Monday, November 28, 2005

A little this and that

I’m working on my second cup of coffee, getting ready for a third, so this might be disjointed and random and you might walk away saying WTF, but hey, it’s not like you paid for it right?

Thanksgiving went off without much of a hitch. Here’s a family photo.

The green one in the can is my Dad. I think he came out of the den long enough to eat and then he retreated again to the dismal aloof hermit-ness that is his pathetic life.

The one with the black cape is Mom. She prepared the bird and though was pretty well behaved and not psychotic, she does tend to suck the life out of a person.

Thanksgiving highlight: Nobody ended up in the hospital or rehab.

The rest of the long weekend was good. We went to see an incredible local annual festival of lights. It’s in a park and you drive though these displays, more than a million lights and 70+ larger-than-life displays, it’s fantastic. This picture doesn’t quite do it justice. My favorite part is driving through the winter wonderland of giant falling snowflake lights.

Movies—we’ve seen three good ones lately; kids’ movies of course, but hey, they’re good anyway.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire—I can’t give enough props to J.K. Rowling and her story weaving ability. She’s kept it going through an intricately entwined series. The Girl was a little disappointed because the movie didn’t include everything from the more than 800 page book, and still it was like 2 ½ hours long. I’ve started reading the books and I think they’ll be great. If you’ve ignored HP up to now, don’t. Really, the movies are good. Of course I also watched the entire Lord of the Rings series in one weekend before and loved it, so take it for what it’s worth.

Madagascar—Chris Rock is perfect as Marty the Zebra; there are Penguins (love it) and catchy music and now the kids know where Madagascar is! LOL Rent it, it’s funny, and you’ll be singing, I like to move it move it ala the Lemur King (my favorite character).

Polar Express—Tom Hanks does an outstanding job playing all the different roles in this one. I haven’t read the book so I can’t compare, but it’s a good story; something different from the typical Christmas hype, commercialization and greed.

On life and goals:
My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?—Charles M. Schulz

The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.—Joseph Addison

Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.—Richard Bach

I give you these as food for thought and direct you to watch It’s A Wonderful Life, which, incidentally was not intended as a Christmas classic. As we go through life, wondering why we’re here, what marks we’ve left, what goals we’ll reach I think from time to time we need to remember that everything we say and do touches other people. We may never realize how we’ve made a difference, but I believe, in some way, we all do. I don’t think our lives should be measured in the things we have, the jobs we succeed in, the children we give birth to, the marriages we make, but instead in the simple goodness we share by being friends, helping people and trying our best, no matter what we try.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Music for white people to hump by

I had to use that title; I stole it from K’s comment on sexual music.

Maybe I’m bipolar—for no apparent reason I’m in a really good mood right now. I’m so rocking out to John Mayer, well rocking out as much as you can in a pod at work with an earphone in one ear and not being able to sing at the top of your lungs. I will not be deterred though I’m dancing in my chair and mouthing the words. Just imagine if you can! LOL I should have put John on my list of sexual music. You’re body is a wonderland…what’s not to love about that? (I also should have put Prince on that list—Little Red Corvette, Darling Nicky, Cream…c’mon…it’s amazing the man has time to write songs and perform on stage!)

The Hubby and I joined the Boy and Girl at school for the Boy’s Thanksgiving Feast today (fried chicken). He was hella excited (this is my fad word of the moment that I’ve promised to only use in this blog because apparently Gwen Stefani uses it and God knows I don’t want to be like Gwen). The Boy told us we had to dress up today. When I walked him to his class he asked if we’d please not embarrass him during the feast. He’s so mature for a six year old. At one part during the feast I noticed his eye twitching.

Me: Uh, what are you doing?
The Boy: Winking.
Me: At who?
The Boy: Erin, she’s sitting over there in the blue shirt.

The Girl was good, you know, deigning to attend a kindergarten event when she’s in third grade and all. She did have to leave though because as her reward for being a hella good citizen of the month for October she and about 20 other kids got to go swimming (indoors of course) for a few hours today.

The Boy’s teacher said she wished they could give awards for entertainer of the month instead of citizen of the month, as he’d be a shoe in for that.

On goals—I agree with TL, we all approach goals differently. For some of us, making it through the day without throwing someone in a wood chipper is a big accomplishment. Keeping ourselves from shouting out all the obscenities and razor sharp abuses running through our heads is something to be proud of. I really do have goals and I don’t necessarily think that means I’m not living life or am caught up in production though.

I do think some people can go overboard and be too goal oriented, but I’m sure I’ll never suffer that fate.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I'm a slack ass

I’ve always known this in that deep dark part of my mind I don’t like to talk about or visit, but I am officially ready to admit I’m a slack ass and I’m embarrassed by it.

