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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sorry

Yesterday I posted about someone's child (it's gone now) which I never should have done. Then someone else thought I was posting about their child and was, I imagine, hurt by that.

To the parents (and family) who thought it was their kid, I am so sorry. It wasn't your child, it was a different kid, it could easily have been my own, but that doesn't make it okay. I shouldn't really be talking about anyone's kids here.

I have a big mouth and I often say things or say the wrong things or say the right things the wrong way and get myself in trouble. I wish it weren't so but it is. Oh how I wish it weren't the case. I feel like an idiot.  Which, unfortunately is a pretty common feeling for me.

So, anyway. Sorry about the misunderstanding and double sorry that I don't think before I speak (or write).  I'm working on it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

It's the drugs, I swear.

It seems that when I posted last night I failed to tell everyone what I was posting about. Ooops. My son and I are reading Infinite Jest together, or trying to anyway. I want to be positive about it, but I'm not down with cryptic reading as much as I might have been in my youth.

I'm emerging from a four day migraine and I am seriously considering petitioning my local law makers to force my brain to limit these things to two consecutive days at a time. I really cannot afford to waste four days in a row. Not to mention that I am exhausted now. Lying in bed and trying to keep my head from exploding is apparently hard work.

Last week I (foolishly) wondered why I get so stressed about my to-do lists, I mean I just need to do what needs to be done and get on with it. Right? Later that same day I started getting a headache. Not a bad one, just enough to make me edgy. The problem is I never know if it’s going to stay just on the fringes or turn into four wasted days. I definitely hate the wasted days, but the unknown is almost as bad. I’m sure that sounds really stupid. Why waste time worrying? Right? Because I can’t plan my life, that’s why. I never know if I’m gong to be up or “not up”. So what do I do? Not make commitments? Because that doesn't work for me. I want to do things. I like having stuff to do, but when I am physically unable to fulfill my “duties” I feel like a giant flake. I feel like a crippled girl. I’m afraid people will think I’m lazy or unreliable. The thing is, in a way, I am unreliable. Not by choice, but does it really matter why?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Infinite confusion

That's my take on the first 75 pages. Holy Cow. Hopefully it will start to come together soon.

I think my son and I are both feeling like "where in the world is he going with this?!"

Hopefully the force will be with me and I will use my great powers of deduction to figure out the mystery of Hal's speech impediment as well as his freaky OCD pot addiction, and let's not for get what the heck is up with the Interlace cartridge viewing. Whew.

If you're confused, imagine how I feel.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why is her father is never available for these things?

Yesterday morning my daughter had a dentist appointment. I was kind of looking forward to it because I thought that while she was in the chair I would have some time to catch up on my reading. Ha! Apparently I’ve never met my daughter.

Before they called her back she asked me if I would stay with her while she got the shot, which of course I was more than happy to do. From the amount of theatrics that one tiny shot created a person might have thought that this little girl had never been to the dentist before and had no idea what to expect (or that they were amputating a limb). Not true. She has been to the dentist many times, but every time is like the first. “How long will this take?” “How bad will it hurt?” “Do I get a prize at the end?” “How long until I can eat again?” “When are you going to buy me a shiny gold tooth?” You know, all of the important things.

I stayed for the shot then I wished the dentist luck (because obviously he was going to need it) and headed out to the lobby. It wasn’t long before the whimpering started. Why don’t dentists get soundproof rooms? No one wants to hear that while they are waiting for their own root canal.

Would you think I was terribly cruel if I told you I pretended not to hear when the sounds of her squeals and cries carried down the hall and into the waiting room? How about if I told you I acted surprised when the hygienist came to get me because my daughter really wanted me with her? At least I didn’t roll my eyes. I don’t think I did anyway. I tried really hard not to.

Poor thing, I’m just not one of those moms who coddle and say sweet things when their kids are upset. No, I am one of those moms who, annoyed because I didn’t get to see the end of Divorce Court on the waiting room TV (now I will never know who got to keep the trailer) tells her (one and only) daughter to suck it up and let them drill the decay out of her tooth. I might have mentioned that it was her own fault that she was there in the first place, I mean she has access to floss for crying out loud. (I’m the mom that says “I told you if you ran with a stick you’d put your eye out. Happy now? Now that you’re BLIND!?” the whole way to the emergency room.)

