Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Goody two shoes

Someone brought up the subjects of deep dark secrets the other day and how she and her husband were confessing theirs to each other, and to other very close friends and it got me thinking about how I don’t have any deep dark secrets. Not a one!

The closest thing I’ve got is when I kind of sort of stole a coat. I didn’t even steal it, it was in the lost and found and I just kind of claimed it. Okay so it wasn’t actually in a lost and found per se, but I watched it carefully for weeks as it sat on that coat hook at the gym and determined that with the varying hours I arrived and the varying people that were at the gym each time I came that it was obviously left there by someone who had no idea they had left it and would not be coming back to claim it, and I can’t really help that I always wanted a wool peacoat and that it was in my size, now can I? The irony is that I quit that gym shortly thereafter (partly due to laziness and maybe partly due to guilt) and am now fatter and can’t fit in it anymore. Ah Kharma, you cruel bitch!

Sure there are things I’ve done and said that I would regret if they were all laid out before me at the gates of heaven or whatever. But there’s no DEEP DARK SECRET. No gasp-inducing regrettable deed and instead of counting my blessings that I didn’t do something incredibly stupid in my youth, I pretty much feel like a loser. Shouldn’t I have some wild and crazy stuff to look back on and regret? I’m not saying that I wished I’d killed someone and put their body through a wood chipper or anything but why couldn’t I have slept with my best friends boyfriend or done something stupid involving stolen sheep and the high school gym (hey I grew up in a small town, what do you expect?)

The only thing that gives me hope is that I still have a lot of life in front of me to commit that horrible deed and earn that Deep Dark Secret. I just hope it’s something juicy. But not too juicy because I don’t want to cheat on my husband or end up in jail or embarrass my kids. Okay, so I’ll settle for a Shallow Dimly Lit Secret.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bad Chianti, Good Fun, and Projectile Vomit

We hosted a game night(board games and Guitar Hero) at our house this weekend. The guest list consisted of my husband’s co-workers, most of whom I had never met, and my 2 best friends. Things went really well, especially for it being one of my parties since they’re notoriously awful.

One of Matt’s friends brought a Chianti from her home town in Italy and even though I’m not much of a wine drinker and the only thing I know about Chianti is what I learned from watching Silence of the Lambs (that cannibalistic psychopaths enjoy it with human liver and fava beans), I thought I’d give it a try. After the first sip I almost wished I had a human liver to chew on just to take the taste of it out of my mouth! I wanted to be a good host though so I proceeded to sip it until I could work my way to the bedroom and stash the cup in my sock drawer.

I genuinely liked the majority of the attendees. One gal in particular caught my eye. She was very nice, chatty but not annoying, interested in the kids, excellent board game player, not too skinny, perfect new friend material and since I’ve only got 2 ½ friends I could use another. I’m really awkward though with friendship beginnings. My strategy is to tell Matt to tell her that I want her to be my new #2 friend. Technically I want her to be my #3 friend but that just doesn’t sound as good as offering her the #2 position so I’d just tell her she was #2 until I knew her well enough that she could perhaps actually knock off my #2 and rightfully earn the title. Maybe I should just do one of those yes or no notes that were oh so helpful in junior high.

One couple though seemed less than thrilled with my company and when I talked to Matt about it afterward he thought it might be due to the fact that they’re bible thumping Baptists and well let’s just say that I, and my 2 best friends didn’t realize we needed to censor our normal witty banter that’s perpetually peppered with mild profanity and plenty of blasphemy. Taking the Lord’s name in vain is pretty much a hobby for me. I’m not quite sure what Matt was thinking inviting them or why he didn’t issue the warning to us beforehand. Inviting a Baptist to my house is pretty much like inviting Jesus to a comedy club on Jesus Joke night:

Why can't Jesus eat M&M's? ---------They keep falling through his hands.

Why did Jesus cross the road? ------- Because he was nailed to the chicken!

Oh come on now, don’t act so shocked (that chicken one was pretty bad though). I'm confident that God doesn’t mind! He has a twisted sense of humor too – how do I know? Because I’ve seen myself naked.

By far, my favorite part of the evening was when Aaron threw up all over one of the guests. He’d been uncharacteristically quiet all day and had actually been sick a little bit that morning but it was during a coughing fit so we didn’t really associate it with any flu like symptoms. However, as my friend Carrie was taking her leave – since she had another function to attend, she bent down to give the boy a kiss and he obliged, and then turned his head and projectile vomited on the pant leg of the nearest guest. I spent the rest of the evening torn between concern for him, embarrassment for having my kid throw up on someone, and trying to stifle my laughter at the hilariousness of it all.