One of my friends started running marathons a while ago. He ran and completed a marathon on The Great Wall of China. He ran and completed the New York Marathon. He had a goal.

I just read about another person, someone I don’t know, who lives in Colorado and his goal is to climb 54 mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation; in the last two years he’s climbed 12 of them. He has a goal.

I need some goals. I’ve heard one of the keys to reaching your goals is to start out small so you can see some success and then gain momentum, building up to something really big.

Here are my goals:

1. Make it through the day without spilling something on myself. Oops, missed that one today as I spilled coffee all down my leg on the way to work.

2. Make it through the workday doing ONLY work, nothing personal, like, say, writing a blog. Oops, missed that one too.

3. Make it through a major holiday without feeling like I would have rather spent the day cleaning bedpans in a mental institution.

4. Before I’m 40 I want to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I have three years left.

5. Start and complete a craft project. I’m infamous for starting lots of projects, case in point. Project: Huge afghan (I didn’t follow a pattern, just kept crocheting) for Mother-in-law for Christmas. Progress: Started 8 years ago, its incomplete and in the attic and my MIL died last Sept. Project: Three cute little jumpers for The Girl. Progress: Started last fall, one dress partially done because I don’t really sew well and don’t know how to use bias tape. Project: Ceramic train for baby’s room décor. Progress: Started six years ago when The Boy was a baby, train 75% done and languishing on a shelf in his closet. I could go on, but it’s depressing.

6. Get a mammogram before I’m 40.

7. Walk on that treadmill in my garage starting out at two hours a week; I know it’s not a lot by any means, unless of course you’re a slug, but we’re going from zero to 120 minutes of exercise here folks.

These goals seem rather meek and small.

Screw it, it's Friday and my kids didn't fight or give me an attitude on the way to school and they're both having sleepovers tonight.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A slice of my morning life

If my weekday mornings were a slice of toast they’d be slathered in butter and jelly, both running off the sides and leaving puddles of goo all over the counters and crumbs everywhere—in other words, a total mess!

7:16 a.m.—I finally open my eyes after hitting snooze from the 6:15 and 6:30 alarms. (I’ve tricked myself by setting my alarm clock ahead about 10 minutes.)

The Girl is already out of bed and dressed, she’s going to Chic Fil A today with a group of accelerated readers from school. Amazing that she could get up seeing as how we had to tell her about five times after she went to bed to put the Harry Potter book down and go to sleep. I battle with this because one side of me is like, rock on sista, read read read and read some more, it’ll learn ya things. The other side is like, ok, you’re 8 years old, its 11 p.m. you need your rest.

7:18 a.m.—I peek in the Boy’s room on my way to make coffee, sure that I’m going to have to drag his butt out of bed; he’s like me, not a morning person. Instead, he walks out of the living room waving a video; he’s six and in the last month or so has reverted back to his perverted fascination with that big ass purple dinosaur.

Me: Boy, we don’t watch videos or TV in the mornings, you know that. Now go get dressed.
Him: (teeth and fists clenched) Fine. (he stomps off to get dressed)

I make it to the kitchen to make coffee, the Girl is standing there with her book on the counter, reading. I smile and ask her if she’s ready for school. Yep, she is. Good, one down.

In the hallway the boy growls at me, in pants and no shirt.

Boy: Growl, these pants are too long.
Me: Ok, find another pair.

10 minutes later he walks into my room with shorts on.

Me: Uh Boy, granted its 70 degrees right now, but the temperature is going to drop 20 degrees during the course of the day and it might rain, not the best shorts weather. Go put on pants.

He stomps off to find pants.
I follow him to help.

Me: Ok, here are three pair of pants to choose from Boy.
Boy: The sweat pants stick to my feet (this means they’re ribbed at the bottom like most sweats); the tag is scratchy on those (he’s worn them about 50 million times) and those are too long (they aren’t floods/high waters)
Me: Ok, I’m sorry, but you have to pick a pair from these and get dressed, we’re running late.

7:50 a.m. (keep in mind we should leave the house at 8 a.m. to make it to school on time) I’m in the kitchen, ready, fixing my lunch, fixing their snacks. The Hubby is ready, feeding the dogs, prodding the kids, finding jackets for the kids who never know where they are. The Girl is standing at the table reading and I’m brushing the hair she said she brushed. The Boy comes in with the pants (the ones he said were too long), a shirt and one sock (damn, I forgot to check for underwear, he could be commando today).

Boy: I can’t find my other shoe.
Mom: Did you look under your bed?
Boy: No.
Mom: Look under your bed and then brush your teeth and hair.

8:00 a.m. After a few shouts of prodding the Boy returns to the kitchen.

