Tuesday, May 31, 2011

be thankful for the opportunites dropped in your lap, Ricki, & Jackson

So I'm sitting here with Teddy (almost 13) and he's watching George Lopez while I'm reading blogs.  And the mom says to the 14 year old son on the show "Did that tramp steal your virginity?"  It was totally unexpected and both Teddy and I burst out laughing.  He looked up at me, still laughing, "Are you going to say that to me one day?"

Jackson: (age 10, doing homework yells in from the other room) Ted, record that for me so I can watch it later!  (he's the one I have to worry about)

Me: Ted, I need you to wait until you're 26 before you lose your virginity, okay?
(26 is my age for everything - you can get a tattoo when you're 26, you can ride a motorcycle when you're 26, you can drive a car when you're 26...)

Ted: I doubt that, I seriously doubt that.  (he's still kind of chuckling, not the least bit self conscious)

Me: Okay, maybe not 26.  (I paused and and thought - what the hell - take the gift dropped in your lap)  So you know you have to wear a condom every single time, no exceptions?

Ted: Yes mom.

Me: And you know you are WAAAAY too young right now, right?

Ted: (thankfully rolling his eyes) Yes mom.

Okay, so I stopped right there.  No harm, no foul.  No self consciousness, and a plug for condoms.  Not a bad deal for a Tuesday evening.

And, right now as I type this - Brad is at the airport picking up his mom.  I hope she'll be as blog rich as she was the last time she was here.

OH and one more thing...

Jackson just said... do you know what I've always wanted to do?

Me: nope

Jack: Fill a funnel with whipped cream and then figure out how to get it down the little pipe at the end and then shove the pipe inside a waffle and fill the waffle with whipped cream.

Me: (I just nodded my head - wondering if I should tell him about pastry bags)

Jack: Noooo, wait... syrup.  That would be even better.  Do we have a funnel?

Me: uh.. nope, not us.  No way.  No funnels here.

Jack: I know we do, where is it.

Me:  Hey look over there, it's a dead turtle, or a snake....

So, on the one hand - of course it's a genius idea my little guy has and no doubt it would be delish, but seriously - the boy is up before everyone else in the house every single day.  No way am I helping him destroy my kitchen before I'm even out of bed.  nuh uh,  no way, no how!

Okay speaking of Jackson - one more, more thing.

Remember his stitches?  You can see the before pictures here.  But look how well it's healing.  

The one about the snake...

I’m minding my own business – seriously trying to lay about uselessly and read a book when Bandit the wonder dog (BTWD) Won’t. Stop. Barking.  Now as we’ve discussed many times before – this fucking cute little dog really likes to bark.  Usually, however, he will use his little dog door and go out on the back deck and bark for only a minute or two.  The branches blowing in the wind only hold his interest for so long.  Then he’ll often find a hunk of sun and lay down to bask.  Summer in MD is a beautiful thing for just this reason.  But… That fucking dog would not shut the fuck up.  And our neighbors already want to have our house burnt to the ground in hopes of trapping BTWD inside.  So, up I get so I can go get him to shut the fuck up.

He’s in prowl and hunt mode when I get out to him.  He’s crouched down creeping forward (while barking is ass off) on his way to attack… a harmless twig.  He lunges, nudges the offending stick with his nose, and quickly retreats.  Quietly (for 3 seconds) he moves on to another tiny little twig; this one complete with tiny little green leaves, and goes through the same process.  It would be comical if he’d just shut the fuck up for more than three seconds.  But alas, I know what he’s barking at… there has to be a snake near by and somehow he’s afraid these little twigs are also little snakes (cuz he’s really bright like that).

Where’s Brad you might ask?  Why of course, if there’s wildlife involved he’s not home, I answer.  He’s at a baseball game with Jackson.  I get Teddy.  I figure if he’s taller than me that has to count for something, right (okay so sometimes I suck as a mom.  Sue me.)  I tell him of my suspicions and we head down the stairs to find the snake – of course, Teddy’s gleeful at the prospect.  And there he is – right under where BTWD had been attacking the sticks is a snake hanging out in the beams under our deck.  (as an aside this explains the two dead birds and the trashed bird’s nest we found about a week ago).  He’s folded in half on himself and I just can’t get a clear view of him to verify it’s just a harmless black snake.  From our vantage point it looks like he has black and grey stripes. 

Teddy is immediately making plans for getting him down and then of course bringing him in the house as a pet.  Uh… maybe bringing the 12 year old on this expedition was an error in judgment.  We end up getting our neighbor, Jamie, to come over and get the snake down (extremely hilarious) and then kill the damn thing (totally gross).  It ended up just being a harmless little (about four feet long) black snake, but Jamie HATES snakes and is trying to eradicate them from the neighborhood – yeah… good luck with that… have you seen the woods behind our homes?

Anyway – as you all may know, when you cut off a snake’s head (as Jamie did) both parts continue to move around for about half an hour.  The little tongue still darts in and out from the little head part as the head moves back and forth and the body coils and uncoils as it sees fit. (ok not really sees as the eyes are on the other part).  So we threw the head part over the back fence into the woods and we put the rest on the driveway so Jackson could see it when he got home.  (sometimes I'm a champion mom)

For your viewing pleasure, here’s the snake sans head moving about on the driveway.