Can’t wait till the next game night!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Single handedly keeping the mustache wax industry alive.

I couldn’t resist sharing this! The World Beard and Mustache Championship photo gallery.

My favorite thing is how they all dress in costume to coordinate with the style of their mustache. Because well, you’d just look downright silly with a beard/mustache like this in jeans and a t-shirt.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Who doesn't like frozen nostril hair?

It's so damn cold here today that the snow has crystalized and when you step in it, it makes this terrible mini 'fingernails on a chalkboard' scrunching sound. And even though it's only touching your shoe, every single skin cell recoils as if you've just donned a suit of crusty 1970's polyester shag carpeting

Or maybe it's just me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Do Over

There are a lot of things in my life that I’d like to do over. We all have things that we regret, but mostly I’d like to explore and recreate some of the moments in my life that I’d just like to have the opportunity to do over, whether it be a small moment or a large event. Things that I’d love to go back and tackle with the benefit of the learned wisdom I’ve gained throughout the years and the small amount of self respect I’ve managed to amass just in the last few years of my life. This post is about a small moment, but one that has played out in my mind countless times, and always accompanied with a twinge of regret at what I could have said and done, but didn’t.

I wasn’t a popular gal in high school; not very many friends and not even a trace of a boyfriend. I was the smart one, the band president – you get the picture. Well prom rolled around and there I was, dateless of course. So what were my options? I wasn’t so down on life that I wanted to skip the whole thing. I felt I should experience it. After all you’re only in hell – I mean high school once. So I allowed this “friend” of mine to hook me up with this guy that she worked with at the local grocery store. He was my age but from a neighboring town. Seemed like a good idea. He needed a date for his prom, I needed one for mine, and there was the added benefit that we didn’t know each other – no preconceived notions, no caste system/clique expectations from fellow classmates, etc.

I was less than thrilled when I met him but what’s a girl like me to expect? His face was as flat as a pancake and pinched in at the nose so much that I wondered how the kid could breathe properly. He danced like an ape and kissed like a Labrador. I’m not even exaggerating that one. I literally had to wipe my face off with my sleeve. His tongue was like an unattended garden hose with too much water pressure flailing around inside my mouth – ugh, it was awful. I decided not to post his image on here simply because I didn't want to fight off the urge to puke everytime I viewed my own blog.

We did the prom thing. His prom was tolerable since I didn’t know anyone. My prom was barely tolerable. I spent half the night thinking I would have been better off on my own and the other half wishing that I had screwed up the courage to ask the guy who was going with my best friend. I’d always had a little thing for him, and he was being the sweetest geek in the world to her. There were a few moments where I contemplated taking out her knee with a tire iron and then locking my date in the band practice room so that I could try and steal him away. Shameful, I know, but there it is.

Anyway, onto the point of my story. This guy and I kind of sort of dated after the prom. Not that he ever took me out or anything. Just called me or I went over to his house and watched TV or played pool. I don’t think either one of us really liked each other but we were such desperate self-loathing high school cast offs that we clung to each other pitifully. One afternoon he had invited me over and when I arrived found a couple of his friends – whom I had never met before since he never took me anywhere – playing pool in his basement. I waited for an introduction and instead the first thing one of them said to me was this: “Oh is this her? You were right, she’s not fat at all!” and he had this smirk on his face. I can close my eyes right now and see that smirk. If I were ever in a position where it was absolutely necessary for me to kill someone. All I’d have to do is imagine that asshole’s face and that smirk and I’d be able to strike the final blow with such unmerciful accuracy and rage that you’d think I was a trained assassin.

And what do you think that pile of steaming dog shit that I was “dating” did? He kind of smiled his own little mini-smirk, led me into the other room and didn’t say a thing in my defense. Now when I look back on this event of my life, I’m not really mad at him, or even the asshole. I’m mad at myself. Mad that I just stood there and took it and didn’t say a thing. Mad that I didn’t just turn around and walk out. Mad that I subjected myself to such humiliation and that a part of me was convinced that I deserved it or at the very least shouldn’t expect any better.