When she was finally finished and we were on our way home she told me she thought it went really well. “It hardly hurt at all” she told me. I guess that depends on where you were sitting, because it was pretty painful in my chair.

On another note, I’d like to mention how relieved I am that our unseasonably cool temperatures have finally hit the road and things have returned to normal around here. There is just nothing quite as oveny and kiln-like as Arizona in the summer, and the thought of going an entire season without everyone and their dog commenting on the warmth had me a little nervous. ----------------Really people. It’s Arizona, it’s hot, its dry, and you’ve lived here forever. What were you expecting? Get over it or move, but for Pete’s sake, stop acting surprised.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wait for the moonwalk, you won't regret it.

The funniest part is that they are serious. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Infinity and beyond


So there’s this book, and it’s l-o-n-g. Like, uh, almost 1000 pages. Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace, and I guess, I mean I know, people are getting little groups together and planning to read all of it this summer. The whole thing, all 981 pages. Weirdos.

My son, Edge (yes, that’s his real name, what of it?) asked me if I’d heard anything about it and if I’d want to read it with him. I had heard, and figured those people making all those big plans must be unemployed college students, ‘cause really, who else has time to even think about reading a book like that on a schedule? I know I don’t. No siree. I’m busy.

But then, just like that, my brain turned to mush (which is not exactly a positive development when you're about to read a 20 lb. book). You see, it’s super important to me to seem hip and cool to my newly adult son----ummm, what I mean is, it’s ultra important to me to find common interests that I can use to strengthen our relationship, no matter the already precarious state of my sanity, which is why I know you will understand when I tell you that I have decided to throw caution to the wind and take the Infinite Jest Summer Challenge.

The other books I’ve been reading aren’t really working out anyway. The Real Benjamin Franklin is boring me to death; it’s our book group selection this month. You know, few years ago I read the Franklin biography by Walter Issacson and I liked it a lot, but this one feels like it’s written at a 6th grade level and it’s killing me. Killing me!! (Have I ever mentioned that I’m kind of a book snob? I am. Big deal. Everyone should have standards and book group or no, summer is too short to spend it reading boring books. I learned that from Oprah.)

I’ve also been reading A Brain Wider than the Sky; a Migraine Diary, by Andrew Levy. I like it quite a bit, but I seem to get more migraines in the summer than I do in the other seasons and reading about auras while seeing them is not as much fun as one might think, so I’m going to save this one for fall.

I’ve never read anything by David Foster Wallace so this afternoon I downloaded a short story “Shipping Out”. It’s not bad. Somewhere I read compared him to Vonnegut, but so far, I don’t think so. Whew. Nothing personal, maybe I just had a bad experience with Vonnegut, I’ve only read Breakfast of Champions, but it made me feel like the butt of a joke. Like maybe someone was sitting around the corner laughing their head off that I was reading it. For all I know Mr. Vonnegut was a perfectly nice man with a great (by great I mean “normal”) sense of humor, I just don’t want to spend the next 3 months reading a book that makes me feel like the main character in an elaborate prank.

Thank goodness I don’t go off on tangents.

Anyhow, the point is we’re doing it. 75 pages a week, plus footnotes. 75 pages a week is pretty doable, unless it gets really weird or boring, then I might have to rent the movie or something (just kidding! Sheesh, you people will fall for anything.). Here’s a link to the schedule if you’d like to join us (you know you want to). I’m going to post updates/summaries on Sundays, mostly to keep myself on schedule. It would be so embarrassing to have to tell you I’ve gotten behind, especially now that I’ve told you that I’m a giant book snob who doesn’t like Vonnegut. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Not that any of that matters anyway, what matters here is that I am the best mom ever, right? Right?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Today I know I will have a better story than he does.