On another note - will someone please tell me what I need to do in order to comment again on people’s blogs??  - I know it has something to do with cookies and google accounts – but that’s all I’ve got at the moment. – thanks ever so much!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

BYOC - OMG I almost missed it...

Let’s do BYOCBring Your Own Crazy! Every Friday a bunch of us answer a couple questions – some serious, some funny – in an effort to get to know each other better and to give our blog brains a break. Copy and paste to your blog if you want to participate and ENJOY!

1. When is the last time you gave and got a compliment?

Last night for both...  I was complemented for my guacamole (which is the recipe stolen from Dos Caminos) and I complemented Brad for his ribs.   It was some good eatin'!!!

2. What do you wear to bed?

it depends.  I'm often cold, so in the winter I'm often wearing a long sleeve tee shirt and sweat pants.  As it gets warmer I first loose the sweats and keep the shirt.  Then eventually move to a tee shirt or sleep shirt - my favorite looks like a men's button down shirt - but it's really, really soft and even has pockets.  Also - one of my little quirks is about socks and sleeping.  My feet are my thermometers and I will often go to bed with socks on because I'm cold, but as soon as I warm up under the blankets I will take off the socks and push them out from under the covers and onto the floor.  When it's laundry time, I have to go check my side of the bed as there are always a few pairs laying there.... oops.

3. If you could pick your dream job – with no worries of shifts or money or bosses or commute – what would it be and where?

I want to be an interior designer - and or an event planner.  I want it to be my own company and I want to work with some wonderful women who all have different strengths in an environment where we can all rely on each other and be appreciative of our different and complementary strengths.

4. Okay – I’m not trying to start some huge controversy with this question but I have to put it out there. If you’re being honest – do you think staying at home or working outside the home is harder? Can you honestly recognize they are both equally hard? Even if you don’t have kids – have you heard others talk about the two professions judgementally?

I'm not sure which is harder.   I absolutely think some people are better suited to one vs the other.  I know when my kids were smaller I was a better mother because I worked outside of the home.  I also know some people think that's an impossible statement, but I'm confident in its truth.  But I knew then absolutely that I could not have handled being a full time mother - it was too hard a job for me. Now that my kids are older, I think I might like to stay home and I think the things the kids need me for now are just as important as they were then - think life development vs life sustaining (WAY oversimplification there) and better suited to my skill set.  I'm not sure we could make that happen and I'm almost 100% sure I won't try because I don't know what the future of my marriage holds and I'm not stupid enough to stop working now.

5. Repeat question. Summarize your week in blogland and in real life.

Blogland had been annoying with the commenting issues - I'm totally over the pita that it is!  Real life - is eh... I'm working on finding a therapist for me to go to to help figure out what the hell to do with my life which is a little nerve wracking though I have been able to laugh with my husband a few times which is a nice change of pace.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A few quick brain farts

  • Tom is due any minute now and I can not stop shoving things into my mouth.  Not big things, but just things.  So far I’m managing to not be too unhealthy – but omg – if he doesn’t show up soon, I may start eating the desk.

  • So, I walk into my room last night and Bandit the wonder dog’s head pops up and he has the most guilty, “Oh shit!!” look on his face as he lay there straddling Kenny the four foot kangaroo in a very, very intimate embrace.

  • My MIL is coming in a couple of weeks.  I have mixed emotions about this.  She will require extra work and cheerfulness on my part – I have to take her shopping and out to dinner a few times.  Maybe dinner and a movie.  Like I don’t have enough stuff going on in my life.  But the upside – there’s no doubt she’ll provide a few blog posts – so that’s fun!!

  • OH and speaking of Ricky… my SIL, Dawn, with whom Ricky lives put as her status on FB yesterday for an hour or so before she thought better of it the following….. picture this having dinner with a 68 year old woman who does nothing but complain about the dinner I just fixed her until finally she’s had enough and leaves the table in a cloud of her own gas leaving me to clean up her and everyone else’s mess.    Which led to the following discussion…
Brad: Clearly this trip down here is coming at the right time for Dawn, maybe a little late even.
Me: If she ever complained about food you or I made for her I’d bop her upside her head.
Brad: She’s afraid of you; she’d never say a thing.

What can I say… I prefer to think of it as I bring out the best in people.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm just sad and I don't know what to do about it... (ETA)

I warn you - this is a little rambly - read it at your own risk.

There’s a fine line between wonderful and icky.  Maybe the line isn’t so fine.. I don’t know.  I do know that when I was younger, though it was all an act – an act I didn’t no any better than to continue with – people were often bowled over by the force of my personality.  I think I was a stay in the background kind of person, only throw in the well placed stuff so that people would see me enough not to notice that I just wanted to stay in the background.  (can you follow that?).  But, despite my best efforts, I couldn’t stay in the background – I was never allowed.  Anyway – people would never stand up to me, (as if I was something to be stood up to) they’d never tell me no.  People were always afraid of me.  To this day that totally baffles me, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s completely true.

So… and this is about my husband…  Beyond the initial click, one of the things that really attracted me to him was that he wasn’t afraid of me.  He wasn’t afraid to tell me no, to stand up to me, to argue with me, to push back.  It was amazingly refreshing and I guess somewhat intoxicating.  We’ve never argued much, really hardly at all, but I never doubted his back bone.  I knew he’d give it to me straight, whatever it might be.