So what would I do if I could recapture that moment? If I could replay the DVD of my life and skip back to that chapter how would I react? Well I’ve given it a lot of thought over the years and a lot of scenarios have come to mind but I think my favorite is this: Instead of looking down at the floor I’d stare right at prom date boy with a look that said “are you seriously not going to say anything to that”, then I’d clear my throat and say, “Oh is this the friend you were talking about? I don’t think he’s an idiotic asshole at all!” Then I’d turn around triumphantly, walk to the door and say, “Well, it’s been a regrettable experience, why don’t you find someone else to slobber on with that huge cow tongue of yours.” Of course they’d be standing there aghast at my retaliation. A shaft of light would come in through the window and highlight both my inner and outer girl power and beauty, and they’d forever live to regret insulting such a woman. Somehow the stereo would magically turn on and Aretha would be shouting out R E S P E C T as I slammed the door.

What really happened was that I didn’t say a thing, and I stayed there as if nothing had happened. My only form of revenge was never calling him back and he never called me and that was the end of it. Pathetic I know, and that’s why now when it comes back to mind, I just replay my newly improved version and everything is right with the world. If I’m having a particularly bad day and that memory pops up I’ll even add in a good knee to the groin and that always makes me feel better.

Look at me! I was HOT. I’ll never be that young or probably that skinny ever again, and I wasted it on that guy. Ah the regrets of youth. Speaking of regrets, check out the linebacker-esque shoulder pads in that dress. Hey, it was the early 90's - what do you expect.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Toddler Cross-Dressing

The benefit of having cousins at school fundraising ages and a mother who can’t resist them, is that I get free magazine subscriptions. When the 4th kid shows up with the order form and she’s already ordered every quilting and Family Circle magazine possible, that’ when she thinks of me. This time around she picked out a new parenting magazine for me, Cookie.

I received my first issue this week and it was interesting if not a little snooty. When they’re showcasing kids clothes with average prices around $80 per item I get a little turned off. And even if that onesie was hand made by a malnourished Ethiopian, I can’t afford to pay $139 for it. I would love to help the Ethiopians, but I’ve had a long standing tradition of supporting child labor in China and Taiwan and I can’t very well just up and pull my aid from them so I’ll continue to buy my onesies at Wal-Mart for $3.50.

The issue did have some very funny pieces in it and one that I found quite thought provoking. It was about a 4 yr. old boy who loved anything pink and liked to wear dresses (click here to see the article). The parents had indulged him and let him wear some costume dresses around the house and then one day he declared that he wanted to wear one to preschool. Well Bravo for these parents because after giving it some thought and preparing the kid for the reactions he would receive, they let him go to school in a dress. He got teased of course but all in all the teachers and other children were supportive. They must live in California, or New York.

It got me thinking though about how I would react if my son wanted to wear a dress. While I applaud these parents for allowing their child to express himself, I’m afraid that if it was my kid I would have told him that although it was perfectly all right for him to want to wear a dress, Mommy and Daddy would only allow it at home, with the curtains closed, at least until he went off to college and then he could feel free to frequent any sort of club his little heart desired. He could even feel free to borrow some of Mommy’s jewelry. Until then there would always be plenty of opportunities in the school play or the swing choir to express some of those tendencies.

It’s not that I would want to suppress his true self but we do live in the Midwest and quite frankly I wouldn’t have the courage to send him out to such ridicule and discrimination. Even me just pondering what it might be like if Aaron had some less than boyish characteristics is probably sending my poor husband into convulsions. Although he prides himself on his tolerance he once said to me in a restaurant where two very obviously gay men were having dinner "I don’t understand why they have to act so. . . so GAY in public." The first step in dealing with your homophobia dear is to accept it.

But I’m quite relieved to report that so far Aaron has had no inclination to wear a dress, though he is quite fond of costumes and really if we just added an Indian outfit he would have a costume to represent each member of the Village Boys. . . hmmm. Just kidding dear.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mani-Pedi Phobia

I was thinking the other day after I caught a glimpse of my rugged cuticles, that it might be nice to have a Mani/Pedi outing with the girls sometime soon. Then I remembered every nail salon experience I’ve ever had and determined that nobody really looks at my cuticles anyway so perhaps I should skip it.

Now I’m just going to warn you right now that some of the statements I make in this post are going to be racially insensitive. I can’t help it. I don’t consider myself a racist. I think everyone deserves an equal shot in this world and is just as worthy as anyone else regardless of skin color, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference etc. And the statements in this blog stem merely from my own personal insecurities, rather than the hatred or inacceptance of a people.

