Friday, September 30, 2011

Chicago - Day 1

At some point in the future - I will follow with a more coherent post that will include actual pictures and whatnot - but here's a very quick recap of my first day here.

Linda and I met up at the airport 8:00ish which was just not too bad as far as early morning hours are concerned and were immediately in vacation mode.  Once on the plane we got the requisite screwdriver and it was on!  Unfortunately they never came back around to give us a second drink, but we managed to survive.  Barely.

We arrived and literally ran into Jacquie in the bathroom - yay!

OMG - I swear the driver made fun of how 'girls' pack which, of course, totally meant she was talking about me being one of "those" girls with my two checked bags and my two carry-ons.  Where was my little fru fru pink wearing poochie when I needed him??

We hooked up with Stephanie, Gilly, Angie, Justine, and Jacquie and had lunch and began our drinking adventure.  Others arrived here and there and then all the planners showed up with a HUGE truck load of stuff.  Eventually we headed out to dinner - though I will say that the group of woman I was having dinner with totally ditched me!!!  I must have smelled or something.  Eventually they realized I wasn't with them and Joey called and told me they were well on the way.  Bitches.  I took a cute martini glass from the restaurant because someone told me I couldn't.  Apparently I'm 12.

Back to the hotel, got dressed in our slutty, drag queen, best and headed to the drag show - man that was fun.  I know it's as obvious as the nose on my face - but holy hell Dawnya is a fun chick - I'm totally in love with her.  After that - we head to a karaoke bar and lots of bad songs were sung and much liquor was consumed!

by the way... I've just been told by Drazil that I must point out her fabulousness to all of you - and well... yeah, she's fabulous - I think some of her ass popping gum drops have landed on me because I'm feeling pretty special myself.

On another note.... Can I just say wow!
I'm rooming with Linda, who's one of the planners as you know, and that's given me a unique perspective from which to view all the work those six amazing woman have been doing behind the scenes.  And let me tell you - it's a damn shit load of stuff they're doing.  While others are out taking tours of this and that or shopping or lunching or cough cough recovering from too much frivolity the night before.  They are stuffing bags full of swag that they've each busted their asses to get for all of us.  They've had boxes and boxes of shit delivered to Chicago from all over the damn place.  Let me just go on record of sending out a great big thank you to each and every one (Linda, Joey, Jenny, Lynne, Deb, and Stephanie) of you for all your hard work over this past year to make all this come together - it and you are all just amazing!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A few last minute things...

I can't comment - no idea why, but it's totally annoying....  here's a couple of random comments I was unable to post;

to Draz - I'm so thrilled to hear about Banana's latest drama, I'm totally grinning!  And numbers... I'm not sure we've talked about the actual numbers but mine is higher than his and we both know that.

to Tessie Rose - Yay!!!

Last night Tommy (my 13 year old) needed help creating a simple line graph in Excel.  I'm an accountant.  Did I mention that before.  An actual accountant - can we guess what program I spend a hell of a lot of my work life working in??  Yeah, that would be Excel.  I'm the excel queen.  I say as much to Tommy - and up we head to my laptop.  This very complicated graph had one line with four data points and a few labels to make it pretty.  I open the 2011 professional Office version of excel that's on my Mac and it starts asking me questions about sparkly lines - I kid you not.  Where do you want the sparkly lines and ok maybe it was sparkling lines.  But I don't want any stinking sparkly or sparkling lines.  I'm sitting there reading instructions about these lines and get as far as learning I can't continue without them.  As I'm in the process of packing for Chicago and this little graph should take approximately 30 seconds to complete I quickly close that version of Excel without ever figuring out what the fuck sparkly lines have to do with anything. 

No big deal, right?  I open the 2008 College version of excel that's on my mac and set out to create the graph and it takes about 3 seconds and up pops a graph that's the size of my pinky finger and I can not figure out how to make it bigger or add a title and other pretty things - Good fucking God people this is a 1 minute project and I'm failing on my second attempt.  Fuck it!  I end up logging into my work desktop through Citrix and do the graph in 10 seconds flat and email it to me at home before printing it. 

This one minute project took at least 15 and made my already joyful (not) mood even better.  But Tommy got a nice little pretty graph at the end of it.

(man, I am going to so screw up these new names - please point it out to me when I use their real names - thanks!!)

So... it's totally going to look like I'm one of those girls.  I have a suitcase that I'm going to check FULL of clothes for the sisterhood which is great but then when I got around to packing for me and the Chicago weather and well... of course I needed to put a few things into the suitcase I'm checking and well... when I did - it's now too heavy.  Oops.  So now I'm going to check two, count them two, bags for my four day trip to Chicago.  I feel like I need to be carrying an annoying little dog wearing a little pink outfit too.

I have never, in my whole life, ever needed to get away from my life more than I do right at this moment and I can't tell you a) how excited I am that I actually have a trip planned and b) how unbelieveabley amazing it is that the trip is getting to see all of you wonderful, loveing, supportive, fun people. 

To all those of you who are unable to make the trip this year - I will sincerely miss you and hope you'll be able to join us next year!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ricky is coming back to town...