So fast forward to our lives together.  We’ve been together for 20 year and like any couple we’ve had our ups and down and a lot of the down parts were me, early in our time together, especially.  I felt safe I guess for the first time – safe enough to freak out and the low grade depression I’d fought all my life turned into the big time real deal.  And I pushed him away during that time.  A year or so ago he told me he almost didn’t make it through that with me, though at the time I had no idea. 

We both made it – and were probably better for it – though who knows if that’s true.  He never made any demands of me during that time, just quietly supported me.  It’s probably what I needed.  When I came out of that, I had all these rules – things like no PDA and when I say no PDA, I mean I wouldn’t even sit near him in public.  Private was a whole different thing, but public… I just couldn’t handle it – the idea of people watching me – or of me doing the expected – like kissing him hello.  We’d greet each other in public the same way I’d greet any other acquaintance I liked.  “Hey Brad, how’s it going.”  There’s no doubt I was insane.  Slowly I came out of that – my depression, my rules the whole thing.  I slowly figured out or at least had a really good start on who I was and what I wanted out of life.  I kiss him hello – people think we’re really cute together.  Our kids have seen us make out more times that is probably healthy.

Meanwhile.  Brad was and is wonderful.  Everyone loves him.  I’ve always joked that my family likes him better than they like me.  I know that’s not true, exactly, I don’t have any deep seated issues about how much my family loves me – but seriously everyone thinks he’s just the bees knees. (how often do you get to use that in a sentence?)  And he is.  He’s kind and generous and ready, willing, and able to lend a hand to anyone.  I’ve talked about how wonderful he is for a long damn time.  The people in my office call him St. Brad because whenever they talk about the stereotypical man’s failing, I’d always pipe up with – Brad wouldn’t or doesn’t or would never do that.  And it was always true. 

He shares in everything; housework, parenting, whatever.  People measure their spouse or boyfriend against the measure that is Brad.  He is absolutely a 50% (or more) kind of parent.  In fact, I herniated a disc six weeks after my youngest was born and ended up having surgery for it when he was seven months old after all other treatments failed and my poor sciatic nerve was just slammed against a wall inside me.  And I swear he did flat out everything.  He changed every diaper, got up every night, cooked all the meals, did all the laundry, whatever had to happen – he did it without complaint for probably a full year when all was said and done. 

But – the point here is.  He does have all these wonderful external attributes.  I’ve not lied when I sang his praises.  But… just cuz he’s a good guy – does that mean he’s the right one for me?  And of course I know the answer to that is no.  But still. 

Over the years he bends over backwards to make me happy – or rather to do things he thinks will make me happy.  He spends a lot of time and effort taking things off my plate.  He keeps our calendar, he sets up babysitting, he keeps the household running far more than I do.  I think in part he does these things to please me – but he also likes to do them.  It’s an innate skill he has and for all my anal retentiveness I’m much more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind a girl.

I swear I have a point here.  I’ve been thinking about him and me a lot.  And one of the things I’m thinking about lately is the ability to tell me no.  The ability to stand up to me.  The not being scared of me.  The thing that attracted me in the first place.  I think it doesn’t exist.  Maybe it never did.  I am so firmly in charge of every damn aspect of our lives it’s suffocating me.  I can and often do sit by silently and let our life pass by in front of me – and Mr. Scheduler makes sure every damn thing happens when it should without a peep from me.  But on the big stuff… how we parent, how we connect, how we live – it’s only a look from me – and he’ll change direction.  We’ve had a lot of fights or at least heated discussions about me not signing up to have three children.  He blusters against that, but I think he knows I’m right.

I never wanted to be that person.  I’ve never wanted to be in charge – for all my blustering – for the way the world always saw me – I don’t want it.  I want something from him.  I want to know he’ll rein me in, he’ll have my back, that he’s be my safety net.  That he’ll tell me no when he feels it.  That’s he’d feel it in the first place.  That’s he’d do something, do any damn thing that let’s me know he has his own mind, his own thoughts. 

There’s a fine line between doing things to please your spouse and being a limp noodle.  I used to think he was on one side of that line and now I’m not so sure.

The last time we had a discussion about the shit that is our marriage.  I told him clearly and in no uncertain terms that if it were not for my youngest child’s separation issues, I would leave him.  I honestly believe it would break Jackson if I left and it’s a long way from bad enough for it to be worth that kind of cost.  It’s not so much bad as it’s nothing.  I told him as I’d told him before, because I’m not at liberty to leave right now, you have time to fight for me – but I’m done fighting for us, I need some effort from you – anything.  It can’t be all me, it has to be both of us or what’s the damn point.  At the time we talked about how months earlier he had said he was going to contact a therapist for us to go see and how him not having done even that was yet another example of what I mean to him, what our marriage means to him.  But no, he said, I’ve been playing phone tag with the therapist just this week. (he often says this kind of thing – where once I would have said he was the most honest, the most moral man in the world – I’ve heard an awful lot of ‘the check’s in the mail’ from him in the last five years.).  I told him how hard it was for me to believe that, but that I’d certainly welcome at least that level of effort.  I also told him – being mad at him, staying mad at him, keeping my walls up to high, was too damn much energy and I just couldn’t sustain it anymore.  I told him I was just going to go about our lives and I felt confident once I wasn’t acting mad or unhappy he’d just assume all was right with the world and he’d go back to his world of denial and not do a damn thing.  And how I’d interpret that, as I have been for the past five years, as exactly how much he listens to me (not at all), exactly how much our marriage and me are worth fighting for (not at all).  And I’d add those new messages to all the others I’ve been hearing.  “No, no, Read, I swear.  That’s not true.  I’ll get us scheduled with the therapist – we’ll figure this out if you’re still wiling.”  I am, I told him.  Well I was.