Before I start work in the morning I like to read the news, you know, just to make sure the world is still spinning. That, and I like to see if there is anything I need to know before my brother calls to say "You ain't gonna believe what I just saw/heard...." Today I have found that, in England especially, things are really hopping. I might actually win our little game today.
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First there is the woman who had to cancel her wedding after finding out that her fiance is a porn star. At least, he used to be her fiance. The story goes, that while her friends were planning the bachelorette party they came across his information on a stripper for hire site. She could live with his being a personal trainer, just not that kind of "personal training". Frankly, I've never heard of him, so I have to wonder just how famous he really is.
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Then there is this girl who, while trying to uphold the family tattoo tradition, claims to have fallen asleep and gotten a few more that the 3 stars ("points of color") that she asked for on her face. Like 53 extra stars. See that's the trouble with those kinds of family traditions. It's all fun and games until you nod off while someone is poking ink into your face with an electric needle for 2 hours. I always say, "I wish I could go down to the tattoo parlor and unwind." but stories like this are what keep me from doing it, you never know what you'll wake up with.
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Finally, some crop circle experts (for real?) believe that the recently discovered phoenix crop circle (top) with it's intricate Mayan pattern indicates that the world may be coming to an end by 2012. Apparently the crop circle guys are really stepping up their game lately, even going so far as to make a--gasp--giant jelly fish "crop design". For my money, nothing says End of Time like a jelly fish. So here's the deal, we are to believe, if I am reading this correctly, that these guys with too much time on their hands, can actually predict the end of the world. It seems I have been looking for clues in all the wrong places.
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I gotta go call my brother...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This is our pool

I'm not going to tell you how much time and money I have spent trying to bring it to the swampy hue you see before you.  That would seem too much like bragging.
I will tell you though, that the party isn't over yet.  Despite my best efforts, it seems we are on the brink of going from green water to brown slime.  Now I am left with no choice but to drain my little cement pond and start anew.  If I weren't such a stubborn cheapskate I would hire someone to come over and take care of this, but my motto is "why pay someone else to do something I could be doing myself instead of sleeping?"

Friday, June 12, 2009

She could have just kept quiet, but noooo...

Whew, that was a close one; I thought for a second there I might have misplaced my mojo (if you are thinking that by using the term mojo I have proven that I didn’t have any to begin with…..go away)

I have posted EVERYDAY this week. I might not have time for Oprah’s silly lists, but I seem to be finding plenty of time to spill my guts. Lucky you.

See this-



I usually don’t fall for fancy stuff like shaving lotion, but my sister-in-law left some at my house a couple of weeks ago. (I’m pretending it was a gift, not just something she didn’t want to have exploded all over the inside of her suitcase.) It was so thoughtful and generous of her. She knew I would love it but that I would never buy this kind of luxury item for myself. I’m really enjoying the soft silky feel of my legs “post-shave”. I had no idea what I was missing.

Speaking of shaving, I have another sister-in-law, this one is really annoying. Her name is Mitzy. Oh, my goodness, did I just type her name? That was such an accident.

A few days ago we were sitting at swim team with a friend, watching our little Krawdads swim laps, and the friend mentioned that she hates shaving her legs. I said “Me too!” it’s such a pain but if I don’t do it everyday I look like a hairy gorilla woman.

That’s when my super annoying sister-in-law told us a secret. She hadn’t shaved her legs in a month. A month!! Eww! Well, we all started laughing about how gross that was, and how manly her legs must look, ha!ha!ha!, then she went and ruined the fun by saying “I hardly have any hair on my legs.”

HUH? WHAT THE?????

My stubbly friend and I had to see this for ourselves so we both took a good look (and a couple of rubs). Sure enough, NO HAIR!! NONE!! These legs that had allegedly been unshaven for a month were smooth as a baby’s bottom. Can you believe it? Neither could we.

So we're shunning her. She can sit alone at swim team from now on. She doesn’t need us; she has smooth hair-free legs. She's made her choice.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

101 Entrees made from Otter Pops

I think Oprah has me confused with one of her jet-setting French Rivera vacationing girlfriends. Seriously, what’s up with all of the reading lists? What makes her think I have MORE time to read just because it’s summer? I like to read, I would go as far as to say I do a lot of reading, but the idea that I could polish off this list, while my kids are out of school and I am working part-time, juggling the swim/dive team carpool, ruling over “kid court” all day, and washing 10 extra loads of towels a week (praise be! for the pool in my back yard) is a bit optimistic.