My mother-in-law is coming for three or four weeks - she lands on Wednesday afternoon.  I can't tell you how upset I am that I'll be in Chicago for her first weekend in town.  Seriously it breaks my heart.

But... as a little preview this is the phone conversation we keep repeating.  As a matter of course she calls us, Brad really but sometimes I'm lucky enough to intercept the calls and sometimes I'm in a nice enough mood to take the call for him and give him a break, several times each day - but the current crisis goes like this.

Her: Cam-la (there are only two syllables when she says it) do you think Dan will mind…  You know, Jamie turns 21 while I’m down there.  And well, do you think Dan will mind if instead of giving him $15 for his birthday, could I give him $21?  Or do you think he won’t like that?

Me: We can discuss it when you get here.  (cuz oh my god woman, we're talking about $6 - I'll happily give that to you if you promise never to mention this again)

Her: Oh, good idea.  Okay, well, I’ll let you go.  It was really nice talking to you.

Me: ok, talk to you later, bye now.

We’ve had this same exact conversation four times so far.

Shall we take an informal poll?? Will Dan get mad about the $6?   Circle one  YES   NO

Sunday, September 25, 2011

pictionary and being a kind and compassionate mom (not)

Before I get started, I wanted to tell you all that I've decided to change the names of my family so don't be surprised when you hear of my husband Daniel, and my two kids; Tommy and Jason.  I'll sometimes call Tommy Tom and Jason Jay - I'll point out their new names for a while and I'll be going back and changing their names in past posts too.  Maybe I'll put up a little decoder thingy on the right a la Drazil - we'll see.  There isn't any real big reason why I'm doing this, it's just more that I use my middle name on here because my real name which rhymes with Pamela but begins with a C is pretty unique and it would be very, very easy for someone to find my blog just by googling my name and I'd just as soon this remains only for the people it's for.  And so I was thinking about it and people could also google my husband and kids names together, with or without my real name, and this would probably come up - so.... why not take that option away. 

Pictionary lessons
So... on Thursday a friend of mine came over and the four of us (husband is in Florida) first played Frisbee after dark which can be a little dangerous as it’s much harder to see the branches on the trees (and mailboxes if you'll recall Jason's (this is the new name of my 10.5 year old son) stitches incident early this year) – but everyone, thankfully, remain unscathed.  But then we played Pictionary.  Whenever Jamie comes over the kids rope her into some sort of game – which I believe she loves – but anyway... neither of the kids have ever played the game before so we teach them how and as part of that instruction I tell them about their very literal great grandma. 

Come with me, will you (ooh, that’s dirty – but I digress)  So this was the one and only time we played Pictionary with my grandma.  They had obviously played before because she had set up two easels complete with colored white board markers (this was when white boards were still cool and new – I’m guessing I was in college at best.  And in her version of the game (and if grandma was around her rules were THE rules) you could use different colors if you wanted to – like water could be blue and a sun could be yellow, which is totally helpful.  Anyway (that seems to be my pet word for the day) it’s grandma’s turn and she’s drawing for her team which included me and my dad - her son, and probably a few others and she’s all excited cuz she just knows we’re going to get it.  It’s just so easy – and she said something just like – “oh, this is going to be a piece of cake”  (speaking of cake, she was a very stereotypical grandma and she made the most amazing hummingbird cake – have you ever had that – if not, you should find a recipe and make one – though I never have – they are soooo good!!)

The timer starts and she pulls out a yellow marker and draws a small yellow rectangle.  And when I say small, I mean… it was probably 1.5” x .5” on the bottom of this big huge easel and then she sat back and waited.  We’re all madly guessing… rectangle, house, other things that are rectangles – I have no idea – but we were all stumped. 

“Grandma, you’ve got to give us more, we’re not getting it from this.”
“There’s nothing more to draw.”  Pointing emphatically at the picture “that’s what it is.”  Ummmm okay… We randomly start guessing again and are getting no where.

We basically go back and forth (actually come to think of it I don’t think there was a timer because I believe this went on for several hours, though that could just be how I’m remembering it) with us being totally stumped and my grandmother getting more and more annoyed with us and pointing more and more emphatically with the tip of her pen at the obvious masterpiece she’s just drawn.  It’s clear from her facial expressions that she is horrified to be related to any of us – There must have been some mix up at birth because these just can not be her offspring and the offspring of her offspring – or maybe the genes have gotten diluted – no wait, it’s Frank (her husband)’s fault – they are his stupid genes showing their stupid heads – how do they not know what the hell that is when it’s as clear as the nose on my face.

Finally a day or two later we’re at an impasse.  We are never going to come up with the answer and she flat out refuses to tell us what it is because we’re all just too stupid to be helped.  And then… her son, my dad – who’s known her the longest in our group and in many ways thinks just like her leans forward and utters his first and only guess…

Man, I’m really debating here as to whether or not I should tell you what the guess was and whether it was right.  I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

But the point here is that I told the boys this story about how sometimes what you draw, even if it is in fact a masterpiece, the idiots on your team may just not get it and pointing more and more emphatically at the picture will in no way help your team member come up with the right answer, so you should try something different.  But Jason who is (depending on your point of view) either blessed or cursed with my sense of humor spent the entire night pointing emphatically at his drawings – he, of course only did this when the impact would get the greatest laugh – he was very much on a roll last night and we were all laughing very hard.