You see I find it very uncomfortable to go to a place in which people are using sharp instruments and chemicals on me when I can’t understand a word they’re saying. The only thing I can vaguely understand is the "YOU PICK CALLAH" that is shouted out when I walk in the door and then the "YOU WANT FRENCH?" That’s it. That’s all I can understand and the rest of the time I rely on facial gestures and hand signals.

The other thing I can’t stand is how they’re always saying something to each other and laughing. They’re very happy – and why shouldn’t they be. They get to spend their entire day watching soap operas and Jerry Springer and making fun of the white people while they’re sitting right in front of them; "Do you see all the moles on this one? Look, that one on her neck looks like the little dipper! HA HA HA".

They seem determined to break you up too. The whole point of going to the nail salon with a friend is so that you can sit there and talk to each other, or at least help each other translate what it means when the gal is doing what appears to be charades of some sort; two words, one syllable each, umm, what’s that she’s doing with her hand? Circle, ball, square, oh I know, Yeah I want the nails rounded, not square. Then I’m making the "round" hand signal back to her. It’s just awkward.

My theory is that they have the same concern I do. They don’t like it when two or more people sit together and speak in a language they don’t understand and then start laughing. Maybe they think we’re criticizing the tacky plastic dragon on the counter. So they make a pointed effort to break you up and stick you at complete opposite ends of the salon.

I’m always on edge and then I just get defensive and confused. One time the gal just looks up at me in the middle of trimming my cuticles and says, "YOU NEED WAX.’ or at least I thought that’s what she said, and when I looked at her with my pained and pathetic expression of confusion, she points at her eyebrows and says "WAX" I didn’t know what to do. I mean I realize they’re a little untidy but it’s kind of rude to just sit there and suggest that I should wax my eyebrows. What I didn’t realize was that the nail salon also does eyebrow waxing. So I guess I wasn’t really being insulted, the gal just wanted to make a couple extra bucks by taming my caterpillars.

I’m so on edge when I’m in there that it gets to a point where I can’t even think straight even when someone is talking to me in English. When I was pregnant with Gwen I went for a manicure and the customer sitting next to me looked over and said, "Is this your first?" Now I think partly my addled pregnant brain might have been a factor in this as well, but I was so on edge and tuned in to the manicure, trying to anticipate the next step to avoid having another game of charades, that I turned to her and said, "No, I’ve had one before but that was a long time ago." Only when she gave me a weird look, hesitated and then said, "Yeah me too, my firstborn is 14 and my second is 3." Did I realize that she was asking me if this was my first baby, rather than, if this was my first manicure. I was so embarrassed by being so completely stupid. All I could do was hope that she blamed my odd comment on the nail polish fumes.

So mani-pedis are pretty much out until I either learn to speak Vietnamese or scrounge up enough money to go to a spa or salon that doesn’t have something like this on the strip mall window.

Mechanical Slavery and talking nose hair trimmers

An inordinate amount of my life in the past couple of years has been spent watching cartoons or some sort of children’s programming and I’ve learned a lot from it. For example, did you know that birthday cakes come out of the oven completely decorated – with candles? Pogo sticks are a reliable and viable transportation option and can also be used to reach things when a ladder is unavailable. And very rarely in life does anybody win or lose anything – usually they just tie and even if they do win, they share their prize with everybody!

But the thing that’s really starting to boggle my mind are the rules for object personification. Aaron watches Bob the Builder, which I love, and all of Bob’s machines are alive and they talk and have different personalities etc. Bob also has other tools that he uses and those are just inanimate objects. So it appears that in Bob’s world only vehicles are alive. However, I’ve seen episodes with boats, and airplanes and none of those were alive, only backhoes and dump trucks and cement mixers have become sentient beings for some reason.

Now the thing I don’t get is whether these machines are being exploited in a slavery type situation. I mean it seems that they’re helping Bob freely but there’s never any talk of compensation. There was an episode showing how Bob bought one of them from a dealer –Hello can you say "slave trade"? How can Bob "own" these machines who are obviously capable of independent thought and action. He even won one of them in a contest. How does that work? Indentured service? I don’t get it. What kind of message are we really sending here people? Don’t you think some type of TV rating is needed: "this show is rated M for mature, due to themes of slavery and mechanical life form discrimination".