So – a few months later.  I guess he and the therapist are still playing phone tag.  He’s continuing to go about his business of keeping our calendar straight.  The fact that his extremely passionate wife isn’t even slightly interested in sex with him isn’t sending off any warning bells in him that I can see.  I think he’s scared of me – of what my reaction will be – but really – his lack of doing anything – of throwing me even the smallest crumb – of doing even what he said he would.  That’s the biggest sign of all.  So now – I’m just sad.  I think I’m mourning my marriage even though I’m still sleeping next to him every night.  I wish him well, I wish me well, but if he can’t lift a finger, then he can’t lift a finger and I’m worth more than that.

After some lovely comments, I feel compelled to add - I am absolutely going to go to therapy just for me - there's no doubt I need some help deciding what I need to do next - how to proceed - where I want to go - that kind of thing.  I've already made some calls and intend to make an appointment as soon as possible.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ode to the L-shaped box...

When I was young and feeling ignored I used to daydream of these L-shaped boxes I wished people came in.  We’d all be exactly the same on the outside – well you could always decorate your box in whatever way you wanted, but your hair color, or disabilities, or fat, or big feet, or whatever – all that stuff would be hidden.  We’d all be on the same level playing field and we’d be able to connect or not on an honest – person to person basis without all the other junk.  The box was L shaped so we could be comfortably sitting with our legs straight out in front of us (and yeah, to this old body, that’s so not comfortable anymore for long periods of time).

And now there’s the internet.  I like to take credit for it, move over Al Gore, it was clearly my idea.  Sure, we needed others to perfect it, but seriously – I’m thinking my L-shaped box was the true beginnings of what we now know and love.

Anywhoozle (just for you) I am having a love affair with the internet these days and it’s all about the L-shaped box theory – where we all show up on the same level playing field.  We’re all equal – or equal enough (I mean you might need Jenny to make you truly equal, but we’ll cut you some slack till you’ve contacted her).  Until then – we are here – in our little boxes saying and doing what we want.  Maybe some are more honest than others, but that comes through clearly enough.  And we all get to use this information – the honest people to people stuff – to see how we connect with others.  It’s only natural that we connect with some more than others – but we can get there, I think, from a whole different more honest place than sometimes happens in real life – as in face to face life.  And then, and here’s the extra really cool part – you can take what you’ve learned and go meet people face to face who you already know you connect with!!  How seriously cool is that?

Here are some reasons why I love my little L-shaped box the internet;  Camille – on paper, she and I couldn’t be more different – okay well we both have red hair and big boobs – but that’s where the similarities end.  We are different ages, religions (including how important our religion is to us), I work, she stays at home, I live in civilization, she lives in the middle of nowhere – I could go on and on.  But the point is – if we had met in person – even if we lived in the same town or neighborhood – I just don’t think we’d have ever given each other the time of day, beyond polite chit chat.  We wouldn’t have given each other a chance cuz the external differences are so huge.  But she’s my best friend.  We click on all the important levels.  She’s the one who knows where all the bodies are buried and which vibrators I like best (okay maybe not that – but… hmmm yeah, she probably does).  And I’ve never met her in person.  I talk to her every day and without the internet – we would never have met. 

Then there’s ‘the boss’ he’s not gay as he reminded me yesterday after reading my post on the subject – ‘you can’t pretend that with me!’  Yeah, but the same damn theory holds true for him.  He’s completely off limits to me for a whole different reason and because of that – He’s completely safe and I absolutely love playing with him.  I can ask him or talk to him about any number of things I wouldn’t dream of talking about with another man in just the same way.  We can flirt and banter.  And I’ve never met him.  One day I’m sure I will and that will be way fun, but in the mean time without the internet – there’d be no him – at least that I knew of and that would be a damn loss.

And then there are all these damn boobs!  Seriously could I be more lucky?  Last weekend I had so much fun with Tessie and John, then I got back and had dinner with Linda and Bonnie the very next night, then last night I had a lovely dinner with Lara from Band Babe – dude!!! none of that would be remotely possibly without my L-shaped box invention.

I had the most fun conversation with Gilly this morning when I was supposed to be working and she was supposed to be working out – it was so worth it!!  And without my invention it couldn’t have happened.  I swear I’m putting little hearts and flowers (and maybe some pockets for single use vibrators to pass out to those I love) on the outside of my box. 

I have friends I met through my kinky connections, through my lap band connections, through friends of friends on Facebook.  And it all started with a little L-shaped box.  I’m da bomb!  Hey!  Where are my royalties?

How will you decorate your box??

Monday, May 16, 2011

Epiphanies sometimes make me feel stupid...

What’s that about?  So, I have a friend (J) and she also has the band.  We met through our doctor’s support group.  She’s smarter than I as she’s already switched doctors.  I’ll get around to following suit one of these days.  Anyway, she’s been having some odd pains related to her band and I’m hoping to get her to give me more details so I can then ask all you wonderful people for some advice about it.