Speaking ill of Tommy (this is the new name of my 13 year old son)
So on Wednesday I was on pick up duty for my older son and another boy from the neighborhood from soccer practice.  I had to then take the other boy to boy scouts.  Okay fine.  I get there a bit early and am watching practice and I come up behind two dads who are watching and talking.  I get there as one of them is saying to the other “It seems to be the older kids, well at least the taller ones (of which my son is one) on the team who are the laziest.  So they must be getting lazier as they get older.”  So of course I felt compelled to jump right in because I’m apparently not so shy “I can’t speak for any of the rest of the boys, but I can assure you my son has been lazy since birth – height has nothing to do with it.”  I suppose I should feel guilty for speaking ill of my son, but I just don’t. 

Oh and speaking of feeling bad – or at least thinking I should feel badly.  This same child, an 8th grader is in GT science and they do a two year science project spanning 7th and 8th grades.  He has a new teacher this year, who he absolutely loves but he’s turning in the first part of the 8th grade part of the project this week.  It was due on Thursday.  Okay no big deal right.  Even better is that in the division of labor in my house – all science projects fall under my husband’s domain.  Yay me.  But Daniel’s (this is my husband's new name - also his middle name, like Read is mine) gone all week this week – so while they did the project together last weekend – building a trebuchet – he wasn’t here for the paperwork that now has to be turned in related to it.  (uh... I think we need to more clearly define the division of labor here...)

This new teacher has laid out the very specific steps on his website and the kid seems totally into it – even wanting to do parts of it a bit early so he can run it by the teacher.  Well he does that and brings it home and determines he was all wrong and now he has a shit load of work to do on Wednesday night – which of course is the same night he has soccer practice – but anyway – I agree to do the typing for him as I can type much faster than he can and this way I have a shot of getting him to bed before midnight.

So, I’m typing away the steps as he’s telling them to me to building the trebuchet and I swear to god they are shit.  I mean – they make sense to the 13 year old’s brain – kind of like ur a q t makes sense to a 13 year old – but for a real live science project – omg – shit I tell you.  But I’m discovering this at 9:30 on Wednesday night as I’m typing and it’s due at 8am Thursday morning.  This is not about to be when I have this conversation with him so I make a few suggestions here and there, but mostly I let him hang himself.  But… that’s not the worst part of it.  The part that’s much worse is that one of the teacher’s steps is that “I’ve had my parents read my instructions and they agree with how I’ve laid it out.”  or something like that - oh good god!  And then – even worse than that – I have to type a section that says something like.. I Read, parent of Tommy am comfortable with all he’s done… yadda, yadda, yadda.

Those two parent related steps were the last two steps and by then it was after 10pm.  And again there was no way I was stopping what I was doing to go back and fix all the problems cuz well it’s not my homework and it’s not even my thing in the division of labor agreements we have.  But… I felt much worse about the fact that I said I thought it was good work than the fact that he was turning in shit work.  Like, man!! That teacher is going to think I’m a complete idiot.  What does that say about me as a person??

A typical conversation with Tommy
This exact conversation just happened with Tommy 3 minutes ago

Me: you need to pause the game and come upstairs and finish your homework
Him: Mommy! (completely exasperated)
Me: your other choice is to turn it off and not turn it on again today.  I don't care which one you choose.
The TV goes off and there is much stomping and muttering as he makes his way upstairs to finish his homework.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Kagead's magic shopping powers...

I'd heard about this mythic power that Kagead had with respect to shopping.  In fact, Gilly just did a post about it, and several people mentioned it in her feature on the Boob's blog - I was thinking that maybe if I rubbed myself all over her while we were in Chicago perhaps some of that mojo would rub off on me... I mean, hey, it might be fun and it can't hurt, right?

Flash forward to yesterday and I go in search of a Marshall's cuz I've never, ever been inside one before I all these people I know and love from far and wide and right here in my home town all swear by it - so off I go and I really need something to wear with the actual skirt I happened to be wearing to work yesterday - a cute little orange number.  (and yes, here's another example of me the redhead wearing orange).  But anyway I'm looking around and I stumble upon these cute little brown boots.  They don't even have a zipper or anything - I mean seriously - there's no way on God's green earth that they could possibly fit over my voluptuous calves (you can totally use voluptuous to describe calves) but then I hear it.  It starts off as a whisper... try them on... go ahead... give it a try.... they will fit... the force is with you...  I may have made up that last part, but I swear the rest is totally true.  I'm looking all around, I mean - seriously what crazy fool is whispering about the force in the middle of the day?  But this voice is persistent.  And oddly it sounds like Gilly - but I think that's just because I've never actually heard Kagead's voice before.

Anyway - I'm sick and fucking tired of this voice by about the 15th time it goes through it's little number so I finally decide to go ahead and try them on if only to shut it the fuck up.  And holy shit, they fit.