You know when I could use a reading list? January. Yep, the holidays are over, there are no big projects or dance recitals for a few months, the kids are happy (albeit briefly) with their Christmas haul. Those are the days I could use some literary suggestions. Summer, sorry, not so much.

And the lists, sheesh! On Oprah’s website she has so many; 25 New Books, 11 Mysteries, and 20 Beach Reads, there’s even a list of books “starring” dogs. I’m surprised; Oprah really doesn’t know me at all. The worst list though-- 10 Books about Sex. I’m here to tell you I definitely do not have time to read about sex in the summer. The last thing I need, with the whole neighborhood playing X-box in my family room, is for my husband to see a couple of those lying around. Nice try Oprah!

You wanna know what kind of list would be handy between May and August?

New Ways to Enjoy those Law and Order Reruns

8 Ways to get Your Neighbors Gossiping and Start a Scandal on Your Street

10 Uses for Leftover Potato Salad

If Oprah really wants to reach the masses maybe she should give me a call.

Do you have more time to read when school is out and your kids are home? What kind of list would help you get through the summer? Oh, and, it's okay if your kids eat Otter Pops for lunch, right?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My tribal name would be “Pointy one who knows no peace”

Once, during the formative years of my marriage, my father in law told me I had a pointy nose. He may have even mentioned witches. I’m pretty sure he was trying to be funny. (Trying being the operative word) Before that I had never considered my nose to be anything worth noticing, certainly not pointy, but after, I wondered if there was something I’d missed. Since that day, on occasion, I have studied my nose, trying to see it from all angles, taking self portraits, pouring over pictures taken by others, asking my husband, nonchalantly “Does my nose look a little sharp to you?”

Even now, 17 years later, having found no evidence of it, I wonder, every now and then, if I do, in fact, have a pointy nose. What if I do? Really? I’m not the kind of girl who goes in for things like nose jobs, even make-up tricks that create the illusion of a softer rounder nose aren’t my bag. Way too much work. And what if it gets smudged or I sweat? I live in Arizona, sweating is a real and constant threat. I’m stuck with this thing.

I wish I could just figure, “huh, crazy old guy, trying to make a joke” and move on, but that my friends is not how I operate. No, no, no.

Once while pulling into a parking space at the grocery store, a woman, who was possibly crazy and most definitely intoxicated, yelled something rude about my parking skills. Which, by the way, I’m the first to admit could use some work. For the rest of that day I was hounded by her slurred voice and incoherent critique looping over and over in my mind. It was awful.

I could give you one example after another of my irrationality, but I didn’t come here to talk about me. HA! HA! HA! Gotcha! I always come here to talk about me.

Thing is, on the other side of the coin, I am constantly saying something stupid. Making off handed comments in my quest to be clever.  Because everyone knows that anyone can be wise, but few are truly clever.

So, I say things. I don’t mean anything by them. Usually. Being clever (or trying to be clever) doesn’t come cheap-- for me anyway. I often let myself get carried off on a wave of laughter and say things that I regret, things that keep me up at night. Things that I didn’t even plan to say, but just popped out; I have one of those mouths that things pop out of. It’s quite taxing. I’ve said things that have caused me to send mass apology e-mails to everyone in attendance. Things that other people claim not to have noticed.

But how could that be? How could it be that I am the only person in the universe suffering over everything I hear and everything I say? Could it possibly be that I am the only one, the ONLY ONE, who worries about stuff like this? Are there people who don’t care if their father in law thinks they have a pointy nose? Are there people who—gasp!!-- make jokes and then figure everyone in the room knows that they were joking and so they go home and sleep in peace?

I have one sister in law who claims not to worry about these kinds of things.  Ever. That she doesn't replay every conversation over and over in her mind. She says it like it never even occured to her to wonder what people think.  But you know what? I don’t believe it. I just don’t. And I am surely NOT going to worry that I am some kind of weirdo. Nope. Not at all……No way.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I love the early morning. 

That silence I was craving yesterday?  I can always count on it to exsist abundantly between 5 and 6 a.m. 

Whew.

My oldest child is 18 today.

How in the world did that happen?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Can you hear that?

Ugh! Me too.

