. Write poetry on occasion, not good poetry, but poetry.
5. Have stood on top of the Eiffel Tower.
6. Like French fries and mayo.
7. Stapled my thumb in third grade.
8. Huge procrastinator.
9. Have seen Rod Stewart in concert twice.
10. Favorite artists: Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Seurat, Klimt
11. Hate anime.
12. Holidays and celebrations usually stress me out because of all the expectations.
13. Like poking sticks in fires.
14. Rarely make my bed.
15. Rather be cold than hot.
16. Never have trouble falling asleep.
17. Think about getting a tattoo, and what I’d get (Celtic knot maybe) but know I would never do it.
18. Love crayons.
19. The first (and only) time I drank Purple Jesus (yes, grain alcohol and some sort of juice) I ended up on my butt in the fountain on campus; it was October or so, they’d not yet drained the fountain. It was cold.
20. When I was 5 years old I busted my head open in a pillow fight and had to get stitches.
21. Stupid people really, really annoy me.
22. Like doing the Electric Slide.
23. Don’t like driving big things (trucks, vans etc.) but would love to fly a plane, a small one, not a passenger plane.
24. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have boobs so I could go bra-less all the time.
25. For the most part, my job bores me.
26. A dark dusty closet in my brain thinks I might have mental problems.
27. Addicted to Free Cell.
28. Wash my hands A LOT, like maybe it’s a phobia.
29. When I read Pet Semetary for the second time it freaked me out so badly I jumped (couldn’t walk across the floor) into my younger sister’s bed. I was in college.
30. Love thunderstorms.
31. Hate crumbs on the kitchen counter.
32. Penguins are my favorite bird and have been since high school when I became a Bloom County addict. I mourned Berke Breathed’s retiring the cartoon.
33. Can burp on command—this raises my coolness level with the kids.
34. Horrible speller.
35. Have lived in OK, NC, GA, PA, WV and Germany.
36. Usually don’t answer the phone at home.
37. Don’t know how to play the piano, but have one and would like to learn.
38. Love paint chip samples.
39. Can easily detach myself emotionally when I feel threatened.
40. Love Guinness.
41. Feel like the best of me is hiding up my sleeve.
42. Rarely sit with both feet on the floor.
43. Have a small window between a good buzz and drunk.
44. Totally looking forward to being a Grandma in about 20 years. I want them to call me Nana.
45. Would love to have a library in my house.
46. Prefer smoking to drinking.
47. Bad dresser, no fashion sense.
48. Often feel caught in the middle between family/friends and their secrets.
49. Mind often comes up with total non sequiters few can follow.
50. Fritter away a lot of time.
51. Very loyal.
52. Like peeling dried glue off of my hands.
53. Don’t understand why grape flavored stuff tastes nothing like grapes.
54. Love fireworks. Ideally it’s good to be as close as safety permits so you can feel the thunder in your heart when they explode.
55. Haven’t totally discounted the notion of reincarnation, karma, white/black magic, UFOs or psychic abilities.
56. Never been a bridesmaid.
57. Admire and envy intellectual people; aspire to be one.
58. Reuse gift bags.
59. Have a thing for greeting cards.
60. Do not have a gall bladder any longer, but do still have my tonsils.
61. Somewhat naïve.
62. Christmas wrap whore; I buy it on sale after the holidays. I probably have five years worth of wrap in my attic and will still buy some this year.
63. Love Halloween.
64. Wish Christmas could get back to homemade gifts, family (but not all of it) quiet moments, giving and the true spirit of it all.
65. Hope to one day read and understand the Bible.
66. Don’t eat chicken livers.
67. Get a little thrill out of the studio theme music before movies start.
68. Don’t like the smell of fake lavender, only like the real flower.
69. Love the sight, smell, feel and sound of snow.
70. Am passive aggressive but hate it in other people.
71. Number eight shows up a lot in all my significant life numbers.
72. Brass and glass furnishings turn me off.
73. Not a very good cook.
74. Would like to someday act in a community theater production.
75. Blue corn chips with sesame seeds rock.
76. Hate and am embarrassed by Geraldo Rivera.
77. Love milk.
78. In college I was infatuated with the idea of either dating a guy in the mafia (was on a Mario Puzo kick at the time) or becoming Jewish (because I was taking a Jewish studies class at the time). I think I liked the history and romance of both.
79. Believe there are some people who are truly evil.
80. Sometimes buy stuff on sale that I don’t need because it’s on sale.
81. Have eaten and enjoyed escargot.
82. Secretly think my kids are geniuses.
83. Want to learn how to take and develop my own pictures.
84. Flowers, art, music and books excite me.
85. Microsoft Excel eludes me.
86. Sometimes wish I had become a teacher. I’d teach kindergarten or art.
87. Have watched and enjoyed some John Wayne movies.
88. Had severe bouts of asthma in high school, was rushed to ER a few times.
89. Like getting lost in thought.
90. Places I’ve traveled: Vancouver, Las Vegas, Florida, NYC, Hartford, Conn. (birth place of the great Katherine Hepburn), Chicago, Austria, London, Paris, Germany (myriad cities), Holland, S.C., Kansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, Arkansas.
91. Places I’d like to travel: Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, Australia, Italy, Greece, New Zealand, Antarctica, Oregon.
92. Things decorated with hearts make me hurl, unless it’s a Valentine.
93. Wind chimes are a good thing.
94. In high school my friends and I came up with a club, the Mega Mondo Beaner Choil Meese Society of the Flueish Language.
95. Loved being pregnant.
96. My introduction to rap music was in sixth grade?, the Sugarhill Gang. It was my cousin Terri’s album and we learned the words to every song.
97. Be lost without email.
98. Wish all my unmentionables matched.
99. Think we should abolish the two-party system and PACs and money in politics and just elect the person with the best ideas.
100. Love carving pumpkins and toasting pumpkin seeds.