And then to make matters even better - I come across these short little things.  I don't know why I love them so, but I do.

So... Thank you, thank you, thank you Kagead.  I totally owe you a drink.  Tell me, what do you all think of my new boots??

BYOC!!! Bring Your Own Crazy!!

It's Friday and you know what that means - yes?  It's time for BYOC.  Bring Your Own Crazy like your life depends on it!  We answer a few questions to get to know each other better and to give our blogging brains a break.  Copy to your own blog and ENJOY!!

Oh and before I begin - these questions come from the fabulous Joey (cuz my teensy weensy brain is shot)!  Thank you Joey - I owe you one!

1.  If you were a character on Friends, who would you be and why?

I think I'd probaby be Phoebe, with a little Monica thrown in.  I'm a little too out there - la ti da to be Rachel, though I do love my hair.  But I'm too anal to be stricktly Phoebe.  And... I can remember when Monica and Chandler were first getting together and hiding that fact and Monica had Chandler hold his breath under water in the bath they were sharing when Rachel or someone else came in to ask a question - I could totally see me doing that.

2.  If you weren't in your current career what other career do you think you would have done?

Um... Interior decorator... no.. event planner.  Yes, I'd love to be an event planner or a personal assistant.  I like the behind the scenes work vs the up front and center kind of stuff.   

3. What did you want to be when you grew up when you were 6?

No idea.  I do remember I wanted a house in which every single room was decorated in a very different style.  Like this room had a hippy feel, and that room was formal, and this other room was cottage cozy, and in here we have a 20s theme... you get the picture.

4.  Do you think everyone only has one soulmate or true love? Or are there multiple people for everyone?

I believe there is more than one.  I also believe you can find happiness without finding your soul mate, but I think they are out there and that there is more than one and that each of them touch different parts of your soul - complete you in different ways.

5.  Repeat question.  Summarize your week in real life and in blog land.

Blog land has been fun - people are getting excited about Chicago - I know I'm beyond excited.  If I could go right now I would... and I'd be fine tapping my toes in the lobby until the rest of you got there.  I'm sorry that not every single one of you is coming this year - but look forward to other ways to be able to meet you and play one day!!

Real life has been good.  For a while I've been keeping the tension somewhat high between Brad and I because he is the king of out of sight out of mind.  For the past several years, everytime I'd just relax and hang out, he'd immediately forget there was anything wrong - and well.. I was thinking if we're going to try to fix this then he needs to remember there's something to fix.  Well... for a variety of reasons I dropped the tension and it's made it SO much nicer at my house and I discovered/remembered two things.. 1) It's not my job to remind him of things this important - if he can't keep this in his mind - than he can't... done.  and 2)  no matter what I do, or what I say or how I say it, he will interpret it in the very worst possible way.  If I tell a joke (as I often do) he's far more likely these days to assume I'm being mean and sarcastic than just being the goof that is me - and... there's not a damn thing I can do about that.

And wow, that sounded like things weren't going well - but actually they're going pretty well.  I continue to be filled with good emotional energy - I am surrounded and bolstered by new friends (please refer to a mirror as soon as possible) who in many ways, big and small, remind me of all the things that this roller coaster I've been on have slowly and maybe invisibly leached out of me - and that's a damn beautiful thing!!  I so can't wait to see and squeeze each one of you in Chicago!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

a couple of pictures

So... despite the fact that I am the undisputed queen of Plateauville I'm still in a good place and think I may be in a position to pass this fucking crown off to some poor unsuspecting slob one day in the near-ish future... Unexpectedly two pictures were taken of me (one by me) in the last week that did a hell of a job reminding me I'm doing just fine and I thought I'd share them with you.

This first one is from last Saturday at the wedding of some friends.
That's a friend of mine, Brett, with me.

And this one I took earlier today to show someone my new shirt
please note the Redskins' colors!!

In the wedding picture my hair is all kinds of fucked up crazy - but it totally doesn't detract from the fact that I think it's a great picture of me.  And looking at the new shirt picture I have a hard time seeing the color, which is why I bought the shirt - really all I see are the girls in contrast to the rest of me.  It's not a bad look.  I'm pretty okay with what I look like right now and that's a damn good thing.

Note to self

Do not eat fast, you fucking moron!! No matter how careful you think you're being. It Never. Ever. Ends. Well!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Owning me... it's a good thing

This whole positivity thing that’s going around here.. that’s an amazing thing and really hitting a nerve with me right now. 

You all have been watching me (and supporting the hell out of me for which I’ll never be able to adequately repay you) go through a rough year – and I’m certain there will be more roughness to come, but… I’m in this whole other place these days and both Barb’s post and Sandy Lee’s post yesterday really, really spoke to me.  Helped me put into words things I’ve been feeling for a while now.

I feel good… right… confident… I’m not sure any of those words are the right ones – but I feel like I’ve honestly given all I can to fixing this marriage.  And I’m still right here willing to keep giving it.  I’ve been profoundly honest about what is and is not acceptable to me.  I’ve not shied away from the really hard conversations about how things have affected me and what things I might need to do in the future to deal with that.