Do you guys remember the episode of The Cosby Show when Cliff built that soundproof office for Claire? I could really use one of those about now. My children are lovely people, just lovely, but if I don’t get some peace and quiet soon I might just lose my mind. That’s right, just lose it, cuckoo pants, brain out the window.

Every three minutes I hear “MahhM!!” or “hey mom, can I…..?” or “mmomm hhimm;” (one of my kids is a mumbler), and if they aren’t calling my name they're taking matters into their own hands. Nothing is louder than a house full of siblings learning how to solve their own problems. (Whose brilliant idea was that?!) Nothing that is besides a 9 year old with a Hannah Montana soundtrack (thanks again to thoughtful mother of that party guest. Your daughter will be having a birthday someday. Can you say “Make your own lip gloss kit?”) Although to be honest, I’d rather listen to Hannah Montana than that blasted “rock & roll” teenagers listen to these days. Man! When did I turn into my granny?

It’s possible I have a slight touch of PMS too, and that, as you can imagine, is not helping, not one little bit.

About half an hour ago I made the mistake of asking my daughter if she wanted to run some errands with me, now she is standing at the top of the stairs asking me how many minutes until we leave.

Yep, a soundproof room would really hit the spot about now.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

You know how I feel about Daniel Craig...

...but I have my limits.  Turning James Bond into a popsicle is not my idea of a good idea.  I think it's a little creepy actually.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sometimes, I need notes to explain my notes

Once upon a time in a galaxy not too far from here (pretty close to this exact spot actually), I used to write stuff and people (though not as many as you might think) would even read that stuff sometimes. It was super duper fun! Then my life got busy, first it was my job, oh, and the end of the school year, then my family came to visit and we took a trip and ate sooo much food that I waddle now instead of walking (why oh why do all family functions, ours anyway, have to involve gluttonous amounts of food?), and those were all really good and true reasons for not writing but I think, though I don’t dare say it out loud, things are kind of settling down and hopefully I will have time to write again.

I’ve been trying to keep notes so I could catch you all up on my exciting life when I had time, but they don’t all make sense, like this one-

“wondering about the color of my glasses”

Or this-

“They may or may not have to pick up marshmallows”

But this-

“ding, ding, we have a winner”

I know just exactly what that’s about.

Because we don’t go to Disneyland as often as some people (the last time was 12 years ago) we are not as theme park savvy as we would like to be. Lucky for us we have lots of good friends who are Disneyland experts, one of them was kind enough to type a 3 page “cheat sheet” for us outlining the most strategic fast pass plan, which rides NOT to skip, and the best part, she included a section titled “Games to play while waiting in line”. Our favorite was called “Who Won”. The idea is to look at a couple and decide who got the better deal. I think we can all agree the couple pictured below is a fine example of the ever elusive Win/Win partnership.

There are times that waiting in line is the best part of Disneyland.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I love them, really I do.....

.....I'm just so very very tired.
 
Tonight is the last night of our whirlwind 14 day family immersion experience.  Tomorrow morning our house guests will begin trickling back to their homes, far, far away.  It has been so much fun having everyone here, we have dined together, we have gone on a trip together, we have shopped, slept, laughed, cried, and mocked one another mercilessly.  It has been super-duper fun.
This evening we will wrap things up with a BBQ.  In addition to the family members who have come from out of town, those of us who live in town will be there, as well as friends who we consider family and a few extra in-laws thrown in for good measure.  Maybe a dog or two, if we’re lucky. It will be a large group.  Close to 50.   


I love my family, and I love spending time with them, but we have had 2 weeks of big dinners, long car rides and late nights.  As much as I want to spend every possible moment together, I am exhausted and mobs give me anxiety, I want to beg off.  I won’t of course, but I can still want to. 
I haven’t had time to write for almost two weeks and it’s killing me.
Just a couple more days.  
In the morning my brother’s family and my grandpa will head home and  I will spend several hours acting as chauffeur/personal assistant to my dad while he runs some last minute errands (truth be told, that should provide us with some rich blogging material), then he will depart on Thursday.  By Friday afternoon we will all be lonely again.
  
 P.S. We had our family pictures taken yesterday.  I made my kids wear these hideous fashions, even though one of them told me over and over how mean I am and that he would never ever wear that shirt, even if he were going to visit a blind person. 

 
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