But anyway, I was emailing her today and I was talking about how I used to have all these puking problems or pain in the chest problems (and these problems were at a lower fill leven than I'm at now) and I really limited what I ate during that time – to only “safe” foods.  Things I knew wouldn’t kill me.  For a while I just believed that there were just lots of foods that were off limits for me for the rest of my life.  I can’t say I was even all that unhappy about it – it is what it is.  Eh. 

But then I read blog after blog and decided that no, it was just that I was eating too fast, or not chewing well enough, or taking bites that were too big.  Things like that.  The basic stuff – While I do like rules to live by, I also like to push against them too.  Hmmmm maybe I just need a good dom in my life?  What do you think?

Anyway.  As I’ve mentioned I’m the slowest poke in the world when it comes to learning new things.  I need to try and try and test and test and try some more before I really believe it.  (I’m obviously not the original doubting Thomas, but there’s no doubt he’s a distant relative). 

So finally to the epiphany.  So.. Well, this is about my weight loss stall.  I hit 199 the day before I went to Disney World over Thanksgiving and I hit 195 around Christmas.  And I’ve been hovering between 190 and 195 ever since then.  Every few weeks I dip into the high 180s, but mostly I’m steady as a rock in that five pound range.

It’s getting old.  Well a few months ago it was getting old.  A few months ago I wanted to kill myself I was so annoyed by this (I’m not serious even a little bit).  But recently, I’ve been settling into this calm mental place.  Like I know it’s going to be fine and I just got it. The why part.  Cuz of course my worrier brain needed to understand my new found confidence.  I think I finally figured out this eating thing. 

I’ve been getting fills, being overfilled, getting unfilled, wrestling with my doctor, yadda, yadda, yadda – and each of those things has had a short term effect on my eating habits and weight loss – but… What I’ve been doing over these past several months is listening to you guys!!!  I’ve been working diligently on taking small bites – this is the one that’s still the hardest for me.  On chewing really, really well.  I swear to God every time I put a bite of something in my mouth I hear Karin from Lap Band Gal’s voice in my head “chew it until it’s the consistency of applesauce”.  On eating slowly.  This is another really hard one, but one I think I’ve finally mastered.  You know… all the basic band stuff.  It’s only taken me ten months to feel like I’ve gotten them down pat.  But… I think this is the calm.  I think in all the months of 2011 I’ve been concentrating on learning how to eat correctly – not so much concentrating on what to eat.  I’m not saying I’ve been eating awfully, I haven’t.  But I’ve definitely been testing to see what I can and can’t eat.  As it turns out, I haven’t found a thing I can’t eat as long as I take it slowly and am not stupid about it.  And that’s a damn beautiful thing.  Though I will confess I'm still working on being completely consistent on my quantity per meal.  Now it's Gilly's voice I hear - she's much more direct than Karin when she's yelling at me in my head which is, of course, why I love her so.  I'm just about there though, I think.

So I think I’m calm because, I don’t feel like I need to test that stuff anymore.  So now, hopefully I’ll be able to concentrate on eating in a way that will help me with my weight loss goals – since I think I’ve gotten some of this other stuff out of the way.  So I just want to send out a heart felt thanks to all of you and your wonderful blogs full of all kinds of wonderful information that is helping poor schmubs like me figure this all out!!  You all are the greatest!!

Oh and – if you haven’t already – go check out my last post which is a video of our very own Tessie Rose and her lovely husband John doing karaoke in NOLA – so much fun!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just pretend they're gay

On Friday night of the Fest my friend Jen and I went out to dinner with a big group of people organized by our friend Dan.  We were the first ones there and we checked in at the hostess station and discovered they were ready to lead us to our table immediately.  Great!  So.. the cute little perky hostess leads us right back out the door.  Um?  Ooookay.  Jen and I dutifully follow her thinking she’s going to their wine bar right next door.  Uh.. not so much, we walked right on past the wine bar.  Down the street towards the corner.  There’s nothing else other than a brick wall on the rest of the block – Jen and I are looking back and forth at each other trying to decide if we should keep following this cute little perky hostess down the deserted street in the middle of uptown New Orleans to our deaths or not.  Eh… why not.  She rounds the corner and heads down a new street.  Seriously!?  But then out pops a cute little man in a waiter’s uniform ready to receive us apologizing all over himself for the walk around to the back of the building due to a private party in the wine bar…. Okay phew.

Anyway –we sit ourselves across from each other down at the end of the very long table as it’s dinner for 14 and wait.  Slowly everyone trickles in and it was funny that we knew maybe only half of the people – but we were all “friends of Dan”  After a cocktail or two four new people show up to our already packed table and two each get put at the very ends of the table.  Jen and I welcomed Reed (what a fun name even if it is spelled incorrectly) and Adam to our little corner of the world.

So, I’m a couple of cocktails in by then and in a very happy chatty mood and so I’m chatting away with Adam who’s sitting next to me and trying to include Reed as well who was much quieter.  When they came and sat down I learned that they both lived in DC which is where Dan lives and not too far from me and that they (and the other two late comers) all knew Dan from playing ice hockey with him there.  For whatever reason I assumed these two men were a couple.  I have no idea why I thought this, but I did – and I’m not sure it is or isn’t the case now – I have no idea and usually I have pretty accurate gaydar.  So – it was just my initial opinion and I stuck with it – sort of like noting one had brown hair and one was more a sandy color – it just struck me.  Adam telling me about his 17 year old son and ex wife in no way affected my thoughts on this.  We kept chatting, and laughing and playing away – completely having a good time.  Jen was spending more time talking with her old college friends at the table which was no big deal for me, but left me more alone to talk to Adam and the much quieter Reed.