The thing is… maybe for the first time ever – I’m being completely true to me.  I’m doing my very best to not cause harm to anyone else even though I know this will harm my children if I do end up leaving one day.  But, I’m just owing… me.  This is who I am, this is what I need, and this is what I want.  Take me or leave me.  I can give a hell of a lot and I’m absolutely willing to do so – but I’m not a mind reader and I’m no longer worried about that.  I’m ready to be told (okay, I’ve been ready to be told for a lot of years) but I’m ready to be told what he needs and… and this is a big one – I’m ready to tell him no.  I hope he can tell me what he needs and I hope they are things I’m prepared to give, but if they aren’t… well, they aren’t.  And I’m completely okay with that.

I don’t feel like I’m in this big whole where there’s no way out.  I feel really good about me.  I feel really good about the things I’ve said, the things I’ve written and the things I’ve done.  And there is a way out and it’s a place in which I can not only live, but I can thrive.

First I read Barb’s post called A Dose of Positive Energy is What I Need.  And maybe she was ranting and venting about crappy Mondays – but that’s not what came through loud and clear – what came through is just how amazing our Barbara is.  She’s out there finding her way, doing what’s right for her, living for the now, and most of all… owning herself.  And it struck me fairly profoundly about how I’ve truly been working to stay open to the universe and open to what the world is saying to me and giving to me.  Living in the moment and being ready to learn what I need to learn and accept the gifts I’m given.  I think it’s this openness that’s really allowed me to find the peace I’d been missing in my life.

Barb had linked to Sandy Lee’s post called Emotional Energy.  And well.. wow, that was a great post.  The top part is sort of like an exercise that I think everyone of us could benefit from doing – but it was really the bottom part the got me - where she quoted the book The Emotional Energy Factor by Mira Kirshenbaum.  I’m totally copying the quote from her blog (forgive me Sandy).

Here is what she says about Emotional Energy: It's an aliveness of the mind, a happiness of the heart, and a spirit filled with hope. Emotional energy has a specific feel. It's a sense of being up, happy, forward looking, resilient, feeling young, feeling open, feeling your juices flow, being in touch with the loving, creative, generous, hopeful parts of yourself. People who have emotional energy give to the people they love, rise to difficult occasions, and are able to make decisions to change the parts of their life that aren't working for them. Emotional energy means you can ride out any storm and your core of grace, happiness, and strength won't be touched.

My first thought upon reading that was… okay whoa.  But then it morphed into – Yes!!  Yes damn it!  That’s exactly it.  That’s what I’m feeling, that’s where I am.  Apparently I’ve got lots of emotional energy at the moment.  I sure as hell hope it’s gonna stick around for a while!!

And while I have no way of predicting the future – I suspect this place I find myself living in these days will also help me get off this huge fucking little plateau I’ve been living on for the better part of this past year.  But even this.. (and if this isn't a sure sign of the state of my emotional energy I don't know what is) isn’t killing me.  I’m looking at this plateau as part of what I need to learn from the world.  Perseverance, toughness, patience – none of those things are bad things to learn more about.

My wish for all of you is to find your emotional energy!!!  And I totally recommend going over to Sandy Lee's blog and thinking about what her post is telling us.

Oh and for those of you with perverted minds like me... "Owning me" is also not a bad thing!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

BYOC!!! Bring Your Own Crazy!!

Let’s do BYOC – Bring Your Own Crazy. We answer 5 questions in an effort to get to know each other better and to give our blog brains a break. Copy to your own blog and ENJOY!

1. Do you drink coffee? Decaf or regular? Cold or hot? If not – what’s your go-to morning drink?

I don't drink coffee.  I hate coffee.  I hate the smell of coffee.  I think, once, I smelled a single cup of coffee that probably had more sugar, milk and caramel and chocolate than coffee that I didn't think smelled like something died in it - but that's about it.

That said... I used to drink a single large cup every day.  I  hated it, but I wanted the cafeinne.  I thought it tasted like shit.  I tried it with milk and thought it tasted like milky shit, then I tried it with sugar and I thought it tasted like sweet shit, so I just stuck with black and the straight shit flavor that I was so used to.  And then... I got pregnant with my first child and gagged every time I got even a whif of it.  I'd be in meetings and my eyes would be watering even after I'd gotten everyone to move their cups as far away from me as possible.  Once I had the baby, it no longer made me gag, but I've never had so much as a drop since then.  I can't stand the flavor of it in anything.  I do like the idea of coffee, however, very much. 

For years, I switched to a single big cup of tea but in the last few years I've switched again to Chai latte.  I have one every morning.  I now use the "slightly sweet" version of Oregon Chai and it's 162 calories and 8g of protein and it's my breakfast every morning.  (unless I feel compelled to add a splash or two of cream so it tastes like dessert - but since that makes it more calories I only do that every single fucking day once in a while.)