Me: Did you brush your teeth?
Boy: Yes. (he sometimes lies about this)
Me: C’mere (I sniff his breath, smells like toothpaste, we’re good to go.)

8:05 a.m. We’re in the car, running a bit late. Five minutes is crucial in get to school on time time.

On the way to school the girl, who decided not to carry her bookbag, starts complaining she has a lot to carry: her snack; big zippered binder and the Harry Potter book. The Boy, who had been a thorn in my side all morning (his dressing habits make me think I’m raising a metrosexual—I said this then had to explain the term to the Hubby) looks at her and very sincerely says, Sissy, I’ll help you carry your stuff if it’s too heavy.

Girl: That’s ok; you’ll be late to class.
Boy: I don’t care if I don’t get to go to the No Tardy Party, you’re more important than that.
Girl: I appreciate it but really, you don’t have to.
(Boy’s in kindergarten, Girl in 3rd, her class is on the other side of the school from his.)

sigh…I guess they’re good kids after all.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

More on the Tatt

I can't believe the response the tatt post got. Just a little to explain me and tatts (I have no idea why I'm calling it a tatt instead of a tattoo, it's not like I have any clue or point of reference on this subject at all.)

I've always said I'd never get one, the pain factor mostly, plus where would I put it and how's it going to look when I'm 60 etc. My sister, oh, do I have another post on that subject for you!, has one of Winnie the Pooh on her ankle. When she got it I thought how juvenile is that and how uncreative, it's Pooh for God's sake. She should have just had a big YES stamped on her, it would have been much more fitting.

I have a few friend who have tattoos but of course they're younger and hipper than me. I like some of them, they're simple, the tatts, not the friends. Then I started watching this show Miami Ink in TLC. The guys in that shop are hot, granted they're in Miami and on TV so I realize THEY won't be giving me a tattoo. But it's interesting to watch the different people who get tattoos and learn about why they've picked the design. (I've told you, I'm easily influenced and impressed by things I read and watch.)

This got me to thinking about what I'd have done. I had an email discussion with a friend who suggested getting my power animal--an animal that has some connection to your life, that has had some significance, etc. I don't think I have a power animal yet. A couple of friends suggested a penguin, since I love penguins and have since high school. I noodled around with a few sketches, but I don't really know how to get one of those without it looking like a cartoon.

So I came up with the design in the previous post, mainly because if you've ever sat near me in a meeting, this type of thing is what I'm always doodling. It's flowing and curly and relaxing.

Now, to answer another question, I'd not get a tatt, IF (and that's a HUGE IF) I ever indeed got one, on an exposed place. Most likely I'd get it on my back in the shoulder blade area, or possible lower back. No ankles, hips (because, God, how would they even FIND my hip! LOL), breasts or butt (hello gravity!) or thigh.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Possible Tatt

Ok, I'm so over this day and not being productive at all.

What do you think of this tatt design? Like I'm ever really going to get one, but still.

Friday, November 4, 2005

Not sexual music

My last music post led me to this, which is not on the same train of thought at all, so I made it into its own post.

I think I’m probably weird when it comes to music because for the most part I don’t know what’s popular, I don’t know what’s up and coming and I can find something I like in almost every genre. Admittedly I have a tough time with heavy metal—but when they do those 80s flashbacks on VH1 I do recognize some heavy metal tunes and in fact like them, well, I can tolerate them.

One might think I’d be more open to heavy metal because after Peter Frampton in third grade, my next concert was in high school. Monsters of Rock around 1984 I think. The Hubby and I were dating then, I was still young and naïve and we went to this all day rock concert in a soccer stadium (in Germany). The lineup included Van Halen, Dokken, Ozzie Osborn, AC/DC and others I can’t remember. My first display of naiveté came when we were walking up the stadium steps and I saw all these people with crushed up soda cans with smoke coming out of them : ) I was clueless.

Throughout the day lesser bands played, they were all harsh and brutal, cussing and raw—I think I watched the people around me more than the bands. Then Van Halen got on stage (we could even see Eddie’s wife Valerie sitting backstage) and I was a little giddy, I’m sure I’d had some beer by this point; there’s no drinking age in Europe. My second bout of naiveté came when David Lee Roth came out and I said to the hubby, he’s so cute (shut up, I know he’s disgusting, but give me a break, I was 16; I don’t know what I saw in him) and then DLR ripped out something like How the fuck are you? And I about fainted. I couldn’t believe he’d said the F word! The hubby laughed. I was appalled.

AC/DC was the final act; it was around 10pm by that point. They brought out their cannons—For Those About to Rock We Salute You—and shot them off. Then Angus Young proceeded to moon the crowd—his ass was bared on those huge theater screens they have at concerts, even back in the day they had them. Then he played the guitar while being passed around the audience.