So – and here’s the point of the story – we leave and are walking back to the French Quarter where some of the group was going to a 1:30am show of some band (not me, I got my tired butt to bed) - and Jen (who knows all about my issues with Brad) leans into me and says “Look at you flirting away with Adam all night long.”  I almost popped out with, ‘he’s gay’ as I was rolling my eyes, but then it occurred to me – I have no idea if that’s true or not.  There were actually no stereotypical signs that this might be true and there were stereotypical signs to the contrary – though nothing conclusive one way or the other.  So, who knows.

But.. I swear to God in that 4 or 5 seconds where it occurred to me that I might have been actually chatting and playing around with a straight man while I was sitting there in my cute little low cut that says to the world – hey look at my girls – dress I totally freaked out.  OMG I was flirting.  Or rather – I was doing what one might call flirting if the intention had been there.  I’m sure all the color drained out of my face and I nearly fell flat on my face.  But then… it occurred to me… huh.  That wasn’t so bad.  I could do that if I needed to.  Especially now that I have the trick – just pretend they’re gay. 

In the end it was sort of liberating – I so often don’t like, or am afraid of people so it was nice to be able to sit there and meet a new person and just have a nice time with him.  So if I’m ever single again I’ll definitely be keeping the mantra going in my head – just pretend they’re gay, just pretend they're gay.  Of course I was telling my friend Camille this and she said (after she stopped laughing at me) – okay so what happens next.  It’s later and now you know they aren’t gay.  What then?  I decided I’d cross that bridge if I ever come to it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our brain trust strikes again...

I love my son, I really do.  He’s amazing in so many ways.  But man… sometimes I just want to ______________ … well, all you mom’s out there can easily fill in the blank I would imagine.

So here’s my latest amusement with him.  We got him a phone before we went to Disney World last fall.  He was in his second year of middle school and we’d always figured this would be about the time to get him one; way more for our convenience than for his.  He does lots of things after school and stays home alone – stuff like that.  BUT… he’s a space cadet and I didn’t feel he was yet ready.  I was prepared to give it to him when it made my life easier, but not yet ready to give it to him all the time.  He of course balked at this but eh.. he can balk all he wants.  So he has it at Disney and that’s a good thing.  And we give it to him here and there for this and that and that’s a good thing.  He has it at home and enjoys texting his friends and that’s a fine thing.  And then he loses it. 

Seriously buddy you can’t find your phone?  Of course he can’t, right?  Well dear this proves my point that you are not ready for the responsibility of a phone.  He searches and he searches and he searches.  It can not be found.  It’s gone.  He’s sure either Brad or I have it.  He’s concocted a story in his brain how we took it away from him one day and it was during that period of time that it went missing… which of course means it’s all our fault and as usual he’s completely blameless.  Yes dear, I hear you.

The phone went missing months ago.  I don’t remember how many, but at least three.  It’s been long enough that I was suspecting it wasn’t going to just turn up one of these days as I’d initially suspected it would.  Brad and I had even gone so far as to have a couple of conversations about buying a new phone, which he’d have to pay for of course.  There have been a few times where I’d have felt better if he’d had a phone and I could have contacted him if need be. 

And then… last night I’m in his room at bedtime and we’re having a grand ol’ time farting around before he went down for the night.  Bandit The Wonder Dog (BTWD) started pawing through the debris on the floor in front of his closet looking for a ball that wasn’t there.  Teddy kept picking stuff up; a shirt, a stuffed animal, legos.. “is this what you want Bandit?”  (Before I go further, Teddy cleans his room relatively well at least every other week and it’s not too bad in the in between stages.  He manages (sometimes with parental help) to get his dirty clothes into the laundry each weekend and he manages to get his floor free of debris for it to be vacuumed)  But still…. It turns out that BTWD wants the 4 foot tall kangaroo that’s lying on the floor in front of the closet; Kenny the Kangaroo (and I do mean 'wants'). 

Apparently Bandit was quite enamored with Kenny and felt he must show Kenny about his love in a very physical way.  Repeatedly.  Again and again.  Over and over.  He first tried going at it doggy style (all puns intended) but that was obviously not good enough as he then managed (I kid you not) to roll Kenny onto his back.  Kenny is easily 4 times the size of Bandit, probably more and that little wonder dog got Kenny up and over onto his back as clearly Bandit prefers the missionary position.  Who knew??  Teddy meanwhile can’t breathe he’s laughing so hard.  It was one of the funniest conversations Teddy and I have ever had because Teddy was worried I wouldn’t let nature take it’s course right there in the middle of the room, but I was more than happy to watch the show and Ted didn’t know what was funnier that Bandit was humping Kenny like there’s no tomorrow or that I was watching it with him.  Either way – it was a riot.

But, I digress… Before Teddy gave Kenny over to Bandit’s loving (cough cough) caresses.  He lifted Kenny to a standing position and there sitting on the floor was his fucking phone. 

Ted: OMG look Mom, I found my phone!  Yay, I’m so happy, I found my phone!!
Me: (in an eerily calm voice) Give it to me.
Ted: Look, can you believe it!  Woo Hoo!!
Me: Give it to me (hand extended)
Ted: (beginning to look worried) isn’t it great?  I found my phone!!
Me: Give it to me.