2. What are your top six characteristics in a partner if you could hand pick them. And just for kicks – if you’re in a relationship – after you make the list of six – does the person you are with possess all five?
fun and funny
be attentive to my needs/able to express his own
a good father
able to show and accept love (as Draz said - to love without fear)

Um.. Brad is funny and can be fun though I've not given him the opportunity for that in a while.  He used to be the most honest and moral human I'd ever met - it's not true anymore, at least not for me.  He's a very, very good father.  He takes offense when people say things like... "a mom can tell when their kid is such-and-such..." he'll say - "yes, they can and so can I" (he usually doesn't add, god damn it! at least not aloud).  He is completely incapable of loving without fear - this is the crux of our issues - he can neither show it nor accept it.  His mother fucked him up so profoundly I want to take her out back and shoot her dead.  If we're talking about practical matters - he's extrodinarily trustworthy and dependable, if we're talking about my heart, not so much.

3. I’m going to pick a person – not knowing if this person even exists in your life – and you try to describe this person in 5 short words or sentences:

Paternal grandfather

At 93 he's the only grandparent I have left
Patient and kind
he doted on my grandma and she was not an easy woman to live with
he still bowls, and drives though I've seen him back into my sister's house, he loves SWEET white German wine

Oops, was that more than 5?

4. What’s your signature item? Color? Piece of clothing or jewelry? Accessory? You know – that one thing people know you will ALWAYS have on?

Um... I don't know that I have one.  Is that bad?  The first thing that popped in my head was my hair - always red and always a little crazy.  I do always wear earings... so maybe that??  In the summer I almost always wear an anklet.  Orange is my favorite color and so people are never surprised when I'm wearing it.  In fact, I just bought a short orange skirt that I think I'm going to wear to the drag show in Chicago.

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in real life and in blog life.

Real life has been ok.  Some ups and some downs.  Teddy has had some completely unintentional one liners that have left me speechless.  Unfortuantely I've never had a pad of paper handy so I could write it down and share it with you - but I swear I've been shaking my head at him all week long.  OH OH OH... Guess what?? Our long national nightmare is finally over... FOOTBALL IS BACK!!  And and and  I got tickets to the Ravens/Steelers game on Sunday and I'm taking Jackson my little onery Steelers fan and he is so beyond excited!!  I took Teddy to his first NFL game last season - we saw the Redskins on a Sunday night game - and it was just so wonderful to watch it through his eyes.  So I'm very excited to take Jack to his first as well.  It will be a completely different experience with Jack because they are such different kids - but I'm beside myself excited - both to go to the game period - but to be able to take Jack - woo hoo!!

Blog life - I'm getting there - slowly but surely I'm making my way through the 2011 fun facts for the Chicago bound woman - all of them are completely entertaining!  I have to take a head shot for Lynda - so I'm feeling a little delinquent - but other than that - all is good!  Where are we??? 20 days ish?  woo hoo!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More brain farts....

  • Just about everyone east of the Mississippi has been getting rained on in the last few days because of Lee – that is one big ass storm.
  • I threw my back out this weekend – well that’s not true – I didn’t do a damn thing and yet, my back is out.  I wish a had a good story to go with this, but alas I do not.
  • I drank a tremendous amount of gin and tonics and wine this weekend… is it related to the bullet above??? Perhaps?
  • I have been reading Angela's Repair and Renovation blog from the beginning and well 1st  of all, I’m in love.  And 2nd of all – I think she’s been spending some time in my brain.  She's learned, or at least seems to have a handle on all the same kinds of things I'm still working through - but the way she talks about those things is the same exact way I think about them - it was lovely and inspiring to read - and I'm not done yet!
  •  My son, Ted.. well, I worry about that boy...  It's a damn good thing he's cute (as I tell him all the damn time).  Bless his heart, but he has the common sense of a pencil eraser.  I guess it's a good thing he's book smart too, otherwise there would just be no damn hope.
  • I'm fairly sure I'm never going to lose another pound again and I'm just going to have to learn to live with my disappointment.  Okay, perhaps it's that I need to work up to disappointment - I watch what I'm doing and it's just not good - choice wise in the food department - and I just keep doing it anyway.  Keep doing what you've always done and you'll keep getting what you've always gotten.  I believe I need a very small fill - like .1cc - but my doctor won't give fill less than .5cc and I'm sure I wouldn't be able to swallow my own spit with that size fill.  So I need to get off this very well padded ass and do something about it.
  • There's a FillCenter USA about 45 minutes from my house - is there anyone out there with experience with them??? Will they give small fills?? Will they actually listen to the patient's wishes and thoughts, or at least take them into account??
  • I made homemade egg noodles tonight, (thanks Camille) and while they were too salty, I'd give myself a solid B+ for my first attempt.  You cook them in chicken stock and eat it sort of as a stew - think dumplings sort of - wow - yum!

Friday, September 2, 2011

BYOC!!! Bring Your Own Crazy!!

BYOC – Bring Your Own Crazy….5 little questions we ask to get to know each other better and to give our blogging brains a break. Copy and paste to your own blog and enjoy! 

1. If you have a camera and have the time – take the contents of your purse out – and take a picture of said contents and explain them. If you don’t have time or a camera – please describe the contents of your purse.

This question totally entertained me and I’m not at all sure why.  Of course the fact that I recently changed purses so there’s less shit inside probably helps….