Then you’ve got a show like Handy Manny in which none of the vehicles are alive but the tools are. Like the hammer and the screwdriver etc. are alive and talk. Now I find this completely irrational. I mean what kind of life can a Philips screwdriver live? All he can do is screw – and not even the fun kind of screwing. My main problem with this concept is where do you draw the line? If hand tools are alive then what about other things? Light bulbs, radios, toasters, nose hair trimmers, conceivably your underwear could be alive. Do you really want your underwear talking to you? I for one don’t want to have conversations with my DVD player especially late at night when I’m watching Pride and Prejudice and replay the foggy moor scene at least 5 times; "Come on, not again! He’s wearing high-waisted pants for God’s sake! You think that is sexy?"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Just don’t put me in the room next to Britney – I need my sleep

Certain people wonder how it is that I’m able to work full time, watch my children by myself at night, update 3 blogs and a web site and still be my fabulous creative self. Well I’m finally ready to share the secrets with you: Neglect and lack of sleep.

Neglect: Household chores go undone, the pet parakeet goes unfed for days, my own personal hygiene takes a hit (I can’t remember the last time I shaved my legs), the kids spend way too much time in front of the tv or the computer, laundry only gets done when the dresser drawers are empty, dinner usually consists of frozen pizza or mac & cheese and is usually served in front of the tv.

Lack of sleep: since Matt doesn’t get home from work til 2 a.m. and needs to sleep in in the morning I don’t put Aaron to bed until after 9:30 and usually Gwen doesn’t go down until 11 p.m. That leaves me the hours of 11 – 1 a.m. to work on whatever projects I want to accomplish for myself, then I’m up again at 5:45 to prepare to go to a boring, useless, unfulfilling job in which most of the time I have little to no actual work to do and end up spending 8 hours just trying to stay awake and avoid getting fired for sleeping on the job.

Glamorous isn’t it? I spend my entire work day dreaming of projects, things I want to accomplish, stories I want to write, and then get home and have no time or energy to do them. It’s rough people. I spend half my time trying to figure out new strategies to carve out more time for myself and the other half of the time feeling guilty about taking time away from my family and my responsibilities as a mom and wife. Factor in the sense of responsibility I have to my extended family and close friends and it’s a recipe for exhaustion and self loathing.

Averaging 5-6 hours of sleep at night is not doing anything for my mental or physical state though at this point I think my body is pretty well adjusted to it – except for the fact that I’ve been known to blink and then wake up about 10 min. later, pretty much unaware of where I am. Shawna suggested the other day that I might go the way of the celebrity actress/superstar and end up in the hospital for exhaustion. It might be a bad sign that I thought that sounded like a lovely mini vacation.

Why do I do it? Well I love my kids – they’re my life, they really are and most days they’re the only thing that keeps me going. But they can’t be everything for me, I have to continue to make myself happy or else I won’t be able to make them happy. See if I’m not happy then I can’t be the mom they need me to be, I can’t be the wife that Matt deserves and I can’t be the friend, the daughter and the sister that I want to be. So I’m going to continue on this course and take it one day at a time because for right now it’s working. Things will change soon enough as they always do. Aaron will be in school soon, Gwen will be older and more independent, we won’t be working split shifts forever, and until then – well I can sleep when I’m dead.

The fake smile

I’m a fan of the fake smile. It’s a necessary tool in the work world. The fake smile is the little grin that you use when you meet someone in the hall at work. It’s not genuine, it’s , nothing really except for a reflexive action in the muscles of your face. All in all it’s simply an acknowledgement. The fake smile says "Hi, you’re walking, I’m walking, I see you. I don’t know you or I barely know you but I’m acknowledging that you exist and am showing that I’m a friendly co-worker. After all we’re all in this together." Yes, one fake grin can convey all that.

I always use the fake grin – always. I use it with people I’m barely acquainted with but like, I use it with people I loathe, but who outrank me, hell I even use it on the cleaning lady and the guy who waters the plants. Problems arise however, when the fake smile is not reciprocated. These are the "non-smilers" and they’re inevitably cast as bitches and jerks. Is it too hard for them to flip that smile back at me? It’s really no different than if I had verbally said "hi" and they had ignored it and kept on walking. It’s just downright rude.