Finally he did and I slipped it into my pocket and didn’t say a word.

Ted: But wait, give me my phone.
Me:  Time for bed.
Ted: Hey!  I want my phone.
Me: (very, very calmly which you know is a sure sign of trouble).  It’s been sitting on your floor all this time.  Right there under Kenny.  A single lift with your pinky would have shown it to you.  (changing to a Teddy impersonation) I searched and searched and searched and I can’t find it.  It’s not in my room – period. (he actually says period).  It’s time for bed.
Ted: (all dejected)  Will I ever get my phone back.
Me: I have no idea.

Monday, May 9, 2011

So much fun in NOLA!!!!

Jazz Fest
This weekend I went to NOLA to their Jazz and Heritage Festival which I’ve been going to every two or three years since 1993.  (side note, as I love a good side note:  Brad and I eloped, sort of, while we were busy and stressed planning our November wedding and we got married by the Justice of the Peace in April then hopped on a plane and  headed to our very first Jazz Fest (Brad's only gone that one time).  Brad likes to tell people how he spent his wedding night with four women – as we were sharing a room with some friends back in the day)  Anyway – I had a blast, as always, at Fest.  I started my time down there with a bloody mary, crawfish bread and Buckwheat Zydeco – an amazing combination if ever there was one.  And it just continued from there.  There was a truly amazing tribute to Mahalia Jackson on the 100th anniversary of her birth done primarily by the great Irma Thomas, lots of wonderful Zydeco, Marcia Ball (one of my all time favorites!!), Better Than Ezra, Geno Delafose (he's new to me, but I think I'm in love), and the list goes on and on.  Great food!!  Great music!!  Great friends!!  It just can't be beat, I'm already looking forward to the next time we go!!

It's important to get in your veggies while in NOLA - if that means olives and green beans in your bloody mary so be it!!

One of my favorite things to do, of course is to go people-ing.  And while this isn't all that news worthy I felt I had to do a little PSA right here in the middle of this post.  No one wants to see your thong.  Okay.  Let's all say it together.  No one wants to see your thong.  And.. well okay, that's not completely true.  When you're 20 years old and truly have the body for a thong - lots of 20 year old boys want to see your thong.

But... if you're over 50.

No one wants to see your thong.

Okay, are we all good on that now?

I may have been a little stupid with the sunscreen on the second day.  In my defense I was leaving Fest early to go meet John and Theresa.... but... okay.  I'm just dumb.

John and Theresa
I am in love.  Seriously I am.  I think I'm going to see if they'll adopt me - I know that means they would have had me a little before or after the time of their births - but I'm thinking that's just a little detail and we'll be able to work around it.  I can't tell you how excited I was to meet them.  I can put up a good face walk in a room like I own it and all - but usually the idea of walking in alone to meet people for the first time would just about kill me - but I was so excited my Fest friends wanted to stay longer at the Fest and I was going to get to hang out with them all by myself for a while.  I know many of you have experienced this before - but I totally wasn't going to meet these new people I was excited to meet - No way!  I was going off to play with my good, old, dear, friends; John and Theresa!

I can't tell you how wonderful it was that they made the trip into NOLA when I was there - I'm so glad they got a night away to themselves - but I'm all kinds of excited I got to spend a fair amount of it with them - it was just so wonderful that they were able to make the timing work like that - I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!!

But - so - I am meeting them at a karaoke place on Bourbon Street.  Have I mentioned, I don't do karaoke, I mean seriously!  Sing at the top of my lungs in the grocery store - sure.  Sing on a stage with a mic in my hand - no fucking way in hell.  It's a long known fact about me.  Read doesn't do karaoke.  Unh uh (shaking head vehemently), No way.  Not gonna happen.  But...!! I'm totally up for watching them do it.  I'm thrilled in fact.  Cuz you know, maybe they won't like me, and/or the conversation will stall - we'll always have the singers to talk about - so, I'm thinking it's actually the perfect place to meet old friends for the first time.

Anyway - there were no such worries as I loved them both immediately and I don't think they hated me.  They are just as wonderful and funny and fun and sweet and lovely as they are on their blogs.  It was so immediately like we'd known each other forever - I was completely comfortable and at ease the second I walked into the door.  It's possible that there were a few lake sized cocktails consumed.  
My first Gin and Tonic

And maybe, possibly, though I won't confirm or deny, there were some jello shots sucked down. (seriously - jello shots.  I'm going to be 45 in two weeks - I can't remember the last time I did jello shots).  

 Theresa made lots of new friends and had a little fan club forming in the corner next to her.  It was a little extra work for John and I, what with crowd control and having to get all their names and addresses so they could be added to her mailing list, but it was well worth it to see how quickly she had them eating out of the palm of her hands.  There was a little Cupid Shuffle (which I'd never before heard of, though Theresa was a pro at), John tried to teach me how to two step (he had to keep reminding me he was the one leading - I promise I'll do better next time, I swear!!).  There was John telling me how wonderful Theresa was - over and over.  "Look at her, isn't she amazing"  Yup!! she absolutely is!  And then there was the singing.