 I have no idea what I can't make that picture turn around the way I want it, but eh... Here goes.
There's my kindle - and I think I may be turning into a convert.  I've had the kindle for a while and I like it, but I've maintained that I like actual books better, but I think that might be changing... the bookshelves in my house would sure be happy about that.  My glasses for when I'm reading at lunch.  Afrin and a bottle of ibuprofin - I don't go anywhere without them even if I'm not using afrin I always have it with me just in case.  And should you need advil while we're in Chicago, there's a very good chance I'll have some with me.  On the right side of the picture are the set of keys that have all my store discount cards on as well as my office keys and I'm thinking one of those keys might be my house key, but I've never used it.  It's attached to the door opener thingy from my CRV that was totalled 3 or 4  years ago.  Apparently I'm not yet over it.  A cute little umbrella in case it rains.  A notebook where I'm trying to write down what I eat - it's a start, we'll see how that goes.  On the notebook is a nail file, a pen, a sunscreen stick to keep Jackson's scar well doused, and some Burt's bees lip color.  Then there's my car keys, my old beat up wallet, and a little snack sized ziploc baggie in which I brought the charging cable for the Kindle into work yesterday.  So there you have it.  Oh and usually my cell phone's in there too and a bottle of water - both of which were otherwise occupied. :)

2. Repeat question: I’m going to pick a person not knowing if you have a relationship with this person or if the person even exists and you try to describe the person in 5 words or short sentences.

• Your kindergarten teacher

Seriously Draz?  Kindergarten??? I’m 45 years old, I barely remember to change the toilet paper roll and you want me to comment on my kindergarten teacher.  Um… Her name was Mrs. McVey (I think) and I’m damn impressed I pulled that out of my ass.  The truth is I don’t remember many details from when I was young at all – I think I was just ignoring the world or something – perhaps I was aloof even back then??  Anywhoo… yeah. That’s all I’ve got.  I do remember my first grade teacher, how about that one.  Her name was Ms. O’Leary

Loved me
Racist cunt
Pulled hair out of Eugene Nater’s head
Thought little black girls had been raised well if they said ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘no ma’am’ to her.  Neither I nor any of the other little white girls needed to say ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘no ma’am’ we had a free pass on good manners due to our skin color.  I learned a lot of things in her class – a lot about how shitty and unfair people can be.

And just to continue – I have no idea who any of my other elementary school teachers were.  I think I had Mrs…. Um.. Mrs. Something I don’t remember but I can picture her and she was the mother of people I went to high school with and my sister had her too for two years because the teacher jumped from one grade to another and my sister was so thrilled to be able to get her again – but.. yeah, no idea what her name was either.  So apparently it was only Mrs. O’Leary that made an impression on me.

3. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure / trashy TV show you like to watch?

I wish I watched more TV because I always enjoy it when I do – okay not always, but it’s a great thing – it can make you think and laugh and cry and everything in between – and totally forget about what’s going on in your real life – but I don’t watch very much.  But.. I love Castle, though I’m about a season behind, I am working to catch up.  My very favorite show that I try to watch when it comes on (though I didn’t succeed for even one episode this year) is So You Think You Can Dance.  I love love love that show.  But it took me about 3 weeks after it was over this season to finally catch up and find out who won (though of course I’d already predicted it).  I also watch American Idol though I hate all the audition shows – I only like it once they get to Hollywood.  I used to love Bones but then they had a season finale where the whole show was a dream sequence just so we could see them as a couple where they were kissing and whatnot.  It pissed me off so bad as such lame TV that I didn’t watch the show again for two seasons – I just couldn’t stomach it.  I’ve started watching it a little this year.  OH OH OH, I love the show Rizoli and Isles – fantastic!!   (please ignore the fact that I haven’t yet watched a single episode from this season – I have them all taped and I WILL watch them all.

4. A lot of you told me about your first day of school experiences when I posted about how my 5 year old going to kindergarten wasn’t causing me too much heartache. So now I’m officially asking – tell me about one of your first day of school experiences that sticks out in your mind the most. Who put you on the bus? Did you ride the bus? Did your parents take pics? Did they walk you into school? Drive you there? Cook you breakfast?

Okay – first I was thinking I had to write about my own experience as a kid and um… yeah see question 2 above.  My memory absolutely does not extend to any first days of school.. So I’ve a complete blank on that – I assume I got there as I remember Mrs. O’Leary, but that’s it.  But then Draz talked about their ritual with her own kids and I can do that one…

In the days leading up to school I work with the boys to get their supplies ready which they gleefully do each year.  We discuss what clothes they will wear (even though they are boys – there are important decisions to make.)  Jackson wore his rugby jersey and Teddy debated wearing shorts to school for the first time in 4 years – he ended up deciding against it.  I think he’ll wear them at some point this year, we’ll see.