Now I’ve recently conquered one "non-smiler" and I’m pretty proud of that. It was this guy, pretty cute actually, who works a few rows down from me and I’d give him the fake smile, as I do to everyone, and he’d never reciprocate – NEVER! I determined after some study that perhaps he thought I was trying to hit on him and that thought might be a little repulsive to him- can’t really blame him there. A 30-something overweight mother isn’t exactly a catch and I’m sure given his good looks and the plethora of slutty straight out of college, laxative eating, size 2 model wannabees that work in the department down the hall, he’s had his fair share of come ons. So I trained myself to ignore him and stopped giving him the fake smile. I replaced the smile with disdain, and indifference and lo and behold, now he throws me the fake smile every time he sees me. I just have to be careful not to smile first, and only reciprocate his or else I might shift the balance back again.

Now you may be wondering why a person would spend so much mental energy on something as trivial as a fake smile. There are 2 answers to that. 1. Most of the time I have very little work to keep me busy so I’ve got the free time for such insane pursuits, 2. It’s not even really something I put a lot of thought into. It’s more like an instinct. I just do it, as do most people. We’re social creatures and there’s something in us that needs to nurture that interaction with others and that pushes us to seek acceptance from those around us.

It’s like a slightly more civilized version of animals gathered around the last remaining water hole in the savannah during the dry season. Sure they stay in their own herds and are cautious but they’ve all got the same goal – survival – and sometimes that involves interaction and acknowledging or at least tolerating others. They’d rather not interact. They’d rather just get their drink and move on but that’s not really possible, they’ve got to work together so when the zebras let the impalas in for a sip, that’s like nature’s version of the fake smile. Sometimes you can even see lions drinking right alongside a herd of wildebeest, that’s like nature’s version of small talk; "Hey how are ya? This dry season is a real bitch eh? Did you see that the Hippos brought bagels?"

That’s why it’s so unnerving when someone doesn’t reciprocate the smile. It completely throws off the social balance. There’s one gal who just simply refuses to do the smile. She won’t even hold the bathroom door open for you if you’re walking in right after her and that’s just a slap in the face right there. I’ve tried being extra nice to her, I’ve tried being extra bitchy to her, nothing phases her. At this point if we were in the savannah I’d offer her a spot to drink only after I saw that croc closing in and then I’d watch with satisfaction when it took off her head.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Unwanted Physical Attention

I’m going to lunch today with a friend I used to work with at a previous job. We’ve always gotten along great and had a lot in common despite our age difference (she’s about 20 years my elder). We try to keep in touch, which pretty much involves an occasional email update when something major happens in my or her life. We try to have lunch together once every couple months as well.

Now the problem I have is that the woman insists on hugging me every time she sees me now. I like to consider myself a pretty warm and open individual with people I like and if it was a closer friend or perhaps a family member that I hadn’t seen in quite some time I would welcome them freely with a little squeeze. However, with her I feel it’s inappropriate and quite frankly uncomfortable.

But what can I do? I can’t really just hold up my hand, shake my head and say, "No touchy". I mean despite how I may come across here in the written world, in the real one I’m actually fairly reserved. I guess I should look at it as a compliment. I mean she obviously feels that we have some sort of bond. A bond that she must strengthen by touching me every time she sees me since we see each other so rarely.

Perhaps she’s like this with everyone that she only sees occasionally. Who knows, maybe she greets her tax preparer by sticking her tongue in his ear, or her mechanic by giving him a quick little grope. Maybe I’m getting off easy with just a hug.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


So my favorite gift this year is one that I requested. My new laptop. I love it. It’s a thing of beauty. See we have a PC downstairs in our furnished basement and it’s in fine working condition and really there was very little justification for the purchase of another computer. However, I convinced myself and Matt that I needed one so that I could write more often. It’s difficult in the evenings when I’m home alone with the kids to get downstairs, or when I do get them downstairs then Aaron whines incessantly about playing Go Diego Go online. If he had his way he’d stare at that Nick Jr. website until the images were permanently burnt onto his retinas.

The theory was that it would be much more convenient to have a laptop that I could slap on the kitchen counter and be able to bang out a few paragraphs here and there in between dinner, bath, and the oft-occurring screaming fit and/or bloody contusion. The other advantage of a laptop would be that I could haul it with me to work and whip it out during lunch in the break room and type to my little heart’s content.