They got up and did some karaoke both separately and together.  I have them doing a Beatles song together on a video on my phone and I'll get it up on Youtube soon! (I'll figure out how to do that tonight or tomorrow).  They are both fantastic up there - it was so so so much fun watching them!!!  They're total naturals!  Then, there was this great guy - I forget his name - but he was amazingly bad.  I mean seriously, seriously bad.  He couldn't find a note to save his life; but he got up there time after time and belted them out one after the other and it was just about the best thing I'd ever seen because he had no idea he wasn't the next American Idol!  I totally loved it!  And then that mean old Theresa conned me into going up with her and singing too.  I mean - right there up on the stage.  With a microphone.  We've discussed this.  I don't do this kind of thing.  I'd really, really like to say I was kicking and screaming the whole way up there, but it was more like... 

Theresa: So, you ready?
Me: sure, let's go.

OMG.  And then John had to go and take a video - which actually I'm beyond thrilled by (and maybe begged him to do) cuz it's never going to happen again (well maybe I'll do it again in Chicago if there's enough alcohol involved.)  I'm going to do my best to pressure him relentlessly until he puts it up on Youtube as well, cuz I was way too drunk to have any sense of what that was like.

We were supposed to meet my friends for dinner... uh... but well let's just say that didn't happen and leave it at that.  I will say there was some more alcohol involved and some really good bar-b-que shrimp that's served in this bowl full of all this yummy sauce that you then dip the really good bread into.  

Little known medical fact: apparently when lubricated with jello, a band is primed for bread to slide on through.

This is evidence of my brilliance (or maybe a teeny, tiny bit too much alcohol).  I couldn't tell the difference between movie and picture on my camera.  This was supposed to be a picture - but.. not so much.

Monday, May 2, 2011

bad parenting, the massacre, and us

More evidence of our parenting…
So – Jackson’s head is healing nicely and this is a good thing.  I’m wildly anal about making sure there is sunscreen on his scar at all times.  There are sticks of sunscreen in my purse, his backpack, his baseball bag, and both our cars in addition to the plentiful supply I have in the house.  On Saturday before Jackson had a football game followed by a golf outing with our friend Jamie and Brad and Teddy I put sunscreen on the scar and then headed out to take Teddy to his baseball game.  We met up for lunch between the games and golf and I reminded him and Brad to put more sunscreen on before they went golfing – okay all taken care of, right?  Yeah well.  His scar was white as a ghost at the end of the day but the rest of his face, a vee in his chest and his legs were, however, burnt to a crisp.  Oops.  Poor boy.

The mutant ninja massacre
Wow am I lucky or what?  All three boys went golfing on Saturday and I got to have the house to myself for several house.  It was bliss.  Okay, well… it was going to be bliss.  Seriously.  I even had a small mountain of laundry to do, and I was completely excited about cranking up the tunes and cranking it out while I had The.  House.  To.  Myself!!  Best laid plans and all…

So, there I am, first load in, tunes blaring away, I’m singing at the top of my lungs.  All is right with the world.  I’m wandering around cleaning this, putting that away, thinking of napping, thinking of reading.  You know how it is.  I decide I need some water; I’m suddenly not drinking enough water especially on the weekends.  I practically skip down the stairs and into the kitchen when something out of place catches my eye in the family room.  Our house is really open so you can basically see into all rooms at all times and there’s something scattered on the family room floor.

This isn’t the big surprise it should be.  Have you met my children?  Okay, well maybe not, but let me tell you they are messy little things.  And then there’s the dog – who I’m sure I’ve mentioned I don’t love.  If Bandit gets pissed he gets destructive.  It’s usually some poor hapless stuffed animal and we find tufts of stuffing flung around the house in little piles.  Based on what I’m seeing out of the corner of my eye, I’m thinking I’m going to have Bandit to thank for what I’m about to clean up.  Eh.. I’m alone, life it good.  Bandit can not ruin my mood.

Okay, I was wrong about that.  Big sigh, let’s go pick up whatever needs picking up and move on, shall we… Okay, not so fast.  My behated dog (that’s a new word and it’s maybe my new favorite) has systematically dismembered a turtle - and unfortunately not one of the stuffed persuasion - on the floor of my family room.  There were blood and guts and shell pieces all over the floor.  Every where I looked my horror increased.  It was the single most vile thing I’ve ever seen in my life – but a fair margin.

I am not a typical girl in most situations.  Generally I just roll up my sleeves and do what needs doing.  I’m here to tell you, I met my limit.  I was a total girl.  I started flapping my arms and saying; Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God.  I finally got enough of a hold of myself to get the dog locked outside and to keep from totally losing my cookies.  Then I did what any self respecting girl would do… I went upstairs and hid.  I called Brad and was not surprised to get his voice mail as they were golfing.  I waited a while and called him back and left a very simple, if extremely flat voiced message.  “I need you to call my at your earliest convenience.” 

Of course Brad didn’t get the message until he had pulled into the driveway, but upon hearing how I sounded he called immediately and sent the boys to play instead of letting them come inside.  I told him I’d be right down and once there apologized for being a complete girl (which is new) and explained how I needed him to be the man (which he has no problem with).  He did his best to calm the strange zombie like creature in front of him before he went inside.

He later described it as similar to cleaning a crime scene which I’m hopeful he only knows from watching TV and not from first hand experience, though we’re never ever going to speak of it again so I will never know.

Anyone want a used Jack Russell Terrier?  He’s really cute, I swear he is.

And finally... a family picture
Taken on Easter and not so good of me cuz I’m all leaned back on the slouchy couch – but aren’t my boys cutie-pies???