After reading this you’d really think I’m a prude—and back then I was, very sheltered I suppose. Don’t worry, I made up for all that in college ; )


Am I the only person who thinks music is sexy? I’m sitting here listening to Train’s, Drops of Jupiter, and it’s damn sexy. (I might need to step away for a moment! LOL ) Granted some music is sexier than other music, but the voices, tones, beats, and melodies; there is something purely sensual about music. Of course the most sensual song, at least in my book, is Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing.

I think if I had a past life I was either a musician or was involved with a musician. Strumming an acoustic guitar to me is much like stroking my skin. It baffles me the people who go through life without the influence of music. I have friends who don’t have a favorite song, singer/band or whatever and couldn’t even really tell you what kind of music they like. I don’t comprehend that. I would do better to understand a mathematician explaining the theory of relativity to me…in Russian.

I am very happy to say that my friend TL has broken down and not only bought an iPod to wear during his runs (don’t worry, you’ll read about him someday in one of those runner magazines or see him on the pages of the NYT when he wins the marathon or something spectacular like that) but he’s had his kick ass sister download music onto it! I was thrilled to learn that. Right now he’s digging on Frank Sinatra, and dammit why not. Frank rocks and he did it his way.

Life should come with a soundtrack—like on The Truman Show, though my soundtrack would be much much cooler.

My soundtrack would include:
Drops of Jupiter, Sexual Healing, Wonderful Tonight, Stairway to Heaven, Maggie May…ok, I have to stop now.

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

The Brat next door

Have I told you about the neighbor kid? I know this is not politically correct, but....I hate her.

Typically I like kids, and if I don't at first then I grow to like them over time. We've lived in this house about three or four years (short term memory is going) and I still do not like this kid.

When we first moved in she was about three and she was bigger than my then five year old. She remains an amazon. I do not dislike her for her size, it is her personality I loathe.

I like the fact that we live in an older neighborhood and my kids have neighbor kids to play with, though I don't like those neighbor kids. It seems whenever we are in our backyard it is fair game for this kid to come over and intrude. We can be having a party, a family get together or just a quaint family moment among the four of us and she's there, like a leech.

We have French doors that open onto our patio out back. I can't tell you the number of times I've walked through the den and found her face pressed against the glass doors. She pounds incesstantly on the doors and peers in. When we're having dinner she looks in through the kitchen window.

The Hubby's theory is her parents and two siblings don't like her either so they send her over here. She's knocked on the door at 10 a.m. every day of fall break. (See previous post on the fact I'm not a morning person.) Granted I'm out of bed at 10 a.m., but I am not fortified enough to greet the pounding on the door and peering through the glass. I want to smack her and send her home.

This pounding and peering is especially annoying if we have by chance left work early, left the kids at daycare and attempted to sneak in a little afternoon delight. If the kid sees any cars in our driveway she will pound and pound on that door until it is answered. I want to smack her and send her home.

Taking off the Rose Colored Glasses

It's the second day of Nov. and I'm on my last day of the kids' fall break.

Apparently I'm still idealistic and naive. When I looked at the calendar and saw my little cherubs had four days off (plus the weekend) I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to spend some time with them and get a few things done around the house. As a working mom that travels I am forever consumed with the guilt of not spending enough time with my kids, not doing enough with their school and not being Harriet in Ozzie and Harriet (see previous post on The Good, Bad and Ugly parent). I am an idiot.

The first day (which was also the Boy's birthday, my baby is six, sniff sniff) their first question was, hey, why aren't we going to daycare?
Me: I took some time off of work so I could be with you.
Them: But Mom, we're having a Halloween party at daycare Monday!
Me: hmm, ok well, you can go Monday and then the other days we'll spend together.
Them: ok (said in a less than enthusiastic response.)
What the hell I thought. Yes, I was totally ready for time off work but really and truly thought my kids would be thrilled that they'd be spending the next few days with me. Wrong.

I imagined we'd spend the days wrapped in cuddly fun playing games, playing outside and miraculously I'd even have time to clean out the garage, organize all my closets and cabinets, sew two years worth of patches on the Girl's Brownie vest, find and complete dozens of freelance jobs, blog every day, take care of all the paperwork that's piled up around here and still be chipper and amorous when the hubby got home (and I had a four course meal waiting on him).

Each day I was greeted with, so Mom what are we going to do today? Where are we going? How will you entertain us?

hmmph. It so has not worked out like I planned. I cleaned out my closet and a few kitchen cabinets. The garage has not been touched. I have chauffered the Boy to two dental appts. (to be blogged about later) and took them shopping to spend the Boy's birthday money. I did some paperwork. Today I will sew the patches on the Girl's Brownie vest and tackle a few freelance jobs, take the kids to the library and see what we have time for after that.