In the morning they were both up by themselves (this is completely the norm for Jack and a very pleasant surprise for Ted).  Ted continued to surprise us by completely taking care of himself – got himself breakfast (this is a dead shocker) he totally wanted to show us how mature and capable he is.  He fed himself, got himself ready and got himself out to the bus stop all by himself, completely on time.  (I kept a close eye on him to make sure he did – but he did it all on his own!! YAY!!).  Ted was my responsibility and Jack was Brad’s.  So Brad took (as is the tradition in our house too Draz) Jackson to morning care before school, though not as early as he begged to go.  Jack wanted to get there when it opened at 7am.  Um no.  He loves morning and after care.  Loves loves loves.  I swear to god that’s going to be the hardest transition for him next year in middle school when he just comes home on the bus.  But, Brad got up and got him ready and fed him and took him and got him settled at school and he was thrilled about it all.  We totally forgot to take pictures which we do each year with both boys on the stairs with their back packs.  We’ll have to do that this weekend.  It’s fun to look back and see how they’ve grown over the years.

 5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in real life and in blog land.

Real life has been fine.  Busy, busy with the beginning of school and yes… sports started back up – only one for each kid thank god.  Ted is doing soccer and he has a new coach who seems a wee bit anal retentive and… um… maybe set in his ways.  We’ll see how it goes.  And OMG my neighbor who is a friend of mine – but is the single most control freak know it all I know. (I completely ignore or laugh at those parts of her, but she bugs the crap out of most people) – has somehow become the team mom.  I mean seriously… team mom?? We haven’t had a team mom on a sports team in several years, not even Jack’s teams have them anymore.  It went out of style as they got old enough not to need a snack after each game, I think.  But.. we’ve gotten 4 emails from her today alone about 1 stupid thing after another.  Brad and I had been commenting that from the coach’s emails he seemed like a pain in the ass, but.. eh as long as Ted is happy we don’t really care.  But then, now with the barrage of emails from Lisa – it’s clear she’s going to be the bigger PITA than he is.  Oh well… Jack had his first flag football practice last night and came home and collapsed on the sofa saying there wasn’t a place on his body that didn’t hurt.  I would have thought all that running in rugby would have prepared him for football… I think he must have not had enough to eat (which would be something Brad might have forgotten to take care of)  we’ll see how that one goes too!

In blog life – OMG I am trying to read each and every person’s BOOB’s survey thingy.  I loved doing it and I’m loving reading them all – but you all just keep blogging away and so when I get to someone’s blogs of course I want to read all the posts I’ve missed in addition to the survey and well… it’s slow going.  But I’m on a mission – I will find them all!!  I’m getting excited, how about you??

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Just another glimpse into my neurosis....

So… I have this problem about getting overwhelmed by how much shit there is to do so I will either do nothing or try to do it all which of course means I finish nothing.

I have all these things I want or need to do in my house and it’s just too much for me to wrap my head around – I can’t figure out what to do first.  And OMG people who start shit and then don’t finish it – they are the kind of people who get on my last damn nerve – and if you saw my son’s room, or any number of other things you’d know that I am on my own last damn nerve every damn day right now.

So I finally decided I would just pick a point in my house and slowly and systematically work around the house, room by room.  The idea was that I would go to a room and determine what needed to be done in order for it to be just like I want it to be – or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Okay – wait – here’s the background.. sort of… When I decorate my house for Christmas.. I LOVE IT!  All the colors work together, the high ceilings are perfect and every little thing flows wonderfully into the next.  I just love it.  But the rest of the year… meh.  It’s fine.  The bones are the same and they’re wonderful bones.  The wall colors are great.  But… meh.  It doesn’t flow and it just isn’t an accurate reflection of who we are in the same way the house is during the holiday season.  Part of this was because we have children and they are small little spawn of satan who suck the life and time right out of you and who… oh wait, off track there.  They used to have their toys all over the damn place on the main floor and we have extremely open floor plan so from just about any spot you can see just about any other spot on the whole first floor – so that Nerf sword that was left near the piano – well it bugs the shit out of me no matter where I’m standing.  So I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to make it my own because I was incapable of competing with Nerf.  (I had to make choices when I had kids and Nerf won.)  So… we finished the basement and banished the kids and their toys downstairs and life is better.  This has created great relief but… well… now I need to make it my own.

So.. back to the story… we got some new grown up furniture, and sent the older beat up stuff downstairs with the kids.  That was step 1.  Now I need to sort of decorate the rest.  And this is something I’m good at – but it’s too much for my poor little brain and it stops me cold.  So.. really back now… I decided to start in the sunroom and work room by room around the house.  (I’m ignoring that my son’s room has yet to be put back together after  having painted it several weeks ago.)

So.. the sunroom needs the school supplies organized into the desk, and all the cool weather stuff that Brad got me for Christmas needs to be installed on the deck instead of sitting on the edge of the couch.  And there needs to be a new low bookcase under the bar.  I’ve looked for the bookcase and I can’t find one that’s the right size and shape and color.  No problem, I’ll build one.  I’ve built them before.  I’ll love doing that!  But… what if I start building it and then leave it half built there in the middle of my kitchen?  Holy shit, I’d have to kick my own ass.  And so it goes.  Nothing is getting done cuz I haven’t gotten around to going to the hardware store to buy the wood for the god damn bookcase.  Please just shoot me.