Today is the 2nd day I’ve brought it to work and I find that doing so serves three purposes. 1. it makes me more productive (with my personal goals of course, who really cares about work productivity). 2. It allowed me to remove personal files from my work computer and to discontinue typing up blog entries on there (even though I rarely if ever posted from work, it still wouldn’t look so great to see that I had 20 personal documents on there that were obviously written on company time) 3. It makes me look damn important when I whip this baby out and prop it open on that break room table, or perhaps it makes me look like an idiot for hauling in a computer to work on during my break when I’m already spending 8 hours sitting in front of one anyway. Hmm, well I’m going to go with "makes me look important" and leave it at that.

The best part about this laptop though is I can take it anywhere at home. I can have it on the kithchen counter, then move it into the living room while the kids are watching a video. I can take it to bed with me and type in my daily journal right before I go to sleep, and best of all, this laptop turns previously wasted moments on the toilet into productive and exciting experiences. I mean who doesn’t want to work on a short story while their body excretes waste? Who needs bathroom trivia or magazines when you can sit there and play a rousing game of Mine Sweeper?

The only thing that would be better is a stimulating internet search on the care and feeding of pygmy goats or maybe a good Google for sexy pics of Ewan McGregor. Alright, that pairing of topics sounds a little odd, but I’ve always wanted a cute little pygmy goat to feed and pet and take care of, and who doesn’t like a good Ewan McGregor fantasy? Not that the fantasy would include the goat too – okay I think I might be digging this hole even deeper – let’s move on. The point I’m trying to make is that unfortunately I don’t have a wireless modem yet so I'm unable to get online and do uhm, important research.

But I’m hoping that this laptop will make me a much more proficient writer, both for my blogging and for my personal writing goals. If nothing else though I should at least improve my Solitaire skills.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The greatest gift of all - excess mucus and a high grade fever.

Yes I am still alive - barely. I managed to write up this entry a week ago and am just now finding the time to actually post it.

We spent Christmas weekend in Kansas with Matt’s family and all in all it was a nice trip. Well aside from the 3 and a half hour church outing and the plethora of made for TV movies. See Matt’s mom is a fan off all things sappy. Josh Grobin and Celine Dion are two of her favorite singers if that helps paint a picture for you, and her favorite TV channel is the Lifetime Movie Network which plays a 24/7 sickeningly sweet dosage of cliché movie plots played out by former sitcom and soap opera actors.

Lifetime wasn’t quite sappy enough for her though and we ended up on the Hallmark channel watching such treasured and time honored Christmas classics as "All I Want for Christmas is a Boyfriend" and "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Clause". And in case you were sitting around wondering what happened to that great thespian Steve Guttenburg of Police Academy 1-25 fame, well look no further than the Hallmark channel. You’ll be happy to know that his skills are just as blunt as ever.

We got a lot of nice and very thoughtful gifts, but the best gift Aaron and Gwen got was to spend time with their cousins. Staying home all day with Daddy and all night with me pretty much limits their social interaction with other children and they had such a blast with the other kids. However, as most children who are in school or have siblings who are in school they all had colds and the moment my children walked through the door they were dowsed with germs. One kid was coughing on them, the other wiping snot on her hands and then touching their faces. It was inevitable that they would come home and be sicker than dogs and now they are.

One night I ended up on the couch holding one in each arm, mucus oozing out of the majority of their orifices, their foreheads so hot that I could have whipped up 2 eggs over easy and a side of bacon on them. So our living room has now become ground zero. We’ve whipped out the sofa bed to accommodate the ease of non-stop cartoon viewing, there are new and half used tissues in every corner and on every flat surface. A vast array of medication is lined up on the counter. And medication is a major issue, especially with Aaron as he seems to have a mental block against oral medication. It doesn’t matter what form it’s in, or what flavor, this kid just doesn’t like the taste of medicine and he gags and upchucks whatever you try to give him. The only thing we can get down him are grape chewable Tylenol tablets and even then we have to break them into little pieces and he has to take 5 drinks in between each little piece. It takes me 15 minutes to get half the dosage down him.

He’s so funny though even when he’s sick. When he’s couging or when his fever gets high, I must obviously have a concerned look on my face because he’ll turn to me and he’ll say, "I’m okay Momma" in his hoarse little voice. And then he also feels the need to tell me when he’s coughing. Like he’ll be right in the middle of a coughing fit and he’s trying to say, "I’m coughing Momma" or if he just coughs once, he’ll turn to me right afterward and say, "I coughed Momma" in this matter of fact tone, like he just felt I needed to be kept appraised of the situation.

So that’s been the conclusion to my holiday season. I think I need to take a couple days off to recuperate.